Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Energy ~ Sleep and OOTD

A decent night of restful and restorative slumber is bliss.
It gives one an energetic start to the day...
often times we wake after a fitful night of tossing and turning...
this is more common for me.
When these nights occur I try to be gentle with myself and start the day slowly...
I have not tried sleeping pills and asked the nurse at Hospice if I should try some after Mom passed away and she suggested that I try Gravol.
I purchased a small package and have tried them on several occasions...
they do work, but I wake feeling groggy so I am not planning to use them often.

Coffee helps wake me up 
 a good book
 transports us away 
it helps to gain perspective
put our troubles aside for awhile.

Once I hit the shower I am wide awake...
ready to seize the day.

Dressing for more energy means wearing some of my favourites...

Moto leather jacket ~ Danier
Hermes scarf

NYDJ boyfriend jeans
simple white Tee ~ Joe Fresh
my birthday shoes...
Ferragamo from darling daughter.
These shoes make me feel happy!

I wore this outfit to run errands and I had so much energy that I very nearly forgot to stop and eat lunch.

Parrot tulips from the grocery store...
spreading a beautiful energy 
into The Humble Bungalow Kitchen.

Home style meat loaf, mashed potatoes and carrots...
the ultimate comfort food.

Refuelling with tasty food provides me with more energy.
I made a double batch of this meat loaf so that tomorrow evening all I need to do is reheat the spuds and the meat loaf and boil some peas.

The recipe is from Best of Bridge...

I broke the chipped Emma Bridgewater bowl I used for soap
when I was washing it the other week...
it just slipped out of my hands and smashed into a bazillion fragments.
Fortunately it did not damage our farmhouse sink.

Hooray the Hellebores are blooming!

Hope that your week is ticking along nicely.
What have you been doing?
Anything exciting to share?
Please don't be shy!


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Springtime ~ In the Pink

Pink Spring blossoms are found along many streets and boulevards in Victoria.
They lift the spirits even on the greyest of days.

Moms' robe now hangs in the guest room.
She wore this frequently...and it is silky satin.
One might want a pair of pink marabou slippers to go with it!
Did you notice that the hanger is in the same pattern and fabric as the robe?

I've been keeping the flowers fresh at Mom's condo for the showings...
we think it has sold and are just waiting for the buyers to secure their financing.
There were multiple offers all well above our asking price...
the real estate market here is brisk!

Mr. HB and I went to Fan Tan on Fisgard Street
in the heart of Victoria's Chinatown
 for a date night dinner this week.
Our meal was delicious and my tea arrived in a sweet little cast iron teapot.
It was really heavy especially when you consider the size.
 Pouring tea and a bit of "weight training!"

Spring cleaning, decluttering and rearranging things have been in the works.
Two bags of donations are waiting to be dropped off at the charity shops.

I culled quite a few books from this cupboard before I rearranged the shelves.

The French Market Basket was purchased years ago.
I planned to walk to the shops and wheel my groceries home...
that has happened exactly once!

I must fix that stat by going shopping in the Cook Street Village more often  pulling it behind me!

The wire heart was meant for postcards and photos.
I like it just the way it is...unadorned.

I'm going to pull these pieces together and add a few more.
My plan is to make a candle vignette of sorts...
I love how mirrors and candles can be best friends!

I took this wee painting from Mom's condo yesterday when I rearranged the flowers...
I am not sure that I will keep it forever 
but I could not part with it...
not just yet
and I did not want to regret giving it away...
it is a small street scene in Paris.

I also plan to take one of her French style chairs to add to the one that I have slip covered in linen beside the table in the hobby room.
It could be for one of the grandchildren to sit on as we read stories
or play with the toys...
another thing that is "speaking to me" 
one that I never thought would tug at my heart strings 
but one that is saying loudly...
don't let me go!

The journey is far from over...

saying goodbye
dealing with the details
is totally keeping us busy.

This emotional process is not easy
I have my ups and downs and find myself crying while standing at the kitchen sink.
I have had vivid dreams of Mom, so vivid, that when I wake I think she is still here...

My friends have been so amazing and strangers have been kind.
Every phone call that I make to advise them of moms demise 
is met with gentle soft spoken condolences...
the agency representatives in person are more than sweet

death of a loved one is obviously something that we all share in 

 it feels like it brings out the most empathetic responses 
the "best" from most...

Thank you all again for your lovely emails...
they keep coming
I must say they are a delight.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Thank you for your kind thoughts,
supportive comments
all of the lovely emails behind the scenes...
they have meant so much to me, they cheer me up and really make a difference.

Some of you are sharing pictures of your beautiful roses,
your gardens full of flowers
green verdant pastures
and beaches from continents far away.

There is so much beauty in our world...
not a day goes by that I do not find something beautiful to lift my spirits.

