All of those beautiful golden leaves have just about fallen. We’ve been doing a lot of raking and the simple pleasure of playing in fall leaves has all but disappeared. Snow clouds have been hanging over the mountains and it’s time to finish up the yard work. This is when the grumbling from the peanut gallery begins. Our maple trees are bare and that means a bunch of leaves that need to be cleaned up before the snow flies. That could mean up to 200,000 leaves! I did some research and that’s how many leaves a mature healthy tree may have. With that in mind, it’s no wonder that it takes a lot of gumption to get raking. So what does it take to handle the job without a blower?
First, you’ll need some hardy kids. They might balk and complain, but keep after them. It will teach them responsibility.
- Tell them to rake the leaves into piles as fast as they can. This doesn’t always work. An hour job could easily turn into 5 hours.
- Tell your helpers to get a tarp and load each pile of leaves onto the tarp by using the rake. Warn them not to give themselves more work by flinging leaves back onto the ground.
- With the tarp full of leaves, advise them to drag it to the street as though this is the toughest job they have ever encountered.
- Have them dump the leaves from the tarp into the street. Remind them that the vacuum trucks and sweepers come twice a week. The leaves must be on the street before they come.
- Have the yard workers stand around in the street for awhile leaning on rakes before heading to the yard for another load.
- When the job is done, smile and show appreciation in some manner.
You may want to show your appreciation by serving up a hot cup of homemade cocoa.
Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Hershey’s cocoa
A dash of salt
In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients; blend well. Store in a tightly covered container. This mix makes about 15 to 16 servings.
For a single serving: Heat ¼ cup water and ½ cup milk in microwave until hot, about 1 minute, 55 seconds. Stir in ¼ cup cocoa mix. Top with mini marshmallows, if desired.
Until next time,
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