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Hints From Heloise: Spitting mad

Dear Readers: Here is this week’s SOUND OFF, about spitting in public:

“When I was young, there were public signs saying not to expectorate in public. We used to think the signs were funny, because we thought no one would be vulgar enough to spit in public. Now I frequently see people casually spitting as they’re walking around. Isn’t it still against the law to spit in public places? Is public spitting socially acceptable? Is there any way to discourage what seems to be a growing trend? -- A Concerned Reader, via e-mail”

Yuck! There are laws (in some cities) still on the books about spitting in public from long ago. It’s a disgusting and sickening habit! -- Heloise



P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE



Dear Readers: Here are some unique uses for duct tape:

* Use to temporarily hem a pair of pants.

* Line the bottom of backpacks to make them sturdier.

* Remove lint and pet hair from clothing and furniture.

* Keep in a car trunk for emergency repairs.

* Use to remove thorns or splinters.

-- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I am the caretaker of some old family sterling-silver pieces. Do you have any suggestions to keep them from tarnishing while stored? Where should I keep them? I would appreciate any help you can give. -- Madeline W. in Texas

How lucky to have family keepsakes! To help keep your silver from tarnishing, you want to store it in a container that will keep air out. Your best bet is a cloth-lined chest made for storing silver. The chests usually are lined with a special fabric that keeps your pieces from absorbing air pollutants and sulfur.

If a chest isn’t an option, wrap each piece in acid-free or archival paper. Once wrapped, seal each piece in a plastic, zippered bag. Do not use newspaper, regular tissue paper, plastic wrap or rubber bands, as they can cause harm and discoloration to the pieces.

You also might look into getting anti-tarnish strips or silica-gel packs to store with the silver pieces. DO store them in a temperature-regulated part of the house, like a bedroom closet or even under the bed. DON’T STORE in the attic or basement. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: This possibly could be of help to some of your “stitchers.” Before beginning to cross-stitch a picture, take a couple of minutes to stitch the word “TOP” on the upper edge of your canvas. It is so easy, in the early stages of the picture, to find that you have been stitching in the wrong direction, with so little to go by. Then you have the aggravating job of unpicking your stitches. I learned the hard way! -- Marion W. in San Antonio


Dear Heloise: Following back surgery, I spent a lot of time in bed. My food tray was not quite big enough, so I bought a cookie sheet to use. Now I am better and baking again. -- A Reader in Oregon

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

, King Features Syndicate

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