Dear Heloise: The Friends of Caestecker Library in Green Lake, Wis., gratefully accepts book and puzzle donations all year long. Like many libraries, our used-book sales are major moneymakers, allowing us to provide all of our library’s newspapers and magazines, sponsor special programs, add to the library’s audiobook, large-print, children’s and adult-book collections, and assist with major projects such as replacing the library’s roof.

Ask first, and if your local library says no, call the ones in nearby towns. We will be glad to pick them up. -- A Friend of the Caestecker Public Library, via e-mail

Dear Friend: There are libraries like yours all over the country, and I applaud them and the wonderful volunteers who make things happen. I recently was in Roswell, N.M., speaking about literacy for the Friends of the Roswell Public Library. You are right; they, too, accept books and sell them to raise funds. -- Heloise

P.S.: Hi and thank you for a wonderful time in Roswell. I met a lot of fantastic people, but sadly, no space aliens!


Dear Heloise: One sure way to get a phone call regarding receiving a gift of a check is this: Send the usual amount, but don’t sign the check. The recipient will call. -- John, via e-mail

This is hilarious, and I love it! You would be amazed how many letters come in complaining that people don’t send thank-you notes! -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I save the rubber bands that come wrapped around my newspaper and find them useful for many purposes. I place one or two around bottles of dish detergent, shampoo, hair spray, etc., to prevent slippage.

They even help on jars of face cream, etc. I wrap them around pens and put several on handles of garden trowels and other small tools for a more comfortable grip. -- Susan H., Pekin, Ill.


Dear Heloise: Encourage your readers to check out their local assisted-living centers to see if the centers might want the “freebies” that come in the mail. I found that they were most happy to make use of calendars, notepads and other things.

Most centers have activity directors who are able to use these articles in lots of ingenious ways!

I made an announcement in church around Christmastime that I was collecting these articles and would deliver them to the centers. I had a great response.

Thanks for printing this and perhaps adding a bit of enjoyment to someone who’s not so fortunate. -- Fern in Colorado


Dear Heloise: When preparing a meatloaf, I wanted to line the loaf pan with foil so that I could remove the meatloaf. Instead of trying to make the foil fit inside the pan, I molded it to the outside of the pan. I slipped the foil inside the pan, and it fit perfectly. When the meat was baked, I easily lifted out the loaf. -- Joyce M., Hot Springs Village, Ark.

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

2012, King Features Syndicate