Today’s sound off is about yard maintenance:

DEAR HELOISE: With the fall comes yard maintenance: cutting trees back, mulching and raking leaves. Two of my neighbors use those blowers that blow leaves and debris out into the street, but unfortunately they don’t bag the leaves and twigs. The first strong wind that comes along blows everything back where it was, or worse, it ends up in everyone else’s yard.

Hints from Heloise sig

My neighborhood is in the suburbs, and everyone takes great care with their yard. This makes our street look nice, keeps property values up and makes this a healthy, happy place to live, except for these two households. Well, last week someone called the police on them for leaving a huge pile of leaves in the street, and the family was ticketed and embarrassed.

It’s just common courtesy to your neighbors to be a responsible homeowner by maintaining your property. That means bagging your leaves, shoveling snow off of your walkway or hiring someone to do it for you. A lot of high-school kids are looking for work after school to earn extra money. Even a neighbor might be willing to help you if you’d ask.

— Gloria and Philip H., Birmingham, Mich.

San Antonio, TX 78279-5001

New uses for napkin rings:

Use at the base of candles as a decoration.

Use one to corral your computer cords.

Use one to hold a small bouquet of flowers.

Tie one to a ceiling fan pull chain to make it easier to see and use.

Dear Readers: They never give up! A scammer might send you a check, for any amount, with little or no explanation. If you cash it, you could be signing up for a loan that you didn’t want or request. You also might be authorizing a purchase of goods or services you never wanted and will never receive.

You could receive an email or phone call asking you to give a stranger your bank account number or debit card number for verification of your account. First ask for a number where you can reach them, if they won’t give it to you, hang up immediately. If they give you a number, DON’T call them back. Instead, call your bank and let them know what happened. Forward emails like this to the Federal Trade Commission at [email protected].

Nail polish

DEAR HELOISE: My nail polish won’t stay on my nails. I’ve tried several brands, but nothing works. Any hints?

— Frances P., Norcross, Ga.

Frances, try these steps:

1. First wipe down your nails with plain white vinegar to clean and remove oil.

2. Don’t soak your nails.

3. File your nails and push back or cut your cuticles. Try buffing your nails too for a smoother finish.

4. Apply one or two coats of a clear base coat to prevent yellowing of the nails and to help the polish cling to the nail, but never let it run onto your cuticles.

5. Don’t shake your bottle of polish. Instead, roll it between your hands. Apply two coats, allowing each coat to dry.

6. Apply one or two coats of clear topcoat and allow to dry.

7. Always use gloves when doing housework.

©2020 by King Features Syndicate Inc.

Send hints to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001 or email [email protected].

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