"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mop Philosophy Monday

 It's finally warm enough to use my clothesline again, there has been much rejoicing about that fresh smell and lovely crispy texture to the linens.
Crispy fresh linens.
 I shouldn't buy wine based on pretty labels but I do it.  Apparently this was a delicious red, I think I'll buy it again based on the label alone:
 We broke the Emma Bridgewater penguin mug.  Everyone was upset about it.  We've turned that misfortune into an opportunity:
Broken Penguin Mug Parsley Holder
 I caught these two lemons having a quiet kiss on the windowsill.
Kissing Lemons


Please tell me you've watched the Two Fat Ladies!
 I read Clarissa Dickson Wright's excellent book Spilling The Beans and I loved it.  The second I put it down I ordered up the Two Fat Ladies television series.
It's not just that it's funny and brings us to all corners of England, there are also some really excellent recipes to be had.  I can't believe I had never viewed it before.

My spring cupboard is looking minimal with bits of bright saturated colour:
Minimal: denim and a Perfect Fit Tee Shirt in "sweet vanilla".

JCrew silk twill blouse 2007.

JCrew sweater coat in golden yellow, 2007.
JCrew blouse "Sanibel", also 2007.
The thing about the golden yellow sweater coat is that I owned this before in black and I gave it to a friend who loved it.  I loved it too but I also liked the golden version... I have finally found it on ebay and it's quite the swingy sunny wonder.

I do appreciate shades of apricot and yellow, how about you?


Woven pillow in the living room: shades of apricot, yellow and blue.
 I've had an interest lately in lemon soap:
Lemon bath soap, sourced on the cheap at Homesense.
 What do you think about strategically placed teddy bears?
I think they are a nice surprise.  I find they look like little soldiers in among the Liberty print cushions.

 Are you busy these days?  I'll tell you what we're up to:  travelling across the country to see the new light of our life, our baby nephew.  It's true.  That kid brother of mine finally had a baby and there is much joy in the family.  I hope to be back with a colour story before we jet off, it will involve yellow, blue, green, and happy prints... !
Be well and have fun,
xoxDani

60 comments:

  1. Wishing and HopingApril 28, 2014 at 1:31 AM

    Dear Dani,
    Congratulations on the new arrival!
    Such fun to have a little person in the family to bring a new perspective on life. You definitely must take some of those bright yellow outfits on your visit. Babies love bright colours.

    You certainly have been busy.
    Looks like Spring fever has finally come you way. Absolutely nothing can come close to linens hung out in the sunshine and fresh air - except of course, having a good night's sleep amongst that earthy smell.
    Agree with the labelling on that marvellous bottle of red; I must say the cloth it's resting on caught my eye too. And now my interest is peaked on "The two fat ladies". Love a good tour across the British Isle.Thank you for the recommendation.

    Coincidently, I was out shopping with my youngest last week and we saw a gorgeously super soft bunny, to which I hinted to my youngest. "I'd love that little fellow on my bed. Maybe it would make a nice mother's day gift?" Mother's day is in a couple of weeks here, so we'll wait and see if my youngest is as clever as your little rascal who always gets the gift giving right!. (Without hints either!!)
    Nothing beats a teddy on the bed. Just looking at their fuzzy faces can bring a smile to any sad face.
    But you on the other hand, are sounding chipper than ever. The sunshine must have lifted your spirits! Helen : )

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    1. Thank you Helen! I am ready for spring and colour and new life. I think the exercise with my pup these last months has done a world of good, I was busy before but busier is better for me it seems, there is a renewed strength and energy.
      That tablecloth is a Ralph Lauren that washes up very easily, key around here with The Rascals. That fluffy bunny sounds so sweet, if the hint doesn't work you can drop more the next time.
      I was thinking about how much babies love colours and prints... I've banished all black from my cupboard after attending two funerals in the last 10 days, the ups and downs of life...

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  2. Where across the country? Are you visiting BC? If so, we should meet. Congrats, Auntie! :)

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    1. Hi Rose, we are visiting Victoria! My kid brother lives in Fort Simpson NWT but they travelled to Victoria to have their baby. It's a quick trip so we won't be in Vancouver with the exception of 40 minutes to catch a connecting flight... but if not this trip then another time, something tells me we'll be spending more time on the west coast. ;)

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  3. Hello Dani,

    It is certainly all go at your house. And a new baby too, what excitement!

    There is something positively sensual about crisp, newly laundered, air dried sheets. We imagine that HM The Queen has fresh bed linen every day since that would be our idea of the ultimate luxury. It is so lovely when, after long Winter days of drying everything indoors, one can dry things outside where they become transformed with all the freshness of Spring.

