DEAR SUN SPOTS: Several months ago, I wrote to inform readers that we do take used books, specifically encyclopedia sets, resource, history, geographical and many other kinds of educational books.

We are a collection point for the Edwin L. Hodges Ministry, based in Alabama. The ministry is evangelical in nature and sends Christian material overseas to missionaries and seminaries. Because the English language is primarily being taught in these third-world countries, there is also a great need for educational literature.

Anyone interested in donating books can call me to discuss drop-off or pickup at 897-3078, or e-mail [email protected] — Gina Mitchell

ANSWER: Sun Spots is sorry she did not recall your previous letter. She has placed your information in her online Rolodex and will use it again. She suspects that you will be well-stocked with books in no time!

DEAR SUN SPOTS: It seems that the sun is dropping toward planet Earth? Can it be? Could we have made a mistake by sending astronauts out there? What do you think? — Mrs. V. M. Howe, Auburn

ANSWER: Since the Earth rotates around the sun, if there were anything dropping it would be the Earth dropping toward the sun. According to, there is an infinitesimal change in the distance between the planets, the sun and our moon, but it will not have any appreciable effect for billions of years. When you consider the size of the universe, sending a few astronauts and satellites into space is not an issue. Climate change is due to other factors.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I think this is the mustard pickle recipe that the reader is looking for. It is one my mother used when I was a child. I had lost it, but a nice elderly lady gave it to me several years ago.

Use glass jars. My mother used gallon jars, but I like two-quart jars, which can be purchased at Paris Farmers Union or Walmart. After the pickles are made, they should be kept in a climate-controlled area. I use the fridge.

Mix 1 gallon cider vinegar, 1 cup salt, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup dry mustard and 1 cup pickling spice. Do not cook. Pour over tightly packed small cukes or larger cukes cut into spears. — No Name, Roxbury

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I found a picture of Morse High School Class of 1924. On the photo it says Patrice Sprague (1924) and Washburn Photo, Lewiston. If anyone is interested, please call 330-0089. — No Name, Lisbon Falls

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I hope you can help me. On June 30 I wrote a check for Haband leather slides. They cashed my check on July 7. I have not heard from them or received the shoes. Plus I was to get a 10-pocket handbag ($44 value) free. It has been six weeks today.

I called Haband. After giving me the runaround through customer service, they told me to call 706-454-3713, which I did. The operator told me there was no such number. Can you help me get my order?

I have been a longtime customer of the Sun Journal. I just turned 90 years old. Hope you can help me. Thank you. — Helen Little, Lewiston

ANSWER: Sun Spots suggests you call the Consumer Protection Service of the Maine Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-436-2131. They have more clout than Sun Spots in dealing with a national firm. (An employee there told Sun Spots that they get many complaints about Haband.)

Sun Spots suggests that you use a credit card when buying anything online or through the mail. Then if there is a problem, you can file a dispute with your credit card issuer. They will put a hold on the payment to the company while investigating your complaint. That tends to get the company’s attention much more quickly than a complaining phone call from a customer.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be e-mailed to [email protected]

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