DEAR READERS: Halloween is Thursday, so it’s a good time for some safety hints for your pets. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (www.aspca.org), these are the top hints:
• Candy is an absolute “No” for your pets; some treats are toxic.
• Does your jack-o’-lantern have a real candle in it? Keep it away from your pet — it’s a fire hazard.
• That decorative corn is a temptation. It’s not poisonous, but it can upset a stomach.
• Putting a costume on your pet is cute, but make sure the animal can move freely and see clearly. If your pet is in distress, take the costume off.
• Strangers arriving at your home can cause anxiety. Make sure all animals have a collar with ID and a microchip in case they dart out of an open door.
Enjoy the holiday, but make it an early evening for your pets.
DEAR HELOISE: I was having trouble cleaning the tiny holes in my hummingbird feeder. I thought of the brush I use to clean under my dental bridges; it was just right!
You can find the brushes in the toothpaste aisle near the dental floss.
— Roseann, Vienna, Ohio
Toning down garlic
DEAR HELOISE: I love garlic in the recipes I prepare, but not a strong, overpowering garlic flavor. Here’s my hint: I pierce the clove of garlic to release some of its flavor and drop it into the sauce or food. Before serving, I just pick out the clove.
— Anna E., St. Louis
Anna, I’m a big fan of garlic, too, especially in marinades, sauces and seasonings. I’ve compiled a collection of my favorite seasonings, sauces and substitutes, including No-Salt Substitute, Spiced Vinegar and Teriyaki Sauce, in a handy pamphlet, which you can order by visiting www.Heloise.com, or by sending a stamped (70 cents), self-addressed, long envelope, along with $5, to: Heloise/SSS, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001.
FYI: Garlic bulbs should be full, round and firm, not spongy or soft, when you purchase them. Definitely pass on shriveled garlic.
Stuck by glue question
DEAR HELOISE: I was working on an art project and wondered, “Why doesn’t my glue stick to the inside of the bottle?” Silly question, maybe, but I got on the company’s website, and in its frequently asked questions (FAQ) section, I learned that the glue has to react with air in order for the water to evaporate and the glue to harden and stick!
— Emma J., age 12, Dallas
Emma, here’s a Heloise high-five! Great use of materials that the company provides. Never, ever stop wondering.
— Hugs, Heloise