It could be the darling faces of our grandchildren,
the cheerful daffodils blooming in the garden,
or blue skies overhead dotted with puffy white clouds.

Thankfully these simple joys are not too hard to find in my daily round...
and for that I am very grateful.

These cheerful yellow Gerbera daisies were given to our lovely DIL when we took the "littles" out for lunch this week.

I planted up the urn at the bottom of the stairs of The Humble Bungalow
 New Zealand Flax and primulas.

They look good even sprinkled with raindrops...
I got soaked on my walk today.
The skies opened up and the rain pelted down and soaked right though my coat.
When I left home the skies were blue and the sun was out and in the matter of an hour the skies darkened and the clouds let go...

Friends from France sent me a birthday gift several weeks ago and I have been remiss in not sharing the lovely contents of the parcel.
Fragonard soaps and dotted French socks.

Do you love getting parcels in the mail?
I do, especially when they are filled with such beautiful surprises!

Yesterday I made pasta with spicy tomato and Italian sausage.
I cooked diced onions and red peppers in oil 
then I added slices of the hot Italian sausages and cooked them until they were no longer pink
popped in a jar of Italian passata sauce 
and added sliced black olives, some anchovies and spices.
The sauce tastes better if you leave it simmering on low for at least an hour.

Cook the pasta and when it is al dente
ladle the sauce over top and grate a bit of parmesan cheese on top.

Retail therapy today...

This spotted dress is called a swing dress for a reason...
it has a lovely weight to it and actually swings when you wear it!
I had thought I needed some colour and I still may...
but when I put this dress on I just KNEW it was a great choice for me.
I own a few other pieces by Gilmour and they are fabulous, 
made in Vancouver and reasonably priced.

Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow.

The attitude of gratitude is my mantra...
whats yours?
Hope you have a great week.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Week three...being proactive by getting back into healthy routines.

What I kept...

Going through Mom's things took time as we did not want to rush the process...
there were a few surprises, but for the most part, it was what we might have expected from an organized woman
whose attention to detail was evident in everything she touched.

My sister and I donated most of her clothes...
I saved a grey cashmere sweater and have been wearing it most days.
It feels like a cozy warm hug...
it is as if mom has her arms firmly wrapped around me.

I also brought home some small red spatulas...the kind that one uses when scraping out the last of the mayonnaise or mustard out of a small jar. I don't know what moved me to keep them but they are a practical tool that I will use regularly and take up very little room in our small bungalow.

I kept her recipes in the vintage recipe box.
One afternoon in the coming week I will make a pot of tea and peruse her collection.
It could be like a trip back in time...
she had a large repertoire 
that ran the gamut 
from jello whips to apple pie and meat loaf.

                             Mom had oodles and oodles of knick knacks!
     She wrote a note that specified she was leaving me her antique Maling bowl...

                a blue and white porcelain plant pot finds a new home here

Mom's condo is listed on the market.

I'll miss sitting on the deck with mom sharing a chat and a cup of tea.
There will be so many things that I will miss...
our telephone calls
shopping trips

these memories will help to comfort me

 The Humble Bungalow is scented with the heady fragrance of lilies.
(I remove the stamens as they stain everything)

On the horizon...
I plan to return to the practise of Yoga
 am looking at local studios and their schedules.
It really helps with relaxation and I feel energized after the sessions.

Walking is back in my daily routine but having been away from it for almost a month my muscles were reminding me of that saying...
"use it or lose it!"
Thankfully bath salts and soaking in the tub have been helping.

I've got the urge to buy something bright and colourful.
My wardrobe of greys and black feels like it could use a punch of colour.
I haven't felt like shopping in quite some time and this might just well be what they call "retail therapy!"

The days are getting lighter
there is birdsong outside the window
spring flowers are emerging
 simple joys
one delights in
that can temper the sadness
 enfold one in a firm embrace
almost as cozy 
as Mom's cashmere sweater...

There is a sense of relief after these busy few weeks.
The pace has slowed and I was able to indulge in a few quiet days
that were spent at home
getting domestics under control
teas and cafe cremes were sipped 
while gazing out the windows
flipping through several French magazines
Cote Sud and Campagne Decoration.

Speaking of France...
I have been wearing the samples that I ordered from the new musc collection
 Sylvaine Delacoutre
The Dovana scent is lovely and may be the fragrance that I order
it has notes of iris, neroli, vanilla, and ambrette.
You might like them too.

I am not affiliated with Sylvaine and have received no remuneration for this mention.
Her website is here.

Hope that your weekend is ticking along nicely.
Thank you for stopping by...

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Week two...

Life has been moving at a fast pace here in The Humble Bungalow.
I prefer to take my time accomplishing tasks
"needs must"
feels like the right phrase
to explain why we are living at this high level of activity.

