Friday, October 31, 2008

Retroactive Friday Fill-In

I like this week's questions, but I couldn't have filled it in on Friday, due to lack of time and secrecy. So retroactively, what I would have liked to have written on October 31, written retroactively, early on November 2.

1. My favorite food seasoning is green chile, but that's already food. So lately, coriander. (Or if chocolate counts...).

2. Kirby on the phone is music to my ears.

3. Lucky is never appreciated as much as unluckiness is bemoaned.

4. Happiness is something I take very seriously.

5. Many people could be much happier with the smallest of attitude changes.

6. Grease and Grease II, and a birthday card, was the last thing I bought at the store. (Not counting the grocery store. That was pineapple, maraschino cherries, tortillas and brown sugar.)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to finishing a gift for Holly, tomorrow my plans include Holly's surprise birthday party, and Sunday, I want to recuperate!     and possibly go to a movie with Holly, although at 17 she will no longer need me to go with her to R rated movies. Maybe she'll take me anyway, sometimes.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Kirby's second 22nd birthday

DARN IT! I meant to let people know this earlier in the day. They made a mistake on Kirby's Texas driver's license, so in Texas he's 22 today. (In New Mexico, he was 22 on July 29th.)

I had intended to ask people to send him e-mail or MySpace greetings. He's been a big MySpace slacker, though. His email address is KendallKDodd and the end part is gmail, if you want to help us celebrate his 2nd 22nd b-day. Today's his day off, so he's home and very likely awake for a few more hours.

Sixth Picture

Another game of chance. A randomizing factor in real life.

Okay. I have this from Mandaroo's blog. You take the sixth photo from your sixth file. I'm going to do it from photobucket, the main folders. I haven't looked yet. Hers was a very cool Dia de los Muertes figure.

Mine is...

Brett Henry, in his cowboy hat, which dates it to before the mystery Brit stole it at Frontier Restaurant.

Here's another photo from my Brett Henry collection. This one is Kirby, Brett and Marty (seated, in red) at a pirate party a couple of years ago.

My kids have hung out with Brett since he was eight or nearly nine, maybe. He left school in third grade or so, and they hung out at park days when they were little, and increasingly other times as they got older. Marty and Holly will be at a Halloween party at his house tomorrow night.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Gratitude on Wednesday

#1 I'm grateful that Holly's first motorcycle ride was fun and she returned safely. (She was riding behind her dad, and they didn't go far, but my mothering instincts still went haywire.)

#2 I'm grateful for running water, and that mine runs.

#3 I'm grateful for flush toilets, and that ours all flush. (You have to hold the handle down on that one downstairs, but still...)

#4 I'm grateful for washing machines, and that ours works. Dryer, ditto.

#5 I'm grateful for automobiles and that we have some and that they're running.

Looking up that list, I'm reminded how grateful I am for my friend and husband, Mr. Keith Edward Dodd. Him and modern technology.

Last week's Wednesday gratitude is here:
There will be a few more before Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Robins, pictures and parts

I found this Robin's skull when Keith and I were working in the yard the other day. I thought it was a mushroom at first. I'm glad we didn't break it.

It's been on a paper plate in the kitchen for several days, and now it's carefully packed up to sell on eBay. Here, look, if you want maybe to own the skull of a robin that once lived in my yard.

The skull is 2.25" long (to the tip of the beak).

It's not the same robin, but this year there was a nest Holly could see from her room and there were two eggs, and two babies. We gave the empty nest later to the state museum of natural history, for their kids' hands-on room.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Choosing Rally Sites from my blog

It seems, perhaps, apparently, that my blog is a factor in state and national politics. September 27, I posted photos of some of us at the Spanish Village at the State Fair grounds, and then a couple of weeks later, October 16, posted photos of Marty and some other friends in armor at Johnson Field, at the University of New Mexico.

I guess when scouting sites for political rallies, my photos must have helped, because McCain spoke yesterday morning at the Spanish Village, and Obama spoke last night at Johnson Field, both in Albuquerque, both on the same day.

People are calling me asking who I'm voting for, and some nice old hippies came to the door this morning asking, and I told them all the same: I don't want to talk about that. I don't HAVE to talk about that. I don't even have to tell my husband who I'm voting for. People seem to have lost the true meaning of American elections which is that one's choices are personal and private (guaranteed by law), and that no campaigning is allowed within 100 feet of a polling place. People in Albuquerque either are ignorant or feigning ignorance, in being appalled (preferably on TV on on the radio) at being turned back from polling places for wearing t-shirts with candidates names on them. I realize that when the laws were new, there were no imprinted t-shirts and voters were probably wearing long-sleeved, long-legged underwear under long-sleeved, long-legged everything else, but still... If one wants to have the county clerk (or whoever's in charge of polling wherever you are; translate into local lingo as needed) make exceptions about one part of the law (which he or she is not at liberty to do anyway,) where will that end?

