I took your advice.
NOW look what’s happened.

My kitchen, which has been in the process of being renovated since around the same time toast was invented, is getting nearer completion. But still isn’t complete.

If someone had told me 10 months ago when I started this that I’d still have an unfinished kitchen in February of 2014, I would have shot them in the eye. Because clearly that person would have had some sort of inoperable brain tumour that was clouding their thinking. Poor soul. Bang, bang.

It’s been a longgggg year full of endless unpleasant surprises. The neverending kitchen renovation, the fella ran away, I had to take on a lot of extra jobs to make more money and at one point during my renovation I had to pee in a bucket. Plus a cutworm killed all my corn on the cob plants.

I’m over everything and feeling good, but I really haven’t felt nice and calm and relaxed for almost a year.

So I thought I should just forget the kitchen, forget the mess, forget all the responsibilities I think I have and do something FUN for myself. My sister with the pink tool belt suggested taking badminton with her and I’m considering that. My sister that only watches movies with dead people in them suggested I move to Italy to blog. Um …

Then a couple of weeks ago a few of my readers suggested I might benefit from a spa day. Just take some time off and go visit a spa.

Now, I’m not really a spa kind of girl because I’m so hyper. I can’t stand the thought of sitting and relaxing and getting my nails done. But maybe that’s the problem. Maybe I’m nuts. Maybe going to a spa is EXACTLY what I need because it’s exactly what I think I don’t need. You can’t trust someone who doesn’t know how to relax to make a decision about how to relax. We’ll always pick the wrong thing.

If given the choice between a massage and digging their own swimming pool the unrelaxer will go with the swimming pool every time. Anything that involves a jackhammer will always win.

Knowing I can’t be trusted with my own judgement, I decided to go with the judgement of you the readers and check myself into a spa. And then I changed my mind. I’m really just not a spa girl.

However, the basic premise of your advice I did take. I just need to sit down and relax for a minute.

In front of the Buddha.

In Thailand.


Don’t worry. Betty’s paying.

Pink toolbelt girl skipped badminton for it …

And the other decided she could skip a few Jimmy Stewart movies for a while.

Betty, both my sisters and I am in Thailand for two weeks. It took 24 hours to fly here.

I’ll be posting sporadically over the next 2 weeks (see above paragraph on how I can’t be trusted with making the right decision when it comes to relaxing) about our adventures in Thailand.

Also if you don’t follow me on Twitter, Facebook and especially Instagram sign up now. I’ll be Instagramming parts of the trip. You can see pictures of what we’re all doing and comment on it too!

Now if you’ll excuse me I see a massage table with my name on it.


  1. Rondina says:

    “You can’t trust someone who doesn’t know how to relax to make a decision about how to relax.” SO true.

  2. Dee says:

    Such a great idea and a wonderful place to refresh your spirit. Looking forward to hearing all about it.

  3. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    Leave it to Karen…the local spa isn’t gonna cut it. THAILAND!?! Love it! Enjoy your time away, do your best to be still and come back to us rested and relaxed. Take tons of photos. We’ll be ready to hear about all your cool experiences. You are so blessed to have this time with your Mom and your sisters. ENJOY!!!

  4. Alaska Kelly says:

    I tried to surgically remove that stupid apostrophe but it was already in Thailand.

  5. Alaska Kelly says:

    Holy Batshit! Do they have jackhammer’s in a Thai Spa, cause that’s the only way I … ok maybe the food too.

  6. Sue H says:

    I went to Thailand a few years ago…one of the best things I ever did. It’s magical and relaxing!

  7. kelliblue says:

    AWESOME Karen! If anyone deserves a break, it’s YOU. I have many friends who, like you, have a hard time “turning off” (oddly, I am attracted to that type of person, even though I am the complete opposite, more like this: http://tinyurl.com/k8hs87g) and with all of the stuff out there today: technology, 24/7 society, bright lights, big cities, etc., it’s a wonder we aren’t all a bunch of sleepless, wound-up zombies.

    Oh wait. I think the stats tell us that we actually ARE.

    Relaxing, like everything else, CAN be learned. Listen to the word of Nike and just do it. You have to carve out time for YOURSELF, and strive to make it a habit (21 times!). Even the Bible admonishes us to “be still,” because that is where we find wisdom and insight about ourselves and our place in the world. You are on the right path, and I hope your time in Thailand will help you gain peace of mind – spiritually, mentally, and literally!

    After all, your kitchen will still be there when you return. :-P Have fun and bring back some more wisdom for the rest of us will ya?

  8. Marion says:

    Wow that’s awesome! You definitely deserve a vacation. Can’t wait to read about it and see pictures!!! HAVE FUN!

  9. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    You ROCK Betty!! Will you adopt me?? Have fun all of you!

  10. Reg says:

    Good for you. Sometimes you just need a time out.

  11. Summer says:

    My friend does mission work there every year. Buy from the locals–avoid the expensive shops that buy from the locals and then double the prices. It will be a life changing experience for you. Have fun!

  12. Jeni says:

    WOOOHOOO! That’s the way to do it.
    Now to figure out how to follow instagram without a smart phone – Laura, you got that yet??

