Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Thoughts on Mom and a peek inside the closet...

I started writing this post before I found out that Mother had cancer and I am immersed in her care giving with little time for anything else...

 a little window of opportunity and escape presented itself this morning 
so I took the opportunity to edit and share it with you today.

My days are filled with ups and downs
oodles of tears
interspersed with laughter
Mother is telling me stories of her childhood 

her life as a nursing student at the Catholic Hospital
snippets of trips that she took with my Father
she is sharing a side of herself that she has never before revealed
it is quite a gift
and I am so grateful for this opportunity
to be at her side.

Despite her pain we find ourselves laughing
and there is a lot of hand holding
as we sip
many cups of tea throughout the day

I knit to keep my hands busy while she sleeps...
there in the silence
 memories and thoughts bubble up
there is a huge lump in my throat
and the realization that Mom is on her way...
she is calling the shots and is very much in control of her demise...

Mom has 4 closets full of beautiful clothes...
she loves fashion and has always been a stylish dresser.

Here is our
Teeny tiny closet
workout wear is interspersed with everyday basics.

After posting about Tees,
 I received several emails from readers who wanted to see more posts on clothes and my wardrobe.

I pine for a better, more organized closet and fortunately it is in the plans.
Just when it will happen
I am not sure,
when we redecorate our bedroom 
the closet will be completely redesigned.

Basic Winter Everyday Wardrobe
(does not include evening or special occasion attire)

Two shirts
crisp white shirt by Northern Reflections 
blue Tencel Nine West

2 skirts
black M.I.K.O knit 
grey Kenar boiled wool 

I wear skirts a lot more after I bought the new thicker Hue tights.

Part Two simple black wool sweater 

Bamboo dress Blue Sky 
which can also be worn with footless tights

3 tops
black and white patterns and stripes
Bianca Nygard V neck asymmetrical pattern 
Lands End tunic top 
Betty Barclay stripe 

black Style and Co. top 

these pants look dreadful 
hanging here 
 they look much better on

grey knit pants 
black knit pants 

vintage leather vest 
black cut velvet Nygard pants 

You can see that the basics are covered
black and grey items make up the bulk of my Fall and Winter wardrobe.
Most garments are separates and are worn with many other pieces.

I don't "need" more clothing...

I replace garments when they are worn out, which is usually very few years.
When one has fewer items in rotation the clothes actually do wear out.

Washing garments inside out on the gentle cycle, 
then carefully hanging them to dry does prolong their life.

What colours do you like to wear?

Is your wardrobe big or small?

I will not have time to respond to all your comments 
but I will read each and every one.

Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow Blog.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~


  1. Very sorry re your mum. Those last few months are precious. I found myself and my dad saying things we'd never said before. Its a sad but therapeutic time in a way too. My clothes are much more numerous. I think because I had so little in clothes choice as a child. I do wear colour. Colourful scarves add variety.

  2. Many thoughts and prayers are with you. I am glad that you are able to share this time with your mother. Please take good care of yourself as well.
    I appreciate your post and the reality of your wardrobe. It makes perfect sense.

  3. Leslie, what a wonderful gift to be able to share this time with your mother. I am so glad that she is "still in control" as this time will be comforting memories to add to your others. It is challenging both physically and emotionally. I've lost both my parents in the past ten years. I'm glad you have your sister and your family, especially those grandchildren! I continue to pray for you.
    I love getting peeks into your wardrobe! I've always been impressed that you know what you like, and you have a sense of your boundries in style. I still like variety....some days I feel classic and some days it's more artsy. I'm coming to terms with that, and trying to plan accordingly.
    Thank you for taking the time to do these posts, and please make sure you take care of yourself as much as is possible.

  4. Hi Leslie, best wishes to you, your mum and your sister as you go through this journey together.

    My neutral is navy blue, I love it. In winter I dress mostly in cords (I have navy, light brown, winter white, cobalt blue and maroon) with a sweater. I have some lovely Brora cashmere (thanks to Dani BP!), mostly bought in the winter sale. On top I like wearing navy, light blue, beige/camel/cream, some pinks. I probably have more clothes than you, but nowhere near as many as I see on other people's blogs! :0)

  5. I love how you keep your wardrobe simple but versatile. Mine is medium size- used to be an explosion of color- I'm working to simplify and stick to a basic color palate- trying to figure out what that will be- warm fall colors look best on me.
    Your mom sounds like a lovely strong woman of substance- a blessing and role model to her children- wishing you much comfort in these times. -Bridget

  6. Thinking of you and your very special time with your Mom. xo

  7. * life :: the bitter with the sweet .. so thankful you're able to spend these necessary moments with your mother. what a treasure held dear. blessings...
    * thank you for a peek into your wardrobe. i'm planning to share my own capsule wardrobe journey next week, lord willin' and the creek don't rise. realizing that i live in a natural flood plain and there are flood issues presently... well, we'll see. wink.

  8. I'm so sorry for your sadness, and yet happy for you, that you have this time to share special moments with your mom. My mom passed away last April, so the feelings of loss are still very fresh in my mind. Wishing your mom much peace and comfort in the days ahead. Thinking of you.

