BRING IT ON NEW YEAR! SHIT’S ABOUT TO GET REAL.

I know most of you think I’m weirdly perfect, like a super-funny robot with hair that grows. And I am. But I’m other things too.  I’m also a super-funny Ninja with hair that grows.  And as with all super-funny Ninjas there comes a time when I have to think about retirement.  Not from being super-funny. Asking a super-funny to stop being super-funny is like asking a tree to stop growing or an asthmatic to stop wheezing.

But I feel like at my age it’s time to slow down my Ninjaing.  This is my New Years Resolution every year by the way.  To slowwwwww down.  To stop whipping around all hours of the day and night and hang out with the other Ninjas who have slowed down, discussing our past accomplishments over $1.99 breakfasts in a Ninja friendly Boca Raton strip mall restaurant.

I still like doing things, I love doing things in fact, but when you’ve been doing things your whole life, non-stop, there comes a time you’d like to not do things.  Or at least not do them so quickly that your neighbours refer to you as a Chihuahua on speed.

Here’s a list of some of the things I’ve done to my house in the past 15 years.

THE FIRST YEARS

dishwasherbw

The first year in my house I fixed all the weird things that the people before me had done. Like cementing the dishwasher that didn’t work to the floor or covering up the “awful, stupid subfloor” with dirty carpeting.  The awful, stupid subfloor was 20″ pine planks from 1840 by the way. I ripped up, sanded, drywalled and painted every inch of every room, installed new appliances and tricked out the house with central vac. Let’s keep in mind when I say I installed the new appliances I mean that I, me, installed the new appliances. I ripped out the dishwasher with the help of my sister and a random delivery guy that appeared at my door at the time we were doing it, and I bought the new dishwasher and hooked it up myself. The delivery guy said he couldn’t stay long enough to help me install it. Something about this being really weird and not having time and unlawful and restraining.  Something like that.

In the first years I also hired a company to replace my backyard fence which was teetering over like the cast of Shameless at an ankle monitor removal party.  (open bar of course)  The fencing company built one entire panel of the fence to be about a foot shorter than the rest of the fence and secured everything with nails that were 2″ too long and stuck out the other side like a vertical version of a bed of nails.  In this company’s defence at least when they showed up to give me a quote they arrived upright and sober as opposed to the first guy who showed up at 10 a.m. smelling like Boris Yeltsin and leaning as far over as my fence.

That’s the time I really became a Ninja, fixing, making and doing pretty much everything myself.  If it can’t kill me or permanently mess my hair I do it myself.  That means things like electrical panels and roofing replacement are jobs I hire for while everything else is either done by me or at least attempted by me.

REDOING THE BACKYARD

backyard-makeover-before

Seriously. LOOK at the size of my biceps after about one month of hard labour. Crossfit can suck it. Just do shit yourself if you wanna get fit.

In 2007 I ripped out my entire backyard, everything in it and started from scratch.  This wasn’t  a whim, like OooooOoooo wouldn’t it be fun to haul ass, shovel dirt and compress my spine for 3 months?  The same owners before me who warned me of the “awful, stupid subfloor” had done a really great job of designing the backyard with the worst possible material choices imaginable. I mean if they had chosen to pave the backyard with marshmallows it would have been a better choice than what they went with.  The flower beds around the backyard were 1″ thick cedar boards with  no barrier between the soil and the cedar which meant it took all of around 3 years for them to completely rot away. The ground was paved with slate, which is a beautiful material when used either in a bathroom, hallway or high end Hawaiian outdoor massage parlour.  It’s not the optimal choice for an outdoor patio in Ontario, Canada where for 6 months of the year the ground gets wet, then freezes, then heaves, then thaws.  Slate is all shaley so the second water gets into it and freezes it expands, basically making the slate erode and explode then eventually turn to magical slate dust. No seriously. It’s like magic. One day you have a beautiful patio, and the next day you walk out to  what looks like a violently sharp sandbox.

