Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Random stuff on Wednesday.

~ The Humble Bungalow ~

The garden out front has many plants and flowers.

Among them are yellow rudbeckia flowers 
a variety of yellow, pink, and red roses.

Limelight hydrangeas
lime kniphofia

The deer have been by munching on the Hostas and the Hydrangeas so the new garden help suggested that we try spraying with BOBEX...
it is all natural but is very stinky and it deters the deer from chowing down on the plants that have been treated.

Our tiny entry hall is rather cluttered,
it is where we hang our coats
store our brollies

Inside the picnic basket are winter woolly scarves and gloves.
No room for a wardrobe and no closets...

This wee area of the living room is where I write cards.
The quartersawn oak arts and crafts desk has many compartments inside 
which I use to store our address book, stamps, pens, and cards. 

We have such a small living area on the main floor...
about 975 square feet so we need to be careful not to collect too much stuff!
In 100 year old +  bungalows, storage was not originally a consideration.

People generally did not have a lot of extra things...
they were living on limited incomes, credit was not available and so people tended to be quite frugal.

Our bedroom closet is really small and we have to renovate that room someday. Mr. HB will redesign our closet and have some built in drawers installed.

We use the downstairs closets for our out of season clothes.

Trying to keep a minimal wardrobe is my goal but every so often I act on impulse and buy something that is usually something that I already have represented in my current wardrobe.

Buying a variation of something that I already own and don't really NEED 
is a waste of money.

This summer I paid attention to 
what I wore regularly 
what did not get worn often 
what never got worn.

3 dresses were worn regularly and two others hung in the closet.
I wore 2 pairs of pants and the same few tops weekly.

The rest languished away...

 Why have something if it is not being used especially when storage is an issue?

The exercise also showed me that the clothes I wore 
were those that made me feel good wearing them
and  coincidentally 
they are the better quality more expensive items in my closet.

With that in mind, I plan to buy fewer things come the Fall and opt for better quality "investment" pieces.
It seems to me to make sense not to waste the space, time and money 
on something mediocre that is not going to be a workhorse in the wardrobe.

Walking scenery...

Clover Point on Dallas Road
the start of my regular 5 km. walking route.

Midway along the route Ross Bay
looking across at The Olympic Mountain Range in Washington State.

Ross Bay and the trees that line the edge of the historic Ross Bay Cemetery.
Walks have been lovely with the sunny warm weather...
breezes have been slight which I appreciate.

Plainsong was a good book...
a slightly different genre than I usually read but it came with high praise from the gal at the bookstore.
I have reserved the second in the series, Eventide,  at the local library.

In other news...
The scale has responded to the no alcohol regime.
I quit the wine habit last Tuesday.

Several readers have emailed me regarding me giving up alcohol.
My new tipple...non alcoholic wine.
It tastes good and has way less calories than real wine and is less expensive.

The information on the bottle 
may be of interest to you. 

I sip a couple of glasses at night, 
one before dinner and one with dinner.

Willows Beach walk
mixing up the walk locations for a variety of scenery.

There is a tearoom near the playground.
Mom and I used to stop in after our walk along the Esplanade.
I have taken tea here several times this summer and I think of her when I sip my cuppa.

My Mulberry knapsack has been getting a lot of wear this summer.
I love to be hands free when walking and it is the perfect size for my prescription glasses, wallet, lipstick, tissues and keys.

I love the colour of the leather and the details.
It is a sturdy bag that should wear well for many years.

Positively Smitten with this bag...
I like the shape, the brown embossed croc finish, and the clasp detail
it is not too big 
so there is no worry that I would be carrying a too heavy bag and injure my shoulder again!
  Plus it is a bonus that it is a cross body bag.

Perhaps I will invest in this one...
it has been ages since I bought a "new" handbag.
The last two have been thrift shop finds.

Back to the garden...

One of the Hostas that the deer have munched!

Thankfully the giant Rudbeckias seem to be safe from the deer.

