Friday, June 30, 2006

four-day-old hail

Very strangely, there is still hail in the hole Marty dug. I wanted to show Holly there might still be some, as there had been the day before, under the foot or so of treefall (the pine-needlish stuff of the Arizona cypress trees). I was surprised to find hailstones still there on Wednesday. There were still lots on Thursday. Mid-day Friday, I shoveled some stuff out hoping to find a few to show Holly, and found this large lump of them—stuck together, but still distinct and whole and round and hard. This is the coldest, iciest hail ever.

I sent this e-mail to a few friends and relatives yesterday:
It's kind of creepy like some journey-to-the-center-of-the-earth movie or something, but I went out to rake the treefall stuff out of Marty's hole and there is STILL HAIL. Lots of it. So I raked back what I had pulled aside.

That hail is nearly three days old.
Should I call investigative reporters from KOAT?

Or maybe it only illustrates why covering a block of ice in straw could help people keep dairy products and meat fresh-ish before refrigeration a couple of generations back.
After taking its picture, I put it back in the hole and replaced what I had pulled out to show Holly. I feel much better about 1930's ice boxes my parents and grandparents have told me about. I guess straw CAN keep ice from melting. Except that this hole isn't in direct sunlight, there's nothing maintaining that hail except tree crumbs and its original temperature. Temperatures have been in the 80s and 90s. It's creepy and fascinating to have hail, in summer, in Albuquerque, four days old. We hardly can keep snow in the winter for four days.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Unexpected Hailstorm

It hailed and rained like crazy for nearly half an hour, with lightning. It wasn't dark but it looked very dark. This photo is through an open door.

There's a little video here: Hailstorm
I took it out the back door without going out and getting pounded. In the middle is "Marty's hole" for those of you who are familiar with it. It's four feet across and three feet deep and doesn't show one bit—flat ground, it appears. Then there's hail on top of the hot tub. Bummer I didn't get lightning or thunder.

This was in the daytime, an hour or more before sundown. Notice the daylight above the house, over the hot tub. That was a heck of a dark cloud.

Note the next day: It's early afternon and there's still hail in a big plastic bucket I collected some in, about 14" deep. I wanted rainwater to water airplane plants, and after 18 hours there's still hail in the bucket. This morning there was a layer all across the top. Now there are a few clumps about palm-sized. That hail was very cold and very solid, not the wimpy poofy-hail we're used to. The hailstones were between a quarter and half an inch, but loud. When I first heard it, I didn't think rain or hail, I thought something was banging on the house, or had hit the house. In retrospect and having seen the reports, we had a wind of maybe 50 mph STRAIGHT from the north and the hailstones were hitting all our front windows and the door straight on as soon as the wind arrived. Sounded like a barrage of gravel that didn't quit.

We had 21/8 inches of rain. Our regular rain measuring buckets had blown over, but I did find two things that had stayed upright, and one had straight sides. Yikes! A store very near us had part of the roof cave in and someone was trapped but she's not badly hurt. All precipitation stopped after about 20 minutes, maybe half an hour, and it moved on south at its rapid rate.

History page and moving toys

I've had a lot of projects and hobbies over the years, but my favorite nowadays is, and my favorite recent/new page is the history page. When I first made some "subject area" pages I avoided history because it's too big, and everything else led into history—English, art, music...

I like this one, though.

As with other pages, I don't mind if it leads people out of my site. Unschooling becomes bigger and more real each time someone jumps from one point to another (mentally or figuratively).

One cute thing there is a link to an English children's museum's page featuring little movies of some of their museum toys wound up or in motion by whatever means they operate. There's sound, too. Moving Toys

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Trivia about ME

I lifted this from Schuyler's blog,

1. Full name?
Sandra Lynn Dodd (used to be Adams)

2. Were you named after anyone?
Not the Sandra—mom just liked it and said "it's not 'Sandy'." My dad's dad was Lynn Adams, no middle initial. Dad was Kirby Lynn Adams. Holly got the Lynn in our family, so she's the fourth "Lynn" but only my Papaw Adams was called "Lynn," not counting that in Texas I was "Sandra Lynn" to relatives.