So I redid the entire backyard with more appropriate materials like flagstone and 2″ thick wood for the beds.   I also redid the pond by digging it out larger and changing the shape, adding some waterfalls and a few tiered levels. I’ve stuccoed the back of the house (hired people for that actually since stucco in my hair could probably ruin it forever), built a 2 level chicken coop and a really fantastic cob pizza oven.  Myself.  With my own two hands that seem to know the difference between a bottle of wood glue and a bottle of Vodka. They’re also pretty good at knowing the difference between a  1″ and a 3″ nail.

I also had the redone fence redone again by a contractor I’d struck up a good relationship with after he rebuilt my historic porch and everything came out the same height.

REDOING THE ENTIRE INTERIOR IN A SINGLE MONTH

redoing-house

Not one to rest on my laurels or haunches or ugly couch, in 2009 I decided I needed to redo the entire inside of my house.  Not because I was sick of all the things I previously loved, but because I was sick of all the things I’d previously hated.  When I first bought my house I owned nothing and couldn’t really afford much of anything, so most of my house was cheerfully decorated courtesy of the town dump, flea market or curb.

At the time of my big house makeover, I ran an antique booth at an open antique market so a lot of my curb finds were sold there and everything else was either gifted, sold on Craigslist or returned to it’s natural habitat, the curb outside of student housing rentals.

With the money I  made plus the money I’d saved over the years by doing everthing myself I took one month and redid my entire house.  Painted the whole thing white, had a dining room table custom made, found a new couch, new accessories and installed the all important bookcase in my foyer to hold the books that had previously been stored under anything that was higher than 2″.  Couches, chairs, dining room buffets, the cats.

I flew through this project at such an impressive speed I considered starting a business doing it for a living but the only business name I could come up with was Speedy Interiors which sounded weirdly like a hipster laxative.

RECENT YEARS

kitchen

In the past few years I’ve ripped out my front yard to put in a front yard vegetable garden, taken on a 20X40′ community garden plot and redid my entire kitchen. I also switched over from pre-ground coffee to beans which may not sound like  big deal but basically solidified my entry into the world of grown ups.  My furniture was now “purchased” as opposed to dragged away and I ground my own coffee every morning while floating from room to room, head tilted back, laughing playfully in case someone was looking in my windows. I wanted them to see I was a well adjusted, coffee drinking grown up without a care in the world about  having curbside furniture bedbugs.

LAST YEAR

moving-light-4

Last year I made a list of what needed to be done like I do every year and started tackling it with the non-stop energy of a Ninja full of coffee made from freshly ground beans. I painted, stained, rehung lights, moved garden plots and lifted more slate.  I nursed my chicken Cuddles back to health. Twice.  All of this by mid-summer.  And then something weird happened. I saw that the 10 year old garden beds around my backyard were starting to rot and I left them. I just left them to rot. I propped them up a bit, said a little Ninja prayer over them and wished them well until next year. Normally I’d be right on those garden beds, ripping them out and replacing them like … well like a Chihuahua on speed.

But not last year.

Last year I said. Meh.  I’ll leave it for another year.  Who cares.  I was having a really good time taking care of my community garden and spending more time writing and talking to people in grocery stores about how yes, I am super-funny, and yes I do like it when they tell me that.

THIS YEAR

Which brings me to this year.  Here it is January 4th. The entire year of doing stuff stretching out before me at the exact same time I’ve decided it’s time to semi-retire from being a nutcase.  What to do, what to do.  I know I’m dying to get this whole house cleaned up from top to bottom, and like every January I’m thrilled to have the Christmas crap relegated to the basement alongside the Easter and Halloween crap.

In fact, I’d like to clear things out even more. After 7 years I’m kind of thinking it’s almost time for another house makeover. Not quite as huge as the get rid of everything I own, rubbing my hands together and cackling makeover of 2007, but big enough that there’s a dramatic change.  For one thing when I made over my house, I never did find a living room chair to replace the one I found in the garbage. I’ve never liked my coffee table and even though they’re crazy-useful I’m getting sick of the Ikea Billy bookcases. Maybe they don’t feel like something a coffee grinding, semi-retired grown up Ninja would have.

