Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Urgent care for my Uvula

These were taken where I spent much of Christmas Eve morning. I love that place, on Montgomery east of Juan Tabo, in Albuquerque. I took the photos for the facebook group Zias and Pickups.

I'm better now, because they have great people. I'm very glad my (seemingly) life-threatening problem was NOT tomorrow/Christmas, but on Christmas Eve, when they were open (shortened hours, but I got in) and the pharmacy near me was open, and I was better in just an hour.

Uvulitis. I felt like something was stuck in my throat that was going to keep from breathing soon, because it was already keeping me from talking right and full voice, and I was afraid to swallow. I had tried hoiking it up, but that really hurt my chest and my head. I tried swallowing it. That was really not helping. Poor uvula.

I was very afraid, but as soon as the doctor figured out what it was, and showed her assistant, who was a medical school student, because the combination of my high tongue and uvulitis were a rarity, I was 50% cured, because I was able to be calm, and she said the fix was easy.

Three days of steroids (20mg Prednisone twice a day)
"Magic Mouthwash" (seems to be lidocaine in a pepto-bismol base, and I can gargle with it four times a day, and swish and spit and forget)
Allegra, because it seems I have an allergy, and that might've contributed to it all.

But the combination of those four things (five, with the knowledge that it was not a growth planning to reach out and kill me) had me calm and cheery very soon.

Other negative factors could have been dehydration (I meant to, and failed to, refill the humidifier last night that is there to counteract the...), fireplace (ashes, dust from splitting kindling), way-hot red chile on tamales yesterday afternoon (very hot), a margarita, and not drinking enough water or tea for a few days

So if you ever feel like there's something in your throat and you know it's not a foreign object, and you can't hoik it up, stop trying to. Gargle with salt water, drink tea (maybe with honey or lemon), try a cough drop, drink lots of water, relax if you can, or go to urgent care if you can't.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Amidar makes more sense there!

In a couple of Korean dramas, roommates sharing a house have made decisions or set up chore charts with the use of a sort of game on paper like this:

On a site called "DataGenetics," there's an article about this, and it's the way Amidar (the video game) worked. We had an Amidar game! There are screenshots, and some description,and it talks about the game the motions are based on.
In Japan, it's called "Ghost Ladder."
In China, "Ghost Leg."
In Korea, "Ladder Climbing."

The Japanese word is "Amidakuji" so... Amidar. Tadaa!

And then they have diagrams and explanations for how the randomizing game works, on that page, and I hope you'll look.

The blog "Ask a Korean" has an article with samples and stories: How do You Climb "the Ladder"?

I found all that (except the image, which I lifted from some drama or another) by searching for ladder randomizer Korea

Sorry he didn't have clothes on. He was getting dry after a bath. There was a "fig leaf" version of this photo, long ago, on some '90s computer.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Carousel in France, in snow

Pam Sorooshian took me to see several carousels in and around Santa Monica in 2013, after I had taken photos of carousels in lots of places (Leiden, several in England, some in the U.S.) and had become interested in the similarities and differences.

The one is this video (someone's video) has many elements I have seen before, but an airplane up high I hadn't seen (have seen them low to the ground), and the balloon was new to me. Back-to-back chariots (stationary benches) I hadn't seen, either.

It's pretty.

Some of the California photos: https://sandradodd.blogspot.com/2013/10/where-have-i-been-this-week.html

The carousel at Hollycombe Steam Fair in Hampshire:

Friday, November 22, 2019

A recent exchange with Mary Bess Whidden

Mary Bess Whidden
You're friends on Facebook
Works at University of New Mexico and Professor Emerita of English
Studied Shakespeare at University of texas austin
Lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico

9/29/12, 7:56 PM
UT is playing on TV which reminded me to come and look you up on Facebook. My facebook page can be a crazed tarbaby. My peaceful interface is here: http://justaddlightandstir.blogspot.com
2012 passed, and nearly five more years. Then I was at a gathering with Mary Bess, and she was asking about what exciting and exotic things Holly was doing, living in northern New Mexico. I wrote this:
1/29/17, 9:05 PM
Here's were the Wild Holly Dodd is working. It looks like a very beautiful, high-class House of Woo.

