Column: Learning to kiss from the Farmers’ Almanac

Thanks to the 2006 Farmers’ Almanac, I now know which days in September are the best to castrate a farm animal.

In case you were wondering, it’s Sept. 10-18.

Yes, there will be eight horrific days in September when farm animal castration is approved by the gods. As Bob Barker might say, “Remember to neuter your pigs and sheep.”

If a farmer wishes to castrate a farm animal on a September day not in that block of eight approved days, well, best of luck, but don’t blame the Farmers’ Almanac when aliens abduct your newly castrated steer.

I bring up the Farmer’s Almanac not only as a public service to farmers wishing to know the best days to de-sexify their animals, but also because the 189-year-old publication is predicting a “polar coaster” winter.

“The East is on tap for a crazy ride, with the temperatures and weather initially leading into the winter season seeming mild, but the bulk of the winter will turn out to be unusually cold, with plenty of snow, especially in northern sections,” managing editor Sandy Duncan said in a press release.

That’s right. You heard it here first. It’s going to be cold and snowy in Maine.

Luckily, we live in the Midwest, which the almanac says will be “snowy but mild.”

I never took much stock in the Farmers’ Almanac before, but now that it’s saying something that I want to believe (30-degree temperatures with plenty of snow to frolic in), I’ve officially joined the congregation.

The Farmers’ Almanac also provides a nifty map on its Web site ( of each region of the United States and its accompanying weather.

I’m happy to report that my hometown of Evansville, Ind., also will be “snowy but mild” when I visit at Christmas, even though Henderson, Ky., right across the river will be plain old “cold” during the holidays.

I’ve always wondered about the people who live right on the edges of colored sections on a map. Do they realize they are so close to “snowy but mild,” yet so far away? Those poor people in the light-blue colored state of Kentucky can only curse their luck that the pinkness of Indiana and Illinois didn’t quite reach them.

Ohio has it even worse. Half of the state is pink, while the other half is light blue. That’s like having a transgender baby.
Looking through the Web site, I also discovered the Farmers’ Almanac is so much more than just a book version of Al Roker.
It has recipes, helpful hints and the best days for doing stuff.

Thus, I now know that the best days to cut my hair in September are the 6th, 7th, 10th, 11th and 14th through 18th. I’m not sure what the 8th, 9th, 12th and 13th did to deserve such ignominy, but my hair will be hiding under a hat on those days.
Historically, the Farmers’ Almanac has always provided helpful hints. In 1896, the almanac had a section on the art of kissing.

“Don’t peck a woman on the forehead or the end of the nose or jerk at her bonnet strings in haste to get through.”

Those darn bonnet strings! Believe you me, I know that trouble.

“Don’t be in a hurry. Her head lies on your shoulder. Look into her half-closed eyes. Lean forward with your head, not your body. Take good aim … the lips meet … the eyes close … the heart opens … (don’t be in a hurry) …the heart forgets all bitterness, and the incomparable art of kissing is learned.”

Unfortunately, it seems I’ve been going about this kissing business all wrong. A little bit better aim and, hopefully, I can hit the lips next time instead of the tip of the nose.

There’s nothing in the Farmers’ Almanac about when the best days in September for kissing are, so I’m just going to assume that all of them are OK for lip-locking.

Though maybe I’ll refrain from kissing during the 10th through 18th. An approved time for castration probably isn’t the best time to go about trying new ways of kissing.


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