Hints From Heloise


Sept. 17, 2014



Hold On to the History of Your Health

Dear Heloise: With all the changes that are being made in health-insurance laws, you never know when you will be required to complete an application for new coverage. Most insurance companies require years of health history.

My hint: Never trash or shred explanation of benefits from your insurance company. These are a timeline for when you've had every doctor visit, lab test, ER visit, surgery, etc., and you'll easily be able to list them on the application. - Ellen in Arkansas

A very good idea, and one that is worth doing! It can be bothersome to try to recall all major illnesses, etc. If you receive a quarterly or year-end statement, keep these for several years, just in case. If someone has a serious or ongoing illness, keep the paperwork, even if you need a file box! - Heloise


Air-bag powder

Dear Heloise: I am curious: When an air bag deploys, what is the powder that gets everywhere?
 - Nancy in Wyoming

Great question! We've all seen the movies and wondered. Generally it's just cornstarch or talcum powder so the air bag won't stick together. Some newer bags are manufactured so they don't need the powder.
- Heloise


Ensure return

Dear Heloise: For over a week, I was missing my black, small portfolio with important books and documents. After doing a lot of searching in my car and my home, I gave up on it. Today, when I opened the front door, I was surprised to see my missing portfolio on a chair by the door.

With it was a business card from the manager of a restaurant, who must have so kindly dropped it off. I left it while dining, and the manager saw my name and mailing address taped on the portfolio.

It's a good idea to stick a mailing label on cellphones, books, purses, etc., but also to write a phone number in case you leave or lose an item. If you are lucky, a good, honest and thoughtful person like the manager of the restaurant I ate in will contact you. - Eloisa in San Juan Capistrano, Calif.

Homemade ice pack

Dear Heloise: There are times when I don't have enough ice packs for a cooler or one of the kid's lunches, so I started making my own.

I use my vacuum sealer and cut vacuum bags to the size I need. Depending on how large or small I want to make an ice pack, I put ice cubes in the bag, vacuum-seal it and then let the ice cubes melt. Once melted, I place the flattened bags in the freezer and let them refreeze. Now it's ready to use, just like a store-bought ice pack. - Denise T. in Kentucky



Zipper pulls

Dear Heloise: I have another suggestion after reading your column about substitute zipper pulls. You also could use a paper clip, which you can purchase in different sizes and colors. - Barbara H., Lady Lake, Fla.

*Send a great hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio,  Texas 78279-5000 or email to heloise@Heloise.com.









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