Hello from Willowbrook!
For those of you who are new readers, I’m Terry, owner and caretaker of Willowbrook Manor English Teahouse and Farm Stay.
This email comes to you because you either signed up for this newsletter, made a reservation at Willowbrook Manor, are a friend of mine, or are a follower of my mother, author Liz Adair, who has her own corner here in The Willowbrook Word. There is a giveaway at the end of each newsletter so make sure to read to the end. (If any pictures come to you sideways click on the link at the top of the page to view this in your browser.)
Please Help ~
Will you send an email to help save farm venues in Skagit Valley?
Tea events at Willowbrook Manor are at risk! A proposed change in the county code would restrict businesses like mine on land zoned Agriculture / Natural Reserve to only 12 events a year. If put in place, my business would be forced to close, and I would likely have to sell the farm.
The Agritourism Stakeholder Group working to develop policy recommendations for the Skagit County Planning Commission and Commissioners. AUGUST 17TH IS THE LAST DAY for public comment.
Even if you live far away from Willowbrook Manor, would you take a moment to send an email to the commissioners office to request an extension for public comment? Click HERE to send your email. Verbiage is provided. Feel free to add your own comments.
An extension would allow the Agrotourism Stakeholder Group to finish developing a suite of win-win policy recommendations for our county commissioners to consider.
Thank you so, SO much.
First Place Float ~
Sedro Woolley has that ‘small-town America’ feel, especially on the Fourth of July when thousands of people line the streets for the Independence Day parade.
I was late getting my registration into the parade committee, so the Willowbrook Manor float was entry #94! We camouflaged the farm trailer with burgundy table clothes, set tables for tea, turned on the bubble machine, and had the Tea and Tour e-bikes circling the float. I was so surprised when our float got first place (for floats)! Click HERE to see a short video.
Milestone for Willowbrook!
My vision of Willowbrook being a place for women’s retreats came to fruition last month! These lovely homeschool moms held a team-building weekend at my home, complete with bike tours, sight-seeing, good food and lots of time to get to know each other better.
I served them tea and scones under the tea tent. I also showed everyone how to use the electric tea kettle, so they could make their own pot of tea any time day or night.
The ladies remarked at how easy it was to connect in such a peaceful place. (Notice the tea tray). Tea works a magic all on its own.
Book a Tea Retreat ~
Gather friends and family together for your own country getaway at Willowbrook Manor. I would love to host you! Willowbrook is located halfway between Seattle and Vancouver BC. The San Juan Islands are to the west and North Cascade National Park to the east. There is much to do and see during every season of the year. The manor will be available for a group over Thanksgiving holiday this fall. Click HERE for availability and rates.
Summer Garden Tea ~
Summer Garden Tea debuted this year, and it has been a smashing success. Both sessions of August Summer Garden Tea were sold out, but there is still availability in our September 9th event. Click HERE to make a reservation.
Lydia Place Tea and Social ~
Lydia Place in Bellingham is a wonderful organization that provides shelter and mentoring to homeless women and children. Last year I hosted ‘Chamomile Harvest and Tea’ as a fundraiser for this non-profit. This year they said that they would prefer to do an elegant tea party instead of a work party. On September 23rd Willowbrook will be hosting a high tea event for Lydia Place. Click HERE to book your table.
Harvest Tea ~
People have been calling to ask when they can book their table for Harvest Tea (the first two Fridays and Saturdays in October). So HERE is where you can make a reservation.
Time for Liz ~
This is where I turn the newsletter over to my mom, author Liz Adair to share a bit of her world with you.
Liz Sez ~
I ❤️ YouTube ~
Forty years before Disney’s Aladdin came out, a musical television production of the same name was presented on the DuPont Show of the Month. I never saw it because my family didn’t live in a place with TV reception until a year later. Cole Porter wrote the lyrics and music.
Barbra Streisand featured one of the songs from that show on her 1963 album. It was a clever, clever song called “Come to the Marketplace in Old Peking.”
