A third box of Kleenex is open on my desk now, but that rotten winter cold has nearly worked its way out of my cranium. Just to be on the safe side I’m knocking on the nearest piece of wood.

I’m also adding some new remedies to the arsenal that is our medicine cabinet and the top drawer of my office’s file cabinet. After whining here about my cold and associated costs two weeks ago, several kindred souls shared their own tried-and-true methods. I was reminded about daily zinc drops; we now have three rolls of echinacea and elderberry zinc lozenges in the cupboard. I have a fourth roll in my glove compartment.

Minnie Moenter, Delphos, swears by one tablespoon of honey combined with one teaspoon of cinnamon. “But it has to be pure honey, not the store-bought kind.” Any powdered cinnamon will do. I bought a 1.5-quart container of cinnamon swirl ice cream and a jar of local honey.

Helen Kaverman, editor of the Remember When reminiscent printed to the right of mine, called last week to say that lemon and honey do the trick for a raw throat. “Dr. Carl Heitz gave us that remedy when our kids were small and it works. Take frozen lemonade ….half cup and mix in some honey. He said the lemon cuts the phlegm and the honey coats the throat.”

Many moons ago, I found a recipe for a chest cold cure. Mince a clove of garlic and stir it into a half cup of honey, add fresh lemon, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Swallow a teaspoon as needed. You don’t want to chew it, naturally, but that stuff burns going down and works wonders for bronchitis-related discomfort. Once the cold is gone, however, make sure to pitch the concoction as it will take on a life of its own in the back of the fridge.

The sniffles, sneezes and coughs have dissipated to the “I’m alive!” stage; that point where one feels just so much better that one is on the verge of superhero status. The energy level is up and you just might be able to tackle the sins of the world.

Instead of fighting bad guys, I did some house cleaning. Nothing so simple as dusting and sweeping, yet nothing as daunting as cleaning out the refrigerator. I scrapped a chewed, broken-and-patched futon that probably should have made it to the curb 15 years ago and cleared a cabinet of video tapes since the VCR bit the dust ages ago.

Behind the tapes I found a box filled with college-era 45s. Most I’ll own up to purchasing. But I swear I never bought anything recorded by Kenny G, Belinda Carlisle or some band called Timex Social Club. Must have been a roommate.

And snuggled even further back on the shelf was a feathered mouse nest. That explains where all our bird’s fallen feathers have gone, but the rodent was no longer home. As I carried the boxes to the front door for disposal, I noticed two of our cats sitting side-by-side in the kitchen, blinking slowly down at the tiny form of a mangled shrew. I probably would have just put it outside with the nest and the cold germs, if it had just hunkered down behind Kenny G.