Archive for the ‘old wives tales’ Tag

10/31/2021 The Cure for What Ails You   Leave a comment

I can only assume that all of you are as sick of this pandemic lifestyle we’ve been forced into. I know I’ve made some rather harsh remarks recently about people who refuse to get vaccinations but being a problem solver forced me to find a workable solution to possibly help those folks.

The coronavirus is one of a group of viruses which includes the common cold. I decided to check around to see if I can find anything that might assist the anti-vaxers to battle viruses without compromising their principles. What I’m about to tell you is nothing new but we’re running out of options and this may be the final one available for you undecided folks. Most of the symptoms of Covid-19 are similar to those of the common cold. With vaccines out of the mix I found this ancient remedy that may be worth a try. Doing something is always better than doing nothing. IMO

Make sure to wrap it tightly around your neck for best results.


A woolen sock, yes you heard me, I said, a woolen sock. But you must use a woolen sock – not a synthetic, “nasty” fiber sock. The wool sock must be dirty – worn by someone else, preferably someone who is strong and healthy. It’s best for a woman with symptoms to use a healthy man’s soiled sock and vice versa.

The dirty sock should be turned inside out – with the grungy part on the outside. Wrap the sock around your neck and be sure the foot part of the sock covers the sorest spot of your throat. Leave it there all night. Be warned – you will smell, and it won’t be a good smell. Your partner most assuredly will insist you sleep on the sofa. But try to get a good nights sleep despite the terrible odor. In the morning, remove the sock and Ta Da! Your symptoms should be better.

The magic in this cure is the moisture of the dirty sock. The moisture from the healthy person is absorbed while he or she is wearing it. When that same sock is placed on a sore throat, the moisture is magically absorbed by the sick person and the illness is cured.

Woman holding a dirty vinegary sock with a disgusted look on her face.


Another sock cure is to soak clean cotton socks – again, no synthetic fibers – in vinegar. Squeeze out the excess vinegar and put on the socks. Get a good nights sleep and upon wakening wash your feet. You also may want to open the windows and air out the bedroom! The vinegar in the socks supposedly draws out the illness. Where the symptoms go is anyone’s guess. So be on the safe side, don’t hang around folks who wear vinegar soaked socks. Make sure they’re at least 6 to 8 feet away at all-times. I’m assuming that social distancing isn’t something you object to on moral grounds.

Well there you have it. Two alternate solutions to avoid getting vaccinated and letting the scary government run your life.


02-03-2014 Journal Entry-2014 Sucks So Far!   Leave a comment

If you ever move to Maine one of your favorite words will soon become the word SUCK.  All forms of the word apply to so many things here you’re forced into learning how to use it properly. Follow along and learn just how versatile the word can be.

This  SUCKY Maine winter continues but unfortunately for me I seem to be caught in a bad SUCK cycle right now.  Did you ever have times where things start going wrong and just SUCK.  They say that bad things come in threes but I’m no longer a believer in that old wives tale. For me 2014 has started on an ominous note  where bad things came in groups or CLUSTER SUCKS.

My favorite computer on which I do all of my writing and photography has decided to start SUCKING.  It contains my life as it currently exists which goes to show how bad my life SUCKS as well. As sad as that sounds this computer never has issues because I’ve protected it from viruses, mal-ware, and anything else I could think of.  It’s been as reliable as any I’ve ever owned.  Then I made the mistake of permitting an update to install  from good old SUCKY Apple ITunes.  Now  I SUCK for being that stupid.  From that point on my computer’s registry was damaged causing lots of SUCKY error messages that I’ve been unsuccessful in fixing.  I’ve read everything and tried everything with no luck. I just wanted to scream but had no one to scream at.  That SUCKS!

My next adventure began soon after the SUCKING computer nightmare.  I was awakened two nights ago and my bedroom felt like the inside of a freezer. Someone who shall remain nameless and whose responsibility has always been keeping the house supplied with heating oil, dropped the ball.  No heating oil during a cold week in Maine in the middle of Winter is the definition of SUCKING. Fortunately we have an oil delivery company that was able to respond within 24 hours and refilled the tank.  For a change they didn’t SUCK. You’d think that our problems had been solved but not quite. When things begin to SUCK it then comes contagious.

