Dear Heloise: Recently, I read about people looking for a COMPUTER to use without owning one. Here in Gackle, N.D., the community worked together under a grant program assisted by North Dakota State University and provided a computer for the community of 300 residents to use at the local bank.

If users have a question, usually someone is available to assist. Small communities do have opportunities to take advantage of grants when the people step up and get the ball rolling. Gackle was very fortunate to have someone willing to spearhead the project with help from the community.

Many vocational centers and community colleges offer public use of their libraries and computers if they are located close by. -- Ann Knecht, via e-mail

Ann, thanks for writing. Maybe this will get other small communities interested, and they can form a committee and try for a grant for a computer, or there might be a business in the city that would donate one. How about it, folks? -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: We love steamed broccoli but don’t like the smell it gives off while cooking. Do you have any hints for how to eliminate the odor? -- Karen L., Oak Grove, Calif.

Sure do, and I love it, too! When you cook broccoli in a kitchen, turn on the air vent over the stove or open the windows, if weather permits. Turn on ceiling fans to help circulate air.

Or, the old homestyle hint is to place a bowl of vinegar out on the counter near where you cook the broccoli. It’s yet another reason I love vinegar so much and wrote my pamphlet Heloise’s Fantabulous Vinegar Hints and More! To receive a copy, send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (65 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Clean your ceiling fans with full-strength vinegar. It will get rid of dust and any grease (if in the kitchen), and leave the house smelling fresh and clean. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: We have two vehicles from the same manufacturer, with the company logo deeply imprinted on the key fob.

I was always trying to use the wrong key in whichever vehicle I wanted to drive. Nail polish in the color matching each vehicle fixed that. I simply painted in the logo with the proper color for each vehicle. No more guessing! -- Deb, via e-mail


Dear Heloise: Here is a great hint that my wife and I came up with: To help make sure that we get the right credit card returned to us in stores and restaurants, we mark ours either with a permanent marker (me) or nail polish (my wife) in the corner of our cards. At a quick glance, we can make sure someone else doesn’t walk off with our cards! -- Tim and Val in Omaha

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