Monday was a holiday here in Ontario, Canada.  It was … Family Day!  That’s a made up holiday where we’re supposed to spend time with our families doing fun family stuff but where we inevitably either avoid our families at all cost or spend the day with them in our pajamas laying on the couch picking Doritos out of our molars.

So it is with great regret I have to let you know that because I dutifully worked on Monday (a dedicated and legal provincial holiday) that today’s post is being written with a certain amount of resentment.  I should have taken Monday off but I didn’t for reasons that stem back to the week before when I *thought* it was Family Day.  Family Day is one of those rotating holidays.  And like I said, it’s really kind of a made up holiday that the Canadian government threw into the mix a few years ago to give Canadians a bit of a break in the midst of winter to lessen the possibility of one of us streaking through our local greenhouses with a pot of daffodils on our  heads.   It’s a well known fact that that happens.

Because it’s a rotating holiday,  no one really knows when Family Day is going to pop up until people on the news start talking about things you could do for free on Family Day.

On Monday, February 13th, for whatever reason, a full week before the actual holiday, I  spent the entire day by the fire in my pajamas reading and planning my community gardens fully convinced it was Family Day.  I gave myself a facial mask.  I even made sure my mother went to visit her 102 year old Aunt Jean that day.  Because it was Family Day and all.  She did.  It wasn’t.  I’m stupid.

So I worked this Monday, the actual Family Day, to make up for my erroneous day off the week before.  I typed and photographed and returned emails all the while other families across the province were hiking hand in hand through local forests, singing from mountaintops and laughing about that time a few years ago when they snapped and streaked through a steamy greenhouse.

April 14th.  That’s the next official holiday.  It’s Good Friday before the Easter weekend.  APRIL 14TH.

Remind me.

Before I go, I have a list of the winners of the Luffa Sponge giveaway!


DANNI – who is rebuilding her 5 raised beds in the spring

CARMEN – who couldn’t garden 2 years ago because of pregnancy nausea

RAYMONDE – who promises to share her resulting luffa seeds

DONNA F. – who grows 95 types of heirloom tomatoes

RON – who wants to grow luffa on the Eastern slopes of the Rockies

ART – who speaks a little Canadian

BETH – who is motivated by sibling rivalry

SUSANNE – who is hoping these seeds will bring her 17 year old son joy

EMMA – who stores her beautiful plants at a local greenhouse

MERRIE – of the retirement home fundraiser fame

ADRIENNE – Whose husband thinks he has the green thumb

TANYA – from the Yukon

MELANIE S – who was planning to grow some luffas this year!

CHARISSA – whose current shower luffa is well past its prime

MEL R – who got all hot and bothered when she read the original luffa post

Email me at karen@theartofdoingstuff.com to claim your seeds!

If you didn’t win the seed but want to grow them you can get great quality luffa seeds sold by Renee Seeds on Amazon.  If you’re in Canada, William Dam is where I got my first Luffa seeds.  


  1. Muff Hackett says:

    you were just celebrating BC’s Family Day (which by a rather bizarre process ended up being the week before the rest of Canada – don’t ask, it’s a sore point.) We appreciate your support of our humble province and will gladly welcome you any time (you closet British Columbian, you.)

    • Joanne says:

      πŸ™‚ <3

    • Karen says:

      That is *exactly* what happened! My calendar said Family Day, but I didn’t read the “in BC” fine print. ~ karen!

      • Julie says:

        By the way, the “rest” of Canada does not include New Brunswick! We do not get a holiday between New Years and Good Friday!!

        • Marianne says:

          That’s really not fair. If any province needs a winter long weekend, it’s New Brunswick. To catch up on the big snow dig-outs!

      • Amie Melnychuk says:

        Family is set by provincial governments. Manitoba’s Day is Louis Riel Day PEI has Islander Day. Alberta and Saskatchewan started the mid winter long weekend kick, and other provinces have caught on. But not all provinces are into the long weekend loving.

  2. Katie Morgan says:


  3. Raymonde says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!! I’m really very excited, not only because I won, but because I’ll be growing luffas!!!!!! I feel like Ren and Stimpy, singing: happy, happy, joy, joy, joy!

  4. Tina says:

    Damn! Once again I win…nothing. πŸ˜”

  5. Stephbo says:

    So now that we all know when Family Day and Good Friday are, will somebody please tell me when the hell Ash Wednesday is? I keep thinking I missed it somehow, only to learn that it hasn’t happened yet.

    • Joanne says:

      This coming Wednesday, March 1 is Ash Wednesday.

      • Vanessa says:

        preceded by Shrove Tuesday on Feb 28 (aka Mardi Gras; aka Pancake dinner Tuesday!)

        • Mardi Gras = Pancake dinner?? Is this another “thing” I’ve been clueless about for decades or is this just in your family? Dying to know!

        • Alice says:

          Lots of churches have pancake dinners on Shrove Tuesday around here. For $6, one of the local Anglican churches has pancakes, bacon, sausages, coffee, tea, and juice ($3 for young children).

        • Cred says:

          Pancake Tuesday (shrove tues) is the day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of lent, a period of fasting and abstaining from vices ending on Easter Sunday. The pancake tradition began as a means to use up eggs and fats prior to fasting for lent.
          By this logic, Mardi Gras is a means of using up all the booze. Hahaha!
          Always liked Pancake Tuesday but think I would enjoy Mardi Gras even more.

  6. Ei Conklin says:

    No midnight post-notification email again today K, Whazzup?
    Also, if your site has a ‘home’ button, I can’t find it.
    Cripes, I’m cranky today. Sorry.
    Must be because I didn’t win luffa seeds.

    • Julie says:

      Hey EI…I didn’t get one either, then I could not find today’s post by googling it…

      • ronda says:

        my email notification came in just after 12 noon! glitch again??
        And, when I opened the website through my browser and tried to add a comment, my post was blocked! Any insight??

        • Karen says:

          Do you mean your comment was blocked Ronda? In cases like that, if you can take a screenshot and send it to me, it’s helpful. The server is all setup and you will get your notification of my new post on Sunday at midnight as per usual. πŸ™‚ ~ karen!

  7. Vanessa says:

    That’s ok – as a federal employee of Canada, I was at work on Monday too. It’s a provincial holiday (and not all provinces celebrate it – or do something wacky like BC or have St. Patrick’s day off instead — looking at you newfies!). So until all provinces unify on celebrating family time, I guess I win the “avoid family at all costs” day.

  8. Karin Sorensen says:

    aaaawww, shucks.

    Congrats to the lucky ducks!

    Alas, the kids are well fed and I obtained a staggering amount of seeds last weekend. None of them loofa sadly, but there is always next time, right ?

    Have a great weekend ya’ll.


  9. Not all Canadians have family day – in Quebec winter is very long without a break

  10. Grammy says:

    Congratulations to all the winners.

    Karen, you may not know what day it is, but you still spread sunshine all over the world with your wit and generosity. And thanks for mentioning Betty and Aunt Jean over the years — you know how to celebrate family, whether the calendar tells you to or not.

  11. Katie C. says:

    You get Family Day AND Justin Trudeau… I’m so jealous.

  12. Danni says:

    ohmygodohmygodoHMYGODDDDD!!!! I WON!!!!
    I’m soooo freaking happy!!! I halfheartedly started planning my new beds but THIS CHANGES THINGS UP, BY GUM!!!

  13. Heather says:

    Congrats to the winners! I am motivated enough now to try and find seeds of my own anyway…I want to see what it’s like. πŸ™‚

    What is on your face? That is no typical mask for these parts. lol

  14. Robin says:

    Well, you don’t have to feel all that bad….It was Family day somewhere and when I say somewhere I mean in BC! For some unknown reason it is not the same day in all of our great provinces and territories! Ain’t that whack!
    Regardless, you enjoyed your day in front of the fire in your jammies, whatever day it should have been!!!

  15. Sheryl says:

    Rockin’ the Gen Simmons facial mask, boo-ya.

  16. Shelagh says:

    Congrats to all the winners!

    I wish all of you the best of luck in growing them, especially Tanya, in the Yukon!

    I also hope each of you will send/share pics of your spectacular vines?

  17. Melissa says:

    Congratulations to all the Luffa Winners!
    Now, get out there and grow some luffas darnit!!

    p.s. please show your luffas!

  18. Monique says:

    Hahaha I have a few of those masks..my daughter gave me some..I nevr had one like yours though:)
    Bought my first seeds yesterday from a local organic gardener..tomatoes..one variety..Dancing Smurfs:)the other..Stripes Of Yore.

    • Catherine says:

      There is NOT such a thing as a Dancing Smurf Tomato !!! I have gotta get me one of those. The last successful tomato we grew was a volunteer. My tomato junkie son was munching commercial grape tomatoes and apparently a seed shot itself out of his mouth and into the ground by the gazebo. Hey presto, he’s outside and notices a tomato plant that appeared out of nowhere. and it produced about a dozen really tasty tomatoes.

      And yes, my son is a tomato junkie. I’m not ashamed of that.

  19. Terry says:

    I’m coming to Canada on Monday! A week late for Family Day but I get to visit my son and his girlfriend

  20. Chrissi Vergoglini says:

    I totally agree with Grammy!! Love reading your posts-especially the ones about chickens!!!πŸ”πŸ”πŸ£πŸ₯πŸ“πŸ“πŸ“
    Thank you!

  21. Catt in Kentucky says:

    Cool mask. The daffodils are up and in bloom here in the fair city of Louisville, Kentucky. No streaking through greenhouses this year (darn).

  22. Patsy says:

    I’ve moved on…that’s what we do in Canada…looking forward to shrove Tuesday…aka Pancake Day!! ..as the maple tree sap is already running according to friends ‘ in the know’…so exciting. It’s Maple Surple Time!!

  23. Art Vernon says:

    It is I, Art the Ohioan who is writing (humbly) to ask you for the secret password
    (in Canadian) and handshake, to receive the Hybrid Loofa seeds to be raised
    in a simple rural Ohio home with loving kindness.
    Many Thanks, eh,

  24. Lisa C says:

    Interesting reading……here in the UK we have mothers day in March then father’s day in June. Much more fun coz then I get all the presents and fuss!! Also I’ve just seen your 3yr old post on April fool’s…..so funny, I’m going to do them all to my daughter who was actually born on 1st April, she will hate me for the next 10 years though!
    Do Canadians do anything on ash Wednesday? We don’t really take any notice of it here but we go big on pancake day!!

    • karen in Alberta says:

      Lisa, Ash Wednesday, there will be Anglican ministers in our city subway system here in Edmonton Alberta, ready to daub commuters with a cross of ash. As a lapsed church goer, I appreciate it.

  25. Gilly Bean says:

    You were just celebrating the BC Family Day. Ours is a week before everyone else’s. Our government in a flash of (questionable) brilliance thought that it would be a good idea since we get flooded with tourists from Albert on their holidays to have our holiday a week different so, people can actually enjoy the time off. So, as actually result, people (like me) who work in retail and tourism get to work and deal with two weeks of cranky travellers instead of just one…..that’s some quality family time! LoL.

    Congratulations to everyone who won!!

  26. Emma says:

    Marsha Wigren! I won some luffa seeds so contact me in this space and I can send you a few if you are interested to try growing them… I need your mailing address however.. . Emma! My email is ederuiter4@gmail.com
    p.s. if you don’t want to, I will grow them and then send you some luffa sponges. I make melt and pour soups and can make you some luffa soaps. Hope to hear from you.

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