MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM ME AND THE CHICKENS.

The time has come for me to say good-bye to you for the rest of the year. I, like the chickens, will be taking my annual Christmastime week off. The chickens get time off every winter from laying eggs, and I get time off from scrambling.

As I wind down, getting ready for my Christmas break I can’t help but think back on this last year and everything I’ve done.  I lead a pretty fast paced life for someone who left her big city job years ago.  You’d think the kind of simple living I, and so many others have adopted would leave us feeling refreshed and glowing every day.  Like we regularly have time for leaning on counters and eat apples. It’s not true. So don’t you dare believe a single Instagram picture you see of that lifestyle.  Not even my own Instagram pictures.

A simple life is HARD.  But it’s a fun hard, not living with bangs that are cut too short hard. I’ve lived through both, so I can authoritatively compare the two. I, like any of you that have had the dreaded too-short-bangs  am skilled at raising both my eyebrows very high for hours on end in an attempt to make it appear as though my bangs are closer to my eyebrow hairs, thusly appearing longer.

Keeping chickens isn’t a lot of work for instance, in fact it’s quite simple,  but it’s a constant.  You always have to make sure they’re healthy and have food and water and aren’t pecking each others eyes out.  You have to trudge out to the coop no matter what the weather or how you’re feeling.  That’s right.  If it’s cold and pouring rain and you have the stomach flu and are quite possibly suffering from the kind of gastrointestinal distress only read about in scientific papers, you still have to check on the chickens.

And gardening?  I love it with all of my heart but it is WORK.  It’s work during the gardening season, after the gardening season and pre-gardening season.  There’s planting and digging and canning and enough swearing throughout to make the longshoreman version of Gordon Ramsay blush.

People look at this kind of life and they think, wow, I wish I had that life, but really all people want is the Instagram version of it. The don’t want the gastrointestinal version of it.

So next year, as part of my New Year’s resolution I’m going to share even more of the shitshow that is a real life.  More of my family, more of me.

It’s the least I can do.  Because even though I want to encourage all of you to do all of this great stuff I also don’t want you to think it’s easy and if you screw up it’s because you’re a big loser.  You’re not.    It ain’t easy for anyone.  O.K., maybe it’s a little bit easier for me because I already know how to can sauce and stick my finger up a chicken’s bum if I have to, but generally it’s all a bit of a struggle.

So what am I going to do with this week off? All of this:

  1. Sleep. A lot.
  2. Wear only pajamas even if someone invites me out for dinner.
  3. Turn my couch into an old fashioned fort and spend a lot of time there.
  4. Have a fire crackling in the fireplace from morning until night.
  5. Read, read, read starting with this book.
  6. Empty out half of my closet and drawers.
  7. Do my taxes.
  8. Learn to braid with my toes.
  9. Teach my cats how to walk on stilts.
  10. Wean myself off of Hallmark made for TV Christmas movies.
  11. Watch the entire second seasons of Stranger Things and The Crown.
  12. Order and install a dining room light.  Finally. Maybe.
  13. Do SOMETHING about those ugly curtains of mine. At the very least close my eyes when I walk past them.
  14. Cook huge delicious meals from the comfort of my couch while wearing pajamas.
  15. Remind myself to buy a really long stick for cooking hotdogs on the fireplace from the couch. Buy gourmet mustard to make it a fancy meal.
  16. Make more pickled beets.
  17. Start planning next year’s garden.
  18. Teach my cats how to use a paint roller.
  19. Experiment with napping
  20. Knit.
  21. Paint my dining room ceiling (unless the whole cats on stilts with paint roller things goes well, in which case …)
  22. Recharge.
  23. Post at least 3 shitshow events on Instagram.  Extra points for using poor lighting.
  24. Text Idris.
  25. Play backgammon with someone.
  26. Stand at counter. Eat apples

I also thought I’d better point out that I will be posting differently in January.  This is just for the month of January.  I need the month to catch up on a lot of stuff that needs to be done with my blog to bring it more up to date and take care of a bunch of back end stuff.  The sort of stuff I just don’t have time for while I’m working full time on creating content.

January will have sporadic posts and the odd check in, but I will not be keeping a regular blogging schedule on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays like I normally do.  Everything will be back to normal in February so don’t you worry.

Have a GREAT holiday season and thank you so much for being a part of The Art of Doing Stuff.  Here’s to more learning, more fun and more stuff in the New Year.

 

 

 

 

P.S. Oh! Oh!  I made a Spotify playlist of my favourite Christmas music.  You can get it here!  It has  Bessie Smith, Nat King Cole, The Pretenders, Otis Redding, The Waitresses, David Bowie and everything in between.  REMEMBER to click “Follow it” to make finding it later easy.

P.P.S.  I would like to wish you and your family, however big or small, a very happy Christmas.
 

