Friday, May 30, 2008

Post 1600. Every morning I awake up around 4:30 AM and half-watch the clock until 5:00 AM when I finally get up. I switch the computer on and usually have a bowl of cereal (this week Grape Nuts with strawberries and skim milk) and some Diet Coke- although once the liter bottle in my fridge is done, I'm quitting for awhile. When I was with Aaron he reminded me that I really should be eating better, perhaps fewer chemicals is a good thing.

I look at websites and see what Obama and Clinton are up to and play with the cats until it is time to put on my workclothes (an oxford shirt, blue jeans or Carhart jeans, army boots) and get in the car and drive 20 minutes north to the digsite. The last minute or so, going north on the road being constructed, is always the exciting part- as huge road graders roar by, seemingly ready to run me over if I don't get out of their way.

The excavation is at a prehistoric site dating from about 1200-1400 AD. The new road and utilities pass through a portion of the site that contains pit structures, pits, and human remains and dog burials. My task is to remove the remains in a respectful manner so that they can be returned to Native Americans for reburial. The worksite is hot and windy, the dirt is a very fine silty sand that covers you by the end of the day. Frequently I blow my nose the next morning and dirt comes out.

We start to pack up at 2:15 and around 2:40 I'm back home. I step into the shower and the water runs off me a dark muddy color. The walls of my shower and spotted with dirt- I really need to scrub that off. I'm usually so hot and tired that it is difficult to concentrate, so many of the things I normally do at night (work on my local history books) don't happen. I read a little, look at educational websites, and play Facebook Scrabulous (addicting!). At 10:00 PM I go to bed and Puff comes and climbs on top, looking to play. And the next morning it starts all over again.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My earliest memory is standing in the dining room of our house on North Long Lake road and telling my brother we didn't have a father because he was gone all week long truck driving. This is when I was about three, of sometime in 1966. Later that year I had my tonsils removed and that two-day-long event is vividly stuck in my mind.

What is your earliest memory?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Forrest wants to come over and make cookies. What kind should we make?

A). Oatmeal raisin.
B). Chocolate chip.
C). Spicy hermits.
D). Lemon bars.

Superdelegates, please vote in the comment section.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I attended The Day Before Memorial Day Party.


I brought along Sandy, Cobban, and Ray. David C. is an excellent host, and he certainly is a great guy.

Panchesco and Hiram.

The water was warm and the guys friendly.

Louie, blowing.

The cream puffs I made were eaten up.


It was a good time had by most, or perhaps all.

Patrick, blowing.

What did you do this weekend?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I had Forrest and Sandy over for dinner. Forrest just got a master's degree so now I call him Master Forrest. He punishes me if I forget.

Sandy et Forrest.

Onion and bell pepper quiche, salad, squash soup (Forrest didn't like!), and pineapple-mandarin orange upside down cake. YUM!!!!!

Tuesday night I had dinner with Sarah, who I went to graduate school back when I had more hair and weighed about 30 pounds less than I do at this very moment.

Sarah Jane.

We had interesting conversations ("Did you know Ted had a sex change and became Patricia?) and the food was delicious.

Delicious Ethiopian food.

We vowed not to have such a long time in between seeing each other. Some day I'll have to go up to Utah and see her.

At work I am out excavating at a Classic period Hohokam site (circa 1300-1400 AD). Doing sensitive work, so no pictures. Some amazing finds being made and pressure from the construction company. Very windy and hot and I come home and it takes three Q-tips to clean out each ear.

Roadrunner (click to make bigger).

A roadrunner was standing next to my car at the office. Last week I saw a coyote nearby there, I hope the roadrunner knows that if he catches you, you're through!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Two thousand five hundred and twenty six dollars later, I have cool air in my house.

Squash blossom, unfortunately later trampled by the electricians.

The electricity in my house dates to 1927 and many things are not up to code. So the electrician had to crawl above and beneath my house, snaking grounding wires and electrical wires and replacing panels and switches.

Crawl space.

It is 104 today in Tucson, so I am glad that cooling breezes are cooling my sweaty parts.

Attic space.

