My first week home during this pandemic was the worst. I knew what needed to be done here at home, but just couldn’t focus. I really just wanted to be at work. I did manage to get the financials figured out, but that and a few chores were all that I had accomplished.
Then I sat down with two pieces of poster board and a few permanent markers, and made a couple of lists. The first list was for chores. I did not do my spring or fall cleaning in 2019, because I was too busy, so the list was a good one. Twenty-nine things went on that list and, so far, I have completed nineteen, and gotten two half done. I’ve done good!
The second list had to do with writing projects and the four blogs. Thirty-five items went on this list and, as of the time of this post going live, eleven have been completed, and one partially so.
Creating those two lists helped me to focus, and I’ve been doing little things almost every day since. I have only had two days where I haven’t done anything from at least one of the lists, though I did do regular cleaning on those days.
I’ve taken some walks, on the nicest days, and walked to the stores and Aroma Joe’s up the road twice, though I had tried not to go shopping at all. My daughter Skye and her boyfriend have grocery shopped for me once so far, but were unable to find disinfectant. I ran out twice, and needed to walk to the stores to find some. Otherwise, I haven’t gone near people at all. When they shop for me, they leave to stuff on my step, and I go out and get them. I only walked through the drive-thru at AJ’s, and only because I had to pass by there to get to the stores.
One day Skye and Ryan stayed near their car when I came out, and we chatted across the yard from each other for a few minutes. Another day, I did a video chat with my daughter Zowie’s family. Those are my most treasured moments through this. I do talk with my mother every couple of days, and I am in contact with a couple of my co-workers.
I was not prepared for just how lonely this time was going to be. I cherish what interaction with others that I do have, and I can’t wait to go back to work.
What have I learned from this experience, so far?
People are acting crazy. Buying up stuff like crazy. Not caring about social distancing efforts. Getting far too close to people who obviously are trying to avoid getting near people. Being rude to others just because they aren’t happy with the situation. If you are hollering and/or carrying guns, it is not a peaceful protest – no matter how often you try to convince people it is.
I know that, if ever I start earning enough money from writing that I can stay home and just write, I will need to schedule time for socializing and seeing people.
I’ve had to do a lot more ordering online, just for basic groceries and other necessities, because they can’t keep the store shelves stocked. Is this happening everywhere?
My back feels great! I can more easily be standing or sitting, and get to walk around much more. I’m not lugging things back and forth to work, or carrying groceries for so long. I’m taking my time with cleaning tasks, and not overexerting myself.
I can breath so much better. The last few weeks of work I was using their disinfectant cleaning multiple times per shift, and doing the same here at home. It was just too much for my lungs! I was having some issues breathing. I’m still disinfecting here at home, but I’m just using the peroxide wipes I am making on my own. No harsh chemicals.
This lifestyle change produces too much waste. Packaging and materials to have groceries and stuff delivered. A crazy amount of peroxide bottles and paper towels. Way more trash. More water use because I am eating at home more. These things I feel bad about. I can’t wait to get back to shopping with my reusable bags, where I need to order less online. (Read on for a way I’ll be using less.)
I have never watched so much YouTube in my life, and I am absolutely addicted to thrifting/trash-to-treasure and homesteading videos. I love the Homesteading Family and Roots and Refuge Farm. Another food related channel I am watching is Mind Over Munch.
What’s happening on Fabulous Frugal Life?
What’s happening here on the Frugal Recipes blog?
I’m trying to eat healthy most of the time, so I posted an orange smoothie recipe. I’ve also been posting about the smoothie packs I’ve made, and how I’m storing food in my tiny space. Take a look around to see what else I have been sharing here.
I’m not sure if you know it or not, but my dream is to have my own homestead. While I can’t do that right now, I can learn how to do homestead-like things. This is why I’ve been binge-watching homesteading videos. I want to learn all I can until I get there. That way, I will be better prepared.
Recently I decided to go through all of my herbs and spices. You may be shocked to learn that they were all expired! (Oh, no!) Like I said, I didn’t do my spring or fall cleaning last year.
So now I need to stock back up. How am I doing this? A bit more slowly than normal. I used to just go to the store and buy newer jars of the herbs I always had at home. But I hardly use some of that stuff. In fact, more than just a couple of the jars of expired herbs this year weren’t used more than once. Also, 90% of those herbs and spices weren’t even organic.
I ordered organic ground cinnamon and whole cloves through Misfits Market, and I am ordering fresh herbs from them as I can afford to. The fennel, thyme, and parsley I ordered a few weeks back are already dried and in jars. Right now I have more fennel and parsley drying, as well as oregano and rosemary. I’ll keep adding to my herb and spice stash as I can afford to, but am only going to get the ones I know I will use them.
Did you know you can freeze ginger? I did not, but I learned you can and now have some all peeled and cut up and in the freezer, as well as organic cranberries, mixed fruit and some other things. Because I got a new fridge! The old one did not have a separate freezer, and the freezer it did have did not freeze food well. Yes it was, as is this one, just a little dorm room size fridge. But it is perfect for me since I rent a room. This one does have the separate freezer, and I am loving it! ❤ It actually holds a good amount. Besides the ginger and other things listed about, it holds lots of smoothie packs and plenty of meat for me. Oh, and I have a bag of frozen banana rounds so I can make some banana ice cream on a nice day!
What else is happening?
I am trying to organize my kitchen area. I recently removed labels from a number of jars I’ve been saving to use for food storage, and bought three boxes of canning jars: quart, pint, and half-pint. All this has been a huge help. The food looks so much better in jars, than they did left in the various size packaging, and actually takes up less space.
I’m still getting my Misfits Markets boxes, and have switched to getting the smaller size box weekly during this time, to be sure I have fresh produce coming more often. Since I’m not grocery shopping myself during the pandemic, and my daughter is shopping between multiple stores to try to get the things we both need, not always with the best of luck, this means I know I am getting some amount of healthy food weekly. I am able to give her a little from each box to help her out as well.
I did order some reusable snack, sandwich, quart, and gallon size bags. This won’t make up for all the extra waste I’ve been generating, but it will help me to generate less waste in the long run. I have been washing and reusing the smoothie pack plastic baggies thus far, and any other bag I’ve used for anything other than meat. Once I have a chance to use the reusable ones and see how they work, I’ll write a post for the blog.
Since I’m home, I might as well fill some of my time with projects. I’ve been wanting to do these, but had just been too busy.
- I am going to grow an indoor herb garden to help me to preserve some for my new stash, and to use fresh.
- I bought a couple of bulletin boards for another project. I am going to use one for my regular cooking, recipes I want to try, etc. The other will be a planning board for this blog.
- Continue to organize when possible. It’s such a small space here, as you can see by this picture of my little kitchen, and it is taking some time to decide the best way to organize. Any ideas? Let me know!
Well, that’s it for this season. Keep coming back to the blog to see what else I will be posting, and take a look around now to see what’s new.