Monday, January 24, 2011

2nd TP or Not TP Survey Results

This person didn't request anonymity but let's call her "Gram" just to maintain her privacy.

So, "Gram" had quite a bit to contribute. She grew up during the 1920s and the depression in NE Iowa along the Mississippi River. I mean like NEXT to the river.
She said that even those who could "afford" TP used catalogs. This included her family.
She babysat for other families and remembered corn husks (watch the direction of use as they get sharp), corn cobs (that had to be grim when they were dried out), and leaves. Wow.
I think given the choice between a corn husk and a rock, I'd be likely to go for the rock. Husks are serated on the edges and have all sorts of little stiff a SCRUB BRUSH. OW.
Gram and also discussed that cobs would tend to take up quite a bit of room in the outhouse pit. Poo does too but poo tends to decompose and shrink as it dries or settles. Corn cobs are pretty stable. Maybe heavy cob use meant more frequent redigging of the outhouse.

She also noted some other interesting bits for those thinking of rocking it old and outhouse. Make sure the well is dug through bedrock (easier in Iowa where the bedrock is limestone than here where the bedrock is basalt) because then floods from the river, even those causing the outhouse to overflow, will not contaminate the well. A shallow well near a flooded outhouse is a recipe for getting sick.

I asked about folks using cloth and she said that she didn't remember anyone doing that, but that certainly diapers were washed out and reuse and reused and reused. She also agreed that if washed well, there is no medical or germ reason to avoid using cloths and washing them.

Other tips: Watch out for tularemia if you eat rabbit. I had not heard of this before but apparently there was a bit of an epidemic when Gram's dad, code name "Great Grampa" was a kid. Rabbits were the vector so he would not eat rabbit. Fortunately they had other options even if these were occassionally things like squirrel and/or raccoon.

No comments: