Hints from Heloise: Shower of flour from glued bags

Published: Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 11CALIFORNIA LIFE

DEAR READERS: Here is this week's sound-off, about flour bags:

Why can't flour manufacturers create a bag or other container that is easy to open AND close again?

Many flour canisters aren't large enough to hold 5 pounds of flour, so the partially full bag must be reclosed and stored. It is so frustrating to grapple with the glued seam to get it unsealed, then try to fold the top part of the bag back down and secure it. Opening was much easier when the top seam was sewn and the string could simply be pulled to open the bag neatly.

– Peggy In Nebraska

DEAR PEGGY: I'm in agreement! Sugar bags are just as frustrating!


DEAR READERS: Other uses for marbles:

• Put in the bottom of a flower vase for color.

• Use in a jar as a paperweight or doorstop.

• Mix in with aquarium rocks.

• Use at the bottom of a plant pot to hold soil in.

• Use in craft projects.

– Heloise


DEAR HELOISE: Are the mattress ads now running about needing to replace your mattress every eight years just a sales ploy to replace your mattress sooner? With the use of sheets, mattress covers, etc., I find it hard to believe what they say in the advertisements.

– Pam In Dallas

DEAR PAM: Yes, they are a ploy and are misleading! It is an exaggeration that a mattress doubles in weight every eight years! Give me scientific evidence!

There really is no set formula for when to buy a new mattress. Just remember to check the manufacturer's recommended care guidelines and warranty before purchasing a new mattress.

According to the Better Sleep Council (www.bettersleep.org), you should factor in how often the mattress was used and if it was cared for correctly. You also should ask yourself a few key questions, provided by the Council:

Are you waking up with aches and pains?

Are there obvious signs of wear on your mattress?

Is your sleep worse than it was a year ago?

If you answered "yes" to any of these, you should look into getting a new mattress.


DEAR READERS: Many of you have written asking about what a carabiner is, since there have been hints in the column for ponytail holders and keys.

A carabiner is an oval or D-shaped metal ring often used in mountain climbing to fasten ropes. It usually has a spring-loaded catch on one side. They come in many different sizes, colors and shapes, and can be used for many different things. Have a hint on how you use carabiners? Let me know.


DEAR HELOISE: I have small children who tend to be a little messy at mealtimes. I found that using paper napkins wasn't working. The kids would just shred them, and they didn't clean up the mess very well. We now use washcloths as napkins for the kids. They are reusable, and when dampened make cleanup a breeze.

– A Reader In Utah

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