Happy ‘Talk Like a Pirate Day!’

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Terry's tales from Willowbrook Manor
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Ahoy Mate-Tea! It's International Talk Like a Pirate Day!


Shiver me timbers! It be th'hour to heave ho, swoller yer grog, hoist yer Jolly Roger and say 'Argh!!'

Yes!  Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Celebrating it became an annual tradition when I worked at Ritter Project Management Inc. It was the job I left when I started my Tea House and Chamomile Farm.  I worked there for 10 years and it felt like family.  Probably because my mom and dad worked there before they retired and ran away to Southern Utah.  My sister, brother, and a few of my kids also worked there at one time or another.  Ted and Debbie Ritter are wonderful people and fabulous to work for.    At the end of every summer I would drag out my bag of pirate costumes and throw together a photo-shoot with whatever staff could make it. Then Ted would take us all to lunch, because that is how you properly celebrate. The pirate pictures were put together in an email greeting card and sent out September 19th every year. It was the part of my job that I loved. Last year I wasn't woking for Ted but I still showed up with my bag of costumes to carry on the tradition.  This year Ted is retired, so I decided to do my own photo-shoot to celebrate the day!  In years past I was the one behind the camera.  I hornswaggled my son into helping me get the dogs aboard and voila!  Talk Like a Pirate Day greetings to you!!
Ahoy Mate-Tea!!
See Past Pirate Day Pictures


The Tea Tent is Put Away ~


Summer is officially over at Willowbrook. The Autumn winds are picking up and the rain is coming sideways, so the tea tent had to come down.  I have so many wonderful memories of friends, family, and guests enjoying tea under the white canopy.  This summer we hosted award banquets, history clubs, bridal showers, Saturday Tea and Scones, graduation celebrations, writers retreats and birthday par-Teas, complete with visiting princesses!  I am beginning to schedule events for next summer, so if you need to save a date, simply respond to this email and I can pencil you in.

Some mornings I would go out to the tea tent and take in the view of the valley and the gardens and enjoy the sounds of the country as I sipped my morning tea all by myself, relishing the feel of summer.

Now I venture to the tea room and feel cozy with the wind and rain making noise on the window.  I am looking forward to hosting Harvest Tea! With the change of weather we migrate from the freshness of a tea tent to the warmth of the tea room. You wont want to miss Harvest Tea!


Moving in to Cottage Camp ~


There is still a bit to do on the back half of Cottage Camp (like installing the camp-kitchen and bath), but the front part is almost finished!  It has been a fun project and setting up the furniture is like putting frosting on a delicious cake! 

I found all of the furnishings on Craigslist, and often sent my son with an address and some cash to fetch them.  He made a date out of picking up the wicker set, driving all the way to Lynden on a rainy night with an adorable girl to help him load up the pickup in a downpour.  (We are all about 'making memories.')

Yesterday I went to Lynden to pick up this settee that fits perfectly in Cottage Camp.  I discovered it was from the same house that Jens got the wicker set from.  I was delighted to meet the owner of the furniture and let her know how well-loved her furnishings will be in my glamour camping tent.  She is recently widowed and is having to downsize and sell the home she and her husband shared.  I cried with her as she spoke of life, love and loss. She looks positively into the next chapter, but we both agreed that changes like the one she is facing are overwhelmingly difficult. 

When I see the settee in the tent I think of that loving couple.  And I contemplate a woman moving forward in life on her own. I thank her for sharing her beautiful furniture with Cottage Camp.



Holiday Tea ~


This last week I had a reservation come in saving a table for two for both Harvest Tea AND Holiday Tea.  I thought to myself, "Now there is someone with their priorities where they should be!"  

My motto:  Always make time for tea!
Make your Reservation for Holiday Tea


Willowbrook Tea Club ~


Join the club!  Every season brings a special box of tea and good things from my home to yours with the Willowbrook Tea Club.  It is a bit of self-care in a box.  
Be a part of Willowbrook Tea Club


Tea Cup Time ~

Im looking forward to our next issue where I will share Jenny's beautiful tea cup and story.  Today you have a pirate-like story from me!
Looking for a teacup fit for a pirate (or pirate-ess) I chose this outwardly black, inwardly floral treasure!
If you have a favorite tea cup and story, please share it with us!
I acquired a large teacup collection from a woman who lived on Camano Island in a house that overlooked the water.  She passed away having no family to give her set to. Each cup is amazingly beautiful, but I can honestly say that this black one is my favorite.  It came with a creamer and sugar bowl, and I smile every time a set a table with them.
Share a teacup story

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