Thursday, December 30, 2010

Moving past the Holidays

The Holidays are a crazy time with senseless shopping, running around delivering gifts, trying to make sure everything is just right for that "big" day. And for what? The opening of presents. That's all that seems to matter. But, here in our house, we wait until after breakfast to calm the frenzy. It wasn't too bad this year...not many unthoughtful gifts. In fact, my second eldest daughter came home and stayed overnight. She helped with dinner and everything was nice. Family time. And then it was over. After dinner, my sweet older girl hightailed it out of here with any ride she could find. She had things to do, man. And I thought, "Thank God Christmas is over!" Another year survived.

We stayed up and watched the eclipse on December 21, the Winter Solstice, and that seemed more real to me than "Christmas." The moon turned red, or more like a faint peach color, glowing in the night sky. It was pretty cool, and although I was more caught up in the color and shape of the moon, seeing it from an artist's perspective, I realized that the short dark days were coming to an end, and that this moon, this solstice, ushered in a new era of more enlightened thinking for our planet, for our culture...I hope.

I have been noticing the lengthening of days already, even by a mere few minutes a week, and it lifts my spirit as another Christmas fades into the past. My darkest hour. It sure feels like it sometimes. I took the tree down this year two days after the big event. Some years it comes down the day after. To my surprise, some of my family members are still giving gifts. What? It's over! Let it be over! I don't want to shop anymore. I have a huge family and feel inclined to give after receiving. I know it's nonsense. The whole thing is nonsensical really. Back to the pagan holiday of Yule- giving a "gift" was supposed to be a moment of joy, of brightness to ward off the oppressiveness of the long, dark nights. We bought the little ones flashlights for Christmas, and they love them more than anything else and they have been warding off the darkness nonstop. Some of the gifts we get at this time of the year make me think of a commercialized society. Token gifts. Why bother? I have to figure out how to turn this thing around so it becomes more about time spent together...good food, good music, good conversation. Let's lesson the hectic pace of Christmas just a bit.

We also closed on our house in the Springs this week, and as I signed the papers and handed over the keys, I tried not to cry as I said goodbye to my old Victorian girl. She's a beautiful house. Wrong place and way too expensive for us, but I loved her dearly while we were enclosed in her warm safe, homey arms. Great memories. But now, we can focus on our little farm here and move in another direction.

Chicken fort
Richard has been moving chickens around. For Christmas, I got the stinky baby chicks out of my "studio" (spare bedroom, storage, office), which is a delightful thing. The babies in the big coop moved up to the chicken fort in the upper garden, and the little babies, including my white silkie moved down to the "brooder" in the big coop. Musical chickens.

chicken house in chicken fort
Reds in new chicken fort

This new chicken yard gives us the ability to separate flocks. The new babies will comprise a new flock of twelve. The older chickens in the big coop are still having issues with plucking each other and a general bad attitude since I had those lavender guineas in with them, and even though the guineas are gone, the weird behavior continues. I don't want any of my new chickens picking up these bad habits. The chicken fort in the upper garden will allow us to use the chickens in that garden for bug control and fertilizer.

We are still working on fencing and hope to get the north east corner of our property done with the pallets to allow the chickens in the lower garden, the aggressive poultry, more room to roam. Maybe if they have more to do, they will stop beating on each other. Maybe they are fighting over Charlie the Roo. Maybe I should take him out of the picture. Who knows.

On a side note, the two little fuzzy chicks are still tiny in comparison to the faster growing standard size layers. I've had them separated by twos in their respective rubbermaids in my office. The little black and white Cochin is the tiniest of all, but carries the biggest attitude. I wonder if it is a rooster. Ever since I've had him, when I change out food and water, he/she attacks my hand, and not just a pecking, but a hold on and tear off the skin kind of attack. He/she is a little pit bull of chickens. I was thinking of allowing him to grow enough to turn into dinner maybe, but when I moved all of my youngest chicks down to the brooder, the little Cochin Napolean seems to be getting his own dose of abuse--getting stepped on and chased by his new/old chicken room mates. And I, being who I am can only feel sorry for the little guy. Is it his fault he's smaller than anyone else on the farm? I suppose that would give anyone an attitude problem. His future remains open as we wait and watch the chicken antics in establishing a pecking order. The little white Silkie is still the cutest thing, her feathers growing over her eyes like some crazy Andy Warhol hairdo. I love her, still.

