Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pretty in Pink...

Walking about in South Fairfield in April has a bonus...
there are the ocean views and there are the blooming trees.....

Look up!
Look way up.
Like pink cotton candy
frilly and frothy petals.

Closing in on the blooms...
and they are sweetly scented.

Pink petals as a snowy pavement.

Pink magnolia on the next street...

I openly wept at work.
In Music, 
an autistic student danced with joy and abandon with another student...
he smiled broadly and kept an eye on the moves that he was to follow.
We all watched and I held my breath...

The entire class applauded and I was overcome with emotion.

My glasses steamed up and I put them up on my head 
I had no tissues
so I tapped my nose with my hand and hoped that the kids did not notice.

I think that things are just going to get way more emotional as the days go by...
and I know I have 2 months left to work!

I feel that I have given my best to these students over the years.
I hope that I have paved the way for their continued success.

Saying goodbye will be bittersweet.
Thank goodness I have a few weeks to prepare.
It will be fun to see what the next chapter will bring.

Smile at a stranger today!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

OOTD or what I wore to Sunday brunch...

It's been quite awhile since I've snapped an OOTD shot.
I've been really conscious of how badly I feel about my weight and have not been feeling confident...
it is rather crippling when one gets into this frame of mind.

I really dislike feeling this way because I would just rather sweep these feelings of inadequacy under the carpet and ignore them. I think that's a big part of my issue too is that I avoid mirrors and try to stay out of photos so that  I don't have to face up to reality.

Anyways it's an on going issue that will I will be addressing...
when I can devote more time and energy to that process and have no excuse.

We had a lovely Sunday brunch and sat by the window that looked out across the Harbour.
Darling Miss Isla sat beside me and we had a delightful visit.
She is sweetness and light...
it's always such a delight being in her company.
I've got so many adorable pictures of her on my IPhone
wish that I could share them with you...
but I promised not to!

I chose two poached eggs on toast instead of my usual Eggs Benedict
the Hollandaise is too high in calories.
I did not eat any potatoes and that took serious restraint!

Small changes might add up to big results!

Lands End ponte knit pants
I cut the tag out of the neck of this top as it was irritating my neck
I think it's a Jones...
why do manufacturers use such rough tags?

a lace camisole is required because the neck is rather low!

Mee Too flats
Colour Me Minnie OPI toes

I had a fabulous pedicure at Bliss and my feet feel so much softer now.

This weekend I made a rhubarb pie for Mr. HB

Coconut and rhubarb go great together.

I bought a gift for a friend's first grand child that arrived on Friday...
and we were saddened to hear that our dear friend Cheryl's father passed away...
he was in Hospice and is now at peace.
Wish we could be there to give her support and share a pot of tea or maybe a glass of wine.
~ ~ ~

Hope that your weekend was upbeat and positive.
I'm off to pound the pavement now
walking off brunch and soaking up the glory of Nature.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Tulips...here today by permission of the local deer population!

Egads! I have some tulips blooming out in front of The Humble Bungalow.
Miraculously they have not been munched by the deer...
I have it on good authority that tulips to deer is like chocolate to women.

These brave tulips are leaning over onto the sidewalk...
pretty tempting and tasty treats just waiting for some hungry mouths to feed.

They are all the same variety but you can see that each tulip has some slight variations.

Mass plantings are so much more effective than spacing plants apart evenly.
It looks more natural...like Mother Nature intended.

I am counting the days until they are munched.
It's anyones guess when the deer will stop by for a bite.

Happy Friday!
I am so glad the weekend is near as I have had a busy week with very little "down time."
What are you doing this weekend?

I have a pedicure booked and am planning to get out for a couple of walks.
Read some of the novel I am into and perhaps get together with friends and family.

Thank you for popping by
I welcome your thoughts and comments 
and if you'd like to suggest a post topic please feel free to email me.

