Dear Readers: Today’s SOUND OFF is about toll-free telephone numbers:

“Dear Heloise: Many companies do not provide toll-free phone numbers to call when you want to order something. They give you a website but not a phone number. Some of us do not have computers, don’t want to order online or don’t know how to use a computer. Please tell companies to keep a toll-free number on their products.” - Donna in Pennsylvania

Donna, we receive many letters from people who would rather speak to a person than place an order online. They may have questions that cannot be answered on a website or simply enjoy the interaction with another person. - Heloise



P.O. Box 795001

San Antonio, TX 78279-5001



Dear Readers: Here are some other uses for shower caps from hotels and motels:
• Cover bowls of leftover snacks: chips, pretzels and popcorn.

• Cover vegetable trays made before a party.

• Cover a hair dryer or shoes while packing for a trip.

• Cover pet ears while bathing them.

- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I’ve noticed a new habit of couples who get married: They don’t bother to send out thank-you notes. Recently, two friends and I were invited to the same wedding, and two of us enclosed a self-addressed, stamped thank-you note with the wedding card and money. We both got our thank-you cards about a month later. The third person so far has received nothing in the way of a thank-you. - Ruth B., Fort Wayne, Ind.

Ruth, a bride should start her thank-you notes within days of returning from her honeymoon. Thanking people for taking the time to shop for a gift is not only the classy thing to do, it’s just plain good manners. - Heloise


Dear Heloise: I went online to learn how to make fortune cookies (it’s not difficult), and then on a piece of paper 3 inches long and 1/2 inch in width I wrote out fortunes, such as: “Temptation is sometimes mistaken for opportunity” or “Take a much-needed vacation to a sunny place.” I placed the fortune cookies in a basket on the table during dessert. It was a big hit because so many “fortunes” hit home with my friends. - Mia D., Bristol, Conn.

Mia, what a clever and 
original idea! - Heloise


Dear Heloise: When my husband passed away, I took all his Western shirts and made pillows for my great-grandkids. I also gave each one a picture of him wearing that shirt when he was holding them through the years. To this day, they still treasure these pillows and the memories with him. Each one of them got a different shirt and photo. - Lylis Nelson, Canby, Minn.


Dear Heloise: Why are so many people angry and vocal these days? It seems like no one is happy. - Ralph T. (age 13), Darby, Mont.

Angry, vocal people make the news, but there are many happy people in the world. Make up your mind to be one of them. - Heloise


Dear Heloise: I’m confused by expiration dates, sell-by dates and other lingo of the industry. I just want to know if something is safe to eat. - Leslie R., Slidell, La.

Leslie, maybe this will help:

• Milk is still good until a week after the sell-by date.

• Eggs are usually OK up to five weeks if you brought them home before the sell-by date.

• Poultry and seafood need to be cooked or frozen within a day or two.

• With beef or pork, cook or freeze within three to five days.

• Canned goods vary. Low-acidic items such as green beans are good for up to five years. Highly acidic foods such as tomato paste last about 18 months.
- Heloise

(c)2019 by King Features Syndicate Inc.