5 Things Appalachia

5 Things

1. The girls have been trying their hand at chicken wrangling…well more like chicken chasing. The other day I got a phone call from The Deer Hunter. In a very exasperated voice he said “Have you talked to the girls?” Knowing something was up I said “No why?” Before he could answer the girls called. They were sitting in the McDonalds parking lot when they saw a chicken running around. Chatter wanted to catch it and bring it home. She’d been running that chicken round and round that parking lot until she was out of breath and at a loss for how to catch it…that’s why she called us. I said “You can’t bring it home what if its sick it’ll make our hens sick. And you don’t have nothing to put it in anyway, you can’t just let it go in the back of the car. It’ll go wild.” Chatter and I argued back and forth until I finally gave up and said “Well you can’t catch it anyway right?” She admitted that she knew she couldn’t catch it cause she’d been trying for the last 30 minutes. I reminded her there were houses within sight of McDonalds and the chicken probably belonged to one of them.

2. One of my trees finally produced enough for me to can applesauce. I know its only apples, but knowing they came from my yard makes me feel like I won the lottery.

3. Look at this little one I found hanging in the garden. I think it’s the same one that’s been hanging in my hostas all summer. Pap and Granny call them Terrapins. Well I do too. I hope I say it the same way they do…guess I’ll have to record myself to see.

4. I grew the Mexican Sour Gherkin variety of cucumbers this summer. They produced like crazy. For the last several weeks I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for them to get big enough to pick. I felt rather silly when I realized that’s as big as they get-an inch.

5.  When we were helping Granny clean out her house earlier this summer she gave me one of her old barnwood art pieces. I remember her and Frankie Gillenwater would walk in the woods looking for things to create art with when I was just a little girl.



You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    August 29, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Chickens go home before dark cause they like the safety of their hen house or whatever they’re being kept in to sleep at night. As for catching one, you hold out a long stick in each hand making the shape of a “V” before you as you walk toward it, and you can generally “herd” them in the direction you want them to go…generally. LOL
    Those tiny cukes are the cutest thing ever.
    And that art piece Granny made is such a dear sweet item, a precious piece to treasure for a long time to come.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    August 29, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    For B.Ruth…I live in Florida and I pray armadillos NEVER get to Tennessee…the confounded things and they carry leprosy! I have heard that word (confounded) used all my life and I know it must mean something awful.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    August 28, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    and Sherry…I have been trying to keep up with the movement of the Armadillo’s from out West into Tennessee…Just wondered where you lived East, Middle or West Tennessee? Or maybe you don’t live in Tennessee at all…A small handful has been spotted in East Tennessee…Here’s hoping they don’t survive here like the coyotes!
    Also, I loved Ron’s joke…sooo funny!
    One more thang, when we stopped in Murphy at McDonalds the other morning for coffee…it was very busy and actually treacherous to drive into and around all the cars…If that was the McD’s that the girls saw and chased the loose chicken, they sure were brave souls to run it around in that parking lot! I’m not sure saving that chicken would be worth getting hit by a sleepy driver waiting in line for their wake-up coffee and apple pie!
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    August 28, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    Where is a video camera when you need one, she could have been a You-Tube Star chasing that Chicken..

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    August 28, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Well, you reminded me of a joke my brother told me.
    Seems there was a traveler taking a backroad in eastern KY when out of the corner of his eye he saw motion in the woods along the road. Focusing on it, he was amazed to see it was a chicken keeping up with his car, then dumbfounded to realize it had four legs. He sped up to see if it could keep up with him and it did. He kept getting faster then finally the chicken passed him, shot across the road and ran up a holler toward a house.
    He couldn’t stand not knowing about the mystery so he turned in and drove up to the house. A man was sitting on the porch so he stepped out and said, “Excuse me, but I just saw a four-legged chicken run up here !”
    Man says, “Yep, woods is full of ’em. I raise’em for Kentucky Fried Chicken drumsticks. Figgered four-legged uns would double my money.”
    Traveler says, “You must be makin’ a fortune.”
    Man says, “Nope. Ain’t never caught one yet.”

