DEAR HELOISE: When I travel, I take a night light with me, but I sometimes forget to pack it in my suitcase at the end of my stay and bring it home. On my last trip, I took two battery-operated, flameless tea lights. I put one in the bathroom and one by my bed. They worked perfectly. Enough light to see, lightweight, easy to pack, and if you forget them, they’re inexpensive enough to replace.
— Dianne F., Ojai, Calif. DEAR READERS: Dianne, as an experienced traveler, I have to say this is a great idea. I’ll use this suggestion on my next trip.
DEAR HELOISE: I have an overabundance of plastic containers from such things as yogurt, cottage cheese, etc. I would like to know if you have any suggestions as to what to do with them, rather than just throwing them out.
— S.J., Houston, Miss. DEAR READER: S.J., I’m a firm believer in recycling. If you check online or in the Yellow Pages, you probably can find recycling centers near you. However, you might want to keep a few to store things inside or to use as containers for leftovers. Some plastic containers are great for freezing and storing one or two servings of stew, chili, soup, etc.
DEAR HELOISE: Our grandson was quite young when he was diagnosed as being allergic to peanuts/nuts, but he was old enough to understand that red traffic lights meant stop. We took advantage of this and put foods containing nuts in red containers or red serving dishes. We reminded him that red means “stop,” and that he shouldn’t eat it. This worked for us with Halloween candy, Christmas goodies and everyday snacks.
— K.J., Sioux City, Iowa DEAR READERS: K.J., this is a very good idea. You also can find red, self- adhesive price stickers at any office-supply store and use them on packaged foods that contain nuts.
DEAR HELOISE: My solution to double dipping at the chip-dip bowl is to do one of two things:
Place a spoon in the salsa or other dip so people can put a nice amount of the dipping sauce on a plate.
Have dip already in small cups, suitable for generous dipping, so all they have to do is pick up the cup and put it on their plate. — Lisa Z., The Villages, Fla.