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
Planted 20 saffron crocus bulbs (from Rohrer’s) on Saturday.
Bought a new (used – 2017) vehicle on Wednesday from a dealership in Brunswick, ME. Drove over, test drove it, waited a while for processing and paperwork, and drove it home. It’s a manual transmission 4WD with low mileage, very clean, shorter than my 1998 Honda Civic (!) — not an easy find these days.
Harvest something: harvest, forage, glean, or bring to fruition
Harvested parsley for a risotto on Monday plus more not-quite-ripe tomatoes to ripen inside.
Preserve something: food, local community resources
Food: Finished processing the garlic on Saturday, about 35 heads in all, and stored it in a mesh bag in a dark cool place for use this fall and winter.
Local resources: Bought treats at local bakery on Thursday. Bought groceries, mums, fall grass at local farmstand on Thursday, too.
Got takeout from local pizza place on Saturday night. Ate inside (something we rarely do these days) at a favourite, local, mostly unoccupied restaurant — reservation for waterside booth for 3:30, they close at 4 — in Kittery on Wednesday on the way home with the new (used) car.
Waste Not: reduce waste, reuse, salvage & repair, give away
Husband took in a couple of my pairs of pants that were too big, on Monday and Friday.
Keep Stocked Up: with food and emergency supplies, financial resources, and experiences that make life worth living
Supplies: Ordered more Covid tests (at a very reduced price with the 4 “free” kits from the US government becoming available again next week) on Tuesday from WellBefore. I’m going through them at a pretty rapid clip these days. Ordered tricoloured orzo and a big container of arborio rice (unable to find locally) on Friday. My Amazon Subscribe & Save arrived on Thursday-Saturday.
On Monday, received my order of six more Corelle cereal bowls to match(ish) three bowls we already have, less than $15 with shipping via eBay; I’ve long wanted more of these.
Finances: Got two checks in the mail this month, both health insurer refunds. We rarely receive unexpected money! Moved money on Friday-Monday from investment account to local bank to pay for new (used) vehicle on Wed.
Experiences: My monthly poetry group met on Tuesday afternoon, always a good time with great people; likewise, the weekly permaculture group on Thursday by Zoom with seven of us, to start discussing Out of the Woods: Seeing Nature in the Everyday by Julia Corbett, and my weekly Salon group in person on Friday with four of the five local members present. (I took rapid Covid tests on Tues. and Friday before these meetings, both negative, and no symptoms.)
More experiences: Enjoyed eating in Kittery ME and seeing the gulls and river there on Wed. Enjoying watching “Only Murders in the Building” on Hulu (free with a Verizon promo!); we’re in season 2.
Walked at The Fells in Newbury (gardens and trails) on Thursday afternoon, to re-check some things from last Sunday’s walk. Very excited to see the red crossbill!
Walked around the lake on Saturday afternoon (saw one loon).
Had corpse reviver cocktails on a warm afternoon (Thursday) in the sunroom. Really enjoyed reading The Five-Star Weekend by Elin Hilderbrand this week; it’s set on Nantucket and it’s a perfect end-of-summer novel.
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
I made red/orange bell pepper and corn risotto on Monday, and we had that on Tues. too.
Ate out in Maine on Wednesday; husband had his fish & chips leftovers on Thursday and I made cacio e pepe for me, plus peas for both of us. More fish & chips leftovers for husband on Friday and I made a veggie burger with 2 cups of arugula “garnish” and we both had corn. Saturday was takeout pizza (spinach, olive, and artichoke) with green salad and so was Sunday. Also on Sunday, husband made two loaves of rye bread and delivered one to some friends that evening.
Between salads and my various lunches and breakfasts, I actually ran out of some kinds of canned beans (which I’ve replenished)! Arugula, most of the salad veggies, and the bell peppers were all locally grown, and I harvested cherry tomatoes and parsley from the garden.
Be Neighbourly: contribute to community support systems, look for ways to help neighbours and others
Husband took one bread loaf on Sunday evening to friends who’ve been through a difficult time. He volunteered at car museum on Tues. and Thurs. for a total of about nine hours.
This week, I felt support from others on Instagram when we learned that Nicky Newman died on Sunday night (17 Sept). She had stage 4 breast cancer and was such a loving, fun, full-of-life woman, whom I’ve “known” for several years. We knew the end was coming but it’s always shocking when someone in their mid-30s dies, especially when she seemed so alive, so life-affirming, so vibrant, and had such an authentic voice and a truly generous spirit. I really miss her presence, her reels, her words, tagging along on her travels, her zest for life in big and small ways. I’m glad she left a goodbye posting (another example of her generosity, to be thinking about others, including people she has never met in person, in extremis) and that her husband and her family are posting about her and the experience of their loss. May she rest easy.
Skill up: learn new things, especially skills or knowledge that remind us of our place in the natural world and within the social fabric
We both watched a birding webinar on Wed. evening, Birds of Guatemala, offered by Doug Hitchcox at Maine Audubon via Zoom (and in person), slides from his trip there this winter. Less of a skilling up and more of a reminder of our place in the natural world.
This was the first car I’ve ever bought at a dealership, and I learned 100% of what I know about that experience between Monday (when we made a downpayment and reserved the car by phone) and Wednesday, when we visited and actually bought the car. Interesting! Not all that daunting, either, with all the online resources like history reports, dozens of photos of every car, lots of other information before you even get to the buying stage (and it helped that my husband is very car-savvy and was OK with calling to ask further questions).
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
Husband ordered a cord of kiln-dried firewood on Tuesday and made room in the garage for it on Saturday. He mowed the lawn on Friday and weed-whacked on Saturday. I cleaned out the heated birdbath and refilled it on Sunday. I also did some cutting back and weeding in the garden on Saturday when I planted the crocuses. I only worked out two days (two hours) this week due to scheduling conflicts.
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
Glad to have the new (used) 4WD vehicle before the snow flies. The autumnal equinox arrived here in the early morning on Saturday. I can’t say I’m ready for it — I’m a summer lover — but getting a reliable car, ordering firewood, planting bulbs, enjoying the sunroom — sometimes with a cocktail — on the afternoons when it’s still warm enough, finishing my summer reading with a beachy, gossipy, drama-filled, and warm-hearted chick lit novel — these are all ways I’m preparing practically and psychically.
Featured photo: monarch butterfly chrysalis, 23 Sept. (It’s very low to the ground but maybe it’ll be all right? Needs to eclose soon!)