Crying Holy Unto the Lord

On the rock where moses stood
The girls have been doing the old gospel song Crying Holy Unto the Lord for more than a few years. If you've been around the Blind Pig and The Acorn for a long time you may even remember them performing the song in the historic Lufty Baptist Church

I knew the song was old, but when I first went looking for information about its history I had a hard time finding anything solid. The song is sometimes called On the Rock where Moses Stood or simply Crying Holy

I finally stumbled upon the following information about the song on the Bluegrass Messengers website

NOTES: "Crying Holy Unto The Lord" is a traditional spiritual from Norfolk Jubilee Quartet in 1924, the first recording made of this gospel song. This spiritual was popularized in early country music by the Carter Family who recorded the song twice (1930 and 1935) under the title, "On the Rock Where Moses Stood." The Carters collected and learned spirituals from several African-American sources including Pauline Gary and Leslie Riddle.

The first closely related versions were recorded by African-American groups like the Norfolk Jubilee Quartet in 1924- "Crying To The Lord." The Birmingham Jubilee Singers' first record in 1926 was He Took My Sins Away and Crying To The Lord and it sold almost 5000 copies.

Recently we changed up our arrangement to the song Crying Holy Unto the Lord and its become one of our favorite songs to play.

Hope you enjoyed the history and the song!

Tipper

p.s. The Pressley Girls will be performing TODAY Sunday May 28 at 12:00 p.m. in Blairsville GA at the Spring Arts and Crafts Festival.

*Source:  Bluegrass Messengers website

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Overheard

Overheard in Appalachia

"That was pretty good, but could you do pretty little girl with a joe sack on?"

Tipper

p.s.

  • The Pressley Girls will be playing TODAY Saturday May 27 at 7:00 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater in Bryson City NC. The cost of admission is 10 dollars and all money raised will be used for maintenance of the Lauada Cemetery.
  • The Pressley Girls will also be performing Sunday May 28 at 12:00 p.m. in Blairsville GA at the Spring Arts and Crafts Festival.

Overheard: snippets of conversation I overhear in Southern Appalachia

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Grateful in Appalachia

Being Grateful in Appalachia
"Louisa had never been grateful for anything, but from Corie she learned gratefulness and thankfulness for all things: dry wood, rain when the spring was low, cold snaps that cured up colds and made a spell for killing hogs, sunshiny days, snowy days (they meant good crops), hard frozen bare ground for it was then that the children did not wet their feet or ruin their shoes. Without being a pessimist Corie expected the worst of all possible combinations in all things, and as a result was eternally grateful for some little thing."

Harriette Simpson Arnow - Mountain Path

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Pap raised me to look at things in much the same way that Corie did in the book Mountain Path. He always said there's good in everything if you look hard enough you'll find it and things could always be worse than they are and all you have to do is look at people and their problems around you and you'll know that's true for sure.

I did my best to instill the same sense of gratefulness in my girls. This ole word is full of trials and tribulations, but learning how to be grateful for the little things seems to offer the best buffer against troublesome times.

If you've never read Mountain Path you should. 

Tipper

p.s.

  • The Pressley Girls will be playing TODAY Friday May 26 at 5:30 on the square in Hayesville, NC.
  • The Pressley Girls will be playing Saturday May 27 at 7:00 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater in Bryson City NC. The cost of admission is 10 dollars and all money raised will be used for maintenance of the Lauada Cemetery.
  • The Pressley Girls will also be performing Sunday May 28 at 12:00 p.m. in Blairsville GA at the Spring Arts and Crafts Festival.

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Sevin Dust or a Natural Remedy for Garden Bugs?

Organic pest control in the garden 
Pap's old sevin dust can

We don't usually have issues with bugs doing damage to our garden. There's always  Japanese beetles on the beans but not much else that we have to deal with. Pap swore by Sevin dust, but I'd rather not use it unless I have to. 

