Sunday, August 31, 2008

Holly's progress, and praise for Brett

Holly had her wisdom teeth out Friday morning, was much better Saturday, and woke up today hungry and in pain. Last night she slept 11 hours. That's good! But she didn't wake up to take ibuprofen. So she was achy and sore, but not enough to take hydrocodone. She ate scrambled eggs with cheese, then two large cooked carrots (crock-potted in chicken broth at her request overnight Friday), then more scrambled eggs.

Yesterday when she felt better, she made this:

Her boyfriend Brett M-W deserves huge credit for her quick, calm, peaceful recovery. Friday he sat next to her where she was on the recliner end of a couch for five or six hours. When the oral surgeon called to check on Holly, I gave the phone to Brett and let him discuss the details. Brett has been patient, gentle, sweet and attentive with her, even when she was delirious, drooling and puking (luckily she didn't do all three at the same time).

Friday, August 29, 2008

Holly Doped Up

Holly had her wisdom teeth removed this morning. She's now ensconced on the couch being very cooperative, and entertainingly disoriented. She doesn't always know where she is or what's what, but she seems fine overall.

She and Brett are watching Totoro. We thought she would fall asleep, but she's not. The ice pack is cute.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Saturday I went to the Albuquerque flea market with Joyce and Kathryn, and I bought this pan:

Saturday night I made this bread in it:

While the bread was baking, I checked some blogs I try to keep up with. I saw a picture that finally, after many years, created a good connection to something I learned over 20 years ago. First, my own ancient photo with the notation that's on the back of it:

I realize the photo looks a little like Bigfoot or an alien, but I had no camera in 1982 with which to take a good close-up. The speciman was about 5" high.

A few years after I took that photo, I came across this page in my favorite big brown American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.:

In case that's not legible, it says
stinkhorn: any of several foul-smelling fungi of the order Phallales, such as Phallus impudicus or P. ravenelli, having a thick, cylindrical stalk and a narrow cap.

There that photo sat, stuck in that dictionary, until yesterday, when I saw this, on Rue's blog:

I showed Joyce Fetteroll and her daughter, Kathryn, who said my loaf of bread looked kind of like that too (and while working on this I saw that Schuyler has reported a similar incident).

If you go to Rue's blog, brace yourself for a little embarrassment. Her photos are more, uh... explicit than mine.

Here is another piece of connecting trivia, though. The brown dictionary in which I have kept that photo for over 20 years is the famous 1969 edition in which "the f-word" appeared. Here, from my own personal copy of the most controversial dictionary entry in my lifetime:

Keith asked if I didn't remember once at a campout in the Jemez mountains a similar mushroom growing up about 18" in about an hour and a half. I don't remember. He's either remembering seeing it with someone else, because he's old, or I was there and can't remember because I'm old.

Newsflash (or the flash of a connection).

Holly just came in and asked what I was up to. I said I was working on a blog post about mushrooms that look like penises.



"Are you going to quote that Sublime song?" She spoke a line and said, "Oh, that's about penises shaped like mushrooms." She offered to sing it for me.

Well she told me to come over and I took that trip
And then she pulled out my mushroom tip
And when it came out it went drip, drip, drip
I didn't know she had a GI Joe kung-fu grip

"Is that too nasty for your blog?" she asked.

Some days maybe so. Today, no.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Underwater Lawn Furniture, and VISITORS!

Joyce Fetteroll and her daughter Kathryn are on their way here and will visit for a week. Their real target event is a Judas Priest concert next Wednesday. So until then we'll be tourists and talk about unschooling and stuff. Sounds wonderful.

In a recent discussion somewhere, wooden vs. plastic cutting boards came up and I was glad to know that wood is as sanitary or moreso! I filed that away but didn't generalize it until today I was cleaning my hot tub. It was all drained and I was wiping the benches with 409. Because it's wood fired, ash gets in the water, and because it's New Mexico, dust and sand get in the water, and because it's partly under a tree it gets tree parts (different parts depending on the season). And people sit in it.

We opted not to use chemicals, but to clean it every week. So today when I was just wiping the last water out of the lowest side, I remembered the cutting boards! Woohoo! Maybe my wood hot tub is as sanitary or moreso than a fiberglass one. Maybe it's only more sanitary than a PVC one that people have been cutting meat and vegetables on the sides of... Yeah. With no chopping and food prep going on, maybe it's not the same comparison, but maybe-just-maybe it is.

