Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Tuesday Tidbit: THE WAR THAT WASN’T



What I call THE WAR THAT WASN’T is known in Washington State history as “The Pig War”. 




Once upon a time, in 1859 on the island of San Juan in the Pacific Northwest, there was a hungry Berkshire boar who wandered into Lyman Cutlar’s garden and uprooted his potatoes. Not for the first time, mind you. Cutlar, tired of this pig repeatedly destroying his garden, shot and killed the offending swine. And thus began a twelve-year war.

Let me back up and set the stage.

In 1846, the Oregon Treaty between America and Britain drew a line at the 49th parallel. South of this division belonged to America and north was British Columbia. The treaty gave all of Vancouver Island to Great Britain even though it lay on both sides of the newly determined border.


However, the treaty was ambiguous on the islands that lay between Vancouver Island and the American coast. This issue of which country the islands belonged to remained unsettled for years with both sides laying claim to the San Juan Islands. One side stated the unnamed strait in the treaty was Haro Strait while the other side claimed Rosario Strait. Both American and British jointly occupied the islands. Neither wanted to back down for fear of loosing them.

So in 1859, when Lyman Cutlar, an American, shot and killed a British pig belonging to the Hudson Bay Company over a matter of potatoes tensions escalated. Cutlar felt bad and volunteered to pay for the pig, but his offer was refused.

The English wanted the “criminal” arrested. Cutlar evaded them and went into hiding. America sent hundreds of troops to protect the American’s on the islands, and Britain anchored three warships off the coast of San Juan Island in Garrison Bay.

With troops accumulating on both sides and tensions rising, the officers in charge of the Americans and the English agreed that blood shed over a pig wasn’t a wise course of action, so they decided to hold duel occupancy of the islands until the matter of possession could be settled. Both sides consented to have only 100 military troops each. The others left the island.

And so began the “war”.

Well, sort of.

The Americans built their camp on the south end of the island.


Marker for American Camp
American Camp
Remaining building at American Camp

While the English set up camp on the north end at Garrison Bay.

English Camp with Formal Garden on Garrison Bay

Other remaining buildings at English Camp

Why would two countries nearly go to war over a dead pig?

It wasn’t really about the pig but rather possession of the San Juan archipelago.

Though one would be hard pressed to recognize this as a “war” when both garrisons were quite friendly toward each other, with neighborly wining, dining, and parties together.


In 1871, both sides agreed to allow William I, Emperor of Germany, to settle the matter. In March of 1872, he decided in favor of America. The British troops evacuated the island.

In the end, the only casualty of this war was the Berkshire boar.

Several years ago, I enjoyed exploring this moment in time as the backdrop for my romance novel Her Honorable Enemy.

I love finding out about quirky, odd, and lesser known tidbits of history, especially of Washington State history. If I had learned about some of these rare gems in school, history class might not have been so boring.



NEW!
Love Is One of Life’s Greatest Adventures 
Seven daring damsels don’t let the norms of their eras hold them back. Along the way these women attract the attention of men who admire their bravery and determination, but will they let love grow out of the adventures?

Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure, a 1904 road-trip
Zola Calkin sets out on an adventure to be the first woman to drive across the country. Will the journalist tasked to report her presumed failure sabotage her efforts? Or will he steal her heart?


COURTING HER PRODIGAL HEART
Mother-to-Be’s Amish Homecoming... Pregnant and alone, Dori Bontrager is sure her Amish kin won’t welcome her—or the child she’s carrying—into the community. And she’s determined that her return won’t be permanent. As soon as she finds work, she’ll leave again. But with her childhood friend Eli Hochstetler insisting she and her baby belong here, will Dori’s path lead back to the Englisher world…or into Eli’s arms?
(Book 3 in the Prodigal Daughters series released January 1, 2019)




RECENT!
THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT ~ A sweet historical romance that will tug at your heart. This is book 1 in the Quilting Circle series.
Washington State, 1893
     When Lily Lexington Bremmer arrives in Kamola with her young son, she’s reluctant to join the social center of her new community, the quilting circle, but the friendly ladies pull her in. She begins piecing a sunshine and shadows quilt because it mirrors her life. She has a secret that lurks in the shadows and hopes it doesn’t come out into the light. Dark places in her past are best forgotten, but her new life is full of sunshine. Will her secrets cast shadows on her bright future?
     Widower Edric Hammond and his father are doing their best to raise his two young daughters. He meets Lily and her son when they arrive in  town and helps her find a job and a place to live. Lily resists Edric’s charms at first but finds herself falling in love with this kind, gentle man and his two darling daughters. Lily has stolen his heart with her first warm smile, but he’s cautious about bringing another woman into his girls’ lives due to the harshness of their own mother.
     Can Edric forgive Lily her past to take hold of a promising chance at love?

THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT is now available in ebook and paperback.

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS s a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. Her 2018 titles include; "Holly and Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides Collection (January), Courting Her Amish Heart (March), The Widow’s Plight (July), Courting Her Secret Heart (September), “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in The MISSAdventure Brides Collection (December), and Courting Her Prodigal Heart (January 2019). She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-four years and two cats. She has three adult children and two incredibly adorable grandchildren. Find her online at:

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Tuesday Tidbits: IT'S SNOWING! FOR REAL THIS TIME


I know last time I titled a post "It's Snowing" (two weeks ago), it was because it hadn't snowed and I wanted to show off the cute snowmen my family and I made. But now we actually got snow.


4-6 inches. That's respectable.
Once in high school, we got about this much snow and didn't have school for a week.

Crazy, huh?

Well, not so crazy.

Here in the Seattle area, we don't get much snow, so the only snow-removal system is the sun. I know, you think that we don't know what the "sun" is, but I assure you we do and don't take it for granted when it pokes through the clouds. Well, it stayed cloudy and cold all week, so streets and hills turned into ice and the buses couldn't run safely. Yay! We had fun playing in it.

Pretty snow accenting this huge tree.

Not sure what kind of trees these are, but
they apparently keep their leaves year-round.



My hubby scraping one of the cars to
run some errands. I'm staying inside.

Buffy, my Norwegian Forest cat (a 100% indoor cat)
deciding if she wants to experience this white stuff.

She decided to, but only for a moment
because her mommy was cold. Brrrrrrr!

I like living in a place where we get the occasional fall. It makes it special.

And we aren't having to go outside and shovel every other day.

=0)


NEW!

Love Is One of Life’s Greatest Adventures
Seven daring damsels don’t let the norms of their eras hold them back. Along the way these women attract the attention of men who admire their bravery and determination, but will they let love grow out of the adventures?

Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure, a 1904 road-trip
Zola Calkin sets out on an adventure to be the first woman to drive across the country. Will the journalist tasked to report her presumed failure sabotage her efforts? Or will he steal her heart?

Releases December 1, 2018
The MISSAdventure Brides Collection would make a great Christmas present!
--> -->




RECENT!
THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT ~ A sweet historical romance that will tug at your heart. This is book 1 in the Quilting Circle series.
Washington State, 1893
     When Lily Lexington Bremmer arrives in Kamola with her young son, she’s reluctant to join the social center of her new community, the quilting circle, but the friendly ladies pull her in. She begins piecing a sunshine and shadows quilt because it mirrors her life. She has a secret that lurks in the shadows and hopes it doesn’t come out into the light. Dark places in her past are best forgotten, but her new life is full of sunshine. Will her secrets cast shadows on her bright future?
     Widower Edric Hammond and his father are doing their best to raise his two young daughters. He meets Lily and her son when they arrive in town and helps her find a job and a place to live. Lily resists Edric’s charms at first but finds herself falling in love with this kind, gentle man and his two darling daughters. Lily has stolen his heart with her first warm smile, but he’s cautious about bringing another woman into his girls’ lives due to the harshness of their own mother.
     Can Edric forgive Lily her past to take hold of a promising chance at love?

THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT is now available in ebook and paperback.


COURTING HER SECRET HEART

A Prodigal Daughters story, Book 2

Caught between two worlds…Deborah Miller lives a double life as an Amish woman—and a fashion model! All photography is forbidden in her Plain community, so she must keep her job a secret. But when Amos Burkholder starts helping at her family’s farm, hiding the truth from him is impossible. And soon she must choose between the Englisher world of modeling and the Amish man she’s come to love.

Book 3 in the Prodigal Daughters series due to release January 2019, COURTING HER PRODIGAL HEART

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS s a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. Her 2018 titles include; "Holly and Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides Collection (January), Courting Her Amish Heart (March), The Widow’s Plight (July), Courting Her Secret Heart (September), “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in The MISSAdventure Brides Collection (December), and Courting Her Prodigal Heart (January 2019). She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-four years and two cats. She has three adult children and two incredibly adorable grandchildren. Find her online at:

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Tuesday Tidbit: PIECES OF EIGHT


Have you ever heard the term “pieces of eight”? What are they?