A quick google will turn up all sorts of homemade insecticides-like:

  • water mixed with dish detergent
  • water mixed with pepper flakes or chopped hot peppers
  • pee-I think I might rather have sevin dust than pee
  • planting marigolds or nasturtiums around the garden-I always plant nasturiums and marigolds maybe that helps keep my bug issues at a minimum 
  • oily mixture made from dish detergent or peppers
  • a sprinkle of wheat bran
  • a sprinkle of tobacco dust-not sure where you'd get that unless you grew tobacco or knew someone who did
  • a tea made from tobacco and water-most recipes said this type of insecticide should be used sparingly due to the high nicotine content
  • releasing friendly bug eating bugs in your garden like ladybugs
  • pick the bugs off by hand and drown in a jug of water-this would take the patience of Job if you had a big garden, but I know folks who do it every year

The only homemade insecticide I've ever used from the list above is the pepper/oil mixture. Maybe my recipe was off, but it didn't work for me.

How about you-do you use the old stand by sevin dust or have you found a more natural remedy that works?

Tipper

p.s.

  • The Pressley Girls will be playing Friday May 26 at 5:30 on the square in Hayesville, NC.
  • The Pressley Girls will be playing Saturday May 27 at 7:00 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater in Bryson City NC. The cost of admission is 10 dollars and all money raised will be used for maintenance of the Lauada Cemetery.
  • The Pressley Girls will also be performing Sunday May 28 at 12:00 p.m. in Blairsville GA at the Spring Arts and Crafts Festival.

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Rabies

Rabies in Appalachia

Rabies written by Larry Griffith

As a boy in the early 1950's I lived on Squirrel Run in Elliot Co. KY. It was called squirrel run because their were so many of them. A man by the name of Johnson lived on the farm in the 1870's and 1880's and paid a bounty on them because they were eating his crops. There is still plenty of squirrels and animals we didn't have back then like turkey, deer, coyotes, and an occasional bear. One thing we did have was mad dogs.

The old house we lived in sat high on one side and low on the other side with the windows low. It made you feel like something was going to jump through one of those low windows. Dad worked away in Detroit which left Mom, baby brother, a brother 1 yr. younger than me, and myself for Mom to take care of. Us boys were too young to be of help so everything fell on her.

My brother and me played out all the time. We really enjoyed gathering beech nuts, and storing them in the Doan pill containers, playing with the puppies, and running our tootle models. The tootle models were nothing but big brushy limbs we drug on the dirt road to make the dust fly. This is just a guess but we must have heard the older folks talk of T-model Fords. Another thing we did was pour sand down the yellow jacket nests. That was a sport to us, and sometimes we got stung. The best thing we had was our pet dog Ole Buddy. I believe he was part shepherd and was our constant companion.

At night dogs would get under the house and fight. Mom would take the little 22 single shot rifle and shoot through the floor. I don't know if she ever hit one, but they would leave. I remember one time her shooting at one out the front door with the single barrel 12 gauge. There was much rabies at the time.

Henry Salyers lived about half mile up the gravel road and he would come down of the mornings with his big double barrel shotgun and check things out. I don't remember him finding any dead dogs or mad dogs but his coming made us feel better.

Dad quit his job in Detroit and came home. He got a job cutting virgin white oak about 2 miles up the holler we lived in. Dad told me a few years ago that some of the white oaks were over 3 foot through.

One day the owner of the timber company, a preacher from TN, was driving down the holler and Mom waved him over to the house and gave him the shotgun and shells. Ole Buddy was mad. He shot and killed him there in the road while we watched. I think he was trying to drink out of a mud hole. Dad came home from work, took the shotgun and killed all the puppies. He wouldn't let us watch but we heard the shots.

All of us had to take rabies shots. I don't remember all the details, but we went many times to the doctor's office. The shots hurt and my brother and me tried to get away from the nurse, but they always caught us.

Oh, I just thought about the new dog Dad got us. He looked just like Ole Buddy and we named him Buddy too. He was an ill natured thing and wouldn't let you near him while eating and didn't want to be petted. He was not Ole Buddy!

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Larry sent me the story about Ole Buddy a few months back. I was reminded of it this past week when a friend's daughter was bit by a dog thought to be rabid. Not only do those shots hurt they are expensive too! I always heard a man down the road had rabies as a child and survived it. Most folks who told the story would end it by saying and that's why he's crazy as a loon.

