What I’ve Been Doing This Week

This week I realized that sometimes I hate people, but I’m still a good person because I don’t tell them I hate them, I just quietly seethe and wish awful things upon them. Like producing a dense loaf of bread.

There are so many factors going on right now that could very well lead to a complete meltdown of society.  I’m sure you agree.

The most tragic of course being the fact that all the world’s baking supplies have been kidnapped and held hostage by a disorganized conglomerate of people who don’t bake. 

I could deal these people who are hoarding the flour that they will never bake with but THE DAHLIAS. The dahlia tubers are also disappearing into the hands of people who don’t garden.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame these people for suddenly wanting to become bakers and gardeners, I mean that’s what my entire site promotes; doing stuff. It’s just that, at the moment, I hate those people. 

If you read last week’s post you learned about my obsession with Charlie McCormick and his dahlia border. I decided to apply it to my house, running the complete length of my picket fence. This week I organized an entire colour scheme for my dahlia border.

Dahlia Colour Palette

The only problem is from the time I made my orders to the time they were received, tubers were already sold out.  I’m now missing and on the hunt for two water lily dahlias to replace the Yvonne Pink and Pam Howden and something to step in for the salmony Parkland Tribute dahlia which was also unavailable.

In order to maintain my sanity I’m going to imagine they’re safely tucked in someone’s dirt right now, not the bottom of their shoe closet.


After being assaulted with all manner of cookies on Instagram last week I wiped my face of dahlia tears, took some flour out of the safe and got baking.

I made ginger snap cookies that were so ugly I didn’t take a picture of them but were so delicious I  had to tell you about them. Don’t ask for the recipe though because I’m not allowed to share it. It was offered to me by someone I follow on Instagram with the condition I don’t share it. So I won’t. 

The notion did make me smile a bit. That in this age of the Internet where recipes are shared faster than hand sanitizer at a hospital, people are still keeping recipes secret.  There’s something inherently old fashioned and charming about it that I love. Of course I can say that since the recipe was indeed shared with me. 

If, on the other hand, he had said he had the world’s best ginger snap recipe but he couldn’t share it with me, I would have lumped him in with the baking thieves and dahlia hoarders.


Yup. I curled my hair again. Actually, I only had to curl the sides side the back is now, inexplicably curly.

I don’t hate it. I don’t love it. I accept it. According to one Instagram reader I look … and I quote … 

“… like a frugal billionaire that donates a lot to charity, does yoga and surfs every day right outside her house every day just to humble-brag.”

I think I look like Moira Rose. So we’re both right.

My friend hair and makeup artist Andrea told me to get this T3 curling iron so that’s the one I got.  I am incapable of good judgement on my own when it comes to hair products.


I am doing my best to force/cajole/trick Betty into walking.

It takes quite a long time just to get around the block because she’s always stopping to conduct a non-existent orchestra.

Betty on the left, me on the right.

Just kidding. We were doing shadow puppets and it was her turn to attempt an elephant. You can see it if you look really hard.

Just kidding.  She was yelling at a neighbour who was smoking pot.

Just kidding. She was beckoning him over.

First Flowers

No community garden still (it probably won’t open up for another week) but I did manage to scrabble a few flowers together from my front yard to make a small bouquet. 

2 regular and 1 specialty tulip plus a bunch of muscari (grape hyacinths) didn’t make much fo an arrangement so I added the only other green stuff around, climbing hydrangea and a few wisps of honeysuckle.



The highs and lows in one’s life can be measured not by the actual events but by how we react to them. This week I reacted by pathologically tidying. What’s pathological tidying? I’m not entirely sure of the definition but I *can* tell you that it takes place at 3 o’clock in the morning.

In the past week I’ve cleaned up my front yard, back yard, organized, swept, vacuumed, put away and categorized most of my belongings. I also took my basement apart and reconfigured my grow light set up and all the seedlings I started. 3 a.m. seemed to be the most appropriate time to do this.

The pathological tidying isn’t because I have more time on my hands, I’m still working the same amount I always have, it’s because I’m wanting to feel some sort of control I think.

That and the fact that when you literally go nowhere other than home, you really want the home you’re in to be as nice as possible.

Also, I found my sofa was getting gritty with cheese popcorn powder, potato chip crumbs and desperation.


What I've Been Doing This Week

Have a good remainder of your weekend. 