They sell singing bowls, and it costs $50 a head for the cave tour.

(There was a photo with this, at the time, of the dining room there.)

Origin provides nourishment, stewardship, community and space for personal and group expression within a 145-acre guest resort in the high desert of northern New Mexico.

Her Espanola yoga teacher (who lives in Taos) was leading cave tours, and when she heard that the owner wanted to hire someone to be a receptionist and figure out all the problems with their bookkeeping and correspondence backlog, to do billing and learn to do cave tours, the yoga teacher recommended Holly, and there it is. Real money, but not real benefits yet.

But they trust her with keys and accounts and money and passwords, and that doesn't surprise me beause she's competent and trustworthy. And she's kinda cute.
Glad to see you today!
She didn't see that, either, for not yet being on messenger, but I had sent it merrily out, and didn't check back.

12/12/18, 12:39 PM
Mary Bess Whidden just joined Messenger! Be the first to send a welcome message or sticker.
12/13/18, 10:42 AM
Facebook says you just joined messenger.
My husband ignores messages on facebook. Some people do.
Now you can see what I sent you last year!
Or, perhaps like Holly does, you'll ignore messages anyway.

It's interesting that more methods of contact haven't really made it a guarantee that people will get messages, and it's coming up on being rude to just call someone without prior agreement. (For young people, anyway)
And then another year went by, but I didn't notice, or mind.
SEP 28, 2019, 9:05 PM
I either saw a fleeting message from you and lost it (it might have been a very old one; my e-mail is messed up), or I dreamed I did.
Either way, I thought it might be worth checking.
I heard Angela had an accident. I hope she's healing, and home.
SEP 29, 2019, 8:13 PM

Mary Bess:
Thank you, Sandra. Broken collar bone and ten fractured ribs with pain. She should leave therapy place, not a bad situation, in about a week. She will be grateful for your concern, as am I. I miss your updates on Keith but am relieved they aren’t needed and have been replaced by peaceful photos of play with grandchildren.

I didn't know the injuries were so... numerous, and in such moving parts. I think a broken leg is a better deal than collar bone and most of the ribs. YIKES.

Just lately the stress came to me, about Keith's survival ordeal.
When it was happening, I was all efficient business.
I've had a delayed reaction, but I'll be okay.
I wanted to say it might happen for you, too. I didn't expect it.
Didn't know it was a thang.

Mary Bess:
You are good to think of that. You were strong and clear-thinking for a lonnng time for such a strong and suddenly bestuck man.

He handled it all better than I expected. I still don't let him drive his big pickup. He drives our smallest car, only in daylight, but he politely goes along with that.

I hope things go as well as they can for Angela and you, for the regular routines and requirements of what you were used to before.

Mary Bess:
Thank you so. To spite the world which reminds us that we are old, we persist, thanks to friends such as you. (Your grandkids pictures give me much pleasure.)

I'm very glad to know you.
There will be two more grandkids coming along.
Two, or twelve (not counting Holly, who is off to Austin (on the way back, by now) with her boyfriend who is 20 years old.
She'll be 28 in a month, and this boy can't go to the karaoke bar with her.

Mary Bess:
Congratulations to all of us!

When Ashlee announced their #2 (that's Marty's wife), I wrote:
I have done math. I have done a graph. I have projected into the future. By 2030, I think we will have 14 grandchildren. Check my figures. Babies born in 2017 (Ivan) 2018 (Kirby) 2019 (Tommy) 2020 (Ivan-sibling) and so on... I think my prediction will be marred if Holly joins in.
No one has pointed out I didn't count Devyn.
If they do, I plan to say that for statistical cleanliness, I have eliminated outliers—her and any baby that might be born in 2040.

Mary Bess:
You are and have always been a wizard. Fourteen! A lot of names and busy brains.

It's science, I think. Math. That's all.
I might go quiet now. Tired. Thanks for the update and the chat.
Good night!
Mary Bess:
Night night and love to all.

Friday night, November 22, Holly's boyfriend's 21st birthday, I saw a couple of notes on Facebook addressed to Mary Bess in ways that people address the dead, there. I finally found a note saying she had passed away of illness, on Thursday night.

