Tuesday, April 04, 2017

A vermillion flycatcher perks outside my office window.

Vermillion flycatcher.

I spent the day researching the history of a National Forest, piecing together stray facts, trying to make them fit together to make a cohesive story. Hard to do with limited time, but I am making progress.

At home something runs out from beneath my stove. I may have a mouse in my house. Less likely, a lizard. I haven't seen any real evidence for it, no poop. But one night I heard rustling under the stove and now the out-of-the corner of my eye movement.

I'm working on a genealogy article, mostly done, then to submit. Always productive except when I am not.

I'll be glad when April is done. Too busy every weekend with stuff. 

As a side note, don't accidentally add an extra zero when paying your credit card, or perhaps screen shoot when you do pay so that when the credit card company adds the extra zero you have proof. At least my credit card balance is the lowest it has been in many years.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Happy 17th Birthday Puff!

He hates having his picture taken, won't look at the camera. Snowball of course is a big ham and is all, "Take my picture!"

Puff and Snowball.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

28 Days Later, more or less.

Spring has arrived in Tucson. The friendly ground squirrels have come out, many lying splattered on the roads because they are both friendly and very dumb.

Ground Squirrel.

My lemon tree and my Meyer lemon tree put out lots of blossoms. I hope some turn into lemons.

Lemon blossom.

I started a survey project up in mid-northern Arizona. The first time we went up we got rained out. So we came back. Then we went back up again for a week.

Scary Homer early in the morning.

Lots of sites, too many. Lots of walking. Lots of cat claw and other assorted thorny things to rip open my arms and legs. I'm very allergic to plant scratches, they itch like crazy.

Back in Tucson, the peach tree that grew from pits discarded into my compost area also bloomed.

Peach blossoms.

Buddy wanders the yard. He is gradually losing some of his site due to cataracts. He doesn't recognize my car until I get out and call to him. He barks a lot more at random things. He sleeps every night in Doug's house, he still enjoys being spoiled rotten.


I have a new vest and matching canvas pants for Living History.

Homer 1898.

Back at the survey, lots of wildflowers are blooming.


Blue dick.

California poppy.

We are recording previously identified sites and locating new ones. One site had boulders with images pecked on them a long time ago.

Rock art.

It is a long drive before we can get out to work. Twice a grumpy bull has stood in the middle of the road not wanting to move. There is little or no shoulder and in some places the road drops off over a cliff. Very scary.

Behind me in this picture is a fun historic period site, probably Apache. I found a tiny donkey shoe, a bridle, a marmalade jar, and fragments of a white ceramic vessel shaped like an ear of corn.

I look pregnant.

We found a pair of dragons one day.

They liked the warmth of my hand.

We had to walk up a very scary road one day, and then back. Afterward we dabbled our feet in Fossil Creek. It felt nice and I was happy to see native fish swimming in the water.

Cool feet.

The next day was hellish with a very long hike down, stomping through lots of pokey things, and then a very long hike back.

Pokey Agave.

An enormous pipe that once carried water runs through the area. I like the manhole covers.


It rained on Wednesday night and we had to come back the next day, the road was impassable.

Rain clouds.

I have been taking care of odds and ends at work, started writing the survey report, worked on my friend Devin's genealogy (discovered we are distantly related through the marriage of distant relatives), and almost finished a genealogy book. And suffering from a nasty cold that I thought at first was allergies.

At work the coyote stops and peeks at me when I tap on the window.

Click on picture to enlarge.

I was requested to update my Amazon wish list, which I did. And a nice reader (Hello!) sent me a copy of one of my favorite books, which I had lent to somebody and it disappeared. Thank you very muchly.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Two weeks ago my friend Jose was killed in a car accident. He was 33. I had not seen him in person for a while, but had been recently thinking that we should go have dinner together and catch up.

Jose worked at a dentist's office. He had the biggest, prettiest smile on his tiny, 5 ft 1 inch body. He was fun to be around. Always smiling. Really wish I had called him up and spent time with him, but what can you do?

Lately I haven't been smiling much. It is hard to do so when bad things happen. Puff is getting old and cranky, wakes me up at night. If I lock him out of the bedroom he cries loudly non-stop. As a result, I'm not getting much sleep.

A close friend is moving away, someone I have depended on. Not too far, but far enough that I won't be able to see him in person except maybe once a year. He probably doesn't know how much his friendship has meant to me.

And then there is the political stuff to stress out over.

