A mid-week dose of tips and superstitions


In the midst of all life's fretting and planning and schlepping, don't we all just want a time-out to focus on...our domestic neuroses? My roommate and I were recently glum because we couldn't figure out why the full-length mirror in the living roomwas "haunted," er, smeared, foggy, etc. Consulting the runes and the tarot was useless, but the Farmers' Almanac finally proved a worthy oracle: "Foggy mirror? A blow-dryer will clear it!" Maybe a bit too meta of a chore, but hey, the almanac has been accruing domestic proverbs like this since 1818. For instance:

"¢ You get twice the amount of orange juice from a orange, if you hold it under hot water before you squeeze. "¢ Frozen fish can be thawed in a small amount of milk in the refrigerator. This eliminates any fishy taste. "¢ Use vinegar and hot water to clean dried on insects off the windshield. Doesn't leave any film.

And sure, these are all great suggestions. I think I was hoping for more far-out instructions--not that the Almanac staff are all gypsies, but their preoccupation with the night skies did rather lead me to think they'd be more likely to endorse, well, superstitions.

Which got me to looking some up...There are so many skunks in my neighborhood that I wanted to cross-reference and make sure they weren't projecting any weird juju onto my reservoir of luck. According to one packed database of superstitions, they aren't bad luck, but here are some situations that are:

Bad Luck: To give a pair of gloves to a friend unless you receive something in exchange. Bad Luck: To see the new moon for the first time through glass. Upon seeing the new moon you should turn whatever silver you have in your pockets or handbag, and thus ensure prosperity for amonth. Bad Luck: Red and white flowers together. Bad Luck: 3 butterflies together.

And if you've recently gifted gloves while walking through a trio of butterflies, here are some bad luck antidotes:

Good Luck: An itch on the top of your head Good Luck: Cutting your hair during a storm Good Luck: Sneezing 3 times before breakfast Good Luck: To have one's garments caught up by a bush or briar when out walking is a promise of good luck, involving monetary gain

Any you want to add (or--if you're feeling it--author)?