Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pretty Garden Pinks, a road trip and a picnic...and it is only Wednesday!

Oh the weather these past few days has been so hot!

Darling daughter celebrated her birthday on Monday.

Here she is on one of her first walks.
In 1979 we lived on Marlborough Street by Beacon Hill Park which is just off Dallas Road 
in a big old rambling house which still stands today.

I love this picture of the two of us 
with the snow capped Olympic Mountains in the background.
So much time has elapsed...
Our daughter has grown into a lovely woman and she will be tying the knot with her Kiwi fiancee this summer.

Darling daughter and I drove up island for the day...
poking our noses into 
antique shops and a couple of thrift stores.

This is the view from the Bridgeman's Bistro at The Mill Bay Marina.
The water was so calm...
just like a "mill pond" which by the way is not usual for "Mill Bay!"

The crab cakes were delicious!

We came home with a few bit and bobs...but no "big" treasures.
It is aways fun spending time together.

I wore my bangles...
she says it makes me easy to find in a shop...she just listens for the sounds of the bracelets jingling!

The lilacs are blooming and it is not even May!

I have had to venture downstairs to my "out of season" closet
to find some summer garments to wear in this heat...

It is "slim pickins" down there too....not much more than a couple of dresses, a few Tees and a couple of pairs of pants. I must have done a major cull last season when I put the summer stuff into storage.

Thank goodness I had the peace of mind to keep my Italian black linen dress...
it is loose and very cool..perfect for this weather.

Last year I noticed that In the south of France loose linen dresses seem to be the preferred choice of women of a certain I promptly went out a bought one when I came back from my trip...a very sensible choice too and one that makes sense as the fabric breathes in the heat.

I love to wander around in the garden in the morning before it gets too hot... to see if there are any major weeds that need pulling and to see what is in bloom.

The roses are starting to bloom...this Pavement series rose has an intoxicating scent...
unfortunately it bears lots of thorns which make it hard to pick.

These sweet little "money plant" volunteers have seeded themselves in the front beds.

This area is "under construction"
Our clematis is very old and woody but is a stalwart when it comes to putting on a spectacular show.

This picture was taken before the clematis came into bloom.
We planted variegated iris, several hostas and black mondo grass in this shady bed. 

The patio was redone by our garden gals.

The clematis has twined itself high up into the neighbours Dogwood tree.

Close up of a a jewel box inside.

I bought a few geraniums to put on the front porch.
They are a great value
will last all summer 
look so cheerful.

My sister and I took Mother to the beach for tea and a late afternoon snack yesterday.
Inside this basket I keep 3 pretty china cups and saucers, 3 matching side plates, assorted silver wear.
Picnic ready 
with a tablecloth, napkins when the sun shines on Willows Beach.

I've got some more posts on the back burner so I will be back soon.

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful emails after the recent shenanigans...
I did not think that the post would have generate so much discord among readers...
if I have personally offended any of you, 
I humbly apologize.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~


  1. There were no recent shenanigans at all, simply your readers voicing their varied opinions.
    We can agree or disagree, that's what makes a blog interesting, unbiased and fair
    Love your armful of jingly jangly silver bangles!

  2. Don't you love lilacs? I felt that your concern for a woman who is evidently suffering was very kind. We do not need to compare or measure only to feel compassion. I have a "loose linen" dress from Paris but I feel that perhaps it is just too big. Monsieur and I used to go to Hurricane Ridge in the Olympics and watch the lights come on in Victoria. I love having a "grown-up" daughter to share lunch and experiences with.

    1. I do love lilacs! Mauve and white and I like them massed together is a vase...their fragrance is indeed bold and beautiful.
      My linen dress is voluminous too...but that is why it is cool...allowing the air to flow! Linen is one of my all time favourite fabrics...tea towels, aprons, scarves, clothing and one day I will own sheets in linen...I just need to save up for them!

  3. I love that first photo! How sweet! Your gardens are far ahead of ours here but it's interesting how we seem to catch up quickly once the humidity kicks in!

