Why it takes me a minimum of 17 hours to do anything.

As a freelance worker with an irregular income, I’ve figured out a lot of ways to stretch my money.  I clip coupons, do my own home repairs, cut my fella’s hair myself,  and even dried and reused a paper towel once.

As frugal as I am, I’d still rather spend money on flowers than cut them from my garden.  Every time I take a pair of scissors to my home grown flowers it’s as if I’m plunging a knife into my own flesh and blood.   It’s horrifying.   You’re probably thinking, Well, jeez, Karen … where do you think flowers come from?  You think they just magically appear in the grocery store, all packaged up in plastic ready for you to take home?  NO. They don’t …  Someone has to feed them and raise them and make sure they’re healthy, and then when they’re just the right size and age, someone has to butcher them.   Uch … gives me the willies just thinking about it.  The truth is, I don’t want to know where they come from.  I just want them to appear all pretty in front of me from somewhere other than my garden.  But, I am cheap, so occasionally when I have an abundance of flowers, I do go out and cut them myself.

Since this is probably the last week I’ll actually have tulips in my garden, I decided to head out into the wilderness that is my front yard to *gasp* cut some tulips.  That should take, what?  5 minutes?   It went a little something like this …

Grab some scissors for cutting the flowers  from the boxy thing I keep all my scissors in.

Head out the front door and immediately notice the dirty porch and nip back inside to get broom.

Sweep porch.

Put broom away and head back out to front yard to cut tulips.

Notice my lawn is all brown at the tips.  Hmm.  What the hell.

Remember my push mower wasn’t making that nice clicking sound it’s supposed to the last time I cut the lawn.  This means my lawn is all brown because the push mower was ripping the grass as opposed to cutting it.  Should probably adjust the cutting blade.

Back in the house to get the tools to adjust the lawnmower.  And a coffee.  Might as well get a coffee.  I mean, it’d be stupid not to.

Fix lawnmower.  (watch for full post on how to do this soon) O.K.  Now what was I doing … Oooo look at the butterfly!

Follow the butterfly around the corner and notice, WOW,  my rhubarb is HUGE!

Pull a few stalks (pulling firmly from the base) for my neighbour Rachael.    Rachael LOVES stewed rhubarb for breakfast.  Only people of a certain age love stewed rhubarb.  Rachael is approximately this age.    I remember Rachael’s love of stewed rhubarb  because I am a good and neighbourly neighbour.  Right, Rachael?  Now how ’bout that secret candy recipe you’ve been holding out on for the past 12 years.  You know one day you’ll go senile and I’ll trick it out of you so you may as well just give it up now.

Deliver the rhubarb to Rachael.  Rachael’s shy.  One of Rachael’s favourte movies  is Pulp Fiction.  But you probably guessed that just by lookin’ at her.

Return home and notice my front gate needs the latch fixed.  Don’t have time to do a real fix, so I “pretend fix it” by removing the loose screw, filling the too large hole with a broken off stick and rescrewing the screw into it’s newly snug home.   (watch for full post on this method soon)  This will suffice until I have time to properly fix it.  I don’t have time now because …

… I have to run inside while I remember and get some coffee grounds.  Coffee grounds in the dirt around your hydrangea plants help  to lower the pH which in turns helps them stay blue.  Flowers.  Floooowweeerrss … there was something I was supposed to remember about flowers.  Right!  Tulips …

Just about to start cutting when … Betty shows up!  Sit on porch and discuss important matters of the day then force feed her  Szechwan Carrot Soup.

Grudgingly cut my flowers and get ready to plunk them into my favourite tulip vase; which also happens to be my third favourite gravy boat. Which is actually a vintage water pitcher. I think.

This, by the way, is pretty much how all of my days go.  Which leads me to believe, it’s probably pretty much how all of your days go too.  You set out to do one thing and eventually get there by way of a fewwww other things.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to actually arrange these suckers.  Quickly.  Before I notice the carpets that need to be vacuumed and that cat barf in the corner that needs cleaning up.



