DEAR HELOISE: An alternative to taking a sound machine when you travel is installing an app on your cellphone. A single app will have around 20 different sounds to choose from. Just search for something like “white noise,” and you should find plenty.
Kathy M., via email
DEAR KATHY: This is a very good travel hint (and at-home hint) indeed! If you use the phone all night long as a “drown out the noise” machine, will it run the battery down? I guess you just leave it plugged in? Guess it depends on the phone. I usually recharge mine at night, so I’ll test your hint.
DEAR HELOISE: Here in the Pacific Northwest, my newspaper often comes in a plastic sleeve to protect it from the rain. They are handy for numerous things, but especially when I am painting a room. Here are four reasons they are good for painting/wallpapering:
▪ The large sleeves the Sunday paper comes in are excellent for covering fan blades when painting a ceiling.
▪ When I take a break, I slip one over the roller and twist it to keep the roller from drying out.
▪ When done with that paint roller, I put one over it as I am taking it off the holder to keep paint off my hands.
▪ When I want to save pieces of wallpaper, I stack them, roll them up and slip them into a sleeve.
DEAR MAGGIE: Don’t you just love those plastic newspaper sleeves? Hey, you get your newspaper and a bonus of the sleeve, too. I use them around the house for small bits of plants I am pruning, lint or fluff I see as I walk through the house, and wet garbage in the kitchen. Here’s to reuse, recycle and being resourceful!
DEAR HELOISE: I had two 5-by-7-inch photos I wanted to send home with my daughter. I didn’t want them bent, so I put them in an old DVD case. We slid one into the front side and one into the back side. No concern about them getting bent, and it made an instant frame!
A Reader in Texas
DEAR HELOISE: When fertilizing my garden plants by hand (with a watering can), I take the package measurement, which is usually 2 tablespoons per 2 gallons of water. I first take the granules and place them in a shaker bottle with water and shake it for a minute or two before adding it to the watering can. This makes sure the granules are dissolved for the plants.
Barbra W., Simi Valley
DEAR HELOISE: My husband’s arthritis was making it difficult for him to grasp small zipper pulls. I took a split key ring, and attached it by sliding it onto the zipper pull. Now he can just hook a finger through the pull and open or close the zippers. It’s virtually invisible on trousers when they are zipped up.
Marilyn in Washington
DEAR HELOISE: I have a beard and when I trim it, little hairs get all over the sink and counter. To help keep the bathroom cleaner, I lay a sheet of newspaper on the counter and trim over that. Just fold up the newspaper and throw it away.
Bill R. from Alaska, via email
Send a money-saving hint to Heloise P.O. Box 795000 San Antonio, TX 78279-5000.