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

Started and finished a 7-day Daily Creative Practice “Playing with Intuition” series online (Facebook group), which consisted of watching a short video each day by artist Donna Fromm, then drawing with my non-dominant hand and colouring it with markers or coloured pencils. Sometimes there was a kind of meditation beforehand, a breathing exercise, body movement/relaxation; and twice I drew with my eyes closed. I also did two photo projects instead of drawing after the intuition warm-up. Here’s a gallery of most of the pieces.

Also! I finally received the correct Moleskine 2023 planner! But, I haven’t transferred notes from my temporary one to it yet. Hopefully this week.

  • Harvest something: harvest, forage or glean

Don’t think so.

  • Preserve something: food or local community resource

Preserved local resources: Ate inside bakery when almost no one else was there on Friday during a snowstorm. Bought birdseed from two local hardware stores on Tues. and Thursday.

eating inside local bakery – 20 Jan

Preserved sanity: Walked around the lake on Thursday. Took a couple of longer walks in town on Tuesday and Wednesday, shorter ones on Thursday and Friday, and walked a neighbour’s dog on Sunday.

The “Playing with Intuition” ritual was a good mental break, too. Oh, and I walked the local labyrinth on Tuesday.

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

On Thursday, husband mended (sewed) a shirt and PJs and he also repaired (cleaned out) the clogged bathroom shower and sink traps. On Tuesday, I reprogrammed the thermostats in the living and dining rooms — rooms we’re not using often — down a few degrees to 58F day and night. I’ve also been turning down our bathroom thermostat to 59F (from 60F) for nighttime. I’m still taking showers once every other day instead of every day. I scraped a little mold off an English muffin this morning and ate it, which is a big deal for me.

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

Ordered nuts and dried fruit to restock.

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

Made a couple recipes I haven’t made in a while: asparagus and shrimp risotto and crab bisque (which I did make at Christmas but this time I used lump crab which is much better than claw). Nailed the two avocados’ ripeness date and made a batch of guacamole on Sunday. Took celeriac soup and homemade lemon custard to friend in hospice on Monday and crab bisque to her on Sunday, pre-snowstorm. We took a loaf of husband’s honey wheat bread to a neighbour/friend on Wednesday.

asparagus-shrimp risotto – 19 Jan
  • Caregiving/Mutual Aid: contribute to community support systems, volunteer, mutual aid, advocate

Took meals to and had visits with friend in hospice twice (took another friend with me on Sunday) and took homemade bread to and had a short visit with a neighbour/friend (recent widower) this week. Ran errand on Sat. and walked dog on Sunday for neighbours who are both temporarily laid up.

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

Spouse continued programming my garden/plant database. I honed my intuition and possibly some art-making skills.

Attended several webinars: Making Gorgeous Community Pollinator Gardens with Native Plants with Clement Kent through the North American Native Plant Society on Tuesday (husband attended Birding Basics with Doug Hitchcox from Maine Audubon the same evening); Birds of Penobscot County, Maine with Doug Hitchcox from Maine Audubon on Wed. evening; and Silent Earth: Saving Our Insects with British author Dave Goulson through Mass. Audubon (among other sponsors) on Saturday afternoon.

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

We brought more firewood in from driveway before latest 15 inches of so of snow (to prevent not being able to easily get to it now). Husband did a fair amount of timely snowblowing this week.

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

Besides visiting my homebound friend and her daughter in person for a couple of hours this week, I also got to spend time with another friend as we drove to and from the first friend’s home on Sunday.

Permaculture met online on Thursday (6 of us, I think) and Salon met online (due to weather again) on Friday (5 of us, including one from Alabama). I was happy our neighbours asked us to run an errand and walk their sweet dog while they’re out of commission for a bit. I see I exchanged texts with 16 different friends/family/friend groups this week, which makes me feel looped in enough.

It was nice to get in some longer walks in town and around the lake on easy terrain this week before the latest snowfalls (and more snow to come this week), and, it was a welcome change to have the snow, too. Spring wouldn’t feel the same in NH without a long stretch of cold and snow preceding it. The birds are really enjoying the seed we put out as plants and burrowed insects have become harder to find. And I really enjoy seeing the birds.

The birds (forgot to include tufted titmouse and female cardinal):

I’m glad to have recently found OK Doomer, Jessica Wildfire’s excellent newsletter about the ongoing pandemic and the coming hard(er) times. I especially like her links to scientific resources. It’s not pleasant reading but I feel it’s preparing me for our future. I’m also happy that Sharon Astky continues to post to her Ko-Fi newsletter, about Covid, climate change, our shared future, and gardening, including the latest, 10 Cheap and Easy Ways to Expand Your Garden in Small Spaces. Her community on Facebook is also a supportive place with many skilled and knowledgeable people.

See you next week!

Leave a Reply