Order in the House?

You know how sometimes, especially after returning from a trip,  you just have so much to do that you don’t know where to start? The mountains of laundry, stacks of mail, and piles of other odious obligations can seem overwhelming. But I had an invitation from the charming Woodland Gnome to attend an art show and I really wanted to go in spite of it all. So here’s the question which for some of you will likely be a no-brainer:

If you had to choose between taking care of everything that really needed to be done or going to the art show, which would you do? Years ago? Oh, I definitely would have made my excuses and taken care of business. Now? We piled into the truck and headed to Williamsburg and the art show. And had a wonderful day.

Yippee! Progress made in suppressing my somewhat….shall we say rigid?….. upbringing by a German mother and an Army GI. You know, we must have order and all that rot.

I don’t have too many photos of the arts festival itself – you can see more about it on Woodland Gnome’s blog. I met WG’s parents; her father is an artist and was giving away some of his art prints. I picked this one because Beloved Husband is actually Roger.


I came home with one of WG’s custom-made hypertufa pots which is settled happily on my porch.


And after we devoured a barbecued chicken lunch -with Max and Berkley salivating at our feet- we got a tour of WG’s  garden. I am now convinced that having a few David Austin roses is an absolute must in my own garden. They are infinitely more beautiful in situ than any photo could convey.






Afterwards we visited Forest Lane Botanicals which WG had heartily recommended.  This is an outstanding private nursery offering specialized plants which you would never find in the big box nurseries. I found such lovely shade plants that I can’t wait to go back. Ferns, heuchera, hosta, and much, much more.  Road trip, Richmond friends?


And we were home by three-ish. The world didn’t collapse because we deferred chores. Instead I had a wonderful day and made a new friend and that’s what I call a Silver Day.

And thanks for reading,






About Silver in the Barn

Life in a 1915 farmhouse in Central Virginia. And the odd thought or two.
This entry was posted in Garden, Random Ruminations and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to Order in the House?

  1. Diane Ahlberg says:

    Laundry, unpacking will always be there waiting for you- you went and had such a great time and the world didn’t stop spinning! The plants look great- we do need a garden shop around here that sells plants you can’t pick up anywhere – who needs more petunias – ugh


    • The place is worth the trip for sure, Di. Imagine that the owner walked the entire nursery with us and explained each plant that I had questions on and advised companion plantings, etc. And he let Max and Berkley get out of the truck and walk around and didn’t even complain when Max did the unmentionable on a garden path. He said it would help keep the deer away. Awesome guy!!


      • Diane Ahlberg says:

        Love the suggestions of companion plants- I’m pulling plants that have overcome those beside them
        Suggestions for bunny proofing ? They are getting fat and all the flowers have been quite the treat for them-


  2. dorothy says:

    Enjoyed visiting the gardens with you. “A clean house is the sign of a misspent life.”. Am so happy you included us on the tour. Love the pot you got for your porch. Can they be bought here ? Thanks for sharing your day ..a day in the garden can always lift one’s spirit.


    • Dorothy, I don’t know if the hypertufa pots are sold anywhere. Usually they’re handmade and sort of fragile. Woodland Gnome made these pots. And I love that quote! Leave it to you to keep all things in good perspective. XXX


  3. Sue Mayo says:

    House work, laundry is never done. Leaving it for another day is no crime. Never turn down an invitation to enjoy doing the things you love to do…it is food for the soul. If you had not gone, it surely would have been a missed opportunity to make a new friend and sharing the passion for art, plants and flowers.


  4. Betsy says:

    Looks like you had a wonderful day!!Loved the roses.


  5. jeanie says:

    How much fun! You certainly did find some beautiful plants. The rose is spectacular and the hypertufa pot is just “kookie” enough to be fabulous. Great way to have spent the day.


  6. Parnassus says:

    I admire your spirit of adventure. Now you need to work on excuses to avoid house work even if you stay home.


  7. Lovely post! And I have a fondness for roses too but they never seem very happy. You’ll have to let us know how your’s grow (and i’d go to the show too!).


  8. dorannrule says:

    What a wonderful day you had Barbara! I am impressed with your hypertufa pot encrusted with jewels. In an earlier iteration of ourselves, my friends and I actually hand-made hypertufa pots in various shapes and sizes. I still have 4 or 5 around the house and love them all. The process is not only time cosuming but requires hard labor! Here’s the How To post if you are interested.
    http://notesfromtheblogusfear.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/how-to-make-hypertufa/ ~Dor


  9. Dianna says:

    Yes, my life now revolves around doing the fun/spontaneous stuff and leaving the WORK. (My house shows it, but we’re having fun!)
    And the next time you’re in Williamsburg and have a few minutes, be sure to let me know – I’m just across the river!


  10. dorothy says:

    Also..want to say what a great artist and reminded me so of my mother as she went to Topsail for years with her friends.. All in all what a fun day for you and a fun day for those of us who were lucky enough to be on your spread the joy list.


