Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Blogaversary Contest Winners Announced!

First, a big THANKS to everyone who participated in helping me celebrate three years of blogging.

I warned you this was going to be a very subjective contest. I chose those questions that made me think and whose answers turned into little stories. You winners, please email me with your addresses and I'll send off your "awards" as soon as humanly possible.

And the winners are...drum roll please.

Third Place!
Solvang Sherrie asked: How long have you been tatting?
When I was twenty-two or so I met a real live full blood Cherokee Princess. She was something like 17th or 18th in line to lead the Cherokee Nation. Of course I thought she was old at the time, but I realize now she was probably younger than I am today.

She lived in a small house in the middle of a piny wood. Every morning she gathered a small clump of pine needles together and brushed her teeth with them. She had all her teeth and they were in perfect condition.

Her first love was quilting and her home reflected that. Two rooms had quilting frames attached to the ceiling that could be lowered and raised. The walls around these rooms were lined with chairs. Other than that the rooms were bare. The rest of her house was also sparsely furnished, with few decorations, like pictures on the walls or knick-knacks on shelves. But one could tell she was into hand crafts. Along with quilting she crocheted, knitted, wove pine needles and tatted.

It was she who gave me my first and only lesson on how to tat. One lovely fall day we stood outside under the whispering pines and she showed me how to hold the thread and shuttle and how to make the hoops that form the half-hitches that form the square knots.

I didn’t go any further than that first lesson until six or seven years ago. I’ve always been crafty, and like making things. I wanted something to do in the evenings while watching TV that didn’t require tables and trays of beads and clue and balls of yarn etc., etc., etc. So I dug around until I found my one and only book on tatting and my one and only shuttle, still attached to the one and only piece of tatting I had begun way back when and never finished.

And that was when I really learned how to tat. I got more books, studied and studied some more and here I am, six or so years later, a person who considers herself a novice. I remember the Cherokee Princess who taught me with fondness, but am ashamed to say I do not remember her name. How was I to know, being young and stupid, that I should keep such things as names close to my heart?

Second Place!!
Piedmont Writer asked: How did you get from the islands to the states? And if it had something to do with romance could you share? And if it didn't can you make something up? I'm such a sucker for a good romance.
The story is this: In my senior year I had an English teacher just out of Harvard, who taught his first year at my little high school on St. Thomas. He was unable to finish out the year due to health issues with his wife and had to return to the states. For whatever reason we connected and we kept in touch, writing back and forth to each other.

A year or so after graduation, a crazy wonder-lust took hold of my feet and I left the islands. That began a four year adventure of traveling around the U. S. Every time I passed through Texas where my former teacher lived I’d stop by and visit with him and his family. On one trip he told me he’d had a vision that wouldn’t let him go. He’d seen himself starting a home for abused and neglected children.

Not long after that visit I returned to the islands, older, wiser and certainly much less crazy. I started to get letters from him that said things like, “I got the land!” “We got a road bulldozed into the place!” “We got the materials for our first building!” “Our first cabin is up!” “The first child has arrived!”

In 1980 I thought I go check out this place, this home for abused and neglected children. I thought I’d volunteer six or so months of my life and then return to the islands.

I worked there for 23 years before retiring in 2003. So to answer you question, Anne, was there romance involved? It was love at first sight. I fell in love with the kids and I have more wonderful memories than I should be allowed. Those kids, beat-up, abused, battered, neglected, with stories more horrible than most can imagine, taught me more about the strength and resilience of the human heart and soul than anyone could have. I was continually humbled and amazed by their determination to grow and become better human beings. And I was honored when they told me they loved me.

First Place!!!
MARY! at ResidentAlien asked:
Have you ever seen a UFO and if not, have you ever wanted to?
The following story is absolutely true.

Around midnight, three or four years into our marriage, my husband urgently woke me from a sound sleep.

"Bish, Bish, wake up. You gotta see this."

"See what?"
"You're not going to believe me, but I think it's a UFO!"

I'm sure I mumble-grumbled something, but got out of bed anyway.

Stan took me out to the driveway, handed me the binoculars and pointed to a place in the sky (low in the west) where I was to look.

GASP! My god! There WAS something there. I was sure of it. I thought I could see lights.The two of us took turns staring at it through the binoculars trying to figure out if it was big and very far away or small and in close. It also appeared to be in geocentric orbit because it wasn't moving.

