What I’ve Been Doing the Past Week.

What I’ve been doing this week.  Welllllll …

I’m going to keep this short because I have to run out to buy 14 cinder blocks, several fire starters and some boob stickers. As one does.

The cinder blocks are for making a new and improved sap boiling system for my maple syrup, the fire starters are for my regular old fireplace and the boob stickers are because HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY SEE THIS AD AND NOT BUY THEM? 

You’ll notice that they kick away inflammation and smelly odour.

It was one of the many bizarre ads to show up in my Instagram feed last week. Sometimes I wonder what kind of impression I’m giving the cyber world of myself. Because based on the Instagram ads that are chosen for me I’m someone very desperately in need of a new mattress, apple orchard equipment and floor length Japanese inspired winter coats with flying pigs all over them.

This weekend I have a lot to do to get ready for maple syrup season and planting season which means I won’t have time to cook.  I shall sustain my energy by eating whatever I can sweep up from the kitchen floor.

Either that or I’ll pull one of the pizzas I made last weekend out of my freezer. 


Over the past week I attempted my very first arrangement using instruction from my new Floret “A Year in Flowers” book and equipment. I didn’t have a huge selection of flowers to choose from at my local florists (especially because I wanted to keep it at least a little bit natural and seasonal looking) but I’m happy with it in general and can’t even WAIT to do the same using my own grown flowers.

Speaking of which:


  • Lisianthus
  • Love in a Puff
  • Ranunculus
  • Anemone

Happy Birthday!  Oh. It’s not your birthday? Well the this was a waste wasn’t it. ⇓

My niece Estelle hit the double digits last week.  Her present, a patchwork of various wrapping papers I had, was topped with a bow made out of PEEPS.  They’re just held together with toothpicks. If you have an Easter birthday coming up keep it in mind.

p.s. I gave her a Nutribullet. Because what 10  year old doesn’t want their own personal blender?

My latest article for The Old Farmer’s Almanac is on stands now. It’s the 2020 Garden Guide.   I wrote about table toppers for every season and I have to say the layout they did with my text and photos is BEAUTIFUL.

You can get it pretty much anywhere that has a good selection of magazines.

Do NOT under any circumstances underestimate the deliciousness of tofu. Yes. Years ago it was associated with anemic looking, dirty hippies who smelled of patchouli and mushrooms.  It’s reputation has come a long way since then. So have hippies. 

I’ve made this crispy fried tofu twice in the past couple of weeks (fingers crossed there are still some crumbs on the kitchen floor) and I’m looking forward to having it again. It. Is. SO. Good. But not just good, It’s fast. Which are a couple of attributes that every busy woman appreciates in every aspect of her life.

Stuff I'm Doing, Did & Want To Do.

The adventures of last week, this week, next week

Have a good remainder of your weekend! It’s time for me to try and scrounge some cement blocks, wash some sap buckets and kick away inflammation and smelly odour.


  1. Celia says:

    I love all your photos. What’s the name of the silver “pattern” of the one spoon in the pizza photo? I have the same ones and need more. Very hard to search for ’em without a name…

    Good luck with your bosom supporters. They look very …interesting.

  2. marli says:

    Hey!! I saw you were going out to buy (among other things) fire starters. I know this great blogger who makes her own fire starters!!! You should check these out, they really are super easy and they WORK!


    Insert a wink face emoji here. Also a heart. And maybe a flame.

    PS: Please do a post on the boob stickers. :)

  3. Jen Magnus says:

    I have an adopted chocolate Tonkinese boy. He is the naughtiest cat I have ever owned but also a total smooch. Incredibly drawn to whatever action is going on , very bossy and super affectionate. He’s amazingly pleasant with little kids too. Changed my opinion on pedigree cats completely.

    • Karen says:

      I spoke with a small Tonkinese breeder at a cat show last year because the cat was SO cute and obviously – um – devilish, lol? I wouldn’t turn down an adopted Tonkinese. :) ~ karen!

  4. Avril says:

    Taren, our 15 year old Siamese (not purebred though) when she was small, used to fetch a wide rubber band and bring it back for us to shoot across the room for her again and again. When we got a Tuxedo cat to keep her company a year later, he hogged all the fun and she just let him butt in, AND he tried to eat the rubber band, so we had to put an end to the fun. Occassionally we have tried to play with her when Mr Tuxedo (Zorro) is not in the house, and she’s always looking over her shoulder to see if he’s going to come over and spoil her fun! And they both love to go outside here in B.C.

    • martha says:

      Avril! In our house, the tuxedo (a male Manx) was the first fetching cat; when we adopted a black Siamese cross, he watched her demonstrate her own fetching skills, and let her have the field after that. We’ve learned to use stretchy hair-bands rather then rubber bands, they are less likely to be eaten. It’s a crazy game.

  5. Leisa Joan says:

    I had a Siamese – Himalayan mix, named Felix. He was the BEST cat ever – all 22 lbs. of him! I would definitely recommend looking for one.

  6. Jeanine says:

    Your comments about Cleo made me smile because I had a Siamese (a wedding gift:) who lived to be 19, and she was the only cat I’ve ever had who would play fetch. I’d say “Tiki, where’s your candy?” and she would come running. She loved chasing peppermint candy and would actually bring it back and drop it at my feet, ready for more play! I never realized before that it was probably a Siamese thing. Hope you find the best kitty for you!

  7. Scout says:

    Ohh….you’re not supposed to adopt rather than shop for a kitty. That’s a good option, but “supposed to” carries nothing but guilt. Get your kitty with joy and anticipation of the fun and value you will give to each other-bought or adopted-and neither of you are “supposed” to be anyone but who you are. The price-if there is one- doesn’t matter to either of you. The value is what you are together. A purchased kitty needs a good home too.

  8. Gayle m says:

    The weather forecast for this week is perfect for tapping–so we dug out the equipment we got at the end of last season. We tapped today–and I really need to know your cinder block plans! We have never done this before. And it’s by your inspiration, so…please help?

    And, yhose boob thingies? No way they’d work on yhis 70 yr old. Gravity is grave. Lol

  9. Debbie P says:

    What a gorgeous arrangement! And I an going to look for that magazine with your article. BTW I am continuing to force paperwhite narcissus over the winter and my last few batches have not done well (won’t grow, grow multiple useless sprouts, grow but don’t flower). Any tips? Do the bulbs have a limited shelf life????

  10. Linda Hunt says:

    Dear Karen,
    I suspect you are already informed in this area so I will be short. For cats who suffer renal difficulties I was told that it is essential they have enough taurine to combat crystals and keep a healthy urinary system. I hope that this helps you if your vet agrees and a happy life to you when your next furry friend finds you.
    I sign with affection because that is how I feel about you after these many years of thoroughly enjoying any subject you have mused upon, bwahahahaa.


  11. Jennifer says:

    I follow a few of the local cat rescue groups on social media (we’re full up right now so I really shouldn’t, but…) and Siamese cats do certainly come up. If you don’t mind a drive into southwest Toronto, call the wonderful people at Long Branch Animal Clinic and tell them what you’re looking for. They’re a small clinic, but they bring in a lot of cats from humane societies in Quebec (where they gas their cats when they have too many of them) and adopt them out. They usually get fairly young cats (2 to 7) that are healthy and full of love. If you let them know what you’re looking for, they will pull that cat for you and volunteer “Freedom Drivers” will bring them to the clinic, where they’ll check them out, get their shots up to date, etc. Adoption fees are similar to other orgs. We adopted our cat, Muffin, through this clinic and she’s awesome.

  12. susan says:

    I saw the ad for the boob bunnies. I don’t trust the weird companies on Facebook so I looked them up on Amazon and, ever in search of the perfect, comfortable bra, I ordered some. Of course. And now they’re put away in case I’m ever invited to the Academy Awards or something of equal prestige, because they work. Oh yes, they work. My poor 70 year old nipples will never be the same. I wonder if they’d eliminate odour if you never took them off? They’re easy to put on and very comfortable, but taking them off… I don’t know anybody who waxes their bikini line and everything above but would think the pain would be comparable. I’ve never been desperate enough to inflict that kind of pain on myself but just picked the second most sensitive place on my body for comparison. Great lift, great comfort, great glue, promotes great screams. That’s my review.

  13. Mary W says:

    The tofu picture has my mouth drooling. I LOVE crispy tofu but have only had it once and every time since it was a huge disappointment. I’ve tried making it but no luck. I don’t do instagram – don’t have a cell phone. Is there anyway you can get the recipe without that link?
    So glad you are going to get another cat. My tuxedo fetches but also bites and scratches. She has finally learned other ways to get our attention but it was a long time! Didn’t want to give up on her since well, she was our pet. She still jumps on my tiny dog when she wants out. Somehow she learned that technique and won’t give it up. She obeys commands and understands sentences like, OK it’s time, time to go out! Then she calmly walks to the door just like it was her idea. Extremely smart cat and so glad we toughed out a whole year from kitten to adult as she is a great companion now. I’ve heard tuxedo’s are mean and don’t like outside so will do whatever to stay in and she is that perfect example. Good luck on finding the right cat! Actually it’s better to let them find you.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mary! Have you tried clicking the link? Instagram shows up on laptops and tablets too. You just can’t upload photos. I’m afraid it’s the only place her recipe is. It’s not on her site yet. ~ karen!

