Thursday, May 20, 2021

Well a month passed. After I received my second vaccination I had a slight rash, and a weeknlater a couple of weird days of probably unrelated hives. But now I am safe from Covid and it is a weird thing. Still wearing a mask around strangers though.

Vaccination rash.

Early in the month Matt and I went up to Casa Grande National Monument, only to find it was closed on Sunday. As we were driving there I spotted this BLM mural on the abandoned Selma Cotton  Gin. I was surprised to see it, Eloy is kind of a redneck community. Matt noted the many bullet holes.

BLM Mural.

Spring is turning into Summer, my house is gradually heating up. It is difficult to sleep, not helped by Clyde scratching at the door demanding to be let in and out. The cactus bloomed, it was pretty, the blooms are ephemeral, lasting only a day.

Purple cactus, yellow flowers in my front yard.

Ironwood blossoms.

Matt and palo verde tree blossoms.

The dig came to a somewhat frantic end. I completed excavation of several houses, finding interesting architecture and artifacts. This Hohokam site was unusual, not what we expected and many one-of-a-kind finds. At 57.5, I can still dig an entire pit house in a few days (faster than the kids!). It was time for the work to be done, at least that is what my hands tell me. One of the fingers on my right hand is numb from a pinched nerve and the metacarpal for that finger aches, perhaps from a stress fracture.

The silt at the site covered me every day.

One pit house that I excavated had a dense layer of trash at its top, with very silty soil down to the floor. Large amounts of small animal bones, so I screened through 1/8 mesh, finding a lot of bird bones and tiny beads. A number of shell ornaments also in the fill (see below).

Excavated pit house.

Ring pendant and shell lizard from the pit house.

Shell bird head and sun burst from the pit house.

Shell "bow tie (probably a stylized butterfly) from the pit structure.

A Hohokam pottery sherd from a neighboring house.

One night I woke up in the middle of the night, looked at my phone, and discovered that a 30-year-old man I was acquainted with had been murdered. Hunted down by an 18-year-old brat in broad daylight while out walking near his home. So David is dead, his mother and brother devastated, and this little brat is going to spend most of his life in prison. I did not know David very well, it was still a shocking thing. I think of the other people I know who were murdered- Phillip from grad school, the woman from the Mission bus tour, the disabled guy from across the street. It all seems so random and pointless.

The Safeway had rhubarb and I bought as lot and made two pies and a cake. I perfected making pie crust, although they don't look as nice as Martha's. The trick- freeze the butter, grate it, and incorporate it into the flour.

Rhubarb pie.

My hoya plant, which I grew from a cutting from the going-away present plant Grandma F got in 1947, decided to bloom a few weeks after I drenched it in the shower, washing dust off the leaves.

Hoya blossom.

The Presidio Museum is having an auction in August to raise money, so I bid on some things and ended up getting things for myself.

Vintage holiday.

I stopped by Patrick's house to get some cigar boxes and it was nice to talk with him. I have only seen him twice in the last year. I have hardly seen anybody, but as people get vaccinated that is going to change. Currently 41 percent of eligible Pima County residents are vaccinated.

Patrick, his massive beard, and his impressive flowers.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

We journeyed north to Casa Grande to go see Casa Grande National Monument, only to discover it was closed on Sundays. So instead we went to the Rooster Cogburn place near Picacho Peak.

What a horror. Despite signs telling people to wear a mask, many were not. I felt sorry for the workers being exposed to whatever those disease vectors were spreading.

They give you blue plastic cups with green pellets, a think of sugar syrup, and some coins to get feed for chickens, rabbits, and ducks. Also a little stick coated with seeds for the parakeets. The parakeets enjoyed this immensely.


Many of the other animals- the fallow deer, sheep, and goats looked miserable. Especially the goats, one group of which were stuck in this raised cage thing. Another group were sticking their heads out of openings begging for food.

In contrast, the ostriches seemed to be enjoying themselves, eagerly grabbing pellets out of your hands.


The lorikeets take the lids off the little plastic containers and drink the sugar syrup. They seemed healthy and tame, and were quite pretty.