So, with the hectic holidays, we are trying to play catch up. It might snow tonight, believe it or not, so we are trying to get the animals and the farm ready for the storm and the very cold temperatures that are predicted. We have to hook up some sort of heat for my two remaining guineas, who ideally should be warmer than chickens, so Richard is on his way into town to get some hay for the llamas and extension cord for a heat lamp for my pet fowl. I really don't like cold, or snow, but we sure need the moisture. We had a weird day last week when it rained all evening and never turned to snow. In Colorado? Weird. It felt like some Spring or Fall night when I went out to put the chickens to bed. Warm. Odd weather is a comin' and we better get used to it, I think

Other news? Well, we took the Billy and Lily the goats back to their home. Breeding time is over and hopefully all the girls will have babies in the Spring. We have to order more kid jammies for the little ones that will be coming. Goat pajamas are the cutest. We sent out a flyer on the CSA with Christmas cards but still have no takers, yet. We are still trying to rouse enough interest locally to purchase a dairy cow communally, sharing milk, expenses and chores. If we could afford to buy the cow outright, we would and just sell extra shares, but we don't have the $1300 a local dairy is asking for their bred yearling Jersey. So, we may have to wait on a dairy cow. And we are working on turning the dining area of our kitchen into a more friendly public space to hold classes in the future.

We recycled some dressers and found some cheap plywood that will be stained to make into a desk/counter/workspace area. I'd like to get real cabinets, upper and lower to hold our canning supplies, dairy supplies, soap making supplies, etc.

Also thinking of putting in a three compartment sink. It is so difficult to wash those big cheese and canning pots in a standard kitchen sink. Would it look too weird, I wonder? Planning a greenhouse on our patio, on the south side of our house. If we could turn it into an enclosed space, it would get solar gain to let heat into the house and we could of course grow our plant starts out there. I'd like the south side of our modular to turn into the front face of an Earthship. Wouldn't that be something?

Found some leather scraps to sew on the bottom of my felt slippers. We did finish a tin can man which we gave to my mother for Christmas. It's a big hit, but I forgot to take pictures. Working on another. Always staying busy here on the farm. So much to do with kids, animals, crafts, gardens to plan and remodel projects. The next year will be full of wonderful things!

Friday, December 17, 2010

UFO'S for Christmas?

It finally snowed here in our high desert land! For a while I wondered if we were ever going to have winter with our 50-60 degree sunny days. It has been so dry we have been watering all of our gardens and trees for fear of losing them to the drought conditions. When Richard went to pick up hay today, one of the farmers in town, who recently attended a soil conservation meeting where the stats for the century were available, said it was shaping up to be the driest, windiest winter in history. Oh boy. Global warming in action.  

I  know we haven't seen any moisture for several months. I am beginning to feel a bit concerned. If we don't have enough water, we are doomed. Needless to say, I've been trying to find a location we might permanently relocate to,  a place with enough water that we could survive on water catchment and intelligent garden design systems. Richard thinks the magic number is 15 inches per year. We don't get that here. We are short by several inches and if it continues to dry out, there is no hope. When the town runs out of water, we run out of water. We don't have a well. We are on the town water system. It is still illegal in Colorado to collect rain water, although I'm considering going renegade on that law. In ancient civilizations, when the drought came for an extended period, the people all died. Simple. We need water. A sustainable homestead takes the physical needs into consideration when planning for an unknown future of Peak Oil, global warming, societal collapse, etc.

So, where could we go? Richard thinks a place without building codes would be ideal for building an Earthsip or earth bag house that we could live in as we went, which is true, but where in the world is that? It turns out there are a few counties in Colorado without building codes, including one to the south of us, and one of the little towns over there gets about 8 more inches of moisture per year. Perfect. But then there is New Mexico, the land that I love, which allows rain water collection, and has more lenient building codes anyway.  The Earthships originated in NM.

So, even though we can't afford to move, I've been snooping around on the internet, trying to find another perfect spot. I do this fairly often, feeling restless and annoyed by suburbia and the covenants imposed upon us. 

I've been learning some interesting things about Rio Arriba county in NM. There's a little town down there called Dulce (it's not wet enough to move to, and on a reservation) that has quite a colorful history in the world of Extraterrestrials. Look it up to learn more about it. It involves the Archuleta Mesa and underground military installations and all sorts of bizarre goings on. Is this for real? And if it is, what does that mean for the rest of us? And does the location of my little homestead even matter anymore?

