DEAR READERS: With the holidays right around the corner, many candles will be burning, so I thought I would share some hints:
An easy way to light a deep candle is to use a lit piece of uncooked spaghetti. You also can buy fireplace matches, which are much longer than regular matches and work well.
Did you know you can easily clean candles? All you have to do is give them a wash in warm (not hot), sudsy water and rub lightly until they are clean.
You can straighten unstable candles by using a small piece of modeling clay, or carefully lighting the bottom of the candle and letting some wax drip into the candleholder, then setting the candle in, or lastly, using a hot-glue gun to glue the candle in place.
When you light a candle, have some type of reminder visible so you remember to blow it out. One reader put a dish towel on a door handle, another put a rubber band around her wrist. Pick something that works for you.
DEAR HELOISE: How frustrating to try to use a pencil eraser that has hardened. I solve the problem by rubbing it on a nail file to remove the hard part. The eraser is usable again.
I.H. In New Hampshire
DEAR HELOISE: Need more space to hang towels and washcloths, but can't install any more towel rods on your bathroom walls? Get an inexpensive, spring-loaded shower-curtain rod and install it above your bathtub. Hang it inside your present shower curtain, about halfway over the tub.
Kathi P., Horseshoe Bend, Ark.
DEAR HELOISE: Here are two hints for seniors: First of all, for hearing aids that collect earwax, there are little cleaning tools that come with them that are difficult to use and not very effective. I have discovered that the soft plastic picks that are made for cleaning between teeth are perfect for grabbing the earwax from the hearing aid.
My second hint has to do with taking prescription bottles to your doctor visits. I use a small mesh lingerie bag, which is for laundry, for toting all those bottles. It is see-through enough so that you can see, without opening, if you have everything, and it is safe in that it has a zipper and will not let those bottles spill out. I hope these tips are useful to senior readers.
Betty In Texas
DEAR HELOISE: I stack my outdoor furniture cushions on the outdoor coffee table and cover them with an extra grill cover to protect them from rain. It keeps them nice and dry, takes less than two minutes to cover, saves space on the deck and beats bringing them inside each time the weather is questionable.
I store the extra grill cover in the storage area of my gas grill so it's always handy.
Kathy In Wisconsin