There was a party at the McPherson compound in Corrales, on November 9, and Angela came, but not Mary Bess, though this had appeared on the event page:

It is very interesting that Facebook allows us to continue to leave messages for people after they cease to read them. I like it.

Mary Bess was a friend of Dave McPherson's, in my life, but I was glad to know her and to see her so often, over the years, almost always in Corrales at the McPhersons' house(s —the last couple of times at the new casita).

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Keith, six months post-problems

I posted on Facebook, on the day, and we delivered a thank-you note to UNMH, with a photo.
The next day we took a similar note to the fire station, because it's the day A shift was to be there, but they were off at a meeting, so we left the card with someone who hadn't been involved, and he said he would put it in the kitchen.

At facebook there are likes and comments, but here's the text and the photos I put up on the 3rd:

Today, it has been six months since Keith's cardiac arrest. By the end of March 3, he'd had three of them. March 12, he had another one. That's beyond the point at which statistics are kept, it seems, but he's alive and well.

SCA friends helped with quick CPR (and taking off his chain mail before EMTs got there); EMTs got him going the second time, and made it to the hospital with him alive; emergency room and ICU got him through to evening, and wired and tubed him up to be refrigerated a bit and in an induced coma, pretty much, for a few days.

I still get scared, again, when I think about it. He was in ICU for sixteen days and other levels of hospitalization for three weeks after that. Lots of people helped keep him going.

He's swimming in the mornings, working in the yard, playing music, starting to sing around the house, and walking up past Tramway and back again.

He took out the old juniper bush by the mailbox, and because the dirt was stirred up and there was sunshine, morning glory seeds from past years got happy! I would've just pulled them out, because it was so late in the summer, but Keith keeps building them something to climb on.

They don't seem to know it's too late, so I guess I was wrong. :-) Down below the morning glories are lots of iris and day lillies Keith has brought up there from too-shady parts of the yard. They will probably do fine in the spring, and might be able to co-exist with the morning glories, having different seasons.

Keith takes baby Kirby for cruises up the park to swing, again. We got a bigger stroller, used, so it's easier for both of them.

Sorry I don't have a Keith-and-Ivan photo to go with this. Ivan's a blur when he comes over. :-) Very fast. Maybe he'll slow down some as Keith continues to speed up.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Ten books that influenced me

Without looking back at older lists, I did this exercise again (in a visual-request way) in 2019. (That time it was seven books.)

I found an older facebook post in which I had listed ten in 2014, and then listed what I thought would have been my list when I was 23 (1979).

Here is the 2019 list, and I'll make the images links to the facebook posts, which might still be there.

In that game above, the original "copy this and tag" chain-letter game had a phrase that irked me, and probably is what inspired me to think of "book" in a broader sense.

August 26, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Instructions: in your status, list 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don't think too hard. They don't have to be the "right" books or great works of literature, but they should be ones that have affected you in some way. Tag 10 friends including the one who tagged you so they can see your list.
1. Whole Child, Whole Parent (Berrien Berends)
2. Conceptual Blockbusting (Adams)
3. Slapstick (Vonnegutt)
4. Zen Lessons, The Art of Leadership (Cleary, translator)
5. Slowing Down to the Speed of Life (Carlson)
6. The Monastic World (Brooke/Swaan)
7. Learning All the Time (Holt)
8. Man and his Symbols (Jung)
9. The American Heritage Dictionary (editions with the wonderful etymologies since 1969; not all have the etymologies)
10. Material World (Menzel)
No one tagged me, so I'm not tagging. It's just going to sit here. :-)

A couple of recent books I keep referring to and thinking of won't have as many years to affect me as the books above have had, but they're affecting me this year:
Smarter Than you Think (Thompson), about people, computers and the internet
Bad For You: Exposing the War on Fun (Pyle, Cunningham)
(I'll tag people who have already played, whose lists I read: Pam Sorooshian, Rose Sorooshian, Roxana Sorooshian)
I was thinking about what my list would have been when I was in my early-to-mid 20's. The only two above would have been Slapstick and The American Heritage Dictonary.Probably then, those didn't have the roots in me that they have now.