  1. Friederike says:

    Omg?!!! You and I are EXACTLY ALIKE?!!! I call it proper tym management( if im right there and notice trash needing to go the direction im going on my way to do something else, why not take it on with me toward where it needs to go anyway?!!), but others call it “scattered”?! I think what it is is that there are way too many things to EVER get done in a whole LIFETIME?!!!

  2. wedding photography says:

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  3. Helga says:

    i like so much your first picture with tulips that i saved the pic and want to make a watercolour copy!

  4. Laureen O' (@ViBarkley) says:

    Yeppers, 100% me, except, I need to add in a nap.

  5. Tee says:

    LMAO! I tripped over your blog today. I am just not a “blog-following” type person. Usually I just read the first post I trip over and then leave forever. This process had successfully worked for me for years to keep me busily doing my OWN stuff and not just sitting for ages reading about someone else doing THEIR stuff.

    Now, you have broken me. I felt compelled to pin a few of your things to my Pinterest boards AND bookmarked you, too!

    *sigh* I guess it was bound to happen. Eventually, I would find a blog writer with enough gumption, talent and humor to hook me into following them. Thank you for making it so much fun to follow the “blog reading” trend!

    • Karen says:

      Tee – I have a secret. I’m not a blog reader either. Glad you found my site and thanks for Pinning! It’s the way I get most of my new followers. ~ karen!

  6. Meg says:

    My favorite wildflower vase is also my favorite sangria pitcher

  7. BCBev says:

    I do believe it’s called “But First” syndrome. I have recently been diagnosed with the “But First” Syndrome. You know, it’s when I decide to do the laundry, I start down the hall and notice the newspaper on the table. OK, I’m going to do the laundry….

    BUT FIRST I’m going to read the newspaper. Then, I notice the mail on the table. OK, I’ll just put the newspaper in the recycle stack….

    BUT FIRST I’ll look through that pile of mail and see if there are any bills to be paid. Yes, now where’s the checkbook? Oops……there’s the empty glass from yesterday on the coffee table. I’m going to look for that checkbook….

    BUT FIRST I need to put the glass in the sink. I head for the kitchen, look out the window, notice my poor flowers need a drink of water. I put the glass in the sink, and darn it, there’s the remote for the TV on the kitchen counter. What’s it doing here? I’ll just put it away….

    BUT FIRST I need to water those plants. Head for door and……..Aaaagh! Stepped on the cat. Cat needs to be fed. Okay, I’ll put that remote away and water the plants….

    BUT FIRST I need to feed the cat….

    End of day: Laundry is not done, newspapers are still on the floor, glass is still in the sink, bills are unpaid, checkbook is still lost, and the cat ate the remote control…. And, when I try to figure out how come nothing got done all day, I’m baffled because….


    I realize this condition is serious……..
    and I’ll get help!………
    BUT FIRST…………..

    I think…. I’ll check my E-MAIL!

    (Cheerfully stolen from an unknown and possibly forgotten author)

  8. Anna says:


  9. Ulli says:

    there’s someone like you on the other side of the world… and then the boyfriend comes home from work and says ‘what have you been up to today?’ You answer truthfully and he just raises his eyebrows…

  10. Julie says:

    Thanks for the laughs. And where did you get those great silver shoes with the ruffle on the instep? Oh look! A chicken!

  11. Tickled Red says:

    I know what you mean about taking scissors to the lovely’s growing our gardens. If we cut them no one will see that we actually do have a green thumb :)Store bought when we can girl. Your tulips are beautiful by the way and I adore your flats.

  12. susie says:

    This is my life exactly, but since I have children all of this is punctuated by moments of fixing doll’s heads, finding the little thingamajig Audrey needs for her whozeewhatsit, and making sandwiches.

    But it sure beats working 9-5. It’s delightful!

    • Karen says:

      I do not, do not, do NOT know how you do it. I can barely manage with a big lug and a couple of cats. Just babysitting my sister’s dog is enough to send me over the edge!

