Sunday, October 30, 2011

Boo! it's Halloween

Halloween is here and I am excited to see all the wee children in their costumes.
They come knocking on the Humble Bungalow front door for treats.
Choruses of "trick or treat" are often shouted loudly before I even get the door open!
The event starts early around dinner time and we usually call it a night by 9 pm it's lights out.
We have never run out of candy before and I always worry that I haven't bought enough.
Some of my co workers get several hundred children, we usually have around 25 and if the weather is really inclement we may have as few as 10.

Our Jack o' Lantern is carved with jagged teeth
and spooky eyes.
Nothing very artsy, just the run of the mill pumpkin face
as in the past years when the kids were home we'd all take turns carving
and it was a group effort.
This year I was the sole carver.

I decorated the front porch while Mr. HB went to Home Depot to see about our new shower.

The reno is in full swing and taking up a lot of Mr. HB's time and expertise.
I am trying to keep the dust to a minimum
and sweep after each work session...
I am not very handy
but I can clean and am a passable painter
so my job is to keep the crew fed!

I hope the little ones are not scared tonight.
We've got a big bowl of candy to give out and I confess that I have snuck a few sweets myself
and I KNOW they are not allowed on my diet but I did it anyway!

I was hoping for a black cat but I had to settle for this black crow instead.

This black Mondo grass is thriving in the front yard.
I planted two this fall and have nestled them between 3 limelight hydrangeas.
The garden is looking like it's ready to turn in for the season and slumber until next Spring.
Which is fine by me because I am ready to sink my teeth into some new books.

We have a great used bookstore in the village
and I walked down there yesterday for some fresh air and a little book browsing.

I didn't come home empty handed so these will be added to the stack of books
that I have waiting for me to read.

I have been giving away books like nobody's business.
No storage means less clutter.

In keeping with the spooky theme here's 

I remember when it first came out 
how impressed I was by the choreography and the special effects.
It's still worth watching.

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bungalow memories...The Plant family.

The Humble Bungalow has many faces and the one that it is showing right now is sunny yellow.
Happily the sun is shining and the light is streaming in the windows.
The plants are putting on a performance as well.

White Christmas Cactus 

This Asian planter was a gift from the son of Mrs. Plant 
she was the longest resident of the Bungalow.

She was a widow and earned her living by taking in sewing 
and working as a seamstress at one of the better shops in the city.
She raised 3 children single handedly which back in the 30's and 40's would have been a struggle.
She had a small Victory Garden in the back yard, a King apple tree and black berry bushes.
Most of the garden had grown wild by the time we came to buy it and it took us several years to "tame it."

She had passed away a few years before we bought the house.
I researched the previous owners using the city's archives and found her son listed in the local directory.
I sent him a note and asked if he had any photo's which he did and would bring a few along for us to peruse when we got together.
We had Mr. and Mrs. Plant over for tea 
they also brought this lovely planter which had been a favourite of Mrs. Plant.

They provided us with the addresses of the two daughters who had married and moved to the United States. We corresponded for a few years until such time that they were in town and they popped by for a cup of tea and a tour.
I wish that I had taken pictures of all of us together but I was so excited to meet them that I completely was lost in the conversation and their impressions and memories of their childhood home.

The planter had a healthy plant in it at the time of their visit which unfortunately I managed to kill after a few months!
 I have much better luck with Christmas cactus plants.

Outside the garden is fading and the last flush of the roses are blooming.

Pretty in Pink
Nerine Bowdenii
a fall favourite.

Mrs. Plant
in front of The Humble Bungalow
which will be 100 years old in 2012.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.
What are your plans?

I'll be walking outside in the crisp salty air
cleaning in and around the Bungalow
The Beach House
 by Jane Green.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What to do with a Little BS?

I have a little BS...
no I am not being rude it's hanging in the closet.
Rubbing up to my LBD's...

Spanner retail originally $120
on sale for $25

This little Black Skirt will be the basis of many an outfit
I could tell immediately when I put it on that it was coming home with me.
I had the cash in my wallet and had party on the brain.
In fact I thought of a bohemian cameleon when I twirled in this flirty skirt.

Yes, Mother was there egging me on...
"birds of a feather flock together"

I can see this paired with my white tank top and black cashmere sweater
with three strands of pearl necklaces wrapped and roped about the neck.
My hair in a messy up do
dangly earrings.