Are you familiar with books by Kristin Hannah?
Firefly Lane (2008) is a page turner...
Kristin has a large number of books to her credit
and why have I not read her novels before this?
 I have no clue!

Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow Blog
taking time out of your day to read the blog and glance at the pictures.

Hope that you are enjoying these last few days of August.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sunday up alcohol on the blog today.

Remember these pink foxgloves?
The geraniums are still going strong but many of the garden flowers have faded away...summer is slowly but surely on its way out 
surprisingly the sunshine and warmth have not yet waned.

When we have finished working in the garden we are able to sit on the deck in our comfy chairs and survey all our hard work.

The garden has many plants that love the heat and perform well over the entire summer season...
others fade as soon as their blooms have wilted.
The lady's mantle is looking very straggly and needs to be drastically cut back.

Inside The Humble Bungalow the orchids have taken a beating...
something has crept in...
an unwelcome insect or pest
that has affected several of the older plants...
I had to throw them into the compost.

Fear not, 
I will be on the look out for a sale and find a few replacements.
They do add loads of cheer to the windowsill above the Humble Bungalow farmhouse kitchen sink.

The rose scent hunt for "the one" is still ongoing...
I have eliminated quite a few on the quest to find one or two that I love.
I will report back when I have completed my testing.

Love a pop of colour in the garden...
these chairs are perched on the railing of a porch on Denman Island
placed next to a jumble of blue flowers.

Delphiniums and bees.

gardening is a green thumbs' way of painting!

After trying and failing to lose 10 pounds several times
I am back counting my points and have quit drinking all alcohol 
in an effort to get back to my goal weight.

The liver plays a significant role in burning fat so cutting out anything that impedes this progress is worth it.
I've been sipping non-alcoholic wines 
which are 1 or 2 WW points per 8 oz. glass.
After sampling several varieties ~ red, white and bubbly...
I have found a couple that taste great, and I have opted for the 1 point wines.

The plan is to return to weight watchers in September...
in the meantime 
I am back counting my points, making sensible food choices
and walking briskly every day.

Putting my "best foot forward" 
as I did it before
 I CAN do it again.

I have lusted after the red Ferragamo Varina's for many years 
IF I can find a pair this Fall 
providing I get back to my WW goal weight 
that is going to be my reward.

Nothing like a red shoe to make one feel cheerful.

There's a lot to do in the garden so I must hasten away and get busy.

Have you seen The Gardener's Cottage newly designed blog?
Janet has been one of the first bloggers that I discovered and I think she's just delightful and her new blog is wonderful.
Pop over and take a look.

Until next time...
Be well and Be Kind.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

August snippets...

It's been a food fest this past week as we celebrated Mr. HB's birthday.
He loves pasta so we went to one of the best Italian restaurants Zambri's.
Family, friends and food...a winning combination!

We shared a Caesar salad and I opted for the filet of beef with polenta.
I only ate half of this tasty meal but every bite was delicious!

Mr. HB ordered his favourite pasta dish.

His dessert was a lemon gelato with cookies!
I couldn't help but think of something else when this arrived at the table.

Does it remind you of something?

The morning of the eclipse I stayed inside.
I had oodles of laundry to catch up on and a new book to read...

A lovely assortment of stories from well known authors.
A little armchair travel in the City of Light.

I made a tasty pasta last night with some of our homegrown tomatoes.

We like to eat our pasta out of bowls
using a fork with the aid of a spoon 
which makes it easy twirling the spaghetti noodles.

The recipe is from Monet's Palate Cookbook:
The Artist and His Garden at Giverny.

it's definitely
one of my favourite ways to use ripe fresh tomatoes.
Rich in flavour and simple.

Dinner is served!

Graham Thomas, a David Austin rose, 
is blooming in the "work area" of the Humble Bungalow Garden. 
This area is where we have our rolling bins 
that we use for garden cuttings and grass clippings...
we also have a wood pile in that spot so a beautiful fragrant yellow rose is a wonderful way of cheering up this area.

