Sunday, August 28, 2011

So ready for the summer to be over with. As evidence I submit this photo taken while driving north to Flagstaff:


Once I arrived in Flagstaff, I was excited to see the many varieties of wildflowers blooming. Unfortunately, the resulting allergies made my eyes weepy and me sleepy.

Mountain geranium.

Evan and I made a squash cake, which dramatically spilled over the pans and made a mess in the oven. But it was delicious. Today, we had breakfast and then looked for a nice bunch of allergy-inducing flowers to pose with.

Bee weed and some yellow flowers.


At home, it is now 96 degrees at 8:30 PM. I can't wait for it to cool down!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A surprise find. I am working at a historic period site right now, and so far, we are not finding what we expected to find. The most interesting thing discovered is a roasting pit or horno. Basically a big pit cut into the ground. The ancient peoples filled it with wood, then lay rocks on top, and used it as a big oven, perhaps cooking agave plants or maybe cactus.

Roasting pit.

The photo is after Allen removed the top layer of smaller, cracked rocks, exposing larger rocks below. Later he removed these rocks and uncovered another layer of smaller rocks. This suggests the pit was used multiple times.

The nearest prehistoric site is maybe a half mile away, so this was a rather surprising discovery. It is in an area that has not been examined by archaeologists before, and so deeply buried that there would have been no surface evidence for the pit or other nearby features. The presence of pottery indicates it dates to sometime between A.D. 500 and A.D. 1450, but we will probably have to radiocarbon date some charcoal to get a better date estimate (the pottery looks like it is all plain wares, which are not very good for dating).

So hot and miserable outside, even an interesting feature like this can barely perk me up.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Worst weekend. My body ached all weekend, I think a combination of sleeping on the couch in front of the window-mounted AC unit and the physical labor involved at the dig site (mostly sitting on a bucket watching the backhoe).

Yesterday afternoon I wandered by myself around Sweetwater Wetlands and saw some varmints.

Egret and green water.

Most of the birds have fled the horrid heat and gone somewhere else, the ones that are left swim their way through the green algae covered water.

Barrel cactus.

A cactus bloomed, with bees burrowing deep into the flower for nectar.

There were many brightly colored dragonflies flitting about, but none remained still enough to pose for a picture, until at the very end.


Back to work today, hopefully my body is getting acclimated to the heat and movement, and I will not be a whiny, hot mess.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

At the dig site, Dan broke open an old sewer pipe. It was completely filled with cockroaches. I did not scream. I have never seen so many roaches in one spot, except perhaps at Murray's apartment in New York City back in 1988 (I actually saw them crawling out of his cereal box). I stuck my camera up close to the pipe and took this alarming picture:

All different sizes.

In the afternoon I went to the Farmer's Market. What is up with the Stupid Farmer's Market Shopping Behavior? People who take cuts in line because they are a "regular." People who decide to get additional things after they have paid and you are next in line. The woman who is selling produce and never shows up with small bills and always complains when you hand her a ten. I have learned to avoid these folks- just because it is organic and home grown doesn't mean you have to take forever to make your purchases.

- a dozen eggs ($3.50)
- six potatoes
- four peaches
- two summer squashes
- two thin eggplants
- a red onion
- a yellow onion
- three tomatoes (tomorrow night, tomato sandwiches!)

Tonight I am finally making watermelon rind pickles. The watermelon I bought last week tastes just like the ones we grew back in Michigan. It even has big black seeds inside. So much better than store-bought and I'm not even a huge fan of watermelon.

Didn't find anything at the dig. I had a horrible neck/back ache in the morning and was pretty miserable. Luckily, Mario bought some painkillers to me and by the afternoon I felt much better.


Thunder and lightning!!! I hope it rains a lot.

Beetle on cactus.

I hope all of its dreams come true.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Does anyone actually believe Marcus Bachmann is straight?

He is everything I feared when I was first coming out- that I would morph into some sleazy, effeminate man. Creepy McCreepster, the guy you definitely would not want to have anywheres near your children because then you would have to drag out that little dolly and ask said children whether Uncle Marcus touched their junk. He just oozes perversity. I can see why the Bachmanns only had girl foster dollar-children, I am sure Michelle didn't want Marcus to have access to hot teenage flesh.

