It’s mid October, and it hasn’t started raining. It’s been in the 70s almost every day this month, including two that hit or came close to eighty degrees. And we might have another eighty degree day coming up.
By this time, temperatures are usually only in the low sixties, and October usually sees 4 inches of rain or more – which we won’t come close to this month (but hopefully we will see rain before the end of the month).
With that lack of rain, there are still wildfires burning, and the air quality has been terrible. We’ve had a couple of days of decent air in the mornings, but we’ve been hovering in the 80-150+ AQI for weeks. It’s miserable. As I mentioned last week, I keep thinking about Emma Pattee’s recent article about losing our outdoor summer time in the PNW due to climate change.
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. Friday night my college roommate/softball team catcher was in Seattle for a conference, and I was able to meet up with her and her husband for dinner after work. Looking at traffic times, I decided to bike.
By the time I got home that evening, I’d ridden 32 miles and a good 2000 feet of elevation that day, and I still had 1.5/5 bars on my ebike battery. Thanks to not using it for the flat parts of my ride, it was available to boost me up the big hills. Anyone who considers an ebike “lazy” has never ridden one with any regularity or with any kind of hills.
Because it was late when I left after dinner, I did take the link light rail from the University Street Station to the Roosevelt Station, cutting a good six miles off the end of my evening. The air quality sucked though, so maybe not my best plan to bike, and I was definitely feeling it by the time I got home. Then again, on days when climate change is so obvious, it’s extra hard for me to get into my car. So onto my bike I go.
2. As I dumped some leftovers in the run for the chickens earlier, I was thinking again about how one of my favorite parts of having chickens is that it means we have very very little food waste. Instead of it getting picked up at the curb to be industrially composted, it goes to the chickens, who turn that food into eggs and some great garden compost.
Neighbors also drop off food scaps for them, which reduces the amount and cost of feed we have to buy for the chickens, and reduces the amount of neighborhood food waste. Really, backyard chickens are pretty great. Plus, the neighborhood kiddos love to feed them snacks, as a few of them did again this week.
3. This is apparently the place where I share a total momfail this week – which I’ve since been told is basically a rite of passage, but still had me feeling pretty awful when it happened.
I lost track of time on Monday and didn’t get to school to pick up my kiddo on time. His teacher messaged us via the app, and only then did I realize what time it was. My husband hopped into action and sped up to the school right away, even though it was supposed to be me to get him. I felt totally awful for it, but at the same time, I felt so much love and appreciation for having a full partner in this parenting thing.
And now I have an alarm for every day during the week so it doesn’t happen again. Oof.
4. Washington state still provides up to ten COVID tests for free every month, so I wanted to mention it here. We got our October ones recently, and they are mailed to our house, which is super convenient. This is the website for ordering them (it appears that Minnesota and Wisconsin are also still giving away tests, so check if you’re in those states as well).
Those free tests were extra helpful this week as our roommate brought home a cold from his nephew. Since he works evenings and we don’t spend a ton of time together during the week, we didn’t catch it from him, but he did wear a mask in the common parts of the house just in case. He’s feeling better now and all the tests were negative, but it’s nice to not have to pay for them every time one of us brings home a cold.
5. Since the kiddo is now in school five days a week but I only work four days still at my day job, I have one day a week where I have space to do other things. Oftentimes, this means focused time to work on Women’s Personal Finance, which has been pretty great.
This week though, I took my grandmother out to Michael’s and to lunch (ended up taking lunch back to the house and eating there since the air quality was such that eating outside wasn’t a good idea). She doesn’t drive any more, so I was more than happy to be her shuttle for the day, and it’s always a good day when we get to spend it together. I am so lucky to have her in my life and so close to home.
Friday was my long bike ride day, which turned out to be almost three hours of biking. Saturday I biked to the post office, and the kiddo went with me. He’s decided that the bike trailer is his favorite way to travel.
Sunday we had a parent organized school trip to a corn maze, which was so much fun (though of course, the air quality got worse as the day went on).
I biked the kiddo to school every day this week. Thursday I biked down to drop him off, then to home for my car to do the day with my grandmother, then biked back down to pick him up in the afternoon.
I realized that I would basically pass my house going to pick up my grandmother, so I decided that there was no reason to bike (except, in hindsight, the air quality got pretty bad Thursday afternoon). I did however get a run in on Thursday morning when we had a temporary reprieve from the air quality.
(Also! Celebrating 650+ miles ridden on my bike total – over 200 of those miles with the trailer in tow)
Ps. Climate change is here. And it sucks. Shall we do our best to not let it become as bad as it could be?