So I feel better about those benches and they're getting all new water.

Here's Joyce, and here is my hot tub.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

"Using Blogs Wrong"

Perhaps I use blogs wrong. I'm not too worried about it, I'm just mentioning it. The word itself... Usually I'm big into etymology, but this time I didn't sit a moment with the origin of the word ("this time" meaning when I first created a blog).

So today in hope of clarifying my existence and perceptions, I went to look.

William Safire wrote
Blog is a shortening of Web log. It is a Web site belonging to some average but opinionated Joe or Josie who keeps what used to be called a ''commonplace book'' — a collection of clippings, musings and other things like journal entries that strike one's fancy or titillate one's curiosity. What makes this online daybook different from the commonplace book is that this form of personal noodling or diary-writing is on the Internet, with links that take the reader around the world in pursuit of more about a topic.

and Anders Jacobsen wrote
Weblogs are personal, online publications that can include links to news stories, opinion pieces and commentary, used for everything from personal journals to intercompany notes to supplementary news on major media sites

So I feel better. Because I'm using blogs all kinds of ways.

What has brought this momentary angst upon me was reading in someone's unschooling blog that she usually doesn't journal on her blog, but... and then she told some personal stories. WHOA! That's about ALL I do on this blog. But then I remembered what I've done instead of use a single blog with labels and categories is to use separate blogs for separate things.

I'm used to having separate lives because of the SCA. I have my Ælflæd of Duckford life, and for that I have clothes and dishes and jewelry and hair-dos and friends that Sandra Dodd doesn't use. And Sandra Dodd has Rolling Stones albums, plastic hair clips, jeans and hiking boots that Ælflæd of Duckford has nothing to do with. So when it came to internet sharing and storage, it wasn't hard for me to keep my SCA and "real life" separate. But then I have unschooling—not just what we do at home, but the analysis and examination I share with my best online intellectual buddies who also like to comb through ideas and outcomes and glean truths and principles.

I had some early webpages, and they were rough and slow and useful but not vibrant. People were on dial-up and the best thing to do with my stuff was download and read later, pretty much. But things change. And I have an extensive and evergrowing webpage. From the first, I knew there needed to be separate paths to those three aspects of myself. And so it looks like this:

The first blog I had was through my own site, but it was spammified constantly and kind of a pain to get into to edit. And all that blog had was announcements of new unschooling pages on my site. It's still there.

In the Spring of 2005 had an idea for a collection that had nothing to do with any of my three major life divisions. That blog is called Biochemical Love, and is a beacon and antenna for others who might be interested in sharing those parts of song lyrics and other related writing that hold clues to the biochemical aspect of love, and how it is experienced and communicated. Love: Romantic Biochemistry. What's new and cool there is that since it was initiated, it has become increasingly easier to embed a player for a single song, and so it's wonderfully richer. It doesn't get much traffic, but that's just fine. It's a good place for me to have my collection where others can find it someday, or where I can find others with similar interests. It's the VLA of my webpages, and the responses might not even arrive in my lifetime, but for posterity, there it is.

Most of my online writing over the years has been done on user groups, message boards and email lists. Those conversations are the live part, the exchange, the opinion-and-feedback places. Or they were, each in their turn, the edge of where such things were happening. And some of the best writing happens in an emotional state, whether in a fray or a pep rally or a burst of recognition, and some of those "YES! I AGREE!" moments have been saved for posterity on some of the hundreds of pages I've collected about unschooling (and some, similarly, on fewer-hundredish pages about SCA philosophy and practice).

So zigging back to the present, I've created another new blog, for another new interest. The 100 Species Challenge

And zagging back to the topic: I guess I don't feel too bad about having different blogs for different topics, but I did honestly wonder if I was "doing it wrong." I suppose it's okay to use blogs differently. They're like dynamic public notebooks. It certainly makes sense to have more than one notebook.

I started to list all the blogs I have, but I can't. I have little blogs at Family Unschoolers Network and Livejournal and MySpace. If you click the "About Me" on the sidebar you can see the blogs I have (or that I'm in on with others) on blogspot. What you won't see is the one I have as Ælflæd the Anchoress, but it's here. That's my quietest blog, and I have it set so that "Sandra Dodd" can't accidentally post to it. I have to sign in separately as Ælflæd. And what's written there will probably make little sense to those with no connection to or knowledge of the SCA.

