If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you might have seen the photo I posted of us in Glacier National Park. We just returned last weekend from a week and a half road trip out to Montana and back, the first time we’ve left the state of Washington since we returned from Iceland in January of 2020, pre-pandemic.
It was a lovely trip, spent with vaccinated folks and outside on stunning hikes and drives through bison country. Mask use was pretty awful through Montana and Idaho though, and I was quite relieved to return back to the land of sanity and masks (ie Washington State) last Friday.
We got into Spokane just in time for the CDC announcement, and it felt like the rug had been pulled out from under me. Since then, our county’s public health department has come out with some pretty strong recommendations (but no requirements yet), on continued mask wearing indoors, but Monday’s rant post still stands in a big way. The pandemic isn’t over yet.
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. We returned from our trip on Saturday afternoon, a full day and a half before we went back to work. When we were younger, we’d stretch our travels to the very last, returning late Sunday to go back to work early the next morning. Now, we make sure we have at least a day (if not more) on the back end of our longer trips, which allows us to settle back in and catch up on life before we’re back into the swing of things.
This might not on its face seem like a frugal choice, but it is. For one, we pay for one less night of lodging and vacation time, but also, we have the time to settle back in and prep for the week, which means that we don’t rely on take out and other convenience purchases more than we would normally.
2. We ate the first of the asparagus of the year from the garden! We had dinner with our (vaccinated) neighbors, and I brought a mix of asparagus, kale, and spring garlic, freshly picked from the garden. Tossed in olive oil and salt and then baked on high, it’s one of my very favorite spring dishes.
Thanks to my ever-expanding garden, we don’t pay for kale ever any more, and the only garlic we buy is the powdered variety. Otherwise, we continually have plenty to harvest from the yard. Gardening may not be cheap on the front end, but depending on how you do it, it can save money in the long run.
3. I took my grandmother out on an adventure over the weekend, her first non-essential trip in a very long time. We’re both fully vaccinated, and we live in an area where places are still masking up in a big way, but it was still a big step for her after a year of needing to protect herself from the outside world and COVID-19.
She joined me for a trip to Sky Nursery to pick up tomato and pepper starts (the few plants I don’t start from seed these days), and they’re still requiring masks of all customers, which made us feel better. On the way back, we stopped for gelato for her and and affogato for me, and sat outside in the sunshine to enjoy our treats. It was a lovely afternoon and I’m so lucky to get those days with her.
4. After some soggy weather and much needed rain, I got to hang dry the laundry again toward the end of the week. I realize this is less exciting to most people, but it really is my favorite chore. Nothing better than a day spent in the garden in the front yard to hang laundry up on the line in the back.
5. Wednesday afternoon I chatted with Kara Perez on a Facebook Live in the Women’s Personal Finance group about her Financial Feminist Summit coming up next month. It’s free to attend, with an optional $10 donation (she pays all of speakers at the event).
We also talked about COVID-19 and its impact on women (and mothers in particular), as well as other topics that pertain to women in particular. These Facebook Lives on Facebook live inside the Facebook group only, but I’ve considered (with permission from my guests) to upload them and link them to the Women’s Personal Finance website for those who do not have access to the group. If that’s you and that sounds interesting to you, please let me know! If I have interest, it will give me the push to get them uploaded to be accessible to more people.
We spent Friday in Leavenworth on our way home from Montana, and we walked into and around town twice that day from the KOA where we were staying. Saturday was a walk around town before heading home. Monday was an hour and Tuesday a half hour on the elliptical. Wednesday was a few shorter walks, and Thursday was time spent outside working on the chicken coop and in the garden.
What’s the status of the mask mandates in your area these days?