Dear Heloise:

Your recent column relating to gift baskets reminded me of something done by the mission group of women at our church.

When there is a death in a family in our community, they take a bereavement basket to them. It includes:

* Paper towels

* Dishwashing soap

* Disposable dishcloths/dish towels

* Paper plates, cups, plastic cutlery

* Toilet tissue

* Plastic wrap, wax paper and aluminum foil

* Hand soap

* Disposable leftover containers.

This allows friends to manage visitors and food brought in before, during and after the funeral. Hope someone finds this helpful.

Evelyn Brown, Little Rock, Ark.

Evelyn, this is a heartwarming hint that I'm pleased to pass along. These are all items that are needed and can be put to good use.

Dear Heloise:

I recently fell and broke my arm. I had a cast from below my elbow to my hand. Showering was no problem, since I used that plastic wrap that seals to itself. It stuck very well and kept my cast nice and dry. My orthopedic doctor was surprised and said no more bread wrappers and duct tape!

Peggy Rateau, Longview, Tex.

Dear Heloise:

I have found a way to help myself not forget about and overcook foods.

I have a timer that has a loud, short ring, and I carry it in my pocket when I'm out of the kitchen. I'm sure to hear it loud and clear!

D.C., Manchester, N.H.

This hint is helpful for anyone with a busy schedule or lots of distractions! When washing clothes, try using a timer to remind you when the washer is done so you can get them into the dryer quicker for fewer wrinkles. Or try one if you are using sprinklers in the yard and need to move them every so often.

Dear Heloise:

I sprinkle talcum powder on my hands and in boxes packed with foam-peanut filler so I can remove the items easily. No frustration and waste of time shaking off the pesky particles of foam.

I always used talcum powder to remove sand from my children's hands.

Maurilia Rodriguez, Houston

Dear Heloise:

When I am going to use my hand mixer, I first fill two glasses with cold water. After I am finished using the mixer, I put each blade in a glass of water and then pour the batter into the baking pan. When it comes to washing the blades, cleanup is very easy.

Phyllis Weisberg

Pembroke Pines, Fla.

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 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)2005, King Features Syndicate