It’s the month of year that everyone starts up renewed, recharged. We’re through the holidays. We’re done putting away Christmas trees and looking forward to a new year. 2016, full of promise. You never know. All around, despite cold and snow, folks are embracing New Year’s resolutions, charging energetically into what lies ahead.
But here. times are slow. We’re not alive with 2016. In fact, 2015 is still throwing long shadows across our path. For us, 2015 was a year of major changes. If you follow this blog, you know we lost our friend Trish and our greyhound companion, Lochrima. We also lost our friend Scott shortly after. In our photography business, two clients died, as well as the companion animals of 12 long-time clients. After more than two years, at the end of 2015, the folks at Sister Eden decided to no longer publish our recipes, as they wanted to go in a different direction more focused on videos. In our personal life, several good friends moved away from the area, leaving gaps that Facetime just can’t fill.
We all lose the ones we love as we go through life, it’s simply part of living. Someone once told me that at a certain point in your life, you feel like you lose more than you gain. I remember hearing it and thinking the statement was melodramatic. Then I lived my way into knowing a little of what that feels like and I’m only 40.
Dealing with the challenges of the year kept us both from working much on this blog in 2015. Ideas were noted, recipes written in a notebook. At the end of each day though, we were weighed down with what we were living through. No energy was left for one more thing.
Things aren’t all bad though. Despite our least amount of posts in five years, you have been coming by to read. In fact more 19,000 of you stopped by! That is a lot of growth for a year with only 20 posts, and almost double what we had in 2014.
You show up on this blog mostly from direct links, but also from Facebook, Twitter, WordPress Reader, and links from Beyond Meat‘s website. So another thanks to the folks at Beyond Meat and anyone else who has been sharing our recipes and posts. We don’t even have a Twitter account, so that’s very cool. It looks like most of you are in the USA, but Canada and UK have high numbers too, and folks from a total of 106 countries visited in 2015.
Most popular posts of the year?
More of you stopped by to read our Farewell to Lochrima than any post ever on this blog since we started it in 2011. Next most read post was Trish’s Spicy Cashew Chili, which was our good-bye to friend Trish. Both of these dear pals were taken by cancer: Lochrima had a tumor in her chest cavity; Trish had liver cancer. Both posts also contain recipes. We hope you will use these recipes, enjoy and share them. In some way, it will keep both Trish and Lochrima alive.
Oldies but goodies have staying power, too. Beginner’s Tofu Brownies from 2012 still gets lots of traffic. Lemon Pepper Beyond Meat Salad from 2014 has held its own with clicks, and Something Borrowed, from 2012 – which was a post linking to holiday recipes from Chef Chloe, Somer McGowan, Paula Deen and VegNews – also saw a good amount of action. A travel piece, Far Out: Key West, was the other heavy-hitter on clicks, posted in 2013.
We have other fun news to share … this month marks 21 years vegan for the Bohemian Girl and 6 for the Dirty Hippie. As a cool acknowledgement of that, I was recently interviewed for a PBS program about plant-based diet and health, which will air in March (no word on whether or not I was included or cut) and the DH has an article coming out later this year in the Vegetarian Journal about veganic gardening. We are continuing to produce monthly events for Baltimore Vegan Drinks, which also has growing numbers all the time and now a website of its own. As a tribute to Lochrima, our greyhound, we have been fostering dogs instead of adopting a new forever dog. We are currently on foster number six.
In our work life, our business turned 15 in 2015, and we kept our professional focus on commercial photography, as well as headshots and portraits for clients. In May, we had a party with more than 100 clients, friends and family to mark the milestone for our business, balance photography.
As promised, I’ve also been working on writing a new dog cookie cookbook featuring all plant-based, gluten-free recipes. It’s coming along pretty well. We’ve tested a bunch of the recipes by having dog cookie bake sales. Together with some volunteers, we baked a bunch of homemade dog treats, sold them, and donated the funds to charity. With these efforts, we were able to raise more than $1,500.00 to help other dogs, all while working on the new cookbook.
A small but new feature on the blog is that we now have a “Search” function on this blog, thanks to our friend Jason. So, you can search for whatever you want – like seitan recipes or chocolate. We know many of you asked for this – now we have it!
Thanks to everyone who came by in 2015 – and to those who have been here all along since 2011. We are grateful for the time you spend with us and hope you enjoy the recipes and posts we create. For 2016, we hope to gain some steam and get back to more a more regular schedule for you. Who knows, we’ve even been talking about re-designing the entire blog to be more user-friendly (we’ll still be on WordPress, though)!
Gracias and wishing you all a wonderful 2016!
Rissa (the Bohemian Girl) and Nathaniel (the Dirty Hippie)