I just finished raking leaves and cleaning up my property. My next door neighbor has not done this, and now everything from his yard is blowing into mine. Can I suggest he clean up my yard, since it’s his mess?

No, it’s one of those things where timing is everything. Your careful cleanup is now the victim of his dereliction. You can clean up your yard again, or wait until the wind blows in his direction and sends his leaves back to him. It’s one of the downsides of the upside of enjoying the beautiful colors of fall, and no one really has ownership of leaves. If they’re in your yard, you’re “it” for cleaning up again.

My friend recently became a widow and is worried about whether she needs to change her formal address from Mrs. Thomas Jones to Mrs. Ann Jones. I told her that she did not, but she doesn’t believe me. Can you help?

Your friend may be Mrs. Thomas Jones forever, if she wishes. You are correct. She may be thinking of a divorcee who no longer uses her husband’s name and would use Mrs. Ann Jones, instead.

We are hosting Thanksgiving this year and I please need some tips. Is it all right to clean up after the meal just to get everything out of the way? Do I have to have placecards?  Should I make a special entrée for a vegetarian guest? Should I send people home with leftovers?

As the host, you don’t want to be a clean-up martyr. You belong with your guests. By all means, clear the table and put any food away that might spoil, but leave dish and pot and pan washing until everyone has gone home. Or even until the next day. Cleaning can wait, but treasured time with your guests cannot. No, you don’t have to have placecards but you certainly may, especially if you have guests who are better separated than next to one another. If you have enough vegetables and sides, so that all your vegetarian guest is missing is a slice of turkey, you needn’t make another entrée for him or her. Thanksgiving is usually bountiful with choices other than meat. And sure on sending guests home with leftovers. Be prepared with paper plates or containers and make up packets for others before you put remaining leftovers away. Wrap them in foil or plastic wrap, and hand them out as lovely parting gifts. Thanksgiving leftovers can be a wonderful treat.

Am I supposed to tip the owner of a barbershop if he is the one who cuts my hair? I thought the answer was no, but I’ve seen other customers tip him. Is there some protocol?

If the owner of the shop charges more for his services than the other barbers in the shop charge, then you do not tip. If he charges the same as every other barber, then you do tip.

Questions for Catherine? Send them to Catherine.Michaels@gmail.com.