Dear Readers: The following letter was one of many that were sent to the Lubbock (Texas) Avalanche-Journal, which runs my column. I was there for a speech for the Lubbock Women’s Club, and we had a Hints for Heloise contest. When I was at the paper for a meet-and-greet with several readers, Shelly was one of them. It was wonderful to see her again and know that a friendly “challenge” about a cholesterol blood test helped her go see her doctor. I was speaking the previous time for an American Heart Association women’s health fair and luncheon. Please read on. -- Heloise

“Through the years, I have read and used so many Heloise Hints. But several years ago, Heloise was in Lubbock on a speaking engagement. My store provided the books that were being sold for the benefit.

“Heloise and I were talking, and the nurses came in to check our cholesterol. She turned to me and said, ‘I will if you will.’ When I got the results, I contacted my doctor and have been treated for my cholesterol. It probably would have been some time before I had this done or was treated.” -- Shelly Gonzales, via e-mail



P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE



Dear Heloise: As a business professional, I do a lot of traveling. After a long day, I prefer eating dinner in my room. There often is not a table that will accommodate my meal. One evening, as I got out the hotel ironing board to prepare my clothes for the next day’s meeting, I realized that the answer had been with me on every trip. I now use the ironing board as my meal space. -- Sandy, via e-mail


Dear Readers: Did you know that you might be able to edit images on your smartphone? You usually can fix red eyes, crop photos and even rotate them. When an image is selected, an edit button should appear, which is what happens with most of the phones at Heloise Central. Click the button and a tool bar will appear at the bottom of your screen. While not a broad selection of tools, you still can improve photos. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I spray-painted several large, plastic containers of cat litter, drilled holes in the bottom and planted tomatoes in them. They did great! -- Pam from Arizona

What a great idea! And painting them allows you to match any color scheme. Readers, what do you think? How do you reuse your large plastic tubs? Write and let me know. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: My husband is always losing buttons off his shirts and pants. He usually discovers they’re missing as he is getting dressed. I now keep a pincushion in my dressing area with pre-threaded needles that have various colors for such situations. We easily can grab a needle and sew a button back on quickly. No waiting and potentially forgetting about it. -- Jan in North Dakota

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