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’ve modified Sharon’s categories to match my own life and community; I may continue to tinker with the framework as time goes on.
Plant something: plant, start something
Nothing planted in the yard but, sneak preview to next week, soon the Rose of Sharon given to us by neighbours will be.
Ordered phone case and screen protector on Monday and received it on Wed., so now I can bring the new phone with me outside the house.
Ordered my sister’s oldest kid her birthday gift on Thursday (salmon from SeaBear).
Harvest something: harvest, forage, glean, or bring to fruition
On Thursday I deferred my jury duty, which was set for a couple of weeks from now, until April 2024 due to Covid (and lack of mitigations like masking and effective indoor air ventilation most places ) as well as lack of a viable vehicle at the moment. The deferment was approved (brought to fruition) the same day I requested it online, which was a relief.
Picked up laser printer a friend no longer needed from another friend’s house on Friday. It works!
We were given some tiny cherry tomatoes; unfortunately, the fruit flies found them right away, but husband is eating them anyway.
Harvested some basil to use in a tortellini salad I made on Friday, and picked several cherry tomatoes on Saturday. Harvest a handful of hazelnuts, which I think are ready, if a bit small. More harvesting coming next week!
I could be harvesting these new chive flowers or some spearmint from the garden.
Preserve something: food, local community resources
Bought food from local farmstand on Thursday. I ate outside at local bakery on Thursday, too. Ordered take-out pizza from local independent pizza place and visited local brewery’s beer garden on Saturday. Ordered takeout dinners on Sunday from local restaurant.
Waste Not: reduce waste, reuse, salvage & repair, give away
Husband repaired a skort hem that I tore out on vacation. I used frozen tortellini even though its “use by” date was June 2022 (it looked fine, and it tasted fine).
Keep Stocked Up: with food and emergency supplies, financial resources, and experiences that make life worth living
I ordered dried fruit, pasta, and snacks from Nuts.com this week, and I ordered sprouting seeds from a new company this week, Mumms in Canada, now that High Mowing isn’t carrying the sprouting seeds I prefer (crunchy bean mix) — and I added a couple of other kinds to the order (French lentils; rainbow radish, and spicy lentil crunch). I like having these freshly sprouted seeds/beans available in fall and winter.
We made arrangements this week with our money manager for funds to buy a used car soon, as mine isn’t road-worthy beyond a very local distance.
We walked around the lake on Wednesday and heard (though did not see) a loon.
I discovered some new and some familiar insects (and bird) this week.
Seeing many migrating monarchs in the yard this week plus some large monarch caterpillars on milkweed gives me warm fuzzies. At one point on Tuesday there were about 20 monarch butterflies feeding and flying between the back and front yards, most of them on Joe Pye weeds.
Food Stuff: learn new food skills, try new recipes, use what’s available in the pantry, use what’s grown/made locally and what’s seasonal
Nothing too exciting this week, though I hadn’t made tortellini salad in a while, maybe two years ago (and I forgot to take a photo). This one was made up of tricoloured tortellini, kalamata olives, red/orange bell pepper, jarred artichoke hearts (that I buy in bulk), and fresh basil from the garden, plus a simple dressing I made with fresh lemon juice and olive oil. I added the leftovers of that to a green salad (local arugula, local cucumbers, local carrots, and more olives) on Sunday to go with our takeout orders (fish & chips, spicy seared salmon and mashed potatoes). We also grilled shrimp/squash/onion/pepper kebabs on Tuesday and again on Wed. Soy burgers (Morningstar Grillers Prime) were also had, with swiss cheese, on heaps of arugula.
Be Neighbourly: contribute to community support systems, look for ways to help neighbours and others
Trying to support my sister and her family from afar as my brother-in-law continues to have medical struggles related to cancer and chemo. Trying to support a friend having a breast cancer lumpectomy next week.
Husband volunteered at local car museum on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday for a total of about 12 or 13 hours this week.
Skill up: learn new things, especially skills or knowledge that remind us of our place in the natural world and within the social fabric
Watched about 2/3 of a Zoom webinar through Maine Audubon on shorebirds (in New England) on Wed. evening before it wandered too much into the weeds for me. I will not specialise in shorebirds, much as I love seeing and hearing them.
I’m learning my new phone, how to use its excellent camera, and how to use VLC to see and edit videos taken with it; I had to download VLC due to Microsoft’s inability to play videos made with Samsung’s line of S23 phones.
Tend & Maintain: maintain our bodies, minds, and relationships to keep us resilient; and do what’s needed in the house, yard, and elsewhere to prevent failure/breaking/hassle down the line
I cleaned the cat’s litter box completely on Tuesday.
I took several Covid antigen tests this week (all negative) due to having travelled last week. Will test into next Wed., ten days since I last travelled.
The new phone’s case and screen protector, bought and applied this week, are meant to prevent breakage down the line, and we also got damage insurance for it.
My permaculture group met on Zoom on Thursday, six of us, and we chose our next book to discuss!
Salon met in person on Friday, with all five of us locals attending, plus the host’s cat Chelsea.
Winter is coming: notice Earth’s seasons and our own seasons of life and daily rhythms, and look ahead to what’s needed now to make life better in the future
The weather was excellent this week, nice and hot, just like summer should be.
The cat and I basked in it. I am definitely spending a lot of time thinking about what would make my future better these days. For now, I am enjoying reading and lolling about in the warm sunroom.