Thankful November – Winners and Family

Collage of 2021 photos

“Appalachian people are family-centered. Mountain people usually feel an obligation to family members and are more truly themselves when within the family circle. Family loyalty runs deep and wide and may extend to grandparents, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, cousins and even in-laws. Family members gather when there is sickness, death or a disaster. Supervisors in northern industries have been perplexed when employees from Appalachia have been absent from jobs to attend funerals of distant relatives for extended periods, or even raise children of kin when there is a death or sickness in the family. One of the biggest problems reported by officials in cities to which Appalachians have migrated for work is overcrowding in apartments when relatives are taken in until they get work and places of their own. In James Still’s novel, River of Earth, relatives are invited in by the father even though there isn’t enough food for everyone. The mother in desperation burns the house down and moves her family into the tiny smokehouse to get rid of those whom her husband could not ask to leave. Blood is thick in Appalachia. Two brothers were talking. One said, “You know, I’ve come to the conclusion that Uncle Luther is an S.O.B.” The other said, “Yeah, he is, but he’s our’n.”

—Loyal Jones “Appalachian Values”

I would add to the excerpt by saying Blind Pig and The Acorn readers are like family too. I’m always pleased by the kind comments left about myself or my family, but I’m especially encouraged by the comments you leave to each other. I appreciate the way all of you gather around readers who are in need and reach out to them in various ways.

Today’s Thankful November Giveaway is another used copy of “Appalachian Values.” To be entered in the giveaway leave a comment on this post. *Giveaway ends November 22, 2021.

For everyone who inquired about yesterday’s giveaway “Medicine Men Extreme Appalachian Doctoring” you can indeed find it online. is a good place to look. The book isn’t about natural healing. It’s a collection of stories gathered from the doctors who served the people of Appalachia. Heartwarming stories that will make you laugh and cry.

Last night’s video: Traditional Turkey Shoot in Appalachia.


The winner of Foxfire 4 is Cheryl Wil who said: “Love turnips and….. rutabagas! I chop them up and cook in meat pies. One of the items on my bucket list is to get the set of Foxfire books. This would be a great start to get me aimed in that direction. Thank you!”

The winner of The Doll Maker is Barbara Parker who said: “Tipper, maybe you could read the Doll Maker as your next book? I sure would like to win the drawing for the Doll Maker. Cross your fingers!!!”

The winner of the cd Today if you Will Hear His Voice is Kat Swanson who said: “My dad’s only brother, Dew, was at the battle of the Bulge. My dad tried to enlist but was turned down because of a bad hernia. Uncle Dew made it back but had ptsd…I remember he never talked about the war or went to any funerals, could not be around death.
I thank all vets…you stepped up…I am grateful.”

The winner of Tales of Whitetails is J. David Chrisman who said: “Thanks for sharing your November thankfulness and Appalachian insights all year round! Tossing my hat in the ring for the “deer hunting stories” book. Thanks!”

The winner of Appalachian Values is Maggie Dent who said: “Tipper, that’s a great story. Reminds me of a similar story that involves my Momma. Her house got flooded back in 1984. They were going to the house in a boat to see if anything was salvageable. Another boat came by and we stopped to talk. They were from FEMA. My Momma thought they were out asking for donations. She said, “I’m a bit flustered right now, I don’t have my pocketbook with me or I’d help you. ” They were wanting to talk to her and help her. God Bless those folks everywhere.”

Winners, please send your mailing address to me at [email protected] and I’ll get the item to you.


Subscribe for FREE and get a daily dose of Appalachia in your inbox

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    November 19, 2021 at 7:49 pm

    I left home for work at age 19. My baby sister was asked how many were in her family. She answered, “Six.” Mom said, “You better count again.” She then named each one except me and Mom asked, “What about Jackie?” Her response was, “He’s not in our family any more. He moved.” Maybe she was not a true Appalachian at her young age.

