Handling the unbearable stink of smelly shoes

Dear Heloise: My husband has a problem with his shoes: They SMELL TERRIBLE. How can I get his shoes to smell better? — C.H. in Arizona

This is a common problem in the summer. First, if the inside soles can be removed, take them out. Dampen the bottom inside of the shoes using a hand sanitizer or disinfecting spray, then let the shoes dry overnight. This should help. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: My wife and I want to retire in France in a few years. We’re a little nervous about a few things, such as buying a home, banking, medical care, etc. How safe is it to move from the U.S. to another country in retirement? — Doug and Alice R., Blaine, Minn.

Doug and Alice, first, Medicare will not pay for your medical bills outside of the U.S. However, keep your Medicare, because you have the option of returning to the U.S. without paying the Medicare premiums, which usually follows a lapse in coverage. Banking is generally safe, although some countries do not have Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. insurance found in U.S. banks. Rent for about six months to a year before you buy a place, to make certain you really want to live in that country. If you decide to purchase a place of your own, consult first with a lawyer who specializes in real estate laws. Buying property is usually different in foreign countries, so make certain you understand what you’re getting into before you make that commitment. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: After boiling eggs, I use the cooled water on my houseplants. Egg water is rich with growth-stimulating minerals. Also, in winter, melt snow at room temperature and water your houseplants with this mineral-packed water. — Gillian B., Orem, Utah


Dear Heloise: When we go to the lake for the day, I always use an old beach towel for a tablecloth. It’s easy to launder. And I also use a thin flannel sheet as a table pad. It’s less expensive than a table pad but works just as well. — Lorelei A. in Arkansas


Dear Heloise: After receiving greeting cards, I tear off the page where the sentiment is written and use the other page for a grocery list. It is sturdy, and I reuse it rather than discard it. — Rose-Marie T., Ontario, Calif.


Dear Heloise: I secure small nails to my hammer with a rubber band so they are convenient when I need to hang a picture. No more searching for nails! — Letty R. in San Antonio


Hints from Heloise run occasionally in Lifestyles. Readers may send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE, or email: Heloise@Heloise.com. Letters won’t be answered personally.