Wednesday, April 27, 2016

On going Maintenance...

How do you handle maintenance of home and self?
Do you write lists, schedule appointments, keep a journal?
Or wait until it is almost too late?

The on going maintenance of home and garden can be expensive...
and our modest arts and crafts bungalow is in dire need of some TLC.
Our bungalow is looking really shabby...I am embarrassed
as the paint is peeling and it is looking rather pathetic.

Exterior house painting is our current project...
the scraping and prepping required would take many many hours up on a ladder and neither myself nor Mr. HB have the inclination or stamina to do this job so we are hiring a company that we know will do a good job.

One cannot let things go too far or things would start to deteriorate...
it is after all, a slippery slope
besides she is looking her age...a ripe old 104!

As we age, new challenges arise...

aches, pains, stiffness in the joints
sleep issues crop up
our skin changes
waistlines disappear and our youthful figures blur
our hair turns grey
necks get saggy
skin wrinkles: laugh lines are pronounced
the skin on our hands becomes crepe-y

All these challenges are a normal part of aging...
we can attempt to ignore them or become obsessive.

This wee poppies freshness and beauty are fading...
the wrinkled petals are turning brown in the sun
past their prime
but still lovely.

These lilacs did not last long in the vase...
in 2 days they wilted and turned brown.
There must be a trick to keep them looking fresh...
I cut up into the stems and plunged them into cold water all the way up to the flowers
but that did not seem to keep them from fading...

This toiletry tray holds a few of my favourite things...
scents, and a few of the "tools" that I regularly use.
I love a quality brush when I apply powder, shadow and blush.
Aveda and Jane Iredale make great brushes and with care and maintenance they last for years.
I wash mine frequently in Aveda Shampure shampoo and let them air dry.

I use these two products once a week and give myself a facial 
which takes about 5 minutes.
Then I moisturize with the Eminence coconut lotion 
 my skin feels fresh and looks and feels softer.

I slather this oil on my legs after shaving.
Before I go for my walks I use it on my feet and I think it helps my heels from cracking.
It also smells lovely!

Each morning and evening I wash my face with Eminence Coconut scented Monoi Age Corrective Exfoliating cleanser
apply a few drops of the Neroli Age Corrective Eye Serum 
and apply Coconut Age Corrective Moisturizer.

I don't think it really matters too much what brand of products that we use.
They could be drugstore or heath food store lines.
Many people are fans of regular olive or coconut oil.
Whatever you use I think the main thing is to remove your make up and to keep you skin moisturized.

Always use Sunscreen!
It has been added to many formula's and is easy to use.
I like the Eminence sunscreen with the built in brush.

I brush and floss my teeth at least twice a day.
This Sonic Care toothbrush has improved my gum health in 4 short months.
The dental hygienist was amazed!
She said if I kept this up for the next 20 years my gums would not deteriorate!

I love the idea of having healthy gums
as I read somewhere that gum disease is linked to heart problems.

Keep active
find something that you love to do and immerse yourself in it.

There are many things that we can do to maintain our appearance and stay healthy...
I have just touched on a few...
this post just scratched the surface of a very large topic.

Please feel free to chime in with your own hints and thoughts...
we are all in this journey together.

Embrace beauty in all it's forms...

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Monday, April 25, 2016

The raptures of Spring...

Our Humble Bungalow Garden comes alive every Spring.
So exciting to see after cool wet Fall and Winter seasons...

Dewdrops and raindrops look so pretty resting on these leaves.
Pots of pansies and tulips make for a happy marriage.

Tulips are a favourite meal with our local deer population do they have been relegated to the area of the garden that is protected by the fence!

I have not bothered to dig up the tulip bulbs in the front garden 
so the deer just happily munch on them as they stroll by...
our garden must be on "their feeding route" 
as other gardens on our street have masses of tulips and they have not been nibbled.

Spring has come early...

Muguet des Bois
we started with a small clump and these have spread like mad in the garden.
I love their scent and love to pick a handful as gifts.

Their fragrance dissipates shortly after picking 
but for a few days a wee vase filled with them can fill the bathroom with the most amazing scent.

Looks like a wonderland of white bobbing bonnets...

Ah and the lilacs...
such beauty and another intoxicating fragrant flower.

The bees are back and busy pollinating the flowers...
one does need to be mindful and rest.

I am enjoying
slow mornings sipping my cafe creme
a good book in hand
often stopping mid sentence and staring out the window.
appreciating the beauty of the garden
the blooms of Spring
and the sounds of the birdsong and of the bees buzzing.

