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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Two weeks ago my friend Jose was killed in a car accident. He was 33. I had not seen him in person for a while, but had been recently thinking that we should go have dinner together and catch up.

Jose worked at a dentist's office. He had the biggest, prettiest smile on his tiny, 5 ft 1 inch body. He was fun to be around. Always smiling. Really wish I had called him up and spent time with him, but what can you do?

Lately I haven't been smiling much. It is hard to do so when bad things happen. Puff is getting old and cranky, wakes me up at night. If I lock him out of the bedroom he cries loudly non-stop. As a result, I'm not getting much sleep.

A close friend is moving away, someone I have depended on. Not too far, but far enough that I won't be able to see him in person except maybe once a year. He probably doesn't know how much his friendship has meant to me.

And then there is the political stuff to stress out over.

So yeah, 2017 is likely to be as bad as 2016.



Thursday, February 16, 2017

Two weekend. Craig and Chris came down from Phoenix. We headed south to Madera Canyon, but stopped first at San Xavier.
 
The church was completed in 1797 and was restored in the 1990s. I often take out-of-town guests there to see the beautiful architecture, paintings, and statues.

Tower.

The cemetery chapel is decorated with statues and is hot with candles.


Baby Jesus.

I made Craig and Chris pose for a photo.

Chris and Craig.

We then headed off to Madera Canyon, The one trail I thought was wheelchair accessible was not and although we managed to get down it, it was awful. Then we found the paved trail and it was much less stressful.

The next day I made waffles, carmelized mandarin oranges, and cheesy scrambled eggs for breakfast and then we went to Sabino Canyon. We rode the  tram to the top, and them walked the four miles down. Craig got to run his chair through the stream crossings. The water was very cold on my bare feet.

Craig crossing one of the six running stream crossings.

Then last weekend my friend Dave arrived on his cross-country trip. I have known him for over a decade but had never met in person. We had a nice time. On Saturday we went to the Venture and he and Patrick got to smoke cigars.


Dark photo of the three of us.

Spring has started here. The flowers are starting to bloom. We had a mild, rainy winter and there should be a lot of wildflowers this year.



Creosotebush.

A coyote wanders by my window at work often. It looks well fed. I tap on the window and it turns to stare at me before running off.

Coyote.


Wednesday, February 01, 2017

I missed the Women's March in Tucson a few weeks ago because I had to give a talk that day. Yesterday was a protest outside the Federal Courthouse in response to Trump's ban on immigration from seven Muslim majority countries.

 I dressed up (I always wear a tie to protests!) and made a sign and went down. After a while, co-workers Jenny and Jane showed up, I did not know they were coming.

Jenny, Jane, and I.

There were probably over 1,000 people. We had a good time, as cars drove by people honked their horns and waved at us. A few people flipped us off. I blew kisses and one angry man shouting at us, I don't think he appreciated that.

My sign.

Did we accomplish anything? I don't know. It is important to not remain silent in these awful times. 


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Well so far Trump has targeted women, Mexicans, immigrants, and Muslims. So I guess next week it will be the turn for LGBT people. He is going to nominate an anti-gay Supreme Court justice who will vote for the next 30 or 40 years against my civil rights.

I loathed George H. W. Bush. I disliked Ronald Reagan. I hate Donald Trump. To put it mildly. I don't like hate, it is a wasted emotion. But I do hate him. And the people who voted for him, I guess I pretty much hate them too. The interactions with them usually end up with them calling me names. For some reason Buttercup and Snowflake are popular. Trump supporters seem to fall into two categories (which often overlap): 1). the white supremacists who fear anyone who isn't white, straight, male, and Christian, and 2), the profoundly stupid who think everything Trump says is the truth. I guess there is a third category, those who genuinely want to see our government toppled. Good luck on that.

I probably already said this, but I gave $50 to the ACLU. I hope they sue the fuck out of the monster who is in charge of the country.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I wonder what it would be like to sleep well. Between lying awake pondering the hell that our nation will be going through and Puff constantly pawing at my face and walking across my head, I haven't had a sound sleep in forever.