So yeah, 2017 is likely to be as bad as 2016.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Two weekend. Craig and Chris came down from Phoenix. We headed south to Madera Canyon, but stopped first at San Xavier.
The church was completed in 1797 and was restored in the 1990s. I often take out-of-town guests there to see the beautiful architecture, paintings, and statues.


The cemetery chapel is decorated with statues and is hot with candles.

Baby Jesus.

I made Craig and Chris pose for a photo.

Chris and Craig.

We then headed off to Madera Canyon, The one trail I thought was wheelchair accessible was not and although we managed to get down it, it was awful. Then we found the paved trail and it was much less stressful.

The next day I made waffles, carmelized mandarin oranges, and cheesy scrambled eggs for breakfast and then we went to Sabino Canyon. We rode the  tram to the top, and them walked the four miles down. Craig got to run his chair through the stream crossings. The water was very cold on my bare feet.

Craig crossing one of the six running stream crossings.

Then last weekend my friend Dave arrived on his cross-country trip. I have known him for over a decade but had never met in person. We had a nice time. On Saturday we went to the Venture and he and Patrick got to smoke cigars.

Dark photo of the three of us.

Spring has started here. The flowers are starting to bloom. We had a mild, rainy winter and there should be a lot of wildflowers this year.


A coyote wanders by my window at work often. It looks well fed. I tap on the window and it turns to stare at me before running off.


Wednesday, February 01, 2017

I missed the Women's March in Tucson a few weeks ago because I had to give a talk that day. Yesterday was a protest outside the Federal Courthouse in response to Trump's ban on immigration from seven Muslim majority countries.

 I dressed up (I always wear a tie to protests!) and made a sign and went down. After a while, co-workers Jenny and Jane showed up, I did not know they were coming.

Jenny, Jane, and I.

There were probably over 1,000 people. We had a good time, as cars drove by people honked their horns and waved at us. A few people flipped us off. I blew kisses and one angry man shouting at us, I don't think he appreciated that.

My sign.

Did we accomplish anything? I don't know. It is important to not remain silent in these awful times. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Well so far Trump has targeted women, Mexicans, immigrants, and Muslims. So I guess next week it will be the turn for LGBT people. He is going to nominate an anti-gay Supreme Court justice who will vote for the next 30 or 40 years against my civil rights.

I loathed George H. W. Bush. I disliked Ronald Reagan. I hate Donald Trump. To put it mildly. I don't like hate, it is a wasted emotion. But I do hate him. And the people who voted for him, I guess I pretty much hate them too. The interactions with them usually end up with them calling me names. For some reason Buttercup and Snowflake are popular. Trump supporters seem to fall into two categories (which often overlap): 1). the white supremacists who fear anyone who isn't white, straight, male, and Christian, and 2), the profoundly stupid who think everything Trump says is the truth. I guess there is a third category, those who genuinely want to see our government toppled. Good luck on that.

I probably already said this, but I gave $50 to the ACLU. I hope they sue the fuck out of the monster who is in charge of the country.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I wonder what it would be like to sleep well. Between lying awake pondering the hell that our nation will be going through and Puff constantly pawing at my face and walking across my head, I haven't had a sound sleep in forever.

Puff is getting just plain old. At 16 3/4 years he is super skinny. When I get home from work he follows me around, wants to sit on my lap. At night he wants to sleep with his head on my arm, reaching out to me with his paws. I tell him to stop patting at my face, but he doesn't understand. If I push his paws away, he cries. If I lock him up outside my bedroom, he sits at the door and cries even louder. Sigh.

Friday, January 20, 2017

It rained in Tucson today. I had to get up early to set up two tents at the Park. I came home and worked on a genealogical problem. Took Mother to India Oven for lunch, she enjoyed the food although the chick peas were too hot. Afterward we went way across town to Bookman's so she could find one of her Brother Cadfael books (I need to find the 21st one for her). Back home I took a nap, then worked on the genealogy problem some more. Poor Luella- six of her seven children died in childhood because she was a lousy religious fanatic who didn't believe in doctors. Then I made cheesy gluten-free biscuits and some vegetarian baked beans for supper. She is busy reading another mystery book.

I did not watch the Inauguration. I have tried to avoid the news. It is just tiresome. People noticed that the first things scrubbed from the Whitehouse website were the pages on climate change and LGBT civil rights. I'm guessing Pence had something to do with that.

