Tuesday, July 19, 2022

At the Presidio Museum there is an enormous fig tree. When we did the archaeological excavations in the early 2000s, we found an outhouse pit filled with figs dating to the 1880s. The tree has likely been there since that time, although the way fig trees grow there is likely no wood from that time period still present.

The tree is loaded with figs, and since the museum is closed for the month, I am uncertain whether any of them will be picked (last year the refugee group picked many).

The fig tree.

I picked about six pounds of figs. 


I used a recipe from the New York Times website, using less sugar than called for. The other ingredients were balsamic vinegar and lemon juice. 

Fig jam cooking.

I made the jam last night, but canned it tonight. I have seven jars- some will go to the Presidio for use during Living History.

Seven jar of jam.

I'm going to Michigan on Thursday, the first flight in three years. I will be interested to see how many people are sensible enough to wear a mask. 

Monday, July 11, 2022

I'm still here. My neighbors painted their house a bright yellow. I really like it, plus it makes it easy to tell people where I live, "I'm next to the yellow house."

Mellow yellow.

It is summer and hot so Matt and I often wander around the three antique malls in Tucson, enjoying the AC. Many of the things for sale are younger than me.

I know the secret word that makes Matt smile.

Clyde Kitty likes to sit in the living room because the AC is on and it is relatively cool.


At work I spent a month digging pits at a San Pedro phase site. I can still dig a couple of pits a day. A couple of the pits were huge.

I could sit inside some of them while digging.

I found lots of Empire style points, that date to around 3,000-years-ago. Someone asked me what happens to the things I find- they all end up at the museum.

Three points from a single pit.

This point was purple, my favorite color.

I went to New Mexico to teach a class at field school. It was nice to get away, but that night it rained and my tent filled with water. 

Rainbow over the reconstructed pueblo.



I had lunch with Tyler at the Hari Krishna restaurant. It was fun to catch up.


It is pool season so Matt and I have been in four different pools. 


I have been making cakes, although I am on a diet and have lost almost 20 pounds.

Robert: chocolate mayonnaise with chocolate cream cheese frosting.

Doug: yellow cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting.

Peter and Corey's wedding reception: vegan chocolate mayonnaise with vegan chocolate buttercream frosting, vegan carrot cake with vegan cream cheese frosting, and vegan pineapple upside-down cake.

I have written a second set of postcards to send to the five Supreme Court judges who think we should not have privacy, while whining about how they no longer have privacy. I gave Planned Parenthood $50 and on Amy C-word Barrett's postcard I said something like, "I hope they use it for an abortion." I fully expect those religious maniacs to reverse marriage equality and every law relating to LGBT civil rights. Personally, I hope those five are never, ever able to appear to public without being harassed.

I have been watching the January 6th hearings. I keep thinking that the people who should be watching are not watching.

It is my high school 40th anniversary reunion this year, but I have no desire to go. I was Facebook friends with some of the people- but they turned out to be Trump cult members and/or anti-vaxxers. I unfriended two and was unfriended by others. One of the two I unfriended posted some anti-lesbian thing which pissed off a lesbian. And really what do I have in common with these people?

I'm going back to Michigan for my uncle's memorial service. Plane tickets were ridiculous, as are rental cars. So I have to fly into Detroit and drive 6 hours north. Not looking forward to being on an airplane with unmasked people. 

Thursday, May 05, 2022

This is my great grandfather Philip Feiger. He was the father of my maternal grandfather.

Philip Feiger

He was born in 1874 in Pittsburgh to Philip and Juliana (Krauth) Feiger. His father had worked in the steel rolling mills and moved to Michigan hoping to improve the lives of his family.

Philip was married to Grace Chandler in 1899. Grace was born in 1875 in Grand Traverse County, the daughter of David Green Chandler and Sarah DeEtte Pierce. I have her autograph book, pen, and a red glass shoe that belonged to her.

Grace Lee  Chandler.

The couple's first child Amy was born in February 1900. She died when she was 3 1/2 months old.

Amy's tombstone.

Byron was born in 1901 when Philip was Deputy Sheriff of Grand Traverse County and he and Grace lived on the top floor of the jail. His father-in-law David Chandler was the Sheriff.

David Green Chandler and Philip Feiger, circa 1902, in front of the Jail.

My grandfather Harold was born in 1904 and his brother Frederick in 1905

Byron, Frederick, and Harold. My grandfather hated this picture because he is wearing a dress and had a ribbon in his hair.

