Dear Heloise: Have you received a telephone call where the caller started out with: "I'm a Medicare adviser on a recorded line. Can you hear me?" DO NOT ANSWER! Hang up immediately. This is nothing but a trick to get you to say "yes," and that one word can get you into a lot of trouble. They use it to buy goods and services that you won't receive but will be billed for anyway. Always be alert for scam artists who want to take unfair advantage of you.

— Lowell M., Boston

Lowell M.: Thank you for your warning. I’ve received calls like that, and I always hang up on them.

Dear Heloise: I was in a store yesterday, and a toddler was shouting at his mother. He wasn't angry; he simply didn't know how to talk in a normal voice. When I was out later that day I heard a mother telling her young daughter to use her indoor voice. "We don't shout inside, and if you do I'll ignore you," she told her child. I wish more mothers would teach their kids to use their indoor voices. Hearing a kid rant or shout in a store reflects poorly on the parents, not the child. It's just good manners to teach your child the difference between shouting for attention and speaking in a normal tone.

— Vera N., Skokie, Ill.

Dear Heloise: Working for a major cosmetic company has taught me a lot over the years, and I'd like to pass on the most common mistakes I see.

● Don't close your eye when applying eyeliner.

● You don't need to match your eye makeup to your clothing.

● If you outline your lips, use a nude pencil. It will keep lipstick from running.

● Blend, blend, blend all of your makeup. No hard lines.

● If your makeup is over a year old or has a bad odor, throw it out.

● Don't pump your eyelash wand. You're just pushing air into the container.

● Always wash your makeup off before going to bed. Then apply moisturizer.

— Joyce H., Los Angeles

Dear Heloise: I love flannel sheets, but for some reason mine have gotten stiff over time. How can I soften these sheets again?

— Rosanna H., Gorham, Maine

Rosanna H.: Try this method: Wash your flannel sheets on the gentle cycle without any fabric softener (you might be having fabric softener buildup), using a mild detergent. Add one cup of vinegar to the rinse water, and do not use a fabric softener sheet when drying your sheets. Use only cold water. You may have to do this twice to get your sheets back to their softer side.

Dear Heloise: How can I remind myself to take my vitamins every day? I need to take them but keep forgetting.

— Lindsey W., Santa Fe, N.M.

Lindsey W.: If you eat cereal in the morning, put your vitamin bottle in the cereal bowl and take them before you eat. If you drink juice in the morning, put the vitamin bottle in front of the juice bottle in the refrigerator. Put a note on your bathroom mirror, but take those vitamins.

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