1. Start a house fire by pressing leaves between two pieces of waxed paper and drying them in the microwave.
2. Use magnetic clips to fasten leaves to the refrigerator, where they will shrivel and turn brown within 10 minutes.
3. Remove stuffing from a bed pillow and replace it with crushed leaves. Give it to anyone in your household who wishes to develop an exciting new allergy.
4. Tape leaves to a sheet of poster paper. Use a felt-tip pen to label your poster “Why Leaves Change Color in Autumn.” Realize you don’t know and don’t care why leaves change color in autumn, and be glad you’ve outgrown science projects.
5. Rake leaves after dark. Dump them into your neighbors’ pool.
6. Use leaves and clothing dye to create a leaf-shadow T-shirt your kids wouldn’t be caught dead in.
7. Store a bag of dried leaves in the guest room for crafts you intend to do. Rediscover the leaves six months later as you’re trying to determine how all those aphids got into the house.
8. Play “leaf roulette” by crumbling various dried leaves into your tea to determine which ones are poisonous.
9. Decide to make compost from your leaf pile, thereby turning a seasonal chore into a full-time obsession.
10. Shellac two leaves, add wires, and wear as super-sized earrings.
Your autumn garden by the numbers:
7 Times you’ll painstakingly cover your outdoor flowers to protect them from frost
1 Time you’ll forget to cover them, and everything will die overnight
0 Number of hours you devoted to canning your tomatoes this season
7,358,299 Tomatoes you couldn’t give away that are now rotting in the garden
The staff of the folksy Farter’s Almanac has checked the usual signs (wooly caterpillars’ coats, toad entrails, USDA computer data) and issued its amazingly accurate long-range winter forecast.
North Cold, with snow and ice from December through March.
West Cold. Drifting snow in high mountain passes.
South Warmer than other regions.
East Who knows?
Caribbean Warm and pleasant, with higher-than-average chance of Germans in Speedos at the beach.
Vatican City Crisp, clear days which will attract a mass of cardinals.
Moon Cold. Low levels of gravity and oxygen.
Mississippi River Wet.
Washington, D.C. Typical cloud of hot air over Capitol Hill.
Las Vegas Rain falls in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
Depressed? We don't blame you.
Hey, kids: Here comes that day you’ve been dreading all summer. School is starting, and you may feel nervous, scared, nauseous, itchy, panicky or paranoid. And as that first day unfolds, you’ll realize why.
But it’s the law. So get your act together with these back-to-school tips.
The first day Most teachers start off by introducing themselves. Write down the names of your teachers and anything that’ll help you remember them, like “Mrs. Jonas, blue hair” or “Mr. Affenpinscher, loose dentures.”
Pay close attention to classroom rules. Are you required to raise your hand before starting a riot? Are there rules about visiting the restroom, or can you just wet your pants?
You might already know many kids in your class. If you’re lucky, they’ve forgotten what you did to them last year.
Sit! On the first day, your teachers might let you sit anywhere you want. But by the second or third day, they’ll reassign seating to keep you exiled from friends. Take out your frustration by carving your initials in the desktop.
Supply line Your parents have spent big bucks to get you everything on the school’s 20-page supply list. Put it all in your backpack and get Dad to help lift that 55-pound sucker onto your back.
Lunch You have two options: (1) Wait until you’re about to leave for school, then remind Mom to pack your lunch, or (2) Wait until you’re about to leave, and then ask Mom for lunch money. Whatever you do, don’t fall for that line about eating a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Everything you could possibly want, including potato chips, soda, candy bars, and energy drinks, is available in lunchbox-sized packs.
Get your bearings There’s a lot to learn on that first day. Write your locker combination on your hand in ink so you won’t forget it. Ask around for the place where kids go for a quick smoke. If there’s a student co-op with supplies and snacks, learn the system: cash? credit? extortion?
Off to a rotten start Suppose you hate school by the end of the first day. Teachers recommend that you give it time, because things will improve as you adjust to the routine. Well, what did you expect them to say? “Drop out”? But if it gets really bad, talk to the school counselor, who might have access to some strong medication.
I hope you weren't expecting anything profound.
If I ever need to plead insanity, this blog will provide valuable evidence.
Copyright (c) 2022 by Leah Carson, d/b/a Excellent Words, LLC