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Dear Readers: Today’s SOUND OFF is about insensitive neighbors:
“Dear Heloise: Our neighbor recently acquired a dog. Our houses are close together. This large dog is left outside in a pen to bark and bark and bark all day. It’s awful. Why do dog owners think that this is OK? All our neighbors are retired and home all day.” - C.J., Garrettsville, Ohio
C.J., it’s not OK, and in many cities it’s against the law. Have you spoken to your neighbor about this problem? If nothing is done about it, you’ll have no choice other than to call the police and complain that your neighbor has a dog that continually barks. Dogs need interaction with people and crave attention, so your neighbor really needs to bring the dog inside rather than leaving it in the backyard and letting it bark all day. To get a pet and then ignore it is actually a form of abuse. - Heloise
Dear Readers: Things NOT to put in a compost pile:
• Diseased plants - fungus or bacteria may grow in the compost.
• Sawdust - the wood may have been treated.
• Bread products, meat or bones, cooking oil, rice or milk products.
• Heavily coated or printed paper.
SHRINKING CAKE MIXES
Dear Heloise: I have several recipes that list a box of cake mix as an ingredient. However, they specify 18 1/4 ounces, while all I can find are 15 1/4 ounces. I have thought of keeping an extra box so I can add what I am missing, but I need to know how much dry measure of cake mix would equal an ounce. - Gayle in Monroe, La.
Gayle, roughly 2 teaspoons equal 1 dry ounce. It’s a good idea to keep an extra box of the specific cake mix around to make up the difference. And if you bake a lot, keep a box of white cake mix on hand. Be sure to store the leftover cake mix in an airtight container. - Heloise
Dear Heloise: My mother-in-law keeps telling me to use banana peels in my garden to help my plants grow. Does this really work? -- Briana in Winslow, Ind.
Brianna, your mother-in-law is right! One way is to simply boil the peelings from two or more bananas in about a gallon of water for five minutes. Put the entire mixture in the refrigerator in a covered container for two days, then water your plants with this nutrient-rich tea.
Another method is to cut up the peelings and add them to the root system of the plant as it’s being planted. The banana peel decays and feeds the plant in the process.
A third method is to dry out the peelings, then grind them up (maybe in a blender) and add this to the soil as a fertilizer. - Heloise
JUST A REMINDER
Dear Readers: Sometimes it’s easy to forget, but your pet should NEVER be left in a hot car during these warm summer days and nights. In many states it’s against the law. - Heloise
Beware a dryer fire!
Dear Readers: DRYER FIRES? They are a real possibility. Here are some hints to help avoid a fire:
• Inspect the outside exhaust vent two to three times per year. Lint and debris can build up in there. The cover should open and close freely. The exhaust vent may be on the roof.
• Clean the duct going from the dryer to the wall with a vacuum or lint brush once a month.
• Run the dryer only when you are at home and awake.
Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning company may offer a professional inspection once a year for a fee. Look into it. - Heloise
TALK TO THE DOC
Dear Readers: Here’s another letter this week about labels on medication. - Heloise
“Dear Heloise: In regard to a recent letter from Leslie in Houston, pharmacists can only put on the labels what the doctor writes on the prescription. We’re NOT to assume anything. There’s a diabetes medication that’s used for PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), and some meds used for erectile dysfunction are also used for blood pressure.
“When the pharmacist consults with you, we ask, ‘What did the doctor tell you this is for?’ and we consult from there. The person that Leslie needs to talk to is the doctor.” - Kellee L., Thousand Oaks, Calif.
A WRINKLE IN TIME?
Dear Readers: Workouts for the body are surely beneficial, but what about a workout for the face? Facial yoga is a new trend; exercise for the face can rev up circulation and strengthen facial muscles and skin over time.
Part of getting older is the loss of muscle tone, and this can show in the face. Exercises that increase the fullness of the cheeks will make the whole face appear firmer and fresh.
Look online for some facial yoga workouts, and combine them with your regular skin care and sunblock routines. - Heloise
Dear Heloise: I don’t use salad tongs to toss salad, only to serve it. The tongs can be rough and can tear the lettuce leaves. I toss the salad with my hands. - Minnie R. in Texas
Dear Heloise: Whenever I prepare for my return trip home, I always wipe down the soles of all my shoes with disposable antibacterial wipes before placing them in a plastic bag and packing them back in my suitcase. This prevents any dirt and germs from getting on my other items. - Debbie in New Hampshire
(c)2019 by King Features Syndicate Inc.