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HELOISE: Laying down the lawn

Dear Readers: Spring is here, and many homeowners are beginning to get outside to start working on the lawn. Here are some hints to get the beautiful lawn you hope to have:

• If you didn't aerate the lawn in the fall, do so now. Remove all dead leaves and grass while pulling out any weeds. Look for twigs and other debris that may have accumulated during the winter.

• Use a mulching lawn mower if you can, and mow only 1/3 off the top of the grass at a time. Don't scalp the yard!

• When you do water the lawn, the best time is in the morning. Of course, where you live and what the climate is will determine how often to water. -- Heloise

P.S.: Here in San Antonio, where I live, we are under severe water restrictions because of the horrible drought. So for us, not having a "green" lawn is not that big of a deal.

TANGLE OF CORDS

Dear Heloise: If other households suffer, as ours does, from the accumulation of tiny, unidentified electrical chargers, and if they have a way of massing together in a jumble of tangled cords, this tip may be helpful. Use a white-ink felt-tip pen, and as soon as a device comes into the house, write directly on its black plastic power supply what device it belongs to. Then put each one in a small zip plastic bag. It doesn't hurt to label each bag, too. From then on, you will know what each does, and the tangle of cords should be vanquished. -- B.A.F. in San Antonio

STAYING ON BUDGET

Dear Heloise: Grocery shopping is a major part of my family's budget. And as other mothers know, grocery shopping with kids is hard. One way I try to cut down on expenses is to go grocery shopping without the kids, if I can. I love them, but boy, they can put things in the basket that I'm not even aware of! -- A Reader in Pennsylvania

Dear Reader: Isn't it amazing how many "goodies" are at eye level for little ones? -- Heloise

SUMMER STROLLING

Dear Heloise: I love to do things outside with my son: the zoo, playgrounds, walks, etc. During the summer, it can get really hot. I bought a cheap, clip-on, battery-operated fan. I simply clip it onto his stroller, and he gets a nice, cooling breeze. Or if we have a picnic, we can unclip it from the stroller and prop it up to blow on us while we eat. -- Dana in New Mexico

SHOWER CAP OVER SEAT

Dear Heloise: I ride a bike instead of driving places. I always carry a shower cap with me, and I use it to cover the seat of my bicycle when I am not riding. This way, I don't have to worry about the seat being dirty or wet when I sit on it. -- A Reader in New York

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