Archive for the ‘Wisdom’ Category

LIFE IN THE 1500’S

May 31, 2009

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 the1500s: These are interesting..!

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so 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 entranceway. Hence the saying a “thresh hold”

(Getting quite an education, aren’t you?)

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”.
And that’s the truth…Now, whoever said History was boring ! ! !

Books for Prisoners

April 28, 2009

I was going from place to place online this afternoon – I can do that right now, ‘cuz I’m on VACATION! If you can call a weeks worth of organizing, laundry & garage cleaning (pics coming soon…) “vacation.” Anywhoo, I went to Hey! It’s Free, one of my daily visits – when I remember – and clicked a link for free “Nature’s Source Cleaner.” After filling out the form, I was offered a coupon for $1 off as well. I’m all about dollars off!

You: “ How exactly does this have anything to do with books or prisoners..?”
Me: “I’m getting to that, just don’t get your panties in a wad!”

Now, where was I…oh yeah, it wanted me to download a coupon printer, which I didn’t want to do, so went back and clicked on a link that said “7 ideas for recycling your clutter. One of the suggestions (you’ll hafta go yourself if you want to see the rest of the suggestions) was to donate books – there’s a link for donating to soldiers, and one to donate to prisoners. The one to donate to soldiers wants you to fill out a PAPER form and MAIL it. Now I’m not paranoid, not much anyways, but really? Why do I have to fill out a paper & send it to the government in order to donate books..? I’m just sayin’…

So I went to the other one, where you can donate to prisoners. (No paper form required!) and at the top of the list – ok not THE top, but the top of the Fiction & Others list – I saw a request for Pagan books…in bold even. So I thought I would put it up here so my three readers (yeah YOU) can consider going through your shelves, and maybe donate…just a thought…

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Books Needed

Books To Prisoners is a Seattle-based, all-volunteer, non-profit group that sends free books to prisoners in the U.S.

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Book donations needed!

Books To Prisoners needs the following paperback books.

Note: Please limit box weight to 15 pounds maximum.

Most needed books

  • Dictionaries (English and Spanish/English)

  • Thesaureses

  • Small business and real estate – Running and starting a business

  • Law dictionaries and legal self help

  • Trades (plumbing, electricity, carpentry, construction, auto mechanics)

Reference and text books

  • Dictionaries (including English, Spanish, French, German, Swahili)

  • Dual language dictionaries (particularly Spanish/English)

  • Almanacs (non-current year still great!)

  • Foreign language textbooks (particularly Spanish)

  • Biology, chemistry, and physics text books

  • American Sign Language manuals

  • Legal self-help and legal dictionaries

  • GED prep and high-school level textbooks in all subject areas

  • Vocational, technical, and "how to" books, such as electrical repair, home repair, etc.

  • Small business guides or handbooks (including management)

African-American and Hispanic studies

  • African-American non-fiction (including Black Panther and related material)

  • ANY Mexican or Latino non-fiction (including  Mexican Revolution and Aztec history)

  • World history, especially ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, and military history

Fiction and Other

  • Wiccan, pagan, mythology, and occult materials

  • Westerns

  • Mystery, thriller, and horror

  • Fantasy

  • True crime

  • Classic literature

  • Philosophy

  • Blank journals/diaries (some pages ripped out is fine)