We are now 16 days to Halloween. I may not always know what day it is at any given time, but since the kiddo is now updating me daily, I do know how many days are left until Halloween. After Halloween, I expect to have a similar update for Thanksgiving and Christmas (and then his birthday). It’s been a rough/weird couple years for him too, but as a six year old, I think he’s more resilient than most of us adults.

If you’re struggling right now though with things to enjoy / look forward to, know that I see you. We figured a year ago that we would have a better sense of things by now, but in many ways things feel even more muddy than they did then. We’re worn down and burned out, and sometimes it simply helps to hear that others are feeling that weight as well.

We’re ready with our pumpkins!

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Friday’s Frugal Five

1. I helped my parents and grandmother with some of their garden harvest over the weekend: carrots, onions, and delicata squash. They have radishes and lettuce started now, as well as kale, garlic, and broccoli continuing their growth. I’m hopeful that they will get to have a small year-round garden now. Once you pick out of your garden in the middle of winter, it’s pretty exhilarating and easy to get hooked.

They’re also working on a larger garden for the spring, and I’ve helped to direct them to prep the soil with a modified hugelkultur setup with the plan to plant some cover crops to help build the soil more before the end of winter and early spring planting. They have more space than we do, and I’m a bit envious of all the opportunities they have with their lot. But also, I get to take some home (like carrot tops for the chickens), so it is a net positive.

Not pictured: the artichoke I picked after this

2. We had Sunday dinner with some friends/coworkers and brought green beans straight from the garden and homemade garlic bread. I’ve been using bread flour instead of all purpose, and the difference is bigger than expected – and delicious. The evening felt almost normal and it was wonderful.

Wednesday night, we then had dinner with our neighbor-family, bringing down a big pot of dairy free zuppa toscana soup with kale and garlic out of the garden with homemade sausages courtesy of the husband. They had an extra busy day, so it felt good being able to prep a homemade meal for everyone to enjoy.

We’re still being very careful and generally spending our time outdoors with people, but all of the adults we spend our time with are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Vaccines are a wonderful thing.

Garlic “balls” (kiddo was very specific that they must be balls)

3. It was a good “homesteady” kind of week. I planted garlic and covered the cloves with chicken manure from our birds. We had a dinner of breakfast sandwiches with eggs from our hens and homemade bacon courtesy of the husband (he made three different bacon varieties this week).

I didn’t make the English muffins this time around, but I do make them regularly. Maybe I *do* need a milk goat after all for goat butter so we could have a full meal made from our own stuff…. Except then we’d need a pig for the bacon instead of starting from side pork…… I don’t think our neighbors would appreciate that level of homestead-ness on our quarter acre in the city, though.

Some of the bacon mid-smoke

4. Jillian Johnsrud‘s new book Fire the Haters came out this week, and my copy arrived in the mail. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but considering everything I know and have learned from Jillian, I’m so excited to read it. She and I have had some very influential conversations about how I’ve worked with Women’s Personal Finance, and I’m so thrilled that she’s put so much of that knowledge into a book for everyone to read.

Jillian is joining us at Women’s Personal Finance on Monday to discuss the book, and if you’re interested in hearing from her directly, I hope you’ll join us. If you don’t have Facebook, send us an email at hello at womenspersonalfinance.org and I’ll hook you up.

I was excited to get the book in the mail, clearly.

5. My lovely WPF partner Regina is also a mushroom foraging extraordinaire, and some of the chanterelles she foraged this month arrived at our doorstep this week. We have big plans for a mushroom and leek (from our garden) recipe this weekend, a soup or a quiche or a risotto. The mushrooms she sells are of top quality and more affordable than what we can buy from our local farmers markets. PS – she does ship to others as well, not just me, so reach out to her if you’re interested in some awesome foraged mushrooms.

Oh – ps – I picked up a new REI jacket from my local Buy Nothing group this week. It’s soft and comfy and almost new and wonderful. I’m definitely pleased. When you stop buying clothing for yourself, the “new” things you receive are that much more exciting.

Exercise Update

The kiddo and I went running together Saturday and Monday. Monday we pushed it a bit farther, upping the running time to twenty five minutes from twenty. With my ankle not at 100% yet, I didn’t want to add too much in one go, but it felt great.

Tuesday I worked out on the elliptical for the first time since spraining my ankle last month. Hopefully this means I’m back to getting on the machine at least once or twice a week. Wednesday I took the bus to work and ended up walking the full 6 miles home, ending the day at about 23,000 steps. I was definitely feeling my ankle that night and the next morning, so I rested it on Thursday. Purple would be proud.

How has your week been? I’m too tired to ask a more interesting question this week 😉

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