A message from Aunt Jean

Anyone who tells you gardening isn’t exercise is an idiot.  A real one.  The kind that mumbles and drags their hairy knuckles on the ground while searching for poop to eat.

Because last week I spent 5 hours cleaning up my 20′ x 40′ community garden and  I was more exhausted and sore after that than I was after moving and stacking 2 bush cords of wood for 12 hours.

In fact as I type this, the day after cleaning up the garden, it’s noon and I’m still wearing my pajamas.  Just  one room over from my office is the bedrom  where the two cats are sunk into the duver like liquid fur.

I hate them. I hate those cats.  I hate them I hate them I hate them.  I’d say they were idiots, but I’ve never actually seen them try to eat poop.  Although one time one of my cats threw up a mouse head.  Not a mouse.  Just the head; the way a cartoon drunk might burp up the cap to a 40 ounce bottle of vodka.

The day I stacked the wood I had a lot of people stopping by to ask if I needed help and one of those people was The Famous, 100 year old, Aunt Jean.

She wasn’t actually coming to see if I needed help but when my mother drove up with her in the passenger seat I tried to physically yank her out of the car to put her to work.  No go.  She wouldn’t budge.  She’s strong for 100 years old.  Even more surprisingly I couldn’t trick her into it.  You’d think by 100 a person would be really easy to trick.  Not this one.

My mother had just brought her over to have a look at what was going on in the world outside of the her retirement residence.  NOT nursing home.  Retirement home.  I showed her Mabel, who was named after Aunt Jean’s mother.

Aunt Jean and I talked a bit about politics and entertainment.  I told her how many fans she had on my website.

I asked Aunt Jean, “Do you have anything you want to say to your fans?”

Without missing a beat or thinking about it she had a message for you, her fans. It’s an insight and proclamation that I think will strike a chord with all of you. Aunt Jean has seen many changes in our world in her 100 years on this planet. She has seen 100 years worth of wars, death, births and inventions. So if she has a message for you, you can bet it will be impactful.

Here is her message.



“I have all my own teeth”

                                   Aunt Jean, November 2014

Have a good weekend!



  1. Wisconsingal says:

    Guess what? As I looked at the small pic of her in my e-mail box, I said to myself, I think Aunt Jean has her own teeth! Could this be??? Amazing!

  2. DanniS says:

    Lol bless her heart she is adorable, beautiful smile!

  3. Wendy W says:

    Aunt Jean, you are fabulous!

  4. Diana says:

    That in fact is worth it to say! My biggest fear if I might get old is the rattle Sound of fake teeth hitting each other. klackklackklack. Brrrrrrr.

  5. JeannieB says:

    i always heard, that you get the face you deserve. Your Aunt Jean has seen the world change during her lifetime. She looks like she’s been a lovely, kind and good person all of her life. And she does have a beautiful smile that radiates her personality.
    I too, am somebody’s Aunt Jean and I have all my teeth and a pretty nice smile too. Here’s to all the beautiful Aunt Jeans everywhere.! hip, hip Hooray!

  6. Ev Wilcox says:

    Wow, I am soon to be 69 and I have NO teeth. What a woman! You are so lucky to have a living treasure in your life! What did she think about Mabel?

  7. Teresa says:


  8. Jody says:

    Aunt Jean is the best. Love her spectacles too.

  9. Tisha says:

    Aunt Jean is the best!

  10. Safetydog says:

    I glanced at the photo and thought “How did I get to Facebook? And what kind of message is my Aunt Jean sending everyone?” Granted, I have bronchitis and may be delirious, but our Aunt Jeans could be sisters. Mine just turned 90, and except for a few crowns, also has her own teeth. Unfortunately, not all of her mind. Glad to see yours is doing so well. (BTW, the possiblity of getting sick during the holidays is yet another reason to jump on the Christmas Challenge bandwagon.)

  11. Rondina says:

    Way to go Jean! They look great. You look great. And happy.

    And Karen, I’m glad you didn’t include a photo of the regurgitated mouse head.

  12. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    Gotta LOVE her!!!

  13. Saratoga Pixie says:

    That was fantastic! Thanks for sharing Aunt Jean with us!

  14. Valerie says:

    Your Aunt Jean is lovely and so are her teeth.
    I completely agree with a poster – Sidney who mentioned the relationship between teeth and whole body wellness. I have always believed that as well.
    My cousin wore a top denture for 25 years. The denture frequently made her gag and she often took it out of her mouth. Four years ago she had implants done for every single space there, in Vancouver. The cost was close to #35,000.00. The result is gorgeous. She feels it was the best money she’s ever spent. When it was trendy to have a mink coat lots of money went in that direction. My cousin thinks implanted teeth have now replaced mink coats.
    And now to cleaning up one’s garden in the fall. There are so many obscene words that describe this horrid task. So much of it has to be done on one’s knees and then there is finding where to take the mess you have collected in your wheelbarrow. One can’t just compost everything as there are plenty of weed seeds in the debris. I end up wintering my geraniums in the guest room The only bright note about the removal of all the riff raff in the flower garden is the noble broadcasting of poppy seeds which needs to be done before the snow flies.