Well, I'm not sure what to believe anymore. When we went to Taos for the first time in November of 2001, Richard and I had our own close encounter...about five or six green glowing, round orbs in the night sky. "Are you seeing this?" I asked him.  You have to understand that back in the day, Richard was about as straight edge, conservative, discount anything he couldn't see or prove, as a son of upper middle class suburbia could be, trained in cynicism for anything metaphysical. "Are you seeing this?" I asked him that night long ago, wondering if my mind had finally slipped into fantasy land. Sure I had heard about UFO's in NM and joked about them taking people and mutilating cattle in the San Luis Valley. It was part of the quirky history of the Southwest. Right?

"Let's follow them," Richard said. He apparently was seeing it too. But no one else driving on the road stopped. There were no people standing, car doors flung open, gawking at the green lights in the sky. I tuned in to the local radio station (KTAO, one of my favorite stations to this day) and there was no mention of this mysterious thing in the sky. Helicopters? They aren't green these days are they, I wondered? It was crazy New Mexico weird, but we followed the lights as they headed slowly up toward Taos mountain and the Ski Valley. Richard drove his little Subaru right through the snow until the road dead ended into a snow bank too big for us to cross...and the lights disappeared behind the mountain.

I never forgot. When we came back to Colorado, I searched the internet for mention of the mysterious lights. Nothing. We decided to move to Taos that night. It was a sign after all, even if it was one we couldn't understand. How cool was that really? A close encounter of the first kind in the Land of Enchantment where anything is possible. I was thrilled, but wary about mentioning it to anyone, knowing most people were well on their way to thinking me crazy anyway.

And so it comes back. Life is a circle, isn't it? I once painted a painting of circles and circles and circles, intermixed, crossing, intertwined, confused and chaotic. Everything comes back around. Here I am again, ten years later, contemplating the existence of ET. 

We're not going to move to Dulce, it's on a reservation and I don't think we could anyway, and Chama, where I was originally looking, is on the other side of the great Divide from that alien activity that is rumored to be occurring there. But, I know that the Southwest in general seems to be a hot spot for alien activity. What is going on in these parts? Is the government hiding this from us too? Most certainly. They can  garble information about our food, our planet and conditions about global warming, and it seems the information they dish out to us unsuspecting Americans is the information that keeps us in our sheeple suits.

I never did fit into mainstream society and the cute little lamb costume they had me fitted for, I burned in a bonfire built from the rage of a misunderstood teenage girl. It was my right of passage. And to that fire I added everything that would hold me down, keep me a prisoner to the American Dream and the herd mentality. That included Christianity, materialism, capitalism, government and anything else that tried to put me in the box of the unthinking, mindless zombie like 9 to 5 ers who were sleepwalking around me, everywhere I looked. I wanted no part of it. I still don't.

In this season of materialism, I always have a hard time coming back to the expected reality I feel is forced upon me. I hate Christmas. Every year I feel the same unease about participating in consumerism, letting everyone buy my kids things they don't need. And every year I wonder how I could just bow out of that too. Hey folks, I'm not doing Christmas anymore, so don't buy me anything and don't expect me to go out shopping to find some token gift that will never be used. It's all ridiculous. The only positive I have to remember is that Christmas is really a pagan holiday, from the tree to Santa Claus, the gift giving and the feasting, the reindeer and the yule log. I'm cool with that. Santa is a shaman and Jesus Christ may not have even been born in December. How about that? If only we as a society could stop with the crazy shopping madness. Give a handmade gift instead. 

So the Universe gave me a little gift this season. Maybe a little comic did make me laugh when I read that aliens of many species are living underground, with massive tunnel systems that traverse the globe. Some of the governments are in on it. Sure why not? And I most assuredly am having a great time now researching the whole secret world of ET. Who knew? Fun, fun for the holidays. And I continue to look for the perfect, safe, alien free homestead location, ruling out various places for lack of water or...extraterrestrial presence. Don't want to live there and let my children become the next abductees in the endless parade of genetic madness and experimentation rumored to be going on. But then, is anyone safe anywhere? What could you do really if they came for you?

