Thursday, October 26, 2006

Winter Tales

Winter is coming early this year, as anyone who tuned into Game 3 of the World Series the other night saw. (My California sister, chatting on the phone with me during the game, saw a fan-cam shot of all the people at Busch Stadium bundled up in their heavy coats & scarves & asked me "How freakin cold is it there, anyway?") But we've known for some time that we're in for a long, cold one this year. Even the trusty Old Farmer's Almanac takes a back seat to old-timey weather folklore.
All of them, spoonsOzark lore holds that splitting a persimmon seed lengthwise & examining the shape of the sprout-to-be will tell the coming winter's severity.
  • If the sprout is shaped like a knife, winter will be icy with a cutting wind.
  • If it's shaped like a spoon, winter will have a lot of heavy, wet snow & you'll be digging out.
  • If it's shaped like a fork, winter will be mild with light, powdery snow.

Well, an informal & unscientific survey (six persimmon seeds that someone brought in to work) yielded eight spoons, two seeds too mangled to read, and one cut finger. (Hey, science is sometimes dangerous.)
Another old weather rhyme:
Onion skins paper-thin,
Mild winter coming in;
Onion skins thick & tough,
Coming winter cold & rough.

The last batch of onions I bought at the farmer's market before it closed for the season were tasty, but they had skins like cardboard.
Good gosh, look at the size of that thingOf course, everyone knows that animals can sense the coming winter & will act on it during the fall months. Squirrels will store nuts earlier than usual, cattle will grow a shaggier coat than normal, and so forth. Here at chez Imperatrix, the cats are heavier-coated & fatter than I have ever seen them in their six or so years. Just look at Friday's poochy little belly! I'm telling you, they know somehow.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

You Belong in Fall

Intelligent, introspective, and quite expressive at times...

You appreciate the changes in color, climate, and mood that fall brings

Whether you're carving wacky pumpkins or taking long drives, autumn is a favorite time of year for you

Thursday, October 05, 2006

My Dead Celebrity Soulmate

My starry knightWhy have a boring ordinary romance when you can have a famous other half? Visit this site to discover your true celebrity soulmate! (One caveat -- all the celebs are dead.)

I filled out their simple questionnaire and found out that my dead celebrity soulmate is none other than the mad post-Impressionist bohemian Dutchman himself!
Vincent van Gogh responds...
"You are as brilliant and vivid as the sun! Let us make devastating beauty together!"

N.B.: Of course, just in case things didn't work out with Vince, the site offers several backup choices. It also tried to fix me up with Leonardo da Vinci and/or Rudolph Valentino. Hmmm.