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Saturday, October 15, 2011

How "Hungry Hook Primitives" got it's name...

Hi my prims pals....Just a quick blog post since it looks like one more insomniac nigth for me. I was thinking about what to write since I am missing all of you very much, but havent gotten a chance to take any pictures (I dont like to post without pics...silly I know, but I guess I agree that a picture's worth a thousand words. I am really hoping to get lots of pics taken tomorrow since I got a great swap in the mail this week from Lauren over at Rugs & Pugs and she spoiled me rotten. I, of course, was a little late sending mine out, but she should have it tomorrow. Also all of my mums are in full blossom and being a newbie gardner, I have a couple questions for you guys that seem to do it so effortlessly...but I digress, those are questions for another day.

Back to my post...I have had several people comment on the name of my blog and are curious as to how I came up with it, so I figured now was the perfect time to explain. I grew up listening to all the stories my mom and her sisters told about growing up in the hills of Pennsylvania and the plains of Ohio. You see my grandfather worked heavy construction so he needed to be where the jobs were and wanted his wife and 4 daughters with him, which meant lots of moves.

Both of my grandparents grew up a few hours north of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania in the tiny little coal town of Timblin...its not even a dot on the map, its that small. There's one church, a park, a few houses and a library, although I am told it was a little bigger back in the day (i.e. the 1940's). Today it boasts  151 residents according to the last census record. The closest town of any significant size is Punxatawney. Now you may be familiar with that name since each February there's a big nationally televised event to see if the ground hog, lovingly called Punxatawney Phil, comes out and sees his shadow...If he does, well six more weeks of winter ! Some of you may remember the Bill Murray classic movie Ground Hog Day but I bet ya didnt know that it was NOT filmed on location in Pa, but instead shot in the picturesque village of Woodstock Illinois...I know because I lived not far from there back in the 90's.

Well this little tiny town was near and dear to my mothers heart and like I said, she told stories of living there and going to visit her grandparents, even spending several summers there. Almost the entire town was at one time of  German descent, so my mother's stories were peppered with bits of Pennsylvania Dutch sayings, like "redd up the house" which means to tidy it up or and the constant omission of the words "to be" in a sentence , like "My bed needs (to be) made" My hair needs (to be) cut etc.

Well, my mom was a great storyteller to be sure and she always talked fondly of when they lived in a place she called Hungry Hook. I had always assumed it was it's own little town near Timblin somewhere, but it turns out it was just the name of their street. The picture at the top of my blog is my mom & aunt playing out front at Hungry Hook ! She would tell of having to use the outhouse when they lived there and it just seemed their was always something so old fashioned and quaint about it that it just became a sort of fairytale, post depression legend in my mind I guess...I am an only child and spent many hours imagining the details of the stories my mom used to tell. It conjured up pictures in my head of this tiny clapboard house with a porch swing and old wash tubs where my grandma would do the laundry outside. She told me of how the ladies of the town would judge a woman's cleanliness by how quickly on Monday morning they had their laundry on the line. She told me stories of the men going to work in the mines nearby and how my grandfather started in the mines at just 10 years old and wasnt allowed to even finish school because the family needed his money to be put in with the households just to scrape by in those days.

My grandmother died when I was just 5 or 6 and I  wish I had paid more attention to each and every story that was ever told because now my mother is aging and often her stories get mixed up. I truly wish I would have written them down years ago.

Now you may all be thinking that all those old fashioned ladies must of done some rug hooking...well, not a one of them to my knowledge. My great grandmother was one fine quilter with stitches so tiny and straight it was unbelievable and she could bake the best pie you ever tasted, but no, I 'm the only hooker in the family (haha). It's just that I wanted to honor the memory of the women in my family who came before me. My creativity and thrift were passed down to me from this long list of interesting women. I'm not sure what all Hungry Hook Primitives will include someday...for now it seems to be mostly decorating and rug hooking, but perhaps I will add some family recipes and a tale or two from time to time. Most of all I just wanted to have a connection to the past and naming my blog and business after a romanticized story from my youth seemed like a good fit.

So there you have it folks.

Grace to you all,


  1. What a great story. I love hearing about the past and what our parents' and grandparents' lives were like. My family came from Ohio and we also never used the "to be" in sentences. Neat history about your blog name!

  2. what a fabulous story, Margie! What priceless memories...I too am thinking I should really start to document our family tree... I too cherish family memories and wonder how some people can sell their vintage family was a plus for me though...
    Have a great weekend. ps still looking at different grippers. do you suggest the 40 inch with no adhesive backing (stapled down) or the adhesive backing?

  3. Woodstock, IL has it's own groundhog day festivities with Woodstock Willie. I live a couple towns away in Cary. It's a small world!

  4. Hmmm Margie I was born in Pa,live there now as you know but raised in the south.My way of speaking must be really odd as I never realized it but I hardly ever say "to be" but I also use alot of sweetie,honey and sugar.Funny how you pick things up and don't notice.Love your history in the name.I always wondered about the blog header assumed it was you as a girl now I't wait to see your goodies from Lauren.Hugs!~Amy

  5. Awesome post Margie - so fascinating - and now I know the rest of the story! Often wondered about the little girls in your header - but didn't think it could be you....We have Pennsylvania Dutch on my mother's side of the family also - and, yes, there's some odd language going on - no "to be"'s and weird grammatical "throw the horse over the fence some hay." I would love to hear more stories and see some recipes....are heritages are sipping away so quickly in this cyber world.....Thanks so much for sharing.....Hope you have a wonderful weekend at Hungry Hook! Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

  6. Ps - is your mom the older one or the younger one?

  7. well I just loved reading how you got your name..wish my name had an interesting story like yours..I loved reading this..have a great weekend.)

  8. Margie, WOW what a great story! A perfect name aside great family"stories" and memories!!!! OLM

  9. Loved your story! Am the same way about photos on my blog but gotta tell ya, it didn't matter that there was not one photo on your family history story.

  10. Hi, Margie, my late night buddy. What a touching, loving story. Thank you so much for sharing your
    family with us. It's a marvelous name for your
    Warm Regards,

  11. Hi Margie~

    Lovely post!! Thanks for sharing the inspiration for your blog name.

    Have a wonderful day~Becky

  12. I'm sorry you are having so much trouble sleeping. I know that's never a good thing. The latest I ever stayed up to blog has been 3 am and that's just because I didn't want to stop. I hope this insomnia ends soon for you!

    I enjoyed the heartfelt story behind your blog name. That's wonderful that you have those stories and I think it's awesome that you connected it to your blog and business.

    Have a blessed week my friend~


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