What I’ve Been Doing This Week.

I’ve been giving away a lot of flowers and bakin’ pie. That about sums it up. No need to read further.

What did I tell you?  And yet here you are demanding I stretch this out. But I’m telling you, I gave away a lot of flowers and I baked a pie. I mean really that’s it. At least those are the things I remember.  If I were to think about it more I suppose I could come up with a few other things.

Oh! I ate a lot of my Halloween candy this week. So points for me. I STILL have Halloween candy available to eat!  That’s impressive. We’re 2 weeks into October and normally I’d have eaten the entire box of 95 mini chocolate bars by the end of September. Sure it’s because I also bought mini Pringles and ate a case of them but an accomplishment none the less. 

The worst part is I hid the Pringles on myself. I knew where I put them of course but I really thought my plan would work. Out of sight out of mind. I honestly thought my bedroom was a good hiding place on myself. 

I probably wasn’t going to go to the trouble of dragging the box out from underneath my bed was I? That’d be kind of pathetic. As it happens, I patheticed 32 containers of Pringles.

More than once I’ve thought about not writing this Sunday post, but instead keeping a diary outlining the weird shit that happens around here every single day – because it does happen.  Then I would just publish my diary every Sunday. Easy.

That way all of us would be informed about everything I did. 

Oh God, that sounds horrifying.  And boring. Cancel diary plan.

O.K., so I see you’re still here, expecting words in between these photos. I’m sure because I teased you with that suspense filled Halloween candy story, you think I’m holding out on you and I did more than give away flowers, bake a pie and eat Halloween candy.

But I didn’t.

Actually I did attend a ZOOM meeting with my local dahlia society and learned about how award winning dahlia people do their stuff.   O.K., so let’s talk about the Dahlias up top as long as you’re still here.  I’ve discovered that I really, really like a collection of vases for displaying dahlias as opposed to actual big-ass arrangements.  Those are good too, but this does a better job of showing each bloom off.


I knew that was your next question. I’m basically psychic.  HOLDDDDDDD on.  Does thinking about something count as doing something? Because I’ve been thinking about the fact that I’m excited about digging my dahlias this year.

If you grow more than 1 dahlia you know that digging them up is the grossest job.  You have to dig them up and wash them off then store them.  You can divide them before or after you initially store them. I always divide my dahlia tubers closer to spring but this year I’ve decided to do it right after I wash them off (as my dahlia society people do). And even though it’s a tedious job to split them I’m SO EXCITED to know how many MORE I’ll have for next year.

Learn how to divide dahlia tubers in my post here.

For those of you who don’t know, when you plant a dahlia, you plant a tuber (like any of those up above) but what you dig up at the end of the season is a whole clump of tubers. That means your dahlia stash quadruples at the least. 

Keep that in mind when you buy dahlia tubers.  You might need 10 of them to fill a big border around your house, but if you can wait just one year, that one tuber you plant could very well end up giving you the full 10 (for the price of one).



Have you been wondering lately if I ever got my English roll arm sofa?  Because I haven’t. Nope. I’m still sitting on my sectional sofa.  Why you ask? Ohhhhh so many reasons.

I love the English roll arm sofa. That’s a well known fact.  The one above is my idea version of it. But here’s the thing. They’re deep.  A bit deeper than my room can actually accommodate. You can find a few that are less than the standard 41″-43″ deep but they also don’t look quite as good.

ALSO and this is really what’s giving me pause … the arms, the things I love most about the sofa, are low.  The placement of my sofa in my room means I’d be laying on it to watch television as opposed to sitting.  Those arms? There’s nothing to lean against.  My head would loll off the end of the couch like a a Slinky. 

Therefore I’m open to branching out. Even though it’s my ideal sofa. It’s not my ideal sofa in this room.

Enter – Ikea.

This week this ad showed up on my Instagram feed.  (I guess more things went on this week than I initially thought). Anyhow, when I saw this ad on my Instagram page I was quite excited. I liked the sofa, it had more arm to rest my head on plus I liked the kind of grubby looking slip cover. 

I had already made plans to buy multiple slipcovers for it on account of all the money I’d be saving by buying an Ikea sofa instead of a higher end sofa.

Ikea no longer sells this sofa.

 If I don’t find the perfect sofa soon I’m just going to line up a bunch of bean bags along the wall in my living room. Pleaseeeeeee I just want the hunt to be over. The best gift in the world right now would be to open my eyes and see the perfect sofa materialize.

I’m exaggerating about that being the best gift. Obviously a sloth is the best gift. 


Coming up on Monday I’ll be featuring my front yard English cottage garden – Year 3. 

It’s starting to actually look like an authentic English cottage garden.  And all it took was 152 dahlia tubers.

Not really.  I planted 30 tubers, but not all of them survived.

It’s currently 10 o’clock at night and I’m about to start setting the table for Sunday’s Thanksgiving dinner. It’s me and Betty.  And yet I’m preparing pretty much the same amount of food as I do when I have 12 or 14 people. And that means LEFTOVERS.  Want a tip?  Make a lot of extra mashed potatoes. Just load up on the mashed potatoes. Then turn those into mashed potato pancakes.  

See?  Flowers, pie, candy, dahlia, sofa. That’s it. 

Also I got engaged.

WAIT. No, sorry, my niece.  My niece got engaged! I definitely would have remembered if I got engaged because I’d be wearing an engagement sofa right now. 

What I've Been Doing This Week.

Have a good remainder of your weekend and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone across Canada from coast to coast.








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  1. Marguerite Roberts says:

    I notice you are using pruning shears to divide your dahlias. That is the hard way. We used to grow about 80 dahlias and I am in the same dahlia club as you are. A lovely bunch of folk. I use loppers to divide my dahlias. The clumps of tubers get huge and we really used to struggle when dividing them. I don’t wash my dahlias after digging them. I just cut the stem off, attach the lable to the whole clump and put them, dirt and all down in the cold room. The cold room gets quite cold but doesn’t freeze. I keep the clumps in plastic bins with no lid and put a thick layer of newspaper on top. I don’t have problems with anything in the soil remaining on the tubers. I’ve used this method for about 10 years. I have way too much to do in the fall so I need to keep it simple. March 1st, I bring them out, divide them, and plant the tubers under lights in my “Grow Op’ in the basement. I water them well after planting, then leave them alone for 2 weeks. You could even travel during this time since most of my other planting doesn’t start till April 1st. The dahlias grow like gangbusters, and I do have to trim them back. This causes them to branch and that’s a good thing. I plant them outside in full sun about May 15th and they hit the ground running. It is really worth it to start them early. I do not exhibit my dahlias because I am just not wired that way. I like huge bouquets. Dahlias are one of those plants that the more you pick, the more they rebloom.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Marguerite! I used to leave my dahlias in clumps to store, but they just took up too much room for my little brick cottage. They’ll take less room if I wash and divide right away. I’m happy to see you start your grow op on March 1st, lol. I start a little later, but maybe I’ll move it up next year. :) ~ karen!

  2. Trish Thompson says:

    Look up sofas by Robin Bruce – Cindy and Brooke
    They look very similar but might have more “arm.”

  3. Jan in Waterdown says:

    Got engaged?? Haha good one! My niece did too and is planning her small masked wedding for the weekend before Christmas. She’s even bought masks for herself and her fiancé. She decided why wait til spring and stress out for 7 months when you can pack all that stress into less than 3 and save a bunch of money too. Congratulations to your niece, I think you feel about her the same way I do about mine 💕

  4. Christie says:

    You really should get the English roll arm sofa… we bought one 18 years ago and it just keeps getting reupholstered – perfect for lying down and watching TV!

    • Karen says:

      But what about your head? I guess you’re literally lying down. I guess I like to rest my back more than be completely flat, lying down. Hmm. Maybe I’ll have to find someone with one who is open to having me live on their sofa for a few hours, lol. ~ karen!

      • Christie says:

        Good idea!!! But lying down is an opportunity to use all those pillows on your sofa! BTW… wish I lived close to get some of your dahlias! SO pretty and my absolute favourite!

  5. Anne Clark says:

    This is the first time I’ve read your post via email and I love it!! You are a riot and very knowledgeable. I’ve learned so much…already!
    Happy Thanksgiving 😊

  6. Kris says:

    Karen, Re your sofa, I love the English roll arm as well. I hesitated too, but with a decorative throw pillow, my head is very well supported when watching TV. It comes with two or four small pillows but a pretty pillow looks better. My sofa is by “Precedent”, style “Jennifer or Oliver” comes in two widths and lengths and depths. I don’t like T cushions, or a tight back, over time they look too worn or dirty and cushions can’t be rotated. This one has two, free, back and seat cushions so I can flip/rotate them every couple of months. It is super comfy for sitting and lying down. I was going to buy a similar sofa to the one you like from Restoration Hardware but I am so happy to have found this one.
    Good Luck! I love your posts, you make me laugh and very informative, thank you

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Kris! I actually like a tight back and am specifically looking for that one. I know the other style looks way more comfortable, and probably is for most people, but I get a sore back with soft back cushions. :/ I’ll have a look at yours just to see though. Thanks! ~ karen

  7. Jules says:

    I’ll just leave this right here for ya, Karen!



    She has a few other posts on sofas that may be helpful. Happy hunting – and fair warning- you may get hooked on her blog. You two are the only people I’ve found that are worth following!

