Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Spring is rapidly turning to summer. I walked down the street to go to Addison's store and stopped at the palo verde. I love the bright yellow flowers against the green bark.

Palo verde blossoms.

At work the little cottontails hop about. This one stopped to pose for a picture. I've been out in the field running a dig for three weeks. Can't post photos, they don't want publicity.


Last Living History of the season. Four baby goats. This one is a week old, it nibbled at me with its soft lips. So cute.


At the park the ocotillo was blooming too. So pretty and once in a while I take a really good photo.


Sunday, March 25, 2018

It takes a special skill to read the dirt as an archaeologist. To be able to see the subtle changes, to know when you have reached the edge of a pit, to see it and feel it. Steve was one of those kind of archaeologists. He worked with me on many projects over the last 10 or 15 years, sometimes digging, sometimes running the backhoe.

Steve died a week ago Saturday, very unexpectedly, too young. Besides being a great archaeologist, he was also one of the nicest people I have ever met. I never heard him say a bad work about anyone. He was a good person.

Steve (on the right).

Thank goodness Carlos was able to fix the plumbing ($600), in time for the Egg Party, and I will not have to worry about that. Having a 91 year old house means many things are falling apart. Right now the walls are cracking all over the place from settling. It is a little unnerving to see.

This year I made a tres leche cake, a chocolate mayonnaise cake with chocolate frosting, potato salad, hummus, and guacamole. I managed to forget the tahini in the hummus, but it still was mostly eaten up.

Tres leche cake.

I had a basket of goodies for the five kids and three for the adults who found the most plastic eggs.

 Prize baskets.

I managed to forget to take pictures of people decorating eggs. And I am too tired to go to the fridge and take a photo of decorated eggs. Having a party is a lot of work. Cleaning, more cleaning, yardwork, cooking, more cleaning.


Not as many people as usual for the party. They lined up in front at 3:00 and I yelled Go!

 Egg Hunters.

There were over 400 eggs to find, so it took a while.

Luke and Allen finding eggs.

Honestly, it was easier to guess who had the most eggs rather than count them. 

Tim (1st), David (2nd), and Allison (3rd).

The kids had a great time and the adults did too. It was nice having my friends over and I got to visit with everyone.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

I noticed a damp smell in the study. I finally emptied out the closet and lifted the flooring of the hatch and looked down in. The pipe running from the cat bathroom to the main sewer pipe was leaking. A puddle of black water was visible. The first plumber refused to fix it. I have another one coming tomorrow. I climbed down there, vacuumed up the disgusting water, spread lime and sprayed bleach. I discovered the kitchen pipe was burst too, it appears that the pipe froze back in December.

Crawl space.

Super tired of the house being a mess. Can't wait for the pipes to be fixed and my house back to normal, especially because I am having a party on the 25th.

Things are beginning to bloom. Spring is here. 


I've been grumpy. Tired of home repairs. In my spare time I've been reading, watching Youtube videos on painting conservation. Tonight I'm watching a video about mosaics.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Spring has arrived. The weather is a little weird, windy some, rainy some. And then it can get warm in the afternoon.

A geranium on my front porch is starting to bloom.


Progress on mother's family history book. It is over 350 pages long. I'm not happy about the way it is formatting, Microsoft Word is useless. But the people who get copies with enjoy it (I hope!).

An Admiral Dewey "Hero of Manila" paperweight that belonged to great-great grandfather Ransom.

Out on a testing project. Found some interesting things. The soil is rock hard. I was so tired from scraping and digging. Also, I am the fattest I have ever been and it is difficult to do things with a belly in the way.

Today I went to an Oscar Party at Nate's and this morning I watched a video on how to make a tres leche cake. Once years ago I made one and it was awful. But I decided to make one. Turns out it is super easy. Also very pretty with the canned peaches and pineapple and fresh strawberries lying on the whipped cream. I arrived at the party with it and within 40 minutes it was gone. People were raving about it, so I think I will be making it again. Temporary roommate Kevin is having a colonoscopy tomorrow and had to see the cake, I felt bad about that.

Tres leche cake.

I have a leaky pipe under the house and have to wash dishes in the shower. I need to call a plumber tomorrow and arrange for someone to crawl under the house and replace one or two pipes. Yeah- NOT.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

I have been in such a bad mood because of the horrible things happening in our country. I have been keeping myself occupied by working on a family history book for my family. I've pulled together various family sketches that I have written over the last 25 years, editing, adding missing references, and finding new information. I'm back to my mother's fourth great grandparents and contemplating going back one more.

