A season for being ticked

Dear Heloise: Just a reminder: With TICK SEASON in full swing, check your pet thoroughly. I’ve found a tick on my dog’s lip, and once on an eyelid. — Lucille in Barrington, N.H.

Great reminder, Lucille. Tick season runs through September. The deer tick is the biggest problem when it comes to ticks — they can transmit Lyme disease.

Make sure your pets are on flea and tick preventive medication, and talk with your veterinarian about other safety precautions. — Heloise

PET PAL

Dear Readers: Susan L., via email, sent a picture of her gorgeous short-haired, orange, multitoed (polydactyl) cat, Rastis, hamming it up for the camera! To see Rastis and our other Pet Pals, visit www.Heloise.com and click on “Pet of the Week.”

Do you have a funny and furry friend? Email a picture and description to: Heloise(at)Heloise.com. — Heloise

BIRDBATH CLEANING

Dear Heloise: For cleaning your birdbath, buy a dollar toilet bowl brush. Then you don’t have to get your hands dirty, and the bowl stays clean. I read your column in the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News. — Chris, via email

TRENDS IN PET NAMES

Dear Heloise: I’ve noticed over the years a few trends in pet names. Years ago, the trend was to name your pet after its physical characteristics. Then the vibe was to name your pal a traditional “people” name. I know both a Brian and a Susan of the four-legged variety!

What’s the new trend up and coming? — A Reader in Pittsburgh

Readers, any ideas? — Heloise

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME

Hi, Heloise: I loved reading your mother’s column, as I do yours. When my kids were growing up, I called leftover night “Choice Night” so it seemed like a treat, not a rerun. — Pat S., via email

Love it! — Heloise

DOLLAR STORE SENSE

Dear Heloise: I love the dollar store, and have these hints:

1. Purchase brightly colored hair bands to wrap up phone, electronic and appliance cords. Neat and easy to see.

2. For bring-a-dish events, purchase a plastic shoebox. It is sturdy, has a lid, and you don’t have to worry about getting your container back.

— Kimberly C., Schererville, Ind.

Lots of bargains to be had! — Heloise

A STICKY SITUATION

Dear Heloise: Most recipes call for creaming butter, then adding sugar and creaming together. The butter adheres to the bowl. I suggest you put the sugar into the bowl first, then add butter and cream together. No problem of having to have to scrape the bowl. — B. Doherty, Spring Lake, N.J.

CUTTING WATERMELON

Dear Heloise: I put a cutting board inside a cookie sheet to cut a watermelon. No mess. — Mary H. in Houston

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Dear Heloise: Please remember that when carrying PRESCRIPTION DRUGS while traveling, you must be able to produce a valid prescription for each of them. This can spare your readers a lot of grief if they find themselves in a situation where they have to prove they have them legitimately. — Ken T., via email

You’re right, Ken! It’s best to travel with the prescription in its original container, with the doctor’s information and instructions printed on the label. Carry no more than 90 days’ worth of medication. Equipment such as needles and oxygen can pose a security or safety risk, so always have a copy of the prescription for these items as well. — Heloise

P.S. Check out the following letter for more hints about medications.

OLD MEDICATIONS

Dear Heloise: Once a year, I like to go through all my old and new medications to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. I check the expiration dates. If the medication is past its expiration period, I toss it out. Aspirin tablets that smell like vinegar or liquid medications that have separated go in the trash. This not only eliminates excess clutter, but it is much safer because I won’t accidentally take the wrong medication. — Cynthia M., Aiken, S.C.

SEND A GREAT HINT TO:

Heloise

P.O. Box 795001

San Antonio, TX 78279-5001

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE

Email: Heloise(at)Heloise.com

A TIP ON TIPPING

Dear Heloise: I was dismayed to read the recent hint from Penny N. in Fort Wayne, Indiana, who said they tip housekeeping only after staying in a hotel for four days or more. We believe that housekeepers rarely earn enough money for their time and the work they do. Our plan is to leave a tip for any length of stay. The longer we stay, the more we leave. If we stay several days, we’ll often leave a tip on the first day just to let housekeeping know that we are tippers and to expect more. — Albert P., Vine Grove, Ky.

TEA FOR TWO

Dear Heloise: Want to give your friends a nice treat? When you serve tea, give them a cinnamon stick to stir their tea. It tastes better and adds a nice aroma. — Shirley B., Biloxi, Miss.

BABY BOTTLES

Dear Heloise: Just a warning to other mothers: Never warm a baby bottle in the microwave. A bottle may feel cool on the outside, but the formula or other fluid inside could be too hot for a baby’s tender mouth. And never warm mother’s milk in a microwave because it destroys many of the nutrients. — Kate R., Los Alamos, N.M.

EASY CLEAN

Hello, Heloise: Just wanted to pass along that I discovered wet baby wipes work great on stuffed animals! Mine get dusty and dirty. An added bonus is that they smell great afterward! — Paula in Alexandria, Va.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Send your great money-saving or timesaving hint to to Heloise at P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, Fax to 1-210-HELOISE, or email to Heloise@Heloise.com. She can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in her column.