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 ~


  1. Happy Belated Birthday! And that sweater! Wow! It's gorgeous.

    1. The sweater is a keeper! Thank you for stopping by the blog

  2. So sorry you had such a rough day - but glad to hear that you did get out. I love the black & white top and the cashmere sweater is gorgeous! You husband has very good taste - enjoy it for many years to come.
    I'm afraid that I'll be wearing sweaters and heavy jackets for at least another couple of weeks - and today is very grey and chilly. Even days that hover around zero by the afternoon are damp & chilly and it just gets into your bones. I am thinking of buying myself some tulips tomorrow to cheer myself up a bit - I love Spring flowers!

    1. Stay cozy and warm...tulips are a great idea Margie!
      I bought some daffs in a pot for our DIL who has the flu...hope they work their magic!

  3. Happy belated birthday! I love your new sweater. It looks so soft and special. You are going to really enjoy wearing it.

    1. I am loving this you have Black Goat shops in your area?

  4. Your sweater is a gorgeous, sumptuous, elegant gift that will remind you how loved you are each time you wear it. So sorry there was so much sadness on your birthday -- your mother was so very special, from everything you've written here about her. I hope that by the time your next birthday comes 'round the intensity of the grief will have lessened, but the gift of having had such a good mother comes with the hefty cost of missing her for the foreseeable future. May the comfort of your loving family and of your many warm memories -- and the distraction of those playful cats!! -- help ease the way forward for you. xo

    1. I take your comment very much to heart Frances as I know that you have walked this path too...its hard for some people to understand especially if they had conflicting feelings and a challenging relationship with their mother...we were more than Mother and daughter, we were I have surmised that you were too,
      Thank you for chiming in...always love to hear your thoughts!

  5. What a beautiful sweater from a man who clearly loves you. Anniversaries can be tough and the final paper work makes it all so official. It's been a hard year but you've weathered it well with your grace and fortitude. In the not too distant future, the memories will become sweet and the pain will subside.

    1. You are echoing the very thoughts that I am feeling tonight...
      How did you decide on your name "the good enough Mother"?
      there must be a story...please feel free to elaborate.

  6. Happy Birthday to you and I send my sympathy to you as you continue to mourn your wonderful mother.
    Now as far as your husband's gift to you, please tell him Well Done! It is gorgeous, and you will be very grateful to own such a warm and stylish piece for many years!
    Well those cats do get into mischief don't they. Furry rascals I think!

    1. Oh I will tell him...he likes it when I share what readers write on the blog!
      He is a great guy...I am so grateful that we met...and that we married and have stayed together happily...he spoils me...and truth be told, I cater to him too...its a win win.
      The cats are usually entertaining...rascals indeed!
      Hope that you feel a bit better ...

  7. I know you are in pain from your mother's loss, but I cannot tell you how affirming it has been to read your posts at the same time I have gone through the same thing. I took some of my mom's things--there's a sweater I wear almost daily despite the holes. It's like having a hug from her.
    As much as I miss my mother, she had a good, long life. I just was helping my kid memorize a poem (typical French education) by Victor Hugo: "Demain, dès l'aube," and was almost overwhelmed by it.
    Tomorrow, at dawn, at the moment when the land whitens,
    I will leave. You see, I know that you wait for me.
    I will go by the forest, I will go by the mountain.
    I cannot stay any longer, far away from you.

    I will walk eyes fixed on my thoughts,
    Seeing nothing outside, not hearing a noise,
    Alone, unknown, back hunched, hands crossed,
    Sorrowed, for the day for me will be like night.

    I will not look for the golden evening that falls,
    Nor the faraway sails descending upon Harfleur.
    And when I arrive, I will put on your tomb
    A bouquet of green holly and heather in bloom.

    ((It is even more beautiful in French.))

    1. The poem is exquisite...
      we are linked by our memories, our grief and our hand me down sweaters...
      so great that we can share these experiences.
      I love reading your posts from France...and if I ever travel back...I sincerely hope that we can meet up...and if you ever come this way...I hope you will stop by the Humble Bungalow.

