All About Thyme
  A Monthly Calendar of Times & Seasonings

  Celebrating the Mysteries, Magic, and Myths of Herbs
Susan Wittig Albert  
March 5, 2018
read the web-formatted e-letter:  
This Month's Special Days:
A Potpourri of Celebrations

Herb of the Year for 2018: Hops
Flower of the Month for March: Daffodil.
March is National Women's History Month.
Week 1.
March 6: The latest Darling Dahlias mystery is available today! Also: On this day in 1899, aspirin was patented by Felix Hoffman of the German company, Bayer.
March 7: The birthday of American horticulturist Luther Burbank, born 1849. He developed many new varieties of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. A Burbank favorite: the Shasta daisy.

Week 2.
March 14: National Potato Chip Day.
March 15: Ides of March (beware!)
March 16: On this day in 1915, absinthe (a liqueur made from wormwood) was banned in France.

Week 3.
March 23: Today is the birthday (1857) of Fannie Farmer, who wrote the Fannie Farmer Cook Book.
March 25: Waffles of the world, frolic! Today is International Waffle Day!

Week 4.
March 28: Somewhere, sometime, somebody came up with Something on a Stick Day. It's today.
March 30: National Hot Dog Day. Pass the mustard, please.

The Shamrock

May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow.
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.

—Irish Blessing

Irish legends tell us that when St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland, he used the shamrock—the three-leaf clover—to teach the island dwellers about the Holy Trinity, the divine Three-In-One. READ MORE

Things to Do in March

* Celebrate National Women's History Month by finding out who Fannie Farmer ("the mother of level measurements") was, and why she is important. Hint: How would you like to follow a recipe that calls for "a piece of butter the size of a duck's egg"?

* Discover the history of aspirin. Then read about willow bark as an herbal pain reliever. If the subject really fascinates you, you can dig deeper with Aspirin: The Remarkable Story of a Wonder Drug.

* On the Ides of March, find out what all the fuss is about. Then plan to defend yourself against bad luck with some of the traditional protective herbs.
  • Hang a bunch of dill over a child's bed to protect against evil fairies.
  • If you're concerned about dishonesty, plots, or secrets, place borage leaves or blossoms nearby and listen in. (Borage is said to encourage people to tell the truth.)
  • Wear angelica to protect yourself against evil spirits, but beware that it may also keep you from seeing opportunities. Brew a tea it and sprinkle a few drops in the corners of your house.

* Take a virtual tour of Luther Burbank's home and gardens in Santa Rosa CA, and find out what Burbank did to create the Shasta daisy. You knew, of course, that the daisy is an herb—didn't you? It has the marvelously melodic name of Chrysanthemum leucanthemum. Try saying it out loud: Chry-san-the-mum leu-can-the-mum. A name every bit as lovely as the flower! And for more on Burbank and his plant breeding business, read Jane Smith's interesting, informative biography, The Garden of Invention: Luther Burbank and the Business of Breeding Plants.

* Cook up some zippy horseradish mustard to go with that hot dog on National Hot Dog Day.

* Find out what Susan has been up to by visiting her blog, Lifescapes. Gardening, reading, writing—there's always something interesting going on. For fun, check out her Pinterest boards—see what she's up to, what delights her, what she reads and recommends. And if you're a Bookaholic (Susan is!), follow her on Goodreads.

* Listen to one of Susan's podcasts about the lore and magic of herbs. Each one is fun—and you'll learn something you didn't know about your favorite herb!

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Who's Susan Albert?

Susan Wittig Albert is the author of two recent memoirs: An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days and Together, Alone: A Memoir of Marriage and Place. Her fiction, which has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list, includes Loving Eleanor and A Wilder Rose (biographical/historical novels); the China Bayles mysteries; the Darling Dahlias mysteries; the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter; and a series of Victorian-Edwardian mysteries written with her husband, Bill Albert, under the pseudonym of Robin Paige. She is founder and current president of the Story Circle Network, a member of the Texas Institute of Letters, and Honorary President (2012-2014) of the Herb Society of America. More

To find out what's going on in Susan Albert's life in the Texas Hill Country, read Susan's blog.

Follow Susan on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, & BookBub.

Who's China Bayles?

She's the beloved fictional herbalist in Susan Wittig Albert's popular mystery series, set in Pecan Springs TX. For more about her books, visit

For more about herbs and the passing seasons, read China Bayles' Book of Days.

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We've opened the bookstore so you can reserve your signed, personalized hardcover copies of Susan's upcoming books—along with a few others you may have missed. (Susan's books are sold by the Story Circle Network, an international nonprofit organization for women writers.)

Loving Eleanor

Don't miss Susan's prizewinning novel about the friendship of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok.

"This warm, extensively researched novel will entrance readers and inspire them to look further into the lives of two extraordinary women." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Now available!

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Last Chance Olive Ranch

China Bayles visits a Texas olive ranch while Mike McQuaid confronts an old nemesis. Both spend an unsettling weekend settling a few old scores.

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The General's Women

A compelling novel about love, betrayal, and ambition by New York Times bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert, The General's Women tells the story of two women—Kay Summersby and Mamie Eisenhower—in love with the same man: General Dwight Eisenhower.

Available in ebook and print.

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Order from your local independent bookseller
A Wilder Rose

Named to Kirkus' best of Indie 2013 Books! Susan's historical / biographical novel tells the story of Rose Wilder Lane's collaboration with her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder in the writing of the famous Little House books.

"Pitch-perfect... A nuanced, moving, and resonant novel... an absolute pleasure." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days Together, Alone

If you enjoy Susan's fiction, her memoirs are a must-read — and a great gift.

Starting Points

If you're writing about your life, you'll want Susan's collection of weekly writing prompts—enough creative ideas to keep the words flowing all year.

Work of Her Own Writing From Life

Susan's books about writing your life story & finding meaningful work.

To read Susan's most recent e-letter on her website, click here:

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