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DEAR READERS: Tonight's the night for ghosts, gremlins, ghouls and goblins! Here are some safety hints:

• Don't go it alone. A group effort is best, and plan the route before you go. Don't trick or treat in neighborhoods where you don't know anybody. Kids under 12? Parental supervision is necessary.

• Stay on the sidewalk. Tromping through someone's yard is not OK, and the roads are made for motor traffic.

• Regardless of your costume, make sure your shoes are nonskid and comfy. You'll be doing a lot of walking.

Not into trick-or-treating? Check local churches and community centers. They might be having a fun harvest festival, with games, hayrides and bobbing for apples.

DEAR HELOISE: I've taught my kids to be "mindful." What does that mean? It means being cognizant of what's going on right now.

We take just 10 minutes a day with no phones, no TV, no music, no distractions. We sit quietly and listen to our own breathing.

Medical professionals suspect that these mindfulness sessions can reduce anxiety and stress, raise our ability to concentrate and even boost the immune system.

This is super-simple -- I'd advise all of your readers to give it a try.

-- Rebecca S. in Chicago

DEAR HELOISE: To avoid shedding tears when slicing onions, I've found it helpful to use a very sharp knife.

-- Martin C., Indiana

DEAR READER: This theory is proven true. A knife cuts the cells of the onion, and then the irritating vapors are released. A sharp knife cuts the onion and the cells quickly and comes in contact with those cells so briefly that fewer vapors are released.

A dull knife cuts more slowly, so the vapors come out slowly, and more are released.

DEAR HELOISE: A reminder to your readers who are veterans or active-duty military: One of the big home-improvement centers offers a 10% discount on all purchases. You must show proof of service.

-- John L., California

DEAR READER: Great hint. Readers, lots of retailers offer military and senior discounts, but they may not advertise them. Never be afraid to ask.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

[email protected]

Weekend on 10/31/2019

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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