I talked to my mother Betty today.  I talk to my mother most days. Like many 80 year olds, Betty likes to spend her spare time lurking people on Facebook, mixing drinks and randomly jabbing her finger at her iPad in an attempt to get it to do what she wants.   This is intermixed with swearing at it of course.

The odd time, all of the stars line up and this behaviour results in her accidentally sending an expletive filled instant message to a friend of a friend on Facebook because her random finger jabbing hit the Facebook, Siri and iMessage buttons in succession.  There’s a man named David in Winnipeg who to this day can’t figure out why some older woman in Ontario messaged him to call him a “Stupid, stupid miserable thing who’ll never do what she wants.”.  

Twice I’ve got calls from her whispering into the receiver that her iPad was typing out every SINGLE thing that she said.

She once to fell asleep on her iPad and managed to not only open up the Facetime app, but also accidentally send several pictures of herself sleeping, gape mouthed and drooling all over her pillow to my Uncle.


During this particular phone call I mentioned I was about to start writing a post about how to tell whether your eggs were fresh or not. This led to a very vocal explanation about how everyone knows how to do that already and why didn’t I spend more time writing about fashion?

Mainly it’s because no matter how hard I try I cannot get my chickens in any way interested in Stella McCartney.  They find her derivative.


So was Betty right?  DOES everyone know how to tell if the eggs in your fridge are fresh or not?  Betty thought she knew, but as it turns out she had it all backwards.

An egg that’s fresh will sink in a glass of water.  IF it’s really fresh it will lay on its side like the one in my photo.  That particular egg was laid about half an hour before the photo was taken.

The reason fresh eggs sinks is because a freshly laid egg 
consists entirely of shell, egg yolk and egg white.  
There's only a minuscule air pocket in it.

As time passes, air makes it’s way through the tiny, microscopic pores in the eggshell, trapping air inside with the egg. This forms a large pocket of air at the larger, rounder end of the egg.  This air pocket makes the egg float in water.

Like an egg life vest.




If there’s only a little air in there, the egg will still be on the bottom of the water filled glass, but the rounded end will be pointing up.  The egg is still good, it just isn’t as fresh as one that lays horizontally on the bottom.

Just because an egg floats doesn’t necessarily mean the egg has gone rotten.  In fact, you might crack it open and it’ll seem perfectly fine.  It might even wink at you.  But floater eggs will have had a greater chance for bacteria and gucky things to grow in them which if you eat them, will then grow in you.  Guck growing in you generally makes you sick so it’s best to avoid eating floater eggs.  I can’t believe I had to explain to you that you shouldn’t eat a bacteria filled egg.  What is with you people?

It’s an easy test that you can do whether you buy your eggs at the store or have your own chickens.

To make it easier for you (and Betty) to remember I’ve written this handy poem.



You can print that out if you like.  People have found it also makes a touching toast at a wedding if you hit the right tone.

Now if you’ll excuse me the chickens and I still have half of the September issue of Vogue to get through and I need to write an apology email to a 12 year old in New Brunswick who accidentally saw my mother in the bathtub due to a mishap with Skype.








  1. Chrissy says:

    Why hasn’t Betty chimed in? Is she still trying to figure out how to comment?

  2. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Thanks for the info…and the chance to laugh at Betty again..lol..

  3. Amy Watson says:

    Well all that sinking or floating is true, but being a retired caterer I can tell you for sure, older eggs peel much easier than fresh eggs……..you are welcome :)

  4. Kelli says:

    Meh…I’m on the downslide toward 60. My eggs really ain’t so fresh any more. :)

  5. Thank goodness we have not progressed to the men in the TV seeing her. However, I did have to remove the motion detector lights I installed in her bedroom, hallway and bathroom that would go on when she got up in the middle of the night because she was certain someone was watching her – or why would the lights go on only when she moved?

    We have had the discussion about the remove where I say “POINT IT AT THE TV, MOM” her response being, “Point what at the TV?” Then I say, “What do you have in your hand?” She says, “I don’t know. What DO I have in my hand?”

    She is perfectly calm, while I am losing my mind.

    • TucsonPatty says:

      My friend was the same. “…point it at the TV, Miss Rita.” She insisted she was, but oh what a time until I figured out what was happening. This has been fun to read. My friend died 12 years ago at age 94 and I still miss her. She called me her adopted daughter. “Point the top of it at the TV!!”

  6. Jody says:

    Thank goodness. I thought this was a test for MY eggs. I was afraid I would have to climb into a deep pool and watch my ass float up to the top as my eggs are long expired.

  7. Jan in Waterdown says:

    OMG that was poetry? Love ya honey, but don’t quit yer day job ‘k?

  8. Lisa C says:

    Gaahhh!! where were you a fortnight ago???? I knew there was something about eggs/air/floating but thought it was that they start out with an air pocket when they’re good then the air disappears as they age…needless to say I lost two days being ill from eating a floater! Lesson learnt people.

  9. Ann Brookens says:

    Oh, Karen, this was definitely a laugh-out-loud post! And I can’t believe that Rhodes chickens aren’t more excited about fashion, even if you never dress them up. And why DON’T you dress them up???