  13. YAY YAY YAY, YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Emily says:

    OMG that is frigging amazing. You deserve it !

  15. Ella says:

    I thought you photoshopped your head onto a yogi for a moment! Then, I realized it was real! Have a wonderful time!!!!!!

  16. Laura Bee says:

    So very happy for you. I will live vicariously for the next two weeks. Must figure out instagram. I don’t have a smartphone – is that a problem? Wait – I think you have a post on that!
    Enjoy yourself xxoo

  17. Mary says:

    I hate to assume things but… you’re going to love it there; just the right mix of tranquillity and speed.

  18. kate-v says:

    well, doing ‘stuff’ certainly includes taking time out from a project (doing other ‘stuff’) to get a new perspective – and you take the cake for that – way to go – sounds lovely – have a wonderful time

  19. Lu says:

    Karen, you should so move to the South of Italy where I am (before I move back up North) there are so many falling down houses in need of a tweek. Then when work finishes it’s like Spa-land but without food denial.
    ps praying for you :)

  20. gabrielle says:

    Good for you! Find something in a marketplace to hang on your kitchen wall as your final act of culinary repatriation. Southern Ontario is expecting 10 cm of snow tonight as a part of it’s “warming trend”… I will be carving the callous off my big toe with a knife while my partner catches up on “Walking Dead”!

    • Lu says:

      How come South Ontario still sounds wonderful, am I sick?

      • gabrielle says:

        Well, I grew up on the beach in so. calif. and I can tell you so. ont. is pretty good; however it does have a pretty poor selection of weather. And I am not refering to 10 cm. of snow! That is the good part.

  21. Ev says:

    Oh wow Karen! Thailand? Who woulda thought? I am so happy you did this. You need it and we all hope you have a wonderful time! Maybe you should have a contest in which we guess what souvenirs you bring back for the girls!

  22. Wendy says:

    I was there for a month ten years ago (honeymoon).
    The beach on Ko Samui was the most relaxing part of our holiday. No plans. There was a place called “New Hut” that I walked to along the beach every morning while hubby slept. I ate yummy pancakes with fruit and drank lousy coffee, but it didn’t matter. There was a spa in the other direction that had frightening videos about how to give yourself personal colonic treatments, but otherwise they let non spa residents use the saline pool, which was lovely.
    We rented a motor bike and drove around for a week on our own.
    There are guys in town who make amazing crepes with whatever you want inside. I like lemon/sugar. Hubby likes nutella/banana.
    Don’t worry about the massage thing. I find them difficult at times, so skip it. Laze around on the beach on one of those Thai pillows with a drink. Sometimes there are people throwing fire sticks and swinging fireballs on chains (Poi) which is great fun. You can buy your own Poi in a market in Bangkok and they’re good fun. I learned a bit, and it’s just as relaxing as anything else you could do while moving. Rhythmic, flowing and NOT demanding your relaxation, deep breathing, or chanting. Up your alley I reckon.

    Wendy :)

  23. Mary Kay says:

    OMG – I can’t wait to see all your pictures and hear about all the fun stuff…I would love to go to some place like that…maybe some day… HAVE FUN!

  24. jainegayer says:

    Who am I going to drink my coffee with in the morning?
    Seriously Karen, you enjoy yourself.
    We’ll all be here when you get back.

  25. marilyn says:

    simply awesome, sisters and momma..no better combo..i am jealous of the mom part..miss mine so much every day…enjoy!

  26. Lynne says:

    I just want to know one thing :) …

    How do you really pronounce PHUKET ?!

    That’s a dangerously fun word to play with, while on holidays.

    Enjoy the land of smiles, my friend !!


    • KiwiKat says:

      Poo-ket. In New Zealand though, someone wanted it on a license plate and was denied, because the PH in Maori is usually pronounced F….they denied it at the risk of offending people.

  27. debbie j says:

    That is a lovely photo. Enjoy your time away and perhaps you may really relax!

  28. Tigersmom says:

    Did anyone warn Thailand that you were coming? ; )

    So happy for you to be able to do this. Thank you to Betty for whisking her girls away for some wonderful relaxation and fun and for providing you with a way to truly get away from the day to day responsibilities.

    Speaking of those, who is cat and hen-sitting? Is there a service for that?

    Hope you all have a wonderful restful time.

  29. Rachel says:

    Thai massage is NOT relaxing. It’s very rough, but feels GREAT. Go up to Chiangmai if you can… It’s so nice up there. Take a cooking class and ride an elephant. Go rock climbing in Krabi ( though I was there before tsunami, so…?). Eat lots of good curry and tell me what those green balls are in it…10 years later I think I’ve figured out that they were some sort of eggplant. And whatever you do, do not spend all your time in Bangkok. Oh, and there was an awesome fertility cave with little penis carvings and things near Krabi, but, again tsunami could have obliterated that.

    • Karen says:

      Rachel – Yes. They’re tiny eggplants. This country has more varieties of tiny eggplants than I ever imagined possible! ~ karen

    • KiwiKat says:

      They are an eggplant – we did a cooking class that included a tour of the markets to get the ingredients and they explained what everything was. So much fun – and great because we got to cook to the heat level (of chilli) that we were happy with – I’m a wuss, so don’t have it too spicy!

