Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about the size of comforter sets. Ruthi S. wrote: “I just purchased a new queen-size comforter set that is too short for the bed.

“A king size would be too wide, so that is not an option. It seems that mattresses are getting thicker and thicker, and the comforters are getting smaller and smaller.

“When I compared this new one to the one I am currently using, the new one is at least nine inches shorter. If the manufacturers think they are saving money by using less material, they need to realize that they also are losing sales over this practice.’’

Ruthi S., Martinsburg, W.Va.

Ruthi S.: Thanks for sharing your comment! This is an ongoing problem. The old saying “The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing’’ applies here.

Yes, mattresses are getting “thicker’’; thus, older sheets, bedspreads and comforters do not fit properly. As to the comforter manufacturers, there is a vast amount of difference in dimension! The only thing I can say is, measure your mattress, including height, before shopping for bedding.

When we got adjustable beds (which I love, by the way), I had to resort to making a bedspread! It’s a good thing I can sew, or we’d be using two queen bedspreads.

Dear Readers: Other uses for old leather belts (additional holes may be needed):

1. As an earring holder.

2. To hold barrettes or hair clips.

3. Hang from a wall to display commemorative pins.

4. Wrap around a pot plant to add some flair.

5. As a purse or camera strap.

Dear Heloise: I am a retired school nurse. I used to gather unclaimed garments at the end of the school year, take them home and wash them. I would keep whatever I thought I may use in the upcoming year. Students may need clothing I salvaged.

The extra I would take to places in town that distribute clothing. You’d be surprised at the quality of some of the items. I always had use for the items, as students had “accidents’’ during the year, and parents could not be reached. I could furnish jeans, or a jacket if it turned cold.

I don’t know if school policy would allow this anymore, but it sure came in useful for me when I worked.

Margie M., Kerrville, Tex.

Margie M.: You are one special person! Yes, schools do need extra clothing for students who may have a mishap, tear something, get sick, etc. Readers, check with schools in your area to see if they need clothing. This is a prefect service project for a school club.

Dear Heloise: To get my great-grandchildren to wash their hands long enough, I put a few drops of food coloring into the liquid hand wash. They have to keep washing until the running water comes clear.

Helen L., Abbot, Tex.

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, or email it to

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