Hallelujah! The air is finally clear today! And the rain has returned. I swear, there has never been a year where the whole of the Western Pacific Northwest has been so excited to see the rain.

It has been weeks and weeks of mostly awful air quality and temperatures 10-20 degrees above normal. Today is crisp and drizzly and exactly how the end of October should be. Finally. I might actually plant my garlic this weekend.

Friday’s Frugal Five

1. We had our first ever neighborhood Oktoberfest last weekend, and it was so much fun. My husband brought down a bunch of homemade sausages, and we’d picked up different mustards when we were in Leavenworth last month. Other neighbors brought out pretzels, saurkraut, more sausages, and other food and drink – lots of German and German-style beer, of course.

Another neighbor also made some awesome carne asada tacos, which may not have been Oktoberfest-y, but they were delicious (he’s from Mexico and they were legit). The air quality sucked as the day went on, so we retreated inside earlier than we might have otherwise, but everyone decided to go ahead anyway – after weeks and weeks of bad air, no one wanted to cancel yet another event.


2. I filled up my car for the first time since the end of September, when we’d filled up in Leavenworth before driving the 100+ miles home. Thanks to taking my bike as much as possible, I really haven’t been driving that much.

Thankfully, Costco gas was a good $1.20 cheaper than other places in town, but even that was expensive. Definitely glad to have my bike so I’m not spending as much on gas. Ouch.

Way prefer biking to driving whenever it’s possible

3. In preparation for the return of the rain, my husband cleaned the roof and gutters. It hadn’t even been on my radar, so I’m grateful he was on it and took care of it without a word from me.

What I have been paying attention to is watering my garden, and things might have been a little stressed waiting for the rain, but I just couldn’t get myself to water in the second half of October.

4. It was conference week at school this week, so the kiddo didn’t have school two of the days. One day he spent the day with his grandparents like he used to, and they had a lot of fun not having to do any schoolwork but just playing video games together.

The other day off school we had two other kids from his school over in the afternoon because their dad was out of town and their mom had an appointment. The kiddo had so much fun with his friends, and I was glad to help them out. Really, this week was a reminder of how important it is to have a village with small kids. It’s so, so much harder when you don’t have anyone local.

5. Because of the abnormally warm weather, I’m still picking tomatoes, peppers, and beans. It’s been totally bizarre. Plus kale, of course, because kale just hangs out year round. Green onions and chives too, as they’re pretty hardy, but a good cold snap will send them dormant for a while.

Like I said, I’ve held off on planting garlic yet this year because it’s been too warm and dry, but I think it’s finally about time. Weird weather definitely confuses the gardening thing, and I feel like I’ve been guessing a lot more this year about when and what to plant.

Kale. Always kale.

Exercise Update

Bike rides this week were Friday, Sunday, and Monday. The rest of the week really was too bad air quality wise, plus I had some running around that didn’t work with the car.

Tuesday and Wednesday were elliptical days, as much as I wanted to go for a run, again because of the air quality. Thursday we went for an indoor swim and otherwise spent much of the day inside. It may be raining now, but I’m so ready to be outside more again. I’ll take rain over 300+ AQI any day.

PS – we restocked our masks again (we really like the ones from Lutema). Kiddo has his bivalent booster next week, but dang folks, COVID really ain’t over. Still.

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