I'll just go back to my farming, my little piece of reality in an insane world. I can still eat healthy and take my vitamins (Did you know Vitamin C can cure cancer? Another cover-up.) Sometimes I look up into the sky and wonder. Maybe the 2012 end times involves an intergalactic underground battle that will have far bigger repercussions for us Earth dwellers than even global warming. Who knows. I've still got to do my part to save the planet, but this new information has my head spinning. I'm hoping that the rumors of benevolent ETs are true too, to help mankind save itself from itself and heal our great planet. Just a gift from the Universe...something to keep in mind as we plan for a sustainable future for our children and grandchildren.

Something new happens every day. Gifts. Miracles. Pieces of the puzzle. Tidbits of information that may one day come together to be useful or to make the bigger picture easier to see. I am thankful for the interesting, unexpected and fun gifts that expand my mind.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pretty pallet other people's garbage

Oh, we are having such fun with fences! When last we drove to Pueblo, on turkey processing day at Wren's Nest ( )  we stopped by a company in town that gives away pallets. We got this information from Paul at Wren's Nest, who built his front fence out of pallets. In fact, many of his neighbors also had pallet fences. Painted white, without looking closely, one would never know they were made from recycled pallets. What a fabulous idea.

I love re-using, and we couldn't pass this up. We already collect pallets that Richard turns into compost bins, and if they are free, even better. So off we went with truck and trailer to bring home the treasure of free wood.

mountain of pallets

There was a mountain of pallets of various sizes, and we picked through them until we found enough to match that we felt would make a good looking fence. We filled the truck and the trailer and ended up with a large assortment.

truck o' pallets

I was excited. Free fence! We had been trying to figure out how to fence our property since we bought it, Fence is not cheap by any means. This seemed workable. All we had to do was buy and install some posts to hang the fence on. And... make it look like a fence, passable in our little rural suburbia.

Richard makes a panel

So, Richard began connecting the pallets together to make panels, and they looked just like the privacy fence panels you can buy at Home Depot. except, these were free, and had boards on both sides, which makes them stronger, even if they are only five feet tall instead of six.

pallet panel, ready to hang

First pallet panel
And we carried them down to our fence line and hooked them to the poles. They look great! I don't think anyone can complain. I'm really pleased with how well this is turning out, and I don't think we have to paint them.

So it has been a few days, but now, as of today we are down to the corner of our property and working along the north side. This will enclose a garden space which I hope to turn into a small fruit orchard that the chickens can free range through.

And around the corner
We also plan on putting in some parking spaces for our trailers and anyone who comes to visit. It is coming along nicely, a little bit at a time. I'm going to plant the yucca seeds I collected in front of the fence, along the road. I'd like to keep some natural plants along the border of the property and incorporated here and there. I will also try to get our wild sunflowers established along the fence, and maybe a vine of some sort.

It's looking great. Thank you Richard. And thank you Paul for the information on free pallets.

Nice pallet fence

It seems if we let the world know, or at least our community, that we are looking for specific items, the things show up. It is amazing how many free materials we are finding. All you have to do is ask.

Our little farm is a work in progress, an experiment in sustainability, and it is that much more wonderful when we find reusable materials that other people are throwing away (pallets, leaves, manure, old wood) that we can use on our farm.

Use local resources for everything you can. Recycle, re-use and keep it environmentally friendly and you can't go wrong.

Now, in addition to our many composting projects and pallet wood fence, we are trying to find--locally--some earth bags...or woven polypropylene bags that could be used to build an earth shelter for the llamas in their new paddock and to build a root cellar and an addition on the goat barn.

I was emptying out my cat food bag and noticed this bag was exactly the material that the earth bags were made from. And many of the grains from the feed store come in these bags too. Hmmm...if we could get people to save their bags and donate them to our farm, we would have our material to build with (we still need dirt), and it would cost a whole lot less than the earth bags we found on the internet. (We suffer from never having enough capital to invest in farm improvements and live, so we have to get creative.)

Richard put a note on the bulletin board at one of the local feed stores, offering to buy the used bags for 10 cents a bag. That sounds fair. All people have to do is bring them back to the feed store when they come to buy more feed. Perfect. So far we haven't had any takers, but I am hopeful. I'd like to see another material that normally goes to the landfill incorporated into a sustainable project.

Earth bag building...that's another story and another project. I'll keep you posted. Anyone local with plastic feed bags, I'll take them. And we are still looking for locally produced bio-diesel.