It seems when a oil tank goes empty the new oil causes a vapor lock in the feeder line and won’t permit any to flow properly until the line has been cleared. That I’ve come to find out just SUCKS. In past years when this problem occurred it required an emergency service call that lasted only fifteen minutes and cost $150.00. That not only SUCKS but it’s also borderline extortion. The better-half and I immediately decided that we’d try to correct the problem ourselves this time around.  After calling on informational resources from SEMI-SUCKY friends and a few SUCKY YouTube videos, an hour and three hundred SUCKY curse words later we had our heat back on. Good news, right?  Not hardly.  That’s an hour of my life I can’t afford to lose and that SUCKS.

Two hours later on this calm Maine winter night with no wind gusts, no ice storms, no sleet or any other related weather issues we lost all of our electric power in the house for some unknown but SUCKY reason.  Since we live in an area where cell phones have difficulty receiving a signal we were stuck sitting in the dark and bitching to one another.  That made for a really SUCKY few minutes of conversation, for sure. It was a double SUCKING kick in the ass because we have a whole-house generator that should have kicked on immediately.  Guess what?  It didn’t freaking work and that SUCKED.

We’re now back and operational but who needs the constant stress of SUCKY crap like this? Now every time the wind blows I’ll be holding my breath waiting for the power to fail with no operating generator. That will definitely SUCK once again when that repair bill arrives. If this is any indication of how the remainder of 2014 is going to be, we are screwed.


10-22-2013   4 comments

Are you superstitious?  Do you believe that by doing something in particular bad things could happen. Or maybe even good things? It seems that in every community, state, and country there are hundreds of these ridiculous  superstitions passed down from generation to generation. "Step on a crack and break your mother’s back" was one of the ones I specifically remember from my childhood.  It had been jumping over and walking around sidewalk cracks for years and I’m still not sure why.

Like I didn’t have other things to worry about at that age. My concerns at that time were how to meet girls, how to get a date, acne, and will I play well in the big game tomorrow. Instead I was worried about walking under ladders, seeing black cats or breaking a mirror.  Why?  No one seems to know why we’re loaded up with all this nonsense at such an early age by both family and friends who are supposed to care about us.  It’s just crazy.

I’m going to supply you with a short list of some of the good old standby’s and then a second shorter list of some odd ones from around the world.

  • Two people breaking a wishbone is said to lead to good luck for the person with the larger piece.
  • Opening an umbrella indoors is said to result in 21 days of bad luck. Some traditions hold that it is only bad luck if the umbrella is placed over the head of someone while indoors.
  • If one walks underneath an open ladder it is said to bring bad luck. Sometimes it is said that this can be undone by immediately walking backwards back underneath the ladder.
  • Breaking a mirror is said to bring bad luck for 7 years. To "undo" this, take the shards of glass and bury them underneath the moonlight. In ancient times, the mirror was said to be a window to the viewer’s soul.
  • The superstitious symbolism of a black cat crossing one’s path is dependent upon culture: some cultures consider this a sign of impending bad luck, while some cultures consider this a sign of impending good luck.
  • Once a wedding ring has been placed on the finger, it is considered bad luck to remove it.
  • At times, a horseshoe may be found above doorways. When positioned like a regular ‘U’ it supposedly collects luck. However, when it is positioned like an upside-down ‘U’ the luck supposedly drains.
  • Many believe that if all of the candles on a birthday cake are blown out with one breath, while making a silent wish, the wish will come true.
  • When you speak of bad luck, it is said that one should always knock on wood. Also knocking when speaking of good luck apparently helps with having good luck. This is an old Celtic tradition related to belief of wood spirits.
  • If you catch a falling leaf on the first day of autumn you will not catch a cold all winter.
  • It’s bad luck to leave a house through a different door than the one used to come in.
  • An acorn should be carried to bring luck and ensure a long life.


