Monday, March 30, 2020

Come along for a Walk...fresh air, scenery and some inspirational quotes.

My daily outing is a walk in the fresh air with beautiful scenery.

Serene looking intertidal area at the end of the beach.
Sea Glass is mingling with the rocks 
one only needs to peer closer to find some.

View across from Victoria to Port Angeles in Washington State.

Freighters in the distance are anchored and waiting 
for an opportunity to offload their freight or load up in The Port of Vancouver.

Many freighters anchor in among our Gulf Islands 
which has become a problem for many 
 they run their noisy generators.

The beaches are littered with driftwood from the winter storms.
Many people collect it and burn it in their fireplaces.
Some creative artists make things from the various pieces.

The BC flag flies on a tall pole at the edge of a cliff.

A heart of stones

Many families are seen at the beach
kids throwing stones into the ocean
moms and dads drinking coffee and reading books
dogs frolicking in the water retrieving sticks
people collecting wood
some, like myself, are searching for sea glass
some are constructing huts and shelters out of logs

Someone carved a face on the old roots of this vast tree.

Can you see the heart with wings on the tree stump?

On the way home 
I walked past a lovely garden with many whimsical accents.
The beds overflow with yellow daffodils and hanging planters are hung atop the fences
with cheerful purple and yellow pansies.

This face was attached to a tree...

In the quiet moments and a tea time
I've been thinking a lot about our current situation.

Staying home and staying safe.
Staying positive.

I reached out to some of our elder neighbours to see if they had enough food.
It turns out that they were running low on lots of things and had been trying to order groceries online for home delivery but could not log into the website.

Many stores are 2 weeks behind with their orders so I went to the grocery shop for them and dropped the bags on their front porch.

At the grocery shop we were directed to line up outside ~ a metre apart.
There were strips of green tape that indicated where we were to stand.

When people exited the store one at a time we were given a disinfected cart and allowed inside...
there were not many people inside and so we were able to grab the groceries fairly quickly.

We then stood on discs with footprints a metre apart waiting for our turn 
to put our groceries on the check out stand 
the clerks scanned our goods behind plexiglas partitions.

After each customer the check out was disinfected.

Some of you may be feeling anxious...
maybe you have been watching far too much of the grim news?

I only listen to two programmes,
the daily announcement from our respected BC Disease Control 
Dr. Bonnie Henry 
and the local evening news.

If I watch too much I go down a "rabbit hole!"

~ Self preservation ~
controlling my own reaction to things that I cannot control are key.

 some inspirational quotes with you.

Soap on a bed of rocks
Wash your hands.

"You have power over your mind - not outside events. 
Realize this, and you will find strength."

~ Marcus Aurelius ~

"When adversity strikes, that's when you have to be the most calm. 
Take a step back, stay strong, stay grounded and press on." 

~ LL Cool J ~

"Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces."

~ Judith Viorst ~

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. 
You are able to say to yourself,  I lived through this horror. 
I can take the next thing that comes along."

~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~

Thank you for stopping by The Humble Bungalow Blog.

I'd love to hear from you and perhaps you can share what you are doing to keep yourself amused during these days and weeks of staying home cocooning.

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~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Friday, March 27, 2020

Tea Time and a comforting casserole....

This lovely local tea shop Silk Road is currently offering curb side pick up 
if you place an order you just indicate pick up instead of paying for delivery.

If you order $50 or more delivery is free.

The Royal Abkhazi tea is my favourite.

In the Spring and Summer taking tea in the Abkhazi Gardens is a real luxury.
It feels so civilized sitting on the sunny patio above the expansive lush garden

You can opt to take tea inside the tearoom 
 small sandwiches, scones with jam and sweet treats.

I love meeting up with friends 
walking in the garden 
looking at the beautiful flowers and foliage
sitting for a restorative cup of tea served in pretty fine bone china tea cups.

For now

 I will imagine sitting in that magical garden in the sunshine 
dreaming of the days in the future when we can reconvene 
 meet up to savour one of the loveliest places where we can take tea.

The Sour Cherry blend is very refreshing.
I like this tea brewed hot or served over ice on a summer day.

