Helpful Hints

DEAR READERS: Ever wonder what to do with those empty, amber pill bottles you get from your pharmacy? First, remove the labels with your information, and wash them thoroughly. After they dry, you can use them in a number of ways:

• They're handy to keep in your car to store change for tolls, meters or parking garages.

• They can hold toothpicks and dental floss for those times when you can't rush home to remove something stuck in your teeth.

• Cat toy: Place a small rock or bell inside and secure the cap with glue. The pill bottle makes enough noise to entertain a cat, and easily can roll across the floor.

• Drill a few holes in the bottom of the container, then spray a cotton ball with perfume and place in a drawer to keep everything smelling nice.

• Store salt and pepper packets for brown-bag lunches.

DEAR HELOISE: I will sometimes fall asleep with my arms raised over my head, which causes my arms and hands to fall asleep. When I mentioned this to my mother, she told me to gently rock my head from side to side, and this would quickly restore feeling in my arms and hands. It works. As long as the numbness isn't caused by something serious, it should work every time. If the numbness is prolonged or recurring, you need to see a physician.

-- Susan H., Kokomo, Ind.

DEAR HELOISE: I teach at a college, and I've noticed that so many students turn in papers that haven't been proofread, the content isn't cohesive, and spellcheck must have been turned off. I have some suggestions for your college (and high school) students to help them improve their essays:

• Use spellcheck.

• Print your essay and manually go over it slowly and carefully.

• Ask yourself if it's easy to read and understand.

• Review the introduction. It sets the tone of your essay.

• Check each paragraph. Eliminate irrelevant words and statements. Each idea must transition to the next.

• Check the conclusion to make sure it's polished to the best of your ability.

• Read your essay aloud. You'll discover better ways to express an idea.

• Follow the requirements and rules of the assignment. Abide by the word count.

• Fact-check.

-- Ann W. in Denver

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email


ActiveStyle on 05/29/2017

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