Dear Readers: It’s still chilly in February in most parts of the country, but keep in mind that spring is right around the corner. Let’s get organized and prepped for yard projects and a stunning yard.
1. Have a go at the garage. Take inventory of what you have tool-wise and their condition. Replace or refurbish any worn tools. Invest in a storage system of boxes and shelving, and then use it to keep sports equipment, holiday decorations and auto maintenance stuff organized, labeled and accessible.
2. Prune trees and shrubs. Clean up dead branches and clear out the yard space.
3. Get pencil to paper and plan what plants, trees and shrubs you’d like around, and then get to ordering them. Now, when your yard is bare, dormant and free from foliage, you can see what you have to work with.
4. Interested in adding a trellis or bench? Add it now.
5. Fill bird feeders. Birds need higher fat foods in the winter – peanut butter, peanuts and thistle seed are all good choices.
Having a beautiful yard takes planning, but if you start early, you’ll be way ahead of the game. — Heloise
Dear Readers: Gary P. in Laguna Hills, Calif., sent a picture of his cats Max and Coco relaxing, on top of each other. To see this pile of feline fluffiness, visit www.Heloise.com and click on “Pet of the Week.” Do you have a funny and furry friend to share? Email a picture and description to: Heloise@ Heloise.com. — Heloise
Hi, Heloise: I save my used dryer sheets to remove the layers of lint in the dryer after a load finishes. It is quickand thorough too! — Shirley H. in Rochester, Ill.
Dear Shirley: Periodically wash the removable lint filter with warm soapy water, rinse thoroughly and air-dry completely. Dryer sheets can contain residues that may build up on the filter. — Heloise
Greetings Heloise: I minimize or eliminate inside pests, like roaches and ants, by putting any containers, paper, etc., that have food on them into a plastic bag that is stored in the freezer. I don’t put anything that a pest might be attracted to – even soda cans – in the inside garbage can. On trash pickup day, I put the frozen trash into the garbage bag for trash pickup. — Patricia C., via email
Dear Heloise: Here is another hint to keep feet warm that works great: I use petroleum jelly on my toes before I put on my socks to go outside in freezing weather. I put a light coat all over my toes and feet too, if needed, then I put on my socks. It won’t stain socks, and it will wash out. My toes do not get cold! Extra bonus: baby soft feet! My husband is a carpenter and has used this trick for years. He uses it on his fingers before putting on gloves too. — Jan from Ohio
Dear Heloise: After washing my shower curtain liner, I hang it back up on the curtain rod. I don’t put it in the dryer. — Patricia R. in Bellaire, Texas
Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.