Puff is getting just plain old. At 16 3/4 years he is super skinny. When I get home from work he follows me around, wants to sit on my lap. At night he wants to sleep with his head on my arm, reaching out to me with his paws. I tell him to stop patting at my face, but he doesn't understand. If I push his paws away, he cries. If I lock him up outside my bedroom, he sits at the door and cries even louder. Sigh.




Friday, January 20, 2017

It rained in Tucson today. I had to get up early to set up two tents at the Park. I came home and worked on a genealogical problem. Took Mother to India Oven for lunch, she enjoyed the food although the chick peas were too hot. Afterward we went way across town to Bookman's so she could find one of her Brother Cadfael books (I need to find the 21st one for her). Back home I took a nap, then worked on the genealogy problem some more. Poor Luella- six of her seven children died in childhood because she was a lousy religious fanatic who didn't believe in doctors. Then I made cheesy gluten-free biscuits and some vegetarian baked beans for supper. She is busy reading another mystery book.

I did not watch the Inauguration. I have tried to avoid the news. It is just tiresome. People noticed that the first things scrubbed from the Whitehouse website were the pages on climate change and LGBT civil rights. I'm guessing Pence had something to do with that.

Who knows what the next two or four years will bring. Wonder if archaeologists will have jobs. We are expendable- get in the way of developers and energy folks, also education and science stuff is going to be targeted, because lord knows we wouldn't want brainy people in Amerika.

My protest was to give $50 to the ACLU. We are going to need them.



Friday, January 13, 2017

Mother brought me this card that was filled out at the hospital after I was born (via C-section), I don't remember ever seeing it.

8:18 AM, I suppose they wheeled her into the operating room at about 8:00 AM. My mother and father had different blood types (father A+, mother A-) and mother's immune system was busy trying to kill me off, so I was taken out early to get a transfusion of delightful A+ blood.

Front of card.

My wee footprint is 3-inches-long. I wear a size 11 shoe nowadays, my feet have gotten longer and wider as I have grown older. Recently I gave to charity a pair of penny loafers I got in 1987, in great condition, that were impossibly tight.

Back of card.

Someone sent me a lovely bow tie from my Amazon wish list. Thank you, whoever it was (no name on the stuff inside). I appreciate the occasional present!


Friday, January 06, 2017

Mother's plane was two hours late arriving in Tucson at 10 PM. She said she was very tired but still managed to talk to me until midnight. She was very happy with her presents (knitting and quilting magazines, some gluten free candy, colored pencils shaped like twigs, an amarylis).

Today I worked from home, researching some people for a treatment plan. I then took mother to Rosa's for lunch. She enjoyed her green corn tamale and refried beans.

Mother.

Afterward we stopped by work so she could say hello to Val. Then to the library for large print mystery stories.

All of this mother action tired me out (plus the random gunfire at 3 AM) so I took a nap.
For supper: mashed potatoes, cottage cheese, and carmelized onions. She was very pleased with that.

She is a little unsteady on her feet, but otherwise my 84.6-year-old mother is doing well and is quite happy to be visiting Arizona. It is supposed to be in the 70s the next few days, which will make her even happier.


Friday, December 30, 2016

Annual end-of-the-year selfie. A day early. Hope 2017 is somehow better than 2016, a year of stress and sadness. With Dipshit taking over the presidency, that seems unlikely.

2016.

I looked back at what I hoped to accomplish this year and I do have less debt and I did publish a genealogy book, so that's a positive sign.

This year? A couple of trips are planned. Hopefully some interesting work. Hopefully Tucson won't disappear in a nuclear blast. New friends. Some delicious cakes.

I'm wishing whoever reads this a Happy New Year, wherever you are.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Jose came north from Nogales, Sonora to spend Holiday at my house. Where he is from in Zacatecas, Jesus brings presents and puts them next to the bed. No Santa!

We dressed up and went to Richard and Roger's Xmas Eve party. Earlier we made apple and lemon meringue pies and I brought along the lemon meringue. It was 3/4 eaten up. We played the three dollar gambling game and David won. He took this photographic image of us.

