The Front Porch and a near death experience.

So I was walking down the street the other day (which is unusual in itself … I usually skip or moonwalk down the street) and something very odd happened. I was crossing the road at a non designated crosswalk when a car came speeding around the corner straight at me. Clearly it was my fault I was about to be killed. I should have moonwalked across the non designated crosswalk. I’m a much faster moonwalker than regular walker.  Other than the Electric Slide there are very few dance moves I can think of that can move a person across a road quicker than the moonwalk.

Plus it’s such a dazzling sight that most people stop what they’re doing (even driving)  to watch.

So this car is careening towards me and just like they say, everything went into slow motion. I held my hands straight up in front of me because for a split second I thought my arms were definitely strong enough to stop a Buick, the #1 car choice of the elderly.

I’d say the car was maybe a hummingbird’s breath away from my shins when I sneezed.  I SNEEZED at the exact moment I was about to lose my life to a blue haired scribble of a woman in a brown Buick with a snappy velour bench seat.

It was because of that sneeze that I can’t tell you exactly what happened next.  In the moment of the sneeze I closed my eyes, as most people do when they sneeze.  By the time I’d opened them , Scribble and her car were gone and I had 17 birds on each of my arms, flying me to safety across the road.

True story.

Kind of.

It’s actually a complete lie. I wanted to start this post with an interesting story but I didn’t have one so I made one up.  So sue me.  I *am* an excellent moonwalker.  That part was true.  And the old people driving Buick’s thing?  Also true.

Perhaps I felt the need for an exciting introduction to today’s post because the subject matter is so subdued.  It’s my porch.  Just a porch.  But I love it.
Front Porch

Because I work from home the porch is also my break room for 3 seasons of the year.  From April until November I wander out there a few times a day to get some air and see actual people.
Front Porch 3


If I want to talk to people I can give a wave so they see me.  If I don’t … I can hunker down in the chair with my coffee and go unseen.  Like a ninja.  An invisible ninja.  A transparent invisible ninja wearing an invisibility cloak of invisibleness. Unless I wave.

Front Porch 7


I can peer out  from the hanging green beans to see what’s going on in the neighbourhood yet still feel like I’m kind of in a room.

Front Porch 8
That’s what I like about porches.  You’re outside … but you’re inside.  There’s no better place to be during a rainstorm.  Except maybe in Costa Rica. Or in the arms of a Costa Rican.

The porch has also become my pantry.  It’s where my onions and garlic cure.  It’s where I set the tomatoes I’ve picked and where I weigh all of my potatoes.  I’m weighing my potatoes as I pick them this year so I know how many pounds in total I got for the season.
Front Porch 2

I take my work breaks a little more often than I did a few months ago.
Front Porch 4


I’ve forced myself to stop and smell the garlic.  I’ve taught myself to relax.
Front Porch 6

I also taught myself the electric slide.   Just to be on the safe side.



  1. Susie says:

    I’d love to see you give a video demonstration on how to tie garlic. I’m sure I could find it on youtube but you’d be a lot more fun, I’m sure.

    • JBB says:

      For a moment I was terrorized that you were about to ask for an electric slide vid. Whew.

      • Janet says:

        That’s what I want. The electric slide video. Never have learned to dance that. Went to Hawaii with a group of girlfriends several years ago and when the DJ at this dancin’ and drinkin’ joint yelled out “hey, it’s Electric Slide time!”, All the girls…Yes, all of them, except me, ran out on the dance floor. It looked like SO MUCH fun! But I didn’t join in…I could see it was one of those dances that if you didn’t know it, you could be trampled to death by the real dancers…that, and beings as I wasn’t drunk enough at that point, decided I’d best play it safe. I’m thinking a E.S. dance tutorial is a great idea…in case I ever get another chance. BTW…LOVE your porch! Great place to kick back with a glass if ice tea!

    • Grammy says:

      I would prefer to see a video of the moonwalk. Buick-in-the-background optional.

  2. Marti says:

    Does my government know that their bags (stamped with their name, USDA) are now ensconced on your porch? See, this is how our taxes get so high here in the United States: we start letting all our good crud get airlifted up to Canada to be made into seating for people who are resting up from their moonwalking. (“Hello??? The 1980’s are calling. They want their weirdness back!”)

    I’m telling. Someone from the FBI will contact you within the week.

