HELOISE Form makes excuse-writing quick and easy

Dear Heloise: At the beginning of the school year, I made a generic slip for my kids to use when they needed to be excused early or were absent due to illness.
I put a line at the top for the date; a blank line followed by our last name, so I could just fill in the child's first name; two sections to just check-mark: one for leaving early, with a line for the time; one for absence due to illness, with a line for the date; and at the bottom, a line for my signature.
I printed four slips per page and keep a pile in my kitchen to grab when I need to send one in to school. I only wish I had thought of this earlier -- no more hunting for a piece of paper to write a note in the early-morning school rush. Jane Schaffner, via e-mail
Jane, go to the head of the class. And, if you drive your kids to school, put a couple in the glove compartment -- just in case. Heloise
Dear Heloise: I was always looking for a pen, so I took a plastic frog (the kind used in flower arrangements) and put a saucer underneath it so the table would not get marked with ink. I put my pens in the holes, and it sits conveniently on my table! Nancy Barche, Freedom, N.Y.
Dear Heloise: I have arthritis in my back and hips, and buy heated wraps that last up to eight hours. I usually use them late in the afternoon but don't sleep with them, because they can get too hot during the night. Therefore, I lose half the usage because I cannot turn off the heat and save them. I decided to try something: No air equals no heat.
When I take them off half-used, I put the wrap into a plastic, self-sealing bag, push out all the air and seal. When I decide to use up the rest of the wrap, I open the bag and let the wrap reheat when air hits it. I can then reuse it until it stops heating. Considering the cost of these wraps, this is worth it. Jim Hardin, Houston
This can buy you a little time and save some money, too. One of my assistants uses a sealable bag the same way for one-time-use warmer inserts used in gloves and snow boots. She gets the full use out of them, even if it takes two days. Heloise
Dear Heloise: When my medicine pill caddy hit the floor, we saw 35 different pills bouncing around the kitchen with the dog and cat underfoot. A large rubber band now provides a little security. Susie D., Rochester, N.Y.
XSend a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000; fax to (210) HELOISE, or e-mail heloise@heloise.com.
King Features Syndicate