May 31st 2018

May 31st 2018
Sunflowers have Arrived

Monday, September 9, 2013

Colorful Speech

When you were growing up did you hear phrases and parts of speech that left you pondering it's meaning? Phrases like, " You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear." The first time I remember being aware of the whole world of phrases going on around me was when I heard the above phrase. A woman was coming to visit and my grand mother uttered that saying. When the woman came in I sat quietly and watched. I didn't see anything that looked like a silk purse or one made out of a sow's ear. I don't remember but I sure hope I didn't ask.

As I was thinking about this post, when we moved out here I was four years old. My grandmother was thirty-eight when I was born. So she was only forty two and I spent so much time with her because my brother and sister were babies and my Mom had her hands full. Not to mention, I think I drove my Mom nuts.

My grandmother and I spent lots of time out in the feed lot and in the garden. She would say that  something was " scarce as hens teeth." I of course being a investigative sort of child, would wait until she went in the house to see what chicken teeth looked like. I would grab a hen, go sit down with it on my lap and hold it's head and pry open the beak, and stare down inside the hens mouth. They have sort of jagged looking cartilage but not teeth. I of course told her next time she used the phase what hens teeth really looked like. One thing about my grandmother was when she laughed she would bend over slapping her knees laughing until she cried. She did that quite a bit. I never knew why until I got grand children.

  My favorite phase was " As cute as a bug's ear. Which meant that there was not a single thing on this earth as cute as a bugs ear. I also spent many hours trying to find out what was cute as a bugs ear, but never really found one. I had to ask her what that one meant. She would say things too, like " Oh you lie like a rug." When my great grand mother moved out here, she would never use much slang or never a curse word. But when she got upset she would say, " Oh Hail Columbia."  My grand mother had eight brothers and sisters. My grand father had 12 children in his family. To say I had tons of cousins was an understatement. They loved to get together and tell stories and as children when the grownups would start telling stories it was time to sit and listen at their feet.

One of my favorites was when my grandmother would tell about when my grandfather's Dad was a little boy. He would sneak away to play in the creek when he was supposed to be working. ( I imagine she was telling me this to teach me about why I should be working and not sneaking away.) A large group of men on horseback with guns rode up to give their horses a drink. They spotted my great grandfather and started laughing and began shooting their pistols at his feet. He was so scared because he thought he was going to die, and they were laughing and cutting up as he high tailed it home. She would then say, " You know who it was that was shooting at him don't you?" I always shook my head no so I could have the thrill of hearing her say, " it was that dirty Jesse James and those worthless bank robbers the James Gang." She would always give me this look and I knew that if they had rode up on her she would have taken those guns and shot each one of them by herself.

I spent so much time with my grand parents. They were my rock and my stability. This week will be 44 years since my birth Mom passed away. As hard as I try, I try not to look back. I do though. Even though it has been 44 years. I miss her as much today as I did then. Those first 10 years of my life were really, really good filled with joy and love and family. The next 10 years were filled with a much different kind of life. But always the unchanging focus of my life were my grandparents who never failed or gave up on me. As the sign in my kitchen says, " It is a Wonderful life and you know what? It has and it is and I have been so blessed.

Thank you for reading along today. Remember what Winston Churchill said, " Never, never, give up." I always think, because there might just be a rainbow waiting at any minute.



  1. we do say funny things, don't we? years ago, when you asked my brother a question when the obvious answer was "yes" he would say..."does a chicken have lips?"do any of your chickens have lips? ha! ha!

  2. I love all those idioms. They make me feel like home. I remember 'lie like a trotting dog', and I always wondered how that worked. Or maybe I have it confused with another one?

    I always checked for hens teeth, too. :-)

  3. your grandmother was 38 when you were born. my mom was 37 when i was born. big difference in family dynamics and age groups between our sets. :)

  4. A great read tonight, I enjoyed it!
    I think your heart always longs for the ones who were the "best" in your life, relatives, teachers, friends, etc. it's like they mark you in your heart, and no one can truly fill that spot but them. The memories help, but there is always a dropped stitch in the fabric of your life.

  5. Your Grandmother sounds just like mine. She had the best laugh and she had a ton of those sayings. "He's as sharp as a sack of wet mud" or "you can put lipstick on a pig but its still a pig"

  6. I really enjoy reading about your growing up years and your adventures so I'd love to have known your grandmother.

  7. Good morning Kim..How I enjoyed this post! I love those little sayings and my grandmother and therefore my mom used a few of those too, haha. This brought back some wonderful memories for me too. Wish I could give you a big hug today!

  8. The good old days had lot of idioms that still goes around today.
    I enjoyed your post very much.
    A big HUG as it come closer to your mom's passing nniversary.

    I miss mine too.

  9. I love how you describe your grandma. I can just see you prying open the hen's beak. Funny!

  10. Great post!!!
    Oh, how sad your mom died when you were so young. She had to be very young, too.
    Hugs :)

  11. This is just the sweetest post, Kim. I am so sorry that you lost your birth mother at such a young age, but am so thankful you had a grandmother that sounds so much like mine, I spent a lot of time on her farm, I guess my love of chickens grew from spending time with her and her chickens, as a matter of fact I inherited her flock when she passed away.~smile~
    We have a lot of old sayings here in the South too, the hen's teeth is one as is the sow's ear. lol.
    Such a delightful post, thanks for sharing.

  12. I'm just now getting to read yesterday's post. Those sayings are fun...I can imagine a young girl, trying to figure out what they meant! You have such fun memories of your Grandmother!


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