Breakfast table in Saarburg
Herr Ewald Meyer whom I often mention in my blog posts had loaned me some books from his own library; titles he thought would be helpful in my quest for local knowledge. The only drawback was that they were in German and reading them was very time consuming. So each morning, after I finished my breakfast, I would sit at the table in the pretty kitchen of my rental apartment, sip my remaining coffee, read/look up unknown words/take notes on things that interested me.
Of course, I no longer have these books. Herr Meyer wanted them back when I went home to Wisconsin and there was no way I could finish reading them. But they did have information that examined rural life in the Eifel, an area very similar to my ancestors' Kreis Saarburg villages. And even though the notes were pretty miscellaneous, I figured I could add them to the rest of my data at some later time.
Rather than lose track of these hard-earned notes again, I'm posting them just as I took them. The blank box at the very top of the Blogger page allows both you and me to "word search" all the "mischmasch" I'm going to post as well as any other topic.
Eifel cows were a reddish color. They had a small head, thin neck and fine short legs along with a high swinging tail. They were healthy, liebhaft, light on feet, fairly resistant to disease and didn't require much maintenance.
The stall for the cattle was usually a place with hardly any light, small windows, damp walls, and a strong odor of manure. Sometimes the same barn or stable area held the pig stall, and chickens. The floor was made out of limestone or sandstone plaster. Some straw was placed under each cow but that didn't prevent them from lying in their own waste at times because there was no place for urine to go. Barns were cold in in the Eifel. The manure was kept in the stall in winter to produce a little heat. As the manure was covered again and again with straw, a cow got closer and closer to ceiling. The outer door was not opened very much to keep heat in when it was cold. Another door to the barn led right into the hall in the Wohnhaus (house and barn were together) and the farmer could go into the barn from that hall without losing too much heat.
Notes from "Village Life in the Eifel."
In the Eifel the usual dress of the farmer was a blue linen smock, home sewn, used for the daily, often dirty jobs of his workday. It had a partially open front that tied at the neck. The "zipfel" or stocking cap, knit by the wife or Oma, was headwear.