What I’ve Been Doing the Past 3 Weeks.

A brief analysis of what I’ve been doing the past 3 weeks and why. Also my very important thoughts on rocks. 

I know, I know, you want to know more about me and my thoughts on rocks.  But first let’s talk a little bit about what I did this week in my latest quest to completely annihilate my remaining mental stability.  As you know, I’m going through alllll of my old posts (thousands of them) and updating and improving them. One of the things I’m doing is updating the photos.  Why you ask? Because this …


This is a bonafide photo of salad from my blog circa 2010. Pre my handy little Nikon D-40, Pre my current Fuji Film mirrorless camera (this is a link to the actual camera I use now), and even pre iPhone for me.  I liked that shitty picture of salad. It probably took me a week and a half to take.  I thought that picture was good. Dirty grout and all.

This is the photo I took this week to replace that photo with …

I think we can all agree the second photo is worth having to give up what little mental stability I had left. 

I worked on a LOT of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and also took a bunch of new photos for my Ultimate Guide to Growing Luffa post. I haven’t counted but I probably got about 12 good luffas this year and I learned EVEN  more about growing them in a cold climate so I’ll be updating that post soon.

I’ve mainly been working from morning until night but – get this – I’M STILL WAKING UP EARLY AND WALKING.  Yep. I am still up at 7, out the door by around 7:15 and walking 3 or 4 kilometres. Because I’m an early bird. Which would be fine, if I weren’t also still a night owl. Most days I feel like I’m one somersault away from barfing at any given moment.  I always feel sick when I’m lacking sleep. I also aways feel tired when I’m lacking sleep. Weird.

However, today I attempted to clean up the disaster of a house I’m living in for a few hours. I can tell you it’s currently 11:51 on Saturday night and I’ve been up running around trying to get my house in order since 7 a.m.  For no reason other than I ran out of underwear. Three days ago.

This is what I do. I go through every single bit of my clothing before it occurs to me that I might need to do it at some point. I am then forced with the reality of having to do ALL my laundry at which point I always, ALWAYS, vow to never allow it to pile up like this again. I will be mature, and disciplined and I will do a load or two every week which should at LEAST keep me out of the “back of the drawer” underwear. 

You know the ones. The ones that are “sexy” (scratchy and mortifying if ever in an accident and need my clothing to be cut off of me) or so stretched out you need to tie an elastic band around the waist to get them to stay up (equally mortifying in an entirely different way).  So. That’s what I’ve been doing today along with digging the last of the potatoes, trying to get the garden ready for spring, disassembling my living room so I can see how big of a new sofa I can fit in there and helping my mother install a new television.

I would like you all to take a moment to decide which task was the most trying.

I’ll give you a hint. It was the television. One day I’m going to record my mother and I having the conversation about how Google is different than Safari and she does INDEED need Safari. We have the conversation at least once a week. Betty maintains she doesn’t need stupid Safari, or Chrome or Firefox, she ONLY needs Google.

TWO weekends ago I took a tiny bit of time off to help a neighbour.  Here’s how that went …



So of course I now love rocks, but only in combination with a front end loader. Does anyone else get excited when their neighbour asks them for help moving rocks?  Or is that just me? 

Overnight Oatmeal – Overnight oatmeal season is here!!!! Which of course is very exciting for anyone who likes a good stick to your ribs, hearty bowl of maple syrupy goodness in the morning but doesn’t want to cook it. You just make a big pot on Sunday and it cooks itself overnight on the stove. (don’t worry you don’t leave the burner on).  When you wake up, it’s cooked and there’s enough for breakfast the rest of the week. Just divide it into little mason jars and stick them in the fridge to grab and go, or heat up in the microwave.

Homemade Vanilla Extract – Speaking of Oatmeal, I like to put a bit of this in it sometimes. My vanilla needed replenishing so I added a bit more vodka to my bottle and a new half of a vanilla bean. If you want to make Homemade Vanilla Extract for a Christmas gift for anyone you should think about making it now. You can read the whole tutorial in my post.  Don’t worry if you’re not a cook or crafty. It’s stupid easy.

I’m trying really hard to get a post like this up every Sunday, but man alive it’s hard. Way harder than moving rocks.

But not quite as hard as explaining the difference between Google and Safari to my mother.

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



  1. Susan Hillman says:

    My key to dealing with laundry worries is I own A LOT of undies. I’m telling you, I NEVER RUN OUT.

  2. SBOO says:

    Oh man, that front end loader looks fun. I have very fond memories of my uncle letting me drive a tractor around his property but the scooping and dumping action here looks even better!

