By the time this post gets published, we should be back fully immersed in smoky air, though we are the lucky ones. There are historic wildfires raging all up and down the west coast, including one less than forty miles from us. For the Puget Sound metro area, that is unprecedented by itself, and Washington, Oregon, and California have had historic burns just in the past week.

I’m really tired of “unprecedented” things happening in 2020. Though I suppose, as we’ve wholly ignored climate change, these fires at least will happen more frequently. Which is even less pleasant to think about.

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Friday’s frugal five

1. Walking home a few days ago, I stopped to chat with my neighbor and mentioned to her that it’s been especially difficult finding canning supplies at stores lately. I have enough for my immediate needs, but as I’m trying to put up more of the food we grew this year, I will run out at some point, and finally ordered some lids and rings online that will take three weeks to get here.

She told me that she had two boxes full of jars in her garage she had meant to take to the thrift store, so I headed home with two big boxes full, along with a next box of lids and rings. In trade (though they were given freely), I’ve brought down bowls of my cherry tomatoes to her, and I’ll be planting some onions in her front yard for her as well. Love my neighborhood, and the true sharing economy we have that seems to happen organically.

If you do need to purchase any more canning supplies, I’d highly suggest ordering some now so you have them on hand. I try and get them from local stores, but I broke down and ended up buying from Amazon because they were the only ones I could find.

All the jars!

2. We are through our first full week of homeschool kindergarten! We’ve started slowly to get into the swing of things, but I’ve already noticed a difference in his writing in just a week of regular daily practice. Granted, the smoky air definitely did put a damper on the nature scavenger hunts we’ve wanted to do regularly with him, but he hasn’t minded being inside more often.

My mom is his (masked) teacher on Wednesdays, and she created a bunch of kindergarten worksheets (writing, math, mazes, and drawing) that he absolutely loves. I told her she could totally sell them as digital downloads, but she doesn’t need the income / nor doesn’t want to spend the time, so we’ll just be the lucky ones getting to use the ones she makes. Kindergarten work is definitely more fun when the kiddo gets to work through sheets that match up to his interests.

All the worksheets with Nana!

3. Our company had its third annual flu shot day this past week, which means we got our flu shots already. We also got a gift card and lunch provided, as well as finishing up a short work day. The incentives are excellent, as is the scheduled time to get the shots that we don’t have to think about or plan. Unfortunately, the planned distanced lunch and hang out in the courtyard didn’t end up lasting long due to air quality. This week’s situation definitely has me worried for when outside time isn’t as easy.

They could only give shots to 7+, so we had to take the kiddo to the pharmacy later in the week for his, but I’m looking forward to two years from now when we can all get them done in one day. This flu season is going to be bad along with Covid, so please, please get your flu shot.

Waiting with Daddy to get his flu shot

4. We had our “fancy ramen” Thursday night, but with all local adds. The husband had smoked Midnight’s Farm beef ribs over the weekend, and then we cooked the ramen out on the grill side burner as to not heat up the house on a day that was pushing ninety degrees (especially when we don’t want to throw the windows wide open and let all the smoke in…).

I picked sprouting broccoli leaves and green onions to add to the broth and then added a pickled egg from Cured. So far, I don’t know of any local ramen source, but otherwise, this meal was all Washington grown and made.

I don’t know that I could ever get tired of ramen

5. I had my first Facebook Live in my Women’s Personal Finance group in months, and I forgot how much I enjoyed doing them. Covid threw me off, but I think I will do more of them in the future. For those of you not on Facebook, would it ever be worth exporting them to YouTube or another way of watching them? Or should they all stay special to the group? Would love your thoughts here.

This week’s Live was with Tori Dunlap of Her First 100K, and we discussed her transition from a 9-5 to a very successful full time side hustle. Right now, her side hustle course is open for registration (only through tonight), and you can find out more at this link.

The one thing that particularly struck me from this chat with her was her comments about how she only started working out regularly once she started paying for barre classes instead of choosing free options. If I was looking to find or ramp up a side hustle right now, that conversation there had sold me that her course would absolutely be worth it. That, and if you pay attention to her work online, it is obvious that she has hustled and put in the hours to grow a brand and become an expert in her field.

Exercise update

The kiddo ran a 5k with me on Monday. I shared this on social media when it happened because I was so dang proud of him, but I want to share that I am still bursting with pride that he made it happen. He also ran with my the day before on Sunday (for 10 minutes that time), and I ran by myself on Wednesday night. Otherwise, the smoke has been too much and I’ve decided that running outdoors isn’t the best idea (I sure am missing having a functioning treadmill).

The Adidas sandals my sister gave me a couple weeks ago absolutely must be helping my plantar fascitis; even after the 5k with the kiddo and a run the days before and after, my heel is doing okay. I am tentatively excited for the thought of extending my runs past twenty minutes at a time now.

Are fires an issue where you’re at? Sending love and and light and prayers for anyone impacted by this extra bit of 2020 being thrown at us right now.

12 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (Wildfire Edition)

  1. Those wild fires sound terrifying to me. 2020 is so out of control! On another note, I’m so glad to hear that homeschool is going well so far. Your mom’s worksheets look super fun. I love the mazes (I make mazes for my kids all the time!!!) and think it’s extra cool that she included Pokemon characters in some of the worksheets. What a fun and thoughtful grandma!

  2. we don’t get fires typically here in the east. a few years ago the place where we stayed with friends in ojai (near LA) burned completely. our friends lived but the animals were not so fortunate and i really liked a couple of those dogs.

    it’s a funny thing how some people can only exercise if they pay for it. getting through a 5k is really good for you and the boy.

  3. So glad homeschooling is going well. We’re doing distance learning and it’s actually a good fit for us. I spoke with a friend in CA yesterday and it’s horrific to hear what’s happening out west. Stay safe.

    1. If the kiddo was older, we’d be doing distance learning. Seemed too much for kinder though.

  4. Way to go, kiddo!!!

    Mental health over here is deteriorating without the ability to go outside safely. We’re doing our best and I’ll need to get an air purifier because even inside I’m feeling effects of it, but the loss of the outdoors and nature when we’re always quarantined is awfully tough.

    I love how your garden is thriving!

    We have a very small start to a sharing economy with a close couple set of friends but we’re slowly reaching out feelers out to other local friends to build up exchanges of labor and child-entertainment and the like. I hope it’ll take root for real and not just in the “because we’re trapped” context.

    1. It feels so so wrong to be stuck inside along with everything else. Here’s to hoping the air clears a bit soon.

  5. Fire was definitely an issue in our area and it was a terrifying week. We were 2 miles out of the evacuation zone. I was paranoid and left once my kiddos woke up and stayed with family for 3 days. We are finally back now.

    My 3 year old is starting an outdoor coop preschool next week. I think I’m more excited than him since I just want some kind of “normalcy”.

    A comment on the work out. I started working out in our home gym with my husband. What works well for me is not dealing with a commute and having an accountability partner.

    1. Oh that is so so scary. Glad things are better now.

      And outdoor school has got to be the best!

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