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-----Did you know that on the 13th day
of December 2010 at 10 o'clock at night the temperature in Durham, Nova Scotia,
was 13 degrees Celsius (like around 56 degrees Fahrenheit)---warmer than Florida.
-----Did you know that during the
wartime and for months thereafter, people could literally walk across Pictou Harbour--a
spance of approximately one mile. There were so many warships in the harbour in those times that the young people
jumped from ship to ship from Pictou right across to Pictou Landing on Saturday evenings to get to the dances there.
-----Did you know that Elmer Goodwin of Pictou
(now deceased) was one of the people instrumental in the construction
and installation of the "DEW Line" (Distant Early Warning System) constructed in Alaska and the Canadian North during
the mid-fifties--a joint venture of United States and Canada when there was a supreme fear of Russia attacking by way
of the North--over 50 radar stations were installed stretching for a distance of approximately 3,000 miles.
-----Did you know that way back in the
mid-1900's, some young fellows were out in a field down near St. Mary's River
in the Guysborugh area playing a game of ball when along comes this big splashy car with an American license plate.
The man got out of the car in all his fancy duds & went over and asked the boys if he could play ball with them which
they consented to. Within minutes the boys realized this was not some ordinary Joe. It was in fact Babe Ruth who was
on a fishing trip down in the St. Mary's area. That has remained a lifetime impression on each and every one of those
-----Does anyone remember Betty Gunn who ran
the Antique/Art Shop on Main Street in Pictou in the old Stone House
near Grohmanns' in the 70's & early 80's? She had a beautiful display of Vintage Clothing there and had a very important
customer call in on her once during her Nova Scotia tour & purchase several of the lovely vintage dresses. Her name
was Cher. For years after that, we watched Cher on TV to see if she was wearing any of Betty's jewels.....and sometimes
-----Remember the old "Gunsmoke" show on TV???
Remember Kitty in it? Remember her fancy Iron & Brass Antique Bed?
That bed was purchased from the dealer, Mrs. Oickle, down on the south shore of Nova Scotia.
-----Remember, Pictou was a major port in WW2,
often from whence the ships sailed for overseas. Did you know that
close to the end the war when things were getting pretty dicey & they were calling all the young fellows off to war, a
session was called for the young ladies in the senior classes in school in Pictou at which they were told how important
the war was & how, if we did not have these young men risking their lives for us, that we could lose the war and end up
under the control of Hitler. Then it was strongly suggested to the young ladies that they "show the sailor boys a good time"
when they were into port to let them know that their efforts in the war was appreciated. My sister sat in on this session,
but never dared tell my parents what was said as she knew father would have been right up to the school and create pure
chaos for saying such a thing in front of his daughter. I don't remember the incident as I was too young then, but my
brother told me how our sister told him about it after school that day. They were both horrified and had agreed between
them never to let my father or mother know about it--and they never did to the day they died. We lived out Beaches Road
just below the golf course in those days and many a time my father hollered at the girls passing with the sailors to stay
off the golf course if they didn't want to get into trouble....those fresh soft green beds of grass were known to be a place
of real corruption then where the sailors took the girls out at night, but not to play golf. I remember being awakened one
night by loud screams of a girl coming from towards the Golf Course....it woke my parents, too, and I can still remember
my father putting his head out the window and hollering at the top of his lungs to leave that girl alone as he was calling
the police...he just said that--we didn't even have a phone for him to call the police. But, within a few minutes, a girl came
running down the road from the Golf Course going towards town.
-----Sometime way back when Crystal
Cliffs out past the Antigonish Hospital was really the rage, Clarke Gable was in
area vacationing and went there to check it out. It was around haying season & he apparently was always intrigued by
the haying process. He stopped along the way at one of the farms and asked the old farmer if he could help taking in the
hay. Reluctantly, the farmer agreed.....it was free labour but from a "greenhorn". Clarke Gable enjoyed the day so much,
he extended his visit to the area for two more weeks and helped everyone around with their haying for free, while he was
have the "time of his life".
