Wednesday, November 30, 2005

We walked into Urgent Care at 12:09 PM. We walked out at 7:18 PM. Seven hours and nine minutes. In return Mother got 20 Percosets and an x-ray.

Around us, as we sat in the waiting room which went from being empty to overflowing, were other unfortunate people. A mentally ill man. The woman with the spider bite. Two cancer patients, one of whom was in his early twenties. People came in with sick babies and their friends and family members arrived with their apparently non-sick babies. As the sick baby coughed and cried, toys were passed back and forth. I turned to mother and said, "If the bird flu hits we are fucked."

Five hours in I started getting testing. Six hours. Six and a half. At six and three quarters mother said it was time to leave. That got them moving.

Now at home I have a migraine and I just puked. What a fucking bad day.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

At 7:45 in the morning it is very cold.

Something like 36 degrees.

I have on a t-shirt, a long sleezed polo shirt, a white oxford, a blue flannel shirt, a cotton sweater, and a jacket and scarf. I feel like the StayPuff Marshmallow man.

I meant to take some dig pictures, but we didn't find any great artifacts today. Instead I froze my nuts off.

Mummy update: I told her it might take three weeks for the pain to go away and poor Mummy snapped at me when I got home. "It better not take three weeks!" Well, what can I do? I thought about feeling guilty, but really, it is not my fault my mother makes sometimes irrational decisions. She didn't turn the bathroom light on because she doesn't do that at home. Well, Mummy, you aren't at home. Sigh.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Well Mummy has a bruise on her side and probably a cracked rib. Not much you can do about that. She is thankful that she didn't break her hip. People mentioned putting a night-light in the bathroom. Unfortunately, my 1927 house doesn't have an electrical outlet in that room- I'm guessing that there was no need for new-fangled electricity in that room at that time.

Tonight's dinner- mac & cheese from a box (with a little extra cream cheese thrown in) and some Trader Joe's frozen veggies. I invited Vince's doggie Molly in to hang out with us and she got some of the Mac & Cheese. Now in all the six years I've lived here a dog has been inside once. So I was a little worried the cats would freak out but Joey just looked at Molly with curiousity and Puff hissed, but that was it. Mama Cat didn't wander in, which was probably for the best.

Found interesting things on the dig today. We are excavating a portion of a large pit dating to the 1890s. Among the many artifacts we pulled out were parts of three dolls, bottles, broken dishes, buttons, pencil leads, suspender buckles, and a small iron stove. Of course I forgot to take pictures- I guess I'll have to do that tomorrow.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Thump. At 2:15 this morning I heard a noise from the bathroom. "Mummy, did you fall down?" I called as I got up. "Yes" she said. I stepped through the study and turned on the bathroom light. Mummy was sprawled on the floor next to the toilet. "Oh Mummy!" I said, "are you alright?"

I helped her up onto the toilet and ran to get a towel. As I returned I heard her fall again. "Oh dear!" she said. I picked her up to her feet. "You are so strong!" she said. "Are you going to be alright?" I asked again. "Yes, in a moment."

I went into the kitchen and waited. She wandered out a moment later and sat down to test her blood sugar. It had been really high in the afternoon, now it was really low. Sometimes it is difficult for her to manage her blood sugar. She has been diabetic for 15 years, and she goes through phases where her blood sugar zigzags up and down for no apparent reason. I watched her eat a banana, she explained that is what she does when she feels woozy.

This morning I pointedly ask her why she doesn't turn the light on in the bathroom. 'Oh, I don't know" she answered. I'm going to leave the light on in the study tonight, I really don't want her falling down again. It is hard to see my mother growing older and frailer, but she is also in rather good shape for someone at her age with diabetes for so long.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

A four day weekend- at home with Mummy and I'm getting a bit stir crazy. It didn't help that a-not-to-be-named blogger sent me some very interesting photographs...

Spent the morning doing your clean-up in my backyard and then shut down the evaporative coolers for the winter. As I moved around some piles of wood the little geckos would run around, a bit groggy from the cold. So cute, I'd pick them up but I really don't want their tails to fall off.

