HELOISE: Responding to unknown phone numbers |

Dear Héloïse: It was mentioned in an article about not answering the phone for numbers you don’t recognize, and you agree with that, and more importantly, you’re right. However, when I transferred my mother to an assisted living facility, I received calls from caregivers and nurses on their private cell phones reporting an incident with my mother. After not answering the first unknown number and then hearing the message about a fall, I asked my family to answer all calls as we have no way of knowing if this is his property or not . Most calls originated from the establishment’s recognized telephone number, but there were exceptions. —SC, Kentucky

small labels

Dear Héloïse: It seems that the characters printed on the labels or the expiration dates are getting smaller and smaller or are printed on metal or in a color that is difficult to read. I just take a photo with my phone and enlarge it. I don’t even need my glasses! Read your tips daily. —Liz, Canton, Ohio

Use newspaper bags for dog poop

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Dear Héloïse: I read and enjoy your column every day, but I can’t ignore the bags of newspapers to pick up after the dog comments. Yes, they work perfectly for this purpose, but then the bag is no longer recyclable because it is contaminated with the new contents of it. And, while this method was used by most, that’s a lot of plastic bags going into the dirt.

I would recommend the old fashioned but less desirable method of scooping it up with folded toilet paper and flushing it down the toilet when you get home. As for the bags, I collect them for the newspaper boy, who expressed his appreciation because he has to buy these bags. —Cheryl Cardin, Bella Vista, Arkansas

Iron cookware

Dear Héloïse: Some people wash iron cooking utensils with soap and water, which I understand shouldn’t be done. I scrub mine with a wire brush, rinse it 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 can coat it with a little olive oil if it looks like it could use some. Since I always coat the pan with olive oil before putting anything in the pan, I usually don’t need to do this. This way, I don’t use more gas or electricity resources. — Ann, Rolla, Missouri

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