All About Thyme
  A Monthly Calendar of Times & Seasonings

  Celebrating the Mysteries, Magic, and Myths of Herbs
Susan Wittig Albert  
April 2, 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 April: Daisy.
April is Lawn and Garden Month.
Week 1.
April 3: Celebrating the publication of China's 26th mystery, Queen Anne's Lace.
April 5: Dandelion Day is sometimes celebrated along about now, and redbuds are blooming. Must be last!
April 7: National Walk to Work Day. (Look for dandelions and redbuds along your route.)

Week 2.
April 10: The first Arbor Day was observed on this day in 1872, in Nebraska. Back then, they wanted to forest the prairie; later, they planted to reduce soil erosion. Now, we know that planting trees helps reduce the impact of climate change.
April 12: Licorice Day. A cup of licorice tea, anyone?
April 13: Happy birthday to president and master gardener Thomas Jefferson.
April 15: Join Susan for an afternoon book talk at Murder by the Book in Houston.

Week 3.
April 16: National Stress Awareness Day. Perfect timing: just before National-Turn-In-Your-Taxes Day (this year: April 17)
April 22: International Earth Day. It's a time of crisis for our planet.

Week 4.
April 23: St. George's Day. Be on the lookout for fleeing dragons!
April 25: National Zucchini Bread Day. (Nice, but in April? Doesn't this belong in July-August, when we have more zukes than we know what to do with?)
April 29: On this day in 1796, Amelia Simmons' cookbook, American Cookery, was published. It is the first cookbook by an American author.

Dandelions: Dandy Medicine

It gives one a sudden start in going down a barren, stony street, to see upon a narrow strip of grass, just within the iron fence, the radiant dandelion, shining in the grass, like a spark dropped from the sun.

—Henry Ward Beecher

Ever wonder how the dandelion got its name? READ MORE

Things to Do in April

* Celebrate Arbor Day by helping the kids plant an herbal tree. Chaste trees, bay trees, gingko, elders, hawthorn, holly, juniper—all these are notable tree herbs. For an interesting partial list of trees that have had important medicinal uses, check out this Wood Magazine site.
I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do. They go wandering forth in all directions with every wind, going and coming like ourselves, traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day, and through space heaven knows how fast and far! —John Muir

* Celebrate Earth Day by choosing at least one way to modify your lifestyle for the coming year, to reduce your impact on our planet.

* Celebrate Zucchini Day now and later, with 14 great recipes that should get you through those bushels of nature's bounty.

* Find out what St. George has to do with dragons.

* Take a look at Amelia Simmons' famous 1798 cookbook, the very first written by an American woman for American women. It introduced the first printed recipes for Indian Pudding and Hoe Cake. "Indian meal" is what we know as cornmeal; hoe cake was so called because the batter was stiff enough to bake on a hoe held over a cooking fire. (We think it's amazing that, through the magic of the Internet, we can turn the pages of this historically important cookbook.)

* Soothe Tax Day (and everyday) stress with these helpful herbs:
  • Rose, for depression, irritability
  • Orange, for apprehension, nervous tension
  • Ylang-ylang, for sleeplessness, nervous tension
  • Valerian, for tension, anxiety, and sleeplessness

* Plan now to attend the Story Circle Network's biannual women's writing conference (July 20-22, Austin), where Susan will be facilitating several workshops.

* 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.

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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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In Susan's bookstore, two new books this month, 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!

Amazon / B&N /
Order from your local independent bookseller
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.

Amazon / B&N /
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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