    1. I hope you will share some garden photos with us Stephen and I am really grateful that you are back actively commenting and posting...I did miss your "voice." I ordered Ellie's hard cover book today from amazon and when I did they said there were only 7 left!

  4. the photo of you and your daughter is a real is wonderful.

    Your garden is looking great, the clematis is lovely and the new cracked concrete patio is of my favorite building materials.

    1. The patio area is a work in progress and we gave away our old cedar table and chairs set so I plan to source some bright coloured chairs to add a pop of colour out there...
      We have a few treasured snapshots of the children when they were little...and don't they grow up so fast?

  5. Enjoyed seeing all the beautiful spring flowers, it is still warm down under in Sydney, 27deg Celsius today and it is meant to be Autumn. Longing to hide all the summer clothes and pop on something warmer. I am so happy to have found your blog and instagram

    1. Hi Sue,
      Why thank you for your kind comments and I hope that you will continue to enjoy the blog and IG posts.

  6. Happy Birthday to your daughter, and what a lovely photo to have of her childhood. The French have the right idea about the linen dress - my favourite summer dress is a pink/lilac long loose linen dress with cute pockets, found in a little shop near the Luxembourg Gardens in 2014. Your Spring flowers are so pretty.

    1. Do you remember the name of the shop?
      I perused quite a few places near Luxembourg Gardens when I was in Paris...
      lovely that the LG park is so vast and well planned.

    2. Unfortunately I don't remember the shop name, Hostess. It was in the vicinity of the roundabout on Blvd Saint Michel, a short distance from the Pantheon. Just a simple little shop with racks of lovely linen :)

  7. Lovely photos as always. The photo of your little daughter is very special what a great memory. Envious of your Clematis. I did grow one here in Aus a few years back. But it gets way to hot and dry here for it to survive any longer than a couple of years. Here In Adelaide we are having an unseasonal warm Autumn. I'm sick of wearing my summer clothes although I know when the cool weather comes it will be panic stations as my pickings are slim too.

    1. It is interesting how different the growing zones are all over the world...I remember being so surprised to see Jade plants and Daturas growing outdoors in Pasadena California! I can only imagine what Australia is daughter will be honey mooning in NZ and Australia this year!

  8. What a lovely photo of you and your daughter! It sounds like you had a perfect day together. It's a treat having grown-up daughters.

    1. It is lovely...and she is such a great gal...we definitely are blessed.

  9. Beautiful photo of you and your girl. And shenanigans! Broad audiences bring strong opinions;).

    1. It keeps blogging life interesting doesn't it?
      We Canadians are a polite bunch for the most part
      and our habit is to say sorry a lot which does not mean that we are insincere, just very much mindful of our manners.

  10. As a some time reader of your blog I was intrigued by your reference to recent shenanigans and of course had to do a little research. I compliment you on your handling of same. While voicing a different opinion may add to interesting discussion I never cease to be amazed by the way some people "hijack" others blogs repeating the same message. Don't want to add fuel to the fire. How lovely that you have a family wedding coming up. Have you thought about your outfit yet? Lovely blog pics as always and lucky you with such nice weather. Mary

    1. Mary,
      Thank you for your thoughts...we all do not see eye to eye on every issue and that makes life interesting.
      Our daughter and fiancee have decided to elope as they have been together for a few years and planning on having a long honeymoon in NZ and Australia.
      I will be involved with the flowers and they will be tying the knot in a quiet ceremony in a very special place. They have arranged for a photographer to take lots of pictures and then they will be staying at a resort for a few days afterwards.
      We are thrilled for them both as they are a lovely couple.

    2. Excellent response. This is a wonderful blog!

  11. That is a priceless photo of you and your daughter! Of the many blogs I peruse, yours is the most quietly appealing and polite. I fear you've been taken to task for being unfailingly kind. The best we can do is take the high road, which you have done. And stop and smell the roses (yours are gorgeous)!

    1. Oh yes the first Spring roses are indeed fragrant!
      I have picked some lily of the valley too and the sun is shining and my goodness we are fortunate with the weather.
      I do like to think the blog is a quiet and calming spot to take a few minutes of respite from the busy lives that many people lead...thank you for that thought!