    Yellow, as we used to advise about the garden, is a tricky colour as it always demands complete attention. However, it is a perfect way to draw the eye, provided that is what one wishes to do. We can well imagine the glorious sunny vision that you would create in your yellow coat, offset by the wonderful, cleverly chosen complementary clothing. Perfect!

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    1. Jane and Lance it is true that yellow is tricky isn't it, I have a yellow tree peony that I am quite enamoured with, it grabs all the attention in the garden when it is blooming. I read once that the Queen is quite thrifty with heating and things so I'm sure her frugal nature would enjoy a clothesline, though her lifestyle demands the opposite of frugality. I always wonder if that is frustrating for her!

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  4. The wine label is stunning, I'd buy wine just for the label too.

    It's amazing how different families are, babies were never celebrated in my family but always seen as a burden, I was brought up in atmosphere that considered having children as a negative in life. Very sad.

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    1. Tabitha that is very sad and so foreign to me, what Gloomy Gus started this attitude in your family? Babies are such a celebration and a gift of life.

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    2. I know, had I been brought up differently I'd probably be a mum, that sort of stuff weasels into you, it was mum, she treats/ed 'so and so is pregnant" as if they have terminal cancer, since 'children ruin your life." I guess having a family was pretty much forced on her, had she lived in another era she would have had no children and a career.

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    3. Tabitha, my family is the same way. Both my parents view children as a burden. I think they only had children because of societal expectations.

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    5. My grandmother told me a story when I was a very little girl and it has shaped my feelings about treasuring babies and never taking their little lives for granted: She had her third child while in the Japanese internment camps in 1943 and always viewed that baby as such a burden. While she took care of her two toddlers, she had my grandfather take almost exclusive responsibility for the baby. When the war ended and they were relocated, she found out that the baby, then 3, had defective kidneys and had to be hospitalized almost immediately after he was diagnosed. For whatever reason, they lived in New Jersey but the baby was in a hospital in Philadelphia. She would travel down by train when she could to see him. The last time she saw him, he asked when he could go home, and a few days later, she got a call from a nurse that he had died in his sleep. Forty years later when she told me that story, she still cried. She told me that baby was so good and so sweet and she didn't even want him, and it wasn't until he was taken from her that she realized what she had lost. Obviously, children aren't for everyone, but I grew up feeling, and still feel today, that there is nothing more treasured than a baby.

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    6. Louise, how odd, I wonder what was going on in their heads?

      Oh Audrey, what a beautiful family memory to hold dear.

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    7. Just read these comments. Tabs, I'm not authorized to leave comments on your site, but I've read some of your posts lately. It makes me so sad to hear children weren't welcome in your family. You're probably spot on about your mom wishing she'd had a career.

      AudreyS, I'm also moved by what you shared. What a story. I will say that my miscarriage was a very difficult experience, but I believe increased my patience during the tough days and nites w/my mini.

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    8. AudreyS that gives me chills to think of, your poor grandmother. They had such a hard life. Babies are complete treasures and Gigi I agree that having things go wrong lets us look at the difficulties differently, I had four miscarriages before my youngest and though it made me probably more anxious as a mother it also illustrated the fleeting precious time we get with our babies.
      I love all babies and Tabs I think your poor Mum probably had those gloomy thoughts ingrained during her own childhood.

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  5. Dani - we drink that wine all the time - it is very good and affordable! On the weekend I bought a French red called Le Patisserie because of the pretty label. It was not good at all - not at all our taste, so I don't think Mr. BP would like it if you stumble across it. They do have a white and that might be nice.

    Love your linens! I have never heard of this British show - a cooking show?

    So excited about your trip out west! You will have a grand time with that new baby!

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    1. WMM, The Two Fat Ladies are a British institution, long before Delia, Jamie and Nigella. There is a lot of "a pound of butter" and one of them has sadly expired, but so real and funny in the Julia with a sidekick vibe. Sending a book your way.

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    2. Wendy you would love the show! Jennifer Patterson died in the 90's and Clarissa Dickson Wright passed away just recently which is how I found out about her books:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarissa_Dickson_Wright
      I adore the show, they are so funny, they embrace local food, real ingredients and have adventures all over England.

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    3. Dani, I missed Clarissa's passing, must tell M. the Older. He makes a good job of one of their savoury meat pies.

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  6. SPRING IT ON Dani, I still smile at one of your Monday posts topped with a stack of denim, ages and stages huh. Sorry for the re-purposed mug but sure it can be replaced with an EBay troll or with something equally charming from EB's newer ranges when you are in Blighty. And happy landings, will be thinking of you (cleaning and) packing up.