Who knows what the next two or four years will bring. Wonder if archaeologists will have jobs. We are expendable- get in the way of developers and energy folks, also education and science stuff is going to be targeted, because lord knows we wouldn't want brainy people in Amerika.

My protest was to give $50 to the ACLU. We are going to need them.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Mother brought me this card that was filled out at the hospital after I was born (via C-section), I don't remember ever seeing it.

8:18 AM, I suppose they wheeled her into the operating room at about 8:00 AM. My mother and father had different blood types (father A+, mother A-) and mother's immune system was busy trying to kill me off, so I was taken out early to get a transfusion of delightful A+ blood.

Front of card.

My wee footprint is 3-inches-long. I wear a size 11 shoe nowadays, my feet have gotten longer and wider as I have grown older. Recently I gave to charity a pair of penny loafers I got in 1987, in great condition, that were impossibly tight.

Back of card.

Someone sent me a lovely bow tie from my Amazon wish list. Thank you, whoever it was (no name on the stuff inside). I appreciate the occasional present!

Friday, January 06, 2017

Mother's plane was two hours late arriving in Tucson at 10 PM. She said she was very tired but still managed to talk to me until midnight. She was very happy with her presents (knitting and quilting magazines, some gluten free candy, colored pencils shaped like twigs, an amarylis).

Today I worked from home, researching some people for a treatment plan. I then took mother to Rosa's for lunch. She enjoyed her green corn tamale and refried beans.


Afterward we stopped by work so she could say hello to Val. Then to the library for large print mystery stories.

All of this mother action tired me out (plus the random gunfire at 3 AM) so I took a nap.
For supper: mashed potatoes, cottage cheese, and carmelized onions. She was very pleased with that.

She is a little unsteady on her feet, but otherwise my 84.6-year-old mother is doing well and is quite happy to be visiting Arizona. It is supposed to be in the 70s the next few days, which will make her even happier.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Annual end-of-the-year selfie. A day early. Hope 2017 is somehow better than 2016, a year of stress and sadness. With Dipshit taking over the presidency, that seems unlikely.


I looked back at what I hoped to accomplish this year and I do have less debt and I did publish a genealogy book, so that's a positive sign.

This year? A couple of trips are planned. Hopefully some interesting work. Hopefully Tucson won't disappear in a nuclear blast. New friends. Some delicious cakes.

I'm wishing whoever reads this a Happy New Year, wherever you are.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Jose came north from Nogales, Sonora to spend Holiday at my house. Where he is from in Zacatecas, Jesus brings presents and puts them next to the bed. No Santa!

We dressed up and went to Richard and Roger's Xmas Eve party. Earlier we made apple and lemon meringue pies and I brought along the lemon meringue. It was 3/4 eaten up. We played the three dollar gambling game and David won. He took this photographic image of us.

Josselo and Homer.

I gave Jose Little House in the Big Woods, English and Spanish versions. I hope he likes it!

We went over to Nathan's for mimosas and I showed Jose the new mural near my house. It is beautiful.

Frida and Diego.

Jose made a friend at Nathan's. 

Cuddle buddies.

Jose saw the snow on the Catalinas and wanted to go see it. Unfortunately, the road was closed at the base of the mountain.

Snowy Catalina Mountains.

At home, we made lasagna and then we made Holiday cards. Jose had never done either before. He enjoyed the craft activities.

At 6 PM, Doug, Steve, Richard, and Jeffrey came over and we had Holiday Supper. We had a very nice time, it was the best way to spend an evening. Unfortunately, I was having so much fun I forgot to take photos. But everyone admired the fancy plate settings and enjoyed the food. I sent Steve home with lots of leftovers.

I hope however you celebrate, or don't celebrate, that you have a good last week for 2016, but Jesus Fucking Christ this has been a mostly nasty year. I can hardly wait for 2017 to see what Dipshit does to destroy everything, but hey, maybe he will behave and get off goddam Twitter and grow-up. HA HA HA HA. Like that is going to happen.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Welcome to my house, decorated for Holiday. As I have noted before, I have been busy thinking up ways to decorate my house instead of obsessing about President-elect Dipshit. One aspect of this Holiday was attempting to not spend much money, because Dipshit and his ultra fucking rich cronies are going to destroy the economy, probably by February.

 As you walk up my front sidewalk, Buddy will probably say hello. On my front door is the wreath that Connie and I made up in Payson (wreath holder, $3.99).

Click on the pictures for larger version of each.


