DEAR HELOISE: Is there any way to get America's businesses and medical resources, as well as any agency that prints anything, to make the font and print large enough so elderly persons can read it? "It" includes such important information as pharmacy labels, amounts for recipes and instructions for putting together products. They've given a new meaning to "small print."
My wife and I are in our 80s and can see reasonably well but need to get out a magnifying glass to read this important information. More often than not, the magnifier is not strong enough, and I have to resort to using our PC's printer to magnify the words, which is almost impossible in the case of a label. We shouldn't have to do this.
I've been thinking about this for some time, and I find there are few exceptions, which I would describe as a font that is as easy to read as an email or text. Help!
-- David, Mount Sidney, Va.
DEAR HELOISE: I saw the question from Anne of Omaha about her lumpy gravy. I never have lumps. Here's what I do: Add flour (or cornstarch) to cold liquid in a separate cup (water, milk, broth, whatever you need to use) and use a small whisk to get it smooth. Add this to your hot pan juices and whisk in. I never add flour or cornstarch directly to hot gravy. I get lumps every time if I do.
I've been doing this for 50 lump-free years of marriage!
-- Janice Smith,
DEAR READER: Another reader had a similar hint:
DEAR HELOISE: My mom's secret to no lump gravy is to add the flour to approximately a half cup of water, not to your pan drippings. Mix well to get all the lumps out. And then add to pan drippings, scraping to get all the good flavor from the pan. Stir as it heats up and add additional water to get the consistency you want. No lumps in your gravy!
-- A Reader, via email
DEAR HELOISE: I've been reading this column for at least 40 years. I like to wear most of my clothes more than once before laundering to save water, electricity and wear-and-tear on the clothes. After using different hints to keep track, it finally dawned on me to just have a small section of my closet rod designated for clothes that have been worn, waiting to wear again, before going in the laundry. I just hang them there when I take them off, and I am able to easily keep track. Seems so obvious, I should have thought of it years ago.
-- M.C. in Tenn.
DEAR HELOISE: A lady said she had a car problem and the car was only 3 years old. She should have gone to her dealership. Most cars nowadays have longer warranties than years past, and sometimes certain problems go past the warranty expiration. I also learned this years ago: One of the best places to get garage references is to go to the auto parts stores and ask for their recommendations. A local parts store is the best, not a chain store.
-- C.E., via email
Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email