Monday, March 10, 2008

Acoustic Version

As part of Elements in Time's Technology Free Day Challenge, I spent Sunday unplugged (mostly) from the electronic noise that saturates our airwaves. Without amplifiers or audio adapters, the music is quite different.

Kicking the Habit:
I don't drink coffee. The Internet, particularly the blogosphere, is my morning cup of joe. I usually make my own breakfast while the kids eat theirs. By the time I am ready to eat, they are done and I am free to mouse around the Internet, stuffing granola and fruit into my mouth. Seeing the monitor blank - like a missed cup of coffee - left me feeling jittery and disconnected. Until I remembered one of the rules set forth in In Defense of Food: "Do All Of Your Eating at a Table. No, a desk is not a table." (192). Eating at the kitchen table transforms simple cereal into a meal. It also invites the kids back to the table to nibble on leftovers, plan our Sunday and try to out-Seuss (e.g., out-rhyme) each other. Heck, it might even count as a family meal.

Doing Instead of Dreaming:
In the world of books and blogs, I devote a fair amount of time to "dreaming of a greener being." With spring hastening to greet us, it is time to turn off the computer and get dirty.

In my continuing effort to defeat the mean green, we (meaning my husband) ripped out half of our front lawn to be replaced by a butterfly garden in the shape of, yup, a butterfly. My boys and I weeded, added compost, and scratched out the butterfly shape in the naked plot. We then tucked our butterfly-attracting and host plants into the soil. The boys arranged some of their homemade stepping stones (more to be made this week) in the middle as the body and my eldest's stone collection at the head for antenna. Finally, we spread seeds for milkweed and such on the interior of the "wings". It looks exactly like a butterfly, doesn't it?

Not so much but it was an adventure for the kids, an improvement over the previous patch of grass, an opportunity to chat with neighbors and passersby, freedom from the electronic concert indoors and exercise for bodies used to sitting at a desk rather than swinging a pick ax. I count it as a victory one way or another.

Green Bean Dreams Unplugged:
As the day waned, we sat with our children and neighbors on the remainder of the lawn and pondered just what the acoustic version sounds like. Our answer: A lone toad singing as the sun goes down. With music like this, who needs to plug in?


arduous said...

dude, I totally see the butterfly. that's pretty kick ass.

Burbanmom said...

Cool butterfly! Gotta tell ya... I'm LOVIN techno-free day! Wish it was techno-free weekend.. :-)

Green Bean said...

Arduous: that's sweet of you. ;-)

Burbanmom: why not? I gotta tell you, I'm leaning toward a tech-free weekend - especially with spring coming, beautiful hiking to do, gardens to plant. Ahh!

Jennifer said...

Oh, it looks so nice! Much nicer than the grass would have looked.

It looks nicer, and it's better for you AND for your neighborhood AND for the environment AND for the toad. :)

gregra&gar said...

Viva la acoustic version, it is the only way to hear the synchronous serendipity of nature's symphony — might even get to hear a butterfly flutter by.

Raw Food Diva said...

I am guilty of the eating anyplace but the dining room table syndrome!
But I prefer a cozy chair in the sun.
I would eat all my meals like that if I could!

Green Bean said...

Jen: I was so anxious to start this so that my toad can have a new home when we cut down the cover crop.

G&G: silence is golden. :)

RFD: I think the rule is just to get us to slow down and enjoy our food. Sounds like you are already doing that and therefore exempt!

Beany said...

Thanks for ripping out the lawn. I never understood the obsession with having a lawn especially since I've never actually seen it used for anything. My husband explained that as a kid he was often advised not to go out onto the lawn after spraying as it was a toxic hazzard. Its the silliest thing I've ever heard of .


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