Dear Heloise: When our teenagers got old enough to have late curfews, we found it hard to stay awake to make sure they got home on time, but it was also hard to sleep without knowing they were safe. Our solution? Leave an alarm clock set to ring at curfew at the top of the stairs. If they didn't get home in time to turn it off, we would wake up and be able to find out where they were and whether they were safe. That let us relax and sleep peacefully. Cindy, Arlington, Va.
Loved your "wake up" hint. Children need to know the importance of following the house rules, which can only help them in their adult lives.
They should allow enough time to get home and turn off the alarm! Here's to a good night's sleep for everybody. Heloise
P.S. However, as one parent told me about her kids, the first one home would turn off the alarm clock!
Dear Heloise: Recently, our daughter had all four wisdom teeth extracted. Her doctor said she should apply ice as often as possible to her swollen cheeks. Ice bags are bulky and lumpy, so my friend Freddie recommended that we take face cloths, fold them into an oblong shape, wet them, freeze them in sandwich bags and apply those. We found that partly thawing them made it more comfortable for her. They worked wonderfully! Aly Sharman, Vienna, Va.
Dear Heloise: Now that warmer weather is upon us, we give thought to taking our winter things to the cleaners.
Just a word of caution: Be sure to check buttons on garments to be cleaned -- especially sweaters. I took one (in particular) last year to be cleaned, and when I went to pick it up, a button was missing! The proprietor apologized and handed me a box containing many, many lost buttons and told me to pick through to see if I could find a match. No luck! I had to buy a new card of buttons and reattach a complete new set.
Just make sure the buttons are secured -- either with thin fishing line (I have found this to be quite strong) or nylon thread. Ann Herrmann, Ocean City, Md.
Dear Heloise: When I light a candle or two in the evening, I always put an extinguished match beside my bedside clock to remind me to blow out all the candles before going to bed. Jackie in Montgomery, Ala.
Dear Heloise: I have a few dress shirts with plastic tabs in the collars. I've either lost the tabs or accidentally left them in when I put them in the dryer (and they get all curved and useless). I figured out a great substitute: paper clips! I just re-bent the clips into a more suitable shape and slipped them in. They work great. Isaac James, via e-mail
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 Heloise@Heloise.com.
King Features Syndicate