Boosting curb appeal

Dear Readers: Duncan, a Pet Pal alum, is back after having his teeth professionally cleaned. He’s wearing the “cone of shame” so he won’t scratch his mouth. Cleanings are important to keep a dog’s mouth and teeth healthy. — Heloise

Dear Readers: A spring weekend affords the opportunity to boost the curb appeal of your home! There are lots of areas you can spruce up; here are a few hints:

Repair cracks in the driveway. Pull and kill weeds, and remove any staining. Sweep thoroughly.

Hints from Heloise sig

Freshen up, polish or replace hardware such as house numbers, doorknobs and light fixtures. Maybe a new color for the front door?

Take a look at the mailbox. Perhaps a fresh coat of paint, new flag and new plants around the base? All good choices. The style of your mailbox should coordinate with the look of your home.

Cut away dead overgrowth and brush in front of the house. Consider renting a power washer to deep-clean the concrete.

Experts agree: Symmetry is key (matching flowerpots on either side of the entry, for example) and will make your home stand out this spring!

— Heloise

Warming up butter

DEAR HELOISE: My wife of 30 years came up with this nifty trick at lunch. When you are served bread with cold, foil-covered butter pats, instead of smooshing the hard butter into your soft bread, hold the butter pat in your closed hand for a minute.

Open the foil and spread nice, soft butter onto your bread. Works like a charm!

— Big Mike, San Clemente, Calif.

Tie one on

DEAR HELOISE: Most of the suitcases at airport baggage claims are black. While a traveler can tie a bright ribbon to the suitcase handle, it’s difficult to spot one’s luggage if it arrives upside down. I solved that problem by applying brightly colored stickers to the bottom of my checked bag.

— Sally T., Minneapolis

Cheeky reader

DEAR HELOISE: By applying a tiny bit of petroleum jelly and then a bit of lipstick to my cheeks, it makes for a great cheek color and always matches my lipstick


— Dotty, via email

Call her Ms. Clean

DEAR HELOISE: During a cold spell last month, I became Ms. Clean for a few days. I disinfected doors, cabinet knobs, phones, keys, wall light switches, the refrigerator, microwave and stove handles, water spigots and handles on toilets.

I did the car steering wheel, the gearshift and all the buttons and door latches, too.

— Elaine H., Port Charlotte, Fla.

Sent hints to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001 or email