Around 1 AM I suggested that we call a friend who had an $800 Celestron telescope. Surely with that bugger we'd be able to SEE it up close and personal.

By 2 AM our friend arrived and set the telescope up using the roof of my car as a support. Our friend took a long time trying to focus in on it, but it was difficult as there was a light fog. But once he got it focused ...

GASP! MY GOD! That thing must be HUGE! It was rather the shape of an upside down mixing bowl. We could clearly see lights all along the bottom that seemed to change color, red, blue, yellow. And there were windows around the middle.

"Can you see anything moving past the windows?"

Around 3 AM we got up the nerve to call one of the Air Force bases in San Antonio.

Stan asked, " you see anything large and low in the western sky?"

"Just a minute let me check our radar."
"Yes, we do."

"You do? Do you know what it is?"

"No, we don't."
OH MY GOD! They know it's there and they aren't TELLING US!

Around 4 AM our friend with the telescope decided he was going to call someone he knew from the local newspaper. Neither Stan or I can remember if the man actually made it out to our house or not.

There was so much going on.

Coffee was running in our veins instead of blood. We had stared and looked at the UFO now for well over 4 hours. We had speculated and asked just about every question we could think of. Stan was sure it was the Mother Ship, that it was huge and parked just outside the earth's atmosphere.

"Maybe we should call the sheriff's department," one of us suggested.

They were called.
It was probably going on 5 AM by the time a deputy arrived. He slid across our drive and came to stop in a whoosh, his tires skidding on the loose gravel that was sprinkled on the driveway.
As he got out of his patrole car we said, "Honest to God office, we're not drunk or stoned. We've been watching it now for 5 hours!"

We pointed to where it could be seen with the naked eye, through the misty fog, just above the tree line, across the street.

The office took a few steps towards us, turned, looked over his right shoulder and said, "Oh, you mean that antennae? I see them all the time out on the Interstate."

Instantly the bubble was burst and we three could see it for what it was, the neighbor's TV antennae, shrouded in the fog, glimmering in the reflected light of a distant street lamp.
The deputy sped away and we three fell down laughing. We laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed some more.

By that time it was around 6 AM and we were exhausted. We went to a favorite cafe for breakfast and laughed and laughed and laughed some more.

It just goes to show you what the power of suggestion can do.

Come back tomorrow for the last of my answers to your questions!


  1. Thank you Bish. That was a wonderful story. Children are indeed the best part of our lives. And there is nothing like hearing a child say I love you. It trumps anything. I'll be sending you an email shortly.

    And thanks for excitment on my blog. Belive me I haven't stopped screaming myself.

  2. Congrats to the winners! I love your stories, especially the one about your teacher and the home for abused and neglected children. He sounds like a wonderful person.

  3. Each of these memories built wonderful stories. Thanks for sharing! Oh, and happy anniversary!

  4. How fun Bish! This is so fun! I have some catching up to do, I've been so busy it's been hard to stop by and read everything!

    Great questions asked! Congrats on such an amazing blogaversary! I'm inspired!

  5. Those stories are AWESOME! Now I want to go camping and clean my teeth with pine needles after staying up all night to watch a UFO!

    The middle story is lovely, but I'm still wondering how the husband fit in there... :)

  6. Congratulations to all the winners. Love the stories, Bish.

  7. Blogger ate my comment!

    Congrats to the winners! I love that UFO story - fantastic.

  8. Holy cow, I missed the questions! I am such a slacker. But these were great answers. And yay for three years!

  9. I'm thrilled that I unwittingly asked that question and got such a great story for an answer -- (and won!). And your life's work has been so good and useful -- I'm sure a lot of people wish they could say the same.

  10. Great questions, and SUPERB answers. Sorry I missed them. :( But congrats to the winners and CONGRATS ON THREE BIG BEAUTIFUL YEARS, BISH!

    Mother ship, antennae? hehe

  11. 3 great stories, congrats everyone! ;) Fun contest Bish!! Have a lovely weekend. x

  12. Got here a little late, but great questions and answers. And congrats on three years!

  13. Bish -
    I love the story of how you left the islands...but that UFO story is one of the best I've heard!!!


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