Dear Readers: How many times have you lifted something and strained your back? Well, there is a "right way" to lift things to protect your back. Here are some important hints:
• Before lifting a heavy item like luggage, try pushing it with your foot. If it seems too heavy, see if the load can be broken into smaller ones.
• Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and bend at your knees.
• When you stand, lift with your legs, NOT your back.
• Don't lean over to lift an object. Instead, stand close to it and bend your knees while keeping your back straight, and then lift.
• When carrying heavy packages, try to distribute the weight evenly on both sides of your body. Two small bags are better than one heavy bag.
• Wear walking, running or other comfortable shoes trying to carry a heavy load in inappropriate shoes (such as flip-flops) can injure your back, feet and ankles.Be mindful of your back and keep it healthy and strong it's the only one you'll ever have, and you'll need it to carry you "straight" into your golden years. Heloise
Dear Heloise: Today I discovered a new way to use white vinegar. I recently bought some new stainless pots and pans, only to find that no matter what I cooked in them, there was a white residue left. I tried scouring pads, stainless cleaner and several other cleaners, to no avail. This morning, I decided to try vinegar, and a beautiful shine was the result! Evelyn Peters, via e-mail
Dear Heloise: On a recent road trip, I took along one of those big, yellow self-adhesive notepads. I pasted a sheet on the inside of the side car window to keep the sun off me during the drive and was careful not to obstruct my view of the side mirror. It worked great as a sun screen that I could easily put on and peel off the window as the angle of the sun changed maybe I should patent this idea! Sharon Hockensmith, McKinney, Texas
Dear Heloise: I have a favorite use for those permanent markers, one that I would like to share with others:For spray bottles with the twist ends for "off" or "spray," I draw four lines to indicate spray and one line to indicate closed or off. Lee Kaplan, Delmar, N.Y.
Dear Heloise: My dining table has two leaves, so I need tablecloths in three sizes. But once they are folded and on the shelf, I can't tell which is which.I wrote the color and dimensions of each tablecloth on a wooden clothespin and clipped it to the side of the folded tablecloth. Now when I open the linen closest, I can tell from the information on the clothespins which one is the right size. Margaret, Sacramento, Calif.
Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to 1-210-435-6473 or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column. © King Features Syndicate Inc.