The rant is ended. Go in peace. And I don't want to know for whom any of you intend to vote, either, just to let you know that my blog is a likely candidate for the Magic 8 Ball of the month.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Biker Baby Mama

'Tis the season for costume parties. Holly was going as a biker babe, but she thought a biker baby mama sounded better, so she started gathering doll parts (you know... toy grenades and a gun...) and Brett decided to help out in the accessory department, and so they're off:

Friday, October 24, 2008

Marty looking different

Marty worked eight hours of unusual unrepeatable labor, came home and crashed out. Holly documented. The other is the night before, one of Holly photography tricks (extra-much hair) demonstrated with Marty. She puts a plastic headband on backwards (back up toward the top) to get lots of hair showing. Marty has hair like his dad's—straighter in front than in back.

I started to do a Friday-fill-in, but my answers would've been boring because I'm happy to be where I am, I feel fine, and although I have no plans for the weekend, I have every expectation that it will be rich and good. But that's how most of my moments are. Boring to read about, but not boring to live.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I got this idea from Clint Stonebreaker's blog. He got it from a friend last year. They're posting five things they're grateful for, each Wednesday for a month before Thanksgiving, it seems.

Pretending it's Wednesday, then, and hoping I remember the next few Wednesdays:

1. I'm grateful for the internet, because it's easy to keep in touch with Keith at work and Kirby in Austin. I can watch 1960's rock and roll TV performances I missed (or that I saw, once, in the 60's). I can find city services numbers and back issues of national geographic, play a singing game with strangers, and send a thank-you letter to India (some things I've done in the past 12 hours), when I wasn't sleeping in my warm bed.

2. I'm grateful that Keith loves us and takes care of us.

3. I'm grateful for singing. On one day's notice, I invited ten people to come over and sing, and we had twelve. It was fun, and I'm glad we had extra cheese and that Marty and Brett Henry walked to the store for more refried beans for quesadillas, because all but three of those people came over hungry, and we were able to feed them chicken quesadillas until they were all full. We'll be singing every other week until Christmas.

4. I'm grateful to have our hot tub and for Keith to be willing to keep scrounging and cutting up wood for it. I'm grateful that we have a new stovepipe! (That photo is taken through double plate glass... )

5. I'm grateful that my children share their lives with us.

Next Wednesday, five more things.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My back yard, October 2008

When I say "Virginia," pretend I actually knew where Miranda lived before New York. (oh! I was right. Virginia.)
When I say "hollyhocks" pretend I said "lilacs," which is what I meant, though both of them look pretty ratty-sad this time of year. (I did mean to say hollyhocks on the first one, though next year they will be discouraged in favor of hanging tomatos on that sunny corner!)

The ground in New Mexico only looks like that where this kind of weedy bamboo stuff is. It looks like that in our yard. We're nine or ten miles east of the Rio Grande, up near the southern end of the Sandias.

Miranda's yard video and her house. For those who don't know Miranda, she'll be speaking at the Good Vibrations conference in San Diego next September (as will I).

If anyone else has back yard tours online, I'd be glad to go look!

NOTE: I think what we've been calling bamboo in our yard is "Arundo donax"—giant reed grass. If we were in the SE U.S. it would be a big weed and we could go here to find out how to kill it:

Saturday, October 18, 2008

"You should've seen the other guy!"

Kirby called on the house phone and asked to speak to his dad. I asked if he was okay. He sounded fine. He said "Mostly okay."

For him to call Keith on one of Kirby's work days meant for sure something had happened. I thought maybe he'd had a fender-bender.

Turns out he was hooking up a computer and got in the path of the electricity somehow. He says it seemed like two or three seconds he had the electricity in him, but maybe it was shorter and it seemed that long. His boss thought it was more than a full second, though. He wasn't burned and his hand wasn't numb, but he said he felt a weakness in his chest.

Then he went out to lunch with friends (their "lunch" is more like our dinner time) and slammed his other hand in the car door, not horribly.

I suggested he might want to take the rest of the shift to go home and sleep it off. I don't know whether he did or not.

