Well, we’ve had another week of mostly beautiful weather. Other than that… I think my husband has correctly labeled this time the doldrums. We’ve “settled in” to this quarantine pandemic life for the most part now, but any time I look out very far and realize we aren’t near the end of this gets me down. The fact that this is going to be normal for a long time yet is hard. But it is what it is, I suppose.

On a more positive note, we’ve gotten into a routine where we have a Zoom call with our old neighbors almost every weekend. Considering the last time we saw them was December and the next time will be who knows when or where, it feels good to be able to connect more than just group texts. So I’ll give this stage of life that, at least.

week 9 header

Friday’s Frugal Five

1. So, we went camping last weekend!

Okay, so we went camping on my parents’ property in their backyard. Still, we were able to have a social distanced dinner and breakfast with them, roasted marshmallows over the fire, and slept in our tent, waking up to the chirping of birds the next morning.

While it maybe wasn’t a true adventure like we’re used to, just sleeping in our tent somewhere other than our own home felt really great. I expected to have a good time, but I didn’t realize quite how much it would feed my soul. My mother also cooked breakfast for us, dropped it outside on a tray, and we ate in the grass a bit of a distance from their back deck. So really, the weekend fed my belly as well.

Bob joined us as well, sitting separately from us and sleeping in the back of his truck, and it was the first time we’d seen him since this whole quarantine thing started. We sure did miss him. And then he, my sister, and I did a yoga video on YouTube together in the grass before dinner in the sunshine, spreading our mats out (and having them rely on my poses because the screen was too far away to see).

Our tent!

2. We’ve been doing a great job making enough food for lunch leftovers, and I’ve been doing a good job of actually eating them. It cuts down on food waste, and it means on the days I’m busy with too many Zoom meetings and work phone calls that I don’t have to think about what to have for lunch.

I also made pancakes for breakfast on Saturday and packed up the leftovers, reheating them for the kiddo and me for weekday mornings. Flour is precious right now, so I wasn’t going to let the pancake mix go to waste, but it also made for a great easy weekday breakfast by heating them back up in the toaster.

Pancakes for future meals

3. I shared more garlic greens with neighbors this past week. One neighbor does a lot of work with a local food bank and associated charities, and she was able to take a few bunches with her and drop them off with the food deliveries. My garlic starts are now growing in a number of different gardens, and it feels amazing.

Sharing produce from my garden is my love language, and that community connection feels that much more important now than it ever has. I’ve expanded my garden yet again, and will be sharing more as other plants grow ready for harvest and transplant.

Helping with the garlic

4. I’m back to hanging most of our laundry out on the line on our back deck, thanks to the great weather. We’ve had some rain at night and I’ve done a (mostly) good job with bringing the clothes in from the line before they get rained on. When I don’t, they just end up hanging out for a couple more days drying for a second time.

Part of continuing my clothes buying ban is treating my clothing with care, and minimizing the number of trips through the dryer is a big part of that. Of course, skipping the dryer is also the ecofrugal answer when it comes to both energy use and utility cost. .

5. Our roommate lost job. He’s a machinist who worked for a company that supplies materials, in large part, to Boeing. The day before Boeing announced they were cutting a huge number of their jobs, his company laid off half of their employees. While this didn’t come as a huge shock, we were hoping the rest of their orders would be enough to hang on. As this recession and pandemic lags on, more and more jobs are lost, and now our household has been impacted on a personal level.

While our roommate has money to pay us rent for some months without a job (thanks in part to my constant nagging to fill his emergency fund), I told him that we wouldn’t have him pay for his share of the groceries this past month. We’ve been limiting trips and buying as a household, so now that we’re covering his portion I’ll be showing an even higher grocery bill for our April spending report. We can afford it though, and it seems like the fair thing to do while he is out of work.

week 9

Exercise Update

My daily yoga routine continues, now clocking in at thirteen days in a row of a minimum twenty minute yoga video. Daily walks are also still happening, either by myself, with the husband and kiddo, and/or without the dogs. As always, I am so thankful for our backyard trails (and a low enough population density that they aren’t too crowded to social distance easily).

I did get in a twenty minute run on Sunday, but that was the only one of the week. The rest of week got away from me somehow, so I’ll make sure to get another run in this weekend as well as next week. My heel hasn’t minded a slower week there though, so it’s not all bad.

How was your week? Are you feeling the doldrums, like we are over here? 

20 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (COVID-19 Week 9)

  1. The camping ‘trip’ to your parents house sounds so fun! And I think it is very kind of you to cover your roommate’s portion of the groceries ☺️ (Losing a job is not fun)

    1. It was so fun! And he’s lived with us for coming up on eight years. We take care of each other 🙂

  2. my friends from growing up had 5 kids in their little house so leftover toaster pancakes were a staple with 4 growing boys and a girl! you ever use ’em like break for a sandwich? that’s pretty good too. that stinks about your roommate’s job loss. unemployment can be fun if you have some savings and can collect as long as you know you’re going back some time. of course it’s about zero fun even if you have those things and can’t go anywhere.

    1. Nope I’ve never tried to make a sandwich with them, but maybe I should introduce the kiddo to that c

  3. Just needed to say that your headline rocked my day a bit – the “week 9” part. Wow – it really has only been 9 weeks of this! Hard to believe. Sometimes time is going both really slowly and I’m not really tracking it….

    1. Right – it feels like forever and no time all in the same thought.

  4. While not the adventure you’re used to, the backyard camping sounds like it was fun!

    I cannot wait until we live in accommodations where we can have a clothes line! We hang most of our clothes to dry in the spare room on a rack but it’s just not the same!

  5. Angela, you have a heart of gold. You continually amaze me with your generosity. We need more people like you. I loved the idea of your camping trip – what a clever way to see your family and still social distance. It looked like fun!

  6. Does everyone who hang dries clothes just not have allergies? Are there tricks to hang dry and somehow de-pollen clothes with like a quick drier dry? We hang dry some things indoors, but do not have the capacity (space) to reasonably hang dry more than a handful of items indoors. Curious if anyone has ideas/work arounds to save energy/resources but also refrain from making an allergy prone family sick all the time…

    1. No real tricks there other than not hanging laundry when the pollen is bad, unfortunately.

  7. Yes to toaster reheating! I always toast the pancakes for that little crisp when we reheat through the week and PiC thinks I’m weird for not using the microwave.

    I think we’re still in the pre-doldrums paddling like hell stage, a couple weeks behind you, looking at the more than unusually unknown future and wondering what normal even is. I’m vastly unsettled because my coping mechanism is planning. What does a planner do when there’s zero point in planning??

    I’m glad you were on your roommate’s case long before this about the emergency fund, *and* that you have the room in the budget to cover his groceries this month. He benefits quite a bit from living with y’all! It must ease his stress at least a little having prepared for the future with your assistance 😁

    PiC is making a bid for a camping tent and after reading about your “trip”, I’m even more inclined to give him the nod.

    1. Now I’m totally wishing I had pancakes in the fridge for breakfast this morning…

      And get the tent! It can be hours of entertainment even if you don’t end up sleeping in it.

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