Dear Heloise: Recently, while traveling by air, my husband and I missed our connecting plane and had to switch to a different flight. The agent at the airport said he would locate our luggage to make sure it got pulled and put on our new flight. When he asked me to describe our luggage, I merely handed him a picture of it! He was shocked and said I was the only one in his 17 years as an agent to do that.
This idea is handy on cruises, when you are separated from your luggage on the last night of the cruise. You must claim your luggage at the cruise terminal the next day, and we all know that luggage can get misplaced!
Take a picture of your luggage and keep it inside the luggage until travel time. When you are packing for a trip, simply put your picture in your carry-on bag! To perfect this idea, put the suitcase dimensions on the back of the picture! Elizabeth Vinton, San Diego
With many pieces of rolling luggage looking similar, this is a very good idea. Also, attaching something distinctive, like bright-colored yarn or ribbon, will help your piece stand out. Heloise
Dear Heloise: I had new carpet installed last year. I've been treating any stains that pop up with commercial carpet cleaners, but I've been wondering if there are any natural, cheap cleaners that I should be using instead. Joanne Glaser, San Antonio
Many stains can be removed using a solution of 1/4 teaspoon mild, white hand-dishwashing liquid in 1 cup lukewarm water. Work from the inside out, dabbing at the stain. Be sure not to overwet. Rinse with clear water to remove soap residue -- again, don't overwet the area. I list all kinds of stains and how to remove them in my eight-page Carpet and Household Stain Removal pamphlet. To order, please send $3 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (60 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Carpet, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279. Young children are going to spill food and drinks, so make it a rule that eating and drinking are allowed only in areas where there is no carpet (like the kitchen). Heloise
Dear Heloise: I just read the hint about using Christmas light bulbs in a night light, and it brought back a funny memory.
On Christmas, when my daughter was 5 or 6, her night light burned out. I grabbed an extra tree bulb and put it in the socket. Almost as soon as I left her room I heard a terrible screech and "There's a ghost in my room!"
I had grabbed a "flashing" light by mistake. She's now almost 30, and I still tease her about her "ghost." Judy Binegar, Columbus
Dear Heloise: My family and I recently moved into a new house that has no window coverings. I do not have the time (or money) to decorate them all at once, nor am I willing to hang up old sheets. As a temporary fix, I've taped waxed paper to the bathroom and bedroom windows. I have privacy and plenty of light. To get a cleaner look, I laid the paper out flat and cut it with scissors. Claire, Via E-mail
XSend a great hint to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, Fax: (210) HELOISE or E-mail: Heloise@Heloise.com.
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