I also read a scary account of a fox attacking a man who was sitting on his porch last week in GA. As violent as the attack was described I'm positive it would have killed a child or someone who was more feeble than the man who fought it off. 

Anothony Cavender offers the following information about rabies in the book Folk Medicine in Southern Appalachia.

"Many Southern Appalachians believed that snakes and dogs were particularly dangerous during the dog days of summer, when snakes became aggressive and dogs went mad. Remedies for snake and mad-dog bites were essentially the same. Magical cures for mad-dog bites were killing the dog, pulling out one of its teeth, and placing it under a rock; placing the hip bone of a deer on the wound; and killing a chicken, extracting its gizzard, and then hiding it. Another remedy was to kill the rabid dog and apply some of its hair to the wound (thus the phrase "hair of the dog that bit you," which is used today in reference to a hangover cure in which one drinks some of the same alcoholic beverage that one got drunk from). "

Tipper

p.s.

  • The Pressley Girls will be playing Friday May 26 at 5:30 on the square in Hayesville, NC.
  • The Pressley Girls will be playing Saturday May 27 at 7:00 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater in Bryson City NC. The cost of admission is 10 dollars and all money raised will be used for maintenance of the Lauada Cemetery.
  • The Pressley Girls will also be performing Sunday May 28 at 12:00 p.m. in Blairsville GA at the Spring Arts and Crafts Festival. 

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Whippoorwills in Bellview

whipporwills 

 I grew up hearing Pap tell a very silly story about Whippoorwills.

In days gone by, the story was quite popular in our area. In fact the story was so popular a man came to record it straight from the source as they say. Pap was lucky to hear the story from the source and from the later recording. 

Old Man Jeff claimed to have been responsible for choking out  the Whippoorwills in Bellview (a local community). Pap said back then Whippoorwills were so plentiful that fox hunters said they interfered with their hunting.

Old Man Jeff and his brothers were out fox hunting one night and the Whippoorwills were so loud they couldn't hear the dogs running. Old Man Jeff told one of his brothers to pull out his shirt tail and tie a knot in it-to choke the Whippoorwills. As soon as he tied the knot the birds quietened a bit. Old Man Jeff told him to tie another one and the birds got even quieter! Old Man Jeff instructed his brother to tie one more knot and as he tied the last knot all the Whippoorwills fell out of the tree dead and there hasn't been a Whippoorwill in Bellview since!

The story or should I say "tall tale" is funny enough, but Pap says the recording was even funnier.

At the end of the recorded story you can hear a lady say "Anybody who'd believe that is standing on their head!" The interviewer asks who the lady is and Old Man Jeff says "That's my crazy old woman she don't believe nothing!"

I love hearing the call of the Whippoorwill. The sound is kind of eerie and lonesome. Seems each year I hear them less. In some areas the Whippoorwill population has been decreased by as much as 80%-not because of someone choking them out with their shirt-tail, but by the continued spread and sprawl of people.

Tipper

p.s.

  • The Pressley Girls will be playing Friday May 26 at 5:30 on the square in Hayesville, NC.
  • The Pressley Girls will be playing Saturday May 27 at 7:00 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater in Bryson City NC. The cost of admission is 10 dollars and all money raised will be used for maintenance of the Lauada Cemetery.
  • The Pressley Girls will also be performing Sunday May 28 at 12:00 p.m. in Blairsville GA at the Spring Arts and Crafts Festival. 