When I was young, I watched reruns of the original Mickey Mouse Club. As part of the shows, they had episodes of a mystery drama. I remember two things about it, the kids in the story were searching for treasure, and the song for the serial story ended in a deep voice singing “pieces of eight”.

What about “two-bits, four-bits, six-bits, a dollar”? I remember this cheer from high school. “Two-bits, four-bits, six-bits, a dollar, all for [insert school name], stand up and holler.”

“Pieces of eight” and “two-bits-four-bits-etc” refer to the same thing. Well, not the cheer.

Way back when, this started with the Spanish milled silver dollar.





England prohibited the early American colonies from minting coins. The settlers were left with bartering, using foreign coins, and trading with local currency such as wampum (cylindrical beads made from quahog shells used as money).

The American colonies, having no minted money of their own, used currency from many other countries.


The Spanish milled dollar was, by far, the most commonly circulated coin in the United States and considered legal tender until the Coinage Act of 1857.

It’s edges were “milled”, or patterned, to prevent people from shaving silver from the edges unnoticed. Coins were valued by their weight rather than “face value” as they are today.

But what’s a person to do when they wanted to buy something that costs less than a dollar?

Since the Spanish dollar was valued by weight, it was often divide into eight pieces called “reals” or “bits”.


So, this milled dollar was also known as a “Piece of Eight.”


Thus, “two bits” meant a quarter of a dollar. So, by dividing a coin like the milled dollar, a person could spend part of the coin in one place and another part elsewhere.


The coin would be divided in half and be a half dollar . . .


 . . . in quarters for a quarter of a dollar . . .


 . . . and eighths for one real or one bit. 


Pieces of Eight were the world’s first global currency.


Though contemporary U.S. Currency is based on the silver Spanish Milled Dollar, when the young United States began minting their own currency, they went to the decimal system and divided the dollar into one hundred.

The eight-bit Spanish dollar is not the same as a doubloon, which is what we generally associate with pirates. The doubloon, also minted by Spain, is a 32-reals/bits gold coin. Four Spanish milled silver dollars would be worth the same as one doubloon. So, if someone refers to a doubloon as “pieces of eight”, that would be incorrect.


The pictures of my coins in this post are reproductions made of pewter, but they have a similar weight and appearance of the original Spanish Miller Dollar.




I love playing with my replica Spanish Milled Dollars and pieces of eight. How would you like to have a pocket full of these sharp edges?


For more information on the background of money in recent history (1500s & forward), this site has some interesting information and can be a jumping off point for further research.

Happy Learning!

NEW!
Love Is One of Life’s Greatest Adventures
Seven daring damsels don’t let the norms of their eras hold them back. Along the way these women attract the attention of men who admire their bravery and determination, but will they let love grow out of the adventures?

Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure, a 1904 road-trip
Zola Calkin sets out on an adventure to be the first woman to drive across the country. Will the journalist tasked to report her presumed failure sabotage her efforts? Or will he steal her heart?

Released December 1, 2018

COURTING HER PRODIGAL HEART
Mother-to-Be’s Amish Homecoming... Pregnant and alone, Dori Bontrager is sure her Amish kin won’t welcome her—or the child she’s carrying—into the community. And she’s determined that her return won’t be permanent. As soon as she finds work, she’ll leave again. But with her childhood friend Eli Hochstetler insisting she and her baby belong here, will Dori’s path lead back to the Englisher world…or into Eli’s arms?
(Book 3 in the Prodigal Daughters series released January 1, 2019)




RECENT!
THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT ~ A sweet historical romance that will tug at your heart. This is book 1 in the Quilting Circle series.
Washington State, 1893
     When Lily Lexington Bremmer arrives in Kamola with her young son, she’s reluctant to join the social center of her new community, the quilting circle, but the friendly ladies pull her in. She begins piecing a sunshine and shadows quilt because it mirrors her life. She has a secret that lurks in the shadows and hopes it doesn’t come out into the light. Dark places in her past are best forgotten, but her new life is full of sunshine. Will her secrets cast shadows on her bright future?
     Widower Edric Hammond and his father are doing their best to raise his two young daughters. He meets Lily and her son when they arrive in town and helps her find a job and a place to live. Lily resists Edric’s charms at first but finds herself falling in love with this kind, gentle man and his two darling daughters. Lily has stolen his heart with her first warm smile, but he’s cautious about bringing another woman into his girls’ lives due to the harshness of their own mother.
     Can Edric forgive Lily her past to take hold of a promising chance at love?

THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT is now available in ebook and paperback.

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS s a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. Her 2018 titles include; "Holly and Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides Collection (January), Courting Her Amish Heart (March), The Widow’s Plight (July), Courting Her Secret Heart (September), “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in The MISSAdventure Brides Collection (December), and Courting Her Prodigal Heart (January 2019). She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-four years and two cats. She has three adult children and two incredibly adorable grandchildren. Find her online at:


Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Tuesday Tidbits: IT'S SNOWING! -- NOT


We are experiencing a mild winter. With each day that goes by, the chance of snow drops.  So in light of no white, I wanted to share these sock snowmen.

SNOWMAN CONVENTION!

Over Thanksgiving, I went to one of my sisters' home with other family members. I brought a fun, little craft project for people to do. Knowing a lot of my family members aren't as crafty as I am, I chose a no-sew, wintery project with lots of room for individual flare but easy enough for young and old alike.

A tall order, I assure you. But everyone who chose to make one, from ages 5 to 80, had a great time. There were a couple of complaints that there were too many choices. LOL!

Here are the pictures of the sock snowmen that were made. They turned out super cute!

My sister whose house we were at made these two.

Made by one of my grandnieces and her mommy, my niece.
Made by my mommy.
Made by me.
Made by my other niece.
Made by a grandniece.
Made by my other grandniece.
Made by my other niece.
Made by my other sister.

These are all simply adorable! I love them all!

I took ideas from several different YouTube videos. If you want to make some of these, type "sock snowmen" into the search window in YouTube and many variations will come up. Choose the one--or ones--that appeal to you most.

You all may have noticed I was absent from posting for a couple of weeks. That was due to moving, which I'm still in the process of. I'm still schlepping stuff from there to here. I wish I was done, but I'm not. I need to make room here before I can bring more stuff from there. Soon, I'll be done soon.


NEW!
Love Is One of Life’s Greatest Adventures
Seven daring damsels don’t let the norms of their eras hold them back. Along the way these women attract the attention of men who admire their bravery and determination, but will they let love grow out of the adventures?

Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure, a 1904 road-trip
Zola Calkin sets out on an adventure to be the first woman to drive across the country. Will the journalist tasked to report her presumed failure sabotage her efforts? Or will he steal her heart?

Released December 1, 2018

COURTING HER PRODIGAL HEART
Mother-to-Be’s Amish Homecoming... Pregnant and alone, Dori Bontrager is sure her Amish kin won’t welcome her—or the child she’s carrying—into the community. And she’s determined that her return won’t be permanent. As soon as she finds work, she’ll leave again. But with her childhood friend Eli Hochstetler insisting she and her baby belong here, will Dori’s path lead back to the Englisher world…or into Eli’s arms?
(Book 3 in the Prodigal Daughters series released January 1, 2019)




RECENT!
THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT ~ A sweet historical romance that will tug at your heart. This is book 1 in the Quilting Circle series.
Washington State, 1893
     When Lily Lexington Bremmer arrives in Kamola with her young son, she’s reluctant to join the social center of her new community, the quilting circle, but the friendly ladies pull her in. She begins piecing a sunshine and shadows quilt because it mirrors her life. She has a secret that lurks in the shadows and hopes it doesn’t come out into the light. Dark places in her past are best forgotten, but her new life is full of sunshine. Will her secrets cast shadows on her bright future?
     Widower Edric Hammond and his father are doing their best to raise his two young daughters. He meets Lily and her son when they arrive in town and helps her find a job and a place to live. Lily resists Edric’s charms at first but finds herself falling in love with this kind, gentle man and his two darling daughters. Lily has stolen his heart with her first warm smile, but he’s cautious about bringing another woman into his girls’ lives due to the harshness of their own mother.
     Can Edric forgive Lily her past to take hold of a promising chance at love?

THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT is now available in ebook and paperback.

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS s a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. Her 2018 titles include; "Holly and Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides Collection (January), Courting Her Amish Heart (March), The Widow’s Plight (July), Courting Her Secret Heart (September), “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in The MISSAdventure Brides Collection (December), and Courting Her Prodigal Heart (January 2019). She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-four years and two cats. She has three adult children and two incredibly adorable grandchildren. Find her online at:

Tuesday Tidbit: THE WAR THAT WASN’T

What I call THE WAR THAT WASN’T is known in Washington State history as “The Pig War”.   Once upon a time, in 1859 on the isl...