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Scattered Sundays

This week I got the best gift of all. The gift of solo time and silence. Delicious, delicious silence.

We had planned to spend a week at my inlaw’s house at Ocean Shores from Sunday through Sunday. Friends were going to join us for a few nights but their work schedules changed and the timing didn’t work out.

Seeing an opening in our trip, and the fact that Troy got some solo time last week while I took the boys to Canada to see Katie, I saw an opening to get myself some kid-free time. Troy thought it was a great idea, and saying I was excited was an understatement.

I headed down solo on Sunday afternoon and the boys/Troy joined me on Wednesday. In the “before times” I wouldn’t have suggested this; taking two cars to the exact same place would have been extremely wasteful.

But with Lando CaLeafian (our new used Nissan Leaf), it suddenly became something that was not only possible but super affordable. The battery range on the Leaf isn’t the best in its class AND I wanted to test out an EV charging station, so I stopped in Aberdeen (Gen Z and Millennials will know this as the birthplace of Kurt Cobain) to use the charging station at Walmart.

Yes, I hate Walmart, but it was pretty much the only charging station around and sometimes we have to just hold our nose and get stuff done. Being new to charging stations, I hadn’t realized that there would be different “pumps” made for different inputs in cars.

I tried a few of the “pumps” and was growing increasingly concerned as I realized none of them fit into Lando. It was then that I noticed the pumps had different colors and capacity numbers on them. I looked at all of them until I found which one would fit into Lando.

From there, it was super easy to swipe my card, answer a few questions, and start charging. Honestly, it took less time to start the process than many people take just swiping their cards at the Costco gas station.

Once Lando was hooked up, I realized I had no idea what to do next. What was the etiquette when it comes to using a charging station? There were no other cars getting charged at the time, so I couldn’t ask any of the other drivers what to do.

I hopped onto the Googs and found that it’s perfectly acceptable to leave an EV while it is charging. In fact, the charging station promised to text me when the car was ready. So fancy.

It was a bit alarming when it estimated it would take 79 minutes to charge Lando. Um, that seemed excessive. But I realized quickly that it seemed to under-promise and overdeliver in terms of timing.

I went into Walmart to get a few provisions that our grocery store had been out of, and within about 25 minutes I got a text from the charging station that Lando was charged and ready to go. For the total price of $8.60. I freaking love this.

Lando comes with “eco mode” that greatly reduces the acceleration power but adds about 10-15 miles of distance. After some trial and error, I found that anytime I am cruising along at a consistent speed, using eco mode works well.

However, using eco mode when you’re in a position where you want to accelerate is a joke. The car has almost no get-up-and-go power at that point. Troy and I have started saying “I need some nos” when we turn off the eco mode. Yep, a Fast and Furious reference because we’re nerds.

I got to the house around 3 pm on Sunday and was greeted with nothing but silence. It was incredible! I unpacked the car, got situated, and then called in a takeout order to Bennett’s Fish Shack.

If you ever find yourself in Ocean Shores or Westport Washington, run, do not walk to Bennett’s Fish Shack. They make the best veggie burger I have ever had, and I make it even better because I add bacon to mine.

After eating all my delicious food, I went for a nice long meandering 5-mile walk. I was complimented by an elderly couple on recumbent bikes that they liked my blinking safety vest. So, you know, I’m kind of a big deal around here.

a woman in a baseball cap and yellow safety vest.

That night I watched Murder She Wrote and The Golden Girls and then deep cleaned the kitchen sink because I really know how to party.

During our June trip, I noticed my inlaw’s white kitchen sink was getting pretty scratched and banged up. I packed some Barkeeper’s Friend this time and really went to town on cleaning the sink. I wish I had taken a before photo but the after is pretty gorgeous. It was oh so satisfying.

Monday found me up early because my body is broken and that’s just what it does. It was lovely to just leave for a walk without consulting anyone! NOBODY!

Later that morning after realizing that I needed salad dressing, I took a nice 8-mile roundtrip bike ride into town to get some dressing at the grocery store and took as long as I wanted because nobody was waiting for me.

I did lots of reading (see the very robust “What I’m Reading This Week” section below) and a little bit of work through a Word document because the house doesn’t have internet. It’s like 2001 over here.

Tuesday there was a lot more walking and I biked into town to see Thor. I’ve never been to a movie by myself because as an extrovert that seems weird and lonely. But the time had come!

Thor wasn’t at the top of my list to see but it’s a tiny theater and was one of only three movies being shown. And I went on Tuesday because tickets are deeply discounted on Tuesdays and my mom didn’t raise a fool.

All in all, it was a lovely reset and I feel so fortunate that we could make it happen. I’m always very grateful that we have such a nice (and free!) place to go and unwind.

a deer in a ditch with its butt up.

The boys came on Wednesday and we did our normal routine of lots and lots of bike rides, some mini golf, ice cream, walks, and s’mores. However, the very first night they were here turned into something from “The Conjuring”.

Bennett woke up around 11:30 pm screaming from a mix of what seemed to be a night terror and goodness knows what. It went on for 30 minutes. It was insanity. He was thrashing and screaming but awake.

We could not get him to “reset”. It was like something from a 1950s movie where there was a “hysterical” woman…and much like those old scenes we almost had to do the whole shaking while yelling “snap out of it” thing.

We finally get him calm and back to bed and then I hear this low voice speaking some other language but it’s really far away so I can’t understand what they’re saying. I check the boys and Troy to see if anyone is on devices. Nada.

We finally tracked it down to a radio in the garage that randomly turned on and was blasting a Spanish talk radio channel. Nobody had turned on the radio and it hadn’t been playing up until that point.

It was an adventure. A spooooky, spooky adventure.