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



  1. Jacquie Gariano says:

    Love today’s post, still catching up on e-mail, as usual, But I just love them all. Love the hair. Looks great. I, too can’t wait for my hair stylist to open, Gov Newsome says in “the next couple of weeks” not soon enough. Beautiful flowers. We have planted our garden here in Roseville, CA. near Sacto. Hot days coming this weekend. I also have been being good about not hording (not really difficult with all the horders there are here) but even so. I also can’t flin flour or yeast. I have been ordering mine from King Arthur Flour in Vermont. But even they have a long waiting time. I can’t wait till I can go back there. Have kids and grand kids there and spend the summer each year to escape the heat here and take cooking classes.
    Keep well and keep letting us share your life, I just love you and your “stuff”
    P.S. I would be up at 3AM doing “stuff” too if I didn’t live with my daughter and son-in-law who frown on my traipsing around in the middle of the night, esp in my Jammies.

  2. jayne penticost says:

    I just LLllloooovveee your writing Karen; so blunt but in a nice way and your choice of diction; well, it is truly amusing!!! I have tried to follow some people before but I get bored very quickly; you on the other hand are quite a riveting read!! We have a lot in common too; my brother-in-law shows dahlias and grows them in our allotment, my daughter is a Betty (Downs Syndrome) 40 in June, and I`m a qualified chef for my sins. Anyway, my darling, keep up the good work and being a secret misanthrope is not a sin in my estimation???!!!

    • Karen says:

      Well thanks Jayne! My fingers are crossed that you don’t get bored with me. Although it’s inevitable. I mean, I’m honestly quite bored with myself at this point, but my community garden opens up tomorrow so that’s likely to change. ~ karen!

  3. Gary Boutin says:

    Hi Karen, I thought you hair was fine. I really didn’t see any curls it looked natural to me, I guess that the point. New Air Iron, we men buy tools you should get the tool that makes your life easier, if it an flat iron then that your tool. As for the bread flour, people are just going crazy it will end soon. I hope! As for the flowers you choices are beautiful and should make your home wonderful. The only flower I am planting this year is Marigolds to protect my plants. It get so hot here in Riverside California (Southern California) that nothing lives unless its a cactus. I really like how you stated you hated some hoarders, but you also would make them rock hard bread. That’s what I like about this Blog is that you are genuine. Today my pole beans and my bush beans came up, so happy. As for carrots and peppers, only one pepper came up. Arg. Have a great day looking forward to reading more. Gary

  4. Jill says:

    Same, girl, same. I’m glad people are doing things and getting back to their roots, but stop hoarding things! I know sourdough is having a moment right now, but unless you’re a cray person (like me) who refuses to waste the daily discard…sourdough uses SO MUCH FLOUR! and our stores are out of flour. I wish everyone’s new hobby of choice was composting, or swatting mosquitoes…or something that still adds to the net benefit of our planet, but without consuming hobby resources. lol.

  5. Joyce says:

    There are two old ladies in my ‘hood who bragged about all the stuff they “stocked up on”. I just know neither of them have ever baked bread in their lives! My neighbor and I pick up flour and yeast and tp for each other when we shop.
    I cut my hair with these little bitty scissors, I look like a 90’s rocker! Today I grated lavender soap and made soft soap for our dispensers! Later I will cut down dog food sacks to make planting bags for potatoes.
    I am getting used to this locked down stuff!
    If Spring would come I could plant,

  6. Christine Hilton says:

    The new hair makes you look younger.That is all that matters.l have a ginger recipe that bites you.The secret is candied ginger,ginger and cayenne.l dont make them much anymore because l could never eat less than 12 at a time.

  7. Tina says:

    As far as shaving without shaving cream, I bought a bottle of Kirkland shampoo and conditioner in one and don’t like the way it makes my hair feel. The conditioner is too heavy for my hair. So instead I use it as shaving soap/cream. The conditioner is great for freshly scrapped skin and my legs and pits feel wonderful and soft afterward. My alternative would have been to toss it so I find this much better!

  8. Cherie says:

    My husband re humanity: “I am not prejudiced at all. I hate everyone equally.” He is not really that awful, but he is less sociable than I so not finding the isolation as difficult. Messenger video chats and Zoom are saving my sanity. On the curling iron: everyone has spent an inordinately high cost on something they own and clearly that curling iron does the job and gives you pleasure, so why not? I got teased/chastised for spending a few hundred on a natural fibre body pillow. It and I have a very happy relationship and I NEVER feel guilty or that I have to justify the expense of it — and my back, too, loves it. Happy curling!

    • Jacquie Gariano says:

      Always spend money on something you love and that gives you joy and pleasure. You are worth it, always.

  9. Jennifer says:

    Have you ever ordered from Old House Gardens? I don’t know if they ship to Canada, but they still have some dahlia tubers for sale. That’s where I got my first Labyrinth dahlia, aka my gateway dahlia (now in 3 different raised beds). I love their products! The Atom gladiola is my favorite of all time.

  10. Patti says:

    OMG I love your new hair!! Whatever age you are it takes at least 5 years off! So softening and flattering! That curling iron says $250 on my amazon.ca site! Can this be right?

