Dear Heloise: I've been reading your column for as long as it's appeared in the local paper, The Huntsville (Ala.) Times.

This is in regard to repairing braided shoelaces that lose the little plastic end piece and then begin to unravel and look messy — which apparently doesn't bother some people, but it sure does me!

Here's my method I've adopted right here at home. Most adults love candles, right? Well, the next time you have a shoelace problem and you have a candle that has been burning long enough to have a pool of liquid wax in the holder, just smooth out the end of the shoelace — or cut it evenly — and dip it in the wax. This might take several dips.

You might have to redo this repair several times over the remaining life of the shoelaces with the problem, but it sure works for me! — Lew Ford, Madison, Ala.

Lew, your newspaper has been a Hints From Heloise client since March 1961! How about that for a long-term relationship! Say hello to all of my friends in Huntsville. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: When traveling to visit relatives, I write the name of the person I am going to visit on an index card and another contact person on an index card and tape it to my dash.

That way, if I am in an accident, there is no time lost by emergency personnel trying to figure out how to contact a family member to assist in my care when time might be of the essence. — Judith, via e-mail

Dear Heloise: I read your article from a reader who painted the pull chains on a ceiling light. Since I am short, I cannot reach the chains on my fan/light, so I crocheted strings, using blue for the light and white for the fan, on all the fans in the house. It makes it easier to remember which one to pull. — Jean Irons, Springfield, Mo.

Jean, good hint! For those who can't crochet, extender chains can be found at most hardware stores.— Heloise

Dear Heloise: I use a hard-boiled egg slicer to slice mushrooms — my husband's idea. It works so well. I turn the mushrooms upside down for best results. — Deanna Lorenzen, San Diego

Dear Heloise: Thank you for an interesting, informative and useful column. Here are a couple of hints I've found helpful:

I put a reminder note (in large, black-printed letters) on a floor or bathroom mirror with the time and place of important things I need to do the next day, so that I'll see it first thing in the morning. More than once I would have forgotten an appointment or commitment without the reminder.

Also, I keep old phone books in the car trunk after new ones arrive. The addresses and phone numbers come in handy. — Helen B. Bergeson, Draper, Utah

Dear Heloise: When packing clothing and toiletries in plastic bags, make sure the bags have no writing on them. I once packed some dirty clothes in a supermarket plastic bag, and something leaked. The ink stained some of the clothing. — Cory from San Diego

Dear Heloise: I get dry, flyaway hair frequently, and it seems when I'm out and about and brush my hair that it sticks up all over and can be embarrassing. So, I keep an unscented dryer sheet in my purse or car, and when this happens I take the sheet and lightly rub it on my hair, and it makes my hair go back down instantly. It also takes away the static for the rest of the day, and since I use an unscented sheet, it doesn't smell. — Theresa E., Huntington Beach, Calif.

Send a great hint to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000; fax: 210-435-6473; e-mail: [email protected]. © King Features Syndicate Inc.