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Hints From Heloise: Lock your bags when going abroad

Dear Heloise: We will be traveling by air to South America. Should we put a LOCK on our checked baggage? -- Sheri in California

Hi, Sheri: The answer is an absolute yes! Heloise Central was referred by the Transportation Security Administration to one of the Department of State’s Web sites, (The TSA has jurisdiction only in the United States.) The State Department recommends that you lock your bags. Use a TSA-approved lock so that it can be opened by the TSA, if necessary. You also may want to carry plastic zip ties (found in home-improvement stores) to secure your bags, especially if going out of the United States.

The State Department also advises people traveling in a foreign country to travel light, and to leave valuables and items that can’t be replaced at home. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I thought that my son would never learn to read. Then an older boy gave him some comic books, and just like a miracle, he started reading. I had the same problem with his younger brother. My husband bought a book about one of the superheroes. It was just like we flipped a switch — he started reading.

I had always read to my children and tried to encourage them, but it was comic books that did the trick. -- Ellen B., Lady Lake, Fla.


Dear Heloise: I like to buy bacon in 1-pound packages when it is on sale, and I use it mostly for seasoning dishes. Since I rarely need a whole package, here’s what I do: Using kitchen shears, I cut across the entire slab into preferred sizes, usually 1-inch sections. I then slip the amount I want (on the cardboard backing) into freezer bags and freeze.

If you want to save freezer bags, place two sections back-to-back in a bag. Simply pull a bag out of the freezer and throw the bacon into the skillet or pot. It thaws very quickly. -- Celeste H., Barclay, Tex.



P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE



Dear Heloise: A friend recently broke her ankle and had to wear a “boot.” It rubbed on her foot and the incision, and, of course, was uncomfortable. She decided to slip a sanitary napkin in there, and it acted as a buffer. She also used a cloth diaper one day, which worked just as well. -- J.M. in Texas


Dear Heloise: While making breakfast, I came up with a new hint! I accidentally overbaked the biscuits a little, so I immediately wrapped them in a damp tea towel and placed them inside a bowl in the microwave (for 30 seconds on medium power -- Heloise). They came out very moist! -- Jolynne G., Anaheim, Calif.


Dear Heloise: Here is a hint about using clothing different ways. I am starting to organize and rearrange a lot of my garments in my closet by color. I have started rediscovering forgotten items that help create new outfits. -- Anna in Virginia

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

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