It's a little cool lately, it has been raining on and off for the last few days. So Buddy is coming in and sleeping on the couch. When he comes in he demands a treat so I give him a little shredded cheese.


Tonight I made lemon cupcakes with lemon curd filling and lemon cream cheese frosting for my co-worker Lisa's birthday.


I have many plates on my kitchen wall. This is one of my favorites, a decal-printed souvenir plate from my home town with a very fey bear.


Monday, February 19, 2018

Artist Joe Pagac painted this in the last couple of years. There are a number of beautiful murals be placed on the sides of buildings throughout downtown Tucson. I gave a tour Saturday and one of the women was talking about how much she loved them, so I made a point of deviating from the tour route to show the group one on the side of the Rialto Theater. They were very pleased.

Joe Pagac mural, northeast corner of N. Stone Avenue and 5th Street.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Oh another mass shooting and the usual Republican "prayers and thoughts" bullshit. The gun nutters will run to the store to buy more mastabatory supplies. And it is too soon to talk about it even while survivors and the parents of the kids killed are being interviewed begging Republicans to do something. Because the NRA dollars are more important than the lives of school kids. And concert goers. And people attending church. And so on.

I'm working on a family history book for my family. Currently checking everything, adding footnotes, adding marriage and death dates for children. It is unexpectedly tedious, partly because new records have become available and I need to hunt those down. It will be several hundred pages of texts, maps, photographs. I hope the family members like it, but you never know.

I recently make lemon cupcakes with lemon curd and lemon frosting and chocolate cupcakes with malted milk frosting for my non-profit's living history day. They were quickly consumed. I need to develop better skills at applying frosting, to me it looked like a pile of poop ended up on each.

Snowball is shedding and there is hair everywhere. It is gross.

This has to be the most dull blog post in the last few years.

Friday, February 02, 2018

Oh I find myself so angry.  President Shithole and all of the bullshit he and his buddies spew. Lying constantly. Rewriting history. Racist. Homophobic. Transphobic. Anti-immigrant. Anti-science. Anti-environment. Everything has to be about money, white people, Christians, straight.

We were spoiled for eight years and now there is a backlash and the kind of people I knew back in northern Michigan are happy as fuck. They were the type that hated education, hated minorities, desperate to think they were better than other people.

Every day it is something awful. You can't help but wonder how all of this bullshit will end.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

I don't know who this man is, but I like his clothes and think he was a handsome fellow.

1890s hipster.

I was at an antique store in Safford and purchased a pile of photos that had names on their backs. I have started researching them and will be posting them to Findagrave, so relatives can see what their ancestors looked like.

Doing things like this make me feel a little better in a time when it is hard to be positive. 

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Well I decided to send away for the 23andme DNA test kit. I have previously done the Ancestry DNA kit and I was curious to see how the two compared. For the 23andme you spit into a test tube and put it in the mail. It took maybe a month for the results to show up on my email.

First the Ancestry DNA results:

Ancestry results.

I am very European. The family story that we had a Native American ancestor on the Clawson side was not true.

Similar, although not identical results from 23andme.


23andme did not detect the Jewish, Greek/Italian, or Caucasus genes picked up by Ancestry.

Both companies provide a list of likely relatives. Ancestry lets you look at family trees, if the person has posted one. 23andme allows a list of surnames (searchable) to be examined.

I looked through them and saw Ransom, Chandler, Rollenhagen, Faunce, Coburn, and Oberholtzer. These are names from my my father's father, and both my maternal grandparents sides of the family. 

Interesting that none of the surnames or relatives from my paternal grandmother's side have shown up. Perhaps relatives on this side haven't taken either DNA test. It does make me wonder as to whether Grandma T was adopted. She was born nine years after her parents married. She used to claim one man was a relative, who wasn't, and denied that another man was her relative, when he was. Would be curious to figure out whether this was the case or not.

The end of 2017 happened. I picked lemons off my two trees and then some from Addison's tree and the Presidio tree. I made lemon curd and caramelized onions to give away.

Lemons from my tree.

On Saturday before Holiday Eve I went out to the Venture with Patrick and had several gin and tonics. I ended up sleeping on his couch.

Homer and Patrick.

Holiday morning Kevin, Doug, and I exchanged presents. Buddy is sleeping on the couch when it gets below 45 and he had the most fun that morning tearing up the wrapping paper.