We do not have a dog, but many locals who do,
 take their pet to the off leash park at Dallas Road waterfront.
We spied this wee "stick library" for the dogs...
I love the wee paw print at the top right of the structure.

Thank you to the wonderfully creative and talented crafts person 
who designed and built this dog friendly "library!"

Thank goodness we are still permitted to go out for our daily walks.
Self distancing is a requirement that we take very seriously on the paths.
The fresh air and exercise is such a tonic for us all.

Speaking of tonics...

Cheesy Pantry Pasta 

We craved comfort food so I made a rich cheesy pasta casserole.

We had two small packages of dried macaroni and penne pastas
(about 3 cups)

I used them both and cooked in salted boiling water until al dente.

I made a simple roux with butter, flour and milk
and when it thickened I added about a cup and a half of grated cheese.

I added the cheesy sauce to the cooked drained pasta,
 put it in an ovenproof casserole dish.
Grated a bit of cheese on top covered the dish with foil
popped it in the oven for an hour at 350 degrees.

How are you managing?
Have you found a soothing routine while you are directed to stay at home?

I'm finding that I stay in my nightgown much longer in the morning
as there is no need to hurry and get ready to go out.

I am missing going to the shops...
it is not that I buy a lot I just enjoy perusing the wares
chatting with the shop keepers.

missing the coffee shops
 meeting up with friends

When this pandemic is controlled and we are permitted to go out to the shops
will there be a surge in shopping or will we have re-evaluated our priorities?

I know that we will want to support 
local businesses, coffee shops 

In the meantime...
It is a time for us to be patient and wait out this pandemic until it is deemed safe.

Our magnolia out front in The Humble Bungalow Garden is starting to bloom.

Snowdrops are still putting on a showing looking lovely...

taking these small snippets

holding fast 

admiring the bountiful and beautiful Spring flowers

appreciating the small Joys that grace these quiet days

Grateful to wake up each morning...

a symphony of birdsong 
a pot of hot coffee
greeting another day with hope
faith in our medical experts and scientists
who are guiding us gently through this health emergency.

Take care of yourself 
stay cozy as you cocoon in your home.

"Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today."

~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~ 

Monday, March 23, 2020

Flowers. thoughts and ramblings from The Humble Bungalow...

Deep indigo grape hyacinths are a welcome pop of colour.
We have quite a few of these in our front garden.
Thankfully the deer do not nibble these sweet flowers.

How are you managing during the "shelter at home" order?
Are you busy or bored?

Do you get "dressed up" or have a PJ Days?

Keeping quite busy with home and gardening tasks.

Baking bread every few days...
to accompany homemade soups and stews.

We were down to a few cups of flour and we hit the jackpot yesterday 
by finding 10kg package of flour
it felt like a lottery win!

(We are not taking anything for granted.)

I'll be able to keep baking bread for the next few months with this supply.

I purchased an antibacterial spray from Nezza Naturals.
I've been wiping the counters, light switches and door handles.

We have a few lilies blooming in The Humble Bungalow Garden.
Planted these a few years ago and they pop up early each Spring.
Such a delightful dainty little flower 
which reminds me of The Flying Nun's hat
do you remember Sally Field in this television show?

Love the variegated foliage of the Trillium
When the flower is in bloom it is a dark magenta shade.

I sat on the front porch this past weekend and enjoyed the sunshine and birdsong.

Tapio Wirkkala Ultima modernist mug made in Finland.

Darling daughter has a large collection of Ultima
which I covet!

Timo Sarpeneva Finnish Festivo icy candlesticks.

Baked banana bread and pasta were delivered to our son and the grandchildren.
We waved at each other through the windows and they came out on the front porch while we stood at the bottom of the stairs.

Later we Face-Timed with them
the kids were in fine spirits when they
demonstrated a dance routine that they were working on!

Thank goodness for the internet to help us stay connected.

Loving this Lemongrass Tea Tree soap
the scent is divine and the sudsy soap makes it easy to keep up with the necessary hand washing.

With all this hand washing I need to moisturize my hands.
This cream absorbs quickly and protects my hands in between washes.
I apply and small amount at tea time when I sit to read my book.