    • Karen says:

      You have the Funny Bunch Imitators down there too?!! I love them. They’re great. When they call I’m gonna ask if I can have tickets to their next show. Thanks! ~ karen

    • Sia says:

      Marti, I really want you to start your own blog… and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
      You don’t need to get all involved and stuff… Your replies to Karen will do just fine. Although you may have to get permission from her. And she does seem like the sabotager type… You’ll find a way…

      If you post it, they will come…

  3. Estee says:

    I’d love to see you give a video demonstration on how to moonwalk. I always wanted to know how to moonwalk..

  4. Natika says:

    Particularly gorgeous photography today! I also love your hideaway that’s not really a hideaway. I think I did the same thing when I was a kid only it involved climbing a tree first.

    I cannot moonwalk despite repeated attempts to learn it, so add me to the list of people who want a tutorial video!

  5. Ella says:

    Yes, please “do” the “art of moonwalking”. Btw-your porch looks fab. I love the idea of putting up the onions and garlics on display. Mine are in the dark garage, where no one see them!

  6. Vickie says:

    Digressing here…BUCKOCK!! Thank you for spelling the noise my chickens make during that “egg announcement” which makes you sit straight up in bed wondering…do they need food, whopper of an egg or raccoon in the coop!! Chickens have a fairly limited vocabulary I have found. I shared your post with my kids and now that word has entered our lexicon 🙂

  7. shauna says:

    Delightful. All of it – the scary story, the moonwalking, the heirloom tomatoes and the invisibility schtick. Made my day. Thanks Karen.

  8. Kim says:

    I love your front porch too! I love everything about it but I especially love the weathered “display” ladder (a fav look of mine) and the hanging beans. Brilliant! Glad you weren’t killed by Scribble (Scribble?).

  9. Vickie says:

    P.S. ~ I also use “BUCKOCK” in the subject line when I forward any of your chicken posts to my kids!

  10. Thank God you’re okay. That was close.

  11. Lynn says:

    Just one word…..Serenity!!!

  12. Sara S says:

    After a pretty crummy day, not able to sleep, I get out of bed and read your e-mail. You certainly know how to put life in perspective, and I thank you. I agree, that moonwalking video would be of interest. By the way, I am not that old, but do drive an older model Buick, and they are huge. Haven’t got the blue hair, yet. You are wonderful!

  13. Dagmar says:

    Your porch makes me jealous. I have a balcony that consists of boys stuff. Mostly stuff that I never want to see inside the house…tires, stinky equipment, tools, a couple of plastic chairs, and just odds and ends stuff. I’ve tried tackling it once or twice, but I decided it wasn’t worth the tetanus shot.

    • Lu says:

      Do it Dagmarrr!!! I had a long narrow balcony on my first apartment in Italy when I was new to apartment living, I made it beautiful with fencing and plants (my neighbours shouted at me because in October I used to go out with my 2yr old whilst he used to bath and play in a large basin out there (24 degrees is a ‘scorcher of a summer’ in Lancashire England) anyway I don’t know if that’s the kind of balcony you’re referring to but go and own it you can have a new room all to yourself x

  14. Venesa says:

    I’d love a video of exactly 17 birds carrying you to safety! 🙂

  15. Susan Dulley says:

    Good Morning Karen, Well, as usual your have provided my first laugh of the day. I am thinking you fell asleep on your porch, had a dream about a car racing toward you and the “Sneeze” was just your body’s alarm system, waking you up. Regardless, that is a pretty funny story. I love your porch, or any porch for that matter, that provides comfort, privacy and a place to escape lifes many trials and tribulations. Yours is beautiful. I am curious though, being a gardener myself, what is the plant, the big purple one in the first photo…some kind of veggie I am imagining, but, it is so decorative. Have a great day, be your creative self and Thank You, Again.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Susan – That’s Dinosaur Kale, otherwise known as Italian Kale or Lacinato Kale. You can see more of it here ~ karen!

      • Cussot says:

        My slug and earwig population thanks you for suggesting the Lacinato Kale. Can you hear the “Grazie mille” from the crowd of at least that number lunching on it right now? How did you keep the hordes from chowing down on yours?

        • Karen says:

          I use BTK on mine. I don’t have a slug problem, but have a huge cabbage worm problem. If you ever see those small white moths hovering over your plant, they’re laying eggs that will turn into those awful green caterpillar things that eat your plants. BTK is a biological type pesticide that organic growers use. It works great if you can remember to spray the plant. ~ karen!

          • Cussot says:

            Oh, I remember your pictures of those critters, come to think of it (they haunt me still). Thanks – I’ll try BTK next season. I’m hoping the creatures will die and I’ll get a final flush of leaves in the late autumn before the snow falls. Either that or I’ll starve and the colony will die out over winter.

  16. Liz says:

    What an awesome retreat.