Stay tuned. Next week I want to turn some of my saved tin cans into a tin can man to hang in the garden to scare away the deer and the birds. So many things to do. A creative life is one worth living for sure!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Kill the TV!!!

The past few days have been lost to me due in part to my own excitement at renewing our Netflix membership. It has been so long, like a year, since we had our membership and so many movies have come out in that time. Unfortunately, my muse, and perhaps my mind, have taken a hiatus as I have immersed myself in the make-believe movie world, and I have to wonder if I am becoming addicted (or perhaps renewing my old addiction) to the little black, evil box that spits mind-numbing entertainment out at me and so many other people.

While I have spent several hours on my butt in front of the tube for the past few days, I have not written any blog posts, thought about art in any form or worked on any other of my various creative projects. I have not worked in the yard, played with my farm animals or even picked up the book I have been reading (Joel Salatin's The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer). Instead I have been "entertained."  I have become one of the masses, one of the sheep, just like many other good Americans, getting my dose of fantasy to the detriment of my real life. That's just great, isn't it?

How on Earth? I thought I could partake in a bit of mind candy, a bit of non-thinking entertainment, and then go back to my spiritual quest for enlightenment and the simple life on my little farm. But the addiction pulled me in with her whispers and soft kisses and it became so much easier to tune out the painful cries of Mother Earth and matters of great importance in the physical realm as my mind became filled with fluff--stories of other people, and fantasy people at that, and their fantasy lives.

My mood has grown intolerable as I contemplate my own laziness and how gullible I am, falling into the TV trap and the pretty world of make-believe, where the only thing my numbed mind questions is what is going to happen next on the show. Stay tuned.

Is it any wonder that we as Americans are asleep at the wheel? Television is a leading cause, perhaps the biggest culprit in the dumbing down of America. Hypnotized by the hype, distracted by the shiny object. And it isn't even real! We aspire to have things we see on TV and to be like the people we see in the shows we watch. Ridiculous! We are puppets of capitalism, controlled by the little black box that tells us what to buy, how to dress, what to think or not think. We don't have to compete with the Joneses next door, we now can compete with the Smiths and the Phillips on the tube, all in the privacy of our own tract homes, and for convenience, we can order our dinner in so we don't miss one of our important programs. Hell, turn it into a family event with TV dinners and TV trays to hold them. Wait, we don't do that anymore, do we? As an American culture, do we spend more time with our families...quality time...going to movies, watching prime time, sucked in by the brainwashing media machine that tells us to watch more and more and more?

We don't have time to cook so we poison ourselves with convenience. We have to work, and work hard, to get all of those things we see on TV, things we think we need. Television watching takes up so much of our time, it is eating our lives like a cancer and we are powerless to stop it. It eats up time and money. I know people who are having trouble buying food for their families, but they wouldn't dream of giving up the cable. What? I can't even fathom how anyone would pay for TV. Isn't it enough to get the free TV that kills your brain cells without paying for it? It's almost like a drug. It is a drug. Who controls the market? Capitalism?

Ironically, we tell ourselves that it doesn't matter, that it is just entertainment, but it does matter, and more than we are willing to admit perhaps, as our society is mass fed the message to continue to consume and aspire to the herd mentality, whatever that may be at the moment.

What has become of my mind, lost in TV time? Everything is out of whack right now as my Ego drives the boat around and around in circles, laughing as my mind shuts down. Oh, it is a complicated web of destruction that man weaves for himself. Everything becomes tainted in the quest for capitalism. I am afraid. I can't just cancel my Netflix subscriptioon, can I?

When I opted out of mainstream society in my youth, by virtue of my own life, I had little time for television. Life was a great adventure. I met so many interesting people and was always participating in living, and I was more interested in finding out the meaning of life than in what the Joneses were doing next door, or on TV. In fact, in my rebellion against Surburaban norms, I tried consciously not to do what every other white, middle-class American was doing. Even at seventeen, I understood that being one of the sheep would lead to my own personal demise. And, besides, I wasn't buying it. I was happier in my "uniqueness," living on the fringe of society, than I ever would be behind a white picket fence. How come no one else could see through the illusions? How come all of the people around me continue on with their 9-5 lives, never questioning what it's all for? I never understood.

