Welcome to the last post of 2016.  The curtain is down on The Art of Doing Stuff until the New Year, giving me my yearly week of relaxation.

And this year (as I do every year) I pledge to actually relax. To slow the hell down for one entire week.  Even if I have to chain myself to a sloth to do it.  omg I’d TOTALLY chain myself to a sloth.  I *love* sloths.  I wonder where I could get a sloth.  I think the most exotic thing my nearest pet store sells are the one eyed mice they sell to snake owners.

Before I leave you to your own few days of relaxation in the form of family fights, present returning and turkey burning, I will, as I do every year, give you some insight into what I plan to do with my relaxation time until I see you again in January.



Cook  You know as much as I love cooking I hate having to clean up after cooking so maybe I won’t cook.

Forage for food that can be eaten out of a can in the cupboard

Wonder why the only canned food I have is Sweetened Condensed Milk

Contemplate whether consuming can of Sweetened Condensed Milk constitutes eating or drinking. Decide  it’s both based on it’s more mainstream drink/food cousin, Boost. Have single handedly created new hipster rage drink. Make note to find bearded boyfriend whom I can Instagram Snapchat holding my drink invention whilst wearing plaid shirt.

Feel ill from “dinner”, strip naked and lie down on bathroom floor.

Notice dirt.

Ignore dirt.

Notice dirt again.  Curse dirt.

Wash bathroom floor which leads to kitchen floor which leads to mudroom floor which leads to outdoors.

Wave at neighbours looking curiously at my outfit which I now realize consists entirely of rubber gloves.

Wave more enthusiastically as a way to distract them from my nakedness.

Retreat indoors.

Still unwell.  Lay on the couch.  Do not MOVE from the couch.

Contemplate installing a refrigerator in the couch. No that’s stupid, I should just move the couch into the kitchen.

Bored on couch, move to computer.

Look up ways to relax

Find my own post on chaining self to sloth

Fall asleep on couch, wake up and repeat.


Have a great Christmas and Hanukah, each and every one of you.  I’ll be back in January with as many helpful hints, tips, trials and tribulations as I can possible muster up over this next week of recharging.

Even though we all know this is technically the season of hope and love, you and I are smart enough to know it’s also the season of anger and arguing.  There are only so many Christmases we all have in us so don’t waste this one getting worked into a fit for whatever stupid reason.



Chain yourself to a sloth.

See you in the New Year.




  1. Bobbles says:

    OMG! I hope you find a willing sloth!

    Meanwhile I caught a cold today, I’m sneezing and coughing something horrible and I’m afraid my son and DIL will tell me not to come over on Saturday and Sunday. Which is actually a good policy because I have a newborn grandson and a 3 year old grandson. I’d hate to get them sick.

  2. Laura says:

    Thank you, Karen, for another year full of humor, creativity and plain ole’ common sense.

  3. Edith says:

    Hi Karen,

    Thank you for all the hard work you put into your posts. The are so wonderful and I really appreciate you!

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you, your family and all your critters!

  4. Susan Updike says:

    I don’t think, given your confessed love of sloths, that you intended to look like a slothicidal person. Maybe I am the only one who thinks it looks this way, but take a look at your opening pic. Might explain your difficulties with sitting and relaxing in a sloth-like manner. It might just not be in you. Nevertheless, I wish you happy holidays and great peace. Thanks for being a bright spot!

  5. Ardith says:

    Merry Christmas, Karen. I hope you have a magical holiday. May you have a wonderful new year. Cheers, Ardith

  6. Raymonde says:

    Enjoy your off time, have a merry slothy Christmas and a very creative New Year!

  7. ronda says:

    Have a wonderful Christmas and relaxing holiday, sloth or no sloth! We wait with bated breath for the adventures to come.

  8. Bambi Mayer says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and Happy Not Working Work! Kiss the sloth for me and if you find a source for them, put me on the wait-list!

  9. Lois Baron says:

    I don’t remember how I came across your blog, but now it is the only one I read consistently and completely. I cannot thank you enough for all the laughing you have caused.

    Merry everything, Happy all the rest & looking forward to hearing from you again in the new year.

  10. Margaret K. says:

    Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and enjoy your vacation however you choose to spend it.

    I do agree with Susan’s comment – maybe you should put the cleaver under the sloth? Or was that just to give your loyal readers something to comment on?

