The kiddo has been seriously missing his Nana and Grammy (my mother and grandmother), who he usually sees for a full day once a week. At first, he enjoyed FaceTime calls with them, but over the last few week, he’s mostly refused to even do that, saying that he “wants to see their whole body.” So on Sunday, we finally went and saw them in person.

Before we came over, my father set up chairs and caution taped off their front walk with well more than a six foot distance around them. I told the kiddo we had to be very careful when we went over, and that if he couldn’t stick to the rules and stay outside the caution tape, we wouldn’t be able to stay. He was able to listen, and we had a great time playing near them for a couple hours.

My mother had brought out a bunch of toys for us to play with, and we were able to chat and hang out while sticking to strict social distancing. It was a lovely time, and one I’m looking forward to again soon. It might not be the same as being able to hug them, but seeing and talking to them in real life for the first time in six weeks felt pretty great.

Spending time at Nana and Papa’s

Friday’s Frugal Five

1. One of our neighbors started a thread in our hyper-local neighborhood Facebook group (there are approximately seventy of us in it who live within a few blocks of each other), asking everyone to share what they were looking for that might be out at the stores right now. I mentioned that I was running low on yeast (onto my last jar thanks to all the baking lately), but that I wasn’t quite out yet.

I got home from a walk later that day (or the day after, who really knows about time any more) and found a few packets of yeast stuck in my door jam. I know I brag about my neighborhood all the time, but we live in a seriously special place.


2. We had most of our meals shared again with the one neighbor house, even if we didn’t eat them all together. We switched off making the meals and then dropping them off to each other. Between that and ordering take out a couple of times, I only made maybe two meals of the last seven. With all the work I’ve been doing at home, not having to cook often has been a big deal. Even when life goes back to normal, I could see us continuing sharing the cooking labor long term.

3. We spent more time in the garden again this week, and I finally planted my tomato and pepper seeds. They are now sitting in the garden window in the kitchen. Wish me luck – this is the first time I’ve ever attempted to grow peppers and tomatoes from seed (other than the tomato volunteers that have popped up in the garden beds the last couple of years).

I also spread quite a bit more of the straw onto the raised beds while my husband did a thorough job pruning the raspberries. If it wasn’t for the hectic pace of work and the pandemic circling the world, I’d really enjoy how much attention we’ve been able to focus on the garden this year.

Fingers crossed they do well

4. We’ve had more neighborhood happy hours in the cul de sac again this week. No birthday parties this time around, but we’ve found ourselves out talking almost every sunny afternoon. At my last count, we’ve had neighbors from at least eight or nine different houses stop by to chat at some point or another.

While we’ve known our neighbors pretty well, we’ve gotten to know each other even better over the past six weeks or so. When our social time is limited to our neighborhood and conversations from at least six feet apart, we’ve spent more time conversing with the people who live in close proximity with us than anyone else these days. Zoom chats and phone calls are great, but they just aren’t the same as face to face time.

5. Thanks to almost never leaving our neighborhood, I haven’t filled up my gas tank since mid-February and I still have more than half a tank left. Other than the visit to see my family on Sunday, I haven’t left the city of Kirkland since February 27th (or a slight bit into the neighboring city on walks). While we definitely long to get adventuring again, I do love not driving, both for the ecofrugal aspect but also because I simply don’t enjoy it. Walking is so much lovelier.

Exercise Update

I actually went on three runs this past week (Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday). While my heel hurt a bit after the first two runs, it felt better pretty quickly with some massage. Perhaps I shouldn’t have run again on Thursday, but it felt pretty great, and I still kept it to a short twenty minutes. I might be pushing it a little bit, but I’m trying to be careful not to push it too much. Otherwise, I went for a walk every day, soaking up every bit of sunshine I could.

What’s the situation look like where you are? Do you feel like you’re settling into a new routine these days? 

24 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (COVID-19 Week 6)

  1. i went back to work this week after the place shut for a couple of paid weeks off. i was happy to be there even though i don’t think our products are essential in any way. we cooked a bunch of fancy food like a duck and some pork belly in the sous vide. today is bread making day and thawing out a giant turkey for sunday. stay well.

