Thursday, March 29, 2018

Rainy Day Rhythm...

Cheap and cheerful
perk me up on a grey rainy day...

The power of flowers can elevate any decor...

a simple jam jar with daisies

a Baccarat crystal vase with roses

a single bloom in a flask

an orchid in a blue and white porcelain planter

depending on your budget

you can get as creative as you like when it comes to floral arrangements.

Vintage Verlys glass satin dish bowl
etched simply with pine cones
sits empty 
beside the window
catching the light

The grandchildren made this colourful Easter Wreath at Michael's.

We were meant to go to the workshop together but I had Vertigo and had to cancel...
it sounds like they had lots of fun.

Our sunsets have been quite stunning 
this week at Quarter Deck Cottage.

I love how sculptural the arbutus trees look set against the yellow skies.

One needn't go far to find beauty 
it is outside just beyond the front door...
all you have to do is open your eyes and look around.

It may surprise you to find that there are ordinary things 
which when studied 
on close inspection
look like works of art.

I never come home from a walk without seeing something quite lovely.

Perhaps that is why I love to walk so much...
not only do I feel restored and re-energized
there are snippets of Nature's handiwork at every turn.

I make it my goal to seek out the delights that Nature has provided...

A juicy red rose hip still clinging to the vine...

Queen Anne's Lace seed head boldly standing tall against the blue sky.

A reclaimed lifeboat
re purposed as a planter at the end of the road.

The Riddle Family plant this boat with seasonal offerings...
The sign says 
"The Point...Of it All!"

A scarecrow and mums were on display for Fall
daffodils and tulips for Spring
 I am already curious what they will plant for Summer.

The rains have arrived after several sunny days so it's a day of domestic chores...
laundry and tidying.

A pot of tea now waits
 I will return to my books and knitting
after I hit the publish button on this post.

The Humble Dishcloth
(a knitting pattern that I return to time and again)

Size 6 or 7 (US) needles
Cotton yarn

Cast on 4 stitches
Row 1 - Knit 4 stitches
Row 2 -  Knit 2 Yarn over knit to end of row
Repeat Row 2 until you have 44 stitches
Row 3 - Knit 1 Knit 2 together, Yarn Over, Knit 2 together knit to end of row
Knit row 3 until you have 4 stitches left on the needles
Bind off.

so soothing to knit
useful to use
makes a great Hostess Gift!

Wishing you all a Very Happy Weekend.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Life in the slow lane....

Quarter Deck Cottage 

a new tablecloth
 a bouquet of cheery yellow flowers
in an icy Modernist Finnish vase

These unusual daffodils...
were for sale in the Hardware store where we purchased the new tablecloth.

 $3 a bunch 
 only two small bunches left 
 to fill our vase we would have needed about 10 bunches
so we headed to the flower shop instead
and found the chrysanthemums

The vintage sealer jar is home to our growing collection of beach glass.
It is my goal to fill this jar and then find another vintage jar 
and keep on collecting...

Am reading this book about a young woman with Alzheimer's disease
I am in the first few chapters and enjoying it so far...

In between reading our books
we walk
we walk along narrow roads in the woods
we walk facing traffic
sometimes there are a few cars that pass us
other times 
there are none.

Eagles soar above 
ravens call
the wind rushes through the trees 
clouds float by
I can hear my breath speed up as we climb the hills
on the downhill slope it feels like I have a surge of energy!

Grimmer Bay near Port Washington on Pender Island

Boat house and the public beach access

drawing in the sand...

Beach combing on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

Such a lovely spot for a walk and a meander about looking for beach glass.

Mr. HB outdid himself and found a piece of amethyst beach glass.

I picked up the shell and the other two pieces of glass.
I think this might be my first piece of amethyst glass...

Hope that you are enjoying your weekend and thank you for taking the time to pop by and visit The Humble Bungalow Blog.

Until next time...

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Spring Fling ~ a gossamer floral scarf and The Humble Bungalow Garden

It is officially Springtime in Victoria!

Ah...a long awaited breath of fresh air...
and there are beautiful flowers in our midst.

I went to the Avenue to run some errands today and I spied this gorgeous gossamer soft floral scarf and knew immediately that it was just the thing I needed to inject a wee bit of Spring into my wardrobe.

