Dear Heloise: My husband thought we should share a family tradition with your readers because he loves it. Our family lives all around the United States, and we are always trying to find time to visit. Before we leave, we hide little folded (and dated) NOTES around their homes with messages about our stay, our love of them, wishing we could see them again soon, and silly thoughts about little things that will mean something to them.

We put them in their car glove box, cereal boxes, taped to the back of bottles, between their DVDs, in linen closets between towels, in the freezer, in bathroom drawers, in winter boots (leave these in summer so they will find them months down the road), in pockets of coats and under lamp bottoms.

The notes are warm reminders of the visit and usually bring smiles. I found one recently in my home that was 12 years old. My sisters started this for our mother when she would feel sad as we were all about to leave. She loved it! -- Skeeter Gurzick, Omaha

Charming! I sometimes slip notes into my husband’s luggage when he leaves for a trip. Surprise! -- Heloise

PET PAL

Readers: Carolyn Dunmyer of Aledo, Tex., sent in a photo of her two beautiful cats, who are brothers. They are Romeo and Valentino, who are quite comfy in a basket. Carolyn says: “Romeo and Valentino are two solid-white, domestic shorthair cats that we adopted from our local animal shelter as 8-week-old kittens. They are brothers and are real Italian lovers.” To see these cuddling kitties, visit my Web site, www.Heloise.com, and click on “Pets.” -- Heloise

HANDY OVEN MITT

Dear Heloise: When I’m cooking a meal, not everything is ready at the same time. First is the baked potatoes. I keep them hot by putting them in an oven mitt. They stay hot and ready to serve with the rest of the meal. -- Ken Leach, The Villages, Fla.

Potatoes can be used in so many ways and often are a part of a meal or even a meal in itself. One of the potato recipes I enjoy the most is a recipe that my mother, the original Heloise (1919-1977), brought back from China in the 1940s. It is Heloise’s Peking (Double-Baked, Stuffed) Potatoes. If you would like to try it, send for my pamphlet Heloise’s Main Dishes and More. All you need to do is send $3 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (65 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Main Dish, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. This pamphlet also has Heloise’s Southwestern Veggie Rice and Mother’s Chinese Beets. Did you know that many Americans consume more than 120 pounds of potatoes every year? That’s a lot of spuds! -- Heloise

PET POINTER

Dear Heloise: Thank you for the great hint to use pill sorters for pets’ medicines! They will be great for kennel visits. -- M.S., via e-mail

Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com. Please include your city and state.

2012, King Features Syndicate