Putting home ec back in schools

DEAR HELOISE: I am writing in because I feel it's such a shame that home economics was one of the classes, along with driver's education and many trade classes, that was cut from schools shortly after I left high school in the late '80s. We really need to bring these back.

We diminished the importance of learning how to manage our homes, cook and do simple things like balancing your checkbook. There are so many things that our young folks can benefit from.

For example, my husband was at a big-box store the other day and asked a young clerk where the WD-40 was. He had no idea what it was or where it could be found in the store. When my husband explained that it was a lubricant, the clerk asked, "Do you cook with it?"

Wow, our younger generations have missed so much! It's not his fault, but there's just not enough emphasis on the day-to-day activities that they will need later in life. I ask your readers that if they are a part of their school councils, please vote to put some of these courses back in the curriculum. This should include how to buy a car, how to get a loan, how to save for your future, and how to cook and support yourself. Cheers. -- Liz Matheny, La Mirada, California

DOG SLING

DEAR HELOISE: On our last trip to the vet with our golden retriever, Molly, she was having difficulty getting her front paws into the car, probably because of her age.

Her weight made it difficult for us seniors to lift her into the car, but a neighbor noticed our problem and came over with a large bath towel. She showed us that if we put the towel under Molly's hind legs and use it like a sling, we could easily lift her into the car. I'm still surprised that in all my 78 years, I had never heard of this before.

My wife and I read your column every day. -- Gary and Alicia, Mountain Home, Arkansas

SAVING TREES

DEAR HELOISE: My hint is about recycling junk mail. I open all mail, and when I see an 8-by-11-inch letter, I check the back. If it is blank, I'll use the blank side in my printer. I haven't had to buy a pack of letter paper in years. -- Debbie, Dayton, Ohio

CURSIVE WRITING DILEMMA

DEAR HELOISE: My 21-year-old grandson told me that he wasn't taught cursive writing, so he struggles to read my birthday cards to him. I was shocked to find that out. It occurred to me that he could never be able to get a job at the post office since so many people like me send letters and write in cursive.

I read your column every day in the Orange County Register. -- Mary Negrete, via email

BAKING SODA HINT

DEAR HELOISE: Thank you for all your hints, especially the one about using baking soda for stovetop fires. Here's a couple of additional hints:

Don't put baking soda in the cupboard above or near the stove. Also, open the box. Fires create panic, and you don't want to worry about trying to open the box if a fire occurs. Plus, leaving the box open provides a freshener to the pantry or cupboard. -- Beverly, Spokane, Washington

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to HeloiseHeloise.com. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

King Features Syndicate

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