Heloise

Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about hypochondria.

— Heloise

“Dear Heloise: Why is it some people love to talk about their aches and pains nonstop? Two of my friends seem to do nothing but complain about every little ache and pain. They weren’t this way years ago, but as they’ve aged, it’s the main source of conversation with them. I’ve tried changing the subject, but they go right back to complaining about their health. After whining about minor aches, they complain that their kids never visit them. They drive people away with their complaints. There’s an old saying, ‘No one wants to hear about your health unless it’s good.’ Even then, keep it to a minimum and don’t exaggerate.

“Instead of looking for the negative side of life, look for the positive, because it’s all around you. No one has a perfect life, and no matter how much you have, there will always be problems of one kind or another. How you handle those problems will determine how happy you are. Complaining about them continuously will leave you lonely and isolated.”

 — Margie in Houston

Fast facts

Dear Readers: Here are some additional uses for baking soda:

• Sprinkle on carpets to deodorize before vacuuming.

• Use in place of toothpaste.

• Clean a stainless steel sink.

• Open a box and place in the fridge to deodorize.

— Heloise

Off the hook

Dear Heloise: In the Daily American newspaper in Pennsylvania, I read about a person who always got stuck hosting the big family gatherings. Years ago, I had that problem, so after a Thanksgiving dinner with everyone present, I announced that from now on, we would be taking turns hosting the holiday dinners. I now host only once every five years. For those who say they don’t have the room, I suggest they host at their church hall or community building. That means no more excuses!

 — Mary in Stoystown, Pennsylvania

Mary, holidays are a lot of work, and everyone should pitch in and share the work or take turns hosting the events.

— Heloise

Mop head

Dear Heloise: The mop head finally rusted through and fell off, but the handle is still useful. I threaded a folded napkin in the top and now use it to clean the dust bunnies out from under the refrigerator.

 — Norma C., Waterloo, New York

Potatoes

Dear Heloise: My wife died a few years back, and I now cook for myself. I have a question about potatoes: The eyes and black spots — are they bad for you? And how should I store the potatoes?

 — Robert C., Summerfield, Florida

Robert, first, potatoes should not be stored in a refrigerator. Ideally, they need a cool, dry place, out of direct sunlight. As for the eyes and black spots, cut out the black spots. The eyes won’t hurt you. The black spots could be a bruised spot or a fungus, so cutting it out is a safety measure.

— Heloise

Send a great hint to:

Heloise

P.O. Box 795001

San Antonio, TX 78279-5001

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE

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