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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I've been following the Duggar molestation story. This family has always seemed creepy to me. I've never seen the reality show that the family stars in (I don't have fancy cable). But I've read about the family's treatment of women as vaginas, the anti LGBT crap the parents and their son Josh have spouted. These have suggested to me that there wasn't something quite right with them.

If you had asked me I would have thought it would be the father that sexually abused the daughters. It would not have occurred to me that the brother would be doing it, but then I am naive about these sort of things. Josh Duggar had been a rising star among the fundamentalists, working for the Family Research Council, speaking at the March 2015 anti-gay marriage rally in Washington, D.C.  Of course, now the fundies are all scrubbing their websites of mentions of him and the rest of his family (although the NOM website still mentions the family five times).

What is really weird is to see the fundamentalist Christian response to the sexual molestation. On the family's Facebook page and the TLC network Facebook page, there are literally hundreds of people demanding that the reality show be put back on. Josh has confessed and repented, so the show should be on the air again. The molested girls? They are either ignored or it is claimed that they forgave their brother, therefore the show should be aired again.

Some sample comments:

Julie Anna Allen: I dont understand why the devil attacks those who are on God's road but he attacking your family hard right now. Praying for you guys.

Beverly Hope Ruttschaw: It makes sense that the only wholesome family on TV would be under attack by satan.

Joan Barto: Full support and prayers for your family!! No-one is immune.to scandal ...we all make mistakes!! Unfortunately you have people who want to.see you fail....I remain a dedicated Duggar fan and look forward to the joy you all bring to my life with your show. 

Debbi Utter Howard: I support your family. My heart especially goes out to Josh & Anna right now. I wish he hadn't resigned his position with FRC. Josh was a kid. He made mistakes like many kids and confessed, sought help, turned to God and has had a productive adult life. 

Kayla Willemkens: Praying for your family. I love the show and hope it doesn't get cancelled over this. I praise Josh for coming forward about it after it happened and for the family for getting him help. True Christ believers will forgive and unfortunately there are many who will believe everything that comes out about this regardless if it's truth or not. I continue to support this family and their show.

It is becoming clearer to me why there is so much physical and sexual abuse in Christian households. All the perpetrators have to do is "repent," and their victims have to shut the hell up, because their God has told them to.

It will be interesting to see what happens next.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Craft night. 

 My friend Mike came over and we went to Rosa's for supper. Then we returned to my estate and made decorated sugar cookies.

First I had him pick out cookie cutters. Then I showed Mike how to roll out the dough and we filled three trays with cookies. The third tray was half-burnt when I took them out, but we still had about two dozen cookies to decorate.


Baking.

While the cookies were baking and cooling, we made a simple frosting with powdered sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice. Then we colored six batches (along with an uncolored white batch), and put the frosting in plastic baggies to squeeze out. 

Frosting.

Mike said it had been years since he had made sugar cookies.

Mike.

We had a good time and were quite creative.


Mike made the "Bacon" pig cookie.


I like my zebra and turtle cookies.

Afterward I helped Mike with his family tree. Discovered that Italians can be difficult to trace. It was a fun night. I need to have more craft nights.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

What have I been up to? A lot and not a lot.

Have a dig starting next week. In my spare time I have been rebagging artifacts from a field school from the 1970s. Lots of nails, tin cans, and olive green bottle fragments. An occasional cool artifact. The volunteers I am working with are plugging away and we should be done soon.

I became president of a non-profit and I find it is a thankless task. Perhaps I am not made out to be a president. At this point in my life I do not need the stress.

I made one-pot caprese spaghetti tonight for supper. Last night I made eggplant parmagiana (using mozzarella cheese instead). I ate too much and tonight my shorts feel too tight.

I watch 1960s and 1970s TV shows while rebagging artifacts. The writing for shows like Wonder Woman, Bionic Woman, and the Lucy Show were so bad. How did we not notice this at the time?

I'm planning a road trip to Las Vegas to see Jim, George, Mark, and Ted; to Lake Tahoe to see Kevin, and then to rural California to see Matt. This will take place in July, perhaps for two weeks.

And so on.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

My boss found a little abandoned puppy in the parking lot of his non-profit. The puppy is so cute.

