Sunday, September 23, 2018

"The Sad Sandra Truth"

This is the name of a lost piece of writing.

In a letter to the editor of a homeschooling newsletter in 1993, I wrote:
You can use the Sad Sandra Truth post. I guess it was a big deal because you're not the only one to have said it's touching and all that, only if I have copy I don't know where it is (mabye in the 3" stack of *Prodigy rsidue, but the things I have looked for there I haven't found), so if you print it I'll get to read it again myself! Was that the one that said I was Pippi Longstocking on drugs? More like Pippi Longstocking with flashbacks!
I'm putting this here so that if and when I find that I can transcribe it and mark this off my checklist.

I remembered the gist and topic of "the sad Sandra Truth." It was that I can't make an elaborate dinner and get all the foods to the table at the same time, and lots of people can. There was more to it, but that was the "truth." It was about capacities and confidence, I think.
December 2019; remembered but didn't yet find

Having found the ten issues of The Back Yard Fence published between summer of 1993 and autumn 1995, I've looked through them all and found nothing about Pippi Longstocking, and nothing beginning with 'the sad Sandra truth.' I did find things worth transcribing, and I plan to link
First transcriptions:

Living History Groups (1995)

Two things involving the Society for Creative Anachronism, and tie-in or parallel with home schooling
what I do transcribe at but there might not be anything there yet.

Electronic media isn't forever. Neither is paper.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Memories of speaking in England two years ago

A Day with Sandra Dodd—18 Sept 2016, Long Ditton, Surrey

These photos wouldn't upload there, so this will be overflow!
I created that post in 2018, but backdated it 2016. The photos are by Janine Davies. She posted them on facebook back then.

Maybe my computer was just tired, or maybe that post became unwieldy, but there are 20 more photos if you click here! and notes, too. Credits. Memories.

What's above makes it look like there weren't many there, but this was during set-up. The front-row (whole audience) there are children of organizers and long-distance friends who came early to help set up.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Dear Sandra, don't cry

Helpful agent of Yahoo Small Business website management wrote:
Sandra, there are exactly 7767 files on your file manager and it includes all the HTML pages, images and all media files.
OH my gosh.
Helpful agent:
There are approx 5547 HTML pages on your website which are available on your file manager.

I had told him I thought there were over 2,000 pages.
What I was smugly thinking was "Over 3,000 and maybe over 4,000."

No, 5547 pages. Now all screwed up. Maybe temporarily screwed up.

This morning I woke up to a newly-designed interface, for file creation and editing. "New improved" has not sounded good to me for a long time.

Accented characters aren't working.
Emdashes aren't working.

I am assured that my concerns will be passed on to the developers. In the meantime, I'm sorry to those who use my pages and now will see little diamonds with question marks in them, and odd series of characters where other normal keyboard symbols ought to be.
And to make that code to the left do something besides just look like another dash, I needed all this:

I told my helpful helper, even when I thought I had around 3,000 pages, that I was 65 and would not live long enough to go through and change every keyboard symbol to ascii code. Every — to — ? On 5,547 pages?

And "page" in most minds (mine, used to be) is like one side of a piece of paper, with 300 words or fewer. No, many of these webpages would print out to 10 or 20 "pages" (or more) in that old sense. These pages can be chapters. Books.

I'm too afraid to even peek at the pages in Spanish or French. I sure hope they can fix it.

Something new and cheery! A new blog to collect photos of zia symbols (the design on the New Mexico state flag) and photos of pickups (especially back-yard pickups).
Zias and Pickups (

And the older but also still busy and pretty

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Jesusita en Chihuahua

Serenata Tapatia was a music show on Channel 7 (KOAT). I was on, once. The first time I was ever on TV. I watched later. It was awkward. I was playing guitar, Mr. Felix was playing something. Conga? Bongos? We were backup for a singer from our town. But she started in the wrong key and couldn't recover, and unfortunately, what the editor picked up and showed, instead of editing out, was me and Mr. Felix wincing and shrugging at each other about not being able to fix it. That would've been 1968, I think. Same year the Oñate Fiesta was started, or maybe the year before.

Mr. Felix drove us to Albuquerque, and I saw Dick Knipfing in person. He was TALL, and moved the way actors move when they're playing Abraham Lincoln. Or maybe the way giraffes move when they're trying to be cool and casual. He had nothing to do with that show, but he was a newscaster at the same station, and he was leaving as we were coming in.