Josselo and Homer.

I gave Jose Little House in the Big Woods, English and Spanish versions. I hope he likes it!

We went over to Nathan's for mimosas and I showed Jose the new mural near my house. It is beautiful.

Frida and Diego.

Jose made a friend at Nathan's. 

Cuddle buddies.

Jose saw the snow on the Catalinas and wanted to go see it. Unfortunately, the road was closed at the base of the mountain.

Snowy Catalina Mountains.

At home, we made lasagna and then we made Holiday cards. Jose had never done either before. He enjoyed the craft activities.

At 6 PM, Doug, Steve, Richard, and Jeffrey came over and we had Holiday Supper. We had a very nice time, it was the best way to spend an evening. Unfortunately, I was having so much fun I forgot to take photos. But everyone admired the fancy plate settings and enjoyed the food. I sent Steve home with lots of leftovers.

I hope however you celebrate, or don't celebrate, that you have a good last week for 2016, but Jesus Fucking Christ this has been a mostly nasty year. I can hardly wait for 2017 to see what Dipshit does to destroy everything, but hey, maybe he will behave and get off goddam Twitter and grow-up. HA HA HA HA. Like that is going to happen.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Welcome to my house, decorated for Holiday. As I have noted before, I have been busy thinking up ways to decorate my house instead of obsessing about President-elect Dipshit. One aspect of this Holiday was attempting to not spend much money, because Dipshit and his ultra fucking rich cronies are going to destroy the economy, probably by February.

 As you walk up my front sidewalk, Buddy will probably say hello. On my front door is the wreath that Connie and I made up in Payson (wreath holder, $3.99).

Click on the pictures for larger version of each.

Wreath.

Once inside you can see the Bah Humbug stocking hanging next to a flocked green fake tree ($20 at Goodwill). I found these green pine smelling sticks at Ace Hardware that you hang on the tree and it makes it smell real ($4.99). I hung all of my old balls, my great grandmother's sister's handmade cardboard ornaments, and my Victorian-looking glass ornaments on this tree. Around the base are my 1968 Smokey, my sister Susan's monkey doll Goo-Goo-Ga-Ga, my 1968 Nylint house trailer, and some other stuffed animals and a couple of Holiday books.

Tree skirt was from my co-worker Susan's mother.

On the tv stand I have Susan's mother's ceramic tree, some burned out bulbs, and various pine combs, some of which I spray-painted silver ($4.00 Ace). Amusing story- there are probably millions of Ponderosa pine cones lying in the woods of northern Arizona near Payson and Springerville. And so I collected several shopping bags full. When you go to the supermarkets in Payson and Springerville they sell little bags for $3.99.

Pine cones!

I set out the 1909 wedding china on the dining room table. My dining room doesn't get used much for that purpose (it gets used more as a bedroom for Mother or for whatever friends need a place to stay for a while). I am having some friends over for a lasagna supper on Sunday night.

Ballroom red walls sponged in gold.

The centerpiece is an iron candlestick holder a backhoe driver fished out of an old dump, a small wreath from the nextdoor neighbors backyard after they cleaned out his house, a new candle ($2 Michaels), and some small wire brush trees (about $13, Michaels and Joann's).

Centerpiece.

I got a new tablecloth and wine glasses yesterday at Bed, Bath, and Beyonce ($15 total with coupon). Earlier this year I bought a co-worker's grandmother's silverware for $10. The same co-worker's friend gave me her mother's 1909 wedding china. I researched her family history. My mother sewed the napkins years ago.

Place setting.

I found a little pink Holiday tree at Michael's ($13). It looks nothing like the picture on the box. I put all of the pressed tin ornaments and some Loteria-inspired ones made by a volunteer at the Presidio Park ($25). I always try to buy things in our gift shop to help the park raise money. 

Pink Mexican tree.

In one corner, sitting on one of nice Grandma's chairs, the ones that sat at the table in her front window, I have the white tree. It is decorated with red ornaments, including a topper from Linda Ronstadt's uncle's estate sale.