  • Reply
    Kat Swanson
    November 18, 2021 at 10:40 pm

    Have yall heard the saying….Friends are the family you choose for yourself…..well , I think of like minded Appalachian people and mountain culture lovers as FAMILY. When we are together, even by commenting or reading comments of others, I smile as I am reading…. …and sometimes cry too as I am writing or reading the comments.
    We all know we have spent time with like minded people….with folks that really …GET us!!
    Right now I am imagining all of us having a dinner on the grounds together …I can hear the girls playing their music …and I can almost taste the chicken and dumplings!
    I feel so lucky to have found all of you.

  • Reply
    Barbara Parker
    November 18, 2021 at 10:37 pm

    I’m so thankful!!!! When I saw my name that I had won The Doll Maker my heart thrilled with joy! Thank you for featuring Thankful November and thank you to you and all your family for the happiness and memories your Blind Pig and the Acorn bring back to me. I’m so glad we are “kin” actually not blood kin, but a kindred of the heart and Spirit. Family is dear to me. God put us all here in this time frame on earth according to His Grand Plan. You inspire me and sometimes when I’m working or cooking I think of you and things I’ve learned from you and my memories of learning to cook in my Grandma’s kitchen. Goodness Gracious! I am so happy. Thank you for all you do to let your light shine in this dark world. The darker it is, the brighter you shine. May God bless you all and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  • Reply
    November 18, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    We used to have extended family get togethers. What happened? Too busy, too many gone on, just never got around to it.. . the list goes on. . . .

  • Reply
    November 18, 2021 at 6:53 pm

    We used to say that ‘family is first’ as well as ‘blood is thicker than water’. With 5 older brothers, 3 older sisters, more than 25 first cousins and 14 aunts and uncles plus their spouses, ours was a big family.

    Congratulations to the winners.

  • Reply
    November 18, 2021 at 12:31 pm

    I’ve heard my Mother say “blood is thicker than water,” so many times in my growing up years till she passed. Family was and still is important. I remember times when family came north and stayed with my parents until they found work. They were hard working people but come the weekend many would load up their cars and head back to see their families in Alabama, MS, or Tn.
    Congratulations to the winners! Tipper, the sweater you had on your video today is beautiful! I’m thinking your Mother crocheted it and others you have worn. Absolutely, beautiful work!

  • Reply
    Denise R
    November 18, 2021 at 11:43 am

    Congratulations to all of the winners!!!!
    Family is so important, but in today’s world that emphasis is not there. Everyone moves far away, so staying in contact is more difficult, or there are family riffs that take place and no one will sit down and talk it out. Unforgiveness seems to be the norm…………so sad. We are very thankful for our children and family, I don’t think they know how much we love them!

  • Reply
    Betty M Smith
    November 18, 2021 at 11:09 am

    God bless you, Tipper. I am thinking about my family this Thanksgiving. I miss them all. I have One sister that ‘s left on my dad’s side of the family. I have two uncles on my mom’s side. Uncle Larry and Uncle Clifton aka “Tip”. My mom went to heaven on 9/26/2001. My mom Profit went to see Jesus on June 1, 1996. She was 95 years old.

  • Reply
    Sandra henderson
    November 18, 2021 at 10:43 am

    Yesterday, I found the medicine men extreme book at thrift books. I don’t know if there’s another on there at the moment. I feel fortunate to have found it. Gosh, what stories, today’s book has! Now 8mintrigued, I’ve not heard of today’s book.thanks for sharing your wealth of information with us! Y’all feel like family also. I envy the closeness of your are blessed.

  • Reply
    November 18, 2021 at 10:37 am

    I was born in Ohio but we moved to Tennessee when I was about 6 years. My parents ended up moving us back to Ohio when I was 13. I came back with my southern accent and southern roots still intact. I’ve longed for the Appalachian life ever since we moved back to OH. My husband is born fully an Ohioan but his parents were Tennessee and Kentucky folk. Now I have my husband loving Tennessee as much as I do and we had bought a second home in Tennessee so we can spend more time there and to have a home when we retire to. I can’t wait! I Love the Appalachian ways and the ease of life that they live. Love reading BPA and watching your clog and love the music. God Bless

  • Reply
    Louise Doolitttle
    November 18, 2021 at 10:20 am

    This reminds me of the time my Aunt and Uncle came to live with my family. I was the youngest of five children and my Aunt and Uncle had eight kids. At the time we were living in a little three bedroom house with 17 of us. When I think back to that time, I visualize a house with its sides bulging and the roof popping off . At night the floor was wall to wall sleeping bags. We had to put the kitchen chairs on the table so there was room for kids to sleep underneath. My cousin has come from a big old house in dry Nebraska, to a little town house, in rainy Oregon. I don’t know how our parents were able cope with all of the energetic kids!

