How Many Times do You Sneeze?

Ah ah choo - sneeze folklore

A few weeks ago, Blind Pig Reader Charles Fletcher sent me the following email:

Tipper,

Question for the Blind Pigs? How many times do some people sneeze when they have a sneezing spell? I usually sneeze close to nine times before I stop. My brother also told me he did the same. How about you and others?

Nine times in a row-wow! I haven't ever sneezed more than two or three times in a row-and even that is rare. I asked The Deer Hunter how many times he's sneezed in a row and he said about the same as me. 

Have you ever noticed how people sneeze differently? You know some people have a cute little 'achoo' so faint you're not sure if it was actually a sneeze. Then there are people who sneeze big and loud-I'm one of them. Actually so are Paul and Steve, I think we got it from Pap. 

Have you ever known someone who sneezes every time they bend over-I mean every last time? I know someone just like that. I'm thinking of entering her in a contest for 'on demand sneezing'. If you hear about such a contest let me know, she'd win it without a doubt.

When I was in elementary school and someone sneezed we would say Gesundheit. Using a word like that made us feel so grown up. These days I most often hear God Bless You or Bless You said to a person who has just sneezed unless Miss Cindy is around.

Miss Cindy answers a sneeze with 'scat there Tom your tails in the gravy' or a shortened 'scat there'.

I tried to find the origin of the 'scat' saying for sneezes but came up with nothing. The Frank C. Brown collection of folklore had 18 different references to sneezing-all of which resulted in death. 

Hope you'll leave a comment and let Charles and me know how many times you sneeze when you have a sneezing spell.

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Today is the last day to enter the handmade soap giveaway from Apothecopie-go here to enter. 

The winner of The Mommy Goose: Rhymes from the Mountains CD is...Perri Morrison who said: Some days I'm extremely pyert: The next two days I'm really hurt! I love rhymes! Love from Marshall on the riverbank on a cold windy night.

The winner of last Sunday's Songs of Christmas CD is...Jack who said: Paul and Pap do a great job on this Christmas standard. Would be proud to have the CD. Brings back good memories.

Tipper

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Christmas in the Old Days and a Giveaway

Dorie Woman of the Mountains

I've read lots of books about Appalachia. One of the ones that ring the truest to me is Dorie Woman of the Mountains written by Florence Cope Bush. The book was first published in 1992 and has been published at least 7 times since then if not more. In the introduction Florence Cope Bush writes

"Dorie: Woman of the Mountains was not written with the idea that it would ever be published. I wrote it as a gift to my daughter, my mother, and myself. The manuscript was in my possession for fifteen years before a friend talked me into letting him publish two thousand copies in paperback for local distribution."

The book is a biography about Bush's mother, Dorie. The story spans the years between 1898 and 1942 and is set primarily in the Smoky Mountains.

Dorie's husband, Fred, had employment in the logging boom that went on in the early 1900s in the Smoky Mountains. The life and culture of logging weaves its way throughout the book as does the culture and heritage of Appalachia.

Here are a few quotes from the book related to the Christmas season:

"Snow fell several times after Thanksgiving, but the real winter weather didn't come until after Christmas. Usually, fair weather held long enough for Pa to hunt fresh meat for Christmas dinner-squirrel, quail, or perhaps a wild turkey."

"Christmas in the mountains was bleak and uneventful. Sometimes the day passed without us being aware it was holiday season. We had no Santa Claus or Christmas tree. Since our Christmas in Spartanburg, Ma had let us hang up our stockings. That was as far as she'd let us go with our celebration. When we did hang up our stockings, we'd get an orange and a piece of candy-never anything to play with."

"The mountain people still kept the ancient customs of the native lands. Many highlanders disapproved of the "new" Christmas observed on December 25. In Scotland and Ireland, the day of Christmas was January 5-a day of solemn celebration."

"In a strange contradiction, while shunning all symbolic trappings of Christmas Day, they saw nothing wrong with noisemaking. The men and boys provided the noise for the celebration. They'd go into the woods and shoot their guns at nothing at all. All day long shots echoed from one mountain to another. "

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I hope you enjoyed the excerpts from one of my favorite books about the southern mountains of Appalachia. Be on the lookout for some Christmas folklore from the book over the coming weeks.