3. Are you married?
Yes, 21 years, plus six years of living together before that.

4. When did you last cry?
Watching Desperate Housewives scene when Lynette is crying on the soccer field because she feels like a terrible mom and Bree and Susan tell her they were overwhelmed too, when their children were little. Lynette said something like "Why didn't you tell me? We need to tell each other these things." I got tears in my eyes and I felt myself holding my breath. And I had seen the scene before.

5. Do you like your handwriting?
Yes. I swiped the best parts from Joseph Garcia's writing in high school. His was better, but it helped mine.

6. What is your favorite lunch?
Can't decide; not particular. Fish sandwich at Burger King is nice. Curry chicken salad from Raley's is great.

7. Where is your favorite place to eat lunch out?
Maybe Golden Pride, with someone else to hang out and talk to. Company makes lunch nice.

8. Names and ages of kids:
Kirby (19), Marty (17) and Holly (14)

9. If you were another person would you be friends with you?
Depends what kind of other person I was.

10. Do you have a journal?
No. I write lots, but it's scattered out in personal correspondence and various public internet places.

11. Do you use sarcasm a lot?
Used to with familiar friends when I was younger. It's rarer now. Sometimes with Marty, for fun. He zings back merrily.

12. Would you bungee jump?
No. Not an adrenaline junkie; not jockish; not adventurous.

13. What is your favorite cereal?
Bite-sized frosted mini-wheats.

14. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Those with ties, yeah.

15. Do you think that you are strong?
Some ways; not physical.

16. What is your favorite ice cream?
Something with hot fudge on it.

17. Favorite TV Show?
Boston Legal

18. Red or Pink?

19. What is your least favorite thing about yourself?
Desire for people to use English better. I wish I knew and cared less about that sometimes.

20. Who do you miss most?
It changes. Some will be back around periodically; some exist well in memory and letters and photos.

21. Do you want everyone you send this to send it back?

22. What color pants and shoes are you wearing?
blue flip-flops, blue denim jeans

24. What are you listening to right now?
Boston Legal DVD, second episode, season 1.

25. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

26. Last person you got an e-mail from?
Someone who wants to reprint my Deschooling article. I hoped for an e-mail from a high school friend; maybe today.

**What Happened to #27??***
It's right here, unlike #23.

28. The first thing you notice about the opposite sex?
I never thought about it. Carriage/posture, I guess.

29. Do you like the person who sent this to you?
It wasn't sent, it was acquired, like a venereal disease, sort of [Schuyler wrote that; I agree]

30. Favorite Drink?

31. Favorite Sport to Watch?
I don't watch any.

32. Hair Color?
brown getting grey

33. Eye Color?

34. Do you wear contacts?
No. I wouldn't mind, but I don't need them.

35. Favorite Food?
Potatoes. My third grade teacher, Miss Brown, gave a pro-potato speech once, and convinced me they were the greatest food. It had something to do with history and variety, too, her speech.

36. Scary Movies or Happy Endings?
Happy. 37. Last movie you watched?
The Breakup, with Holly

38. Favorite Day of the Year:
Christmas No, Christmas Eve

39. Summer or winter?

40. Hugs or Kisses?
Either, neither or both. Spontaneity and honesty.

41. Favorite dessert? Not particular.

42. Who Is Most Likely To Respond?
43. Least likely to respond?
It's not by e-mail so n/a.

44. What's On Your Mouse Pad?
Brown suede kind of thing.

45. What's On Your Screensaver?
A sheepherder's wagon, with a kitchen in back like a chuckwagon—a photo I took when Marty and I went to ghost towns in southwestern New Mexico. This wagon is in Shakespeare. Behind us were buildings.