    • Nancy says:

      $185 on the US site. You can even buy different sizes of curling barrels to attach to the heating handle, they are $85 each! Mine was $59 and I had to gird my loins to pay that much. I guess that’s why my hair looks like I never heard of yoga. But Andrea is a professional and they have better tools because… they’re professional…….

    • Karen says:

      Yup, yup it’s right, lol. And thanks! I bought mine from Shoppers Drug Mart. It was on sale and I bought it with my points! ~ karen

  11. Vikki says:

    I feel lucky—I only have to walk my dog (who perhaps minds better than your mother). I enjoyed this post and look forward to yours for respite from those currently-hateful people. Good luck on your dahlia hunt. Maybe Charlie can recommend a source.

  12. Mary W says:

    The hair description is weirdly but exactly what your hair reminds me of. It is cute and up to date but I MISS Karen. I will be so happy when salons are open again for my own hair. Balding old lady NEEDS a hair cut. I receive annual notices of what nationwide, store bought veg/fruit has been tested for the most poison and for the first time in years, strawberries have been replaced with RAISINS! Have you ever dehydrated grapes or DIY your own raisins? My grapes are organic and would love to do this but have no clue. I need them for making brown bread mentioned earlier in the comment from Mary.

  13. Mary says:

    Hmm, I just ran across an old family recipe, Aunt Calantha’s Brown Bread. You know, the kind you bake in a tin can and cut those rich brown round slices for cream cheese sandwiches… anyway, on the recipe card it has in parenthesis “really Aunt Regina’s recipe”. You see, Aunt Calantha got the recipe from Aunt Regina, but when people asked her for the recipe she would say it was a secret and refuse. Eventually Aunt Regina heard about this. And she wrote out copies of her recipe and mailed it to everyone she knew.
    If I can find some graham flour I may just make some.

    • Mary W says:

      I love this bread and had a hard time finding graham flour also. Then I round out that it was really AP flour that had wheat germ. So I got a jar of wheat germ and substituted graham flour with 3/4 amount of AP flour and 1/4 amount of wheat germ. Works great!

    • Karen says:

      LOL! Now that’s a good story. ~ karen!

  14. Elsa says:

    I love my dahlias. I inherited my mother’s tubers a few years ago and I’ve been growing them ever since. I recently joined the Hamilton Dahlia Society , they had a sale on their tubers last week, they might still have some left

  15. Diane Amick says:

    Still liking the curly hair!

  16. Margaret McDonald says:

    Hi Karen,
    DalhiaMay farm has some dahlias still in stock. Not sure if they will fit with your colour scheme.Melanie’s stuff is the highest quality. HTH

    • Karen says:

      Hi Margaret! She doesn’t have *quite* what I’m looking for, but I’m hopeful I’ll be able to fill in bits with ones I find at the local nursery once it opens to the public. ~ karen!

  17. whitequeen96 says:

    Karen, lots to comment on here:
    1. Love your new hair! Very different from the usual, but softer (and younger-looking?).
    2. Your Dahlia palette is beautiful and I can’t wait to see it when it’s blooming!
    3. Laughed at your mother/shadow puppets story. I was fooled every time (it really does look like an elephant) and want to know just WHY your mom was calling over your stoned neighbor.
    4. Tidying in the middle of the night? Don’t you know night owls are supposedly more creative than the average person? That’s when I do most of my work.
    5. “. . . it was like finding 3 miniature, tasty psychiatrists.” Now that made me snort-laugh!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks! Thanks! Because she’s just that kind of lady! Because I was compelled to do it and …. thanks! That’s my job. Educate, inform and entertain! ~ karen

  18. Denise Potter says:

    I don’t make bread, but I do bake cookies. We were actually OUT of flour and fortunately my hubs found a 5# bag of an off brand (beggars can’t be choosers) so he got it. But, it does seem that some people went a bit crazy … somewhat expected I guess. I feel a bit crazy just about every day now. I’m hoping it is a temporary condition.

  19. Angela says:

    Thing I learned from this post: that those are grape hyacinths! Thanks!

  20. Dan Stoudt says:

    As Charles Schulz said, “I love mankind; it’s people I can’t stand”.

  21. Danni says:

    Right now I have dough rising and while making it I had the same yeast/flour rage you perfectly described. Sourdough starter is being finicky and I had to dip into my precious yeast…. Finding flour has been hit or miss, my daughter will grab it for me if she sees any, since I make bread for her husband. I must remind her to grab yeast if by some chance she sees some… the proverbial snowball in hell.
    I make pita a lot, it takes less yeast, and can be made in the pizza oven if it’s fired up for a meal.
    But yes, tired of these newbies stripping the shelves, b#%ch, I’ve been doing this for decades, get back to hoarding toilet paper!!
    PS….mean of you to say you had the best ginger snap recipe, and then devastate me by not sharing!!!!

  22. Colleen Smith says:

    The flowers this week are glorious and lasting so long as it has been cool. One of my greatest joys these past couple of weeks has been watching our 3 year old granddaughter wander our garden, pick flowers and leave them on the bottom step of our porch for me to make into a bouquet. So hard not to jump off the porch to give her a huge hug.

  23. Marlene says:

    hmmmm … Dahlias. We lost a big tree last fall due to a the ash borer, so now my shade garden is full sun. I need a few ideas, but they can’t be taller than my soloman seals. Are there many varieties of shorter dahlias? Looking forward to seeing you in the community garden!! Connon Nurseries are allowing people inside to shop!!! Social distancing of course. Got to look for a new clematis. Lost mine due to our new deck dimensions. Thank god the warmer weather has arrived!!

  24. Eve says:

    “… like a frugal billionaire that donates a lot to charity, has a T3 curling iron that cost $185.00, does yoga and surfs every day right outside her house every day just to humble-brag.”

    • whitequeen96 says:

      A curling iron that costs $185.00?! I hope she didn’t pay that much because I see that select Costco locations have the T3 Twirl 1.25″ Curling Iron on sale for $47.99 (after instant savings), now through March 4, 2020. That is $12 off Costco’s regular price of $59.99

      • Karen says:

        Hey! It’s not the same curling iron. :) This one I have is a pro model with interchangeable barrels. I bought it with points! ~ karen

    • Karen says:

      Yup. I got it with points! But I would have paid for it anyway. I rarely buy anything and literally do all home repairs and renovations myself so it doesn’t bother me one iota to buy an expensive curling iron. ~ karen!

  25. KimS says:

    Ok, I just have to ask— you bought $185 curling iron that was only four-star rated?
    And a hoarder story I have to share. So my husband and I were on a zoom call with a group of our friends. My husband ask casually let’s do a poll how much toilet paper do you currently have in your house… One person admitted to having 81 rolls, another person I guess not wanting to be out done then said she had over 100 rolls! Both of these people have only two person homes! And the rest of the people on the call never said anything, which I’m going to assume was because at least a few of them were in the same situation!! Ack!!!! These are my friends!!! Oh well, we’re all just trying to do the best we can right now….

    • Denise Potter says:

      Just had to go count our TP after reading your post. We are a family of 2 and we have 34 rolls plus the 3 that are hanging in bathrooms. Normally we wouldn’t have anywhere near that amount but my husband was keeping his eyes open during the “shortage” and scored a 24 roll package (a quantity I would never buy under normal circumstances). I’m going to try and note just how long that much lasts us. I’m guessing until Christmas at least.

    • Karen says:

      That seems like a lot of toilet paper, lol. I actually got my curling iron using points! But I trust my friend Andrea’s opinion of anything to do with hair more than people rating things on Amazon. She uses cheap things and expensive things so I know if she recommends something it’s because it’s good not because it’s the trendy thing to use or whatever. :) ~ karen!

  26. Bonnie Harris says:

    I found flour at Costco in Peterborough this past week, so check there to be sure. We always have a loaf of homemade bread going (my husband likes to make it in the breadmaker) so I knew we’d soon run out and had tried to get it at our local small town Ontario grocery store but no. I was luckier there with yeast though, they got some a couple of weeks ago and I happened to be in the store at the time. They’re doing a pretty good job sourcing these things from unusual suppliers so the brands aren’t always the usual ones, e.g., Fleischman’s. Nice part about small towns, we don’t have to line up to get into the store here like I hear you do in Toronto area. I like your hair a lot but that curling iron is way too expensive!

    • Karen says:

      It’s a VERY expensive curling iron. And it depends on the time of day and store in terms of whether you have to line up. It’s in incredibly weird feeling to stand in line 6′ apart waiting to go into a store. ~ karen!

  27. Kelly says:

    The hoarders! There is a special place in Hell for those who’ve nabbed all available yeast…and are most likely not even using it as sourdough is all the rage! I too am cleaning and organizing like mad. Monsoon season here in DC seems to be subsiding, and I was finally able to start working outside yesterday. Am desperate to fire up the power washer today, but fear the neighbors would have me hauled away if I start too early.

  28. Diana Franklin says:

    Karen!!!! (Screaming with joy)
    Love all the mini articles this week!
    Love your hair and that is why I am screaming. You made a mention to my new favorite guilty pleasure, Schitt$ Creek!
    Hope you enjoy it too!
    Thank you so much for the tips and tricks!
    PS I really agree with you on the hoarders.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Diana! Thanks! And there is ZERO reason to be guilty about Schitts Creek. It’s one of the best written, most thoughtful television shows in recent history. :) ~ karen!

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