I received my rebate check yesterday and I will be stimulating the electricians with it, along with a couple of thousand dollars. But at least now I will be able to plug Martha the Mixer into the wall outlet and the fuse box outside won't buzz.

Monday, May 19, 2008

My Trip to NYC.

Wednesday- Late arrival to Chris's house, we lay in bed talking and talking. My snoring kept poor Chris awake.

Thursday- a trip to the genealogical library to look at some records. New York City is always exciting and smelly, filled with so many different people.

Chrysler Building.

On the way back I visited a Catholic cemetery. The squirrels were very friendly. Many of the tombstones begged Jesus to save theperson buried below them, which is sorta sad and pathetic.


Self portrait in the cemetery.

Friday- Lazy day reading the paper, watching a little telly, and then I headed off to Grand Central Station and met Aaron under the clock.

Homer and Aaron on the subway.

Aaron made me dinner and then we went off to the HK Lounge for the blogger meet-up. Met many guys, too bad the music was so LOUD! Lots of people there, old friends and new, including Joe, Tony, Patrick, Mark & Rodger, and Eddie.

We wandered back to his highrise apartment. It was surprising how scared I was out on the balcony.

Saturday- Aaron took me on a tour of historical sites, lovely Indian food, and then the Morgan Library. Afterwards we headed for Central Park and hung out with the bloggers.


Dennis and I.

Sunday- I headed over to Brooklyn and hung out with Les. We had lunch at the Bedoin Tent.

Middle eastern lunch.

Les' adorable dogs, Norman and Hazel, were very adorable.

Norman, Les, and Hazel.

In the afternoon the bloggers met up at Dug Out and we listened to 1980s music, had a few beers, and I even smoked a puff on a cigarette (my third puff).

Damian, Mark, and Aaron.

I was very excited to see Chas again, he's a special friend.

Chas. and I.

My hosts, Aaron and Chris.

Monday- Up at 3:30 AM to catch the Path Train and then a cab to Laguardia. I managed to sleep a bit on the planes, and back in Arizona, ohmigosh it is 100 today.

And now back to reality.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A busy day with Aaron. He took me to a pair of elderly cemeteries, a southern Indian restaurant, we oohed and aahed over Mesopotamian seals, and then we joined the other bloggers in Central Park where I got the top of my head mildly sunburnt. Dennis drove us back to Jersey City and I admire his driving skills. We saw only one slight accident. At Aaron's apartment a fell asleep and when I woke up dinner was ready. Afterward, Aaron demonstrated his Tumbling Towers II skills. This morning he spoiled me again with homemade yoghurt while I read about various topics on wikipedia. Later this morning I'm going to Brooklyn to hang out with Les. I'm already wishing I was staying here longer.

Friday, May 16, 2008

At Aaron's apartment, high above the ground. The Statue of Liberty is visible off in the distance, partially masked by fog. Aaron is in the kitchen cooking dinner.

I'm having a lovely trip. Chris is wonderful to hang out with. Who else can you have conversations about George Washington Carver and other esoteric topics? He looks good with a beard, too.

Today I did little, read the newspaper, watched some silly telly, took a nap, struggled with my bag on the subway. I haven't seen any rats so far, but sat in a Catholic cemetery and the inquisitive squirrels came up looking for a handout. I disappointed them.

New York City has many interesting smells, people of all types rushing back and forth, and very loud, personal conversations on cell phones. If I didn't need to live somewhere very close to the wilderness, I guess I'd want to live somewhere near here.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I'm in NYC, lovely time so far. Les, if you happen to see this call me, I don't have your number on my new phone!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My Dinner with Sandy. Only a few hours off the plane from Australia, I took Sandy to Rosa's.

Rosita's Special.

I had the three cheese enchiladas, chips and unusually hot salsa, and a cheesy, jalapenoey appetizer. Arteries are clogging as I type this.

Off to NYC tomorrow, can't wait to see everybody and spend quality time with Chris and Aaron and my best friend from college Les.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Another exciting day. So lucky to get to spend another day trying to get swamp coolers working.

These cactus flowers only last a few hours.

Let's just say that after hours of work neither cooler is working. I'm calling my electrician tomorrow to have him fix the electrical stuff that isn't working.