  15. Mary Werner says:

    Laughed out loud – she is a true trip! Her smile is contagious and I wish there were more like her around. Thanks for another bit of fun today with Aunt Jean. Your garden will heap many thanks later when you have forgotten the hard work and are admiring the bounty it will provide.

  16. Jodi T. says:

    LOL! Preach Aunt Jean!

    Have a great weekend, Karen.

  17. Tigersmom says:

    Yay! Aunt Jean! I got so excited when I saw she was in today’s post. She rocks! And so do her teeth, apparently.

    And I can attest to the gardening being serious work. Last fall in my ignorant bliss of having landscaping that had been done the prior spring (nothing would have taken or lived if I had done it), I decided to go out and weed my front beds. I thought, “This will take about 45 minutes.” WRONG. Three and half hours later I had weeded it all and three days of stiffness and soreness were the result.

    I still do it. Not often. But now I know what to expect. Ouch. I think its worse than doing the wood because it is all on the ground. Kinda makes a case for going through the hassle of building raised beds, but then what would our yards look like?

  18. jainegayer says:

    What a COOL, BEAUTIFUL woman! How about an interview with Aunt Jean giving advice about life.
    I’m already smiling.

  19. Heather says:

    So much awesomeness.

  20. jane says:

    And I was thinking they’re whiter than mine. Tell us the secret! (and skip the clean living and virtuous thoughts.) The real secret!!

  21. maggie van sickle says:

    Awe God bless her. I don’t know her but I think she is someone I would love to know.

  22. Dagmar says:

    Okay so I awoke with a migraine, feeling yucky all around, and I see today is that special day -because I cannot for the life of me remember now when you post and don’t post. I know, three times a week, but I am a domestic goddess so I hardly follow what day of the week it is. And then I screamed for joy!!! Literally screamed, and the cat jumped, and my tray of food fell, but I don’t care, because Aunt Jean is on the blog

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Yup. It’s the star of the show, Aunt Jean! So I post Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Every other day in other words. Just remember you’ll always start and end your week with The Art of Doing Stuff. :) ~ karen

  23. Robin says:


  24. Beckie says:

    What an awesome lady!

  25. marilyn says:

    thats my goal too…i just ate a honey crisp apple..its the little things..love her glasses and her!

  26. Su says:

    nope don’t have ANY of my own teeth… not for the past 15 years, but hey that’s ok… the ones I paid for look real (I had a great dentist) fit great and I’m happy. No more dental cleanings or root canals or crowns or fillings or even better no more sitting in the chair fists clenched and dishing out $$$$ to save the rotten ones I was born with – damn English roots!

    Aunt Jean, you ROCK!! looking good :)

    Karen I agree that cleaning up a garden is exercise and work…. lovely, soul soothing work but still work….where are the darn garden faeries when you want them…..

  27. Feral Turtle says:

    Cheers Aunt Jean! xoxo

  28. Sandy says:

    Just love Aunt Jean! Do you rent her out?? Even just for the holidays? Ok, how about American Thankgiving? Groundhog Day? Natonal Pancake Day…I am flexible!

  29. Diane says:

    So Karen…did you ask Aunt Jean what she does daily to keep those teeth at 100? Now you need another post! Also, I would like to know how she made it successfully through menopause? What tricks were up her sleeve that kept her from serial killings? Also, how does she keep single strands of hair growing in visible places without plucking? Do tell…

  30. Janet says:

    Way to go, Aunt Jean! I love that you live in a retirement residence. We have a 92 year old Aunt who is moving on December 1, because she doesn’t like living in Amica… she wants to make her own meals and to eat and sleep when she feels like it. She hates the scheduling of the residence, so she’s moving to her own apartment. She said, “I’m not ready for this old folks business.”

    • Karen says:

      Ha! Well … and she’s only 92, why *would* she feel comfortable with all that old folk stuff. I mean, really. ~ karen!

      • Janet says:

        Laughing. EXACTLY! 92 years young. She moved out of her home about a year ago, into the retirement residence (basically a fancy hotel-like atmosphere in the public areas, with teeny apartments for the residents). I think she gave it a good try, but it wasn’t for her. She didn’t like having to eat off a menu with only two choices, and she prefers to cook for herself anyway. I think she’s brave to move again. More power to her!

