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Thankful Thursday | Sweet Sixteen for my blog

I started my blog 16 years ago today, on July 4, 2008.

2008 Kristen in a pink dress.

29-year-old me in 2008, right around the time I started my blog

It was a pretty random idea, and I probably pondered blog name options for all of about five minutes. 😉

(Which explains why I, as a 46-year-old woman, am still blogging as The Frugal Girl. Ha. I didn’t think that one through too well.)

I had no earthly idea that I’d still be blogging all these years later.

I had no idea my blog would grow enough to provide a full-time income for me.

And I really had no idea back then that my blog would be my financial ticket out of my marriage, or that it would get me through nursing school.

Kristen in a black polka dot dress.


But I am endlessly grateful to 2008 Kristen for dipping her toes into the blogging world. And I am grateful to all the past iterations of myself that kept on typing, typing, typing.


I am also grateful for all of you. I cannot imagine my blog apart from the community that has formed here; you are an integral part of what The Frugal Girl is!

Some people in my blogging groups turn off their comments altogether (too much spam, too much arguing, or just not enough participation to make it worth keeping them on) and whenever I see that, I always feel so grateful for the way things are here. I love how busy the comments are here, and I am thankful that it is largely a drama-free zone….a peaceful little oasis on the internet.

Also: I so appreciate all the support you guys have sent my way these past few years. I always tell my nursing classmates that I probably have the biggest group of cheerleaders behind me out of anyone in the class. There are thousands of you, from all around the world, and I do not take that for granted.

Kristen in scrubs.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

This week, I am thankful:

for the upsides of a drought

It has been dry, dry, dry here for the last few weeks.

I mean, the air has been humid. It’s just that there’s been little rain falling from the sky.

This is not good, obviously, but since I can’t make it rain, I’m being thankful for the upsides.

Like….mosquitoes aren’t too bad right now, since they need moisture.

Also: my grass has grown barely at all since I last mowed it a few weeks ago! That’s fine with me, since as we’ve already established, I don’t particularly enjoy mowing my grass. 🙂

that we got a thunderstorm on Sunday

I know that what really helps a drought is a nice, slow, soaking rain that lasts all day.

raindrops on a window.

But hey, the water that dropped from the sky in Sunday’s thunderstorms is better than nothing, even if that type of rain does fall too fast to be 100% absorbed by the ground.

rain falling on an orange tree.

raindrops on a window.

that summer does not last forever here

I know many people adore summer, but aside from the school break, I do not. I think summer is highly overrated.

sandy trail.

My lens wasn’t dirty…the air was just that thick and humid.

So in the days of heat and humidity, I focus on the fact that it does not last all year here. No offense to anyone who lives in South Florida, but if that was my home, I would really struggle! I’ve been to Naples in February several times, and even then I did not love the weather.

At least up here, I know weather relief is coming in September and October.

As I always say, one day when I am rich and famous, I will spend my summers in the Pacific Northwest. 😉

for a break in the humidity

After an oppressively hot and humid string of days, we got a little break and I was so so so happy.

I went for an early morning walk and the temperature was a dry 65 degrees. I could have cried with joy.

clear skies by the water's edge.

Look how clear the air is compared to the previous photo!

I even got to open my windows, which made Chiquita very happy because she loves to sit in the window and observe the world outside.

cat in window.

for an outdoor coffee visit during the nice weather

On one of those lovely cool days, I got together with a friend at a cute outdoor coffee spot by the water.

for a chance to see a sunset

I cannot ever see the sunset from my house because there’s a hill that goes up from the west side of my house, and that hill is covered in trees. No horizon there!

But I realized a nearby park on the water does kinda face west, so on one of our nice low-humidity days, I drove over there after dinner and enjoyed the end of the day.

sunset over a river.

You know that old advice to be a tourist in the area where you live? I am reminded of that whenever I sneak in a little moment like this.

docks at sunset.

Sitting on the beach on vacation is nice, but reading a book after dinner next to the water at home is also quite lovely.

a park bench on the sand.

