I Knew it was Time for a Vacation When …

It’s time for me to go on a little vacation.  For the next little while I’m going to be reading, eating potato chips, walking along the shoreline and drinking coffee on the porch at the cottage.  I’m not sure what I’ll do for the remaining 6 1/2 days.

I’m still going to post, but I’m bringing back an old series I ran last summer.  It’s the perfect time of year for it.  More on that later …

I knew it was time for a vacation when …

I put my socks in the fridge.

I told my fella the same story about how the chickens like broccoli 3 times.  In the span of around 10 minutes.

I got in my car to go somewhere.  Where was I going?   I’m in the car heading to ….. a place.  Shit.

I used the F word and accompanying hand gesture when a decrepit old man looked like he was thinking about J walking in front of my car.

I went to the store to pick up 2 things and had to turn around and come home because I couldn’t remember either one of them.

I lunged at my boyfriend when he brought home bulk salt instead of my regular brand of sea salt.  With a knife.

Someone rammed their cart into me at Home Depot and I didn’t say sorry.

I read the first 23 chapters of a book before realizing I’d already read it.

Those people on Hoarders started to seem reasonable.

I told the chicken coop I hated it.  Repeatedly.  In front of the neighbours.  While wearing my p’jamas and throwing a box of nails at it.

I cried when I dropped a tea towel.


I realized it was now or never.

So, I chose now.  I’d probably never go to the cottage if it weren’t for my boyfriend.  He’s the one who schedules it, takes time off work and forces me to drive the billion hours there in an effort to make me relax.  He likes it when I relax.  Plus he likes the cottage because he can get away with wearing the same pair of shorts and tee shirt for 5 days in a row.

I do love the cottage. I do.  It’s one of the most picturesque cottage spots I’ve ever known.  (My “Ask Karen”) picture was taken there.  The problem is … going to the cottage is a lot of work.  More work.  There’s the packing the clothes and the food and the fishing gear and making sure the plants are watered and the animals are taken care of while we’re gone.  Work.

In the end it’s worth it though, because once the cyclone of preparation is done … you can relax.  Or at least most people can relax.  We’ll see how I do.  I’m not much of a relaxer.  When I used to work full time at a television station, I always had to take 2 weeks vacation at once because it took me a full week to just wind down and relax.  Then I had 2 days of actual, blissful relaxation before I started getting worked up again about having to go back to work in 5 days. Yeah.  I have issues.  This one doesn’t even make the top 20.

So!  Back to the point of this post.  Over the next 5 days (starting tomorrow) I’ll be reissuing my 5 part series on How to Grow a Monarch Butterfly.  Yes.  You too can grow an actual Monarch Butterfly.  Unlike the Alfalfa Sprouts, you can’t eat them.  Or at least, you shouldn’t.

Please, please wish me luck with my relaxing.  I’ll check back in one day and let you know how it’s going.  Until then … nobody drop a tea towel.



  1. Bonnie says:

    I totally agree about needing two weeks to really relax. I am the same way–I need some days at the beginning and end to wind down and wind back up again. I visited my friend Debbi at the beach for one week this year. I told her that next year, it will be two. Now she has one year to gear up for that!

  2. Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot says:

    You made me laugh so hard I cried. If you come back from your vacation funnier then I might have a brain aneurism.

  3. michele says:

    The cottage sounds wonderful. A place to forget and rejuvenate.

  4. Antonia says:

    You’re so funny! (Can’t wait for my husband to wake up so I can read him this one…especially about the j-walking and the Home Depot! LOL!) Enjoy your time away!!! You need it! Are you taking your chickens with you?!

  5. Michelle says:

    I couldn’t stop laughing!! Thank you!!!! LOVE the F word & J walker. LOVE! Hope you have a very relaxing vacation. You deserve it!!

  6. Kate says:

    Oh, man. This made me laugh. I’m feeling the same way, but for different reasons. Is it bad that your reasons made me giggle (quietly, as to not wake the kids)? I hope you have a great time at the cottage.

  7. another Karen says:

    Hey there! I decided to grow my own batch of alfalfa sprouts after I came across your post. They are wonderful. Couldn’t wait to to my new favorite sandwich…. Grainy bread spread with mashed avocado, layered with sprouts and thin strips of cucumber topped with pepper and salt. Yummy. I will be growing my own from now on.

    ps….have a great vacation.

