New life for old letters

Dear Heloise: Please let your readers know that before they throw away OLD LETTERS AND DIARIES, they should give them to their grandchildren. I’m the genealogist in my family, and these types of items are precious to us. — Rita T., Kingwood, Texas

This would be a fun end-of-summer project – perfect for the weekend! Love reading old letters and greeting cards; so much more personal than a text or email!

But, as I’ve mentioned before, be sure that if it is your diary, there is nothing in it you wouldn’t want someone else to read. — Heloise


Dear Readers: Kate in Waco, Texas, sent a picture of her beautiful gray-and-white “pittie,” Bella. Bella is comfy in the best seat in the house, and of course, she deserves it! Kate says that Bella rules the roost!

To see Bella and our other Pet Pals, visit and click on “Pet of the Week.” Do you have a furry and funny friend? Email a picture to: Heloise(at) — Heloise


Dear Heloise: We live in a mobile home. The front door faces east and gets very hot with our summertime temperatures.

My husband thought of a solution. He went to the auto store and bought a roll of glass window cover. We put it on our storm door glass to lessen the sun’s rays. — Caroline B.H., Rootstown, Ohio


Dear Heloise: I’ve found a great alternative to the “cone of shame”: I carefully cut a pool noodle lengthwise, slip my dog’s collar inside and fasten the collar around his neck so I can slip two fingers in there comfortably.

This supports his head and will disallow licking of sutures, etc. My vet likes this idea. — Ricky R., via email

Readers, ask your vet if this would work for your dog or cat. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: My daughter has a fenced-in backyard, and her dogs love being out there, even in hot weather. She has a kiddie pool of water for the dogs to get in and stay cool.

There is just enough water for them, and it’s not too deep for the smaller dogs. This is a good idea for dogs to be comfortable and enjoy being outside in the summer. — D.S., Lexington, Ohio

Just be sure to drain the water after each play session; mosquitoes can breed in standing water. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: I challenged my family to take a $20 bill into the produce section of the supermarket and come out with dinner.

It’s not easy, and we wouldn’t do it every night, but we got a nice salad, fresh cucumbers and tomatoes, and fresh corn on the cob. Delicious and healthy! — Mary T. in Dallas


Dear Heloise: A snack-size plastic bag with a zipper top can be used as an eyeglass case. Great for sunglasses on a beach; it keeps the sand out. — Mary H., Arlington, Va.


Dear Heloise: If you want to extend the life of your CELLPHONE BATTERY, try these hints:

¯ Be sure to charge the battery fully before first use.

¯ Turn your phone off if you won’t be using it for several hours. Sounds like a no-brainer, but many people forget.

¯ Do NOT let the battery fully discharge before recharging. Lithium batteries can be damaged by letting the battery charge get too low. A lithium battery is designed to be charged often, and the battery life can be prolonged with frequent chargings.

¯ Your battery will last longer if you keep it out of extreme heat, like a hot car or direct sunlight. If your battery gets extremely hot while charging, it might be malfunctioning.

¯ Use only a charger rated for your battery.

— Ron L., Albany, N.Y.


Dear Heloise: My daughter flew to Canada with her boss and co-workers to a job site. Upon arriving in Canada, my daughter was informed that she could not enter the country for 10 years following a DWI.

Her offense was eight years ago! She was so embarrassed. She was put on a plane home. It was a hard lesson learned, but she will never again drive after having a drink. — A Reader, Crockett, Texas

This is a valuable piece of information, and I hope my readers will remember that a DWI stays on your record a very long time. The police are cracking down on drunken drivers, so please, don’t drink and drive. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: Eggshells are a great fertilizer for the garden. Break them up into small pieces and mix into the dirt. — Lucille M., New Haven, Ind.

Lucille, I like to put all my eggshells in a plastic bag, then crush them up and use in a compost pile, or loosely break them up and scatter on the lawn for the birds. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: I have stumbled on a good use for the mesh bags that grocery stores use to package produce like potatoes or onions.

We all are aware of their value as storage containers, but you only need a few for that purpose. The rest make wonderful scouring pads.

Because the mesh used to make the bags is of various degrees of coarseness, the pads that you make will work well for a wide variety of surfaces. Making the pads is merely the process of cutting pieces of the bags into various sizes. — Verna H., Sunbury, Ohio


Dear Heloise: I hated using hair spray because it would get into my ears. Now, I’ve found that if I place the hair spray can’s cap over my ear while I spray my hair, I can keep my ears free of the hair spray. — Nanette D., Alpena, Mich.

Nanette, that’s a good idea. Another reader once told me that she had a spatula just for the purpose of covering her ears when she uses hair spray. — 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 She can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in her column.