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Kraut

Old timey kraut

kraut
A noun Sauerkraut, widely made in the mountains, stored in barrels and kept for winter consumption. The food is the most significant German contribution to mountain cuisine, and the term is one of the very few from German in the mountain vocabulary.
1913 Kephart Our Sthn High 289-90 In the vocabulary of the mountaineers I have detected only three words of directly foreign origin. Doney is one. Another is kraut, which is the sole contribution to highland speech of those numerous Germans (mostly Pennsylvania Dutch) who joined the first settlers in this region, and whose descendants, under wondrously anglicized names, form to-day a considerable element of the highland population [note: sashiate is the third word, according to Kephart]. 1939 Walker Mtneer Looks 3 The German word kraut survived, for the obvious reason that there was no equivalent in the technical vocabulary of the Scotch-Irish housewife. 1960 Mason Memoir 15 The barrels were utilized as containers for the storage of such mountain comodities [sic] as saur kraut, pickled beans, bleached apples, and pumpkin butter. 1962 Hall Coll. Newport TN A pregnant woman will spoil kraut or [the] mash for a run of liquor...A woman, when her menstrual period is on, when she makes kraut, it'll rot. (Burl McGaha) GSMNP-80:15 We would put a cloth over the kraut now and pickled beans, and we'd put this big plank and then we'd hunt and get us a big heavy rock, wash hit off right clean and put it on the plank and that would mash it down in below kraut, and that's how we would have it, you know, the kraut and pickled beans, [and] you know that kraut was so good we would just go get us a handful, squeeze the juice out and just eat a handful. 1977 Madden and Jones Mt Home 27 Pickled beans and kraut were kept in large stone crocks in the spring-house. 
*B verb To make sauerkraut of.
1917 Kephart Word-list 413 I don't do like old Mis' Posey, kraut my cabbage whole. 

Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English

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More than a few interesting tid-bits in the definition for kraut from the Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English.

I wonder if Kephart's statement about the three words is true? And I wonder what in the heck sashiate means?

I've always heard a woman who is menstruating can't help put up kraut or pickled beans and corn, but never heard about it effecting liquor. And I've never heard anything of the sort said about a pregnant woman.

Papaw Tony said his mother would make several crocks of kraut each year. She would can the kraut as a crock made, but she left the last run of the year and they would eat that crock before using the canned kraut. Papaw's mother krauted the core of the cabbage to. Similar to the person in the definition, Papaw would sneak and stick his dirty little hand down in the crock and dig around until he found a core to eat. 

I can't imagine krauting a whole cabbage-I wonder if it would work?

I'll leave you with a few kraut posts from the archives of the Blind Pig and The Acorn

Tipper

p.s.

  • The Pressley Girls will be playing Saturday May 27 at 7:00 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater in Bryson City NC. The cost of admission is 10 dollars and all money raised will be used for maintenance of the Lauada Cemetery.
  • The Pressley Girls will also be performing Sunday May 28 at TBA in Blairsville GA at the Spring Arts and Crafts Festival. 

 

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Sing that one about that Ole Boy that went and got in Trouble

The Pressley Girls If it hadn't been for Love

The Pressley Girls - Fall 2016 Marble, NC

We've been learning the Steeldrivers song If it hadn't been for Love for the last two years. It's an awesome song and man did the Steeldrivers do an amazing job on it. Their version is just wow.

The girls and I thought we'd never get the hang of the song, but Paul kept encouraging us and Pap said Paul and the girls' three part harmony really made the song come alive so we kept at it.

We didn't even know Granny had noticed the song until one day she said "Sing that one about that o'le boy that went and got hisself in all that trouble in Birmingham and Louisiana." 

Every time we practice Granny makes us sing If it hadn't been for Love before we quit. 

Paul put up the video below a couple weeks back. It's full of mistakes-Chitter swaps two of the lines and Chatter says the wrong word at some point, but the video still ended up with a good feel to it. We filmed it just before Christmas and if you watch the bloopers at the end you can see it was a stormy day with the lights trying their best to go off. 

I hope you enjoyed Granny's favorite song. 

Tipper

p.s. Today is the last day to enter the book giveaway-go here if you missed it. 

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Funny Rabbits

My life in appalachia - Rabbits

Chitter snapped this picture out her bedroom window.

Mr. Cottontail pranced back and forth so long that we decided he must have been posing for her or laughing at us because he just ate the tops off all of my beans. 

I tried to remember all the rabbit folklore I knew to share with you, but only 2 things came to mind: the obvious a lucky rabbit foot; and you shouldn't kill rabbits to eat until after the first few heavy frosts in fall to make sure any wolves (parasites) on the rabbit are gone.