  11. Robert says:

    A sloth! How delightful, a sloth!
    Maybe Sandy Claws will leave one on your oversized sock (God willing and fingers crossed)
    Merry Christmas and Happy new year and Happy epiphany and whatever else you might want to celebrate

    (ps: thanks to your ads I just realized how expensive La Lechera is on Amazon, for the 9.90 usd a 14 oz can I can just walk a little bit and buy 10 cans at the current exchange rate)

  12. Maggie Van Sickle says:

    Does anyone in this world ever sleep? Check out reply times Karen. Have yourself a merry little Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year. Eat,drink,knit,look at dirt and search on line for a sloth.

  13. TucsonPatty says:

    Karen – I have been chained to a sloth for about 6 months, and I really should be getting up off the floor about now!! Said dirt will still be there tomorrow, as my grandma used to say. Happy Happy and Merry Merry. Thanks for my year-o-wonderment from you! Rest well, however you choose, and I would really suggest stopping after that first can of sweetened condensed milk. ; )

  14. Sherry in Alaska says:

    Even though you seem to not like my willingness to wear full on purple, I am bidding you a Joyous Yule of relaxation and warm times.

    One little bit of advice – don’t lie on the bathroom floor (you won’t notice the dirt and launch a cleaning mania).

  15. Sherry in Alaska says:

    Oh, I forgot. You do know that Sweetened Condensed Milk makes a most wonderful sweet, gooey something if heated VERY SLOOWLY in the sealed can in a pan of water? You must be very, very careful and heat slowly for about an hour……. Let it cool. Open. Spoon it into your mouth. YUM.

      • Cred says:

        I just checked out your link, Sherry. And this is personal preference, but even judging by the photo, that looks too dark for my tastes. 3 hours seems long- it has a slight burnt sugar flavour and less caramel. And I find it starts to lose creaminess, as though its just beginning to crystallize again.
        Do you cook it this long, yourself?
        After my 2nd incident with an exploding can, the week before moving out of my parents’ house, my mom starting putting a can in my stocking every Xmas. She didn’t trust I wouldn’t do it again once I was on my own, so she boiled it before giving it to me. But now I haven’t had it in years.

    • Cred says:

      YESSS! What Sherry said. I know it sounds like advice from an insane person and you wouldn’t be far off. Once you’ve tasted it you’ll know why. I’ve blown up 2 cans and still I advise it.
      My uncle use to work at Borden and would get cases of sweetened condensed milk. I’m not sure who came up with this method for the surplus.
      This is the instructions as per my family. Put sealed can in a pot and cover well with water, ensuring there’s enough for the duration. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 2 hours. This yields a firm but spreadable, creamy consistency. Just under the 2 hours is less caramelly and slightly softer, just over the 2 hours will be firmer still and a bit darker flavoured, a slightly burnt taste. I love it at the 2hr mark. DO NOT FORGET IT ON THE STOVE AND GO OUT CLUBBING. If the water boils dry, the can will explode.
      Allow to cool before opening can. Use as a spread on toast or just eat by the spoonfuls.
      This is similar to dulce de leche but better. Although, in fairness I’ve never had homemade just out of a jar.
      Merry Christmas!

  16. Jennie Lee says:

    I wish you a very merry Christmas/New Year, Karen. Also, since people DO keep pet sloths, I feel obliged to mention that it is not supposed to result in a happy sloth. 🙁

  17. Annie says:

    Merry Christmas Karen and all the best for 2017.
    Thanks for an interesting and fun year looking forward to the new one.

  18. Mark says:

    Thank you, Karen, for another hilarious year, at times inspirational and also perspirational.

    Enjoy your week off, and good luck in your hunt for a bearded boyfriend.

  19. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I think your neighbors are used to the naked crazy lady down the street by now Karen…Why do you want to chop off the head of that adorable little sloth above?…Thanks for another year of good food good advice, good gardening, many happy repairs and the best craziness…Hug Cleo and Ernie for me…and…what the hell..hug yourself too lady…you deserve it…See you next year…and by “see you” I mean like see you in spirit…see you here where there are pictures of you…not “see you” as in I am going to start stalking you any time soon…at least not until Spring…and then it would be like near the end of Spring…I get cold easy these days you know…ok…chain your ass to a book…I’m not trusting you with any sloth now that I saw the picture…just sayin…be merry…you’re already bright…lol…N

  20. Luanne says:

    Merry Christmas Karen. 🙂

  21. Isabella says:

    Have a very lazy Merry merry. Refresh your funny juice, we all need liberal doses to keep us laughing and happy. I thank you for giving me smiles and some time loud guffaws. I love a good guffaw more than sloths and I love a sweet sloth. Thank you and happy New Year ?? Karen.

  22. Grammy says:

    You are not cut out to be slothful, chained to an actual sloth or not. I know this because I am a world class sloth, and it takes a certain relaxed constitution to be okay with it. So, we both know you’re not going to loll around doing pretty much nothing for a week. However, you can do things you like to do without having the “deadline” of keeping people like me amused, and that’s a good thing.

