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A special place for that extra key

Dear Heloise: About a week ago I lost my house key. It was a frustrating moment when I discovered I couldn’t get into my house. A locksmith charged me $100 to open my door and to make a new house key for me. I never wanted this to happen again, so I put an extra house key in an empty pill bottle with a tight lid, and hot glued a stone on top. I buried it in my garden. The only thing above ground is the stone. I never have to worry about being locked out again. — Karen in Massachusetts

A COUPLE OF HINTS

Dear Heloise: I go swimming a couple of times a week and always rinse out my swimsuit and swim shoes when I get home. I find that putting a little vinegar in the water gets rid of the chlorine smell in the suit and shoes.

Another hint that helps me when I sew is to slip a piece of white paper under the presser foot on the machine when threading the needle. The reflection of light from the white paper makes the needle’s eye more visible and easier to see. — Annie in Nebraska

BALANCING ACT

Dear Heloise: If you feel unsteady when getting out of bed during the night or first thing in the morning, or when standing up from a chair or couch, just push your calves back against the bed or chair to steady yourself before you continue on. — Linda Y., via email

LAMINATE ­COUNTERTOPS

Dear Heloise: Just read a comment from a reader in a recent column concerning dull laminate countertops. Having had the same problem with my cream-colored countertop, I discovered the dye in a printed paper towel was transferring to the laminate. I used a weak bleach solution to remove the dye. No problem since. — Sharon in Ohio

Sharon, I’m glad this worked for you, and it’s probably OK that you used this weak solution once. But I consulted with one of the largest manufacturers of laminated countertops in America, and they DO NOT recommend using bleach on a laminated countertop. In fact, they said all harsh chemicals should be avoided. Continual use of bleach will damage the finish on just about any laminated countertop or laminated flooring. — Heloise

CONTROLLED SNACKING

Dear Heloise: Overeating is way too easy to do — for me, anyway. So, when I get home from shopping, I make single-serving goodie bags by putting my favorite snacks into resealable, plastic snack bags. No more bingeing from the cookie or chip bag. — Rita in North Dakota

TRASH BAGS AT THE READY

Dear Heloise: This is a simple hint, but I have found that it’s timesaving and just makes sense. In the trash containers around the house, I always have extra bags ready and waiting in the bottom of the trash container. When I empty the trash, I just have to reach down and grab the next bag. — Ginny in Texas

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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.

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