White tree.

In the opposite corner is a red tree with white ornaments. The angel at the top was given to me by evil Grandma in 1963, when I was a wee three-month-old.

Red tree.

After Holiday, Mother is coming on January 5th. I'm going to move the red and white trees to either side of the flocked tree and leave them up for her to enjoy. I'll probably take them down after she leaves.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

To keep my mind occupied, I have been celebrating Holiday by doing the things I always do.

A couple of nights ago I made a double batch of Better Homes & Garden sugar cookies, using the cookbook I received in the early 1980s as a Christmas present.

And then last night I decorated them. I recently bought a set of gel coloring from Michael's (half off coupon, made them very reasonably priced). I had used the colors for icing for an event at the Presidio Park last weekend, and had put the leftover icing in sealed plastic bags. I only had to make one new color (supposed to be purple but looks more dark blue).

The rounded tree, chicken, and lion were the cookie cutters my nice grandmother had (along with a horse and a rabbit).

So I put the icing in small bags, cut the corner off and squeezed. These are the nicest cookies:

I'm pretty sick of cookies by now.

I always make my own Holiday cards. The last few years I made them with friends, but this year that wasn't possible. I used old sheet music for some of them. I need to come up with some new ideas for next year. Some people are getting cards decorated with pictures from a 1950s Mexican magazine, they were probably the most creative.

2016 Holiday cards.

One of my readers sent me a lovely bow tie as a present. I really appreciate that, and I'll be sure to post a picture, but you'll have to wait until I trim the beard because it would be invisible.


Friday, December 16, 2016

Another week of surveying in Payson. Traipsing through the woods, climbing up and down mountains. Masses of manzanita bushes and catclaw ripping into me. I fell down three times.

Not falling down at this moment.

We found a few sites, I found a couple of bifaces and other pieces of flaked stone. 

On the last day, as we drove out to work, the sunrise was beautiful.

On the road to Whispering Pines.

Back in Tucson for a while. It is the holiday season, but for various reasons this year I just don't know what to celebrate. I find myself avoiding the news, it is just dreadful to hear anything about Dipshit. I feel like we are heading towards a fucking nightmare.


Saturday, December 03, 2016

Holiday baking. I like fruit cake and I am not embarrassed to say so. This year, I decided to make one. The first one was in a round bundt pan and it broke in half when I was taking it out. I also drenched it with too much apricot brandy, which made it incredibly moist. So I bought the ingredients last night and soaked the fruit (candied cherries, candied pineapples, dried dates, citron, and some chopped dried vegetables) and nuts (walnuts and pecans) in apricot brandy.
Fruit and nut mixture.

The cake dough contains relatively little flour and sugar. I used the recipe on the container of candied fruit. I mixed in the fruit and nuts and put it in two loaf pans. After it came out I used a pastry brush to put more apricot brandy on top.

Finished fruit cakes.

I then made sugar cookie and gingerbread cookie dough for an event next week.

And then I made an apple pie from scratch. I've just taken it out of the oven and I'll be curious to see whether it tastes good. I need to do a better job on the pie dough.


Apple pie.




Thursday, December 01, 2016

We headed north to Payson on Monday. As we neared town, the first ominous sign. Vehicles with snow on their roofs. It started snowing once we reached town. It didn't look so bad as we headed out, but by the time we got to the project area, we could see snow covering most of the ground. It is impossible to survey for sites when there is snow everywhere.

Snow and fog.

Back to the hotel, where I watched Goonies and Tremors and went to the Mexican restaurant and had a gross meal. 

The next morning we headed back out. It sure was pretty.

Snowy trees.

But still a lot of snow everywhere and again impossible to see the ground.

The beard helps keep me warm.

To the north is the Mogollon Rim. And it really was lovely.

Mogollon Rim.

Back to the hotel, and then back to Tucson. We return on Monday to see if we can continue the survey.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

I traveled south to Nogales, Sonora, Mexico to visit with Josselo. He picked me up on the American side, which was good because I would have gotten lost in the narrow, windy streets and probably had several accidents because traffic is pretty crazy. We had pizza for supper and later went for drinks at an upscale hotel.