I think my list when I was 23 or so would have been:
Oliver Twist
The Bible
The Sneetches and Other Stories (still important ideas)
The Lord of the Rings
Life on a Medieval Barony
The English and Scottish Popular Ballads (Child)
The Ballad Book of John Jacob Niles
The Annotated Mother Goose (Baring-Gould(s))
Joan Baez Ballad Book
Be Here Now (Ram Dass)
But the books I didn't list above that are important in my life are reference books, not read-start-to-finish books (The Oxford English Dictionary; Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable), and collections (The Children's Hour, which I've had since before I was in school; Grimm's Fairy Tales; Chaucer; Shakespeare; Poe; various Robin Hoods, and various King Arthurs and the art in them). I liked the Science Fiction magazines on newsprint, in the 60's, and LOOK magazine, and MAD magazine. I liked Childcraft books (which friends had, I didn't) and the series on sewing and needlework that someone was putting out in hardback in the 1970's (which I saw and borrowed but didn't own).

Friday, July 05, 2019

"Horn toads"

Yesterday morning, Holly showed me that in some rearrangement in her room she had found a little gold-plated horny-toad necklace from years ago.

A while later, I saw that a facebook friend had posted something about horn toads, and I responded:
Sandra Dodd:
Those were everywhere in my neighborhood outside Fort Worth when I was a little kid. They're pretty easy to catch, too. They'll get as big as the palm of your hand (even adult hands). "Horny toads," common kid-name, years back. Maybe still. :-)

Vicki Angeline Dennis
Still called horny toads but doubtful you would see many around FtWorth­čśą. Even 50 years ago not so many as our childhood and I believe spent some years on endangered list. This generation mostly says proper horned lizards but when oldsters lament about things from childhood no longer around is always horny toads.

After the article she had posted, I'll tell the story of the biggest horn toad I ever saw, and it was not in Texas. It was just a minor story in my life, until I found out they're less frequently seen now. It makes my story more exotic, I guess.

The article was about the Dallas zoo releasing some babies "into the wild."
Dallas Zoo sets 46 horned lizards loose with its first-ever wildlife release

Because articles aren't always kept forever, I'll quote it. The author is Charles Scudder, of the staff of DallasNews.com
In a statewide effort to stabilize populations of the state reptile, the Dallas Zoo released 46 Texas horned lizard hatchlings on state land about 100 miles west of Austin earlier this month.

It was the zoo's first wildlife release.

We always want to put things back to the wild," said Bradley Lawrence, the reptiles supervisor at the Dallas Zoo. "It's just so rare that we get to do stuff like this. We would love to do that like every day."

At Mason Mountain Wildlife Management Area, a total of 139 hatchlings were released, including 93 from the Fort Worth Zoo, which pioneered breeding programs for Texas horned lizards.

For decades, the reptile has been vanishing from Texas landscapes. About 10 years ago, Texas zoos, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials and Texas Christian University researchers partnered to try to learn how to bring the critter back to certain pockets of the state.

As a side project in that effort, the Dallas Zoo works with wild populations of the lizard at the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch about 250 miles west of Dallas. That work includes collecting data on the wild lizards to help provide additional information for future reintroduction projects.

This September, Lawrence brought the hatchlings born at the zoo to the Hill Country and released them in a clearing surrounded by granite hills. Click here to read more about that project and how Texans are working to protect the Texas horned lizard.

In 1972 or 1973, that school year, I was at the University of New Mexico, and was living in a house near Lomas/Carlisle/Monte Vista. Four of us went up into the Sandia Mountains one day, to a little picnic area that no longer exists, on the east side of the road. People live around there now, but then not nearly as many.

We were able to climb up some, and then there was a huge vista, over toward what is now Edgewood. Not as many people lived there, then, either.

One roommate had gone to babysit us. She had brought a book, or homework or something. We needed a babysitter, because we were there to take LSD.

