Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about parent involvement in
education. - Heloise
“Dear Heloise: I started teaching in public schools in 1978, and over
the years, I’ve witnessed a decline in parental involvement in
children’s education. Raising a child is not easy, but when you choose
to be a parent, you choose to take on a very difficult job, much of
which means being involved with your child’s education, self-discipline,
responsibility and teaching that life’s actions have consequences.
“Studies have shown that when parents are actively involved with their
children’s education, the students have a better chance of being
successful in accomplishing their goals. Helping children with their
homework and volunteering time at the school stresses the importance of
an education to them.
“I know a career/job is important, but so is your child. Which of these
two will have the greatest impact on this world once you’re gone? You
leave nothing behind of greater importance than your children, so invest
time, interest and effort in their education. If your son or daughter
doesn’t perform well in school, get together with the teachers to find
out how the two of you can motivate your child to improve his or her
grades.” - Grace J., Sausalito, Calif.
Dear Readers: Here are some other uses for egg cartons:
Keep beads in them if you’re a crafter.
Keep small nuts and bolts in one.
Sort extra buttons in one.
Keep small earrings in them.
Candle wax on carpet
Dear Heloise: I have candle wax on my carpet. How do I get it out? -
Jill S., Nampa, Idaho
Jill, put ice in a metal pan and place the pan on the wax until the wax
is frozen hard. Remove the pan and hit the wax with something blunt
(such as the handle of a dinner knife) to make the wax shatter, then
vacuum up the pieces. If the wax is down into the fibers, put rubbing
alcohol on a clean, white cloth, and blot and press until the wax is
removed. - Heloise
Dear Heloise: My white sheets and towels have gotten a little gray over
time. How can I whiten my linens?
- Lisa V., Raton, N.M.
Lisa, to keep your sheets and towels from looking gray, add 1/2 cup of
baking soda along with the regular amount of chlorine bleach to a load
of linens in the washer.
This laundry hint is from my pamphlet Heloise’s Baking Soda Hints and
Recipes, which contains many more ideas to make your life easier and
provide you with solutions to everyday cleaning and household problems.
To get a copy, send $5, along with a stamped (70 cents), self-addressed,
long envelope, to: Heloise/Baking Soda, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX
78279-5001. Or you can order it online at www.Heloise.com. To keep odors
at bay in your clothes hamper, make a sachet by filling a paper coffee
filter with some baking soda and taping it close. Toss it into the
clothes hamper and replace it every few weeks or so. - Heloise
Wedding food to go?
Aug. 14, 2019
Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about inappropriate behavior at a
“Dear Heloise: I recently went to a wedding and was appalled when a
couple of the guests went to the buffet table and started to load up
plastic containers with food. Neither the bride nor the groom gave them
permission to help themselves to ‘takeout’ and certainly NOT to fill 10
containers with food. Have people lost all manners these days?”
Reader in Pennsylvania
Someone from the catering staff should have talked to them. Behavior
like that is inappropriate.
Dear Readers: Here are some other uses for stand-up paper towel holders:
Use to hold additional rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom.
Keep bracelets stored and easy to find.
Keep large rolls of various types of tape on them.
Dear Heloise: I have a cloudy-looking fiberglass shower door. I hate the
way it looks. How can I get it to shine once more?
Bess M., Hollywood, Fla.
Bess, if you want your fiberglass shower door to sparkle, wash it with 4
tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in 1 quart of water. Or put baking
soda on a damp sponge for scrubbing action.
Dear Heloise: I just bought a nice pair of jeans, but how can I keep the
blue from fading? These fit so well that I want to keep them looking
Rose V., Council Bluffs, Iowa
Rose, first, turn your jeans inside out, then wash them in cold water
and dry on the lowest heat. Try dry-cleaning them once every five or six
washings to slow down the fading process. If your jeans fade too much,
you can always dye them to restore the color.
Dear Heloise: How do I get rid of hard-water buildup on my drinking
glasses? - Leah S., Jericho, N.Y.
Leah, to remove hard-water buildup on drinking glasses, try soaking the
glasses in warmed (not boiling) household vinegar for about an hour (or
overnight), then scrubbing them with a nylon-net scrubber. If the
hard-water buildup does not come off, you may have permanently etched
the glass, and nothing can be done to correct this problem.
Looking for more easy household hints? If so, you’ll love my pamphlet
Heloise’s Fantabulous Vinegar Hints and More! To get a copy, send $5,
along with a stamped (70 cents), self-addressed, long envelope, to:
Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Or you can
order it online at www.Heloise.com. Vinegar will clean all things glass,
including decanters, windows, mirrors and windshields.
Dear Readers: Recently, the Food and Drug Administration has taken issue
with several companies that claim their vitamins help or prevent
Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, these false claims may stop someone from
seeing a qualified physician for an accurate diagnosis.
While dietary supplements may be good for a person’s overall health,
claims that taking certain nutrients can help Alzheimer’s disease have
yet to be proven.
bring the kids!
Aug. 7, 2019
Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is from a nurse who works in a
“Dear Heloise: Please tell your readers to leave their young children
with a friend, relative or professional sitter when they visit the
doctor’s office. First, the child can pick up a disease from another
patient. Second, the nurses cannot and will not babysit your child. We
have too much work to do.
“If someone needs to drive you to the physician’s office, be sure it’s
only ONE person. Sometimes the waiting room gets filled up with
patients’ relatives and there is little room left for those who are
- A Nurse in Illinois
Dear Readers: Here are some other uses for the little pots that plants
Scoop potting soil from a bag.
Start new seedlings.
Place weeds in while weeding the garden.
Adios to appliances
Dear Heloise: I discovered that if I have something that’s still
serviceable and still of value, such as an old dishwasher, dryer, etc.,
if I put it out at the curb with a sign stating: “It still works and
it’s yours for free,” by morning of the next day it’s gone!
- Latrice W., Koontz Lake, Ind.
Dear Heloise: How can I get chocolate stains out of my son’s T-shirts?
- Odette in Arizona
Odette, this is a popular question, especially for young moms. The first
thing you’ll need to do is to soak the T-shirt in cold water. Next, rub
liquid laundry detergent into the stain while the fabric is wet. Then
rinse and launder in warm water. If you want to know how to remove a
number of other stains on garments, you’ll find the solutions in my
pamphlet Heloise’s Handy Stain Guide for Clothing. To get a copy, send
$5, along with a stamped (70 cents), self-addressed, long envelope, to:
Heloise/Stains, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Or you can
order it online at www.Heloise.com. It’s not difficult to remove a stain
if you know how, and my pamphlet is an easy-to-read guide for removing
all kinds of stains, from antiperspirant to wine.