  • Reply
    Sharon Cole
    November 18, 2021 at 9:51 am

    Congratulations to the winners! Families are so important. Our family has always looked after each other. I thank the Lord for my loving family. I also am so blessed by you and your family. We don’t have to be blood kin to feel like family. Truly appreciate you! God bless and take care.

  • Reply
    Bob Lingle
    November 18, 2021 at 9:47 am

    BPA and a cup of black coffee – my pre-breakfast routine! (And the ‘comments’ section is only ‘frosting on the cake’!) Love this blog and ‘family’. Reminds me of a experience back in the 60s. Two shipmates and I were going to visit one of their family’s in Roanoke, VA. We had left Mayport Navy base and had driven all night and were somewhere in North Carolina or Virginia (I’m not sure where). It was just after daybreak and we were traveling down a two-lane country road and this mid-sized dog ran out in front of us. Yep, we hit it! About that time, we looked off to the side of the road and there was this little ol’ lady a-sittin’ there a-milking a cow. We figgered the dog belonged to her so we stopped and backed up. We all got out and walked up the driveway to where she was, and the boy who was driving said, “Ma’ame,, I sure am sorry for hitting your dog.” Her reply endeared me forever to the ‘mountain’ people – (in a true dialact) “Hit’s alright, sonny. Heez ben runned over a-fore.” My heart melted into these hills and hollers.

  • Reply
    November 18, 2021 at 9:16 am

    When I first got married, we moved up north and lived with my husband’s family for a little while. Nine of his twelve siblings lived close by but we only lived with his favorite brother until we got our own place. I returned the favor a million times during my twenty eight year marriage. As the old saying goes in Appalachia, when you divorce, you divorce the whole family.

  • Reply
    November 18, 2021 at 9:11 am

    Enjoy reading your stories and the comments each day, truly blessed to live where I do and for my family, God has been Good to me.
    Happy Thanksgiving to All

  • Reply
    November 18, 2021 at 9:07 am

    Currently it seems as though some need to re-instill those Appalachian values in their hearts.

  • Reply
    November 18, 2021 at 9:04 am

    Congratulations to all the winners!!!!
    Tipper you are the best at blessing so many by sharing your talent of writing, story telling and music. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Nancy Vater
    November 18, 2021 at 8:24 am

    I look forward to reading your email every morning! Hopefully sometime I’ll find the Appalachian Values book

  • Reply
    Angelyn McLain
    November 18, 2021 at 8:15 am

    Congratulations to all the winners!! I just love all the books that Tipper recommends. I hope to enjoy many during the cold winter months.
    The family dynamic is a funny thing. I think sometimes we want to tweak their nose and sometimes we want to hug them. In our world today it seems like love is fading somewhat ,on the whole, but there is something so nice about coming home.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    November 18, 2021 at 8:13 am

    Congratulations to each of the winners.

    Tipper, you are the one who has created this ‘community of interest’ that is ‘like family’. That is to say your heart is the common center. Did you ever imagine ‘whereunto this would grow’ back when you started? As the run of comments have shown, we are thankful for you and yours. We are “entered into” your labors.

    For those who want to look for books and authors you mention, a good place to look is Internet Archive ( There one can create a free account then afterward check out books, audio, video, etc. (Do not need account to search.) There are 3 categories: (1) always available, (2) borrow 14 days and (3) Lending Library.

    I looked for Wilma Dykeman books and found several. One, “Highland Homeland” about the Smokies is an “always available” and doesn’t have to be checked out. Both “Tall Woman” and “Return the Innocent Earth” are there in Lending Library to be borrowed for 1 hour at a time, as available. It will keep your place between times and warns when the hour will expire. “Mountain Path” is there also as a “Borrow 14 days”.

