With wildfire burning throughout the western United States and Canada, I’m just holding my breath until smoke season descends on us once again. With such hot, dry conditions as we’ve had, the wildfires have started in earnest faster and stronger, and they’re worse this month than they were August of last year.

I’m feeling like a bit of a doom and gloom record these days, but we really need to step it up against climate change. We’re out of time for slow action. And yet, I’m not convinced that as a country and as a world that we have the will to do what’s necessary.

Friday’s Frugal Five

1. It was my local bestie’s birthday so we had a paint and sip night at her house like we’ve done for a number of her birthdays. The six of us hung out on her deck for the most of the day, and we snacked and drank and chatted and painted. I brought some of my canned goods with me as well (blackberry jam, cowboy candy, and spicy pickled okra) to go along with the requested goat cheese and crackers.

All six of us are fully vaccinated, and it felt like a snipped of a normal night “out” (or in, as it were). We’ve done the paint and sip nights at studios before and have found we have even more fun just doing it at home. It’s cheaper, we get to pick the painting we follow on YouTube; and we can pause the video to stop and chat.

My first painting in a few years

2. Another friend stopped by over the weekend to meet the chickies and to drop off a bunch of children’s N95 masks that her mother had purchased early in the pandemic. With my eye on the approaching smoke season, I was happy to accept them, especially since cloth masks don’t filter out the extra fine smoke particles.

I hadn’t seen this friend since pre-pandemic, and it was so good to see each other in person (again, fully vaccinated). I’m absolutely not convinced that we’re out of this yet, even in the United States, but I’ll take the normal face time while I can get it (safely).

3. Thursday morning I decided that I’d finally had enough of my too-long hair and cut off a good 6-8”. I’d done this once before in the pandemic, using the “unicorn cut” method I found on YouTube.

My hair feels so much better, and I’m pleased with how it turned out. It may not be fancy like I could get it done in a salon, but it was free, fast, and immediate. These days, immediate without the need of an appointment or to go anywhere trumps the rest as I attempt to catch up on all the appointments that didn’t happen over the last year and a half (the dogs went to the get this week).

Kiddo made sure to squeeze into the picture

4. The garden is coming into its summertime own, and it’s been wonderful. So many berries, greens, garlic, onion, leeks, and peas, and now we’re beginning to pick tomatoes and beans as well. The hot, dry weather has been great for seed saving, and I’m looking to begin the fall planting already.

We had a new neighbor move in down the street during the pandemic, and she and I have started to bond of the garden and homemade food. Last night, she texted me to ask if I was home because she needed some chives and green onions for the meal she was making. I told her to come on up, and I sent her home with some blueberries and raspberries as well.

Feeding people out of the garden is my very favorite thing, and it makes my heart soar that she’s learned so quickly that I really mean come over any time and pick what you need out of the garden. She’s also brought back homemade baozi from the produce she picks, so it feels like I’m getting the better part of the trade. Now for her to teach me how to make them.

Seriously though. We continue to have the best neighbors.

Garden harvest 😍

5. I can now officially announce that I’m one of the panelists for the Plutus Impact Summit at the end of this month. I’m thrilled to be on a panel with some wonderful folks in the personal finance space. It’s going to be a fun couple of days.

The event is July 23rd and 24th – the end of next week! It’s a virtual event that’s free and open to all. (My panel is midday Saturday). I hope you’ll join us! You can register here.

Exercise Update

Friday was 45 minutes on the elliptical and an hour long walk. Saturday was a hike to the park with yet another friend I hadn’t seen since pre-pandemic, along with her kiddos. Sunday was a short walk before hanging out and painting the rest of the day.

Monday was a run at the end of the day, and Tuesday and Wednesday I squeezed in short workouts on the elliptical. Thursday was a another evening walk to the park. The smoke is coming, so we’re trying to take advantage of as many clear evenings as we can.

How was your week? Any frugal wins to share?

4 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (COVID-19 Week 72)

  1. our free gym at work is back open. that’s a win after 5 workouts in 5 days this week. nice painting. one of mrs. smidlap’s friends donated to her a bunch of canvases from one of those studios. people drank the wine, left the paintings and you just gesso over them and you got free reclaimed canvases!

    1. Reclaimed canvases make SO much sense! I know some people buy them from thrift stores for the same reason.

    1. Thank you! I’m very happy with it (though I’ve definitely had to snip some missed long hairs the last two days).

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