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.

  • Plant something: plant, start something

STILL have not started my 2023 planner because once again I ordered the wrong one. This time it was a miniature version of what I want. So annoying. The 4th and hopefully correct planner arrives tomorrow. If there were a Staples or bookstore that carried planners anywhere nearby, I’d have gone there weeks ago and plucked one off a real shelf.

I’m starting “Playing with your Intuition” with Donna Fromm in a Facebook group tomorrow (forgot about it today and didn’t have time anyway). It’s a short-term daily creativity practice.

  • Harvest something: harvest, forage or glean

Harvested more winter thyme from under icy snow for a cream of celeriac soup on Sunday.

  • Preserve something: food or local community resource

Preserved local resources: Shopped at local co-op on Monday (and bought a can of local beer, some locally grown Asian pears, and probably some other local produce there). Shopped at local farmstand on Friday and ate at local bakery on Thursday (inside – almost no one else there). Got takeout pizza and salad from local pizza place on Friday.

Preserved sanity: Lagging in this area — the wonky weather is making it very hard to walk in the woods (to know what footwear to wear, which may vary over the trail). Walked around small pond in Hanover twice on Monday; walked in town on Wednesday (frigid weather), Thursday, and Saturday.

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

Took some bars of soap to local charity shop on Saturday. We were given some apples, an onion, and a yogurt on Wednesday by friends heading to Alabama for the winter. Husband repaired birdfeeder today that a squirrel or deer broke. He also used 4 egg whites last night and today that I had left over after I made custard.

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

Reorganised the olives and canned beans by exp. date. Inventoried the wet cat food. This week, I need to lower thermostats even further (below 60°F) in rooms we don’t use much. And start thinking about taxes.

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

Made cream of celeriac soup (recipe I’ve made often) and lemon custard, which I’ve never made before (I’ve never made any custard) for a friend in hospice on Sunday evening, and had some soup left over for us. Used some of the lemons my Florida friend sent us from her trees for the custard. Husband made two loaves of honey wheat bread on Sunday.

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

Took a meal to a friend in hospice today (Monday, 16th) and visited with her and her daughter for an hour or so. Kept up with her through other friends who have visited her throughout the week.

We took friends to the park & ride early on Wednesday morning to catch a bus to Boston, starting their trip to Alabama for the winter season. (It was 6°F here when they left, and 66°F the next day in Alabama when we texted.)

sun coming up after we dropped off friends at park & ride – 11 Jan
  • Skill up: particularly if they help us get along, grow, make our new reality better

Birding skills improving with new Birding Basics webinar series through Maine Audubon. We both watched “Identifying Birds” on Tuesday evening, and the whole gestalt idea really clicked for me.

Still struggling with my camera (the one I got Christmas 2021) but practicing with it a lot. My puréeing and soup making skills continue to improve as I make food for my friend. And now I’ve made a custard! Husband had monthly Healey Tech call on Monday, which contributes to the knowledge he needs to maintain his own vintage car. I participated on Zoom in “Rewilding the Soul” with Natural Dharma Fellowship on Sunday for two hours – dharma talk and meditation.

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

Cats nails were clipped (by vet tech) on Tuesday and husband had dermatology screening appt on Monday. I cleaned the stovetop this week. Husband refilled a propane tank at Tractor Supply on Monday.

getting propane at Tractor Supply – 9 Jan

I have been browsing new boots online and in a local store for months and need to buy something soon before my current year-round hiking/snowshoeing boots stop doing the job. (If I could buy the same boots I have, I would, and wouldn’t that be so easy, but of course they’re no longer made.)

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

I participated in a bookgroup through an organisation in Maine online (Zoom) on Tuesday, which was interesting. I really liked the book (which I would neve have read otherwise) and appreciated seeing new faces and hearing new points of view. There are two more scheduled through March. Permaculture group met via Zoom on Thursday (6 of us, I think), and Salon met via Zoom due to weather on Friday (3 of us). My college group met on Zoom on Thursday evening (4 of us with a cameo by a 5th). T and I went over to my friend in hospice’s house today (Monday) and had a nice time visiting in person with her and her daughter.

One thing that’s almost better in winter than summer is watching birds (and squirrels) through the windows. The cat and I both get into this activity, though I capture them with a camera and if he had his druthers he’d be using some finely honed claws.

Featured image is the fierce one at rest.

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