      • Gillilan says:

        I’m with you Karen, sure I had a child, worked, studied etc but that was a looonngg time ago. My daughter (now 24) recently asked me to puppy sit her 2 babies (10mths and 5mths) at her house (thankfully) for 10 days while she and her fiance were on hols in Thailand. I was exhausted at the end of it!

        Wake early with pups, put them out for wee wees, feed pups, top up water; get myself ready, don’t let pups in shower, remember to put toilet lid down, put all my make up away so pups don’t get it, hide my underwear so pups don’t get it. Clean up pups wee because he didn’t get outside soon enough. Wonder what that other funky smell is and check everywhere to find a poop under the bed! How late am I for work yet? That was day one.

        • Karen says:

          Gillilan – There is NOTHING worse than puppy poop. It’s rancid smelling for some reason. Nothing at all like puppy breath. ~ karen

  13. This is how every day goes in my house… except I rarely finish anything I start.

    I also hate to cut the flowers from our yard. Makes me sad.

  14. Andrea says:

    I’m with going along with the multi-tasking vote – yeah, yeah that’s it, moving from one project to another along the way to the project you initially set out to do – yep – multi-tasking! Good job and nice lawn mower.

    And congratulations for picking your own tulips, you are now one step away from liberating flowers from someone else’s garden. Something I personally think about doing, but somehow just keep buying from Trader Joe’s.

  15. Amy says:

    Just found your website. Ha, I love it. My bible study group bought me a shirt that said, “some people think I have ADD, but… Oh look a chicken”

    And you know what, They do that do me now. I will be talking and they will point and yell oh look a chicken.

    I look….every single time. I always look.

    Looking forward to reading more with you.


  16. Amy Hadley says:

    Wish I had some tulips to clip. Maybe I’d get more done around here.

  17. Karen says:

    Well said. Quite possibly, total crap, but it made me feel better anyway.

  18. Tricia Rose says:

    Ladies, the problem here is one of perception! Let’s call it multi-tasking, or flow, or some other agreeable name. I believe our souls would seize up and parts would drop off if we had to tackle our own wonderful messy flow-y LIFE in a logical linear fashion.

    I am lost in admiration than you can handle a socket wrench Karen, and I wish I were the ol’ lady you live next to.

  19. Rieland says:

    mmmmmm Grandma’s Rhubarb Custard pie. Heaven in a crust. Fedex me summa that rhubarb, wouldja? kthanksbai

  20. Langela says:

    At least you get something accomplished. I start out, say, cleaning the kitchen. Find something that goes in the bathroom. Take it to the bathroom and realize this bathroom is a mess. Start to clean it and find something that belongs in the closet. On the way to the closet I pass my bedroom and notice the pile of clothes that need ironed. Start that……… By the end of the day, I have started more chores than most do in a week. And finished none of them. Then my poor husband wonders what I did all day. When I tell him I cleaned the kitchen, bathroom, closet, etc. he doesn’t see it. Cuz it’s still a mess. It might only be partially dirty/clean, except my kids have messed up what I DID clean.

    BTW, you must not have a very big yard to be able to use such a tiny mower. My kids love playing with that kind of mower. We mow about 4-5 acres, so we need something a little bigger. That is the one chore I can finish without getting distracted. Cuz once I’m on the mower, I do not get off until it’s done. the kids are enlisted to pick up sticks, balls, and various animal bones drug out by the dog.

    Love the “garden” shoes! Rhubarb crisp and strawberry-rhubarb pie…YUMMY!

  21. Foxadora says:

    Ahh, ADD. Isn’t it fun? Personally I think it makes life more interesting. It reminds me of a story … ooh look, a butterfly. The end.

  22. Jeanenne says:

    If you were to add in various distractions/urgent matters that involved 3 kids, 2 dogs, or going to the beach, you and I could very well be living the same life.

    Also, I HATE rhubarb. But I love Pulp Fiction.

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