  12. The picture of you and your daughter with the mountains in the background is indeed, priceless. So lovely that you had a three generation tea party! Oy vey, I had read the post that caused some contention but didn't read the comments until today. ALS is a nasty, wicked disease. That's all I will say... You, my dear, are a lovely hostess. If we lived close, I would bring you some of my girls' free range eggs and we could have a glass of wine and a giggle.

    1. Donna you sound like the most gracious of ladies...It would be a pleasure to sit and sip a glass of wine with you. Oh and fresh eggs!
      It is a wee bit early for wine so I think I will pop the kettle on a sip some tea...perhaps you'll do the same!

  13. Always enjoy your local tours and garden photos. Those crab cakes look petty yummy. No need to apologize for demonstrating kindness
    toward someone at the end of her life. Again, thank you for your always lovely blog.

    1. Crab cakes are one of my weaknesses...I actually make some pretty tasty ones when Mr. HB catches the crab but I do order them when out as I do love their flavour...thank you for the lovely compliment.

  14. Just wondering, hostess, how much of the proceeds of Ellie o Connell's book goes to ASL research? She doesn't say, could be one percent for all we know
    She needs to fully disclose what she means by ' a portion'
    I suspect the greatest portion is going straight in her pocket

    1. She actually has said. (I am not sure where publicly) She told me that 100 percent of the profits of her book go to ALS research. Ellie has never, ever asked for money for herself. It is her friends who started the fund-raising page.
      I bought it today!!

    2. How totally unkind. She has no pocket. She has never asked for money.
      "There are no pockets in a shroud"!!

  15. I do not know what percentage Ellie's book sales will be donated to ALS research and am not sure that she does need to disclose the amount. Is there a law in France that one must state the amount at the time of sale? Many fund raisers held here locally donate to various charities and I have never noticed a specific percentage amount stated...they usually say "a portion of the proceeds" Some events state all of the monies raised go to charity...
    I have no problem whatsoever if Ellie takes the lions share of the is after all her story.
    I bought the book to learn more about her ALS journey and to raise my awareness of how she found the courage and strength to continue fighting such a debilitating and terminal disease...
    I have had trouble dealing with my painful frozen shoulder and can only imagine what a challenge Ellie has faced...I am not proud of my whining and wingeing either!

  16. Her last blog post states clearly
    " a portion of proceeds goes to ASL research" nowhere does it say, publicly or otherwise, what this percentage is.
    I am not discussing the fund raising page, I am talking about her own decision and choice to write a book, and not be transparent about what percentage is actually ASL a research donation
    As for not asking for money, then why did she write a book? Just be honest,Penelope, she wrote it to make money! Her friends did not write it, did they?
    I think it's fair that people should know the percentage of ASL research donation from the book profits, and don't tell me it's 100 percent as that is clearly bs!
    If it was 100 percent, surely one would proudly state this on their blog, which is clearly being used as promotion for this book.

  17. Jesus Anonymous - wtf - who cares how much is going to ALS (not ASL) - she wrote the bloody thing so she is more than entitled to keep as much as she likes - not that is anybodies business - especially cowards who don't sign their name.
    Cindy F

    1. That's rich coming from you, ANON!

    2. I guess if you can make a buck out of a terminal illness......
      if reading her blog and books makes you feel like you are rich, living in Paris with a rich French husband and celeb friends, go for it, it's a pathetic bunch of nosey women who are stupid enough to buy a book full of narcissistic ramblings, and most revoltingly, her sex life, uggh
      Instead of writing a book, her time could have been used better by trying to get along with her husband and daughter, and treating caregivers with decency and kindness
      Perhaps she's going to donate $1 to ASL research for every F word used in the book? !

