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DEAR HELOISE: Many of us are complaining about being stuck at home due to the coronavirus. Maybe it's time we all took stock of what we can do while at home.

I've been talking about painting our living room for the past five years. Now I've had the time to do it. A fresh coat of paint makes the room look clean and new.

For the first time, I took up oil painting and discovered how much I enjoy it. I've also had the time to try out some new recipes, and now we're eating healthier meals made from scratch.

Covid-19 is dangerous and bothersome, but it's not the end of the world. We'll get through this, but in the meantime, stay busy, stay connected and stay positive. When it's over, some will find new careers, some new paths in life and some will need help finding their way. This country has gone through worse times than these and survived. We are a country of diverse people, but in a crisis we always stand shoulder to shoulder.

Someone wiser than me once said, "This too shall pass," and it will.

-- A reader in Utah

DEAR READERS: Here are some uses for address labels:

• Place on items you loan to friends.

• Place one on the inside of your mailbox lid.

• Tape one on the inside of a pet's collar.

• To ID items for travel, such as luggage, camera, tablet, etc.

• Place on school supplies.

DEAR HELOISE: Is there something I can do with eggshells besides throwing them in the trash? It seems like such a waste of good calcium.

-- Louise in Iowa

DEAR READER: I agree. Why not put those calcium-rich eggshells to good use? First, we'll need to sterilize them. Rinse the shells then place them on a cookie sheet and bake at 250 degrees for 10 minutes. You don't want to brown them, only thoroughly dry them. Crush the shells and then sprinkle them in your garden to add calcium to the soil and to deter slugs and snails.

To ensure our feathered friends get the much-needed calcium in their diets when nesting, mix the crushed shells with the birdseed in your feeder or just sprinkle them on the ground; the birds will find them.

DEAR HELOISE: I learned a long time ago to place my pots and pans on the shelf handles in first. This way I don't have to pull them all of the way out to see which one I need.

-- Lois in South Carolina

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]

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