Thoughts on a new year

Dear Readers: Today is the first day of 2018, and my wish for you is to have a nice day, think about the coming new year and let’s all HOPE FOR THE BEST!

This space usually is reserved for a reader “SOUND OFF” about stores not posting operating hours large enough to read, packaging that is difficult to open, or online sites that are not legit.

It’s my turn for a “SOUND ON” today. Thank you for taking time to write me. Your input (and, many times, negative comments or suggestions about a recent hint) is what keeps this column going. Please know that Heloise Central (what I call my office/ assistants) does its best to research and TEST hints before printing them.

HELOISE HINT: Just because it’s on the internet or someone forwarded a hint via email, you can’t trust everything you read that is on the internet. Take a moment to consider the source. Does it sound plausible or just plain dumb? Wow, lose 10 pounds in five days, look younger with this cream or buy these “rare” coins as an investment — REALLY?

This column is here for you, and know that you can trust me to tell you the truth. You may not like it, or maybe your mother or father always did it this way, or a friend told you. However, put on your HELOISE HAT and ask: Is it safe? Will it work? Does it sound like old advice? Is it good for the environment? What would Heloise think about this? See below, where I explained why the reader “hint” may not be safe or work.

— A big hug, Heloise

P.S. Take a little time to reflect on last year, and look forward to set some reasonable goals, NOT resolutions. My New Year’s resolution is to NOT make them!

FAST FACTS

Dear Readers: Other uses for yogurt containers:

* Use to hold loose change (especially for tolls or doing laundry).

* Fill with dirt and start seedlings.

* Use for small portions of food for a lunch bag or lunchbox.

* Use as a scoop for dry dog food.

— Heloise

NAMES ON CLOTHING

Dear Heloise: Please rethink the advice not to put children’s names on clothing and lunchboxes! So many items go missing throughout the year. Names can be placed on the inside so strangers can’t see them.

— Karen J., a kindergarten teacher, Los Alamitos, Calif.

Karen, good point. Any identifying information should be put inside a lunchbox or clothing. This is especially true for a backpack.

— Heloise

PURSE IN A SHOPPING CART?

Dear Heloise: I read your column about not leaving your purse in a grocery cart. I close my purse, place it in the child’s seat, then use the straps and wrap them around the purse handle several times and snap shut.

— Linda L., via email

Linda, this may be true, but anyone can unzip your purse or cut the straps and steal your wallet in a second. Carry your purse with you, or take just your wallet and coupons.

— Heloise

SEND A GREAT HINT TO: Heloise

P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE

Email: Heloise(at)Heloise.com