Today’s Sound Off is about distracted driving:

Dear Heloise: While driving, I noticed a number of people who were driving and talking on the phone. One guy was so distracted he ran a red light. I’ve seen women putting on their makeup while driving, slamming on the brakes when realizing there was a stop sign just ahead.

Distracted driving has grown rapidly in this country as people play with their cellphones, fiddle with the radio or eat lunch while driving, all which take their attention away from the road. Yes, a long drive is boring, but distracted driving can make it deadly.

Thousands of highway fatalities are attributed to distracted driving every year. Put down the cellphone and don’t answer it if it rings, or pull off the road to answer or return the call. At the end of the drive, go home alive. — Alice in Indiana

Alice, I’ve noticed distracted drivers as well, and we all need to determine not to be one of those who make traveling so much more dangerous. Some cellphones have a feature that can alert callers that you are currently driving and will get back to them as soon as possible. Thank you for speaking out and reminding us all to be more alert while on the road. — Heloise



P.O. Box 795001

San Antonio, TX 78279-5001

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE



New uses for old entertainment centers:

  • Make into a desk and use for home office storage.
  • For storage in the garage.
  • Convert into a mini bar or craft center.
  • Use as a pantry for extra storage of canned goods, paper towels, etc.


Dear Heloise: This hint is for anyone shopping with small children: Instead of trying to park nearest the store, try to get a space next to the cart return. There is usually a cart there you can grab to put the child in right away. This reduces carrying and/or worrying about the child running off in a parking lot. Then when done shopping and putting items in the car and the child in a car seat, you do not have to leave (or carry) the little one to return the cart. The cart return will be close at hand. This is safer and easier for you both. — Stephanie H., Rockingham, Vir.

Stephanie, that’s a very good point. It’s best not to leave your child for even a minute. — Heloise


Dear Readers: Vinegar, as you know, is my go-to household helper. It’s cheap, environmentally safe and readily available. Vinegar is made of acetic acid, and you’ll typically find it in the grocery store at strengths of between 5% and 9%.

You can also find vinegar in a whopping 20% concentration in home improvement stores. This vinegar is NOT for cooking or general cleaning around the home. It does, however, make an excellent, safe and nontoxic weed killer.

You’ll need a pump sprayer and a mixture of 1 quart 20% vinegar and 4 ounces lemon juice. It may take a couple of treatments to kill the roots of the weeds. Of course, spray only the weeds you desire to eliminate. Weeds are hearty, so be patient.

I have compiled a pamphlet full of hints for cleaning and deodorizing dozens of household items in my six-page vinegar pamphlet that you can have by visiting or by sending a long, stamped (70 cents), self-addressed envelope, along with $5, to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001.

Although 20% vinegar is safe, use rubber gloves and a mask, just as a precaution. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: The “Can you hear me” scam calls are back. The call could appear to be from a local number, so you might be more inclined to answer it. When you do answer, the caller will try to get you to say “yes” so they can use your voice to authorize some sort of payment for goods and services, or they can then sell your telephone number as “active” to other telemarketers. Please tell your readers to say nothing. Just hang up on these callers. — Lydia in Texas

©2020 by King Features Syndicate Inc.

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