We spent the week indoors due to the wildfire smoke that hung around all week long. While thankfully we were never in the 500+ AQI range as much of Oregon was, 200-300 was still pretty awful, and meant that the only time spent outdoors was spent in an N95 mask, and even then, I ended up with a headache pretty much every day.
Climate change is here. And we are paying for it dearly with the extra hot, extra dry conditions that means that fires start and spread more easily. I’d like to say this year was extraordinary, but I’m afraid we are going to see more fire and more smoke in summers to come. I’m not sure what it will take to make big changes, but if these extreme weather patterns don’t do it, I don’t know what will.
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Friday’s Frugal Five
1. A close friend turned thirty five this past weekend, so we had him and the couple that we’ve been “bubbling” with over for dinner and a vegan squash cake from my mother in law’s summer squash. Three people inside our house might be too many for some, and seem too cautious to others, but for us, it feels like the right balance of being very cautious while still seeing some people in a more “normal” way.
The air quality was absolutely awful Saturday night, so we spent the evening inside a slightly too-warm home, but it was filled with a few of my very favorite people, and we had a wonderful night. This extrovert may need people, but I’m learning that I do okay with the same few people, as long as I can see them face to face. This pandemic is going to last for a long time yet, and we have to get through it somehow, without throwing up our hands and “giving up” on being cautious.
2. Even with the bad air quality, we were able to go to our favorite farmers market and pick up some produce. My very favorite thing that’s in season right now has to be the baby artichokes. Sautéed in oil with garlic and salt is one of the best things I’ve eaten lately.
There weren’t nearly as many vendors as are normally at the market due to the smoke, and even fewer people shopping. With our N95 masks and keeping the trip short, it felt well worth it to support our favorite local farmers and have fresh produce to supplement my garden harvest.
3. We’ve also picked up a few new kindergarten books and activities and worksheets from a local bookstore. Not only do they have a great collection to choose from, it feels good to be shopping locally rather than buying whatever is available on Amazon. The prices might be a bit higher, but it’s worth it.
In all things, I’ve been working on ditching Amazon. It’s not always the easiest, but I’m finding that the more I look to local sourced options, the easier it becomes. Like anything else, a habit and a mindset switch takes time.
4. One of the books we picked up was My First Cookbook (the irony of linking to Amazon, I know), and the kiddo decided that he wanted to make English muffin pizzas one night. He’s been cooking and baking with me for a while, but the kid-level cookbook made it even more fun for him.
Of course, I insisted that we also make the English muffins and the pizza sauce (from garden tomatoes), but he decided that making the mozzarella too was too much for a weeknight. The mini pizzas were totally awesome, and he definitely felt some extra ownership by flipping through and selecting the recipe out of his own book.
5. My mother cut the kiddo’s hair this week. They both masked up, as always, but she was able to sit him in front of a television show and trim up his hair once he asked her to.
It had been since November or December I think since he’d had his last haircut, and it was getting shaggy and long. We’ve always said that his hair was up to him though, so it doesn’t get cut unless he asks. Nana Salon is a bonus – free, we don’t have to schedule a specific time to do it, and much lower risk right now.
Thanks to the smoke, I wasn’t able to run all week. I might be a bit frustrated about that, but it’s probably been good for my heel. I did lift weights twice though, and did two longer dance sessions at home, so I’m satisfied with my workouts in a week where we had to stay inside the whole time. But I sure am looking forward to my next run outside.
How are you holding up? Any choices you’re making to make this long haul situation slightly better?