Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Teas and Tour

Christmas time! Christmas time! It's Christmas time in Texas!
Decorate the outside! Decorate the inside! It's Christmas time in Texas!
Bake the scones! Brew the tea! It's Christmas time in Texas!
Guests are arriving! Family is coming! It's Christmas time in Texas!
Be of good cheer! Our Redeemer is here! It's Christmas time in Texas!
Christmas time! Christmas time! It's Christmas time in Texas!

Our annual Christmas Afternoon Teas are next week (December 15 - 19) and we are madly decorating our buildings for the events. Lights on the eves and wreaths on the doors outside. Christmas trees, garland, flower arrangements, nativities and poinsettias inside. Granted, there is a fine line between "Oh, how beautiful" and "over the top gaudy!" I believe being selective as to what is put out on display and restraint from putting out absolutely everything is the key to success. If so, we've hit the mark. Everything will be lovely.

Jennifer, Donna and Marta are working, working, working getting ready for the Christmas Afternoon Teas. We have our Christmas linens ready to put out and the Bed and Breakfast house is immaculate - as always.

Our servers for the teas are lined up and they are just as excited about the teas as the guests are! Several of the ladies that serve at our teas have been doing so for years. They enjoy our guests and our guests enjoy them. We are very blessed to have all our ladies, old-timers and new members, as part of the fabric of what makes the tapestry of Roseland Plantation a real ministry of love and service to our guests. Thank you Lord for each and every one of them.

December weddings? Most certainly yes! December is a beautiful time of year to have a wedding in Texas. Besides all the Christmas teas, we have several December weddings going on at Roseland Plantation. A couple of them are going to be big events with 250 or more guests. One will be an Intimate wedding, and another will be the more normal and average size event of 150 guests. All of them will be spectacular! There are few moments in life as beautiful as when a Bride and Groom look into each other's eyes and say their wedding vows to each other. True, it's not uncommon to see women cry at times like this, but I've also seen some big ole rough tough cowboys with tears in their eyes at just such moments - and it make my heart sing!

I pray peace, joy, love, forgiveness, mercy, healing and hope for you (and for me) in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fall, beautiful fall.

The weather could not be more perfect. A nice cold front moved in a day or so ago and it's crisp and cool. The dogwoods are turning a beautiful red and a host of leaves are weaving a colorful carpet on the grounds. Of course, my honey is at war with the leaves. He has a sweeper that he attaches to the back of his little mini-truck and he is out there sweeping them up almost as fast as they can fall. He says the leaves make the grounds look unkempt. He is right of course, but still, I love seeing them fall from the trees and hearing their rustle under my feet when I walk.

We've started a rose garden. Interestingly enough, Roseland Plantation had nary a rose on the property when we purchased it. Oh, it has a few scant roses in front of the ballroom and even fewer, very sad looking specimens by the Windsor house, but no rose garden. Go figure! We tilled a nice area by the wedding bell out back where the garden will get full sun. This will be phase I of the new rose garden. We dug up and replanted the sad roses by the house to the new location. They had far too much shade by the house and the new location will be much better for them. Then we purchased a variety of new roses from Hand Nursery down the road on Hwy 64 going toward Tyer. Steve talked to Mr. Hand about our project. Mr. Hand said January and February is the best time to plant roses in our area. He also said he'd be happy to help us select roses for our new garden project so we'll have a nice combination of color and aroma. Yea! I'm excited!

We had a lovely afternoon wedding today. Carla Guinn and Larry Montgomery pledge their love for each other in our historic wedding chapel before friends and family. Carla has an aunt who is a professional chef and she catered the event. The photographer was Eric Gilmor and the flowers were by La Te Da florist, both out of Tyler, Texas. The cakes were wonderful but unfortunately I didn't get the name of who made them. If I find out who did the cakes, I'll update this blog accordingly.

It's almost 7 o'clock in the evening and my honey and I are going to eat dinner now. We have almost a full house tonight and an early breakfast in the morning. Being busy is a very good thing!