  31. Kim C. says:

    Awesome! Aunt Jean you look marvelous!
    My husband ,who is half Aunt Jean’s age, just had a physical with our family doctor. She told him that his teeth are in great shape and that they were an important indicator of overall health and well being.
    Looks like Aunt Jean was on to something way before us. :-)

    I had to chuckle at your garden plot size Karen. Our house is a 25′ X 30′ bungalow and I feel exhausted after cleaning it too! :-) At least your garden rewards you with healthy delicious food after!
    Happy Weekend

  32. Debbie D says:

    I love Aunt Jean. I love Aunt Jean. I love Aunt Jean!

  33. Irene says:

    Bwaaahahaha! Awesome lady! What a beautiful smile, and sexy spectacles!

  34. Sidney says:

    Aunt Jean, you are the type of patients I’d pat your back for job well done. We love patients who take care of their teeth.

    Healthy mouth = healthy life (your mouth is the portal to your body and correlates to systemic health)

    We who work in the dental office are proud of you!

  35. Grammy says:

    Look at those chic eyeglasses! I’d say I’d like to look as good as Aunt Jean when I’m 100, but I don’t look that good NOW. You’ve got premium genes, Karen. No one is going to have sympathy for your aches, pains and fatigue when you’ve got all that going for you.

  36. Debbie says:

    I loved this!

  37. Catherine says:

    She’s so gorgeous!

  38. Lori Hall says:

    Classic. Way to go Aunt Jean!

  39. nancy says:

    I still have my teeth (most of them anyway), but I have lost my marbles…YAY Aunt Jean.

  40. Mary says:

    Better than me and I’m not even half her age!

  41. Debbie says:

    Shit. I don’t have all my own teeth. What the heck am I going to say at 100. Thanks a lot Aunt Jean.4

  42. Sandra says:

    I’m going to be 60 next year and I DON’T have all my own teeth.

    The past 4 years has been horrible. First, I was encouraged by my own dentist to get rid of what I had left in my upper mouth, because I was going to retire and wouldn’t have coverage. I didn’t have too many but it wasn’t noticeable.

    The denture wasn’t made right, and I had almost a year of constantly going back to get it “refitted”. The person who made it was fired, and the owner wasn’t willing to make another one for me.

    By then I’d heard about a place in San Jose, Costa Rica (Prisma Clinic) who would give me implants for a fraction of the price in Canada. I went, and was told that “snap-ons” would be best for me because I “grind” my teeth at night. Dr. Josef Cordero put in 4 implants (right together at the front) and one didn’t take, so he proceeded to place the prosthesis on the three remaining implants! They didn’t work and, after a year of wearing “implants” that were looser than the denture had been, they broke and I had to get them taken out.

    I didn’t do any research before I went. I have since, and now that I’m wearing a denture again, I find that Prisma is NOT the place to go. He doesn’t know what he’s doing and doesn’t care once you go back to Canada. The implants he put in are not even allowed in Canada OR the USA, because of copyright laws. He refused to even consider returning ANY of the almost $13,000 I gave him. He never answered any emails; just has his staff do it. He’s a crook. Please don’t even consider going to Prisma. There ARE good people to go to in Costa Rica, but not Cordero, at Prisma Clinic. Don’t let the big red smile fool you – he just has a good website.

    I brush my bottoms a lot more than I used to. And, I still hate my upper denture.

    My mom is 83 and she still has her teeth, too. Way to go, Mom, and Aunt Jean.

  43. Cred says:

    She is amazing!

  44. Tracie says:

    Oh My God, that’s awesome! All her own teeth at 100, and a looker too!! My Granddad had all his own teeth when he died at 86, which is pretty incredible since he used to open beer bottles with them…..I love Aunt Jean, I remember your last post about her…where she just started using wrinkle cream like a year or two before the interview!! Gives me hope, it really does. :)

  45. Jeanne says:

    What an inspiration…and just look atcha..you are a chip off ol’ Aunt Jean’s block ;) Throw Betty in the mix and that’s 3 gal’s to be drawn to! Cheers to all of ya…

  46. Cindy says:

    Oh wow, I love Aunt Jean! Maybe if she has any spare time, she could come be my Aunt Jean for a day or two? What a lovely lady. With a great smile!

  47. Teresa J says:

    Congratulations Aunt Jean!! I hope I have all of my teeth and my wits when I am 100 years old. Aunt Jean is truly an inspiration! You Go Girl!! :)

  48. Jamieson says:

    She has a fantastic set of glamorous choppers, to be sure! Remarkable.

  49. LazySusan says:

    That’s an amazing accomplishment for a 100 year old person! No wonder that’s her message. It speaks volumes about the kind of person she is! Way to go, Aunt Jean!

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