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Helpful Hints

By Heloise

This article was published May 17, 2014 at 1:56 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: After reading your hints on ladder safety, I'd like to suggest another important one. Although it may be apparent, sometimes a stepladder is placed sideways to the job rather than facing it. This can create a danger of the ladder tipping out away from the job and possibly injuring the user. I watched a painter fall with his 8-foot ladder placed sideways to the wall he was painting. He seriously injured his shoulder.

-- Louis B., via email

DEAR READER: Too many of us think we can hop on a ladder for a quick repair with no worries, but as the painter you saw fall now knows, safety is important when working with any ladder.

DEAR HELOISE: I like to put out suet for the birds and found this nifty way to serve it up. First, don't use ground suet, but ask the butcher for strips. To make the suet holder, take a wire hanger, pull it straight and cut it in the middle. Holding the two ends together, "shish kebab" the suet strips onto the wire. Be careful: The wire ends are sharp, and one should use gloves to do this. Keep filling the wire up until you have 7 to 8 inches left, then bend these ends up 90 degrees. That will prevent the suet from falling off and also serves as a perch for the birds. Then make a hook at the top end and simply hang the whole thing on a tree branch.

-- John in Washington

DEAR HELOISE: Recently, I exited our home via the front door, something we don't do very much since we usually go out by the garage exit. For some reason, I jiggled the doorknob several times, and to my astonishment, it unlocked itself. I used the key to lock the door, again, and jiggled the knob a second time. Sure enough, the door came unlocked.

Now I am sure to set the deadbolt (using my key) whenever I go out the front of the house, just in case, even though we obviously have changed the entire doorknob assembly.

-- Claire M., Reading, Pa.

DEAR HELOISE: Whenever I have an earring without a match, I use it as a pushpin on the corkboard I have in my office. It gives me nice-looking pushpins, and if I ever do find the lost one, I still will have a complete pair.

-- C.E. in Mississippi

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

HomeStyle on 05/17/2014

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