Today’s Sound Off is about small print:

Dear Heloise: I'm beginning to see a trend in printed materials that concerns me. I've noticed recently that publications such as magazines and catalogues are using an extremely small typeface that is practically impossible to read.

I noticed this in a recent issue of a well-known women's magazine. Almost the whole magazine was printed with this tiny typeface. Just looking at the pages gave me a headache. I also noticed this in a couple of catalogues (fortunately, only on the order forms) and even in a recent coupon flier. Some of the print in these publications is so small that you need a magnifying glass.

This is a new thing; the print has never been this small before. I'm pretty sure it's not just my eyes. Why are they suddenly using such small type? Are they trying to force readers to look at everything online?

— Kathy in Nevada

Dear Readers: Here are new uses for old tennis balls:

● Squeeze to improve the strength in your hands.

● Cut in half, fill with beer and place in the garden to kill slugs.

● Roll under your feet for a foot massage.

● Hang one from a tree limb and use to practice your swing.

● Hang from the garage ceiling as a parking guide.

● Cut a slit in them and put them on two walker legs to make for smoother movement.

Dear Heloise: I had to apply some tough love to get clutter out of my house. My three boys would drag home all sorts of junk that just sat around their rooms, the basement or garage.

I gave them one week to sort through it all and either put it all somewhere out of sight or throw out broken or other useless cluttery things. No one took me seriously, I guess, because they didn't do it.

After a couple of reminders were ignored, I told them if they didn't do it, I would, and I did. So, one long weekend while they were off fishing with their father, I went through the house and started tossing things out. What an improvement!

Someday, my boys will probably get married, and I expect them to help their mates maintain a clean, clutter-free home. This all happened five years ago, and I've had no problems with them since then.

— Marilyn in New Mexico

Dear Heloise: When I make cupcakes, I scoop the batter out of the bowl with a ladle. One scoop fills the paper baking cups perfectly!

— Phyllis H., Merrimack, N.H.

Phyllis H.: This is such a neat and precise way to make a messy job easier!

Dear Heloise: When facing a foggy bathroom mirror after you shower, it is most effective (faster) to use your hair dryer to blow across the surface rather than straight on.

— KM, Gerrardstown, W.Va.

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