DEAR READERS: Do you plan to purchase or receive a beautiful red, white or pink poinsettia for the holidays? Don't just toss the plants when they are “gone” or you think they are dead. A branch broke off a big beautiful plant I had. With nothing to lose, I cut the stem at an angle and stuck it in a vase of water. When the lower leaves looked dry, I recut the bottom again. Weeks later, it still looked great!
Keep the soil damp, not wet, and put someplace away from drafts. You’ll have a green plant all year. It may get its color back the following year, or even may keep it all year long, depending on the amount of sunlight and dark. I’ve had some last several years! I just cut them back when they look puny and hope for the best! Remember: Do not fear these plants, because they are not poisonous!
DEAR HELOISE: Our kids were coming to visit with their two toddlers. I wanted room-darkening shades for the room they were sleeping in. I looked online. Everything was not only expensive, but custom-made, and had to be measured and ordered, which meant I would have to wait.
I got out my fabrics, and found a large piece of black fabric. I doubled it and sewed a piece of flannel-backed vinyl in between. I now have a custom-made room-darkening shade!
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Corrine B., Universal City, Texas
DEAR HELOISE: Empty plastic medicine bottles with the child-safety-lock caps make excellent containers for touch-up paint for the home. I have small bottles with paint for every room in our house. They are labeled and stored in the utility room, along with some kids’ paint-by-number paintbrushes. They take up little space and are all in one handy location. It sure beats having to crawl around in the attic and drag down a gallon can just for a few scratches or chips that need a little touch-up now and then.
Also, after deciding which paint/color to go with, keep the sample card from the paint store and jot down on the back which room it was for and the date when the room was painted for future reference.
Ruth C., Salado, Texas
DEAR HELOISE: I saved two of the wire racks from my old refrigerator and use them as cooling racks when baking multiple pies or coffeecakes. I place a large bath towel on my table under the racks to protect the table. I have to prop up one side slightly so that they are even. It works quite well.
Mary S., New Madison, Ohio
DEAR HELOISE: When I buy a new garment that has buttons, I write the description of the garment on the little envelope or plastic bag with the extra buttons. I have no problem finding the correct button in my button box.
Diane B. in Ohio
Send a great hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 79500, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com.