Hey, friends! How are you? I realize that is the most loaded of questions considering my last post here was in NOVEMBER OF 2019 (WHAT???) and just a few things have happened since then. But I really do hope you are well and keeping your head above water (and then some) in this wild time that we’re living in.
Being missing in action for as long as I have, it’s hard to know how to dive back in. Do I just post a recipe and pretend I was never gone? If you’ve been following along here for any length of time, you know that’s really not my style. I think an update is in order. But in addition to catching up in this virtual coffee date I am going to share some cool stuff that I’ve been working on that will continue to show up here in the days to come. Cool? Ok, good.
Back when I fell off the radar, I did so with the goal of having a low key holiday season and getting back into things in the new year. Then we decided to do a kitchen remodel (!!!) so planning that consumed all my free time and then some. Just as things were wrapping up and I started to get excited about coming back to the blog, BOOM. Pandemic. Fear. Toilet paper as one of my birthday gifts (I turned 41 two days into lockdown). One day my kids were in school five days a week, the next they were home 24/7. So was my husband. Zoom lessons and everything on the iPad and SO MUCH TOGETHERNESS. I love my family. I love love love love love them. But this extrovert learned that I have a secret introvert side. I’ll just tell it like it is. There have been a lot of low days for me. Anxiety and depression and irrational anger. Self-medicating with food and endless scrolling on my phone after everyone had gone to bed. The literal weight of those consequences taking a toll on my body. Not a good cycle. I know I’m not alone in that, but the thick of it can feel so very overwhelming. So I just let that happen to me instead of finding a way through it. There are a lot of days/moments I wish I could do over.
On a more positive note, I HAVE accomplished a lot of non-blog stuff. DIY projects around the house being a big one. Me and power tools are now BFF. Feeling productive and seeing a vision come to life has been a big help in those times when I’ve felt like all I do is babysit Zoom calls. The desk I’m sitting at now in my kitchen is one such project. I mounted this enormous monitor on the wall and made and installed a custom pull out keyboard drawer too.
Little by little, bit by bit, I’ve crawled out of the fog and started to take steps toward reviving my tiny corner of the internet. Just typing this feels full of promise and excitement, which is helped by the fact that I’m alone in my house right now because…these two cuties go to IN PERSON SCHOOL two days a week now!
These little ones are the joy of my life, and I’m so glad that they are getting a small sense of normalcy back in their life. We all need it.
Along with the quiet, the other thing that’s helping my mental state is that the sun is streaming through the window and I have about a bazillion seeds planted for my epic garden plans this year. Which brings me to…my jugs.
It took me forever to time that opening lip sync. But it was worth it. 🙂 And honestly the idea for that to be my first TikTok has been rolling around in my head for weeks. So it felt good to take the idea out of my brain and put it into the world. But you’re probably wondering what in the heck the deal is with this winter sowing business and why I have nearly 70 jugs in my planter box. And I’m going to tell you. In a separate post because I want it to have all the attention. 🙂 Oh, that was also my way of telling you I’m on TikTok now.
While I wait for all of those seeds to sprout (and some already have!), I park myself in front of my new Aerogarden that Michael got me for Christmas. He just gets me. So far I’ve harvested two big bowls of lettuce and now I have herbs planted and they’re taking off. I can practically see the sprouts grow with each passing minute. And now the area around the Aerogarden has become a propagation station to take advantage of the extra light spilling out. I’m sprouting sweet potatoes, regrowing green onions, and letting round 3 of the lettuce keep growing in jars of water after taking two cuttings. I can feel myself wake up a little more as I watch these plants grow. It’s like a metaphor or something. But I’m not that deep.
TLDR: Hi. I disappeared, and now I’m reappearing. I don’t have a rabbit up my sleeve, but I might have some potting soil in my hair.
And just in case you’re curious, no, this is not going to become a gardening blog all of a sudden. But I am going to do gardening posts because it seems, well, connected. 🙂 Grow the food…eat the food. That’s the goal, anyway.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to check on my jugs.
Oh, and…it’s good to be back. <3
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Good to see you back. I completely understand needing to take a “pause” while the world and life goes nuts. I look forward to future posts, and it should be lively learning more about your gardening containers. 😉
Thanks Christopher! It’s good to be back. And yes, lively is a good word to describe my gardening efforts. 😉
It’s great to see you again! It seems like we’ve both been working on similar projects.
Hi Anna! I’d love to hear about your projects! <3
Yolanda Kirk says
Hi Beth! It’s so good to see you again. We’ve all been trying to find ourselves again. Take care.