Leave a comment on this post to win your own copy of Dorie Woman of the Mountains. *Giveaway ends Monday December 5, 2016.

Tipper

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I'm Giving Away a Rooster!

MOMMYgooseANDfriends

This is my third post about Mike Norris and his book Mommy Goose Rhymes from the Mountains. I'm a fan of the book if you haven't figured that out by now. It is filled with 50 original rhymes written by Mike himself. The book uses the rich colorful Appalachian Language that I so love. 

It is wonderfully illustrated with photos of over a hundred hand carved and painted works by Minnie Adkins who has permanent collections in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Gallery of Art, and the Kentucky Folk Art Center.

Here are two poems from the book-the first of which is very appropriate for today's giveaway.

THE ROOSTER

The rooster started pecking at Granpaw’s legs,
Then tried to flog Granmaw as she gathered eggs.
Granmaw boiled water,
While I churned butter.
The next night we had fried chicken for supper.

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BENJAMIN GRIMES

Benjamin Grimes
Went down in the mines,
But only lasted three days.
The note from the clerk
Said, "Unwilling to work,"
But Ben said it wasn't that way.

"Had nary a trouble
With pick or shovel
Till something come up grey.
Not a loafer or shirker,
But one thing for certain,
I'd druther draw breath than pay."

I especially enjoyed the first poem because of a story my friend, Trevis, told me.

When Trevis was a little boy he stayed with his grandmother during the day while his momma worked. Every morning he'd walk to the barn with his Mamaw to feed the chickens and take care of the other chores after his grandfather had left for work. He said one morning his Papaw's favorite rooster attacked Mamaw. Before Trevis knew what happened Mamaw had reached down and taken care of Mr. Rooster-in other words he'd never attack anyone again. That night they had the chicken for supper and Papaw didn't know he was eating his favorite rooster till later! Trevis said his Papaw was mad, but his Mamaw said she was tired of that mean ole rooster bothering her.

In addition, you can purchase a cd of the book which contains a song Mike wrote about Mommy Goose. The song, along with the music, is in the back of the book so anyone interested can learn it themselves. The cd also contains a very nice narration of the book by Mike and a conversation between Mike and Minnie that will leave you smiling for the rest of the day. 

I asked Mike where the best place to purchase the book and the cd was and this is what he said:

The Mommy Goose: Rhymes from the Mountains CD is now available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Music, and a bunch more places online. Check it out on iTunes and listen to samples of the tracks here: 
http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1160037010?ls=1&app=itunes

If you have the book without the CD, it's really not complete, as the song, narration, and 40-plus minute conversation with Minnie are a key part of the project. (And physical CDs can be ordered from Amazon.)

Bookstore versions of the book may be ordered many places online, but Amazon and The University Press of Ky [it's the university press of the whole state, not just UK] are two good sources.

Minnie Adkins - Blue Rooster

If there is a child in your life or a rhyme loving adult like me, I suggest you buy Mike's outstanding book and cd for them. Both items would make dandy Christmas presents. Preserving our language is a cause that is near and dear to my heart and I commend Mike for trying to keep our rich colorful Appalachian Language alive. 

Minnie generously donated one of her Blue Roosters for me to giveaway as part of my Thankful November Series. Minnie Adkins is a featured artist in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Gallery of Art, and the Kentucky Folk Art Center.

Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win the Rooster. *Giveaway ends Saturday December 3, 2016.

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Chitter has extended her Holiday Sale over in her Stamey Creek Creations Shop: Use coupon code: HOLIDAYS4 for 25% off on ANYTHING in the shop, including items in my free shipping sale section--!!

In addition Items that say BLACK FRIDAY SALE have been discounted and are also eligible for my 25% off coupon!

Tipper

p.s. Today is the last day to enter the giveaway for Pap and Paul's Songs of Christmas CD-go here to enter.

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Apothecopie Soap Giveaway

Apothecopie natural body products

Back in August I told you about Chatter opening her own Etsy Shop - Apothecopie. This is what she had to say about it: 

"I started making soap as a hobby, but after researching skincare products as a whole I was shocked and saddened by the chemicals that are used. I decided to raid my cabinets and get rid of all the harmful products and gradually replace them with all-natural products. I quickly learned that all-natural products purchased at retail stores are expensive and in fact most of the time are not really all-natural. I decided I would start making my own all-natural products. My goal is to make simple skincare products, therefore keeping the price down and ensuring my products can be available to a wider audience. To me all-natural does not mean a bunch of fancy ingredients, it means simple recipes using quality materials. I believe that since our skin is our largest organ we can improve our health by simply being aware of what we put on it."