~ Enjoy your day ~

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

White Wednesday or April 24, 2013

A co-worker mentioned at coffee break that there were about 10 weeks left before school was out for the summer holidays...
I did a quick computation and give or take there are about 50 days left for me in my current job!
After 25 years this seems almost surreal.
I don't want to start counting down yet as it seems far too soon to get fixated on my departure.
Just let me do my job and maybe on the last week I'll focus on the days, hours, and minutes.
My preference is to just walk out the door with no fanfare or fuss...
a retirement event is planned as several of us are hanging up our hats but I really shy away from the spotlight.
But enough about me.

How are you enjoying Spring so far?
I've been noticing the wonderful light coming in through the windows.
(also noticing that the windows here in The Humble Bungalow are dirty!)

Do you follow Faded Charm Cottage?
It's another White Wednesday!

White and shades of white are lovely accents that seem to ooze relaxation....

Sea shell

Coral and a mollusc shell

My neighbour put this tin planter out on her boulevard
as it was "free for the taking" 
I scooped it up
and promptly bought some white geraniums from the nursery.

Our rhubarb has sprouted something rather fierce!
We have a bumper crop and Mr. HB went on the internet to see what this might be 
and decided that it needed to be cut off 
or the energy would be diverted to the flower rather than the plant.

I've been following Madame La Bas's journey in Paris.
You might just like to tag along too.

Take some time to breathe deeply and look around your life
what makes you happy?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Bloggers, Google, Rosenthal and Linen...

I met up with Susan Greig from the blog Arts and Crafts Bungalow at the gorgeous home and garden of my BFF and her husband who own WaterGlass Studios.
Susan is a very talented artist as well as being a gifted writer.
We had a lovely visit and I hope she will come back and spend some time here and visit in our Humble Bungalow.

On my way home I swung by a garage sale and spied an unusual looking vase...
one that strangely reminds me of a woman's breast!
I'm seriously not kidding!

Is it just me or do you get the same impression?

Rosenthal Studio Line designed by Tapio Wirkkala
called the Pollo Vase and it is quite popular among mid century modern collectors.
Lovely daughter has one or maybe two of these vases.
The bottoms are rounded and once they settle in place do not rock...
I think it will be perfect for one solitary bloom but hasten to think the cats might bat them about with their paws so I will need to be mindful of where I put this...

I've been on the lookout for a linen apron ever since I saw one in Vancouver at The Gourmet Warehouse.
I didn't purchase the one I saw there as it was $120 and I thought that a bit too much at the time.

This apron was just a tad under $50 so it came home with me!

It's a bit stiff right now but after laundering it will soften up and will offer years of service
and I'll feel a bit more chic wearing linen than my cotton one...
which has seen many stains and better days!
~ ~ ~
Mr. HB and I spent quite a bit of time outdoors working in the Humble Bungalow Garden.
Mr. HB is redoing our sundeck so there is a big mess in the yard...
lumber, sawdust, and tarps.
He's redesigning the railings and rebuilding the supports
and using pressure treated wood as this was not available when we built the original 25 years ago.
It's a big job and I am excited to see the end result...
I think we will have a BBQ and invite some friends over to help us celebrate when it's finished.

 thrive in our bathroom
It must be the moisture from the shower
and the dappled sunlight from the window.
If I didn't love this plant's blooms so much I think I'd clip one stem and pop it in the "boob vase!"
OMG did I just type that? 
I thought it...
 now I wonder if I should delete that comment...

Tapio Wirkkala apologies to your design
I hope that you are not offended.
~ ~ ~

Some associations are forever...

I cannot read this phrase without thinking of Julia Child...
her parting words on her television series have stayed with me all these years.

What are you cooking for dinner tonight?
Bon Appetit!
~ ~ ~
Did you get distressed this afternoon when google went down?
I thought that's the end of my blog.
The smart folks have fixed it and we are back in action.

Thank you google geeks!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Staring out the window...

I've been so busy lately that I feel that I have been neglecting my blog.
It may be that I have been mismanaging my time or that I am trying to pack too much into each and every day.

I don't know if you read Faux Fuchsia's brilliant blog but if you do you know what an energetic and busy woman she is...
She works outside of the home at a firm that she refers to as Coalface and she has a husband, and an adorable young son. She cooks, entertains and has a gorgeous home and garden. She takes fabulous pictures and her blog never disappoints. Rush on over and meet her and tell her that I sent you!

