Mr. HB has been working hard at his office and I have been pottering about in the garden.
I took advantage of a sunny Saturday afternoon and decided I deserved a wee break .
My excuse was to do a bit of browsing and shopping.
There are several of my favourite shops located in the Oak Bay area of our city so I took off in the car and leisurely strolled along the Avenue. Poking into shops and saying hello to the merchants...
when you shop at the same stores on a regular basis you get to know the owners and they become more than just "shopkeepers."
I do not always buy things from them, I go in to see how they are doing and I ask after their families.
The French Touch carries a variety of vintage and antique pieces.
They have classes every month on painting using Anne Sloan Paints.
I adore their stock of lovely vintage linens imported from France.
A dozen of these pretty tea towels were priced separately so I purchased one.
Often the linens are sold as a set... tablecloths and matching sets of napkins or sheets.
Many are embroidered with monogrammed initials.
This one is interesting but I have no idea what it signifies or where in France it came from...
Lovely liquid soap in fragrant "Figue" from Marseilles...
which takes me back to my trip this past Spring to Paris and the South of France.
After I got home I spent some time browsing Bunny Williams' Garden Book while sipping a restorative cup of Mariage Freres Paris Tea.
Bunny's book is a wonderful guide for gardeners...and I LOVE perusing garden books.
There is so much inspiration to be found within the book.
I have her other books and am thinking that this one might need to be added to my bookshelf.
A little while later I got busy in the kitchen.
I donned my well worn soft linen apron (of course!) and made a comforting Cottage Pie.
Recipe for Cottage Pie
1 large diced onion and 1 pound mushrooms sliced
2 peeled and chopped carrots
4 stalks of celery diced
gently cook until vegetables are no longer crisp.
Brown 1 pound of ground chicken until cooked.
add 1 cup chicken stock
(I use a tablespoon of "Better than Bouillon" chicken dissolved in boiling water.)
add in 1 cup of frozen peas
Salt and pepper ~ to taste
Place in ovenproof dish.
Boil peeled potatoes until soft
drain and mash adding a bit of butter and milk.
Cover the cottage pie with soft mashed potatoes and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes.
Simple and tasty.
While the cottage pie was baking in the oven
I picked some alliums and popped them in a vase
and placed them on the front porch...
I love a day when some domestic work is accomplished in The Humble Bungalow
and then some time remains for creative pursuits.
It's the truly "the little things"
not the acquisition of luxury goods
that put a smile on my face.
I drive an old Volvo
wear the same clothes many times.
There's really nothing fancy going on here...
Since returning from France
I've rediscovered the Joy of gardening
the buzzing bees
I travelled to Paris last Spring on a trip that I'd dreamed about for years.
It was so exciting and everything was fresh and new.
I felt truly alive...
like I'd been revitalized and injected with a new energy and spirit.
Upon my return ~ and after a period of contemplation
I've come to the realization
that what I really "need" to be content and satisfied
is all here in the city where I live with my family and friends
inside these walls
in the garden
of my own home...
"The Humble Bungalow"
I look forward to future trips but have come to the realization that I am happy leading a quiet life.
It need not be anything remarkable
nothing worthy of the news.
Living a Simple Life suits me just fine.
Thank you for stopping by...