Hints From Heloise: Helping Mother Nature

April 30, 2013

Dear Heloise: Thanks to the reader from Texas for her letter on CARING FOR MOTHER NATURE. (Heloise here: The hint was to take along a plastic bag to pick up recyclables when you are about town.)

I do something similar in that I always carry a plastic bag to pick up trash. Newspaper bags often work well, as do supermarket bags (for bigger items). These bags don’t take up much space in my pocket, and they can be dropped in a nearby trash can when filled. Picking up trash is quick and easy, and it’s a good use for the many plastic bags that we accumulate. If everyone discarded his or her unwanted items neatly, the environment would look much better and would be healthier. -- Cathy in Gaithersburg, Md.

GYM HINT

Dear Heloise: Sometimes, members of a gym become so involved in their workout on the machines that they forget to clean them after using them. Usually, it takes several seconds to sanitize the apparatus if cleansers are readily available. One person left the machine so disgusting that it squelched any desire I had to use it. I brought this to the attention of the staff, since the member nonchalantly started using another apparatus.

Finally, after visiting several gyms, I found one that is perfect for my needs and expectations. -- Margareta in Texas

CHECKING OUTLETS

Dear Heloise: I enjoy your column in The (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Gazette. I have a hint to add to your electrical tips. Since I’m usually doing my honey-do list by myself, I’ve found that you can use either a plug-in radio or a plug-in fan to figure out which breaker serves an outlet. Just plug either one in, turn it on and listen for the sound to stop as you turn off breakers in the breaker box.

I’ve also found that the electrician who wired my house may have mislabeled the breakers, so it’s a good idea to check them even if they are labeled. I’ve also used a permanent marker to rub over the stamped (indented) breaker numbers so that they are easier to see. -- Alice in Colorado Springs, Colo.

GIVING A PET MEDICINE

Dear Heloise: I have to administer liquid medication to my cat orally using a syringe. The medication is quite sticky. To avoid sticky spills, I place the cat’s mouth over his food bowl. Any spillage falls directly into the food, so there are no sticky spots to clean up, and he eventually will consume any spilled medication. -- Tom W. in Grapevine, Texas

Many have tried and failed to give a cat medicine! Good for you and your cat. -- Heloise

APPLIANCE PLUGS

Dear Heloise: Today’s small appliances can only be plugged in one way. I put contrasting permanent marker on the plug. Now I know which end is up the first time I plug it in. Thank you. -- Beverley L., Cheshire, Conn.

Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com. Please include your city and state.

, King Features Syndicate

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