Could it be possible that the great and mighty television set has been shutting down our culture since it was invented? Could it be that my fellow Americans were and are so caught up in the brainwashing, cultish behavior that mindless TV viewing promotes? (Come on, do you need that robotic vacuum...really?) Like with our convenient, processed food, has television become the great escape mechanism, an insulator from having to participate in our own lives? There will be no great adventures had while sitting on the couch in front of the boob tube, except for in the program you are watching, maybe.

If only we could use the television for the greater good, as a medium to get important messages and learning out there, and I realize there is a very limited amount of that going on (thank you PBS), but for the most part, TV and movie watching is an energy vampire. We miss the point of our own lives as we are sucked into the fantasies of made up worlds. And at the end of the day, as we lie on our death beds, will we look back and admire the programs we wasted our lives on, and talk about the great things that the character in the movie of the week accomplished? Perhaps we will be proud of the umteen seasons of Friends we got to watch. What was our great contribution to the Universe? What did we give? What did we do to save the ailing planet? Keep track of football scores? Good for us. We are good Americans. We are good humans.

Last week I finished a book about the collapse of human societies. It is another wake-up call. As an anthropologist, I have studied again and again the things mankind has done to itself that has led directly to the end of civilizations. Deforestation is a big one. But, also inherent in the collapse of a society is the selfish need to have more and more and more. What did the Easter Islanders say when they cut down their last tree? My statue is bigger than yours? What will we Americans say as our culture collapses around us? What's on prime time tonight? Who won the football game?

I'm almost certain that the level of importance for good television programming will far outweigh the need to establish community gardens in the suburbs. If we give up our TVs we might have to see, and I mean really see the stupidity and the chaos that surrounds us and is closing in. Some scholars give our modern world until 2050 before the shit starts to really hit the fan. Recently I've read 2037, and even more frightening 2011. that's not playing into the doomsday predictions of the Mayan calender, or white man's interpretation of it. Maybe we have until 2012. In any scenario, time is running out my friends. When the oil industry crashes, and some say it already has, the materialistic world is going to come undone and a lot of stupidity is going to fall on our heads and knock some of us right out of the picture.

I have decided once again to participate in my own life. I love adventure in real time, whether that's chasing llamas or stacking hay, taking a road trip to a commune in NM, or learning how to spin alpaca wool. Tomorrow we could make soap or grow some vegetables. How about if we teach our neighbors that it is okay to turn off that TV and begin to live. Let's share our knowledge and create community. I find watching my chickens chase tomatoes around is kind of like football, and a lot more entertaining and sustainable in the long run. Best of all, it leaves my mind open to the miracle of life and lets my muse ponder the next creative moment, something I could never get from the TV.

So, yeah, I think I'll cancel my Netflix membership. I have so many important things to do and so little time. You can't save the world sitting on your ass in front of the TV, can you? In fact, you can't even live, really live your life if you don't turn off the television set. Let's not even think about the desensitization of human emotions and empathy by the endless violence we watch every day. And yes, it does make our children more violent. Is it okay to watch murder in any form? If you don't want the negative, don't participate. Stop watching the news. Stop playing violent video games.What messages are we as a culture sending to our children? Whoever has the biggest gun is the bigger man (or woman)? Or is it the biggest television set? Or maybe the biggest SUV? Or perhaps the biggest house that wastes the most energy? My BMW is better than yours.  And I don't have to recycle. It isn't my problem. Let me watch my TV.

There will not be change in our world unless we make it so. The things we watch as that the reality we'd like to partake in, or do we want something better for ourselves, our children and our world? Once again, our choices hold so much weight. With every decision, we shape the world we live in. Turn off the TV and think for yourself for a change. Let the cobwebs clear and get active in your own life. There is no Utopia in a 45" wide screen, HD TV. It isn't real. It doesn't matter.

Kill the television. Pick it up and toss it out into the yard and feel some gratification as it explodes on the cement sidewalk. No more mindless moments for me. I can think for myself and I have my own life to live. I can find so much entertainment in the day to day...the llama wrestling, chicken football, goat keep away from the food dish game. I can paint and sculpt, write and take a walk, laugh with my kids, talk to a friend, plan a garden, read a book, clean the house, compose a poem, pet my dog and make an incredible dinner out of homegrown foods. I can watch as my efforts heal the little space of Earth I call home. There is so much more to life, in fact everything is more interesting without the TV.

Climb out of the box and live a little. It feels good to give back to the planet. Try it. What can you do today to save the world? Turn off your TV and you just might have some time. We all just might have enough time to save our civilization.