The Original Idea Behind GreenLivingHistory

I started the idea of Green Living History as a Blogger blog, long ago. I didn’t start it there. Just wrote a description. I really liked the name so I bought the domain. Now, here the poor thing is, neglected.

Rather than importing the lack of content on Blogger, or keeping the blogger site open for no real reason, I am deleting it there and just adding the single little post back in here.

The Idea Behind Green Living History
Green Living History – An idea to blog about the environment, green living, repurposing, natural religion and history.
Posted 27th April 2012 by Laura Brown

Where Did “Piss Poor” Come From?

My Mother sent me this in email today. Keep reading, it gets more interesting as it goes along.

Where did “piss poor” come from?
If you’re young and hip, this is still interesting.

NOW THIS IS A REAL EDUCATION
Us older people need to learn something new every day…

Just to keep the grey matter tuned up.

Where did “Piss Poor” come from? Interesting history.

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot.

And then once it was full it was taken and 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” and 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 1500’s

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 the 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.

(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; “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!!!

So get out there and educate someone!
Share these facts with a friend.
Inside every older person is a younger person wondering,
“What the heck happened?”
We’ll be friends until we are old and senile.
Then we’ll be new friends.

Repurpose Old Books

Maybe your books were damaged beyond repair. Maybe the second hand book store wasn’t interested in books you took to trade because they already have a lot of the same book. Maybe you’ve got a lot of  books with outdated information. However you come across books which no longer have a real use as books, […]

IRT: It’s Not the Same Without Lisa

Did you get watching Ice Road Truckers the past few seasons? I did. I put the show on one night while channel flipping. I thought it would be ok, better than anything else I flipped past. (I don’t want crime shows).

I became a fan of Ice Road Truckers for three people on the show that season: Alex Debogorski,  Ray Veilleux, the main one was Lisa Kelly. There she was, a girl pretty enough to be on TV – not the kind of girl you would expect to be driving a truck, a big, real truck. I liked her just for that. As I began watching the show regularly I would be glued to the screen when Lisa was on. Most of the time I could listen in the background. But, when Lisa was on, I had to watch. How would she handle that flapping. loose strap? How would she deal with the big tippy load? How was she working with all those guys and coming out on top, respected by most of them?

I was proud of a woman I’ve never met. I watched the spin-off shows, Deadliest Roads because Lisa was there. I even sent her a note on Twitter one night when I was particularly proud of how well she handled those dark, deep tunnels – in spite of having the load she was carrying wind up headless at the very end. (Not even from the tunnels but a bridge they had to go over to get into town).

Anyway, Lisa isn’t on the latest season of Ice Road Truckers. Disappointing. I won’t say I won’t watch the show, but… it just won’t be all that interesting without Lisa to cheer on her adventures.