For years I wondered what the name of the theme song was. I asked a few people, over the years. I would hum some and they would shrug, or I would ask if they remembered the show. Then once in frustration, after about 40 years of wondering, I called someone who had advertised to perform music for weddings and dances and such and I hummed it and asked my question and he said "It's just a polka."

"But what's it called?"

He didn't think it had a name, or he didn't know it, and didn't care.

Sheesh. Every tune has a name. Some have lots of names.

Time passed. I was at Papa Felipe's, a restaurant, and the same recording, even came on their sound system. I asked Siri and got "Jesusita en Chihuahua." Well then! I could look it up.

I don't know who the dancers are or when and where. But this is the song.

There was another show on KOB / Channel 4, called The Val de la O show, which also had music, but also interviews and messing around, and I didn't understand what they were saying so it was more boring, but Serenata Tapatia was music, music, music. Or maybe I just remember it that way. I was a kid, and watched a lot of TV.

Here's another version:

K Circle B with Dick Bills (local)
Friendly Giant (with recorder music, not local)
Captain Kangaroo (not local, I still know a couple of the songs)
Mickey Mouse ("Tuesday is guest star day---" and "Come to the talent rodeo!")

Friday, September 14, 2018

Surprise Yard

We have planned and planted, but it's fun when plants do what they want to do. When people leave town, or have surgery, or are distracted, the yard can get creative, and beautiful.

Saturday, September 08, 2018

9 weeks, 9 months, 9 years

On September 4, all the numbers lined up. They're still all 9's for a few more days.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Blog names

I want to start another blog. I already have several, for particular uses, and have some that were temporary, to document visits to other countries, or to serve as websites for conferences I put on here, a couple of which were glorified visits from out-of-country guests, for whom I organized some activities with other unschoolers. Those.... I like them. I used them, but now they're archives. I'll link some of those below, partly for my own benefit.

The new collection, I'm thinking, will be about zias and pickup trucks, in New Mexico. Photos of zia symbols, worked artistically one way or another, and of pickups, mostly those parked longterm in people's yards. Many pickups live as a sort of yard art, quietly, and peacefully. Some kind of still run, or are used occasionally. Some await restoration. Some are beyond all that. P.S. on September 14: Named it after all, "zia things" (as in ">

Naming the blog seems important to me. It probably seems more important than it is. In poking around blogger I find some names "in use" that aren't, really.

Someone named Annemarie created a blog called artZIA, using the URL ziaart. She never posted anything.

Thalia used, and saved one photo of some English practice, at "ingles basico 3" thus tying up the use of "zia."

But "pickup" would be easy to remember! would be perfect, except in 2004, "sauce" created that blog, and never posted a thing. Bummer.

The word in local Spanish for pickup is "troca," but that's taken. In 2005, four posts in the same month, by someone in Spain, where they call a pick-up a camioneta. I guess they think "troca" is funny. (Is “Camioneta” Really More Correct Than “Troca”?)

I called my wheelbarrow blog "wheelbarrowThings." I suppose I should go with ziaThings.

Brie and Jonathan are going to help me spot and collect zia art and pickups. But first, I need to finish another project, so because I want to play with the zia collection, I'm more irritated with "the other project."

P.S. on September 14: Named it after all, "zia things" (as in ">

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Ten movies that influenced me

A facebook game, Cathyn tagged me in a post on Guarding Tess. I'll quote Cathyn's, and then list my ten. They're in the order I saw them. The idea was to show an picture from a movie that had influenced us. I would probably have played Guarding Tess if Cathyn hadn't.
"Guarding Tess", 1994, Shirley McClain and Nicholas Cage. This movie was recommended to me by Sandra Dodd, who has fantastic taste in movies, as well as being a phenomenal mentor, with the ability to know one needs a specific lesson at a particular point in their lives, and sometimes realizes the best vehicle to impart that lesson is not her words, but a movie she's seen. To say her recommendation and this movie influenced me is an understatement indeed. Sandra, if you're up for it, and haven't already been "challenged", and have the time, consider this your opportunity to jump in and share ten movies that influenced you. :)

I responded:
Very kind words, Cathyn! Thank you.
I might need to disqualify myself, as I've spent the past 3.5 years watching Korean dramas and not much else.

I did take a week off to watch the first two seasons of The Good Place (an American series—I hadn't watched American TV for.... 3.5 years, except for CBS Sunday Morning). Marty told me about it. I love it. It's not a movie, though.

