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HELPFUL HINTS

Posted: January 17, 2014 at 2:18 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: I want to recommend that readers always have a drink with them before boarding a plane. Usually the attendants will offer you a beverage, but on this last flight, we had turbulence on and off the whole time, and everybody had to remain in their seats, including the attendants. It was not a short flight, either. Once you go through security, you can purchase a drink and take it on the flight with you.

  • G.R. in Houston

DEAR READER: This also goes for having something to nibble on. It makes it a little more comfortable, even if no food or drink can be served.

DEAR HELOISE: Can you tell me the best way to clean piano keys?

  • Louise in Connecticut

DEAR READER: The way to clean piano keys differs depending on what kind of material the keys are made out of. If you have ivory keys (which a lot of older pianos have), they are fragile and need to be cleaned gently. Mix a cup of warm water with just a drop of gentle soap. Dampen a microfiber cloth with the mixture and wipe the keys, then wipe with a damp cloth and dry. Only do a few keys at a time, and don’t let any moisture drip down between the keys.

If the keys are plastic, you can use a mixture of vinegar and warm water. Again, dampen the cloth in the mixture and wipe the keys clean. Wipe dry as soon as possible. Never use so much liquid that it drips between the keys. Vinegar is a wonderful household product to have on hand because it has so many uses. After a long day of chores, pat some apple-cider vinegar on your hands to give them a boost.

DEAR HELOISE: My husband has a rotating work schedule and is sometimes on the night shift. When this happens, it is just my son and me for dinner. One fun thing I do is have a picnic on the living-room floor. We lay out a blanket and eat our meal while watching a movie. He loves our “special” dinners, and I love our mother-son time.

  • A Reader in Texas

DEAR HELOISE: My father was smoking a lot. His doctor told him to quit. He threw away the cigarettes, only to “bum” one from a friend. He took a roll of duct tape and wrapped his pack of cigarettes over and over. It took a lot of work to get a cigarette.

  • A Reader, Tennessee

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

MovieStyle, Pages 40 on 01/17/2014

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