Appalachia Granny

Recent Grannyisms



If you look at the top of this page in the menu you’ll see a link to my Grannyisms-page. I’ve been collecting memories that are precious, funny, and inspiring about grandmothers on the Grannyisms page since I started the Blind Pig and The Acorn.

Below you can read a few of my favorite Grannyisms left by folks over the last several months.


Granny is always worrying about somebody taking a bad cold. Today the girls went to the gym to swim and Granny is convinced they will be sick. She said “Nobody ought to swim in the wintertime.” I said “It’s inside they have a dome. They cover the pool with the dome during the winter. It keeps it really warm.” She said “That don’t matter nobody ought to go swimming in the winter or they’ll take a bad cold.”

Ron Stephens:

Oh my, oh my, such a host of spunky grandmothers remembered here. And so many memories.

My Grandma Della Carter Stephens Bruce (she was married twice) was only about 5 foot 4 inches or so tall with brown eyes and dark brown, nearly black hair which she wore in a braid wrapped around her head. We think she was part Indian. As a single mother during the Depression she walked miles through the woods to do people’s laundry for fifty cents. To help feed her four children she took up squirrel hunting, carrying the overalls she wore under her arm until she got out of sight in the woods. Besides being a hunter, she was a gatherer of wild fruits and herbs of all kinds, walking a mile or more from home to gather huckleberries, blackberries, peaches, walnuts, hickory nuts and greens. And then she had about a half-acre of garden which she tended with just a hoe except for the initial plowing. It was far more than she needed for just herself but she gave it away first as fresh vegetables then as canned goods.

My two favorite things that she fixed was a chewy gingerbread and dry apple stack cake. One or the other, sometimes both, could usually be found under the cake cover on top of the old wooden Gibson ice box. But she also made the grandboys shirts out of the cotton feed sacks. She wouldn’t give just one of us one. She had to have one for both my brother and I before we got it. I was baptised in 1966 in a blue and white gingham shirt she made for me.

One of her expressions was to say of someone’s bad judgment that they would “suck sweet sorrow” as a consequence. She said “hope” for “help” as in “Law, if I’d a knowed you was a doing that I’d a come over and hoped ye.”

She hoed her garden in the mornings for two or three hours. Once when a visiting preacher was staying with us, across the hollow from her place, she was mistaken and hoed the garden on Sunday morning. When we told her, she looked thunderstruck and said, “Law, don’t tell the preacher.” In the main though, she was rather quiet and unemotional.

When she died at age 92 I think it was, her hair was still not yet completely gray. I miss her. She was as good as gold to my brother and I. God grant than I may leave as many and as good memories with my own grandchildren.

Frank Waller:

My granny Minnie Daniels built their own cabin in eastern Kentucky, she made her own medicines and when we got sick she took care of us. I remember she mad something that we called ‘poo poo’ salve because that is what it looked like. If you got any kind of wound she would smear that on and next thing you know the wound would be gone. She drank only Sassafras Tea and she called buttermilk “clabbered milk”. I used to sit on her lap and comb her hair, which reached past her waist. She had the greatest stories that she would tell me. She smoked a clay pipe and sometimes corncob if we didn’t have the money. She wore sunbonnets and made the greatest quilts which we would take to town and sale to the people there. There wasn’t much my granny couldn’t do and I am not young anymore but I still think of her.

Eldona Ashley:

I seen and I never seen were common phrases when I was growing up. Teachers tried to teach us not to use them, my grandma W and my mommy never stopped using them,

If we got a new toy, perhaps a hula hoop, we would take to the farm on Sunday afternoon. We would show my Grandma W. Her response was invariably the same, “Why, I ne’er seen the like,”

I wonder what she would think of all the games and apps on our tablet and phones. Music, CDs, DVDs and so many things would astound her!

Dedra Cook:

Tipper as I get older and my Mother gets older I think of my dear sweet Granny more often. I miss her sweet little round face. Her little black curls and big beautiful brown eyes. She always made you feel like you were her favorite grandchild. We lived about four hours away when I was younger from my Granny. But when we would go to the mountains to see her she always had a double layered chocolate cake made just for me. I remember waking up in the morning smelling bacon cooking and her humming a gospel song. I wish I had appreciated that special time when I was younger. I wish I would have really listened to all of her stories. She was a wonderful Grandmother and I can’t wait to see her again when I get to the other side of glory. If we can teach our children anything about growing up, it is to enjoy the little things in life because those are usually the most important things in the world and it is the small things that you remember the most.


Unusual for me to be home alone especially all night, but I will be tonight. I was down at Granny and Pap’s earlier. When I was leaving Granny said “Now I’m going to walk out on the porch so I can see you get home. And you call me as soon as you get in the house.”

In years gone by that would have annoyed me to no end, but not now. I said “OK” and started up the hill. I smiled all the way home at Granny watching out for her 45 year old daughter and believing she could stop anything that tried to harm me by simply watching when she can’t hardly get out of the house anymore. What a blessing to be loved.


I hope you enjoyed all the comments. There are many more on the Grannyisms page-so jump over there and read them. And please leave one about your grandmother or mother.