Matt and a lorikeet.

Afterward I came home, had a nap, played ball with Ruby, chatted with Mario on the phone, and now I am watching a Korean tv show on Netflix. Tomorrow I am back digging an Hohokam pit structure, hoping to get down to the floor and hopefully finding more interesting artifacts.


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

I received my second Pfizer vaccination on April 7th. I have had a rash and the last two days very itchy hives, but I do not know if the hives are related. Anyways, on the 21st I will have reached the two week mark and will be safe from Covid-19. Matt is a week ahead of me. Most of my friends are vaccinated now, either first or second shot. I am glad that we have survived.

When Matt comes over Ruby is all over him.

Ruby's boyfriend Matt.

My egret painting has been framed and now hangs in the living room. It is ridiculous, but I really like it.


Matt came over for Egg Day lunch. I made a quiche, salad, and peas.

Table. I need to reupholster the chair.

Cheesey-asparagus quiche.

Egg Day decorations.

I'm still out digging. The site dates to the Hohokam pre-Classic era. I keep digging things that turn out to be something different from what I expected. Twice the house I am excavating ends up being a canal. 


The current feature I'm digging is almost certainly a house. The top layer contained a huge amount of trash- two shopping bags of ceramics. Some fun stuff has come out.

Shell pendant and shell lizard (ca. AD 850-1100).

Pretty decorated sherd.

The last two days I have been digging in very silty dirt. I come home coated with it.


Clyde Kitty likes to scratch at the door to let me know when he wants to come in or go out. He wakes me up in the middle of the night. I am so tired right now from digging and lack of sleep.

Clyde Kitty and Snowball.


Sunday, March 21, 2021

They opened Covid-19 vaccination to people 55+ a couple of weeks ago. I called and got an appointment for April 15th. Last Monday I received a call and was asked if I wanted to change my appointment and I did. So I drove to the Kino Sports Complex last Wednesday. It took about an hour from start to finish. I received trhe Pfizer vaccine.

Waiting for vaccine.

The next day around 10:45 AM, while out digging, I started to feel weird- could not concentrate and kept making mistakes. So I came home and went to bed for a while.

When I got up I made a yellow cake with nutella filling and chocolate frosting. It was Matt's 44th birthday. I took it over along with his presents- a Singer sewing machine and a variety of cloth and sewing goods. I look forward to him sewing me elaborate outfits.

Matt's cake.

I confess, the cake wasn't the best I have ever made. I blame it on the side effects of the vaccine. I am scheduled for my second vaccine on April 7th, I already feel a sense of relief, no longer having to fear that I am going to die from Covid.


Sunday, March 07, 2021

Buddy Cat came to lived with me in 2018 after Mummy died. He quickly decided living at my house was pretty nice, lots of delicious wet food given to him when he started meowing in the early morning. The last week he seemed off, finally stopped eating and started panting. I took him to the emergency vet on March 2 and they found that he had fluid around his lungs and that he probably had cancer. So he had to be put down. I cried all the way home. Matt came and helped me dig a hole next to Mama Cat and Joey's graves. He was so nice to me.

Last photo, February 23rd, before he got sick.

I'm still out digging pit houses. I found this beautiful sherd, Middle Rincon I phase.


So the pandemic continues. In Arizona, the governor is being stupid and the legislature is a nightmare (we didn't wear masks during the AIDS pandemic, so we shouldn't have to wear them now says the representative from Scottsdale).

I wrote a letter to the newspaper complaining about who is getting priority for vaccination.

Letter (you can click on it to enlarge).

On Tuesday, while I was at the vet, my neighbor Rose came home and found a little white puppy crying next to her recycling bin. Somebody had abandoned him .Matt was sitting on my porch and told me how cute it was. On Thursday I got to go over to their backyard and see little Eddy. 


Pete's brother is apparently going to adopt him. He has sharp teeth, you can see on my hand where he chewed on me.


I don't think Clyde Kitty would like having that puppy in my house.



Sunday, February 28, 2021

I've been busy working on a dig, it is cold in the morning but by lunch time it warms up.