→Follow me on Instagram where I often make a fool of myself←

 

162 Comments

  1. Amy Watson says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family, Karen. I can it tell you how happy I was to see those curtains on your to do list……..YAY

  2. Ardith says:

    May you have a very merry Christmas, Karen, and a magical time with your family…and Idris. Thank you for your wit, spunk, kindness, and uber creativity. Cheers, Ardith

  3. Deb from Maryland says:

    Merry Christmas Karen! Thank you for what you do and I look forward to more in 2018.
    Best,
    Debbie

  4. Linda Sieve says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Karen!

  5. Benjamin says:

    Merry Christmas to Fluffy, Stuffy, Tasty, and Basty, and of course my friend Karen B. Give the kids a squeeze for me. See you in the New Year !!! Best wishes and starry blessings for your Holy Day and nights.

  6. Marna says:

    Hope you had a great Christmas! Love your pretty chickens! Hope you get to do all the things on your list, well unless you decide you don’t want to do it! 🙂

  7. Lindy says:

    Oh, to hell with that, teach the cats to crochet while you learn to knit and really blow them away!! Now, if you happen to run across the best chicken for laying and roasting during your reading for our stunning Northern Ontario will you just mention that wee factoid for us in one of your posts, please!!! My wonderful mentor who was going to share his fount of knowledge with me decided to take his soul and travel around the Universe to possibly meet up with some of again on that other side, bwahahha. Cheeky bugger, screwing with plans. A bright shiny star this world will indeed miss dreadfully. I thank you for the gift of my favourite Canadian blog as my life has an immensely better quality reading your humourous experiences during challenging times. May you and yours have a healthy and prosperous Happy New Year during 2018.

  8. Lindy says:

    Oh, to hell with that, Karen! Teach the cats to crochet while you learn to knit and really blow them away!! Now, if you happen to run across the best chicken for laying and roasting during your reading for our stunning Northern Ontario will you just mention that wee factoid for us in one of your posts, please!!! My wonderful mentor who was going to share his fount of knowledge with me decided to take his soul and travel around the Universe to possibly meet up with some of us again on that other side, bwahahha. Cheeky bugger, screwing with my personal plans. A bright shiny star this world will indeed miss dreadfully. I thank you for the gift of my favourite Canadian blog as my life has an immensely better quality reading your humourous experiences during challenging times. May you and yours have a healthy and prosperous Happy New Year during 2018.

  9. Sarah says:

    Hi Karen!! I will start by saying 2017 has been a year with Trump, Lyme disease on my part, alienation and your blog for me. As you can see, the best part of my year has been reading your blogs religiously. You’ve helped me everyday to accept the shit show that my life is everyday in one way or another and have brought me so many laughs. I’ve posted before I was ready to say anything meaningful but your posts have brought peace to my mind in ways only you can. I wanted to end this year with a bang so from one grateful person to a wonderful person, Thank you for bringing me laughs, introspection and peace!! Blessings and hugs Karen and I’m so looking forward to your posts next year!!

  10. Becky Couch says:

    YOU MUST DO MORE INSTAGRAM STORIES!!! You are too funny!

  11. Karen says:

    The chicken portraits are cool.
    Happy New Year Karen.

  12. Loli says:

    HAPPY NEW YEAR! Thank you for a captivating year. I am looking forward to more of your adventures. Love to you and your family.

  13. Mary Casey says:

    Hi Karen,
    Love your blog, and hope you had a great holiday! I was looking for a post – did you write a post about refinishing hardwood floors? I could not find it in your archives or searching for it. Did I dream it or is there actually a post about this you did? Thanks,
    Mary

  14. martiJ says:

    tap-tap-tap…. IS THIS THING ON?? HELLO??? ANYBODY THERE?
    Um, we’re still here. Happy New Year. Come back soon.

  15. Paula says:

    Hi Karen,

    I hope all is well as I have not received any posts since this one and…well…I miss you.

    Best Regards,
    Paula

  16. Berry says:

    Happy Holidays! I saw this and thought of you and your maple syrup adventures.

    https://tabulacandida.wordpress.com/2018/01/14/blood/

  17. Pam'a says:

    Ah. Alright. There you are. Was not smart enough to look here until now, and was beginning to think something really earthshaking had happened, and if so, hoped it was Idris. 😉

  18. Thera says:

    It’s now been over a month and still no new posts? Is anyone else getting worried? Hope there is nothing wrong and I am just missing something?

    • Karen says:

      Did you not get the email I sent out in January to all of my subscribers? I do not have time to write any posts this month. I’m doing technical blog work. Back the first week of February (first post will be a Friday I believe). Also if you’re on Facebook or Instagram you can follow me there, I’ve been very active throughout the month. 🙂 ~ karen

  19. Peggy says:

    I sure do miss you. Hurry the hell back!!!!

  20. Melissa Roe says:

    So – how was the Goon Squad?

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