I had my cortisone injection last week and it was not a very pleasant experience.
I must confess to being rather nervous.
I read up on the procedure at the Mayo Clinic website, 
the only one that I trust to give honest information 
so I had a vague idea what to expect 
but I had not really prepared myself for the sensations involved...
after three wee pricks for the freezing
a larger needle filled up the shoulder joint with what felt like goop...
thick play-dough like goop.

My shoulder is sore but I am told it should be better as time passes...

I am such a wimp when it comes to medical procedures.

How do people manage to find the strength and courage to deal with long term medical issues?
My utmost respect goes out to people who deal with disease with grace and dignity.
And there are many people out there who face these challenges everyday.

But for now I am giving myself permission to just be in the moment.
Allowing myself some moments to quietly contemplate the beauty of Spring.
Nodding as I embrace gratitude 
wait for the rest of the garden to burst forth with the raptures of Spring.

Take care and thank you for stopping by and visiting my humble blog.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Paris delights.

Memories of my trip last Spring to Paris have been flittering about in my mind...
by cultivating a few French habits this helps keep the feelings fresh and alive.

French Market Basket from Madison and Muse in the Cadboro Bay Village

Some things that help me recall my trip and french focus:

my morning ritual of a cafe creme served in a wide bowl...
the application of perfume
wearing pretty lingerie
nibbling a decadent croissant from time to time
walking in my neighbourhood and beyond
taking myself out for coffee and sitting outside watching the people walk by
reading about Paris in books and on blogs
perusing the produce and eating local fresh food that is "in season"
popping into a french charcuterie for lunch basics
harvesting our fresh home grown vegetables...our asparagus crop is amazing!
making a simple French vinaigrette
browsing in my French cookbooks

shopping in a French inspired store
I treated myself to a new French Market basket
a new linen apron
and a scarf!

a wee french inspired lunch
savoured at the table
with a large glass of sparkling Perrier
(if I was in France it probably would have been a glass of vin rose)

Heavy linen apron with large pockets...
great for cooking, cleaning and wearing in the garden.
(also from Madison and Muse)

I was on a roll and so why not buy a new linen scarf too?
Soft grey from Madison and Muse.

If you live in Victoria or come for a visit do yourself a favour and pop into the shop.
Margo, the owner, is very knowledgeable, has lived in France and her stock is sumptuous.
If I have a windfall I am heading straight to her shop to buy linen sheets...
happy shopping!

My Paris reading list has been getting larger 
especially after going to the library and Ivy's books on The Avenue
I have a few more on my book shelf waiting...

Our garden has a dedicated asparagus bed which is providing us with fresh picked asparagus.

We usually have this as an appetizer before our main course.
I pop it in a shallow pan with boiling water 
 let it sit in there bubbling for 5 minutes
drain and serve 
with a dollop of mayonnaise and a bit of salt and pepper.

Strange things are happening to the rhubarb plants.

flowers are emerging

We have harvested several pickings 
 stewed the stalks to enjoy with a dollop of fresh yogurt.

oh and there is another strange thing growing in the garden...
looks like The Jack in The Pulpit plant.
I do not remember planting this!

Could it have come into the garden as a hitch hiker with another plant?
My goodness I am keeping my eye on this one.

Life is never dull when one has a garden to potter about in...nature is full of surprises!
Hope your weekend is full to the brim with lovely things.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pretty Garden Pinks, a road trip and a picnic...and it is only Wednesday!

Oh the weather these past few days has been so hot!

Darling daughter celebrated her birthday on Monday.

Here she is on one of her first walks.
In 1979 we lived on Marlborough Street by Beacon Hill Park which is just off Dallas Road 
in a big old rambling house which still stands today.

I love this picture of the two of us 
with the snow capped Olympic Mountains in the background.
So much time has elapsed...
Our daughter has grown into a lovely woman and she will be tying the knot with her Kiwi fiancee this summer.

Darling daughter and I drove up island for the day...
poking our noses into 
antique shops and a couple of thrift stores.

This is the view from the Bridgeman's Bistro at The Mill Bay Marina.
The water was so calm...
just like a "mill pond" which by the way is not usual for "Mill Bay!"

The crab cakes were delicious!

We came home with a few bit and bobs...but no "big" treasures.
It is aways fun spending time together.

I wore my bangles...
she says it makes me easy to find in a shop...she just listens for the sounds of the bracelets jingling!

The lilacs are blooming and it is not even May!

I have had to venture downstairs to my "out of season" closet
to find some summer garments to wear in this heat...

It is "slim pickins" down there too....not much more than a couple of dresses, a few Tees and a couple of pairs of pants. I must have done a major cull last season when I put the summer stuff into storage.

Thank goodness I had the peace of mind to keep my Italian black linen dress...
it is loose and very cool..perfect for this weather.

