Should the toilet lid be up or down?
Dear Heloise: Your column several weeks ago made some suggestions about gift ideas for older family members. In the 1960s, my parents made up a medium-sized box full of grocery items for my great-grandmother. They included single-serving canned vegetables, canned ham, tuna fish and spam. Since she was on a fixed income, this was sincerely appreciated. In the 1990s, my husband and I did the same thing for his mother. Today, there are so many more choices for products to go into a “care” box like this for an elderly adult family member to enjoy. There are just too many to name. Oh, we also topped off each box with a box of chocolates. They both loved the boxes and looked forward to receiving each year until they passed. We enjoyed seeing their eyes light up when they opened the boxes. — Linda Varner, Houston
Dear Heloise: Here’s an idea that I thought you would love. We bought 30 white plates for a dollar a piece 30 years ago, and it saved us so much money over the years when entertaining. And we received so many compliments for not using plastic or paper. Thanks! — Jesse Walters, West Palm Beach, Florida
TOILET LID UP OR DOWN?
Dear Heloise: This is in response to a reader’s comment: “Should toilet lids go up or down?” Toilets have water traps (S or U) to block sewer gases, which have anaerobic bacteria. Hence, it makes sense to keep the lid up, except when flushing after a bowel movement, since feces have far worse bacteria. Fresh urine is sterile; hence, no need to close the lid. — Vittal P. Pyati, Beavercreek, Ohio
CROCK POT TIP
Dear Heloise: Now that the weather is cooler, we enjoy crockpot dinners often. I bought those wonderful crockpot liner bags. Just throw the bag in the trash when the meal is over. Minimal cleanup! The only problem was that we sometimes forgot to use the liners. But I now keep the package of unused liners in the crockpot when stored. Problem solved! This was my husband’s idea. I enjoy your column in the Orange County Register. — Gloria, Mission Viejo, California
MICROWAVE CLEANING WITH VINEGAR
Dear Heloise: I have been putting off cleaning my dirty microwave. I place a bowl of vinegar in and set the time for three minutes. I also brought a long-handle brush with a built-in scraper so I could reach the back. Then, I wrapped a dish cloth around the brush’s end and started to scrub — amazing! The food bits easily started to come off. I am one happy housewife. I read your articles in the Patriot-News. — Shirley Dearing, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
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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.