Young blood scam
Dear Heloise: There is a new scam in town: infusing plasma from a young
person’s blood into an older person as a way to treat Alzheimer’s
disease, memory loss and almost anything related to aging. It’s about as
effective as snake oil. Since the Food and Drug Administration has
warned the public about this scam, there are fewer and fewer companies
trying to push this bogus treatment, but some still persist. Do not fall
for this scam.
- Frederick in Los Angeles
Shred those papers
Dear Heloise: Please inform your readers that if they don’t own a
shredder, they may want to invest in one. A cross cutter is best. It’s
important to shred bills and all financial documents that are no longer
needed or are stored online.
- Viola R. in San Antonio
July 30, 2019
Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about those people who decide not to
vaccinate their children.
“Dear Heloise: There is a growing number of parents who refuse to
vaccinate their children, claiming that if they did so, they would risk
endangering their child’s health and well-being.
“Vaccines keep children healthy and keep diseases from spreading due to
the unvaccinated individual. Are there risks? Yes, but minimal risks.
You risk your child’s well-being and that of others around them if you
Registered Nurse in New Jersey
Dear Readers: Here are some ways to brighten up your home and give it a
fresh look for summer:
Paint the front door a new color.
Plant some colorful flowers in the front or on a balcony.
Replace old hardware on kitchen or bathroom cabinets.
Buy new decorative pillows for the sofa.
Replace old light fixtures - indoors and outdoors.
Who are they?
Dear Heloise: I’m confused as to who is a “boomer” and who is a
“millennial.” I keep hearing these terms, but don’t know who they apply
Sherry U., Coon Rapids, Minn.
Sherry, it’s easy to be confused by the terms used today. The groups are
divided by the dates of birth:
1946-1964 - baby boomers
1965-1980 - Generation X
1981-1996 - millennials
Hope this helps! - Heloise
Dear Heloise: I never hear of anyone using traveler’s checks anymore.
Can you still get them?
Hillary F., Long Beach, Calif.
Hillary, yes, you can still get traveler’s checks at some banks.
However, a large number of banks no longer issue traveler’s checks.
While fewer places now accept them as payment, they aren’t completely
obsolete. They also are still issued by American Express and Visa. You
might be better off using a credit card that offers points and is widely
accepted all over the world.
Dear Heloise: If you’re going on a trip of a week or more, it’s wise to
unplug a number of things in your house, such as the TVs, computers,
radios and lamps, to name a few. This lessens the chance of a fire
starting or of lightning traveling the wires to destroy something in
your home. Also, you’ll save energy. And you should unplug modems and
routers to avoid your Wi-Fi being hacked.
Leo K., Pawtucket, R.I.
a stand against animal abuse
July 17, 2019
Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about the need to register animal
abusers. - Heloise
“Dear Heloise: There’s no excuse for animal cruelty, yet sadly, it seems
to be on the increase. It’s only reasonable that we make it compulsory
for animal abusers to register on a national list - a central database
where all that information is stored, with easy access for people and
companies that need to check to see if someone is convicted of animal
“There are some cities, counties and states that have already enacted
this requirement, but we need to make it a national law, along with
longer prison terms and stiffer fines. We need to ensure that animal
abusers are never allowed to own a pet again or to work around animals
in any capacity.”
Norma in Texas
Dear Readers: Here are some items to use as bird feeders:
An old teacup saucer.
An old birdbath.
An empty milk carton.
A chipped plate you no longer use.
Dear Heloise: Most companies have an annual job performance review, and
as someone who conducts those reviews, I have a few suggestions. Before
you go in for your review:
1. Keep a list of all your successful tasks. Did you land a big sale?
Did you create a new way of doing things or create something for your
customers that improved sales or helped you reach a quota? Highlight
2. Be prepared to list your objectives and goals, and be able to explain
why these are important goals to reach.
3. Don’t complain about co-workers or anything that places you in a
negative light. Think in positive terms. If something went wrong, what
did you learn from it?
4. If you have any concerns, be ready to discuss them honestly, but use
caution in your words so that you are not blaming or shaming anyone.
L.G. in Connecticut
Hotel room safety
Dear Heloise: As a traveler for business, I’ve learned a few things
about hotel safety. The first thing to do is check out the room - under
the bed, in the closets and behind the shower curtain - to make certain
no one else is in the room.
Make sure your phone works and the door locks properly. Know your
nearest exit in case of fire.
William H., Spokane, Wash.
Label the polish
Dear Heloise: When I have my nails done, I take my own polish. I put an
address label on the bottle so the girls can see that it’s mine.
Rosemarie H., Boyertown, Pa.
July 17, 2019
Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about equal pay for equal work:
“Dear Heloise: Yesterday I discovered that a male co-worker was getting
considerably more pay than I was for doing the very same job. He’s been
with the company less than two years, while I have been here six years.
We both graduated from college with bachelor’s degrees. Why and how can
companies get away with this practice? Women’s work has always been
undervalued, but this is clearly discrimination. What can be done about
M.G. in Florida
M.G., if you truly feel you have been the victim of discrimination at
work, you can call the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at
800-669-4000 or the Equal Rights Advocates Advice and Counseling hotline
at 800-839-4372. You also can go to
www.pay-equity.org/info.html for additional information. -
Dear Readers: Here are some uses for old fish tanks/aquariums:
Use to raise an ant farm.
Use as a planter.
Make into a terrarium.
Use to display colorful shells or rocks.
Dear Heloise: The scammers are at it again. If anyone calls about
renewing your Microsoft license or charging you a fee for any service
you didn’t ask for, hang up. It’s a scam. You don’t need to renew a
Microsoft license, and the fees they talk about are fictitious. The
callers are liars and are fishing for your account or credit card
numbers. Never hand out this kind of information to anyone over the
Lana S., Troy, Mich.
Dear Heloise: Times have changed and so have résumés. Human resource
departments get hundreds of résumés, but some stand out from the crowd,
and here is how:
If you have an advanced degree or certification, make note of it after
your name. Drop the “Objective” from your resume. It’s outdated and
shows us you haven’t kept up with the changing times. The attributes
mentioned in the job listing should be used on your résumé. These are
the words most employers are likely to search for. Link your skills to
the job, and if possible, show how you used those skills in a past job
performance. Do not list every job you had years ago. Employers look at
that and wonder how old you are and whether or not you’ve kept up with
Above all, make it one page and make it easy to read. No ornate or
Jennifer N. in Dallas
Dear Heloise: If your baby’s bottle has a foul smell, try filling it
with warm water and 2 teaspoons of baking soda, and shake vigorously.
Leave it overnight. Next morning, wash as usual.