My bathroom has never, ever been made over other than putting down heated floors, new flooring  and buying a new toilet for it a few year ago.  So that’s one thing I’d like to tackle on a really limited budget.  I’d also like to declutter the living room and give it a new look or feeling.  I threaten every week that I’m going to drag everything out of the living room onto the front lawn and slowly start putting pieces back in the room item by item. Anything left on the front lawn gets a sale sign put on it.

Speaking of the front lawn, I also want to somehow make it look better. It’s really hard to make a front yard full of sprawling, 10′ high tomato plants look like anything other than a condemned lot that may or may not be home to Randy Quaid.

Then there are those beds in the backyard that I shunned last year.  Those pretty much have to be done this year.  It won’t be as big a job as the first time around but it’ll still be a big enough job that the neighbours should probably keep their kids inside for a couple of weeks while I scream my newly invented swear words from approximately 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. while also shouting out a lot of the old favourites.

Also on “the list” for this year are refinishing all my wood floors, redoing the roof of the chicken coop, building a couple of new gates for the backyard and building some sort of antique looking bookcase in my upstairs hall because my stairs are so narrow and my windows are so small I can’t actually get anything up to my second floor. If I want a half decent sized bookcase I’m going to have to build it myself and I’m going to have to build it where it’s going.

Let’s review the year ahead ahead shall we?  

Redecorate Living room

Redecorate Foyer

Spruce up Dining Room

Redo bathroom

Rebuilt planter beds

Reconfigure front yard

Refinish wood floors

Build some gates

Build an “antique” bookcase from scratch

 

That list seems kindda fun actually.  I’ve got gates to build, bookcases to erect, foyers to make sparkle, living rooms to redo. There’s a backyard that needs new beds, a dining room that needs sprucing up and floors that need refinishing.  Also there’s a book to write, Randy Quaid to kick out and new swear words just waiting to be invented.  I’ll slow down next year.  I’m gonna Ninja the hell outta that list.

Look out New Year. Shit’s about to get real.

ARE YA WITH ME?

97 Comments

  1. Claudia says:

    Totally with you, Karen!
    I’m looking forward to a new active year (if only I had half of the Ninja energy you have, heh).
    Cheers, Claudia

  2. MissChris SA says:

    Happy New Year – good luck with all your projects – I feel tired just reading about them!!!

  3. Laura Bee says:

    Whoo hoO! I still half the stuff I was going to do last year to do. Then I’ll tackle the stuff I was going to do this year. Plus all the stuff that you do that I think I need in my life. I am in the process of organizing my sewing/craft/Etsy/laundry room. I’ll be done any day now….

  4. Sue says:

    Do it and enjoy it while you can. It’s hell getting so old that your body won’t/can’t follow through on what you used to do without a care. Enjoying the trip with you!

  5. Lindy says:

    With you? Shit yeah!!!! I’m right there with you in the garden, getting dirty and rebuilding the front veggie beds. Bring it on.

    Don’t you love new year? I’ve done my list of the big projects – as opposed to the daily – and that involves rebuilding a stone wall, hiring a bulldozer and all sorts of scary stuff. Oh, and for the second day in a row I’ve drunk real coffee made from ground beans. Rocket fuel! I have taken up drinking coffee after eschewing it for thirty years. What was I thinking?

    • Karen says:

      You eschewed coffee? That seems unwise. Really, really and truly unwise. Glad to see you’ve turned a corner in your life. You’ll need the companion of coffee if you’re going to do things like use a bulldozer, lol. ~ karen!

  6. Mark says:

    I hope you still find time for writing!

  7. Elaine says:

    Yep, I’m with you all the way, Karen! Good luck (even though you won’t need it) in accomplishing all your 2016 goals!

  8. Cynthia Jones says:

    You were chewing on coffee beans while you were writing that post, weren’t you? You didn’t even stop to grind them or dilute them with water. Just chompin’ on down like a crazed beetle-nut chewin Cajun. Probably spitting the chunks into the waste paper basket beside the desk as well.

    Two questions.

