Sunday, February 27, 2011

Moneyless? Really?

I like to browse the new books section at the library and this book caught my eye, "The Moneyless Man" by Mark Boyle. For whatever reason, Mr. Boyle became disillusioned or dissatisfied with his life and decided to tryo to live without money for a year, and start a movement along the way. So he sold his houseboat, closed his bank accounts and figured out how to run his laptop by cranking it instead of plugging it in to an electrical outlet and paying an electric bill...  Long story short: he is single, no mortgage, spouse, kids, or dogs to worry about so it was probably relatively easy for him to chuck his way of life and embark on this interesting experiment. And while he did get a mobile home for free he had to go without indoor plumbing and write about going to the bathroom outdoors in the middle of winter, so apparently living without money involves considerable sacrifice. I'm not done reading the book yet but I think the point he's trying to make is that money gets  in the way and ruins things and if we take money out of the deal we can interact on a different, better level, a level of kindness, caring, understanding, cooperation and sharing that doesn't happen when money is involved.  

I've been as preoccupied with money as the next person I guess. Saving it, not spending it, how to generate more of it, the best ways to use it, teaching my kids about the value of it, and trying to figure out how to use/get/make things I and my family need without spending it. I've been trying to figure out how to generate solar and wind power for our home without spending thousands and thousands (or even hundreds for that matter) of dollars, if and how we should try to raise some chickens in the back yard for eggs, recycling and garden control, and how to grow most if not all of our own fruits and vegetables in our little corner of the world without it taking 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

But money is not the real problem. It's time. Will I really be able to incorporate 3 chickens into our lives along with everything else? Can I ever truly get to the point that I and my family recycle everything and work really really hard not to pay for unnecessary packaging that we will just recycle? Can we really keep adding more and more fruits and vegetables to our garden every year along with taking more time and effort to cultivate and harvest them? Even if I love those things, what about real life? What about the other people in my family, the dogs, work, movies, track meets, vacations, school, etc., etc., etc.? How much more time and effort can I squeeze out of every day to do things for my family instead of taking advantage of things that are taken care of with the convenience of money? Do I really have to give up the convenience of money to be able to enjoy and participate in truly important things like growing food for my family and not polluting the earth?  Those are the big questions that I'm trying to find answers for, and I suspect Mark Boyle is too.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Greenery On the Bathroom Shelf

Here are some of my winter green growing things catching the morning light on the shelf in the bathroom. I can't resist planting big fat lemon seeds, or anything with a green shoot that's trying to grow. The garlic was stretching for light so I had to plant it.