Monday, April 21, 2014

It's been a while since I went to Sweetwater Wetlands.

Mother can't walk that far anymore.

I couldn't think of anyone to ask.

The birds were plentiful. Everything was green and lush.

I took the long way.

And saw a heron.

The water reflected the clouds.

The coot swam by.

The Northern Shovelers were busy diving, looking for something to eat.

I wasn't sure what I was looking for.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Annual Non-Denominational Egg Decorating and Backyard Egg Party went off well. A week's furious cleaning and yard work paid off.

I made potato salad, three bean salad, hummous, chocolate pudding and crustless lemon meringue.I boil about 11 dozen eggs.

Tara, Eric, Cassie, Milo, and I decorating.

I made people decorate whether they wanted to or not.


Before the guests arrived I hid hundreds of eggs around the backyard. Mother placed eggs for the kids in the front yard.


Seven children- Milo, Nathan, baby Luke, Evelyn, Sagan, Gabriel, and Marcel.

Barney, Sagan, Mary, Nathan, and Evelyn.

The kids loved the washing machine play house.



I had three gin and tonics and the tension I had been feeling washed away.

Archaeologists Barney and Homer.

Precisely at 4:00 the guests posed for the obligatory photo and then they were off.

Five, four, three...

I must say, most people were not very competitive.

Doug, Ray, and Robert.

I did not get the usual photo of the winners. Eric was 3rd place (92), Tara 2nd place (162), and Patrick 1st (195). Ray only had 16 points.

Tara and Milo.

Patrick had competition in the bow tie department.

Sagan and Patrick, best-dressed.

Mother had a good time at the party, she likes the kids. On Wednesday she got on the airplane and headed back to Michigan. I put the house in order and now it is so quiet and I have to get used to things. I guess summer has started.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I made a playhouse from the washing machine box for the kids coming over Sunday for the Egg Party.

46 1/2.

I have few artistic skills, so the painting is rather primitive.


The roof is the motor mount packing.

Window and flowers.

A scrap of carpeting for the floor and an old wooden stool that I will paint tomorrow for furniture.

More flowers.

I hope the kids like it. It was fun to make.

Friday, April 04, 2014

After last week's gas line break, what else could go wrong? My washing machine died. 2004-2014. I paid $435 for it. The new one I purchased cost $335 (on sale and Doug found a $50 coupon).

My backyard is blooming like crazy.

Brittle bush.

I happened to see the one cactus that blooms for about 24 hours.


At the old fort site, the work is nearing completion. The ruined officer's quarters have roofs and porches. The scale is wonderful, you can really envision what the space looked like.

Officer's Quarters.

Later in the day I journeyed into the basement of the museum building. It would make a great horror movie set.

I am scared.

Lately I've had insomnia. I wake up in the middle of the night fretting about things. I vowed never to do this when I was younger (my father had the same problem). But it is happening. Having $855 in unexpected bills, and the need to replace my car tires and shocks... SIGH

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Happy 14th Birthday Puff!

Every night he crawls under the cover and sleeps with his head on my arm. He is a good kitty cat.


If you ever come over to my house, he will demand that you let him sit on your lap. He does not care if you have allergies. He is the most dog-like cat.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

When we got to the field school site yesterday Mike was already there and came to tell me that there was an injured dog there. We walked back and found a brown pug dog lying on the protective fabric we had removed from last year's excavation unit. It looked up at me with sad brown eyes. I walked back and told Barney and took a blue plastic tub with me and carefully placed the dog into it and carried it back to the vehicles. I got some water and dipped my hand into it and trickled water into the dog's mouth. After a while it started licking my hand and I gave it more water.

After the kids went off to work I examined the dog and found about nine puncture wounds- I thought from bites from a coyote or bobcat, someone else thought they might be from a large hawk. Nicole helped me clean and apply antiseptic and antiobiotic cream to them. The dog was very docile.

Barney was able to call the B & B that is nearby and they knew a woman named Julia who could take the dog to a vet to get examined. I rode in the back of Barney's parents' car and we delivered the dog to her.

Poor little pug.

