I’m sitting here in my backyard with 14 chicken feathers sticking out of my bra and a beer in my hand, typing out a blog post while my hairdresser/friend Renee swears at her iPhone as we wait for my hair to bleach.   I know the shocking part of that sentence is that I bleach my hair.  She’s actually swearing a lot at her phone now and appears to have actually fainted.  I think that was a growl.  I’m just going to ignore it.

Later I’m going to make us dinner and that’ll be it.  That’ll be the memory. It isn’t what you’d call mind shatteringly exciting and definitely not something you could base a Netflix series on for instance but weirdly those HUGE instances in life aren’t normally the things that morph and stick and turn into memories anyway. It’s the weird little things.  I barely remember going to Disney World when I was a little kid but I definitely remember our next door neighbour cooking french fries for the kids in the neighbourhood in their basement kitchen and serving them in brown plastic cups.

Every year when summer starts to wind down and the skies go from bright blue to light blue, when shadows are longer and mornings are cooler I get angry at myself for not having done more.  I think *next year* I’m going to do more in the summer. I’m finally going to book a trip to the East Coast, I’m going to go out more, go for dinner more, enjoy more … and then I don’t.

But this year I feel like I’ve made more memories than I have in a long time. I’ve made more of a point of saying yes to things I’d normally say no to.  Because there might be a kick ass memory to be made.  I work less (marginally) and garden more.  My front yard is a disaster and I’m sure the neighbours think I’m suffering from some sort of dementia or arthritis or work allergy.  Or maybe they just think I’m lazy.  LOLOLOLOL!!!  No they don’t.  They might think I’m nuts but they definitely don’t think I’m lazy.

Here’s a little bit of what my summer has looked like:

A little bit of pizza making.

I’ve only managed to get through two of the books here this summer and I’ve just started the one in the centre, The Ice Cream Makers.

A rather large memory from this summer is going to be building this garden. Holy crap. It took months but I absolutely love it now. It’s easy to take care of and just a nice place to be.  You know.  If you like gardening and vegetables and snakes.

This wasn’t this most recent haircut with my friend Renee, it was one or two cuts ago nearer the beginning of the summer. She is clearly a garden gnome and I am leaning towards that Hermey the Elf.


This summer I tried to help save a neighbour’s sick chick but we weren’t successful.  But we tried.  We really tried.

I grew, picked and made jam out of strawberries.


You’ll never believe me but I made this rain hat out of a grocery bag.

Me and Murray.  I made it as far as picking up some back ribs from my favourite pig farmer, but still haven’t got around to actually cooking them.

One of my favourite super-stupid, boring, simple, summer things to do is go to the feed store.

Met a lot of snakes in the garden this summer.  This is the milk snake I saw a few weeks ago living in my stash of wood at the back of my plot.  Love him!


And yes I’ve worked this summer. But I’ve made a real point and habit of working in the backyard.  Outside.  It’s still working but it just feels slightly better than being stuck inside working.


I’ve cut scapes and made pesto and harvested around 160 heads of garlic.


And I relaxed for a full … I’m gonna say day.  At Lynne Knowlton’s astonishing treehouse.


I even stacked rocks in what turned out to be a fierce rock stacking competition with Lynne herself.  So that wasn’t so much relaxing as training for what I expect to turn into an Olympic sport.



And I gardened some more.

I’m raising caterpillars into Monarch butterflies like I do every summer.


I went to MORE antique markets and ate french fries.  What better memory could a person possibly have?  Other than maybe eating french fries with gravy.

But I wanna make MORE memories.  So I’m taking next week off from blogging.  Here’s a funny story.  I didn’t even know I was going to say that until I typed it.  Now that I’m saying it, I feel like I should also take a week off from social media entirely.  omg.  This is getting real now. Where is this coming from???!!  Maybe I do have some form of dementia.

Have a great summer memory photo to share?  This is where I ask you to add it into the comment section with a little description of what’s going on.

Monday is a holiday in Canada so I wasn’t going to post then anyway, so technically you’re only missing 2 posts from me.  And chances are during my time off I’ll be doing stuff that I’ll be able to turn into great blog posts when I get back.

See you in just over a week and don’t forget to upload some summer memory pics.

Have a great weekend and week!





  1. Teresa Chandler says:

    I’m just getting started feeling like it is really summer. But summer days on my friend’s pontoon boat with good food, music and happy dogs always feel great!

  2. Andrea says:

    Went to a Girl Scout camp counselor reunion and saw I end she i hadn’t seen I need 25 years!