When I wear this scarf 
I will feel the energy that Spring Flowers can impart...

The sunny shades of yellow and orange cannot help but cheer us...

Such delicate and intricate details in this Hellebore

I do love Hellebores in the Humble Bungalow Garden 
 (there is always room for more)

Over the past weekend my husband dug up and reworked 
an area near our asparagus bed.
The ideas for the design were mine but he made it happen.

He dug up our rhubarb and garlic bed and lay exposed aggregate pavers.
We went to the garden center and chose some new pots and found three healthy hellebores to plant inside them.
We have ordered a few Mondo Grass plants...
Now we need to buy a few smaller black pots in which to plant them.

Here is the view from above...
rains are forecast for the next few days so the new plants will get plenty of water.

I was laid up in bed for a few days with Vertigo and have a middle ear infection.
The doctor prescribed antibiotics and I am currently staying away from the pool.
(I think that the germs must have come from the Recreation Center.)

The cats have been marvelous and keeping me company.
I've sipped many many cups of tea
dined on healthy salads and soups.

The Woman in Cabin 10 was a true page turner...
I read it in one day.
I can highly recommend it...
hope that you like it too.

Thank you for all your comments on the previous post...
I enjoyed reading them and there were quite a few good ideas.

Take care and Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow Blog.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Friday, March 16, 2018

I've got the blues....

Blue porcelain pottery

Tumbling bunnies

lilting lyrics

Artist and porcelain maker Harumi Ota gave local artist Robert Amos lessons.
 Robert has created a whimsical line of vessels.
This one was a gift from our darling daughter Jennifer.

The two bowls shown here are by Harumi Ota.
I have had them several years.
For those of you reading this post who may be local 
they were purchased from a local gallery in Oak Bay called Eclectic.
 Harumi Ota frequently sells his work at The Moss Street Market on Saturdays.

Here's my new swimsuit...
also blue and white.

Finding a "flattering" suit was quite a challenge.
First off there was a limited selection in my price range
coming to grips with my ample figure "weighed heavily"
I wanted decent support and good coverage...
needing to camouflage the "wobbly bits" as much as possible.

I ended up at a bathing suit specialty shop...
where they have many sizes and styles and expert fitters.

While in the change rooms I overheard many women's conversations 
 ALL of which were lamenting that they were FAT!

They were mostly young women and teenagers...
I was the eldest by far!

We are sensitive and critical of our bodies...
not everyone can be the same size or shape
we all have "problem areas"
no one is perfect.

 I am overweight
I know that I should slim down and get back to my WW goal weight.
 I have a serious conversation with myself about this regularly...
and its not really working.

I eat healthy
I try not to indulge in chocolates or sweets.
I walk every day and swim once a week.

I look around at the pool and there are women of all shapes and sizes.
There are some who would be considered morbidly obese 
in swimsuits much bigger than mine 
participating in the Aqua Fit classes...

How do they feel in their own skin?
Do we all have negative thoughts about our body image?
Is this a healthy way of thinking?

Here's my healthy lunch.

I AM going to try harder, starting right now, 

How about you?

Are you struggling to lose weight?
How do you feel about your body image?

Have you been swimsuit shopping lately?
Are you shocked by the swimsuit prices?
(many that I looked at were over $200)

Its a lovely sunny day and I am heading out for my second walk.

Thank you for reading my humble blog and I'd love to hear your thoughts on this issue.

Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The French omelet...

When I ate lunch in Paris 
in 2015
I chose either omelets or salads.

Before that visit I had never made a decent omelet...
I made scrambled eggs and added things like cheese or herbs
the reason being
I was quite intimidated by the flipping of the egg mixture.

I am using David's recipe which is a basic one...
adding a few bacon bits, mushrooms, cheese and sliced fresh basil.

The "secret" to making an omelet is to use the freshest eggs
an omelet or a crepe pan!

I purchased this one when I returned from France several years ago and have been able to make omelets ever since!

My friend H turned me onto this tasty curried ketchup
which we found in a deli in Duncan on a recent "road trip."

Omelets are healthy, tasty and low in WW points.
Protein at every meal helps to keep me feeling satisfied.

In between meals I will snack on fresh fruit if I do feel a wee bit peckish.
I am still working at getting back to my WW goal weight.

