Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about chain letters.

- Heloise

“Dear Heloise: Why do people send out chain letters? I hate it when I go to my account on a social networking website and find a chain letter there with instructions to send it to 10 other people, including the person who sent it to me! I delete them, and as far as I know, all my friends do as well. I don’t believe for one minute that I’ll have seven years of bad luck if I break the chain. All the sender has done is to give me one more person to block from my account.”

- Hector T., Auburn, Maine


Fast Facts

Dear Readers: Here are some new uses for old greeting cards:

- Cut into gift tags.

- Make into postcards.

- Use the blank side to write shopping lists.

- Decorate a box or appointment book.

- Heloise


Winter memories

Dear Heloise: My family goes skiing frequently in winter. I keep a scrapbook, and I use postcards from the places we go to, along with our photos. I look for something pretty that has the name of the resort or town. On the back of the photos I write the date we were there and the name of the person or people in the photographs.

- Sonja Y., Clover Creek, Wash.

Sonja, that’s a good idea. I like to collect a business card or takeout menu from restaurants I dine at so I can remember where I ate, especially if the meal was very good.

- Heloise


Fruit juice stains

Dear Heloise: My kids love fresh fruit juices, but my 5-year-old and 7-year-old boys often spill some on their clothing. They’ve ruined several light-colored shirts already, so before they ruin any more, how can I get the juice stains out?

- Meghan A., Boulder, Colo.

Meghan, immediately soak the stained area in cold water. If any stain remains, rub liquid laundry detergent into the area while still wet and launder in warm water and detergent.

Unfortunately, stains are a fact of life. My pamphlet Heloise’s Handy Stain Guide for Clothing can help you with instructions on what to do with everyday stains. To receive 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 You’ll even find a section on understanding care labels and special-care laundering hints.

- Heloise


Thanksgiving decorations

Dear Heloise: For holidays, I like to get my kids involved in making decorations for the house or table. We spray-paint pine cones gold and use them as place card holders. My son also likes to draw scenes with pilgrims and various animals on a large sheet of paper, which I then take to an office-supply store and have laminated for place mats. For a front-door decoration, I buy a grapevine wreath from a hobby store, and the kids glue leaves, pine cones, acorns and other natural items on it. By getting them to help with the overall look of the house, it engages them in the holiday spirit.

- Meg L., Niles, Mich.

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