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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mama Says

One of my picture book manuscripts I have written is called Mama Says. Well, thinking of that story made me think of this post for today.

Mama always said. . .

"Drinking coffee will stunt your growth." (Even so, Mom always folded her light bread in half, dunked it in her coffee and gave me a bite when I was little. I guess that is why I am so short)

"Do not go barefoot until May 1st."

"Smoke always goes toward the pretty one."

"Carrots make your hair curly."

"White lines on your fingernails tell how many lies you've told."

"Eat all your supper - clean out all the bowls - and it will be a clear day tomorrow."

"Sing in bed at night and you will wake up crying."

"Play with fire and you will wet the bed."

"Swallow your chewing gum and it will clog you up."

"Swallow watermelon seeds and a watermelon will grow in your stomach."

"Don't watch until he is out of sight or he will be slow in coming back." (When I was dating Charley, I used to watch him until he was out of sight. Mom told me that and then I started to turn my head just before he was out of view. I'm not superstitious or anything, but I still do that when I'm watching someone leave.)

"Always wear clean underwear, you never know when you might be in a car wreck."

"If you smell cucumber, there's a copperhead near by." (We always listened to this advice when we went berry picking)

She said, "Let's tie your wedding ring on a string and see what sex your child is gonna be." (This never worked for me, the string said I was going to have girls and I had three boys)

And then there is the time my cousin said to me, "Sweet 16 and never been kissed - just slobbered on."
(I know this is from a cousin, but I just had to add it. Don't you just love cousins)

Some of these are a little crazy, but you know Mama usually did know best.

What did your mama always say?

By the way, be sure to stop by next week. I am having a Give a Way!


  1. Mine always said to never watch someone go out of sight or it was bad luck or if a bird flew in your house, it was bad luck. Not to get graphic, but we were never allowed to help pickle or make kraut when it was that time of month. We were not suppose to walk through any cucumber vines or squash or anything with vines or it would kill them. I guess what I remember the most is that she was dead set on people wearing one shoe on and one off, that was suppose to bring bad luck. There's so many more, but I better stop.. Good one Janet..Susie

  2. Susie, my Mom said that, too. We were never allowed to get a salty pickle out of the brine that time of the month. When you came to visit her, if you came in by the front door, you had to leave by the front door. Even if you were in the back yard, you had to go back into the house and out the front door. It was supposed to be bad luck. She always thought if a bird got into the house it was an omen that someone was going to die.

  3. I've heard most of all of the ones you posted Janet! lol I also heard the ones about the Ladies Days but that was my mom telling me about what her mom told her. If a bird flies into your house someone is going to die. Stepping on cracks will break a back. Break a mirror and have 7 years bad luck. And one of the best ones is if you dream about fish then someone in the family is pregnant! lol Crazy thing about that one is that it usually is true!

  4. This is sorta on the same subject as Susie and Gloria's comments: I had an aunt who was always asking Mama if I had "crossed over Jordan" yet. As if it were any of her business; anyway, I was still just a little girl.

  5. Love these Janet! My granny always said not to make ugly faces or they'd freeze like that. and if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all. don't open an umbrella in the house or you'll have bad luck!

  6. Thanks for the comments. I've heard most of yours, too. I about had a tizzy once when one of my kids was about to open an umbrella in our house! They thought I was crazy...but they didn't open the umbrella. If what Susie said was true, the girls got out of a lot of garden work back then.
    Keep the comments coming.

  7. Those are too funny! Most of those I've never heard. I don't remember my mom using any sayings with us. Hmmmm.

  8. I have heard all of grandmother had a saying for just about everything. If your nose was itching, you were going to have company. It is bad luck to sneeze with food in your mouth. If someone had given you food, don't return the bowl empty!!!

  9. Janet -- my parents and grandmother always told me smoking would stunt my growth. My parents really only had this one saying that I can remember. But I had a great-grandmother that had lots to say about all kinds of superstitions and fortunes of folks. She was a character -- I wish I had wrote down her words when I could still remember them.

  10. Mom always said "If you don't get out if my hair I'm gonna brain you!" Dad would put me on restriction for something I did and I'd aggravate Mom until she decided I had been on it long enough:-)

  11. Janet-I was told most of those too-I love the old sayings! The one about the white places on your fingernails-Granny said that's the number of beaus I would have-I was forever counting them! And one other one someone recently left on my site that I loved was:

    whistle at the table, sing in the bed, before you wake you'll be dead

    great post!

  12. Janet, many of these are very familiar. I haven't found the cucumber smell to be true; to me copperheads have a unique smell that's unmistakable! Jim

  13. How about it your ears are burning, someone is talking about you.
    If the palm of your hand itches, you're gonna get money.
    Or if you're sitting at the table eating supper and you get a piece of bread when you already have bread, someone will come to your door hungry.


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