Are you good at multi tasking?
Do you find that your time management skills are in tip top shape?

I've caught myself staring out the window meditating on life more frequently these days.
It's most likely a combination of world events and the fact that I am on the cusp of a lifestyle change.
Retirement is a big step and I want to do it well.
There are so many opportunities for renewal...
I want to explore new things, get more involved in my community and take an active role in keeping Mother moving and engaging her in some extra curricular activities.
Speaking of which...

I took my students to The Shaw Discovery Centre this week and it was such fun. There was a lot to take in and our special needs students ran from one display to another and back again! It was early and not crowded so this worked out to our advantage. The volunteers were most helpful and their knowledge and information enriched our experience. This ocean science centre has tanks of sea creatures and there is a hands on area where you can actually touch some of the creatures....star fish, sea anemones, crabs and more. If you get the opportunity to visit the centre go early and bring your young children or grandchildren.
I want to take Isla with me when I go next time!

We went to McDonalds for lunch after and the groups played in the play zone before we had a bite to eat.
It's been a long time since I've set foot in McDonalds and I was most impressed with their welcome.
Our students were so happy and their smiles were plentiful...I cannot show you the pictures as that would be a violation of their privacy rights so you'll just have to take my word for it...they loved it!

Today I am meeting up with Susan Grieg she writes the wonderful blog Arts and Crafts Bungalow.
I'll report back on our visit soon.

I think the people of Boston must be sighing with relief...
their city has been turned upside down this week.
It's all just so sad.

Be kind and gentle as you walk through life.
As John Lennon said.....Let's Give Peace a Chance.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Seeing Stripes....

It seems that Stripes have been popping up in every shop that I go into and they are very tempting...
as someone who shuns patterns I have embraced stripes.
The black and white and navy and white stripe coloured patterns seem like a safe choice for my conservative taste.

It's not as if the first Banana Republic top was lonely...
this top is all together different.

It's looser and very cool and breezy.
I need to find some new white capris to wear with this and many other things that I have from seasons past.
When I pulled out my summer season clothing I noticed that there was a stain on them that I had not noticed when I packed them away. I tried treating the stain with soaps and then hydrogen peroxide but it would not budge.
I am so careful to launder things before storing them so I am at a loss as to how or why this spot got past my inspection...perhaps I was not wearing my glasses!

So now I NEED to go shopping!
There are a few more things that I have bought which I will unveil in the next post but for now I must close
as I am running late...
I hope that your week is moving along nicely toward the weekend.

Be Well and remember to practise some Random Acts of Kindness...
I've been surprising my co workers with treats in secret and it's such fun to watch their reactions!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sweeping Beauty....and men in kilts!

Cleaning is an ongoing job that never seems to get finished.
As soon as I complete a task there is another one that needs tending to.
My standards have relaxed somewhat and the dust bunnies are having a convention here in The Humble Bungalow!
It's not for lack of vacuuming, dusting or sweeping...I think there is a dust bunny baby boom afoot...make that underfoot!

The rays of sunshine are drawing attention to my lack of due diligence, and pointing their fingers at me as if to say "tisk tisk" Hostess. All I can say is that it is very difficult keeping a house of this vintage dust free. The forced air furnace seems to whip up the dust in whirls of frenzied spirals and they land willy nilly settling on the plate rails and dark wood fir panels.
Life is much too short to obsess about this but I recoil a bit when I spy this mayhem.
It's bad enough that I judge the dust in disgust ~ imagine what guests must think!

Meet Sweeping Beauty.

One might as well have beautiful tools when doing a rather thankless job.
They elevate my mood when I am darting about trying to capture the dirt.
Did I mention that I now wear my walking or Yoga gear so that I feel like I am getting some exercize?

The psychology of wearing stretchy fabrics and my hoodie are making me more active.
Who knew that this would happen?
I think perhaps I have turned over a new leaf.

I've often thought about trying to use a leaf blower to eradicate the dust by using brute force.
Has it ever crossed your mind?
Bring in the big Guns?

Spring is a time for renewal...

Spring Cleaning is currently Number 1 on my do list.