2 photos: a mom holding a baby and that same baby 6 years later being held by the mom in the same way.
I absolutely had to bribe him to take this second photo.

We’re heading back home today and then Bennett has his final week of summer day camp before we go into “lockdown” mode leading up to his long-anticipated tonsil surgery on August 12th.

We are happy to enter and stay in the bubble so that we no longer have to deal with this child’s constant colds and viruses. Farewell, tonsils – don’t let the door hit you in the butt (let’s just pretend that tonsil have a butt) on the way out.


I downloaded an audiobook from our library and listened to that on my two-hour drive to Ocean Shores.

I listened to L.A. Weather by Maria Amparo Escandon and I really enjoyed it. I don’t listen to a lot of audiobooks but this was a great one to hear instead of reading.

Many of the characters and foods intersperse Spanish with English and hearing it in a proper accent rather than reading it with my very very white eyes really added to the story. I feel like I would have missed out on some of the nuances by reading it.

What I’m reading this week

a deer looking through a window while someone reads a book from a Kindle.

Book One: I finished Two Nights in Lisbon and really enjoyed it. I guessed part of the “big reveal” pretty early on, but 1) it didn’t stop it from being a page-turner, and 2) still found some parts of the twist to be a fun surprise.

The start of the book is slow. I encourage you to get over the mundane descriptions of stains on people’s shirts and stick with it. You’ll get a fun read out of it.

Book Two: A reader recommended The Maid (not Maid which is also on my list) to me and I finished it in a day! It’s a mystery (mainly) set in a hotel and while it is never explicitly addressed, the heroine appears to be on the Autism spectrum.

The book addresses what others see as her “quirks” but she sees them as assets to doing her job very well. In my opinion, she is shown in a very good light. I think it would be great for someone on the spectrum to read this and see themselves as the hero in a book.

Book Three: Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson was a recommendation from a guest on a podcast that I was listening to. It’s been such an engaging story and I think it is a must-read for everyone. Trigger warning: the book deals heavily with pregnancy loss and child deformities.

Damnation Spring is a fictional story (though probably mostly non-fiction) about a town in Northern California in the late 70s. It’s a logging town and the people who live there are harvesting the last of the native redwood trees.

And secondary to the plot is the fact that the logging company, the state and federal government, and the forest service are all spraying DT in the community to keep down blackberry bushes and other weeds.

The book examines the intersection of blue-collar jobs and environmental activism but from the perspective of the loggers and their families. It’s been SUCH a great read and I think that it’s an important one for everyone, no matter how you view climate change.


Megan left this five-star review on our Air Fryer Shrimp Tacos {Pin this recipe}:

I have to follow-up on my comment below. First, I misread the recipe so my question was unnecessary. Second, this recipe was ah-mazing. So, so easy to cook the shrimp from frozen and very tasty. I am going to make this again tonight but use the shrimp in “sushi bowls” instead of tacos. Perhaps I will skip the cumin and add ginger to make it lean more Asian.

a platter of shrimp tacos with lime cabbage slaw.


Corn PizzaEnjoy your favorite tastes of summer with this incredible corn pizza. Roasted sweet corn, bacon, garlic, and cheese come together in a delicious and simple homemade pizza recipe. {Pin this recipe}

homemade corn pizza on a cast iron pizza stone topped with Parmesan, bacon, and sliced green onions.

Peach CompoteHomemade Peach Compote is a delicious sauce or topping for ice cream, waffles/pancakes, or enjoy it as a side dish. This tasty homemade condiment is so simple to make with just a few ingredients. {Pin this recipe}

a glass jar of peach compote on a white board with a spoon and cinnamon sticks.

Drying PeachesLearn all about drying peaches in a food dehydrator or in an oven. Dehydrating peaches is a simple project for adults and kids and makes amazing healthy snacks. {Pin this recipe}

a grey bowl filled with dried peach slices.


  1. Canning Peaches – like sunshine in a jar that you can enjoy all year long. {Pin this tutorial}
  2. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan and vegetarian as written but super customizable! Oh, and did you know you can FREEZE these? {Pin this recipe}
  3. Peach Ice Cream – a cold bowl of summer. Seriously, you’re going to love it! {Pin this tutorial}
  4. Dill Pickle Relish – this recipe for dill relish will help you make homemade relish and can it like a pro! {Pin this tutorial}
  5. Refrigerator Dilly Beans – I’m obsessed with these pickled beans! They’re stored in the fridge and you don’t need to know how to can to make these amazing dilly beans. {Pin this recipe}

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8 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Bennet has gotten soooo big 😭 I remember seeing the pictures of him coming home and the pictures of Jack holding up a sign saying you quit you’re job to be home with the boys😭. From an original reader of Frugal by Choice Cheap by Necessity seeing these boys group up has been a beautiful blessing. Thank you for including us in your family. 

  2. Ooh, that corn pizza sounds delicious!!  What did you think of Thor?

    • The pizza is sooo good!

      Thor was fine. It was funny and I love anything that Taika Waititi does. The cancer storyline caught me by surprise and I probably would have skipped the movie if I had known about it.

  3. Your mini solo vacation sounds glorious! Glad you were able to recharge!

    We are moving to Virginia and the thought of an EV is more and more appealing. Sitting in traffic is going to suck, but maybe an EV will make it suck a little less?

  4. A few days by myself sounds amazing. Unfortunately to avoid anything that looks like paying for child care me and hubby work opposite shifts. Anytime that resembles being alone usually happens after midnight. Fingers crossed kindergarten goes smooth in the fall and I’ll get a few hours during daylight hours

    • We paid for childcare with Jack and hustled to change our schedules to not have to pay for it with Bennett. There are pros and cons to each route. Saving money is great, but never ever getting a break with a kid not in childcare is exhausting too.

      Fingers crossed that kinder is a dream for you all.