Hints from Heloise: Learn geography in fun ways

Dear Heloise >> You had a letter from a woman who complained that geography isn’t being taught in schools nowadays. It is a subject that has always interested me, and I was lucky to study it in school. Also, my mother bought my sisters and me a jigsaw puzzle of the United States. The capital city of each state is shown, and it’s a great learning tool. I gave one to my daughter for my grandchildren.

Carolyn McDonough, Canaan, Connecticut

Dear Heloise >> I wanted to share this hint with you. When we receive a sturdy, medium- sized box, I save it for recycling my shredded paper on recycling day. I enjoy your column very much and have for years.

Mary K, Houston

Dear Heloise >> Can you accept one more tip about soap slivers? I put them in a small nylon or polyester gift bag with a gathered closure and a ribbon pull. The ribbon hangs on the tap over my bathroom sink at the ready.

Barbara H., Little Rock, Arkansas

Dear Heloise >> In response to the letter about which items to donate to your food bank, the only food that my local food bank does not accept is expired baby food and labeled drugs (aspirin, Advil, etc.). Supplements are OK. It also takes pet food. Bottom line: Check with your food bank to see what they accept.

Terry, in Vancouver, Washington

Dear Heloise >> I think we all know that air travel is not as glamorous as it once was, but now some airlines have begun charging for absolutely everything! Gone are the days when you could take a carry-on with you or ask for a pillow or blanket without being charged a fee.

However, sometimes a cheaper flight is not necessarily a bargain. There are airlines that charge as much as $57 to $65 for a carry-on bag and even charge for printing out a boarding pass. If you see a bargain price for a flight, be careful -- you might want to call the airline and ask questions about any additional fees.

In addition, you can call a travel agent and enlist their help in finding a reasonable flight. Yes, there is a fee for using a travel agent, but they can still help you save money on a flight and help you avoid hidden fees. You may not get to fly out at the time you want or on the airline you prefer, but try to be a little flexible about the time of day or flying in at a different airport.

You can also check online for travel information at JohnnyJet.com (or other travel sites) to help you research and decide which airline to use.

D.H., Washington, D.C.

Dear Readers >> If you want to jazz up your daily coffee but do not want to buy expensive flavored coffees, here’s what you can use right out of your kitchen cabinets to add flavoring to your cup of Joe:

Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon into the ground coffee before brewing.

Check the extracts you have at home and put a drop or two of vanilla or almond into the ground coffee.

If you want a mocha taste, put a bit of chocolate syrup or cocoa mix into the brewed coffee.


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