Oh wait... that's the desktop.
Screensaver is a collection of green tree photos that came with the Mac

46. What Did You Watch on TV last night?
Nothing. Watched the Tony Awards the night before that.

47. Rolling Stones or Beatles? Beatles

48. What's the furthest you've been from home?
Bridlington, in NE England

Flowers and Thoughts

Unlike most of the things in my yard, I paid money for these day lilies. Last spring I put them in and they bloomed a little , but were short. I didn't know they'd get so tall. The other day there were 12 blooms at once. They're pretty anyway, but against the turquoise truck they're especially nice. They're called "fulva." I've already gotten my money's worth, and there will be more of them as the years go by.

The years go by, unevenly, in bursts of speed and in long quiet pauses. Maybe some people's time passage is smooth and even, but mine never has been. One hour will seem to pass in an instant while another is big enough to do nineteen things. I don't mind.

3:33 and I'd rather be asleep. I hear the TV on in Kirby's room, up above. It's not too loud at all, the world is just relatively quiet. It was too hot to sleep, and I was dreaming lots of little jittery dreams. I don't mind that either; the night before this I slept long and hard.

Yesterday Kirby called me on the way back from work wanting a haircut. He said he was nearly home. I arranged a hair cutting set-up and started right away, because he was scheduled to be somewhere at 3:00 to help choreograph a sword fight scene for a film a friend is doing, and after that he had to go straight to the cast party of the film he was just in, which is also local, independent and totally unrelated. He wanted his hair buzzed off. There's a pirate photo down below that shows how long it was.

I had cleaned up the room and was taking the vacuum cleaner apart because it had stopped working. Pulled out some impressive wads of Kirby-hair just as Marty arrived, wanting a haircut. So I put another sheet on Keith's desk chair and got the stuff out that I had just put away. I don't like cutting their hair, but they like me to. I don't know why; I messed Marty's up so it's shorter than he'd wanted. Luckily they inherited hair-grow-like-crazy from both parents. Kirby's is lots like my dad's—thick and heavy textured. Marty's is a little like my sister's and husband's—lighter and curlier.

Kirby called from the cast party. I had asked him to see if the Matthew DePaula who's the star of the movie is related to John DePaula I grew up with. Yep, his nephew. That's so cool—another welcome denial to my claim that Kirby was working on a movie with people I knew nothing of. I've never met Matthew, but now I suppose I might at some point. His dad's a bit older than I am, but we know each other a little, and the brother my age I've known since we were seven. We had many adventures together, over the years, and his family was one of the greatest I've seen. There's another brother my sister's age, and then an adopted sister. Their dad, Felix, was from Queens NY and their mom from Trinidad CO. They had a WWII romance of some sort and settled in EspaƱola, which was good for EspaƱola. I'm glad to have known them, and seeing how they were with their kids helped me be a better mom. I remember their house well, and the safe and peaceful feeling it always had.

When I'm gone my kids will probably still have some of those flowers, and some kindness I picked up from families like the DePaulas and some better haircuts.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I'm Jealous of my Cats

I've been sleepy and restless, and that's not a good combination. I envy the cats.

Marty usually works from 6:30 til 3:00, but he comes home at 10:30 for lunch. He didn't. Just before 3:00 Holly wanted me to take her to Taco Bell, so we stopped by the store where Marty works to see if he wanted to go or for us to get him something. Holly went inside but couldn't find him. We went on. When we got home he wasn't home. When his dad got home at 4:15 he wasn't home, so by then I was sure he was dead, or kidnapped. Holly didn't think so but she went along with it. Keith didn't think so, and he walked up to the store to see.

Turns out Marty had been asked to do a special project for more money, after three hours of work. He ate there, mid-afternoon, kept working, and had worked altogether 11 hours by the time he got home. Then he went off to SCA fighter practice with Keith.

Meanwhile, Kirby went to the dentist by himself after work. That's not a big deal. They told him he owed them $140 and he paid them. That's a big deal, and I don't think it was right, and Keith or I will call tomorrow and ask why. But what's really cool is that Kirby could afford to give the dentist $140. (We'll pay him back in any case, and figure out if it was a legitimate charge.)

Except for driving Holly to Taco Bell and making cookies and spaghetti sauce, I've done very little today, and yet I still want to sleep like a cat. They never even knew Marty was gone. They might be surprised to learn Kirby even has a debit card.