  10. Wisconsin Gal says:

    Karen, I was expecting a let down after the naughty bits post the other day, but you came through. The poem – I love it! Who is that on the counter with your artfully arranged basket of eggs?

  11. Gayle M says:

    I was just reading through the comments, and shockingly realized that most likely in 20 to 30 years I may be doing the same things. When I was caring for my 96 yr old mother, I kept laughing about how my son’s would handle these things. My youngest thinks he can squash my weird behavior by reminding me that he gets to pick my nursing home. Thank heavens he married a girl just like his momma–she has a huge heart and doesn’t put up with any crap. I know I’ll be in good hands, just by the way she stepped up at the hospital for my mom when she saw the social worker chatting away with Staff instead of making the hospice changes we had requested as soon as she got back to her office.

  12. Mary W says:

    Karen, I’ve lived out a nightmare – my comments are all over the place and I’m so sorry. I think it was your post made me do it – don’t normally make this many mistakes! I do think that instead of Karen’s Little Book of Naughty Bits (funny names used for body parts from your readers) and instead, you should have a book of comments from your readers telling the stories like you do about technology and aged parents – all in fun of course. This post sure made me laugh and I’m certainly laughing at myself, too! I really am sorry for the mess but what a perfect post to have done it on.

    • Hi Mary W!! I don’t think it was your fault your comments were posted in the wrong place. I just replied to Tucson Patty and it ended up at the bottom of this column. I replied to you three times and it froze, showed an error to the web page and kicked me out. So, let’s blame Karen – or better yet – Betty! :-)

      So glad you enjoy my few posts. Thanks for saying that. I am often hesitant to comment, but then Karen is so sweet and funny and open that she gives me the kahunas (sp?) to share my thoughts.

      I know you and my mom would be great friends! You are a hoot!!

      • Grammy says:

        Susan, I hope this doesn’t sound like a dig, but you made me laugh with a word you used. “Kahuna” is a Hawaiian shaman (and we used it in the ’60s to refer to the big shot guys in the surfer crowd). I think you were referring to “cojones” (pronounced co-HO-ness) which is the Spanish word for testicles.

        Fun fact: in Mexican slang, cojones are also referred to as”huevos” — which is the Spanish word for “eggs”.

        • Hi Grammy – Not a dig at all!! My husband used to use that word, and I knew it started with a hard “K” and had an “H” in the middle and all that came to me was Kahuna (probably because I’m from the ’60s, too). Now, I know! I appreciate you telling me. I think I’ll stick with Cojones instead of huevos, though. :-)

  13. Susan Whelan says:

    Oh my gosh, you’re so awful! Poor Betty! The computer thing made me laugh so hard because I got an ipad this year and do a lot of talking at Siri. Like, “oh for Pete’s sake, go away!” “No! I don’t want you!” Or, “What the hell use are you anyway, always bugging me when I don’t want you and totally useless when I actually do need something!”
    I used to consider myself a big of a techie when it came to computers but age and technology has passed and now even android phones are a problem. Took me three months to figure out how to answer mine. And I have a big poodle who wants to be a computer programmer. Always sticking his big snout on the keyboard to help me and one day he turned on some function that spoke everything I typed. It drove me nuts for almost a full day trying to figure out how to get rid of it and since I don’t have a you, I finally found the solution on Google. I don’t think he’s sending emails but…..

  14. jainegayer says:

    I made those muffin tin egg omelet things for breakfast yesterday and I had to ditch 3 floaters. My husband the ever frugal penny pincher that he is was horrified (he eats ham with rainbows on it).
    I had to explain the egg floating test to him. I know he was not convinced.

  15. The hubby and I have had many “discussions” over whether the floating was indicative of good or bad.

    I am curious though – do you wash and then store your eggs in the fridge – or not? We don’t and people FREAK OUT when we give them fresh, room temperature eggs.
    We put them in a lovely bowl on the table when we come in from the coop and they look lovely!

  16. mbaker says:

    I knew it, but that doesn’t mean it won’t help someone at some time so it’s worth it… maybe not a dedicated post, but then there was also a story about Betty so it’s worth a read even if you’re already sinking eggs.

  17. Louise says:

    Yes, I knew this fact about eggs, but I am exceptionally wise. As are the people on here who also knew it. The ones who didn’t know are just too embarrassed to reveal their ignorance to the world – it’s OK, you guys are surely smart about other things! :)

  18. Terri J. says:

    Love your egg poem. Thank you.

  19. Marilyn C. says:

    I recently learned how to remember about old eggs: they float like dead bodies. Not good.

  20. Catherine Naulin says:

    Karen, you are not only incredibly knowledgeable on sooooo many subjects, but WHAT A POET! I’m a fan!
    Stella McCartney what?

  21. TucsonPatty says:

    I knew the floaty thing and there are subdivisions as to exactly how old it might be, and I LOVE your poem!
    I have a burning need to know how to tell how long a peeled hard boiled egg is okay to eat.
    My coworker keeps giving me hard boiled eggs at the end of the week, sharing her leftovers. I’m afraid to ask after all this time when they started out fresh. I keep accidently leaving them in my car (they are trash at that point, of course), but how long in my fridge can I forget them and not “…barf in my throat”? Thanks as always.