I've been observing my mother. She has some strange quirks- does little things that don't make much sense. She says she is a loner, I think she is just insecure. When my friends are around she certainly perks up and talks a lot. She has an annoying habit of looking over my shoulder to see what I'm doing on the computer. Not that she would ever want to use it herself (the mouse makes her nervous). I'm going to go to karoake with Patrick G. tomorrow to escape for a little while, otherwise I think I would develop some strange quirks myself.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

For the Thanksgiving dinner that Mummy and I attended I made two new recipes. AngryBlackBitch had posted her corn casserole recipe [on 18 November]. It was very well received and I'm glad I have some to eat for tomorrow's lunch.

ABB's Corn Casserole Yumminess.

For dessert I made a recipe from the November Martha Stewart Living magazine- cranberry duff.

Cranberry duff.

Two whole sticks of butter- you know that it had to be good and it was. Burp!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

When I'm running an archaeology dig, Friday's mean Queen Donuts. I stop at the donut shop and say hello to the owner or his wife. I let them pick the dozen, they always put in a bearclaw, so I'm always happy.

I like the simpler donuts, and I'm not so fond of the chocolate ones.

We have two more field days on our current project. We are working in the backyard of the 1860s-1870s house that is going to be converted into a museum.

Backyard from the 11th floor.

Today we worked in an outhouse from the 1880s- not a huge number of artifacts but there were some bottles, a chamber pot lid, and a clay pipe.

Jeff in the privy.

You know when you are getting toward the base of an outhouse- the dirt turns green. We made lots of jokes about poop today.

In other news, Mom has settled in and is enjoying the nice warm weather. I'm going to try to make a cranberry upsidedown cake tomorrow- hopefully my too-hot oven won't burn it!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Dishes washed (checked).
Dining room converted to guest bedroom (checked).
Pantry stocked (checked).
Cats reprimanded [don't puke on the bed again] (checked).
Mummy arrives at noon for her three month visit.
Sanity (let's wait to check that one).

Saturday, November 19, 2005

"Welcome to Homer's Barber Shop. Why don't you sit down while I clean up a bit. Only two rules here- no religion or politics and no unsatisfied customers...

Now let's see, well, your hair is already pretty short... Yessir, you are in fact going bald. Not much you can do about that unless you want to spring for those spendy drugs. I hear they have some mighty powerful side effects. Who wants extra nose hairs and enlarged sphincter muscles? Not me, no way, no sirreeee...

Sorry about the mirror, it came loose and when I set it on the ground the corner broke. It's best if you just undress to your boxers. Keeps the hair off your clothes and no one likes the itchy-hair-down-my collar stuff...

Number 1 or Number 2 setting? Number 1 it is. I like a decisive man, yessir. Well here we go. You want the beard trimmed to? No? Oh I see, growing it out a little so people like your friend Jimbo can admire the red along the sides..

Doesn't take long...Mighty fine weather we are having today. Did you see the bicyclists for the race running through Tucson? I did too. Wouldn't catch me wearing any of those spandex doodahs, no sirree...

All done...You like it? Well I appreciate your compliment. I'll be seeing you in about a month. Happy Turkey Day...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

When I was a kid we made little construction paper turkeys by tracing around our hands- the thumb was the head and the other fingers the tail feathers. We'd cut out eyes, feet, wings and glue them on with Elmer's Glue. We wrote each person attending the dinner at Grandpa and Grandma F's house on them. On Thanksgiving Day my family- my parents and my four older brothers and sisters- would walk through the snow next door to their house. Uncle Fred and Aunt Janelle would be there, along with Janelle's parents and later my cousins Fred and Janeen. Grandpa Colonel, my maternal grandmother's father would also be there, until he died. One year Uncle David and Aunt Sherry came too and I remember Aunt Sherry talking about how good looking Joe Namath was.

We ate turkey, instant mashed potatoes (this was the late 1960s, early 1970s after all), Grandma's strawberry jello cranberry salad, Waldorf salad, green beans, store-bought warm-up rolls, followed by pumpkin pie. The menu never changed, I'm sure about that. We ate the same exact meal for Christmas the following month. One year, when I was in college, I insisted on boiling potatoes and making real mashed potatoes. Everyone was amazed at how much better they were.