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 28, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    When I was growing up on Wiggins Creek we raised chickens for hatching eggs. After a flock was a couple of years old and production had slowed significantly, someone would come at night with a truckload of crates and in two hours or so a houseful of clucks became eerie silence. I said two hours. It took the first hour for three men to catch 1999 chickens and the last hour for those three plus Daddy and a bunch of us kids to catch the last one.
    Chickens, when frightened tend to huddle together and even pile up atop each other. If you herd them all in one corner you can put them in crates as fast as you can pick them up. If fact if you don’t hurry they will smother and die. Even two chickens will try to huddle in the corner. Unless you can catch the last two together, you will eventually get down to one bird and she will make a break for it. Even trained professional chicken catchers have a hard time with the last one. Most times they just ignored her and went on to wherever those feather shedding trucks go.
    One time those professional catchers arrived a little wobbly and smelling like they had fortified themselves with something intended for muscular aches and pains. But they performed well and soon the flock was crated, except for one hen. They chased her all over the hen house, then everybody chased her all over the hen house and still she eluded her captors.
    The flock was on the floor of the chicken house but Daddy had built hutches for the hens to fly up to deposit their eggs. The hutches were on legs and stood a couple of feet off the floor. This one lone hen who managed to evade all seven of us finally decided to make her last stand under one of these hutches. Mistake! One of the tipsy trio took a running dive like a linebacker going for a fumbled football, slid all the way under that hutch, out the other side and came up with a recovery. And then there were none!

  • Reply
    August 28, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    I bet them pretty little black-eyed things would look cute peeping through the bars for chicken stealing.
    When I was a boy, after church, it was mine and Harold’s job to wring a couple of pullet’s necks for dinner. One time mama hollered out the kitchen door to turn our foot sideways and make an “X” and the chicken would quit flopping all over the place…it worked…Ken

  • Reply
    August 28, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    hahahaha! Thanks for your post today!
    Chasing a chicken…when we lived in Hattiesburg, Ms. years ago when my husband was finishing school at William Carey College, he had a part-time job at a service station and a big truck hauling chickens stopped and one had gotten away and he caught it and brought it home for me to dress and cook! Imagine! No way was I gonna do that because it had not been government inspected and bought at a grocery store! I didn’t know anything about fixing a chicken. I had seen my grandma wring a chicken’s neck one time. Oh well…I loved all the things you talked about today. Made me smile. I love the terrapins too. However, I saw an armadillo in my front yard this morning…tearing up my lawn and I wanted to chase it to Kingdom Come or up one side and down the other.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 28, 2015 at 11:45 am

    1. That poor chicken was just trying to find out what McDonalds puts in their McNuggets.
    2. Looks like somebody took a bite out of ever one of your apples.
    3. It’s a terripen. Its pronounced tar·pen at my house.
    4. Looks like one of Gulliver’s little friends sent him some watermelon seeds.
    5. Two words-simple and beautiful-simply beautiful!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    August 28, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Tipper–Although I was far younger than the girls, I had quite an adventure with a chicken in my boyhood. I finally convinced Momma to let me chop its head off, a job she usually handled.
    To this day I don’t know whether I made a mislick or Momma turned the chicken loose too soon, but what ever the case we had our Sunday chicken on the loose with a slightly wounded neck. Daddy was not, to put it mildly, happy when he got home and learned of the state of affairs. Somehow or other he caught the chicken, but he was certainly unhappy with us.
    Grandpa never had problems of this kind. He “caught” his chickens with a fishing pole. He used a really long cane with a short piece of old-time black fishing line tied to the end and adorned with a hook. He’d throw a handfull of scratch feed amongst the chickens, wait until he spotted one that hadn’t been laying well off to the side, and he’d drop the hook baited with a kernel of corn in front of it. Voila! The chicken would gobble the bait, be hooked, and all that was then required was a neck wringing. I don’t imagine PETA would approve but it was effective and somehow the chickens never learned to avoid the bait.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Pamela Danner
    August 28, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Love this post!
    1. I can just see Chatter chasing a chicken around McDonald’s parking lot, LOL!
    2. I would be excited about those apples too!
    3. My Dad has always called them terrapins.
    4. Looks like a teeny tiny watermelon to me. How do they taste?
    5. I am always on the lookout for something to create art with!
    Have a great day!