Here is one of the middle verses:
Well, if you want some calico, or a gentle water buffalo,
Glowworm guaranteed to glow, or a cloak inclined to cling,
Come to the supermarket in Old Peking
YouTube reminds me of the supermarket in old Peking. You can find anything on it: education, instructions on how-to, music, music instruction, reviews of books and movies. My brain is getting tired of thinking of categories. Oh, and don’t forget misinformation. One needs to be a critical YouTuber.
I thought I’d introduce you to six of my favorite YouTube friends.
First, meet Josh Turner. His channel is called Josh Turner Guitar to distinguish him from the other, more famous, Josh Turner. My Josh plays solo sometimes, and he also has a bunch of other musicians he partners with. They cover lots of songs from the seventies and eighties. His presentations have the feel of him saying, “Hey, come over and listen to this song I’ve been working on.” Sometimes his hair is disheveled, as if he just got out of bed, grabbed his guitar, and started playing.
Link to Josh Turner: Sittin’ on Top of the World — The Other Favorites — YouTube
Derrill and I have a RZR, an off-road vehicle, and we go out on trails in the surrounding countryside. We became fans of Matt’s Off-road Recovery, a YouTube channel about, well, recovering off-road vehicles. Matt is based in Hurricane, Utah, a town about sixty miles away from us, but he rescues people within a radius of at least a hundred (very vacant) miles. Matt’s channel has the same intimacy as Josh’s, and it’s riveting to be in the moment as Matt solves problems that look pretty insolvable. You can’t write fiction like that.
Let me introduce you to Kivanc Tatlitug. YouTube offers foreign movies and TV series with English subtitles. I have become an avid fan of Turkish serials. The writing is solid, the actors are great, and because each segment is as long as a movie, there is plenty of time to develop characters. I learned a lot about writing villains from watching Turkish serials. Kurt Seit Ve Sura, the series that got me hooked, is now playing on YouTube. Set in the years surrounding the Russian Revolution, Kivvanc Tatlitug plays a young Russian army officer of Turkish descent. Because he’s part of the Tsar’s personal guard, when the revolution happens, he’s a wanted man, and he flees to Istanbul. The story is based on actual events.
Link for Kurt Seit Ve Sura: Kurt Seyit and Shura – Episode 1 (English Subtitle) | Kurt Seyit ve Sura – YouTube
Meet Mindy. She shares her take on Chinese cuisine on her channel, Souped Up Recipes. It’s also called “Better than take-out.” She makes the process look simple and unintimidating, so I bought the wok she recommends, and I now make a pretty mean lo mein.
Link to lo mein recipe: BETTER THAN TAKEOUT — Easy Chicken Lo Mein Recipe –YouTube
And you’ve gotta meet two more people: I stumbled upon Andrew and Kitch as I was listening to different coverings of Paul Simon’s “The Boxer.” These two singers have grown up on YouTube, singing tight, precise harmonies. This is one of their earlier ones.
Link to Andrew and Kitch: Helplessly Hoping – Crosby, Stills and Nash — Andrew & Kitch — Cover –YouTube
I love YouTube because it’s so egalitarian. It’s nice to see talented people-next-door (or in faraway countries) share their gifts with the world.
Now back to Terry ~
This Month’s Winners! ~
Congratulations to Christine A from Forbestown, CA and Pat W from Oklahoma City for winning the tea sampler and scone mix giveaways. I hope you enjoy a taste of Willowbrook from your own kitchen.
Art by Addy ~
This month’s giveaway is a framed print of my daughter Addy’s fern painting. The print is 5×7 in a 9×11 frame. It includes a brief bio of the artist. Click HERE to enter to win. Don’t forget to include a little note to let me know how you are doing.
That is it for this issue!
Sending lots-a-luv from my farm!
Here is my calendar of events:
- Overnight Stays at Willowbrook Manor (Mid May-September)
- Self-guided Bike Tours (June–Sept)
- Summer Garden Tea (2nd Saturday of the summer months)
- Wednesday Weeding/planting and Tea (Wednesday evenings June–August)
- Harvest Tea in October
- Holiday Tea in December (Reservations portal not available yet)