So the question is, when is it time to really hunker down again? I asked a friend this yesterday, and they responded with “Again? I didn’t realize we ever stopped.”
So then I realized I needed to explain myself a bit more. Since all of us adults have gotten vaccinated in our regular circle, we’ve gotten a bit more relaxed. As long as people have been fully vaccinated, we’ve felt reasonably safe, even inviting some people inside our home.
But with more anecdotal stories of breakthrough Covid cases – even turning into super spreader events – I’m hesitating a bit more. And with the update from the CDC yesterday that the data says the Delta variant is as contagious as the chicken pox (and can be spread by even asymptomatic vaccinated folks), I feel there’s a good reason to be nervous and more cautious than we have been.
Honestly at this point, I have very little sympathy for the unvaccinated adults who catch Covid here in the United States. They’ve had months and months to get protected, and they thumbed their nose at that protection. So when I continue to hear about those cases in increasing rapidity (including people I know and know of personally), I shrug and realize they got exactly what was expected.
But not everyone can be vaccinated yet, including our six year old son. Plus the increasing evidence that immunocompromised people may not be protected even after being vaccinated. And of course, most of the world doesn’t even have vaccine access yet. Altogether, it’s not looking so good.
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. What is looking good at least is the husband’s new sausage maker. He’s wanted one for a long time and he finally splurged and got one this past week.
He’s been experimenting with a bunch of different types of sausages, and the results have been delicious. Last night’s dinner was a hash made from some of the leftover brisket sausage he made plus a bunch of different garden produce. Other than the oil, bell pepper, and egg, everything in the meal was either homemade or home grown. And soon the egg will be too.
2. We finally got our first monthly $250 payout from the American Rescue Plan deal. Weirdly enough, we got a physical check, even though the previous stimulus was direct deposited.
That money was deposited straight into our son’s account earmarked for college funds. We don’t need the money, so it seems like a good way to bulk up his account a bit more. Some will go to his 529, but some will stay in more flexible accounts, because I’m not confident about what college will look like in another twelve years.
3. Speaking of the kiddo’s finances, he’s almost saved up enough for his own real archery set. He has a kid bow he’s been practicing with (arrows with suction cup or squishy ball ends), but we’ve decided he is now responsible enough to own a real set with a pointy tip. We told him he had to save up for it though, to prove that it’s something he really wants.
The set is about $200, so we told him he needed to save up $100, and we would cover the rest. Within the week, he should be there, and then he’ll get to go archery shopping with his dad. In the meantime, he’s getting a lot of practice with his current bow and arrows.
4. As I wrote about on Monday, we built some new raised beds to extend the front yard garden. The wood itself was new material, and I topped the bed with some purchased soil, but the rest was filled for free.
I practice hugelkultur gardening, so the bottom of the bed is filled with large rotted logs, branches, and dead leaves. On top of that, I added chicken manure – from our own flock! – and then straw on top of that. The soil on top was purchased, but we only needed a thin layer on top of the rest. Someday I won’t even need that, but it feels so good to be building the soil from our own yard. And then the first bed was planted with seeds saved from previous years.
5. It’s been pretty warm lately, with temperatures hovering around the low eighties, but thanks to cooler evenings and shading from the large evergreen trees behind our house, we haven’t had to turn on the air conditioning most days. Yesterday did top out at ninety one and we turned on a single window unit, but for the most part, we’ve been able to passively cool our home.
The warm temperatures also mean being able to hang dry all of our laundry, so we’re able to cut our energy use quite a bit this time of year. Plus, I just love the chore of line drying laundry.
Friday I walked around Greenlake with a dear friend I hadn’t seen since December 2019. She and I were park rangers together, and we always have a wonderful time when we get to be together in person, but she lives out of state now so it’s a rare occurrence.
Sunday we dug the new garden beds, and I was sore for two days after, but happy with the accomplishment. Tuesday and Wednesday were both elliptical days plus some longer walks. Thursday was an evening walk after temperatures cooled down.
Where are you at about Covid these days? Are you considering tightening things down and hunkering down again? Or did you never stop?