Unnamed at the moment.

He likes to give little kisses and then he wants to chew on you. I hope Buddy isn't mad because I let Puppy sit on my lap.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I wore myself out working on the Annual Meeting and lay in bed with a cold for a few days, feeling all of the delightful things people with colds feel. But by Saturday I had mostly recovered and Kevin arrived to visit.

That afternoon we went out to San Xavier Mission and ran around in the few minutes before the church closed. Afterward we took the streetcar downtown and had supper at La Indita and then came home and hung out.


Kevin at San Xavier del Bac.

The next morning I made pancakes with carmelized bananas and cheesy scrambled eggs and then we went to King's Canyon for a hike. It was a beautiful day and very few people were about.

King's Canyon.

The palo verde trees were blooming like crazy, big splotches of yellow everywhere.

Looking east.

We saw several herds of young deer. The second group was very curious and watched us as we approached.

Mule deer.

Definitely the least shy deer I have ever seen in Arizona.

Hello humans!

Kevin was impressed by the enormous saguaros.


Kevin.

The last of the wildflowers were blooming, helped out by the thunderstorm we had the previous night.

Unknown flower.

The cacti are still blossoming. There is one particular kind with long, skinny arms. It blooms in red, orange, and yellow- very attractive.

Red cactus.

We wandered off the trail and climbed a hill, then went up another hill thinking we were on a trail but it turned out to be an animal path.

Kevin capturing the Sonoran Desert.

I did really well, considering how sick I had been a few days earlier.

Homer.

We made sandwiches and drove to Mount Lemmon. Kevin noticed a truck that had driven by had snow on it. The weather report had said it was in the 40s. I was not expecting to see winter weather.

Sprinkling of snow.

At about 7,500 feet suddenly there was snow, a lot of snow. It was awesome, suddenly it was like Christmas time all over again.

Snowy.

We were above the clouds and here and there some snow was falling.

Buds.

We ate lunch sitting in the car, watching the Mexican kids playing in the snow piles. 

I didn't want to leave.

Supper at BK's. I wanted Kevin to try the genuine Sonoran-style food. He really liked it, including the Sonoran hotdog. Then I said, "Let's go watch the sunset at Gate's Pass."

It was cold enough for me to wear a sweater, probably last time until Fall.

We sat for an hour watching the colors.

Kevin and red cactus.

It was very dramatic.

Sunset.

At home we had gin and tonics and talked for hours. So much fun.

The next morning I took the day off from work. Decided to go down to Madera Canyon. A beautiful drive up into the mountains and then a nice hike.


Mount Wrightson.

We saw some jays, more deer, and later on listened to a male turkey gobble excitedly.

Kevin and Homer.

Madera Canyon is known for its birds. What impressed me was the enormous diversity of plant life.

Madera Canyon.

Napped in the afternoon and then I took Kevin to Cafe Desta for Ethiopian food. So good. The next morning he drove off to the Grand Canyon for another adventure. I'll be seeing him again this summer when I go on my road trip to see Jim and George and Matt.









Thursday, April 09, 2015

Spring time is rapidly transitioning to summer. My backyard is full of wildflowers and cacti blooming. I don't think Buddy notices the flowers. He just wants pets and scratches. And to give smooches.

Buddy and Homer.

Neighbor Dan is taking care of a female pitbull named Precious. She likes to bark and snarl, but is actually a pretty nice doggy once you get down to her level. I bribe her with dog biscuits and scratches.


Precious.

It was a warm winter so the cacti did not suffer much. Usually it freezes and a bunch of pads fall to the ground. Not this year. Some of the prickly pears are just enormous.

My favorite, it has purplish pads.

The bird of paradise decided to put on a big show this year,

Bird of paradise.

Some of the plants are those planted by Vince back in the mid-2000s. 

Bloom or monster?

Others are cacti that I rescued,

Red flowering cactus.

The birds planted most of the wildflowers.

Mallow?

I particularly like the lavender and yellow asters.

Aster.

The pomegranate bush is busy flowering. The fruit never mature correctly and burst open. I really don't have a green thumb.

Pomegranate.

