Dear Heloise: I lost your recipe for a homemade cold pack where the ingredients are put in a zipper bag and kept in the freezer. I know it was water and possibly rubbing alcohol, but I don't even remember the amounts. Can you please reprint it? — A Reader, via e-mail

With summer here and little ones — plus big ones — spending more time outside, there are lots of bumps and scrapes to deal with. A cheap cold pack helps ease things. For quick packs, you can use a bag of frozen veggies or little takeout condiment packets of mustard, ketchup, etc., that have been kept in the freezer just for this purpose.

You can make your own money-saving cold pack using 3 parts water to 1 part alcohol (example, 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup alcohol). Put it in a sturdy, labeled, plastic zipper-top freezer bag, and bag again to prevent leaks. There are different strengths of isopropyl alcohol, from 70 percent to 90 percent. The higher the alcohol content, the stronger the solution and the lower the freezing point. The pack won't freeze solid and will mold to your body, so it is important to place a cloth between your skin and the cold pack. Be sure to label with the ingredients, proportions and add a few drops of food coloring so it won't be mistaken for food. Once the pack thaws, it can be refrozen over and over. — Heloise

Dear Readers: Do you have an overstock of photo frames? Here are some suggestions for using them:

• Put a favorite recipe in one while preparing it.

• Place your daily schedule in it to refer to.

• Use to hold a reminder note for a spouse or the kids.

• Place a small calendar in one to have handy.

• Use to keep important appointment slips in. —: Heloise

Dear Heloise: You recently printed a hint from a mother who insisted that her family turn all clothes right side out before putting them in the hamper. I have to disagree with that. Some laundry tags say to turn the clothes inside out. It saves the color and keeps the clothes looking new longer. I have done this for many years, especially with the newer fabrics that tend to pill and fade quickly. — Margaret Ingraham, Lubbock, Texas

You are right — turning garments inside out will help! — Heloise

Dear Heloise: Shake a little bit of cornstarch into the pair of socks you will be wearing. This helps to absorb moisture, and your feet will stay comfortable. — Anna Victoria Reich, Stafford, Va.

Dear Heloise: I am reminded of my Sound Off every morning when I drive to work. When they have road work and a sign saying that a specific lane is closed, cars race up to the closure and then try to force themselves over. Can't they get over like everyone else? — Diana P. from Colorado


Have a great tip? Send it to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, fax: 210-HELOISE, e-mail: [email protected] © King Features Syndicate