On the way up there, Alan and I had been telling Dev about horn toads (which little kids call "horny toads," but being sophisticated older people (I was 19, Alan and Dev were 23 or so, I think), we said "horn toads." Both Alan and I had lived in Texas as young children. Dev had lived in India, Ottawa (I think) and then New Jersey. No horn toads. He was fascinated, and a biology student, and asked us more questions. We only had little-kid answers. :-)

We got up there, and Alan and I were lying on our backs, looking up at trees. I remember saying "Look at that airplane, sneaking through the trees." Seemed like that. We were tripping.

Then Dev came back from his exploratory adventure saying "I think I found a horn toad!"

We didn't think so. It was a huge "probably not," because 1) he had never seen one, nor a picture of one, 2) I had never seen on in New Mexico, and 3) he was trippin'.

Dev's carrying a margarine container, out of the picnic stuff. Margarine used to come in plastic bowls with snap-on lids in the early 1970's. The bowls were about 6" across.

We looked, but the clear plastic lid was steamed up. Something live was in there, for sure, and it was heavy. It was as big as the bowl, whatever he had.

We opened it to see the biggest horn toad ever. It was twice as big as any I had ever seen. It was a grandaddy horn toad king. Poor guy was scared, too, but he was absolutely a horn toad, and we apologized to Dev for not believing him sooner. We held it a while, showed him that if you turn them over in your hand and rub their bellies they'll go to sleep (playing dead is probably what they're doing), and then he took it to release it. This was in the days before photos were easy to take, and before disposable cameras, and we didn't have a camera with us.
A horn toad, but not THAT horn toad:

I was very apologetic to Dev for having doubted him, but also shocked at the oddity of the find. I told that story later to someone who lived on the south side of Edgewood, and she said they had seen horn toads on their property.

II have two more stories now, that go both directions from that one.

When I was two or three, before my sister was born, I saw snow on TV and asked my mom about it. We were outside of Fort Worth in those days. She described it to me, beyond what was on the black-and-white TV. Not long after that, she was taking a nap (pregnant, maybe; drunk, maybe) and I was looking out the kitchen door window and saw what I thought was snow. I ran and woke her up and said "It's snowing!"

She was never nice about waking up. Whether I woke her up or she woke up naturally, I always got blamed, but she was the only one there to tell. She got mad and told me it was NOT snowing, and to leave her alone.

It hardly ever snows there, and she thought (reasonably, too) that I was trying out a new word I had learned. I went back and watched that "not snowing" some more, and when she woke up she hugged me and apologized and said that it was snow.

Somewhere there used to be a snapshot of the little snowman my dad made for me when he got back from work. It was him squatted and smiling, posing next to a little metal can, like vegetables come in, that he had tried to stick snow on, with a little snowball about 3" across stuck on the top of it. So it wasn't much snow, but it was snow.

Story #3 is that when I lived with Jimbo in La Mesilla, an area southeast of Espa├▒ola, between San Pedro and Arroyo Seco, my friend Michael was visiting us. So mid-70's. Maybe 1975. We had told Michael about "child of the earth," a odd, big alien-looking bug that people find once in a while, when they're digging in dirt usually, and it comes out of the dirt clean, and looks like it would glow in the dark, and looks kind of like the bugs in "Cootie" games, and nearly as big. Seriously. Scary and weird.
A child of the earth, but not THAT child of the earth:

I only found one image that had something to scale in the photo, but the bug had long antennae like I have never seen, so I didn't bring that one. They're big, though like 3" long in the body.

It was nighttime, and I went in the next room to get something to show him, and in a box of music books was... a child of the earth. I had never seen one inside a house. I had never seen one when I needed one to show someone. I caught it in a pan or something and we looked at it and let it go outside.

Lots of times in my life I've seen something that I had just lately been talking about, or heard a song that I hadn't heard for a long time when it would have the most effect, or met up with someone in an unexpected place, but these two stories of a creature appearing in an illustrative way are among the coolest things that ever happened to me.

The most recent story I've heard of a child of the earth was from Toby Tsosie in Santa Clara. Last month, one walked over his foot. Whoa. In Santa Clara Pueblo, which is just across the river from La Mesilla. I think he was sitting outside. Good.

Those photos are links to more info.