Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Drone shots and cemeteries

I used to love helicoper shots in films, and now there are drone shots, which are great.

I also have an interest in cemeteries, and an infatuation with England.

Recently I watched the first five seasons of "Unforgotten," a BBC detective series, and I saved out two cemeteries, to share with my friend Joyce, who has visited cemeteries with me near her home, near mine, and in England, The Netherlands, and Portugal. It's not our main shared interest, but it is one!

The first one, according to the story, should be in or near Liverpool. The other one, not sure, but maybe London or east of there. If I find out for sure, I'll come back. Or if any reader knows, leave a comment!

Sorry for the stripey distortion at the beginning of the first one.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Drive-through neighborhood

I wish I posted here more! I post every day at Just Add Light and Stir, but it's rarely personal.

For years I have talked about getting someone to help me make a video tour of my neighborhood, and the huge number of drive-throughs. I'm going to leave this here for a couple of reasons. Some of the places have closed, and I don't want to lose the idea of sharing it.

These comments were mine, on a post on my own facebook page, and I'll link that.

Sandra Dodd, February 2017
I live in and amongst more drive-throughs than I could have made up. There is a drive-through title-loan place (that used to be a one-hour photo booth). Drive-through drop-off-thrift-store donations. Drive-through dry-cleaners. And all the expected ATMs (though more than most neighborhoods) and fast-food. Within 1/4 mile.
Sandra Dodd
And former drive-through liquor, bricked-up drive through frozen yogurt (now Fed-Ex/Kinko's), gone-but-remembered drive-up video-return. Drive-through credit union. Our nearest Lota Burger (Chelwood and Menaul) is a drive-through, though when they were first building that, Keith said it was crazy to have a drive-through Lota Burger, because they weren't that fast. Sure enough, the first time we tried it, they told us to pull up and park and wait. 🙂

I had written I'm at a Blake's Lotaburger that does not have a drive-through. I did not know there was such a thing anymore, not counting the little picnic ones. (Click it if you have any idea what that's about. 🙂)

Just this week (August 2022) I saw that the Lotaburger I was writing about on facebook, five years ago, is boarded up. The Covid lock-downs were not kind to places without a drive-through option.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Process or product; practicality or art

When I was eighteen, I took a pottery class at the Student Union Building at the University of New Mexico. As such things go, for beginners, we did pinch pot, slab, coil pot and learned to use the potter's wheel. I was more interested in the glazes than in the clay. We were working in stoneware, and lesser glazes would burn right off.

For my coil pot, I made a regular flower pot, and played with how to make a hole in the middle of the slab/base. I liked the hole I settled on. I pulled little trenches down toward it with my finger, before I started putting the coils on.

Before that lesson, I had made a stamp, to put a design on it with. That was a pinch/slab combo. I carved a design and put a handle on it. The handle fit my hand. I thought I could make cookies with it, too.
So my stamp had been fired, my base had its hand-designed drainage set-up, and I put the coils on, stamped my design, and left it for its first firing.

When I came back, and was putting glaze on, the teacher came to talk to me. I was just glazing, clear glaze, even though I had asked all those questions. The pot wasn't creative or imaginative enough [for her to feel like an inspiring teacher]. She said the first part, and I figured out the second part.

We weren't being graded; it wasn't even for credit. She got paid, and maybe got art-department credit, for offering a night class people could freely sign up for. I felt successful because I did all her units, learned all her terminology, used all her tools, felt the clay in all its stages, watched several other people doing their pieces, and created a useable, functional, home-made flower pot.

I "failed" for not being creative (in the teacher's judgment).
I succeeded, though, because fifty years later, I still have that pot. It has had a dozen or more different plants in it over the years, has never sat empty, and has not cracked.

The title of the post is misleading; I know that. Maybe I'm more of a process person than product, but the product AND the process were, for me, were this:


October 2015
In 2021, this pot was so full of reproducing succulent that I was afraid it might be broken before it could be 50 years old.
Now it only has the largest of those.
It was February 17, 1972 when I scratched my name into the bottom of the pot and tried out the stoneware stamp I had made.

