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June 2012
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Rings on furniture removed with ease

Dear Annie: Help! My coffee table is slowly being ruined, and I don't know how to prevent it without seeming like a control freak.

This table was my first big furniture purchase, after years of Ikea bargain pieces and Craigslist freebies.

I got some really cute coasters right away, hoping to protect the table.

But no matter how many times I've asked my roommates, they keep forgetting to use the coasters. They'll place a cold drink right next to a coaster but not on it. It drives me crazy! I've asked at least 10 times now. They are starting to get a bit better about it and are remembering sometimes, but their friends are not.

I feel awkward going in there when they have guests over and placing their drinks on the coasters. I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable, and I'd love to be more relaxed about this, but I'm already noticing rings on the table and some warping. How can I get my roommates to listen to me without blowing up at them? -- Coaster Crazy

Dear Coaster: The best defense is a good offense. Call a local custom glass-cutting business and have a protective top made to the dimensions of your table. This should be relatively inexpensive (between $40 and $60) -- well worth the peace of mind.

Dear Annie: Thank you for publishing a recent letter from a person in need of a kidney transplant. Kidney disease does not get the attention it deserves. Thirty-one million people -- babies, young children, teenagers, adults and senior citizens -- are dealing with this illness. Some aren't even aware they have kidney disease until symptoms appear. There is no cure for kidney failure.

On Jan. 3, my sister died from complications of kidney failure. Her last two years were not quality years. Even dialysis has devastating side effects. She was in and out of the hospital too many times. She fought long and hard. She leaves behind a young teenage daughter and a husband, who stood by her side every step of the way.

As her sister, I could not sit by and watch her suffer. I tried everything to find her a living donor. I purchased a billboard where she lived. I posted on Facebook. I put my request on the back window of my car. I did radio, newspaper and TV interviews on her behalf because my sister and her family were financially, mentally and physically exhausted.

The transplant hospitals do not look for living donors for those in need.

This is the responsibility of the family. I will always wonder what else I could have done. Like my sister, some become too sick or die before getting a second chance at life. My beautiful sister is just a statistic now.

There are currently 98,000 people on the kidney transplant waiting list. I know many people who are registered organ donors. This is not enough. Take it one step further and be tested as a living kidney donor. If you don't know where to start, call your local hospital and ask for the procurement center it works with. Please don't put this off. There are too many people who are waiting to get the call. -- A Grieving Sister in Kansas

Dear Grieving: I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved sister. Thank you for raising awareness about the importance of living kidney donors. Readers interested in becoming donors, visit https://www.kidney.org for more information.

Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

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