I was born and raised in the city. While MacGyver and his family were from the country. Learning some of their ways were very enlightening, and rather challenging at times.

First, I got a crash course on millions of wives tales; catnip tea helps a colicky baby or sliced onions left out on the table will absorb gems and one time I got stern instructions not to can tomatoes or help in any way if I was on my menstrual cycle.

I was asked by MacGyver father the first summer I was taught how to can tomatoes, if I was on my monthly cycle…city girl or not that was horrifying! I was not….but he insisted that the batch of tomatoes would spoil if I had been. Apparently, it has something to do with the chemicals your body releases. (Thank the God Lord I was not! I would have been motified if I was.)

I was also introduced to the ALMANAC. I think everyone should learn to read the Almanac. MacGyver’s Aunt, could tell you the best dates to potty traine your babies. She went by the Almanac for many things other then gardening. (Billy Bob was a Almanac potty trained “great” nephew.) People swear by the fishing dates and there is so much more you can look up and learn from this little book.

So, if you have never looked at one, it really is worth it. They come out every year. I’m very sure you can find it on the WEB. But, I urge you to buy one, find a cozy chair, get a hot cup of whatever, snuggle in and read through it. It’s amazing!

Perhaps this was your first year for a garden, and if it did not go so well, remember get the Almanac it will be your guide for next year!


Here are a few sighs to watch for because it means a bad winter is coming…..It’s in the Almanac.

There are several of these signs happening already here in the Midwest.

* Very thick onion skins or corn husks

* Woodpeckers sharing a tree

* Early arrival of crickets on the hearth

* Spiders spinning larger than usual webs

* Lots of acorns

* A small rust/orange band on a wooly worm caterpillar

* Trees are laden with green leaves late in the fall.

* Hickory nuts having heavy shells.

* Tree bark is heaviest on the north side of the tree.

* Crickets are in the chimney.

* Hoot owls call late into the fall.

* Raccoons have thick tails and bright bands

* Squirrels gathering nuts early in the year

* Pigs gathering sticks

* Frequent halos/rings around the sun or moon

• Heavy and numerous fogs in August

Do you have any others!

Send them in I love hearing them.

Just go to COMMENTS at the top.



  1. Here’s one.

    ‘Red skies at night, sailor’s delight. Red skies in morning, sailors take warning’ I think that is the way it goes….

    The circumfrence of the Moon is the exact distance between it and Earth.

    Did you ever try to put salt on a bird’s tail to try to catch it? *smile*

    If a bird enters your home you will have bad luck until it exits in the same way it came in?

    Don’t kill a cricket in your house, bad luck.

    Any earth that doesn’t contain worms cannot grow corn.

    I made that last one up…. *smile*

    1. I always get that first one wrong! Have heard about the bird, several different ways. Love cicket in the house, drive the cats crazy. Wew fire ants…..

  2. Well hello fellow cherokee Mac! The cherokee were a “piece” loving tribe. (It’s almost clean Mari, just a matter of spelling) Cherokee were the first to make friends with the white eyes. It is only natural what followed.

  3. Well, this was all news to me. I’ve found the Almanac online but hadn’t heard of it before. Folklore and the old, country ways do interest me. This year we planted all our seeds and seedlings while the moon was waxing but actually had very little success with seeds planted in the actual garden, out of the greenhouse. We certainly seem to need more help from some direction or other! As for the menstrual cycle thing, I’ve heard various culture’s versions of this and I believe it’s just a patriarchial ploy to demonise the feminine. If anyone other than a medical professional were to ask this city girl about my menstrual cycle he’d hear it from the sharp end of my tongue!

    1. At the age of 19 I was mortified! My best bud recently had some surgery done, on the roof of her mouth. Yes, roof. They split it open and removed some of the bone. The Almanac indicated that the day she had it done would be a good day for surgery and that in four days she would be feeling well. She is up and about doing well!

  4. Hi Mari,
    Daddy always told us that winter follows the summer as far as rain precipitation.
    One of the worst (best) snowfalls here in Georgia fell after a Summer of rain and humidity and boy are we getting the rain this year! *smile*
    I hope we do get a good one this year. I miss the Illinois snow!
    The Farmer’s Almanac is one of my most favorite books. I try to get one every year!
    I love that they still have a hole in the corner for hanging on a nail in the barn.
    Good One Mari,
    Becci Sue

    1. Oh…the hole! I forgot about that! Aunt M kept it on a nail in the kitchen. Mine, in the drawer. I think I will start hanging it out for the young ones to see. 🙂

  5. Yes, I read about the nasty Winter we are expecting in the Almanac. Online but the Almanac. Bitterly cold and dry for us. At least that means no snow or ice (I hope)
    I know many of those old tales the oldsters tell. The thing that gets me is they are pretty darn close. I do have one to add to your list.
    Slice a persimmon, if the inside is spoon shaped, snow, if it is fork, ice. I think I remember that right. A customer told me and Bobby said he had heard it also. The lady even brought in a persimmon and showed me. It was a spoon.
    I love those old sayings, mountain lore, even superstitions. My Grandma had oodles of superstitions (part cherokee) to this day I won’t start anything on Friday I can’t finish because of her. If you don’t finish it, you won’t live to finish it. She said that is why a wagon train was never started on a Friday. It has always stuck in my head.
    Good one Mari! I loved that one, I hope to read many more sayings from your readers.

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