Monday, November 01, 2021

No children, no young adults now.

From the point of view of a 68 year old parent, I have children.

At a squint, from a distance, the grandchildren are the only real children in our family these days.

Tomorrow, my youngest, my only daughter, will be thirty years old.

Five years ago (and three months) I wrote:

Today is the last day for me to say "My kids are all in their 20's." Kirby's the one who keeps changing these epochs, in my life. 🙂 He was the first to double digits, and first to be a teen, the first to turn 20... Tomorrow, Kirby Dodd will be thirty years old.

Keith Dodd was thirty when Kirby was born, and they both have July birthdays (as did my dad, Keith's dad, and me). When people would ask Keith how old he was, he said "Thirty and a Kirby" for several years after.

On Keith's 60th birthday a few weeks ago, he got a card from Paul Collins, who knew us pre-Kirby, that said "30 and a Kirby is getting up there!"

Kirby is getting up there, too, and living near, and living sweetly.

If Facebook still exists when you see that, and if they didn't throw my old posts away, here it is, with some sweet comments.

Holly more often goes by Bitsy (Miss Bitsy Bamboo), among people her age. She has her own house, and her own car and truck.

I'm closer to 70 than to 65 now.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

A busier week

Lately, covid restrictions have been lifted, most places, in New Mexico, and little Kirby turned three (July 3), Marty had a 4th of July party, Ivan got three stitches (July 9), and Holly asked me to preserve this gif from just before covid came to town (January 2020; she was at a wedding).

Keith turned 65 while camping out with his friend Needham, and a bobcat or something foot-printed the tarp he was sleeping behind.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Retirement, spiritual retreat, cocooning...

I'm saving this in a more public place, because it won't be available to everyone when that group is archived. I've added names, and corrected typos.

If you were a member of Unschooling Discussion 2021, you will still be able to see it there, where links make images and you can see the responses. https://www.facebook.com/groups/2021readtherules, May 23

Sandra Dodd, May 23, 5:23 pm

My #2 son [Marty] just posted this:
My 3yo son called The Batmobile his "Spider-Man car" and I let it slide.
#growth #chivalry #pickyourbattles #namaste
The hashtags are the best part.
My #1 son [Kirby] will turning 35 this summer. When he was four, about to be five, we decided to unschool. Here Is his middle of three, at my house, just a bit ago, and there are other photos on my page, today, if you click my name.

I'm tired now. I wrote a long post explaining my plans, and lost it. That makes me even more tired. 🙂

I'll leave the part about grown kids and grandkids, for now.
Sandra Dodd, May 23, 2021, 5:38
I'm grateful to every person who has ever helped with any group, by being a moderator or admin, or a regular poster, or a quiet person who writes and points out a bad link or typo. It takes a lot of people to make a group strong and good. Anyone here who isn't already a member of this group might want to go and join:
Radical Unschooling Q & A

This group (Unschooling Discussion 2021) won't last until the end of 2021. I'm going to close up at the end of May. There will still be resources, though! This group will be archived, so you'll still be able to come in and see what you wrote, but non-members won't find it or see it. Another week, and I would like to rest more, and feel less obligated to strangers.

Sandra Dodd, May 23, 5:43
Those who don't own my books should consider getting them. The Information is solid, and books are more substantial and long-lasting than any collections of pixels.

Many online meeting places, where people shared stories and ideas, are just gone. I will continue to spend time cleaning up and improving my website, but it could still disappear someday against anyone's wishes, because it is code on machines, and so is fragile.

Moving a Puddle
and other essays

The Big Book of Unschooling

Sandra Dodd, May 23, 5:49
I will keep Always Learning available, because some of the best unschooling writings anywhere, ever, are in there. My website has hundreds of links to longer writings, there.

If you join that group, you can read archives, or post questions, and see responses either at the site or by e-mail.

It is NOT the newest technology, but it's also 20 years old, nearly (later this year).


12,904 Topics, Last Post: May 13
The most recent post is #78,747 and there is VERY little fluff or nonsense.

