Springfield News-Sun

Have a flashlight handy for safety

- Heloise Household Hints

Dear Heloise: In my adult life, I have never been without a good flashlight. Extremely strong LED flashlight­s can be used in cases of emergencie­s to tempo- rarily blind an assailant. — John Emmons, via email John, I think we all can agree how helpful and use-

ful flashlight­s are in our lives. So, to my readers, buy batteries when you plan to use a flashlight, because batter- ies, like lithium-ion ones, do age. To keep them useful longer, store them indoors during the winter and in cool places during the hot summer — never in the sun.

Cleaning phones

Dear Readers: Because we use our cell phones and landlines so much, they do get dirty and need to be cleaned often. To remove makeup, smudges or dirt, spritz an all-purpose cleaning spray onto a paper towel and wipe over the dirtiest areas on the phone.

Never spray cleane rs directly onto the phone. For a quick clean, use prepackage­d wet towelettes. — Heloise

Charcuteri­e board gift

Dear Heloise: You are going to love this! For Christmas, my friend gave her grandchild­ren small charcuteri­e boards. They are in middle school. She also gave them a knife safe for chil- dren. They are loving mak- ing all kinds of appetizers. — Corrinne Berkland, Universal City, Texas Corrinne, how lovely! For my readers who don’t know, a charcuteri­e board is a selec- tion of meats accompanie­d by nuts, fruits, crackers and dips.

Listing contacts

Dear Heloise: I am in my late 70s, and my memory is not so sharp anymore. I eas- ily forget doctors’ names, but will recognize the name when I see it. So, when I put my doctors’ names in my contacts, I precede the name with “Dr.” and put that with the whole name (first and last) into the “first name” field — for example, “Dr. Joe Smith.” So, now all my doc- tors are listed together under

“Dr.,” and I can easily pick out the correct one to call.

I also do a similar tech- nique with restaurant­s that I call for takeout, by pre- ceding the restaurant name with “Cafe.” It’s important in both cases to put it all in the “first name” field so that they display in alphabetic­al order, starting with “Dr.” or “Cafe.”— Dr. Bob Durham, Schertz, Texas

Pet pal

Dear Heloise: This is our Golden Ginger who had just given birth to nine puppies! She is a wonderful and proud momma. — Lynne Gallegor, via email Readers, to see Lynne’s Golden Ginger and our other Pet Pals, go to Helo- ise.com and click on “Pet of the Week.”

Do you have a furry friend to share with our readers? Send a photo and a brief descriptio­n to Heloise@hel- oise.com. — Heloise

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