Sunday, September 7, 2014

Mr. Peabody's Coal Train in Paradise, Kentucky ~ Muhlenberg County, Kentucky

My Mom & Her Brother, my Uncle Paul

I mentioned in my post yesterday that we had company this past week. One of the visitors was my Mom's brother, my uncle Paul. He was born in 1926 and lived through the Great Depression. He used to have to go to school with rubber bands around his shoes to try and keep the soles on them. 

Paul brought us some of the sweetest Georgia peaches I have ever tasted. One of the things we talked about when they were here was the price of groceries. Paul has started buying animals to raise for meat because he says they can't afford meat in the grocery stores anymore. 

Back when he was growing up during the depression, they used to visit with my great grandparents on the family farm.  Bordie Fox was my great grandfather and his farm was in Muhlenberg county, Kentucky in a little town called Paradise. 

Francis Peabody was buying up the small farms in that area for Peabody's coal company, which supplied electricity for homes as far away as Chicago.  My great grandfather was the last holdout in that area and his farm was the last one sold to Mr. Peabody in the 1960s.  

Have you ever heard the song, Paradise by John Prine? The song is about Paradise, Kentucky...the same place my great grandfather had his farm. 

The song tells the story of a man who as a young child would travel down to western Kentucky where his parents were born. And he asked to be taken back to Muhlenberg County and his dad said he was sorry, but "Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away". 

Here is a link to the lyrics

My uncle Paul loved going to the family farm because there was always plenty of food to eat, which was not always the case at home. 

My great grandparents raised and preserved most of their own food. They had cows, which meant there was always fresh milk and butter. They grew a big garden and preserved most of the food they ate back then. 

My great grandfather knew a lot about raising animals and slaughtering animals for meat. Paul used to have to help when it came time to butcher the animals. 

Paul told us that he wished he had paid more attention back then because now that he is raising meat for food he doesn't remember how to butcher them, and he is going to slaughter them himself to save money.  My great grandfather knew how to do all those things. 

Wouldn't it be great if we could take ourselves in the autumn of our lives and go back in time and give ourselves advice? 

How many times have you heard, "If I only knew then what I know now"? My dad has always told me hindsight is 20/20 and I know that's true. 

How much better our lives would be to have the wisdom that comes with age and the vitality that comes with youth. 

In the Frugal Workshop kitchen today...

I've been busy in the kitchen this morning. I boiled one dozen eggs to make egg salad for lunches this week. I put a bag of the beans from a 15 Bean Cajun Soup bag on to soak overnight. 

We will have those for dinner on Monday night. For dinner tonight, I am making green beans with onions and potatoes, sausage, and cornbread. 

I'll also serve the last of the Rice & Cheese and Brussel Sprouts from Saturday night's dinner. 

I received my first issue of Cooking Light magazine in the mail yesterday. This is one of the rewards I signed up for from Recycle Bank. 

Have any of you signed up for this Rewards Program yet? You can read my post about it here:  Recycle Bank

We made a quick trip to pick up newspapers today (they do not deliver them this far out from Chattanooga). 

There are $105 worth of coupons in our local paper today. 

One of the coupons is for $5.00 off a package of Tena liners. Walmart sells these for $4.99, so all we have to pay for them is the tax. Can't beat a deal like that. 

I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend. 

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


  1. What a wonderful visit! I already have things I wished I paid more attention to. Each generation that passes on makes me feel like bits of knowledge are being lost.

    1. I agree, Shara. Thank you. We did have a wonderful visit. :)

  2. How wonderful to have your relatives visit! I love hearing the old family stories.

    What kind of livestock is your uncle raising? I'm not sure I would have it in me to raise livestock for anything other than milk and eggs. But when you raise your own, you do know exactly how your animals were fed and cared for which goes a long way in my book. So I can see the appeal of raising livestock. And he'll be saving quite a bit of money I imagine. Meat prices are simply ridiculous, beef especially this year. Who is buying steaks for $10/lb or more?

    I hope your cajun bean soup was good!

    1. The Cajun Bean soup was delicious, Lili. Thank you for asking.

      My uncle bought 2 calves to raise for beef and he bought 3 goats and then his son bought 3 more while he was here. They also have chickens for the same purpose. I know I don't have it in me to kill an animal for food. My ex's aunt talks about how she had to kill chickens when she was younger. They would keep 50 or so in the freezer, but she doesn't eat any chicken now. It just made her sick to kill and process them.

      I agree with you, no $10 steaks here. I did read an article though that said the demand for beef was still high. I cannot imagine where that is though.

    2. My grandfather had a turkey farm when my dad was growing up and my dad worked there every summer. He could never eat turkey after that experience. The smell just always reminded him of the farm.

    3. Oh wow, Lili. I can certainly understand that. I'm funny about turkey myself. I'll eat it when it is first cooked and still hot, but after that I can't eat it because it tastes different. Wish I like it more though because you can get it pretty cheap around the holidays.

  3. Paradise is one of my favorite songs. I knew all the words and felt the anguish. I was so thrilled as you told the story, knowing as it went on it was my song I loved so. It made me sad then and still does.

    My parents raised chickens. There was no freezer and sometimes no refrigerator. When we were going to have chicken, one of them went to the backyard and rung a chicken's neck, dresses it, and we had chicken for dinner that night.

    Belinda, it is the taste of turkey or chicken left on the bone. Take it off the bone before it is cooled. Then it tastes much different than when it is allowed to get cold with the bone in it.

    1. That is great information to know. I like Turkey when it's first cooked, so I will have to try that and see if I like it any better. Thank you for the tip.

      I'm so glad you enjoyed the story I told. I love that song too.

      Lives were so different back then. I don't know that I could go wring a chicken's neck for dinner. I know my neighbor still does that though.


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