DEAR HELOISE: My friends and I would like to know why vacuum-cleaner bags have disappeared. How could anyone think that dumping dirt and clouds of filth into a clean wastebasket, then dealing with it a second time, is a step up from neat disposable bags? These bags can be placed in the garbage without sending clouds of dust back into the room.
F.M., Fayetteville, Ark.
DEAR F.M.: Someone did, and he or she probably doesn’t even vacuum! I have three different brands and types of vacuums, plus three “robotic” ones, and I dislike the bagless upright the most. Gee, maybe the manufacturers thought it was a good idea that the consumer can see the dirt? That we don’t have to buy vacuum bags? What if you live in an apartment? There is no garage to dump the dirt out from the vacuum canister.
P.S.: There is one exception in my household: I love my robotic vacuums! I just set “Zumba 1” in a room and let it do its job.
DEAR HELOISE: My husband and I are cleaning out stuff we know our children and grandchildren will never want. We are not sure what to do with five big boxes of silver-plated serving trays, etc. We don’t serve using these, and our kids won’t polish anything. What do we do with all this?
Mrs. G., via email
DEAR MRS. G: Don’t count out the children and grandchildren. You never know what they might have a sentimental attachment to. Why not have a “come and get it” gathering? Set everything you want to pass along, all clean and shiny. Let them draw numbers, and the first one can pick an item. Then follow through with the rest. They may swap items among themselves.
Do check with places that have resale shops, such as a church, synagogue or civic organization. Of course, you can sell them. You might be very surprised what someone else is willing to pay.
Do keep a few special pieces for yourself. I sometimes use a sterling-silver set of sugar bowl and creamer that was my grandmother’s for small fresh flowers. Hey, why not enjoy some of those beautiful pieces every day?
DEAR HELOISE: My husband and I had just moved into our house when we had family over for dinner. They brought a bottle of wine, but we didn’t have a corkscrew. My father-in-law took a screw and screwed it into the cork (not all the way), then used a pair of pliers to gently pull the cork out.
Tanya O., Arlington, Va.
DEAR READERS: Other uses for free or old T-shirts: Make bibs for babies. Use when dyeing your hair. Cut off the sleeves and make tank tops for exercising. Use as dust rags around the house. Let kids wear them when painting.
Send a great hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 79500, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com.