DEAR HELOISE: Sometimes service-repair workers show up without covers to protect the carpets/floors when they have to walk through.
I have found that the cheapest white tablecloths from the discount store work great. Fold lengthwise for double-strength coverage. Tape the ends with a wide tape that does not leave residue on the carpet/floor. The tape keeps the temporary floor runner in place and keeps the ends from tripping people.
I still wonder why all services don't have disposable booties available if their work requires going inside the home.
Mary A., Via Email
DEAR MARY: A good point, and thanks for the hint. I'd love to hear from the professionals on this issue. You could ask them to take their shoes off, as folks in Hawaii do. It keeps the floors clean!
DEAR HELOISE: Help! I shrank one of my favorite sweaters. Is there anything I can do to reshape it?
A Reader, Via Email
DEAR A: I do have an old-fashioned remedy that might help. It works if the sweater has shrunk only a small bit, not several sizes. Fill your sink with cool water and add 2 tablespoons of regular hair shampoo. Soak the sweater for 30 minutes, then gently squeeze out the excess water. Do not rinse the sweater simply lay it on a towel and roll it up to remove moisture. Unroll and gently stretch it back into shape, and block it on a flat towel.
Before washing, trace around the sweater. Once it's out of the washing machine, you now have a guide for reshaping your sweater.
Have any other clothing disasters that you need help with? Order my pamphlet Heloise's Handy Stain Guide for Clothing. Send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (65 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Stain Guide, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001.
DEAR HELOISE: When my father died, I fell heir to a couple dozen unused check registers. Hating to throw away good paper, I have developed some ways to use them:
Keep one with my blood-pressure monitor to record blood pressures, pulse, dates and times.
Carry one in my purse on which to jot notes, addresses, etc.
Keep one on my desk to keep track of passwords, etc.
Use one to list birthday and Christmas presents.
Thanks so much for your dedication to making life easier for all of us.
Jessie In Kerrville, Texas
DEAR HELOISE: As a mechanic most of my life, I've lost many a tool due to failure to return, or abusive damage of the tool. I solved this problem by insisting that a deposit, the approximate price of the tool, be given before the tool is loaned out. If the tool was not returned or was broken due to abuse, I would keep the deposit and purchase a brand-new tool. Every tool I have loaned out since has been returned or replaced.
C.G. In New Hampshire