In which the author tells you how to run your life -- or at least how to make the most of the fun parts of it.

For instance, inside these pages you will learn how to weather a mortar attack in good spirits; how to avoid booking yourself on the Internet into a bed and breakfast full of twee quilts and dusty tchotkes; and how to plan a dinner party that will stun your guests with deliciousness and style and not destroy your will to live with the amount of work you have to do to pull it off.

These are things I know firsthand, and things people who know me often ask me about (though I usually just book them into bed and breakfasts myself -- identifying ruffled death traps is an acquired skill). I am almost always right about everything (food, style and travel-related, anyway, and often many other things) and if everyone would just do as I say, dinner would taste better, cupcakes would not be dry, your parties would be more fun (for you), and mortar attacks... well, they always suck. I can't do anything about them.

*except laundry. I can't manage my own laundry, much less yours.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mount Welby and The Secret

So you know that book The Secret, which says if you visualize what you want, it will come to you? I totally don't buy it because I can promise you there are a bunch of Libyans visualizing not having their houses blown up, and there are many Japanese visualizing having their homes back from the tsunami, and lots of girls in Africa visualizing an end to female genital mutiliation and forced marriage.

But maybe it works for middle-class white American women because check it out. Totally out of the blue, I was invited to spend the weekend at Mount Welby, a gorgeous country house in Virginia that I long ago put on my list of favorite websites. Observe to the right: ---->

Anyway, there I was last weekend, and it's more beautiful than you can imagine. Just... perfect.

The formal garden

Above, the dining room. Below, we made pies!

Irises on the kitchen table

The view from the porch. Tell me you dont want to live here.

The upper deck

Welby the Dog. Enjoys spitty tennis balls.

Run off off the rock wall...

The dining room fireplace.

another view of that chair.

dining room fireplace minus the hipstomatic treatment.

a downstairs bedroom

another downstairs bedroom.

the kitchen table.

5 bedrooms, 5 baths/... available for rent. Check it out. perfect place for a family Thanksgiving.

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