Posted: December 21, 2013 at 3:37 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: After losing our 12-year-old cat, my daughter surprised me with a 6-week-old kitten.

I brought “my” kitten home after being spayed and microchipped. The instructions were to try to keep her from jumping. To keep her from trying to leap on and off the bed, I placed a two step step stool next to one side of the bed. I only needed to show her once how to walk up and down, and she has been using it ever since.

  • L.W., via email

DEAR HELOISE: I recently purchased a large bag of coffee beans at a local big box store. I forgot to grind the beans in their grinder. Realizing that it would take forever to grind with my little coffee grinder, I used my food processor’s short metal blade and was able to grind the coffee to just the way we like.

  • Jackie H. in Texas

DEAR READER: I’ve done the same thing when I received some coffee beans as a gift. I used my blender, and it did the job. Coffee is such a tasty drink, with so many types to choose from and different ways to flavor it.

DEAR HELOISE: Another idea for parents taking children to amusement parks, zoos, etc.: If the child is given a wristband, write your cellphone number on it. If not, make sure the child knows the number. If the child is separated from the parents, she should look for another mother with children and ask that mom to call the parents. We always say to find an employee, but often they’re not readily accessible. There always are mothers around who will help. A friend’s pediatrician recommended this.

  • Grandmother of Seven, via email

DEAR HELOISE: After replacing a TV remote control (iced tea was spilled on it) I came up with an idea that works: Wrap your remote controls in plastic wrap, and they will be safe from spills.

  • Helen B. in Florida

DEAR READERS: Have you ever been to an event where they were giving away plastic fluorescent (glow-in-the-dark) key rings to advertise their business or venture?

Usually these are just thrown in a junk drawer. If you have a closet or other room with a pull string for a light, attach one of these to the string. Finding it in the dark is a breeze, and you are reusing the key ring.

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 Heloise@Heloise.com

HomeStyle, Pages 36 on 12/21/2013


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