Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Holiday decorations are going up in my house.

When I was a kid I played with a set of ridged alphabet blocks. They disappeared somewhere. In the last 15 years I found a bunch at an antique store, then two more. Last week I found a complete set (I had been missing the N) on Ebay at a very reasonable price. So I got them.

Happy Holiday.

In front of the TV I put some bottle brush trees and Santas. The one on the left was made by Mother, the one in the middle used to hang on the family tree, and scary Santa on the right came from my former co-worker Susan's mother.


I set up the four artificial trees. The red tree has white ornaments, many of which were made by Mother or by my sister Susan.

Red tree.

The flocked tree has Victorian-looking glass ornaments, with stockings Mother made hanging from the picture rail.

Victorian tree.

The silver tree has Mexican-themed ornaments, mostly purchased at the Presidio gift shop.

Mexican tree.

I love this ridiculous pink tree, which looks absolutely nothing like the picture on the box. I put gold-colored ornaments on it.

Pink tree.

So last night I went over to Home Depot and bought a Norfolk Pine for $69. Matt loaded into his truck and brought it over. I opened the door and discovered that Ruby had torn open a couch pillow and it looked like a snow storm on the floor. When Matt picked her up she promptly peed on the couch. SIGH.

The tree was much bigger than I thought. I had to cut the top of it off. After I stood it up I wired it to the ceiling vent. And then put on something like 500 lights on it. Decorated it with the paper flowers I used on the All Soul's altar, along with some red ornaments, mostly made by Mother and Susan.

Massive tree.

Doing all of this decorating has taken up the last week. It has occupied my mind, which has been dwelling a lot on the fact that Mother isn't here. I always liked buying her presents and surprising her on Holiday morning. She would protest that she had gotten too many presents, but you could tell that she secretly loved the bounty.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

After my semi-annual physical I am told that I have to eat a low-carb, low-fat diet, lose weight, abstain from breathing, and report to the Soylent Green facility.

As usual, two days after the physical I did something to hurt my lower back and have enjoyed whining about this.

Holiday preparations are underway. I decided to make a wreath. I purchased a grape vine wreath, several sets of ornaments, and a new glue gun and glue sticks. It took about an hour to assemble, and only scorched my fingers twice.

Ruby has been a good girl and hasn't pooped inside since the horrific pooping-in-bed incident. Snowball has decided that he isn't going to take any crap from Ruby and chases Ruby around. 

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Well, Russian hackers first hacked my Instagram account in October. Then last week is started happening over and over again. Finally on one day last week they did it seven times. I kept changing my password and doing everything Instagram suggested. Nothing worked. Finally it just disappeared. Who knows why some Russian assholes or bots targeted me.

Ruby is grown up. She and Snowball rarely get along, although once in a while Snowball lets Ruby sit next to him.

Homer, Snowball, and Ruby.

I didn't have to work much at Game Show this month, basically set up chairs. Peter took over my ushering duties. I got to sit in the audience with Matt and Robert. I had a good time. I wore my new striped pants!

Homer and Robert.

Today is Thanksgiving and I am home alone. Mother used to come around this time, but that is over. I'm trying not to be sad. Thanksgiving has never been a favorite holiday and this year it is rather depressing. But I do have something special to be thankful for.

I made myself a pecan pie, only the second time I have made one. Later on I am making parsnip and leek stuffing, and of course cheesy mashed potatoes. 

Pecan pie.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

This year my All Souls Procession altar had special significance. It featured my mother and her ancestors. I hosted my annual party, starting things a few days before, putting together my altar and decorating the house. I went out to my Meyer lemon tree and picked a few. My tree has lots of lemons on it this year.

Meyer lemon.

Robert and I made lemon sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies. We had a fun time doing so.

Robert cutting lemon sugar cookies.

 I taught Robert some decorating tips.  He did a great job.


I used the Meyer lemon juice for the frosting, it came out nice.

Close up of cookies.

I made a tres leche cake.

Tres leche.

And a chocolate mayonnaise cemetery cake.

Cemetery cake. Tombstones made from chocolate bars.

I also made spanikopita, hummus, three bean salad, and mango salsa. I ran around like a maniac.


Finally it was time to start. Robert found a real mariachi sombrero on 4th Avenue. I lent him my vest and matching bow tie that I am too fat to wear.

Robert at the altar.

Richard came and took photos of people.

Robert (photo by Panchesco).

I had made all of the paper flowers for my altar. Matt brought me bouquets of roses and I bought irises, mums, carnations, and other flowers to hand out along the procession route.

Homer and Matt at the altar.

My friend Emily arrived from DC. She worked with me back in 1996. I had made her a floral crown the night before and she loved it.

Emily (photo by Panchesco).

I confess, I was so tired. I probably did eight or nine sugar skull makeups on people. I did an okay job, I really need to take a class.

Moi (photo by Panchesco).

Matt used glitter around his eyes.

Matt (photo by Panchesco).

At 5:30 we walked down to the Procession and ended up along Bonita Avenue.

Robert, Trav, and Ray.

This year people had the choice of walking down Bonita or down the river walk. Many people did the latter, which I thought spoiled the Procession, since you could not see them.

The urn.

I had a melt-down moment while talking about my mother. Sometimes I see something and think, "Oh, Mother would like that," and then remember she has died. I showed someone the little heart-shaped rock that she liked and burst into tears. It is still a hard thing for me.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

I went to a paper flower making lesson.

I wish I had taken more pictures. Maria had brought along cut out petals. We curled the edges and used hot glue to glue the petals together. I burned my fingers a few times. It was very different from the type of paper flowers I make with tissue paper. The final result was very nice.

Paper flower.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

I helped make the Veteran's Offrenda (altar) at the Presidio Museum. I spent a lot of time making paper flowers and then attached them to an arch, attached the arch to the platform covered with blue fabric. I put photos of Aunt Bessie, Great Great Grandpa Elijah, and Great Great Grandpa Daniel.

Veteran's Altar.

That night I worked the front entrance of Retro Game Show.

Tempest DuJour getting ready.

I got to go into the Hotel Congress's basement to get chairs. Then made labels for the people who had purchased tickets. 

I dressed up as a redneck but people thought I was a Mario Brother. I guess I can see that.

Redneck Homer, or Mario Brother Homer.

Leather Mark.

Scout Matt.

My friend Addison came along with his mother and sister Elizabeth. Unexpectedly, he got called up on stage.

Addison, Noe, Tempest, Elena, Buddy, and Kiko.

Addison ended up winning the Dance-off.

Sunday I got up early to work a marathon event, representing the Presidio. I was amazed at home many people were doing the various races. I laughed when a father was yelling at his kid, "Run faster, run faster!!!"

At home I am busy getting ready for my All Soul's Procession cocktail party.

Friday, October 19, 2018

A month goes by quickly.

It is the busy season. We held a fundraiser for the museum and raised $5,000. I bought tickets for the dinner and contributed items to the silent auction.

Matt, Mark, Jeffrey, Addison, Cathy, and Dan.

I had the vegetarian dinner, but I suspect there was lard in the tamales because I started to feel sick while driving home and soon afterwards threw up. But we raised $5,000, so that was great.

Matt and Homer. The bolo tie was made by my step-grandfather in the late 1960s.

I am assembling my altar for my All Souls Procession cocktail party. I taught Robert how to make the flowers and he helped out.

Robert and his flowers.

I also showed him how to make refrigerator magnets. I will be doing both craft activities for an event next weekend.


Gave a talk for AAHS. Giving another later this month on legal executions in Pima County. Went to the State Archives to do research and found a lot of useful data.

Little Miss Ruby is all grown up. She is getting better with going bathroom outside, other than some very occasional accidents. Also less chewing of things.


Today I got to visit with Christos, who was in town for a trunk show. He was the boyfriend of my roommate Les back in 1985-1986. I haven't seen him since the summer of 1986. Time goes by. It was really fun to see him and catch up.

Christos and Homer.

He said I hadn't changed, but I really have. I look older, balder, and fatter. I used to be so super skinny and I had a lot of very fine brown hair on my head. But that's what happens.

Friday, September 21, 2018

I had a nice 55th birthday. Matt came over and gave me a lovely photo book.

Steve McCurry, The Iconic Photographs.

We then headed over to the Presidio Museum where I have a couple of talks and also showed kids how to make beer cap magnets featuring loteria images.

We went to lunch at BK's where the service was sub-par, but I still enjoyed the meal.

We came back and Matt gave me a beautiful work of art, a photo of the 2017 eclipse on glass.

Eclipse photo.

Doug came over and gave me a store-bought mini-birthday cake. It was very colorful.

On Saturday night I worked Retro Game Show and Peter gave me a photo of me taken at the Tucson Birthday Party.

August 20th, 2018.

And then yesterday a mysterious package showed up at the gate, containing a beautiful pink glass cake stand. I have no idea who sent it to me! I am going to use it when I have my All Souls Procession Party.

Mystery cake plate.

And so yes, I had a nice birthday, the best in a long time.

Monday, September 17, 2018

More Transfer-printed Dishes.

In the 1870s, people got tired of the Romantic scenes on their dishes. The Aesthetic Style Had a frenzy of elements in the center of the vessel. The central scene of many dishes featured scrolls, flowers, foliage, birds, and butterflies.

 Beatrice, Wedgwood, 1880.

 Cairo plate, Copeland, 1883.

Excelsior, Old Hall E. Ware Co., 1880-1886.

Unknown pattern, Ridgway Stoke on Trent, 1880.

Summer time, T. & R. Boote, 1878.

Other people preferred more simple designs of flowers.

Unknown pattern, Belleek.

Daffodil plate, Wm. Grindley & Co., 1882.

Spring, Wm. Grindley & Co., 1886.


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