Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Raindrops keep falling....thinking of MOM.

It has been a pretty wet, wild and windy week.
I have felt rather out of sorts...
not blue, 
just kind of irritable...

Despite these feelings
I've managed to be quite productive.

Frequently when the rains set in I tend to "cocoon"
laying low 
reading, knitting and taking tea.

One advantage of these blustery days is that I prefer 
 staying close to home...
I did go to bridge lessons and play bridge and I made a Grand Slam!

I have baked several dozen batches of sugar cookies 
sprinkled with red and green sprinkles.

I wrote out our Christmas cards while sipping tea by the fire.
Picked up and worked on my knitting project, 
the large lap blanket that is quite large and awkward to manoeuvre.

Of course there has been some reading...
laundry and ironing.
There is always a lot to do here in The Humble Bungalow.

The newest book is by Mary Lovell 
who also wrote The Mitford Girls 
a book that I devoured and savoured reading...
so I will be expecting the same quality and interesting subject matter.

I broke one of my dental crowns
it fell apart as I was nibbling coleslaw.

There is a temporary on my tooth right now as I wait for a replacement crown.
The crown was 2 years old and apparently they come with a 5 year warranty
so I am relieved that I do not have to pay for another one.
Must say that this was a welcome surprise...

Evenings we have been sitting by the fire in The Humble Bungalow
keeping warm and cozy
makes me appreciate our tiny home so much more.

The dark wood in our bungalow glows with the lamplight
it looks best 
during the Fall and Winter months.

Drafts seem to disappear when the fire is roaring
lovely to hear the sounds of the crackle and pop 
as the wood burns.

Comfort foods and the cold weather seem to go hand in hand.
Soups, Stews, Roasted Vegetables, Mashed Potatoes
all have been cooked and eaten this past week.

Craving warm dishes, 
I have been eating oatmeal for breakfast most mornings.

French inspired...
yogurt with a tablespoon of jam stirred into it, 
a quick and easy bedtime snack.

The sun popped out one day
my spirits lifted
it was so good to see some colour.

Green moss encrusted pillar

close up of the moss 
with the Garry Oak Tree in the background

Lichen and moss on the trees near the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary.

Our small tree on the front porch
dressed up with white lights
a few festive touches are slowly being added...

I wonder if I am experiencing some of the melancholy that frequently surfaces at holiday time when one is missing a recently departed family member.

It has only been 8 months since mom passed away
I do not weep as often but she is in my thoughts every day
many of her things are here
I am wearing her cashmere sweater
her pearl necklace and using some of her kitchen gadgets.

This Christmas may be more painful than I am expecting...
I know in my heart that she would not want me to be sad 
but how can one not think about the love and the memories
after spending 62 years together?

I try to be positive and optimistic.
No point being gloomy, 
but I do have days
where the sadness is more acute than others...

In the meantime I do not ignore the feelings 
they will ease with time.

I always feel rejuvenated when I get outside on my walks.
The shin splints are less painful so they must be healing.
 I should be able to resume my usual route soon, though I plan to walk slower as I want to avoid exacerbating those pesky shins.

What is new with you?
Are you reading something fabulous?

Have you started to decorate for the Festive Season?

lovely as they hang tentatively from the branches.

Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow Blog.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~


  1. Read Black Flower about Koreans who immigrated to Mexico under a 5 year contract 100 years ago - so much overlap of history. It had been a while I like a book in fiction and it has revived my fiction reading.

  2. Thank you, as always, for the book suggestion. That moss is lovely. The picture in your living room with the fire and lamps glowing looks so warm and comforting. You are wise, I believe, to feel your feelings of grief and not ignore them. That is what I have done all along this last year and a half and it feels the right thing to do. Your tree on the porch is such a glowing beauty. I am glad your shin splints have healed somewhat, I hope that steadily continues. Thanks for another heartfelt and lovely post.

    1. Thank you Jeanine...my heart goes out to you as you work your way through the pain of grief and loss. Moving forward one small step at a time each and every day is all we really can do.

  3. Your home is so beautiful at this time of year! The perfect Christmas haven. Glad your legs are feeling better....

    1. Our heritage home is dull in spring and summer..the dust bunnies multiply.
      We can "overlook" them in Fall and in my present state of mind we may just blow caution to the wind....

  4. Your lovely home I can imagine a Ralph lauren theme Christmas with tartan and bows of cedar perfectly.
    My thoughts are honouring feelings of loss two fold, feeling the sadness before releasing and cherishing our love ones in spirit. I very much appreciate your honestly. Cheers Rita

    1. Ralph Lauren creates the most beautiful vignettes. I follow his Instagram feed and am drawn into his images of lushly decorated scenes...tartan and bows sound quite lovely!

  5. Oh, I just fell in love with your Arts and Crafts fireplace, mantle and bookcases. What a warm feeling! The first Christmas after losing your mother is tough. She would not want you to feel sad. I hope you have a peaceful Christmas. It is okay to have teary moments and occasionally feel sad.