I am waiting to hear whether he survived. He was wounded pretty bad and the largest puncture was infected, but perhaps he will survive. He seemed to be a sweet little dog.

UPDATE: The little dog is doing well after a visit to the veterinarian. I wonder if Julia will be adopting him.

Friday, March 28, 2014

After I finished the first talk this week, my mother said to me, "That was more interesting than your other talks." Sometimes I think she totally doesn't understand etiquette or is just socially awkward. A while ago she said to me that her "Being a loner was just like you being gay." I was totally weirded out by this.

Yesterday I have another talk and as I was driving home for lunch I saw that Doug had called me. These gas tester guys had found a gas leak at my house. When I got home I discovered the front door open (cats locked up in my bedroom) and my mother sitting on a lawn chair in the front yard fuming. They had sent her out of the house while she was cooking lunch (and making an utter mess of the stove) and then she had some older lady problems. Her mood turned foul and bitchy and later that night I yelled at her, "Mother, just stop it!"

We went to Rosa's and she had two beef flautas and she later threw up and this morning she told me she had been poisoned. Terrorists are everywhere.

Two estimates for the gas leak repair- $1,100 and $1,035. Dan the next door neighbor did it instead and I ended up spending $450 instead. I was pleased about that, I did not have to empty my savings account out or charge it on my credit card.

At one moment I went into my bathroom and shut the door and stood in the shower. So stressed out over everything.


Tonight boiled potatoes and spinach salad for supper. Afterward I may clean the fridge. After my mother leaves I have plans for social activities. I am done sitting at home on Friday nights.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Field school 2014. We headed south, almost to the Mexican border, to excavate at the Spanish Mission site. About a dozen students, some graduate students, Barney, Jeremy, Jeffords, and a few others.

I kept forgetting my camera so not as many archaeology pictures as usual.

Excavating our first unit.

Out first unit was a bust- we thought we might be in an early farming portion of the site, but we had Hohokam pottery all the way down to the layer of cobbles.

Back at the ranch, we set up tents and I visited with the animals.

Curious chicken.

It is spring here in Arizona and the wildflowers and fruit trees are blooming.

Cherry tree.

We re-opened the unit from last year.

Teaching leaf blower skills.

At night it was cold and I slept poorly. I had hoped the eye allergies that have plagued me would stop, but they didn't.


Every night our caterer Emily and her assistant Yvonne served us supper. So nice to be spoiled. Our ranch host was Dean, a really nice man.

Dean and Barney.

We opened another unit in the mystery structure. We found a burned beam and latillas, and fire-hardened mud with latilla impressions.


Some days were windy and the ranch's windmill spun round and round.


One night I visited with the three miniature burros. They were very cute.

Best buds.

The sun sets quickly and the moon was so bright I could see what color my shirt was in my tent.

Another sunset.

The students were fun and learned how to do their archaeology work well.

Fabiola, Lily, and Kristen.

Close to the floor of the structure we found some cattle bone.

Barney uncovering a cattle skull fragment.

Jeremy showed up from Santa Fe and I put him to work uncovering a large stone near the structure.

Jeremy and stone.

It had a circular hole through it.

Preparing for a photo.

We flipped it over and measured and photographed it before putting it back. It is a "killed" metate, with a hole smashed through it. Who knows for what reason.


Among the wild flowers were many poppies, my favorite.


As work progressed, we found the corner of the room.


James, a student from last year, arrived to help out. It was nice to see him.

James, Fabiola, Catelyn, and Alex.

A calf was in the pen next to the turkeys, it wasn't sure whether to like me.


I finally bought a pad, but by the end of the week I was just worn out from lack of sleep. And I snored so loud people could hear me at the campfire.


Dean rode up on Scruffy and examined our mystery area and agreed that it was probably a corral.

Dean and Scruffy.

We thought lines of vegetation were adobe wall alignments, but they turned out to be trenches for a post and (probably) wattle fence. We used a t-shaped probe to locate the trenches in two areas.

James probing.

We marked the trench locations with pin flags so they can be mapped next Saturday.

Trench location.

Two more Saturdays of fieldwork and then the students analyze the artifacts and features we found for their presentations and papers. Science! 


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