Bonnie T., Beaver Creek, Colo.
these labels lacking?
July 10, 2019
Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about prescription labeling. -
“Dear Heloise: Why can’t pharmacies label a prescription bottle with
more information? My mother’s bottle of pills said, ‘Take one a day,’
but Mom didn’t know if that meant with meals or before meals. The label
also should tell what ailment the medication is for. This is especially
important if the person is taking several medications.
“In an emergency room setting, the nurse often asks what medication
you’re on and what it’s prescribed for, but many elderly patients get
confused and don’t know why they’re taking a certain pill. Yes, it will
take a couple of minutes to add these things to a label, but it is
important for a patient to take the medication properly. Otherwise,
what’s the point of taking any medication if it’s not taken correctly?”
- Leslie B. in Houston
Dear Readers: Here are some hints for storing stuffed animals:
In a large laundry hamper.
Use fabric or netting to make a hammock for them.
In a wicker basket.
In a bench with hidden storage under the seat.
Stamp of approval
Dear Heloise: Recently, I was homebound with a broken ankle and tibia.
During my recuperation, I received over 70 get-well cards. One of my
friends enclosed a book of postage stamps in her get-well card. Because
I wrote a lot of letters, this was the best thing I could have received.
I currently have gone through six books of stamps writing to friends and
Anyway, my helpful hint: When sending a get-well card, enclose a book of
postage stamps. It is a thoughtful gift. - Chick J., Littleton, N.H.
How do I leave?
Dear Heloise: I want to quit my current job, but I also want to leave on
good terms. How can I say goodbye and not offend my boss? - Peggy in
Peggy, be sure to give a two-week notice that you are leaving. Speak to
your boss first before telling anyone else that you’re leaving. Offer to
train the person who is replacing you. Thank your boss for the
opportunity of working there. It’s best to leave on good terms with your
boss and former co-workers.
Getting a grip
Dear Heloise: I use clawlike hair clips for my hair, but when I’m tired
of them or they lose a prong, I use them to secure a vine to a stake or
to clip a plant to a trellis. I also use chopsticks to stake plants
because they are cheap and readily available after dinner in a Chinese
restaurant. - Maddie W., Penn Hills, Pa.
invite to confusion
July 2, 2019
Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about wedding etiquette, or a lack of
“Dear Heloise: A month ago, my husband and I were married at 7 p.m. in a
formal evening ceremony with a reception that featured a sit-down dinner
at a private club. On the inside envelope, we addressed it to the adults
but not to the children of those invited, yet people brought their
children. Even the RSVP made no mention of children, and everything I
read said not to put ‘No Children’ on the invitation. Needless to say,
this caused a problem with the dinner arrangements, added a substantial
amount to our budget and created a few other problems.
“Don’t people know that ONLY those whose names appear on the inner
envelope are invited? We felt this was not the occasion for small
children, especially since it ran late into the evening.”
- Karen in Massachusetts
agree. Most small children are bored with formal events and would do
better at home with a sitter.
Dear Readers: Here are some hints for labeling keys:
Use colored nail polish.
Get colored key covers.
Have keys made in different colors.
Use decorative tape.
Dear Heloise: My mother said I can’t tell people where I’m registered on
the wedding invitations. She said it is rude. I say it’s not. Who’s
right? - Shelley in New Jersey
Shelley, your mother is correct. Never put where you are registered on a
wedding invitation. Why? The majority of people will bring a gift, but a
gift is NOT mandatory. It’s better to spread the information by
word-of-mouth, so tell your bridesmaids. Above all, don’t ask for money
on your invitation. - Heloise
Dear Heloise: My vacuum has a removable filter, and each time I clean or
change the filter, I spray it with a little of my perfume, and this
makes the whole house smell wonderful. This is especially nice since I
have two dogs. - Vangie in Texas
Pill bug war
Dear Heloise: Got a problem with pill bugs, also known as “roly-polies”?
Here’s a solution: Fill a spray bottle with 1/3 dishwashing soap and 2/3
water, then shake well. Spray the leaves and soil around your plants
where you’ve seen pill bugs. Check back in 24 hours to see if you need
- Darlene D., Cambridge, Mass.
Student loan scam
Dear Heloise: There is a student loan scam going around. Someone calls
and offers to consolidate all your loans for a one-time fee of $1,000 or
1% to 5% of the loan balance. They say you’ll only have one monthly
payment. First, you NEVER pay in advance for any loan service. Go to
StudentLoans.gov and do your own consolidation without an advance fee.
In fact, it’s free. You also should apply for all student loans on your
own. - Michael K. in Phoenix
they got your number?
June 26, 2019
Dear Readers: Today’s SOUND OFF is about telemarketing calls that are
using the names of family and friends:
“Dear Heloise: I got a phone call last night, and caller ID said it was
from my son. I answered, only to get a marketer for some product I won’t
buy. In fact, I encourage others I know to never buy a product from a
telemarketer. So many marketing calls are scams. The Do Not Call list
doesn’t screen out calls from my son, my friends or my alma mater. When
will companies learn this is not an effective way to sell anything?”
- Bess G., Sherman, Texas
Bess, telemarketing calls are becoming a real problem in this country.
Readers, you can eliminate a number of these calls by going online and
registering at www.donotcall.gov, or you can call 888-382-1222. If you
move or change phone numbers, you’ll need to re-register. - Heloise
Dear Readers: Here are some other uses for a wine rack:
Use to store rolled-up magazines and mats.
Roll guest hand towels and store for the bathroom.
Use to store wrapping paper.
Dear Heloise: For the past six years, I’ve worked in human resources and
done hundreds of interviews for a large corporation. I’d like to make a
few recommendations to help people applying for a position.
First, no matter what your line of work is, stay current. Learn all the
new tech gadgets required for your line of work. Next, make certain your
resume is updated and easy to read on one page. You need not go back to
your first job if it was more than 10 years ago. When interviewed, dress
professionally. Good luck on the interview. - Stacy W., Pendleton,
Dear Heloise: I’ve never had a garage sale, and I don’t know what to do.
Can you make a few suggestions for the garage sale I plan on having this
summer? - Karen S., St. Joseph, Mo.
Karen, first, see if you need a permit to hold a garage sale, and if you
do, then get one. Make sure everything you’re selling is clean and
tagged with a price. Be open to negotiate, because an item is only worth
what someone will pay for it. Display items attractively in aisles so
that people can move around and pick up an object. Have someone who is
in charge of the money. Make sure you have 10 or 15 single dollars, and
that way you can make change. Don’t forget to put an ad in the newspaper
and a sign out in front of the house. Also, you can mention on social
media that you are having a garage sale. - Heloise
Glow in the dark
Dear Heloise: I could never find my cellphone in my purse, so I took
glow-in-the-dark paint and painted strips on my cellphone case. - Nan
D., Canton, Miss.