Good news!

 We have found a garden helper.
She is a well known local landscape designer 
who is studying at Great Dixter in the UK 
and she has graciously agreed to help us out.
I have high hopes....

We may avail ourselves of her expert design services 
and have her improve two of our overgrown beds.

The limelight hydrangeas are really in their glory this month.
I have been on a boxwood kick too...
buying them and popping them in pots randomly around the garden.

The construction of one of the two houses next door to The Humble Bungalow.
We chatted with the neighbours a couple of days ago
when they were looking at flooring samples and they have been told by the contractor that the house will not be ready to occupy until February!

Its no surprise that it is taking so long as the local trades are so busy.
There is a building boom happening here in town and our neighbourhood is just one of many that are buzzing with building projects.

The real estate market here has gone berserk!
 Prices have sky rocketed and I keep thinking that it has to stop sometime soon...

It makes it very challenging for young families and couples starting out to get into a condo or a home.

I have been diligently applying this cream 3 times each day.
It has reduced the red area on my knee...
from my nasty fall on the dock.

Instead of a Toonie sized angry red patch 
there is a small dime sized spot
which I think will fade and there will be no scar.

I met up with some girlfriends for lunch today and had a lovely long walk.
The weather continues to be warm and sunny...

Summer is drawing to a close...
and soon we will be thinking about sweaters and dressing in layers 
but for now let's savour the last few weeks.

What are you reading?
Have you been shopping for Fall and Winter pieces yet?

Hope that your week is off to a great start.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Shopping ~ a wee bit of Retail Therapy!

When one has a closet that is curated and has the basics there is no real "need" to go shopping...I have not inherited Mother's lifelong passion for fashion
and the urge to be continually purchasing and filling up more closets with beautiful things has not been my top priority.
(roses on the other hand, can one have too many?)

Mom was wearing current and up to date outfits until a few weeks before she died...always taking care of her shoes, handbags and beautiful jewelry.
She dressed up everyday as if she was going to the theatre and her neighbours would always ask her in the elevator where she was going as she looked so well turned out...her response was "I am going downstairs to get my mail!"

Since Mom passed I have been in a bit of a rut...
I would not go so far as to say depressed, but definitely content to wear my walking and Yoga gear all day...I suppose I am seeking solace and comfort in cozy comfy clothes...perhaps being a tad lazy in the process.

So with these thoughts in the back of my mind I took myself out for a shopping expedition to Sidney where Mom and I loved to look for clothes.

So I took myself to the shops...
(Emma Bridgewater tote bag)

The French company Saint James makes a variety of striped tees.

I like a V neck as I am so short and this particular top has side vents at the bottom which is helpful when one is not at their slimmest!

They make lovely sweaters, coats, tops and shirts.
I purchased this top and am very happy with it...the fabric is weighty enough to skim the body and it is smooth and soft.
Amazingly comfortable which is a priority for me.

I bought a striped Saint James umbrella last winter and a lovey raincoat.
I am tempted to buy a sweater for winter...

I consider this to be an investment purchase as it is a tad under $200.
But it fulfills my desire to have a new striped top...
the one that I bought in Paris at the COS store 2 years ago 
finally wore out from frequent wearings.
My hairdresser told me that the COS store has opened in Vancouver's Gastown district.
 I plan to make a pilgrimage to peruse their stock sometime this Fall.

The weather has been glorious for my daily walks.

The scenery is so beautiful that it encourages me to walk 
and the ocean calms at the same time.

I read this fascinating book
The Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin PHD
a memoir.
It was a peek into the lives of the privileged mommies who live in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
A world unlike anything I have ever known!

I would recommend you read it if you are at all interested in how the uber wealthy young moms dress, eat and exercise...
and the lengths they go to to be the best that they can be.

A day in the garden spent in peace and quiet 
dead heading the roses and then taking some time to sit with a glass of lemonade on the front porch of The Humble Bungalow...

Feeling grateful.

Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow Blog.