  9. May you find strength in the new stories your Mom shares with you and memories you relive. My Mom passed away a year ago this month from cancer so I know something of what you are going through. Thank you for sharing your closet with mix and match your minimalism well. Take care of yourself.

  10. Thinking of you and your Mom during this difficult time. Carol

  11. So sorry to hear about your mum, Leslie. My thoughts are with you both. Mary x.

  12. Dear Hostess, I am so very sorry for the sadness you are going through, but I am happy you are spending this time with your Mum - it is very important and precious for both of you.I lost both of my parents within 3 months of each other a few years back - I know how it feels right now, but you will look back and be so grateful of this time together...I must say Hostess that you always look lovely - so sophisticated and 'put together'. You always look classy - whether casual or formally dressed. I am following your lead and trying to be more that way !

  13. Thankfully you and your family live near your mom. It's also good that she's sharing her history with you. If you have an tablet/iPad, you could jot down her stories or even record her if she were willing.

    You obviously inherited her sense of fashion, albeit on a reduced scale by necessity.

    Take care of yourself.

  14. Might I suggest recording your chats or her memories of her childhood,on through her life? How I wish I had done that for my grand-daughters.
    Be strong, and don't worry about other things, just enjoy this time.

  15. I'm so sorry to read the news about your Mother, L. These days together are so precious, treasure each one.
    My wardrobe is fairly minimal, too. I rely heavily on black, grey and white, with occasional pops of colour.

  16. This is a very precious time, Hostess. You are so privileged to be at your mother's bedside. I have been thinking of you as we are more or less moving in tandem at this point.
    Your wardrobe choices are lovely - so SANE!!! I need to take a page from your book!

  17. Keeping you and your Mum in my thoughts. Very special time with your Mum as she shares her memories with you. Glad that is able to call the "shots."

  18. I am so touched that you are having this special time with your Mum, and that she is clearly mentally alert and in charge and calling the shots. What special memories you will always have, despite the difficulties of the moment. My wardrobe is quite large, and divides into a lot of seasonal variations - partly because most homes here are not artificially heated or cooled or like us, only in one room. I like variety, and I like to sew and experiment with different looks and colours, and like another commenter I had very few clothes as a child yet even then liked fashion as an art form, studying the ladies at church and their new hats and frocks, naughty me. Guess I am making up for it as an adult.

  19. Wishing you comfort and peace in the days ahead. My wardrobe is small and fairly boring - navy, black, white, grey, khaki, stripes, fleece, sweaters, turtlenecks. Thanks for sharing your wardrobe.

  20. Your Mother sounds like a very strong person as she travels this life journey. Sharing her stories with you and having you at her side is such a precious time for you both. I can relate, as I shared similar time with my Uncle just one year ago. Like you, sharing many cups of tea. Your wardrobe is so well organized and planned. Mine is less so. I rely mostly on classics. Jeans for casual. Quality oxford shirts. Black dress slacks and pencil skirts that mix well with many tops, and dress up or down, depending on the venue. Re. closets. There are many options for closet design, I am collecting photos and evaluating alternatives.

  21. I'm glad that you are able to discover a new side of your mother. I think that probably we all want to share our lives with others in our later days.

  22. I think of all the times you have talked about going to lunch or tea with your mother and your shopping outings. How fortunate that you have had such closeness together when she has had such good health. May all of those wonderful times help the two of you through this transition. Take care and thank you for sharing with us.

  23. My thoughts are with you Leslie. Sending you strength to get you thru this time.

  24. I have a very large closet, with less and less in it. I'm on a trip now, and want to declutter it even more when we return. I don't get bored repeating clothes, as I don't get bored with meals either. I don't think I need much variety in day to day living and in fact, the routine and my "uniform" of jeans and a simple sweater is very comforting and makes life easier.
    So very sorry about your mom, and it seems you're all handling it so well...and with authenticity. xo

  25. It must be very sad for you-but it is precious that your mother has you in these moments. Being together,sharing life stories,holding hands....
    My basics are black,navy,white and camel,(with couple of pieces in red or purple) the scarfs are here to add the colours
    I have a lot of space,but try not to buy more things (actually only replacing) having in mind my future plans for (maybe) moving to the condo one day
    Take care

  26. Thoughts are with you at this sad time. Good that you can share memories. Something I regret with my grandparentsis not asking about memories of their grandparents, taking my family back many generations and years. I knew a little of their parents but nothing of grandparents. My husband secretly records little conversations he has with his mum about her childhood etc Look after yourself too. Best wishes from Annice in Australia

  27. It is so wonderful that your mother is both able and willing to gift you with all these wonderful memories - you are very lucky to be gifted with them. And your mother is so lucky to have her wonderful family with her at this difficult time. Please remember to take some time for yourself - I've been there and even though some days all you seem to do is sit there - the emotional exhaustion does manifest itself physically. Take care.

