Joanne Palmer's Life in the 'Boat column appears Wednesdays in the Steamboat Today. Email her at email@example.com
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Ah, spring: the happiest, most hopeful time of the year. The trill of a bird awakens me, red robins are easy to spot among the budding branches, and hearty crocuses poke through the sun-softened earth. Every day, the carpet of snow rolls back a little more to reveal a surprise: a forgotten garden tool, a flowerpot, even a patch of patio.
Ooey, gooey mud. Tracked in, carried in, worn in on shoes, tires and particularly paws. M-u-d is on the minds of many Routt County residents. In between vacuuming, sweeping and occasionally weeping about mud, there’s barely time to do anything else, like get to the grocery store or the bank! OK, I exaggerated, but before you fall into complete despair about mud, there are a few good things about mud. Read on, and you may find some new uses for the goopy stuff outside your front door.
■ 1. Easter is Sunday. I have it on good authority that E. Bunny is partial to making stops at homes that feature a likeness of him on the front porch or lawn. Scoop up some mud, moosh it with a little plaster of Paris and create your own bunny sculpture. E. Bunny is a bit vain, so go big! And don’t limit yourself to just bunnies. Go for all the spring animals: chicks, ducks and lambs.
■ 2. Miraculously, mud can solve several of life’s biggest problems. Let’s start with weight loss. The Routt County Mud Diet is an easy diet to follow. There’s no cost, no counting calories and no measuring portions. First, ridding your house of mud burns up lots of calories, especially if you sweep and vacuum vigorously. Don’t just slide the vacuum back and forth; get after it! Go for the burn and vacuum with vigor! Conservative calculations show that removing the mud from a 1,500-square-foot house burns 1,500 calories. If dogs and cats live in the house, add an extra 500 calories per animal. See how easy this is? Furthermore, eating mud is enormously filling and can add fiber to your diet.
Of course, mud by itself doesn’t taste like much, so it’s best to use it to cover food that does taste good, like chocolate. Not only will you be able to choke down the mud, but, more important, it will rid you of your craving for sweets.
■ 3. Beautiful skin. Queen Cleopatra was rumored to be partial to mud from the Dead Sea. This mud reportedly contained high level of sodium, potassium, bromide and magnesium, which draws impurities and toxins from the skin such as Peeps, stale St. Patrick’s Day beer and Peppermint Patties. But you do not have to travel all the way to Egypt to get this magic mud and reap its rewards. You can make your own concoction right at home. I think filling a jar at any of Steamboat’s local hot springs will get most of the important additives you need to mix into the mud. I’m not sure about the potassium, so you may want to mash in a banana. Fill up your bathtub and wallow like a pig.
■ 4. Affordable housing. This is a problem that has plagued Routt County for too long. Mud may offer a temporary solution. In the summer, mud can be molded into bricks. Place mud, water and straw into rectangular wooden molds. Let dry in the sun for as long as two weeks (maybe less in our dry climate). From here, let your inner Frank Lloyd Wright take over and build your bungalow.
There you have it — some new ways to think about mud. If none of these ideas appeals to you, you can always resort to wrestling. Check your local TV listings for details.