Pack for the hol­i­days

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - Write to Heloise at P.O. Box 795001, San An­to­nio, TX 78279-5000; Fax 210-HELOISE; or email [email protected]

DEAR READ­ERS » Now’s the time to get pack­ages sent off. Here are some PACK­ING HINTS from the U.S. Postal Ser­vice (

• Cush­ion items. News­pa­per, pack­ing peanuts and shred­ded pa­per all can work. Insert shred­ded pa­per into frag­ile items to make sure they are pro­tected. Shake the box to see if things rat­tle around — they shouldn’t.

• A box is a sim­ple con­cept, but there are rules. The box must not bulge out; it has to close flat. Use 2-inch-wide clear or brown pack­ing tape; don’t use cel­lo­phane or mask­ing tape. Never tie a box with string, cord or twine — it can jam the equip­ment. If you’re reusing a box, that’s great, but re­move, cover or black out all pre­vi­ous la­bels and lo­gos on the box. Cover the mail­ing la­bel with clear pack­ing tape so it won’t smudge.

• Weight re­stric­tions? You bet. Size mat­ters. A box weigh­ing more than 70 pounds can­not be mailed through the post of­fice.

There also are items that you can­not ship. Check out the Postal Ser­vice’s web­site for more in­for­ma­tion.

DEAR READ­ERS » Make pre­dic­tive text work for you on your cell­phone. When you’re typ­ing a text or email and make a small typo, you shouldn’t have to erase what you’ve typed. Watch the pre­dic­tive text au­to­mat­i­cally cor­rect your er­ror.

DEAR HELOISE » I’ve heard that it’s not good to store med­i­ca­tions in the bath­room. What do you think?

— Kathy W. in Cal­i­for­nia

DEAR KATHY W. » Kathy, I agree com­pletely, and here’s why: Heat and damp­ness from the bath­room can ren­der med­i­ca­tions less po­tent and pos­si­bly in­ef­fec­tive, es­pe­cially pills and capsules.

Store med­i­ca­tions in a cool, dry place, away from light, mois­ture and heat, and also away from chil­dren. Take the cot­ton stop­per out of the bot­tle, too.

Ask your phar­ma­cist for more hints on med­i­ca­tion stor­age, and read on for an­other hint about pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tions.

DEAR HELOISE » I rec­om­mend talk­ing to your phar­ma­cist about med­i­ca­tions. My doc­tor put me on a new medicine, but when I went to pick it up, the phar­ma­cist said that this drug will in­ter­act with the meds I am on. It will cause se­vere ill­ness.

It seems that my phar­ma­cist might know more about med­i­ca­tions than my doc­tor does.

— Deb in Penn­syl­va­nia


DEAR HELOISE » We like to travel, and we of­ten go to places we don’t know a lot about. Books have a wealth of info, but they are usu­ally too lengthy or in­depth for my pur­poses.

I dis­cov­ered that the chil­dren’s sec­tion of the li­brary is a great source of books that are brief and to the point. And they have pic­tures!

— Dorothy S., New­port Beach, Calif.

DEAR HELOISE » When we come home from a trip, we un­load suit­cases in the garage so I can give them a good wipe-down, es­pe­cially the wheels. You wouldn’t be­lieve how black the towel gets. I also un­load the dirty clothes right into the laun­dry room.

— An Avid Reader, The Vil­lages, Fla.

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