    1. Mmmm yeah I read about your duck and pork belly cooking. Some of my favorite meats for sure.

  2. What a great idea to see your parents and grandma without contact! I’ve been feeling for your little guy, but it looks like you’ve had far more human contact without contact than us 😁. Our neighbors are nowhere to be seem mostly, the ones we know are preoccupied with their kids’distance learning and their own work. My good intentions of baking to share had fallen by the wayside but this has reminded me to try it again this weekend. I also saw a cool tutorial on starting up small plants from seed in toilet paper rolls. We might try that…

    1. Your neighbors are nowhere to be seen?? So weird. I see ours ALL THE TIME haha. But we already had a culture of hanging out in our yards and chatting before this all went down, so that helps.

  3. Always like to see you celebrating the wins! I might be the only person who hasn’t started making bread, but I’d much rather read everyone else’s about the endeavor. What awesome neighbors you have too, how long did it take to establish those relationships?

    1. We’ve lived here for almost nine years, so it’s been a gradual thing. The neighbors we’re closest to (who still live in the neighborhood) have been here 5+ years.

  4. Your neighborhood sounds similar to my boyfriend’s, though I don’t know of anyone sharing cooking duties. That’s a great idea, though! I live in a condo association and have awesome neighbors. Our topic of conversation, aside from COVID-19, is the new puppy! He seems to brighten everyone’s days. We social distance as much as possible, but I share a door and hallway with several neighbors, so we do what we can. It’s nice having everyone around all the time! We’ve always been friendly, but I like the more frequent interaction. Stay safe, and I’m glad your little boy got some much needed time with his grandparents!

  5. I’m so glad your little man got to see his grandparents finally! Hopefully this whole mess is winding down.

    1. I don’t know if it’s quite winding down yet, but we are starting to figure out how to live with this new normal for now anyway.

  6. I *love* that you found a way to see your mum and grandma while keeping safe social distancing. That is so lovely! (I am acutely aware that I’m in a different country to my mum at the moment…). Glad the kiddo and you got to enjoy that.
    Other than that – sharing cooking with your neighbour sounds awesome too.
    Week 6! how time flies. Your week 6 = our week 4. I am thankful that we are allowed out once a day for exercise (we are in the UK) and more thankful still that we no longer live in London (where it would be super difficult to safely go out due to sheer population density).
    Take care Angela

    1. Week 6, right?! Incredible how long this has been happening now. And yes – super glad we don’t live in a really dense area.

  7. I am forever impressed with how caring and giving your community is! I love how tight-knit you are with your neighbors.

    1. That community was important to me before all this, but that importance has definitely skyrocketed over the past six weeks.

  8. We started tomatoes and peppers a couple of weeks ago in egg cartons… Still waiting for them to germinate but it may not be enough warm days yet. We do have broccoli, kale, tomatillo- and onion seedlings though, that’s exciting!

    So glad you got to have some face time with your family!

      1. Haha, no! In our greenhouse. Had hoped this would help with starting from seed but we have had mixed success. Getting ready to order starts from a local farm as backup.

      2. Good luck!!! And yeah, this is my first attempt at growing them from seed. We shall see how it goes.

  9. We have been talking about setting up a Facebook page for our little cul-de-sac over the last few days. We have a bigger one for our larger community but it would be nice to have something a little more local to encourage getting to know our neighbours a little better. Love reading about some of the things you guys have been doing.

    Also yay for the foot pain not being as bad! I’ve found keeping up with icing and massage helps, too.

    As for us…we just wrapped up week…four? Five? Working from home. It’s been a bit of an adjustment but not too bad. We both work in areas that can easily be done at home. At first I found it difficult to like…shut down and disconnect (I work in government communications) but I find as things go on, it’s getting a little easier. OR maybe I have just reached a point where I’ve realized it’s necessary, not optional? Could be both. All things considered, though, things are alright. I just keep telling myself that the hard things are temporary and for our own good in the end. Most of the time, it helps.

    1. Yes, start that Facebook page!! It will be one worth having even once things go back to normal.

  10. I found myself watching your governor on youtube yesterday… I think there may be a correlation between competence at the state level and regional preparedness/response, hmmmmnnnn. Remember when Mitt Romney became a political superstar because he successfully organized the winter Olympics? This is bigger than a few medals and sow cows. True leaders should emerge from this, not ones that play them on tv.

  11. Awesome update and happy to see the family is adjusting well to all of this. It really goes to show how important our small communities are to us, the expanded safety net of connectedness that has slowly dissolved the last few decades. I am enjoying the eco-frugal side as well and went so far as making April my car-free challenge month. Planted my pepper seeds as well, we will see how they fair. Garden is coming along ok and is my boldest expansion an planting year to date.

    1. I really hope the hyper local community thing continues to be a focus of discussion once we’re past all of this.

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