Friday, December 16, 2016

What's happening here in the Humble Bungalow...saying thank you to Jamie Cat Callan

Cold weather has been hanging around here in Victoria for the past few weeks with no signs of warming up. Our zero and minus 4 degree days make for a chilly outing if one is not adequately dressed. This morning, for example, Victorians living on the west shore awoke to a burst water main that closed the Trans Canada Highway into town! The traffic was snarled for hours and now only one lane is open.

Hat, gloves, scarf, warm down coat over top of layers of tops and socks have been necessary when venturing out of the house...
imagine the "Michelin Man" puffy coat
worn with a woolly hat that covers my ears,
a scarf
with just my eyes peeking out
and you get the picture...
the usual 60 minute walks are just not happening.
(I may need to resort to mall walking!)

I finally broke down and purchased a heavier pair of tights so that I could wear my skirts and dresses with my Chelsea boots.
I have not worn heavy tights since I retired from the school district and I was surprised when I looked for some...the prices are much higher than I remember.
As part of my job I was required to do outdoor supervision at recess and lunch and because I feel the cold I dressed like I was going to the North Pole...
Comfort wins.


Grey Boiled wool skirt
wool, rayon and spandex tights
Chelsea boots
grey top
(not visible)

It is a wee bit of a risk posting a picture
 I am such rubbish at taking selfies.

still patiently waiting for my hair to turn completely grey...
in the meantime I have embraced grey clothing with a pop of colour.
This is what I think of now as
 "Grammy Style"
I love knitting, cooking and taking care of the wee ones...
officially and unabashedly grandmotherly!

Sitting in The Humble Bungalow Living Room
gazing into the twinkle lights
sipping a cafe creme
is where I start my day.

Currently reading The Midwife of Hope River by Patricia Harman 
I loved her other novels.
Patricia is a very gifted writer..
 she has a new one coming out in January
"Runaway Midwife"
already reserved at the library.

I have read oodles and oodles of books over the years
and I have so much respect for writers 
their discipline to their craft.

I regularly consider, and wonder, if I could ever write a book.

Recently on Facebook
hosted a writing contest 
the winner would receive
a copy of her
 "Writer's Tool Box" 

Thank you Jamie
(I was fortunate in winning one of her Tool Kits)

After reading all of Jamie's books
I met her on her Ooh La La tour in Paris...
Jamie is energetic
loves life
is fun to be around
she is
  a totally delightful woman
"joie de vivre" is positively contagious.

Jamie is currently working on a new book...
which I am so looking forward to reading it when it comes out next year.

Chester demands my attention when I sit...
often he pushes my book away before settling into my lap for a cuddle.

party version

Sitting in the peace and quiet
dreams are formed



destinations farther than my front garden

a leap of faith

who knows what the future will bring?

Thank you Jamie
You continue to inspire me everyday.
I will always remember my trip to Paris.

If it were not for Jamie
 I am not sure that I would have ever realized my dream.

So many thoughts bubble up 
so many of those feelings that lay dormant 
before I embarked on that amazing trans formative journey.

In gratitude...

Happy Holidays and Seasons Greetings!

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~


  1. Oh! Those tights! My daughter and I exchanged gifts while I was staying with her. She gave me grey fleece-lined tights (so cozy) and a grey Gilmour tunic top. I have enjoyed my "greyness" in the last few years. I really like your hair (sort of tousled pixie). I'm reading The Miniaturist right now. Did you already read it? I sort of miss my Wednesday recess supervision.
    It's funny. Often we are inspired by someone to fulfill one of our dreams. My friend, Penny, retired from teaching and studied in Paris. I never thought that I could attend the Sorbonne and live in Paris for six months but I learned through Penny's experience and my dream came true. Women so often inspire one another. We should always be grateful for friends.

    My friend, Lola and I sometimes do mall walking when it is rainy or slippery. We used to go early before opening but now we are slower to get going in the morning so we walk with the early shoppers. It's okay in a pinch but our mall is seriously overheated.

    It's such as busy time of year and the weather is not particularly cooperative. It may snow this week-end. I have a pantomime, a Cantata and two open houses!!! It is so important to pay attention to healthy living and positive attitudes during this season. To enjoy books and cuddles too!

    1. I love the Vancouver based Gilmour line of garments...
      they are so easy to wear and are flattering to the female form!
      I have not read The Miniaturist...are you enjoying it?
      Its truly wonderful that other women can inspire us to push ourselves beyond our usual safe comfort zones...
      I went for a walk today and it was seriously cold, thankfully the sidewalks were clear and not at all slippery.
      Your weekend sounds like a fun one Madame! We have several engagements too and I have been trying to save some WW points so that I can sample the tempting dishes that our hosts will serve!

  2. I love your hair like that -- tousled pixie, as Mme says.

    1. Thank you mater...I often wish my curls were more like yours!
      Did you find your warm coat?

    2. I did, thanks for asking! Still missing a pair of boots, but having to accept I may simply have culled too fiercely last spring...

