It’s not always a scammer

DEAR HELOISE >> It was mentioned in an article not to answer the phone for numbers you don’t recognize, and you agreed with this, and mostly, you are correct. However, when I moved my mother into an assisted living facility, I received calls from the caregivers and nurses on their private cellphones telling me of some incident with my mother. After not answering the first unknown number and then hearing the message about a fall, I have instructed my household to answer every call, because we have no way of knowing if it is her facility or not. Most calls come from the recognized facility phone number, but there have been exceptions.

— S.C., in Kentucky

DEAR HELOISE >> It seems like the print on labels or expiration dates keep getting smaller or are printed on metallic or in a difficult-to-read color.

I simply take a picture with my phone and enlarge it. I don’t even need my glasses! Read your hints daily.

— Liz, Canton, Ohio

DEAR HELOISE >> I read and enjoy your column everyday, but cannot ignore the newspaper bags for picking up after dogs comments. Yes, they work perfectly for that purpose, but then the bag is no longer recyclable because it is contaminated by the new contents of it. And, if this method were used by most, that is a lot of plastic bags going into the earth.

I would recommend the old-fashioned, but less desirable, method of picking it up with folded bathroom tissue and flushing it down the toilet when you arrive home. As for the bags, I collect them for the newspaper delivery person, who has expressed appreciation as he must purchase those bags.

— Cheryl Cardin, Bella Vista, Arkansas

DEAR HELOISE >> Some people wash iron cookware with soap and water, which I understand

should not be done. I scour mine out with a metal scrubber, rinse with a bit of water, then dry it with a cloth towel. I then let it sit and air-dry for at least an hour. Then I may recoat it with a bit of olive oil if it looks like it could use some. As I always coat the pan with olive oil before I put anything in the pan, I usually don’t need to. That way I am not using more gas or electricity resources.

— Ann, Rolla in Missouri

DEAR HELOISE >> I use the notes section of my phone for my shopping list. Items I buy regularly are kept on the list, and when I need to buy one, I put an asterisk beside it. After I’ve purchased it, I remove the asterisk. Other items can always be added as well.

They can even be listed according to the layout of the store.

— A Reader 

Write to Heloise

P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 210-HELOISE

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