Dear Heloise: Please tell your readers that if they are going to a foreign country, it's always wise to learn a few COMMON PHRASES in that country's language, such as "Thank you," "Where is the restroom?" and "Do you know where (___) is located?" A few simple phrases can make your trip easier and even help you make friends in a foreign country. - Gina J., High Point, N.C.

Dear Heloise: I wish people would remove their backpacks or move them to the front of their body while riding on a subway or train. It's rude and annoying to wear a backpack while on public transportation because it bumps into people. - Martin B., Ellwood City, Pa.

Dear Heloise: My neighborhood has had an incident of mail theft, which involved several homes. I informed the mail carrier, post office and the homeowners association. This is what I was told:

• Occasionally, a piece of mail may go astray, but if it keeps happening, start investigating.

• Beware of a phony change of address. Thieves have begun to use phony change-of-address cards at the post office. The U.S. Postal Service will send you a letter of validation to make sure it was YOU who requested the new address.

• If mail goes missing, alert your neighbors and homeowners association. You also will need a paper trail, so fill out paperwork with the police. Be sure to set a fraud alert with Equifax, Experian or TransUnion.

• Consider going paperless and getting as much of your mail online as possible.
Mail theft places your finances, home and identity in jeopardy. - Rich in Houston


Dear Readers: According to the Heart Foundation, people mistreat their heart health. If you want to live a long, healthy life, see your kids grow up and see your grandchildren come into this world, this is what you need to do:

1. Don't smoke, not even occasionally.

2. Have your blood pressure checked two or three times a year. If your doctor says you need medication, take it. High blood pressure is called the "silent killer."

3. Manage your diabetes and your cholesterol.

4. Use less salt, and limit your alcohol use.

5. Maintain a healthy weight and stay active. Walk more and drive less.

6. Take good care of your teeth and gums. You'll fight periodontal disease, which affects the heart, by maintaining healthy gums.
Also, try to learn to relax. Think happy thoughts, and your heart will be healthier. - Heloise


Dear Heloise: I've taught school since the mid-'90s, and on Parent-Teacher Night, I always ask parents if they help their kids with their homework. Note that I said "help," not do it for them. Parental involvement is essential, but no parent helps their children by doing their work for them. - Mrs. W. in Washington


Dear Heloise: My wife and I differ on how one should dispose of eggshells. She says that you should not put the shells in the disposal. I disagree and feel that you can.
I heard some time back that you can sharpen the blades of the disposal by grinding clamshells or oyster shells in it. An eggshell should be no problem. Who's right? - Pete, via email
Pete, let's take a crack at settling this argument. The eggshell has a fibrous lining that can wrap itself around the blades of the disposal. Eggshells should go in the compost pile and not in the garbage disposal. If you don't compost, then the trash is the best place for eggshells.
As for sharpening the blades, every so often, freeze vinegar into cubes and toss a handful of them down the running disposal. Vinegar is a workhorse all over the house - it's cheap, readily available and safe. I've compiled a collection of my favorite vinegar hints in a handy pamphlet. Would you like to receive one? It's easy! Visit to order, or send a stamped (70 cents), self-addressed, long envelope, along with $5, to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. A few orange peels also can freshen the disposal. - Heloise


Dear Heloise: After spending six hours on a jet, I feel compelled to write. When flying, please don't grab the seat in front of you to assist in standing up.
Stand using your armrests for support. Also, your child kicking the seat in front of them is a no-no. - Pat, via email

(c)2019 by King Features Syndicate Inc.