-----Did you know that aspartame (the
sweetener used in diet drinks & sugar free foods) was actually developed as an
ant poison and changed to a sweetener when they found that would sell much better & for a higher price than ant poison.
If you are troubled with Carpenter Ants, just dump a few packets of NutraSweet or some other aspartame sweetener in
the corners & they will be gone before the day is out....better than most deadly poisons. Small Black Ants will not eat
aspartame in its dry form, but if mixed with apple juice, they will quickly take it back to the nest and all will be dead within
24 hours. Fire Ants will not eat it in its dry form, but if it is just ever so lightly dampened with water, they will grab the
little chunks and take it back to their mound. It takes about two days before they disappear. Aspartame is a neuropoison
and interferes with the nervous system. Also, did you know that Aspartame in liquids when heated to above 120 degrees
Fahrenheit turns to a mild form of arsenic which can lead to Fibromyalgia. It was found that those soldiers who came
back from the Gulf War in the early 90's who were suffering from what they called "Gulf War Syndrome" had, in fact, been
consuming large quantities of "diet" pop/soda over there because much of the water was bad. The army took huge
amounts of pop/soda in for the men but mainly "diet" so they would not gain weight. Storage was mainly on the hot desert
sands where it reached temperatures way above 120 degrees in the daytime. Thus, most of the pop/soda there took on a
mild form of arsenic & in small doses, the soldiers were being gradually poisoned. This was proven within a few years
after the war, but because the companies pushing these products were also donating huge amounts of money for medical
research, it was not made public. People who have MS are warned to stay away from aspartame. Glad when I was young
and wanted to be "skinny" my father would never allow us to consume any "diet" stuff or margarine. He said it was poison
(he wasn't a doctor, he just believed anything that was not "natural" was poison). As for the margarine, he was correct, too,
for they are now saying it is one molecule short of plastic.
HERE ARE SOME INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE 1500's:
-----They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot. And then once it was full, it was taken
and sold to the tannery...If you had to do this to survive, you were "PISS POOR". But worse than that were the really poor
folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot--they "DIDN'T HAVE A POT TO PISS IN" and were the lowest of the low.
(No, I don't mind using the word "piss"....it's in the Bible, example: Isaiah 36:12; 1 Kings 14:10; 2 Kings 18:27 and others, Verna)
-----Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May And they still smelled pretty good by June.
However, since they were starting to smell, Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour--Hence the custom
today of carrying a BOUQUET when getting married.
-----Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water.
Then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so
dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, "DON'T THROW OUT THE BABY WITH THE BATH WATER!"
-----Houses had thatched roofs--thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get
warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and
sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, "IT'S RAINING CATS AND DOGS." There was
nothing to stop things from falling into the house.This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other
droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some
protection. That's how CANOPY BEDS came into existence.
-----The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.Hence the saying, "DIRT POOR." The wealthy had
slate floors that would get slippery In the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their
footing..As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, It would all start slipping outside.
A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: "A THRESH HOLD".
-----In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire
and added thingsto the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner,
leaving leftovers In the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had
been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: "PEAS PORRIDGE HOT, PEAS PORRIDGE COLD, PEAS PORRIDGE IN THE
POT NINE DAYS OLD".
-----Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up
their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "BRING HOME THE BACON." They would cut off a little
to share with guests and would all sit around and "CHEW THE FAT".
-----Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the
food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, TOMATOES
were considered poisonous.
-----Bread was divided according to status...Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, And guests
got the top, or "THE UPPER CRUST".
-----Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of
days...Then someone walking along the road would see them in the ditch and take them for dead and prepare them for burial.
They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait
and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of "HOLDING A WAKE."
-----England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins
and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were
found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string
on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to
sit out in the graveyard all night "THE GRAVEYARD SHIFT" to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, "SAVED BY THE
BELL" or was "CONSIDERED A DEADRINGER."