Who is Miss Abigail?

Abigail Grotke
Silver Spring, MD
email: missabigail at missabigail dot com
twitter: @DearMissAbigail

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Miss Abigail has a collection of over 1,000 classic advice books, spanning from 1822 to 1978 and covering a variety of topics, from love and romance to etiquette and charm. The collection sparked the idea for this site, then a book, Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage, which has inspired an Off-Broadway production of the same name!


Archive for November, 2006

Book signing picture

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

Originally uploaded by Miss Abigail.

Can you tell I just figured out how to directly post flickr photos to this blog? Here’s a shot from the Sanibel Island Bookshop book signing and reading. It was beautiful out on the veranda. I love the table that I was signing on, too.

Best in Show

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

Originally uploaded by Miss Abigail.

At our Thanksgiving celebration in Florida, we have an ornament contest (often using natural items found on the beaches and surrounding area). Here was my last-minute entry, made after I was done mashing two bags of potatoes and just prior to eating dinner. Much to my delight, it was awarded Best in Show!

I call this piece, um, “Lovebird SnowShellman Holding Hands.”

On the Way Home

Monday, November 27th, 2006

Free wireless at the Fort Myers airport, woohoo. I’m heading home today. Book signing and reading on Friday was a lot of fun. Sold some books and entertained the crowd while out on the front porch of the book store. It was quite lovely. And there was a guy there from a wellness center on Sanibel Island giving complimentary back massages to all of the attendees (and the author). Ahhh…

Back to work tomorrow. Urgh.

Blogging Poolside

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

To those of you out there with unsecured wireless networks on the Gulf side of Sanibel Island: thank you for allowing me to tap into your wireless so I can check my email and post this while sitting by the pool (and, you might want to secure your network next time).

Florida’s been fun although a bit chilly. Supposed to warm up tomorrow. I’m about to sit down and prep for the signing and reading at Sanibel Island Bookshop on Friday… posted signs all over the Island earlier this week so hopefully folks will show up.

Florida, Here I Come

Saturday, November 18th, 2006

I’m heading off to Florida soon for a week in the sun. I’ll be bringing the laptop, but not sure how much internet access I’ll have. That’s a good thing, right? Right.

Just a reminder I’ll be at the Sanibel Island Bookshop on Friday the 24th at 1pm. Details here.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

1936: Are You as Polite at Home as Outside?

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

As we get closer to Thanksgiving, and the holiday season in general, I thought it might be time for a reminder about courtesy in the home. Many of us will be in close quarters with our extended family for hours and perhaps days on end, and more than ever it will be important to be polite while sharing house, home, and holiday dinner table. The following is from the home economics book Everyday Living from Girls: a Textbook in Personal Regimen, written in 1936 by Adelaide Laura Van Duzer and a handful of other home ec experts.

Real politeness is being kind and considerate. It may be shown in many different ways: by the tone of your voice, the facial expression, or the behavior. We are also expected to know the vocabulary of politeness and when to use it. The terms “Thank you,” “Please,” “Pardon me,” “I am sorry,” never seem to become worn out or over-used, especially when accompanied by sincerity of manner and behavior. These terms are somewhat superfluous if they are not a genuine expression of one’s feelings. However, even though we do not always experience to the fullest extent the feelings the vocabulary is supposed to express, we had better use it anyway. Be assured that the more it represents your true feelings, the greater the pleasure you will have in the association with the members of your family and with other people.

And you all know to NEVER talk about politics and religion, right?

The Mysterious Jamestown Suitcase

Saturday, November 11th, 2006

Everyone loves a good mystery, don’t they? My mom’s latest children’s book, fourth in her Bailey Fish Adventures series, is now available for ordering and enjoying by children age 8 and up (and adults too!). It’s called The Mysterious Jamestown Suitcase. This one is particularly good, with some wonderful new characters (Elmo and Feather Phigg) and a young, silent foster child, Sparrow, joining 11-year old Bailey and her grandmother, Sugar. In this book, Bailey and her friends try to figure out the mystery of the green suitcase that the Phiggs have in their possession.

The entire series is just perfect for Christmas gifts!

Sanibel Island Book Signing and Event, November 24

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

On Friday, November 24th, at 1:00 p.m., I’ll be talking about, reading from, and signing Miss Abigail’s Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage at the Sanibel Island Bookshop in sunny Southwest Florida.

Please come on by and do your holiday shopping early! This book is the perfect gift for absolutely everyone! OK, OK — small children might not get much out of it — yet. Do them a favor and buy them a copy now, then hand it over when they get asked out on their first date. They’ll love you for it.

1949: Politics

Sunday, November 5th, 2006

Unless you’ve been living in a cave with no contact with the outside world, you’re probably aware that it is election time here in the U.S. of A. No matter what your affiliation, or how sick you are of all of the negative campaign ads, this is what democracy is all about!

Thinking of a career in politics? Hoping to run in 2008? Get your campaign Web site in order and read up on what it means to go into politics, from the 1948 Betty Betz Career Book: the Teen-age Guide to a Successful Future. Betty’s book contains a section about politics written by James A. Farley. An excerpt follows:

The ability to meet and understand all sorts of people is very essential, and the more people one comes in contact with the greater are the opportunities. Getting close to people and rubbing elbows with them gives one an opportunity to observe their virtues and their faults. At the same time, it is a good idea to take stock of ourselves now and then to determine what faults we may have and which could, without too much difficulty, be overcome.

I am a firm believer in young people become interested in politics because in so doing they become interested in their government, whether it be national, state, city, town or county, and are in a position to better defend it through arguments with those who are not familiar with our way of life.

Altogether too many people look upon politics with a disapproving eye which is, in my judgment, all wrong. I do not know of any other field where greater service can be rendered if sincere, honest effort is properly applied. It is the abuse of power vested in some in politics that brings about bad government and has a great deal to do with the objection raised by many who are not active in political affairs.

Ahem. How’s that for a public service announcement.

Don’t forget to vote!