    Just, please, keep your naked butt indoors. Not because the neighbors wouldn’t like seeing it, but because it’s COLD outside. Eat, drink, be merry. By yourself. With friends. With one special friend. With some good books. Talk to your chickens and cats. And be ready to entertain us some more when the new year begins.

    Merry Christmas!

  23. Teri says:

    A very Happy Festivus, Karen. I appreciate your commitment and dedication to ‘doing stuff’.
    Your blog is fun and inspirational and is the only one I read every time, in its entirety.
    I wish you a New Year of great peace, happiness and abundance. And a bearded boyfriend. Or at least one who is willing to give up shaving.

  24. Thandi says:

    Dear ladies and gents of the Northern Hemisphere,
    Would you be dears and run outside and do a little shimmy in the snow (if you should have any)? I’ve never seen snow and can’t imagine a Christmas without my swimming costume, loads of sunscreen, and a fan next to the bed. I’m sure a white Christmas comes with all kinds of challenges, but do have fun with it! For some of us it’s something that only happens in movies.
    In return I won’t complain about the heat or the fact that I’m cuddling cheetah cubs on Sunday *shimmyshimmy*.
    May we all be covered in sloths for the next seven days!

  25. Judy DeLacy says:

    Thank you so much for another year full of wonderful blog posts. Even though we’ve never met, I feel like I’ve known you for years.

    ♥ ♥ Merry Christmas and Happy New Year ♥ ♥

    Judy D.

    • bellygrl says:

      Agreed! Thanks for a year of laughs and ideas. Thanks also to the funniest commenters in the blogosphere! Happy Holidays everyone!

  26. Sharon Jones says:

    Oh dear! You may be my soul mate. I love Nestlé Condensed Milk. No trouble to est a tin of the stuff off a spoon. (Work colleagues think I am odd eating it!!) Also nice on fresh white bread with banana.
    Am also partisl to sloths.
    However, on Night Duty over next four nights (by request).
    Happy Christmas and 2017. Thank you for a wonderful blog, makes me happy to resd it.

  27. Steph H says:

    I promise this isn’t just a thinly veiled attempt to get you out to Oregon so that I can force you into a non-mutual friendship, but we DO have a sloth sanctuary that offers sleepovers.

  28. Paula says:

    Merry Christmas right back atcha! Thanks for a great year of interesting reading and for providing the added bonus of ‘just a few’ laughs along the way.
    Canned goods include: Carnation Evaporated Milk (pumpkin pie), Baked beans (I’m English), Tuna (low sodium Albacore), and a cardboard ‘tin’ of Bird’s Custard (not sure if that counts).

  29. judy says:

    Hey Karen…pretty,productive-Lady. We made it through another year. At my Age that is a much more dubious outcome that your chaining yourself to an Animal that has the most lethal looking paws with claws I have ever seen.

    The Cleaver over its little head does seem more than menacing but anyhoo enjoy your Holidays and a prosperous new year. We here in AMURika are waiting for a giant shoe to fall and show us what wrong choices getcha in the big scheme of things. Is there any room at the Chicken House for the next four years? We can pay rent and clean up

  30. Jules says:

    Have a cool Yule lovely woman! Thanks for another year of your entertainig thoughts and deeds. Are you actually going to eat in the cupboard? Don’t do it! Or if you must, then don’t forget to come out again, we need you. ?

  31. Alena says:

    The last sentence is the best.

    I think it will be fine if your neighbours find you wearing only rubber gloves (by now, they must be used to everything – just like mine are) as long as the said rubber gloves are bright red with very fluffy white cuffs (similar to what the lovely British ladies from How Clean Is Your House used to wear).
    Merry Christmas!

  32. Beth Lawton says:

    I find it quite amusing that the advertising gods thought it was appropriate to try to coerce me into buying sweetened condensed milk (at least THREE ads for that showed up while I was reading your post!).


  33. Janet says:

    Wishing you peace and tranquility now and throughout the coming year.

  34. Slothy Christmas, Karen! You’re a hoot. Thanks. 🙂 xo

  35. Sabina says:

    Thank you Karen, for a great year of ideas, laughs, and commeraderie! And thank you, for the permission to just let it all go! As the growing zit of stress comes to an ugly head we sometimes need a bit of a reminder to do a little self-care. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and Happy Festivus! Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year!

  36. Rose says:

    I would make a pumpkin spiced latte with that sweetened condensed milk. Have a great Christmas!

  37. Marilyn says:

    Happy Christmas Karen. To you and yours. Xo.

