5 Things Appalachia

5 Things

1. This girl has been learning about medicinal remedies at the JCCFS. I’m thinking she’ll be doctoring the whole Blind Pig Gang this winter. Sort of like the little old lady who lived in the woods I used to read to her about.

2. I asked the girls to learn this song for me…2 months ago. I always think of it when summer is lush and ripe with just a hint of decay around its edges. If they don’t get on the ball looks like they’ll be singing it in the winter.

The magic of the bean patch

3. I’ve been thinking the bean patch is a magical place to visit.

4. Last night I dreamed I was walking up an old logging road. There was a light fog drifting among the trees like it had been raining and dark was coming on fast. I kept thinking I had to hurry or they’d leave without me. A fierce feeling of longing to reach my destination made me regret waking before I discovered who was waiting for me.

5. Steve, the best big brother a girl could have, turned 50 last week. I’m not sure how we got so old. Seems like he should still be showing me where to sit on the bus or cautioning me about running with the wrong crowd.



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  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    July 29, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Interesting 5 Things. Regarding the walk down the logging road, who was waiting for you? Why, your angel ancestors of course, just reminding you they’ll be there for you when you’re ready to leave here – which we hope is a long many years in the future.
    Have a great day!!!
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    July 29, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Tipper–It looks to me like you got a yarb woman, a Granny Clampett, or an old-time mountain medicine woman in the making. Herbs and edible wild plants fascinate me although my knowledge, never mind having done cookbooks dealing with the latter, is at the elementary stage at best.

  • Reply
    July 28, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Tell “That Girl” to learn all she can, because it will be useful all the days of her life.. Your beans are beautiful, but it gives me an anxious feeling, when we first married we only grew enough beans to eat during the summer, we both were trama-tized as kids with our parents gardens, I’ve shelled and broke so many beans it’s not funny, didn’t think we’d ever get done some days.. We would get up early before the sun got to hot and pick and pick and pick then spend the hot part of the day shelling or breaking beans.. then if there was any sun left we could go play..

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    July 28, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    My goodness, what beautiful beans! We’ve been attacked by groundhogs for the past two yrs. We trap them & carry them to a nice place far, far away. They are special pigs–some have actually gnawed through the cage bars & escaped.
    Happy birthday to your brother–I can hardly believe mine are gray-haired now. They still act pretty juvenile at times but I sure do love them.

  • Reply
    July 28, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    I’m a fan of “summertime” too – both the season and the song! I always thought the song should be sung gently, wistfully. My daughter has a lovely soft and mellow alto voice so when she wanted to audition for a musical, I suggested she sing “Summertime”. She went to a “voice teacher” with her song to “polish it” and he berated and belittled her so for trying to sing a song that “must be belted out” that she never sang again. I had always enjoyed singing with her but after the “experts” critique she just wouldn’t sing – – sad . . . .
    I did sing it for the older two grandchildren when they visited regularly – they’ve hit the teen years so their visits are a rare treat.
    Your bean patch, the shaded path – so peaceful – if we just stay alert there are many lovely “secret” places tucked away all around us. I don’t think I’m wasting my time to pause and enjoy these places but my “can to can’t” father – – well, you can imagine what he thinks 😉
    Enjoy the remnants of summer – here in Texas we are likely to have it for two more months; even so, mostly, it has been gentle this year.

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    July 28, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Some would say you’ve been pondering.
    And the girls are putting off.
    Happy Birthday to Steve.

  • Reply
    July 28, 2015 at 11:59 am

    I don’t recon I’ve ever heard that
    song…Summertime, it’s nice.
    Your beans look so dark and healthy
    makes me a little jealous.
    Happy belated Birthday to Steve, I
    agree with Don, they pass too fast

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD
    July 28, 2015 at 11:58 am

    OH MY! Some happy thoughts and then a harsh reminder! Shucks! I never dreamed time would get faster – the older you get! Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 28, 2015 at 11:51 am

    1. Summertime Summertime Sum Sum Summertime
    is the song that comes to mind when someone says Summertime.
    2. Lately I’ve dreamed of snakes namely black racers. I’m outside and everything I turn over had one quiled up under it. I’m not afraid, I have a switch and am switching their tails to make them go away.
    3. I was 50 once. I liked it so good, I’m working toward another one.
    4. I planted Kentucky Wonder bush beans. They came up very quickly and made some of the prettiest beans plants I have ever seen. They produced a few pods each that were stringless and delicious but then quit blooming and just stood there admiring themselves.
    5. 74% of medicine comes from plants. 100% of all plants used to make medicine were once wild plants. A lot of what the big pharmaceutical companies call research and development is looking through old books and talking to old people.

  • Reply
    July 28, 2015 at 11:51 am

    I wish I could learn more about wildflowers. Sometimes so many look alike and I identify them incorrectly. Great childhood memories.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    July 28, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Tipper, I think the bean patch is a magical place too! Remember the post you made about the corn being pollinated by bees? You even included the sound. It was one of my favorite posts. Now, I never miss listening and watching when the corn is being pollinated. The entire garden is a gift from God.

  • Reply
    Pamela Danner
    July 28, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Love your photos! Your bean plants look just beautiful!

  • Reply
    Lisa Snuggs
    July 28, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Late with my response, but wanted to let you know I’d be happy to sing “Summertime” for you anytime! As for dreams…I wish mine were as peaceful. Mine always seem to involve hustle, bustle, work and lots of people. Wonder what that’s all about!?

  • Reply
    Carol Isler
    July 28, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Do you have comfrey in your medicinal plant repritore? Add that song and I’ll send y’all a comfrey start if you need it.

  • Reply
    July 28, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Your beans look beautiful we’ve had too much rain and then blistering hot so mine are puny this year. 🙁 Would be nice to be able to go hear the girls sing Thursday in person. Thanks for your posts. I feel like extented family!! 🙂

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    July 28, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Five things….(1)
    I love, love, love wildflowers…and admire anyone who attempts to identify, see their beauty, learn their habitat and medicinal qualities for the value of us all.
    (2)This second thing touched my heart completely and profoundly…Just a few short weeks ago in Nashville, I looked out the window and hummed this song to my son. I used to sing “Summertime” to my children when we would lay down in the afternoon during a thunderstorm. I always felt the music and words were soothing! My toddler son would ask me to sing it over and over until he fell asleep! From the opera “Porgy and Bess”, which I learned from an exceptional teacher in the 3rd grade, played and explained the music to us. The song will be with me forever..
    (3) The land of the magic beans…Kens beans were certainly magical for us. We were not able to be here the whole month of June and two weeks in July to tend them after planting. They took on their own (magical) care. They grew and grew up the sticks, fought the weeds, shaded their selves from the sun and drought, and hid around and under from the deer that roamed in the garden in our absence. This past weekend, we picked a large mess of the best flavored heirloom (Ken’s) beans…Just amazing!
    (4) “Dreams, dream, dream, dream…all I have to do is dream…Seeing all kinds of visions lately in my dreams…
    We went to the mountains last week for a couple of days to try and find that “dark holler” that you mentioned in one of your posts…Sometimes it feels better just to hide yourself in a quiet dark place and rest.
    (5) Tipper, 50 is not old. For most people it is maturity.
    Happy belated Birthday Steve…
    Also I believe I owe Pap a Happy Birthday as well…hmmmm, did I miss yours too, Tipper, If I did I’m sorry…wouldn’t do it for the world…
    Thanks for this post…

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    July 28, 2015 at 8:53 am

    You remind me of a dream of mine from years ago. I’m climbing up the slope through a pasture full of broom sedge. It has rained and the grass stems are still dark. I get just far enough I can begin to see over the ridge at what lies beyond. Then it ends. I’m still wanting to see what’s over there.
    That dream was actually the third in a series about the same place. The odd thing is I’ve never seen that place in real life.
    Steve looks like my wife’s cousin who was also my best friend from high school. Who in the family teases him about his dimples ?
    PSAL 118.24. This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
    May each of you have a blessed day.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 28, 2015 at 7:36 am

    You been doin’ lots of thinking, girl. I like to think too. I’ve learned that you gotta’ be still in order to think real good. I expect the bean patch is a good place for thinking.
    I love the song! Keep encouraging the girls to learn it. It would be a good addition to their repertoire.
    Summer is passing, as it always does. I’ll have do some to thinkin’ on that.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    July 28, 2015 at 7:16 am

    Steve’s next ten years will go faster than the first fifty.

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