    As for wardrobes - I have become a devotee of The Vivienne Files and while I was always pretty good at mixing and matching, now I really think about how each new addition will work with existing items.
    I tend to black, grey and navy as my basics, white as my neutral, and then quite a few accent colours - although they only show up in items such as cardigans, t-shirts, scarves, and costume jewelry. I tend to stick with the basics for shoes & purses as well so my wardrobe is actually quite small compared to most.

    I haven't bought anything new since September. I was laid off then so my retirement wardrobe has been very casual.

  28. Dear Leslie,
    Thinking of you and your Mom. It is such a gift that you have this time together.
    This Saturday will be four years since I lost my Mom; I miss her every day, but I am so grateful to have had her for 40 years.
    Sending best wishes and peace.

  29. What a gift your mother is leaving you. The stories she is sharing with you are something you will cherish forever. And they are a legacy you can hand down to your daughters. Hugs to you. You've been on my mind all week.

  30. How very lucky your mom is to have her daughters by her side. I am sure you are all a great comfort to one another. It is always "too soon" to lose our mothers- but when I go I should consider myself very lucky to have my two daughters sharing the last of my days near me. Peace.

  31. I too am thinking of you and your mum. My dad only got 6 weeks after his diagnosis last year and as he lives a flight away I only managed 4 last visits, but as you said they were precious times. It is a privilege to be there for them, to share that special time and make them feel loved.


  32. Too small but BIGGER THAN yours!
    YOU ARE A WONDERFUL DAUGHTER.............and the stories she is sharing are WONDERFUl.I wish my MOTHER shared more of her LIFE.Love how she gave away her jewels................keep us posted.WE ARE HERE FOR YOU.

  33. Thinking of you, Leslie, as you navigate this journey. I'm so glad that mum is cognizant and in charge...she will be able treasure this time with you, and you'll be rewarded with some wonderful memories. Your wardrobe is simple, tasteful and adaptable, but never boring - a tricky balance and you manage it with style! Wishing you strength and peace. jen

  34. My wardrobe is quite large. My weight has fluctuated over the years and I also try not to purchase items that will be out of season quickly. I tried a wardrobe based on black anchor pieces, another based on khaki pants and white blouses, cable crew neck sweaters, and so on. I became bored with the parameters by November and ended up buying more clothes in as
    many colors as I could find and that cost me more in the long run. So now, based a lot on
    Janice's (The Vivienne Files) color stories I have color group collections that I rotate, so far, during school vacations when I have the time.
    I wish you peace and strength as you navigate with your mother through her life's journey. It is not easy (I know from personal experience-it's 15 years now for me) but I am grateful to have been a part of my mother's care as she fought the diagnosis until she could fight no longer. My heart is with you. Carol

  35. So sorry to hear about your mother's diagnosis and what you are going through right now. I hope that you are able to enjoy these days with her and will make many lovely memories. I sometimes wish I had asked more questions and taken notes when I was going through this with my father. I often think of things I wish I could ask him. Please remember to take care of yourself. It's a stressful time. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Charlene

  36. Sending thoughts of comfort and strength for you, your mother and the rest of your family at this challenging time.

  37. It is so difficult for me to think about what your are going through. I went through this two years ago and there is no way to express how badly I feel for you. Words just are not enough. One of the things that I needed from time to time was to escape the reality of what was happening. One way I did this was by reading blogs- yours included. They transported me away temporarily from the reality and responsibilities that I faced. I hope you can do the same. And even though this sounds trite, I truly promise you my prayers.

  38. Thinking about you Leslie ... although these are no doubt difficult days for you and your mum, I'm sure you're treasuring this time you're spending together...wonderful that she's sharing her special memories.
    Take care ...

  39. So sorry to hear about the state of your mother's health! I'm sure she is in caring hands. I don't recall you mentioning that she was unwell, is this a sudden discovery? Take care and best wishes! Emily

  40. Thinking of your mother and you and the rest of your family. I'm so glad to hear that you are enjoying this bittersweet time with her.

    I've always loved your wardrobe. Mine is probably somewhat similar in that I wear lots of black and gray and the parts are interchangeable. I do think mine could be better thought out.

    I do have one suggestion (which you may already know!) I've discovered a product for laundry (in the machine) which will help keep my black clothing items from fading. It is called "Woolite Extra Dark Care". it is purplish laundry detergent formulated especially for black and other dark clothing to keep fading at bay.

  41. Great blog post. You seem to have your style and clothing needs down. I'm sorry to hear about your mother. When I was going through something similar with my mother I wish I had kept a journal of each day. My mom wasn't very talkative about her life or her wishes really, but what little she said I wish I had written down. It has only been a year and a half, but some of the detail are blurring already. I know you will make the most of all the time you have. ~Mary

  42. Looks like you know what clothing styles are comfortable to you,and the books on editing your wardrobe are so popular now.
    Saying goodbye to ones mother is such an intimate and personal experience. There is no script to follow. I lost my beloved mother two years ago, and I am so grateful she was heathy and pain free. She was only 93. We used to laugh at my use of the word only, in regards to age.