Evil Swamp Cooler No. 1.

So yeah, Nicole at Ace Hardware is becoming a close friend. I ought to buy stock in that company.

I am hot and bothered.

The day would have been a complete catastrophe, except John H. called and asked me to go have dinner with him.

Iced tea.

Gazpacho soup, grilled veggie sandwich, and John H. That was a good meal.

Soup and sandwich.

Afterwards I helped him trace his family tree and discovered that we are not closely related.

Tomorrow I'm out excavating a prehistoric dog burial. The excitement never stops.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Today is the official Day From Hell.

- The household hazardous waste place refused to take the trunk load of paint cans- so they are still in my trunk.

- The swamp cooler on my house isn't cooperating, for some unknown reason the new motor won't run. I have no idea why. I've got everything else taken care of, but if the motor doesn't work, the magical cooling breezes don't come through the ductwork.

- I still have the swamp cooler on the guesthouse to get going.

I need a handsome handyman to move in with me and take care of all of these problems.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

About 90 years apart.

Great Aunt Bessie at the house circa 1918.

The house in 2008.

Some pictures.

It was spring time in northern Michigan, one day all of the leaves seemingly burst out of their buds.

Yellow daffodils [not tulips!].

A visit to my brother's farm- as always I liked to look at the animals.


My grandmother taught school for one year, 1930-1931, before marrying my grandfather. In her contract it stated that the students had a week off to dig potatoes.


The farm where my grandfather lived in the 1910s-1920s is up for sale. I went inside the ruined house and pulled a piece of wallpaper off for something to remember it by.

Mummy and Susan in front of the house.

I spent Monday morning visiting with my second cousin once removed and looking through family photos. Most, unfortunately, had no names on them. I was excited to see the faces of two of my direct ancestors, both of whom died a few months apart in 1883.

Great-great-great grandfather George.

Great-great-great grandmother Christiana.

Back in Arizona it is hot and this morning I am groggy and achey and really don't want to go to work. However, a week from today I'm off to NYC for a real vacation.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I'm back in Arizona. Pictures and text later today.

At my great-great grandfather's millsite.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

At Uncle Fred's funeral I sat between my cousin Mike and my Amish brother. There were relatives there who I had never met- most of my mother's cousins had shown up. It was nice, as funerals go, and people said good things about my uncle, which was good. I told my aunt that I had wished my father had been like my uncle (in many ways they were polar opposites).

A second cousin once removed came to the funeral with a packet of photographs of our common ancestral family. Among the pictures were a pair of my great-great-great grandparents, who came from Germany in the late 1820s or early 1830s. I have never seen their faces before. I'm meeting with her on Monday to go through the photos in an attempt to identify them, most are nameless and will likely remain so. This is somewhat discouraging because I am fairly certain that two of the photos are my great-great grandparents.

And otherwise, rain-rain-rain- last night a long, loud storm. The leaves are attempting to leaf out and I saw trilliums in the woods. At the cemetery bright yellow tulips were blooming on my grandparents' graves. I forgot what Spring was really like.

Friday, May 02, 2008

It would be helpful if I chat with you using the telephone, if you could email me your digits. I have a new cell phone coming today, and I have no access to phone numbers. Brady, if you read this, you are required to do so, since I need to call you with my flight information for Tuesday.

Yesterday, Susan, Mummy, and I went and had lunch with my Amish brother. I admired the cute piglets and patted his new dog Elinore on the head. Afterwards, I stopped and took photos of the little one-room schoolhouse my nice grandmother taught at in 1930-1931. Then my mother took us to the old family farm, where her father grew up in the early 1900s. The place is abandoned so I went into the run-down house and took photos. Upstairs I discovered that the bedroom was insulated with old newspapers from 1900. I pulled a piece off to take home with me and frame.

A cat hair in the eye incident at Susan's house led to my cornea swelling up immensely. Very uncomfortable. I escaped this morning unscathed, driving in the rain to Traverse City. Today's goal: make an angel food cake and entertain myself while awaiting the UPS man. Perhaps he'll be as cute as the redhead who just wandered into the library's computer room.

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