      Yes, it does matter how much per book is donated, actually, because that's the only way we know if she has truly written it for the purposes of donating to a good cause, or, for her own greed

      Prue C ( if that makes you feel better, " cindy" )

    3. THE SEX Part is because A FOLLOWER ASKED ABOUT IT!!!!!NOT Because she WANTED TO SHARE.......................She had an OPEN forum telling us to ask questions ANY questions.......and a FEW of those QUESTIONS were VERY PERSONAL.Now, I can see how MUCH you really KNOW ABOUT THIS WOMAN!
      SHE LOVED ONE OF THE CAREGIVERS.............YOU FORGOT THAT BIT!BECAUSE WHY??DO YOU know the answer.................?!!!!!!!!

    4. ' contessa' you are hysterical!
      Of course, anyone will go into intimate details about their sex life, if it means selling more books!
      What kind of pervert asks a person with a terminal illness about the sex they are having?!! Just because a pervert asked about sex, does not mean she had to answer it, how revolting! She is selling books because you are all nosey voyeurs, the fascination with a strangers life is just plain weird.
      The mind boggles
      Google typing etiquette and you will clearly read that typing in capitals, is known all over the world as shouting, would you type a email to anyone and use hysterical shouting? A doctor, a job interview? Typing in caps is not stylish or unique, it is naive and ignorant

  18. I am not a fan of her gofundme page but writing a book is a perfectly honourable way to make money. You can buy it or not. Unless you write a blockbuster no author gets rich from one book.

  19. Dear Hostess, always enjoy your colorful photographs and gracious conversation. You are a kind woman, please don't apologize for your concern toward a fellow human being who is clearly suffering. It is a shame that there are some very miserable and hard-hearted people out there, we can only feel sorry for them and wonder what went wrong in their life.

  20. I wonder what is wrong in the lives of people who idolise bloggers that they do not even know, all they know is their blog persona, yet they consider these strangers ' friends' and declare their love for them, as though some of their perceived prestigious life of luxury will rub off onto their groupies
    Yes, that is what you are, blog groupies, and you have absolutely no idea what this person is really like in reality, but if you'd prefer to live in a blog groupie fantasy land, go your hardest

    1. Anonymous,
      I do not consider myself a "groupie" I am merely a "follower" which is what the now defunct "google friend" called blog readers.
      I have no delusions that by reading Ellie's blog or any other blog that I am "rubbing shoulders" with a life of prestige.
      Personally speaking I do not idolize any are confusing me with someone else.
      I do not "live in a groupie fantasy world" I can assure you that my life is genuine and real and my feet are firmly planted on the ground.
      Bloggers share the parts of themselves (as you said their blog persona) that they want the world to Ellie's case she shared her struggles, ups and downs, and challenges while living with ALS...we readers can only "know" a bit about her personality by what she has really know very little about me if you are insinuating that I am a groupie.
      These outrageous statements are too generic and on my blog I would prefer that you address me personally.

  21. Hi I don't know about the recent shenanigans as I've just found you but have to say I enjoyed the wander through your days and garden. Thank you

    1. Thank you Anna,
      I am going to pop over and read your blogs now...

  22. If I could add that I recently had a moment where I wondered whether to continue as I had a negative comment. I wrote about in my post titled Adele. It may give you some comfort. A little bit.

    1. I can assure you that I am not considering closing down my blog because someone left a negative comment...I have been at this for far too long to let a few comments get under my skin. I do hope that readers who comment are polite and respectful of each other. For example, If there are comments that contain profanity or threats I will simply delete those in future as this blog is not a forum or platform for bad manners.

  23. I do BELIEVE she wrote the BOOK for Her DAUGHTER and HERSELF.SHE started the BOOK over three years ago.........I met HER then and she had just LOST most of what she had written!!People do write BOOKS to make MONEY.........PEOPLE do write BOOKS because they are STATIONARY.SHE has a way with WORDS and cannot MOVE!This was something to DO with HER TIME..............and leaving HER STORY behind for those of us WHO CARE.
    What I have seen in your writing is PURE JEALOUSY.PARIS,FRENCH HUSBAND,FAMOUS FRIENDS....................if YOU do not agree MOVE ON.Most of us have been FOLLOWING her FOR YEARS.............from your remarks YOU ARE A NEW BE.
    Now,because THE HOSTESS has INVITED us ALL into her GARDEN today why don't you take a deep breath and find something NICE to say.If you grew up in OUR ERA your MOTHER would have taught YOU" If you have nothing nice to say don't say anything at all!"That is GOOD MANNERS.........which this WORLD is LACKING BIG TIME at the MOMENT!
    Hostess YOUR CLEMATIS is SUBLIME.................your GARDEN with the NEW plantings will BE GLORIOUS!I do the same wander with coffee in hand in the morning to see new growth and what needs attention.IT's a wonderful TIME of YEAR!!!
    HOW EXCITING ABOUT YOUR DAUGHTER..................wish MY SONS would make a MOVE!!!

