Dear Readers: Guess what came into my office by mistake? A credit-card authorization form for winter lodging at a resort. It included a name, credit-card number, expiration date and even a security code! My fax number must be off by a number or two (210-435-6473).

Our dilemma was that the pages were smudged and off-center, so there was no phone number for either party that could be read. We found the resort location, called it, double-checked the fax number and then faxed on the paperwork, plus called to be sure the resort got it.

Heloise Hint: If you are faxing anything financial, be sure you have the right number, and, as a precaution, call to be sure it arrived! —Heloise

Dear Heloise: Just received a new phone book? Don't toss the old one:

Use as a booster seat for young children.

Keep in the trunk of your car so you can look up a number or address when you're out and about.

Use the pages for packing material.

Take to a recycling area — don't put it in your household garbage.

—A Reader, via e-mail

Dear Heloise: Here is a favorite hint: For leftover wrapping paper on a roll, roll it back up and stick it inside the tube. This way, you don't waste any paper, and you have pieces ready for small gifts.

—C. Gallop, Amory, Miss.

Dear Heloise: I have "blown" ceilings throughout my house from the '80s. The vents are also in the ceilings. This makes for a terrible dust bunny problem, as you can imagine. I tried removing the dust that clung to the ceiling with the vacuum attachment, with no luck. The only thing I found to work wonders was compressed air in a can that I use on my computer keyboard. Problem solved! —Monica Hoffman, Morgan City, La.

For cleaning a popcorn type of ceiling, don't overwet or try to scrub it. Simply use a damp sponge, gently press and then remove. —Heloise

Dear Heloise: I, too, have a good and simple trick to make your hands smell fresh after cutting onions. A little dab of toothpaste will do the trick. Rub toothpaste on your fingertips and rinse. It's easy, and everyone has toothpaste in the house. —Ute in Florida

Dear Heloise: I have a gripe about manufacturers' packaging. There are so many products with similar packages that I have great difficulty selecting the proper one. An example is toothpaste. The brand I use has several formulations, and only a close reading will reveal which of those I want. Several times I have come home with the wrong one.

A suggestion to the manufacturers: Please put a simple mark or a different-colored dot on each of the different packages. —J. Woods, via e-mail

Dear Heloise: