It went from summer to winter overnight here – and we’re seeing freezing temperatures already. My husband had said that they were predicting a warmer than normal winter, but that’s definitely not turning out to be the case.

Between that and the time change thanks to Daylight Savings, the cold darkness of late afternoon absolutely feels like winter. I went to go pull carrots out of the garden earlier this week and I had to leave them there because the ground was frozen solid. At least they’ll keep, but we had no carrots in that recipe.

Friday’s Frugal Five

1. There was a significant windstorm last weekend, and we lost power for a day and a half, along with so many other people in the greater Seattle area (we have friends up north who are still out, last I checked). Most of our power lines are overhead because it’s so expensive to underground them. Combine that with the tree canopy and it’s no surprise that we lose power at least once a winter.

Our families had pooled our Christmas gift a number of years back though and bought us a generator as a gift, which is enough to power our fridge, freezer, and the furnace, as well as our small devices. In past years where it’s been colder / the power has been out for longer, we’ve ended up hosting neighbors to warm them up. We offered power again this year, but thankfully it wasn’t out long enough to really be needed.

Pretty trees, though

2. We had a small WPF Insiders meetup over the weekend, including one member who had driven up from Colorado on a road trip in her van. Most of us didn’t have power, but downtown Bellevue did, so we met up at the park there and walked for lunch nearby.

We ended up at Mediterranean Kitchen, which for those of you who are local, has great food and giant portions. I’d ordered the chicken shawarma, and I ended up with enough leftovers to take for lunch for both me and the kiddo on Monday. Frugal-ish: order a lunch dish that’s enough for two more meals?

3. The kiddo woke up with a cold on Tuesday, so I ended up keeping him home that day and the next. I’d debated whether to send him Wednesday morning since he was testing negative for COVID, wears a mask at school, and wasn’t all that sick, but then I held my ground and reminded myself that keeping our kids and ourselves home when we’re sick with anything is the right thing to do.

(It ended up being extra the right thing to do, because later that morning, we learned that a stomach bug was going around his school, and I’ll pick a stuffy nose and cough over a puking kid any day)

I’m also grateful that I’m able to work from home on those days, and that he’s old enough that I can actually get work done – a huge part of parents sending kids to school still sick is that we don’t give folks any other options.

PS – it’s November, so if you’re in Washington State (or Minnesota or Wisconsin, I believe), it’s time to order your monthly free COVID tests! Up to two packs of five tests per household.

But we did get to snuggle up and read together since I was home. Not all bad.

4. The kiddo and I made a frittata for lunch one day with our eggs and a bunch of garden produce, plus some freezer burnt breakfast sausages. Unfortunately, after we both took a few bites, we realized the sausage didn’t taste so good – maybe just very freezer burnt, but neither of us wanted to eat it just in case.

One of the best part about having chickens is that the frittata didn’t go to waste – it just went to the chickens instead, who thought it tasted great, extra freezer burnt sausages and all.

5. He was finally well enough (though not perfect) to get to attend his school’s field trip on Thursday. It was an outside field trip, and most everyone was masked (us included) so I decided it would be okay that he got to go.

The field trip was at the Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, which is set up like the old fort from the 1850s, original old house and granary included. He appears to be leaning toward the history nerd side of things like me, and we both had a lot of fun. He especially was excited to notice that they had Speckled Sussex chickens, just like a couple of ours. The man working there was pleased to hear the kiddo knew their breed, because almost no one calls them out.

It was interesting to walk through the fort, realizing how much of what they were showing we were familiar with in our own lives – homemade bacon, chickens, black powder rifle (yep, my husband has an old replica). Even the hand crank flour grinder was familiar, as my husband’s mother bought one during the early COVID days and she and the kiddo grind flour for bread together.

And shocker….their garden is also full of kale in November.

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