Dear Heloise: Your informative column is faithfully read and appreciated daily. It's imperative that I add to your column my personal experience about adults being aware of kids WALKING BEHIND THEM on trails.
Years ago, my family ventured on a well-traveled, seemingly safe short trail in Big Bear, Calif. My three daughters were ages 9, 7 and 3. My instincts prompted me to hold the hand of my 3-year-old, despite her attempts to break lose. The other two daughters were instructed to walk a few steps in front.
After 15 minutes, I decided to pick up and carry my youngest the rest of the way, as she continued trying to free herself from my grasp. Within 20 minutes, we returned to the car, parked a short distance away. As we pulled out, we passed the trail where we had just exited. Imagine our shock as the car passed a mountain lion sitting at the end of the trail with its keen eyes still on us. It obviously had stalked us, waiting for the opportunity to steal my little one and drag her away. -- Linda B. in California
Yikes! How frightening! Your instincts were right. Never let children lag behind you. You should be able to see them at all times. My husband, David, whether riding motorcycles or out on walks, always has me in front of him for this same reason. I've been known to wander, too! -- Heloise
You own pen
Dear Heloise: I read your column in the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey. My hint is to always carry my own pen, especially during the cold-and-flu season. I certainly don't want to use the pen provided at the pharmacy, as odds are there will be many germs on it. The same thing goes for wherever a signature is required, whether it be a store, bank or even signing your child out of school. -- Karen R., Freehold, N.J.
Very good point, and don't forget the hand sanitizer, either! -- Heloise
Clam and shrimp meal
Dear Heloise: Let's face it, there are only so many ways you can cook shrimp, but here's a new recipe that's easy and tasty:
* Heat a can (about 14 ounces) of New England clam chowder
* Blanch a 1-pound package of peeled shrimp in boiling water for about a minute. Drain thoroughly.
* Add the shrimp to the clam chowder. The result is tasty shrimp covered with a lovely seafood sauce.
-- Ronald N., Alexandria, Va.
Sounds yummy, but I think there are more than a dozen ways to fix shrimp -- just ask Bubba from the movie "Forrest Gump." -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: I play soccer at the collegiate level and have two practices a day. My teammates and I have found that women's deodorant doesn't last through practice. However, men's deodorant does. Although it's a little unconventional, I can't recommend it highly enough to female athletes! -- Ellie R. in San Antonio
Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise(at)Heloise.com. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.