Sandra Dodd, May 23, 6:13
I will post nearly every day, until that fades to most days. Lots of days. There are 3800 posts there today, and I hope to get to 4000 before I lose steam.



I can't think of the best way to state my plan. I want to...

—retire, but not completely;
—retreat from daily life into the figurative mountains, but still have the internet;
—cocoon myself;
—hibernate a while.
I won't stop everything, but I will be less directly accessible. Perhaps later this year I will set up something for announcements, good bits, and maybe to answer questions if there are any new and original questions that come along. 🙂 (And maybe not. 🤗)

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Large-scale world problems

Marty joked today on facebook that they should not remind people of the things from one year ago. I got a good one, though, that I want to save.

Sandra Dodd, May 20, 2020
Shared with Public

I didn't write this. It's going around. I will say that my grandparents were all born around 1900. I will comment at the bottom.

For a small amount of perspective at this moment, imagine you were born in 1900. When you are 14, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday with 22 million people killed. Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until you are 20. Fifty million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million. When you're 29, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, global GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy. When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet. When you're 41, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war and the Holocaust kills six million. At 52, the Korean War starts and five million perish. At 64 the Vietnam War begins, and it doesn’t end for many years. Four million people die in that conflict. Approaching your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, could well have ended. Great leaders prevented that from happening. As you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends. Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How do you survive all of that? A kid in 1985 didn’t think their 85 year old grandparent understood how hard school was. Yet those grandparents (and now great grandparents) survived through everything listed above.

Perspective is an amazing art. Let’s try and keep things in perspective. Let’s be smart, help each other out, and we will get through all of this. In the history of the world, there has never been a storm that lasted. This too, shall pass. Copied from another post. Feel free to share (I did ).

______End of that quote_____________

I've had these thoughts a lot, though. As a baby boomer, I missed the worst of the 20th century, but I lived with and around people who were still scarred by it, fearful, or in mourning.

I was lucky to know all of my grandparents.

The first to die went around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis (Lynn Adams). During Vietnam War protests, my mom's mom (Annie Mae Hathcock). When inflation was irritating even younger people, in the 1970s, my grandfather was living with my cousin, Nada, in El Guique (Vester Hathcock), and the fourth of them, Gladys Adams, died in 1989, when George Bush Senior was president and most things were stable and calm.

The odds were small, of someone living through all those listed wars, the dust bowl (these folks all lived mostly in NW Texas and some for a while in southern New Mexico), rheumatic fever (my mom's little fingers were both crippled early; it didn't show much), scarlet fever (one of their sons died as a teen, of that), polio (one of their sons, a light case)... There were stillborn children on one side, and a baby who died on day 1 on the other.

I will repeat this, from the lifted, borrowed writing above:

Perspective is an amazing art. Let’s try and keep things in perspective. Let’s be smart, help each other out, and we will get through all of this.
Some people's sons are on military assignments even now. If yours are not, be sensitive, and try to be grateful.

______________________________ end of 2020 writing ____________________

A year has passed. Not an easy year, but no one in our family died of Covid. Our friend Kate Holford (Marie Heuser) died 14 months ago, and her funeral will be in a few days, in Denver, because finally people are allowed to gather for such things, to some extent.

Because Keith and I got Covid vaccines, Marty and Ashlee felt safe enough to bring Ivan and Wynona to our house, in late April. I had seen Wynona twice before, in person, not up so close, though. She can walk, and Ivan's talking lots. I missed a year of their lives, but Facebook shed light on things, and Ashlee had Wynona Monday posts; those were great.

It has been a very difficult year, and the problems continue. Even without death, there's trauma. Friendships and families have broken over issues related to covid. Some people used to sanitize their groceries before bringing them into the house. People were afraid of mail order a year ago. Now there are other things that seem safe, or dangerous, and will be found not to be so much, in a year, or five, or twenty.

People are pretending to know everything, and making declarations with bravado, but looking back at problems in my youth, and in the decades before I was born, I know that much of what is claimed now will be disclaimed later.