Movies that influenced me, huh? That's a hard one, for real. I'm thinking of movies that excited my emotions and thoughts, that I still think about, but sometimes the connection is about who I saw it with, and what we were discussing! :-) So Guarding Tess would be on my list, I suppose. :-) But that would be stealing your post so I won't.
When I played mine, I played the most recent first, and accidentally skipped one, but this is the order in which I saw them, in my life.

Peter Pan, 1955+
Peter Pan was shown once a year on TV when I was little. It wasn't easy to see a movie repeatedly otherwise. So it took years for me to see it enough times to really know it, but I spent a lot of time thinking about it!

Learned... keep some friends in the woods just in case, but it might be better to stay home anyway.

On facebook, with comments

Wizard of Oz, 1939 (but I watched it from about 1959)
Annual TV broadcast, in those pre-video days.
I took from it:
People don't always know what they need, or what they have.
on facebook, there are some comments

El Cid, 1961 (but I first saw it in 1963 or '64)

What I took from El Cid, which I saw twice as a kid:
Loyalty and logic. Service and the greater good.
The Middle Ages were awesome.
More details on when and where I saw it, and a clip.

Brother Sun, Sister Moon, 1972

More medieval-fix.

My takeaway:
Money and parental expectation can be problems.
Maybe French moms shouldn't have married angry Italians.
It's cool when Obi-Wan Kenobi is the pope.
I'm not sure I took from that movie what Zeffirelli intended.

The ObiWan connection, of course, couldn't have been made in 1972, but in later years... yeah! It made the pope WAY cooler, and part of his speech is very "may the force be with you, too," though I think it might be "may the lord be with you." I'll look it up and come back.
"May Our Lord be with you, in your hands and in your feet." (watch that scene here)
More details on when and where I saw it, and other people's comments.

The Empire Strikes Back, 1980

Don't trust what you think you know, even about your family.

More details on when and where I saw it, and other people's comments.

Back to the Future, 1985

Life's stressful one way or the other, but rock'n'roll's still good

Commando, 1985
This one had an odd effect on my self-awareness.

Keith asked why I didn't like Terminator, but loved Commando. I had to think about it.

In Commando, they dress like soldiers and go far away to save a young girl. In Terminator, he shows up where normal women are doing normal things, and is insanely violent. So I learned that I care about context. And costume- and make-up clues.

Context and perspective. I had a new filter through which to view other strong reactions in my life (or surprising lack of strong reaction, sometimes, in myself or others).
Original post, might not have much more.

Searching for Bobby Fischer, 1993

Learn however and whenever you can, and remember no one person has everything you need.

Crimson Tide, 1995

Duty and responsibility when there are constraints and obstacles.

Secretly Greatly, 2013 (South Korean)

My most recent influence was a South Korean movie called "Secretly Greatly" which was based on a Korean Webtoon. It's about North Korean spies who were sent to live as South Koreans. The main character is assigned to portray the village idiot. The acting is wonderful.

One of my favorite things about the film is to consider what it would take to live convincingly as an idiot. What would you need to do? What could you absolutely not do? :-) And also to think about whether it's propaganda (well, it kinda is, but to think about points being made).
More, with links to where it can be seen.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

International collection of a mundane tool

India, Australia, U.K., USA — all in use in Albuquerque

The one from India came from a cooking store. I got some plastic bowls, too, that we use all the time.

The Australian masher came from a big store with remainders from other stores, it seemed—new things, but more like a Big Lots or Tuesday Morning than a department store. I got kitchen towels that day, there, too, and use them every day.

One of the English mashers was bought new, and older and newer ones, used.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Full-size trompe l'oeil cars

Nice clouds, too, July 27, 2018. Those storage units are between our house and Fastino's, a drive-through Italian food place at Juan Tabo and Lexington. That's the back of our house, to the right of it, with the gate.

Here's what we see from our yard. This photo is from 2011, when Hollywood Video was still over past there.

We watched as that art was made, when that business was new.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Kirby Athena Denise Dodd

Kirby wrote:
"At 8:53pm MST, Kirby Athena Denise Dodd joined us. She is 6lbs 7oz. She is totally healthy with all the right parts."

Lovelace Women's Hospital on Montgomery, Albuquerque

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Relax Now / Sunshine

The ebb and flow of life takes me from extreme involvement in...
wanting to become a teacher
the SCA
childbirth and breastfeeding
particular discussions and sites, which themselves come and go
philosophy discussions in person, online, one-on-one

This blog once was a focal depository but now it's not. Still, I like it as a place, and as a collection.

