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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Have you Exercised your Senses Lately?

To exercise your sense of hearing:

  • Visit a pond or lake in the early spring, just at dawn or dusk. Listen to the frogs call.
  • Turn off all of the electrical and mechanical devices in your home for twenty minutes, and listen to the sound of silence.
  • Sit outside, whether you live in a town, city, suburb, or rural area, and jus listen. You may be surprised at what you hear.

To exercise your sense of touch:

  • Visit a garden or park. Rub your cheek on the bark of a tree, feel the velvet of rose petals. Think about ow each sensation feels.
  • Play the childhood game of identifying objects by how they feel. Have someone place a number of objects in a bag or box. Put on a blindfold, and figure out what each item is just by touching the items. You may be pleasantly surprised!

To exercise your sense of smell:

  • Wherever you are, close your eyes and smell. Try to distinguish different aromas. Studies show that the sense of smell is the hardest to imagine. Try to imagine the aroma of coffee, turkey roasting, or bread baking.
  • Purchase or grow some lemon verbena or lemon balm (any scented herb or geranium will work, but the lemon scent is uplifting). When the plant is young, simply brush or rub the leaves to release their fragrance. Once the plant is established, pick a fresh leaf to carry in your pocket, and sniff it regularly throughout the day.

To exercise your sense of sight:

  • Choose a clear night, pack your lawn chairs, and drive to the country. Find an open area away from all lights, get comfortable in your chair and look up. It will take at least ten minutes for your eyes to acclimate, but then you will see a wonderful sight–billions of stars, constellations, and maybe a planet or two.
  • Really look at someone or something you love–a spouse, a child, a pet, a photograph, or an object. Examine the size, shape, color, or movement. Close your eyes and visualize it again.

Exercise your sense of taste:

  • An apple, onion, and potato all have the same taste. The differences in flavor are caused by their aromas. To prove this, pinch your nose and take a bite from each. They will all taste sweet.
  • What was your favorite meal when you were a child? Make it tonight, and see if it still tastes as good as it once did.

–Tips and ideas for exercise taken courtesy of Carol Matthews, a freelance writer in Nova Scotia.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.