    • Jane says:

      I agree with Mary, it’s better to let them find you. The first orange tabby we had came from the pound. He shrank in the cage when everyone else approached, but rolled over and played cute when I approached. A year and a half after he passed away, a young orange tabby was crying on our side of the street one cool May day. Thinking maybe it was scared to cross the street, I helped. Then it was crying on the other side. So I brought him back and fed him on our porch. Boy, was he hungry! Thought he must have a home because of a little girl’s bead necklace on him. We were wrong! It was a cool May and he hung around our porch for a week before we took him in. Called him Guest, as in the guest that wouldn’t leave. When he finally left 10 years later (in his sleep 2 days after I brought him to the vet), I found out and fully understand what heartbroken means. Our current 2 cats are both strays that decided to move in. My husband and I joke that there must be an invisible sign somewhere that points animals to us.

  14. Laura says:

    PLEASE do a write-up on the boob stickers! I saw some when I was out shopping with my kid, but she didn’t need them. I was hoping to secretly try them, as I’m fairly sure they wouldn’t do anything for my girls and am thinking they are more likely to either pull my nipples off, or give me huge blisters! I have a horrible picture of one failing at a social event (did you ever see the “Will & Grace” episode with the inflatable, water-filled fakies?) Love the blog and always have a giggle. Thanks :)

  15. Barbara Kemp says:

    You bring a smile every time I read your post. Love the egg holder!

  16. Courtney says:

    I’m making that tofu tonight! Along with some veggie fried rice. Thanks for the inspiration.

  17. Ann Roberts says:

    I saw the ad for the boob stickers as well. I even went and cruised their website out of curiosity. Well, some of the pics I saw didn’t sell the product, in my mind. Somehow having slightly larger breasts held up at the nipple end but the bulk of the breast just kinda hanging there in a blob just didn’t seem like it would feel very nice or look at great…and these were THEIR pictures, the ones trying to sell the product….

  18. Madonna Witte says:

    As it turns out…today IS my birthday! Thanks for always providing an excellent read, great tips and an out-loud laugh (for those of us who want to defy gravity but need to lift those girls up to present a united front…and, of course…to avoid those smelly odors! Thanks for starting my day with a giggle and an excellent recipe!

  19. Dianne says:

    I would love a tutorial on Ranunculus and Lisianthus. I have tried them more then once and never succeeded. Love your blog.

    • Nancy Letman says:

      Hello Dianne check out dahlia May flower farm. She is a seller and a grower of R and A and posted a very detailed how to grow a few weeks ago. N

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Dianne! I won’t be able to do a tutorial on either until I’ve successfully grown them for at least a year. :) I mean, I could, but I’d rather wait to do the step by step until I have it all figured out. I can tell you that both have a few small things you have to do. Like Ranunculus need to be soaked first and after planting the soaked corms they go in the dark and cold (no more than 10C) for a couple of weeks until they start to sprout. Then they can be grown on like regular seedlings. Lisianthus are very susceptible to temperature when germinating and growing on for the first bit. If you get that part wrong then your plants will grow but won’t flower. ~ karen!

    • Nancy Letman says:

      I believe she posted on insta stories

  20. Lez says:

    Lovely post Karen. I’ve been wanting to make that Crispy Tofu for a while & couldn’t find the recipe, but as I don’t have instagram, how do I get the recipe please?

    • Janet says:

      I do have Instagram and still couldn’t manage to find the recipe! Help please?

      • Karen says:

        Hi Janet. I liked to the exact post on her Instagram page that has the recipe. Just scroll up to Gayle’s text at the top of the Instagram post (before all the comments) and she has all the ingredients and instructions. ~ karen!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lez! I’m afraid it’s only on Instagram. That recipe isn’t up on her website yet. But if you Google fried tofu I’m sure you’ll find some good recipes. The frying method is basically the same. Dry off the cubed tofu, toss in a small amount of cornstarch then fry in a small amount of oil in a pan. ~ karen!

  21. Robert says:

    Ow, I’m jealous of your niece, I didn’t get my first kitchen related gift until I was 12: an 8 or 9 inch T-fal frying pan that now has seen much better days

    • Karen says:

      LOL. I’m guessing it might be time to invest in a new non stick for you. She got her first kitchen related gadget from me when she was probably about 6. A custom wood rolling pin with her name etched into it for making cookies with her name on it. I’ll have to think of the T-fal for next year.😂~ karen!

  22. Victoria says:

    Dang girl! You have been busy!! I love seeing all the photos and reading about ALL that you DO. Thanks for being an inspiration

  23. Tina says:

    Sorry, none of your tabs would open for me. 😯 Maybe they’ll work tomorrow. I’ll try again then.

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