Dear Heloise: I want to recommend that readers always have a drink with them before BOARDING A PLANE. Usually the attendants will offer you a beverage, but on this last flight, we had turbulence on and off the whole time, and everybody had to remain in the seats, including the attendants. It was not a short flight, either. Once you go through security, you can purchase a drink and bring it on the flight with you, which now will be a must for me when flying. -- G.R. in Houston
I’ve been in this situation too many times! This also goes for having something to nibble on. It makes it a little more comfortable. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: Can you tell me the best way to clean piano keys? Mine are looking a little dirty, and I want to keep them in good shape. -- Louise in Connecticut
The way to clean piano keys differs depending on what kind of material the keys are made out of. If you have ivory keys (which a lot of older pianos have), they are fragile and need to be cleaned gently. Mix a cup of warm water with just a drop of gentle soap. Dampen a microfiber cloth with the mixture and wipe the keys, then wipe with a damp cloth and dry. Only do a few keys at a time, and don’t let any moisture drip down between the keys.
If the keys are plastic, you can use a mixture of vinegar and warm water. Again, dampen the cloth in the mixture and wipe the keys clean. Then wipe dry ASAP. Never use so much liquid that it drips between the keys. Vinegar is a wonderful household product to have on hand because it has so many different uses. I have shared my favorites in my vinegar pamphlet. To order, send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (66 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. After a long day of chores, pat some apple-cider vinegar on your hands to give them a boost. It’s also a cheap and safe window cleaner. Why waste money? -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: My husband has a rotating work schedule and is sometimes on the night shift. When this happens, it is just my son and me for dinner. One fun thing I do is have a picnic on the living-room floor. We lay out a blanket and eat our meal while watching a movie. He loves our “special” dinners, and I love our mother-son time. -- A Reader in Texas
Dear Heloise: My father was smoking a lot. His doctor told him to quit. He threw away the cigarettes, only to bum one from a friend. He finally took a roll of duct tape and wrapped his pack of cigarettes over and over. It took a lot of work to get a cigarette. -- A Reader, Summertown, Tenn.