  • Reply
    Mike Tarnowsky
    August 28, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Looking at the title, I thought oh,oh, what did the girls get into now. As a grandparent, I thought it was amusing. Although if I was teen sitting, I would have the same reaction as you. As you the parent, it probably made some gray hairs. Anyway, the girls are cool and fun.
    Keep up the good work.
    I have experience teen sitting my son’s kids. They tired me out.

  • Reply
    August 28, 2015 at 9:58 am

    That was an interesting five things. I think chasing a chicken around a parking lot must have been a comedy show, especially if you don’t know what you are doing. By the way, did she ever get the chicken? Granny’s art work is rather interesting. I like it; it’s a keeper for sure. Well, that pickle sure pulled one off on you! Some of those apples look a little munched. Wonder what ate a taste out of them. Finally, the turtle was having a ball with the greenery. Could have been a snaper – watch out!!!!!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 28, 2015 at 9:53 am

    PS: Canning applesauce from your own apple trees is a wonderful thing!!!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 28, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Wrangling wild chickens, that’s an excellent job for Chitter and Chatter. Don’t you wonder what the rest of the patrons at McDonalds thought seeing these two pretty girls chasing a chicken through the parking lot.
    I bet they thought it was the girl’s chicken that got loose when they took it for a ride to town!

  • Reply
    August 28, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Oh, the chicken memories, but that was long ago. Memories of ordered witties, and favorite dog probably eating my favorite little chick. Great to see folks trying their hand at chicken raising and gathering eggs. I even had the misfortune to try a duck egg growing up.
    A friend and I once saw a flock in the middle of the road in the middle of nowhere. I challenged her to help me catch them, but she just wasn’t up to roundin’ up chickens that day–missed her chance to be young at heart.
    Leave those girls to their chicken chasing, as nothing is more fun. They are enjoying their young lives! I doubt if that chicken has diseases, as apparently is free-range chicken which tends to make them healthier.
    Tipper, it is good to think through the spontaneous adventures of our youth.
    I have one apple tree so full it may split. I sprayed, but those worms still seem to be having a feast.

  • Reply
    August 28, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Maggie the cukes are crisp but oh so tiny!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    August 28, 2015 at 8:45 am

    B-thank you for the comment! The little doll is store bought but she is cute! A Holly Hobbie look alike I guess : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    August 28, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Hey, I corrected this post somehow guess you will delete the others please…
    Five things answered!
    1. First I hope that Chatter’s chicken IS the same one that we HIT as it was crossing the road! However, it was a fer piece from Murphy, maybe about 50 miles, the way the “chickens” run or well..uhh..fly!
    As the better half and myself was coming down Tellico mountain he yells, “@&^3″ I think I hit it!”, then there was a slight thump! He looked back, but no chicken on the side or in the road! We are guessing now, after reading your post that the chicken just kept a’runnin’ on to McDonalds! I’m sure it didn’t want to turn into a “nugget” right there on Tellico!
    2. It’s a good feeling when those young fruit trees first produce. Until the deer find them in a few years! Hate to burst your bubble!
    Well, maybe Deerhunter will enjoy them! Nothing like Venison and Apple pie for supper!
    3. We call those slow moving varmints “tomato eaters”! We have carried them out of the garden by the bucketful’s…well almost!
    4. I did the same thing! If you pickle some, let me know how you like them. I never could get that sweet/sour taste the directions on the seed packet talked about. We ate ours in salads or salted!
    5. I love Granny’s craft project! Did she make the tiny doll as well? I used to love to roam around in the woods, hunting for vines, sticks n’ spring pebbles, shelf lichen and moss, acorn hats and pine cones, etc. for crafting! We would’ve got along just dandy!
    Thanks Tipper, loved this post!
    Posted by: b. Ruth | August 28, 2015 at 08:05 AM

  • Reply
    Maggie Roberts
    August 28, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Growing/preserving your own food is very satisfying, isn’t it? I’ve not tried that variety of gherkin before. Are they nice and crisp? Love the artwork, I would so love to create things but everything always looks like a 4 year old did it!

  • Leave a Reply