Hints from Heloise: Answering unknown calls?

Dear Heloise >> Regarding the letter from Victoria D., of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, who asked how to silence spam calls, I disagree with your advice.

My father suffered from health problems and dementia, and he was very fragile during the last few years of his life. I could not afford to miss a call from any of his caregivers. Yes, I had the facility and doctor’s phone numbers stored so that I could easily identify those callers. However, the significant majority of individuals who were responsible for my dad throughout each day and night used their personal cellphones for all communications.

There was no way I could disregard a call from an unknown number because so many times, it was simply someone new or a known contact using a different phone.

Victoria D. should try to have a conversation at work to explain her circumstances. Her boss should not be giving her dirty looks for monitoring these calls because she has very good reason to do so. If it’s a large enough firm to have a human resources department, they should provide her with some guidance as well.

Bottom line: I answered a lot of spam calls for a few years. It was 100% worth it because sometimes it would be someone who was calling about my dad. I assure you that I would rather have upset my boss than miss a critical moment in caring for my dad.

I read your column every day in the Orange County Register. Thank you for all the great advice!

-- Jennifer Bodenhoefer, Laguna Hills

Dear Heloise >> I traveled to an out-of-state wedding recently. I brought my dress shoes, but I forgot my shoehorn. You know what worked perfectly? The end of a travel-sized tube of toothpaste!

-- Mark, Arlington, Texas

Dear Heloise >> I wanted to comment on the letter regarding ginger uses: Don’t bother with trying to use it all up quickly. Instead, peel the ginger, then freeze it in large knobs. Then, when needed, simply grate the frozen ginger on a zester microplane or a plain grater.

Afterward, just put the unused knobs back in the freezer.

-- Lori Londa, via email

Dear Heloise >> Sometimes I accidentally overfill the water tank of my drip coffeemaker. I’ve found that I can use my clean turkey baster (the kind with a squeeze bulb on one end) to remove the extra water. It’s easy, and it works great. Thanks for many years of wonderful hints!

-- Janet E., Hidden Hills

Dear Heloise >> I accumulate many egg cartons, both foam and paper, but recently, I found a good use for them. I needed packing materials for a box that I was sending, so I used the entire egg carton to wedge my delicate items in the box. This protected it and prevented it from moving around. They are lightweight and durable.

Egg cartons are also good for holding paintbrushes while in the middle of a project. Then you can just toss them in the trash for an easy cleanup.

-- Janet Faulkner, via email

Contact Heloise at: Heloise@Heloise.com.

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