What I’ve Been Doing This Week.

Hold onto your hats THIS post is going to flyyyyyyy by.  Not because it’s super entertaining. Nope. THIS post is going to fly by because it’s going to be short. Why? because frankly I, like you, have more grave things to worry about.


With all this crap going on, my ability to focus is on par with a lazy eye. As such, this week I haven’t finished anything I started other than every single snack in the house. 

I have now deteriorated to the point where I’m trying to train my brain to think of carrots as a snack. They are not. Even when dipped in blue cheese dip, a carrot is still just that sad thing you drag out when some vegetarian who won’t eat bacon wraps for some reason is coming over for a party. 


I’ve managed to get a lot of my seeds started and I’ll be starting a bunch more this weekend, but I really wanted to get some spinach planted outside this week.

What you see above are my Dropshot marigolds, which I’m growing for EATING, not flowers. Dropshot has pretty feathery foliage that would nice as a filler in flower arrangements but its real draw is the strong black licorice taste that’s incredibly sweet. I got 100% germination in 4 days so the soil blocks are so far a success.

I would like to interrupt this dullard post by asking you a question. Do you have snacks? And if so could you describe them to me in great detail? I’m out of good snacks. I think I may have mentioned that.

The Whole Virus Thing

I’ve been talking to people who say they’re feeling a bit depressed or anxious. Partly because they’re so unsure of what to do, partly because they’re lonely and partly because they’re getting stir crazy and feeling claustrophobic.

My situation is a bit different because my day to day life hasn’t changed much. I’ve always worked from home so that didn’t change. I’m an introvert and I cook all my own meals, so I’m not missing going out to bars or restaurants.

But I DO like to go out and talk to people every day, even if it’s just going to the grocery store.  Working from home trains you that you need to get outside every day and socialize in some way. Otherwise you *will* indeed go crazy.

Here’s what I’m doing to make this whole isolating yourself thing more pleasant.


I always try to make my dinners nice, but I’m being especially over the top. Using favourite dishes, cutlery and lighting candles so I (seen here with all of my friends) really look forward to dinner and enjoy it. 

Even if you’re just having a box of Macaroni & Cheese, plate it up so it looks good.



I dragged Betty out of the house for a walk (with a respectable distance of 6′ between us) on Wednesday. I did this because if I didn’t drag her out she wouldn’t do it herself. She would sit in her living room chair screaming at her iPad all day and night.

So we walked up the street and took a tour in the backyard of a neighbour who was tapping trees and doing maple syrup.  Again, ALL of us 6′ apart. 

I’m going for a walk myself every morning even if it’s just for 15 minutes (I try for 30-45) so that I’m outside. Just BEING outside will improve your mood. Even sitting on your porch and getting fresh air and watching people walk past will make you feel better, but I really do recommend walking around and moving outside.

The least I would recommend is 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes before or after dinner. Please do this every day this week and then let me (and everyone else) know how much better it made you feel mentally and physically.  I’ll remind you in next weekend’s post to report on how it went.


To do this, I put a pillow of chicken wire into the very shallow bowl, laid moss on top and then stuck very short stems of carnations to fill it up.


Along the same lines and setting the table nicely and plating your dinner, flowers are a huge mood booster for me. So when I suited up to go to the grocery store I bought LOTS of flowers.

Like, $40 worth of flowers.


Which is evidence of my own mental breakdown right there. I bought bright, colourful flowers AND I’ve been wearing red nail polish.

I absolutely and completely needed colour. Also, if I was going to spend that much on flowers I wanted to make sure they were going to last so I got carnations.  No joke, this bowl of carnations will probably look good for a month.

Carnations are one of the most underrated flowers out there. They come in all kinds of beautiful colours, last forever and are inexpensive. 


I’ve been Facetiming, Instagramming and phone calling. I’ve contacted people who might need stuff when I’m going to the grocery store or pharmacy.


 On one of my Instagram posts I mentioned that I had … eaten all my snacks (we’ve been over this before today, I know.) And a few mornings ago while I was working in my front room I saw someone coming up my walkway to the door.

