Dear Heloise:

I recently read the hint from a reader in Ohio about writing the purpose for her medications on the bottles. I have discovered that the pharmacy will add almost anything that can fit on the label if you request it. I now have the pharmacy put what the medication is for (pain, infection, etc.) on the label, along with the specific directions for how to take the medicine. Too often, the pharmacy just puts "take as prescribed," but I don't always remember, so having all the information typed on the bottle makes a big difference. All you have to do is ask!

Carol in Texas

Readers, check with your pharmacy to see if it will provide this service for you. Carol, thanks for passing along this great information.

Dear Heloise:

I am an avid reader of many types of books and authors. I cannot always remember if I have read a book or not. Rather than reading the first few pages or the backside of the book to make a determination, I have purchased a pocket-size address/telephone book, and I list the author alphabetically with the title of the book underneath. This is my way of quick referencing when purchasing a new book. It sure saves time.

Debra A. Carson, Auburndale, Fla.

Dear Heloise:

My elderly aunt, who lives in an assisted-living facility near our home, has begun to lose track of time and often even the seasons. It is very distressing for her. To cheer her up and to also help her keep track of the seasons, I purchase inexpensive seasonal decals, which I put on her apartment-size refrigerator. I have many sets, including Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day. She enjoys the cheerful images, and it is an easy way for her to keep track of the time of the year and helps her look forward to upcoming holidays as well.

To make it easier for her to get dressed in the morning, I put clean underwear, a handkerchief and socks into the pockets of her housedresses and slacks after I do her laundry. This simple task allows my aunt to remain a bit more independent.

Sally Anne Novak, Greensburg, Pa.

Dear Heloise:

If you are hesitant to hide your spare house or apartment key outside, switch keys with a close neighbor -- i.e., place your key under the neighbor's doormat and vice versa. An intruder discovering "your" hidden key will find that it does not open your lock.

Mary, via e-mail

Dear Heloise:

To prevent pencil and pen marks in my purse, I put them in a plastic travel toothbrush case. Works great -- no more lead or ink marks, and it's easier to find the pencils and pens in my purse. I use pencils to make entries in my check register. If I have an error, it's easier to correct.

Mary Herb, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Dear Heloise:

Want to get those grease, sauce and meat splatters and cooking-spray spots off glass bakeware? Just use baking soda and the scrubby side of a sponge. You can make your glass and white bakeware look almost new.

It works pretty well on cookie sheets, too.

Marybeth Bohn, Keller, Tex.

Oven cleaner also works well to clean stubborn spots off ovenware. Just spray the dish liberally and let sit for a few minutes. Then scrub, wash and rinse, and voila -- clean as a whistle!

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