Editors' Musings

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About this Blog

Your Old Farmer's Almanac editors occasionally share our reflections, advice, and musings—and welcome your comments. too.

October 20, 2016

Cook up a Halloween dinner for something fun! Here is an easy Halloween menu with three recipes for a main dish, scary punch drink, and creepy dessert! Jack-O’-Lantern Hamburger Pie This hearty main meal is easy because you use prepared refrigerator pie crusts. Just make a meatloaf mix such as our Bonnie’s Meatloaf recipe but instead of shaping it into a loaf, put the mix into a pie crust. Take a second pie crust, cut out a jack-o’-lantern’s face, and place the crust top of meat mix. Bake at... more

October 18, 2016

Make our own Halloween Makeup out of pantry potions. Here’s recipes to paint your face, make fake blood, and more! My son was trying to decide between Dracula and Frankenstein. The masks in the party stores were so expensive. Plus, he hates wearing masks because they block his vision and get very hot! He usually ends up taking the masks off. This is a great solution. Try it! Paint Your Face! For each paint color, you will need: paper cup 1 teaspoon cornstarch ½ teaspoon cold cream ½ teaspoon ... more

October 11, 2016

It’s time again to shine the spotlight on a certain caterpillar—the woolly worm! According to folklore, this fuzzy fellow has the ability to predict the weather. Also called the woolly bear caterpillar, the banded woolly bear, or just woolly worm, he’s the larva of the Isabella tiger moth (Pyrrharctia isabella). In terms of appearance, the caterpillar has segments of either rusty brown or black.  Often, he is black with more rust segments in the middle, although he might be almost all black or... more

September 14, 2016

It’s my favorite time of year again. Autumn is in the air. What signs of the seasons do you observe in your area?  Please share. Ever noticed how birds behave in autumn? Swallows Near the seacoast in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, masses of birds swarm above the ponds. They are tree swallows feeding on mosquitoes. It’s almost eerie to see the black clouds of small birds darkening the sky. Have you ever seen such a sight? It turns out that tree swallows gather in coastal locations to feed on... more

August 31, 2016

There’s just something about a cloud, how it floats across the sky and constantly changes shape and size and color, drawing your eyes upward to watch, even for the briefest moment during a busy day. Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s …? Sometimes you can find recognizable shapes in clouds, such as a sailboat, a spear of broccoli, or even a Tyrannosaurus rex. The term for this leisurely sleuthing activity is nephelococcygia, which is a word that comes from the Greek nephelo,... more

May 20, 2016

Cicadas do not have red coats like the colonial British soldiers had, but many sport red eyes and appear in large numbers. These large flying insects with broad heads and clear wings are often mistaken for locusts, but are more closely related to treehoppers and lack the large hind legs found in the majority of grasshoppers and locusts. Two Kinds of Cicadas Cicadas are grouped into two main types. The “nonperiodical” or “annual” type are found in many parts of North America and hang around each... more

May 17, 2016

Gardening in the woods can be a challenge, especially when you love plants and flowers. But the forest is where I choose to live; it provides great shelter for many birds and critters that we love to watch, so I don’t intend to clear the property of a lot of trees just to have a huge garden. Instead, my ultimate goal is to create a series of smaller gardens that blend with the existing landscape, which is full of ferns, mosses, and evergreens, and to use this natural growth to enhance some of... more

May 8, 2016

With a Phillips screwdriver and some inexpensive hardware-store washers that cost a dime or so, you’ll fix those annoying loose knobs and pulls on your kitchen cabinets in no time! Ten-cent Fix for a Loose Knob Most knobs and pulls are attached on the backside of your cupboard doors and drawers with a standard-length, threaded screw. When the door or drawer is not thick enough for the screw to tighten the knob flush against it, grasping that perpetually wobbly knob each day can be an enduring ... more

April 28, 2016

Read on for a surefire remedy for getting rid of hiccups that can strike a person anytime, anywhere!   It’s hard to forget the embarrassment of being attacked by hiccups in a library. From that moment, I vowed to share my no-fail, portable hiccup antidote with everyone I met. Best Cure for Hiccups Some hiccups just can’t be stopped by breathing into a paper bag, drinking water fast while holding your nose, or having someone suddenly scare you.  Fortunately, you can find the ultimate cure for ... more

April 19, 2016

You’re invited to our LIVE Pink Moon Show this Thursday evening, April 21, 2016! We, your Almanac editors, are hosting a free, 45-minute broadcast devoted to you, our Almanac community, and the Full Moon of April. This year, the April Full Moon is at “apogee” or furthest from the Earth, but you’ll see it all vividly through SLOOH’s giant telescope in the Canary Islands, Spain, where there are dark skies!  Pretty cool. Sit in your own home. The lens of your eyes will be enhanced by the lens of a... more

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