  3. Sabina says:

    So many memories so many pictures! It’s been a summer of simple pleasures and staycations since we treated ourselves to a hot tub in late spring. Great concerts, tooling around Kensington Market, gardening, hitting local u-pick farms and canning up a bit of summer. We’re camping now and it’s cold and raining and really crappy out lol but this is my favorite summer picture because it shows the fruits of our labor. Fresh beans and tomatoes and my homemade sour cherry chipotle barbecue sauce on some mighty fine ribs! Happy Summer Memories to you all!

  4. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Have some fun Karen…😸

  5. Tracy says:

    Karen, You have to come to the east coast next year. You will love it here in Halifax. We’d love to have you write a post “down here”.

  6. Ann says:

    You’re a nut!!! And I love it!

  7. Nancy says:

    Enjoy your time off. Our summer memories include building a huge deck in the backyard (will it ever get done?) and the birth of our first grandchild.

  8. Nancy says:

    Enjoy your time off. Our summer memories include building a huge deck it backyard (will it ever get done?) and the birth of our first grandchild.

  9. Tatiana says:

    Feeding some deer in my backyard

  10. Karen Hekfrich says:

    Spending the summer in the little town of Winthrop Washington walking and enjoying lovely sunsets

  11. Eileen says:

    After renovating for seven, yes seven years, we are rounding the last bend and my husband finished a screened in porch overlooking our lake. Mornings with coffee on the loungers and afternoons with a drink are now what life’s about.

  12. Marlene says:

    We headed to Vancouver to unload our youngest!! It was a just a beautiful wedding, lots of memories and I was an emotional wreak!!! But, we couldn’t be more happier for her!! Let the babies begin!!!

  13. Cindy Marlow says:

    This is a very special summer…my granddaughter flew from Baltimore to Portland, Oregon and we went to the Oregon Coast. Such a wonderful time flying kites, searching for beach treasures, and sharing amazing food!

    • Emily Miller says:

      Oregon Coast is the best!! I live near Portland and spent more time on the coast making memories this summer than the past 3 years combined. One evening I happened upon a shipwrecked sailboat north of Cannon Beach… THIS is my happy place!

  14. Beth says:

    Most recently did some urban kayaking in Chicago, which I highly recommend! Went to Florida with a friend for a week, some concerts and had a visit from my sister and bil. Going to visit same sis in TN and our daughter in NC beginning of September. Also major gardening!!! Have a great week, you deserve it!

  15. TexasMom says:

    AUGH! My pic won’t upload!!

  16. TexasMom says:

    This summer I sampled a number of Texas craft beers. And put the labels to good use!
    And the summer won’t be over until at least October!

  17. Jen says:

    I feel so much pressure every year to DO MORE, especially with my garden, and I’ve been thinking lately that holy shit the years go by fast and instead of wasting time with regrets, how about NOT. I have some pretty banging memories of this summer so thank you very much for making me stop a minute to think about them.

  18. Gretchen says:

    We took a trip to CHINA! (and are still recovering from the time/jet lag) Highlights included: Great wall, Terracotta soldiers, Li River cruise, and visit to orphanage where we got our daughter. Not bad.

    • Karen says:

      The orphanage visit would have been unbelievable!! It’d be hard to top that. ~ karen!

      • Gretchen says:

        It was pretty awesome. Made something that had been ‘out there’ her whole life into a concrete place that she can fit into her life journey.

  19. Kipper says:

    First time chicken owner. Three chicks in a dog crate in the dinky bathroom. Longest six weeks ever. They now live in a snazzy outdoor coop. Learned a lot from chicken expert friends(thanks Karen!). Got long dreaded house projects done. Starting to compose a new resume because bosses are retiring (not fun) and will have to start job hunting.

  20. Ninamargo says:

    Spent 10 beautiful summer days in Bordeaux and Barcelona escaping the Arizona heat, eating great seafood, visiting the Picasso, Gaudi, Miro museums, getting to know my husband again. The best vacation we’ve had in a long time!

    • Karen says:

      I hope you decided you still love him. ;) I love being somewhere else but hate travelling. Kind of like how I love clothing but hate shopping, lol. Glad you had a great time. ~ karen!

      • NinaMargo says:

        Thank you Karen. Yes, I renewed his lease for another 12 years which either puts us into our graves or our 70s!

  21. Kelly says:

    We went home to Saskatchewan and Manitoba-took a picture to show friends what a real sunset looks like!

  22. Arlene says:

    Making great memories with my family at the cottage!
    We had lots of fun!

  23. Kat says:

    I became a Birder. Not just a backyard birder but one that gets on the metro bus once a week to get to the river, where I walk for miles on end lugging about 15 pounds of camera stuff plus a lunch. All this for maybe a glimpse of a bird. Any bird will do. My best memories this summer were a pair of Bald Eagle fledglings that sat in a dead tree for over an hour, a great Blue Heron that let me walk along shore with him while he fished for a half hour and three Great Horned Owl fledglings with Dad overseeing for a full hour. The best therapy I have ever tried! I do not even think about work. I trudge through muck and a zillion bugs down deer trails and it is the best time I have ever had. Can’t wait till next summer!

    • Karen says:

      Great photo Kat! That’s partly why I love my community garden so much. There’s an insane variety of birds up there you would never even see half a km away. Osprey, goldfinch, bald eagles, heron, mockingbirds … it’s nuts! I didn’t realized I liked birds until I started noticing them up there so I get your obsession! ` karen

  24. Linda in Illinois says:

    Have a great vacation Karen, love everyone’s photos, makes me wish I would/could travel. I love gardening more then spending money so I vaca at home, in the garden, with the sounds and sites of nature, fresh air and a bit of mud/gunk/blood/sweat/tears under my nails.

  25. Chris White says:

    Spending time with my boys on the St. John River – best place for summer adventure!

    • Karen says:

      I miss having a cottage to go to. Even though I absolutely hated packing up, getting the house ready, making sure the cats and chickens were taken care of and the 6 hour drive etc. Once I got there it was great, lol! That place looks picture perfect for relaxing and making memories. ~ karen

      • Chris White says:

        It is picture perfect…. Plus it is our backyard. We live year-round here on the Kingston Peninsula so no packing to go to the beach (well, other than some snacks and sunscreen!)

  26. Kea says:

    I love you. I feel like you are part of my family and I only started reading your blog this week. As far as summer memories go (summer is long from over in my opinion) we bought our first “Forever home” with a yard (which is why i’ve been reading your blog like it’s life juice.) Our place has a pool and a yard and maple trees! (Thanks to you we will make syrup.) So this summer will be a HUGE memory for my partner and I.

    • Karen says:

      Hey Kea! I’m pretty sure I love you to. You’ve made enough memories this summer. Now you can just sit around and watch baseball games if you want. No wait, that’s what I’m going to do. You can just go and lie by the pool. :) ~ karen!

  27. Susan says:

    Went camping for 2 weeks in July at Wakami Provincial Park in northern Ontario with my husband and had a great time. No cell service so read lots of books, ate great food, fished every day, ate fish, enjoyed the peace and quiet.
    Karen, love your screened in raised beds in your garden. How do you open them and do you make them with window screening? What do you have growing in them?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Susan! I’m going to try to get a post up on how I made them before the end of the season. If not, then definitely by the beginning of next spring so people can make them for next year’s gardens. ~ karen!

    • Karen says:

      Oops. Forgot to say they’re covered with hardware cloth which is much, MUCH heavier than window screening. Voles, Mice and raccoons which is what I’m trying to keep away from my strawberries, would tear right through window screening. ~ karen!

  28. Kathy Bo says:

    I so enjoy your blog. Have a wonderful spontaneous vacation! Oh, and this is my grandpuppy Monty. Yes, he really looks like this.

  29. Summer is work time for me in the Bed and Breakfast business but I also have been spending lots of time in my garden and orchard. This week I will pick some beautiful peaches from a tree I planted a few years ago. I have worked really hard to learn how to take care of the trees organically and to prune properly for good fruit and this year, with some luck, I will be rewarded. Peach cobbler, peach jam, peach chutney, peach crisp…..

    • Karen says:

      I’m making canned peaches today!! (or maybe not, I tried last night but they weren’t ripe enough to peel in hot water so I’ll give it another shot today) I’m extremely envious of your peach tree! ~ karen

  30. Cheryl Young says:

    Do try your best to get to the east side of Canada! It’s actually pretty spectacular in the fall, warm days, cool nights and the colours of the changing trees are breathtaking.

  31. Stefanie says:

    We spent an amazing week in the Salzkammergut region of Austria. One day we rented an electric boat and puttered around lake Hallstätt, simply amazing!

  32. Mary says:

    The day we saw how much our Aussie Finn loves the leap in the water hose!!

  33. Ryn says:

    My husband and I took our friends from Chicago, who we don’t get to see often, to Provincetown, MA for their first time. It was a little rainy in the morning, but it turned out to be a beautiful day.

  34. Marilyn says:

    Have a great week.

  35. Kim Kelley says:

    I’m glad you love your snake. You do know snakes eat eggs?

  36. jaine kunst says:

    If I had any idea of how to upload a photo to your site I would leave a photo of my QH “Splashy Girl.” That’s who I’ll be making memories with this summer, not riding (she’s recovering from an injury) but just hand walking and enjoying my time with her.

    Have a wonderful week off. You’ll be missed.

  37. Debbie D says:

    No vaca for me. Spent the summer “fixing” my living room, weeding, deadheading and working. Big audit time at work so no vaca. I have a beautiful “redone” fireplace now and my front yard was in a Houzz article! Also repainted the outside of the house, replaced the siding on the fireplace, replaced all the windows in the house along with the sliding doors..gosh, I guess I did a lot!

  38. Maggie Van Sickle says:

    3 moves in 2 and a half weeks is about all I can take this summer. From house on Buckhorn Lake to a trailer on Buckhorn Lake for summers and then moved furniture and boxes to our daughters basement until our apt in Dundas was ready Aug 1st . Painted apt and now to do final move today and then knée replacement surgery in Oct. I need to rest. Enough memories for one summer.

  39. Laura Bee says:

    I planned a trip to the east coast in about two weeks. My six year old’s first road trip longer than 4 hrs. Stayed with family and friends. One night Montreal, Fredericton and Pugwash. Kensington PEI for three nights with her dad’s family and then three nights near Halifax with my best friend since grade 5. My girl and her two girls finally met!
    Memories that we will never forget.

  40. Marna says:

    Awesome! Have a great time off, well not if you do too much work! I’ve been busy too, purging, because I need to downsize, getting too old and my 3 grown sons don’t want anything I have.
    I do intend to give some to some nieces and grand nieces and nephews. Sad to me, I have things from family, heirlooms, but today people don’t want those types of things. I read that taking a photo and saving it, journal some about it, then I can look at the photos and remember.
    Trying to organize along the way too, been doing a lot though I am limited as to what I can do. I will remember because of my end result, less stuff, less to clean especially! LOL

  41. MrsChrisSA says:

    As we are opposite………………….summer was December for me and that is when I had to say goodbye to this little bundle of joy as her and her parents jetted off to New Zealand to live.

    For the coming summer we have great plans. It will start with a trip to NZ to welcome my grandson and then we will be home and doing things in and around our garden (which was very neglected last summer!). We have already started by painting those horrid dirty white walls………………………..

    Come one summer!! Can’t wait!

  42. Centi says:

    Have a good time!
    (I love the picture of the rain hat)

  43. Jani Wolfe says:

    Have fun Karen and make some new memories to share!!

  44. Wisconsin Gal says:

    You bleach your hair? I thought you were a naturally white haired girl of Scandinavian ancestry. What is your natural color? (I won’t tell.)

    • Karen says:

      White hair until I got into highschool when it became darker and darker until it finally ended at a dark blonde. Now I’m back to my natural state of white. :) ~ karen!

  45. Kimberly says:

    First of all, Karen, I love you. Not just because your writing is hilarious and you remind me of myself (& obviously I’m narcissistic), but also because: IT’S A HOLIDAY ON MONDAY! Holy heck, I had forgotten. You have totally made my LONG weekend.

    Also fries at antique markets sounds just about as good as it gets to me too.

    & my memory is definitely going to be the arduous week of “vacation” we spent building my art studio.

  46. We sold our house and bought a farm! We move out, afternoon sixteen years, this weekend. We move into new house in two weeks. Yes, we’re couch crashing for our vacation this year. Woo hoo! BUT CHECK OUT MY NEW BARN!!!!!

  47. Gwen H. says:

    Enjoy your break. Eat a lot of French fries and relax.

  48. Kayla says:

    Enjoy your summer fun and remember to make goid decisions. (Even if they turn out as not so good decisions at least you’ll have some good stories)

  49. Sherry says:

    My favorite summer memory…. My new and first grandson, who I have utterly fallen in love with. I have been amazed and astonished at just how completely taken with him I am. It’s a new kind of love and every day I spend with him lightens my heart for days at a time!

  50. Denise Del Mundo says:

    Happy long weekend Karen! I’ve volunteered at girls camp, dejunked my clothes, put my ceramic jewelry and small dishes into four stores, went camping in my 1965 Shasta named Suzy Q and visited with my granddaughter. Life is good.

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