  8. THAT is a gorgeous sweater! I LOVE sweaters. Happy Birthday to you:) Losing our mothers is so very difficult.

    1. Hope that you are cozy wearing a sweater that you love...the memories of our Moms live on and sustain us...
      take care.

  9. What a lovely sweater! Your birthday did not begin well but it sounds as if it improved. I'm sure that you will always miss your mother. You have had a busy day already! I made your aglio and olio recipe yesterday and it was a success.

    1. Gosh some days are like that...they go sideways before they really even get started...happy to hear that you enjoyed the recipe.
      You'd love Julie...she is a gracious, talented, bundle of energy...very smart, and savvy well travelled woman...and she shares her knowledge with others...

  10. Aw. my heart goes out to you. It get's better. But there is always some pain. Your sweater looks so warm and comfy. Look at what you accomplished today. What can you do when you're not depressed. Good for you. Loved your yesterday recipe. When I can walk again I'll make it. I hate making messes that my husband has to clean up.

    1. Oh it must be so frustrating not walking...BUT think of the books that you can read, the Netflix movies, documentaries and all the blogs to need to feel guilty...its rehab and rest! Doctor's Orders...
      Take care Sandra,

  11. Happy Birthday! Great way to celebrate...your husband sounds sweet & the sweater is lovely. I have a 71st birthday next week and will be having a similar day of lunch & shopping with my husband of almost 50 years. I'm a first time reader & look forward to more...thanks!

    1. Hi Cheryl Ann...Hope that you have a lovely day with your husband and a fabulous birthday. Glad that to hear that you stopped by to read my post...and welcome!
      We were married in have a bit of catching up to you both...well done.

  12. Love love love your new sweater! Happiest of birthdays to you. Sorry you had such a difficult start to your day, silly cats...but glad you recovered. And yes, you will always miss your mother. She must have loved and appreciated you so much. Take care friend.. I enjoy your blog so much, know that you are an inspiration to so many of us.

    1. Hello Babette....YES! Silly cats...always up to something...but we do love them.
      They really enrich our lives...
      I know that I will always think of could I not?
      I really must write a post about her lessons and graces someday...
      thank you for your comment.

  13. Happy belated birthday and what an emotional day!
    Thank you for sharing.
    And your husband has a very good eye, that sweater is lovely.
    Suz from Vancouver

    1. Thank you husband really made my day...not buying the sweater per say...offering to go out and buy me a coffee when the espresso makeer was giving me grief! He's a great guy!

  14. What a beautiful sweater. Can you share what roller ball lavender essential oil you use?

    1. The roller ball is by Aura Cacia....Lavender essential oil blend.
      I purchased mine at the Oak Bat Avenue Pharmasave for just under $12.00
      Hope that helps...

  15. These firsts are always difficult, I know because I have been through so many of them. I think you handled it in the best possible way. Love is never lost, but continues to live on.

    Your sweater is lovely. Happy Birthday.

    1. Adrienne....your wise thoughts resonate with me...thank you.

  16. Belated Birthday greetings. What a day of mixed emotions, never mind the mishaps that occurred, as well. You've done a lot today and I hope you sleep well.
    The cashmere sweater is beautiful and a piece you will treasure for many years. Hugs, Lorrie

    1. Thank you Lorrie...Spring Break is coming up soon...and an opportunity to get you have any plans?

  17. Wishing you very happy birthday.

    You’re a human dynamo - what a day you put in.

    That sweater looks so luxurious and the colour is perfect. You’ll always feel and look good wearing it.

    1. I like to blitz all the domestic jobs in the house every so often...then on the days when I feel lazy I don't have any guilt!

  18. Belated Happy Birthday!
    It was a really bitter sweet day for you,so many different emotions....
    You had a great relationship with your mother-you'll miss her always,but you have so many happy memories,they will always warm your heart.....
    And an exhausting day too-maybe your cats wanted to distract your feelings
    Your new sweater is perfect,it is a beautiful colour and shape and you can wear it almost all year long-a perfect present to keep you loved and warm

    1. I never thought that the cats might be creating a diversion...if they did, it worked for awhile! The colour of the sweater will work with my white jeans and dress pants too so on a chilly evening or breezy day I can grab it and go out...probably come in handy at the cottage when we sit on the deck!

