Sunday, February 14

February 2010

Once we make the move to Florida for most of the winter we settle down to our first love; writing. Dave is working on a new children's book and I am writing a book about grandmothers and their aprons. Both books are a work of love and we spend most of every day at our different projects.

Earlier this year I finished a re-write on a book, My Garden Doctor, that was written by Frances Duncan and published in 1913. I found the little old book at a library book sale in Roscoe, NY about twenty years ago. Over the years I wished more people, who love gardening, could read this book. After researching the public domain limitations and copyrights I decided to reprint the book. It took me two years and a bummed shoulder to get the job done but this week the book is finished and is on book shelves at and my website:

My Garden Doctor tells the story of a turn-of-the-century woman who is bed-ridden from over work. As she lies in bed, and continues to decline, she needs the help of an around-the-clock nurse. When one nurse leaves and another takes on the task, Caroline is put in a chair by the window, where she has a view of the back yard and a neighbor who is pruning roses. Caroline's interest is tweeked and the story of her garden begins.

With "My Garden Doctor" finished I can get on with my next book: "My Grandmother's Aprons".

"My Grandmother's Aprons"is a book based on an essay I wrote for a collection of stories published by Penquin Books in 2004 (My Mother's Garden). In that essay I brought up sweet memories of how my own grandmother used her aprons and in the telling of that story I connected with readers all over the world with memories of their own, many much like my own.

During the time I prepared for this book I made a cd of that first essay. It is available on my website,, at my lectures or by emailing me My own words inspired me to begin a collection of aprons that I will share with those who attend my lectures or at art shows near my hometown, Crossville, TN.

The apron collection is really a lot of fun; searching them out at thrift stores, antique shops and church sales. Washing, starching and ironing the aprons with long ties and rick-rack trim. It was fun and sweet to see how women used bits and pieces of material and trim to make a garment that protected their dresses.

Aprons are not just a thing of the past but new ones can be found in chain stores and gift shops worldwide. The ones I write about are ones made and worn by our mothers and grandmothers. Each one has a lifetime of memories attached. The best part of this project is hearing the stories my readers are sharing with me of their own grandmothers and the aprons they wore. I hope you will send my your story.

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