For those of you who have already left a Grannyism-there is no limit. Please just keep posting your memories as they come to you.



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  • Reply
    Grandma Cate
    February 4, 2020 at 8:27 am

    These memories are wonderful & painful to read. I didn’t ever know my grandmothers. Mom’s mother died when she was 2, so Mom couldn’t even tell me stories about her. I’m named after my other grandmother who died 8 yrs before I was born. There were family members who tried to fill the gap — Granny Grace came mighty close, but the fact remains that I missed having that close relationship.

  • Reply
    February 5, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    Warms my heart that Granny stands in the dark on her porch and ‘watches’ you home. I would, for real, do that for my children and the Grands.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 31, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    I never had a grandpa and my daddy’s mother died when I was seven. I don’t remember much about her. Her name was Flora Beuna Cunningham Ammons. My other grandmother was Cora Lee DeHart Breedlove aka Corie or Core lived to be 96. I knew her as simply Grammaw. She didn’t like to be called Granny. In fact she threatened my life more than once for calling her that when I was little. I would sneak into the kitchen while she was cooking or something and say “Whatcha doin Granny?” She would go for Grandpa’s razor strop which always hung behind the door and take out after me yelling “Y you little devil!. If I catch you I’ll beat you to death!” Needless to say she never caught me. If she had, I don’t think she would have beat me to death but I never worked up the nerve to test my hypothesis.

  • Reply
    January 31, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    I love the Grannyisms Page, seldom ever comment, but I like all the commentors views.
    Today I called our Christian Radio Station, and when Donna Lynn answered I asked her if she ever had Chocolate Gravy. After she said “Heavens No” I told her I was raised on that stuff and it was good. Then I told her to look of the January 30 issue of the Blind Pig and the Acorn and she could learn how to make it. …Ken

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD
    January 31, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Tipper: These are ‘heart-felt’ posts and they brought back precious memories of my ‘little’ Grandmother. She loved ALL of her daughter’s ELEVEN children! My mother could always ‘use’ an extra pound of butter – which Grandma always had when we would ‘drive by’ in our wagon, drawn by BOB, the most beautiful and gentle horse ever!
    My best to you!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    January 31, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Mr. Waller’s post about the salve reminds me of a salve my Grandma made. Its main ingredient was pine resin but I do not know what else she put in it. It looked terrible, a kind of brownish-gray color, but it worked like a charm. A day or two with it on a hurt and we were well on our way to healing.
    Her gathering pine resin was one more example of her finding and gathering what was needed from the wild. I think her hunting-gathering attention was always active. She was noting and remembering things for the coming seasons.
    Dad built her a house in the 1960’s so she could live as a neighbor near two of her children. If she missed making the old rounds she knew so well she never said. About half her life was rather hard but I never heard her say so.

  • Reply
    Janis Sullivan (Jan)
    January 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    My grandmother had 27 grandchildren and still made every one of us feel special. Somehow when each one of us graduated high school, one would get a special quilt made by her. I love mine so much after all these years. I would go down the mountain with my grandmother to trade eggs sometimes for lard in big yellow buckets with red tops, and other things in the only store at the bottom of the mountain. I remember making lye soap with her in the back yard, and I stirred and stirred with a big pole. (It sure stank, but scrubbed clean.) She read her Bible, and sang very, very old gospel songs in church. Some were in Cherokee. So many memories. What a wonderful person she was, and I was honored to be her grandchild.

  • Reply
    Wes Bossman
    January 31, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Hi, Tipper
    At 63 years old, I have never paused until now to think of what I missed growing up without a grandmother on either side of my family. I have had many blessings in my life, but, if it wasn’t so selfish , I would lament having missed the wonderful interactions and moments that some others have been gifted with. I truly love sharing vicariously the loving grandmothers of other readers? Thanks for making that happen. Wes

  • Reply
    Dee Parks
    January 31, 2017 at 8:52 am

    What sweet, sweet, memories! Brought back many precious memories I have of my grandmothers and the love they showed to me. How wonderful to know I will see them again at heaven’s gate.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    January 31, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Tipper–My paternal grandmother had a tongue so sharp she could have flayed the hide off a razorback hog, and never mind that she probably stood no more than 5′ 2″ tall and wouldn’t have weighed 100 pounds, everyone (especially Grandpa Joe and me) was a bit scared of her. But she could make biscuits and biscuit bread which were heavenly, turn out fried pies that immediately brightened a cold winter’s day, and offer up stack cakes that would have shamed the head chef in a five-star Parisian restaurant. Up until the time I was married and beyond, never mind that she was well into her eighties, Grandma Minnie would have one of those scrumptious stack cakes awaiting me whenever I returned to the mountains for a visit.
    Hers was a hard life but she worked with a will, seldom complained except when Grandpa and I got up to something she didn’t approve of (that was pretty often), and raised a passel of kids in a hardscrabble existence of the sort it’s difficult to imagine in today’s world.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Joyce Mullikin
    January 31, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Our memories can make us smile, warm our hearts or bring tears to our eyes. They weave a rich fabric of family

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