Hints from Heloise: Snake in the draft

Dear Heloise: A favourite way to keep my home warmer is to make and use a “snake in the draft.” I fill a tall knee sock with uncooked rice or beans. I tie off the end, stretch it out a little bit, and lay it flat against the bottom of the door frame (on the inside).

It will probably take two socks to cover the bottom completely. It really helps to keep cold air out and cool air in during the summertime! I’m curious to know some of your readers’ hints to help save energy and keep their homes warm in this, the chilliest time of the year! — Brenda S. in California

Dear readers: What say you? Email! — Heloise


Dear Heloise: I keep a tub of baby wipes in each room of my home. A baby wipe is perfect to grab to clean up small spills, because of course they are mild and safe. I’m teaching my kids to pick up after themselves, too! — Hilary T. in Connecticut


Dear Heloise: I rinse and pat dry my lettuce; the dressing will have something to cling to. On a wet surface, it just slides off. — Jenna D. in Florida


Dear Readers: Since the weather outside in most areas is chilly and grey, let’s talk about some houseplants that are easy to care for, courtesy of Good Housekeeping magazine.

Devil’s ivy, aka the pothos plant, will climb all over, and it can tolerate being over-watered and under-watered.

Spider plants emit little offshoots, or “babies,” that can be planted again. Lots of sunlight is required, and weekly watering.

The aloe vera plant requires low light and watering only every other week.

Philodendron? It translates to “love tree.” Minimal watering is best for this plant.

Christmas cactus… if you’re wanting complete ease, any cactus plant will work for you. The Christmas cactus gives off lovely, bright blooms. —Heloise


Dear Heloise: My friend is a new mom, and she had the most ingenious way of making baby food when out at a restaurant, or I suppose at home too.

She uses a dedicated garlic press to squeeze through green beans and carrots, and Baby Henry can eat them! I love it! – Bennie T. in Oregon

Dear Bennie: Sounds really good! Check with your paediatrician to make sure this is a go, and also ask the server. Sometimes restaurant veggies are cooked with heavy sauces and spices that could upset baby’s tummy. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: My friend passed away recently, and she had requested cremation. I was able to ask the funeral director, with the family’s permission, for a lock of her hair. It was presented in a clear glass tube, inside of a small wooden box. I will always cherish it, as I did our friendship. —Deborah L. in Texas

Dear Deborah: Such a lovely remembrance. Always get permission from the family and the funeral home. I don’t imagine it would be a problem. — Heloise

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or email it to

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