Helpful Hints

DEAR HELOISE: My niece is graduating from high school and going on to college. She had excellent grades and worked hard to graduate in the top 5% of her class. We’re all very proud of her. I would like to get her a nice gift, but I’m out of ideas. Got any hints on what to give a graduate of 2022?

— Brenda M.,

Altoona, Pa.

DEAR READER: My best wishes to your niece on her graduation. Here are some gift ideas:

• A thesaurus and/or dictionary

• An engraved letter opener and/or magnifying glass

• Plastic storage containers

• A gift card to an online retailer

• An emergency road kit (if she has a car)

• A small microwave for her dorm room (if the college permits it)

• A gift card for office supplies (stapler, printer paper, pens, etc.)

DEAR HELOISE: Working as a hairdresser, I see a lot of product built up on many women. Most of it is hairspray that has not been properly removed. I usually tell women to wet their hair then put a generous amount of baking soda in the palm of their hand along with some shampoo, and to scrub their hair and scalp. Rinse and wash again with only shampoo. Use a conditioner, massage into the hair, and rinse all of it out. Don’t skimp on the conditioner part, and don’t forget to rinse well.

— Wendy A.,

Newberg, Ore.

DEAR READER: For women who color their hair it is especially important to take time to do a deep conditioning. This is also vital for women whose hair is turning white or gray. Our hair usually gets drier as we age, so keeping it clean and healthy is important.

DEAR HELOISE: My doctor wants me to take a multivitamin and a little extra vitamin D. Unfortunately, I keep forgetting to take them and usually remember when I’m about to drift off to sleep. How can I remember to take my vitamins?

— Shelly K.,

Fresno, Calif.

DEAR READER: Keep your vitamin in the same place that you keep your cereal bowl or your coffee, or place them on the kitchen counter where you’ll see them every day.

DEAR HELOISE: When traveling I would occasionally lose one of my earrings. However, I found a simple solution to this problem. I bought a pillbox that is labeled with each day of the week. I placed a pair of earrings in each little compartment. However, I didn’t like the way my earrings seemed to rattle around in these compartments, so I bought a sheet of felt at a craft store. Then I cut out small squares to fit the compartments and glued them down. My earrings are cushioned, and I haven’t lost a single earring to date.

— Laura J.,

Albany, N.Y.

DEAR HELOISE: Our family physician told my husband and me that we had to cut back on certain foods to keep our cholesterol down. One of the easiest ways was to cut back on the amount of red meat we consume. Three times a week we go meatless all day. We have lots of fruit and vegetables, and I have a huge cookbook with vegan recipes. Our cholesterol has dropped significantly, and our HDL is lower than our LDL!

— Diane and Bob W.,

Mapleton, Utah

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

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