So I'm scattered about and none of these is representative of all of my life. This is the map of the moment, though, for any who might like to view other parts for a larger picture.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Forgot Friday Fill-In!

1. The last meal I had at a restaurant was at the new Range Cafe, which is the old Carrow's. I had squash soup. Holly was there, and Marty, and Brett.

2. Dishonesty is something I intensely dislike.

3. The full moon makes our trees look beautiful when it peeks through.

4. "Red or green?" is one of my favorite local expressions.

5. Sometimes it's best to assume the other people are using their full brainpower.

6. Juno is the best movie I've seen so far this year! in the past year, and Mama Mia is the best movie I've seen this week. I can't think of all the movies I've seen in the past eight months. Give me multiple choice or give me sleep!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to reading, tomorrow my plans include going to Jasmine's party and Sunday, I want to rearrange furniture!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Quirky Meme

Mention six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about yourself. Tag six other bloggers by linking to them. Go to each person's blog and leave a comment that lets them know they've been tagged. If you participate, let the person who tagged you know you've posted your quirks!

Ronnie did not tag me, but I lifted it from her blog anyway.

1) Hardly anything about me is boring.
2) I'm modest.

I guess I'd better go to eight due to my damning start.

6) I can't be in the room with someone using nail clippers. Probably not in the next room either. The sound does to me what I believe squeaking chalk on a chalkboard does to some people. My nervous system has little convulsions starting from somewhere around my neck and traveling in little waves down my arms and legs. It's horrible. But I can clip my own nails without that happening, especially if I've soaking them in a shower or tub first.

5) I invented "popcorn inoculation" and I use it. Half an hour before leaving for a movie, I try to make microwave popcorn and eat enough that when I get to the theater the smell of popcorn won't make me want any. It has saved me a ton of money and made my life much happier.

4) I like to read myself to sleep with unimportant fluff, so that if I fall asleep I don't miss anything important, so I read People and Entertainment Weekly sometimes at bedtime, or if I wake up and am having a hard time getting back to sleep. When something's really good (like the essays by Diablo Cody or Stephen King), I'll read it whole the next morning.

3) I love to hear stories about other people's childhood experiences with religion and about when they first started seeing adults as everyday people.

2) When Keith's not home, I completely close the closet doors in our room, and that protects me from spookiness at night.

1) Because I have very bad number memory and very zippy thoughts, when I'm cooking and measuring or doing something else that involves counting, I count backwards. Then I don't lose count. Like if a recipe needs four cups of flour, I start with four and go to one. Otherwise I might have to dump it back in and start again. Seriously. And though it doesn't apply to things in writing, I went backwards on this so I would remember to include the counting backwards trick.

I don't like to tag people on these kinds of chain things, so I don't. (So if you come here and it seems fun, feel free to pick it up and take it on out. Tag or not as is your preference. I'd like to know you did so I can read yours, though, so leave a note.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Marty and Liz and the day

Hot off the presses pixels... uh... cameraphone.

Anyway, this is Marty and his girlfriend Liz, taken by Holly just a few hours ago when Marty took Liz, Holly and Brett out to lunch.

In the winter Marty was being kinda cranky and Holly said "Marty needs a job and a girlfriend." Perhaps so. Now that he has a job, a girlfriend, a jeep and is some kind of Rock Band whiz in his spare time, he seems happy all the time.

I know no season and no person lasts forever, but today our family is laughing and happy. And I talked to Kirby mid-day and he seems to be doing all kinds of great. Then Holly and I went to the post office and the mall and had a productive and relaxed, fun time. I sent some things for the HSC raffle and they need to be there SOON (I didn't find out about it until early today), but they're packed and gone. Holly's new shoes came in but they're a little too big so we went to Journeys to ask them to send the next smaller size. They're some high-top Vans the store doesn't usually carry, but it's cheaper and quicker to order through the store than through the catalog. She was totally patient and good-natured about it, not like I would've been when I was her age (not like my parents bought me nice shoes, though my dad did buy me some blue suede hiking boots when I was like a college junior).

Anyway, even though our car is in the shop there is much peace and love here.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Holly and Brett

Holly and Brett, ready for their friend Alex's wedding.

Holly and I did some Sunphoto art to decorate the bag and card, and she made a nest for a bird that's a doorbell. We pretended to translate the Portuguese directions, but really it was just what we wanted to write. Inside the eggs in the nest are the directions and extra batteries.

The doorbell part is wrapped separately and marked "open first," so the bird can make noise from inside its wrappings. I really enjoyed working on all those various parts with Holly.

