DEAR READERS: Here is this week's Sound Off, about large backpacks:
"Backpacks are wonderful inventions for hikers and students. But people who use them can be quite thoughtless. I don't sit on aisle seats of airplanes anymore because people have hit me with their backpacks. On a bench, one man sat behind me wearing his backpack, and knocked me to the deck. I wish people would be more courteous."
-- N.V. in Texas
I have been bumped and even bruised one time while passengers were "loading" onto the plane. I carry a large, heavy tote, but I put it in front of me when boarding.
DEAR READERS: Here is how Frances H. in Kane, Pa., uses the rubber bands that come around green onions:
• Around a package of meat in the freezer to know which one to use first.
• To hold a cookbook page open.
• Around opened frozen bags of veggies.
• Around a checkbook so the pages don't flap.
DEAR HELOISE: I have a whole bunch of unused envelopes that are sealed shut. Is there anything I can do to unstick them? I don't want to have to throw them all away.
-- Candice in Illinois
DEAR READER: Candice, you and probably many of my readers have a lot of envelopes left over from greetings cards, lovely stationery, etc.
Here are two Heloise hints to try: This is the easiest, and requires no work. Place the envelopes in the freezer for 24 hours or longer to help dry the glue. Afterward, take them and place them on a flat surface. Use a dull knife or even a pen to gently slide under the flap to see if it opens.
The other hint is to use your iron. Set it on low heat, and gently slide it over the sealed envelope a few times. Then take a dull knife and slide it between the flap and the envelope to open.
If none of these options works, you still don't have to throw away the envelopes. Use them for scrap paper, or tear them open and use them to store receipts or coupons.
DEAR HELOISE: You don't know how many times I have had to chase a runaway tablecloth at a picnic. I came up with an inexpensive solution: I cut a small hole in each corner of the tablecloth and zip-tie it to the table legs. The tablecloth doesn't blow away, and I just cut the ties when I am done. Cable ties are very cheap, so it isn't a big deal to throw them away each time.
-- A Reader in Texas
DEAR READER: Love those cable ties. I buy them by the bundle.
DEAR HELOISE: I bought an inexpensive plastic toothbrush holder and use it to hold pens and pencils in my purse. It keeps the tips from being broken off the pencils, and it protects my purse should a pen leak.
-- N.B. in Texas
Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email
ActiveStyle on 08/11/2014
Print Headline: Helpful Hints