Blessing in Christ,


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Quick "hello"!

Hello everyone! I just have a few minutes to dash off a quick blog.

Several very lovely weddings since I last signed in. All of them the most beautiful young ladies.

We also had a very successful week of afternoon teas celebrating Tyler's 75th anniversary Rose Festival. We are steadily booking for the Christmas afternoon teas the week of December 15 and we haven't even started officially advertising them yet! Yea!

Oops, time to go!

I'll have to blog more next time.

God bless,

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Almost too long between blogs!

There has been so much that has happened in the past two weeks, I almost gave up on trying to blog before I even started!

Let's start with our new owner's quarters. Roseland Plantation came with no owner's quarters, so we have to build a house on premises. Currently we are renting in Canton and it's becoming quite a chore to go back and forth and keeping up with two complete households 23 miles apart. We've always intended to build, but just couldn't find the right builder for us and our needs. Then one day my husband drove by United-Bilt homes and talked with Nathan. After his conversation, he came home and asked me and Jennifer to go by and see what they had. Jennifer and I visited with two different builders that day and came away with a very positive impression with Nathan and United-Bilt homes. Long story short, United-Bilt designed a custom home to meet our needs at a price we are comfortable with. We are thrilled! Papers have been signed and ground has been broken - I'll keep you updated on the progress.

Hurricane Ike Wedding! Yes. We had a wedding on Saturday, September 13, just when hurricane Ike hit the Tyler area. The forecasts were horrid! Winds! Rain! Tornadoes! Seek shelter! Take cover! Tie down everything in sight! And for many, Ike was just that bad or worse. Here at Roseland Plantation however, we had a steady, gentle rain all day. Not much wind to speak of, no tornadoes, no power outage - Praise God! Our dear wedding couple, Janice and Jeff, didn't get the tent they wanted or the outdoor dance floor they had hoped for. Everything was moved inside the ballroom. But let me tell you what, Janice was one of the most genuinely happy brides I have ever seen. Nothing - nothing - not anything was going to diminish the joy of her marriage day to Jeff. She smiled. She joked. She was absolutely gracious to everyone around her. A true lady through and through. I mentioned this to my niece, Carmen, and she said, "You know, rain on your wedding day is good luck!" If you believe in luck, then Jeff is one of the luckiest men alive because he has a jewel like Janice as his bride. Personally, I don't believe in luck. I believe in the living God of Israel, and I pray all His blessings on Janice and Jeff Moser and their new life together in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. AMEN!

Hurricane Ike refugees. We had a few refugees from the Houston area this past week. Houstonians suffered varying degrees of damage depending on where they live. Even if no physical damage was done to their property, millions of people were (and many still are) without electricity. My niece Carmen took action right away. The first day after Ike went through she called me, "Aunt Debbie, do you have electricity?"
"Yes Carmen, we do." I answered.
"Do you have water?" she asked.
"Why, yes Carmen, we do."
"Aunt Debbie, do you have any rooms available?"
"Of course," I replied, "Ya'll come up."
Carmen is 8 months pregnant with her second child and being without electricity is most uncomfortable and just plain silly if you have options. Besides, I'm happy to take family visits anyway I can get them. She and her son Luca came up. Carmen's husband, Cisco, is an important part of the rescue and recovery efforts in the Houston area so he stayed behind. We had a business man from the Houston area who had business in Tyler stay with us a few days and then another niece, Jessica, called, "Aunt Debbie, do have any rooms available?" She knew Carmen was up here so she didn't have to ask if we had water and electricity. :-)
"Of course," I replied, "Ya'll come up."
Jessica and her two children, Jordon and Renee (husband David stayed behind to work) only got to spend a couple of days with us before all five of them, Carmen, Luca, Jessica, Jordon and Renee left us on Friday. While they were here they visited the Caldwell Zoo, the Discovery Place, several restaurants and shops. They really enjoyed Tyler and Edom and we really enjoyed having them.