The Easiest Candied Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Easy sweet potato recipe for thanksgiving

Candied Sweet Potatoes

  • 4 pounds sweet potatoes (about 8 medium) peeled and sliced into 1 inch thick rounds
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • ¼ cup water

Sweet potato recipe easy

Place sweet potatoes and enough water to cover them in a saucepot; heat to boiling over high heat; reduce to low, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes or until potatoes are barely fork tender.

Drain; place potatoes in a 2-quart casserole.

Heat brown sugar, butter, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and water until butter melts-about 3 minutes stirring often. Pour over sweet potatoes. Bake at 400 degrees uncovered for 40 minutes stirring about half way through. Potatoes should be tender and slightly browned.

Print Candied Sweet Potatoes (right click to open link and print recipe)

Easiest candied sweet potatoe recipe

When I was a kid every Sunday after church we'd make our way out Hwy 64 to Granny Gazzie's house for Sunday dinner. The table would be loaded with all sorts of good things made by Granny Gazzie and my Aunt Fay, but the thing I looked forward to most was Granny Gazzie's fried sweet potatoes and her biscuits. 

Once I was a married woman with a kitchen of her own I wanted to make biscuits and fried sweet potatoes like Granny Gazzie did. I worked and worked and with the help of Granny finally came up with a biscuit recipe I was satisfied with, but the sweet potatoes eluded me. More than once I made Granny give me explicit details on how Granny Gazzie made her sweet potatoes yet I could never achieve success.

After more than a few pans of under-cooked or over-cooked sweet potatoes I gave up and told Granny I accepted defeat. She said "Well don't feel too bad I could never make them like Mother (Granny Gazzie) did either."

A few years later I came across the recipe above in either a Southern Living or Country Living magazine. It was close to Thanksgiving and I thought the recipe seemed really easy and convenient since you can do the first step of boiling the poatoes a day or so before you add the glaze and cook them. I gave it a try and I've been making it every since. Granny and I both adore it. I wouldn't go as far as to say the recipe tastes as good as Granny Gazzie's, but it's for sure a close second. 

Tipper

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Silent Night

Silent Night traditional Christmas Music

 

Silent Night is said to be the most recorded of all Christmas songs and it may very well be the most popular as well. When I hear Silent Night I'm always taken back to the church plays I was in as a kid. The church lights turned down low; Angels with glittery wings; Shepherds and Wise Men wearing house robes with towels tied on their heads as turbans; and hay strewen throughout the aisles where the little kids couldn't keep from playing in the manger.

When the girls were in high school their school chorus performed the song in German one year and I thought it was so pretty. Over the years I've read several versions of how the song came to be, all of the stories were heart warming and inspiring. To read an article that tries to wade through the legends to get at the real story go here

I'm partial to Paul and Pap's version of Silent Night. Take a listen and see if you enjoy it too. Click on the link below that says Silent Night. You may have to hit the back button to get back to this page after listening to the song.

Silent Night

Pap and Paul's Songs of Christmas cd is packed with some of the best Christmas music I have ever heard, including the song Silent Night. You can go here-Pap and Paul's Music to purchase a cd directly from me. Or you can jump over to my Etsy Shop and buy one here.

I'm giving a copy of the cd away today as part of my Thankful November series. Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win. *Giveaway ends Wednesday November 30. 

Tipper

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Overheard

Overheard in Appalachia

"I like this, but it's too tejus for me to go fast at it."

"Don't you mean tedious?"

"No I mean tejus."

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If you're looking for a great Black Friday sale from your computer screen-go visit Chitter over at Stamey Creek Creations and Chatter over at Apothecopie.

Tipper

Overheard: snippets of conversation I overhear in Southern Appalachia

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November is...

My life in appalachia - November

According to John Parris November is:

Valleys drifted with leaves, crisp and rattly in the wind. It's the hills from Watauga to Cherokee berry-bright and firelight-gay. It's the friendliness of wind-tossed smoke, stealing from hearth and chimney. It's the season turning from gold to gray.