Employers don’t deserve credit
June 19, 2019
Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about employers having access to a
potential employee’s credit score.
“Dear Heloise: I applied for a job with a large company and was turned
down for the position after three interviews. I have a solid track
record, with plenty of experience and recommendations from former
employers. I’m still in my mid-30s and have a master’s degree, and I’m
in good health. In my last position, I won several company awards, and I
have never been fired or asked to leave. So, what went wrong?
“They checked my credit score and found out that I had filed for
bankruptcy three years ago. This was due to medical bills from my son’s
very difficult birth, which my insurance wouldn’t cover. When is
Congress going to make it illegal for an employer to invade my private
- Todd L., Fayetteville, N.C.
Todd, yours is not the first letter we’ve received about this matter.
People have missed out on a job because of slow payments, foreclosure on
a home and more. - Heloise
Dear Readers: Here are some other uses for old dressers:
Paint in bright colors and use outside in the garden to grow plants in
Place in the garage to store items.
Remove drawers and place baskets in their place.
Replace legs with wheels and use as a kitchen island.
Lack of care
Dear Readers: We had several responses to a letter from Henry P. in
Atlanta about patient care in hospitals. While we here at Heloise
Headquarters love our nurses and thank heaven for medical advances, we
received letters from all over America about patient care - or the lack
of it, due in part to the high cost of care and, in some areas of the
country, a shortage of nurses. The following are two different
“I agree with Henry P. of Atlanta about the lack of patient care in
hospitals. We recently had a bad experience. The care was terrible. The
bed was more of a cot! No washcloths, etc., in the room, and we didn’t
get what we ordered on the menu. I can go on and on, but you get the
drift.” - A Reader in Texas
“I was recently a patient in a hospital in Michigan and received
excellent care. The nurses were so friendly, my doctor always kept me
informed about cancer options, and my room was spotless. Sorry Henry P.
had a bad experience, because mine was wonderful.” - Janice S., Royal
Pick it up!
Dear Heloise: I love hiking the trails around my area of Oregon, but I
hate seeing doggie poo on the trails of these beautiful places where
hikers can step in it. By all means, bring your dog along, but also
bring paper towels to gather the poo and place it in a plastic bag. At
the first trash can, dump it in, or wait until you get out of the park
to dispose of it. Please keep our lovely parks “poo free.” - Bella
M., Salem, Ore.
June 12, 2019
Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about people who think they are
entitled to push others aside instead of waiting for their turn. -
“Dear Heloise: Yesterday, I was waiting at a deli counter, along with a
few other people, when a man walked up to the counter and started to rap
his large ring on the glass case to demand attention. The deli man
walked over to me to take my order (I was next in line), and the man
started to slowly shove me aside to place an order. I won’t bore you
with what I said, but I made it clear he could wait for his turn like
everyone else. If this had been a medical emergency, I wouldn’t have
minded, but it was a local deli counter. When did people start losing
their manners? Being obnoxious isn’t cute, and women don’t respect men
who act rude, crude or low-class.” - Monica N., Atlantic City, N.J.
Dear Readers: Here are a few suggestions to brighten up your home for
very little money:
Replace old cabinet doorknobs with new ones.
Buy new throw pillows for the sofa.
Paint the front door a nice, new, pretty color.
Plant flowers in the front yard.
Change out old lampshades for new ones.
Declutter your home from top to bottom.
Dear Heloise: I took my dog to the vet and discovered he had heartworms.
My dog is now on medication to kill the worms, but my vet said dogs
should be tested annually. Apparently, cats can also develop heartworms.
This is preventable! “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,”
as my granny used to say. Ask your vet if your cat or dog should be on
heartworm medication, or check with www.heartwormsociety.org for more
information. - Connie L., Tulsa, Okla.
Dear Heloise: Sometimes I’ll hear a song on the radio but don’t know the
name of it or the artist. However, if I type in a few words of the
lyrics to search on my computer or cellphone, the title, artist and
entire lyrics come up. - Myra D., Bellingham, Wash.
Donate pet supplies
Dear Heloise: When my mother’s cat died, Mom had two carriers, three pet
beds (two of which were new) and several cans of high-quality cat food.
I called a local animal shelter, which was so grateful to get the
donation of these items. Please tell your readers that animal shelters
always need supplies, and they welcome financial aid as well. So, if you
lose a pet, you can help these organizations out by donating items or
money to help them as they help animals. - Lana W., Jackson, Wyo.
Letter of laughter
Dear Heloise: After my handyman retired from his full-time job, he
thought he’d do just a little handyman work a couple of days a week to
keep busy and earn a little extra money. He came over to my house to fix
my faucet, and when he went out to his truck, he found 15 notes under
the windshield wipers from people needing his services. Retirement over!
- Patty T., Racine
June 5, 2019
Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about people who ignore the need for
personal space. - Heloise
“Dear Heloise: I was shopping the other day when I ran into a friend.
She’s a very nice person, but if she stood any closer, she’d have been
standing on my feet! I’ve met a number of people who don’t respect our
need for some personal space. At a deli counter last week, a woman stood
so close to me that we might have been mistaken for conjoined twins!
There’s no need to do this when talking to someone. Give others some
breathing room.” - Ellen R., Anaheim, Calif.
Dear Readers: Here are some other uses for baby powder:
Use as a dry shampoo.
Use on sheets to help absorb nighttime perspiration.
Sprinkle in shoes to keep them fresh.
Sprinkle on a necklace to help untangle it.
What vaccines do my
Dear Heloise: Having worked at a veterinarian clinic for over 10 years,
I feel qualified to recommend the following vaccines for dogs and cats:
All dogs should get the DHPP vaccine to avoid distemper and parvovirus.
They also need a rabies vaccine. Rabies is contagious to all land
mammals, including humans.
All cats should get the FVRCP vaccine (to protect against three viruses,
including distemper), rabies vaccine and a feline leukemia vaccine. Even
if your cat does not go outside, it can still pick up this viral killer
from other animals.
Your pets are your responsibility, so vaccinate yearly.
Raymond D. in San Antonio
Dear Heloise: I have a nasty habit of forgetting appointments for things
like the doctor, hairdresser, dentist, etc., so I started writing a note
to myself on sticky notes and posting them on my bathroom mirror. Now I
no longer miss an appointment because the notes remind me.
Irene H., Beaverton, Ore.
Learn to swim
Dear Heloise: With warm weather here, a lot of children will be playing
around lakes, the ocean and swimming pools. While float toys are nice,
it’s far more important to teach your little ones to swim. If you can’t
teach them, then enroll them in a swim class so that they don’t panic
when in water over their heads.
