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White Linen Tea House

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Spring - 3/20/19

I am sitting in my "morning reading chair" a comfortable old Morris, snuggled in my warmest robe.  I have the door open so that Sam and Jim, my labs, and baby Georgie my golden retriever can run in and out while I sip on my coffee.  Its grey out there and the slightly warmer temperatures have removed the nice white covering of snow and revealed that there is quite a bit of work to do in the yard!

I like Winter and I'm always a little sorry to see it go.  (yes I've been called crazy). To me it is a time when like the Earth, and many of it's creatures we rest, slow down and are not excited to be quite as productive or expend as much energy.  The early darkness seems to give us permission to cease from our business put on our pjs early and settle in for a good read or BBC detective series (I've got some great recommendations). Warm chocolate chip cookies or brownies with ice cream go along nicely.

But as I sit here this morning I hear the songs of the birds.  I see the green of the daffodils and crocuses working their way up out of the earth and I can picture a great big bear somewhere emerging from her den with a stretch and a big yawn.  Spring is here!  The earth is waking up and so must I.  Isn't it wonderful to know that the spring will always come with all its beauty no matter how dark and long the winter?  And isn't it wonderful to know that the restfulness of Winter will come again too?  I can't wait!!

My Furry Family 1/26/19

One of the things that has brought me the greatest joy in this life are my animals. I have quite a little menagerie here at the Rose Hill cottage. Dogs, cats, chickens. The door is always open and they seem to know they will be welcome here.

Any animal lover knows the presence and love of a pet can warm your heart and brighten your day like nothing else. But any animal lover also knows our love for them can be a source of some of our greatest pain.

This has been a difficult year for me. I lost my wonderful Tibetan Terrier, Eli. I often affectionately called him my Tibetan Terror because he could be quite the trouble maker. He was also my fiercest defender and my most loyal companion. His departure has left a great void.

I also had two episodes of almost losing Jem, my yellow lab. He will eat some of the most “interesting” things and, because of that, he had to have emergency care twice. Presently, my brave, strong little kitty, Amelia, becomes more frail each day.

When I found Amelia, she fit in the palm of my hand and I nursed her back to health. Ten years later, I am once again nursing her.

What have I learned through all of these experiences with my furry family? I’ve learned that life does not stay the same. Time passes. Things change. We only have this moment and we must be fully present in it and appreciate everything around us. We must take every opportunity to enjoy time with our family and friends. To care for them and show them how much we love them.

We must make time for them and let the non-essential go.

So, as I cuddle my new Golden Retriever puppy George and look at the toys and stuffing scattered around my family room, I’m going to leave it there for later. The mess will still be there, but the puppy who made it won’t.

Fall Reflection 11/6/18
It is a wonderful fall morning. I'm wrapped up in my warm, fuzzy robe with a steaming cup of coffee, gazing out over the frost-covered, freshly harvested field. The birds are just beginning to sing their "Good Morning" song and the sky is streaked with lovely hues of pink, aqua and lavender. Sam, the chocolate lab and Jem, the yellow lab, are milling around the gardens following the scent left by night animals. The cats are looking for mice to "play with."

It is an idyllic morning, but the past month has not been. This morning gives me hope. Our lives are like the changing season. There may b days of gloom and drizzle. There may be blizzards. It's frustrating when our plans are dashed and we can't seem to get anywhere. And there may be storms that hit so hard, everything is blown about and changed forever. 

But, as I sit here on this peaceful autumn morning, I am reminded that the seasons may change, but the sun will always come out again. And how much we must appreciate it when it does. 

Precious Moments 5/5/18

I watched a young woman at a shower recently - the guest of honor actually – who, as she sat in this beautiful place surrounded by all her friends and family celebrating this wonderful time in her life, texting away on her phone. She was half in, half out of this wonderful experience, and it made me sad.

We race through life ignoring, oblivious to the moments and tiny experiences that give our days flavor. These tiny moments are the fullness of life. We don’t take time to listen, to smell, to see all those little things; the moments that are the spice of life.

Today, as you hear the birds chirp, listen to their beautiful song. As you see the first crocuses of spring, look at their delicate, colorful petals. When you eat the delicious dinner you’ve prepared or gone out for, taste the delicious flavors. And, as you spend time with your family and friends, give them and the experience your complete attention.

Moments are exactly that.

Happiness Lies Right Before Our Eyes (or Tea Cups) - 3/22/18

For the last several months, I’ve been reading a book that offers daily meditations. Things like being aware of blessings and the wonderful little moments that we often miss in our hurried, hectic, always-thinking-about-what’s-next, kind of living.

Sometimes it feels like life is a train ride through a beautiful mountain range filled with fields of flowers and placid lakes. But, instead of looking out the window, we’ve got our faces buried in a book.

Today, I encourage you to close the book and look out the window. Perhaps put away the cell phone with the constant texts and really look at the people sitting across from you, sharing a cup of tea. Listen to the beautiful music and look around at your surroundings.

The train moves at a rapid pace and the tickets is “one way.” 

Savor all those lovely moments before they pass by and you’ll soon find contentment, peace and inner joy growing within. 

Something we can all use a cup of.

Donna's Dose of Hospitality - 1/11/18

I’m sitting here looking at the beautiful Christmas tree I must soon dismantle and beyond that through the window, another frigid winter day. The guests have come and gone, the presents have been opened and the cakes and cookies have been eaten. Darkness comes early and the weatherman forecasts more of this cold for weeks to come.

Sound bleak? I guess it could be that. But I am learning that the moments of life are what we choose to make them, and how we choose to see them.

So, in this new year we have been given, I am going to try to look at everything through eyes of gratitude. Instead of looking around and seeing all the work I must do to “clean up Christmas” I’m going to look at every ornament and think of the joys this past Christmas brought and the dear people who have given them to me. Instead of fretting about the cold and long dark nights, I’m going to take time to notice the beauty of this still white world and the wonder of the nights that look almost like days. (Have you noticed how the bright winter moon does that?)

I’m going to do what bears do and cuddle up with a soft blanket and read, or write letters, or look at home decor magazines. And I’m going to make more cookies and savor them warm while I watch a good movie or new series.

And, of course, since I have the blessing of working at the Tea House, I’m going to accompany my cookies with a nice, hot cup of tea in my favorite “cup of gratitude” mug. I especially enjoy the soothing teas this time of year.

So, as you look out into this bright white world today or venture out into it appreciate its beauty and remember we’ve only got a few more months to go before spring comes.

Happy hibernating!