Sizing People Up

Sizing People Up

I think probably everyone “sizes up” people when they first meet them. For years, I thought this ability was a special gift handed only to me. I can remember bragging over and over in my younger days, “I can size a person up within the first five minutes of having met them.”

One day somebody replied, “Don’t you think just about everybody can do the same thing?” When I thought about it, I decided this person was probably right, and another of life’s huge letdowns was revealed—the gift of first impressions was not unique just to me.

Tree Wisdom

Tree Wisdom

With area Arbor Days at hand I thought it appropriate to reflect on how intertwined our lives are with trees. We not only use forest products multiple times every day, but their constant presence is inspiring enough to be used in literature, poetry, and music. A centuries old form of writing to teach wisdom is the proverb, a brief statement that expresses a general truth. The Bible is full of them, and they are used by about every culture on the planet. A way to juice up a proverb is to use figurative language, like: “He is like a tree planted by streams of water…”.

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Saving Seeds

Saving Seeds

Do you save seeds? From the time of Noah and before, people have saved seeds. They saved seeds, swapped seeds, inherited seeds, sold seeds and, yes, maybe even stole seeds. We still do. The rage today is over heritage tomatoes. Those seeds had to be kept year after year for them to still be around today.

I remember when we saved tomato and cucumber seeds. We avoided the hybrid ones They wouldn't reproduce true to form. It was like saving hollyhock or petunia flower seeds. After a couple of years, their flowers turned to a washed out pink shade.

The Hamilton-Tolliver Complex

Hamilton Tolliver Log Cabin

The fourth property in Union County to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places in March 2010, was the Hamilton-Tolliver Complex located 4-miles north of Maynardville. This place is near and dear to my heart because it has been owned and occupied by both sides of my family, the Hamiltons and the Tollivers. The complex is comprised of a saddle-bag style log house, store building, dairy, smokehouse, milk house, and site of the Norris Dam Brand Tomato Cannery. The property exhibits significance in the history of the area in both agriculture and commerce from 1825 to 1974.

Corned Beef Hash

Corned Beef Hash

Do you want a quick and easy dish for supper tonight? Here is one for you: “Corned Beef Hash.” Don't turn up your nose yet. It can be delicious, not like that awful canned stuff you tried years ago. But don't buy the corned beef brisket, either, that you see advertised at umpteen dollars a pound at the grocery store. It is not only expensive but it takes forever to cook. There is a better way.

Hard Work, Common Sense Highlight Janet Holloway's Career

Janet Holloway at her station at Janet's Hair Salon

If you've met Union County Commissioner Janet Holloway, you might know her as a kind, thoughtful woman, full of smiles and good cheer. While all of those are true, this business leader and politician has a deeper story to tell, one of perseverance and hard work, even in the most trying circumstances.

Political Correctness and Gun Control

Political Correctness and Gun Control

The turn of the century has brought many changes to American culture and the common-sense world we once enjoyed. One of the most controversial and large-scale changes is the political correct landscape that everyone must cultivate. Political correctness is everywhere. It drives the media, and the media drives it. It determines what flags we fly, when we fly them and how we fly them. Political correctness attempts to censor entertainment, dumb down education and criticize patriotism and religion.

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Wash Day

Wash Day

Monday is wash day. Everybody knows that. It always has been. I remember, when I was little during the Great Depression of the 30's, what it was like for Mother. Dad didn't help. After all, it was woman's work. I was too young to help, but I did watch. This is what I remember.

When the Past Meets the Past

When the Past Meets the Past

Mincey’s Musings Year One, Week Nine

On Sunday afternoon, February 18, 2018, my Sunday School class from Loveland Baptist Church went to the East Tennessee Historical Society’s Museum of East Tennessee History, located at 601 Gay Street in Downtown Knoxville. For any reader who has never been there, I highly recommend the trip. If you love local history, you will not be disappointed.

The Curiosity of Contrails

Contrails

You may not have realized it, but if you look up on a clear day you will likely see a man-made cloud somewhere in the sky, trailing behind jet aircraft high up in the atmosphere. Contrails, short for condensation trails, are formed from the water vapor found in aircraft exhaust as a byproduct of fuel combustion. Natural clouds form from the same process of water vapor condensing in cool air as it rises, so technically contrails are clouds, just from an unnatural source.

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The Suffragette

The Suffragette

I found a poem in an old book written about something else. The poem supported the woman's right to vote, I think. Although the word wasn't mentioned, suffragette came to mind. I wasn't sure how to spell it so I looked it up. My dictionary said the word “suffrage” came partly from a word meaning “intercessory prayer” and partly from one meaning “to vote.” Does that mean that when a woman votes she is exercising intercessory prayer? That's funny. Let me tell you why.

Antichrist Among Us - The Rest of the Story, Sort of

Antichrist Among Us - The Rest of the Story, Sort of

Well, it did not take long for someone to ask for more details about the can of worms we opened up last week, regarding antichrist! First, let me get one piece of literary etiquette out of the way, by noting that, The Rest of the Story is a registered trademark of Paulynne, Inc. I always loved listening to Paul Harvey tell the story behind the story, usually about some well-known person in history. I listened from my early childhood in the 60’s all the way until the program ended in 2009, shortly after Mr. Harvey’s passing.

Cherry Pie

Cherry Pie

There's an old country song that has a line that asks “Can you bake a cherry pie?” Well, can you? I can make an acceptable cherry pie but my Dad's Aunt Maggie made the ultimate cherry pie. At least that's what the old folks said.

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Sweet Southern Tumbling grows in Maynardville

Breann Welch (second from left) of Sweet Southern Tumbling receives a small business loan check from Clinch Powell.

A Union County startup business got a big boost Feb. 15, as Sweet Southern Tumbling received a $10,000 check through the Clinch Powell Small Business Loan program funded by USDA Rural Development. Business owner Breann Welch has used the loan to upgrade to a larger space and purchase additional equipment, including a 42x42 cheer spring floor.

Gun Control?

Gun Control

On February 14, 2018 another tragedy took place at the hand of a psychopath with a gun. 14 students, on the cusp of life, and 3 teachers were brutally gunned down at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Landmark, FL, during school hours. Before the funerals could even take place, insensitive idiots on both sides of the gun control debate began running their mouths. Gun control is obviously a touchy and complicated issue; hence the reason that it has not been solved yet.

Finding Grandpa

Finding Grandpa

I’m by no means an expert genealogist/researcher, but I’m surely an experienced one! Frequently persons come to me for help in compiling a family history. I am glad to help as much as I can.

So often when I ask for a grandparent’s name I’m told, “I don’t know–I just always called him grandpa–or I just always called her grandma.” Now, where does one start? There are many ways. Here are just a few suggestions. It is my hope that these suggestions will be useful to students in their history projects:

Yours till Niagara Falls

Yours till Niagara Falls

“Yours till Niagara Falls” or is it “Yours till the Statue of Liberty sits down?” Maybe it's “Yours till the United States drinks Canada Dry.” Could it be “Yours till they feed the corn on your toes to the calves of your legs?” No, that doesn't sound very nice. I know. It's “Yours till the barn dances and the fire escapes.”

The Other Woman

domestic longhair Cat

Some people have pictures in their wallets or on their phones of the wives, children, grandchildren, etc. I have one picture of my wife in my wallet and maybe one of my stepson and me. I have several pictures on my phone of a special female who came into my life in May, 2009. It happened like this.

My wife was visiting the place where she lived before she married me, then as now occupied by her son and his girlfriend. One of the many cats that had been there had recently had kittens. The momma cat was run over by a car and died. No one knew where her kittens were.

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