DEAR HELOISE: I went to a beauty-supply store and bought a straight-tip, leakproof applicator for hair color. Just pour up to 8 ounces of olive oil into it, tighten the lid well, and you have the perfect applicator to dispense olive oil. No spills, and no awkward tipping of a large container. — Frances M., Fayetteville DEAR READER: Frances, what a great idea! So many times we forget that useful products can be found in many different places. With just a little imagination, you can repurpose any number of things.
DEAR READERS: Today’s Sound Off is about salesclerks who don’t know how to count your change.
DEAR HELOISE: One of my pet peeves is watching a retail clerk trying to return change from a $20 bill. One of the first things I learned in grade school was how to count change. We were told that the reason was so we could be assured we got the right change. I have had to call a manager while at the checkout on three occasions just last week. Being retired, I have the patience to help, but why should I have to?
— John and Karen H.,
DEAR READERS: Here are some other uses for ashtrays:
Use it in a bathroom to hold guest soaps.
Use to hold seed to feed the squirrels and birds. Store hair ornaments in the larger ones.
Use it to hold your car/ house keys so you’ll always know where to find them. Keep lose change in them.
DEAR HELOISE: As pretty as plants in our homes can be, they have another useful benefit: Green plants clean the air and improve the quality of the air we breathe. Plants have air-purification capabilities that allow them to absorb gases through pores on the surface of their leaves. But a word of caution: Some plants are toxic to children and pets, so choose wisely when buying a plant for your home.
— Hollister H., Stamford, Conn. DEAR READER: Thank you for this information. I love the look of indoor plants, and the benefits they provide to the air quality in my home.
DEAR READERS: The U.S. Postal Service handles about 47 percent of the world’s mail.