Grace P., Gainesville, Fla.
Dear Heloise: Summertime is often miserably hot! In many states, it’s
illegal to leave your dog in the car in the heat. But whether it’s
illegal or not, don’t do it! Some people say that they roll the windows
down, but that is not helpful to the animal. If you can’t bring your pet
with you when you go indoors to a store, clinic, etc., then DON’T bring
Brianna F., Muncie, Ind.
P.S. Make certain your dog or cat is microchipped! This is especially
true if you travel with your pet.
Dear Readers: We are now getting into kitten season. If you find a stray
or homeless kitten, see if an animal organization can find a foster home
I'm not on call!
May 29, 2019
Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about cosmetic promises that don’t
“Dear Heloise: Cosmetic companies promise women ‘rejuvenation’ of their
skin, hair and nails, and then use a 20-year-old model to illustrate how
well their products work. A young woman in her 20s does not need to
rejuvenate anything. Even then, the model is airbrushed to perfection.
This is a form of body shaming. If you’re over 40, have cellulite,
crow’s-feet or liver spots on your hands, are you less worthy of notice
“Many brilliant, smart, funny women are not great beauties, but they
have much to offer this world. I wish cosmetic companies would show real
women, not models in their 20s who are beautiful without makeup.”
- Kathy Y., Aberdeen, Md.
Dear Readers: Here are some other items you can use as bird feeders:
A large milk jug. Cut in half and use the bottom half for seeds.
A large plastic soda bottle.
An old teacup.
A plate you were planning to throw out.
Tax man cometh
Dear Heloise: I agree with the reader who said that property taxes are
getting too high, and I’m getting disgusted. Older citizens like myself
purchased our homes with the idea that we could remain there the rest of
our lives. However, with taxes going up all the time, I doubt I can
afford to stay here for much longer. There used to be a cap on property
taxes for low-income people, but not anymore. America is taxing senior
citizens out of their homes! - A Reader in Indiana
Some states freeze school taxes for people at age 65. Check with your
tax office to find out what can be done to help you reduce your property
taxes. - Heloise
Dear Heloise: To me, it’s inappropriate for someone to drop by for a
visit but spend all the time talking with another person on the phone.
It’s very rude, and people like that are never invited back.
- Helen R., Manhattan, Kan.
Helen, yes, it is rude. When visiting friends, turn off your phone.
You’re there to spend time with that person, not impress people with how
popular or important you are. - Heloise
It’s a shame
Dear Heloise: After working with an animal shelter for the past three
years, I would like to encourage your readers to spay or neuter their
They should know that a very small percentage of dogs and cats ever find
a “forever home,” and several hundred dogs and cats are euthanized every
hour in the U.S. because there aren’t enough people willing or able to
adopt a pet.
So please spay or neuter your pets! - Anne in San Diego
I'm not on call!
May 22, 2019
Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about unwanted baby-sitting duties.
“Dear Heloise: My son and daughter-in-law seem to think I’m a handy baby
sitter. Please understand that I dearly love my grandkids, but I can’t
always baby-sit for them. I have a life that includes travel, getting
together with friends and a part-time job.
“Please let your readers know that being retired does not automatically
mean we can baby-sit for our grandkids. Some of us still need to work
part time, have physical limitations or don’t want to cancel our plans.
We’re not being obstinate; we simply cannot wrap our lives around our
children’s schedules. When I can spend time with my grandchildren I do,
and I enjoy it. At present, my daughter-in-law is not speaking to me
because I wouldn’t cancel a doctor’s appointment to baby-sit her three
kids. I’m not alone, either. Many of my friends have gone through the
same thing.” - Gloria in Wisconsin
Dear Readers: Here are some other uses for coffee filters:
To polish silver.
As a bowl cover in the microwave.
Place under a plant to absorb moisture.
To clean a mirror or window.
Dear Heloise: I have a habit of removing my rings when I wash my hands
in a public place. To keep from losing them, I do one of two things: I
either put them in my pocket or thread them on the stem of my glasses. I
learned this the hard way when I forgot to put my rings back on until
after I had left a restaurant! Sadly, they were gone, and no one turned
them in to the management. - Beverly T., Mount Pleasant, S.C.
The brown and the
Dear Heloise: We use a lot of eggs in my home, so the only way I can
tell the fresh ones from the older eggs is to buy brown eggs one week
and white the next week. Works well for me.
- Patricia B., Tiverton, R.I.
Soaking your nibs
Dear Heloise: The writing end of a fountain pen is called a nib, and
here is one way to unclog it. Heat vinegar in the microwave for about 18
to 20 seconds, then place the nib in the vinegar and let it sit
overnight. The next morning, your fountain pen nib should be clean and
unclogged. - Harold F., Bellefontaine, Ohio
Police are there to
Dear Heloise: Recently, I saw a mother grab her very young son and
threaten him with calling the police and sending him to jail. The boy
couldn’t have been any older than 6 or 7. This may be a short-term way
to get him to behave, but he needs to learn that the police are there to
help him and keep him safe instead of making him terrified of a police
officer. - Barbara L., Boise, Idaho
Barbara, you’re correct. Children should NEVER be threatened with jail
as a form of punishment for misbehaving, or taught to be afraid to ask
for help from the police. - Heloise
May 15, 2019
Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is from a schoolteacher who claims
students lack discipline:
“Dear Heloise: For over 20 years, I’ve taught school and seen a number
of policy changes that were enacted to help students but have had the
reverse effect. Students come to class without homework and tell me they
didn’t feel like doing it, or hand in sloppy work with grammatical
errors and terrible spelling. With poor grades and a lack of
self-discipline, they’ll never make it in college.
“How can we get parents more involved with their children? How can I
stress the importance of spending time (NOT money) with their children?”
- Lenore N. in Michigan
Lenore, parents need to put down the cellphone, turn off the TV and
computer, and spend time with their kids. Our children are the only
truly important thing we will leave behind. - Heloise
Dear Readers: Here are a few safety measures for the kitchen:
Always pat dry the foods you plan to fry. Hot grease and water cause
splattering, which can be both dangerous and painful.
Never leave cooking food unattended.
Always turn the handle on a pot away from the front of the stove to
avoid anyone knocking it off while walking by.
When taking a lid off a pot, always tilt it away from you.
Always keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
Dear Heloise: I have real wood paneling in my new home, but I’m worried
about cleaning it. I don’t want a waxy buildup from furniture polish.
What do you suggest? - Vera W., Harwood, Md.
Vera, I have a solution that cleans fingerprints, mild dirt and dust off
wood paneling, but as always, test on an inconspicuous place first.