  3. I know you've considered backing off on your blogging, but I have to tell you, your postings are uplifting, informative, and visually inspiring. Please stay the course. I feel that in approaching retirement, and getting older. there are very good things on deck. However, for every good thing, there are about 4 bad things. Let's focus on the good!! Your recipes are awesome, too. Merry Christmas!

    1. Sandie,
      Blogging is a hobby and I post whenever I feel the urge...postings are not regular nor are they infrequent...
      I will take a blog break perhaps once a year and then I come back to the laptop with renewed energy.
      We have been blessed with grandchildren and for us they are the greatest gifts in retirement!
      One of my former teachers had us memorize this and when you speak of good things it jogged my memory...
      Good, better , best
      May you never rest
      Until your good is better
      and your better's best!

      Thank you for this...its something I had put away for a bit and now it feel like a gift.

  4. Thank you for all the great reading tips. Because of you, I have read all of Louise Penney, Helen Simonson, and now I am off to my library's website to look up Patricia Harman. I studied midwifery many years ago, so am looking forward to seeing what the book is like!

    1. Louise Penny is a treasure...I do hope you will find Patricia Harman's books to your liking...I am halfway through her latest and had trouble putting it down tonight!

    2. Hi...may I ask where the black trousers and sparkly top were purchased? I would love a party yours ! lovely . thank you. Carolyn from Vancouver. ps. happy holidays !!

    3. The party pieces are not new but you should be able to find some items similar to them especially as you are in Vancouver and have such fabulous shops!
      The velvet pants are by Nygaard and were purchased from the Bay several seasons ago...the sequin top is totally vintage and was sourced by darling daughter it was originally from the Woodwards store. Shoes by Stuart Weitzman
      Good luck and happy shopping Carolyn!

  5. A lovely post, as always, and you take a beautiful selfie. I like your hair, which really suits you. It really sounds cold over in Vancouver, and your new tights are the business, very cute. Every time I go over there it is raining, so I can't imagine it under snow. Enjoy the season, and please keep blogging! Happy Christmas.

    1. I plan to continue with my blog as long as I have something to share.
      We had a light dusting of snow overnight and the temperatures are forecast to warm up this coming week.
      Seasons Greetings to you and your family!

  6. I love your use of "Grammy style"! I'm going to remember that one! lol
    As always, I so enjoy your posts. It's like visiting with someone. I'm glad you keep at it.
    Cats! When I sit down to read, mine feels the need to come up and scent the edges of the book I'm reading until he decides it's acceptable, and then curls ip for a snooze.
    Hope your holiday celebrations are fun and memorable!

    1. Yes it seems rather fitting that my wardrobe is now "Grammy style"
      Oh and by no means do I mean dowdy...when I refer to Grammy Style...
      Chelsea boots and skirts worn slightly above the knee, mesh tights, boyfriend jeans etc...

    2. I would never say your style is dowdy! I admire how you've made your retired life wardrobe look so chic!

  7. Staying warm is important this past week or two. I'm layering up, too. Where did you find your thick tights?
    I thoroughly enjoyed watching the tiny flakes of snow fall intermittently this morning while I was at home! Enjoy each holiday celebration.

  8. I found them at Nicholas Randall on Oak Bay Avenue...they have a great selection.
    It is still snowing here...I just made a chicken pot pie and the kitchen smells quite wonderful!
    Keep warm and I hope you have a lovely weekend!

  9. I imagine that water main break was pretty nasty! Mall walking wouldn't appeal to me at all but the very cold isn't fun either so I understand your dilemma. Your hair is looking great! I love the salt and pepper look! Grandchildren are the most wonderful. You're so fortunate yours are near. Have a lovely weekend.

    1. Mall walking could be an expensive way to walk! All the shops and such tempting window displays!
      I love seeing women whose grey hair is all one shade and that is my goal...the salt and pepper is ok in the front but the back is not so evenly peppered...there is an area that is almost like a stripe of grey!!!! Oh well...I must employ patience!
      We are very fortunate that our family live so close...I plan to decorate cookies with the little ones this week. Hope you are feeling better.

  10. First of all,thank you very much for your comment chez Mater-it was a way to reach you ,too
    I like your hair,it suits you excellent
    I've read Miniaturist and liked it
    I'm another one who started to read L. Penny (and liked it!)thanks to you
    Wearing warm tights and a skirt/dress is sometimes the warmer version for me than jeans or velvet trousers
    How nice to meet Jamie Cat Callan-I've read French Women don't Sleep Alone
    Have a nice Sunday

    1. I am stumped as to why some of your comments are not getting through to me?
      I did add moderation to the comments, I read, approve and publish all that are not offensive or rude in nature and your comments never fall into that category!
      Enjoy your Sunday too Dottoressa!