    BTW, what ever happened to your porch guest, the cat looking for a home ?

  17. janie says:

    LOVED the broomstick. “Women are Angels. When someone breaks our wings or heart we continue to fly….on a broomstick. We are flexible that way.”

  18. Carol says:

    I want to come sit on your porch. It looks lovely. And then I want to have a giant tomato sandwich made out of one of those giant, gorgeous tomatoes.

  19. Tigersmom says:

    That is damn impressive heirloom tomato. Sure would make a nice sandwich. Just sayin’.

    Your porch is wonderfully inviting. Good work.

    And I’m glad to hear you’ve learned to enjoy it properly. Almost as glad as I am to hear you’ve learned the electric slide. I would like a video of that please as I only have an inkling of what the electric slide looks like and may want to learn it myself.

    Always a good idea to keep a look out for Scribble and her friends, the blue hairs in Buicks. It truly is the old persons car of choice.

  20. Karen says:

    I love your porch and those beautiful Kale.

  21. Su says:

    You can do the electric slide??? super impressed… more so than the moonwalking ability 🙂

  22. peggy says:

    I’m getting a good picture now of your porch. You are near the front sidewalk, you have foot traffic, and you must have sun, do you have shade to sit in and drink your coffee? Or are the green beans your shade? Sorry to be nosy, just love the idea.

  23. Kim says:

    Your photography rocks — props are freakin amazing too. Did you REALLY grow those tomatoes?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kim – Yup, LOL, I grew the tomatoes. And the props aren’t really props, it’s actual stuff I use. (I don’t like having things that are only for decoration) I did make sure their placement was pretty for the pictures, but everything’s generally where it would be on a regular day. ~ karen!

  24. beautiful spot to watch the world go by, or cuddle with the costa rican. either way.

  25. beth says:

    love the cockscomb peaking up out by the street… perfect plant for you!

  26. Mary Werner says:

    I want to take a break and sit on your porch minus the wave and talking. It looks so peaceful and alive. Loved all the pics.

  27. marilyn says:

    scribble of a woman…love it! lmao…thats something i will never be….a scribble..too funny!

  28. SuzyM says:

    Why does the counter say 33 comments when there are actually only 3, now 4? I’m guessing either the governments of Canada or the US has something to do with it!

    Nice onion braiding or tying, by the way. Also, are you selling your produce or is the chalkboard just a tease? Perhaps a way to get attractive, unattached men up on your porch?

  29. Melissa Leach says:

    You are such a hoot. Thank you for greeting me each morning. I, too, enjoy the solitude of my front porch. I don’t have to worry about the FBI showing up though.

  30. Carolyn says:

    You are out of control…. ‘Dancing In The Street” I would love to see that blue haired lady drive by, stop her car and get out and dance with you….

  31. mia pratt says:

    I love your porch, too<:}

  32. Laura Bee` says:

    Other than a spare room (which we had until we had our child) the only thing that I would really add to our home is a front porch. I have sat in the carport to listen to the rain on the tin roof.

    And cue the ad for Costa Rican real estate. Tempting. Hubby & I once discussed selling the house, maxing out the cards & running away there. Never to return!

  33. Elizabeth says:

    Your porch is fantastic, it’s a great relaxing get away. You always put a smile on my face and several hoots!!!

  34. Cathy says:

    It’s a medical fact that no human can sneeze and keep their eyes open….trust me, I’m a trained medical person.

  35. Penny says:

    I just recently ‘found’ you and have added your posts to my email addy so I’ll never miss them. I wish you lived in NE Ohio – I SO would like you to be my new bestie!!

    Your posts are always filled with humor and your writing is delicious!! With the exception of chickens, I’ve enjoyed everything you write! (That was in error – I’ve enjoyed the chicken talk, just don’t have too much interest in the little feathery morsels.)

    A little aside about your newish status: As a woman of a certain age, I can tell you that life without a man is really the more natural, happier way to go. Sure, it’s nice to have a ‘friend with benefits,’ but unless you’re planning on raising a family, life without a member of the “Tribe Of The Peni” is far better for most women. As you know, women are far more capable than the majority of men, and except for getting things off the upper shelves, they are really quite unnecessary. (I have several step-stools, ladders and re-chargeable NICAD batteries to take up the slack.)
    Thanks for your wonderful posts – I look forward to them each day!

  36. Maggie V says:

    The porch sure looks inviting Karen keep up the good work.