  19. Happy birthday! I have been reading your lovely blog for some time now and I love your positivity. Thank you. The sweater is beautiful.
    Greetings Maria x

    1. Welcome Maria...hope that you will continue to enjoy the random post topics here in The Humble Bungalow Blog.

  20. Happy Birthday and best sympathetic wishes. Could you root a piece of the cactus? I'm no expert on cacti, but I've seen it work on succulents. I LOVE your sweater; what good taste he has. I have my eye on a similar knitting pattern--heavier wool. Oh my, wouldn't cashmere be lovely? Tuck yours away carefully from those furry beasts. Do you suppose they sensed your distress and ambivalence about the day? They can be odd critters. Margot P.

    1. It was a Christmas cactus and I think it must have been time to let it go...
      Chester just sped up the process!
      I have had my eye on some lovely yarn too but I am not thinking that I don't need to knit a sweater now!

  21. Well, first of all - that sweater is absolutely gorgeous. I think your husband chose a gorgeous color because it shows the variations in the beautiful yarn and is such a lovely, classic color. My husband just had a birthday and I bought him a cashmere cardigan in the exact color as yours. I had a very complicated and conflicted relationship with my mother, although also very "intense", we spoke daily and I saw her often ~ but losing a mother is always a profound loss. I'm so glad you have such happy memories of her. You will always think of her everyday and I hope the pain will lessen with time. xoxo

    1. The birthday sweater has already become one of my favourite things to wear!
      The colour will transition to spring and summer too as we get a lot of wind living so close to the ocean..there are very few days when we can sit out and not feel the breeze.
      There was a time when I was in my teens when Mom and I butted heads...I was trying to find my own voice and she wa hanging on to what control she had over em...fortunately we worked it out when I got married...and from then on we were friends as well as mother and daughter. She gave me space and time to bloom when I became a mother nyself and she never gave me advice on child rearing or meddled.
      The loss of a mother is a major life event...and you and I were fortunate to have ours in our lives for a long time. Time is a great healer...XOXO

  22. Your sweater jacket is gorgeous, and perfect for your climate, I imagine. I hope it feels forever comfortable. And your mother was lucky to have been so loved.

  23. Happy belated birthday. March 3 is also my youngest son's birthday, he turned 29. I love your sweater. Yes a keeper for sure.
    I'm amazed at all the industry you accomplished! My hero.
    Take care

  24. Dear "Hostess"... I do empathize with your loss. My momma passed away in 1984. I was 27, we were just becoming friends, she was just beginning to share with me her deepest most hidden self. Though I know all things happen for a reason, I miss her terribly and have always missed the opportunity for an adult friendship with her. Thank you for sharing your heart. I've recently discovered your blog and have truly enjoyed reading, especially your Quarterdeck Cottage posts. I can "almost" see you from my home in Sequim, WA. My family had dear friends who lived on N. Pender, for years our families would visit back and forth. I've always longed for a little cottage by the Salish Sea... some day. For now we have our memories of loving mommas, favorite places and new beautifully cozy sweaters to attach new memories to. And, P.S., Victoria is my most favorite of all cities. Thank you again for sharing.

  25. Ten years after my Mother died, I wore her pearls to my first granddaughter's christening, then gifted them to her.....along with a quote from Coco Chanel: "A girl should be two things, classy and fabulous."My two girls are linked by those qualities and their presence in my life are a gift to me every day. I am glad you have such loving memories of your Mother, as well as a sterling husband. Luckily we share those treasures! Wishing you peace.

  26. Hi Leslie, It's such a testament to your mother how often and with such high regard and fondness that you think of her. You live a very purposeful and gracious life - thank you for sharing some of it with all of us! I love following your blog! Cindy