Daughter Bessie was born on 10 January 1907. The very next day little Frederick died. I can't imagine how horrible that must have been.

And then in August 1907, Philip died from septic peritonitis caused by his appendix bursting. Grace was left with three children under the age of seven to raise.

Philip's death certificate.

Grandpa and Grandma Feiger named their youngest son Phillip in honor of Harold's father. 

There was no money for a tombstone, Grace struggled to raise her family. She eventually married an older cousin. She was beset with health problems, including severe arthritis in her hands. She died from stomach cancer at age 54

Uncle Phillip died on April 24th at age 83.

The next day I got an email. The tombstone I had ordered last October for Philip and his son Frederick had been placed in the cemetery. I wish Uncle Phillip had lived to know about this. 


Eventually I need to purchase a couple more tombstones- one for my stillborn brother and another for a great-great grandmother who doesn't have one.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Well a month passed. In the middle of March I arranged a surprise birthday party for Matt. It was a surprise! I invited a few friends, ordered pizza from Los Olivos, made a yellow cake with chocolate frosting.

Addison, J.P., Earl, Matt, Peter, and Mark.

Matt got some nice presents including a set of Pyrex refridgerator containers and six Little House books, which he is enjoying reading.

Matt and the Cake.

I made lemon sugar cookies and various colored lemon icings for Egg Day cookies. They were delicious.


Last Wednesday I boiled eggs and we colored them.


On Egg Day I made scalloped potatoes and took that and peas to Matt's house. He made a cheesy-bread bake and carrots. I ate too much.

A surprise visitor was Ray from Spain. We went to BK's for tacos. It was nice to catch up.

Senor Ray.

I've mostly been watching boreholes, auger holes, and trenches along Silverbell Road. I sit on a bucket a lot.

Today I was taking care of comments on a monitoring plan when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. It was a bobcat kitten. I tapped on the window and it stopped to look at Erina and I. It stood there and probably wondered who and what we were. It was very cute.

Bobcat Kitten.


Friday, April 08, 2022

The 1950 United States census has been released after 72 years. I looked up my parents, grand parents, and one set of great grandparents. No real surprises.

Well one surprise, one grandmother was a census taker. My father is living at home working on the farm.

The Thiels

Grandpa had another 14 years working for Michigan Bell. Grandma would soon go to work for Milliken's Department Store in the book and stationary department. My mother would graduate from high school, spend the summer working as a telephone operator, and then head off to Michigan State where she hated her fencing class and purposely flunked it.

The Feigers

Colonel and Maybelle lived out in Almira Township. Colonel was farming- not sure what he was growing. Maybelle had another year of life.

The Ransoms.

I have spent thousands of hours doing genealogical research for myself and for work. Nice to have a new set of records to look at.


Monday, March 14, 2022

I made marmalade. I picked oranges from the tree in my front yard.

Front yard orange tree.

I filled the colander that once belonged to my mother.


I used a mandolin to thinly slice the oranges, being careful not to slice my fingers.

Sliced oranges.

I used this recipe. It is really easy to make.



Friday, March 11, 2022

So Facebook allows RT, the Russia Today propaganda channel, to have a page. They are posting pro-Russian garbage. I have been leaving some pretty nasty comments. Finally, I posted a photo of President Zelensky and they reported a comment, the result is that Facebook banned me for a day. Ridiculous. Initially I felt sorry for the Russian soldiers being sent to a war they didn't want to participate in. But I listened to some intercepted phone conversations in which the soldiers boasted about killing people (they took eight people out in the woods and shot them) and looting things. My empathy vanished. It is really too bad that someone hasn't offed Putin.

I bought a scale and now I am on a diet. Low carb. Lots of vegetables. 

Matt and I walked around Columbus Park and saw people fishing in the gross water in the man-made lake.

Homer and Matt.

Snowball meows loudly when Clyde is not in the house. Ruby lets me know when Clyde wants to come inside (sometimes at 2 AM, sigh).



I have been out monitoring giant auger holes being dug for new power poles. The most exciting thing was me rescuing a little mouse that fell out of the side of one of the holes.

On Valentine's day Matt gave me a cute painting of a little chick. Someday I will have a chicken coop. The neighbors have a rooster and hen and I hear the crowing and cackling every day.


Friday, February 25, 2022

 So yesterday Russia invaded Ukraine. Putin is a vile creature, a maniacal, evil man. And the Orange Thing was busy praising him. 

The Republicans, instead of uniting with the rest of the world, are either busy supporting Russia (e.g., Fox "News") or blaming President Biden for not doing enough (what more could he do?). 

