Dear Heloise: Just read your column in the paper where someone suggested to always carry your car keys in your hand when walking to your car, so as to be ready to unlock the car and also to use as a weapon if needed.

Another thing that should have been pointed out is to have the key fob in your hand with your thumb on the panic (red/alarm) button and press it if needed, as your car horn sounding an alarm will make most would-be muggers get lost. This hint is for both men and women. — Max Weber, Culpeper, Va.

Good advice for all of us to remember. It takes only a second to be distracted. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: Yesterday, a friend was visiting and complaining about her neck chain being in knots. It reminded me of a hint my Mama taught me.

To keep the chain from knotting (when storing — Heloise), string it through a straw and secure the clasp to hold in place. You'll never have any more knots! — Glenna Hoff, via e-mail

Dear Helosie: We have been privileged to split our time between California and Texas in three-month increments. In doing so, we garage our cars for six months out of the year. Someone suggested that we could save a lot of money by calling our insurance company and reporting that our cars are in storage/garaged when not in use. This little tip has literally saved us multiple hundreds of dollars on our biannual premium payments. — Tom Braddock in San Diego and San Antonio

Dear Heloise: When I was growing up, we had a wonderful library with a children's room. However, whether I was the only child or there were others, the librarian insisted that all be quiet.

In my present city, we have a very fine library, including a separate children's room. No matter how many people are there — and there are always lots of them — nobody talks in hushed tones, but one is not aware of "noise." It is a delightful place to be, whether one is browsing, using the computers, looking for specific books, consulting with someone at the reference desk or sitting in one of many available places. A library should be like ours — open and available for many purposes. One should not have to be quiet, but certainly, everyone should be considerate. — Paula Hyatt, Salem, Ore.


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 [email protected]. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column. © King Features Syndicate Inc.