Dear Readers:

Now that summer is upon us, I'd like to remind everyone about the danger of leaving children and pets in a parked car! Even though it could be a beautiful 85-degree day outside, it is a hotbox inside, with temperatures easily reaching 102 in about 10 minutes.

If the day happens to have high humidity, it can get even more deadly in the car.

So, please, if you are planning on shopping, even for a short time, leave your pet home, where it will be cool and comfortable, and never leave a child in the car unattended for even one minute.

We've all heard horror stories, so don't let it happen to you.

Dear Heloise:

For many years, my mother has packed dishes using paper plates (the kind that come 200 to a package, not the "good" ones). For dinner plates, she puts one between each plate.

For smaller things, such as saucers or bowls, she cuts the paper plate into four pieces and uses these.

Of course, you still have to use packing paper (or old newspapers) for cups and glasses and to fill in your box or carton.

It is much easier and faster than wrapping each item, and it really works.

Sheryl, San Antonio

Dear Heloise:

Every year on my mother's birthday, I picked out cards that were on sale and ones I knew she would mail to her brothers, sisters, sons, daughters and in-laws, and gave them to her as a gift.

Years later, my family bought me a very attractive box (about 11 inches long, 9 inches wide and 7 inches deep) filled with index cards, notepaper and birthday, get-well, thank-you and sympathy cards for my birthday. They replenished the used cards on my next birthday, along with a roll of stamps.

I believe this would make a great gift for the busy woman of today.

Dennese Hoppel, Greenbelt

I agree! It makes a wonderful gift, especially for children, because it teaches them how important and special it is to send cards for all occasions.

P.S. A hand-addressed and handwritten card means more today than many years ago.

Send a money- or time-saving 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 when faxing or using e-mail. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

(c)2004, King Features Syndicate