Heloise

Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is from a schoolteacher who claims students lack discipline:

“Dear Heloise: For over 20 years, I’ve taught school and seen a number of policy changes that were enacted to help students but have had the reverse effect. Students come to class without homework and tell me they didn’t feel like doing it, or hand in sloppy work with grammatical errors and terrible spelling. With poor grades and a lack of self-discipline, they’ll never make it in college.

“How can we get parents more involved with their children? How can I stress the importance of spending time (not money) with their children?”

 — Lenore N. in Michigan

Lenore, parents need to put down the cellphone, turn off the TV and computer, and spend time with their kids. Our children are the only truly important thing we will leave behind.

— Heloise

Fast facts

Dear Readers: Here are a few safety measures for the kitchen:

• Always pat dry the foods you plan to fry. Hot grease and water cause splattering, which can be both dangerous and painful.

• Never leave cooking food unattended.

• Always turn the handle on a pot away from the front of the stove to avoid anyone knocking it off while walking by.

• When taking a lid off a pot, always tilt it away from you.

• Always keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.

— Heloise

Wood polishing

Dear Heloise: I have real wood paneling in my new home, but I’m worried about cleaning it. I don’t want a waxy buildup from furniture polish. What do you suggest?

 — Vera W., Harwood, Maryland

Vera, I have a solution that cleans fingerprints, mild dirt and dust off wood paneling, but as always, test on an inconspicuous place first.

Mix 1 part white vinegar with 2 parts water. Dip a clean rag in the solution, wring it out to remove excess water and wipe the surface of the wood. Dry and polish with a clean cloth.

If you want inexpensive cleaning ideas that work well without using harsh chemicals, then you’ll enjoy my pamphlet Heloise’s Homemade Cleaning Solutions. To order a copy, send $5, along with a stamped (70 cents), self-addressed, long envelope, to: Heloise/Cleaning Solutions, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Or you can order it online at www.Heloise.com. FYI: Vinegar alone also works great for removing price tags, cleaning the barbecue grill and loosening burned-on foods in pots and pans.

— Heloise

Foot massage

Dear Heloise: My job requires that I stand for long periods of time. By the time I get home, my feet are killing me. I take a tennis ball and place it under my foot while I’m seated and roll it back and forth. This is an easy way to give my tired feet a massage.

 — Bernadette V. in  Manchester, N.H.

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