  • Pirates around the world believed that piercing the ears with such precious metals as silver and gold improved one’s eyesight.
    Amber beads, worn as a necklace, can protect against illness or cure colds.
  • There are numerous sailors’ superstitions, such as: it is considered bad luck for a ship to set sail on a Friday, to bring anything blue aboard, to stick a knife into the deck, to leave a hatch cover upside-down, to say "pig", or to eat walnuts aboard, and to sail with a woman on board.
  • In Russia it is believed that before traveling a person should, apparently, sit on their luggage.
  • In Sweden it is believed that if you collect seven or nine different flowers on midsummer eve and place them under your pillow, you will dream of your future spouse.
  • It is bad luck in Great Britain to put new shoes on a bed or a table (this comes from the tradition of dressing a corpse in new clothes and shoes and laying them out so everyone can give their respects).
  • Placing keys on a table in Sweden is considered unlucky.
  • Placing a hat on the bed is, apparently, bad luck in certain European countries.
  • In some parts of England, rum is used to wash a baby’s head for good luck.
  • According to an age old custom, carrying a dead shrew in your pocket wards off rheumatism.

Just to be on the safe side you should write these all down and take time to memorize them.  Then when the time is right pass them on to your children and grandchildren.  It’s only fair that we do our part in keeping these really stupid traditions alive. 

Someday when you have a free moment take a seat near a sidewalk and relax with a hot cup of coffee.  Then watch the passers-by and see how many refuse to step on the sidewalk cracks.  You’ll be amazed.

10-12-2013   Leave a comment

For most of my life I’ve had older people telling me things that I had a hard time believing.  Growing up in western Pennsylvania put me in contact with many people with their genealogical roots in eastern Europe.  I wasn’t more than seven or eight when a elderly neighbor lady who spoke broken English told me to wear cloves of garlic around my neck to ward off evil spirits.  It wasn’t until many years later that I discovered she was an immigrant from Romania where they have a history of evil beings and Vlad the Impaler

Old wives tales are present in every society it seems and have been passed down through the generations as being the gospel truth.  When I lived in Korea I found out the best way to insure a safe pregnancy was to hang a strand of charcoal pieces over the doorway to your home.  I thought it was nonsense but after a group of elderly Korean ladies threatened me with bodily harm, I just smiled and got out of their way.  They put the charcoal in place and there was once again peace in the valley.

Here’s an interesting collection of “Old Wives Tales” for you women out there.  I can’t verify that they’re true or that they actually work but I can guarantee that somewhere out there are a few Old Wives who believe it.

  • If you happen to step on a man’s toes, whether dancing or in a crowd, it is the man you’ll marry. So the next time you step on a man’s toes, take a real good look at him, you just might be looking The One.
  • Eve didn’t have any choice as to who she gave the apple to. But before you give your apple away, try this. Cut it in half and put all the seeds in a pan on the stove. Name each seed after a man you know. Then quickly heat the pan. The first seed to pop will reveal the name of the man for you.
  • A woman who puts on a bridal veil and holds orange blossoms on any occasion, but not her own wedding, will never marry.
  • If you are young woman make a pie. While trimming the pie crust, if it falls over your hand, that is a sign you will marry young.
  • If a woman braids her hair and leaves out a strand, it is a sign she will marry within the year.
  • If there are many men in your life and you wonder which one you’ll marry, take 12 slips of paper and write on each slip the name of one of the men. Place the 12 slips into an envelope and sleep with it under your pillow. Each morning draw one slip from the envelope at random. Rip it up and toss it away. The last slip of paper in the envelope is the name of the man you will marry.
  • If you have a man in your life and you want him to remain interested in you and to pop the big question, never let him carry your comb in his pocket.
  • A woman who makes a good looking bed will have a good looking husband. And a woman who has an unkempt bed will have someone else’s husband.
  • If you haven’t met Mr. Right yet, but want to see his face, follow these steps. Find a well. Make sure it’s not covered so that you can actually look down into it and see the water. On the night of the full moon, toss a penny into the well. The face you see at the bottom of the well is the man you’ll marry.