  11. suej says:

    A silver day sounds a great kind of day! Apropos roses, mine seem to be thriving on neglect these days…


  12. Sheryl says:

    I find that I pace myself better now than what I did when I was younger. If I don’t get something done today, there’s always tomorrow. 🙂


  13. Beautiful work of art there.


  14. Hmmm I think I can smell those roses 🙂 Good for you to leave the chores and enjoy life. I tell myself that all the time. With a job full of piles and piles of work and high expectations I worry too much and have less free time. One day would the world implode if I didn’t get my work done?


    • First of all, I love the premise of your blog. I’ve been to China five times now and the contrast of what it must be like to LIVE there ias opposed to just visiting must be huge. I’m looking forward to reading more of your adventures. And regarding my post, it’s always been hard for me to “suppress the inner drone” but I think it’s vital. Life goes by in a whirl and we need to keep it all in perspective. Easier said than done, I know!!! My sense of duty gets in the way all the time and I have to make a conscious effort to CHOOSE FUN! Thanks for reading!!


      • Thanks so much for the kind words and visits. We have been living here just shy of 4 years now! When we first arrived it was always a double take and I cannot beleive what I am seeing. Now I think it is a part of our everyday, so when I go home this summer (first time I haven’t been home in a year) it will feel boring and strange 😉 If you want to read about our first hand adventures when we first arrived check out the archives from 2010!
        Yes I too need to leave work behind sometimes, but the demands are high and so much to do. I rather work in bits then be overwhelmed. As the year winds down and reports and other duties for us go up I just plow through and think… its almost summer holidays where I have no set schedule or piles of work. Shame though since there is so much to see and do here.


  15. Dearest Barbara,

    As I read your words and look at your wonderful photographs, I can almost smell the sweet perfume of those roses! What a treat it would be to walk barefoot through the freshly-cropped blades with the warm sun on my bare shoulders!

    Tell me, is that wonderful watercolour your own handiwork? If so, I am most impressed!

    I must go now, as my husband James is in one of his moods again. He keeps pacing about and screaming about your small dog getting under our fence and eating the fallen crab apples! Honestly Barbara, crab apples! Let the adorable little thing eat as many as he wants if it pleases him. All the things do is attract bees anyway.

    I’m off!

    Be well! 🙂

    – Beth


    • Dearest Beth,

      Dear James has clearly gone off his medications again, hasn’t he? We all know my dear Berkley doesn’t eat crab apples – strictly carnivorous fare for him, the good old boy. Perhaps it is your neighbor Keats or Yeats or one of those old gents who has sent their dog over to devour your crab apples. In any event, I am very happy that you are back on terra firma and out of the dungeon, as it were.



  16. Hi Barbara,

    Those are breathtaking photos of Roses that you have put up here. Heavenly indeed!

    So what is that inside us that keep reminding us of all the pending works? Does this come from an anxiety that someone might point out our lack of responsibility? Or is it something which is more intrinsic about our own selves?

    So as you deferred all those chores that would have made you feel good about the future and decided to live in the present and make a friend, how does it make you feel?



    • I don’t know, Shakti. For me, it is more intrinsic; just my nature. Maybe the trick is being able to compartmentalize (you know, just push responsibility out of our minds for a few hours) and keeping things in perspective. Why do I feel it is so important to put work before pleasure? Why not the other way around? The world will not spin off its axis….I know that…and I intend to do more, not less, of this type of thing in the future. You ask how it makes me feel? Much less of a drone, actually! And you? Are you able to forget about it all and have fun?


  17. Life&Ink says:

    Good choice to play, it refreshes the soul and makes the necessary work to be done completed with a smile both inside and out! 🙂


  18. I’d have jumped right in the truck with you. Road trip – I’m there. Looks like a wonderful diversion, both relaxing and energizing. 😉


  19. Definitely the art show! Thanks for reminding us to live fully. I say this surrounded by piles of clean
    laundry. I wash but somehow never get to drawers and shelves until my undergarments are down to almost zero. Fun post.


  20. You made the wise decision to leave all the stuff at home that can be straightened any time, and go for the moment of pleasure and adventure that presented itself in the “now.” You had a most marvelous day and are kind and generous to let us share it through your description and photos. A day spent with art and flowers is to be chosen any and every time over everyday chores and straightening. The house may be in order, but your soul is not. It yearns for beauty and enjoyment. Spend more days like this!


  21. Well, thanks to Mr. Toad over on Kate Shrewsday’s blog I’ve been led to yours!

    Much better to leave the things to sort out for another dasy and go off to enjoy yourself….and yes, you must have David Austin roses!
    I’ve always loved the old fashioned roses and always had them in my gardens in England and in France…but the delight of the Austin varieties is the long flowering season and the ease of maintenance.


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