This year I'm taking Mummy to a potluck. I wish Susan could be here too. My Amish brother Buck isn't allowed to celebrate 'English" holidays- otherwise I'd wish for his company too. It would be nice to see Elizabeth and her husband and my three grown nephews. I wish, too, that I could see my grandparents, my great grandfather, even my father. I wish I had one of those little colored paper name cards, then I could see how much bigger my hand is.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

My dining room is Ballroom Red with Ralph Lauren gold paint sponged over the red. The ceiling, trim, and doors are also gold. A bit gaudy, but a fun room to have a candle-lit dinner in.

China cabinet in dining room.

So last weekend Doug K. showed me how to repair one of my dining room chairs that had come unglued. After removing the seat, I realized that beneath the current fabric cover was an earlier fabric. From what I could see, it was red and gold. Rip! I pulled the new fabric off and exposed a lovely red and gold striped silk, the original cover from the 1940s.

New fabric (left) and original fabric (right).

So far I've disassembled two more chairs. Unfortunately, the fabric on one is in poor condition, so I'll have to go to the cloth store and find a solid red or gold to cover it. Anyways, I'm having fun re-doing my dining room for next to nothing.

Of course Mummy is coming next Tuesday and I have to convert the dining room into her bedroom, so it really doesn't matter anyways.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I have digmata.

And it hurts like hell! My right hand barely functions, I had to wear a latex glove at work because I didn't want anymore dirt ground into the area where a blister had burst.

No obnoxious finds today, I am so pleased by that.

Monday, November 14, 2005

I about squealed with delight this afternoon when I saw the new Martha Stewart magazine in my mailbox. Poor Archerr was on the telephone and I'm sure his ears are still ringing. However, I've looked through half of the issue and so far I haven't seen anything particularly interesting.

Okay, so today I was at my new dig. We are working back at the old building from the 1860s-1870s that we did work inside of last May and June. Anyhow, Jenny W. and Lisa G. were digging beneath the floor of the last room to be excavated and a bunch of junk from a recent packrat nest ended up in the screen. By recent, the rat basically must have left the building last week. And so I found the most disgusting thing I've ever found while screening dirt on an archaeology dig. A fresh, used maxi-pad. Nasty. I about squealed in horror. As it was I burst out laughing and finally Jenny had to see what it was I was laughing at. I hope I never, ever have that experience again. Really. I'm so glad I didn't touch it with my bare hands.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A cooking lesson with Homer. I had promised Shane I would show him how to make cheesecake and yesterday was the lesson. Really, cheesecake is really easy to make. I use the Better Homes & Garden recipe, adding more lemon and vanilla and a graham cracker crust.

Whip it!

Pour it!

Unfortunately, the thermometer on my oven isn't working correctly and we managed to burn the top of the cheesecake. It still tasted alright, although it had set a little strange due to the initial high heat.

Afterward I mosied over to Jim and Chris's house for a showing of mosaic tiles. Their fireplace was tiled by their artist friend.

Mosaic fireplace.

Of course this makes me want to work on my mosaic table project. Richard and David C. arrived and a discussion of gay cruises began. Are you booked yet?

Homer and Jim on the patio.

I came home afterward and managed to fall asleep around 9:00 PM. My sleep schedule is way off and I've been getting up at 5:00 AM. I think the sudden cooling that has happened here (it is now in the 40s in the morning) will make me more inclined to stay in bed.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

When you go to a tourist store in Tucson you see two things- howling coyotes and cow skulls. Last night a bunch of coyotes ran through the alleys in my neighborhood, yip-yip-yipping happily with the local dogs howling along in excitement. What a racket.

And then today on our dig we uncovered a cow skull in a large pit dating to between 1780 and 1820.

Cow skull.

Very strange. A cute reporter came and interviewed me for a newstory. They say the camera adds 10 pounds. I think Halloween candy adds another ten...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

When I was in first grade, Ms. Edna Gray was my teacher. She was an orc, I think, short and squat and perpetually nasty. I remember her as being old but when I just checked the Social Security Death Index it indicates she was only 57, but then I guess that is old to a kid.

