Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea

My life in appalachia - Barking Up The Wrong Tree
Standing in the middle of the creek she said “He’s barking up the wrong tree and he needs to be taken down a notch or two. He ain’t the only duck in the pond nor the only one selling corn. If he don’t leave me alone he’ll find hisself between the devil and the deep blue sea.”

She really didn’t say any of that. What she really said was “Would you quit snapping that thing in my face.” But I had the old sayings going around in my head and thought they sounded a whole lot more interesting. I especially like the last one: between the devil and the deep blue sea. The saying means you’re in dangerous territory. Since there’s no sea within sight of these blue mountains it makes me wonder if it came with the first settlers who sailed over the deep blue sea to get here.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    August 27, 2011 at 8:02 am

    Very interesting sayings. I haven’t heard the one about the devil and the deep blue sea.
    Funny about the picture, too. Back in the spring Boo kept complaining about me taking pics of him. And hiding or turning from me. So I stopped taking his picture. This past week he needed a picture of him for a homework assignment on PowerPoint and I didn’t have a recent one of him. HA!!! He said, “I won’t complain when you take my picture again.”

  • Reply
    August 21, 2011 at 11:40 am

    The deep blue sea would have been very impressive to our first settlers on their way to a wild new country from tiny little villages in Scotland or Germany. Just as impressive as the devil, I’ll bet!
    Nothing is very impressive to teenagers though! Someday she’ll be happy to remember even her crankier moments with Mom! 🙂

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    August 20, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    How about.. “He’s shy one brick having a load”, if he thinks I’ll bow down like a pawn to the Gueen of England!’
    His elevator don’t go all the way to the top!
    “There must be a wheel loose on his wagon” if he thinks I’m cookin them squirrels tonight!
    Back from another day at Skaggs land…Whoa, what a show today…and the saddest song I ever did hear…Skaggs sang “Mothers Just a Sleeping”
    by Bill Monroe…as he said it would make a man with a glass eye cry….so sad..
    Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    August 20, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    All mothers of teen age daughters know that look, couldn’t help but laugh. Here in south Louisiana you tell a no good man there’s another just like you on the next bar stool.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    YOU lookin’ at ME?
    Someday the kids will appreciate us camera carrying Moms.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Hi Tipper,
    There was no ocean in the Ozarks either so the saying most used was “between a rock and a hard place”. There were definitely plenty of “hard places” there.
    And those “looks” are not limited to teen-age girls; boys can give them too.

  • Reply
    Ray P. Algee
    August 20, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    How about? “Standing on hell’s front porch”! “Hanging over a fiery pit by a thin thread?” “Flirting with an instant and violent death”

  • Reply
    August 20, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    I love all those sayings, but I must say that her stance and face say more than any words could! Tee Hee.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Tipper – These sayings have been around forever and I’ve heard most. He ain’t the only duck in the pond, He needs to be taken down a notch, they need to have their feathers trimmed, somebody needs to reel that dude in. The list goes on and on.
    While this wasn’t what was disturbing this girl, from the look on that face, I’ll just bet she would have come up with this one about some boy had she been confronted. “I ain’t gonna fret over some “Ole boy” cause they are all like a Greyhound Bus….there will always be another one down the road in a few minutes.”

  • Reply
    August 20, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Tony-yes Ive heard hope used for help too : ) My grandmother said it all the time.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I’ve seen that look Chitter has
    from my girls a time or two when
    they were teenagers. I had almost
    forgotten “he ain’t the only one
    selling corn” phrase. Funny but
    so true.
    As for the deep blue sea thing, I
    would not have made a good sailor.
    Once I went on one of those sea
    cruises and I can tell you all about the colors of Green…Ken

  • Reply
    Rick Kratzke
    August 20, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I really like that saying too and it sure goes with the expression on her face in that picture.

  • Reply
    B f
    August 20, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    how well we remember wanting to roll our eyes(ha)especially when ask to do a certain job , granny would give us what for , yes ive heard the word :hope”for help and even heard educated people use it
    anyway if its applachian thats good enough for me

  • Reply
    August 20, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    How funny! Sometimes all it takes is a look to let u know what they are thinking. Heard all those sayings too at one time or other.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    August 20, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Tipper–Now I can just hear some teacher (or maybe you) say: “Now don’t you be rolling them eyes at me!”
    Also, Tony asked about using “hope” for help. I never heard that but I’ve heard “holp” plenty of times.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    August 20, 2011 at 11:32 am

    love the hand on the hip almost as much as the look on her face:) You really gonna get the evil eye when she sees all these posts about her…

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 20, 2011 at 11:22 am

    You sure she didn’t say that….she looks like she said it. LOL
    Tony, I know hope too. My grandmother said it and my granddad.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2011 at 10:31 am

    She’s got that look down pat! Love all those old expressions.

  • Reply
    Wanda in NoAla
    August 20, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I think the only one you left out was “Who pulled his chain, anyway?” 🙂 That boy is ‘between a rock and a hard place’!
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2011 at 10:21 am

    do any of your older relatives use the word “hope” for “help”? my maw maw did…as in “go hope your paw paw get in that corn afore it rains…”

  • Reply
    August 20, 2011 at 9:45 am

    she has the same pained expression my hubby and both dogs get when they see me with the camera in my hands.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2011 at 9:23 am

    LOL. Heard them all except The Devil and the deep blue sea. I often wonder at the variation of words around here that can be traced to our ancestors. Mom and Dad had several passed down form their folks.

  • Reply
    Canned Quilter
    August 20, 2011 at 9:18 am

    That look is definitely a teenage girl thing. My daughter gives the same look to me regularly : )

  • Leave a Reply