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    1. GF yes it's a busy week the best kind, and you know I love packing up for hols. I wondered about visiting EB in England, we'll see if we come across any shops. Do I dare bring MrBP into one? ;)

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  7. A new nephew? How exciting. I'm really starting to enjoy UncleHood as I grow older as I have a college graduation next month (magna cum laude don't you know!) and these occasions have lured the Prodigal back into the fold.
    Dani, you always have such a great eye and remind one of how much joy and beauty can be beheld in the activities in our everyday lives (those bed linens with clothes pins sent me off on a boyhood reverie). Looking forward to your next colour story and with yellow, those shades in the sunburst range appeal to me most.

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    1. Thank you GSL. It's a privilege to have nieces and nephews! I didn't think I'd get any on my side of the family, my sister doesn't have children and my kid brother is 38, of course I had children quite young so I've been waiting a long long time.

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  8. Well congratulations my dear. Sounds like your spring is off with a bang. I need to get busy.

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    1. BB yes it's been up and down around here but this new baby is the most exciting thing to happen in our family since Little Rascal was born! We finally have green grass and sunshine and never has it been more appreciated.:)

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  9. Congtratulations on the new addition to the family - have a wonderful trip to see him! I'm sure you'll love Victoria - I've never been, but from what my husband has told me, and from Leslie's blog, I think you'll love the gardens.

    Today our house goes on the market - fingers and toes are crossed!

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    1. Oh Patricia good luck! I have been down the mineshaft with work. But are you moving far or just in city?

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    2. Hi GF, thank you - we are moving to the Ottawa area, probably back to the small town we lived in before.

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    3. The Ottawa valley is lovely. My DH is in Kanata and other burbs of the city pretty often for work so have done a good bit of exploring, aside from hotels. Will wish you warm winter layers though Patricia, successful selling up and happy settling in...

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    4. Patricia I am crossing fingers and toes for the quick sale! I hope it all goes as well as possible.
      I can't wait to see the gardens, they should be ahead of ours, well I'm hoping!

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    5. Thanks GF - we will be east of the city. And you're so right - Ottawa is cold!

      Thanks Dani - a quick sale would be wonderful, then we can go on our house-hunting trip.

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  10. Babies and sunshine! Excellent. My wash is going out this AM; a few daffodils have finally opened. Soon the bees will arrive--please, everyone, leave the dandelions in your lawn for the bees as they are important early food.

    Those lemons; it is spring after all.

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    1. Lane I didn't know that but I will remember it about the dandelions.
      Kissing lemons, sneaking one in weren't they!

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  11. You've got good eBay luck, Dani. That yellow coat is perfection.

    I'm traveling far too much for work and too busy to do much else. Spring is passing me by and it's the best time in the desert. Times like these are when I'm very grateful for my closet purges and organization. It's easy to choose outfits to pack. I used to stand in front of the racks paralyzed. Too many choices.

    So sorry about the penguin mug! I'm glad you found another use for it.

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    1. DF you are really working so hard these last months, I hope you'll get a holiday soon, maybe a staycation? So smart to have your wardrobe sorted, I've got my storage closet set up to hold pretty much all of my clothes so that I only have a small capsule in my everyday closet, it's really the way to go and less paralyzing as you say.

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  12. Congratulations on the new addition to the family! I love the west coast - you will have a fantastic time.

    I remember The Two Fat Ladies series from way back when. I only watched a few episodes as this was during high school and early university years, when I was not interested in cooking! Love your yellow sweater coat. A couple years ago, I went through a binge of acquiring J. Crew sweater jackets from the 2007-2008 era. They will never make them like that again and they are getting harder to find. Good score!

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    1. Louise that was smart of you as they are hard to find now and I had a bidding war for the yellow coat, I was determined to have it in my paws... I wore it today and I love it.
      We've been skiing in BC but not this kind of trip, and MrBP has never been to Victoria, he's going to love it. Thanks Louise.

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  13. Mr HB and I used to watch those two Fat Ladies on BBC very entertaining...their cooking was quite calorific though....
    Looking forward to our meet up in Victoria!
    I am impressed by those eBay finds...sunny yellow in coats, lemons and soap are a cheery way to start the week. Have a safe journey.

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    1. Hostess it's amazing how many of their recipes are a no-go for me because of the pork! Boy they really like to wrap everything in bacon.
      We are really looking forward to meeting you in Victoria, MrBP and Young Rascal are very excited as well! I wish we had more time so I could go on a walk with you... and we could visit Vancouver as well (which is where our Rose lives). Next time!

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  14. Happy Spring Dani. A new baby is so exciting!! I never anticipated the joy our grandson would bring into the family. It's massive. You'll go head over heels in love...instantly. I just love that peek at your tapestry pillow. Such great colors. When I see tapestry I'm immediately reminded of my Dad, who was a fan and had it everywhere in his little apartment. Enjoy your day with that darling fluff ball, Scout. xo

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    1. Jennifer I had no idea how I would feel... the minute we found out I literally started looking for plane tickets.
      I love that tapestry pillow, well you know I am a textile fan and I'm sure your Dad and I would have been kindred spirits!