Windows are done by a friendly fellow who loves leaping up on ladders ad squeegeeing his way 
around the many panes. I've had him do the inside and the outside and I do admit it's a bit of a luxury but he does a far superior job than I can do!

I've heard about a new service in town that might be worth a call
but I am loyal to my fellow who has been taking care of our windows for the last 20 years...
when he retires I think I'll hire these blokes!

Deeper cleaning happens in the Spring. 

Every day I wipe and disinfect the kitchen counters
(our cats are the reason I need to be so fastidious as they jump up and drink out of the kitchen faucet!)

I keep on top of the clutter
a small home looks smaller if it's littered with stuff
besides feeling way too chaotic...

I wash dishes 24/7
 keep the stainless appliances shining
wipe off the cooktop and keep on top of the fridge and it's contents.

Laundry is probably my favourite domestic chore...
and I LOVE my new LG steam machines.

We "domestics" have an important job and one that I think offers job security!
~ ~ ~

Mr. HB is busy too...
We have quite a few major projects planned...
a new roof, 
a sun deck repair and rebuild 
and a green house at some point.
~ ~ ~
I am so disturbed by the recent events in Boston at the marathon.
I'll never really understand the use of violence...
I admit to being naive and I do live my life by the Golden Rule.

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Spread Peace in your daily round this week
the world needs balance and I feel we can all do our little bit to help.

~ ~ ~

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Small pickings...bring great Joy.

In all honesty I thought the weather was going to be gloomy all weekend after the rain and hailstorms we had on Saturday...
while the weather was not favourable for playing outdoors it was a perfect time to read
it afforded me the opportunity to finish Jamie Cat Callan's book Ooh La La...
I enjoyed learning what French Femmes think is their secret to finding their ooh la la and I know you will too.
Immediately after closing the last page I emailed her and told her that I loved it.
In true Jamie style she has generously offered to send me a copy when it comes out in May for a blog giveaway! So stay tuned for the details in the near future.

I picked a wee posy to celebrate the colours that mimic the sky.
Small posies are as cheery as large bouquets especially when they pack a bright punch of colour.

Joyous brilliant blue skies and sunshine...
white and blue.

The sounds of the birds chirping
the mowers in the neighbourhood chugging along as they clipped the grass
the children gleefully chattering as they play in their yards
people outdoors pottering in ther gardens
and the multitude of people walking along the seafront
all out perambulating
enjoying Nature's Beauty...

I hope that you had a beautiful weekend...
and we must remember that we are all beautiful in our own way.

I've gleaned this morsel of truth from Jamie Cat Callan's book.
Merci beaucoup Jamie!

To read more French secrets I implore you to read the book!


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Ooh La La! every woman can feel beautiful...

I am savouring Jamie Cat Callan's most recent, soon to be published novel "Ooh La La."
Each chapter is delicious and I am indulging like I would eat a chocolate,
slowly letting it melt in my mouth.
Jamie takes us on a journey where she shares the secrets of French women and their secrets to feeling beautiful everyday...
she has interviewed many women while doing her research and I love to hear their "voices" on many topics. I am halfway through the book and look forward to the next chapters...
but like any good book when you reach the end, you are left craving for more.
With this in mind I am pacing myself because I do not want it to end!

Pretty pink native lilies are in bloom in a field nearby our Humble Bungalow.

My orchid is re-blooming...
these plants are really a bargain
  they bloom several times a year for many years 
all they need is water once a week and some filtered light
I'm tempted to pick up another one as they are on sale at the flower shop.

Our garden has many hellebores
this one is a mass of blooms and shows no signs of stopping.

I've seen the black variety of this plant in the gardens at Van Dusen in Vancouver 
I have yet to track it down locally but it is very definitely on my wish list!

Our asparagus patch is in it's second year and we must not harvest any until the third season.
It does make my mouth water just thinking of how delicious it will be when we can pick some.

It's raining cats and dogs outside this morning and I am hunkered down under the down duvet...
indulging in a little rest and relaxation.
It's been a long work week that found me very tired by Friday.
Mr. HB suggested we go out for dinner last evening but I was too tired to get dressed up 
so we ordered in some delicious Chinese food and I read more of Jamie's book.