    Have you considered going back to the chin length bob from earlier years? It is very nice and you could do a Ninja Bun when you are painting or plastering. A chopstick casually thrust through the centre would add authenticity. Perhaps even a lovely six inch nail or three.

    Did you get around to trying the rust paint I told you about? I have just steampunked my hot water
    system and then rust painted it. I will send you a photo.

    Another question. How come you dont you have a dog?

    Something like an Affenpinscher. (monkey dog…look it up, they are hilarious) or a Chinese Crested Hairless mixed with a pomeranian or a poodle if you want a low shedder. That would look like a mad science experiment. I think they would really be your style. Slightly weird, googly-eyes with an underbite and incredibly interesting.

    Just imagine the support it would provide while destroying ..sorry….renovating your home this year and would provide great cuddles on the couch and in bed with the only requirement being a lamb chop or two. Easier than a guy, they always want mashed potatoes as well.

    Haven’t posted for a while. I was sulking because of the change in the website. I never said I was a grownup either.

    Happy Bright New Year Karen. Wishing you much of that ‘hot behind the eyeballs” feeling when you spy a bargain, free shit on the sidewalk or get an idea at a hardware store.

  9. Ritz says:

    Dear Karen,
    Wishing You Love, Peace, Prosperity, Health (and Strength) in The New Year!

  10. Brenda says:

    you were standing on a table tearing out a light wearing a plaid outfit with matching plaid shoes … woOt!

  11. TucsonPatty says:

    Oh, Geez, I thought there for a minute you were going to tell us that you were going to slow down even further…scared me for a minute.
    You, Miss, are a crazy ninja and I’m going to love reading about your escapades for the new year! Mazel Tov and cool beans! Love love. P.S. You have great hair and I would hate to see you mess it up! Be careful with it! : )

  12. Kim says:

    I love this SO MUCH. And I also now realize why I am kind of discouraged in life sometime. This kick ass ninja get shit doneness that you describe yourself as, describes me too. Only I have three very small people always getting in the way. But I guess it’s okay. Because I still get a lot done. I just don’t get done as much as I would like. And I certainly don’t have time to blog about it.

    But you have inspired me to be the best ninja I can be with kids in tow. Also you have made me feel better about my compulsion to get stuff done. I need to send my husband this blog post so he knows it’s not just me. Mind you, a lot of my current getting stuff done involves me getting HIM to get the stuff done. But between you & me, it’s often less work to just do it myself. ?

    • Karen says:

      Uch, I bet it’s almost always less work to do it yourself, lol. Once you have to start explaining something to someone it’s trouble isn’t it? It’s faster and easier to just do it yourself. ~ karen!

  13. Kathleen says:

    I need to grind some beans and make a cup of coffee to gather my breath after reading this post… exhausted, am I! 🙂

    I look forward to seeing the progress of this reeeeeeaaaaallllllly long to-do list, during the year.

    May your year be all that you wish for.

  14. Janelle says:

    Have you read “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese art of De-Cluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo? I found that step one was to move past the obvious fact that neither de-cluttering nor organizing is an art, much less a Japanese one. But seriously – if you have not read this book and would like to purge yourself of possessions in a manner that can only be described as a maniacal (ninja) frenzy, I recommend it (because I have joined this particular cult and it is so magical I feel the need to share unsolicited commendations to it) – also because, you know…you don’t seem to have too much other stuff to do 🙂

    • Jacquiemalta says:

      Just looking in to that book now; thanks for the recommendation.

    • Jenifer says:

      Bought that book for myself for Christmas (husband just rolled his eyes) but I can’t wait to get started! Ready for some magic!

      • Janelle says:

        I have harassed my husband into reading my copy on account of the current state of our garage. My father-in-law recommended it to me – he got rid of an astonishing amount of stuff and then passed the book on to his secretary and she did the same. I am just past the clothes category, books are next!

        • Jenifer says:

          I’ve heard about the book section….it scares me. Please don’t make me get rid of my books! haha…but really..don’t.

    • Karen says:

      Yes of course Janelle. Always looking for a hobby to fill my time. 😉 ~ karen!