    Karen has (very patiently) shared the reasoning behind her decision to undertake the massive amount of work to update and streamline her older posts several times now. At some point, continuing to insist that you disagree with her is just tiresome. It’s her blog and her livelihood – she gets to make the call and we should all be in support of that.

  3. Denise Potter says:

    What front loader? What video? Mysteriously missing for me …??

    • Karen says:

      Hi Denise! It could be that you have an ad blocker running on your computer. If you do my videos won’t show up. It could also be the browser you’re using. ~ karen!

  4. Jane Baker says:

    If it’s any consolation, Karen, I too am a night owl but often have to get up early. If I’m short on sleep, I feel sick, and tired. I don’t mind the latter but the sick feeling is gross. The only thing that fixes it for me a long walk with the dog in the morning. Hang in there.
    As for the difference between a browser and a search engine? Google is a search engine but you need a browser to use it. Because all the browsers such as Chrome or Firefox or DuckDuckGo and others have Google plastered all over the page that you type your search into, it’s easy to think that you are using Google as a browser. You are not. You are using a browser but there is probably a search box on the page that says Google on it. Unless you are using Google Chrome web browser developed in 2008, in which case, you are using Google as a browser.
    Confused yet? :-)

  5. Peter says:

    Hi Karen, I was in Dundas yesterday. A place I get to about twice a year because when I visit my mother she likes to go the thai place that used to be the Deluxe. We went into the place next door called Handmade something or other. That made me think of you?

  6. If I went through every piece of clothing until I had to wash it, I might get two years… this is not a brag. This just shows that I’m an idiot.


    • Karen says:

      Hahaha! O.K. well mainly I just went through my underwear and jeans. I mean if I really wanted to I could have moved onto formalwear with pantaloons. Like Britney Spears. ~ karen

  7. Carol O says:

    Been on a no-raw food diet for all summer and I could easily face plant into that delectable looking Caesar salad photo. It’s perfect!

  8. Oh, I SO hope you are the owner of that front-end loader!!

    • Karen says:

      I wish. (actually I don’t, I don’t even have room at my house for a snow blower) But it’s so much fun. I highly recommend everyone learn to use one and use it if they can. ~ karen!

  9. Grammy says:

    I love the improvements in your pictures. I hope you continue with what you’re doing without worrying about whether some people think learning and growing is somehow denying truth. I’d feel terrible if I wasn’t any better at something now than I was years ago.

    I’m also jealous of your being so good at the front-loader work! That’s something I always wanted to do and never had the chance, and I’m afraid at my age now no one is going to let me try it. Carry on, Karen!

  10. Vikki says:

    No one ever said the Girl doesn’t try–you Rock!!!

  11. André G says:

    Hi Karen,

    In your email, when you mentioned “you want to know more about (…) rocks”, I thought you meant glittering rocks the ones women like to show on their finger. lol. But when I saw you on the tractor I realised that you can be pretty smart manoeuvering in tight spots. Keep rocking on. FYI what attracted me to your blog was the gardening part.

    Many thanks for sharing your thoughts and knowledge.

    André G in La Prairie, Qc

  12. Jan in Waterdown says:

    Hey! I just watched your front end loader video clip. Soooo cool!
    Back in the early 60’s, my mom got the chance to drive a big stick shift dump truck and it so impressed my little 5 yr old brother that he talked about it in his eulogy at her funeral 50 years later. Who knows what random kid you may have influenced? Rock on! Lol

  13. judy says:

    is Safari any safer than Chrome? Paranoid about hacking since at 79 I do PC banking and can’t imagine the # of sites I have used a CC. Love your blog and if updating makes you happy I’m happy. I still wish bloggers would take a walk around their City or sidewalks. Haven’t been out of the house for centuries. Boooooring! Where’s your local museum,parks,waterfront- what is the typical employment in your area?

  14. Barb says:

    I sold my farm this spring and moved to the beach. I love the beach, but the thing I miss the most is my tractor! She has a lovely new home with my wonderful old neighbours, but I miss her front end loader and her forks and lovely bucket… mostly when I am thinking about gardening. She could move a load of horse poop (or rocks) like no other! I will miss her again when I am pushing that snow blower this winter. Keep on being fearless, Karen!

  15. Rebecca Holt says:

    I so enjoy your blogs and sense of humor. This one caused me to almost choke on my coffee.
    I finally gave up my clunky little Android and went iPhone. The first photo I took made me say wow! No more photos of food that look like it’s already been chewed.
    And the kicker. I constantly have a similar conversation with my husband as you have with your mother. My computer is so slow. Are you sure it isn’t the website? No it’s the computer. Try another website. Oh well now my computer is faster. Sigh.
    I only harvested one luffa this time, my first attempt at growing, but am so excited.

  16. Linda In illinois says:

    You are the perfect women. Can do everything you need for yourself without a man and do it better to boot no doubt.. still my heroine. Running the end loader had to be the best fun. Love it.

  17. Ella says:

    Don’t kill your self retaking all those photos. My salad will never look like that and quite frankly, I don’t care. Just give me a well written and carefully tested recipe and I am good to go. I know you‘ve been told to do it for SEO reasons but srsly I think you’d be better served by writing new posts with fab new pics instead of wasting your time on all the old ones.

  18. Edith says:

    I wish I could re-stage some of my old pictures. I’d start with our wedding photo on that cruise ship. I thought I looked sexy In that dress but clearly my bra failed me and the tropical climate did a number on my hair. Thankfully I was oblivious to those failings at the time.

    I understand why you’re being advised to re-take some recipe photos. Your photography skills have improved so much. But I hope you’re not having to bedazzle another milk-carton-turned-paper-towel-dispenser?!

  19. Kat Boynton says:

    I for one really like that your revisiting all these old posts! I look forward to seeing the new photographs. Things in life change and updates certainly do need to be made. This is your bread and butter you are working on and just being a simple (but well versed) blogger just does not bring in the money. I recently have some health issues and just two days ago decided I want to start eating oatmeal every morning as part of my diet overhaul to eat healthier, so this post will be welcomed to reread. Last week when you did the mouse trap revisit it could not have come at a better time as I now have mice in the shed. So I am loving these updates on posts I would not even think of revisiting from the past.

  20. Ann says:

    I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but I must agree with Kathy K’s comments. There are so many “perfect” bloggers with “perfect” pictures. Yours is clever and authentic. Please don’t change. It’s the content that I look for not the overstaged visuals. You are my hero just as you are!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ann. I’m still clever and authentic so don’t you worry about that. :) My photos have been similar to the newer one in this post for years now. But for instance, if I’m writing a recipe for caesar salad that I’ve worked on for 10 years and I KNOW is the best caesar salad recipe out there, then I want it to have as good a chance as possible for people to be able to find it. If I have crap photos of food then no one’s going to look twice at it while looking for a recipe. Because no one is motivated by gross looking food. You have to remember I’m writing this blog for all of my readers. The old and the new. The people in the world that are searching the Internet looking for the whack of information I have stored in my brain. Like how to level floors, how to make caesar salad, how to use a drill press or grow cabbage … There are a TON of women who are still afraid to do all of these things. And I want to make sure my information is accessible to them so they can learn a) how to do these things and b) that they are perfectly capable of doing them. For that to happen I have to update old posts. It’s is 100% as simple as that. I have NO idea if this answer will make sense to you as I’m writing it quickly so I can get out the door to help my sister with something.😂 ~ karen!

  21. Kathy K. says:

    While I understand your desire to make your blog the most interesting with beautiful images, please know that your followers don’t need staged re-do pictures of salads. Karen, the old picture of the salad was your “truth” at the time. Re-writing history isn’t good for your soul, it’s not truth. Keep it real. I know some updates are necessary for technological reasons, but not sure why blogs all try to create a false reality, telling others that making a salad isn’t enough. Apparently, now I need to have a stamped cheese wedge and shaved cheese curls on my salad that is perfectly placed on a weathered tabletop. I can’t just pour dressing on the salad, I now need to drizzle it on with a vintage spoon. Is that what you’re trying to tell me? Karen, you only have one mind-use it. Trust me, you are smart, brave, creative, and funny and we like YOU and follow YOU for that. I believed your site was unique in that you seemed to show the truth whether it was pretty or not. Now that your site will be filled with re-staged & re-written history. It’s not the same and that’s a loss for me.

  22. Glenda says:

    I made your vanilla for Christmas presents last year. Super easy (hardest part was designing custom labels) and a really big hit with friends and family. Thanks!

  23. Diana Franklin says:

    Thank you for the reminder to make ahead the Christmas gifts.
    I will be adding vanilla extract this year! Crisp pickles, roasted green tomato salsa and candied walnuts all my go to gifts.

    Thanks again Diana Franklin

  24. Georgia Girl says:

    Uhhh —- apples and oranges.
    Safari is a browser and Google is a search engine.

    • Karen says:

      Great. Now you try to explain that to Betty. ~ karen!

    • Jan in Waterdown says:

      So what’s the difference between a browser and a search engine? Sorry G. Girl but it’s just not as obvious as fruit comparisons. I’m beginning to think my brain is wired differently. And I can’t blame my age since my older husband is completely cool with it and patiently attempts to help me understand and sometimes I do, for a little bit and then “poof” it’s gone! 😒 I totally sympathize with Betty. You’re a good daughter, Karen!

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