This month feels like March 2020 but worse. When last spring things were looking dire, we still had this feeling that we were “all in this together.” No matter where you were in the world, life was locked down and everyone was feeling the anxiety and fear over the spreading pandemic.
Fast forward a year and a half and more than six months since vaccine rollouts began, and it feels that in so many circles people have just gone back to as much normal as they can. Adults – who want to be – have been vaccinated (in the United States and many other wealthy nations), but kids have been left behind. And so many poorer countries haven’t been able to vaccinate even a fraction of their population.
But people are over it. They’re over the pandemic and are moving on. Unfortunately, we can’t really move on. And those of us still taking things seriously are feeling more and more alone, screaming to a world that doesn’t want to accept that hospitals are overflowing and people are dying needlessly. Not all that different, I suppose, in the indifference with much of the world’s climate news, like Madagascar, that is on the brink of a climate-induced famine. How do we get people to care? Enough? I’m really not sure.
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. On more mundane news, even though things are crumbling in so many different ways, the dogs still get dirty and need baths. Even outside of a pandemic, we wash our dogs ourselves, but now, it’s one more inside public space we don’t need to visit.
Our dogs are eleven and almost ten years old, so we’ve saved quite a bit of money washing them ourselves over the years. Even more so, we’ve saved so much time in making and taking them to appointments at a groomer. We may not be perfect groomers, but they get clean enough, and it’s a lower impact, lower cost chore than it would be otherwise.
2. Speaking of our dogs, we specifically washed them this week because our younger dog had to go in for surgery to remove a mast cell tumor. It was low grade and pretty small, so hopefully she will make a full recovery and we can move on, but it was malignant, so it did need to be removed. She has so much fluff I’m just glad I spotted it petting her one day.
We go to a local vet for regular needs, but we’ve found the Renton Veterinary Hospital for surgeries and more extensive procedures. We took our older dog there two years ago when she had to have two toes amputated due to an autoimmune issue, and they did a wonderful job. So when we found out that we needed to take our dog in to have the mast cell removed, I immediately called them again and got her in for surgery.
It’s a bit of a trek out to them from our house, especially during the week as traffic has picked up, but it’s been well worth it to make the trip. She’s home now, and recovering, though not terribly happy about the big cone around her neck. So far so good, and she’s already wanting to go run around in the backyard.
3. In other news…. we have a rooster. Even when you bring home sexed chicks, they only give you a 90-95% positivity that they are female, unless they’re a sexlink breed (which is obvious from hatch). We had our concerns about one of our chickens for about a month now, but this week he’s started crowing. For a couple days we weren’t sure, but now, it’s clearly a crow.
Our city ordinance doesn’t allow us to keep roosters (too many neighbors who don’t want to hear crowing), so we will be dispatching him soon. We said from the start that we wouldn’t pass any rooster off to someone else, because people don’t just want “extra” roosters. If someone is going to be eating him, it will be us.
The kiddo had a bit of a breakdown one night about the impending meal date, and honestly, it’s uncomfortable for me too. But as long as we aren’t vegetarian – and I strongly believe that meat livestock can be a sustainable part of our future – then it makes the most sense that we are connected to that food. And so that means eating one of the chicks we’ve raised since they were very young. The good news is, he’s already tried to bite us and push the other chickens around and otherwise be a mean, normal rooster. I’ll let you know how he tastes.
4. I got to meet another neighbor who gardens! We’d connected up on Instagram as Kirkland gardeners, and when she mentioned wanting to learn to can for the first time, I offered to let her borrow some of my canning and pickling books. We know some of the same people, but we hadn’t connected before. The internet and social media can be fraught with a lot of drama and negativity sometimes, but it can also be a great connector and community builder.
She also brought me a sweet pepper I’d commented on that she grew as well as some seeds, and we talked about more seed saving and swapping in the future. Along with the books to borrow, I sent her home with a few of my own canned goods and some tips and encouragement as a first time canner. I know I say it often, but I really do live in a wonderful neighborhood. How lucky am I to have another new friend who lives within walking distance of me.
5. Thursday was my eleventh anniversary at my day job. I am so lucky to work for a company that has a mission so aligned with my values – building, owning, and operating sustainable, affordable housing. When I started the job eleven years ago, I didn’t have a lot of other great career options (I almost ended up working at Bank of America), but I’m so lucky to have landed where I did.
I’m also lucky enough to work with my father. When the job became available, I almost didn’t take it, because of the negative connotation of working with family. More than a decade later, I’m so glad I did. Just because it was a family connection didn’t mean it had to be a bad thing. In fact, it’s been the best thing. I get to work with my dad almost every day, and we get to make real change together. So yeah. I’m really lucky. Here’s to some more wonderful years together and more changemaking in our region.
PS – in more exciting, happy news, the Plutus Awards nominations (think, the Oscars of the personal finance space) were announced this week, and I’m a finalist in a number of categories this year: Community Builder, Current Events (for my Twitter account), Blog of the Year, and – for Women’s Personal Finance (!!!) – Best Financial Content for Women. Thank you to everyone who nominated me for these awards. I’m definitely honored and feeling the love this week. And clearly I’m not going to shut up about current events now, namely the pandemic and climate change.
PPS – Women’s Personal Finance is now partnered up with All-Star Money (part of the Motley Fool) and curating the best women’s finance content around the web each month! Check out our first video and roundup here! It’s been a good darn week around the online parts even if the rest of the planet is burning.
Saturday we headed to the Edmonds farmers market and walked around downtown a bit. Sunday and Monday were longer walks and hikes, hitting 20,000 steps both days. I also got on the elliptical for a half hour on Monday as well, finding time in the gym where I could be in there by myself.
Tuesday was more talking, finishing the day at 15,000 steps and still no heel pain. Wednesday was a twenty minute run at the end of the day, even after the high step counts the days prior. It’s been a long road with plantar fasciitis, but I am so appreciative of my ability to move my body longer distances again.
How are you hanging in? Sending everyone love and light and the best time you can have in these hard days.