We went out to San Juan Island for the day on Saturday for the first time in far too long. While Lopez Island is our favorite of the islands, we very much enjoy spending time on Orcas Island and San Juan Island as well. The major upside of heading to San Juan is that Friday Harbor is a very walkable community and we can walk on the ferry for the day (fitting after Lily’s anti car rant here on Monday).
Walking on means we don’t have to plan ahead long enough to get reservations and can catch whatever ferry we like because the walk on space never fills. And then, of course, we get a lovely car-free adventure, which is my favorite.
We also met up with a friend and her son whose hand me downs my kiddo played in the snow in this past winter as they live on one of the neighboring islands and were headed out to Friday Harbor for the day. We all had lunch together and then we tagged along to Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center’s annual open house, which was the reason they were on island for the day.
I was unsure if the kiddo would enjoy himself since there weren’t any animals on display (it’s a rehab facility not a zoo), but he was thoroughly fascinated with the hour long tour, as were the rest of us. Definitely an experience I’d recommend if you find yourself there at the right time next year.
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. We made shrimp scampi for dinner one night and added fresh garlic scapes from the garden. While we are still months away from being able to make much of a meal out of what’s in the yard, it’s exciting to have a few fresh green things to start.
Of course, this garlic came from the bed where we have been trying to eradicate garlic from for the last couple of years. It hasn’t been going well. But the upside is that when your weed is garlic at least it’s really tasty.
2. Since my ChooseFI episode aired last week, I’ve been getting a bunch of messages from people who have been replacing their plumbing fixtures with low flow ones and it’s completely made my week. I’ve also noticed a number of people making those purchases through my blog post where I walk through the numbers of the replacements; you get a full return in just seventeen months.
As much as I love writing and talking about money, the sustainability bit is my first love and it makes my heart so happy to see so many people making real changes. If everyone was to make just those simple switches, our water situation overall would look a whole lot different.
3. I finally – finally – mailed the transfer paperwork for the one outstanding IRA I had still sitting in an old Edward Jones account. I also had some stocks in a brokerage account there, but that transfer was something I could do one hundred percent online.
The IRA, on the other hand, required printing some paperwork, signing it, and then stamping and mailing it out. Which, of course, meant it took entirely too long for me to finish making the transfer. I may be good at getting a lot of things done, but unless it has a hard deadline, some things slip through the cracks for far too long (see: opening a high interest savings account).
While the total amount in the IRA wasn’t huge, the fee was way too big as a percent of the dollars held there, and to make matters worse, the managed funds didn’t even do all too well over the last few years. It’s finally taken care of though, and I can now put it behind me. And it sure feels good to have my retirement money all in the same place now.
4. I’ve gotten a lot better about using up perishable foods these days, but there will still be something now and again that gets left for too long. Most recently, this was a partial bag of gold potatoes, and they had started sprouting pretty heavily over the past week.
Instead of tossing them in the yard waste though, I decided to quickly stick them in the ground. Since they’re just potatoes from the grocery store, I’m not certain how well they will grow, but I figure it’s worth a shot since they were headed for compost regardless.
While I was out in the garden, I spread the last of a partial bag of steer manure as well, fertilizing some of the perennials in the garden and emptying a bag that had been sitting in the carport for far too long.
I still have the potatoes to plant that I bought at the Flower and Garden Show back in February, and while I had to wait a little longer than normal for the ground to thaw, it’s getting to be past time to get the rest of the potatoes in. Hopefully in the next week.
5. I returned a stack of library books *mostly* on time. Unfortunately, two of said books were ones in high demand that had taken a while for me to even get them off of the holds list, so putting them back on means waiting months until they come back around again. I am trying to read more hard copy books again though, so I’ll just wait until it’s my turn again. In which case I’m likely to be in the middle of another book just like this time. Whoops.
…and then I picked up a couple books on hold at the library on Thursday and found out I had missed returning one earlier in the week so had to find it and return it late as well. Oops.
I am at 12/30 books read for the year though, so I’m thinking that perhaps my thirty book goal wasn’t ambitious enough. 2019 will be the first year I’ll have kept track though, so that’s pretty neat.
Thanks to the car free adventure out to San Juan Island, I had a pretty decent step day, clocking in just over 18,000. Some of those steps were while carrying the kiddo in the Ergo on my back when we went over to the library about a mile outside of town, so I feel like those steps count double.
Monday was a fifteen minute elliptical workout plus a short walk around the block at lunch time. I don’t manage those midday walks every day, but I try and make them happen at least a couple of times a week, regardless of weather conditions. Wednesday was another run outside and I managed to do when there was a break from the rain, and Thursday was ten minutes on the elliptical.
Do you grow any plants? What’s your spring garden look like thus far?