The sun peeped up over Pilot Knob this morning, but was soon obscured by clouds that covered the sky. The air is warm and humid, with thunderstorms threatening to move into our hills. April showers are bringing forth May flowers, with little blue violets showing their faces through the green grass. Yellow dandelions are sprinkled over the lawn, punctuated by the red-breasted robin searching for earthworms.
Somewhere it must have snowed on the sarvis, giving spring the go-ahead to come on in. Spring planting has been delayed by so much wet weather, and farmers are anxious to get potatoes, onions and lettuce in the ground. Cheryl Belcher’s father advises not to plant corn until you hear the first whippoorwill call. I’ve always heard to delay planting it until the dogwood leaves are big as a mouse’s ear.
Spring time brings newborn calves and lambs. There is nothing more heartwarming than seeing a mother cow and her baby calf grazing on a green hillside–unless it is a baby lamb. Don Norman writes that he once had a pet lamb when he was a youngster. He says, “A lamb is about the nicest, cuddliest baby animal (short of a grandchild) that you will ever see. It takes about ten seconds to fall in love!
“Lots of folks around us advised, ‘Don’t teach it to butt!’ and it took us all of two minutes to teach it. Just bring your fists together, hold them in front of the lamb’s nose, and nature will take its course! After a couple of months, the butting game had palled for the kids–not so for the lamb. By four months it could knock you down in a second. The barn yard was not a neat place to get knocked down.
“My folks went out of the sheep business in early fall, and we bid goodbye to the lamb. But it took quite a while for us to lose the habit of looking around lest something was sneaking up on us!”
That reminds me of the baby Billy goat that Patty acquired when the boys were little. It was so cute, and sucked a baby bottle. It wasn’t very long until it wasn’t so cute when it sneaked up and butted you from behind. That was almost the worst pet we ever had, unless it was the goose that Patty’s Uncle Harless gave her. It wallowed in the mud like a hog and generally made a mess all over the place.
Criss still laughs about the goose that the Metheney family had years ago. Their son Carl was working on a car motor, and had his head under the hood. The goose sneaked up and took a bite out of his exposed rear. They not only bite, but they twist their beak too. There are some pets that we don’t need.
A couple of weeks ago we were wondering where the term “smart Alec” originated, and my cousin Charlotte, a/k/a as Tootsie, came to the rescue. A smart Alec is an obnoxious, conceited person who think they are pretty clever. It was thought to be a generic term, but research showed it was an actual person. Alec Hoag was a pimp and a thief. He used his wife to entice customers which he would rob in turn. He was given the nickname “Smart Alec” by the police for being too smart for his own good. I’ll think twice now before I call someone a smart Alec.
Cheryl Belcher inquired recently about hiccup remedies for a friend who was plagued with them. Rosa Brown of So. Charleston has this suggestion, “Try a teaspoon of peanut butter, eating it slowly. Also try a little water in a glass, and drink from the opposite side while bending down.” (Now Rosa, I can barely balance a drink of water while standing up!) Ruth Cornelius of Marlinton also suggests sips of water. Thank you Ruth, for the song copies.
Marilene Bibb informs us that the cake recipe that was printed recently (one box of angel food cake and one box of cake mix (any flavor) is called “Cake in a Cup” because it can be baked in the microwave oven in a coffee cup.
Shirley Boggess requested a recipe for salmon cakes some time ago, and Shirley Lloyd of Sutton sends her mother’s recipe.
One can of salmon, drain and remove bones; add bread or cracker crumbs. Mix in one egg, and roll into wiener shape–2” or so. Fry in oil on three sides. You may add finely chopped celery and onions to the mix.
We’ve had inquiries as to what happened to my column last week. Somehow I suffered a compression fracture (no, I didn’t fall!) and spent a week in Charleston General Hospital–where I received excellent treatment. I had surgery, and am slowly mending. Since I missed my Easter column, I want to include this poem that was sent to me by Cousin Charlotte some time ago. It may be late, but it’s still good.
THE SPLENDOR OF LILIES
By Margaret E Sangster
Oh, rare as the splendor of lilies,
And sweet as the violets’ breath
Comes the jubilant morning of Easter,
The triumph of life over death;
And fresh from the earth’s quickened bosom
Full baskets of flowers we bring
To scatter their satin-soft petals
To carpet a path for our King.
In the countless green blades of the meadow,
The sheen of the daffodils’ gold,
In the tremulous blue on the mountains,
The opaline mist of the wold,
In the tinkle of brooks through the pasture,
The river’s strong sweep to the sea,
Are signs of the day that is passing
In gladness to you and me.
Oh, dawn, in the splendor of lilies,
Thy fluttering violet breath,
Oh, jubilant morning of Easter;
Thy triumph of life over death!
Then fresh from the earth’s quickened bosom
Full baskets of flowers we bring,
And scatter their satin-soft petals
To carpet a path for our King.
(Thank you, dear friends, for the get well cards and wishes, and especially the prayers for my recovery. Thank you, Dixie, for the lovely flowers. You are a sweetheart.)