  38. Tammy says:

    Merry Christmas Karen! Relax you deserve it! LOVE your blog
    And for your sweetened condensed milk

  39. Leisa says:

    Merry Christmas Karen ? Thanks for all the inspiration and humour!!!

  40. Diane R. says:

    Merry Christmas Karen to you and yours and of course the chickens!

  41. Beckie says:

    Karen, make yourself a pot pot of soup or something…cook once, eat for a week…only clean up cooking mess once and then 1 smallish bowl/spoon when you eat. That’s always my plan when I want to try to have a lazy week or even weekend.

    Merry Christmas!

  42. Ev Wilcox says:

    Today is our first ever family Christmas gathering not at MY house! Feeling yay and sad too about it. Meeting at my daughter’s, which is 60 miles away. But then my husband and son and granddoggie can have a nice quiet one on the 25th, so there’s that. Thanks so much for your posts; they are inspiring, informative, and funny! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Karen, and to all your fans too!

  43. Kris says:

    Thanks for another year of inspiration and entertainment. As other readers have said, yours is the only blog that I read each and every post! Merry Christmas, Karen

  44. Sandy Z says:

    Try making Salted Caramel coffee creamer with the sweetened condensed milk…YUMMY!!! Oh, and Merry Christmas & a very Happy New Year to you and those adorable chickens. Enjoy your week of relaxation.

  45. savannah says:

    Happy Holidays (to cover all the joyous events of the season)!! Join me in raising a glass on NYE because it’s also my birthday and we’ll all wish for a grand 2017! *cheers* xo

  46. jainegayer says:

    Merry Christmas, Karen and thank you for another year of great tips, decor, gift ideas, new products, DIY projects, chicken stories and most of all laughs. Relax and enjoy your week off.

  47. SuzanneLH says:

    Have a joyous slothful Festivus! Almost bought my grandson the cutest stuffie sloth for Christmas. Really just wanted him for myself…
    Thanks for TAODS!

  48. Jebber jay says:

    Have a great Christmas shutdown. You deserve it!! 🙂

  49. Jody says:

    What exactly is sweetened condensed milk and how was it invented? Don’t answer that until 2017! Have a wonderful Christmas and I’m looking forward to TAODS in the new year. Happy slothing.

  50. Karin in NC says:

    Happy holidays. Peace.

  51. BamaCarol says:

    Merry Christmas Karen, from the Deep South in Alabama where Christmas Day will be in the 70’s temperature wise. I was hoping for cold and wet as an excuse to just nap after a big meal but guess I’ll have to get out and walk off the calories now. Ha!

  52. Liz says:

    My dad used to treat himself to condensed milk spread on toast, at Christmas oddly enough. He grew up in Peterborough so maybe it’s an Ontario thing 🙂 Merry Christmas Karen!

    • Jan in Waterdown says:

      Hi Liz, I *think* it might be a British thing. I’m an Ontarian and couldn’t swallow that if I tried but my late Welsh/English dad would have said yes please! But then he liked treacle too and Lyle’s Golden Syrup. Ahhh, good times!

  53. Deb from Maryland says:

    Thank you Karen for what you do – for all you do! I found your blog early this year and can’t wait to see what is in store for us in 2017. Merry Christmas and (force yourself) enjoy your week of sloth.

  54. Jan says:

    Have a very Merry and Happy Festivus! Thanks for all you do!

  55. Leeuna says:

    Karen, you are an absolute delight. I love your blog. I hope you have a wonderful relaxing holiday.

  56. Lynn says:

    Merry Christmas ?☃?Wishing one an all a Very Merry Holiday Season ??? an all the Best in the New Year.

  57. Theda says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and all yours!!

  58. Gretchen Sexton says:

    Getting over my sinus infection…which MADE me s-l-o-w down –$@^$@^#!! So I’m in a mad scramble to complete everything in time. I am looking forward to a week of less! Please.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you Karen!

  59. Jan in Waterdown says:

    Thank you so much for giving us so much . . . of yourself!
    And a Merry Christmas to all from Waterdown, Ontario Canada.

  60. Benjamin says:

    Lucky Sloth…. I got into a dust-up with a salvation army bell ringer when I tried to drop unused coupons for discount groceries in the kettle, needless to say you can still hear a muffled ring of that bell every step he takes. Ungrateful for my charitable contributions, smh. I need a Christmas sloth to relax with also. Guess I’ll just shake out my Cher extensions and woah, glitter my way into the new year.

  61. Liz Douglas says:

    Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thank you so much for all of the laughter and fun and information that you have given us.