So they're gone for the evening, Marty might go to the reception after work (depending how long he works; Friday and Saturday nights are variable). Keith might stay over at an SCA event or not; he took a van with a bed. So I'm here alone and I don't know when or if to expect others. Interesting. Unusual. I don't mind it.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Thursday, bird nests, Friday

I: Thursday (questions that came from Anet who got them from Molly:

What is outside my front door: Dark yard with little lights in the trees in the dark. Tomorrow, shady yard with mountains on the horizon. Birds eating in the bird feeders (tomorrow).

What is on my mind: I hope my computer isn't dying.

Things I am thankful for right now: Lack of commitments; wide-open days galore.

What I am reading: All Will be Well... (and I wish I'd hurry and finish it so I can start Thrumpton Hall)

Goings on inside the house: Holly and Brett are watching a movie; a friend of theirs was here and left a while ago. Keith is sleeping. A dress Holly is wearing to a wedding on Saturday is on spin cycle. Dog has eaten, cats have eaten; it's midnightish.

What I am listening to: Holly and I watched Across the Universe, but right now I hear distant sounds of Holly and Brett and the washing machine.

What I want: A continuation of what I have. To keep appreciating what I have. I know these peaceful days won't last forever.

Things I'm creating: an evergrowing website, revamped jeans for Holly, a sample basket Holly is copying, flower garden

Things from the kitchen: Bread pudding with raisins (the best bread pudding I have ever made, ever).

What I have planned for today: We did everything on the plan. The car breaking was extra, but it was kind enough to do it in the driveway of the house, and we were able to go to Plan B.

What I have planned for this week: Helping Marty and Holly do what they need to do and be where they need to be; rearranging some things so there's more room in the storage room for Kirby-stuff; filing music (continuing to file music); help Keith with a jigsaw puzzle of a scene from a Russian fairy tale we don't know... putz around.

Some current favorites: The King and I commentary; Marty's girlfriend, Marty's joy in his jeep ownership; knowing Holly's in love, Brett's smile, Kirby's phone calls and memories of his visit

II: Baskets made to look like birds' nests.

Cotton rope and yarn, tapestry needles, Holly and I working on different ends of the same rope to make nests for electronic birds. Here's Holly's half finished (we'll finish tomorrow):


1. You know you're old when they ask if you qualify for the senior discount.

2. My heart is divided between going out and doing everything and staying home forevermore.

3. What I have right now is what I need RIGHT NOW!

4. I have felt the transcendent joy of love, I have known the depths of remorse and regret.

5. Gah, won't these people see they beautiful sky instead of the weeds and the dirt?

6. Be as happy as you can be as soon as you can!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to rain, and being with Keith, tomorrow my plans include working in my wonderful yard and Sunday, I want to go to a movie with Holly!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Fly, little worms—Be Free!

I have liberated my enslaved redworms. Over the five months these worms created wonder-dirt for me, I got good at recognizing their egg-things (pellets, cocoons) and putting them back in with the worms when I changed the dirt out every week or so.

I learned a lot and greatly improved my yard, but it's very hot these days and the bin's getting stinky and I had taken it outside and I feared for it to dry up and kill them, so I dug holes in a long compost berm I have in the east side yard that's being reclaimed from rocks and trash, and I buried half of them (worm-bin material and all) in each side of it. I'm sure they'll be happy there, and the yard that needs enlivening the most will get some. I have sunflowers and other birdseed planned there, and the compost is a barrier to keep the water in that corner.

Holly's away with the camera. Maybe I'll add a photo later.

Life will be more peaceful for them and for me too, and it clears up the corner where the worm operation and its supplies (vinyl gloves, three plastic bins for sorting, extra worm bin for moving them into (traded them back and forth) lived. I'm sure they'll be happier too.

Here's where I first wrote about them. worms

They had a much bigger bin later on. Now they have the whole real world. I didn't tag them or we could see if any showed up in any of your yards, now that they are free!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Kirby's Birthday Party (last week)

The rest are here:

A few are still on Holly's computer accidentally, and I'm still finding shrivelled balloons in odd places, and there's a pile of them quietly losing air in the corner of the front room. All the super balls have been retrieved, and things are back to normal here (only the house is cleaner!)

It was a good party. I was very happy to have Kirby here and to see so many friends of ours in one place. Thanks, all who were here and who called or sent cards or emails!!