Occasionally wildlife appears. Greg found this little snake, the same type that the roadrunner ate a while ago. Greg moved it to a safe location.

Banded sand snake.

I was digging elsewhere when out popped out a three-inch-long scorpion. It was not happy to see me, rearing his stinger up. I did not kill ir, sent it on its way.


Out at the dig site a few interesting artifacts are showing up.

Bone arrowhead.

The Hohokam made beautiful pottery, grinding hematite into a powder, mixing that with water, using a paintbrush to apply the paint onto pots in carefully drawn designs.

Hohokam pottery.

At home, Ruby and Clyde are having fun playing with each other. It is starting to warm up, but I leave the heater on in the living room for Buddy Cat, who at age 16 is getting old and skinny. He still likes to hang out with me at my desk, waiting patiently to lick some milk out of my cereal bowl.

Ruby keeping warm.

This weekend I felt sad, something reminded me of my mother. Poor Matt had to deal with me being depressed.


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

I laughed when I heard that Rush Limbaugh had died. He was evil, pure evil. I wish I believed in Hell, because if there was a Hell that piece of shit would be burning right now. 

Saturday, February 06, 2021

Everyday I feel more peaceful. It is amazing not to be embarrassed by some stupid thing the President and his horrible staff were dreaming up, tweeting, lying... The competence of President Biden and his team is wonderful. Imagine, the people he is appointing actually want to do a good job and be helpful! Amazing.

The pandemic is still raging, but slowly people are being vaccinated. I think here in Pima County something like 12 or 13 percent of the population have gotten at least one shot. Archaeologists are considered essential workers, but I am going to wait until Matt and I can go together. In the meantime, I am being very careful, wearing two masks in public 

I need a gas dryer, mine has died. So I stopped by the Habitat for Humanity store. They did not have any, but I did see a plate with fruit on them, 75 cents. It is now on my kitchen wall. While standing in line (double masked, socially distanced), the woman in front of me had an interesting painting. At the cash register a woman was busy chatting with the worker for a long time. Eventually the woman in front of me sighed and announced she had had enough. She took the painting back and left. I wandered over and looked for it, admired it, and paid $10 for it. Once I get some wire, it will join my picture gallery.

The painting. And the plate Matt got me for Holiday, with an embroidered cloth that I got somewhere.

The guest house fridge died so Doug and I went to Lowes and I ordered a new fridge. The covid fridge I bought last year around April when my fridge died, which was way too small, went into the guest house and today the guys from Lowes brought the new one. It is huge compared to that one, barely fit in the space. SO MUCH ROOM. IT had been a struggle for the last 10 months to put anything in the covid fridge (which was the only one available at that time I bought it).

The new fridge.

Tonight I am watching the Celebrating America show that aired on January 20th. I confess to tearing up at times. I have hope again.

Monday, February 01, 2021

Well that was a month.  I watched the Inauguration at work, the next few weeks I felt like I have PTSD. No more stupid tweets. No more horrible policies. Still have a couple of vile congress-women.

I'm out working on a dig. Last week it was cold and it snowed, lots of it in the mountains.

Hunter digging with the sow in the Catalina Mountains.

Found some interesting things. Some of the pottery is painted.


I am in the office a few days a week writing and I sometimes catch a movement out of the corner of my eye. A bobcat or a coyote will walk by, sometimes I tap on the window and they stop and I get a photo.


At home, Buddy Cat and Snowball like to sit in front of the radiator heater, absorbing warmth.

Snowball and Buddy Cat.

Yesterday Matt came over and I showed him how to make lemon curd. we used the Meyer lemons from my tree.

Matt zesting lemons.

We used Martha Stewart's recipe- sugar, egg yolks, salt, butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest. YUM!

Lemon curd.

Today at work a roadrunner walked over close to where I was working, a little strange. Suddenly it ran over and poked its beak into the ground and pulled out a baby snake and ran off. Crazy!


I got banned on Facebook for telling a nasty woman she was racist trash. Her Facebook feed was a mess of racist garbage, but apparently Facebook is fine with hate speech if conservative people post it. Can't wait for that company to be broken up.



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