We took some time off for our anniversary and spent three nights in a canvas wall tent in the woods on an off grid farm. We’re now debating the canvas wall tent (with wood fired stove) as an alternative to a travel trailer, so we specifically stayed in one with that in mind. Even better, the weather was windy and rainy and cold most of the trip, which meant we could get a better sense of winter travel with a canvas tent.
The trip was lovely, and the tent was warm and snug, though we’re still hesitating on our choice. We have enough cash stashed for the purpose to buy a full setup outright, but we’re not ready to pull the trigger. Canvas tents are a lot more work to set up and take down than any kind of travel trailer, and we want to make sure we’d use anything we purchase often enough to make it worth ownership. Otherwise, we may as well just rent a stay via Hipcamp and spend our money that way without any set up or take down.
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PS – Hipcamp is like the Airbnb for camp sites and rough, simple cabins, which is perfect for us. If you’re interested in checking it out, here’s $10 for your first trip.
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. More PrepperFI than frugal, we’ve been living with a broken furnace for a couple of months until yesterday. The husband had scheduled with the HVAC company a while back, but as with everything else, they were extremely backed up. While we might have been able to push our way toward the front, it wasn’t an emergency for us, even with temperatures dropping into the thirties.
It wasn’t an emergency for us because while our furnace wasn’t functioning, we never removed all of the baseboard heaters from the house when the furnace was installed years ago. While not terribly energy efficient, when boosted with our wood fireplace, we were able to keep our home warm with just a couple of heaters. The saying “one is none and two is one” sure felt relevant to this situation, and it felt good to know that we have multiple layers of heating our home if need be.
2. Our neighbors are dealing with breakthrough Covid cases, so we’ve been supporting them through grocery and medication pick ups. I also made a large pot of lamb stew with carrots pulled out of our garden (in mid-November!) and took them down a hot meal they didn’t have to think about. Our neighborhood takes care of its own, and I know the same care would be given to us if the roles were reversed.
PS – if you haven’t gotten vaccinated, get your dang shot. Even breakthrough cases can be no joke, but they are much less severe than if you aren’t vaccinated. We’re not through this thing yet, so let’s protect ourselves every way we can.
3. Another friend who lives in “the neighborhood” – ie on the hill, but a bit further of a walk – texted me that they were having their family Thanksgiving but when she went to put the turkey in the oven, she discovered that the oven was broken. I offered up my oven, and she was able to bake the turkey halfway in our oven until they were able to fix their (thankfully fixable) oven.
Preparedness and community is something that matters a lot to me, and both of these examples show me that I really do have something special here. Not only do we know and like each other, but there is trust to truly ask for help when help is needed, without feeling like too much of a burden to do so. Really, there is unparalleled value in fabulous neighbors.
4. Not within the neighborhood, but a local-ish friend dropped off home baked bread to us this week. She knew I’ve had a heck of a last week or so, and she offered to bring it by. Her bread is awesome, and I readily accepted. Amazing how much a small gesture can make you feel loved and really make your week better. Now if only they too lived within walking distance to us.
5. Speaking still on the best neighbors, one neighbor-family moved to Italy this past year, and we haven’t seen them since December 2019, pre-Covid. While Zooms and group chats are great for regular connectivity, it’s not the same as seeing each other in person, especially when their kiddo was an infant when we last saw them and he is now a full blown walking, talking toddler.
With the kiddo receiving his second Covid shot in another week and a half, he will be fully vaccinated on my birthday in mid-December. The husband and I are also recently boosted, so we are as protected from Covid as we can be at this point.
So the question is now…. do we plan for a trip to Italy to physically see and hug some of our favorites. Plane travel itself appears to be quite safe, especially with an N-95 level mask. We haven’t flown since we returned from Iceland in early January 2020. With climate change as well, we limit our flying trips as a rule. But, these folks are neighbor-family, and we had expected to see them sooner than two years after our last parting. We’re thinking about this spring, but with Covid, it still feels really scary to make big plans like that.
We were up near Bellingham for our anniversary trip on Saturday and we went for a day hike at Whatcom Falls Park. One of my goals for this year was to hike 24 new to us trails. I haven’t done a good job at tracking the second half of this year, but Whatcom was a new one for us.
Monday was still a vacation day for us (but thankfully we’d returned home already before the flooding in Whatcom county), so we went for a long walk near home. Wednesday was another long walk day while listening to work continuing education. Thursday was a half hour run in the rain, which was great for my mental health.
Are you making any travel plans now that you’re fully vaccinated?