Jose's drink.

This morning Jose took me to breakfast. Dining in Nogales is difficult as a vegetarian because of the presence of lard in many things. I had some pancakes and a veggie omelet.

Jose is having a chorizo omelet.

The streets of old Nogales are lined with little shops and businesses, the buildings are mainly homemade, very different than what you see in Tucson.

Nogales street.

After 9/11, an enormous wall was built between Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora. It is disgusting to see.

Fucking evil wall.

We passed two families meeting at the wall, people on each side, having lunch but separated by the fucking vile wall. 

People meeting, separated by the wall.

This is the bullshit that president-elect dipshit wants to build across the southern border.I'm sure that he will figure out some way to get richer if it gets built. 

I used to loathe the second George Bush. The feelings I have toward president pussy grabbing dipshit are pretty remarkable and depressing. What a hateful piece of shit.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

It is Thanksgiving Eve and I just took a shower after spending the day in the woods north of Payson and the drive back.

Thanksgiving is my least favorite holiday. A celebration of turkey, for a vegetarian not much fun.

I am going to the store soon to buy some potatoes, celery, and onions. I'm going to make some mashed potatoes and veggie stuffing. I wasn't invited to anybody's house, so I guess I will think of things to do to keep me busy.

One thing I'll be doing is making a fruitcake from scratch. The fruit and nuts are busy soaking in apricot brandy.

Monday, November 21, 2016

A week spent in Payson walking through the mountains looking for sites. I actually found two sites and two points.

Not much wildlife- saw some rabbits and squirrels. A lot more cacti than up in Alpine.

Pincushion cactus.

Also, more agave.

Agave.

I try to avoid the news because it is just awful to hear things about president-elect Temper Tantrum.

Maintaining my sanity.

I put up the red and silver fake trees, and went to Goodwill and found a messy flocked tree for the living room. Decorating kept my mind off things.


Wednesday, November 09, 2016

I voted for Hillary Clinton. I thought she would make a fine president. I have never understood the hatred that many people feel for her. I'm guessing a lot of it has to do with not wanting a woman in power. A lot of it is the fake controversies ginned up by Limbaugh, Fox News, and other far right sources.

Well big surprise. She lost the electoral college (apparently won the popular vote though). And so now we have President Donald Trump. Holy shit.

Exactly how does this happen. My best guess, lots of angry white people who do not like that non-white folks, LGBT people, immigrants, and feminists are achieving equity. Many are probably afraid of being treated like they treated minorities.

White people have controlled the United States since 1776. Obama was our first non-white President, and the racists came out into the open. Here in Arizona, being openly racist against Mexicans gets you elected. One of the chief racists of the last eight years was Donald Trump. And now he is the president.

The thing I fear most is that Donald Trump will have access to the nuclear codes and will have some stupid temper tantrum and decide to drop a nuclear bomb on some place. There are a zillion other concerns, but that one seems most acute. Make America Great Again by starting World War III.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

All Souls 2016. I put up my altar. 2016 has been an awful year of people dying.




I made gingerbread and sugar cookies and Josselo and Patrick came to help decorate. The frosting mixture wasn't the best (too thick).

Patrick.

Patrick did the best decorating. It was Josselo's first time decorating cookies.



For my cocktail party I made baklava, spinakopita, hummous, and a chocolate cemetery cake. Josselo made pico de gallo salsa, his mother's recipe.

Cemetery cake.

Josselo did my makeup and I did his. Then I did the makeup of probably 8 or 10 other people. I was busy drinking gin and tonics and got a little drunk.

Josselo and Homer.

Robert and Ray's friend Christopher has makeup artist skills, and I asked him to do Erika's.
Christopher works on Erika.

He did an awesome job.

Erika.

Wally came down from Phoenix. I first met Wally in 1987 at Fort Union. It was his first Procession.

Wally.

We walked down to the Procession and watched for a while. I was glad to come home and climb into bed. 


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