My Mindful Week

By , April 30, 2008 6:45 am

So it is time for me to report on MY Turnoff Week, I say “my,” not “our” because my kids didn’t know that anything different was going on. Without TV, they are used to just “doing their thing.” I do allow videos on occasion, but they rarely ever ask for them and never asked this week, so I didn’t have to say no.

In my household, this week was all about me: ME, ME, ME, ME!! I am the one with the screen addiction. I am the one who last year, was rather shocked to discover how difficult it was for me to not just “quickly check my email” twenty five times per day (what am I expecting to find in my email anyhow? No…I do not want any Vi@gr@ thank you!).

I then figured out that avoiding the computer was all just a state of mind. Mindfulness about my daily life. Instead of having half my brain on the computer, simply accepting that it was off and would stay off seemed as though it would work. And my goodness, did it ever work for me!

Perhaps the timing was simply fortuitous and I was just badly in need of a blog break this year, or maybe I really did learn a lesson last year. Whatever the reason, my computer was off most of the week and I LOVED it! In fact, I am finding it difficult to get back into blogging. My emails have piled up and many need to be answered. (Sorry world!)

I did feel great email guilt during the week (and now) because I do not want to appear rude, but answering email takes time. Time that I spent last week weeding out my house for the school garage sale, reading with my kids, and working outside. I accomplished a lot.

To read how it went for others, please check out the links here.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know…

By , April 28, 2008 3:20 am

I sit here at 2:53 AM on April 28th. Turnoff Week ended here in Arizona exactly 2 hours and 53 minutes ago. Insomnia combined with an urgent need for a cup of tea means that I am getting the new Mr. Linky up in a very timely manner!

If you joined in with the 2nd Annual TV-Turnoff Week Blog Challenge, this is where you get to link to your final post. On Tuesday, May 6th I will announce two completely random winners from everyone who finished the challenge and linked to their final post here. Someone will win a complete set of The Adventures of Billy Brown audio plays, and another randomly lucky participant will receive a $10 Amazon gift certificate.

So…how did it go? Come on, ‘fess up! Tell us all about it. If it didn’t go as well as you had hoped, PLEASE don’t beat yourself up over it, but learn from your experience. What would you do differently next time? What worked? What didn’t? If it went better than expected, then we want to hear all about that too. What worked? What didn’t?

So…are you going to rush off and subscribe to 700 additional channels… or are you going to toss your TV and computer permanently out the window…or something in between?

(Please leave a comment too so we can all still find you if Mr. Linky goes AWOL.)

Birds – Nice Nests (Weekly Unplugged Project)

By , April 27, 2008 9:10 pm


My two oldest each had lengthy birthday parties to attend this afternoon. So although I had an art project in mind when I chose birds as this week’s Unplugged Project theme, my children’s busy social calendars precluded anything too complicated.

Instead of art this week, we decided to do something I was meaning to do anyhow: put out some nice spring nesting materials.

While most people know that putting out food and water for wild birds is a great way to attract them to your yard, another often overlooked additional method is to provide nesting materials in the spring. As long as you have some good nesting locations (requirements vary by type of bird), giving them handy materials can encourage them to nest in your yard where you can watch the action for several months.

All you’ll need are some empty suet feeder cages, or a few of those nets used to package oranges or potatoes in bulk. We used a big net from some oranges and a few small Baby Bel cheese nets.

We have some high class, five star nesting material: leftover alpaca fleece from Dempsey, an alpaca at our local alpaca ranch.


If you don’t happen to have a local alpaca ranch or any spare alpaca fleece lying around your house, you can also try putting out any of the following:

-dried leaves and twigs
-human or horse hair
-pet fur, sheep’s wool
-dry grass
-plant fluff (ie. cattail fluff)
-yarn or string (cut into 4″ to 8″ pieces)
-thin strips of cloth (1″ x 6″)
-cotton batting
-bark strips
-pine needles
-shredded paper

But don’t put out drier lint (stays soggy, dries hard, can contain chemicals from laundering).

You can prepare the household materials together, or go on a nature hike to collect suitable natural materials.

Place the materials in the nets or cages and hang them around your garden on trees, or deck railings. You can also push loose material into tree crevices or between rocks, and drape yarn and string over bushes. Heavier items that won’t blow away, like twigs, can be put out in small piles around your yard.

Then simply sit back and watch to see if there is any interest in your spring gifts!

For more about this (and my source for much of this information), please see: Attracting Birds With Nesting Material from the fascinating Cornell Lab of Ornithology website.


If you participated in the birds project this week, please put your link in Mr. Linky below (also be sure to leave a comment in case Mr. Linky malfunctions).


Next week’s Unplugged Project theme will be:


Please join us!


> 1/2

By , April 24, 2008 7:46 pm

Congratulations, you are over half way there! At noon today, Turnoff Week (and the 2nd Annual TV Turnoff Week Blog Challenge) was half-completed.

So how is it? Easier than you thought? Harder than you thought? Have you met your goals? Readjusted your goals? Given up your goals? Don’t worry if it is harder than you thought, and rejoice if it is easier!

For me, so far I have to say it has been much easier than I expected. My big “screen issue” is the computer, and honestly, I think I was in need of a bit of a blog break. I have had a pretty happy and productive week so far, however my rapidly growing collection of unanswered emails is gnawing insidiously at the edges of my thoughts…


A few links to help you if you need them-

Unplugging Kids

The “Mommy I’m Bored” Box

Practical TV-Free Ideas

Craft/Activity Ideas: Unplugged Projects


Unplugging You

Unplugging Yourself



Happy Earth Day! (April 22nd)

By , April 21, 2008 8:32 pm

I am not supposed to be online much this week since it is Turnoff Week and I am the creator/host of the 2nd Annual TV-Turnoff Week Blog Challenge (must set a good example you know!), so I will simply give you a few quick “free association” links to some worthy children’s books that come to mind when I think of Earth Day:

And here is an inspirational one by Rachel Carson for adults, that I just love:

If you want, you can read my full post about this book here.

Also: For more on kids and the environment, please see my post on Raising Environmentally Aware Children.

Happy Earth Day to all, and to all a good night!

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