    1. Stop shouting in capital letters, you idiotic old woman!

    2. Anonymous,
      The Vintage Contessa types in caps often, as is her "style."
      Blog authors are individuals and we have our personal touches when we write...
      I like to use "..." as it is "my style."
      If you do not like the capitals please just stop really is very need to get so upset over such a minor is not good for your health to be so angry...and please cease and desist from the name is not polite and I will not condone this type of behaviour towards my blog readers.

    3. Seriously?? Many excellent bloggers write their entire blogs in capital letters; no one can actually hear shouting on a blog. It is anachronistic to consider it shouting.
      You are a disgrace. Insulting and angry. You do not belong. Don't buy Ellie's book; don't read Ellie's blog.
      Ellie's admirers very much love and care about her. That is very real.

      She wrote her book to spread the word and raise consciousness about ALS. The hours she has spent on it are remarkable. At great personal effort. It is quite an accomplishment.
      Greedy people do not write books to make money.

      You and your vituperation are not welcome here. There are lots of blogs for people like you. Please go to them. The sweet Hostess of this blog does not deserve your venom. I do feel sorry for you. Just go away.

    4. You sound very angry, Penelope
      Hilarious how you've taken the bait, and i've reeled you in
      Please chill

    5. I am not angry; I am just tired of you and your approach.

      "Trolls are immune to criticism and logical arguments. True trolls cannot be reasoned with, regardless of how sound your logical argument is.
      Trolls do not feel remorse like you and me. They have sociopathic tendencies, and accordingly, they delight in other people having hurt feelings.
      Trolls consider themselves separate from the social order.
      Trolls do not abide by etiquette or the rules of common courtesy.
      Trolls consider themselves above social responsibility.
      Trolls gain energy by you insulting them.
      Trolls gain energy when you get angry.
      The only way to deal with a troll is to ignore him, or take away his ability to post online."

  24. Thank you Contessa!
    The garden is a delight at this time of year when things are coming into flower...I saw your new "old" coffee cup this morning on your blog and am sipping my cafe creme out os a deep bowl and savouring the flavour..." little things" like these habits, those we choose to do for ourselves,everyday, in our daily round go a long way to making us feel happy and joyful.
    Enjoy your weekend!

  25. Hostess, I love your garden photos. Make me envious as here in Ottawa where spring has barely begun. Garden centres just starting to open. Your blog is a such a lovely quiet place to visit. I always feel like putting on the kettle first for a nice cup of tea.

    I my opinion, it is so much easier to be kind than nasty and remember we all have a story.

    As for Ellie's book, why does she have to answer to anyone on what she plans with the profits? And why on earth would anonymous think you, Hostess, would know the answer? That Ellie had the courage and ability, in spite of all odds, to complete and publish her book is a testimony to her strength of character. I look forward to reading every word.

    Now, I think I will start planning a new little patio area in my garden (:


    1. You are so right about is never out of style and manners are so important and the lack of them says a lot about one's character.
      Good luck with your patio planning...half the fun is in the initial stage when we start the process and there are so many beautiful pots and plants available these days.

  26. I hadn't read Ellie's blog before today but when I read that she has been told that she has reached the end all I could think of is this :-

    Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas

  27. As a kiwi who follows your blog I'm delighted to hear you will soon have a kiwi in the family. I know they are a very lucky couple to have such a warm and caring family who will support them on life's journey.

