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HELOISE Mark batteries to know when it's time to replace them

Monday, February 21, 2005

Dear Heloise: I have two elderly parents, and my four siblings and I assist with many tasks for them, including the upkeep of their smoke and carbon-monoxide monitors.
Those safety monitors contain batteries that should be changed yearly. With several family members helping, one could never be sure when the batteries were last replaced -- thus, they likely got replaced more often than was warranted.
I decided to use a black felt-tip marker to denote on the individual batteries the month and year the replacement occurred. Now anyone can quickly verify that our folks are covered. Dave, Branford, Conn.
Dave, this is a sensible way to keep track -- we've also had suggestions from others to check batteries plus test smoke alarms and carbon-monoxide monitors at the change of each season. Heloise
Fast facts
Other uses for jewelry boxes that rings, bracelets, etc., come in:
UGive to resale/consignment shops that sell jewelry.
UA bracelet box makes a great travel jewelry box.
UFill a necklace box with sewing supplies for a car, purse or desk drawer.
UPut a larger-size box in the console of a car to hold spare change.
Dear Heloise: Here's a hint for folks like me who love to frame pictures of loved ones and have them all over the house:
You usually find lots of dust and other little particles that have accumulated on the glass of the new frames (both sides) as you take them apart. I take my little computer-screen cleaner brush and use it across the frame and the picture. It gently collects all the dust and grime without having to fuss with paper towels and glass cleaner. Sharon Pettigrew, Alexandria, Va.
Dear Heloise: Here's a hint for when taking group photos, especially when taking several of the same group. Have a few people vary their positions in each take. This makes sorting the finished pictures much easier, and it will be easier to identify the negatives for reprints. GLK, Madison, N.J.
Brilliant! It sure does get difficult to distinguish many of the almost-exactly alike photos. Heloise
Dear Heloise: I have a hint for storing large, decorative flags while not in use:
Put them on pants hangers (ones with clips) and hang in a convenient storage place. This keeps the flags straight and easy to choose from. D. Statler, Williamsport, Md.
Sound off
Dear Heloise: What happened to driving courtesy? My parents always advised me that when approaching a red light and preparing to stop, if there is a car waiting to merge, stop short and let the driver into the lane. This way, no one has to force his or her way into traffic after waiting and waiting -- causing bigger headaches.
Also, a short wave of acknowledgment in the rearview mirror is always nice to see! Thanks for letting me vent. A reader, San Antonio
Your parents taught you well! A few seconds of courtesy can make someone's day. As they say, pass it on! Heloise
XSend a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to (210) HELOISE or e-mail it to
King Features Syndicate