Hints from Heloise — I’m not on call

Dear Readers: Today’s sound off is about unwanted babysitting duties. — Heloise

“Dear Heloise: My son and daughter-in-law seem to think I’m a handy baby sitter. Please understand that I dearly love my grandkids, but I can’t always baby-sit for them. I have a life that includes travel, getting together with friends and a part-time job.

“Please let your readers know that being retired does not automatically mean we can babysit for our grandkids. Some of us still need to work part time, have physical limitations or don’t want to cancel our plans. We’re not being obstinate; we simply cannot wrap our lives around our children’s schedules. When I can spend time with my grandchildren I do, and I enjoy it. At present, my daughter-in-law is not speaking to me because I wouldn’t cancel a doctor’s appointment to babysit her three kids. I’m not alone, either. Many of my friends have gone through the same thing.” — Gloria in Wisconsin

SEND A GREAT HINT TO:

Heloise

P.O. Box 795001

San Antonio, TX 78279-5001

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE

Email: Heloise(at)Heloise.com

FAST FACTS

Dear Readers: Here are some other uses for coffee filters:

* To polish silver.

* As a bowl cover in the microwave.

* Place under a plant to absorb moisture.

* To clean a mirror or window.

— Heloise

LOST RINGS

Dear Heloise: I have a habit of removing my rings when I wash my hands in a public place. To keep from losing them, I do one of two things: I either put them in my pocket or thread them on the stem of my glasses. I learned this the hard way when I forgot to put my rings back on until after I had left a restaurant! Sadly, they were gone, and no one turned them in to the management. — Beverly T., Mount Pleasant, S.C.

THE BROWN AND THE WHITE

Dear Heloise: We use a lot of eggs in my home, so the only way I can tell the fresh ones from the older eggs is to buy brown eggs one week and white the next week. Works well for me. — Patricia B., Tiverton, R.I.

SOAKING YOUR NIBS

Dear Heloise: The writing end of a fountain pen is called a nib, and here is one way to unclog it. Heat vinegar in the microwave for about 18 to 20 seconds, then place the nib in the vinegar and let it sit overnight. The next morning, your fountain pen nib should be clean and unclogged. — Harold F., Bellefontaine, Ohio

POLICE ARE THERE TO HELP

Dear Heloise: Recently, I saw a mother grab her very young son and threaten him with calling the police and sending him to jail. The boy couldn’t have been any older than 6 or 7. This may be a short-term way to get him to behave, but he needs to learn that the police are there to help him and keep him safe instead of making him terrified of a police officer. — Barbara L., Boise, Idaho

Barbara, you’re correct. Children should NEVER be threatened with jail as a form of punishment for misbehaving, or taught to be afraid to ask for help from the police. — Heloise

COMMENTS