A denim jacket would be fun 
would add a casual feel 
especially if worn with some boots.

I've got several black jersey knit tops too which would be 
oh so after 5
another up do and some bling.

I have a sequined black tee top and some Swarovski crystal encrusted mules
a shantung silk jacket
I'm ready for the theatre.

I own a crisp white shirt too which might be fun to play around with...
business meets pleasure
a camisole beneath
shirt cuffs rolled up
collar points up
hair worn down
simple pearl studs
and an armful of bangles
bow toed Stuart Weitzman shoes.

I have some netted mesh hose in black
a man's felt hat
a drawer full of scarves

Can you tell that I am having fun?
I have only just begun!

What would you choose to wear with this LBS?
(how curious LBS = pounds)

Lost so far...4 LBS
My Plate at Livestrong is really helping!

What have you been up to?
I don't even want to mention my health
I'm so bored of Kleenex
and cough drops...

Tell me about YOU!
please embellish and do not spare any detail!
You have the power to heal...
I'm ready...
fire away!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cabin Fever!

I've been housebound with a cold and now I am suffering from a case of cabin fever.
(my grandmother called it cabin fever when I was a young mom at home with 2 sick children, and it's stuck)
I did go for my walks but I was bundled up like I was traveling to the North Pole on an Arctic expedition!
Down jacket, boots, gloves, and a scarf.

The kettle has been constantly boiling and the fluids are flowing as fast as I can consume them...this is war!

In the meantime I am reading some light chick lit...

it's just what I need to read...

Why not take advantage of the situation and have a moisturizing facial?
Slather on this emollient rich mask and sit back and bask 
knowing that a dewier softer skin will emerge
refreshed and rejuvenated.

Hey why not tidy up and de-clutter the bathroom while I'm at it?
I must be on a roll
or bordering on delirious.

I cannot stand to see mess
I prefer to hide it
sweep it under the carpet or put a lid on it.

Take this simple enamel lidded tray
and hide things inside it.

What would you hide inside?

Make up and brushes!

While I am on this tangent I might as well expose the bathroom medicine cabinet
no medicine here
skin care
and lippy's.

Have I mentioned that I have found a new skin care line?
Avene from France.

The sensitive skin line is really helping my rosacea settle down.
The no rinse cleanser removes all traces of make up
and I do not need eye make up remover anymore.
I do use several cotton pads swiping gently several times until all make up has been removed.

Post cleanse I mist with Avene water 
be careful not to shake it or it will not spray.

Moisturize with the rich cream for dry skin
and that's it.
Easy Peasy

This little geranium made my day by blooming
what a lovely gift.

Must get back to my juicy novel...
the women from Hunting Hills are out to help the new wife get started on the country club "rules"
and they are taking her shopping for some high end clothes,
A tweedy Chanel suit for starters
and there's more dirt just waiting to reveal itself...

Thanks for dropping by
you're always welcome here in The Humble Bungalow.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

De-cluttering, domestics and simple joys.

It's a home day...
a day for domestics and general tidying up.

Don't think that makes me want to cry
because I am more than happy when I get stuff put away
and I am able to stand back and see what has been accomplished.

Does this Kleenex box look a bit like a Missoni print to you or is it just me?

Homemade chicken soup is on the burner
I have a few sniffles and swear by this soup
 it's a cure all.

You've heard of those books Chicken Soup for the Soul
well for me it's Chicken Soup for the Bowl.

Bird sculpture made by a local artisan
crafted from rocks and wire.

Can you see the dents on the ledge?
Pepper had a hand in those...
she keeps knocking this bird over and it lands on it's sharp beak and pits a hole each time.

I de-cluttered the filing cabinet 
several years of bills and papers which I shredded
and it took several hours
the shredder overheated once during this operation
but I did have the satisfaction of filling 3 garbage bags,
yes sir, yes sir, 3 bags full!

I cannot tell you how great this makes me feel
procrastination is my downfall
the worst habit one can have when it comes to getting things done!

Can you see the pin?
It blends in quite well on the Windsmoor jacket.

Sherman vintage circa 1950 rhinestone pin in shades for the season.