Since September 2, 2010, the blog I have used most is Just Add Light and Stir. There are over 2700 posts there. Good ones.

Each one recommends three others. That changes, but the connections can be beautiful.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Round Korean Schedule

I first saw one of these in Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, a Korean drama.

Then in a "variety show" (we would call it a reality show), they get a circular schedule for each guest "Master," before they know who it is, on Master in the House.

I went to try to find images or history of them, but I don't know what to call them. I tried variations of Korean scheduler round circular hours (two or three at a time) and finally found this:

The morning after I wrote the above, I got up to look some more. In a google search for Daily schedule template round Korea, a freakish oddity arose: The cover of one of my books shows. I wrote that before I was watching Korean dramas, so it's not about that. Maybe it's because of the appearance of the cover, but most of the other images that came up had nothing to do with that pie-wedgy roundness.

(There is is, beginning of the third row, in this image. I don't know why.)

From Master in the House, where they use one nearly every other show:

"Yj" left a comment with a link to this video which has English versions:

Thursday, March 22, 2018

One beautiful song

Deb Lewis asked about a special medieval love song, but I don't know of one. Some conversation followed (on facebook, here), and I kept thinking about it for a couple of days, as I tend to do.

Then I started a response which I accidentally lost, so I'm bringing it over here where I can work more slowly and carefully.

There is a beautiful song of love and longing, but it's not not a love song. It's not a religious song, really (not worship, not a church song). It's not about unrequited love. It's about exhaustion, perhaps old age, and a calm desire to sleep, or to relax quietly in heaven. It uses the word "sprite," which I love, and not "old age," but the more powerful "cold age."

Unlike madrigals, it does have a tune. It'a a part-song, so voices stay in their own ranges without jumping the track, and it can be done with instrumental backup instead.

The lyrics are brief and beautiful.
Never weather-beaten sail,Thomas Campion. 1567?–1619

Never weather-beaten sail more willing bent to shore;
Never tirèd pilgrim's limbs affected slumber more
Than my wearied sprite now longs to fly out of my troubled breast;
O come quickly, sweetest Lord, and take my soul to rest!

Ever blooming are the joys of heaven's high Paradise;
Cold age deafs not there our ears, nor vapour dims our eyes;
Glory there the sun outshines, whose beams the Blessèd only see;
O come quickly, glorious Lord, and raise my sprite to Thee!

         That's the original verse. For vocal arrangements, the "O come quickly" is repeated three times.

I listened to some videos, and most did it too quickly for my tastes, so a note to Deb: I could sing it for you, but I wouldn't have three other voices. [I have sung it before, and I love it.] So this first video is the speed I like, but imagine it with four voices, one of them mine, and not done so full-voice, fill-up-the-church, but gently, and clearly but softly.

Then I found this, which I love for the yellow shoes on that one guy, and the oddity. The group above is in The Netherlands. This performance below was in London, but I don't know if they combined two groups (seems) or what, exactly, is up with it, but it's fun.

I have friends and relatives who have done combo Renaissance instruments and north-African/Middle-Eastern music before, too.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Transgender overlap with unschooling

Because of some conversations in and around unschooling (late 2016, early 2017) concerning young girls who decided they were boys, and wanted hormone blockers (one girl reportedly had a crowd-funded mastectomy at 14), I expressed my opinion and got jumped and insulted.

Unaccustomed to having people tell me that I was not allowed to ask questions, or that something that came out of unschooling discussions was none of my business, I began to read more and to ask questions.

A quote from an article unrelated to unschooling:
Thanks in part to the full-throated support of progressives and trans activists, one approach is gaining ground in America. It contends that children know themselves best: if your three-year-old says he is a girl, do not deny or question her but instead support her. When she is ready to transition, assist her to do so – whether that means buying pink dresses now or approving her use of cross-sex hormones later on. Parents who affirm their kids’ desire to transition have been widely lauded for their courage; doctors who question whether medical intervention is in a child’s best interest have been accused of transphobia.

So contentious is this argument that parents I have spoken to fear publicly raising issues that worry them. There is one, in particular, that troubles many: what if my child changes her mind?

It's not only in America.

In late 2017, a couple of unschooled girls "desisted." They changed their minds. Then another one changed her mind. When they were interviewed and their stories were published (one of the young teens was interviewed, and two moms were interviewed), unschooling groups variously attacked the reports, or removed the links. That was interesting to me, too.

