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People magazine called her "the world's best-known housekeeper," and even though she wears the title well, she still says, "I'm not a fanatical housekeeper like most people may think.

 My philosophy is always to pick up the big chunks and keep things neat. No one is going to look inside your oven, heaven forbid! If they do, they deserve what they find!"

Her home in San Antonio doubles as her base of operations. She has four full-time assistants who sort and file the thousands of hints received from her readers each month. Her staff helps research and test new housekeeping hints before the are suggested to Heloise's vast audience through her columns. When mail runs especially heavy (as it frequently does) the regular office staff is supplemented by as many as six part-time workers.

Heloise also enjoys spending time with her small zoo of animals which includes Savvi, a miniature Schnauzer, Black Jack, a black Lab adoptee, as well as Rocky, a military macaw; and most recently, JD (John Doe, a Golden Retriever/Yellow Lab), who adopted Heloise and her husband. And she says, "I don't own them, they own me and I love it!"

Today, the high-flying Texan owns her own hot-air balloon. Heloise shares her life with her husband, David, a plumbing contractor who was one of the country's first commercial hot-air balloonists. While Heloise loves ballooning, she keeps her feet on the ground in every other way. She remains unspoiled by her own international fame, and takes media attention with "a whole box of salt."

"Even better than flying," says Heloise, "is cooking, which I enjoy the most." There's a touch of Texas in her boast when she claims she can make something from nothing. "Always keep potatoes and pasta on hand -- you can make a million dishes with leftovers -- and no one will know the difference, " she advises.


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