Be sure to make Father’s Day special

HELOISE

Dear Heloise: Thank you! You have helped to make my every day more pleasant. I wanted to share with you and your readers one of my memories. My FATHER would escort my sisters and me each week to a Saturday dance; we were not permitted to go alone.

We were a very happy family of 12 — yes, 12! — children. Those were the days. – Maxine G., Simi Valley, Calif.

Yes, aren’t dads wonderful? Today is Father’s Day, a day to remember Dad and appreciate everything he’s done for us and for the family.

Make it special by preparing him a nice meal and giving him a big hug.

Remember Dad with a small gift. And if your dad is no longer with you, take a moment to remember him. — Heloise

PET PAL

Dear Readers: Beth D. in Pittsburgh shared two pictures of her adorable black pug, Fergus, “helping” her with her ironing. He is lying on the clothes, thereby pressing them!

To see Fergus and our other Pet Pals, visit www.Heloise.com and click on “Pet of the Week.”

Do you have a funny, faithful furry friend? Share a picture! Email Heloise@Heloise.com. — Heloise

BIG BOX

Dear Heloise: I purchased a large storage container for $5 — the type that you would slide under your bed to store sweaters, etc. — to use as a roomier litter box. Regular cat boxes are much more expensive, and this helps to keep more litter in the box. — Linda in Arkansas

Be sure to still scoop daily, and scrub often, too. — Heloise

AVOID FALLING

Dear Heloise: As we age, we are constantly reminded to take precautions to avoid falling. Here are two that I think could be good reminders and practices to adhere to:

Never walk away from the dishwasher leaving the bottom rack open. With an open-room concept, dishwashers often are located at the corner of the kitchen and easily can be walked into. If you must leave the dishwasher open, be sure to also leave the top rack pulled out. This is easy to see and will avoid a fall.

This seems like common sense, but always pause for a very brief moment before going down stairs, and use the handrail. It takes only a moment to misstep on that first step and fall.

I enjoy your column every day, and hope these tips can help someone to pause, think and avoid a fall. — Lainie in New Hampshire

PIPE DREAM

Dear Heloise: I have found that pipe cleaners, located in the crafts section, are inexpensive and useful for so many things around the house. I use them to tie extension cords, lights, craft projects, etc.

A package of assorted colors usually is around $1 and can be used to mark all those various cords in one’s office area. They can be cut easily to the needed size and are so easy to untwist as needed. — Wendy S., Mexia, Texas

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Dear Readers: Today’s SOUND OFF is about the phone bill’s added charges and taxes. — Heloise

“Dear Heloise: I recently moved into my first apartment and was shocked to discover that my phone bill, which includes a landline, my computer and cellphone, was about 25 percent to 30 percent taxes! I called the phone company and asked for an explanation of my bill, because there were things on there that I’d never heard of. The woman I spoke with didn’t seem to know what half of the charges were for, either. When I signed up for telephone service, no one told me about all these taxes and other charges. Why can’t the telephone companies tell us the truth about all these nuisance charges, and why don’t they pick up some of these expenses instead of burdening the public with them?” — Roberta G., Dayton, Ohio

FAST FACTS

Dear Readers: Button, button, who’s got the button? There are a number of uses for recycled buttons:

* They can be used in jewelry making to create interesting, new designs.

* Attach to the ends of drawstrings to keep from pulling through casings.

* Great for decorating picture frames, and for gift decorations.

* Instead of pebbles in a pot, try a couple of handfuls of old buttons.

— Heloise

HOW TO CLEAN A MATTRESS

Dear Heloise: My sister and I have been wondering how to properly clean a mattress. We both recently bought new ones, but haven’t a clue as to how to keep them clean. — Tanya M., Elk Grove Village, Ill.

Tanya, the first thing you can do is spray a water repellent on the surface of a mattress on both sides. Wait until it is completely dry before covering it with a good-quality mattress pad to help keep out dust, dander and dust mites. After you’ve done this, try the following:

* Vacuum your mattress once a month.

* Wash the mattress pad once a month in hot water and soap to kill dust mites.

* If you spill any liquid on the mattress, soak up as much of the liquid as you can with a bath towel or paper towels. Use upholstery cleaners to shampoo out the stain left behind, but make sure your mattress is completely dry before putting the mattress pad back on the bed.

* Most mattress manufacturers say we do not have to “flip” our mattresses every six months anymore, but I still like to rotate mine every other month.

— Heloise

EDITOR’S NOTE: Send your great money-saving or timesaving hint to to Heloise at P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, Fax to 1-210-HELOISE, or email to Heloise@Heloise.com. She can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in her column.