Dear Heloise: I was reading your column on scams, and we have a suggestion for grandparents. We know of some grandparents who this happened to, and the grandfather was on the way to the bank to draw out $10,000 when they figured out it was not true! This was tried on us earlier this year, and after a few minutes, I had my doubts, so I just let him talk.
Then I stopped him and asked what was our dog's name. His response was, "You don't believe me, Grandma?" Again, I asked what was our dog's name, and he gave me one that was so wrong that it was funny. I hung up on him. Ever since our kids were little, we taught them a secret word or question that only they would know, and we also use it with our grandkids.
Please, set up something like this, and it will stop the scams. -- Beverly Carr, Ottawa, Ohio
Dear Heloise: No one should have "garbage." Papers should be shredded if they're confidential, and plastic should be recycled. Non-meat food waste should be composted. I do mine in a metal trash can and do not have odors or varmints. I toss in worms on the top and they do their work, and then I have compost the next year. It does not have to be turned. If people think about recycling before purchasing, it will reduce the amount of waste being dumped in the oceans. -- Ann, via email
Ann, I have long been an advocate for keeping our planet healthy.
In my book "Heloise's Hints for a Healthy Planet," which was printed on recycled paper, I emphasized the three R's -- recycle, reuse and be resourceful. We all realize that thrifty hints such as reusing packaging material, jars and other food containers, and not using disposables can make a difference if enough of us become environmentally aware. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: I take the waxed paper from cereal boxes to line my countertop to roll pie crust, sift flour, and chop nuts and veggies. Teachers have requested these liners from students to bring to school for art classes or eating treats in the classroom. Then they are tossed when finished. Simply remove the liner from the box and slice apart the liner by pulling apart at the seal. Fold and store for later use. -- Marilyn Sherman, via email
Dear Heloise: My favorite way to fix asparagus is to steam it then pour a heated mixture of 2 tablespoons of oil, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt over it. Delicious! -- Jo, Navasota, Texas
Jo, many of you have sent in your favorite way to cook asparagus. This one sounds delicious. When you are buying asparagus, you want to get the freshest you can, so look for tight, compact "leaves" on the head of the stalk.
Opened ones or those with yellow showing are old. Also look at the cut end of the stem -- the fresher the cut, the fresher the asparagus. -- Heloise
Dear Readers: Gracie M. from Levittown, N.Y., sent in her photo of her newly adopted female cat named Logan. Logan is a tuxedo cat, so she's always ready for a formal affair. She also loves to play fetch.
To see Gracie and our other Pet Pals, go to Heloise.com and click on "Pet of the Week." -- Heloise
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