    I would be glad to help folks get started if they want; provided being in the middle is not too burdensome to you. I don’t want to put you in the middle. You stay plenty busy as we know.

  • Reply
    Lori Hughes
    November 18, 2021 at 7:56 am

    Tippwr, I love reading your blog every morning! It starts my day off perfectly so thank you once again!!!! I came from a very large family but after losing our parents we all went our separate ways. I miss being in the middle of all that chaos sometimes!

  • Reply
    Martha D Justice
    November 18, 2021 at 7:51 am

    Love all your blogs and stories. Have a Blessed Thanksgiving ❤

  • Reply
    Matt Laminack
    November 18, 2021 at 7:46 am

    Blood is thicker than water!

  • Reply
    Sanford McKinney
    November 18, 2021 at 7:33 am

    I started to respond, “RATS! I did not win anything”. Then the light came on and I realize that I am a winner each time I consume the contents of your blogs. Thank you for helping keep Appalachia “front and center”!

    • Reply
      Donna Brewton
      November 18, 2021 at 9:36 am

      Me too RATS!!! But you’re right I win every morning.

  • Reply
    November 18, 2021 at 7:24 am

    I want to thank every one for their heart felt comments, scriptures, and prayers. We have felt God’s love and presence and assurance we will see our son again. I know in my heart that many Blind Pig Readers are Christians and I’ve never met you, I will know you in Heaven.
    With Love, Larry and Anita

  • Reply
    GoodGriefLouise ( Bill )
    November 18, 2021 at 7:18 am

    Thanks for the link to I went to the site and it linked the book to eBay. I had already bought the book a few hours before but will put this link in my Favorites for whenever I’m looking for an old or hard to find book. There was a time when the only place needy folks could go to for help was their family or to their church or any church for that matter. Sadly now they go to the government for support that they can’t seem to get away from.

  • Reply
    Margie G
    November 18, 2021 at 7:11 am

    Congratulations to all the winners and it’s a wonderful thing indeed! Thanks for the book purchasing connection. I like old doctoring tales because you learn a lot of which there’s no other ways to know. My money is on Dr. Granny on the Hillbillies as opposed to Dr. Fancy Britches who you’re bound to run into at a clinic near you…oh of course this is said in fun and no ill intentions. If it’s too hot, get outa the kitchen… lol

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 18, 2021 at 6:47 am

    Yes, we certainly are family people, your family are my kin. That’s just the way we do it. I love your Thankful November; it makes me feel cozy and warm and connected with everyone else who loves the Blind Pig!

  • Reply
    Diane Mattei
    November 18, 2021 at 6:41 am

    Hi Tipper, this is a is a comment & a reference to one of your winners, Kat Swanson. Like her Uncle Dew, my Daddy, Wm. Waters Sr., was also in the Battle of the Bulge during WW ll that, from what I understand, took place in Belgium. Daddy also experienced PTSD, of course back then they didn’t have a name for it, the Veterans just had to deal with it & Daddy did, with the help of Mom,. He dealt with it so well that I had no idea of it until I was an adult with grown children. Like your Uncle, Daddy never talked about the war at least not with us girls except for Mom. Back then the real men from that generation protected the women from the harsh realities of war any way they could.
    Thanks Tipper for your blog & videos. You’ve become a beacon of light in this sad broken world that’s searching for a gentler, kinder world we remember & longing for the old ways we love….

  • Reply
    Kimberly Moore
    November 18, 2021 at 6:37 am

    Moving far from family – 15 years ago- was a hard decision. There is a sadness in me each holiday missed with my siblings and parents, each milestone event I can only enjoy in photos. Covid years has increased that sadness. When life is difficult there is a great yearning to be surrounded by love en force.

  • Reply
    Donna Cole
    November 18, 2021 at 5:44 am

    I love your stories! Ya’ll remind me of my relatives in North Georgia. Mama and Daddy were raised there, but they left when I was little. I live in Kansas now.

  • Leave a Reply