The whole thing was exciting and amusing to him. That's because he's not his mom. But I did tell him when I was a kid we used to hold on to the door of our freezer to see who could hold it the longest. We had a cement floor there, and a rubber mat in front of the freezer to prevent shocks in times when the floor was moist from rain or winter (both are rare in New Mexico), so when it was a shocking day, sometimes we kids (nine to twelve or so in age) would move the rubber tug, hold the handle and count.

I had a record player, and a bedroom with a cement floor (my "bedroom" had been a canning room and was half underground). I had a rubber mat there myself, to keep the metal arm that held a stack of records from shocking me, but that one was a small shock.

Anyway, when I was telling Kirby how awful it was for a mom to hear something like what he had called to tell, he said that if it made me feel better, the computer didn't work at all anymore—it was fried. "You should've seen the other guy!" he said, laughing.

Somehow it did not cheer me up.

It's a little funnier today than it was yesterday, but I think I need a few more days and maybe to see Kirby to feel really much better.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Marty in armor

Marty had forgotten his tunic and his armor doesn't work without it, so Holly, Brett and I went to practice to take it to him. Brett hadn't seen these guys fight (Marty or Keith, a.k.a. Bardolf and Gunwaldt) but he also knows Jeff/Artan, Josh/Mordygan and Sadie/Beatrice, and had met Martino that afternoon. Martino used to live here but moved several years ago, and the extra-large turnout for practice was because people knew he was in town and would be there.

The laced-up Roman greaves and the hobnailed shoes are on Martino, and he made them too. He had told me about them by phone, but I was glad to go and see them and I'm glad Holly took photos.

Marty's in many of the photos, but not all.

For those familiar with UNM, this is the south side of Johnson Field. They've added lights. To the left in some of the photos area additions to the recreational services building(s) (used to be Johnson Gym and then the pool, but there's more) and to the right are the newest dorms, Redondo, which are where the tennis courts used to be.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Holly's baby dolls

Holly, who loved the movie "Stand By Me" when she was a little girl, who kept up with her big brothers, who plays with dolls at 16, who has lately discovered Shrinky Dinks and who counsels adult friends... I just love that she does things when and as she wants to instead of adopting or rejecting interests based on her age. She's very self-possessed and whole. She makes a good doll-mom and someday she'll make a good baby-mom.

Most of the doll clothes are real baby clothes.

Holly did the photos too. Holly chose the carpet for the stairs too. Holly, Holly, Holly. (I love Holly.)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Connections in the yard

These would have looked better photographed in the morning. They were starting to close.
I might have put these photos on my 100 Species Challenge blog, but I had already written about Morning Glories and Sunflowers, so I'll link those here and this there, and there will be even more connections in the world.

This morning I was working outside and realized it's not the morning glories on the now-empty sunflower stalks that make beauty. It's the way the are so clearly still alive.

I was pretty good at making little videos with the old camera, but this one's harder to hold, so sorry for it being shaky.

I know hundreds of years ago it was exciting for a book to have an illustration of a flower, or for there to be blossoms in paintings. Sixty years ago it was very cool that people could take close-up photos of flowers that even showed raindrops and bugs. But now? People have seen photos of flowers. What's missing now is that more often than not, flowers are moving with the slightest breeze.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Glory of Holly, and Friday Fill-Ins

The first photo of Holly is just documentation of the design. It's not the art itself. The art itself is the two photos that follow. She took all the photos herself.

I'm glad Holly can have so much fun with so little. She's learning about materials and tools and lighting and all kinds of things she doesn't need formal terminology for yet (if ever), and as a side benefit, we get all this documentation of her growing and learning.

What a sweetie she is.

The photos are enlargeable with a click.


1. One of the best concerts/plays/movies I ever saw that I really didn't think I'd like was Neil Diamond, years ago, at the armory for the arts in Santa Fe, when it really was just a big empty room of an armory.

2. Rice pudding is a recipe I recently made that was delicious!

3. It's time for yardwork. Not very exciting to read, but exciting for me to do!

4. The cool October weather is quite refreshing.

5. If I never hear the word "whatever"again, it'll be too soon. (I thought for a long time. I like words. And I like when people say "Whatever you want to do is fine" but I don't like "whatever" as a put-down response, at all.)

6. To one side of the curving road was a canyon, and on the other was a mountainside. (But that's how New Mexico is, most places, so again... boring answer. Sorry.)

7. And as for the weekend, tonightday I'm looking forward to hearing Holly stories, tomorrow my plans include a movie and Sunday, I want to sew!