Ted Williams born, 1918. Earthquake, Charlestown, S.C., 1886.
Sept. 1, Tuesday - Moon runs low. St. Giles. Titanic wreckage found, 1985.Sept. 2, Wednesday - V-J Day, 1945. Great Fire of London began, 1666.
Sept. 3, Thursday - Sarah Orne Jewett born, 1849. Ferdinand Porsche born, 1875.
Sept. 4, Friday - George Eastman patented the Kodak camera, 1888. Tornado hit Minneapolis, 1941.
Sept. 5, Saturday - First Labor Day parade, New York City, 1882. Jesse James born, 1847.
Sept. 6, Sunday - Full Barley Moon. President McKinley assassinated, 1901.
Ask the Old Farmer's Almanac: What are the safety rules governing tornadoes?
- S.A., Tupelo, Miss.
Answer: For people living in the extreme northern parts of New England or in the Rockies and westward, tornadoes are so rare that they're hardly worth worrying about, but for people living in your neck of the woods, or many parts of the central and southern United States, it's wise to know the precautions. Tornado-safety guidelines are very similar to those for thunderstorms, with a few added cautions. If you live in a tornado-prone area, get yourself a good NOAA weather radio that has a battery backup and a warning alarm that would automatically turn it on anytime bad weather threatens. If you're outside, keep your eyes alert to a dark or greenish sky or a "wall cloud" that seems to extend downward from a larger cloud. Hail can be another telltale sign.
If a tornado threatens your area, take it seriously, but stay calm. Avoid windows, moving to an interior storage room or bathroom, if possible. Stay out of cars. (Don't try to outrun a storm; that's movie stuff!) And stay out of mobile homes. If you're not near shelter, look for a bridge or ditch or other low spot. Schools and churches are cautioned to keep the children inside, in basements or interior hallways, and to avoid large assemblies or lunchroom gatherings if a storm threat-ens.
Ask the Old Farmer's Almanac: My mother, who was a great seamstress, would never sew on Friday. Do you know why?
- E.H., Georgetown, S. C.
Answer: Well, maybe she'd just had enough by that point in the week. But more likely, she was privy to the superstitions about sewing that pervaded an older generation, including the one that said one should never start a sewing project on a Friday. Some seamstresses believed it was OK to begin on Friday only if you were sure to finish it the same day. We call these sewing superstitions the "Just Sew" stories, just so you know.
Another one: Never button a new shirt before it is worn. Similar to this was the belief that new clothes should never be worn until they had been washed once. A broken sewing needle means you won't live to wear the garment out. If the garment is for someone else, there's no ill omen. Sewing after sunset means a life of poverty, however.
And quilting superstitions are numerous enough to write a book on, probably because of all the talk at those infamous quilting bees. Never turn a quilt once it is on the frame. Never patch an old quilt with a new patch - darn or mend it instead. So now you know.
Ask the Old Farmer's Almanac: Have you heard of "earth sweats" or "thunderstones"?
- G.U., Gallup, N.M.
Answer: Of course we have. Earth sweats occur when the humidity is on the rise; when wood, porcelain, metal and even stone may start to exude moisture. These "earth sweats" have come to be known as rain predictors.
Wooden beams and furniture, china dishes, stone and brick all may show beads of moisture when rain is near. Oiled wood especially, such as a salad bowl or a weaving loom with linseed oil on it, sweats easily.
Thunderstones, on the other hand, are small meteorites - stones swept up and then dropped by violent storms - or lumps of sand fused by lightning. These were all called thunderstones by the ancient Greeks. They were considered precious gifts from the sky and reputed to have magic properties. Thunderstones, or objects believed to be thunderstones, were sometimes worn as talismans. Wearers considered themselves protected from lightning.
This Week with The Old Farmer's Almanac
Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 1998
Full Barley Moon, Sept. 6.
School Days. . .
I know the answer! The answer lies within the heart of all mankind! The answer is twelve? I think I'm in the wrong building." Charles Schulz wrote this line for one of his famous "Peanuts" cartoons, and thousands of students, young and old, recalled those wonderful, awful, anxious moments before a teacher's gaze. Another modern-day humorist, of Dale Cards, recently added added to Charels Dicken's lines, "It was the best of time. It was the worst of times. . .," by following it with, "It was school." Recognizing what a roller coaster ride these years can be, take time this year to get involved in your schools and help make a difference.
You learn the most from people who are themselves learning.
Tip of the Week
Chamomile tea is a gentle stress-reliever, safe even for young children.
Chicken & Chutney Sandwich
2 slices sourdough bread
1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 cup homemade chicken salad
1 tablespoon chutney (Major Grey's or other)
2 slices tomato (optional)
3 to 4 romaine lettuce leaves, trimmed
Spread both slices of the bread with the mayonnaise, then layer on the chicken salad, chutney, tomato slices (if desired), and lettuce leaves. Cutin half and serve, or wrap for lunch boxes.
Makes 1 sandwich
The Old Farmer's Weather Proverbs
Rain in September is good for the farmer but poison to the vine growers.
Is the autumn warm, bright, and clear? We may expect a fertile year.
As September, so the coming March.
Special Offer: Handy chart full of interesting weather proverbs. Send $3 to Weather Chart, Dept, UF, The Old Farmer's Almanac, P.O. Box 520, Dublin, NH 03444.