911 operators trained to handle real emergencies only


Dear Readers: Today’s SOUND OFF is about 911 calls. — Heloise

“Dear Heloise: Working as a 911 operator, I’ve handled many emergencies. However, some people seem confused by the word ’emergency.’ It means: a fire, a crime (especially if it’s still in progress), a car crash where someone is hurt, or a medical emergency.

“It does NOT mean calling because McDonald’s ran out of Chicken McNuggets (this really happened), or telling the operator that a person’s house is on fire when it is not. Calls like that can earn you jail time and a stiff fine, depending on where you live.

“We’re trained to handle emergencies, not annoying calls. Please only call in a real emergency. If you do call with an emergency, you’ll be asked a number of questions in order to assist you and analyze the situation, so stay calm and answer the operator.” — Jennifer F. in Phoenix



P.O. Box 795001

San Antonio, TX 78279-5001

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE

Email: Heloise@Heloise.com

Dear Readers: Other uses for clean ice cream tubs:

¯ Use to hold yarn or crayons.

¯ Paint one and use it as a planter.

¯ Store wrapping decorations in one.

¯ Wash one out and use as a pet food bowl on trips.

— Heloise

Dear Heloise: It used to be the custom to throw rice at a wedding, but now it’s birdseed that’s thrown. However, please get permission before tossing any seed at the happy couple. Much of it is eaten by birds, but the seeds that are not eaten may sprout weeds in a church lawn. — The Reverend’s Wife, via email

Dear Heloise: Just as a reminder, inside of the card for a wedding gift, make some notation of what the gift is. Something like “We hope you enjoy the blender” or “I hope you enjoy this floral vase for many years to come.” If the gift and card get separated, at least the couple will remember what you gave them when writing thank-you notes. — Arlene J., Bismarck, N.D.

Dear Heloise: Can you freeze butter? — Chloe D., Aberdeen, Wash.

Chloe, yes, you can. Store it in its original container or tightly wrapped until needed. The freezer life for butter is about two to three months. To make it easier to spread, leave it on the counter for a few minutes. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: I’m big on matching my body wash, lotion and fragrance, but the women’s versions of wash and lotion can be pricier.

I buy the men’s variety of body wash and lotion in my fave fragrance, and I save a lot. The men’s is a nice counterbalance to the ladies’ perfume. — Shelley B. in New York