Mix 1 part white vinegar with 2 parts water. Dip a clean rag in the
solution, wring it out to remove excess water and wipe the surface of
the wood. Dry and polish with a clean cloth.
If you want inexpensive cleaning ideas that work well without using
harsh chemicals, then you’ll enjoy my pamphlet Heloise’s Homemade
Cleaning Solutions. To order a copy, send $5, along with a stamped (70
cents), self-addressed, long envelope, to: Heloise/Cleaning Solutions,
P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Or you can order it online
at www.Heloise.com. FYI: Vinegar
alone also works great for removing price tags, cleaning the barbecue
grill and loosening burned-on foods in pots and pans. - Heloise
Dear Heloise: My job requires that I stand for long periods of time. By
the time I get home, my feet are killing me. I take a tennis ball and
place it under my foot while I’m seated and roll it back and forth. This
is an easy way to give my tired feet a massage. - Bernadette V.,
wedded bliss for this location?
May 8, 2019
Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about destination weddings:
“Dear Heloise: Why have destination weddings become so popular? My niece
is getting married in Hawaii, which is thousands of miles from family
and friends. Neither the bride nor the groom lives in Hawaii, so it’s
not as though they’ve established a life there. Although I’ve received
an invitation, I can’t afford to go right now, nor can most of the
people invited. Even the girl my niece wanted as her maid of honor said
she can’t go since she just started a new job and can’t get the time
off. The bride’s parents aren’t happy about it, nor are the groom’s. Am
I wrong in thinking a destination wedding is a little selfish?”
- Nancy E., Waterbury, Conn.
Nancy, well, it’s inconvenient to get married so far away from family
and friends, but couples are entitled to the wedding of their choice.
Readers, what do you think about destination weddings? - Heloise
Dear Readers: Here are some uses for paper towel cores:
Wrap Christmas lights around for storage.
Store extension cords inside.
Hold plastic grocery bags.
Spray-paint silver and give to young kids to use as lightsabers.
Novel garden path
Dear Heloise: Everyone likes to have a unique yard, so for my garden
path, I used tree slices as steppingstones. My husband cut 2-inch slices
of a thick log. We lined the path with newspaper, wet it down with a
hose, then poured about 2 inches of fine sand over the newspaper. We
placed the wood slices on the sandy bed, then poured fine gravel in
between the slices. It’s easy and economical, and the newspaper keeps
weeds at bay. - Verity M., Sherman, Ky.
Dear Heloise: I love animals, but I’d really rather keep my neighbor’s
tomcat away from my garden. Is there anything that will deter this sweet
kitty from spraying my plants and flowers? - Lois G., Carson City,
Lois, try using vinegar around the outer edges of your garden, or a
sprinkling of chopped onions or chives also might do the trick. Most
cats do not like a strong scent. You can also try cayenne pepper, but
use that as a last resort. - Heloise
Crows vs. squirrels
Dear Heloise: Help! We have crows that are invading our squirrels’ tree.
What can I do to stop the crows from taking their peanuts? We refuse to
stop feeding our squirrels, but we need to get rid of the peanut-eating
crows. - Yvonne S., Covina, Calif.
Yvonne, there are a few things you can try. Hang wind chimes close to
the feeder or hang something shiny, such as a mirror or strips of metal.
Birds dislike both of these. You also can buy a plastic owl and hang it
close to the feeder or from a tree. Crows are intelligent birds, and
when they’ve found a place with food, they’ll be difficult to deter.
Good luck! - Heloise
value of older workers
May 1, 2019
Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about the lack of employment for
“Dear Heloise: There are many experienced, capable people over the age
of 45 who want to continue to work, even if only part time, but no one
will hire them. We’ve kept up with technology, become experts at
problem-solving and have an old-fashioned work ethic that says you go to
work every day, on time, and do your best. Yet an employer never stops
to think that a great many of us are willing to work until we’re 70 or
75 because we’re in good health and want to stay engaged in the world
around us. We’ve made our mistakes years ago and can help others avoid
those pitfalls. So why won’t employers hire the older population of this
country?” - Peter and Lois D., Pontiac, Mich.
Peter and Lois, that’s an excellent question. With so much to offer, why
don’t employers hire more people over 50? - Heloise
Dear Readers: Here are some uses for junk mail envelopes:
Keep one in the glove compartment to hold receipts for parking, credit
Keep loose change in them for parking meters or toll fees.
Keep seeds in them for next season’s planting.
Place coupons in them so you won’t lose them before you get to the
Dear Heloise: Please tell your readers to NEVER flush anything down the
toilet other than toilet paper and anything created by their body’s
digestive system. So many items can clog the sewer system and cause a
backflow into the home. It doesn’t matter if you are on the city water
system or a septic tank, never put these things down your toilet:
grease or oil
tampons or pads
Freddie J., Springfield, Ill.
The latest scam
Dear Heloise: There’s a new scam going around that people need to be
aware of. This latest attempt to extort money from people comes in an
email - usually it looks like it’s from a friend - and claims you’ve
been looking at porn sites, which they will show to all your friends
because they have intercepted your email list of contacts. They demand
money (over $500) to just go away and leave you alone, promising they’ll
never contact you again.
The email I got looked as though it came from a friend who died three
years ago. Since I’ve never received mail from the great beyond, I
opened it to find a chatty letter from an illiterate hacker demanding
money. Since I don’t visit porn sites and never have, I’m not worried.
However, many people do go to those places on the web and shouldn’t fall
victim to this extortion and threats. - Norah in Providence, R.I.
April 24, 2019
Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about people and their driving
habits. - Heloise
“Dear Heloise: Driving a vehicle can become so familiar that some people
naturally get a little careless about using their turn signals, coming
to a complete stop at stop signs and tailgating other drivers. But those
pale when compared with cellphones: texting and answering calls. A
couple of years ago, on graduation night from high school, five young
girls were killed when the driver was texting behind the wheel. Five
young lives gone in only a few seconds; five families who had to bury
otherwise healthy, young daughters. If you are driving, DON’T answer
your phone and don’t text! Whatever the phone call or text is about, it
can wait until you’ve stopped driving.” - Joanie in California.
Dear Readers: Here are some new uses for transparent tape:
Repair hems when the thread has been pulled out.
Cover a label on a package to keep it from being ripped off.
When on a trip, attach a note on a mirror to tell your travel mate where
Tape prices on items at a garage sale.
