I thought the achey body was from the deep tissue massage I had, and the new year's diet I started was causing the intense fatigue. But no....it was Covid! I wound up spending 11 days in bed. I'm not a cat person but Tom (my outdoor cat) insisted on keeping me company. I finally migrated to the couch for an additional week of recuperation. No respiratory issues for me, just incredible fatigue, and I have to be honest when I say that I kind of enjoyed the guilt-free time to just rest. The fact that I lost 7 pounds and the doctor says I have antibodies for 90 days makes me feel pretty good about it all now.
Enough Covid stuff...
I have some exciting announcements to make! (drumroll please...)
SWAN is Back!~
With the pandemic taking its toll on the world, and my business being closed, I decided to get SWAN Foundation back up and running. Serving Women Across Nations (SWAN) is the non-profit my mother, sister and I set up in 2005 to help women and children in developing countries. Back then it was a grassroots effort, the history of which can be found on SWAN's website (Click HERE to view.) The majority of our outreach funds were raised by the concession stand I worked with my kids serving lunch in downtown Sedro Woolley.
Remember my newsletter about the pandemic graduation? (Click HERE to read) Well, the little boy in the picture is the one that graduated this past year. Jens was such a cute kid and a hard worker. He ran the cash register.
I don't have the concession trailer any more, but I do have a chamomile field, and I have decided to use it to raise funds for women and children in need. I am starting locally by partnering with women's shelters in Skagit and Whatcom county and will host tea events linked to the chamomile field including seeding, planting, weeding and harvesting chamomile. All proceeds from the SWAN tea events will help impoverished women and children.
Friendship Seeding and Tea ~
Our first fund raiser is Friendship Seeding and Tea on March 26th and 27th. It will be the first event since we closed last March and what a better way to begin again!
Seeding and Tea is by reservation only. There is no fixed price, instead I invite you to make a generous donation. You will reserve your table on Willowbrook's website, then it will direct you to make a donation on SWAN's donation page.
All proceeds will go to the Friendship House in Mount Vernon, WA. Please donate even if you can't attend.
Click HERE to donate (if you can't attend) SWAN is a 501c 3 organization and donations are tax deductible.
The Friendship House is a wonderful organization that provides housing and daily meals for people in need. I remember years ago when I helped in their kitchen. It must have been more than 20 years past, and I still remember the heartwarming feeling to be a part of such a good outreach effort.
The pictures above are from the Friendship House's website. I encourage you to learn more about this non profit that does so much good in our community. Click HERE to learn more.
Tea and Tulips ~
This picture was from last April when I was supposed to be hosting guests for Tea and Tulips, but had to cancel due to the pandemic. This year I am excited to open again to offer a full English tea experience. The tea tent will be set up and heated to welcome guests for a memorable day in the country.
The tulips are already emerging from their hibernation. It means that spring is coming! Make your reservation for Tea and Tulips soon, as seating is limited due to social distancing.
Jim is the special man in my life. He is from Texas and tells me that where he grew up there are two kinds of tea: 'Tea' and 'sweet tea.' They are both served over ice (in case you didn't know). He has become a Willowbrook Tea connoisseur and enjoys Herbal Jahva every day at work. Since a china teacup and saucer would be overkill at his office, he drinks from his favorite 'Kjaisa mug.'
For those of you who might not be familiar with my daughter Kjaisa's geometric art you will want to check out her work on her website HERE or amazing instagram account HERE. She made this mug for Jim for his birthday several years ago.
Tea Giveaway ~
I am featuring Jim's favorite tea as part of this week's tea sampler giveaway! Herbal jahva, passionberry fruit tisane, and chamomile mint make up this ensemble. Click HERE to enter your name into the drawing. There will be three sets of tea to win, so make sure to get your name in the pot. If your name is drawn I will email a request for your address so I can put the tea package in the mail. This is the start of a monthly newsletter giveaway that I am calling the 'Willowbrook Win'.