Today is Saturday and the weather is perfect. No, I should say the weather is PERFECT! A lovely wedding today and the bride, Ashli, happens to be someone Jennifer used to work with. A nice coincidence. Her colors are black and white and the table dressings and decorations are stunning against the black and white backdrop of our Victorian ballroom. I haven't been out there much as the wedding is still in full swing, but I did get a few photographs before the wedding began. It's nice to hear the laughter of the guests at the reception and the ringing of the wedding bell - all the joyous sounds of celebration.

God is good - all the time.


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Calm before the storm.

I shouldn't use the word "storm" in my title right in the middle of hurricane season. Everyone will think I'm talking about the weather. Actually what I'm thinking about is the fact that this is the last quiet week and weekend for the rest of the year. Every weekend after this, we have a Saturday wedding booked and sometimes a Saturday and Sunday wedding. Not to mention the Afternoon Teas, Bridal Showers and catering we're doing. I'm sure the next time I have five minutes to look around, it will be January 2009!

Well, let's get back to this weekend, before it vanishes away...

We had a good visit with my brother Mando and his wife Gladys. They live in Humble, TX and came to Roseland Plantation on Saturday afternoon along with their daughter Alisa and her husband Aaron who live near Waco. Their timing for the visit was perfect. The weather was sunny and warm but not oppressive. No scheduled events at the Plantation. No other guests in the house and I have been off of chemo for a couple of weeks and feeling quite well. My other brother and sister-in-law, David and Betty, came up from Elkhart and Mando took us all out to dinner at Edom's Bakery and Grill. Most excellent! We caught up on family news, talked about Mom (she is 88 years old and lives with our sister in Houston, TX), talked about Roseland Plantation quite a bit and talked a little politics - just a little. Fortunately, we all seem to be on the same page in the political arena, so the topic was a no stress affair. Mando, Gladys, Alisa and Aaron stayed the night and we all had breakfast in the morning and visited for a while afterwards. A very nice, relaxing and enjoyable weekend. Thank you God for that blessing.

It is now Sunday afternoon and Steve is mowing, I'm working on the computer and we have one of our October brides here with her mom and photographer taking bridal portraits. I love to see the brides in their gowns - they all look so very beautiful.

When the bride and her party leave, my honey and I will call it a night. Wow. It may even be before dark! It's not often we close shop before dark. I believe this may be the last time before January 2009! Not that I'm complaining - no, not me! Having many events and being busy is a very good thing. Too much idle time and we'll all just get lazy. Our team works much better when we're busy, busy, busy!

God is good all the time!


Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day

For me, Labor Day signals the beginning of fall. I know, I know, it's still in the high 90's here in east Texas (and will be through mid-October) and the breezes are warm from the south and not cool from the north, and the trees are still lush green, but still, it's September, it's fall.

Soon, God willing, I'll be going on a pumpkin hunt to decorate Roseland Plantation. I'll definitely have to find some lovely white chrysanthemums, not too tall, to put in the garden. I was also thinking of a couple of scarecrows, dressed in Victorian garb, placed as greeters in front of the Windsor House. Ah, many great ideas and very little time. Isn't that the way of it?

Gustav has landed in Louisiana today west of New Orleans. Many of the guests we are receiving are not refugees, but rather regular business commuters to Tyler, Texas who cannot stay in their regular hotel due to refugees flooding in the area that have booked all the hotels! Interesting isn't it? Our hopes are that these business commuters will enjoy their stay here so much, when this crisis is over, they will still want to stay at Roseland Plantation instead of their regular hotel. That would be more than cool - that would be God! Umm, if you're one of those business commuters reading this blog - no pressure or anything! :-)

Let's all help someone today!

Blessings to all,

Friday, August 29, 2008

Storm a brewing!

Gustav! It's heading toward Louisiana and the storm-battled people of that state know to plan ahead. We have been receiving many, many calls from residents of our neighboring state and from local hotels (that are booked solid) looking for rooms. We have a couple of rooms left. Our prayers are with the people of Louisiana. May God help them through this trial ahead.

