Urban Almanac

November 2019 Almanac

By Greta Belanger deJong

NOVEMBER 1  Average temps today: high 57º, low 38º. 18% chance of precipitation. Sunrise: 7:58am. Sunset: 6:24pm.

NOVEMBER 2  Write a novel this month! Find tools, resources and support at www.nanowrimo.org/

NOVEMBER 3  Daylight Saving Time ended at 2am this morning (Moun­tain Time). Turn your clocks back one hour if you didn’t do it before going to bed.

NOVEMBER 4  Good advice as one nears the end of a year, a decade or a life: Clean up messes, both in the garage and the heart. Make a shrine or photo album to your life. Write a love letter, or a goodbye letter, to life. Identify the things you’re most proud of which have made your life gorgeous and wonderful, and the people and things you’d like around you at the last moment.—Making Friends With Death, by Laura Pritchett.

NOVEMBER 5  If you haven’t voted already, today’s the day! Drive/bike/ walk-up boxes are open until 8pm. For ballot drop locations, visit www.got-vote.org/

NOVEMBER 6  The Natural History Museum of Utah’s insect collection  dates back to the 1890s. Each 2nd and 4th Saturday they invite visitors to handle live bugs to learn about their anatomy, behavior and important ecological roles.

NOVEMBER 7  Gardeners, now is a good time to care for your hand tools. Remove rust and dirt with high-grit sandpaper or steel wool. Rub linseed oil on wooden handles to keep them from cracking. Look online for sharpening instructions. Many hardware stores also offer this service.

NOVEMBER 8  You can compost your kitchen waste all winter. Just keep a supply of leaves next to the composter to add periodically (you want a balance of green waste and brown, or things will turn smelly).

NOVEMBER 9  Caught with an icy windshield but no deicer? Make scraping easier with equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray until the ice starts to melt; it will scrape off a bit more easily. Or try with rubbing alcohol instead of the vinegar.

NOVEMBER 10  Scrubbed, peeled and sliced, rutabagas are nutritious and tasty alternative to crackers. Serve with pesto, hummus or other dips.

NOVEMBER 11  Veterans need our love for more than a Day. Contact the V.A. Hospital to volunteer. Assistance is needed everywhere, from labs to laundry. There’s a position for every skillset. Info: SaltLakeCity.VA. gov/giving/ index.asp

NOVEMBER 12  Full Moon: 6:34am. It sets at 7:06am but rises again at  5:41pm. Clouds allowing, go for a quiet walk in the moonlight. What do you see?

NOVEMBER 13  An English lesson we never learned in school: Adjectives   “absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-color-origin-material-purpose Noun,  “ writes Mark Forsyth in The Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase.   “So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac.  “ Try it. It’s mostly true!

NOVEMBER 14  You’re now using reusable shopping bags, right? After unloading the goods, put the bag by the door and take it back to your vehicle next time you leave.

NOVEMBER 15  Thinking of pruning those trees and shrubs? Forget it. In our area, it’s best to wait until the coldest part of winter has passed before pruning them—usually after mid-February, according to USU.

NOVEMBER 16  The Downtown Winter Market begins today, inside and out at the Rio Grande Station. Buy beets, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, carrots, celery, kale, leeks, lettuce, radishes, spinach, Swiss chard, apples, meats, bread and more.

NOVEMBER 17   “I think the most significant work we ever do in our whole world, in our whole life, is done within the four walls of our own home.  “ —June Cotner, House Blessings

NOVEMBER 18  According to the French poet Baudelaire,   “A multitude of small delights constitutes happiness.“ Make a list of your personal small delights, the easily achievable ones—think of the physical senses, locations, events, activities, quotations…and keep it handy for those times when you could use a little dose of joy.

NOVEMBER 19  MOOP is an acronym for   “matter out of place,“ popularized by Burning Man, where festival-goers return the Black Rock Desert to its pre-party pristine state each September. But the phrase itself dates back at least to the early 19th century, when Harvard property law professor John Chipman Gray said,   “Dirt is just matter our of place. “ Anthropologist Mary Douglas’ scholarly Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo (2006) turns on that phrase, too. Little could Gray have imagined where his words would travel.

NOVEMBER 20  Thanksgiving remains a homely (in the best sense) celebration, as only an estimated 9% of Americans go out to a restaurant for the big meal. Maybe make space for a new face at your dinner table this year; not everyone has close friends and family nearby.

NOVEMBER 21  In 1955, there were more canoes in Canada than automobiles. Build your own cedar strip canoe with these instructions:AshesStillWaterBoats.com/

NOVEMBER 22  Check out Alison Einerson’s inspiring story in this issue on how to have a   “100-mile  “ Thanksgiving. Then make your shopping list and head first to the Rio Grande Station tomorrow morning for Winter Market, where you’ll find all kinds of delicious locally grown ingredients.

NOVEMBER 23  Emodiversity: the ability to feel a wide range of healthful, positive emotions (enthusiasm, determination, pride, inspiration, strength).

NOVEMBER 24  Brussels sprouts are the   “it “ vegetable. Consumption of this cabbage relative, cultivated in Belgium about 500 years ago, has increased tenfold in the past five years. For a healthy snack, quick-pickle them with jalapeños and garlic.

NOVEMBER 25  It’s time to harvest parsnips (or find them at farmers markets). They grow (and look) like carrots except they’re white. Properly cooked (steamed, never boiled), they have a sweet, nutty flavor. Roman Emperor Tiberius, born this month in 42AD, reportedly had a serious parsnip habit.

NOVEMBER 26  New moon: 8:05am. What shall you begin today?

NOVEMBER 27  U.S. presidents have been gifted Thanksgiving turkeys since 1873. The first President on record issuing a   “pardon  “ to his turkey was Ronald Reagan, in  1987, in the midst of the Iran-Contra affair and the potential pardoning of Oliver North. Reagan conjured the notion of the turkey pardon as a joke to deflect those questions.

NOVEMBER 28  May you always be blessed: with walls for the wind, a roof for the rain, a warm cup of tea by the fire; laughter to cheer you, those you love near you, and all that your heart might desire. —Gaelic blessing

NOVEMBER 29  If you’re lucky enough to be stuck with the carcass, make turkey bone broth. A good, simple recipe: https://bit.ly/2DOlMD9

NOVEMBER 30 Average temps today: high 44º, low 29º. 20% chance of precipitation. Sunrise: 7:31am. Sunset: 5:01pm.   “Sometimes our stop-doing list needs to be bigger than our to-do list.  “—Patti Digh

This article was originally published on October 30, 2019.