Last year I noticed that In the south of France loose linen dresses seem to be the preferred choice of women of a certain I promptly went out a bought one when I came back from my trip...a very sensible choice too and one that makes sense as the fabric breathes in the heat.

I love to wander around in the garden in the morning before it gets too hot... to see if there are any major weeds that need pulling and to see what is in bloom.

The roses are starting to bloom...this Pavement series rose has an intoxicating scent...
unfortunately it bears lots of thorns which make it hard to pick.

These sweet little "money plant" volunteers have seeded themselves in the front beds.

This area is "under construction"
Our clematis is very old and woody but is a stalwart when it comes to putting on a spectacular show.

This picture was taken before the clematis came into bloom.
We planted variegated iris, several hostas and black mondo grass in this shady bed. 

The patio was redone by our garden gals.

The clematis has twined itself high up into the neighbours Dogwood tree.

Close up of a a jewel box inside.

I bought a few geraniums to put on the front porch.
They are a great value
will last all summer 
look so cheerful.

My sister and I took Mother to the beach for tea and a late afternoon snack yesterday.
Inside this basket I keep 3 pretty china cups and saucers, 3 matching side plates, assorted silver wear.
Picnic ready 
with a tablecloth, napkins when the sun shines on Willows Beach.

I've got some more posts on the back burner so I will be back soon.

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful emails after the recent shenanigans...
I did not think that the post would have generate so much discord among readers...
if I have personally offended any of you, 
I humbly apologize.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

Monday, April 18, 2016

Salt Spring Island Day Trip...

On a rainy weekday morning last week we got up at the crack of dawn and headed out to the ferry to spend the day on one of the Gulf Islands.

Salt Spring Island is a short scenic 35 minute ferry ride from The Swartz Bay terminal.

The island is the largest of our Gulf Islands and it is very lush and green.
A popular spot for many who are fortunate enough to call it home...
and a lovely place to go for a visit.

Many of the homes along the waterfront have low bank beach access with private docks while others with expansive water views, are built high up on the cliffs that plunge sharply to the sea.

SSI is home to a diverse mix of locals... from affluent celebrities, talented writers, gifted artists, wealthy retirees, farmers, vintners, potters, quilters, organic produce growers, "back to the earth" hippies, professionals, chefs, gardeners, families, teachers and the list goes on...
definitely an eclectic group... which makes for a very "colourful" community.

Mr. HB had business on the island so I tagged along for the ride...
While he worked, I walked and explored the galleries and shops in Ganges which is the retail hub of the island.
It was a quiet day as not that many people were out and about.
Perhaps it was the rain...
but then I am comparing it to the busy summer season
when tourists are on their holidays and the marinas are full of boats.

There are some lovely women's shops with sumptuous imported linen garments in fashionable styles.
Shoes, scarves, hats, and stylish accessories.
Many of which are beyond my budget...but it is fun to browse.

There are two thrift shops...
well worth perusing
as you never know what you are going to find.

There was an adorable bright pink and lime green classic Lily Pulitzer sheath dress,
alas it was too small.
Lots of designer labels and most in good condition, some of the pieces I recognized from last season.

I did find an Eileen Fisher "jacket"....
very simple and in a versatile navy for under $20.

Mr. HB and I met for lunch at Auntie Pesto's on the waterfront overlooking the marina.
The food was tasty and the half portion of pasta that I opted for was more than adequate.
Judging by the crowd that were dining there it must be a favourite with the locals.

After lunch we walked the docks and looked at boats before heading back to Fulford Harbour to catch the ferry.

Fulford Harbour is quite small and features a couple of funky shops,
a mercantile store, book shop, restaurant and a cafe.

After we parked the car in the line up, we poked our heads into all the wee shops and had a good look around.
There was a surprise in one of the shops... a yellow silk scarf!
The one that I have been hunting for to wear with my navy coat and yellow walking shoes.

Who would have thought that I would find it on a Gulf Island?

If you get the opportunity to visit Salt Spring Island try to make time to drive around the entire island.
Perhaps you'll find a charming B and B in which to stay for a few days
or if you have "deep pockets" you can stay at Hastings House
 a luxurious spot that has beautiful gardens and a Spa.

Mr. HB and I stayed there one long weekend in May many years ago and we both felt so pampered...
our suite was in The Post House
the grounds are beautiful
the food was delicious and the service impeccable.

 The Farmer's Market is held on Saturdays from April until October.
You will find jewelry, paintings, jams, crafts, clothing, collectibles, food, spices, soaps and more...
it is held on Saturdays in Ganges.
It is a "must see" if you are on the island.

If you need any more information on SSI go here.
 you will find places to stay and things to do.

Thank you for stopping by The Humble  Bungalow Blog.

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~

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