    • Jenny says:

      Just finished listening to the audio book edition! Loved it!

  15. Amanda says:

    Yaas I am ready for building an antique bookcase!

  16. Paula says:

    Good luck with your list – although you don’t really need luck, just energy and enthusiasm, so you have got that licked!
    We had to put a wardrobe in our upstairs hallway because none of our bedrooms have closets. Like your house, our stairs are so small that nothing can fit, fortunately there is a small balcony on the roof of the front porch. On Christmas Day with family over, we hoisted it up over the railing and in through the door, what a sight it must have been for a passerby!

  17. Barbie says:

    I was so sure you were about to tell us you were going to stop blogging!!! SO happy you didn’t!!!!

  18. Marna says:

    Wow! You have so much energy and talent! I am winding down myself, not by choice. Look forward to your new postings as you get underway with all your plans. Happy New Year. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Marna. I do have a lot of energy. Talent is questionable. I have a lot of enthusiasm and curiosity which makes up for any lack of talent. ~ karen!

  19. Cathy says:

    Boy do I hear ya. I’m tackling my basement; efflorescence, mold and peeling paint. Not to mention a rolled up rug left over from my guy’s house, oh about 20 yrs ago. At 200-700 lbs I heaved and grunted it half way up the stairs where it awaits a second helper. I’m too out of shape to wrangle this one and need to preserve my spine for 2 more years of gainful employment. Then: retirement here I come!

  20. j says:

    Karen-you always are two steps ahead of me and tackling what I need to do before I know I need to do it! Honestly I started to have a panic attack when it sounded to me like you were headed toward simplifying via getting rid of all of your blog people. We need you-You’re me, with a functional tool belt. You must be the number one most active blog in the English speaking world. As judged by the amount of participation you get 3x a week. Who else can say that except mega organizations like the New York Times? Ya no y? You inspire confidence-self confidence. Holy ****! You are a cult! I am a cult member! Zowee–Thank you,

    • Karen says:

      J! No, I would never get rid of this blog. Mainly because it’s my only source of income and I like to have income so I can do things like buy shoes. And cheese. 🙂 Now go do something! ~ karen

  21. Thera says:

    I don’t own my home so I can’t go reno crazy, but I am planning to do the January Cure, re re re go through the crawl space and will be moving around the beginning of the school year.

  22. Carol Hogan says:

    When you are redecorating, could you please send your old stuff to me?

  23. Kim says:

    Karen, you never cease to amaze me!! Looking forward to reading about your new Ninja adventures 🙂

  24. Mike says:

    Your biceps are still built to impress! True, hard-as-rock Ninjaceps that scream, “Don’t mess with us, home projects!”

  25. Jane S says:

    Wow! What a relief. I read this post with dread that you were going to stop blogging. I love the fact that your idea of slowing down involves doing about 10 times as much as I do. I painted one rad this year.

  26. Monique says:

    You really are something else..I mean that in the best way !
    Your semi-retirement still sounds like the Chihuahua:)

  27. Ann Gray says:

    I wish I had your energy – my problem is I wonder if I am spending too much time involved in my house when maybe I should be experiencing other things! Problem is I like my house and being here why do I feel I need to do what other people think! Love your ramblings!

  28. MaryJo says:

    Holy crap–I’m exhausted just reading your list!! Good luck getting all that shit done and have a great year. I’ll be watching from the sidelines and cheering you on while drinking my cup of coffee from freshly ground beans and tackling my list of shit-to-do.

  29. Jen says:

    Karen, you are an inspiration. Seriously, I ripped out my powder room last winter and re-did it myself (calling on male relatives for help with the heavy lifting) because I thought it was totally something you would do too.
    This year, I need to re-do the front porch on my Victorian house, as I’m pretty sure if I don’t, one day in the not so distant future, I will step out and the whole thing will have fallen off the house. I’m not far from you (downtown Hamilton) so wondering if you would refer the contractor that did your porch? Finding a reputable company with workers who don’t smell like Boris Yeltsin is almost as much work as just doing it myself.