I checked with Frank C. Brown to see if he had any good ones to add:

  • A rabbit cannot be trapped in a new box trap-you must use old boards to make the box
  • If a rabbit being chased by dogs stops and licks his paws-the dogs will never find him (I know a beagle down the hill who would disagree with this one)
  • Seeing a rabbit while fishing is bad luck
  • On the first day of the month say Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit and you'll get a present before you know it (I hope all of you will be saying Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit with me on June 1)

Seeing Mr. Cottontail out Chitter's window reminded me of some of her silly videos from snap chat that make her look like a rabbit. 

Click on the video to start it and then click on it again to end it. 

 Aren't I just a pretty little rabbit? I think my ears are to big though. So I'm thinking about having just a little bit of bunny botox!

I'm just a little rabbit. They told me I could be anything. So do you know? Do you know what I said? I said, bite like a spider, run and sting like a rabbit!

Let me tell you something in rabbit world. I just saw my best friend Benny's foot hanging on a chain in a little treasure shop. That's messed up its not lucky for the rabbit!

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Hope you enjoyed the silliness and if you've got any other rabbit folklore please share it.

Tipper

p.s. The Pressley Girls will be playing TODAY Saturday May 20, 2017 @ 2:00 p.m  at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center - Robbinsville NC and Sunday May 21, 2017 @ 11:00 a.m. at Mount Moriah Baptist Church - Murphy NC. Their summer is schedule is filling up-to see a complete list of performance dates go here. If you make it out to any of the shows please come up and say hello!

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Mountain Ivy = Mountain Laurel = Rhododendron

Mountain ivy in western north carolina

ivy noun
(also ivy bush, ivy tree) The mountain laurel tree (Kalmia latifolia). Same as calico bush, mountain ivy.
1883 Zeigler and Grosscup Heart of Alleghanies 196 The arborescent kalmia and rhododendron, which grow along almost every mountain stream, have a practical use. The ivy and laurel, as they are locally called attain, in some of the fertile coves, a diameter of three inches, and the roots are even larger. 1928 Galyon Plant Naturalist 7 Mountain laurel, known to the mountaineer as "ivy," reaches its maximum development in the Smokies. It is not unusual to find arborescent laurels one foot or more in diameter and many feet high. 1982 Stupka Wildflowers 80 Usually the attractive pink or white-saucered flowers are so abundant that the mountain laurel in full bloom is one of our most spectacular plants. It flowers in May and June, the later blossoms ordinarily occurring on plants growing in the higher altitudes. "Ivy" and "calico-bush" are among its other names. 1997-2001 Montgomery Coll. ivy bush (Cardwell); ivy tree (Brown).

laurel noun Cf rhododendron. 
A variant form larel.
1939 Hall Notebook 13:1 White Oak NC larel (Fay Leatherwood)
B (also laurel bush) The mountain term for evergreen rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum and Rhododendron catawbiense), which grows profusely at elevations below 5,000 feet and covers extensive tracts in thicket. Also used in compounds (as flat laurel, laurel bed, laurel patch, laurel slick, laurel thicket, mountain laurel) and in place names.
1890 Carpenter Thunderhead Peak 142-43 There for the first time we saw the tangle of rhododendron which is called "laurel," and forms a dense thicket along all the mountain streams. 1937 Hall Coll. Cosby Creek TN We have white laurels and red laurels here in the mountains. (James Benson) 1939 Hall Coll. Deep Creek NC They fought right down to the foot of the ridge into the flat laurel and commenced barkin'. I though [the bear] was treed. (Mark Cathey) 1974 Underwood Madison County 9 Roderick Shelton and his descendants peopled the area now known as Shelton Laurel. 

~Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English

Ivy blooms in the mountains

I have one more quote for you.

Dykeman The Tall Woman Pg 304 I've always thought the ivy was about the prettiest thing growing here, the way it clings to the mountains, the way it comes in the cutover places and covers up the scars with blooms in spring. 

As I look at the ridge above our house I so agree - the Ivy is about the prettiest thing growing here.

Tipper 

p.s. The Pressley Girls will be playing Saturday May 20, 2017 @ 2:00 p.m  at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center - Robbinsville NC and Sunday May 21, 2017 @ 11:00 a.m. at Mount Moriah Baptist Church - Murphy NC. Their summer is schedule is filling up-to see a complete list of performance dates go here

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