And what a shame it would be to miss out on the beautiful and enjoyable things that are right here where I live!

for wild berry season

All of my usual walking haunts are filled with wild blackberries and wineberries right now, so there’s always a little snack to be had as I walk.

blackberries in Kristen's hand.

for the many animals I see as I walk

Just this week, I saw a bluebird up close, a fox, several bunnies, several box turtles, and also some sort of very, very large bird that was running down the path.

box turtle.

And of course, I see copious numbers of squirrels, but they are so common, that’s like saying, “Oooh, I saw some grass today.” 😉

that slow progress is still progress

I’ve been doing a lesson or two of Spanish in the DuoLingo app for a little over 500 days now, and even that little bit of practice every day is helping me learn.

I can read things like this and understand them basically as fast as I can read them now.

duolingo screenshot.

I’m not fluent, but I know way more than I used to!

What are you thankful for this week?

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Apple Lady 54

Thursday 11th of July 2024

I’m quite sure I’ve been reading your blog for the entire 16 years! I believe I connected with you via The Frugal Gazette. I almost never comment but faithfully enjoy reading of your “cheerfully frugal” life and adventures!

Joy in NW Iowa

Wednesday 10th of July 2024

Wow! Congrats on writing your blog for 16 years! Here in NW Iowa we went from extremely dry and wondering if our crops would grow in the dry dirt, to rain, rain and more rain, to the point that Rock Valley, Iowa had a very devastating flood a couple weeks ago. It was the worst flood for them ever. We go to church there, my parents and hubby’s parents were from there, family and friends live there! Yes, I am thankful that there was only one death, because it is amazing there were not several! The town will never be the same. My husband mows the yard at least twice a week! You talked about mosquitoes, wow we have more than we need. I always ask hubby how bad they are before I go out! I really don’t feel like wasting bug spray on every inch just to feed the birds or check if there is a cucumber in the garden. I’m thankful we live far enough away from any creek or river to ever flood our home! I’m thankful for no water in the basement! I’m thankful we can donate to the fund to help the flood victims! I’m thankful my air conditioner works! I’m thankful for electricity! I’m thankful for fresh water and heated water. After seeing these people to have to flee from their homes in the middle of the night, and then live in a shelter and have to cleanup all the debris, and all the decisions they will have to make is so hard. We take the simple things for granted! Thanks


Wednesday 10th of July 2024

16 years! Wow, that's wonderful.

I'm thankful for cool weather right now so I, too, can open the windows.

Local summer produce. There's nothing like it.

And that I've kicked my whole pot of coffee habit, having usually just one cup or a cup of cacao before I start in on tea (iced). I've noticed I feel a lot more hydrated.

Central Calif. Artist Jana

Monday 8th of July 2024

Oh wow, you are reading "Small Great Things"! I read it in May and thought of you, and may have emailed you about it. It was too detailed for me in the medical department, but that Jodi Picoult sure can tell a story.


Sunday 7th of July 2024

This week I am thankful that … We are not in a drought! We’ve had drought warning each year for a few years running and I know that is hard on the farmers in our state. We’ve had so much rain that we are constantly in a flood warning (which isn’t great either) but in areas where it isn’t flooding everything is so green and lush.

Our CSA farm is very generous. Because of all the rain they had to push the start of our pick-ups back two weeks. To “make up” for this they offered all shareholders two free hanging plants from their greenhouse. They didn’t need to “make up” for anything, Mother Nature does what she will, but it was a generous offer that I happily made the hour drive to pick up. And now my front steps look a little more festive.

I started a new crochet project this week (I usually don’t crochet in the summer) and I was reminded of how much I enjoy this little hobby.

Evenings with my husband. He works a very “think-y” job and his brain is going as soon as he wakes up. But when he comes home at night he does a very good job of putting work away for the evening and focuses on being home. I know he could easily work from the time he wakes up until he goes to bed so I appreciate that when he’s home, he’s HOME.

As always: my family, books, coffee, my job, the view of the trees out my back window. We are blessed and it is easy to take that for granted.

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