Meanwhile, here at the house, we have guests for the weekend. The weather is quite warm and a bit sticky during the day, but it cools off nicely in the evening.

Canton's First Monday is in full swing this weekend. One of our couples were at First Monday earlier in the day and said it was hot, hot, hot! But, they were happy to see many, many vendors out. Being Labor Day weekend, it will be hopping with deals and shopping oppertunities. Yea! What fun! Ya'll come and don't forget to drink lots of water as you walk through miles and miles of great deals!

God bless,


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Beautiful Sunday Wedding

We had a beautiful wedding Sunday. Mika Chapman and David McMurray said their vows in front of our historic chapel on a perfectly clear afternoon. No one would have guessed just 24 hours earlier vicious thunderstorms came rolling through east Texas drenching everything for miles around and causing major power outages in Van Zandt county. Thank God they picked Sunday for their wedding date and not Saturday!

Lovely, lovely decorations in front of the chapel and in and around the ballroom. Parents of the bride, Milton and Tina Smith, and two of their very good friends out did themselves for Mika's big day. I could go on and on about the antique wedding toppers on each table, the daisies in their unusual vases, the crystal candle holders on the mantel, etc., etc., but I don't have enough words to describe it all. We took some photos and I'm sure Milton and Tina will send us some as well. Then all we'll have to do is figure out how to put them up on our new web site. :-)

God is good - all the time,


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Our new Roseland Plantation site is live!

It's been a lot of work, but it is all worth it. Our new website is up and it is beautiful. Big kudos to the folks at and especially our designer, Jennifer Amos for creating a beautiful, efficient, user friendly site. She listen to our vision and came up with a design that was right-on! We are so pleased. It is night and day compared to our old site.

The on-line reservation system we've chosen for our Bed and Breakfast, looks like a winner too. It is an easy reservation system from the guest's point of view and an easy system to learn from our, the Innkeeper's point of view. There are reports galore available to us that I haven't even begun to explore.

I am so excited! I'll keep you up to date on the impact this new site will make on our business.

God is good - all the time!


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Full Week

We are almost to the finish line with our new website. I talked with our web designer today and we're cleaning up the details. God willing, we'll be live with the new site by the end of this week.

Roseland Plantaion is a hopping place this week.
Business Meeting: We had the wonderful pleasure of hosting a Brookshire's business meeting in our ballroom this afternoon. Everything went well for the Brookshire's folks and that makes us very happy.
Bachelor Party: The Clarkston party is gathering at Roseland Plantation this evening enjoying a relaxing dip in the swimming pool. Tomorrow they will be having an all-out bachelor party under the stars and under the carport here. They've rented out all the rooms in the Bed and Breakfast for two nights, so this place is "theirs" for the duration. We think it is very thoughtful of the Clarkstons to make sure their guests have a place to crash after their event without having to drive the long dark roads home.
Afternoon Tea: On Friday we have an afternoon tea scheduled for the volunteers of Pine Cove Christian Camp. We've hosted Pine Cove before and it is such a pleasure to have them here again. What a blessing!
Wedding: An early evening wedding is scheduled for Saturday. It was going to be an outdoor event but with the heat index rising and rising, the bride decided to move it inside our historic chapel. God bless her. Now everyone will be nice and cool in the air conditioned chapel and the groom and his men won't melt in their tuxes.

My honey just came in and told me to sign off or he will pull the plug! :-) Hope the next blog post is sooner than this one.

God bless,

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

First Blog

The first blog for Roseland Plantation Bed and Breakfast and Wedding Chapel - WOW! We're moving into the 21st century!

Today has been great. We had a lovely couple drop-in for a tour of the Plantation, another couple drop-in for a Bed and Breakfast room for this evening and a bride-to-be come by and reserve the chapel and ballroom for her wedding this fall. Jennifer and Tara are busy makeing scones for the Afternoon Tea this coming 4th of July for a group from Pine Cove which is located a short distance from here.

It's a very busy day - just the way I like it - and it's going to be a busy weekend too!

Debbie Toth