DEAR HELOISE: Children, especially young children, have rights, even though they are underage. I teach my kids they need to give their consent before an adult hugs them, ties their shoelaces, brushes their hair, talks to them about what's going on in their lives, posts a picture of them online (that's a big one!), enters their room, etc.
The exception may be their teacher, nanny or camp counselor, but these people will know to ask permission first. Kids have the right to feel comfortable and to set boundaries where they can and will feel safe. Call me a boundary hound.
-- John T. in Pennsylvania
DEAR READER: Kids need to speak up when they feel uncomfortable. They don't owe any adult anything.
DEAR READERS: Indoor plants, whether live or faux, suggest a clean, colorful and healthy environment. And the green color is fresh.
DEAR READERS: Never pump the mascara wand as you open the tube. This will introduce air into the tube, dry out the formula and potentially create bacteria.
Instead, twist open the tube and swirl the wand gently around before pulling it out. This will get a good amount of product on the wand, and then the wiper seal on the tube will clean the wand, so you will get the right amount for application.
DEAR HELOISE: I believe I read this in your column. I take a dedicated pillowcase and wrap it around the fan blade and pull back slowly. All the dust and mess will stay inside. Launder as usual.
-- Helen M. in Georgia
DEAR HELOISE: To clean wireless headphones:
Use a toothpick to loosen any debris.
Use mounting putty to remove buildup inside.
Use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean the outer surface.
Let air dry.
-- Lenny T. in Ohio
DEAR READER: Read the owner's manual too for cleaning guidelines.
DEAR READERS: Saffron is the costliest spice in the world, up to $5,000 per pound. Harvested by hand, saffron is made from the stigma of the purple crocus plant. Saffron is ground into a powder and steeped in boiling water for tea. It has a honey-like flavor.
Saffron is also used as a dye (for a pretty reddish-purple color) and in medicine.
DEAR HELOISE: Why are so many commercials on TV so disgusting nowadays? The toilet tissue bears are bad enough, but it seems like so many are trying to see just how disgusting they can get. Enough is enough.
-- Gretchen in Brazil, Ind.
DEAR READER: We've had this discussion quite a bit. You'd think one wouldn't have to advertise for such a necessary item. Ha!
DEAR HELOISE: Regarding your column on an event boundary, as we age, many of us think more about The Hereafter. We go from one room to another and wonder, "Now, what am I here after?"
-- Larry C., via email
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