In her book she stresses that all women should feel beautiful 
regardless of their physical size or their financial state.
I am loving her tips and the insights into the French Femmes
which focuses on "la femme d'un certain age."

Au revoir
 from this femme d'un certain age!
~ ~ ~
(there's a book on the bedside table calling my name!)
I'll be back soon and in the meantime I hope that you are well and in good spirits
have a beautiful weekend!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I am going to bed with a good book.....

Hello people...
whoo hoo
the mail brought gifts this week!

Look at this packaging!

Look at the title!

Pinch me please I am not dreaming!

Jamie Cat Callan sent me her advanced readers copy BEFORE it hits the press...
loving all things FRENCH I am swooning as I read the chapters.
I want to meet Jamie someday....
I love her "voice."
I think I might just take a bloggy break while I devour her book...

Mr. HB came home tonight to find me on the couch sipping a cup of tea and very quiet
while I had great difficulty prying my eyes from the pages of Jamie's newest...
to welcome him home.
I was so immersed I hardly noticed...

I do not want to stop reading until I have finished...

It never rains but it pours
Cheryl Fortier, a dear friend who first introduced me to Jamie Cat Callan when she met her in Auvilar France sent me Barbara Kingsolver's latest...
she met up with her at The Virginia Centre of The Arts when she was an artist in residence this past month.

I am keen to get stuck in...

Please send some positive thoughts for Cheryl and her family as her father is in hospital
and not doing well...

My BFF's mother has been in hospital and now is back home with 24 hour care and I am reminded of how precious and precarious life can be...
HUG your loved ones and tell them you care.

Thank you for visiting my Humble Blog.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

OOTD...my new uniform.

After years of fussing when getting dressed I am happy to report that getting dressed has taken on a casual twist.
Staying close to home has brought new meaning in wearing "the uniform."
It needs to be comfortable, neat and tidy...
easy to wear and fast to assemble.

It's simply me
the retired version
(I have a few months left to work before it's official)
I am practising for my future role!

Gap boyfriend jeans
white tank from H and M
grey cashmere from Lands End
Olsen belt
red Nine West ballet flats
Hermes scarf

I plan to invest in a few more cashmere cardigans when they go on sale
and I have oodles of scarves to pair with them.
It's my new comfort zone.
Not too sloppy...
but let's keep things simple.
Life is too short to spend everyday standing in front of the closet searching for clothes to put on.
I love the quick pick speedy way of dressing.
How about you?

Do you have a basic uniform?

I hope that your week is off to a great start.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Chester gives us a scare!

Our indoor kitten Chester jumped out the window Sunday morning around 9:00 am and we frantically combed the neighbourhood, put up signs...registered on lost pets websites.

After about 6 hours of searching, and calling his name a neighbour mentioned that she saw a cat stalking something in the area of her covered storage area...
She and I went into the shed and looked around and huddled under a pile of wood I saw a mound of familiar looking fur.
He was not meowing or acknowledging our presence in any way so we had to grab him and remove enough wood to pull him out.
He was shaking and cold, obviously terrified.
I was shaking and cold with relief!

We are so grateful for the safe return of Chester.
I raced out and bought the largest bouquet I could find, a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates.
Delivered with a heartfelt Thank You card...
A Happy Ending to a stressful day.

I am still somewhat shaken...
though relieved
and now we need to figure out how to cat proof the window so Chester stays safe.

How was your weekend?

Rainbow blooms...cheap and cheerful.

Mother, my sister and I went out to brunch a few weeks ago and we happened upon a nursery where I discovered this plant. I think it is a cape primrose although there was no tag in sight.
These little plants were on sale for a mere $2.00 each!

Look at the rainbow of colours on this one little plant!

I bought two
one for the bathroom and one for the den.

The flowers on each plant have several colours which I thought quite unusual.

I feel myself smiling...

Aren't they cheerful?

I wasn't looking for house plants until I spied them blooming their wee hearts out 
just waiting for a home to call their own.

What have you stumbled on that brightened your day?

I hope that your weekend is full to the brim
with lovely things. 
~ ~ ~