Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The heat is hellish here, 115 yesterday, 111 predicted for today. Last year the same thing happened. The monsoon hasn't started yet, but the humidity is starting to creep up.

I have my fourth article in American Ancestors magazine. I have also completed two newspaper transcription books for the genealogy society back in Michigan. I'm busy working on the next one.

First page of my article.

I drove north to Phoenix last week to go to the State Archives and finish up some research. was successful. On Thursday night and Friday morning I made chocolate mayonnaise cupcakes with chocolate cream cheese frosting, lemon cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting, and a hummingbird cake with a lemon glaze, then vanilla and chocolate ice creams for two co-workers who have retired. Strange to see people I have worked with for 18 and 20 years leaving the company. Then on Sunday I drove up to Flagstaff for the night before going to Fossil Creek the next morning to take the Forest Service archaeologist to some of the sites we recorded. So hot. 

Agave bloom.

I got back home and saw a juvenile hawk in the neighbor's yard. There is a huge pine tree in the yard across the street and young fledglings will jump out of the nest if it gets too hot. The poor thing was busy panting and so I went and caught it. I was watering my orange tree and basically forced the hawk to drink water, which it did. After posing for a picture (it was surprisingly docile), I put it back in the yard beneath the pine tree. Its parents are busy taking care of it again.

Juvenile hawk.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Buddy is all smiles, but he will be frowning when he gets a bath soon.

Buddy and Homer.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Last weekend was the festival at the Mission Garden. I worked my non-profit's booth, but had time to wander around the garden and see things. There are a lot of hollyhocks. They remind me of my childhood in Buckley, where every year I'd pluck one of every color of hollyhocks and press them between pages of old Sears catalogs. I wonder whatever happened to them.


While I was at the booth, people were busy cutting wheat and putting it on a giant piece of canvas. They then had a pair of horses stomp over the wheat, separating the heads from the stalks. I wondered aloud what would happen in one of the horses pooped in the grain, and almost immediately afterward one did. I don't plan on eating any of that wheat.


Every day when I come home from work, Buddy is super excited to see me. I sit on the porch and rub his tummy. And then I get to clean up his poop. He certainly makes a lot of that.


Summer has arrived and I am watering things. I mostly have a black thumb, so I have a few potted plants, some bushes, a hackberry that sprouted in the front yard, and the trees. One of my two lemon trees looks like it will actually produce lemons this year.


To save money I gave myself a haircut. On Saturday night I worked the door of game show. This was the second time. The woman who has been doing it for a long time snapped at me a couple of times. That was a tad annoying.

Game show.

My next genealogy book is 300 pages of newspaper transcriptions from 1866 to 1869. I am busy entering the names for the index into an Excel file. I just finished page 140 tonight, almost half done (90 pages over the weekend). I'm hoping to complete it in the next couple of weeks.

And then there is the crap show of our presidential politics. Crazier and crazier. What will happen next? I remember watching Nixon resign in August 1974, at the house in Buckley with all the hollyhocks. Wonder when I will get to see Orange resign. Hope he takes closet case Pence with him.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Thirty years ago, in May 1987, I was working at the worst job I have ever had- taking care of the journal collection at the University of Michigan Business School. After graduation, I had no clue how to find an archaeology job, and of course the professors didn't know either. So I went to work at the library, replacing a woman with a learning disability. What took her eight hours to do took me four hours. And then I had to look busy. All while making $5.19 an hour and being nagged because I did not come to work dressed in professional business attire. What a joke.

I had stopped by the Anthropology Department and saw a job listing and applied for it, knowing full well it was pointless. And one day I came back to work from lunch and there was a message, "call the National Park Service." So I ran home and did and was hired to go work at Fort Union Trading Post, National Historic Site. The next day I turned in my resignation, my immediate boss Melody congratulating me (her husband was an archaeologist) and the head of the library making a nasty face because they were going to have to find someone to replace me. Whatever!

I went home to Sault Ste. Marie and my parents drove me out to Williston, North Dakota in the truck with a homemade camper on it. We got there a day early and drove up to Canada. We passed Fort Union and I wanted to stop, but of course my father (who hated archaeology) said we would stop on the way back, and made sure we drove a different way.

The next day people met up and I managed to invite myself to live with Melanie, Becky, Dana, and Colleen in a house trailer in Fairview, Montana. $28 a month for each of us. We were getting paid $7.11 an hour, so after half a day out month's rent was paid.

We were divided up into four crews. Dave Ford was my crew chief and Melanie, Pat, Scott, Jeannie, and Matt were my other crew members. We first worked next to a bastion, uncovering the wall and post holes.

Lunch time under the ramada. Dave Ford in cowboy hat. Don on the left. Eddie on the right. Bill the boss in white teeshirt and shorts.

SO MUCH FUN! Going to work was exciting. You could find pretty beads and sometimes other cool things. And on the weekends we went places. One weekend we went to see the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, where you could see the depressions where houses had stood back in the 1820s-1830s, before the village was ravaged by small pox.