    I have never been to Swan Lake but I bought a pass (or made a donation, rather) to it for my great nieces. It sounds truly wonderful!

    Is it true that Victoria has some hummingbirds even in the winter?

    1. Yes Ann there are hummingbirds here in Victoria that Reside here all year long. We have a feeder that we keep full as there are several that come many times each day to drink the syrup. Not sure where their nest is but it must be close by as they are always flying around in our garden.

  6. At two weeks the loss of my father is still so raw and the thought of Christmas without him is difficult, so I understand your melancholy. I think that cocooning is a good way to deal with the weather and the melancholy. Be gentle with yourself!

    1. I felt raw and numb in the early days and weeks after Mom passed away so I understand and empathize with how you must be feeling. It takes time...try to be gentle on yourself and allow yourself the occasional indulgence. Support from your family and friends will help you as you heal the grief in the months ahead.

  7. This is my first Christmas without my Gran and my Father. I know exactly what you mean about feeling 'out of sorts'. I too have random tears. I have a thirteen year old and a ten year old and we have Christmas in Summer where we are. Both my husband and I have been in hospital this year also. I hadn't stopped to think about the sort of year we have had until now. I think I will follow your example and take some time to slow down and nurture myself in between the business
    that is December. My Gran was a wonder at making Christmas special. Gran made my boys the biggest Christmas stockings you have ever seen. They are a mission to fill. I dont know how I am going to avoid crying over those stockings this year. And I know she wouldnt want me sad.

    1. It sounds like you have had a tumultuous year...so many challenges. Hope that you will feel love and be supported by family and your friends as you navigate the days and weeks ahead.
      How lovely that you have those stockings as a reminder of your Gran...we will miss my mom stirring the gravy as she did every year, wearing her pearls and dressed to the nines.
      I will be wearing her pearls this year...and I know there will be tears.

  8. I feel your pain. I lost my parents recently (common phenomenon among elderly, long-married couples), and miss them terribly. Like you, I keep them around me. I wear one of my dad's shirts as pajamas and like to wrap up in my mom's sweater. The kitchen utensils. A screwdriver, along with the memory of my dad telling me "lefty loose-y; righty tighty."

    1. That reminds me that I also have a screwdriver from my fathers toolbox...it has a handle with different types of bits inside and I used to love to listen to the sound that they made when he used it!
      It’s funny what the things that we cherish...your fathers saying and these will keep their memories close to our hearts.
      Take care.

  9. I am similar to you-90% of the time I feel the need to be productive-I do better with less time on my hands to think-but also treasure my down time. House is decorated so I can enjoy before things get so hectic.

    I do a lot of baking for charity bake sales/cookie trays so that will take up next week, following week I have some social engagements and then it will be time to get ready for family Christmas. I love this season but sad it goes so quickly.

    My mother has been gone a very long time. Her sister was more like a mother than an aunt to me and passed a year ago now. I think of her every day, have used many of her recipes lately and wore her jacket to church last weekend and found two dimes in the pocket-I will treasure them forever-felt like they were a sign. Memories are so comforting.

    On a happier note, our daughter got engaged last weekend soooooo time to hit Weight Watchers really hard for wedding in 6 mos. Nice to have something happy to look forward to.

    Continue to take joy in the little things and how much your posts mean to so many of us.

    1. Congratulations on the engagement of your daughter! A wedding will be a wonderful event to plan and s great goal for you to aim for with your WW plan.
      December is a busy month..so many fundraisers and charity events occur during the festive season...lots to do to get the Home ready too but I do love it all. The hustle and bustle, the lights, music and magic and the excitement that the children radiate...
      There are so many things to be grateful for... thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  10. Your warm wooden shelves and furniture look so warm and comfortable. I think that you will always miss your mom. My mother can drive me crazy but I talk to her at least an hour a day and we go out to lunch regularly. I know that she will not be here forever. Reading, exercising and eating well help to soften the sadness, I think. I'm off today so I'm hoping to buy some flowers and to enjoy my household tasks and to e-mail a friend about a cleaning lady. I don't hear rain or wind so it might be an outside day for a bit too.

    1. I will always miss my mom I know that I will...how could I not? But I have so many wonderful memories that will sustain me through the years...as you mentioned there were things that Mom said that drove my sister and I a wee bit crazy! I am sure there were also things that we did or said that drove her crazy too! That’s just life...
      Your days off must be such a restorative part of your week now that you are back at work...when I worked in the middle school library I was only working 3 days a week and it felt like a hobby rather than a job! Perhaps that is how you feel? Enjoy your day off.

  11. What a lovely home you have. So restful. I'm another who is dreading Christmas this year as my lovely husband died very suddenly on 31st August and I have a huge Bill shaped hole in my life. He loved Christmas especially since our little granddaughter arrived. She doesn't understand where grandpa has gone. But we will give her a special Christmas which will help us all.

