Sorry I’m a bit late – we had a small vacation in Maine and got home yesterday. This update will cover a short week, Tuesday 6 Sept to Sunday 11 Sept.

I followed along with Sharon Astyk’s now-completed “Independence Days” project, which ran for 10 weeks, from 17 June to 26 August, and was an “exercise [to build] community, accountability and solidarity” as we worked “to make our lives better now and for the future.” It offered a framework for recognising what we’re already doing and to perhaps motivate or inspire us to do more things to build resilience, community, hope, a better world.

Each Friday, Sharon posted what she’d done in each of the categories below. I did the same, but posted mine on Sunday or Monday (and now, Wednesday!). Although Sharon’s finished with this project (publickly, at least), I’m continuing the practice for now.

Many of the items are (or could be) related to gardening, so it seems to fit here. (Equally, none of them has to do with gardening. They’re all multifaceted.)

  • Plant something: plant, start something

Planted nothing, though a friend is bringing me some plants today that will be planted next week (an small oak sapling, some valerian. and an angelica). And now that it’s getting fallish, I need to think about transplanting some peonies that don’t have enough sun.

Started nothing, though there again I am thinking of starting something, a massive hard-copy photo weeding/scanning project.

  • Harvest something: harvest, forage or glean

Harvested a few cherry tomatoes before we went away.

  • Preserve something: food or local community resources.

Preserved community resource: Ate outside at local bakery on Thursday. Shopped at local farmstand a couple of times.

Preserved sanity: Hiked in woods (feat. bottled gentians, moss, and many mushrooms) for 2 hours on Saturday and did a few 45-min. walks around town (Wed., Thursday).

Went away to Maine on Sunday, walked in Ogunquit, Kennebunk, ate outside for lunch and dinner at local restaurants (The Trap in Perkins Cove and Boathouse in Kennebunkport).

  • Waste Not: reduce waste, reuse, salvage, repair, give away to an actual person

Took some magazines to library for others to read. Collected rain on Monday, Tuesday. Gave mesclun lettuce away to neighbours before we went to Maine for a few days. Husband repaired the braiding on the cat’s scratching post/condo.

cat condo repaired – Thursday
  • Want Not: food and emergency supplies, increase economic security, reorganize to use/waste less

Nothing here.

  • Eating The Food: shop the pantry, new recipes, creative use of leftovers, help feed others

Can’t think of anything here, either. We ordered judiciously while eating out in Maine, all appetizers and small dishes, so that we wouldn’t have food left over (that’s more “waste not” I guess).

  • Caregiving/Mutual Aid: contribute to community support systems, volunteer, mutual aid, advocate

Lots of this this week. A friend remained in hospital from last Friday through this past Friday; I visited her every day for 15 minutes to 1.5 hours each time and called her most days. Did a little of her laundry.

hospital – Wednesday

Helped a friend get word to her waiting-at-the-bus-stop cellphone-less spouse when her bus broke down, making her late for their rendezvous on Saturday night. Picked up a couple items at the co-op and brought them to a friend who’s trying to remain isolated before spouse starts cancer treatment. Husband volunteered at local car museum two mornings for 4-5 hours each day.

  • Skill up: particularly if they help us get along, grow, make our new reality better

Nothing. But here’s what Merlin heard one morning in our yard recently.

Merlin heard – Wednesday morning
  • Tend & Maintain: cleaning stuff, replacing supplies, car or bike maintenance, stuff to prevent failure/breaking/hassle down the line

Cleaned most of the shower (tile, grout, nooks) on Thursday. Husband mowed lawn (4th time this year). I worked out three times (3 hours), on Tues, Wed., Thurs.

  • Winter is coming: making our relationships, family life, home, community, immediate surroundings, jobs better for a long and hard upcoming year or few years.

Salon group of friends met on Friday for 2 hours (four of us in person and one from Mass. on Zoom). Chatted and texted with sisters a few times. Sent nephew birthday card/money. (Most of my social interaction time this week was with hospitalised friend.)

Winter really is coming: We had a fire in the woodstove on Tuesday, 6 Sept. And tonight the low is forecast to be 47℉.

first fire of season – Tuesday

featured image: Boathouse restaurant in Kennebunkport.


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