Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - Send a money- or time-sav­ing hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San An­to­nio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

DEAR HELOISE: I hate the smell of moth­balls. I no­ticed that by plac­ing lemon peel­ings in mesh bags in my closet, I could elim­i­nate the use of moth­balls. It worked like a charm.

— Lisa W., Low­ell, Mass.

DEAR HELOISE: My hus­band and I travel over­seas, for as long as a month at a time. To keep our home safe, we make cer­tain it doesn’t look empty by us­ing a few sim­ple tricks:

We use a timer on our lights all over the house.

We have the post of­fice hold our mail, and a neigh­bor we trust picks up any­thing left on our doorstep, such as fliers and pa­pers of any kind. We have a lawn ser­vice keep our yard mowed.

When we had a pet, we’d have a pet-sit­ter ser­vice feed and wa­ter our pet.

Our car was parked half­way up the drive­way so that thieves couldn’t back up a truck or van and empty out the house.

— Betty L., Nor­man, Okla.

DEAR HELOISE: When­ever our paint­brushes get hard, I soften them by plac­ing them in very hot vine­gar un­til they be­come pli­able again, then wash with warm wa­ter and soap.

— Delores M., Iowa DEAR READER: Vine­gar is my “go-to” clean­ing and all-pur­pose prod­uct. Vine­gar can make so many chores eas­ier and less ex­pen­sive.

DEAR HELOISE: Be­fore the cold weather sets in, be sure to give your plants dessert. Just mix 1 tea­spoon of a dessert gelatin with a gal­lon of liq­uid fer­til­izer, or with a gal­lon of wa­ter. Mix well, then pour around the soil. The gelatin helps the soil hold wa­ter, and the sugar feeds the or­gan­isms within the soil.

— Ash­ley H., Som­er­set, Ky.

DEAR HELOISE: Af­ter sew­ing on a but­ton, I like to use a tiny drop of clear nail pol­ish in the cen­ter of the but­ton. This en­sures that the thread will not be­come loose and my but­ton will stay on.

— Nancy O., Derby, Kan.

DEAR HELOISE: While reach­ing un­der the bed for my son’s socks, I felt some­thing strange. When I pulled it out, I saw that I had a large, green snake in my hand. I dropped it and screamed bloody mur­der. As my eyes fo­cused on the thing, I re­al­ized that it was a rub­ber snake! I felt re­lieved as I fi­nally got off the dresser.

— Va­lerie F., Grafton, W.Va.


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