    1. You must be feeling ups and downs in light of your husband's recent demise...I do appreciate that your world has been shaken to its core...but it must be a comfort having a grand daughter to focus on during the holidays.
      Take care Marilyn

    2. Thank you. She and her mummy are the lights in my life.

  12. You can't help but feel the loss of your mom at the Holiday Season. Don't fight it, just let your memories flow. Books do help as they get your thoughts going on other things. One that I'm finding fascinating right now is the Walter Isaacson book on Leonardo Da Vinci. For someone as observant as you I think you would like this. I just finished Hillbilly Elegy, also a though provoker. For fun, if you missed them, two books by Patricia Volk, Shocked, and Stuffed. And come on, more mashed potatoes can lift the dreariest day. Cheers.

    1. Hillbilly Elegy has been getting a lot of press...
      mashed potatoes really are the ultimate in comfort food....just like a down duvet, or chocolates, a warm scented bath they are up there in my top favourite repertoires of self care!

  13. I was wondering if you might recommend a bakery that would bake Christmas cookies and deliver them to my great nieces in Saanich? I'd appreciate any suggestions you might have! thanks Ann

    1. If you email me at bungalowhostess@gmail.com I can arrange to deliver the cookies that you order from any bakery in town to be delivered...I have a car and would love to help!
      If you want to order online here is a link to a local company that does home delivery.

    2. I have never used the cookie guy...I would prefer that you use a known bakery like Pure Vanilla Bakery and have me deliver them!!!

    3. http://mightycookiecompany.org/

      You can Check it out and decide.

  14. Holidays are akways the worst when we miss our dearest,so many memories....And winter days don't help....
    Your home looks cozy,beautiful photos
    Take care

    1. I agree with you, holidays do tend to make us think of those who are no longer here...oh and I really should learn to love the rain! We have so much of it here in Victoria!

  15. Your posts are always so cozy. Love the look inside your home. Rain outside ( we need it in Southern California) and all polished warmth inside. I'm sure this will be a hard holiday time for you. But we're all here for you.

    1. Thank you Sandra...that is most kind and if I could I would send you all some rain...and in exchange we could use some of your California sunshine!

  16. I remember reading about the lunches and shopping you did with your mom. Like you said, who else have you known 62 years? A lifetime of memories. Your home and life sound so cozy, best thing for a sad heart to be comforted by the simple cozy things in life like mashed potatoes, good books, and a crackling fire. Blessings to you. xo Deborah

    1. Thank you Deborah...cocooning and keeping cozy seems to be what I crave right now.

  17. I lost my mom six months ago today and think of her every day. I find myself making some of her favorite recipes as a way to keep her close.

    1. You and I are both in the early days of loss...it takes time to come to terms with their absence and using our Mothers recipes is a wonderful way of paying tribute to them.

  18. Lovely photos. Love never dies, but we do feel loss, I think our mum's always own a big part of our heart.

  19. I'm just checking with the parents about their plans for Christmas. I'm not sure they are even going to be in town! Thank you for your so kind delivery offer! I'll email you in the next day or so.
    Thanks again.

  20. Hello.
    SO, happy you came forward and told me it was YOU who told me to COCOON!
    I loved that ADVISE and am still doing it!I cannot THANK YOU enough for that one small word!If you don't mind I will pass that along as time marches forward and share THAT ADVISE with others!I have a question for you which I should put in an email but here goes............The day your Mother died.How many days after was she CREMATED?Or maybe she wasn't........I can not recall but I think she was!I found out My Mother passed on the 10th and wasnot cremated until the 22!!!!!!!IS that the NORM?Is there a LINE UP?

    1. Yes and I am cocooning too!
      Mom was cremated within 2 or 3 days...not sure what the times would be elsewhere...Victoria is a small city so where you live it may be the norm to wait a week or so.
      Take care,

  21. Your "humble" bungalow is so lovely and looking very festive. Isn't difficult, that first of each holidays without our mothers. I'll be having Christmas with my kids this year and plan to make Gran's cinnamon roles and maybe her Welsh cakes. Trying to savor some happy memories (but today I heard her favorite carol, which resulted in a good cry). Hope your shins don't trouble you any more and you can enjoy your walks. Jen

    1. Your Grans recipes sound like they would offer you some much needed comfort ....just the thought of fresh cinnamon buns makes me hungry!
      Music can transport us...it is very powerful and can lift our spirits or as you mentioned...induce tears.
      My shins seem to be on the mend now I just have to be careful and avoid exacerbating the problem again.
      Take care Jen.

  22. thinking of you missing you Mum xxxxx

    1. Thank you FF...your cheerful posts are always such a joy to read...Mom would have loved seeing all your pretty outfits and the way that you set your table she was very much a fan of grace and good taste.