    • Karen says:

      I actually follow her, lol. And she featured my DIY interior shutters on her blog.😆 But I may have missed that second post on sofas. I’ll have a look, but with her being in the US, sometimes what’s available to the both of us isn’t the same. ~ karen!

  8. Patty says:

    I’m currently gutting and redoing a travel trailer and wanted to buy 2 of IKEA wicker chairs called Agen and they went and discontinued them. So frustrating because they were the perfect size, much smaller scale then most wicker or rattan chairs, AND they were only $50 each. 😩 😭 So I really feel for you searching for that perfect sofa. Does anyone know if there’s a source were you can locate discontinued items?
    Your dahlias are SO gorgeous.

    • Jan in Waterdown says:

      Hey Patty, where do you live? I just found one on Kijiji in Brampton for $50. I know what you mean about that chair….. I have one in our guest bedroom and it’s perfect! Good luck!

    • Jan in Waterdown says:

      Hi Patty, where do you live? I just looked on Kijiji and found one in Brampton for $50 and two north of Toronto for $120. It’s a nice chair, I’ve got one in my guest bedroom and it’s a perfect size. Good luck!

  9. Kimberly says:

    Happy Thanksgiving!!! I’m so sorry you don’t get to celebrate with your family! We aren’t doing an extended family dinner either. But unlikae you, I don’t like to host a big dinner. Well. I like some parts. Not really sure which.

    Your dahlias are amazing. I may even plant some next spring. There is this garden in my neighbourhood that has the most wonderful patch of them.

    You would love this garden. There was a house that was demolished. Then the very large double lot was flattened save for five trees. Than this lovely 80 + year old woman bought the lot and turned the ENTIRE thing into a garden.

    Complete with a mature weeping willow, two potting sheds, charming paths, a fancy custom gate, and a chicken coop. There is NO house on the property of any sort.

    Her actual house is down the alley. This property is strictly a flower garden. This woman is my #lifegoals

  10. SH says:

    Wow, that top photo of dahlias is gorgeous. You won’t find that kind of beauty for the 4th Thursday of November. Stupid US Thanksgiving date–it makes no sense.
    Happy Thanksgiving Monday!

  11. Debbie says:

    OK, I have the exact sofa you are talking about getting (English one). I LOVE my sofa. I just measured it and it is 40 inches across. I use a shorter seat on it (the store offers a longer seat and a shorter one). The sofa is an Ethan Allen Oxford Sofa. Don’t know if you can get it up in Canada, but there is a picture on their website.

    I hate those long seats as I am short. If I sit in those long ones, the end of the seat goes to the middle of my calf and talk about uncomfortable! I realize the rest of the world is taller than I, so not knowing your height, if you need a longer seat, I get it (the sofa comes with both a long and a short seat). Mine came with two pillows for the ends. I also have a “regular” pillow (that I have in a pick-stitch sham from Pottery Barn) on the sofa and I use that for a pillow to sleep on. Believe me, I think I sleep on my sofa as much as I sleep on my bed. It is that comfortable. I put a cozy afghan (also on the back of the sofa) on me if it is chilly in the house. It is perfect.

    • Karen says:

      You’re right! I looked at it ages ago but I can’t remember what I dismissed about it. Possibly the 2 cushions on the seat as opposed to one long one. But I’m sure I didn’t realize it came in a less deep version. Thanks! ~ karen

      • Debbie says:

        Glad to help. BTW, I also fall asleep sitting up on the thing. The tilt on the back of the sofa and the “tall” back is perfect for resting your head. I prefer a tight back as opposed to those pillows in the back. I just love this sofa!

  12. Janis Millett says:

    Dahlias, Iris, Flowers that come from bulbs…… I now live in a place where I can grow them and it does freeze here in the middle of winter. But because I grew up in So California I really do not get the “dig them up and hide them in a closet” for the winter. Can you explain that? Thanks! Janis

    • Karen says:

      Tulips and daffodils are fine to leave in the ground. But dahlias tubers aren’t cold tolerant. If you leave them in the ground they’ll rot and turn to mush. So you have to dig ’em up and bring them inside. :) ` karen!

  13. Kim Patry says:

    Hi Karen!
    Your English garden in your front yard is looking so beautiful! Good on ya.
    This was the perfect Sunday morning read. I laughed and then, surprise! A bit about your beautiful dahlias! I love dahlias and Halloween candy too.
    Well, back to my coffee and the sound of children quietly playing, then screaming at each other. Good times.
    Ps. I met you right by your garden fence a couple summers back. My husband and I were working on your neighbor’s back yard and we would park our truck and trailer there.

    • Karen says:

      I remember! I asked you to move your truck so it was out of the shot in my photos, lol. PS that house still isn’t finished being built. ~ karen!

  14. Thera says:

    Isn’t that sofa the Farlov? Ikea here in Canada still sells it,

    they did however, stop making my sofa the Ektorp and I am really really sad, but your Dahlias are beautiful!

    • Karen says:

      Oh! It is, lol! When I looked it up, it wasn’t available anymore! ~ karen!

      • Sandy says:

        I have been desperately trying to find that exact one too! I never could find info on whether it was discontinued or not. :(

        It has such great lines, I can’t believe the stopped making it.

  15. Grammy says:

    Your dahlias have once again dragged me out of a funk. I won’t bother you with a recitation of my week but it was decidedly nowhere near as good as yours.

    I agree that the little white vases make for show-stopping flower display. Of course you’ve got to have show-stopping quality flowers for that to work, and you do. The bouquet in the foreground of your first picture just thrills me, too.

    I’m glad you made all the food for Thanksgiving that you are used to doing. You and Betty deserve it to be the best day. I could eat that whole skillet of potato pancakes myself right this minute, but you and your mom go ahead and don’t worry about me.

    Have a lovely rest of your weekend. I look forward to seeing the details of your English cottage garden when you get around to it.

  16. Becky says:

    Wouldn’t it work to use a throw pillow on the end of the sofa to watch tv? It’s a shame not to get the sofa you love because of that issue. I am buying one of these sofas this week. Love that arm!

    • Karen says:

      I thought of that but there isn’t even really enough arm to hold a pillow up, lol. I could lay down on it, but I wouldn’t be able to prop myself against it, you know? ~ karen!

  17. TucsonPatty says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, Karen!
    Your dahlias are beautiful, the pie looks gorgeous, and I hope you and Betty have a great day, with mounds and mounds of mashed potatoes and leftovers!
    I’m going to make those potato pancakes someday, I swear.
    I made a crust free pumpkin pie (still trying to cut carbs) yesterday, and have eaten about half of it already! It tastes so much better cold, and on the second day.
    I grew up making pie crusts with Crisco (my mom made a Crisco commercial in 1965 (https://youtu.be/ZgiHQadVo-A) and our family of 11 kids all still use Crisco for our French Pastry pie crust. It uses egg and vinegar. It is delicious! If anyone wants the recipe – I’d be happy to share Grandpa Louis Gerard’s favorite. I recently tried a niece’s recommendation of 1/2 Crisco and 1/2 butter, and I do have to admit – it was tasty! Back in the recesses of my mind , I think I remember using lard, before mom became very enamored with Crisco, and maybe that is why I really don’t *love* pie crust. I leave the crust on the plate, unless it was made by me, then I will eat it. My crustless pumpkin pie is calling me right now…
    Again, Happy Thanksgiving. P.S. I voted today. Not my fault if that man gets re-elected. I’m so sorry about it all.

  18. Emie says:

    I love the way you’ve displayed your dahlia’s in the white vases. The blooms really do become the star of the show and the white becomes a simple, non assuming vessel letting the flowers shine. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your mom.

  19. Christy Jeffrey says:

    Hey Karen. Did you know that painting of the little blonde girl is what’s called a posthumous painting? In the early 19th century families would commission the portrait painted of their child who just died. The artist would have the unpleasant task of sitting for days or longer with the dead body as it decayed while capturing the likeness, to honor and remember the child. The artist would have to prop up the body, as well as lift up the eyelids to get a look at the eye color. The flower in her hand is symbolic and common in posthumous portraits. Do you know who she was?

    • Karen says:

      HI Christy! I know that was a thing. In fact the obsession with dead people and their things was astonishing in the Victorian era. But I never thought of that portrait being a death portrait! You’re right. It could be. I bought her at a flea market so I don’t know anything else about her. I’m not sure if I’ve checked the back of the painting for notes or not. ~ karen!

    • whitequeen96 says:

      Yikes! Fascinating, but so strange. I’ve seen the posthumous photos, some where they drew pupils on the closed eyelids, or forced the family’s children to sit around the body. So sad.

  20. Chris says:

    https://www.wayfair.com/furniture/pdp/bella-36-rolled-arm-sofa-eql1164.html?piid= this might be more what your looking for in a sofa and it’s 36 inch. Hope it helps

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Chris! It does look comfortable, but it’s not my style. :/ It’s actually very similar to my mother’s sofa, but hers is a huge floral. ~ karen!

  21. Lestie Mulholland says:

    Now what would I do without your Sunday writing? Be sad is one, miss my smile is two, not know what to do with extra mashed potatoes is three. Happy Thanksgiving to you from sunny South Africa and thank you so for your refreshing nonsensical sense I so enjoy reading.

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