My continuation of Sharon Astyk’s now-completed “Independence Days” project (June-Aug 2022), which offered a framework for recognising how we’re building resiliency, community, and accountability that will make our lives better now and in the future. Many of Sharon’s categories are (or could be) related to gardening, so it seems to fit here on this blog. Equally, none of them has to do with gardening. They’re all multifaceted.

I’m putting this episode together late, on Wed., 11 Jan, but it covers only the week of 2-8 Jan.

  • Plant something: plant, start something

Well, one thing not started was my yearly Moleskine (or sometimes Leuchtturm) planner. I ordered an academic year version accidentally, and then I accidentally ordered a 2022 year version (which, why that was being sold in Jan 2023 — and came up in my results filtered for “2023” — is beyond me). Sent back the latter for free but still have the former (costs almost as much to return as the price) so if anyone needs a free 2022-2023 academic year planner, let me know.

Anyway, reordered the right one this time🤞and it should be here soon. But it’s weird mostly relying on my Google calendar. My old person trait (one of them) is that I still like to see and write things on paper. Applies to reading books, too — Kindle and its ilk holds no interest whatsoever for me. I screenshot webinar slides while taking handwritten notes. I write notes about my workouts (tape/dvd/streaming number and date, time). I tried keeping my grocery list in a store app but reverted within a month or so to writing my list on a pad of paper. It almost feels like the new year hasn’t started without the planner, though I’m using some blank sheets at the end of the 2022 planner to plan/record for now. And I do use Google calendar, in conjunction (I like that it’s digitally searchable for one thing, and it’s easy to save and find Zoom links on it).

My Fedco seed order arrived. It was 6°F this morning (11 Jan) when I got up, so no seed stuff happening here … and I don’t start seeds indoors anyway; the house is too cool and not bright enough and I don’t want to fuss with lights, heating pads, seed starter soil, transplanting tiny leggy seedlings, etc.

Oh, I also started my new Books Read booklist for 2023. And finished up and posted Books Read 2022.

  • Harvest something: harvest, forage or glean

I harvested fresh winter thyme from under the snow twice this week, on Monday and Friday!

winter thyme – 3 Jan
  • Preserve something: food or local community resource

Preserved local resources: shopped at farmstand when they re-opened for the winter season on Thursday. Bakery still closed. No take-out or eat-in meals.

Preserved sanity: Getting harder, as unseasonable weather (rain/ice, 40Fs/single digits, little snow) making it difficult to walk in woods. Walked around town on Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday.

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

Had a hand, I hope, in uncovering and maybe preventing a smidgen of healthcare fraud when I discovered a visit from last May listed on my insurance record (online), a visit which I hadn’t made and knew nothing about (with a provider I’d never heard of at a location I’d never been to). I called my insurer and though they had already removed the charge (which I never saw), they hadn’t realised it was fraudulent (?) and have begun investigating it.

Husband bought a used cell phone for $100 online through Back Market to replace his old one whose battery was wonky. (Back Market claims to be “the leading marketplace for renewed devices.”)

new Galaxy S10e
  • Want Not: food and emergency supplies, increase economic security, reorganize to use/waste less

Restocked teas (an emergency supply for me) and artichoke hearts. Adjusted Amazon Subscribe & Save.

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

Fed a friend in hospice (at home) on Tuesday and Saturday, with potato-leek soup and potato-spinach frittata (new recipe) made the days before. Made enough for us to eat some, too.

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

Visited with friend in hospice (and brought meals) on Tuesday and Saturday. Volunteered on MealTrain for a couple more dates. Ordered flowers on Monday for a funeral service on Thursday for my sister’s good friend’s mother.

funeral flowers – 5 Jan
  • Skill up: particularly if they help us get along, grow, make our new reality better

On Wednesday, I watched a great webinar through the Assoc. to Preserve Cape Cod about the Tidmarsh cranberry bog and how it has been restored to a semi-wild state over the last 20 years or so. Besides discussing the managed “re-wilding,” the presenter (whose family managed the cranberry bog and guided the restoration) explained how cranberry bogs are set up, which I hadn’t known. That property was divided and the parcels are now owned by two entities, Mass. Audubon (Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary) and by the town of Plymouth (Living Observatory/Foothills Preserve); I think both can be visited by the public, which we may do.

I’m also learning how to make and puree foods (even parts of a frittata) to a texture that someone with swallowing issues can tolerate.

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

Replacing husband’s old cell phone before the battery of the other one completely died (it’s a backup now) fits here, too. I took Covid rapid tests on Tuesday and Saturday (both negative) to avoid infecting vulnerable others.

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

Winter is back. Brrr.

This week, had a couple of phone calls with my sister (about flowers for her friend’s mother’s funeral, among other things); lots of texting with various friends; exchanged several long catch-up emails with other friends. I sent out a link to my Google nature photos album for January to friends who have asked for that. Visited my friend in hospice twice, talked with her daughter by phone and in person, and read updates about her most days from others visiting her. Checked in with two friends having medical procedures on Tuesday. Permaculture met on Zoom on Thursday with six or so of us. Salon also met partly on Zoom on Friday due to icy weather, with five of us in all (three remote, two in person).

Enjoyed seeing a flock of robins in the oak on Monday and a flock of cedar waxwings in the crabapple on Tuesday and hearing (or Merlin heard) pine grosbeaks and a raven on Wednesday — birds definitely make life better. So does back-yard/indoor birding and mammaling.

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