It was mid fifties and sunny yesterday (Thursday), which was absolutely lovely. After how cold and snowy the year began, it felt like spring, and we were able to spend much of the day outside.
At the same time, things feel pretty dang heavy. It appears that our area has peaked for Omicron, with the rest of the United States reaching that point in the next week or two. Hospitals are already full, and admissions are continuing to rise.
I am so, so thankful that our whole household has been vaccinated, but I’m again holding close families of kiddos under 5, immunocompromised folks, and the few who can truly not get vaccinated. Covid is something we can’t simply vaccinate our way out of – at least in this current political world – but there’s a heck of a lot more we could be doing on all fronts.
Here’s to hoping all of you and those you love get through this colossal wave. And an extra thank you to our health care workers. We’ve vaccinated ourselves, masked up, and stayed away from indoor spaces with folks. We are so grateful to all of you, and I wish you peace and strength through this next six to eight weeks.
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Friday’s Frugal Five
1. We did spend three nights in Port Angeles this past weekend. We drove, stayed in a standalone house, and otherwise spent the time outdoors or masked up. Before we went, I checked the Covid numbers and they were similar to home (per 100,000). This was a trip for the husband’s birthday as well as one half of the bubble couple who have been our sanity makers the last two years.
We all took tests ahead of the trip, we stayed away from everyone else, and otherwise had a really lovely weekend filled with long walks and hikes, meals cooked together, and lots of coloring and audiobooks. I was a bit torn about going because of everything going on right now (Covid, passes closed to snow, flooding covering I-5….), but now that we’re home, I’m really glad we took the time while we could.
2. We now have a “Readers Nook” channel on WPF Insiders Discord, and thanks to a future book club chat we’re going to have, I listened to the first Murderbot book this past week. I have trouble with sci-fi in general because of my aphantasia (lack of being able to “see” pictures in my mind); basically, whenever the “world” in a book is too far different from reality, I struggle with connecting with the story. Due to that, I probably wouldn’t have read Murderbot if it wasn’t highly recommended by so many WPF members.
I will say I did struggle a bit with the world building bit, but overall I blew through the book and felt it was a very apt read for these current days. I’m waiting (somewhat impatiently) for my hold on book two now. Surprisingly, I do want to read them all, sci-fi and all.
3. We collected our first blue eggs from the chickens this week! We have an Ameraucana (Easter Egger) and a Cream Legbar, both of which may/will lay blue to blue-green eggs. We also have a hen that lays light pink eggs, and two that lay chocolate brown ones. If you’re going to have backyard chickens, why not pick breeds that lay fun eggs?
The kiddo made sure that we made blue scrambled eggs for breakfast once we had a couple of them, and it was definitely fun for him (and me). They taste the same as the other colored eggs, but, like other eggs laid by chickens with access to greens and bugs, they’re significantly better than your standard store bought eggs.
4. January is halfway over, which means I’m halfway through my first Dry January. Like most of my best stuck to goals, this one was one that I started on a whim, deciding on the first day of January that I’d take a break from alcohol.
With everything going on in the world right now (pandemic, extreme weather, supply chain issues, worker shortages, political unrest….) it seemed wise to take a step back from alcohol for a bit to ensure that it didn’t become a crutch. Halfway in, Dry January has been surprisingly easy for me, and I’m very glad I decided to go for it. Perhaps I’ll do this every January from now on like some folks do? Have you done this before / are you doing it now? Thoughts?
5. So the husband was home sick for part of this week, and three different home tests came back negative for him (the final one I insisted to swab his throat as well per YLE and others who have suggested this testing method). It’s possible that he’s still positive but not contagious enough to pick up on a home rapid test, so we’re being extra careful this week regardless. Though, as he says, even the super high 40% positivity rate many local testing places are seeing lately means that 60% are sick with something else.
I have to say, I am so thankful that we have the funds to be able to buy and hold onto home tests at $25/two pack. The same is true for high quality N95/KN95 masks. The fact that we are two years into this pandemic and so much of our safety and testing is rationed or only accessible to those who can afford it is so terribly wrong.
I was so much more hopeful for the Biden administration the first few months of 2021, but I’m not feeling that way any more. We need more (accessible) testing. We need more free/subsidized PPE. We need way better indoor air quality. Covid is no longer new. We should know better, and we should act like it.
Friday we walked around Port Angeles, after arriving on Thursday afternoon. Saturday we went for a snowy, slippery, stunning hike at Lake Crescent, about a half hour east of Port Angeles. I’d driven by there any number of times, but it was my first time actually stopping to hike there, and I’m ready to go back again.
Sunday was a walk around downtown Kingston while we waited for the ferry back home. Even arriving just after 11am in January, we had an almost two hour wait for the ferry: not because of overwhelming demand, but because the ferry boat trips were cut by 2/3rds.
Worker shortages exacerbated by Omicron infections meant that there simply wasn’t enough staff to run normal ferry times. In the next few weeks ahead, I expect to continue to see more of this (we’ve also seen restaurants temporarily close, stores shorten hours, and of course, schools go remote).
Monday was a twenty minute run in the evening through the neighborhood, and then Wednesday was a forty five minute run, getting to view an absolutely stunning sunset while I did so. Thursday was a local hike in Edmonds and then a beach walk after lunch, basking in the sunshine.
How are you all hanging in? Sending lots of love and peace during this continuingly trying time.