I’ve talked to enough people to know that it’s not just me, but August is a particularly hard month. In many ways, it feels emotionally more like March than June or July, except that we’ve been in it for that much longer. For us, at least, it feels like we are holding our breath for what feels inevitable this fall; cases haven’t dropped like they should have, and we’re looking at school re-openings and then the start of flu season.
Up til now, being outside with people (socially distanced) has been a reasonable way to see people and keep my extroverted self somewhat happy. But lately, it feels like there are fewer and fewer people we feel we can and should be around, especially when so many seem to just be *over* taking things seriously. I am absolutely over this whole pandemic, but it’s not over with us, so we will continue to be cautious. And stock back up in preparation of this fall, where I hope we don’t see supply line failures and skyrocketing COVID cases. No matter what, we plan to be prepared.
Really, I really, really hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see things getting better for a good while yet. And that’s definitely wearing. So if things feel extra hard again now, know you aren’t alone.
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Friday’s Frugal Five
1. We’ve decided that we will for sure be homeschooling the kiddo for his kindergarten year, or at least this fall. Our school district has announced that they are starting the year fully remote, but that just didn’t seem like a great deal for kindergarten and his start to K-12 school. Homeschooling was something we never thought was in the cards for us, but then again, neither was a global pandemic.
We haven’t started preparing in earnest yet like One Frugal Girl, but my mother did send us a dry erase lap board for the kiddo to practice his writing on. He’s had a blast with it, and we don’t have to keep finding scrap pieces of paper for him to practice on (or use up new sheets of paper).
2. I racked up enough Bing rewards points again and cashed them out for another $10 in Amazon gift cards. There are a few other options (Starbucks, REI) that we might have used, but it’s easy to just put the money into our Amazon account and then have a “discount” the next time we go to order something.
While I am definitely working on making more of our purchases off-Amazon, we are nowhere near perfect. And until then, I’ll continue to appreciate the small gift cards I get for doing nothing other than regular internet searching.
3. As of last month, I cut back to my 80% time at work, but unlike before, I now have a whole day off with the kiddo (Thursdays) instead of simply shorter hours at work. This was to help solve part of our childcare issue, but I’m finding that I love the full day break in the middle of the week. It feels like I have two Fridays now – Wednesday and Friday.
For whatever reason too, I don’t feel the same pressure to get things done at a rapid clip like I sometimes do on the weekends. Thursdays are there for whatever the two of us feel like doing. If we are productive, great, but if we spend an hour doing nothing much, that’s great too. We are so lucky to have this flexibility, and Thursdays are perhaps the best part of my life right now.
4. We went to our favorite farmer’s market over the weekend, and I picked up a good size bag of jalapeno “seconds” to do some canning. We can devour cowboy candy in large quantities throughout the year if we have it on hand, so I’m working on making sure we have enough to last us the winter.
We also picked a bunch of blackberries and put up some jam. My anxiety about possible supply chain and lockdown issues for this fall has definitely gotten me more focused on growing and preserving more of our food, but it’s a habit I plan to continue into the future. Looking at a well stocked cabinet full of food I’ve canned (and often grown) myself fills me with a real sense of security and contentedness. Canning supplies have been scare in many areas lately as well, so I’ve picked up more lids and rings as well as some reusable lids (since I use Mason jars for fridge and pantry storage as well – they are NOT for canning!).
5. I’ve started working on my fall and winter garden in earnest. In this past week, I’ve continued to harvest the summer garden, but I’ve also planted purple sprouting broccoli, kale, leeks, green onions, carrots, peas (both snap and shelling), fava beans, and beets. I’ve also purchased cabbage, leek, and celery starts.
I’ll continue to plant and transplant into the fall, and I’m still hoping that enough of my peppers and tomatoes ripen to be able to can some of those as well. Regardless, I want to be harvesting something from the garden through the winter until the earliest shoots come up in the spring. I’ve had a decent garden for a while, but I’ve taken my Coronavirus victory garden up a level this year.
The kiddo ran twice again with me this week, Sunday and Thursday. I then also ran by myself Tuesday and Wednesday, with Tuesday being a HIIT workout as well (trading off sprints and walking around the track at the elementary school near our house). I also did some body weight workouts Tuesday and some real lifting on Wednesday (thanks, gym of mom and dad!). They might be a bit out of my way, but lifting there made me think I need to figure out a way to do it more often.
I’m stretching my heel out often, but I still haven’t gotten back to a regular yoga routine. Perhaps a goal for September? I keep find myself working out in the garden in the time I could be doing a yoga routine.
How is August holding up for you? Are you feeling the same oppressive weight that I am?