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

As mentioned last week, the permaculture group began reading and discussing The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times by Carol Deppe on Thursday, a book some of us read together ten years ago. On to chapter two for this week.

I gathered all our tax info (except one piece that’s always delayed) and brought it over to the tax preparer on Friday.

  • Harvest something: harvest, forage or glean

I was given a bunch of post-its yesterday!

  • Preserve something: food or local community resource

Preserved local resources: Bought goodies from local bakery and a few items from local farmstand on Friday. Bought a couple of items from local hardware store on Tuesday. Ordered takeout from local Chinese restaurant on Saturday (which will last several days).

Preserved sanity: Not really. No woods or lake walk, though a couple of walks in town on Wed and Fri. Meditating daily with Real Happiness challenge this month, which is helpful. Watched two movies (recorded and dvd) this week, very unusual. Reading Jenny Odell’s How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy which is intersecting with many of my interests/practices, including meditation, birding, and heterotopias, and giving me more to think about.

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

Husband repaired finch feeder again (squirrel damage) on Tuesday. He also got my laptop camera working again, on Thursday, after it quit for no good reason. I made black bean soup on Friday to use some of the fresh cilantro bunch I bought for the vegan curry last Sunday.

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

Ordered another cat litter box, just like the one he’s been using for 5+ years, when I realised that the extra one we have (smaller and very used and etched by other cats) may not be viable for him. Actually found extra container of caraway seeds in pantry rather than buying them again.

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

Cooked dinner twice this week and had leftovers the other nights. No new recipes but hadn’t made the black bean soup in a year or more. Husband baked two loaves of rye bread on Thursday. Salmon arrived for husband from friend (delayed birthday gift); he’s enjoying that.

rye bread – 23 Feb
  • Caregiving/Mutual Aid: contribute to community support systems, volunteer, mutual aid, advocate

Helping support move of friend (this coming Monday) to assisted living in another community a half-hour away — helped with unpacking in new place on Sat. Also visited with her for two hours with vegan curry on Monday. Heading over again tomorrow morning.

mergansers in river, view from friend’s new place – 25 Feb

Lots of phone calls and texting with my sister who had a number of medical tests this week. (Learned more about the heart’s anatomy this week! Especially the mitral valve, the pulmonary valve, and the tricuspid valve.)

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

Husband still working with Java on garden/plant database. He’s reading Sibley’s Birding Basics and learning a lot. We both learned more about my laptop’s camera this week.

Attended three webinars this week, one through Maine Audubon on bird migration and two through Halton (Ontario) Garden Week, on edible native plants and native plants for tough places. All three provided new info and the native plants events reinforced my knowledge. We’re discussing what to plant (either transplant or buy) in specific areas of our yard for beauty, multi-season interest, reduction of lawn or areas that are hard to mow, and food and habitat/cover for birds and pollinators.

Meditated and listened to a dharma talk on loving awareness by Lama Willa Baker via SanghaLive this afternoon.

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

I used the treadmill two or three times this week for 8 or so miles, and worked out three times (3 hours).

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

Both permaculture group and Salon met online this week. Almost all of us (9 people) were on Zoom on Thursday morning for the permaculture meeting, starting the new book, and 6 of us met on Zoom on Friday for Salon.

On Sat., my husband and I spent 2+ hours helping (along with another friend) a friend’s family get her new assisted living digs unpacked and organised for the big move tomorrow. Talked with my sister a lot this week. Meditated some every day and for an additional half-hour today. All these things connect me, ground me, and improve my life.

We’ve had snow this week, including about six inches on Thursday, an inch or so yesterday and another today, with more predicted over the next two weeks. We’ll see. The snow looks nicer white than end-of-season brown.

High temperatures are forecast to be in the 30s through mid-March at this point, with lows in the teens and 20s after negative single digits the last couple of days. So spring not really in sight here, though people who are doing inside seed-starting will begin that in the next couple of weeks probably. (I’m not.) I’ll start thinking about where vegetable & flower seeds and native plants will fit into the garden as it is this year.

And the red-bellied woodpecker has returned! (featured image)

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