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DEAR READERS: Get outside and take a walk. It's a beautiful time of year! But, there are safety laws and rules to follow, especially when crossing the road in traffic.

Even though drivers are required to stop for pedestrians in a painted crosswalk, you should yield to drivers when crossing outside of the crosswalk.

WALK and DON'T WALK signage should always be observed. If you're walking in the roadway when the DON'T WALK sign comes on, continue to cross the street in a safe manner. The traffic must wait for you.

If you are listening to music with ear buds, keep the volume low enough so you can hear the street sounds, such as horns and sirens. Don't be distracted by texting while walking.

DEAR HELOISE: I just used baking soda on my vinyl siding that was stained by a bush's branches touching it. It certainly did the job. Yea!!!!!

-- Helen T. in

The Villages, Fla.

DEAR READER: Say hello to all my friends in The Villages! Readers are always finding new uses for baking soda! It's perfect for safely cleaning a ton of household items.

FYI: Use baking soda instead of buying scouring powder. It works wonders and deodorizes at the same time.

DEAR HELOISE: I have three active kids, and they are always getting bumps and bruises. An easy helper -- homemade ice packs. Put one part rubbing alcohol and three parts water in a zippered plastic bag, and freeze. It will get very cold, but it won't freeze solid, so the bag can fit around knees and elbows.

-- Jackie in Texas

DEAR HELOISE: My kids and I decided to make cookies, but I couldn't find my rolling pin. No problem. I just floured a wine bottle. It worked great! And for a cookie cutter, a wine glass stood in nicely to make perfectly round cookies.

-- JoAnn in Arizona

DEAR HELOISE: Dry shampoo is not just for shampooing the hair. It works well to build up layers on the hair, making teasing and backcombing easier. Dry shampoo makes hair behave as if it's at least one-day dirty.

-- Becky in Alabama

DEAR READER: Ingenious! Finding new uses for products is the Heloise way.

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

[email protected]

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