Hi Yolanda! It’s good to be back. <3
Meg Mauro says
I was hoping you would return to share more of your awesome recipes!
My favs are blender muffins, lasagna toast and more recently cauliflower coated with cashew cream and nutritional yeast and baked. I ate almost all right off the pan while I wondered if you would ever be back!
Thanks Meg! Thanks to this comment I remembered I had cauliflower in the freezer and I made a batch of it last night! I’m so glad you enjoy it too. <3
Welcome back, Beth! It’s just like old friends – even after a long silence it’s easy to pick things up again.
That’s so true, Lorinda! <3 Thank you for that. <3
So sorry to hear of your troubles Beth but extremely pleased to have you back!!
Thank you Christine! I’ve had it easier than most but I know that it’s not fair to compare experiences. I’m so glad to be back. <3
Glad you’re back!! I love your recipes and I think I’m going to really enjoy watching your garden too.
Thank you so much Pam! I cannot wait to share garden progress! <3
Peggy Sedwick says
Oh, Beth! I am so happy to see you back. Your TikTok video on jug planting made me laugh out loud every time I watched it! I won’t see you on TikTok but I look forward to your emails!
Haha, so glad I made you giggle Peggy! You are always so encouraging to me and I appreciate it. <3
Welcome back!! You’ve been missed and I was so excited to see your email pop up in my inbox!! Yay!! Can’t wait to see the future blog posts and videos!
Thank you so much Audra! <3 That makes my day to hear.
Hi Beth, your blog is my happy place. Thank you for everything you’ve shared and I truly look forward to having you back here, feeling fabulous with great jugs of yummy growing food! Take good care of you and thank you again.
Athena, you have no idea how much that means to me. <3 I can’t wait to share more and spread the joy of plants! <3
Welcome back! I wondered what happened to you! I had only signed up for you blog right before you disappeared! The pandemic has been challenging for us all. Good to see you’ve made great use of your time!
Hi Kari! So sorry I dropped off the face of the earth right as you were showing up! 🙂 I am glad to be back. <3
Welcome back, missed you! Much love to you and your family ❣️
Thank you so much Debbie! Much love right back. <3
Welcome back, Beth! Very interesting post. I got a Aero Garden fro Christmas too (from myself) and I love it. But now you’ve given me some new ideas on what to do? Take good care.
Hi Deb, thank you! <3 What a great gift for yourself. I love that we can be creative with it! Take care too. <3
Susan Gail Wright says
glad your back miss your recipes
Thank you Susan! I’m so glad to be back. <3
Beth, it’s so great to have you back. The pandemic took so much from all of us. I actually got through last winter with your recipe for Blender Pumpkin Muffins by my side. I ate a ton of them unapologetically. Thank you for that.
Thanks so much Lydia! Wow, it warms my heart to know that one of my recipes was helpful to you. I love those muffins but haven’t made them in forever! Need to remedy that. Hugs to you! <3
Amy Eberhardt says
Much appreciated your vulnerability in sharing your experience and I so relate to dropping off the map for a year, yet also getting lots done in the sphere of home. Welcome back!
Wearing my heart on my sleeve as usual over here, can’t help but be real. <3 Thanks so much Amy. Here’s to solidarity in hiding out and poking our heads out again. <3
Hoorah for the return of you to this online space! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your struggles (I’m sorry it’s been so rough) and for brightening my Saturday morning with your update. I anticipate reading what you’re wanting to share in the days ahead. Hugs from Southern Oregon.
Hugs from southwest Washington! <3 Thanks Victoria! It’s so good to be back.
Welcome back Beth! You have most certainly been missed. I look forward to not only the return of you posting recipes, but also your delightful humor and your genuine writing style!
Thank you so much Tasha! Lately there’s been such a rash of complaints on social media about food bloggers writing (just get to the recipe!) that it always makes me nervous that people don’t appreciate my writing. But then I get comments like these and others and honestly you are my people and who I write for. 🙂
Good to see you back. Takes a lot of energy to keep your sanity due to Pandemic!!
Made your Vegan Bolognese last week – a staple in my house
Thank you! So glad to hear the vegan bolognese is a staple. That makes my heart happy! And reminds me to make some myself. <3
Welcome back! It is good to hear from you again!
Sprouting things helps find the happy for me too.
Thanks Pat! Here’s to new beginnings and sprouted things! <3
Glad you’re back and I’m looking forward to more of your great recipes!!
Thank you so much Rhonda! I’m looking forward to making them again. <3
The title of your blog totally fits with gardening, I for one love the gardening posts! 🙂 🙂 I’ve always wanted one of those little lighted kitchen herb gardens, keep us posted on how it works out! So glad you’re back! I made a double batch of your tikka masala the other day one of our favorites! ????