    • Karen says:

      Excellent! I see where this is going. People only want to do projects that take 10 minutes, and grow things that are fully mature after 2 days, LOL. I’m O.K. with that. ~ karen!

  8. Becca p says:

    Hey Karen! Enjoy and relax.
    It sounds beautiful. I’m in the process of splitting up with my partner and having to move a whole house load of stuff. .. Inc two 16 year old boys.( they don’t like doing anything “movey” related. Hey, but mention a “movie”and they are on it!)
    Enjoy your time away.you deserve it!

  9. Julie shinnick says:

    Have fun and soak up some sunshine!
    With appropriate protective gear of course……

  10. Laura M says:

    Karen, I’m heading to our cottage next week. My version of relaxing at the cottage: painting the kitchen, installing new cabinet hardware and revamping some lamps. And then what do I do the rest of the week???

    Yes, I know exactly what you’re going through.
    *Try* to enjoy your time “off.”

  11. Renee says:

    Go. Relax. Read a book. (Even one you’ve read before!)

    I really hope you’re not planning to bring the chickens along! :p

  12. Shauna says:

    Oh yes, chicken coops will do this any sane person let alone…

    At the 3rd week mark of building our chicken coop, it took only a text message from a friend to get us on a little mini-holiday.

    Enjoy your little break;)

  13. Amy in StL says:

    Good luck on the relaxing! I have a vacation coming up in two weeks and I’m so excited about it because I’m going with a friend and if I want I can stay in the hotel and sleep until dinner or whatever the heck I want.

    I promise not to drop any tea towels; but I might need that tip on throwing boxes of nails when I attempt in the next week to build some kind of cage for my tomato plants so the squirrels leave them alone. (They ate all my green tomatoes (35 or 40) in the space of a day and a half that I was gone this weekend) I’ve never cut PVC before so no idea how this is going to go.

  14. Lynne says:

    Have a wonderful time on your vacation!
    According to your list I am in desperate need of one too as I could relate to nearly all of them.
    I was in tears this morning after I stepped in cat gack on my way to get my first coffee. Granted cat gack is never welcomed but it was the proverbial straw today.
    My fellow is the one who takes a week to unwind and then starts to stress again 4 or 5 days before going back to work….sigh…what to do with people like you???

  15. marilyn says:

    i would be happy to be your mentor in how to enjoy your holiday karen> it will take me two minutes to pack…i dont mind honestly. and i’m with nancy on the pics of the fella..are’nt you supposed to be taking a photography course? lolhave fun!!!

  16. Nancy says:

    yes you really do need this Karen…I believe Centsational girl was correcting herself on the first your (you’re) in her reply..and you responded to the second your…anyhow…I few pics of the fella naked and wet in the lake would be a nice little mental vacation for the rest of us…just sayin’

  17. Denise says:

    Aaah, the cottage. Just need to get through a few more weeks and hope to do that with my fella, good friends, good food and good wine. Enjoy your time and I’ll enjoy the monarch butterfly series – a first run for me!

  18. Natasa says:

    just have loooooooooooooooooooods of fun and sleep! Ease up on chips and coke ok? We don’t want you ruining those perfect abs ;) aaaaaaah…forget what I said, live a little eat a lot – whatever makes you happy!

  19. Bri says:

    Enjoy your vacation! I know what you mean about vacations being work, but it’s worth it. I just got back from two days at the coast and I could use a day off to recover from the vacation. Oh, woe is me, right? :) Have fun!

  20. Elaine Clark says:

    Thanks for the laugh! I hope your finger is healing. It’s nice to have a level-headed guy who also knows first aid. He sounds like a good fit for you also by making you go and unwind. Have fun and don’t fix anything!

  21. Jamieson says:

    Have a great vacation! If you don’t check in online, I will certainly forgive you. I’ll get through it knowing you’ll return turbocharged and with more hilarious stories than ever.

  22. B.J.M says:

    The cottage jog is always a long run; worth the stress of the drive and packing.
    Enjoy being able to hear the buzz of the mosquito before they bite [little bastards] and that wonderful song of our Blue Jays; they really need voice lessons don’t they?
    Drink frozen blender drinks, apres’ coffee of course and enjoy being able to chill.

    Stoney Lake was where I grew-up and I miss it more than anywhere or anything else.
    Enjoy yourselves.

  23. FlagirlinTN says:

    Make sure the fella leaves the radar detector at home!