Wallie, Matt, Martin, Pat, Becky, Homer, ???, Lynelle, Bill, and Blaine at Knife River.

Becky was from Akron and was a lot of fun to hang out with. 

Becky and Homer.

 Not sure where this picture was taken. Everyone wore short shorts back then!
Becky, Matt, and Homer.

One weekend we drove north to Wynyard, Canada to attend the Wynyard Kinsmen Chicken Chariot Races.
Homer, Melanie, Matt, Wallie, and Jeanie.

 Over the summer we cleared two of the four sides of the fort, uncovering walls and a bastion. Melanie is standing in front of the reconstructed Bourgeois House, which had been dug up the year before. The rock foundation of a bastion is behind her.


 Pat lived in Williston. He was busy working on a family history book in his apartment. Sometimes we would drive the 45 miles to Williston to get a Dairy Queen blizzard.

Melanie, two kids, and Pat.

We worked with a lot of volunteers. Laurene was there a lot and she still sputters about the time I reached into her screen and pulled out the only crucifix found at the site.


I got a lot of skill working at the dig, discovered I was very good at archaeology. I developed a lot of self confidence that summer, something I had never really had (thanks to my abusive father).

Dana, Scott, Laurie, and Becky at the back gate area.

The coolest thing I got to dig that summer was part of a cellar filled with things discarded in the 1840s. A gold leaf-decorated decanter, bottles, clay pipes, and a pregnant wolf were among the items I found. Melanie dug the other half and found beaded moccasins.


Matt was nearby digging a drain. For weeks. He hated historic period archaeology. He liked to wear short shorts.


We dressed up for the Rendezvous, when re-enactors camped out next to the fort. 
Homer, Melanie, Laurie, and Eddie.

I'm still friends with many of the people I met that summer. I would eventually analyze animal bones from the dig for my Master's Thesis. It seems amazing how a few months affected my life.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

I really hate drama. I do not know how the idiots in the White House can stand going to work when it is all drama-mofo drama-more mofo drama, every single mofo day.

It is pretty obvious that we have a Manchurian Candidate situation going on. Donald Trump is a traitor. Back in the old days, back when Republicans were patriotic, any hint of collusion with Russia would get you hauled in front of Congress and forced to explain your actions. Not anymore. Apparently being a traitor is fine and dandy.

Anyways, every day just seems like a train wreck and it just gets tiresome. 

Sunday, May 07, 2017

I planted some zinnia seeds back in January or February. Three or four came up. Here is the first one to bloom.


They remind me our gardens back in Michigan. 

Friday, May 05, 2017

Catching up.

I skipped the annual egg decorating and egg hunt party. For several reasons including my busy schedule and being somewhat grumpy. I did invite Kamron over to decorate cookies and then Dino stopped by and I made him decorate one.

Egg Day Cookies.

And then back north traipsing through the woods. And finding many sites and occasionally seeing some wildlife,


Gopher snake.

The scenery along Fossil Creek can be very lovely, as long as I forget that I just walked three hours in to see it and have to walk all the way back out again.We had to scramble up and down some truly scary slopes. In the picture below I am clutching the rocks to keep from falling down. Unpleasant.

Several hundred feet up.

We also had to wade across Fossil Creek in several places. I took off my pants once to keep them from getting wet.

Remnant of a dam.

Lots of wildflowers blooming, I really liked this perky cactus.


Along the endless trail was some fun rock art, including people holding hands. What you cannot see in the picture is someone named Oscar scratched his name across the image. According to a previous survey, this happened before 1987. Vandals suck.

Rock art.

Paul and Jon came over and we played cribbage and Mexican train dominoes.

Paul and Jon.

I won the last game of dominoes.

Mexican train.

For the annual meeting of the non-profit I am president of I made a chocolate mayonnaise cake with chocolate meringue frosting, a gluten free carrot cake (Namaste brand spice cake mix) with vanilla cream cheese frosting, a lemon meringue pie, and a coconut cream pie. All but two cake slices were eaten up.

Cake and pies.

Then back north to finish the survey. I managed to lose my new glasses and my compass. I am a clutz during surveys.

Tyler, Connie, and the Clutz.

We had our last lunch sitting on boulders next to the river watching the fish. I stuck my hand in and two fish grabbed my fingers. I almost screamed.

Apache trout?

Rob was driving from San Francisco to Oklahoma City and spent the night in Tucson. We went to Rosas and had Mexican food and caught up. Nice to see him and we had a fun time.


Every afternoon I come home from work and Buddy is excited to see me. He usually hates having his picture taken, so apparently I caught him in a good mood couple of days ago.

Happy Buddy.

Swamp coolers are going. Jeffrey gave me his old one and Kamron came over and helped me hoist it onto the roof. It is very effective, if I leave it on my house goes down to 55.

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.


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