Meanwhile, Snowball and Puff are watching me through the French doors. The doors and the trim around them are getting repaired in the next few weeks. I guess I will wash the cat nose prints off when that happens.

Snowball and Puff.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Palo Verde trees are blooming. The drive north to Phoenix was lovely in places. We have a few outside my office window.



They are busy making my allergies go crazy.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Happy 15th Birthday Puff!



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I drove down to the field school dig to work on some maps, checking the originals against what was on the ground, drawing a new map, re-drawing one that was strangely incorrect. It was so quiet and peaceful working by myself, methodically moving from square to square.

Most of the work this year was within the animal pens and corrals for the Mission (probably dating to somewhere between 1730 and 1775 or so. The Spaniards brought cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, and horses to southern Arizona, attempting to get the local Native Americans to become ranchers. At first it was not successful, but gradually the number of livestock increased.

If you have livestock, you need to build corrals and pens for various reasons. If the Apache were coming to raid, you would want to herd the animals into an enclosed area that was defensible. If your cattle and sheep were having calves and kids, you might want then penned to prevent coyotes and wolves from killing the young. Other activities might include shearing sheep, milking cows, goats, and sheep; castrating male livestock, butchering animals, and taming horses to ride.

At the mission we are finding trenches and postholes for the corrals, pens, and chutes. It is likely that not all of these were contemporaneous. The topsoil is very thin and homogenous, it does not allow us to tell whether one trench was earlier than a set of postholes. One posthole is probable much later, perhaps 20th century, but the rest of the features appear to be mission period, since with the exception of some fencing staples and cartridge shells, the remaining artifacts date to the Mission occupation.

We have excavated two large areas. One area has a line of post holes for some sort of fence, and a series of trenches outlining pens and a probable chute.

Looking sort of east.

The chute would have directed animals into the pens, controlling the movement of animals was likely important.


The short, parallel trenches appear to be for a chute.

We re-opened the area from last year and expanded it, examining the patterns of trenches and postholes. It seems likely that there was a ramada in the flat area, surrounded by pens and chutes.

Modern posts mark many of the ancient postholes.

The areas inside the trenches appear to be pens, with many depressions that are probably cattle and horse hoof prints. In the area below, you can see a parallel line of posts separate two smaller pens.  

Footprints.

Last year the vegetation clearly marked the trenches. We traced them this year, again, by using a probe. Finally at the end of the fieldwork the vegetation is growing enough to see the trenches. The plants like the trenches because it cuts down through a hard layer and allows water to accumulate. The dirt filling the trenches is also softer.

Pin flags and vegetation marking a trench.

It was a beautiful day, the clouds passing overhead.

Distant mountain.

The other area we are working is in the road crossing the property. Erosion is damaging Hohokam pit structures, and we have been putting units in collecting artifacts, plant materials for radiocarbon dates and dietary analysis, and identifying architecture.

This house is very typical, with an entrance off one side, a hearth just inside the entrance, and a row of posts along the back wall. Several intrusive roasting pits are also visible. There is a large prehistoric village at the site, probably with many houses. We can only see the ones in the road, the others are buried in the nearby areas. The occupation appears to date to around A.D. 900 to 1100, based on the pottery styles present in the houses and pits.

Feature 47, Hohokam pit structure.

People often ask how we can see the pit structures in the road. The reason- differences in soil color and the presence of charcoal and artifacts, stuff that filled the pit after the house was abandoned. Below you can clearly see the difference in soil color- you should probably click on the picture to enlarge it and it is even more visible.

Different soil colors (click on picture to enlarge).

We excavated a 1m by 2m unit in this house in 2013. Since then, vehicular traffic and the weather have further eroded the structure. A reconstructible vessel has started to appear.

Sherds from a reconstructible vessel.

As I walked back to the ranch I admired more wild flowers.

Little white flowers.

This one just seemed bizarre.

Yellow flower.

A droopy-eared cow was curious and stared at me near the cattle tank.

Moo!

At the ranch is an example of the type of fence that probably stood in the Mission period trenches we have excavated.

Traditional fence.

Of course I had to stop and say hello to the baby goats. They were all napping, probably tired out from a long morning of playing king of the castle and other goat games.

Twins.


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