DEAR READERS: Tulips are beautiful and such an amazing flower. I love them, even though they may not last as long as hardier flowers. Here is an interesting fact you might not know: Tulips will continue to grow even after they’ve been cut. Yes! They can still grow about an inch! They also bend toward the sun or light. If you’ve wondered why that beautiful bouquet you had seemed to get lopsided and the tulips droopy, that’s the reason.
Tulips also drink a lot of water. Well, they are still growing. So check the vase daily, recut the stem an inch or so and add fresh water. They will last much longer this way.
DEAR HELOISE: I needed a new electric blanket for my queen-size bed. After pricing them, I noticed a $10 or more difference in a full-size to a queen-size blanket. I realized I only need to warm my side of the bed (since my husband’s passing), so I bought the full-size. It works perfectly, and in fact it covers the bed.
Mary K., Waterbury, Conn.
DEAR HELOISE: I reuse the boxes of baking soda in my refrigerator/freezer. I use them to freshen my garbage disposal, with this recipe: 1/2 cup baking soda. 1 cup white vinegar. Let sit in drain to work for a few minutes. Boil water and add two ice cubes and 1/2 lemon. Pour down drain It will smell nice.
Peggy in TexasPeggy
DEAR PEGGY: Baking soda and vinegar are the key ingredients for keeping the kitchen sink and garbage disposal clean and nice-smelling.
I’m a little puzzled, though, about adding ice cubes to the boiling water. Also, manufacturers and plumbers recommend using cold water (not hot or boiling) when running the disposal. You are getting double duty out of the baking soda, and that’s the key. Aren’t baking soda and vinegar wonderful? Cheap and readily accessible, they work without harmful chemicals. Don’t pay too much attention to baking soda’s expiration date when using it for cleaning. Just store it in a cool, dry place.
DEAR HELOISE: I discovered that if I put on a pair of thin, vinyl disposable gloves, and then put on my regular gloves over them, they hold the heat in and the cold out.
John C., Columbus, Ohio
DEAR HELOISE: When I finish the last of a roll of paper towels, I leave the cardboard roll (on the horizontal holder) and neatly fold a dish towel over it until I get more paper towels.
Amy R., Anaheim, Calif.
Send a money-saving hint to Heloise P.O. Box 795000 San Antonio, TX 78279-5000.