Did You Know...?

Did you know the saying "God willing and the Creek don't rise" was in
reference to the Creek Indians and not a body of water? It was written
by Benjamin Hawkins in the late 18th century. He was a politician and
Indian diplomat. While in the south, Hawkins was requested by the
President of the U.S. to return to Washington. In his response, he was
said to write, "God willing and the Creek don't rise." Because he
capitalized the word "Creek" it is deduced that he was referring to the
Creek Indian tribe and not a body of water.

In George Washington's days, there were no cameras. One's image was
either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed
him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others
showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not
based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were
to be painted. Arms and legs are 'limbs,' therefore painting them would
cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, 'Okay, but it'll cost you an
arm and a leg.' (Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to

As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year
(May and October) Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their
heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could
afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn't wash the wigs, so to
clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the
shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and
fluffy, hence the term 'big wig.. ' Today, we often use the term 'here
comes the Big Wig' because someone appears to be or is powerful and

In the late 1700's, many houses consisted of a large room with only one
chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was
used for dining. The 'head of the household' always sat in the chair
while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Occasionally a guest, who
was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal.
To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called
the one sitting in the chair the 'chair man.' Today in business, we use
the expression or title 'Chairman' or 'Chairman of the Board.'

Personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a result, many
women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would
spread bee's wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions.
When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at
another woman's face she was told, 'mind your own bee's wax.' Should
the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term 'crack a smile'.
In addition, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt . .
. Therefore, the expression 'losing face.'

Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front. A proper and
dignified woman, as in 'straight laced' wore a tightly tied lace..

Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax
levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the 'Ace of
Spades..' To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards
instead. Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were
thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren't 'playing with a full

Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what
the people considered important. Since there were no telephones, TV's or
radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs,
and bars. They were told to 'go sip some Ale and listen to people's
conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched
at different times. 'You go sip here' and 'You go sip there.' The two
words 'go sip' were eventually combined when referring to the local
opinion and, thus we have the term 'gossip.'

At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized
containers. A bar maid's job was to keep an eye on the customers and
keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who
was drinking in 'pints' and who was drinking in 'quarts,' hence the
phrase 'minding your 'P's and Q's'.

One more: Bet you didn't know this!

In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters
carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It
was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how to
prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method
devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four
resting on nine, which rested on sixteen.

Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area
right next to the cannon. There was only one problem...

how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or
rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a
'Monkey' with 16 round indentations. However, if this plate were made
of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the
rusting problem was to make 'Brass Monkeys.' Few landlubbers realize
that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled.
Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass
indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come
right off the monkey; Thus, it was quite literally, 'Cold enough to
freeze the balls off a brass monkey.' (All this time, you thought that
was an improper expression, didn't you.)

If you don't send this fabulous bit of historic knowledge to any and all
your unsuspecting friends, your floppy is going to fall off your hard
drive and kill your mouse.


Living a Thankful Life

Heavy rains remind us of challenges in life. Rather than ask for a lighter rain, seek a better umbrella. That is attitude.

When flood comes, fish eat ants and when flood recedes, ants eat fish. Only time matters, just hold on, the Divine gives opportunity to everyone!

Life is not about finding the right person, but creating the right relationship. It's not about how we care in the beginning, but how much we grow and nourish one another in a relationship.

Some people always throw stones in your path. It depends on you what you make with them - wall or bridge?  Remember you are the architect of your life.

Every problem has (n+1) solutions, where n is the number of solutions that you have tried and 1 is that you have not tried. That’s life.

‘Search a beautiful heart, not a beautiful face,’ because beautiful things won’t last forever, and a golden heart does always.

It’s not important to hold all the good cards in life. But it’s important how well you play with the cards which you hold.

Often when we lose all hope and think this is the end, the Divine whispers, ‘Relax dear, it’s just a bend, not the end. Have Faith and have a successful life.’

One of the basic differences between the Divine and human is, the Divine gives, gives, gives and forgives. But human gets, gets, gets and forgets. Be thankful in life.


The Great Bell Chant (The End of Suffering)

from R Smittenaar







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