Dear Readers: A column recently ran about COFFEE GROUNDS and why you should not put them down the disposal or drain. Here is a reader’s response about his experience:

“Our family owned a large plumbing/heating/AC company. We had the contract to install the heating/AC at a hospital’s addition. At the main entrance, there was a gift-and-snack shop. About nine months after they occupied the new addition, we received a call about a leak in one of our heat/AC units. Searching for the source, someone ran water in the snack shop, and water came dripping down from a horizontal drain line. It seems that the snack shop was flushing coffee grounds down the sink with just enough water to rinse out the sink. Thus the grounds stayed in the pipe and eroded it. Talk about strong coffee!” -- R.D. Smith, Lima, Ohio

It’s amazing what people put down the kitchen sink, expecting it to just “disappear”! For my readers who are saying to themselves, “I’ve done this all of my life and never had a problem,” count yourself lucky! Remember, when in doubt, throw it out. Trust me on this one: My husband, David, who built our house, said to me that if it can go in the trash or compost pile, it should, rather than try to stuff a sinkful of potato peels or celery remains down the plumbing system. -- Heloise


Dear Readers: George and Shirley Palmer of Punta Gorda, Fla., sent a picture of their adopted tabby-and-white cat, Bentley, sitting on a chair. They say he loves people and is always ready to greet them when the doorbell rings. George and Shirley say they are lucky that Bentley found them. To see Bentley’s picture, go to my Web site,, and click on “Pets.” -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: For the lady’s cat who drinks from the fishbowl (Heloise here: Maybelline, a previous Pet Pal, was shown drinking out of the fishbowl), use a plastic mesh vegetable/ onion bag. Slip the bag over the bowl opening. The fish gets air, and the cat can’t drink from it. -- A Reader, via e-mail


Dear Heloise: For a week, I was noticing that my bread tasted or smelled like bananas. I couldn’t figure it out, and I thought I was going crazy! I could take only a few bites of my sandwiches or toast because I kept tasting it. I finally figured it out! I had the bread and the bananas right next to each other on the counter. Being so close, the bread starting absorbing the odor! Now I know, and I store the bananas separately! -- A Reader in Texas


Dear Heloise: I sew buttonholes into the corners of my towels. I have several hooks in my bathroom that I hang my towels and other things on. With the buttonholes, the towels are really easy to hang, and they never fall off onto the floor. -- Loni in Texas

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, or e-mail it to

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