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  15. Spring is a great time for a new baby! No being stuck inside, which can be as hard for new parents as for the baby.

    I am, for the first time in my life, getting around to spring cleaning. I have completely filled two trash bins, twice weekly, for an entire month and my husband is THRILLED. I must admit, even I now see the appeal! Things that have been tossed include cans in the back of the pantry with expirations dates of 2004, and full years' worth of weekly school bulletins -- in binders even! -- from my children's preschool days!

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    1. Audrey my gosh good job and Keep Going! I love spring cleaning and I pretty much do it on a regular basis. Extra stuff around makes me crazy even though I am not a minimalist (as you know, you've seen my wardrobe!) It feels great to get rid of extra stuff, clears the house and the mind. Keeps dust away and it just makes the home a safer place. I'm so please for you, if I lived close by I'd come by to give you a hand!

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  16. Fresh linens, kissing lemons, bears and a new baby. Congratulations, Aunt Dani :)

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  17. Oh I do so love the smell of laundry from the line! Heaven. Unfortunately we cannot do that much here as the pollen is outrageous now. Good job keeping a favorite mug in your life, I shall keep that idea in mind...Sugar and Dustin are the only two strategically placed stuffed animals around here.
    Congratulations on aunt-hood. I find it to have all the benefits of motherhood without the sleepless nights

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    1. Bebe yes I'm looking forward to sleeping when we go visit our nephew! ;) We've broken so many mugs and crystal, we are all clumsy in our family and we love tile in the kitchen... it's bad news for breakables.

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  18. Oh hanging washing on the line - you never see that here! - only in Kiwiland, nothing like putting your face against fresh wash, brings me back to my childhood (singing in background)

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    1. Jody I think California has more line-dry days than here, why aren't there clotheslines everywhere? I need to get out to Cali to sort that out!

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  19. Congratulations on the new addition to your family! Although my boys are now 24, 23, and 19, my sister has an infant and 3 year old.....they are no end of fun for all of us! I know you will all have a special bond!
    Also loved those Two Grand Ladies! I devoured Spilling the Beans - especially hearing about how she trained to be a barrister and overcame the drink. I think it's time for a reread.

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    1. Rebecca it's amazing how she overcame the drink and even more amazing that she didn't die from it. What a life she had and the abuse at the hands of her father and then her ability to have a zest for life... she was really an inspiring person.
      This is a special baby, my brother is an incredible person and I remember him vividly as a baby. My nephew looks like him already!

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    2. What a small world....my husband has some family in Fort Simpson! Have fun in Victoria! Love that city!

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  20. Lovely Dani, Just adore stopping here. You posts just tickle me with all the little doing in your home. It's the things like your lemons and even the parsley in your broken mug that make it so sweet. You make it easy to find the beauty in everything! So exciting about that baby nephew. Hope you'll share some pics with us.
    Loving your yellow sweater coat. I think I have the same item almost exactly, but it's grey and shorter from J Crew. It's one of the nicest sweaters I've ever had and hasn't pilled after all these years. I need to look on Ebay for the coat version!

    Also so excited to see you like Two Fat Ladies. Found that series when my kids were small and it was my escape. Adored both of them and will look for this book! Isn't the show a hoot?
    xx Kim

    p.s. I dry my things outside too. Love the smell!

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  21. Love those colours. So fresh for spring. And congratulations, auntie!

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  22. Congratulations to the whole family! How wonderful to have a new baby to adore. The kissing lemons made me smile.

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  24. Oh for a garden and a washing line …

    I love the Two Fat Ladies, too. I am always on the lookout for their books in charity shops. CDW was a family friend of my cousin's girlfriend's. I was told she would definitely be at their wedding, and was very much looking forward to it, and plucking up the courage to talk to her! She died a few weeks ago. I heard on the radio in the kitchen, and felt very sad, but I was in the middle of cooking something using lots of duck fat, so I thought at least she'd be proud of me!

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  25. Mmm ... love sun dried linens. Your wine label comment made me think of the first time I went to a wine tasting. In my mind, I disagreed with all the experienced tasters at my table sighing over bouquet and color and (winetaster lingo here), turned out my choice was the same as the winemaster. The kissing lemons made me laugh and a sweet teddy is always a winning strategy. Safe and smooth travels on your happy trip!

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  27. So nice to read about your visit with the Hostess. This my first time visiting you blog, and I'm a fellow Ontarian. You look great in your yellow sweater coat. It's one of the colours I just can't wear due to my complexion. You're so lucky!

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