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Dear Heloise: For holidays, I like to get my kids involved in making decorations for the house or table. We spray-paint pine cones gold and use them as place card holders. My son also likes to draw scenes with pilgrims and various animals on a large sheet of paper, which I then take to an office-supply store and have laminated for place mats. For a front-door decoration, I buy a grapevine wreath from a hobby store, and the kids glue leaves, pine cones, acorns and other natural items on it. By getting them to help with the overall look of the house, it engages them in the holiday spirit. - Meg L., Niles, Mich.
FRUIT JUICE STAINS
Dear Heloise: My kids love fresh fruit juices, but my 5-year-old and 7-year-old boys often spill some on their clothing. They've ruined several light-colored shirts already, so before they ruin any more, how can I get the juice stains out? - Meghan A., Boulder, Colo.
Meghan, immediately soak the stained area in cold water. If any stain remains, rub liquid laundry detergent into the area while still wet and launder in warm water and detergent.
Unfortunately, stains are a fact of life. My pamphlet Heloise's Handy Stain Guide for Clothing can help you with instructions on what to do with everyday stains. To receive a copy, send $5, along with a stamped (70 cents), self-addressed, long envelope, to: Heloise/Stains, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Or you can order it online at www.Heloise.com. You'll even find a section on understanding care labels and special-care laundering hints. - Heloise
A month of calendars
Dear Heloise: I've been getting a lot of 2020 WALL CALENDARS from nonprofits that I can't use. It seems a shame to throw them out -- I'd rather give them away. Do you know who could use them? - Carol B., Westminster, Calif.
Carol, yes, 'tis the season for calendars, and many of the pictures are so beautiful. How about schools, youth and church groups, day care centers or senior centers? The card stock is wonderful quality, and these groups can make puzzles, flashcards, bookmarks, etc., from the calendars, and even frame the pretty pictures. The number part of the calendar can be used to teach the holidays, counting, spelling, etc. - Heloise
Dear Heloise: My family goes skiing frequently in winter. I keep a scrapbook, and I use postcards from the places we go to, along with our photos. I look for something pretty that has the name of the resort or town. On the back of the photos I write the date we were there and the name of the person or people in the photographs. - Sonja Y., Clover Creek, Wash.
Sonja, that's a good idea. I like to collect a business card or takeout menu from restaurants I dine at so I can remember where I ate, especially if the meal was very good. - Heloise
Dear Readers: Ever purchase an electronics item online, then have an issue with it? Most of us have. Read the warranty card that is included with the item. It will, more often than not, refer you to the company website to download and read the instruction manual, operating manual and troubleshooting tips, which should help.
Most companies have these online nowadays to save paper. If you need a hard copy, call the company. The number should be printed on the warranty card. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: If you have a garage door that has windows, you can buy a frosted film at your home-improvement store and cover the windows from the inside for security. - Nancy P. in San Antonio
A FEW OF MY OWN
Dear Heloise: I use shinguards so rocks don't hit me when I'm using the string trimmer on weeds and grass. Secondly, I have moved my son twice, and I use plastic totes instead of moving boxes. After the move, they can be used for storage in his house. Finally, I use an air compressor to clean out my vacuum filter.
Also, do you publish the hints somewhere on the internet? - Brenda, via email
Brenda, thanks for your email and great hints. Check out www.Heloise.com for lots of my tried-and-true hints. - Heloise
PAYING MY DUE
Dear Heloise: I have a problem with a couple of my friends. They mean well, but they have caused a dilemma for me. On occasion, I need to obtain a service from one of them, not knowing where else to go. They comply with what I need, and I thank them profusely, then I ask them for their bill. They say, "Oh, no, for friends and family, I don't charge." That's nice, but it puts me on the spot. Please advise these good Samaritans that "Business is business." I want to pay my due. - An Upset Lady in Orlando, Fla.
Yes, this can be an awkward situation. If they still insist on no payment, suggest they donate the money to charity. - Heloise
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