Dear Readers: Here are some SOUND OFF comments from readers:

A reader in South Dakota wrote, “I am so tired of perfect strangers asking me ‘How are you?’ as they wait on me, be it at the checkout in the grocery store or a checkout in a mall store ... wherever.”

A reader from Nebraska wrote: “When checking out at the grocery store or other large retailers, I am routinely asked ‘Did you find everything?’ You can respond with ‘No,’ to which the cashier has a look of panic and does not know what to say or do. The customers in line behind are inconvenienced while a response is generated.”

Readers, when they ask, tell them! If you have the time, they will try to find it for you. -- Heloise



P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE



Dear Heloise: Do any of your readers have any ideas of what to do with an old set of encyclopedia books? I have a 1964 set, in great condition and with lots of still-relevant information, but I cannot find any organization or library that can use it. It goes against my nature to just throw away the books. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. -- Sharyn, via e-mail

Why not try a secondhand bookstore? It might take a donation or even give you a little money for them. Book collectors often shop at secondhand stores looking for great finds, like a classic set of encyclopedias. Readers, do you have any other ideas? -- Heloise


Dear Readers: Uses for small scoops from powdered drinks:

* Sprinkles dispenser for cupcakes.

* Scoop food for small pets, like birds.

* Measure bath salts.

* Handy kitchen tool.

* A child’s bath toy.

-- Heloise


Dear Heloise: My boyfriend and I were visiting his aunt’s home when he accidentally knocked over a red candle. Wax splattered on the carpet. I remembered a trick my grandma taught me. Heat up an iron (low heat — Heloise) and place a paper towel or a brown paper bag over the wax. Place the iron on the bag and SLOWLY rub. This took about 20 minutes, but all the wax came up and left the carpet like new. -- Carpet Saver in Nebraska

You were right to reach for the iron. Just remember, before using it, that the wax must be DRY AND COOL first. Also, use only the LOW heat setting on the iron. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I found an easy way to store my ponytail holders. I took one of my husband’s carabiners and looped all of them through it. This keeps them contained and easily accessible. I am no longer searching the house for a lost ponytail holder. -- Rebecca, via e-mail


Dear Heloise: When selecting trousers, my husband has difficulty seeing the difference between the colors navy blue and black. To remedy this situation, I write the color in permanent marker on the inner part of the front pockets. Problem solved. -- Debra in Ohio

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