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. 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
Nothing planted. The oak, valerians, and angelica are still waiting patiently, as are the peonies.
On this Thursday, 21 Sept, I’ll be starting a 10-day Fall Equinox Creativity Challenge: Numerological Meanderings hosted by Ruth Showalter on Facebook. It’ll be noticing and posting (to the FB group) something creative related to numbers of any sort each day. No idea how that will go.
- Harvest something: harvest, forage or glean
Nothing harvested, though I could bring in the last couple of cucumbers, and there’s plenty of parsley. There are green cherry tomatoes on the vine but they may not ripen with cooling temps. Arugula are still too small to harvest.
- Preserve something: food or local community resources.
Helped preserve local businesses on our vacation in Maine (Mon & Tues), eating at Mornings in Paris (crepes!) on both Monday and Tuesday and at Old Vines Wine Bar (all in Kennebunk) on Monday night. Also had lunch at a local restaurant here with a friend on Wednesday, and late breakfast at local bakery today.
Helped preserve sanity with aforementioned Maine vacation (Sun-Tue), including walks on beaches and on wooded trails, plus a walk at a local trail here on Saturday, and some walks in town on Wed., Fri, and today.
- Waste Not: reduce waste, reuse, salvage, repair, give away to an actual person
Husband repaired his PJs (again) and the ripped cuff of a favourite shirt of mine. I picked up a rocking chair offered free in someone’s yard, which husband will refurbish. Husband found a substantial wreath-making kit left by previous owners in the garage, still in good shape, and took it to a resale shop that benefits the local visiting nurses and hospice.
- Want Not: food and emergency supplies, increase economic security, reorganize to use/waste less
I cancelled a workout streaming service (I can use dvd and tapes), saving $26/mo.
- Eating The Food: shop the pantry, new recipes, creative use of leftovers, help feed others
Used canned beans, dried lentils, rice, tomatoes, couscous mix, mac & cheese, tuna, artichoke dip, bottled artichokes, and other pantry items for meals this week. Also used lots of fresh veg from local farmstand.
- Caregiving/Mutual Aid: contribute to community support systems, volunteer, mutual aid, advocate
Called, texted, emailed, and sent postcards and cards to friends who are sick (Covid, cancer) and recovering from illness, lost a beloved pet, had a major oncology appointment (went well!), etc. Delivered broth and pain meds to friends with Covid. Voted in the state primary on Tuesday, which I think supports community. Husband volunteered at local car museum on Thursday for five hours.
People helped us! Our neighbour took our pile of dried (non-viable) bittersweet vines, Virginia creeper, and glossy buckthorn to the stump dump on Tues. while we were in Maine. A stranger saw me struggling to get the salvaged rocking chair into my small car on Wed. and stopped to help, wedging it in and giving me a bungee cord to secure it in my trunk! I was so chuffed.
- Skill up: particularly if they help us get along, grow, make our new reality better
We really are learning more bird sounds from Merlin. I continue my practice of noticing what’s happening in the yard — insects, birds, monarch behaviour, when birds come and go seasonally, how different the goldenrods are, etc.
- Tend & Maintain: cleaning stuff, replacing supplies, car or bike maintenance, stuff to prevent failure/breaking/hassle down the line
Husband further mouse-proofed the house, finding and sealing more entryways, and he worked on preparing the garage for winter. I cleaned the cat’s litter box fully and the cat had his nails cut at the vet (both occur once every 4-6 weeks). The window folks came; they took a window to replace and made a plan to come and replace another one in situ.
- Winter is coming: making our relationships, family life, home, community, immediate surroundings, jobs better for a long and hard upcoming year or few years.
Permaculture group met (7 of us) on Thursday on Zoom and chose the next three books to read (one is a re-read) and discuss together, which should take us to about June of next year.
Salon group (5 of us) met on Friday in person for 2 hours. Had lunch with a friend at a local restaurant outside on their patio on Wed. afternoon. Ordered gift for nephew whose birthday is tomorrow. Texted and shared memes with another nephew. Zoomed with college friends on Wed. evening, catching up on our last few weeks’ activities. Chatted with neighbour for a bit on Wednesday.
featured photo: tomatoes at St. Anthony Franciscan Monastery, Kennebunk, ME, 12 Sept. 2022