Dear Readers: Need a quick ride? You can download a ride-sharing app to your phone. Here are some hints for your safety:

Take note of your driver’s name, rating and car make, and wait in a safe spot until he or she arrives. Take a picture of the vehicle before you get in, and sit in the back seat. Giving your phone number to the driver is not necessary.

Follow the route with a maps tool on your phone. If you feel unsafe at any time, you can always call 911.

— Heloise

Stuff for my sick sister

Dear Heloise: My sister was in the hospital recently. I compiled a list of items I thought of, or she asked for, to make her stay there more comfortable:

• Box of tissues.

• Toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash.

• Comb and mirror.

• Lip balm.

• Magazines.

• Socks.

• Scrunchies.

• Bag for dirty clothes.

• Flexible straw.

• Nail file.

• Notepad and pen.

• Hard candy.

• Hand lotion.

• Eyeglasses and case.

It’s good for me to always have a list of current medicines she’s taking, and all of her allergies, just in case. Also keep a list of doctors and emergency contacts/current phone numbers.

 — Rose R., Jupiter, Florida

Book swap

Dear Heloise: I’m a teacher, and most of my fellow teachers and I participate in a book swap at school.

We bring in old books and magazines we’ve already read for leisure, put them in the SWAP BOX and pick something we haven’t read. Fun, and cost-effective!

 — Darryl R. in San Antonio

Paper jam

Dear Heloise: Help! The paper shredder got jammed!

— Heidi L. in California

Heidi, your shredder may have a “reverse” switch. This will back out many particles of the paper. Try this first. If the jam isn’t cleared, unplug the shredder and wait until it’s cool to the touch. Take the top (the shredder head) off, and pull out the jammed paper from underneath. Carefully use a screwdriver, letter opener or tweezers to pick out more paper particles.

As a last resort, soak a small amount of shredder oil onto the blades for about 30 minutes. This will dissolve the paper enough so it can break apart and pass through.

— Heloise

Party with a purpose

Dear Heloise: We live in a retirement community, so we’re up in age. When was the last time you and your wife tried to flip a 150-pound mattress?

I suggested a “Mattress Flippin’ Party” with some of the neighbors. A good social gathering with light snacks, etc. A lot of laughs. What a big help!

 — John R., Hot Springs Village, Arkansas

Love it! Just protect your back — bending your knees when you lift will help distribute the weight.

— Heloise

Shoe sizes

Dear Readers: Sandals made in Italy and Germany are popular here in the United States. How do you convert from the European sizing? Here’s an approximate chart:

EU    U.S.

35    05

36    06

37    07

38    08

39    09

40    10

41    11

— Heloise

Send a money-saving or time-saving 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.

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