Posted: July 25, 2013 at 2:39 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: I just had the frightening experience of needing to evacuate my home because of a fast-moving brush fire.

As soon as I saw the smoke and firemen, I gathered our five cats and put them in a small bathroom. I got out the cat carriers and got the cats loaded and stacked by the front door. Before I could gather up anything else, a fireman was insisting that I had to leave immediately.

If the cats weren’t already in their carriers, I would have had to leave them. They would have been hiding, and I never would have been able to get a hold of them.

Thank goodness all was well, and we all returned to our home that evening, but my ordeal would have been much worse if I had been worried about the cats’ safety.

  • Judy W., Monrovia, Calif.

DEAR HELOISE: Cut brownies that have cooled four to five minutes with a serrated plastic knife for clean-cut squares. Any of the disposable tableware types will do. I discovered this several years ago, but have never seen it in print.

  • Carmen White, Clearfield, Pa.

DEAR HELOISE: Now that summer is here, I am looking forward to hanging my clothes outside on the line. It saves money, and I just love hanging the clothes up while enjoying the sun and warmth!

I live in the snow belt, and we have a very short summer. For those people who would like to hang clothes outside but think they don’t have the time, you could hang them out in the afternoon or early evening and then take them down the next day. Even if it should rain overnight, it won’t hurt. It actually adds to the wonderful fresh smell.

  • Colleen in Pennsylvania

DEAR HELOISE: Each year, a ritual of separating my daily planner is carried out.The pages are torn out and shredded, or sensitive material is marked out. The binding and covers are recycled.

  • Margarette in Texas

DEAR HELOISE: I took our old grill, after the elements had burned out, and made it into a planter. It works great, especially for me, as I have a hard time bending down. It can be wheeled around wherever you’d like some color.

  • Dave, via email

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

Weekend, Pages 36 on 07/25/2013