This pin was a gift a few Christmas's ago.
I used to wear pins every day but now I seem to wear them only on jackets.
I have about 5 or 6 pins and they are all vintage.

I watched a PBS special with Alan Titmarsh and The Prince of Wales on TV
the focus of the program was the garden at Highgrove that the Prince has created over the past 30 years.
It's an amazing garden, 
organic and vast and full of surprises.

has a few cameos where she discusses the early days of the garden
 about the design process involved 
and the planting of the yews.
She has been referred to as "The Grande Dame of Green."

I could not take my eyes of her diamonds and large gum ball pearls.
They were an opera length strand which she had layered with some smaller strands of pearls.
She obviously is a wonderful gardener
superior plantswoman
she most definitely gardens in pearls!

The Garry Oak trees have got me all a flutter
perhaps it's their gnarly branches 
autumnal palette.

I can't quite decide...
never mind
what's not to love about an infusion of joy?

bubbles of happiness
from the leaves  ~  to the skies

rays of sun
flicker and flash

the gentle breeze picks up and tosses
a stand of oaks
whose response is to thrum and shiver
sending forth a cascade of leaves
swirling to the ground.

life is really so much richer
when one can harness joy and gratitude in the simple things

Nature weaves it's way into the hearts of the pedestrian and the pedigreed.
As it should do...
keeping us grounded and content.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hermes...and the Hostess dips her toes into new territory.

What I am not wearing this Fall...

This lampshade is wearing Hermes....
because my waist needs to be whittled
and until I shed a few inches 
this belt will stay here and remind me to tow the line.
It's good to have a tangible goal.

to keep striving and sticking to those new eating and walking routines
(so far so good but it's early days!)

 want to fit into this belt.
This will be the prize if and when I make my weight loss goal.

In the meantime...
I am wearing something of colour
you might be shocked
it's not black!

Windsmoor jacket 
heavily discounted...
in shades of brown, golds, and specks of blush pink
and yes a wee bit of black.

and these...

"can you say giddy up?"

with a pair of jeans
taking to the roads that wind their way around my neighbourhood
exploring opportunities for photography
while getting some restorative fresh salty air
and enjoying the feel of the cool temperature as it meets my face...
gloves are not far off the radar.

soaking in the shades of autumn

 in sepia...

this jacket with it's shredded edging makes me feel fabulous...
and I am not sure why because it is not black

perhaps there is a movement afoot
as I tentatively dip my toe in foreign country
like a pupa emerging from the bonds of a silky cocoon
I am fully awake and open to change...

The season has brought with it new energy and spirit
and I am breathing deeply
thankful for each living breath.

Are you enjoying the change of season ?

Hope that you find some time to stop and smell the flowers 
life has much to offer and much of it is free
and all you need to do is take the time to observe what is right in front of your eyes
you'll be richer for it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Falling for beginnings.

The weather was glorious today and perfect for walking, please join me and I'll take you on a scenic tour.
We are not going too far from The Humble Bungalow, and we are going to wander through a historic heritage cemetery...

Heritage trees create a lovely canopy
their leaves are turning autumnal shades and leaves crunch underfoot.

mushrooms growing in the flower holder of a grave

The cemetery is quiet and there are benches dotted along the paths for sitting
people walk through here often
and some bring their picnic lunches.

It has a parklike feel despite the fact that it is a graveyard.

Many squirrels scampered about 
and there was a symphonic cacophony of song from the birds.

Days with little wind are few and far between here 
because of the proximity to the ocean.
The seafront is across the road from the cemetery.

After a snowfall this place is hushed in quiet and is pure magic.
I'll try to come back in the snow and show you how lovely the trees look wearing a coat of white.
The headstones and crosses look frothy with the snow swirling and licking at their feet.

But I am rushing the season when speaking of winter
fall has arrived with it's multi-coloured coat 
with hues of umber, ochre, russet and mustard.

I am enjoying these new shades
and will show you in upcoming posts some garments that I will be wearing.

Where do you like to walk?
Do you prefer city streets or country lanes?

(it's free)
they help you track your progress
keep a food and exercise journal
monitor your water consumption
offer tips and it's so easy to use
it's a fabulous site.

Perhaps you'll join me on my journey...

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions,
perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer."
Henry David Thoreau