Dear Readers: Apartment or condo hunting should take some time to find the right spot to live. You may be there awhile. Hints to help you:

Where do you want to live? Near schooling, work or family? Need access to bus routes, stores or medical centers?

Check crime statistics in that ZIP code. Some apartments have police officers who live on-site who work security on their off-hours.

There should be good lighting, and the buildings should be clean and well-maintained. Parking should be lighted and safe.

You must check the apartment you want. Do appliances work? Check the bathroom drains and shower. Hot water slow? Do they drain well? Flush the toilet a few times to see if it drains quickly. Good locks on doors and windows are a must. — Heloise

P.S.: Chat up residents in common areas and ask how they like living there.

Dear Readers: Have a happy and safe Halloween. Keep pets and children in sight. — Heloise

Thanks mom with dollars

Dear Heloise: I read the article about a child thanking their mother on their birthday. As a single parent, college tuition was a struggle. When my son turned 30, he sent me a card that read “30 years ago you gave me life, 10 years ago you gave me a future.” Enclosed was a check for all the tuition I had paid! — Peg W., via email

Give that man and yourself a big Heloise hug! — Heloise


Dear Heloise: I enjoy you in The Gazette in Colorado Springs, Colo., and had the pleasure of hearing you in person at the Offutt Air Force Base Officers’ Wives Club in Nebraska back in the 1970s.

I have an interesting reaction to the term “plucking” one’s eyebrows. Chickens are “plucked”; people “tweeze” their brows. — Sandy R., via email

Sandy, ouch either way! One can “pluck” a chicken and one’s eyebrows, but it’s difficult to “tweeze” a chicken!

Yes, I remember my visit, and what a treat to go “down” underground to the command center for the Strategic Air Command (SAC) at the time. They had “Welcome Heloise” on the big screens! Thanks, Air Force, from an AF “brat.” — Heloise


Dear Heloise: We went to painting workshops at a home-and-garden show. The speaker said to put about 1/4 cup of fabric softener in paintbrush cleaning water. I did, and it is so fabulous. Brushes are soft and smell great. — K.M., Grey Forest, Texas

My mother, the original Heloise, printed this hint decades ago. Update: Be sure to rinse well. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: The plastic tubs that hold dishwasher or laundry single-use packs make wonderful storage cans for things you store near a washing machine: stain pretreater, cloths for cleaning and other items. — Elva in San Antonio

Photo caption: Matt in San Antonio sent a picture of his adorable Chihuahua, Olivia, modeling her candy-corn dress — perfect for Halloween!