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Reader shares handy hints for reusing envelopes, birdbaths

Dear Heloise: I have two hints that I thought might be helpful to others: The first is about reusing envelopes. Each day, when I receive the mail, instead of tossing out the envelopes in the recycling bin, I place them in the front of my desk drawer. When the phone rings and I need a piece of paper to quickly write down information, they are easily assessable and free!

Also, I enjoy watching birds in a birdbath right outside my window. Recently, while using the blower to blow off the deck, I discovered that it was the perfect tool to blow dirty water out of the birdbath. Many birdbaths are heavy, so it’s not easy to dump out the dirty water. This was a quick and easy solution.

If the birdbath is exceptionally dirty, I just wipe it out with a paper towel and refill it. The birds are always right there when there is clean water! Thanks. — Darlene Duprey, Waterloo, New York

SELLING PARENT’S HOME

Dear Heloise: When cleaning out a deceased parent’s home to sell it, also be sure to look for stashed cash. A lot of old people keep cash in drawers, pockets, and other “hiding places.”

In addition, check if there is a safety deposit box, savings accounts, CDs and brokerage accounts. Sometimes this information is not shared with their adult children. — Susan, in Los Angeles

PICKLED VEGETABLES

Dear Heloise: I love vegetables and anything pickled. After we have finished a jar of store-bought pickles, I save the pickling liquid and reuse it with vegetables that I have on hand. I chop or slice them, then microwave until they’re crisp and tender.

I do this with broccoli, cauliflower, red peppers, carrots and green beans. They pickle overnight in the refrigerator and are ready for salads or appetizers the next day.

Raw cucumbers are also good this way, with a few thin slices of onion. Thanks for your hints! — Noli, in Manitou Springs, Colorado

SHARPENING SCISSORS

Dear Heloise: My scissors were all so dull that they were useless. This morning, my husband sharpened all of them by simply using those scissors to cut fine sandpaper. Voila, incredibly sharp scissors! — Kit and Randy, in Capistrano Beach, California

CONTROLLING FLY-AWAY HAIRS

Dear Heloise: I got this tip from my hairdresser years ago. I live in a Mediterranean climate, and when I blow-dry my hair, I often have issues with static electricity and my hair floating out all over the place. Many people have this issue with their clothes in winter, so I keep a can of antistatic spray at hand.

Here’s my tip: Spray some of this spray onto your brush, pick or comb. You don’t need a lot. Then run it through your dried hair. It will immediately calm down that halo of hair floating around your face. I even spray a bit on my fingers and run them through my hair. It doesn’t affect your styling or weigh down your strands. It just controls it. — H.S.W., in Santa Clarita, California

Send a money-saving or time-saving hint to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

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