I know I’ve talked about previous weeks being a complete whirlwind, but that’s absolutely an accurate way to describe this past week, especially with work. I’m doing work on things that I consider to be big, important parts of how my career makes an impact in this world, but the tradeoff with making that impact is the amount of time and mental energy I’ve poured into my work week. The good news is I should get a (little) bit of a breather after next Monday.
We have also spent a decent amount of time outside this past week though, and I’m reminded that early fall in the Pacific Northwest is hard to beat. The sun still shines at least half of the time, the weather is a bit cooler and it is pleasant to be outside, but I think a big reason why fall feels so lovely is the bittersweet knowledge that the rain and gray is ready to close in very soon, so we hold tightly on to the very last of the sunny days and stop with the excuses about why we don’t have time to get outside.
Granted, we still do plenty of hiking in camping through the winter, but it does take a little more mental fortitude to brave the cold and the wet and still enjoy yourself. Lack of crowded places and easy ferry travel makes up quite a bit for the less ideal weather though.
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. My husband spent quite a bit of time again on Sunday doing some meal prep for the week. Most of this was done smoking a variety of different meats for dinners, but he also loosely planned out different meal options. I’m finding that we are much more likely to actually eat prepared foods if we don’t set the whole meal ahead of time but instead have a number of different starts to meals that we can combine in any number of ways depending on what we’re feeling like eating any specific day.
I also have to say that I really appreciate the fact that my husband steps up and shares the emotional labor burden of having meals thought out for the work week, especially when my job is especially hectic. I do generally work significantly fewer hours than he does, so I pick up more than half of the day to day tasks during any given week, but I absolutely have an equal partner in life who does what he is able to outside of his work commitments.
2. In case I didn’t have enough going on, I decided this past Sunday that I would start helping out with the church garden. I started attending a new church just a few months ago, but this is the first time I’ve really felt the want to do more than just show up on semi regular Sundays. So of course, when they announced that they were looking for volunteers to help with the church landscaping and the adjacent pea patch, I knew I’d found the place I wanted to be a part of.
I’m not sure how much or how often I will be working on this project, but I will be contributing some saved seeds as a minimum and will be contributing to the design of the outdoor spaces. Apparently I just can’t get enough gardening time these days.
3. Speaking of gardening, we harvested our hops this week as well. The plants have been producing more each year, and we picked enough this year to brew one or two batches of beer at least. They’re drying out on the counter for now and then I think one or two of our neighbors are going to come over and learn how to brew in the process.
The hop plants themselves came from a friend’s father five or so years ago, so the cost since they arrived in the mail has been space in a raised bed, the trellis for them to climb on, and a little bit of water and fertilizer. Really, sharing plants and seeds is the absolute best (I just don’t have any recollection of which kind I have growing now).
4. I refilled the mini shampoo and conditioner bottles I keep at work for showering after my run commute on Wednesdays instead of buying a new set. My regular bottles are Costco sized, which is my current compromise from shampoo bars, because I still haven’t had success there. I think I want to try again after these bottles run out, so if you have a shampoo bar you love, let me know! I’d love to get away from the waste but the last stuff was so awful to my hair I’ve put that effort on hold for now.
In the meantime, refilling mini travel bottles are my solution for both work showers and long trips, and at least then I’m saving the money from paying ridiculous prices per ounce for the small bottles and the environmental cost of extra plastic. Not perfect, but at least better.
5. I attended a three hour seminar for work on Wednesday and they provided a snack type lunch, which was great. What wasn’t so great was that they only provided water bottles for drinks, and so I found myself grabbing one. I know ONE isn’t the end of the world, but after how much I’ve been talking lately about how there’s no reason to use them most of the time, it feels like a screw up. Next time, I’ll have to remember to bring myself a reusable water bottle.
Monday and Tuesday were pretty typical days this week for exercise with a run + weights workout on Monday and a run on Tuesday. Wednesday was an odd day because my morning started early, so I didn’t have time for my normal run to work. I did find some time in the early afternoon during naptime though, and managed a quick but intense weights workout and a half hour run. We also managed a couple walks to the park and to the grocery store in the evenings to enjoy the last of the dry weather we’re likely to see for a while. All and all, a good week for exercise especially since my work week was so hectic.
How was your week? Do you appreciate the cool down of fall weather or do you find yourself automatically wishing for summer again?