Leaves help brighten November doldrums

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By Cheryl Steenerson

Are you ready to travel back in time? You don’t even have to pack a bag. You just have to remember to change all your clocks. At midnight, this Sunday, Daylight Savings Time officially ends. Soon, we’ll be driving home from work in the dark.
I’ll miss my evening walks with the dogs after work. I’ll miss hopping on the mower after work. I’ll miss weeding and harvesting in the garden after work. The only things I get to pick now are the stick tights covering my clothes.
I don’t classify picking up dropped walnuts as picking. It’s more of a gathering. And if you think all that bending over isn’t worth it, you haven’t seen the price of nuts in the store. Need a little more motivation? Just think of all the chocolate chip cookies those nuts can go in this winter.
Everything changes with the seasons. Our laundry goes from morning chores to an all day event. Kitchen clutter changes as well. Coffee mugs line the counter, even if you don’t drink the stuff. Remnants of hot cocoa and hot cider color the cups. Coat racks fill up over night and the rows of shoes and boots by the back door grows faster than mint. The 11th month is upon us.
The root word in November is novem, the latin word for nine. In the early Roman calendar, it was the ninth month. I think of it as the numbing month, our hands and feet get numb. Heck, our average first snowfall is around the 16th. Now there’s a fact I’d like to forget.
The color of the fall leaves help to put a smile on my face. My view of the landscape changes from 50 shades of green to a colorful cornucopia of yellow, orange and red set among the cedars. There are lots of leaves still on the trees and you know what that means. Prepare for a cold winter.
Here is something I don’t say every day, “Stop reading this column.” Put down the paper and grab the cooking oil. Go outside and spray the rubber tubing around your car doors. Next time we get a freezing rain, you’ll still be able to open your doors. You’ll have to refresh it every month throughout the winter, but it sure beats having to chip away at the stuff while standing in the freezing cold.
While you’re up, check the cupboard for all your cold and flu remedies. Got honey, lemon and whiskey? Got chamomile tea? Got ginger root for tea? How about Golden Seal and cayenne pepper capsules? All good things to have on hand to make you feel better, quicker.
Don’t forget to check your bottle of skunk soap. Pepe Le Pew still roams the hills, especially after dark. Dogs get curious when they see a pair of eyes glowing in the night and if they’re big goof balls, they will probably get sprayed. Mix up one quart of hydrogen peroxide, 1/4th cup of baking soda, and one teaspoon of plain Joy dish soap. Wet the dog, then work in the shampoo. Leave it on for 5 minutes before rinsing.
Now, we still have lots of days of sunshine left and I for one plan on soaking in as much warmth as possible. Cold to the bone weather will be here before we know it, no matter what the time on the clock says. Happy growing.