  30. Marti says:

    Thailand is frigging WONDERFUL! Hoo-ray Betty! Hoo-ray Karen! Hoo-ray Sis’s!

    Don’t forget to play “Spin the Menu”… the world’s most spectacular dining game. And this is the most important thing I learned in 5 days there: if a 90 pound 89 year old woman (or anyone else, for that matter!) asks “You want hard or soft massage?” for the love of HEAVEN, YOUR KITCHEN and ALL THINGS GOOD, tell her that you want the soft!!!

    Safe travels and enjoy the food!

  31. Sally A. says:

    OMG!!! What a surprise and how EXCITING!!! Great choice! My husband loves Thailand so much he wants to move there! I’ve never been, but he says it’s beautiful. Enjoy!

  32. Awesome!! Hope you have the time of your life!!

  33. Amie Mason says:

    That’s fantastic! Make the most of happy hour, cheap pedicures and of course massages….although they are pretty rough in Thailand!

    Do stock up on spices; especially vanilla bean! http://www.fishandthelemontree.com/travel/buying-spices-overseas/

    Do not be afraid to barter! It’s half the fun! http://www.fishandthelemontree.com/travel/the-joys-of-bartering/

    I hope you have a fabulous time!!! If you go to Koh Samui let me know and I can recommend some great cooking schools and restaurants.

  34. KiwiKat says:

    If you are in Bangkok, the Chatuchuck weekend markets are AWESOME (http://www.chatuchak.org/) and haggling was better in Bangkok and Phuket than in places like Hua Hin.

    Have so much fun – Thailand is awesome! And if you go north of Bangkok to Kanchanaburi, you can take a train trip across the River Kwai and there is an amazing place called Hintok River Camp that we stayed at – permanent tents with really comfy beds and air conditioning (!!).

  35. Louise says:

    WHAT?!! But what will I do if I don’t have your blog to look forward to most evenings? It was my reward after long, hard days. Don’t feel guilty or anything (although you actually should!), but you got me addicted to your writing and then you yank it away? Aghhh!
    Have fun anyway – you bring so much pleasure and joy to so many people, I guess you deserve some for yourself! :-) {{Hugs}}

  36. Angela says:

    YAYS! My family is going to Thailand in a few weeks, I am sososo excited for our trip! I hope you and your family has a great time!

  37. Pat says:

    We LOVE Thailand and have been twice for a month at a time. We only stayed at locally owned hotels and had incredible massages for ridiculously cheap prices…almost everyday! I am not a spa person but got quite accustomed to this reviving practise. Enjoy and just go with the flow. Remember, in Thailand, it is very dishonourable to show frustration and anger in public.

  38. Natika says:

    Omigod that’s awesome! And Thailand is famous for its massages too, so maybe you aren’t QUITE getting out of the spa day after all. ;) Have fun!!!!!

  39. Parker says:

    When life gives you sh*t, err, lemons – the hell with lemonaide – leave town! I love it. Go wild, lady! (After the serene praying thing).

  40. Grammy says:

    Leave it to Betty to gather up all three girls and drag their asses off to someplace warm and beautiful for a wonderful break from the drudge of everyday life. What a lucky bunch of ladies you are to have one another. Enjoy every second of your vacation while the rest of us just eat our hearts out!

  41. Stephanie Hobson says:

    Good on you Karen. I totally understand the issues regarding relaxing… just the thought of going to a spa makes me itchy. The one thing (well, maybe one of the only two things, lol) that will actually relax me is reading. That has been my escape since I was five!

  42. Tina Chopee says:

    Hey so happy for you. I was there for a month last year. There is no point going for anything like a week as the flight is so long… Enjoy enjoy enjoy!!! Where are you staying? Aren’t the massages divine? So so happy for you!

  43. Alison says:

    I wholeheartedly approve!!!

  44. Barbie says:

    A.W.E.S.O.M.E.!!!! Can’t WAIT to hear all about it! Good for you!

  45. Jane says:

    Oh wow! Good for you! I’m looking forward to your pictures. My daughter is also in Thailand right now but she never posts pictures. Too busy partying.

  46. Lori says:

    Thai massage? No table , you’ll be on the floor. It hurts so good.

  47. Stephbo says:

    I am so insanely jealous, it’s not even funny. And I think once you get back, you should move to Italy to write your blog. That would make me even more jealous. It would totally be an Eat, Pray, Love thing. Except in this case I guess it’s Pray, Eat, Love. Whatever. DO IT!!!!

  48. Lynn Johanson says:

    Dear Karen,
    I am SOOOOO glad for you! Can’t really articulate how glad I am. I am on a two week spa as well. I went the wrong direction to get warm though, I’m on a farm in Norway and it is COLD for a Seattle girl. Please enjoy your time and know that, although it would be very crowded, we’re all wishing we were there too. ENJOY!

  49. Peg says:

    how sweet~ girl bonding ,enjoy!!!!

  50. Edith says:

    Yeah !!!! Have a great time!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *