Who Among Us Hasn’t Let a Cucumber Liquify in their Fridge?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately.  About the earth and life and all that goes with it.  It’s quite magnificent if you really pay attention to all that makes this world around us; from the sky to the countless uniform blades of grass pushing up through the land.  Just think of the journey your coffee beans take to make it to your delicious smelling cup every morning. Hand picked coffee cherries, plucked from trees by the hands of a local on the other side of the world, dried in the sun and packed into burlap bags before they’re shipped to a roaster.  And in the summer a tiny little tomato seed will split open, releasing a tentative, thin thread of green that eventually becomes many leaves and stems heavy with full, ripe tomatoes.  It’s amazing.  The entire world is amazing.

So I’ve been thinking about that but mainly I’ve been thinking about whether I’d rather go out in public with hideous hair and a nice outfit or a hideous outfit and nice hair.

It’s not that I have to make the choice, I just wonder if I was forced to do one or the other which would it be?

Like, if I absolutely had to pick, would I rather go on a date wearing a beautifully cut Ralph Lauren silk dress and Chanel shoes with a head of hair that looks like it’s housing an extended family of beavers?  Or would I rather wear an outfit, that looks very much like a clown suit, but not enough like a clown suit to mistake me for an actual clown  – with perfect, Vidal Sassoon hair?

I’ve been thinking about this for 48 solid hours and the closest I’ve come to a decision is Googling what a beaver dam looks like.

There’s an argument to be made for the fact that if your hair looks good, you can wear any old thing and you’ll still look fabulous but just how good does one’s hair have to look to cancel out a massive polka dotted onesie with a ruffled collar?

In real life of course this wouldn’t be an issue. A single beaver can weigh up to 70 lbs.  My head could never support more than 2 or 3 of them.  Plus I don’t really own a clown suit but I do have a few things in my closet that look kind of funny on me.  Every year or so I forget about how awful they are, try them on and then rip them off again.  Yet for some reason instead of doing the logical thing – throwing them out or donating them – I carefully slip them back on the hanger and shove them into the closet where in one year’s time I’ll delight at finding something that I probably only imagined looked like it was sewn by a sloth wearing mittens.

It’s very much like when I need something in the fridge and instead of throwing out the container of liquified cucumber slices I just shove it to the side to get to what I want. For weeks.  Who hasn’t let something get so bad in their refrigerator that they had to throw out the entire container because opening it to dump out the contents would be considered biological warfare?  No one.

I say all of this because we’re coming into the season where there will indeed be garden cucumbers in my refrigerator, my hair will almost certainly look like it’s home to any number of animals, and the clothing I wear will look like I just escaped from prison by crawling through a airplane toilet.

It’s gardening season.

All winter I go along looking half decent with my hair done, clean clothing, polished shoes or boots.  I’d go so far as to say I look respectable.  During gardening season?  I look like something you’d wear a hazardous waste suit around. But I don’t care.

I’m willing to walk around with  nest head and dirt coloured clothing for months on end. It’s a small price to pay for being able to sit outside for hours on end under the blue sky with a coffee in my hand – tending to those tomatoes.

Have a good weekend.  Get dirty.





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  1. renee ryz says:

    I usually send leftovers home with my kids in large yogurt tubs I save, so they don’t have to worry about returning a container. My son called a couple weeks ago (mid April) to ask me what I gave him in a container that was pink. I could not think of anything – he thought it maybe it was chili from Superbowl (February – ick) and sent me a pic. Just as I grabbed the phone frantically to call him and tell him THROW IT OUT – yep he tasted it, and promptly barfed. They were mashed potatoes from THANKSGIVING. So now anything is in a clear bag, or he won’t take it home. Getting green just thinking about it again.
    Got my beds ready this past weekend for planting!!!

  2. Susan Hillman says:

    I’m a Leo, thus hair-obsessed. YET, I would rather be out in public with a fantastic outfit and bad hair than vice versa. The reason: if you have good hair but bad clothing, you clearly don’t know what you’re doing. If you have a great outfit and bad hair, people might wonder if you actually do know what you’re doing and you’re on some kind of style edge with your hair. I think you can actually f*** with people that way. Not like I’m in a position to f*** with people vis à vis my hair, as I’m a middle-aged bourgeois person, but I’m just saying. One could.

  3. Sharon says:

    I am so happy to see someone else in dirty crummy gardening clothes! (Sorry) I just came in from planting tomatoes and columbine, and I’m a mess. I wear white shirts and pants I buy cheap at the thrift stores (heat reflective in the summer), and no amount of Tide or OxyClean will ever get them clean again. But I keep wearing them, holes and all. (And a few holes are in the front of my shirt, small and getting larger.) That’s my spring, summer, and fall attire. In winter my clothes are just as bad, but warmer, since I’m doing indoor projects. But my hair looks good. Usually.

  4. Grammy says:

    I’ve gardened and “done stuff” my entire adult life. I figured out early on that it was way too much wasted time to try to get presentable for a trip to the hardware store or nursery or even grocery store if I was in the middle of gardening or tiling or painting. So I set my head to thinking my grubbiness must surely be a badge of honor, making others jealous of what an active woman I was. I’m not crazy, though. I know they just thought, “What a slob,” but in my mind those were stares of admiration so I cavorted about picking up what I needed and getting back home to finish things without worrying about it.

    I always wore my gardening hat when I went on those trips, so that was a sure sign to anyone that it DID NOT matter what my hair looked like underneath because I was too busy to bother.

    Now that I’m actually an old lady, I find I can look somewhat disheveled whenever I feel like it without having the obvious dirt under the fingernails or paint spatters on me. People seem to give quite a bit of leeway to those of us they think probably can’t help it. If you draw the line at dirty and smelly (no one wants to be that or be near it) you can get away with pretty much anything if you’re so wrinkled people would say, “There’s so much character in that face — and look at those hands…” if they saw a portrait of you.

  5. Sara says:

    Amen, I LIVE for growing season, my yard looks fabulous and gives me delicious things and makes me happy, I look like crap and I also don’t care.
    I think I’d have to go with killer outfit, my husband swears I’m the only one who can tell whether I’m having a good hair day or not (curly hair is both a blessing and a curse)

  6. Lez says:

    Haha! I honestly thought upon reading your title, then you writing about bad hair days, that you were going to give us some scary homemade remedy using liquefied Cucumbers to tame frizz or condition dry hair or something!
    LOL! :)

    • Karen says:

      I’ll give it a shot next time I come across a rotten cucumber and let you know the results. Maybe. ~ karen!

  7. Ev Wilcox says:

    My mom was from the depression era, and they were poor. At home, you NEVER just opened the fridge and shopped for a tasty leftover. There were living creatures in there-Stephen King would have been proud! She could not throw anything away. There were deli type containers packed in there, never labeled as to what and when. We would come home from school and there was a mountain of said containers on the table and a not-in-a-very-good-mood mother dealing with them as she cleaned out the fridge. I love her so, and miss her. I am 95% fastidious in the management of left-overs in my fridge-a result of the creatures I grew up with I guess. I have seen living “things” in my daughter’s fridge-it must skip a generation, huh? She is a single, working mother and her girls are in various sports, etc., so I don’t blame her. One just needs to be wary of going in their box, that’s all. Those creatures may even be friendly, but I will not be finding out !
    And, your gardening “look” is just fine Karen!

  8. Caye Aiello says:

    Karen, from the bottom of my heart – I love reading your posts. You are a national (multi-national?) treasure for gardeners!

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