From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

13 Questions and 13 Answers

For the 13 people who typed these questions into search engines and surfed to my blog


1. Are there chiggers in Kentucky?

Yes, Kentucky has chiggers. Lots and lots of them.

2. What is the significance of the painted pigs in Cadiz?

The painted pigs in Cadiz (KY) are mascots. They are an amusing and eye-catching curiosity on the sidewalks and lawns of Cadiz, and they are a year-round reminder of the Country Ham Festival -- which is coming up this weekend, by the way.

3. Could you survive without shampoo?

Yes, but I don't want to. I am not fond of the naturally oily look.

4. Why do Mennonites have steel wheels on tractors?

The Mennonites are concerned that their members might be tempted to use tractors as a motorized form of transportation.The steel wheels limit the tractors to farm use. The Mennonites strengthen ties with each other by avoiding the ownership of motorized transportation. They look to the local Mennonite community first for what they need. Then, if travel beyond the range of a bicycle or horse and buggy is necessary, they hire an automobile.

5. Can shingles cause numbness in the arms?

Yes, and the numbness can linger for a long time after the shingle outbreak disappears. I had a mild case of shingles about 15 months ago and the top of my hand is still a little numb!

6. Where is the flower on a dill plant?

If you're having trouble seeing your dill flowers, I don't think your dill plants have bloomed yet. The flowers are at the ends of the stems and branches, and there's no way that you would mistake them for leaves.

7. Why do tobacco barns smoke?

Tobacco barns smoke because they have a smoldering fire inside them. The smoke flavors and colors the tobacco leaves that are hanging inside the barn. This is the usual and most desirable reason that a barn is smoking. Every now and then a tobacco barn smokes because it has caught fire. This is an unusual and very undesirable reason for the barn to be smoking.

8. How do you make an orange julius?

Combine ice cubes, milk, sugar, vanilla, and OJ concentrate in a blender. Blend on high until slushy. Complete directions here: Homemade Orange Julius. They are delicious, but drink them slowly so you don't get a brain freeze.

9. In the 1920s, what were mules used for?

Mules did heavy work that we use tractors and other motorized machines for today, such as moving carloads of coal out of mines and pulling plows, freight wagons, and streetcars. People also rode mules. Of course, in the 1920s, all of this was changing because of gasoline engines.

10. Are windmills illegal in Kentucky?

No, and I can't imagine why you think they would be. Several of our "non-electric" Mennonite neighbors have windmills. The reason you don't see more windmills around here is that most farmers use electric pumps. Windmills require a much larger initial investment, and of course, if the wind doesn't blow, no water can be pumped.

11. Where can I see interesting old sod houses?

I recommend the "Prairie Settlement" exhibit at the Library of Congress. Try looking in the Subject Index for "sod house".

12. What birds eat pyracantha berries?

The only birds that have consumed our pyracantha berries with real gusto were the cedar waxwings who visited one winter. Usually, the berries stay on the bushes until they fall off. I would love to have the waxwings come for another visit. I really enjoyed watching them.

13. What big cats are native to Kentucky?

Historically, the eastern cougar and the bobcat are natives of Kentucky. Stories of big cat sightings abound, but for reliable information, check the Eastern Cougar Foundations's website.

On the web:
Read more "Thursday Thirteens."

9 comments:

Tracie said...

Great questions and answers...it is always fun to get a look into the minds of people that wander across a blog and see how they get there.

#7 cracked me up...."Every now and then a tobacco barn smokes because it has caught fire. This is an unusual and very undesirable reason for the barn to be smoking."--too funny!

Happy TT!

Hootin' Anni said...

I've seen painted pigs, cows/cattle, and horses. What's with that, you wonder?


My 13 is posted...all in a name. Find it HERE But you will need to scroll down just below my other meme....Thursday Thunks. Then, my Thursday 13 Names is posted.

Mark said...

Neat post.

Regarding No. 9, when I was in middle school in around 1962, a logging company used mules to take trees off a hill behind my school. Too bad they don't still use them, because I suspect they would have made much less of a mess of the area when they're done.

Regarding No. 12. I saw a flock of cedar waxwings descend on a cherry laurel outside my parents' dining room door once. It was the first and last time I ever saw them. I, too, wish they would come back.

Sarabeth said...

I enjoyed this post, Genevieve. Nice job.

Gattina said...

Interesting questions and answers ! A pink little pig is supposed to bring luck in Germany. and the mules are still used in some parts of Morocco because no modern machine can go high into the mountains on very small streets to load the harvest !

rani (scrapyoga) said...

wow It's amazing what people are wondering!!! Great post!

Genevieve said...

Mark, you are right about logging with mules being less destructive to the forest. They don't compact the soil like tractors do.

Gattina, I have read that mules are more sure-footed than horses on mountain trails. Also, mules are supposed to require less food than horses and have a longer working life.

Sarabeth, I use a free service called Hittail that tracks what search terms bring people to this blog, and I plucked these questions out of the lists it generates.

Tracie, Hootin' Anni, Rani -- it was nice to have you visit, and thank you for your kind comments. Please stop in any time!

John Ruberry said...

Good post.

Melissa Mashburn said...

Awesome information! I was born in Paducah, Kentucky but I do not remember anything about it so it was nice to see the Kentucky information.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.