Educational partnership


Aug. 21, 2019


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.


Fast Facts

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.

- Heloise


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


Whiter whites

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 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 wedding:

“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?”

- A Reader in Pennsylvania


Someone from the catering staff should have talked to them. Behavior like that is inappropriate.

- Heloise


Fast Facts

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.

- Heloise


Fiberglass frustration

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.

- Heloise


Bye-bye, blues

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 good.

- 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.

- Heloise


Hard-water buildup

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 Vinegar will clean all things glass, including decanters, windows, mirrors and windshields.

- Heloise


Alzheimer’s scam

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.

- Heloise

Don’t bring the kids!
Aug. 7, 2019

Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is from a nurse who works in a physician’s office.
- Heloise

“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 sick.”
- A Nurse in Illinois


Fast Facts

Dear Readers: Here are some other uses for the little pots that plants come in:

- Scoop potting soil from a bag.

- Start new seedlings.

- Place weeds in while weeding the garden.

- Heloise


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.


Chocolate stains

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 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.
- Heloise


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

Vaccination contemplation
July 30, 2019

Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about those people who decide not to vaccinate their children.
- Heloise

“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 don’t vaccinate.”

- A Registered Nurse in New Jersey

Fast Facts

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.

- Heloise


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 to.

- 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


Traveler’s checks

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.

- Heloise



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.

Taking 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 abuse.

“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


Fast Facts

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.

- Heloise


Performance review

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 your successes.

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.

Not on the level
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 it?”

- 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 for additional information. - Heloise


Fast Facts

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.

- Heloise


Microsoft scam

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 phone.

- Lana S., Troy, Mich.


Résumé rules

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 technology.

Above all, make it one page and make it easy to read. No ornate or colorful lettering.

- Jennifer N. in Dallas


Sour smells

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.

Are these labels lacking?
July 10, 2019

Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about prescription labeling. - Heloise

“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


Fast Facts

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.

- Heloise


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 family.

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 Massachusetts


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.
- Heloise


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.

An invite to confusion
July 2, 2019

Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about wedding etiquette, or a lack of it:

“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

I agree. Most small children are bored with formal events and would do better at home with a sitter.
- Heloise


Fast Facts

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.

- Heloise


The invitation

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


Sweet smell

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 to reapply.
- 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 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

Have 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, or you can call 888-382-1222. If you move or change phone numbers, you’ll need to re-register. - Heloise

Fast Facts

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.

- Heloise


Job interviews

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, Ore.


Garage sale

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 financial information?”
- 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

Fast Facts

Dear Readers: Here are some other uses for old dressers:

- Paint in bright colors and use outside in the garden to grow plants in the drawers.

- 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.

- Heloise


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 responses.
- Heloise


“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 Oak, Mich.


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.

Pushy People
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. - Heloise


“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.

Fast Facts

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.

- Heloise



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 for more information. - Connie L., Tulsa, Okla.


Sweet lullaby

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

Get back!
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.

Fast Facts

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.

- Heloise


What vaccines do my pets need?

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 it along.

- Brianna F., Muncie, Ind.

P.S. Make certain your dog or cat is microchipped! This is especially true if you travel with your pet.


Kitten season

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 for it.

- Heloise

I'm not on call!
May 29, 2019

Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about cosmetic promises that don’t deliver.

- Heloise

“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 or praise?

“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.


Fast Facts

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.

- Heloise


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


Cellphone manners

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 pets.

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. - Heloise

“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


Fast Facts

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.

- Heloise


Lost rings

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 white

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 help

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

No discipline?
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


Fast facts

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.

- Heloise


Wood polishing

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 FYI: Vinegar alone also works great for removing price tags, cleaning the barbecue grill and loosening burned-on foods in pots and pans. - Heloise


Foot massage

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., Manchester, N.H.

No 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


Fast Facts

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.

- Heloise


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.


Kitty cat

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, Nev.


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

The value of older workers
May 1, 2019

Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about the lack of employment for older workers:

“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

Fast Facts

Dear Readers: Here are some uses for junk mail envelopes:

- Keep one in the glove compartment to hold receipts for parking, credit cards, etc.

- 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 store.

- Heloise


Don’t flush!

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
disposable/flushable wipes
tampons or pads
kitty litter
paper towels

- 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.

Just drive!
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.


Fast Facts

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 you are.

- Tape prices on items at a garage sale.

- Heloise


Fragrant shoes

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


Smelly books

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.

A 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


Sheet smarts

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

Should 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.


Fast Facts

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.

- Heloise


Streaky windows

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, 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


Hospital visit

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.

Call me!
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


Fast Facts

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.

- Heloise


Lipstick on your collar

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. - Heloise


Cookie mister

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. - Heloise

Toll-free mystery?
April 3, 2019

Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about toll-free telephone numbers:

“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


Fast Facts

Dear Readers: Here are some other uses for shower caps from hotels and motels:

- 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.

- Heloise


No thanks

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.
- Heloise


Fortunate idea

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 friends.
- Mia D., Bristol, Conn.


Mia, what a clever and original idea! - Heloise


Memorable pillows

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, Canby, Minn.


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


Sibling slights
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


Fast Facts

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 pants.

- Cut down the side, then cut to fit over the springs of a trampoline.

- Heloise


Pre-wash spray

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:|

Heloise’s Pre-Wash Spray

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 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


Waste not

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


Shower captain

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. - Heloise

Where are the nurses?
March 20, 2019

Dear Readers: 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 talk?

“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


Fast Facts

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.

- Heloise


Citrus squeezer

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


Flag care

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


Scammer alert

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.









Milwaukee events  |  Waukesha events  |  Washington Co. events Ozaukee Co. events Milwaukee news  |  Waukesha Co. news Washington Co. News   |  Waukesha Freeman  |  West Bend Daily News  |  Waukesha Freeman | Ozaukee Co. News Graphic | Oconomowoc Enterprise