I have not lived this long, nor survived what I have, to not learn a few things here and there about this world. I am the answer woman. I have a working knowledge of a lot of subjects and I tend to retain most of what I read, hear or watch. Don't ask me why, I have simply always been this way. The other thing I have retained is what my Daddy refers to as "good old fashioned horse sense." My beloved Granny instilled information in my head that comes to the forefront of my brain when dealing with different situations. My heritage is that of a resourceful people who learned at the knee of their elders and passed that knowledge on to those of us who would listen.
Some things come from being raised on a farm with lots of animals and lots of different things going wrong. For instance, a calico cat, that has more than three colors, is a female. We learned this when our cat Tom, had a litter of kittens under the bathtub. My Uncle had a belly laugh and said "Ain't no tomcat that has ever had more than three colors." I crawled under the tub and retrieved the kitties. Then Tom promptly stashed them under the stairs in the can closet and ran to the road finding a car tire at 3am. I crawled into the closet again retrieving the kitties. We raised them on a bottle. To this day, I have never seen a calico that did not fit this rule and I can raise any orphaned pet without its mommy. I have the formula in my head, if you need it, email me. I also know that doing a self medication of any cat is a bad idea. Again, it's a bad idea. Daddy and I decided to give an injection of antibiotics as advised by our large animal vet. Yes, I now know a cat is not a large animal. I have scars. It's a bad idea. I know that burnt motor oil kills the mange on dogs that don't bite, (make your own joke there please) and that the ball of fur on a cows tail will in fact come off at the worst possible time during a surgery (don't ask don't tell.) If you are from PETA, please do not email me. Horses love cold biscuits and will try to come into ones house for garden fresh corn. Chickens actually do come home to roost and a pig raised for food should be named Porkchop. A mouse can be killed with a hairbrush but won't die of fright from a hammer. A bat won't get out of your house if all the lights are on but you will break all the pictures on the wall with a broom. A blacksnake found in the bathtub at 4am will die a horrible death and maybe who brought it into the house as well. A bird will go to sleep if you cover the cage and won't wake up to fly on demand if you grab it out to toss it into the air for an Easter play. Not even for Jesus and John the Baptist.
Then there are the Mama things I have learned through the years. My first serious home remedy that I remember was when I was assaulted by a bumblebee the size of Mothra. (It was huge. I swear Granny. A MONASTER!! I was 4.) My beloved Granny grabbed a cigarette and crushed it. She took the tobacco from the paper and added it to a small amount of water. Voila! Miracle monaster bumblebee paste! She put it on the sting and within a little bit the swelling and pain were gone. I've used it 100 times in different situations. Still works. Any kind of tobacco product. If you burn yourself use vanilla extract to take the burn out. High blood pressure can be treated with vinegar and fresh garlic. (Again email me for that recipe.) Bleach kills a bug or fire ant bite. Kraut juice will kill a stomach virus. Cut a tiny notch in the middle of an ingrowing toenail and it will pull it out in a day or so. Socks stop the colic in a baby. (True story. Proven. Again email.) Visine will take the red out of a pimple. Preparation H really does shrink the bags under your eyes. Brandy on a toothache will dull the pain before you swallow it and smoke blown in an ear helps with an earache . Migraine meds with coffee and then a hot bath to make it work faster. But if Mama has a migraine, leave her the hell alone or you could suffer a near death experience.
The Farmers Almanac calendar (google it if you don't know what it is) also dictated alot of timing on things as well. Don't have teeth pulled when the signs are in the head because you will have a dry socket. However you do plant cabbage in the garden at that time. Plant potatoes when the signs are in the feet and they will be all toes. (those little growths on them sticking out all over.) Taking a baby bottle is easiest to take when the signs are in the knees. (I did this and it worked with my son.) A woman on her menstral cycle cannot enter the garden because she will kill the cucumbers and squash. (I know it happens. I can't explain it.) A close group of females cycles will also pull them together so there is generally only one week of hell per month. Allowing someone to sweep under your feet means you will never marry and if you get the front of your shirt wet while washing dishes you will marry a drunkard. A purse sitting in the floor is always empty of money and a man who is disrespectful of his mama is useless. Never give a friend anything sharp like knives or scissors as it will sever the friendship.(Lend it to them instead.) If you thank someone for a gifted houseplant it will die. A wild bird in the house means there is to be a death affecting the household but dreaming of a death means there is a baby on the way. (Very nearly lost my mind with that one. Now two nights of death in my dreams means everyone gets a pregnancy test!) You carry a girl in front when you're pregnant and a boy you carry allover.
My Appalachian heritage made me resourceful in many aspects of my life with simple common sense and remembering what I over heard as a child. I learned a lot about people and what causes certain behaviors to be displayed. Sayings that they used I remembered and I use them to this day. "A hit dog will hollar" states that the person who told your business will be the first to contact you. (Don't contact anyone when you've been betrayed. First one to contact you is the Judas.) "When you sling shit, you always get some on you" says that when you're talking trash behind someones back, you're the one who smells like garbage. If someone says to you "I'm going to clean that there boy's plow" call the police because there is going to be a fight. (A plow is actually cleaned with a hammer.) "Well bless your heart." translates into "Well aren't you stupid." (Regardless of what you think, that's what it means.) "A hard head makes a soft ass" fits someone who does the same stupid stuff and gets bit in the ass again and again. "Pot meet kettle." is used when someone is bitching about someone doing exactly what they themselves are doing. The best phrase I ever heard was "You can't save face and your ass at the same time" which means you can't have your pride and your ass when you've made a mistake. One will always pay for the other. You need to decide which is most important to you.