In other news, I wish I could grow a moustache like this:

Sunday, August 14, 2011

We made zucchini pickles yesterday, I'm not sure how good they will be. And last night we watched Pink Flamingos and in three places I had to close my eyes.

This morning we went to Sweetwater Wetlands, not expecting to see much wildlife. The little lizards skittered over the ground and we walked the long way around. In the second pond we saw an egret patiently watching for a frog to eat.


It was cloudy and humid and I was all sweaty.

Me and Evan.

In one area, recently burned off and re-planted, a single male killdeer was hanging out with a bunch of females.


As we left we saw a bunch of yellow finches.

You'll have to click on the picture to see them.

Little Tiny was running around in her yard, so excited to see me. I reached over and picked her up.

She likes to give kisses.

Quiet now in the house, it is better when Evan is here.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I was short on cash at the Santa Cruz Farmer's Market, so I didn't get everything I wanted. I was there right as they opened, so I was able to pick exactly what I wanted with the dollars I had.

Pretty produce.

- a dozen eggs
- a watermelon for watermelon rind pickles
- three yellow onions
- okra for my co-worker Lisa

The day was spent in a mind-number HAZWOPER refresher course.

I get a bunch of catalogues for my mother and today's catalogue, "Healthy Living," includes sex toys for grannies among its products. I gasped. "Make Bed Time Your Best Time" and "Better than the Real Thing" were among the captioned items, pages away from the Prune Wafers. Goodness!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Even though it is a bazillion degrees and uber-humid, I fired up the 1950s Visibake and made two batches of nectarine jam.

Parboil seven large nectarines to loosen the skin, remove. Dice up, put in pot with 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (the produce at Food City is really the best place to buy store-bought produce) and 7 1/2 cups sugar. Cook until boiling, then add the pectin, count from 1 to 60, turn off the stove. Ladle the jam into sterilized jar, apply lids, boil, take out, listen for the lids to pop.

Nectarines before the boil.

In slightly more than an hour and a half I made 12 jars of nectarine jam, plus some left over to use now.

Nectarine jam.

Starting next week I will be out doing archaeology digs for a month to five weeks. So excited to get to play in the dirt again.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

At the Farmer's Market I arrived later than normal and everything was pretty picked through.

I purchased:

- six tomatoes
- three chili peppers
- two onions
- eight small peaches

I immediately ate two of the peaches. One wasn't all the way ripe, the other was perfect.

I sauteed a half onion, two cloves garlic, and the six chopped tomatoes, plucked some rosemary from the bush in my backyard, added some salt and pepper. After it was cooked, I put it in the blender to make sauce.

I then sliced an eggplant from last week, breaded it with egg/milk mixture and flour/cornbread mixture, fried those, blotted on paper towel. I layered the eggplant and sauce and added thin slices of pepperjack cheese.

Eggplant Pepperjack.

Very delicious!!!

Since the kitchen was already hot, I made vanilla bean cupcakes with vanilla bean buttercream frosting. I don't really like the taste of powdered sugar, so I added a slab of cream cheese to the frosting.

Vanilla bean cupcake.

I'm so lazy that I will take the cupcakes and frosting to work and let the co-workers frost their own.

Good lord, I feel bloated now...

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

I attended my friend Reuben's Ph.D. defense today.

I am very proud to know Dr. Reuben, he is an awesome guy.


I vaguely remember doing my MA thesis defense back in 1992. It seems so long ago! I looked at 12,263 animal bones and looked at differences in diet between three households at a fur trading fort in North Dakota. Science!

Monday, August 01, 2011

My car did not break down on the highway and I arrived safely in Flagstaff.

We visited an antique store and Evan dressed up as a sailor-soldier.

Corporal Evan.

We went hiking up to Old Caves and I wanted to kidnap this cute squirrel.

Boy squirrel.

I did catch this little dragon.

He doesn't breathe fire.

I chose the wrong way to go back, and we hiked for a long time.

Lost hikers.

It was a lovely weekend.

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