Monday, September 29, 2014

Where Did That Saying Come From?

You might find the origin of these sayings interesting:

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken & Sold to the tannery.......if you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor"

But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot......they "didn't have a pot to piss in" & were the lowest of the low

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell . ...... . Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting Married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water!"

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof... Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, "Dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold.

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old. Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would Sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive... So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a dead ringer.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

An American Style, Global Sources for New York Textile and Fashion Design 1915 - 1928 by Ann Marguerite Tartsinis

Excuse the photos but I took them quite quickly just to convey the essence of this book.  Anyone who is interested in American Fashion Design will enjoy this.  I first saws this book on The Vintage Traveller  I managed to get the book through my library from Auburn University Library.

During WWI America, especially New York, could no longer look to the fashion houses of Europe, especially Paris, for their ideas, or the dye houses of Germany for colour, the war had seriously disrupted this connection.  The curators of the American Museum of Natural History asked many fashion designers to look into their archives for inspiration.  Look to the Americas, what art and depth of design was here to be tapped.

This led to an opportunity to create an American aesthetic design, using American manufacturers for textile and clothes design.  These are some of the pieces they came up with.

A side point not in the book.  Have you ever wondered why all the leading prescription drug manufacturers are based or originated in Germany.  It goes back to the industrial revolution.  England had cotton they imported this from the Southern States of the USA and wove this into cotton fabric which was sent out all over the world.  Up until this time all textiles had been homespun hand industries with homemade natural dyes.  However with the advent of mass production in textiles there was a need for the mass production of dyes, naturally made dyes could not keep up with this demand.

Here comes Germany, always keeping an eye on Great Britain as her rival, there was no way they could break into the textile industry but they could make and sell the synthetic dyes.  This was a whole new field of chemistry, which led to the setting up of labs for this process.  This study into dyes has a spin off the study into synthetic prescription drugs.  Many leading drug companies started out in dyes.  It's ironic that the textile industry in Britain is no more, but the drug industry in Germany has flourished.

I think a modern day fashion look at what is here in the Americas would not go amiss.

The book An American Style is well worth reading, and if it is only to get it for the pictorial inspiration.


Friday, September 26, 2014

In The Gorge

After walking the Cornell Plantation The Boy and I had lunch at The Carriage House, near to Cornell University.  A very popular place.  I treated myself to a Mimosa, and had Liver Patee.

After lunch here where we discussed how to make a wallet for The Boy out of the leather from the Aurora Shoe Co. that we were given.  It is very thick so decided that the interior needed to be in a cloth and other things too.

When we got out the weather was a little more overcast, but still nice, so headed over to the Gorge that I had walked the previous day, only taking a different trail, down, instead of up to the suspension bridge.  Lots of steps down.

Sadly some have died here, taking a swim under the falls.  We wondered if the information was so graphic because there were two plaques and the second plaque many years later had a very foreign sounding name and we wondered whether that person could not read the warnings, so more visual than written.

A student was sitting by the side reading.  The sound of water whether gentle or rushing is always soothing I think.

Have a great weekend.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cornell Plantation by the Lake

We are officially in Autumn and today it is raining. 

I wanted to post more of my trip to Ithaca, NY.  Here we are still in the Cornell Plantation, but down by the lake.  A very sweet Korean lady took this for us, she took many, as she said "I know when my son graduated I wanted lots of photos", however she took most from such a distance, that we are minute in the scenery around us, this is the closest.  I have ordered myself a tripod for such photo ops.  The Boy took the one I had with him to Ithaca and we did not have it with us.

Across the lake they were setting up a tent and tables for a wedding reception, what a lovely place to have it and it was such a lovely day.

This week has been a little frazzled at work, because I caught a virus and it totally put everything into crypt you know those crazy symbols.  Not only everything that was on my computer at work, but everything that I had on the server, this was seriously troubling.  Every file of fourteen years of work has gone.  I'm starting from ground zero.  So setting up my computer again, customizing it to what you want is on ongoing process, my head is spinning.

On the other hand after at least eight aborted attempts I may at last have found a crochet sock pattern that I like.  I have come to the conclusion that I like crocheting in the circular, rather than left to right, I never seem to get the edges correct.

The yarn is a merino wool sock blend in pale sage greens, purples, grey and cream, I like it.  Hope it turns out well, we will see.

Hope your week is good.



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cornell Plantation Kitchen Garden

Back to Ithaca, NY.  This is the main visitors center the Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center

This little family, hubby not in photo asked Rob to take their photo.  After taking their photo The Boy said you should get a camera like that mum it would suit you, it was a mirrorless camera read here.  It probably would suit me, something to think about for the future.  Ease of use coupled with interchangeable lenses, smaller too, since you do not have a mirror in there.

Kitchen garden of ones dreams at the Cornell Plantation.

More pics than words.

Have a great day.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Down To The Creek

Hello!  Mr. B. and I decided to take a walk by the Creek.  It seemed that other folk made the same choice, including four footed friends.

Capturing the Flora of the season, as we are betwixt and between seasons.  The temps have been around 80f only problem is allergy season for me. It is however my favourite time of year, well our anniversary is early October and the weather is almost always just lovely.

The Boy has found through the college work program a job as an Elementary School assistant which he says he really likes and he did emphasize really, and the school is very near to where he lives, in fact nearer than the college so he is very happy.  Now he's just got to find another job to fill in.

I have noticed that our Electric and Gas bill has gone down by $25.00 since Rob has left.  New gas furnace still needs to be installed, that will be a chunk of change, but we are getting near to the season when we will need it.  Did also have a cord of wood delivered.

A chunk of wood fell on Mr. B.s ankle bone and was swollen and sore, it was suggested by an Indian feller that B. works with, that he should put a poultice on of Turmeric and Salt, mixed into a paste poultice and applied to the bruised and swollen area.  This certainly did seem to help.  Always good to learn natural medical practices, even from the other side of the world.

Yesterday I started a crochet sock pattern five times and I still need to have another go at it.  I did break down and admitted that I did need to work under the magnifying light with that finer thread.

Oh, it's a long long time from May to December
But the days grow short when you reach September
When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame
One hasn't got time for the waiting game.
Oh the days dwindle down to a precious few
September, November.
And these precious days I'll spend with you.
These precious days I'll spend with you.

I saw this mentioned on another blog Magnon's Meanderings and I agree Lotte Lenya's 1957 version is the best.  

Having a lovely cool drink.

Just sat on rocks in the middle of the creek and took photos, was fun.  The sound of cascading water is so relaxing.

So I will leave you with this.


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