  37. Tari Harlan says:

    What a wonderful way to wake up! Click on the computer, still in a sleepy haze, and see the beginning of your blog, OH NO! I had to read more, to make sure you were alright, then I began to grin, and then giggle, and out and out laugh. and as I went through the pictures of your beautiful porch, I began to daydream about what I could do to my porch. So now I’ll finish my yogurt, and go start to rearrange it abit, and practice being an invisible ninja. Just one more thing, where can one get their hands on an invisibility cape?

  38. says:

    love ur porch wish i could come and have a cup of coffee with you. Then again, if we met in person you may not like me and i’d be devastated. Never mind.

  39. Michelle H. says:

    You are so funny! Reading your intro on this post makes me wonder if you should consider writing short stories as an additional career?

  40. Maryanne says:

    No wonder that kitty found your porch. It would be my choice to take a nap.
    PS Did the kitty find a new porch?

  41. jojo says:

    I love the picture of you, sittig in your chair, wearing the invisible cloak of invisibleness. You look so relaxed. And invisible. Not even a dent in the cushion.

  42. CaymanAli says:

    Lovely porch, love the hanging beans! Almost as good as being in a rainstorm in Costa Rica on a lovely verando of local mahagony crafted by a hunky Tico. My mind is wandering…..

  43. I truly thought your story was true, but I should have known with a name like Karen that it was a hoax. I once told my brother that our school burnt down because he asked why I was home for the day. Then he told everyone he knew that the school burnt down cuz I forgot to tell him I was just kidding. LOL I still laugh about that now.. He doesn’t though 🙁

  44. Marie says:

    I had my front porch rebuilt last year and added a roof to it. It’s now my favorite “room” in the house. But I need to learn to relax…I sit on the porch and see the front yard needs weeding, plants need watering, walkway needs sweeping…and just like that, relaxation time is over. How did you learn to relax?

  45. JebberA says:

    You have the best porch of all porches in the land. I wish we could be neighbours. I have a compound mitre saw and a glas cutter you could borrow.

  46. Shady Lady says:

    I love the porch photos and I am so jealous of your bean ‘fringe’. My DH refuses to allow me to grow anything near or (heaven forbid) ON the house. No morning glories clambering up the Dish cable to the roof. No Carolina jasmine trailing up up our porch columns. Not even if I promise to create a cable with little stand-offs to keep the vegetation six inches away. sigh … ” The bugs will use the vines to climb up and into our house, ruining the resale value and make me use chemicals” , he says. As if the bugs won’t just march up to the base of the wall itself and start their ascension. So I do enjoy your photos and I can only dream of the same for me.

  47. Edwina says:

    Loved your post today.It was so visual. I was really in it, but glad it wasn’t true! I definitely want moonwalking instructions. The picture in my head made me laugh and will keep me entertained all day!

  48. toekneetoni says:

    *sigh* my grandmother is 89 and still drives … a Buick in the daytime only though. your front facing farm makes a lovely invisible ninja depot.

  49. You might find a few of us sitting on your porch one day, now that we’ve seen those pictures. Just saying.

  50. Shady Lady says:

    Re: Electric Slide .. This dance, along with the Continental, are only line dances white girls know how to do (usually at weddings). However, I have discovered there are hundreds of other line dances being taught on Youtube that can expand your repertoire considerably. If you love to dance (who doesn’t?) search on Soul Line Dancing and see what’s out there .. Usually performed by black girls and surprisingly, Chinese seniors. I have joined a soul line dancing class/club (no partners needed)and have found this is the best way to get me to exercise. The music is great.

  51. Terri Betz says:

    Adore your pic view from the porch! The beans, pickett fence, all of it! Thanks for sharing this with us! You make my life better! 🙂

  52. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Hey Lady!!! Get it right..I do not drive a Buick..I drive a station wagon..Also I want to eat that huge tomato..

  53. Jeannie B says:

    What a sweet front porch Karen. i love the wicker chairs and the climbing bean curtain. My parent’s home had a lovely front porch too. There was a very old vine, called ” Dutchman’s Pipe”, that grew up and around it, each summer, making it a cozy retreat. The vine never harboured any bugs and the leaves were big and green. My back porch is surrounded by cedars, so it’s very secluded too.And sometimes, that’s just what I need.

  54. Barbie says:

    I love my porches too! Thanks for reminding me that I can cure my onions by braiding them and hanging them! It was on my list today to get them off the picnic table in back….yours look so great hanging like that! Copying you as usual!

    PS: So glad your not dead!
    PSS: ditto on the video of you moonwalking! I have never been able to get that down! Try as I may!