  62. Wisconsin Gal says:

    Oh, I think I’d love a sloth too. Along with a miniature pony (he could live inside with me) a koala and a hedgehog. Relax, put on a few clothes for warmth and toast to family, friends and that fact that you are Canadian and the world loves Canadians.

  63. Birgit says:

    Merry Christmas Karen for you and your family! Enjoy, relax and fight well. Read you next year. Did I ever tell you, that besides Eddie Izzard you are the only person that makes me laugh so hard? Thank you for that. Take care.

  64. Terri J. says:

    Merry Christmas Karen. Hope you get to enjoy your almost time off. Really appreciate all the hard work you do on this site.

  65. Deb says:

    Merry Christmas, Karen! Can’t wait for more of your wit and wisdom in 2017!

  66. Sophie Duke says:

    Been reading for decades! (Okay maybe only for two years!) And I have enjoyed each and every post even if they were totally irrelevant to my life (like chickens – but I love your chickens and the narratives you develop around them)! Most posts you lift my spirits and make me laugh – so important as I suffer from a terribly rare autoimmune and rare illness. I am forever grateful to you. In my younger life, I WAS you, fiercely independent, incredibly competent, and a very quick learner. I’ll never forget in my early 30s, I decided to build a fence along my driveway which required working with wood and creating brick pillars. I managed to figure out how to do it relatively easily. But neighbours and their children walked by, stood and stared, and kept asking if I knew what I was doing. (Only in Alberta in the early 80s.) long winded way of saying thank you, I appreciate you, and I wish I could give you a gift for making me laugh! Merry Christmas Karen, and to your cats and other loved ones.

  67. Tres says:

    Best post ever

  68. MrsChris SA says:

    Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas – enjoy your slothdom and looking forward to a new year filled with your delightful and insightful posts!!

  69. Connie says:

    Happy Christmas to you Karen ! Thanks for a wonderfully funny , informative year. I always enjoy receiving your posts:)
    I have a quick (sloth-like , a.k.a. easy!) recipe for you if you need to use up that lonely can of condensed milk:
    Almond cookies: Combine 1 can condensed milk with 2 cups dark choc chips, a 14 oz bag of unsweetened coconut and 1/2 cup of slivered almonds ( or peanuts if that’s all you’ve got ).
    Use a small ice cream scoop to drop mixture on a parchment lined cookie tray to make 1 1/2 ” sized cookies. Space about 1 ” apart. Bake @ 325 for 18 min or until just golden on the bottom and the tips of coconut.
    Enjoy your week of slothing , all 20 minutes of it 😉

  70. Maureen Locke says:

    Merry Christmas Karen and thank you for a wonderful year of laughs, projects, and oh hell, I’m too tired to think. I just consumed a HUGE plate of scrambled eggs and lobster on toast and I can’t form another thought… sorry. I need a nap.

  71. Lois Baron says:

    I just wanted to show you the black floors my brother put on a house he’s renovating for sale. He is a Real Designer, and much braver than I am about such things. If anyone is looking for a house in Catskill, NY, it’s about to go on the market 🙂

  72. Nancy says:

    I laughed out loud at the description of your neighbors spying you clad only in rubber gloves.
    I knew a woman who did her housework naked. One day, as she finished inside, she put on rubber boots to sweep off the front steps (being confident in the abundance of privacy afforded by the fact that she lived out in a mobile home out on the prairie in South Dakota) She managed to lock herself out, and had to crawl in through a window (and it was a small, mobile-home version of a window)…..just as she was mooning God’s creation, she heard a truck’s honk as it passed by.

  73. Kelli says:

    Find yourself a sloth. HA! Too late, I already is one! Er, kinda. 🙂

    Hope your Christmas was fab, and I wish you the bestest of new years! Now git to slothing!

  74. Flash says:

    next year throw the can of condensed milk in the slow cooker for 9 hours on low. let it cool then you’ll have yummy caramel to eat.. or to entice a sloth with.
    Happy New Year
    Flash and the gang

  75. Renee says:

    Thanks for teaching me all sorts of stuff! And I am sure there is a way to put some kind of boozyness in that condensed milk..just sayin…even better to sloth with…

  76. Heather says:

    Karen, enjoy your week “off”. No matter what you end up doing it’s always nice to not have a schedule. Wishing you the best for the end of the year.

  77. Laurie says:

    Hope you’re still chained to that sloth Karen! Just wanted to let you know, I made your bacon wraps for Christmas Eve and they were a hit! Sweetened condensed milk wins again!

  78. Miriam says:

    Merry Christmas etc Karen (sorry am a bit late getting here), hope it was a good one.
    Thanks for so many tips, laughs, recipes etc.
    Happy New Year too!

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