I had already started collecting notes and information on my page at

On November 5, 2017*, I created a public facebook group I was going to call "Transgender Questions." There was already a group with that name, though, and it was rougher advice for adult transgender folk, so I added (Parents) to the name to distinguish the two. My hope was that people would join and share what they knew, both supporters and skeptics of treatment for teens.

What has happened (as I report this in January) was that people who never joined attacked me verbally (facebook writing, mostly), and in some of the discussions I could see, there were dogpiles of "yes, she's awful," complete with some detailed lies and various add-on claims that make no sense to people familiar with my unschooling beliefs, practices and writings over the years. I was called a TERF bitch, and told to shut the fuck up, that I had no business in or around that topic, that it was people like me who caused deaths, and suicides would come of it, all because of me.

In the early days of the group, some of the 35, 50 members, were adult trans people. No one was asked to self-identify in any way, but some people volunteered to do so. Their information, though, was outdated, and the assurances they were giving were not current as to what is being said and done then, late 2017, for/with/to children and teens who said "I think I'm transgender, too." They were wrong in thinking that this happened about equally with girls and boys. Overwhelmingly, it's girls, these days.

One by one, a few supporters came to the group. A mom; a young woman using "they" and claiming non-binary status; another one of those later; one less unidentified as to status. Each seemed sure that a few posts would persuade us all that we were wrong and they were right, but they were bringing no research, and no caution, just the same recitations and assurances of acceptance-or-death, and each lasted just a couple of days (or less) before getting pissed off and storming out, or dropping away.

Meanwhile, the world was continuing to change quickly—politically and medically. Those in the group who were concerned with danger to young people continued to bring real research and evidence. In the outer world, more and more young women who had lived as men, who had changed gender, some legally, some who had taken testosterone and grown beards and begun to bald, changed their minds. They decided they were women, started sharing their stories online here and there, saying had been swept up in something questionable, and that the drugs they had been taking were unhealthy.

Notably, many of them come back to say that they don't mean to suggest that others should not accept treatment, and there are transgender people, and they don't mean to suggest everyone who takes testosterone is wrong to do so, and such backpedalling and defensive statements. I'm guessing that they fear the bullying pressure of the transgender supporters.

These notes are here mostly for my own benefit, to check back years from now about when and why I asked all those questions. If there had not been so much overlap with and co-opting of unschooling terminology and principles in the defense of children's truth and right, without any consideration or questions about the legitimacy of the feelings or the pressures behind the expression of them, I still wouldn't know. People started saying that anyone who didn't immediately offer hormone blockers was "not a good unschooler."

It should not be associated with, or part of unschooling, in my opinion, because the problems with the whole movement and belief system are huge and growing. Unschooling shouldn't be connected with anything that can't withstand the light of casual inquiry.

Late 2017 and early 2018 are seeing revelations in other places, about legal, moral, medical problems with "the transgender community." If, from within, the emperor's clothes are sorted out, real from imagined, my Q&A group won't be at all needed.

The unschoolers' accounts referenced above, and the link to the facebook group:

Brie Jontry: Born in the right body

Noor (Brie's daughter), and her account: It’s not conversion therapy to learn to love your body: A teen desister tells her story

Jenny Cyphers, A Careful Step into a Field of Landmines

Others added later:

Freed from the girl pen: Another mom and desister teen tell their stories

A different take on affirmation (discusses unschooling relationships betweeen parent and child specifically)

Another by Jenny Cyphers, after she was interviewed for an article: What I wish the Atlantic article hadn’t censored (with a link to that article, too)

Transgender Questions (Parents) public (readable without joining) facebook group

* At first this said October 5, but it was an error; sorry. It was November.

KRST Radio (history)

KRST (for "Crest"), one of the best early FM stations in the 1970's, was my favorite.
They played rock, from albums, of the late '60s and the then-current 70's.

Here was their logo, for a while. I scanned it from some program or other, but I'd had a nice glossy vinyl sticker of it back in the day.

I listened to that station every day, in the car, in the house sometimes. One morning I turned it on and it was country music. Current country music.

No warning. A complete change.

If anyone knows what day that was, leave me a note. Wikipedia says it was 1980, Urban Cowboy that did it. It very likely had to do with the country line-dance craze that replaced disco as a singles-bar activity for lots of people. I thought it was earlier than 1980. I'm curious to know.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Ivan Dodd

Ivan Odysseus Dodd was born December 28, 2017, at Presbyterian Rust Medical Center in Rio Rancho.

Day 1:

Day 3:

Day 6: