I’m still here.

I’ve been getting your emails this week wondering where I’ve gone. Have I disappeared? Have I broken an arm? A leg? An artery? 

Obviously not. As you can see from this actual photograph I’m just fine.  I’m not hurt, not injured (that’s just pizza sauce) or institutionalized.  I’ve just been working on updating the guts of my website, which – like playing chess against a piece of fruit – is taking longer than you would think.

In addition to updating and performing maintenance on my website I’ve also been spending a lot of time doing what I’m sure a lot of you are doing – I’m counselling my good friend Instagram. As one does when their friend goes off the rails and starts acting mental.

My once unassuming and likeable friend Instagram is now loud, obnoxious and unrecognizable. Sandy has donned her satin pants, curled her hair and become Tik Tok Rizzo.

Instagram, which used to be a pleasant, mind numbing way to start my morning, is now an outer space circus assault complete with screaming robots.

I miss the days (last week) when I could quietly scroll Instagram in the morning and be greeted by quiet photos of homes, people and baked goods that conjured up unrealistic expectations for my own life.

I don’t like this new Instagram with robot voices and endless screaming Reels. I do not. If you don’t either feel free to vent in the comments. This is a safe space.

Then of course there’s Philip. He’s my dog. Lip turned 6 months old a week ago and I turned 172. Taking care of a puppy is like taking care of a baby only harder because you can’t stick your puppy on a shelf in the closet for a few hours.

We started puppy training classes last week and being the very first social event I’ve had in the past 2 years, I dressed for the occasion. That means I carried my 12 year old Prada purse which I filled with hot dogs.

But mainly I’m a week late getting back to writing because of updating the website. If you like, I could write a whole post on what’s involved with running a successful website. It’s even harder than taking care of a puppy or a shelf baby.

I’ve also been making a LOT of sourdough bread in many different forms, most recently sourdough sandwich bread, cinnamon/raisin swirl sourdough, Japanese milk bread sourdough and this weekend I’m going to try chocolate sourdough with walnuts.

That’s the nice thing about having a dog. Calories burned prying open their mouths to retrieve partially swallowed socks, cats, shoes and Kleenex 97 times a day is enough of a workout to allow eating 2 or 3 loaves of bread daily.

THESE are a few of the other things I’ve been doing:

Boosted a battery

I boosted Pink Tool Belt’s battery when it died in a parking lot a few weeks ago.

You can learn how to boost a battery in this post.

I also had a neighbour help me boost my own battery just last week. So it’s kind of timely knowledge to have in February if you’re in North America.

CBD Seeds

I’m back searching for CBD seeds to grow this year.

And at anywhere from $45 – $90 for 5 seeds, I want to make sure I’m getting what I want. High CBD, low THC.

Maybe a 1:1. Definitely autoflower.

I understand that means nothing to many of you. It meant nothing to me until about 2 years ago.

Last year I grew autoflower CBD seeds from Dinafem and turned them into Cannabutter and it worked great, I just thought I’d try a different seed. 🤷‍♀️

Pot pies

Eating Turkey Pot Pies with french fries and canned green beans because I like my winter menus to come from 1972.

After Thanksgiving I made a whack of homemade turkey pot pies, as I do every year, and froze them.

You can make them with chicken as well obviously.

Listen to me. They are DELICIOUS. Make them.


I few weeks ago I asked my Instagram followers if they could recommend a book for me.

Lots of people had recommendations and I finally decided on the book Pachinko.

It’s so great when you ask someone for a book recommendation and they give you examples of other books they liked. – it lets you know if you have the same taste in books.

I am really liking it. It’s the first book in a long time that has me going to bed early because I’m so looking forward to reading it.

Well, I’m off to finish some work on Monday’s post which involves tools, a water pump and a live wire tester.

Everything’s back to normal.


  1. Lisa says:

    Oh gosh, Philip has grown into such a handsome boy – he would be turning everybody’s head.
    Give him a nose boop and scritch for me.

    Jealous of your growing CBD, it’s taking so long to get to that stage here in Aus. Mind you, we’re coming out of a “Rain Bomb” here in Queensland so it would be way too wet at the moment. We had 1164mm in 4 days in my suburb alone. The flooding hasn’t gone down yet in a lot of places, and the “Rain Bomb” has moved into New South Wales (Lismore – just devastating).

    Heartbreaking all round, with lives, homes and livelihoods lost. Fortunately all my yard’s wildlife seems to have survived. Half of them were on my deck throughout, it’s now been nicknamed – The Poop Deck. However, we have sadly lost thousands of animals (of all types) to the flooding.

    I needed the pic of Philip – he’s lifted my spirits, as you do.

  2. S. Ross says:

    Where did you get that handsome, very intelligent looking dog? I ordered the book btw.

  3. Audrey Ogilvie says:

    OMG Karen, Philip is positively regal. Haha sez you! I am beginning to think I have completely lost my mind. I read your blog yesterday and was positive there was a piece on under counter stick on lighting. I have re-read the whole thing about a dozen times and can’t find it so am wonder if I just made it up. I would really like to know the name of the supplier, if you know. I hope so because it will confirm that I haven’t gone dotty! ~ Audrey

  4. Laurie says:

    I just got the book you recommended from the library. My first thought was wow this is thick! I love a great book. Did you finish it? Still like it?