Unfortunately ladies most of you will one day be an Old Wife. I’m supplying you with these tales so you’ll have something to pass along to your daughters. It’s your motherly responsibility to keep this tradition alive. Every generation has the right to hear this nonsense and then to pass it along to their daughters.  It keeps life interesting.

02-20-2013   2 comments

In my travels this year everyone seems to be talking a great deal about the flu, getting flu shots, and health issues in general.  They don’t call this time of the year Cold & Flu Season for nothing I suppose.

As a society we’ve been slowly and steadily introduced to a plethora of drugs that will seemingly cure all of our ills (we hope).  The costs keep rising and rising for these drugs with no end in sight (if the drug companies having anything to say about it).  Prescription drugs have become the new necessities of life and a major addiction for our entire society. It’s all we seem to talk about or think about after  decades of thorough and constant advertising propaganda.

My mother introduced me to herb growing many years ago and ever since I’ve had a really nice herb garden wherever I’ve lived.  I grow dozens of culinary herbs and I’m already planning additions to my garden for this year.  I try to use as many fresh herbs as I can in our food preparations during the summer months and dry and store enough to get us through each winter.  It makes the food much more  flavorful and is likely a healthy practice (we hope).

Being a huge reader I’ve developed a habit of buying old books at yard sales and discount bookstores concerning herb lore and their varied medicinal uses.  About twenty years ago I stumbled on a copy of a very old book, Culpeper’s Complete Herbal – written in 1653, that contains hundreds of plants and their dosages used for  medicinal purposes.  For centuries that book was probably used  for remedies to ease symptoms of many every day minor illnesses.

I decided to do a little more research and  thought I might pass along a few of these outdated and quirky remedies that may have been the basis for some of our current day solutions.  Here are a few:

After all of these years our current well educated doctors are still no closer to discovering a remedy for the common cold.  It’s the same old thing, "drink lots of liquids, bed rest, and take an aspirin every four hours."  The ancients believed in the use of medicinal herbs.  They actually brewed willow bark  to help ease headaches and cold symptoms. It was later synthesized into the modern day aspirin we use today.  Maybe they were smarter than we give them credit for, or  maybe not. Here’s a sore throat remedy that you will just love:

Take a wool sock, a dirty (stinky and smelly) wool sock worn by someone who is obviously strong and healthy.  It must be a sock from a member of the opposite sex and should be turned inside out and tied around the neck.  The foot part of the sock should cover the sorest spot of the throat and left there overnight. In the morning remove the sock and wash (please). Your sore throat and fever should be eased somewhat. (Yikes!)

How’s that for a disgusting bit of healthcare.  I think I’d prefer the smell of Vicks to a nasty old sock worn by better-half. It might cure my sore throat but my eye’s would water for a week. Now for an interesting tip on dealing with a pesky toothache:

Just split open a nutshell, dig out the meat but be sure to keep the two items intact. Put a dead spider in one half and close up the shell. Hang it around your neck and as long as you’re wearing it, no more toothaches. (This one is not for me).  Now for a really ancient hiccup cure:

The ancient Chinese were ahead of their time in dealing with hiccups.  They suggested to gulp nine swallows of water without taking a breath.  You should at the same time press a spot on the back of your neck where it meets the torso.  Modern scientists later determined that was actually the location of the phrenic nerve which when pressed can  stop the impulse to hiccup.

Wart remedies are one of my favorites.  When I was a kid I had a wart on my index finger that would not go away and it drove me crazy.  An elderly Slovak lady who lived in my neighborhood told me to cut a potato in half. Then take a penny and rub both sides of it on the potato halves.  Next I was to rub the penny on the wart using both sides of the coin.  Finally I was to throw the penny away where it could never be found by anyone.  I followed her instructions to the letter and within two week the wart dried up and fell off. I was dumbfounded.

I certainly don’t recommend or endorse any of these ancient remedies, just passing them along as a public service.  Some are silly, some don’t work and some do but either way they’re still interesting.

Have a wonderful Cough and Cold season and save all those stinky socks.

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