DEAR HELOISE: Here's a tip for all the knitters/crocheters, who make or want to make blankets for hospitals. Please be sure to ask them what size they prefer for babies, the NICU, children and teens, and what to use to make them.
Some hospitals will not take knitted/crocheted blankets for the babies due to safety (wires/fingers/toes), nor will they take fleece (the fluff can get into their lungs). But they may take child/teen sizes that are knitted/crocheted. Any kind of blanket or quilt must be fragrance-free with no pet fur due to allergies. Remember, the kiddos are sick. They don't need another problem.
I am a member of Project Linus, a wonderful group who provides handmade blankets to children in need ages 0-18 in the U.S. Our guidance comes from the hospitals, so it's always good to ask what your local hospitals need. Thank you.
-- Mary Anderson,
DEAR HELOISE: I had a good friend suggest putting tinfoil between my Crock-Pot lid and the actual Crock-Pot. No steam seeps out. Also, it can be used between a roaster pan and its cover. Moisture stays in.
DEAR HELOISE: : In a recent column, someone wrote in about fun activities they do with their grandchildren. Here are a few other ideas:
Visit the local library. Libraries are great resources for people of all ages and offer a ton of free activities for children. My local library offers "story time" for children and their families, game night, children's crafting and more.
Go for a nature walk and point out plants, animals and anything you see along the way. You can also start a rock collection during these walks. My son loved collecting rocks and sea shells when he was small.
Have a picnic in the backyard or local park. Let the children help prepare and choose the food to take along.
Collect items that are needed for an animal shelter or nursing home. Then, take the kids along to donate the items and visit the location.
-- Shelly Lott,
DEAR HELOISE: Here is my 5-year-old shelter rescue dog, Bailey, who has brought so much joy into my life after the loss of my mom to cancer in 2018. He has actually rescued me!
-- Maleyna George,
Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email