Setting ground rules for using the car

Dear Readers: Do your kids or grandkids ask to borrow your car? Establishing rules for them is a good idea. Here are some hints:

* No cellphone use, including talking (except hands-free), no texting and no taking pictures or shooting video while driving.

* Make sure insurance policies are up to date and other drivers are covered.

* Let them know they need to bring the car back as clean as they found it.

* Smoking should be a no-no.

* Keep the radio volume low; hearing emergency vehicles and other sounds of the street is necessary.

* Teach your kids to be responsible drivers. Driving is a privilege; it is not a right. — Heloise


Dear Readers: I live alone, so I often find myself talking to myself out loud. It seems to help me focus on what I’m doing at that moment, so that I tread carefully over the throw rug in the den, and remember to lock the doors, turn off the stove or shut off the sprinkler. — Helen in California

Helen, we all talk to ourselves at times. I’m for whatever it takes to keep our lives running smoothly. — Heloise


Dear Readers: If you’re wondering how to turn kitchen scraps into beneficial mulch for your yard or garden, a compost pile is the answer.

An easy way to begin is to think about layers and to remember: alternate BROWN and GREEN. In a small spot in the yard, start off with a layer of fruit peels and vegetable trimmings. Then add a brown layer of soil, then eggshells, coffee grounds and used tea bags. Moisten with a small amount of water.

Next, a green layer: grass clippings and pulled weeds. Now, back to brown: cardboard boxes, wood chips and more of the brown items listed above. Continue layering.

After about two weeks, turn the pile with a pitchfork. When it looks like mulch, it’s ready for the flowerbed, garden and around the trees. — Heloise

P.S.: What doesn’t go into the compost pile? Meat, bones, grease and dairy.


Dear Heloise: I run a soap sliver over the runners of my kitchen drawers if they get slow or sticky. — Pamela in Maryland

Readers: an old candle will work, too. — Heloise


Dear Readers: We carry our handbags everywhere. Have you ever considered how grimy and germy the handles and bottoms of handbags can get after coming into contact with surfaces of public restrooms, restaurants, doctors’ offices, grocery stores, etc.?

To clean a leather or faux leather (but not suede) purse, use a hand-sanitizing towelette to wipe it down, or use hand sanitizer on a tissue, focusing your attention on the bag’s handles and bottom. Let it dry thoroughly.

If your handbag is fabric, wipe it down with a microfiber cloth or terry-cloth towel moistened with rubbing alcohol. Don’t use this method on delicate fabrics like silk or linen, or anything hand-painted. — Heloise


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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