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Helpful Hints

Posted: August 28, 2014 at 1:52 a.m.

DEAR READERS: Houseplants help make your home inviting while adding color. Many plants act like little air purifiers without needing electricity. Here are some Heloise hints for how to care for plants at home or in the office:

• When buying plants, make sure there are no bugs and that the overall plant is healthy, with good coloring and undamaged leaves.

• Choose plants depending on the light needed. Many plants thrive in low light as well as bright light. That's why I love ivy. You can hardly go wrong with it. I have a pot that is more than 35 years old, and I just keep trimming it back and it grows like all get-out.

• Keep plants in containers with drainage holes. This helps prevent root rot. Or put small pebbles in the bottom of the pot so that water does not set.

• Clean plant leaves often by dusting them or wiping with a damp cloth.

• Don't over water. This can cause plant death. Put your finger into the soil one-quarter to one-half inch. If it's dry, the plant needs watering.

DEAR HELOISE: I have lots of plastic grocery bags. A neighbor showed me how to fold them into small triangles. Straighten out the bag (Heloise here: especially the handles), fold in half with the handles at the top, then fold again in thirds. Starting at the bottom, fold up, forming a triangle. When you get to the handles, wrap around and tuck in the pocket. All my bags fit in a small container.

-- Diane H. in Nebraska

DEAR READER: Clever, and it keeps them from becoming a jumble of plastic.

DEAR HELOISE: I came across letters that my mom and dad had written to one another during World War II. They made me smile and made me cry. I made copies to give to my sisters for Christmas.

I inherited family photo albums from my parents, grandparents and an aunt. I divided them into four piles -- one for me and one for each of my sisters. I divided mine into pictures that my children would like someday and ones that didn't mean anything to them.

Back in the old days, there were lots of pictures taken that were never shown to the people in them. My children never knew the people in these pictures from the 1930s and 1940s, so I took them to funerals, 50th wedding anniversaries and class reunions, and gave them to the descendants. It was a twice-given gift -- they loved the pictures, and I loved seeing them so happy.

-- D., via email

DEAR READER: You made me smile, too. Great hint, and so thoughtful!

DEAR HELOISE: I cut a thin strip of rubber-mesh shelf liner, use double-sided tape and stick it to the inside of my purse strap/handle. No more purse slipping off my shoulder.

-- Linda E., 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

Heloise@Heloise.com

Weekend on 08/28/2014

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