Dear Heloise: My sister often sends me beautifully scented soaps for
gift-giving occasions. I always save the wrapper and put it inside my
shoes or in a drawer. I take it out when I wear the shoes. These
wrappers work as a free air freshener! - Joan, via email
Dear Heloise: I wanted to store some of my dad’s books for him, but I
didn’t want that “musty, old” smell that books can get. So, I used a
large plastic bin and placed the books inside. Then I took an old sock,
put some activated charcoal inside it and tied up the open end. I put
the sock with charcoal inside the plastic bin with the books. A year
later, the books were still as fresh as the day they were bought.
- Lucy L., Oakdale, Minn.
Hint from him
Dear Heloise: I have tried vinegar, and it works wonderfully, besides
being inexpensive and versatile. For window cleaning, I prefer to use a
squeegee versus paper towels or cloths.
clean towel is necessary to wipe the bottom edge. To avoid the
frustration of seeing streaks, I use up-and-down strokes (vertical) on
one side and side-to-side strokes (horizontal) on the opposite side.
This method eliminates the guesswork of going inside or outside if you
see streaks. - Rich H., via email
Dear Heloise: I scrub out my sink with a used dryer sheet. It has a
nubbly texture, which cleans things perfectly. I buff and dry with a
paper towel. - David R. in Oregon
children get a break?
April 17, 2019
Dear Readers: Today’s SOUND OFF is about tax deductions. - Heloise
“Dear Heloise: Why are there tax deductions for children? I love kids,
but I find it blatantly unfair that people with children get tax
deductions for having them, and child care tax credits, too. I realize
that at one point it was designed to help parents pay for the costs of
raising a child, but in an overcrowded world, should we really be
encouraging people to have more than one child? Cutting out the
deductions for children would give the government more money to work
with and create a much more impartial tax system.”
- Roger K., Falmouth, Mass.
Dear Readers: Here are some uses for leftover bread:
Cube bread and bake for inexpensive croutons.
Make into breadsticks by cutting into strips, then brushing with butter
or olive oil and sprinkling with seasonings. Bake until crispy.
Cube bread into very small pieces and use as a topping for casseroles.
Dear Heloise: I’m getting ready to do my spring-cleaning, but my biggest
problem involves my windows. I always make a streaky mess out of them.
Do you have any hints for clean and clear windows?
- Julia Y., Ellicott City, Md.
Julia, this is an easy one. Mix 1 cup of white vinegar with 1/2 gallon
of water, then put the solution in a clean spray bottle. Spray the
window liberally. Dry with crumpled newspaper. If you like this easy and
inexpensive solution, you’ll enjoy my six-page vinegar pamphlet that
includes dozens of hints, from cleaning and deodorizing things like
aluminum pots to removing pesticides from veggies.
To receive a copy, order it at
www.Heloise.com, or send $5, along with a stamped (70 cents),
self-addressed, long envelope, to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San
Antonio, TX 78279-5001.
FYI: Though there are many types of vinegar, including balsamic, wine,
malt and apple cider, white vinegar is the cheapest and the best type
used for cleaning. - Heloise
Dear Heloise: When I recently went into the hospital, friends would call
and ask what I needed. I said I’d love any travel brochures they could
lay their hands on. This kept my mind off my impending surgery and
helped me plan for my next trip. I liked it better than reading
magazines that feature movie stars.
- Patricia D., Great Falls, Mont.
Patricia, what a great idea! You can lie back and visualize yourself on
your next adventure. It helps you make plans and takes you out of the
hospital atmosphere. - Heloise
Walking the dog
Dear Heloise: Last night, while walking my dog in our neighborhood, a
car came out of nowhere and nearly hit me. The fault, however, was mine.
I should have had reflective gear on myself and a flashing light on my
dog. I will now, but it was a close call. Please tell your readers that
many accidents can be avoided if people make themselves more visible
when they’re outside at night. - Lewis G., Fresno, Calif.
April 10, 2019
Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about texting:
“Dear Heloise: It irks me when someone expects me to text an entire
conversation, wasting up to an hour of my busy life, when a simple phone
call would take care of it in less than 10 minutes.”
- Kaye S., Springfield, Ill.
Kaye, I know how you feel. I’ve seen people driving and texting, looking
down at their phones while crossing a busy street or ignoring a date
while they text someone else. Cellphones are handy, but they should not
take over our lives. - Heloise
Dear Readers: Here are some other uses for back scratchers:
Reach things on high shelves.
Pull out items from the back of a cabinet.
Remove leaves from gutters.
Reach under a bed.
Lipstick on your
Dear Heloise: HELP! I went to kiss my husband and missed. I got lipstick
on the side of my husband’s shirt collar How can I get it out? -
Sherry L., Cocoa Beach, Fla.
Sherry, immediately place the stained area over an absorbent towel and
saturate with rubbing alcohol (test a hidden area first to determine
colorfastness), then dab the area with a cloth dipped in rubbing
alcohol. You also may have luck with a pre-wash spray. Rinse and launder
the shirt as usual.
In my Handy Stain Guide for Clothing pamphlet, you’ll find quick and
easy methods for getting rid of the most common stains, such as baby
formula, blood, grass, grease, wine and many more. You can get a copy by
sending a long, stamped (70 cents), self-addressed envelope, along with
$5, to: Heloise/Stains, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001.
Considering what clothing costs today, it’s always better to try
removing the stain rather than disposing of an otherwise usable garment.
Dear Heloise: My husband loves cookies, so I bake them fairly
frequently. I’ve found that if I make a lot of dough, I can form the
dough into one long roll, then freeze it. Anytime I want cookies, I cut
off the desired amount I want to bake.
Also, if your cookies end up too brown on the bottom, lightly rub the
bottom with your vegetable grater.
- Marcie H., Apopka, Fla.
Iron keeps clogging
Dear Heloise: I still iron my clothes, although my daughter says it’s
old-fashioned. However, my iron keeps clogging up. Any hints for this?
- Anne M., Bettendorf, Iowa
Anne, to keep your iron from clogging, use only distilled water, and
make sure you empty your iron after each use. - Heloise
Baby jar lids
Dear Heloise: I have a terrible time getting the lid off a baby food
jar. I’ve tried banging it on the edge of my countertop and running the
jar under hot water, but I can’t seem to get some of the jars opened.
- Emma Y., Westover, Tenn.
Emma, when a baby food jar won’t open, try puncturing a hole in the lid.
It will break the vacuum seal, and the lid will twist off easily. -
April 3, 2019
Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about toll-free
“Dear Heloise: Many companies do not provide toll-free phone numbers to
call when you want to order something. They give you a website but not a
phone number. Some of us do not have computers, don’t want to order
online or don’t know how to use a computer. Please tell companies to
keep a toll-free number on their products.” - Donna in Pennsylvania
Donna, we receive many letters from people who would rather speak to a
person than place an order online. They may have questions that cannot
be answered on a website or simply enjoy the interaction with another
person. - Heloise
Dear Readers: Here are some other uses for shower caps from hotels and
Cover bowls of leftover snacks: chips, pretzels and popcorn.