  55. Lesley Williamson says:

    Dani is correct – one day you’ll wander out onto your freaking fabulous porch and there we’ll be. All of us. Peering in the windows and nibbling your tomatoes. Be ready.

    I’m just finishing off (well. actually my handyman is) a deck and pergola off my kitchen sliding doors. The feeling of a room is exactly what I’m going for. Just need to plant some vines, hang the wind chimes and my Green Men, string some fairy lights …. Heaven 🙂

  56. Elen says:

    I have lust in my heart for your broom. Broom lust. Where did you find it? Pls do the electric slide video. 😉

  57. Trissi V. says:

    That porch doesn’t need a exciting story to set it up…it’s awesome all on its own. I long for a porch like that.

  58. Carole says:

    I love your porch – it looks so comfy. What a great place to take a break. Great post today.

  59. Patti says:

    Beautiful porch and veggies! I have to agree, no better place to be during a rainstorm. Karen, do you give away a lot of what you grow? Looks like you have enough onions and garlic for a year!

    • Karen says:

      Hah! The garlic and onions definitely don’t get given away. Believe it or not that definitely won’t last me very long. I do, on the other hand, give away tons of tomatoes. ~ karen!

  60. susan says:

    Great story, and BEAUTIFUL porch! I long to once again have a porch that is that secluded….. sigh….

    My favorite parts are the bean curtains and the onions on the ladder reminded me of Slinkies.

    But it all is a place I see only in my dreams…….

  61. Sandy says:

    Hi Karen. I totally bought the story until the sneeze part, and I love front porches! Your’s is lovely as well. But what totally caught me off gaurd was the ad at the bottom!! Too weird, maybe coincidence, or maybe how these things work, but my husband just booked a room there, The Arena Hotel this morning, about 5 hours ago! Is that weird or what, Its in San Jose, calif. We are heading out there in a few months. I just thought I’d share, have a great day.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sandy – That’s because it’s a “Google” ad and Google tracks where you’ve been on the Internet. Kindda creepy, but true. If you search for rain jackets, the ad at the bottom is likely to show rain jackets! ~ karen

  62. Sue says:

    I just read your post for today and had a great belly jiggling laugh out loud moment!! I normally read it first thing in the morning, but had an early meeting and couldn’t …. I am so glad cuz I had a rather cruddy day at work and I needed that big laugh!! I feel better now….think I’ll go for a walk down the street!! Ha. 😉

  63. Grammy says:

    I love your porch, too, and would like to live there. But I’m old and fear your winters would do me in, so you’re safe from opening your door one morning to find me curled up on a wicker chair.

    I think you should brag about having a certifiably vampire-free home — most people can claim it, but few can prove it.

  64. Lisa Thomas says:

    I love your front porch. And I envy you the ability to teach yourself to relax. I’d like to learn that some day. Very glad to hear you were not killed by a blue hair in a Buick. I look forward to your posts and that would have left a void in my life I’m not ready to fill.

  65. Carla Barnes says:

    Okay, about the whole made-up story? DON’T SCARE ME LIKE THAT! Thank you. Love, Carla

  66. Tracie says:

    I love your porch, love it! And that tomato! Holy crap….I’ve always wanted a porch, but one with a squeaky screen door. I’m weird like that. Glad to note that it’s our google searches that have to do with the ads here, I was wondering why all of a sudden you had an ad for the “perfector” hair styler that I was researching, lol….I’m sure it’s just a lame product tho…anyway, I wish I could manage to wait until the morning for your posts, so I would have them to look forward to. Alas, I’ve ruined it once again for myself. Maybe tomorrow…..:)

  67. Debbie Bashford says:

    Hey I drive a big boat of a Buick, never thought I was elderly… gonna have to see if I can cash in on any of those senior specials.

  68. Erica says:

    If you want an even more efficient way to quickly cross a street, you should look into Prancercising. What?! You’ve never heard of Prancercising? Well, you’d better jump on that bandwagon, because it’s the newest craze. Everyone’s doing it. If you have 5 minutes, (or more, depending on how many times you watch)look it up on YouTube. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

  69. Ellen Partridge says:

    If I had your front porch, I’d hang out there ALL the time. Except for when I was with the chickens–I’d be with the chickens all the time, too.

    Are those shallots I see?

    Please, please, please make a video of yourself moonwalking. And braiding garlic / shallots.

  70. caryl says:

    Love your porch and garden am considering taking your photos and having them printed on rattan rollups to superimpose your beauty onto my porch! Have you considered sticking some moon vines in with your green beans? They open in the evening in true time lapse fashion and are lovely to behold. You’re the best!

  71. Jill says:

    I want to go to there.

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