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Archive for August, 2010

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  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.

(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.

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