  22. Wait! 80s are nothin! Been there…Done that.
    My mom is 90.
    I called to tell her a Christmas Special was on TV.
    She said her TV is broken.
    I tell her I can hear it in the background.
    She says she can’t change the channels.
    I tell her to put down the phone and point the remote directly at the little box next to the TV, and press 1, then 8, then 9.
    She says OK, and I hear beep … beep … beep.
    Mom? I say. She doesn’t answer me.
    Instead, I hear beep…beep…beep…beep…beep…beep…over and over and over again.
    She finally comes back to the phone and tells me the channel didn’t change.
    Do you know how long it takes to explain the difference between a black TV remote with numbers 1 thru 9, and a black hand-held phone with number 1 thru 9 to a woman who refuses to wear her hearing aid?
    After 30 minutes of repeating myself, and biting my hand I told her she was absolutely correct, her TV is broken. I hope she likes that channel.
    The next day I drove over and covered her remote with masking tape with the words, in black magic marker, FOR THE TV.
    She lost it.

    • TucsonPatty says:

      I kept having to drive over to my 91 year old friend’s house with yet another universal remote control because hers was broken. (She ended up with maybe 5 of them…) She had been pointing the back side of the remote toward the TV (because she could see the numbers better if they were closer to her eyes.) and it just wouldn’t work, and she just had to turn it off so the men on the TV wouldn’t be able to see her as she walked past in her nightgown. Fun!

    • Sherry in Alaska says:

      Too funny! Can’t stop laughing and grinning

    • Catherine Naulin says:

      Oh how I LOVE this! You made me laugh ( and cry a little, as I just lost my dear old and very deaf mum)

      • Hi Catherine – So glad It brightened your day. I posted a little more, responding to Tucson Patty, but for some reason it went to the bottom of this column. So sorry you lost your mum!

    • Mary W says:

      Great comment! Your Mom and I would be great friends! You and my daughter would be great friends. We could share stories of each others frustrations! We ought to start a blog called the Funny Farm and let people post stories of their technology challenged parents. I see your reply comments are funny also. Thanks for sharing!

      • Mary W says:

        I posted this to the wrong comment – it was meant for Susan Alexander. I don’t know how to move it up there – there is no “correction/edit” once you hit send. Jeeez!

        • Mary W says:

          This correction is on the wrong comment reply. It is suppose to be for Susan Alexander. I better go have another cuppa before I do any more.

    • Mary W says:

      My daughter used colorful duck tape for my remote. So nice of her. You are a good daughter since you can still laugh. Maybe that is what mothers do in old age – provide a patience growth lesson to their loving daughters through laughter. My daughter laughs at me outloud and tells the stories to others while I’m in the room. It makes me laugh, too!

  23. Luanne says:

    I knew to search the Internet to tell how they were fresh. (And that it would involve water. )

  24. Flash says:

    I did not know how to tell.

  25. brenda says:

    I knew they either floated or sank if they were good …

    my mother’s 94 (she lies about her age and tells everyone she’s 93) … and she won’t touch a computer for fear of what it can do … but her phone seems to dial itself and when it rings at my house I often hear her say ‘hello – who is this?’

  26. Robert says:

    There are not that many things to read in any September issue for you to still be reading it Karen, is almost two tires adds and only like a fifth of those are mesmerizing enough to just leave it open in a particular one weeks on end.
    But yes Stella can be a little derivative, wonderfully so I’ll admit, but very few people aren’t these days so

  27. Melissa says:

    Oh dear mother, whatever shall you do with her? She sounds lovely, and a technology guru, like my own Mom. Who will FaceTime her chin to me for 45 minutes until she realizes where to look.
    I’m sure one day I will do the same thing…and we’ll be considered “cute”, as in “Oh, isn’t she cute?”
    Oh, almost forgot, thank you for the egg tutorial, and the limerick, or was it a poem?? Whatever it is, I need it on a magnet, for the refrigerator, because I’m gonna forget that as soon as I put my phone down.
    Now isn’t that cute…

    • Mary W says:

      I’m so cute I can still laugh at myself! I can get with other cute friends and we laugh ourselves to that cute happy place we now live in. At some point I will be past cute and hopefully not remember any of it. Hope you saw Betty’s video of Karen and the brick wall. It will make your day. Just remember the words ” you can edit this, right?” You’re in for a treat.

    • Marilyn says:

      FaceTime me her chin… loved it. I love Betty posts. I’m kinda with her on the fashion though. She is too funny, now we know where you get it..although I am sure Norm had to have some semblance of humour just to be married to her.

  28. ronda says:

    my mother is 89, and her ipad never does what SHE wants it to either. I, however, have never had to delete messages sent by accident. Just email drafts that the ipad has created on its own. stupid “computer”!

  29. Paula says:

    Lol, mishap with Skype! I write the date on my individual eggs so I know which ones are which (date wise).

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