Dear Heloise: If your readers have questions about their children's school or other education issues, they can get answers if they call the National Principals' Hotline. School principals or school psychologists will be happy to take calls on April 18, 19 and 20, when the National Association of Elementary School Principals is offering its once-a-year, toll-free phone and e-mail service. Parents, grandparents or anyone who has a question can call.
Call toll-free, 1-800-944-1601, or e-mail the Hotline at www.naesp.org during the following days and times, which are listed as Mountain Standard Time (Note: Computer users can e-mail on Saturday, April 17.):
Sun., April 18 — noon-6 p.m.
Mon., April 19 — 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Tues., April 20 — 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Callers can ask about reading problems, special-education issues, testing, school discipline, school safety, learning difficulties and even kindergarten entrance. In fact, you can call about any subject. Spanish translators will also be available. Be sure to ask about free copies of helpful brochures that are available, too. — June Million, NAESP director of public informatione
Folks, this is your chance to ask the questions that might have been on your mind. The professionals will be waiting to help you — give them a call.— Heloise
Dear Heloise: In response to a question from a reader about a musty odor from a piece of wood furniture and your response: I have had the same problem and solved it. It almost seems as if there is an invisible mold to remove.
First, vacuum the piece, especially joints and cracks. Second, clean with a wood oil soap, inside and out, bottom and back (don't forget drawers), using lots of elbow grease. Third, use fine sandpaper on unfinished parts of the piece. Fourth, place a bowl of vinegar and a bowl of baking soda inside the piece or under it (if a table). Drape a sheet over the piece and let it sit for several days. Voila! Clean and odor-free! — S. Burke, via e-mail
Dear Heloise: This is to the grandma who uses her pillboxes to store her multicolored candies (she uses the candies to decorate pancakes — Heloise). I think that is a horrible idea! Children should never associate pillboxes with candy! Think of the tragedy if a child thinks she or he is snitching candy and instead swallows a heart pill or a sleeping pill. Grandma, please throw those pillboxes out!— Tyger Valverde, Mineola, Texas
Tyger, you are right, as several other readers pointed out as well. So, folks, only medicines in pillboxes.— Heloise
Dear Heloise: Here's what I do when I don't get my clothes out of the dryer in time to prevent wrinkles: I toss a slightly damp towel in with the wrinkled clothes, set the timer for about 5 minutes and turn it back on. When the timer goes off, I promptly remove the clothes, and voila — the wrinkles are gone.— Ruth K. from Ohio
Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to 210-HELOISE 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.