    1. We are thrilled to have a "Kiwi" in our family...he is exactly the kind of fellow that we would have chosen too!

  28. Thank you! You will be doing us all a favor. It is very upsetting to see people we love, care about and respect being attacked and insulted. They don't deserve it; nor do you!

  29. The photo of you and your daughter is beautiful. You have lots of happy occasions on the horizon!
    We should make an attempt at tea in the gardens again this year.

  30. Goodness! I’ve just had a bit of a catch-up on your blog posts Hostess.

    I haven’t come up against much negativity in my years of blogging and feel like sending you a big hug right now. (Hopefully you got one from Darling Daughter) Your reasons for writing about Ellie are intelligent, logical and personal, and it’s a terrible shame when some people want to turn those reasons into ugly things. I think Ellie’s book is valuable and her brave spirit of these past few years is something to share. When I teach the therapy journal course, I teach it from having gone thru an illness which may possibly mean that my own life may not be as long as I had hoped. It’s something we all fear, and maybe that fear is driving the discussion, but it’s important to discuss how something makes one feel about terminal illness and about writing from the heart of what you know. I know you would have hoped that this discussion might have taken place without people feeling the need to shame each other or condemn another way of life. Respectful dialog is always possible but it requires courtesy, open mindedness and self control. X

  31. Your home is so charming, and I love what you've done with the patio. It's going to be a wonderful place to sit and relax. Exciting that your daughter is getting married this summer and so glad you're pleased with her choices..all of them. I'm not sure I would have taken an elopement as well. You're a very gracious woman, in all ways, and an inspiration to all.

  32. I love the beautiful photo of you and your daughter.
    I too had to go back, wondering what shenanigans you were referring to? I'm also for people voicing their opinions, as long as they're not threatening, racist, or sexually offensive.
    I think you're handling the comments very well, Hostess.
    How wonderful it must be to have your children get married. I look forward to the day, my son gets married. Maybe he won't be so messy?

    1. I am not sure that marriage will change your son's tendency towards being,
      as you say, "messy!" But then again I am a person who tends to pick up things and enjoys some kind of order in the home so I think I understand where you are coming from with that comment.

  33. this fits the exact description of a "troll". trying to get a "rise" and make you angry. I sent you the description of a troll. I did not make it up. It is a real problem on the internet.
    You have been mercifully untouched until now. It is your blog.

    I humbly suggest you delete them before you publish the. that is what I do.
    I have had very few; however, I have published only recently around one a month. I monitor the comments.

    A "troll" has attacked me by my comments on "Cote de Texas" for 3 years. I stopped commenting for quite a while....I started again...and again......I was attacked this week...accused of having Alzheimers. Cruel......and also of making up my clients, my goes on and boring.
    I don't know what to say. It is a real problem.
    The thing I sent you I guess is the only way to deal. Deny them them ability to speak.
    Otherwise......they h ijack your blog and insult your people.....and rile everyone up!

    Wasn't it so interesting that one said......"you got so angry Penelope....I could reeel you in and I loved it! or something like that!I erased it immediately. It may be the demise of blogging.....which will break my heart.
    I approve every single comment....I allow no anonymous.....and I am writing fewer blogs.
    I refuse to give them a forum. Not one word do I allow them to say. they are just trying to stir up trouble. enough trouble exists.......I do not allow them.
    Up to you.....I LOVE your blog! I a m delighted to discover! And thank you for your post on Ellie.....she is a divine person....funny, lovely, brave beyond! Thank you !!

  34. Oh I had no idea Penelope! Thank you for your advice too, I appreciate it and have taken it under fact there was some "strong language" in a recent anon comment so naturally I deleted it.
    How unfortunate that you have had such a problem with that you have set up your blog to approve all the comments before they go online you can still keep blogging. I would not like to think that you would give up blogging because of a "troll" when you have so much to share.
    I have read your posts and you share photographs of such beautiful interiors and the decorating ideas are luxurious and inspiring...please keep sharing your talents with your audience.

  35. Thank you so much!! I am delighted; and you are inspiring me to continue!