5 Things Appalachia

5 Things

how to fix too large button holes

1. The Deer Hunter’s favorite red checked wool shirt has need attention for a good long while. He’s worn it so much the button holes became enlarged leaving it impossible to keep buttoned. Since I wasn’t ever going to get around to fixing it he took matters into his own hands and fixed it himself. He cut all the buttons off and then used a doubled length of 550 paracord to weave through the buttons holes from bottom to top. On each end he added an adjustable cord stop. He wears it like a pull-over. He can loosen it or tighten it with the cord stops and he no longer has to worry about the buttons coming undone.

Blind Pig and The Acorn new site

2. Settling into the new blog home is progressing ever so slightly. I’ve added the photos back to the last year of posts…only 9 more years to go! I wanted to point out one feature of the new site you may not have noticed. If you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page you’ll see five overlapping square photos. Those are images I post on Instagram and they change fairly often. No worries if you’re not on Instagram, but for another peek into our daily lives you can hover your mouse cursor over each photo and text will pop up telling you what the photo is about.

the glaser brothers

3. I had almost forgotten about The Glaser Brothers till Paul mentioned them in Sunday’s post. They had that beautiful sibling harmony that makes my heart sing. Pap really liked them and in the last year of his life he listened to them often. He especially liked this video where they amazingly switch parts mid verse. Pap told the girls they need to figure out how to do that trick. Maybe someday they will.

4. A few weeks back when The Pressley Girls did a Q and A on their variety show they said I should do the same on the Blind Pig. Do any of you acorns have a question for me? If you have a question for me, leave it on this post and I’ll try my best to answer it.

peeling potatoes in appalachia

5. Who knows how many taters I’ve peeled in my lifetime. We eat a lot of taters. It might surprise you to learn I have two special memories about peeling potatoes. The first: I was peeling potatoes and Pap saw my peelings he said “I’d hate to know all we had to eat was taters and you were the peeler.” He was telling me I wasted part of the potato by peeling too deep. The second: The first time I ever went on a camping trip with The Deer Hunter and a bunch of friends I volunteered to go to the creek and peel taters for supper. I still don’t know how I managed to do it, but I fell in the creek. I mean it wasn’t even a very big creek and there I was setting in the middle of it soaking wet with potatoes floating away from me. I was so embarrassed I thought about seeing if I could sneak off to home, but since we’d rode horses into the back country that wasn’t an option. My only option was marching back up to the group, including the handsome Deer Hunter who I had hoped to impress, and admit I’d fallen in the creek.


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  • Reply
    January 19, 2018 at 10:49 pm

    Mercy me, Ms. Tipper! What a waste of good potatoes! I definitely recommend a potato peeler for you. I always
    cooked potatoes with the skins on (except for potato salad) because they are more nutritious that way. Re the Glasers,
    I had forgotten how beautifully they sang, and yes, they do remind me of Pap and Paul. Re the Deerhunter’s shirt,
    I am dazzled by his ingenuity!

  • Reply
    Glenda Beall
    January 19, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    I like your new blog, Tipper. I think your falling in the creek was what caught The Deer Hunter’s attention and how you dealt with your embarrassment.
    I use duct tape to hold a shelf in place in my second refrigerator. Works great.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 19, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    The world used to be held together with haywire and baling twine. Now its super glue, duck tape and cable ties. And it’s duck tape not duct tape that most people have. Duct tape in aluminized and is used primarily on heat and air condition ducts. It works anywhere you could use duck tape but it is quite a bit more expensive.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    January 19, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    Again, that old adage…”Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” is appropriate for this post! That Deer Hunter is “handy as a pocket on a shirt!”…
    I heard never to feed the chickens tater peels…don’t guess you do either. I learned early on to peel thin…but I prefer to eat taters with the peel on…baked real good with a little, salty crust…yummm…Also, it’s getting closer to time for tater plantin’! Well, it is now less than two months out if you plant taters on St. Patrick’s Day like we do…I could eat my fill of ‘grappled” taters….leave the skin on and rub n’ rinse under runnin’ water…Throw in the pot with some onion, cabbage n’ ham…or bacon to season. I also love frash green peas and new potatoes…so good…My Aunt in Canton NC..could make the best fresh green peas and new potatoes with just a tetch of fresh green onion…even after eating a belly full you could still taste them and want more they were so good…
    I’ve fell in the lake a time or three myownself…One time when I was a youngster, I was bank fishin’…the float went out of sight and I near yanked the fish inside out trying to get that big old ‘booger’ drug in…I slipped and down the bank I went…but held onto that fishin’ pole and managed to get me and the fish back to the bank…Doggone thang wasn’t that big, but was a frisky old Bream but a bigger Bream just the same…I love a pan full of fried Bream in a cast iron skillet cooked right on the bank with some hush puppies and taters n’ onions…Lordy, I’m starving myself to death…
    Thanks Tipper great post…
    PS…the only time I peel thick is if the taters have a green tint…and then I peel thicker…Momma always said, peel thin your apples, carrots and taters for that is where most of the vitamins are…..Smart aleck me said one time, (I wasn’t in the mood to peel taters)…at the risk of my life, Well. why do we waste our time peeling the things then? I can’t exactly remember her answer, “Oh yeah, I do, but can’t repeat it here!’ LOL

