DEAR SUN SPOTS: I need a reference for folks who would help pack up our house. We are physically unable to do it. Please contact us at 207-778-3728. —Elaine, no town

ANSWER: This is a very important service that many people need, especially those of a certain age who are downsizing due to their transition into creating a simpler life. Sun Spots is getting more and more requests about this. I cannot say enough good things about Caring Transitions, based in Lisbon. I have firsthand experience with this organization. You can read about the services Caring Transitions of Coastal Maine provides at and you can contact them at 207-218-5197. They can come to your home and meet with you.

On the same subject, I mentioned this book, “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family,” by Margareta Magnusson, in the Jan. 14 Sun Spots. I want to bring it up again as I think it is worthwhile to read before your begin the process of downsizing and evaluating what you really need. You should be able to borrow this book from your local library or find it at a local bookstore.

Readers, if you want to share other books to read and other companies that help elders with downsizing and packing, please write in. Sun Spots needs you.

Dear Sun Spots: I have quite a bit of music material that I am interested in donating to a school, music organization or interested individuals. The collection includes original, popular songs, barbershop arrangements, and music education materials. If interested, please e-mail me at [email protected], or call 744-2141. Thank you.—Ray, Paris

ANSWER: What fun. Thank you for your generosity, Ray. I bet you will hear from lots of Sun Spots readers.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: For the Sun Spot readers who are puzzle makers (requested in the Dec. 24 Sun Spots), after searching for hours to find one, I found that Miles Kimball carries them.—Janet, Jay

ANSWER: Good old Miles Kimball. Go to its website — — or call it at 1-855-202-7394.  Called “lap trays”, they have a beanbag-type bottom that sits comfortably across your thighs and can be used while sitting in your favorite comfy chair. I have also recently seen trays like this at TJ Maxx, Big Lots, and Sherman’s Bookstore. They can also be used as a lap desk or meal tray.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I tried very hard to submit recipes for the Bicentennial Community Cookbook after reading your column Jan. 6 but did not have success. Perhaps there would be more entries if they could be mailed in versus fighting with unfriendly websites. I gave up.

FYI: I read and enjoy you every day.—Claire, no town

ANSWER: That is a shame. When I prepared that information for readers, I wondered why the cookbook publishers were asking for digital submissions only. I have to admit it made me a bit sad because I feel this limitation shuts out home cooks who are not computer savvy.

The deadline for photos only has been extended to Jan. 31, if you want to give the website another try at I searched the website to see if there was an email where cooks could get assistance, but did not see that option.

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 will not 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 emailed to [email protected].

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