Once inside you can see the Bah Humbug stocking hanging next to a flocked green fake tree ($20 at Goodwill). I found these green pine smelling sticks at Ace Hardware that you hang on the tree and it makes it smell real ($4.99). I hung all of my old balls, my great grandmother's sister's handmade cardboard ornaments, and my Victorian-looking glass ornaments on this tree. Around the base are my 1968 Smokey, my sister Susan's monkey doll Goo-Goo-Ga-Ga, my 1968 Nylint house trailer, and some other stuffed animals and a couple of Holiday books.

Tree skirt was from my co-worker Susan's mother.

On the tv stand I have Susan's mother's ceramic tree, some burned out bulbs, and various pine combs, some of which I spray-painted silver ($4.00 Ace). Amusing story- there are probably millions of Ponderosa pine cones lying in the woods of northern Arizona near Payson and Springerville. And so I collected several shopping bags full. When you go to the supermarkets in Payson and Springerville they sell little bags for $3.99.

Pine cones!

I set out the 1909 wedding china on the dining room table. My dining room doesn't get used much for that purpose (it gets used more as a bedroom for Mother or for whatever friends need a place to stay for a while). I am having some friends over for a lasagna supper on Sunday night.

Ballroom red walls sponged in gold.

The centerpiece is an iron candlestick holder a backhoe driver fished out of an old dump, a small wreath from the nextdoor neighbors backyard after they cleaned out his house, a new candle ($2 Michaels), and some small wire brush trees (about $13, Michaels and Joann's).


I got a new tablecloth and wine glasses yesterday at Bed, Bath, and Beyonce ($15 total with coupon). Earlier this year I bought a co-worker's grandmother's silverware for $10. The same co-worker's friend gave me her mother's 1909 wedding china. I researched her family history. My mother sewed the napkins years ago.

Place setting.

I found a little pink Holiday tree at Michael's ($13). It looks nothing like the picture on the box. I put all of the pressed tin ornaments and some Loteria-inspired ones made by a volunteer at the Presidio Park ($25). I always try to buy things in our gift shop to help the park raise money. 

Pink Mexican tree.

In one corner, sitting on one of nice Grandma's chairs, the ones that sat at the table in her front window, I have the white tree. It is decorated with red ornaments, including a topper from Linda Ronstadt's uncle's estate sale.

White tree.

In the opposite corner is a red tree with white ornaments. The angel at the top was given to me by evil Grandma in 1963, when I was a wee three-month-old.

Red tree.

After Holiday, Mother is coming on January 5th. I'm going to move the red and white trees to either side of the flocked tree and leave them up for her to enjoy. I'll probably take them down after she leaves.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

To keep my mind occupied, I have been celebrating Holiday by doing the things I always do.

A couple of nights ago I made a double batch of Better Homes & Garden sugar cookies, using the cookbook I received in the early 1980s as a Christmas present.

And then last night I decorated them. I recently bought a set of gel coloring from Michael's (half off coupon, made them very reasonably priced). I had used the colors for icing for an event at the Presidio Park last weekend, and had put the leftover icing in sealed plastic bags. I only had to make one new color (supposed to be purple but looks more dark blue).

The rounded tree, chicken, and lion were the cookie cutters my nice grandmother had (along with a horse and a rabbit).

So I put the icing in small bags, cut the corner off and squeezed. These are the nicest cookies:

I'm pretty sick of cookies by now.

I always make my own Holiday cards. The last few years I made them with friends, but this year that wasn't possible. I used old sheet music for some of them. I need to come up with some new ideas for next year. Some people are getting cards decorated with pictures from a 1950s Mexican magazine, they were probably the most creative.

2016 Holiday cards.

One of my readers sent me a lovely bow tie as a present. I really appreciate that, and I'll be sure to post a picture, but you'll have to wait until I trim the beard because it would be invisible.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Another week of surveying in Payson. Traipsing through the woods, climbing up and down mountains. Masses of manzanita bushes and catclaw ripping into me. I fell down three times.

Not falling down at this moment.

We found a few sites, I found a couple of bifaces and other pieces of flaked stone. 

On the last day, as we drove out to work, the sunrise was beautiful.

On the road to Whispering Pines.

Back in Tucson for a while. It is the holiday season, but for various reasons this year I just don't know what to celebrate. I find myself avoiding the news, it is just dreadful to hear anything about Dipshit. I feel like we are heading towards a fucking nightmare.


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