Heloise 9.28

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Dear Heloise: Many times I've received a gift in a nice strong box, and I hate to toss it out in the recycle bin, so I save it. When the holidays roll around, I reuse those boxes to wrap gifts. If they have writing on them, I spray paint the boxes on all sides, sometimes adding glitter and other decorations. A number of friends have kept these boxes and reused them for other gift-giving occasions. So the boxes get recycled over and over. -- Judy C., Laramie, Wyoming


Dear Heloise: I followed your advice about pouring white vinegar in the toilet bowl, letting it stand for about 15 minutes, then using the toilet brush to remove stains. However, I was told you have a vinegar pamphlet that is chock-full of ideas for cleaning, cooking and other handy hints using vinegar. How do I get one? -- Jennifer S., Rockland, Massachusetts

Jennifer, it's very easy to get my vinegar pamphlet called "Heloise's Fantabulous Vinegar Hints and More." You can go to my website, www.Heloise.com, or just send $5, along with a stamped (75 cents), self-addressed, long envelope to Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001.

Vinegar is safe and inexpensive to use and should be in every household. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: With school starting again and kids walking to and from school or home, there are also dangers. Every year it's important to remind children that no matter what a stranger promises, they are never to get in a car or van with someone they don't know. Tell them that it's OK to raise their voice if they are frightened and to remember the phrase "No, Go, Yell, Tell." If the child is at a playground or the mall, tell them to run to a security cop or to a woman who has kids with her. Most women will protect a child who has had an encounter with danger. -- Concerned


Dear Heloise: For years I was a slave to my cellphone, so when I retired, I decided I never wanted a phone on my hip again. I've found there are a lot of people like me. What we need however are address books and date books to keep track of telephone numbers and addresses, and a book to keep track of appointments. If you know someone who has a gift-giving occasion coming up, these two items come in very handy. -- Sean O., David City, Nebraska


Dear Heloise: I know that we're not supposed to use dry cleaner bags to store clothing because there is a good chance of collecting moisture under the bag, and that leads to mildew on clothing. So since my husband and I have king-size pillowcases, when they wear out, I just cut a slit in the closed end and use it to slip over hanging clothing I've stored for another season. It's really amazing how well this works! -- Denise F., Eugene, Oregon