New Year's Eve I went down to Ray and Robert's. Ray made an enchilada lasagna and I had more gin and tonics. We played Scrabble. Jordan showed up and we sat around and talked. This is how my camera posts photos on Facebook. I thought it was Poseiden Adventure appropriate.

Ray, Robert, and Jordan.

We had champagne and I had a little hangover the next morning. Back in Tucson I attended John and John's party, nice food and met a new arrival in Tucson, a pilot. It was a nice get together.

So 2017 is done and I have to say good riddance. This ongoing SNL sketch at the national level is tiresome. 2018 better be better.

End of the year portrait.

I've decided I need to make some new friends and to focus on those friends who actually do friend-like things, like ask me to dinner or to a movie or to just hang out. I'm letting go a few people who do not meet those criteria.

Real friends Mark and Kevin.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Every year I make my own cards, something I have been doing since 1992. This year the theme has mostly been snowmen. I told people on Facebook if they wanted a card to send me their address, and that resulted in probably eight people doing so. Otherwise, you send me a card, you get one in return.



I splurged and ordered my father's sister an Ancestry DNA kit. I am interested in finding out more about that side of the family.

Snowball is extra cuddly now that Puff is gone. Every night he lies next to me in bed, making my eyes water. He doesn't know it, but early next year he is going to get his teeth cleaned, I discovered a weird plaque buildup on one of his molars.

Snowball hates posing.

I put out the Campbell Kid dolls, my black GI Joe, my brother's blond GI Joe, Smokey, Goo-goo Ga-ga, and some dolls my mother knitted. 


The main tree has my vintage-looking ornaments.

This one reminds me of Joey.

Mother called and I asked her which of the Clawson sisters made the cardboard ornaments. She says it was Lillian.

The little Mexican tree is covered with ornaments from the presidio gift shop.

Pink tree with Mexican ornaments.

On Saturday night I worked Retro Game Show, At times very hectic, with a mad rush of people coming in. I am very efficient..

Tempest Du-Jour and audience members.

On Sunday I went to Michael and Matt's Solstice Party. The food, as always, was really good.

Homer and Mark.

Everyone should have a top hat.

Mark, Ed, and Fred.

And that night I sat on the couch with Buddy nearby watching the Sound of Music. I know most of the songs by heart. Buddy is happy to come in and sleep on the couch over night as the temperatures dip down to the 40s.

Happy Buddymas.

Monday, December 11, 2017

My non-profit held Luminaria Night on Saturday. I made eight dozen cookies and frosting and the cookies were gone in less than two hours. Both kids and adults had fun decorating them.

I couldn't find the ornaments for the holiday tree so I took the paper flowers from my All Souls Altar (stored in a bag) and put them on the tree. I had to make another 10 to fill in places. People loved it, posing for pictures in front of the tree with the bright, huge flowers.

Paper flowers.

Even I took a selfie in front of it.


The event started at 3:00 PM and as evening set the lights and the fire in the horno lit up the area.


Several years ago I made this decoration (following instructions on Martha Stewart's website) and I hung it up in the blacksmith ramada.


A group of women played 17th century Spanish music. It was lovely.


The soldiers fired the cannon and their rifles. I don't think they had pretty colored lights at their barracks in the 1790s.


On Sunday morning I got up and baked cookies, sugar and chocolate sugar. Lost count of how many.


I cleaned house, made pasta salad and hummous, and then spent an hour making various colors of frosting.

Everything is ready.

I haven't had a Holiday cookie decorating party in probably seven or eight years. After my mother developed celiac disease, I never felt comfortable doing so. She is staying back in Michigan this winter.

I invited a small number of people over, and soon cookie decorating and talking and me drinking gin and tonics began.

Patrick, Richard, Emma, and Jane.


Hiram brought his mother, Emma, and she was so sweet. She decorates her house in Mexico with snowmen, so I brought out this lighted snowman face that I had in the closet. "Que lindo!" She said. I surprised her by giving it to her when they were leaving.

Hiram shows off his cookies.

It was the funnest party I have had in years.

Jane and Emilee.

Cathy and Dan.

Mark and Patrick.

Snowball was locked up in my bedroom, so Buddy got to come in. I think he had the best time- all of those nice people petting him and sneaking him treats.

Mark, Buddy, and Kevin.

All of the cookies were decorated, they look really nice. I'm taking them to work to get eaten up.

Cookies, Holiday 2017.


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