Dear Heloise: I read your column every day — lots of good suggestions. Thanks! A lady wrote in about getting so many CALENDARS at the end of each year and not knowing a good place to take them.

My husband and I work at the veterans hospital in Bonham, Tex., and we take ours up to the veterans. They are pleased to get them. We take from 25 to 60 each year, because people know that we do this and bring over the extra ones they get. If you have a veterans hospital near you, please take yours there! -- Bobby and Louise in Texas

We called the veterans hospital here in San Antonio, and hospital officials agreed that they would gladly accept the calendars. They also accept:

* Toiletry items, like shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, shaving cream, new razors, hairbrushes, combs, toothbrush and toothpaste, etc.

* Books and magazines, although they ask that the magazines be current within the past two months.

* Clothing in good shape, but no underwear or socks unless they are new.

-- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I finally found a way to display my American flag in front of my home while adhering to proper protocol. I placed an individual garden light, which charges with the sunlight during the day, aimed at my flag. It illuminates my red, white and blue at night so I can proudly display it all the time. -- Ali in La Palma, Calif.

A very good hint. One note: The flag should be taken down during inclement weather. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: When preparing food, place all the items that go back in the refrigerator — eggs, milk, butter, sour cream, etc. — together so you can put them all back at once instead of repeatedly opening the refrigerator door. This saves the cooling power, particularly in the hot summer months. -- Ruth Ferris, North Canton, Ohio

Here is another food-preparation hint, from Laura, via e-mail. She says: “I always had a problem with the family not covering their food in the microwave, and there would be a mess! I finally solved this problem by tearing off waxed paper about 5 inches square. I put them in the drawer right next to the microwave. Now, no one has an excuse for not covering his or her food. It works beautifully!”

-- Heloise


Dear Heloise: In order to keep my jewelry organized in my drawer, I use an acrylic, divided vegetable/fruit tray. The sections allow me to separate the bracelets, necklaces and rings that I wear most often. I place earrings in the center section. It keeps everything nice and neat. -- Cindy S., Carmel, Ind.


Dear Heloise: My husband got chewing gum stuck in the deep-textured grip soles on his work boots. He could not get the gum out. Then he spied an old key, and it worked wonderfully to get the gum out. -- A Texas Reader, 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.

2012, King Features Syndicate