HINTS FROM HELOISE

Garden City Telegram

Dear Readers: April showers bring May flowers, but they also bring wet, slippery roads and dangerous driving conditions. Here are some driving hints for safety on the road during a rainstorm:

-  Ensure brake lights, headlights, taillights, turn signals and windshield wipers on your vehicle are all working correctly. Tires must be inflated properly, and a good tread depth will help with traction on wet roads.

-  Reduce your speed. To avoid hydroplaning, slow down, don't brake hard and don't turn sharply.

-  Put a cushion of space (at least one car length) between you and other drivers. Increase your following distance and slow down well before the intersection or where you are turning into.

-  Brake and slow down, then turn, then accelerate.

-  In the event of a skid, do not slam on the brakes; look and steer into the direction you want to go. Don't panic. 

-  Driving in wet weather can be dangerous. Slow down, give yourself extra time and maintain space around you to shield you from other drivers. - Heloise

ORGANIZATION NATION - JEAN GENIE

Dear Heloise: My beef is with jeans manufacturers. Women's jeans in general are cut so that the pockets in the front are small or faux (nonexistent), and the pockets in the back are low and short - my phone doesn't even fit back there! It pops out when I sit down.

Meanwhile, men's jeans are roomy with huge pockets, both front and back. I guess manufacturers think women carry all their necessaries in a handbag, but for some of us, that is not practical.

Let's get the word out that women need roomy pockets, without looking bulky (I get we want to look slim), to make life easier. - Avery R. in Louisiana

WHAT A DOLL

Dear Heloise: My 10-year-old daughter, Annie, has Down syndrome, and we're trying to make her life as ordinary, typical and mainstream as possible. I was thrilled to find a doll with Down syndrome facial features. Annie relates to this doll better, I think, than her other dolls. 

She can dress the doll in super-cute outfits (it has moveable arms and legs), and the doll helps her friends and other parents understand DS better and foster a sense of normalcy for Annie. - Jane W. in Texas

Jane, toy designers have come a long way in recent years to make kids with special needs feel included in everyday experiences with their friends and classmates.

And if other kids can see that a doll has been created to mirror their friend, it will foster a sense of understanding that will help everyone grow and learn. There are even dolls that come with wheelchairs. This is a great thing. High-five! - Heloise 

FRESH BREAD

Dear Heloise: To help keep, say, a half loaf of bread fresh, I hold the bread wrapper up and cut it down the middle into two sections. Then I can tie the two sides together in a knot at the level of the bread. - Virginia D. in Pennsylvania 

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