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Stop Complaining


Steve the Original
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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 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 ! ! !

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I remember tomatoes being introduced to Europe in the 1500s from the New World and being considered poisonous. I didn't realize it was due to the chemical reaction with pewter.

 

History is always interesting and not just for the personalities, but for the technology, language with word introductions, chemistry, and medical practices, architecture, and animal interactions with people.

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I love learning any historical facts and sayings - I suppose that is why I teach history? There was a wonderful show on about 10 yrs ago called Connections ( I think). It was a great learning show - wish I had the CD's!

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Threshold also comes from when they used to winnow the wheat crop in the cruck barns, usually a winnowing cruck barn can be identified by having doors directly opposite each other in the barn. Winnowing was best done on a windy day, both doors would be opened to allow the wind to blow through and the winnowing would be done in this draught so as to seperate the wheat from the chaff ( the lighter chaff being blown outside because of the wind and thus leaving the heavier wheat to fall to the ground ) if it was particularly windy any of the wheat that may blow also would be held in the barn by the step at each doorway ........ it would hold the thresh and subsequently became known as the threshold.

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Flippin heck and there was me thinking it was a joke OOPS :shock:

 

It's really fascinating and to think I've used some of those sayings and never actually wondered where they came from :roll:

 

More please so I can baffle them all at work tomorrow with my newly found knowledge all thanks to WWW forum clever bods :D:wink:

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One bit of interest along those same lines Tony is that we still rice in the Northern States and its required to do it as the Native Americans did it.

 

A few summers I did ricing. 2 in a canoe - one with a duckbill to push us through the boggy rice areas and the other ( me ) sitting in the bottom of the canoe, knocking rice off the shafts with two long thin sticks. Of course you get many kinds of creatures too: spiders of all colors, beetles, and the unforgiving mosquito - wow no wonder I drank allot back then!

 

Actually it was a very freeing experience and I loved it. We would haul about 500 pounds of rice to the Native American rice processing plant and receive 100 pounds of already processed rice in return. It was a main staple for our winter months - along with a bit of venison here and there.

 

gathering.jpg

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Talking of "native Americans" Mary - have you got a link for the original geographical locations of the Indian Tribes (roughly by States) - I know the Seminole were in Florida, Cherokee in Georgia, Sioux in Dakota, Apache in Arizona etc, but it would be interesting to view a map. :wink:

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There were also the 17th century drinking contests where they would use wooden tankards with a small peg and holes at various depths on the inside of it ........... they would bet with each other how much they could drink in one go and gradually lower the peg to reach a certain level ........ thus they would try to take each other 'down a peg or two' :wink:

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Their original geographical distribution, prior to European intervention. EG: I believe the Sioux originally lived closer to the great lakes, but were pushed out by the Chippewa (Ojibwa), who had been given firearms by the Whites. I think there are three distinct language groups amongst the Indians, which suggests that their original migration across the Alaskan land bridge, may have occured in three seperate time periods. :?

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There is a map but there are so many tribes that you can't read the names clearly because the print is so small, even blown up they are still blurred.

 

North American Indian Tribes Early Native American Tribes and Culture Areas. $ Ancestry.com Indian Records $ ... The information provided here is from The Indian Tribes of North America ...

www.accessgenealogy.com/native/indianlocation.htm

 

There are Sioux tribes in the Upper Plains, click on these and it will tell you their history.

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What's interesting is the number of tribes and their complex movements throughout their history. I believe the total in the US when the whites arrived, was around 1 - 2 million, with average numbers per tribe of several thousand - one wonders whether there was, subject to their enviroment, an optimum size for a tribal grouping or sub - tribe, which makes one wonder the same about the Ancient British Tribes prior to the arrival of the Romans. :?

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