Dear Readers: Here is this week’s SOUND OFF, about hard-to-read numbers on appliances:
“I have a toaster oven with a control panel that is black with three knobs on it. There are numbers or dots around the knobs, but they are so small and in a light tan color, and I can’t read them. The instruction pamphlet has a picture of the control panel, but it is even smaller than the real control panel, so I can’t read it! -- J.W. in Montana”
J.W., I agree completely! What I’ve done is mark the “off” spot with red nail polish. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: Love your Web site (www.Heloise.com), and I’ve read your column for a long time. I stopped buying little packets of taco and chili seasonings years ago. It’s cheaper and healthier (less salt) to buy the ingredients and add them yourself. The ingredients consist of: chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, dried chopped onion, pepper and salt to your taste. (You can, of course, use fresh onion and garlic.)
It’s easy to keep on hand and adjust the taste as you see fit. The cumin is the most expensive spice listed, but well worth the price. -- Jan in Ohio
What a helpful hint! The great thing about making your own seasoning mixes is that you can mix them to your taste. I love to keep my own special mixes on hand. I have compiled all of my favorites into my pamphlet Heloise’s Seasonings, Sauces and Substitutes. To order, please send $3 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (65 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Seasonings, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. If stored in airtight containers, spices and herbs can keep for a long time. Make sure to store them away from heat, moisture and light. -- Heloise
Dear Readers: Other uses for old, flat bedsheets:
* As curtains.
* To cover plants in winter.
* As tablecloths.
* As a dropcloth when painting.
* To protect carpet in a car when transporting plants, etc.
Dear Heloise: I have a cat who throws up a lot, and she always finds a place on the carpet. I usually can tell when she is about to have an episode, and I try to move her to the tile, but she just goes back to the carpet. Now I just grab something handy -- a newspaper, a paper plate, etc. — and put it in front of her. -- Kirsten, via e-mail
Dear Heloise: I have a hard time opening key chains to put new keys on. I found if you take a staple remover and squeeze the key chain, it opens enough to slip the new key on. Just be careful not to pinch your fingers. -- A Reader in Maine
Dear Heloise: Knowing that our currency (Heloise here: meaning dollar bills, etc.) measures just a bit over 6 inches in length and 2 1/2 inches wide has come in handy on occasion for measuring. -- Ward in Beaumont, Tex.
Send a hint to