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Helpful Hints

By Heloise

This article was published March 20, 2017 at 1:44 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: My sound off: Store employees so engrossed in conversations with each other and/or on cellphones that they don't have time to wait on me.

I understand that employees are friends, and a parent may have kids calling after school and such, but employees should focus on the customer. I'm standing there waiting to pay at a counter, or need help with a question.

-- Jim Y. in St. Louis

DEAR READER: That's an often-voiced complaint. An emergency is one thing, but chitchat on a cellphone in front of a customer is just bad business. Readers? Business owners? What do you have to say?

DEAR READERS: Other uses for lemons:

• Run peels through the garbage disposal to freshen it.

• Spray lemon juice to kill weeds in the garden.

• Use dried lemon peel to spice up tea.

• Rub on hands to eliminate onion odors.

DEAR HELOISE: I want to paint my guest bedroom, but determining the actual color to use is difficult.

The light varies throughout the day, and this affects how the color "reads" on the wall. I painted a white board the color I want to use, put it on the wall and checked it throughout the day. I still can't decide, but I have narrowed it down to two colors.

-- J.S. in San Diego

DEAR HELOISE: My nieces are coming to visit. You had a recipe for modeling clay. Please repeat it.

-- Sonya in Alabama

DEAR READER: Sonya, happy to. Here is the recipe:

2 cups baking soda

1 cup cornstarch

11/4 cups water

Mix the baking soda and cornstarch in a saucepan, then add the water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until blended. Empty onto a plate and cover with a damp cloth until cool. Knead until smooth, then break into sections. You can add a drop or two of food coloring for fun. Store unused clay in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

DEAR HELOISE: When my young grandchildren come to visit, I take a bath towel and put it over the top of each door in the house. The door won't close all the way. They can't get stuck in a room, and no smashed fingers by mistake.

-- Helen B., Jackson, Miss.

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 03/20/2017

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