  • Reply
    Perri Morrison Smith
    January 19, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    I was always the Chief tater peeler for any gathering of folks. My hands are so crippled up with Arthur now it is a bit painful, but I am the best at not wasting any part of taters.
    Duct tape and paracord are excellent, but one time, my latching button on my overhauls flew off at work, and all I had was tiewire to fix ’em with. I was ragged on about that for a long time!
    I’m an excellent Creek faller myself! Nice in the summer, but not wintertime.

  • Reply
    harry adams
    January 19, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    Deer Hunter is good have you. My wife made me get rid of 3 of my favorite work shirts because the collars were ragged. For what I do, the collars didn’t matter and I didn’t have to worry about whether I got paint or grease on the shirts. I’m not sure what she would do if I used para-cord to repair a shirt.

    Another tip Para-cord boot laces at our large discount store cost more than 15 yards of para cord in the hobby area.

    Falling in the creek probably worked better than anything else to get his attention. I’d like to know the answer of Miss Cindy’s question.

    I have often thought about the peelings that we throw out when preparing food. I always remember reading how the people in Europe used every scrap of food after WWII since food had been so scarce during and after the war. I think it was like my parents saving everything after living through the depression.

  • Reply
    January 19, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    I peel alot of taters too, I guess I have them 3 or 4 times a week. I ain’t never got tired taters, no matter how they’re fixed. Matter of fact, I put 3 in my Chicken N’ Dumblings earlier with lots of salt and pepper. That makes a Good Meal!

    I still got Snow. You’d think this warmer weather would melt this stuff off, but it hasn’t. It’s about 10 or 11 degrees colder at Topton than it is down here at Granny Squirrel.

    Tompall and the Glazier Brothers sound a lot like Marty Robbins to me and I really like them. …Ken

  • Reply
    January 19, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    Indeed, you peel potatoes too deeply, according to the picture on this post. 🙂 I am 79 years old; my mother always used a potato peeler and she taught me to do that same, because most of the vitamins and minerals in the potato are in the peel and just under it. I have used a potato peeler all my life, but not all of them are equally good. If I could, I would post a picture of the kind I use that works best for me as far as using it and getting a thin peeling. I use it for apples, too.

    • Reply
      January 19, 2018 at 2:04 pm

      Gracee-thank you for the tip! I’ll be on the lookout for a good peeler!

  • Reply
    January 19, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    Learning how to thin peel was one of the earliest cooking lessons for me. Our family was very careful about not wasting anything!
    Sheila’s duct tape story is a hoot! unfortunately, I can relate – her husband and mine must be “twins”.
    Duct tape is everywhere. Daughter used to duct tape her dance shoes until they were more duct tape than shoe. GD1 made her Daddy a billfold (which he used for several years) with duct tape and taught her sister and cousins how to make doll clothes and jewelry with duct tape. DIL’s school used to have an annual duct tape Halloween costume contest. When daughter went abroad as a foreign exchange student, her first care package request was for duct tape. Each Christmas I give the GDs a this and that package of small packages such as gum, lotion, chapstick, notecards, etc. – one always expected essential is a roll of duct tape – especially now that it comes in so many decorative styles! Resourcefullness meets art!

  • Reply
    Angie Siddall
    January 19, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    The Deer Hunter was quite clever to figure out a way of fastening his coat with something that won’t break or fall off. I would have sewn in a heavy duty zipper, but what Paul did, looks more simple to do.
    I like the Glaser Brothers music, great family harmony for sure. Thank you for sharing this medley. As always, I enjoy reading your site Tipper. Have a great weekend.

  • Reply
    January 19, 2018 at 11:31 am

    Tipper, I am a “patcher”, and some would say that even my patches have had patches before I threw something out. “Waste not want not.”, must have been drilled into me as a child. I know that my parents were careful with their money and I always said that my Mom really knew how to “squeeze a dime”. You are lucky to have a handy husband and one that will take on just about any task…..even clothing repair. I don’t do much sewing anymore, but patching and clothing repairs are still on my agenda.
    I would like to read/or be told again the story of you choosing the name for your blog. Could you direct me to that or tell us again? Also, does anyone know the origin of the phrase “take a cotton to”? My mother would say quite often, “I don’t take a cotton to that.”
    I have an embarrassing story too that took place on an outing with my future husband and many of his friends. His true colors came through and we have now been together almost 60 years. I have had a few more embarrassing moments, just ask the kids. (Ha Ha) Love them all.

  • Reply
    Pamela Danner
    January 19, 2018 at 11:07 am

    I must say, the Deer Hunter is very resourceful! He may have started a new trend. I would have just sewn on larger buttons or stitched the buttonholes a little. Love your tater story, you must of looked a sight sitting there in the middle of the creek potatoes floating off!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 19, 2018 at 10:52 am

    1. Reminds me of when a eye on my old brogans would tear out and I would have to reroute the laces.
    2. Loving the new look!
    3. I had forgotten the Glazer Bros. too. They were actually brothers.
    4. I love the Variety Show too. Their talking is as enjoyable as their singing. And they were nice enough to let Chitters shop flunky “Little Joey” sing too. He’s not a twin but he makes you think of one.
    5. I fell in the Tuckasegee River one time. It was down below Sylva and black dark when I got hit with a overwhelming urge to pee. We stopped and I stepped around behind a big tree. Problem was there was no behind behind the tree. It was hanging on the edge of a cliff/bluff. I fell/slid/rolled all the way to the river. About 100 feet I think it was. Only my feet got wet though. It took me 15 minutes to claw my way back to the top. Luckily my cousin Neil was the only one at the top to laugh at me and laugh he did. All the way home! The soreness started to go away after about 3 weeks.

    My wife peels taters as you describe. When we were younger I would offer to let her use my axe but I’ve learned better now. She’d use it now. On me!

  • Reply
    Sheila Weaver
    January 19, 2018 at 10:37 am

    One day I went to use the old Dryer, and the door would not shut, I told my husband “well we will finally need to get a new dryer” When I came home from work that day, My Husband called to me, “I fixed the dryer”I expected to see the door opening and closing like new, as he was always so meticulous, but when I went to look I saw the door was Duct taped shut! Its been a long standing joke with us and it still makes me laugh now as I think of it. We did finally get a new dryer and it wasn’t 50 foot of clothes line either, which is something else he always teased about!

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    January 19, 2018 at 9:51 am

    If you ever need any advice on alternative ways to fall in the creek, I am married to an expert on the matter. Maybe I should prepare a story or two for you.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    January 19, 2018 at 9:15 am

    Now that’s being resourceful, lacing up a shirt like that. Paracord is about as handy to have around as duct tape. I like to make hiking sticks and I use the cord at the top to slide your hand through.

    I don’t know why but I sort of like peeling taters but not as much as I like eating them!

  • Reply
    Sherry Whitaker
    January 19, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Oh, Tipper! Lol. Reminds me of when I was trying to impress a fellow who took a bunch of us to the beach. He was so handsome & as we were leaving, I opened his car door, too swiftly, & the corner of the door caught the inside corner of my eye & bled something awful! What a klutz I was! I just knew he would never call me for a date. After we married…He told me he thought. .. “That girl really needs someone to take care of her.” He has taken care of me for almost 52 years now!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    January 19, 2018 at 8:35 am

    I think the Deer Hunter is on to something. I have that problem with my favorite corduroy shirt cuff. Now I know what to do.

    My questions are: (1) Does your software give you a count of how many folks get your post every morning? (2) Who is farthest away? Is it the fella in Venezuela?

    Tater peeling – I confess that when it comes to peeling anything I peel off the least I possibly can. Not altogether sure why except that waste vexes me and with some things the best flavor and nutrients are in, or maybe just under, the peel.

    As to falling in the creek, apparently you impressed the Deer Hunter anyway. I venture to say you have been impressing him ever since. And not just him, though he is one of the three most important ones.

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    January 19, 2018 at 8:17 am

    My grandma and mom never peeled taters. We ate skin and all. That has made my wife happy. She hasn’t felt obligated to peel a tater since we got married. Just a funny aside, we call Alex “Tater.”

    I have a lot of stuff fixed with either duct tape, paracord, or both.

    5 things is in my top 5 favorite things!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 19, 2018 at 7:25 am

    That’s my boy, we fix things and we figure out a way to fix almost anything! Now I have a question for you, Tip, what did my son say when you told him you fell in the creek?

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    January 19, 2018 at 6:09 am

    What a great idea on the flannel shirt. I used to peel potatoes like that too. It got me out of that chore until my momma gound this handy dandy thing called a potato peeler. Think I was made to peel often enough after that to make up for the times I missed

  • Reply
    January 19, 2018 at 5:48 am

    Falling in the creek reminded me of the time I was going to swing on a vine out over the creek and the vine broke, the problem was there was about 6in of snow on the ground, I landed back first right in the middle of the creek, my Brother helped me up the bank laughing his head off, I’m trying to catch my breath and started running towards the house, didn’t think I was gonna make it, never been so cold in all my life, and my Brother didn’t stop laughing till way passed getting home.

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