2013-12-17 / Columns

Hints From Heloise

STARS FOR OUR TROOPS

Dear Heloise: Information about retiring flags via cremation by funeral homes recently was published in one of your columns. I am writing to tell you about Stars for Our Troops.

Flags are sent to Stars for Our Troops from all over the country. The canton (blue) area is removed and washed, and then the stars are cut out and placed in a small pouch with a note to let our military know that they are not forgotten.

These stars are placed in care packages going to our military who are currently serving. Stars also are given with thank-you cards to our veterans in veterans hospitals, nursing homes, etc.

There are Star Parties going on throughout this great country. It is a great project for any age. Families find it a great “family time,” and they learn about our country, flag and military. – Susan Wells, organizer, Stars for Our Troops

Dear Readers: I called Susan to find out more about this wonderful organization. What a heartwarming effort she and volunteers all across the country do, repurposing a flag that otherwise would have no further use. To learn more and find out how you can help, visit www.starsforourtroops.org. To donate a flag, send it to: Susan/Stars for Our Troops, Gettysburg Flag Works, 715 Columbia Turnpike, East Greenbush, NY 12061. – Heloise

CURTAIN LINERS

Dear Heloise: I repainted my outdoor chairs, and I was thinking of things to put under them so I wouldn’t leave a mess. My husband suggested that I use the plastic shower-curtain liner. We needed a new liner anyway, but saved the old one for painting in the future. – Megan N. in Dallas

WRAPPING RECYCLING

Dear Heloise: Last year, as I carried trash to the curb for pickup after Christmas Day, I realized I had two large garbage bags stuffed with only our discarded Christmas wrapping paper. What a waste!

I immediately thought of your helpful-hints articles. Do you have hints for reusing used wrapping paper or what we can do to recycle gift-wrapping paper? – Steve T. in Ohio

Of course I do, and I’m glad you asked. Most good wrapping paper can be reused for wrapping smaller gifts or cut up and used as paper/ ribbons. Use paper to line drawers or as shelf lining in a seldom-used china cabinet. Cut out uniform squares, staple on one corner, turn over and use for a notepad. Put through a shredder and use the colorful paper as stuffing for packages. If you have a pet bird, line the bottom of the cage with the paper, and it will be colorful. – Heloise

P.S.: Many recycling centers now accept wrapping paper as long as it is nonmetallic.

PACIFYING PARENTS

Dear Heloise: I try to find ways to cut down on dirt but not my time. After my third child, I started keeping pacifiers in small, plastic condiment cups. It keeps them free from lint and snack dust in the bottom of my purse and the diaper bag, along with making them easy to find in a pinch. – Leslie in Indiana

KEYBOARD CLEANUP

Dear Heloise: To dust my keyboard and the back of the computer, I use my old but cleaned makeup brush. The bristles can get into the tiny, hard-to-reach crevices. – A Reader, via email

FALLING AQUARIUMS

Dear Heloise: I have a hint to add to your hints regarding preventing TVs from toppling on small children. This same danger applies to aquariums! Never let small children near an aquarium without close-by adult supervision! Unfortunately, my small niece ran excitedly to my aquarium, grabbed the top edge and pulled it over onto herself. Broken glass, water and fish went everywhere! Thankfully, she was uninjured, other than being terribly frightened. – Patsy S., via email

Oh my! I’m so glad your niece is all right! Readers, please take note of this important information. It just may save a young child from serious injury! – Heloise

CUCUMBER PICKLES

Dear Readers: I love to eat pickles, and I always save the juice after finishing a jar. When I eat a cucumber, I score the sides with a fork and make a design in the skin. This is nice if the skin is a little tough to eat. Remember, the skin is where all of the vitamins and nutrients are! Then I cut it into slices and place them in the pickle juice. The cucumbers stay crispy for a day or two, but still are a delicious treat days after placing them in the pickle juice. – Heloise

CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS

Dear Heloise: I found a wonderful way to make children’s Christmas stockings memorable year after year.

Our children have received ribbons and church, academic and sports awards. I attach them to their Christmas stockings. They can proudly show off their accomplishments each year. This tradition is carried on with our grandchildren, and has created a sense of pride and remembrance of special times in our family. – Margie R. in Arkansas

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279- 5000, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

(c) 2013 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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