Eating healthy, 
watching portion sizes, 
walking daily
 are all
lifelong habits.

I've started swimming once a week at the recreation centre
which is helping increase the range of motion 
with my "almost frozen" left shoulder.
The right one froze 2 years ago and it lasted a year.

Massage therapy is helping manage the pain for the most part,
anti inflammatory pills and topical Voltaren round out the rest of the treatment for now...

I really cannot complain too much as I have friends who are currently going through much more serious health issues.

How is your week going?
Do you have a favourite healthy meal or snack?

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Saturday, March 10, 2018

OOTD...Blues from France and Britain

One of my recent outfits
is a mix of makers...
one from France and the other from the UK.

I cannot say enough about the Saint James brand of clothing...
I absolutely LOVE their clothes.

The skirt is a smidgen above my knees
which is fine by me.
 I wear opaque tights and the black Chelsea boots

I like the mix of textures...

I could wear my pearls for a more classic look.

wear this twill scarf
which was Mom's 

this Swiss Vetter silk scarf
that I found at the thrift shop.

If I was feeling adventurous 
I'd buy a bright yellow pair of tights and amp up the colour story.

This Saint James top has weight to it...
which makes it warm on its' own 
on colder days it can be worn under my puffy blue down vest.
It marries well with my jeans too.

The skirt is an oldie but a goodie...

I've been trying to play around more with accessories.
They really make getting dressed feel a lot more creative.

Do you mix up what you wear or tend to stick with the same pairing of outfits.

There are blue skies above and it is a gorgeous sunny day out so I wil close for now and wish you all a wonderful weekend.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Birthday #63, the anniversary of Mother's demise...same day as it happens...

I had a rocky start to my birthday on March the 3rd...
coffee and cats were involved.
One of the cats knocked over the cactus in the bathroom and ripped all the leaves off of the plant...
it was Mom's cactus.
It is now in the compost.

The other cat "messed" 
on the carpet downstairs 
so I had to haul out the cleaner and wash the rug.

By that time I was REALLY ready for my morning coffee...
the espresso machine had other ideas!
It was not working.
My husband kindly offered to go out and buy me a latte...
bless his heart.
But after three tries, and a few cuss words
(I do not usually swear)
 I was able to make a cup.

I sat in my chair in the living room and thought about Mom.
I recalled the events of her last day with great detail...
I relived the feelings that I felt on that day.
A few salty tears rolled down my cheeks
 I spoke with friends on the telephone.
I wasn't sure 
if I would be able to go out of the house...
But I managed to pull myself together.
 leisurely showered 
got dressed.
On the agenda
shopping and lunch with my husband.

After lunch 
we went to Black Goat Cashmere on Government Street 
where I tried on a few sweaters...

In the dressing room...stripes are the theme.

Saint James Top
Black Calvin Klein skinny ponte knit pants.

(see the black goats on the curtain)

My husband bought me the most luxurious cashmere sweater
it is really a jacket...
the cost of which,
 was, well, a wee bit more than I thought
let's just say that it is an investment piece and will be a workhorse in my wardrobe...
like so many other classics it will never date.

I am so happy with it and I know I will wear it often.

Flowers wired from our dear friends in France.

Here's the sweater...
thick cashmere and oh SO SO SOFT!

The silhouette is loose and the coat has a "swing style."

I wore it to the grocery store when the temperature was 6 degrees and was so very cozy and warm!

You can button up the collar or leave it open...its like a built in scarf!

This is going to be my "go to" sweater for the foreseeable future...
I have mom's grey cashmere waterfall sweater and the black V neck cashmere that I received from my husband for Christmas...
I do not own any other sweaters.

Chester likes playing in the bag.

Fast forward...

Besides writing this post 
I managed to wash the love seat slipcovers
 the bathroom towels
iron the linen
meet a friend for lunch
take mom's income tax stuff to the accountant 
(for the last time)
buy a roller ball of lavender essential oil for better sleep
(I swear by this stuff now...)
buy a big ball of Bernat cotton yarn that I will knit into dishcloths
run and empty the dishwasher
make a salad to go with our dinner
read a few chapters in my current book.

So enough about my day...
how are you doing and what is new?

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~