Thursday, March 18, 2010

Keep it simple

April 30, 1987

What I do and why...

A) I do not eat animals because there are peasants starving in South America because of rich Americans using all the fertile land to graze our cattle.

B) I recycle plastic bags because I know they never deteriorate.

C) I do not use unnecessary electrical appliances like hair dryers/food processors/blenders and the like.

D) I dry my clothes inside on wooden drying racks in the winter and outside on lines in the summer.

E) I teach my children that low tech and hand-made toys are more fun than glorified electric playthings - they agree.

F) I buy wild rice that I am assured is grown in Minnesota Not California because it protects the Indians livelihood.

G) I respect the environment. Do not litter. My children do not litter. I dispose of toxic chemicals safety or as directed on the containers say to do so.

H) The only thing I think I must change is that I throw away pop cans. I am distressed by my lack of enthusiasm when it comes to saving them.

Like a textbook Aspie, I believe the above is a writing prompt about what we believe and why. I guess I took it a bit too literally. Like many twenty year olds, I was extremely environmentally and socially conscious. I sewed my children's clothes, I spun wool and knit - but mostly toys - I never could finish a sweater. I shopped at my local coop - it is now the Mayday Cafe in Minneapolis. 

I was a vegetarian for 8 years. I suddenly threw out all the meat products that I had in the house after reading Diet for a Small Planet. At the time of this journal entry, I was at the near end of my vegetarianism. When I decided to eat meat again, I waited until the kids were in bed asleep, and then walked down to the corner cafe. I brought home an entire rack of ribs. I ate them all, sitting on the floor, gnawing on the bones. Yum. There is no way tofu or beans can replace a BBQ rack of ribs. I didn't get sick either.

I am amused by the statement that I don't like to use electrical appliances. I actually am FREAKED out by things that have motors. I like hand tools. I remember my sisters gave me a food processor for my birthday and my first thought was "Why would they give me this when I love to chop vegetables?" Now there is a great example of an undeveloped Theory of Mind. How could they know I liked chopping vegetables? I love slicing vegetables, and washing them, and preparing them. I have a zen-like attitude towards cooking. I love to cook - the process of cooking is calming. I cut my vegetables in perfect slices, even, uniform. I eat the mess ups - or throw them to my dog to eat. 

The whole idea that I was not using motorized items for some sort of Utopian ideal is ridiculous. I won't touch the lawn mower. I won't touch the snow blower. I will not touch the leaf blower. Motors scare me. My husband Anthony is supposed to cut the lawn when it gets long. He works a lot, and gets home late, so he rarely has the energy to mow on a weekday. He is pretty cute when he decides to mow. He has a routine he follows when he is going to mow. First he thinks of all the things he might need to buy, and then goes shopping. Then he puts on his mowing outfit, special yard shoes, shorts, yard gloves, hat and his ipod. He mows and bags the yard waste, even though he says he has a mulching blade - whatever that is. I stay inside and watch him, in case he runs himself over and loses a foot or something. He says there is a safety thing on it that will stop the blade if he lets go of the handle - but you can never be too certain around motors. /shiver

I have been mulching the yard. I was upset because the neighbor lady who mows like clockwork every third day was mowing our side yard. Maybe she did it to be nice - that's what Anthony said. I thought she was doing it to take our yard over - that happens sometimes doesn't it? When you care for someone's property without the owner telling you to back off? Well - that is what I thought she was doing. So when I got 7 trees cut down in my yard (they were dead - well 5 of them were...) I asked the tree guys to leave me the chips. I used a plat drawing to measure from the corner of the cul de sac to figure out where our property line was and erected some stakes. I tied some line to the stakes, then the neighbor came out. We discussed the property line and came to an agreement. I repositioned the lines. 

Then I put yard cloth over the carefully mowed grass and mulched it. All over. The whole side of the yard. All wood chipped. The next summer, I started planting flowers in the area. It looks great. I started mulching the rest of the yard too. The less Anthony mows, the more grass I am taking away. It is a silent yard war. I believe this must be another case of Theory of Mind, because I am not taking Anthony's opinion into account. I just dig up an area and make a garden without discussion. 

Keep it simple indeed. Maybe in my own mind it is simple, because I am singular minded.

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