I whole heartedly agree with Mr. Parris. Even if you're not tromping around the November woods, the leaves find their way into and onto your porches, sidewalks, and steps-so everyone can relate to the valley of drifted leaves crisp and rattly. If you're driving anywhere in western NC this time of the year-simply look out your car window to see those berry bright and firelight colors. Sadly this year the wind tossed smoke is more of the forest fire variety than the chimney kind. 

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If you're looking for a great Black Friday sale from your computer screen-check out Chitter's Black Friday Sale over at Stamey Creek Creations and Chatter's Black Friday Sale over at Apothecopie.

The winner of last Sunday's Songs of Christmas CD is...Cynthia Schoonover who said: This is one of the prettiest versions I have ever heard, and I really enjoyed the guitar accompaniment. I knew it was a folk song, but had no idea it was that old.

Tipper

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Happy Thanksgiving from the Blind Pig and The Acorn

Thanksgiving 2016

Like many of you, I'll spend today eating good food and thinking of all the things I'm thankful for.

Blind Pig Readers are at the top of my thankful list. I am truly grateful for each of you who stop by for a daily dose of Appalachia. 

I wish you a day full of blessings. 

Happy Thanksgiving from the whole Blind Pig Gang!

Tipper

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Mommy Fell and a Giveaway

Mommy Goose Rhymes from the Mountains by Mike Norris

Back in September I told you about Mike Norris and his book Mommy Goose Rhymes from the Mountains. It is filled with 50 original rhymes written by Mike himself. The book uses the rich colorful Appalachian Language that I so love. 

It is wonderfully illustrated with photos of over a hundred hand carved and painted works by Minnie Adkins who has permanent collections in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Gallery of Art, and the Kentucky Folk Art Center.

Two months later I'm still enjoying the rhymes in the book. Granny and I had a great time reading it together the other day. Here's one of my favorites from the book-Granny liked it too. 

Mommy Fell

When Mommy fell out of the apple tree,
She got right up and went on a spree.
She danced a jig on the featherbed,
Then baked two bushels of gingerbread.
She used our tablecloth for a cape,
And made a necklace with measuring tape.
She tried to crochet with her feet,
Way up in the night before she fell asleep.


She stomped in the kitchen next morning and said,


"Who tracked mud all over my bed?
Why, look at the floor, covered with crumbs.
And where did all this gingerbread come from?
I don't know who I have to thank
For being so pyert as to pull such a prank,
But I'll find out before the day's through,
And they'll be in big trouble when I do!"

Granny said the rhyme reminded her of her mother Gazzie. She said "Momma worked so hard from daylight to dark every day that she couldn't even remember all the things she did in a day. Now if I could crotchet with my hands and my feet there's no telling what I'd make!"

There's a cd of the book which contains a song Mike wrote about Mommy Goose. The song, along with the music, is in the back of the book so anyone interested can learn it themselves. The cd also contains a very nice narration of the book by Mike and a conversation between Mike and Minnie that will leave you smiling for the rest of the day. Me missing Pap is no secret to any of you. Hearing Minnie's sweet voice use so many of the words, sayings, and phrases Pap used has been a true balm for my soul.

I asked Mike where the best place to purchase the book and the cd was and this is what he said:

The Mommy Goose: Rhymes from the Mountains CD is now available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Music, and a bunch more places online. Check it out on iTunes and listen to samples of the tracks here: 
http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1160037010?ls=1&app=itunes

If you have the book without the CD, it's really not complete, as the song, narration, and 40-plus minute conversation with Minnie are a key part of the project. (And physical CDs can be ordered from Amazon.)

Bookstore versions of the book may be ordered many places online, but Amazon and The University Press of Ky [it's the university press of the whole state, not just UK] are two good sources.

 

If there is a child in your life or a rhyme loving adult like me, I suggest you buy Mike's outstanding book and cd for them. Both items would make dandy Christmas presents. 

Preserving our language is a cause that is near and dear to my heart and I commend Mike for trying to keep our rich colorful Appalachian Language alive. 

Mike generously donated a copy of the cd for me to giveaway as part of my Thankful November Series. Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win the cd. *Giveaway ends Saturday November 26.

Be on the lookout for one more giveaway related to the book-it's a good one!

Tipper

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