ANSWER: While somewhat annoying that a customer-service based business with advertised hours would be closed, it is ultimately at the discretion of the business owner. Certainly no one would purposely pass over profit, so there is likely another reason. Is this establishment a place that prepares its food and beverages from scratch on site, or is it possible that they have sold out of their products for the day?

Arbitrary hours are a way to lose loyal customers. The owner, or corporate office if it’s a chain restaurant, might be appreciative if you let them know about the discrepancy.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Too many older Mainers face the cold winter with a worn out coat and no money to pay full price for a new coat. The Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging announces the kick-off of the 2016 Coats for Seniors collection project. For each coat donated, we receive double — a coat for someone in need, plus money to provide fuel, two ways to keep seniors warm this season.

Collection sites include Maine’s area agencies on aging, as well as many other local community sites. The project is collecting coats through Nov. 30. For a complete list of collection sites, visit or call 1-877-353-3771. — Jessica Maurer, executive director of the Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: With fall comes the arrival of local cranberries — a favorite at holiday dinner tables. Cranberries can be added to many dishes, including breads, salads, relishes, salsas, chutneys, soups, grain-based entrees and desserts.

As the fruit becomes available, it’s recommended to buy extra berries and freeze for later use. University of Maine Cooperative Extension publishes information to help find, grow, use, preserve and store cranberries, as well as a variety of other in-season fruits and vegetables in Maine.

Visit to order or download bulletins to fit the season. November favorites include “Canning and Freezing Quick Guides,” “Let’s Preserve: Apples,” “Vegetables and Fruits for Health: Cranberries, Winter Squash and Pumpkins” and “Safe Homemade Cider.”

UMaine Extension educator Kathy Savoie recommends getting up-to-date information on the best methods, canners, jars and seals to ensure a safe result before preserving food. Recommendations are available from local UMaine Extension offices or by calling 207-581-3188 or 1-800-287-0274. More information, including upcoming food preservation workshops and how-to videos, is available online at — UMaine Cooperative Extension.

HI SUN SPOTS: There was a letter in Sun Spots recently asking for buttons. I have tons of buttons that I would like to give to this lady. She can call me at 207-524-3455 and I can deliver them or meet her somewhere, as there are too many to mail. Thanks. — Virginia, Leeds.

Use the QR code to go to Sun Spots online for additional information and links. 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 be emailed to [email protected], tweeted @SJ_SunSpots or posted on the Sun Spots Facebook page at This column can also be read online at We’ve joined Pinterest at

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