For a split second I went icy cold, heavy in my chair TERRIFIED someone was going to expect me to open the door to them. I’m not by the way. I’m not opening my door to anyone. I lost sight of them as they approached the door.

I heard a knock.

I held my breath.

Then I saw a small woman, no bigger than a child really, RUN AWAY REALLY FAST.

It was my neighbour (who I will now for obvious reasons refer to as my friend) Laurel, dropping off a pint of her small batch, Butter Pecan ice cream for me. (she owns and runs the small batch ice cream company Foundry Ice Cream)

She had seen my snackless Instagram post. 

Last night, sitting on the sofa, I unscrewed the top of that glass jar of ice cream and dug in. Obviously the first thing I did was throw the lid away, knowing I wasn’t going to need THAT again. 

Yep. I ate it all. I felt sick and guilty and a lot sweatier than someone who just ate 2 cups of frozen food should feel. And I loved every single second of it.


I went for my regular morning walk. I found some pretty berries. I picked the berries.

The berries were poison ivy.

See?  Funny things still happen, people are still there for you, and I still do stupid stuff.

Life right now is not that bad. It could be so much worse.

You could be out of snacks AND toilet paper.

What I've Been Doing This Week.

I’m not 100% sure the berries were poison ivy by the way. Only 99% sure. An Instagram follower suggested they might be so I Googled them and Yep. That’s exactly what poison ivy berries look like.

I’ve since thrown out the berries. And all common sense apparently.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have some spinach to plant. Sorry about lying to you earlier. This was not a short post. That is how short my attention span is. I completely forgot I was going to write a short post.

Have a good remainder of your weekend!






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  1. Diane Amick says:

    I’m a salty snacker…no, not swearing a lot. I like salty snacks. Fritos! Chips! Crackers and or cheese. French fried onions in the small tub on the canned goods aisle at the grocery store. Mine still had those snacks. No eggs milk or bread, but salt galore.

  2. Scout says:

    Just a thought….. the monarchs are gonna start to migrate soon. I was gonna build an outside shelter like yours but turn it sideways. With the caterpillars on the windward side. To defend from OE. Or even have 2 separate- 1 for catterpillars and 1 for emerging butterflies. I wonder if social distancing for them might be beneficial. The OE blog site referenced says it spreads like glitter. That makes me think I should keep them apart. Perhaps there’s a Macgyver that would work. When I run out of snacks I have to do stuff or sleep. The top of my fridge is clean and I’m well rested. The monarchs are on their way and more fun than the crisper drawer goo I meant to clean last week.

    • Karen says:

      Oh yes, my butterfly cupboard has a separator in the centre of it to keep them separated (full size on top, babies on bottom). At least that’s what it’s supposed to do but they were slipping past it last year so I’m going to fix it this year. If there’s no fix then yes, two cupboards for different ages is great. ~ karen!

  3. Lisa Hassall says:

    Be safe, be kind, physical distance & remember:
    Without a “host” the Covid-19 party can’t carry on!

  4. CHerie says:

    Isn’t it wonderful that we are, though you, Karen, connecting even in these troubling times? I walk for at least 45 mins a day. With two Shelties who go nuts if they are not walked — ever heard the noise from TWO Shelties? — I have no choice. Fortunately, with 4 acres we can also play Chuck-It in the backyard. Re the snacks: I, who had been dieting for weeks until about 5 days ago, and having denied myself chocolate for most of those weeks, remembered that I had chocolate chips, big ones, Ghiarideli chocolate chip in the pantry. At first, I was rationing myself, only 5, and then yesterday I finished the package. Did I feel even remotely guilty? Nope, but I did stay off the scale this morning. And, dang it, I know there is a full, never opened package of dark chocolate chips from Costco. Help me! (Although, really, the only way you would help is to share the eating, correct?)

  5. ErinG says:

    Oh Karen, I have been tempted by those glorious poison ivy berries too! They are especially lustrous this spring for some reason. I found myself wondering if I *just kept them in a planter outside* ? But I left them on the path.

    I’m starting my seeding tomorrow and am planning a decent walk today in the sunshine. I find myself flip-flopping from keyed-up anxiety to thinking it’s just another spring day in Ontario. Focus is out the window. Most of the snacks are gone, but there is a good supply of bacon in the freezer.

    Thanks for the humour. We really benefit from it these days. Take care.

  6. Susan Schneider says:

    Being able to read your posts makes staying in almost bearable. And, thanks for a nice long, funny post today! You are doing a public service, for sure!

  7. Nora says:

    Thank you, Karen! I really appreciated your post, today. What I especially like about all your posts is your attention to well valid information and advice combined with laugh out loud humour.

  8. Kris Wilson says:

    Karen, do you follow From The Potting Shed?
    Elaine is an expert gardener and you may get some tips to help fill out your front yard English garden. She’s in Cambridge (Ontario)
    I think you’d love her style, and her!

  9. Deborah says:

    Been following you for maybe a year or so now – and after all this time, I find I can’t let another day go by without telling you how much your crazy, wonderful, wacky, useful, entertaining, silly, informative, thoughtful, wacky (worth repeating), kind, and a touch genteel (you get the picture) posts “Make My Day” especially during these unsteady times. Thank you so much.

  10. Hi Itchy and Scratchy! I hope your hands are healed up.
    My dachshund Gracie and I get out of the house at least once a day for 30 minutes. We have a set route and she knows specifically the houses that she is to stop at. If all is ok with my elderly neighbors inside they place one small dog treat near their mailbox. SNACKS! Many times we also get a wave from the window. It’s a small thing but important in my tiny patch of green.
    I’m also planting a Victory garden for the first time ever.
    Some days it’s hard to see the glass as half full. But half full is ALWAYS better than empty and I focus on that.

  11. Kristi says:

    Right before the lockdown I managed to get a whole bunch of plants from Lowe’s. I am determined to overcome my brown thumb and seven cats!
    Meanwhile, I’ve been decluttering and letting my kids make cookies. So the extra padding should get me through if there turns out to be a food shortage.
    (Btw, our stores don’t have any sugar left on the shelves which terrifies my kids…)

  12. Holly says:

    To solve your snack dilemma, bake cookies! If you use oatmeal and nuts or raisins you can even tell everyone you are eating healthy (if you don’t mention the sugar and butter and chocolate…).

  13. Jane says:

    I’m not much of a snack person, but hubby is, and I try to make sure the snacks are at least not as unhealthy. Half of a loaf of store-bought sourdough has way passed its best-before date, so I made your garlic croutons yesterday, Karen. (I usually just cut up stale bread and let them sit out to dry thoroughly for future use.) Instead of herb I sprinkled Parmesan. Hubby finished half of them last night.

    Margaret’s post about working in an ice-cream factory reminds me of my time at a Baskin-Robbins store in NYC one summer during university days. Each scoop had to be exactly 3-1/2 oz. Unfortunately, the butter pecan was literally hard as rock and impossible for us girls to scoop. So, we’d either ask one of the guys to serve the customer or just plain lie and say we were out. On the other hand, the boysenberry cheesecake never froze solid and started running down the side of the cone even before you handed it to the customer. So, the same lie came out. Ah, those were the days!

  14. Jane S says:

    Hot cross buns from Village Bakery! I have been cleaning the attic, doing my taxes, stripping wallpaper, dying table cloths for my daughter’s wedding, cleaning my other daughter’s room (she moved out over a year ago) and knitting. All these things have been little niggles of guilt in my mind for ages. Miss my friends and going out but at least I feel productive.

  15. Margaret Gove says:

    Hi Karen
    I sympathise with the ice cream. I used to work in an ice cream factory, and we were allowed to rake a tub off the line at breaktime. You’ve never tasted ice cream until you’ve had it before freezing, when it’s cold, but soft and squishy. My favourite was toffee pecan – ice cream rippled through with toffee, with a mix of toffee, fudge and pecans. Is it any wonder I’m the shape I am?
    Last week I moved my sprouting loofahs to the greenhouse, I’m so excited about them. I also planted cucumber, beans and peas. I live in the north of England, so it stays cold here longer than the south.

    On a bright note, I take the dogs out twice a day for a 2.5mile run (they run, I ride my mobility scooter), and pass lots of wood anemones, daffodils, and dandelions, cheering me up with their bright yellow, crocus have finished, but willows have fluffy pussy willows, and catkins are everywhere, incuding my twisted hazel in my garden. Bird song is rife, and often I don’t meet anyone. If I do, we can stand a safe distance, and have a shouted conversation!

  16. Lin says:

    Karen, As we say down here in the South – You are a hot mess! And I love you. Hang in there.

  17. Stephanie says:

    We have hoarded snacks at our house as one of us is a chip whore (not me, although I do like a nice chip on occasion). We have bags and bags of Lay’s Classic, Lay’s Ripple and Lay’s Sea Salt and Pepper. We also have one bag of Miss Vickies – lime and black pepper – because they are my favourites. We have bags of tortilla chips and jars of salsa, avocados and sour cream. There are a couple of Skor bars secreted away and four cases of wine. That being said, all I wanted today was a couple of jellybeans . Not even fancy ones, just a good old- fashioned coloured sugar bean. One to chew fast and one to suck.

    • Karen says:

      You suck jellybeans? That’s a thing?! I wonder how hard it is to make jellybeans. It seems like something no one does, but, I mean – clearly it’s possible to make them. Hmmm. ~ karen!

      • CathyR says:

        I didn’t buy jellybeans on Friday, even though I waited in line for an hour for store to open! Proof positive I have gone over the edge.
        However, if I go I go CVS, certainly it counts as a medical necessity.

  18. CathyR says:

    Karen, you GROW your own food for heaven’s sake. Own it!😉😉🥰🥰

  19. Peggy in MN says:

    No. 1) Baba Ghanoush and Lime Tostitoes. I can usually control myself, but the past week I have practically made a meal of this twice. And it’s all veggies!
    No. 2) Wild Rice, Barley and veggie soups in a broth base (no cream). If I have enough of this I might not pig out on No. 1.
    No. 3) Lots of different greens, all cleaned and bagged and ready to pick and choose and throw into a bowl, and then add whatever else looks like a likely suspect, and good oil and vinegar from my stash. This isn’t a salad, it’s an event!
    No. 4) Chicken thighs or half breasts dredged in mayonnaise and coated in crushed French’s Fried Onion Rings with White Cheddar and baked at 350 for 25 minutes or until done.
    (Just to prove to myself that I’m not vegetarian.)
    And of course, a nice wine.
    Prepping food is such a good distraction.

    This quarantine can end any time now.

  20. George McCarter says:

    Some time ago when I was single I also decided to eat ice cream straight out of the carton with a spoon. Problem was that mine was a two litre carton. It’s not like there is a line on it where you are supposed to stop! I learned a valuable lesson that night. It’s a good thing that happened.
    George ;)

  21. TucsonPatty says:

    My Dr. recently put me on a low carb diet because of elevated blood sugar, elevated cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, and elevated weight. Thank you Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I think It is all also and unfair because it was the first part of January – right after eating a box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts.
    So those snacks might be good for you. I’ve been drinking a no carb protein drink every morning. Crap I think I don’t have any snacks really I’ve been eating handfuls of Cheerios because I bought them before the low-carb thing. I stocked up on those multicolored baby little bell peppers. I ate those with peanut butter. I don’t have any crackers or bread because of the carb thing. I have lots of pasta set around supposed to eat that. I think the doctor ruined my life. I have however lost over 15 pounds so there’s that. I read somewhere recently about the coronavirus 15 instead of just the freshman 15. I’m not gonna do that, I’ve worked too hard for the last two months. I’m so sorry that I don’t have more snack ideas for you. I have a ton of appetizer recipes on my Pinterest page under Recipes – Appetizers. Mostly things I shouldn’t be eating right now. My friend calls them for fantasy foods, when she saves coupons for them. Maybe I need to get out and talk to somebody – this is getting pretty long.😂😂I’ve only been in Self quarantine for three days now and haven’t even started on the pile of books that I don’t have to take back to the library because the public library is closed. Many, many, many, Netflix movies and series later, I really am loving this forced “vacation” so far. Thanks Karen, for keeping on keeping on. ❤️

    • Kristin says:

      As a fellow low-car eater (type one diabetes), there are lots of great recipes online. Try All Day I Dream About Food. I don’t miss all the potatoes, bread or pasta when there are so many healthy choices using veggies!

  22. Karen Page says:

    Several things I am loving about this “sheltering in place” 2 weeks… parents are getting to spend time with their kids and hopefully bonding, many houses are getting a good spring cleaning… the kind we all say we don’t have time for, DIY projects and crafting are getting done, doctors’ offices are using peoples’ cars as waiting rooms to reduce contamination (um, I’d like that ALL YEAR LONG please), and people are getting an education through bloggers and YTers on how to be more resourceful. My hubby and I are both home FT normally, so we’re not doing anything really different… other than watching other people freak out who aren’t used to it! And eating more. I’m almost out of chips.

  23. Cathy says:

    Glad you got rid of the berries.
    Last spring we were out doing the first round of weeding and hubby asks me if I planted something new. “No, but leave it. It looks interesting.” Well, about a month later it was almost 6 feet tall, with a variegated purple and green stalk, purple and green leaves and white lacy flowers(like Queen Anne’s lace) . I took it to our local nursery for identification. They went to ask the expert and came back carrying it with gloved hands. Turns out it was poison hemlock. They told me to go home and wash my hands as the poison can be absorbed through the skin and to be very careful when removing it. The stalk was hard and fibrous. Needless to say it was removed and burned in the fire pit. Socrates died from poison hemlock. Stay safe… scary times

    • Tina says:

      Oh! I found some of that in my garden with my morning glory last fall! I don’t know where it came from but it didn’t belong with my morning glories so to the compost pile it went. I was harvesting seeds and didn’t want it in.

    • Karen says:

      As soon as you started to describe how big the plant got so quickly I was knew! They get HUGE and they’re so dangerous! Glad you got it identified. ~ karen!

    • Kat says:

      You should be very careful about burning poisonous plants! The toxic parts of some (like poison ivy) can then be breathed in. You do NOT want poison ivy lungs! Ouch!

      • Jacquie Gariano says:

        My Dad and brother were clearing the garden area and pulled up some poison oak (they did know what it was, so wore gloves) but then burned it. Both ended up in the ER with resp problems. No fun.

  24. Cynthia G says:

    Gee, wish I loved to cook! The food looks fabulous! Snacks? Seems like I find something so delicious then burn myself out on it. The latest are mini strudels with cherry filling-little butter on the bottoms and warm’em up in the toaster oven. Yum.
    Ok, I’m gonna get scolded for this——-it’s “handsfull” as in the perlite addition to the soil.
    But look- I sure wish I had your posture and all your motivation. I think if we get some sun in TX I’ll be lots better.

    • Karen says:

      Handfuls is perfectly acceptable. :) It’s the more modern version, similar to the evolution of rooves to roofs. Although I think I spelled (or spelt) it wrong with two ls. So you can focus on that if you like.🤣~ k!

  25. Victoria says:

    I’m in LA and I am not used to working at home, nor homeschooling my kids…. but hey this is the new normal! I find that weeding and doing manual labor really helps with any Corona related anxiety! And I really enjoy the no socializing…. 🤗
    Love reading your posts!!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Victoria! Doing anything helps! Manual labour, cooking, getting outside. I think the biggest thing is making sure to do stuff everyday, not just sitting around waiting for this to be over. ~ k!

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