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.


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.


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).


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.

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