Dr. Me-maw

Do ya’ll have a Me-maw?

Well I did and I think everybody should have one.

Me-maw always had the answer.  No matter what the question.  Me-maw knew what was what!

Years ago before the Mr. and I got hitched, I was having all manner of health issues and was in and out of various and sundry doctor’s offices.  It was exhausting!  Well, one day I developed a toe pain, not to be confused with a “toe pick” (name that movie!) so on one of my many outings to the doc, I asked what could be causing me such pain.  I could barely walk and it hurt to even put my shoe on.  Weird!  The doctor did all kinds of blood tests and x-rays and I don’t know what-all and it was decided that, well, he just didn’t know. 

So that night Me-maw came to visit and I asked, kinda sarcastically, “Me-maw, do you know any home remedy for a sore toe?  Should I boil some bark from a north facing tree and slather it on my foot???” 

Me-maw didn’t even skip a beat, “Why just soak some brown paper in vinegar and wrap it around your toe.”  As if we were discussing the weather!!!  Amazing!!!

So Mom found a brown bag and we cut it into strips, soaked it in vinegar and wrapped it around my toes.  I sat there stinking up the place the rest of the night and then went to bed thinking “what a joke”!!  Not only does my toe still hurt but now I reek of vinegar!!

The next morning, lo and behold, my foot pain was gone!!!  The swelling was gone!!!  The smell was………..well, the smell was still there but glory hallelujah IT WORKED!!!! 

I’m not sure why it worked but Dad remembered something in the nursery rhyme, “Jack and Jill” so I thought I’d share it with you:

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after.

Up got Jack, and home did trot 
As fast as he could caper
He went to bed and bound his head
With vinegar and brown paper.

 Those rhymes aren’t just rhyme-y, they’re educational!!

Who knew????

But this is not the first home remedy of Me-maw’s that I’ve tried (or been forced to try).

For years, Mom has followed in Me-maw’s footsteps and at least twice a year dosed all of us kids with turpentine.

Yep, turpentine!

Well, it’s not exactly the paint thinner, though it does smell just like it.  It’s called Spirits of Turpentine.  I don’t know if that’s because its haunted or what but whatever it is, it’s NASTY!!!

Mom would take a spoonful of sugar, add a drop of turpentine and then a little water.  Then down the hatch!  The worst part (as if the actual mouthful wasn’t bad enough) is that you belch that stuff the rest of the day!!!

A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down but only the grace of God KEEPS it down!

I found this picture on e-bay.  It’s not exactly like Mom’s bottle but it’s really close.  I think it’s the original bottle that Me-maw used to poison treat Mom and her brothers. 

I think I should also point out that somewhere on the bottle, it says “For external use only”!  Mom just ignored that part!!!

Another handy home remedy that I use quite often didn’t come from Me-maw, though I’m sure she knew about it.  I heard this one from my older sister, Marti.  I figure that since Marti is a grandmother that maybe she learned this at the annual Grandmother’s Meeting where they get all these great tidbits to amaze their children and grandchildren.  Maybe one day I’ll be included in these meetings! 


Anyhow, Marti told me that if you have a bad cough at night, to rub Vicks Salve on the bottom of both feet and you won’t cough.  And it works!  GENIOUS!!!

So this week the Mr. has been hanging on to his sickness like a long lost friend.  He just can’t get over it.  The worst is the cough.  The Mr. has the loudest cough known to man!  It’s loud enough to make your ears ring.  It scares the dog.  It’s unruly and it must be stopped!!! 

Enter Vicks Salve.

Each night before we go to bed, I grab the Mr. by the ankles and slather his feet with the stuff!!!  And usually by the time I’m done, we are both collapsing in hysterics!


Because the Mr. is ticklish on the bottoms of his feet and I have so enjoyed prolonging his agony by rubbing his feet with cold Vicks!  It’sthe highlight of my day.  🙂

Of course, the fact that he makes me sing “Soft Kitty” when I’m done kinda takes the wind out of my sails!



3 thoughts on “Dr. Me-maw

  1. Funny! I wish I was half as smart as our precious Me-maw!!

    And just for the record, the movie is “The Cutting Edge”!!

  2. Enjoyed reading about your Me-Maw, I don’t remember using turpentine but had to take a lot of caster oil. But,learned real quick that you never said you did not feel like going to school because you knew the castor oil in black coffee was coming your way. I guess that is why I don’t drink coffee today.

  3. I am collapsing in laughter picturing you singing “Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur”. Cracking me up! I’ve got all kinds of pictures in my head that I MUST get out before I go to bed!

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