Dear Heloise: I’d like to suggest to your readers to ask their school-age children if their school collects and uses “BOX TOPS FOR EDUCATION” coupons. These are found on many products and earn money to buy necessary school supplies. Schools that use these will be grateful for more.

Also, I’ve always had difficulty trying to measure, cut and apply shelf paper. My hint has been very helpful for me. I bought self-sticking vinyl floor tiles. They are easy to measure and cut with a box cutter; plus, they are easy to wipe clean. I now have my shelves and drawers lined with vinyl. Works great!

Keep up your great column in the San Antonio Express-News. I really enjoy reading every one of them. -- Patsy F. Shinn in San Antonio

Patsy, I’m glad you enjoy my column. I’m happy to pass along your hint about the box tops! Readers, start saving them, and give them to the school of your choice. -- Heloise


Dear Readers: Dorothy Shaulis in the Shanksville/Berlin area of Pennsylvania sent a photo of her beautiful blue point Siamese cat that she adopted from a shelter two years ago. Dorothy says: “She was about 9 months old when we adopted her. She loves to crawl under the covers on the bed in my sewing room and take her afternoon nap. She does this herself. I walked in one afternoon, saw her sleeping and ran to get my camera. She is a real sweetie, and I love her!”

To see this “sleeping beauty,” visit my Web site,, and click on “Pets.” -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: After purchasing many artificial flowers for table decorations at a fundraiser, the question was how to secure the flowers in their paper-bag “vases.” At our local dollar store, we got cans of play clay, which were perfect to weight the flowers. Afterward, we put the lids back on and stored everything for the next party (although one volunteer kept a couple for her grandchildren!).

Another hint: I travel with a small bath towel. The towel has been used as a lightweight blanket for a nap, a “picnic blanket,” to dry washed items and to lie on while doing floor exercises. -- J. Brandt, Salem, Ore.


Dear Heloise: I have a lot of earrings! I wanted to separate them by color and easily find them when getting dressed.

I use small boxes where the sides are suitable for hanging earrings, and I hang the wire loops over the edge of each side of the box. The earrings I cannot hang, I lay them in the bottom of the same-colored box. I also have several long boxes where I store bracelets by color. I hang up my necklaces. I place the like-colored jewelry boxes in the same drawers of my dresser, which makes my jewelry easy to locate. -- Paddie McCarty, via e-mail

Send a 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.

, King Features Syndicate