Last Friday the kiddo and I took the train down to Portland for Uriah’s third birthday party. It was an absolutely lovely trip and I’m so glad that the two of them got to hang in real life instead of just by FaceTime, and seeing and hugging his mama just fed my soul. Love you friend, and wish we could see each other in person more regularly. We’ll be back.
While we spent the bulk of our time at Ronald McDonald House with their family, I also got to meet up with some other bloggers in person over the weekend. Uriah’s mom (That Frugal Pharmacist) and I, along with the kiddo, went out to brunch Saturday morning with Amanda of Dumpster Dog Blog and Financial Mechanic, who I’d met in person for the first time in Seattle last month.
We also managed a short park trip with Joe from Retire By 40 and his son, though our attempts at meeting up during better weather completely failed and we had to cut the meet up short thanks to some crazy hail and a torrential downpour. Joe is a blogger I’ve been following along with for a good part of a decade, and he was the one who got me to finally start writing my own blog, so it was great to finally meet him face to face. Here’s to hoping we get better weather next time.
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. Since we took the train down to Portland and didn’t bring the car seat along on the trip, we mostly got around via the city’s public transportation system over the weekend, outside of a couple of car trips with Frugal Pharm while her kiddo was sleeping. We ended up riding the MAX, the Portland Streetcar, and the bus, as well as doing a ton of walking.
Leaving the car at home was definitely the cheaper option overall, and it was obviously the superior environmental choice, but it also just made the trip better. On the way down and back the kiddo was able to walk up and down the train cars to stretch his legs, we got to snuggle together and watch the miles go by, and I just straight up didn’t have to drive or have to deal with traffic. Unfortunately, it gets more expensive with three or four people so we don’t often travel that way, but I think I’ll reconsider the extra cost in the future because it’s such a more pleasant way to travel.
2. We ended up with some leftover pizza dough and sauce after the kiddo’s birthday party last month, so we froze the extra and brought it out on Sunday to have a mini pizza party with some neighbors. The dough and the sauce take a while to mix up initially, but I’m realizing now that we will always make extra in the future because it makes it SO easy to throw together homemade pizza when you have the ingredients in the freezer and ready to go. Homemade pizza costs a fraction of even cheap premade pizza, and it tastes so much better.
3. Another neighbor wandered over earlier this week while we were out in the garden with a couple of boxes of food for us. She works with a food bank in this area but they were closed for a week and she ended up with a ton of close to expiration food that had nowhere to go but the garbage. She knows that there are a bunch of us in the neighborhood (us included, obviously) who are pretty frugal and serious about minimizing food waste, so she’s done this a couple times now.
We ended up with an entire case of asparagus, so we’ve been eating it a lot this week (but in a couple different recipes like these ones), so it hasn’t felt like too much of the same. I also took some over to both of our parents and distributed among some other neighbors, and I think we’ll get through the majority of the case before it finally goes bad. And then we probably won’t eat much asparagus for a while.
4. When our neighbor found us out in the front yard, we were actually gardening! The weather has warmed up and stayed warm long enough for the soil to finally thaw and make it possible for us to start planting some spring crops. Since then, the kiddo has been telling everyone that we planted “Little Finger” carrots and is so proud of the garden.
We also somehow ended up with some garlic that has sprouted in the garden outside of the raised beds as well as growing in the planter we’ve tried – and failed – to remove it from the last couple of years. I hope Lily remembers that she was promised garlic scapes this summer, because I expect to have a lot of them.
Digging through one of the other pots in preparation to start planting found us a couple handfuls of potatoes that had somehow escaped being dug up in previous years, and a half dozen of them were solid and starting to sprout, so they will be replanted soon and hopefully grow us another full crop of potatoes.
5. While my son’s birthday was over a month and a half ago, we hadn’t seen one of my closest friends since then as she is currently working full time and going to school. Somehow, though, she managed to find some craft time in that packed schedule of hers and made my son a dinosaur patterned blanket AND a quiet book. She did such an amazing job on it and he absolutely loves it. I really do have the best friends.
Thanks to that car free train trip, I logged over 20,000 steps both Friday and Sunday as well as coming up just shy of 15,000 on Saturday. Monday and Tuesday were both limited ten minute elliptical days, but they happened. Wednesday was not my typical running day but I met up with the friend who made the quiet book for my son instead and walked around while we chatted.
I missed my run, but I missed my friend more, and I still did end the day with 15,000 steps. She was my regular running and work out partner for years before school and a kid got in the way, and I’m hopeful that we can get back there again some day in the future.
Have you done any train travel? Do you enjoy traveling that way?