Dear Heloise: A CREDIT-CARD HINT: When it’s returned to you in a restaurant, be sure to check the name on it. My credit card was returned to me without my checking the name on it. Four days later, the bank called me and told me my card was canceled. Seems there were two identical cards from the same bank presented at the restaurant at the same time. The waiter mixed them up.

The other person noticed it and called the bank! It all got straightened out, new cards were issued, and charges were removed from my account.

And now for a password hint:

Make up a phrase that has significance for you, and use the first letter of each word. “Hitn14hh” -- do you know where that comes from? “Heloise is the number 1 for household hints.” Or “Bitn1w4m” -- “Barbara is the number 1 wife for me.” Both contain a capital letter and at least one number and are eight or more characters long! -- Bob in Houston

Bob, thanks for the good security hints! Read on for another follow-up to the password-hints column. Jon C. of San Antonio says: “I read your column on passwords. My hint is to create a password SENTENCE, instead of a single word. You create an easy-to-remember sentence, such as ‘My dog is 4 years old,’ and you type it without the spaces. This phrase would become a password of ‘Mydogis4yearsold.’ It is easy to remember, but almost unbreakable.”

Keep it safe and simple! -- Heloise


Hi, Heloise: When my child got a minor scratch while in the car, I pulled out the only thing I had -- some lip balm -- and put it on. It seemed to work. Mosquito bite? Lip balm on it immediately. No itch. -- Sharon G., via e-mail

Well, you did the best you could at the time, but lip balm is meant for chapped lips only. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: An elementary-teacher friend has her students bring in the preprinted return envelopes their families get from all the credit-card solicitations, magazines, etc., and uses them for lunch money, notes home and more. Saves money and repurposes those envelopes. -- J.D. in Michigan


Dear Heloise: When we were children, there was a saying: “Find a penny, pick it up and all the day you’ll have good luck!” Whenever I receive a penny or two at a drive-thru or on the way out of a store, I toss it onto the ground (as “seed”) for the next lucky kid (or big kid!) who needs a little luck to brighten his or her day! -- Debbie, via e-mail


Dear Heloise: Whenever I buy a bedspread or draperies in zippered plastic bags, I keep the bags. They are handy to put crochet projects in. When I want to work on a project, I can easily find it. -- Karen in Illinois

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