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Answer This

Channeling Crystal Gayle and More

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By Dawn Bright


Dear Dawn,

I recently moved into a new house and am lining my kitchen shelves with non-stick drawer lining. I do this because my mother always did this, but I’m not exactly sure why. Is it for looks? And if so, do I need to line the really high cupboards that you can’t even see into?

– Patricia A. from WaterColor



Shelf lining does serve a purpose. It keeps the wood in your cabinets from getting stained and damaged. Plus you can get the prettiest liners these days which look great, especially if you have cabinets with glass doors. But do you need to line the high ones? You can’t see inside them, and you’re probably filling them with stuff you’re never ever going to use (but can’t bear to part with). So save some time and money and don’t worry about them. Unless, like me, your new cabinets cost a small fortune and you don’t want anything to happen to any of them, ever. Then line them to your heart’s content—just think how happy it’d make your mom knowing you’re continuing her tried and true traditions, both high and low!

Dear Dawn,

I’m an older woman with really long hair. I keep thinking I’ll cut it before it gets hot, but then it gets hot and it’s still long, and I think, oh well, I’ll cut it next summer. I’m starting to look like Crystal Gayle. Why am I so reluctant to cut my hair?

Marin M. from Grayton Beach



That’s simple. If you cut your hair, you will perceive yourself as an old woman, not an older woman. Young women have long hair. Old women tend to chop it off and stick it up in a bouffant hairdo or crop it short like a man so they don’t have to deal with it. Young women style and color their hair—they aren’t afraid to take chances. Old women don’t want to mess with it.


Okay, I may be making some pretty broad statements here, and we all know this isn’t across-the-board true. But I’m also an older woman with long hair and I can’t bring myself to cut it. It represents a transition into something I’m not quite ready for. But when I am…well, I’ll know it. And so will you. So enjoy your long hair and quit worrying about Crystal Gayle or anyone else. Just be the best you can be—long hair, short hair or something in between!

Dear Dawn,

Why is everyone so jacked up about sea salt? Is there really a difference?

– Mark C. from Dothan, Alabama



There is a difference, Mark, and it’s not just in taste, but also in texture and processing. Sea salt is produced with little processing through the evaporation of ocean water or water from saltwater lakes. This can leave behind certain trace minerals and elements, which add flavor, color, and, in some cases, coarseness levels. Table salt, on the other hand, is typically mined from underground salt deposits. It’s heavily processed to remove minerals and usually contains an additive to prevent clumping. Iodine is also normally added to table salt, which is an essential nutrient to help maintain a healthy thyroid.


Personally, I like to use sea salt, because I like the coarseness of it. The important word here is “personally.” The type of salt you use in cooking or seasoning your food is definitely a personal preference.

Dawn Bright is an eternal optimist. And that’s pretty much all you need to know about her. Email your questions to


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