If a baby smiles in its sleep, the child is talking to the angels. ~ *My personal favorite.
Rain isn’t far behind when a tree shows the underside of its leaves.~
Count the number of foggy mornings in August and that is how many winter snows there will be.~ I heard this one not long ago and suspect it may be true. I’m also a believer in wooley bears predicting winter…
If a full moon has a ring around it there will be snow by morning. ~ If the ring is large, the number of stars you count in it will be the number of inches that fall.~ *We say a ring around the moon means rain, or snow, within a few days.
Sheep shearing takes place around the first of May. A cold rain will follow within a few days of shearing called a sheep rain. ~
On Ash Wednesday people made pancakes or the chickens wouldn’t lay.~ *We still have pancake suppers in the valley on that day.
Horse chestnuts carried in the pocket are thought to ward off rheumatism. ~
Sassafras tea is good to thin the blood. ~
Broth made from the hind legs of mice is good for kidney ailments.~ *Not tried this one. ‘Swamp root’ tea is also recommended for kidney disorders.~ I’ll have to research exactly what swamp root is.
For someone who is weak and recovering from long illness, make them sparrow broth tea. ~ *This supposedly saved my grandmother’s life when she was sick as a child.
Before taking a new baby out for its first ride (this probably applied to a wagon or buggy) the ‘herb lady’ rubbed warm bear grease on one of the infant’s palms and the bottom of the opposite foot thus insuring that the baby was protected from the rigors of the journey.
Catnip tea was made for children with colic.~ Tea from peppermint leaves will stop a stomachache.~ *These are still practiced.
Sage tea will keep a woman’s hair from turning gray prematurely.~
Treat measles with sheep manure that has been boiled, strained, and diluted with moonshine.~ *I assume with enough moonshine the patient didn’t notice the manure so much.
For a bad cold put lard on your chest sprinkled with salt. Another remedy is a mustard plaster made with mustard, lard, and egg whites and laid on the chest~
Freckles on the face can be washed away on the first of May. If they are washed in morning dew, they will be transferred to the hands which can be dried on another less visible part of the body like the arms or legs and left there permanently. It’s recommended that this practice be repeated for three years in a row to work. ~
To get rid of warts, tie a knot in a string for each wart you have and bury it under rock. When the string rots the wart will be gone. ~
If you are sitting up with an ill person and a spark flies from the fireplace in the room, it is a sign of impending death. (Hardy County, West Virginia).
It would be a terrible mistake for you to kill a lightning bug because lightning might kill you during the next electrical storm. (Wise County, Virginia)
In the Blue Ridge Mountains it was believed that if a glass fell from a table after midnight and rolled across the floor, a coffin would have to be made the next day.
When springtime rolls around again, and if you are fortunate enough to make a wish on the first toad you see hopping by, you will have abundant good luck. (Wise County)
*Images of the Shenandoah Valley and Mountains taken by my talented family.