  5. Heather says:

    Hi Karen,

    I thought that you might like this: http://www.chickendaddies.com

    Be well,


  6. Jenny W says:

    Every darn day! Your’s is the first blog I read, & yes, I missed you & your wit :)
    Lip is gorgeous & is acting just like everydarndog his age.
    I am not happy with all of the tictoks on Insta either :/
    These days when I want mind numbing & foolish takes on life (In Canada) I glance at Facebook, When Im in the mood for ridiculous videos that I never knew I needed, I hop in Tic Tok. Instagram is for pretty homes and lovely things that are harder to access on my scroll these days.
    Anywho, glad our Karen drought is over. Let the good times roll :)

  7. Susan Jacobs says:

    Thanks for being there for us. I felt like I lost a great friend. Lip is quite a handsome young man. I agree he does have that certain Savoir faire. After puppy school he will really know it for himself. You are a gonner.

  8. Lynell says:

    I have really missed your email and so glad you’re back. You make me laugh.
    It’s a wonderful way to start the day. I’ve owned a poodle in my day and they are so smart and beautiful.

  9. Ain’t nothin’ better than a good-sized dog to hug!! I love little dogs, too! Puppies are a handful!

    So glad you have Lip. After my pup passed, January 2020, I adopted Shodan who, a day earlier, had just been transported from a kill shelter. Shepherd/ Doberman mix, two years old, ribs sticking out, skinny, malnourished, 21 lbs., wild and terrified, lived in a crate in a garage.

    On the TEN MINUTE trip home, he projectile vomited, had diarrhea, then rolled in it, then ate what was left. OMG THE SMELL!! We rode home with all the windows down and rain pouring in.

    Started to wonder if, just maybe, I should have adopted that baby kitten…or a puppy.

    Convincing him, that to leave the car would be a good thing, and getting him into the house, down a hallway and into the shower was, at the very least, challenging. Both he and I, and the floor, and some portions of the wall, were covered in…well, you know what. Don’t even ask how long it took to clean the car, the doors, the back seat, and the back of the front seat. I have fond memories of gagging while forcing a toilet brush, wrapped in a towel, down that narrow, deep area between the door and back seat.

    $600 in vet bills the first two months, prescription food that helped until Covid shut down the plant, but OMG, I love this 45 lb. pup. He’s strong and handsome and the sweetest, most mischievous boy ever. What a dog! Worth every minute. He still can’t ride in the car. I don’t care. He likes to cuddle.

    So, I’m very happy for you that you have Lip…and yep, Shodan and I did miss you.

    Hugs to both of you. 💖
    If I knew how, I’d leave you a pic of the sweetie.

  10. Raina says:

    I very much want to kiss Lips face! Would you mind hurrying to perfect that chocolate walnut recipe?? I want it NOW!

  11. Janet Hughes says:

    It’s you who haven’t missed us Karen. That’s because of Lip. Anyone with a gorgeous standard poodle needs little else, especially in the way of people. Poodles think they are people. They are the Mary Poppins of dogs, ‘practically perfect in every way’. He sure is handsome.

  12. Connie in Tucson says:

    Now you have to sift through 10 million “I missed you “ messages. But it’s true. I didn’t realize I missed you until today.

  13. Peggy says:

    I thought about you earlier this week and realized I missed you. That’s pretty amazing since I am going through a seperation, possible move, casting off 90% of a lifetime of stuff and don’t know where I will live or how to pay the bills. But hey, you are back and I feel better. Thanks for doing what you do.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Peggy! Well that’s nice to hear on a cold, rainy Saturday night. :) You’ll get through it and thrive. Name one time when you didn’t get through it! We always do. And we’re usually happier. :) ~ karen!

  14. Cathy says:

    W0w that’s a lot of catching up… I actually thought I had stopped following you. I do that sometimes (stop following folks) because like you with Instagram, I’ve been feeling like there are too many folks competing for my attention…too loudly. And yes Instagram is now too loud and TikTokky!


    So good to have you back…..missed you and was wondering about you….had Philip traded you for a case of bones? ran you so far from home you couldn’t get back? buried you in the back yard?? Thankfully all my questions are now answered. Stay well and tell Philip that he is quite the handsome dog.

    • Karen says:

      I don’t have to tell him. He’s a poodle. He walks with an air of “Excuse me, but did you know I’m a poodle and I’m beautiful” around him. ~ karen!

  16. Jackie says:

    Oh, I’m so glad you are back. I love reading your posts. Lip is beautiful. I can just look at his picture & know he is a handful = but so easy to love.

    • Karen says:

      Honestly, he is somewhere in the house right now I’m sure doing something he shouldn’t but I just don’t have the energy to get off the couch to check on him for the 2,439,699 time today.😆 ~ karen! p.s. but he is beautiful

  17. KimS says:

    Well, glad I missed the Instagram train….don’t have to be sad about that anymore. Your dog is just absolutely stunning…STUNNING!
    And, I have a potpie I made and put in the freezer, but now I’m wondering if I have to thaw it out, or maybe just let it sit out for 30 minutes before putting it in the oven or straight into the oven?? (It’s in a glass dish).

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kim! I’m probably too late to reply but the pot pie would be perfectly fine going from frozen right into a hot oven, but the Pyrex dish would not! That’s exactly the kind of conditions to make it explode in spectacular fashion. ~ karen!

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