Don’t wait to be asked

Dear Readers: Today’s SOUND OFF is about offering help without being asked. — Heloise

“Dear Heloise: Why do friends and relatives who know they have a sick or elderly friend or family member wait to be asked before they agree to help? They offer thoughts and prayers. While that is very much appreciated, they seem to forget that there are regular chores that a relative needs help with. The relative may be too proud for his or her own good and might feel that asking is admitting weakness. Sometimes the person wants someone to say: ‘I see your yard needs to be mowed. Would you let me do that for you?’

“Just open your eyes, folks, look around and see where there’s a need, and offer to help.” — Karol K., Troy, Ohio

SEND A GREAT HINT TO:

Heloise

P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE

Email: Heloise@Heloise.com

FAST FACTS

Dear Readers: Out of wrapping paper? Here are some substitutions for gift wrap:

— Use an old map or a comic section of the newspaper.

— Use a bandana for smaller gifts.

— Use deflated, shiny helium balloons.

— Heloise

MILD ABRASION

Dear Heloise: I save toilet-paper centers when a roll is finished. They provide excellent mild abrasion for things, such as scuff marks on wooden floors (especially ones made by rubber), by rubbing the mark with a flattened center. The centers, along with a liquid cleaner, are useful for cleaning ceramic stovetops. Woodworkers can use them on varnished surfaces, after all the sandpapering is finished, to produce a truly fine surface. — Jack M., Silver Spring, Md.

UNSUBSCRIBE TO MAGS

Dear Heloise: I keep getting magazines I did not subscribe to, with some even “welcoming” me back! It’s next to impossible to stop this flow of unwanted magazines in my mailbox. Is there something I can do to make it stop? — Vicki S., Farmington, Ark.

Vicki, try this hint: Write to a magazine’s subscription department by email or a letter, and let it know that you do not want the magazine, you did not subscribe to the publication, and you are canceling ALL further deliveries. Include your name, address and phone number.

Also, you can register at dmachoice.org to stop unsolicited mail. Go to the website for more information. — Heloise

SEED STARTER

Dear Heloise: Here is an idea to start seeds in your kitchen and later to transplant them in your garden: Take the bottom of an egg carton, fill each egg slot with dirt and plant a seed in each one. The best place for them is on a windowsill. Water them, and later transplant the seedlings in your garden. — Leigh H., Marion, S.C.