  30. jainegayer says:

    Oh my, after reading your “to do” list, Karen I just want to take a nap. And it’s only 9:50 in the morning. But I am eagerly looking forward to watching the renos.
    You rock, Super Ninja Woman!!

  31. Scott says:

    Have a Great Year and Ninja On!

  32. maggie van sickle says:

    The energy you use doing all these projects saves a lot of money by not having to join a gym.. You go girl.

  33. Elen G says:

    Pardon me while I run into the kitchen and make some steel cut oats. I feel I need to fortify myself for reading your posts in the year to come. Adding some blackberries for a pop of colour and a punch of Vit C. Hell yeah, with you. Happy New Year, Karen!

  34. Jodi T. says:

    I got a little nervous at the beginning, thinking you were throwing in the blog towel. Please don’t leave us. EVER. 🙂

    And um, did you just casually throw in a mention of WRITING A BOOK?! YES!

    Happy New Year!

  35. Karin in NC says:

    I’m with ya! My list is nearly as long, but I think it’s gonna be fun to finally check off some of these items.

  36. Liz says:

    I love how braggy this is, and I feel like you actually did like 63 other things to your house in that time as well! I’m inspired. I’m going to make a list even if I think I can’t afford to do most of it. My house is currently in the flea market state of 2009, and I have that stuck-ish feeling about most items I have like “I know this asian rug from Costco is classic and still gets compliments 10 yrs later, but it just doesn’t feel like me anymore”

    • Karen says:

      It IS braggy, lol! Why the hell do all this stuff if you’re not going to brag about it? It’s like having a great scar or scab and not showing it off. Impossible! ~ karen!

  37. Marion says:

    What a badass ninja you are! Excited to read about/see pictures of all your projects this year. Happy New Year!

  38. Gigi says:

    Sheesh, am I the only one who went back and forth through the projects shown, jealously ogling Karen’s hair? How is it possible that it’s even thicker 10 years later? Being a kick ass Chihuahua Ninja not only does wonders for your muscles but apparently your lustrous locks also.
    I’ve long admired your “can-do, shall-do, it’s done” attitude and your fiery wit. For the first time ever (seeing all that you’ve accomplished, while looking so terrific and happy to boot) I realized it’s more than being gifted with good genes and an incredible metabolism, it’s a mindset. Something anyone can accomplish. Granted, not at your rate of speed, while looking so confident, smug and witty. But, doable. So, this year, when I start to feel closed in or dissatisfied with my surroundings, I will put on some coffee, take a good long look at the situation, and ask myself—what would Karen do? Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Karen says:

      You’ve hit the preverbal nail on the head Gigi. It. Is. A. Mindset. If you don’t like your living room, change it. If you don’t like your body, change it. If you don’t like your life, change it. It is as simple as that. ~ karen! (and yes I have insanely thick hair. I have no idea why.)

  39. Rachel says:

    Karen, doing shit yourself and being an energetic ninja is who will always be and what will make you live longer than most of us. Have an energetic and idea popping New Year as you always have and a year of making life better for all those who love you! God’s Blessings to you and always.

  40. Kelly Wolfe says:

    You are a fearless ninja home warrior and I am with you! Well, behind you. At a safe distance.

  41. Mary W says:

    With you? You got to be kidding! You lost me at the end of The First Years. I was completely out of breath after the Backyard and have been breathing oxygen for the rest of the post. I got up, sliced another piece of cherry nut bread, made another cup of instant coffee, and sat back down in my recliner. WHEW! My bird is singing wildly after eating her new treat, my granddaughter is busy playing with her new toys – babies lined up on the couch, bus full of “Shopkins” all over my dining table (cardtable set up since my dining table is full of crafting junk), and my dog is resting peacefully at my feet. I’m in my happy place reading about your adventures and loving all you post – I’m virtually with you, girl. You make my heart sing. Thanks.

