Living Columns & Blogs

Hints From Heloise: Perceived negligence prompts trash talk

DEAR HELOISE: We have a mandatory homeowners association in my neighborhood. One of the rules is that trash bins are not to be left out for extended periods of time or left visible (like out by the garage).

It really irks me when I see some of the bins by the garage instead of inside the garage or fence. It is even worse when I see trash or recycling bins left by the curb days after pickup day. It doesn’t make our neighborhood look very nice.”

A.H., via email

DEAR A.H.: This can be annoying, especially for those who follow the rules. The diplomatic way is to bring up this subject at a homeowners meeting.

Then the association can contact the homeowner.

DEAR READERS: Here are other uses for empty tissue boxes:

▪ Keep ribbon and bows in one.

▪  Place one on the dryer to put used dryer sheets and lint in.

▪  Use as storage for all your plastic grocery bags.

▪  Put in a car and use as a trash can.

▪  Let kids use for their small toys.

DEAR HELOISE: We moved into a new house, and the grout in the shower could use some cleaning up. Do you have any hints to help it look nicer?

Isabelle in Texas

DEAR ISABELLE: Congratulations on your new home. I’ll share the grout-cleaner recipe so you (and other readers) can get the shower-stall grout clean.

For this recipe, you will need 1/4 cup of borax, 1/2 cup of baking soda and warm water, just enough to make a thick paste. Use an old toothbrush or something similar, apply the paste to the grout and gently scrub with a soft brush. Let sit for 20-30 minutes, then rinse. To help keep the grout clean, be sure to leave the shower door or curtain open so there is no moisture to affect the grout!

DEAR HELOISE: I read how one mom uses leftover hamburger buns for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

We apply butter and garlic or spices to them. Slice them after toasting, then cut into strips. They complement spaghetti dishes or other meals where garlic bread would be welcome.

Jay in Houston

DEAR HELOISE: To easily remove candle wax from candlesticks, stick them in the freezer for an hour or so. When I take them out, the candle wax easily pops off the candlesticks.

Becca In Tennessee

Send a great hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 79500, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to