    • Karen says:

      HAHAHAH! I forgot about that! You people remember more of my life than I do! I should repost THAT. What an dolt! LOL. ~ karen

  24. Lois Black says:

    You seem to be a “human doing” as opposed to a “human being”. I can relate. I have a hard time sitting still and not having a project. But the good news is people like us get things done! I do wish for your some peace and stillness as you let everything around fall away and just enjoy “being”. Enjoy your time off!

    Love your blog.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Lois! I usually love doing all the stuff I do. I still do in fact, but I normally also have time to sit on the couch for a couple of hours every night. I haven’t had time to do that in the past 2 or 3 months. So … now that the coop is nearing completion that should happen soon! ~ karen

  25. Britt says:

    We are pretty similar Karen, I too have to be forced to slow down and relax… and by forced, I mean pretty much kidnapped…

    Enjoy your time at the cottage! :)

  26. Tracy says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for about 2 weeks now and just can’t get enough of it! I love it!

    And I think we must somehow be related. I have the same issues. I knew it was time for vacation when I grabbed my spray deodorant instead of hairspray (and no, deodorant does NOT act like hairspray, in case you’re wondering).

    I hope you’re able to relax, quit making lists for one week, let your jaw unclench, and NOT engage in projects to ‘fix up’ the cottage.

    Happy Trails!

    • Karen says:

      Tracy – That’s something I always do! Discover something that needs to be “done” at the cottage. I will try not to. Very hard. :) ~ karen

  27. A bird once pooped on my clean washing as it was drying in the sunshine, and it made me cry.

    You’d think that was a sign I needed a holiday, but, ironically, I had just got back from one (hence all the washing).

    Perhaps it was that feeling of impending doom before returning to work.

    Anyway, I’m glad you’re having some time off. Enjoy it.

  28. Carol-Anne says:

    Have a wonderful time! I look forard to some cottage stories and maybe some photos when you return! Enjoy!

  29. mimi says:

    I hope you have a really, really good vacation.
    And even though you need it, you still make me laugh!
    I recently tried to put the (electric) kettle in the microwave. Luckily it didn’t fit.

  30. Certainly time to go on holiday when dropping a tea towel makes you cry. And I thought I needed a holiday! Have a wonderful time.

  31. Susan Perry says:

    Oh poor girl! This sounds like a painful combination of stress and hormones. Get thee to the lake. Do not further obsess about packing. You too can get by with a pair of shorts, a tee and a bathing suit. Breathe, eat and drink whatever, sleep, repeat. Add sex as needed. I hope you feel better soon!

  32. Sorry.
    Maybe I need another vacation.

    • Karen says:

      I think you do. You spelled it right the first time! :) And thanks, I plan on relaxing as much as possible. Once I get organized enough to go. ~ karen

  33. Enjoy you’re vacation friend! I’ve read your escapades with the monarch, but I could use a refresher, so bring it!


  34. CJ says:

    Ooo so know the feeling and soooo don’t like feeling it! Good luck dispelling it!! Time at the cottage sounds just super – I usually have to make do with reorganising the cupboards or redoing the grouting in the shower recess…

  35. amy walters, aDESIGNdock says:

    Haha…love this. I just took a mmmmuuuuuch needed vacay a couple of weeks ago. Why do we drive ourselves to within an inch of our sanity before we come up with the brilliant idea that we should maybe take a break?! LOL.

    Cheers Karen. Happy holidaying!

  36. Denise says:

    Have a great vaca.

    I didn’t know you a year ago. Ummm. I still don’t. But whatever!

    The re-run will be new to me! :-)

    • Karen says:

      That was my hope Denise! The re-run will be new to a lot of you and it’s one of my favourite series. It took about 2 months to do originally! ~ karen

  37. Pam'a says:

    Karen! Don’t worry about a thing! We’ll hold down the fort here while you relax at the cottage, and we promise not to break anything or go wandering off in your absence. Most of all, we will NOT drop any tea towels.


    Your TAODs

  38. Shauna says:

    you need to get some good classic comedies, pin the tea towel to your pants to prevent dropping it and chill!! I bet the old guy had it coming!!

  39. Katie King says:

    DISLIKE. That you’re stressed, that is. Enjoy your vacation: you’ve earned it. And your chicken coop will enjoy not having things thrown at it while you’re gone.

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