I turned seven-years-old when I was in her class in 1970-1971. I sat at the back of the classroom. I remember learning to read with Dick and Jane books from the 1940s, and having a suprisingly difficult time learning the words 'surprise' and 'something.' Mrs. Gray was not a particularly adept teacher, and was confused that I could add in my head, instead of using the little red, white, or blue poker chips that we were supposed to add with. Her response was to whack me on the head with her pen. I remember crying to my mother that afternoon, but my mother was scared of Mrs. Gray, who had already flunked my sister Susan a few years earlier.

Back when she was young; teaching, nursing, and being a librarian were probably the only professions a woman could respectably undertake. I wonder if she would have been less sour if she had the opportunities that women have today?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Happy Erection Day! Oops, I meant Election. Here in Tucson the two Republican incumbent City Council members apparently got un-elected. Golly, I'm real, real sad for them. Not.

I hope that is a harbinger of elections to come.

My crew people loved the butter pecan cupcakes. Of course, now I've set myself up and the next time I bring treats it will probably have to be some obscure Finnish pastry.

Monday, November 07, 2005

It is still hot during the days, but at night it is cooling down to the 50s. The cats have decided that it is winter. As I type Mama Cat is curled up below the lamp, soaking in the heat. Andy Bell is singing on the CD that MrHappySad Robert sent me. Thank you for the nice present!

Ohmigod, Jimbo has used a picture of mine and done wonders. I wish I had photoshop skills like that, but instead I am skilled at looking at dirt and telling you things about what happened. Also, I can identify the five or six types of majolica pottery imported into Tucson from Mexico prior to 1850. You know, important stuff like that.

I made butter pecan cupcakes to take to my crew members tomorrow. I am the nicest boss in the whole fricken world. They love and adore me, and worship the moderately compact light grayish-brown silty sand I walk on. They, however, rightfully complained about the portajohn today. Over the weekend someone (how do I phrase this delicately?) POOPED on top of the toilet seat. Nast! Who would do such a foul thing?

Sunday, November 06, 2005

I watched both V miniseries this weekend. Was acting really that bad in the 1980s? When Brian arrived from Scottsdale I made him watch the birth scene. Later I made him watch Betty Butterfield videos. I am a sadistic bastard.

The monster within.

Brian and I went to karoake, which was very dead.

Homer and Brian.

Atferward, we sat on the curb and waited for the All Soul's Day Procession. Towards the end we joined in. The theme was "Ancestors" and I brought along a posterboard with pictures of my mother's ancestors. Many people were interested in it and some women actually clapped at me. I'd rather be clapped at then get clap anyday!

Afterwards dinner at a very disorganized restaurant with belly dancers. The nachos were cold and the cheese only partially melted. I'll let Brian post pictures of the parade, it was awfully fun.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


This image is painted on a wall next to where we are digging. The artist is pretty amazing.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

In case you spend the night:

1). Morning person or late riser?
2). Coffee, tea, or orange juice?
3). Pancakes or waffles?
4). Scrambled or over easy?
5). Opinion page or comics?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The slowly unfolding scandals in Washington, D.C. are kinda like an Agatha Christie mystery. Little by little the facts are revealed, the lines connected. Add in the politics and at times I have to turn away from the computer because it is both stressful and exciting.

On to more insipid things. Amazing Race pretty much sucks this season, all of the people blend together and it is difficult to figure out who is who. All I know is I can't stand that Italian mother, what a complete witch. Her voice grates, grates.

I'm really liking Lost, if only they showed a new episode again! I also like the Invasion show that follows, mainly because Eddie Cibrian is a total hottie.

I saw the Wallace & Gromit movie and it was alright, but I liked the short film that was before the movie better.

We agreed at the dig today that Karl Rove is repulsive, he looks like a greedy pig, which is somehow apt. I wonder if he will be getting in trouble too?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I started a new archaeology dig yesterday. Tonight I am so tired and sore I can barely type. We are working in a parking lot slated to become the location of condominiums. Finding Spanish and Territorial period things- today I was helping screen dirt from a trash area where Chinese farmers discarded garbage and found this small pottery face- part of a pot made by the local O'odham sometime between 1880 and 1900.

This picture isn't the best but you can see the eye, nose, and the painted horizontal lines on the cheeks.

Another face- the pumpkin I carved at Rich D's place on Sunday night.

Homer's pumpkin 2005.

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