Cover vegetable trays made before a party.
Cover a hair dryer or shoes while packing for a trip.
Cover pet ears while bathing them.
Dear Heloise: I’ve noticed a new habit of couples who get married: They
don’t bother to send out thank-you notes. Recently, two friends and I
were invited to the same wedding, and two of us enclosed a
self-addressed, stamped thank-you note with the wedding card and money.
We both got our thank-you cards about a month later. The third person so
far has received nothing in the way of a thank-you.
- Ruth B., Fort Wayne, Ind.
Ruth, a bride should start her thank-you notes within days of returning
from her honeymoon. Thanking people for taking the time to shop for a
gift is not only the classy thing to do, it’s just plain good manners.
Dear Heloise: I went online to learn how to make fortune cookies (it’s
not difficult), and then on a piece of paper 3 inches long and 1/2 inch
in width I wrote out fortunes, such as: “Temptation is sometimes
mistaken for opportunity” or “Take a much-needed vacation to a sunny
place.” I placed the fortune cookies in a basket on the table during
dessert. It was a big hit because so many “fortunes” hit home with my
- Mia D., Bristol, Conn.
Mia, what a clever and original idea! - Heloise
Dear Heloise: When my husband passed away, I took all his Western shirts
and made pillows for my great-grandkids. I also gave each one a picture
of him wearing that shirt when he was holding them through the years. To
this day, they still treasure these pillows and the memories with him.
Each one of them got a different shirt and photo. - Lylis Nelson,
Voice of the people
Dear Heloise: Why are so many people angry and vocal these days? It
seems like no one is happy.
- Ralph T. (age 13), Darby, Mont.
Angry, vocal people make the news, but there are many happy people in
the world. Make up your mind to be one of them. - Heloise
March 20, 2019
Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about people who
blatantly favor one child over another. - Heloise
“Dear Heloise: My mother and father always favored my brother over me,
and it’s been a problem between the two of us all our lives. For
example, they sent my brother to college, though he barely squeaked by
in high school. I was fifth in my class of over 200, and they wouldn’t
give me a penny to go to college.
“Now my mother wants me to move home to take care of them (they don’t
need taking care of), while my brother lives three blocks from their
home. I refused, and they’re angry about it.
“Favoring one child over another child breeds lifelong resentment and
usually ruins any relationship that might have been possible between
siblings. The lingering resentment I’ve felt has made me grow closer to
my husband’s family than to my own.” - Linda in Florida
Dear Readers: Here are some other uses for pool noodles:
Attach two pool noodles to the inside wall of the garage so you won’t
damage the car door when opening it.
Cut down the side and cut to fit a hanger to avoid creases in your
Cut down the side, then cut to fit over the springs of a trampoline.
Dear Heloise: I used to have the recipe for your pre-wash spray, but I
lost it in a flood. Would you please reprint it for me and others? -
Katie T. in California
Katie, this has always been popular with my readers because it’s
economical and easy to make. Here it is:|
Mix equal parts water, household ammonia and dishwashing (NOT
dishwasher) liquid. Place the mixture in a clean, labeled spray bottle.
Once you apply this spray to a stain, wash immediately. Keep this out of
reach of children and pets.
If you are looking for simple solutions to everyday laundry problems,
you will like my pamphlet Heloise’s Handy Stain Guide for Clothing. To
receive a copy, send $5, along with a stamped (70 cents),
self-addressed, long envelope, to: Heloise/Stain Guide, P.O. Box 795001,
San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Or you can order it online at
www.Heloise.com. Clothing lasts longer and looks better when properly
cared for. My pamphlet also has hints for laundering special-care items
and information on understanding care labels. - Heloise
Dear Heloise: I use a concentrated liquid detergent for laundry, and I
believe I’m wasting too much that’s left in the cap of the bottle. Is
there a solution? - Toni B., Mendenhall, Miss.
Toni, if the cap is plastic, throw it in with the laundry. - Heloise
Dear Heloise: My shower curtain won’t slide across the curtain rod. It
gets stuck, and I have to keep yanking it across. What can I do to fix
this? - Joan R., Clifton, Mass.
Joan, rub a bar of soap or baby oil on the shower-curtain rod. -
Where are the nurses?
March 20, 2019
Today’s Sound Off is about the lack of nurses in hospitals. - Heloise
“Dear Heloise: I was a patient in a hospital recently and
was appalled by the lack of nurses on staff. My nurse greeted me and
told me to call her on my cellphone if I needed anything, then gave me
her number and left. What if I had fallen out of bed, couldn’t get up
and needed help or possibly had a stroke after surgery and couldn’t
“Hospitals charge a hefty amount of money for patient care, but I don’t
think we’re getting the care we need. It’s not that nurses aren’t
trained properly, there just are far too many patients for the limited
number of nurses available.
“There was a time when American medicine was the best in the world. But
is it still? I have every reason to believe it’s gone downhill.” -
Henry P. in Atlanta
Dear Readers: Here are some storage options for tiny items like beads,
sequins, snaps, etc.:
Empty pill bottles.
Foam egg cartons.
A compartment organizer for earrings.
Fishing tackle box.
Dear Heloise: Want more juice from a lemon or lime? Cut the fruit in
half, then cut off the bottom end and place in a citrus squeezer. -
Helen B., Sitka, Alaska
Dear Heloise: I put my outdoor flag in my washing machine to clean it,
and instead it was ruined. It shrank, and a little of the red color in
the stripes bled into the white stripes. How should I have cleaned it?
- Kay D., Columbus, Mo.
Kay, try to limit your flag’s exposure to the elements, such as snow,
rain and wind. Wash by hand with warm water and a mild soap. Thoroughly
rinse, and if storing, make sure it is completely dry. Inspect your flag
often. If it becomes too badly damaged to be flown, dispose of it
properly. Check with the Veterans of Foreign Wars or any veterans
organization on how to properly dispose of an old flag. - Heloise
Dear Heloise: There are a couple of old scams that your readers should
be aware of and take measures to protect themselves. The “Can you hear
me?” stunt is being used again. A caller assures the listener that this
is not a sales call and will ask, “Can you hear me?” DO NOT answer. Hang
up. They wait to hear you say “yes” and use your voice to OK credit
cards and other purchases. The second scam is to tell you that your
Microsoft license has expired. The caller will say to send a certain
amount of money or give a credit card number and all will be well. This
is a scam, and you should ignore it. Don’t speak; just hang up on them.
- Walter D., Amherst, Mass.