Hellebore blooms are not deer food.

 ~ Vintage Enamel ~
Bread tin and colander just part of the small collection in our laundry room.

All is calm...
the ironing has been done
(such a soothing task.)

Clothes are washed and hung to dry.
Counters washed ~ floor swept.

Feeling in control of my own home 
is just one part of how I am keeping my focus positive.

It's time for lunch and I'm making a simple sandwich.
Will pop the kettle on and brew a pot of tea.

Hope you are finding ways to amuse yourself while you cocoon at home.

~ Stay Home and Stay Safe ~

Thursday, March 19, 2020


Cocooning in The Humble Bungalow

We have been listening to the daily press conferences on the Covid-19 virus.

People have been asked to take "shelter" in their homes
 work remotely from home if possible.

Schools are closed indefinitely.

Recreations centres, libraries, and shops are closed or only open a few hours.

Grocery stores and pharmacies are open but many shelves are bare.

Restaurants and coffee shops are offering "take out" only.

Who knows how long we will need to cocoon in our homes and practise social distancing?

Our cupboards, closets and drawers have never looked tidier.

I've been baking, cooking and looking through my cookbooks for new recipes.

Tackling tedious jobs that I usually put on the back burner.

Each morning I linger longer over my coffee...
while I catch up on the news and social media.

I've been reading more than usual.

Rosemarie, a dear reader from Vancouver
sent me some sunflower seeds to sow...
she has sent me a packet each year in memory of my Mom.

Rosemarie is a generous, kind and thoughtful woman.

I hope to meet up with her at some point when we get through this pandemic.

The primulas are putting on their annual cheery display.
They bloom from February until May and then I plant them out in the garden.

Geraniums will replace these pretty plants from May through until September.

I've been embracing the opportunity to get out for my daily walk.
It is a chance to enjoy fresh air, absorb some Vitamin D and get some exercise.

With sunny days and natural beauty at every turn it is not a hardship.

Wee pops of colour elevate my daily round.

Cheerful anemone
such a pretty shade of blue
almost purple.

How are you managing during this health crisis?

Are you enjoying slowing down?

Have you been cocooning and creative?

Please chime in and share how you are spending your days.

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Stay safe.
Wash your Hands and avoid touching your face.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Friday, March 13, 2020

Shopping my closet...casual denim for Spring

I have been wearing my go-to cashmere sweaters with jeans but with the sunnier days and Spring flinging our way I've been looking in my closet and thinking about dressing in lighter clothes.

Cailey 22 lightweight denim shirt 
In winter I layer this shirt under my black V neck cashmere sweater.

Gap heavier denim shirt
this works alone or layered over top of a Tee or top.

Gap shirt
Eileen Fisher sleeveless top
Letol French scarf
(was included in a previous delivery of My Stylish French Box)

Gap denim dress
layered over a long sleeve Eileen Fisher top

(I may purchase a pair of white capri tights to pair with these two pieces)

A lovely scarf...
cheerful colours
heavier and can also be worn as a shawl.

Works really well with denim and chambray garments.

I am trying not to panic 
after the recent announcement of the world wide Covid-19 pandemic.

Looking at the bright spots in my daily round.

I plan to do some "deeper cleaning" here in The Humble Bungalow.

Bathrooms, surfaces and door knobs will be disinfected.
We have not travelled on a plane or left the country and hope that people who  are ill will stay at home and self isolate.

Nice scented soap

Wash your hands well and avoid touching your face 
to minimize your chance of getting the disease.

Make sure you have 2 weeks of non perishable food on hand 
in case of an emergency.
(just like you would have in your earthquake preparedness kit)

Many people have been panic purchasing toilet paper and hand sanitizers.

According to scientists soap and water are more effective than hand sanitizers.

Of course we don't have access to these when we are in our cars 
so maybe keep a bottle handy when you are between the shops and your home.

Planning to avoid large crowds...

Having had pneumonia 3 times in the past and at 65 years of age
 I may be one of the demographic that needs to exercise more care.

Happy Weekend!

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~