Hi sweet friend! <3 It totally does fit and at this time of the year I have to admit that the gardening posts are definitely going to be more prevalent. You and I are two peas in a pod as far as that goes. See what I did there? 😉 I’m so glad you love the tikka masala! I need to make it again. The Aerogarden is the best! Helps keep me happier on those gray days which we get a lot of as you know.
Hey, Beth! I only recently found your blog as I am transitioning to whole food plant based eating. Then I saw that you had been gone for a year! *Gasp!* The horror! I was honestly a little worried about you (I mean, we’re one-sided best blog friends, right?!).
I have already made and enjoyed a couple of your recipes and I am *delighted* to hear that you and your family are getting through this weird period. Even coming out with a new interest in gardening!
Well, the internet is lucky to have you back. I can’t wait to see what happens next. 😀
Hey Kimberly! <3 Thanks for your sweet note. We are indeed best blog friends. If you take the time to write to me you get on the list instantly. I appreciate your concern and I’m so glad to be back! The interest in gardening is not new, but my commitment to actually being successful with it is. 😉 I’m so excited to share more!
Carole Bass says
So glad you are feeling better. This has been a horrible time for all of us – just unbelievable, in fact. Glad you are coming back!
Truly unbelievable and yet, so very real. Thanks for the kind words! <3
Mathilda Hurlburt says
Not really a question, just a comment. You’re not alone, and it’s been a life-changing event around the world. Just getting through it and being positive about the future is an accomplishment, and inspiration to others. Good for you, and carry on! Tilly in Canada.
Thank you, Tilly. It has indeed been a life-changing event. It’s hard to believe it’s almost been a year! <3
Welcome back 😀
Thank you! 🙂
So glad you are back. We are all in this together. Take care…
That is so kind. Thank you Laura! <3
I’m so excited to see this post! I discovered your blog during the pandemic, but you food innovations and creative ideas are amazing (I make variations on your lasagna regularly now. The adding lentils and sweet potatoes to red sauce thing was, in particular, a game changer) and I can see from other comments that I’m not the only one who appreciates your approach to food (especially vegan) food blogging. No weird body shaming or wellness shaming or insincere/rote “this recipe is creamy. (hold for seven photos) chewy (hold for six photos) warm (hold for five photos) etc…” text to be found. No shame at all, just joy and sharing. Looking forward to future posts.
Also! As a fellow extrovert, it actually makes a ton of sense to feel down when surrounded by family all the time. I feed off energy from *new people* and *strangers* and it’s hard to feed off energy from the same two or three people all the time. It doesn’t work the same way no matter how much you love them and they support you.
Hi Eliza! <3 What a wonderful note. I cracked up laughing at your examples of what I’m not, and wow, what a relief too. I keep seeing the buzz about how annoying food bloggers can be and I always worry about how I’m coming across. It’s go great to hear that just being myself is working out ok. As for the extrovert thing, I’m definitely craving ways to connect safely with people that don’t live with me. Honestly writing this post and then receiving and replying to so many wonderful comments has really helped! <3
Oh my goodness – welcome back! I thought I was going to lose my ever loving mind with the whole lockdown, etc. Without going into too much detail, I “get” you!! Good to see you posting again. You are seriously “the friend that gave me the lasagne recipe that was a total game changer”. I’m looking forward to your updates.
Thank you Mary! <3 It’s so great to be back. And what a wonderful reception. I’m so glad that I’m the friend who gave you the lasagna recipe – it’s an honor to be considered that way.
Melinda M says
Yay! My favorite blogger is BACK! No matter about how long, you just have more to make you fun and interesting after such a long drought. Thanks for coming back to share your brilliance and humor. 🙂
You’re so sweet, Melinda. <3 Thank you! I’m so very glad to be back, and humbled that I’m your favorite blogger. I’ll just be over here blushing all day.
Glad to see you back! Also a big fan of your recipes, and your…how to say it…wry sense of humor. Nice jugs, too. It’s been a year for all of us. So happy to be seeing the other side.
Patricia Benes says
Beth! I’m sooo glad to see you again….I didn’t even know about your blog…..watch you on Youtube….Not sure how I got here but so glad I did. Yes, it’s time to be outside (well soon anyway…I live in Colorado) and let the planting begin. I, too, have a small yard for gardening but I so look forward to doing what I can. And your recipes! I love them. Glad you’re back!
So glad I came here for a muffin recipe today and found you posting again!! Welcome back; you’ve been missed.