Dear Heloise: My sister-in-law gave me a hint I’d like to pass along. When traveling, I take all battery-operated items and place them in a plastic bag after I remove the batteries. Then I place the items on top of my clothing. I usually pack brand-new batteries, in their original wrapper, in my purse. The logic is this: The “on button” can accidentally be turned on while my luggage is being handled and transported. And if I pack the batteries in a separate plastic bag, they can touch each other and possibly start a fire. While it’s rare, it’s still a risk I won’t take with lives of others on the plane. -- Terry K., Lamar, Colo.
Dear Heloise: My 4-year-old son left his artwork in crayon on my living room walls. How do I get this mess off without destroying the recently painted walls? -- Melissa M., Ypsilanti, Mich.
Melissa, crayon marks on a painted wall can easily come off by sprinkling baking soda on a damp sponge and gently rubbing the spot in a circular motion. It’s a simple method that you can find in my pamphlet Baking Soda Hints and Recipes. There are many more cleaning, freshening and even some baking hints included, too! To receive one, send a stamped (71 cents), self-addressed, long envelope, along with $5, to: Heloise/Baking Soda, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Or you can order it online at www.Heloise.com. Did you know that baking soda also can remove coffee and tea stains from cups? Why spend more than you need to on cleaning products when baking soda can do the job easily and economically? -- Heloise
Beware credit card tricks
Dear Heloise: Please warn your readers that when an advertisement for a credit card says “as low as,” it does NOT promise to give you that rate, and usually charges more interest than the lowest rate mentioned in the advertisement. “Preapproved” does not mean you don’t have to apply for a credit card, because you’ll be required to go through the whole approval process before any card is issued to you. -- Richard S., Rhinebeck, N.Y.
Dear Heloise: Just a reminder that there are many homeless people who would love to have warm coats or jackets. Please ask your readers to consider donating to shelters or other organizations that help the needy. It’s cold outside, and a donated coat or jacket might save someone’s life. -- Laura W., Hillsboro, Ore.
Dear Heloise: I work in human resources for a large company. We get hundreds of resumes each month, and my job is to review them. To help some of your readers find a better job, there are few do’s and don’ts:
* Don’t include a photo of yourself unless you’re an actor or a model.
* Use high-quality paper (white, light gray or ivory) and a clear, easy-to-read font.
* One page is best, but certainly no more than two pages.
* Don’t get “wordy.” Check your spelling and grammar. Neatness counts.
* Don’t try to be humorous, don’t use slang, and stay away from cliches such as “I’m a people person.”
-- Tyler G. in Philadelphia