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

It’s the start of bears-roaming-the-neighbourhood-looking-for-food season here. Our neighbour had one in her yard for an hour on Monday, then we had them (mama and two yearlings) in our yard Friday evening and Saturday morning. Thankfully, we had taken down the feeders before they arrived (and now they stay down until late next fall).

We’ve set in motion a trip (by rental car) to a wedding (events and ceremony mostly outside) in Maryland in June, with a stop in Kennett Square to visit Longwood Gardens and Mt Cuba over two days. We’re feeling OK about it, though I’m peeking at the XBB 1.16 variant wave coming our way and hoping we can both be boosted again by mid-May.

This will be our first trip out of New England (and further than 100 miles away) since Jan. 2020 and we decided to do it because one of the celebrants is the daughter (whom I adore) of close college friends (also adore); and we will see a few other good friends there; and the driving distance isn’t too onerous, vs. a family wedding this month that we declined, in Charleston SC, which would have been wonderful but the drive is too daunting and we’re not ready to resume the train or other public transportation; and, as I mentioned above, because it seems like we can be outside most of the time. If the weather is rainy and things move indoors, we will probably attend only the wedding (masked), but I sure hope it’s clement. Much of this week was devoted to determining travel dates and distances, making (cancellable) reservations at hotels, making the (cancellable) rental car reservation, checking visiting times at the gardens, booking the cat-sitter, rescheduling appointments, etc.

This week was also the start of Healey season: the car came out on of its winter hibernation on Sunday.

  • Harvest something: harvest, forage or glean

No, don’t think so.

  • Preserve something: food or local community resource

Preserved local resources: Bought items at local farmstand on Monday and Thursday. Husband literally helped preserve local resource by assisting in digging up/replacing flooring at local car museum most of Friday (more work to be done next week).

Preserved sanity: Walked around the lake on Saturday, and took long walks in town on Monday, Thursday, and Friday, and a shorter walk on Wed. The snow is receding and soon some wooded trails will be walkable.

  • Waste Not: reduce waste, reuse, salvage, repair, give away

Husband brought some household items and some of my spring clothes to a consignment store and what they didn’t take he gave to another second-hand store in town on Friday. I painstakingly picked through some arugula to find the ones that were still viable for dinner on Friday.

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

Made a list before going to a grocery store 20 mins away on Sat. afternoon so that I’d get more of what we needed, including my preferred cottage cheese in larger containers and not the single-serving cups that are all the local grocery (in town) offers. We’re cutting down on the amount of ginger ale we add to water sometimes to reduce plastic use and consumption of (diet) soda. I reorganised some jarred and canned items in the pantry to use the oldest first.

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

Monday-Wed. dinners were Chinese leftovers. I made Maryland crabcakes (and homemade tartar sauce) from a new recipe on Sunday which turned out great.

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

Husband helped (as a volunteer) rip out flooring of local car museum on Friday. I spent time with my sister by phone and texting around a medical appointment of hers and some serious medical situations with her close friend and that friend’s family. Mailed overdue sympathy card to friend whose mother died recently.

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

Husband skilled up using the bucket loader on the car museum project Friday. I increased my knowledge of professional golf (watching The Masters this weekend). 🙂

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

On Wednesday, we both cleaned the fridge’s filthy vents, coils (he did that), dirty/mildewed patches on the floor, and the particulates that blew all the over the kitchen when he used the wet-vac on it. Long overdue! Hopefully, it’ll be more efficient with electricity now besides not being a haven for mold and fungi. (Should have taken before and after photos.)

We brought the birdfeeders in this week before they could be a bear target. Soon we’ll be doing early spring garden/yard chores, like cutting the big branch of the apple tree that split in winter storms a couple of months ago, pruning some shrubs, weeding, removing poison ivy, and planning this year’s projects (edging trench in front yard, for one).

I worked out three times (three hours) and treadmilled once (3.5 miles, 1 hour). We used the new chin-up bar some, and I did a series of squats most days. We also rested — on Sunday, we did pretty much nothing but eat, open our Easter gifts/cards, and watch The Masters.

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

Emailed with several neighbours re bears in neighbourhood. Phoned and texted my sister several times. We were sent Easter cards and a gift card. I sent salmon to a friend for Easter. Met with college friends in Baltimore and NYC via Zoom on Wed night for 1.5 hours. Permaculture group (6 of us) met via Zoom on Thursday morning for an hour, still discussing Carol Deppe’s The Resilient Gardener (a re-read for some of us). I skipped Salon this week. Not much in-person gathering but it felt like enough socialising for me this week.

Here’s my Instagram post (on Monday, 10 April, but ignore that detail) about the forecast for this coming week:

Then the week after it goes back to 30°s-50°s all week, and some rain. So a little taste of summer, then back to early spring. I’ll take it.

So will he.

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