The bungalow is scented with floral bouquets.

Chrysanthemums, lilies, hydrangeas, roses...

Flowers and food from friends offer up such care and comfort.
They are my go-to gifts when friends and family experience turmoil and loss.

We are on the receiving end this time and it does help...

Coffee has been a key player for me these past few weeks...
sleep and early mornings and a foggy brain have needed a little extra boost!

I've taken myself out for coffee in between meetings with the lawyer, the bank and various agencies.
It has been a full roster of appointments with little time to cook or prepare decent meals.
I have relied on the kindness of friends
and indulged in some easy meals.
The staple BBQ chicken and deli salads are becoming a fast favourite of mine.

Tea and an apple with cheese 
at Mom's 
after I staged the condo for the Real Estate Photographer.

Sitting in the quiet 
listening to the ticking of the clock
surrounded by mom's things
offered up a wee bit of respite.

Mother Nature has been busy tending her garden.
Spring flowers are emerging from their winter slumber.

Parrot tulips for a wonderful friend who kindly made us a meal and has stood by us through thick and thin...

Thank you

Today for the first time in many weeks I slept in...
the bed felt warm and cozy and I slowly got up
easing into a quiet morning
with no appointments until after lunch
I put the laundry in the washing machine
made a coffee
and opened up my dusty laptop to write this post.

It feels good to be alive
I feel such gratitude
although my heart aches for my Mom
I know that she would not want me to be maudlin for too long...
she was a sensible woman
with a no nonsense approach to life.

So, in her honour, I am going to try to do my best...
moving ahead
 I will cherish her and keep her memory alive in my heart.

Thanks MOM

Friday, March 10, 2017

Week one....

It's been a week since Mom passed away.

Lots of things to do and little time for the blog
or for commenting 
on all your wonderful stories 
that you have so kindly shared
 about your experiences with death of loved ones...
mostly our Mothers.

a picture taken at Christmas 
on our annual visit to Laurel Point
to view the decorated gingerbread houses.
We are using this for her obituary 
which will be published in the newspaper this weekend.

Beautiful bouquets in The Humble Bungalow.

This one, is from our dear friends in France.
It brought tears to my eyes when I read the card.

Beauty abounds...
I adore green and white flowers.

I was home when these arrived and was able to sit and chat for a few minutes
with the special couple who brought them.

Tulips from the bridge ladies.

Members of our "adopted family" brought these!

The grandchildren...

The days are full and busy.
So many details to attend to and lots of phone calls to make.
Lawyers appointments
family to call

Trying to keep things simple means not stressing about the "little things"
like cooking and eating WW friendly foods right now!

Something has to go out the window...
time for some comfort food.

Croissant for breakfast...
flaky and buttery
eaten slowly...
the flakes fluttering down onto the plate moistened by tears.

A skinny latte
with a little heart to start the day...

I will post your comments as they come in and please know that I appreciate and read each and every one.

At this demanding time 
I am unable tor respond individually to your comments.
I humbly apologize
but I think you'll understand.

Hope that you have a lovely weekend.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Grieving ~ slowly putting one foot in front of the other...

Taking things slow...
from minute to minute
as the clock ticks and they turn into hours

Losing Mom, has so far, been the most painful thing I have ever experienced.
It has only a few days since she passed,
but I can already tell that this is a major life altering event,
so significant,
that it is difficult to put into words.

Tears fall freely
there's a lump in my throat that does not seem to go away...

I've been eating comfort food, drinking gin and tonics
and have stopped counting WW points.

I have considered not getting dressed and staying my pj's all day...

But instead, I get up have a cafe creme
hop in the shower
put on my make up
head over to Mom's condo to sort through her things.

there is some comfort in action and busyness

to be in Mom's condo 
surrounded by her things 
feels like home
but when I look toward her chair 
she is not there...

my heart aches

I notice that the garden is awakening from its winter slumber
right on cue as it does every year at this time.

The snowdrops are blooming.

Sunny yellow daffodils

Moistened by the rain

Nature reminds me of the cycles of life



Life goes on...

as surely as the spring bulbs open
flowers appear

taking each day
each minute
to pause

thinking of Mom
and all she has done
to make our lives so special

her strength, wisdom, kindness and grace
will help guide me
as I walk along this painful path of grief

in her honour
I will put one foot in front of the other
move forward
one step at a time.

I found this card in mothers desk drawer...

She kept this card
 there were no others...

I wept when I opened the card
with tears rolling down my cheeks
 a moment in the silence

this card is one of the treasures that I will keep 
the message so close to my heart 
in memory 
of my wonderful mom

Thank you for all your comments on the previous post.
I am overwhelmed by your kind and supportive thoughts
they mean a lot 
especially at a time like this...