Hey there, friends, and happy August! I’m going to say happy August, because I truly want life to be kind to all of us. We need some kindness. It’s still 2020.
This year has taken everyone for a spin and the only thing worse than a whole bunch of scary events are scary events with a whole bunch of people holed up at home with nothing better to do than read opinions on the internet about them. Have any of you all read Stephen King’s Under the Dome? That’s kind of what this feels like. Crisis brings out the natures of people, whether it’s altruism and a need to help, or whether it’s behaving badly because people feel removed from the rest of society they would normally feel some kind of responsibility or accountability to.
We’re taking the time to get off the screens and get outside, for our mental health as well as our physical health. It’s been hot and it’s been rainy but still, getting out and breathing in some nature is a much needed bit of goodness. And even though it’s just the beginning of August, I saw a couple red leaves on a tree in the woods by our house, so I’m starting to feel all the fall coziness that’s around the corner. Because we’re probably still going to be cozy at home in fall, given all the signs. I’m okay with that.
In the meantime, here’s what’s going on now.
1. So two months in a row, you guys are alllllllll about the baked crispy chicken sandwiches. That post has gotten so much love from readers! We’re really glad, because it’s a family favorite, and we can use our fresh garden tomatoes in it and make it even better!
2. If you didn’t see my announcement last Friday, our little Baby Bean isn’t so little anymore – he just turned two! He’s 37 inches tall and 35 pounds and is one happy, smart, sweet, and very energetic little boy. He’s my favorite helper out in the garden and in the kitchen and is learning his way around the basics of mixing pancake and brownie batter, plucking mint and basil, and watering. It’s been so wonderful to watch him grow!
3. Scott and I both love camping and camp-out cooking, and with social distancing being a must for us with activities, it feels like a great way for us to get out of the house without adding to our risk. However, we haven’t done any of it in about forever, and certainly not with a toddler. At what age did you all start taking your kids camping? How did your resource requirements change?
4. Mostly because of the weather, but also because it’s the one time of day where I can guarantee someone won’t take away my exercise time by scheduling a meeting, I’ve been getting out the door at 5:30 am for a run about 3 days a week. The days differ, but I’m getting out there. It has become something I absolutely look forward to, both to get the blood pumping and to get a little bit of time to focus on what I actually want to get done that day. I do my best thinking while I’m running, and I’m very grateful to have these moments.
5. My hair was halfway down my back and looking pretty scraggily. I hadn’t had it cut since – I think – September of last year, and even then, they didn’t cut much. But I was running out of things to do with it besides just yank it back into a ponytail or bun. So I took matters – and scissors – into my own hands. I really like the result! And while I’m not going to put stylists and hairdressers out of business anytime soon, I can say that it’s good enough for working at home!
6. I way underestimated the number of cucumbers my plants would produce, so now we have them everywhere. Fortunately, most of them are pickling in jars along with some of my favorite spice combinations. It’s really awesome to make a sandwich and just go to the refrigerator to grab a pickle spear to crunch on as well. Add a handful of potato chips, and you’ve got the world’s most perfect deli-at-home experience.
7. My husband is a rock star. I’m in meetings almost all day, so about the only time I am able to spend any time with him and with our son is lunch and after work. I know being a full time dad to a toddler and trying to study for his landscape architecture licensing is tough, but he’s pulling it off like a champ, and keeping me from going insane as well.
8. What’s for dinner tonight? I don’t know, but I can tell you what I’m craving for dessert! This rustic strawberry shortcake! I’m working on a version of this that uses honey drizzled grilled peaches instead of the strawberries and hopefully I’ll have that nailed down enough to publish soon!
9. Between work being crazy and hitting a bit of a creative wall, my posting frequency fell off a little bit this past month. But I’ve had a sudden surge in ideas thanks to my garden producing an absolute ton of fresh tomatoes, my basil plant going crazy, my potatoes being almost ready to dig up, and the farmer’s market having a huge bounty of wonderful fresh things. You can expect a lot of fresh and seasonally inspired recipes coming up this month as we enjoy these summer days, and maybe a few tips and tricks we’ve learned from experimenting with our smoker!
So what are you all up to these days? Happy August!