purslane growing wild

Pandemics and Purslane

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So, how are you doing? Life under the pandemic has been interesting, hasn’t it?

There have been a lot changes over here at GRLife and I have been very busy. It’s funny, I thought my business would dry up. I thought there would be so many people out of work that the freelance writing business would be swamped by new people entering the market. That hasn’t proven to be the case. It seems that instead people are starting at home businesses that need writing. I’ve been writing for nutritionists, supplement companies, and fitness companies. I’ve also been writing about my other love – dogs! That’s been a lot of fun. (Curious? You can see my writing gigs on fiverr.)

Foraging Purslane in a Pandemic

I’m 100% working from home now, which is absolutely lovely. I am so grateful I hired an interior designer to help me create this office. I spend so much of my time here, and I love it – as do my dogs! The dogs love 24/7 access to Mom. With the world closed, I have been home a lot.

I live in Michigan where we’ve opened up a bit, but some things are still closed or not functioning the way they were. My gym is one example. They have been fantastic, especially given all the challenges. My coaches offered at home workouts, and then as restrictions were lifted, they started offering socially distanced workouts at a high school track. That’s lead to workouts in the gym parking lot two days a week. We are in every other parking spot and making sure to stay clear of each other. (My favorite was my coach yelling, “People are hot lava! Stay away from them!”)

yellow summer squash
My very first summer squash

One of the interesting things that has come out of all this time at home is I have been gardening. I neglected my garden area behind the house the past few years. Over the last four months I have been pulling weeds, digging out grass, and planting new plants. I’ve also started dabbling in growing more of my own food. I bought a squash plant and some green bean plants, just for fun. I picked up a tomato plant I found along the sidewalk with a “FREE! Please Take Me Home” sign on it. And, I bought a ton of herbs. I’ve been challenging myself to use them.

My extra free time also lead me to TikTok, and naturally, to follow a number of content creators who garden and forage. That’s been fascinating! And it woke up an old interest in me. I used to love to read about how to use herbs and natural medicines. So, I pulled out some of my old herbals, blew the dust off them, and started reading them again.

And that is how I ended up harvesting common purslane out of my garden. Or rather, (since purslane is a weed) pulling it from just outside of the garden. It was happily growing on my walkway. I used a plant identification app to verify that it was what I thought it was, then plucked it, removed the roots and brought it inside to eat in a salad. If you are curious about how to cook with purslane, there is a great article on Epicurious.

The New Normal?

Purslane washed and ready for salad.

A friend of mine suggested that I write about what is happening in my life on the blog. And she is right, there are a lot of interesting things. I am learning a ton from my freelance writing, I am working on getting my eating back to where it was pre-pandemic (yes, even health coaches fall off the wagon,) and trying to get my butt back to the gym on a regular basis. There might even some interesting news on the dog front. (Too soon to tell though.)

What about you? Have you started any new or interesting hobbies? Or revisiting any old ones? How is your job? Are you working or how have things changed since March? Drop me a note, I would love to hear.

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