After putting our pup down on Friday, we escaped for the weekend. I started looking at options once I knew we were saying goodbye, because I knew it would be better for all of us if we weren’t looking under the kitchen table for a dog that was long longer there.

Everything is expensive right now though, and when I lamented that fact to my mom, she told me she’d chip in $100 for us to go, because she knew we needed it. While we clearly have the $100 ourselves, it was exactly the nudge I needed to book something. And oh, was it what we needed.

We rented a little basic camping cabin along the banks of the Lyre River on the Olympic Peninsula and spent the weekend near the water and in the trees. Coming back home Sunday night was rough, but escaping made the weekend a little more bearable. Thanks again Mom, we love you and appreciate you so much.

The ferry ride to the peninsula

Friday’s Frugal Five

1. In Washington State, this week has been the #WeekWithoutDriving. I wasn’t really thinking about it until midday Monday, but I’d biked the kiddo in to school already, so I realized I absolutely could go a week without driving now. My e-bike has made all the difference.

I tweeted it out the other day, but I calculated the time difference between the different modes of travel to work and school, and the e-bike is the clear winner, for time and hassle (unless there’s not traffic, and then driving wins by a few minutes on time alone). While I will be driving a little bit next week (carpooling to school with another family), this week has definitely upped my expectation of how little I can now use my car.

No time limit on bike parking 😉

2. Speaking of biking, the neighborhood kid “bike gang” was out in force again multiple times this week. (And yes, they are now calling themselves a bike gang – the five of them from 3 – 7 years old).

Because they’re still young, us parents hang out in the street with them (around the corner from our cul de sac so there are a few more cars that drive by as well), and other neighbors with older/no kids often wander on over to chat as well. It’s these nights that I’m reminded of how lucky we are to have such a community of neighbors.

3. Other neighbors have gotten in the habit of dropping off kitchen scraps for the chickens. With feed prices up, it is very much appreciated, and they also enjoy the variety. We also get egg cartons from her when needed, and it really makes my heart happy to see a container of chicken food and cartons sitting out when I get home in the afternoon.

In trade, we of course send her with eggs and garden produce as well. It isn’t a “trade” though, as much as neighbors simply taking care of and sharing with each other.

4. I neglected the garden a bit this past week after losing our dog, so I went out and picked a few things on Thursday, realizing we had a ton of green beans (and more I’m now letting grow to full size for their dry beans). We took some chives down to another neighbor, and we’ll be sharing more this weekend.

We may have limited space (and even more limited space that gets direct sunlight), but I’m pretty proud of what we have on a small space. Another neighbor is selling their house, and I ended up sharing produce with a prospective buyer last week as well. Because fresh tomatoes demand to be eaten and shared.

5. I haven’t mentioned it in a while, but I still use the Bing search engine because they give rewards for it. This week, I got another $10 gift card to Starbucks out of my regular web searching. It might not be a huge amount, but I’ll take it.

I also don’t often go to Starbucks, unless I have a gift card. There are better coffee shops around, and I’m not a fan of the way they have treated their employees attempting to unionize. At this point, I won’t use my own money to support them, but I will use gift cards.

PS. A quick reminder to Washingtonians (it appears Michigan and Wisconsin may also have this same program?) that we still have free COVID tests every month even though the federal program is over. Order them here.

Exercise Update

Thanks to #WeekWithoutDriving, I rode my bike last Friday and every day this week, including a detour home Thursday when I biked the kiddo to frozen yogurt after school. The e-bike is great, but double hills is still a heck of a workout (I definitely don’t have a bike with a throttle, just a boost).

Monday was a short run, and Wednesday and Thursday were both long walks. The air quality hasn’t been great this week though, so we spent a couple of days mostly inside.

Have you considered a #WeekWithoutDriving? Or are you already awesome and living car free?

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