Off the cuff?
Dear Heloise: My doctor wants me to check my blood pressure once a day. I find this uncomfortable, and I fumble around with the arm band. Is there anything else out there that I can use instead of a blood pressure armband? -- Lance M., Milford, Del.
Lance, yes, there are companies that make a blood pressure cuff. It just wraps around your wrist, and you press a button to get a readout. Check online sites, or ask a medical retailer for details. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: The current trend seems to be “keep walking.” I’ve read that sitting all day is the new “smoking” -- in other words, it shortens your life. We need to get up and start walking more. In fact, on average we need to take between 8,000 and 10,000 steps per day to stay active. Not only is walking easy to do, it’s the least expensive exercise, helps improve muscle tone and also improves balance. Walking helps with weight loss and reduces stress. Let’s get started walking, and take a friend along for company. -- Claire H., Miles City, Mont.
Let the birds eat the bugs
Dear Heloise: Bugs are an important source of protein for birds. To encourage birds to nest in your yard, put up birdhouses. A feeder with some seeds and dried fruit also will be a magnet for birds. Place a birdbath in your flower bed and keep it filled with water. You’ll not only have beautiful birdsongs, you’ll reduce the amount of insects around your house. -- Ellen D., Portland, Ore.
How to organize
Dear Heloise: I need help getting organized around the house. To begin with, I work full time, so my time is limited. Can you help me? -- Gail M., Mason City, Iowa
Gail, it takes some planning, but it can be done. However, it need not all be done in one day.
* First, make a list of the most important things that need to be done.
* Next, clean out closets. Donate, throw out or have a garage sale, but get rid of junk in your closet.
* Don’t keep expired items in your pantry.
* Put things away. “A place for everything and everything in its place.”
* Make up a daily, weekly and monthly schedule for cleaning.
Hint for him
Dear Heloise: My husband had an ingrown toenail treated, and he had to soak his foot for two weeks following the treatment. I did not have a basin for soaking, but remembered that I had plastic shoe storage boxes, and those worked perfectly. -- Susan G., Baton Rouge, La.
‘As you age’
Dear Heloise: I hate the words “as you age” or “as we get older.” It makes some people feel useless or decrepit. My doctor says, “As you have another birthday.” Sounds good to me! -- Nancy L., Hot Springs, Ark.