Wrapped up Tight

10 Jan

This year I was invited to attend the 13th annual Pulpwood Queen Gathering. For those who aren’t familiar with this club, Queen Kathy Patrick  works tirelessly to promote authors (both first-time and veteran). She created a book club that is the world’s largest; and, she owns the only hair salon/bookstore in the country.

She’s a powerhouse, that’s for certain.

Queen Kathy asked authors to contribute something personal for the silent auction which raises money for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. For weeks, I’ve pondered what to donate. Partnering with Botanical Interests and Nelson’s Grow-N-Thrive Plant Food, I assembled a basket.  The folk at Botanical Interests generously donated an exquisite 2013 calendar and many packets of seeds, a partial list is below: WP_000713

Basil, Beans, Carrots, Chives, Corn, Cucumber, Lettuce, Radish, Spinach, Tomatoes (multiple varieties). In the flower category, the basket includes: Bells of Ireland, Calendula, Marigold, Nasturtium, and Sunflowers…just to mention a few.

Even as I type this Spring Fever begins to bubble up inside of me.

Those items, as lovely as they are (and they are lovely) aren’t “personal.” Yes, I only use Botanical Interests seeds and Grow-N-Thrive Plant Food which is why I want to introduce them to you, but readers want to bid on something more personal.

Bread & Butter Pickles, Japaleno Jelly and Spice Rub from Mr. Thomas.

Bread & Butter Pickles, Japaleno Jelly and Spice Rub from Mr. Thomas.

For that, I headed to the pantry.  Where I come from, nothing is more personal than homegrown goodies. I gathered into my arms a jar of Bread & Butter pickles, Dilly Beans, Tomatoes, Grape Jelly (made with grapes from the historic Hembree Farm) and a jar of Dry Rub using a top-secret recipe Mr. Thomas recently shared with me.

I squeezed all of this into a basket which I have used at Billy’s Farm. Then I placed a tiny cornhusk angel inside the basket, wrestled the crinkly wrapping around everything and tied the bow.

Re-reading Queen Kathy’s instructions I panicked for a moment when I learned that my donation needed to be autographed.


Peeking inside the basket, I thought about signing the wooden fibers. Then I thought perhaps the best autograph would come from Billy and me. He signed the Dilly Beans; I signed the tomatoes. WP_000715

This is who I am. This is how I give some of myself to you. Whoever wins this basket will receive delicious goodness grown without pesticides and stored without preservatives.

I can’t wait to meet all the readers in Jefferson Texas next week. For those who are on Facebook, please visit the page I created titled In the Garden with Billy.  Please “Like” the page and share the page. As always, I hope you enjoy your time spent in the garden with us.

Those attending the 2013 Pulpwood Queen event can bid on this basket filled with goodies.

Those attending the 2013 Pulpwood Queen event can bid on this basket filled with goodies.

Renea Winchester is an award-winning author of In the Garden with Billy: Lessons About Life, Love & Tomatoes and Stress-Free Marketing: Practical Advice for the Newly Published Author.      

Renea is represented by Sullivan Max Literary Agency. In the Kitchen with Billy: Farming, Friends & Fried Bologna Sandwiches will be released soon. She is working on her first novel titled Outbound Train Visit her at


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