  42. MichelleR says:

    OMG Karen
    You call that list semi retired!!! you go girl. You’re like the energizer bunny, you just keep on going and going and going……..good to have you back

  43. Marta says:

    The thing is, if you quit, you’ll go as spazimmy. Gotta keep doing, ne?
    http://on.fb.me/1O0uP0d

  44. Happy New Year! Can’t wait to see all your posts about the new projects.

  45. Andrea says:

    That’s 9 projects. 1 a month with 3 months off sprinkled in for vacation and project rollover (like rollover minutes but for projects that don’t get done on time). Totally doable. I myself will take the retired Ninja route and we can compare notes next new year!

  46. Wisconsin Gal says:

    With that list, I’d make a call to Edris Elba. He may be able to lend a hand.

  47. Jody says:

    As I was reading your post I was getting scared. Really scared. Like horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach scared. I thought you were really going to retire or move or some other awful, stupid thing. But now I am relieved. Relieved that I will still be inspired by your ability to do stuff, make stuff, eat stuff. Don’t EVER scare me like that again.

  48. Kathy says:

    Look out to do list, Karen has relit the fire of the need to accomplish tasks and not just acquire them. I got you and I am on this. My range of abilities is less than yours but I can dig, plant, fill and sand, paint and imagine. Losing some weight has been great. It came to me that eating may take up to 2 hours of my day and could screw the other 22 if I did not strive to do well by my body as painting a wall or refinishing wood. You have inspired me to make 2016 the year my kids say, Oh you finished the…………. Hugs Kathy

  49. Kelly says:

    Read the whole thing and only saw “book to write.” YAAASSSS!!! Do that first!

  50. Karin says:

    happy new year to you, Karen and to all of us TAODS’. may it be filled with happiness.

    i got worried a little there reading the first few sentences. you retiring would be devastating. i see i’m not alone with this sentiment. sooooo….. yeah…. don’t do that… like ever :0B

    but yer not and that makes me very very happy. i’m looking forward to all those projects being done by you. and me – being a faithful TAODS’shipper copying some of them. bookshelf and redoing bathroom come to mind.

    but first, my big project for this year is to get my butt home to Germany for a spell and get rid of those golly gosh darn credit cards. once that’s done, there is no reason why i can’t tackle the house, doing it strictly per your example.

    thanks for being there and being who you are.

  51. Marilyn says:

    Lmao. Yeah slow down Karen would ya. You make the rest of us look bad.

  52. Beth says:

    After reading your last sentences I found the words I was waiting for – ‘Also there’s a book to write…’. I read ‘Hen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance’. Amusing, fun, especially for a fellow chicken-wrangler, and you could write rings around that guy. The rotting logs can wait!

  53. Jess says:

    Wow!!! Sounds like a plan. Inspired, I’ll start when you do. Can’t wait 😀

  54. Cindy says:

    I’m wid cha. Shit’s about to get real in Oklahoma too.

  55. Jen says:

    I’m tired just reading that. And a little envious.

  56. Manisha says:

    Excellent news. I have to build shelves on my three-season porch so I’ll be looking forward to your shelving posts. And I have to get heat in there so I can finally have an office. I got more handy in 2015. I wonder if that has something to do with you?
    Cheers to stronger muscles in 2016!

  57. I LOVE it when shit gets real!

    Great post Karen. You are incredible and a huge inspiration! And fearless. Crazy ninja fearless.

    I’ve got a few of these on my list too for this year. Looking forward to following along!

  58. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Sorry I’m late..Loved seeing the old pictures..Wishing you another busy productive year Karen!

  59. whitequeen96 says:

    Whew! With all this talk of slowing down, I was worried that you were going to cut back. Things just wouldn’t be the same without our incredibly ambitious and productive Karen!

    Boy, what a sense of satisfaction you must have when you look back at what you’ve done!

  60. Catherine says:

    I wish you’d reconsider about refinishing those floors. From what I can see in all the pictures, they have a gorgeous patina. But, clearly, we can’t see them as well and Ninjas only know what lurks in the dark corners or under the strategically placed rugs. Right now my only goal is to get the Taxes done and all the important documents and records scanned and shredded.

