Posted: February 3, 2014 at 1:36 a.m.

DEAR READERS: Here is this week’s Sound Off, about people “bumping” into other people with bags:

“My Sound Off is to the individuals who carry suitcase-size purses and are not careful when passing other people. Recently, while I was attending different events, I was hit four or five times while just sitting in my chair.

  • Jesse M., Abilene, Texas

With the tight space between rows, it’s like running a gantlet! I’ve been “bonked” several times, too. Hint from Heloise: I carry my purse (not backpack size) in front of me to avoid this. Courtesy is still alive.

DEAR READER: Ways to reuse soda cans once you cut off the top:

Use as a pencil holder or desk organizer.

Plant small plants or seedlings in them.

Hold grease drippings in them.

Use as an outside ashtray.

Use as a scoop for dry dog food.

DEAR HELOISE: I read your article about bathroom hand dryers and the spread of germs. Another item to watch out for is the door handle when leaving. Some people don’t wash their hands before leaving. Also, don’t forget the telephone in a hospital room - more germs on the mouthpiece and handle.

  • Walt in Indiana

DEAR READER: That’s why I carry hand sanitizer. I applaud the businesses that have a trash can and hand sanitizer mounted on the wall by the door just for this reason.

DEAR HELOISE: Even when you get to know a baby sitter, leaving the kids at home for a night can be hard to do. My wife came up with our “Baby-Sitter Box.” We leave a list of instructions, including the house rules, child’s favorite activities, feeding/allergy information, what food is available, and how-to “guides” for things like the television remote. We leave a sheet of all the typical emergency information our sitter may need. I like throwing a few snacks in for the sitter so he or she doesn’t have to go hunting for food in our house.

  • Dan in San Antonio

DEAR HELOISE: A raisin got smashed into the carpet in a hidden spot. I took my son’s hair comb and gently used it to pull up and comb out the raisin. It took time and patience, but I got the raisin out. - A Reader, 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

ActiveStyle, Pages 30 on 02/03/2014