Dear Heloise: My mother, a Texan born in 1918, first put me onto Hints from Heloise from your mother when I was a young woman, and I’ve been reading Heloise’s columns and books ever since.
In the last few years, I’ve encountered a common problem that probably drives other people crazy, too: care labels printed in white ink inside the backs of dark-colored T-shirts and other garments. Even when these garments are laundered in cold water and dried on “low,” these labels wear off long before the garment does. Then, it’s impossible to decide whether to wash the garment with “darks” or “lights,” or in “warm” or “cold” water.
Although I can understand why some people don’t like tags in their seams, there are ways they could attach or print labels that will last the lifetime of the garment. My husband and I use the best magnifying glass we have to try to read what’s left of a label if possible, and then find an inconspicuous place on the collar or hem of the garment to mark “C” or “W” to indicate wash temperature (cold or warm) and then “L,” “W,” or “LD” to indicate its drying process (low, warm or line dry). Unfortunately, most laundry-marking pens are not available in black.
I hope that manufacturers will pay attention to this. Thank you for making our lives so much easier over the past few years.
— Cynthia E. Lyle, San Antonio, Texas
Dear Heloise: I received a letter complaining about car repair shops scamming women. But they will also try it with men. A catalytic converter was needed to fix my check engine light. I was given an estimate of $2,200.
I am a car enthusiast, so I was able to understand the situation. I went to another mechanic and discovered that the problem was with an EGR valve. The repair cost me $175.
— Gregg Kreamer, Fort Dodge, Iowa
Dear Heloise: I remember laughing at my mother for doing it, but now I do it. Take the box of cereal out of the fridge, shake off the cereal crumbs, then wrap or store your chicken or meat in the bag. You can then put it in the freezer.
For the same purpose, I also use plastic bags for pastas like egg noodles. I store ground beef and chicken breasts in them — easy to squeeze the air out, fold and wrap. Thanks, Mom.
— Valerie Andrukiewicz, Plainville, Conn.
Dear Heloise: After years of using a spoon for cantaloupe seeds (or similar melons) cleaning, I switched to using an ice cream scooper. Works fantastic.
— Dick House, Pinellas Park, Fla.
Dear Heloise: This is one of three kittens. His name is Fletcher. He lived as a stray for several months in our neighborhood, in the rain and cold. I built him a house and lured him into a carrier. Then, we took him to the vet. Long story short, he is a fabulous addition to our family and my husband’s best friend. Here he is enjoying his greens.
— Shari Jameson, via email
Readers, to see Fletcher and our other Pet Pals, go to Heloise.com and click on “Pet of the Week.”
Are you a pet owner who would love to share your furry friend with our readers? Heloise@Heloise.com will send you a photo with a short description.
Heloise at P.O. Postal Box 795001, San Antonio TX 78279-5001 or fax it to 1-210 HELOISE. I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.