  61. Heather (mtl) says:

    Since last week – after that truckload of snow that has still not been cleared fell on us (groan) – I’ve been filling girl sized boxes with stuff to sell in our annual garage sale. A couple more boxes were filled with craft items to sell at a craft sale. Because everything came out of drawers and/or hidden places, I didn’t even see them then. I do now. In fact, now all I see are boxes. Somewhere along the way, I oppsed. So, I dragged the beasts down to my locker where they can safely await the spring sale. Now I want to get rid of lots of the stuff that I do see. Sort of like this last week had been just a warm-up. See what you’ve done?!
    All the best for your list. I can’t wait to read about your escapades!

  62. Connie says:

    You rock darlin.

  63. Dale says:

    By the way, what does a grown up Ninja drink for coffee to get her in top form to tackle her day? Roast your own? Double expresso?

    • Karen says:

      2 Americanos in the morning, followed by a possible additional Americano around 3:30. Then if I’m feeling really rowdy a shot of espresso after dinner. And that’s my coffee story. As told by this Ninja. ~ karen!

      • Dale says:

        After checking the Starbucks caffeine rating of an Ameicanos Venti @ 300 mg, times 3, equals 900 mg. And then an Espresso?! How many cups of Chamomile or melatonin pills help you get to sleep at night? Or, just being a creative type, you tape your eyelids shut!!

        • Karen says:

          LOL! NO taping going on. That’s not nearly hard core enough. I just keep a little sewing kit by my bedside table … ~ karen!

  64. Andrea Meyers says:

    I thought shit got real with the Coop building, and pizza oven. OH, and the super detailed lay your own heated floor thingy. I need to get-it-real and get rid of all my stuff, like you did!

    • Karen says:

      Getting rid of all your stuff is GREAT Andrea! I mean don’t get rid of stuff you know you’ll miss in a few years but … the rest of it? Ditch it, lol. ~ karen!

  65. Patricia Polmanteer says:

    Girl… you have made me exhausted just reading your page.. you are a ninja goddess for sure. I send prayers up for you (if it’s ok) that you sty your path with care and caution. That things work out to the good and that you really have no reason to make “new words” because things go smoothly. Thanks for showing the rest of us that WE CAN TO DO IT

    • Karen says:

      Is that O.K. with me? That’s fine and dandy with me, lol. And yes, you CAN do it. You might need swear words, (that’s natural) but you definitely can do it. 🙂 ~ karen!

  66. JBess says:

    You know how football players in the movies get amped before a game by jumping up and down and punching their own helmeted head while yelling f*ck yeah? That is how this post made me feel 🙂 Briefly. Before I thought again about all the hurdles imminent in our upcoming garage remodel and got tired again. I think I should bookmark this post and read it from time to time. Just to remember what it feels like to have energy!

  67. Oh how I’ve laughed reading your posts. Monique one of your followers sent me your link, as I’d mentioned I wanted to organize my Christmas decorations before putting them away for another year. I can’t stop reading your blog. I wish I still had the energy to do all you can do. I’d like to follow your blog but can’t find how to.

    • L says:

      I would hate for you to miss out on receiving this goodness in your inbox. Some browsers may vary, but I see a line that says “subscribe” at the top of my screen.
      I also keep Karen pinned to my home screen for immediate inspiration, like a reverse voodoo doll. A good juju doll, if you will.

  68. Kelly says:

    you funny lady.

  69. SUPER WOMEN. I can not do it like you 🙁 🙁

    • Karen says:

      Yes you can. You just have to make the decision to do it. Same as being happy. You don’t “become” happy. You decide to be. People confuse those things allll the time. 😉 ~ karen!

  70. haha I am so glad that I don’t have to be a grown up yet. I buy pre-ground hazelnut flavored coffee : ) Maybe that’ll be my excuse to never become a grown up?? Now I’m making a mental list in my head of things that need to get Ninga-done this year…and on that thought, I just might have to switch over to coffee beans.

  71. Layla Bera says:

    Hard… Hard… & Hard…! I must say it’s completely hard task to complete as you have done. I don’t say… it’s easy to done but hard to done in short time as you have done Karen. Congratulations for this nice work… !!!

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