Thousands of innocent people are going to die and Fox "News" talking heads are supporting Russia. What has happened to our country?

And then there are the book bannings, the "Don't Say Gay," bills, the "Don't Make White People Sad" bills, and on and on. And the abortion bans. It just goes on and on. What has happened to our country?

Anyways, I made some lemon cookies and they tasted like Fruit Loops.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Well last week was dreadful. Luckily the car situation was resolved quickly. I had it towed over to the Hyundai dealership where they determined the problem was a fuel injector and something else, it did not require a complete new engine. So by Tuesday afternoon the car was back. I also got a new gas dryer on Tuesday afternoon, so my laundry room is functioning again.

And then there was the vile person threatening me with a libel lawsuit. A common tactic of this vile person. I made sure I collected some of the crap it had written about me, all lies. If  it ever threatens me again I will threaten it back. Vague, I know. 

I gave two 1.75 hour tours today of public art downtown. My feet are killing me. It makes me very whiney.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

 I wish I had not bought that 2019 Hyundai Accent from Hertz Car Sales in Scottsdale, Arizona.

1). In June 2020, when I got back to Tucson I realized three days later that the paperwork I had was for a different car. It took eight or nine months to solve that.

2). While this was ongoing the police pulled me over and said the temporary license was both expired and belonged to the other car. I got a warning. That took a couple of weeks to resolve.

3). Driving down I-10 the left rear tire blew up. I discovered the car would not stop at first, so I was driving on the shoulder at 50+ miles per hour until finally the brakes decided to work.

4). My fault, I almost rolled the car at the dig site when the right wheels slid off a cutbank as I was backing up. I had to have two backhoes lift the car up. 

5). I went to refinance the car and discovered the wrong bank had the lien. That took six months to resolve. And when it did, they didn't bother to tell me until I contacted them, again.

6). Friday, at 37,700 miles, the engine died. Something to do with the third cylinder. I know nothing about engines. Luckily it happened close enough to a garage that I was able to get it there and have it diagnosed. I have been told the car needs a new engine. I realized the paperwork for the extended warranty probably has the old VIN number. I called Hertz Car Sales yesterday and they claim that it is with the car. I will find out tomorrow. Tomorrow I get to see whether the Fidelity Warranty ($2,799 plus tax) will cover the new engine, towing, and a rental. I really expect them to deny things, because that is what insurance companies do.

So yeah, I have been telling Matt the car was cursed and he finally agreed with me that I was right.

Monday, January 31, 2022

Matt and I went to Whitewater Draw to see the sandhill cranes. There are 10,000s of them (40k?) they hang out in the water there. It was very impressive. I asked the Game and Fish guy why the state of Arizona allows hunting of the cranes. His response was "Because they are tasty." My response, "Yeah, right!" It is just some asshole doing target practice on a beautiful bird.

Matt and Homer.


On the road we stopped and I got to pet a donkey. The two cows were not friendly.


I need to figure out something to do with the plentiful regular and Meyer lemons. I picked a bowl that is sitting on my counter. Another bagful I gave to Adam today.

Meyer Lemons.

I made Matt go with me to see King's Canyon two Saturdays ago. Matt knows that I am not a huge fan of hiking, but this particular trail is fun. There are Archaic period petroglyphs in the one spot, Matt was excited to see them.

Kings Canyon.

Homer and Matt.

I have avoided catching Omicron. Several people I know have had it, luckily they are vaccinated and boosted, so it was not serious. In Arizona, between 400 and 500 people are dying each week. I am guessing most are Republicans. Will be curious to see if this effects the election in November.


Thursday, January 13, 2022

 I've worked for Desert Archaeology for 29.5 years. The company is celebrating its 40th anniversary. I wrote a blog about it HERE.

Friday, December 31, 2021

Goodbye 2021.

My annual end-of-year selfie. Is this wretched year finally over?

More zoom meetings.
Stupid people.
Stupid politicians (Manchin, Sinema, almost all Republicans).
Some good archaeology.
Some good genealogy.
Lots of time with Matt.
Spoiling Ruby, Snowball, and Clyde.
Seeing Pete and Rose have a cute baby, Zoe, who gets cuter every time I see her.
Crossword puzzles.
A new water heater for Doug.
Thrift store paintings.

Good deed for the year. This summer I went to an estate sale with Matt. In the backyard I came across a box of photos and letters. I purchased them for $20. I was able to research and identify almost all of the people. Then I located a relative, a woman born in 1940. The photos came from her grandfather and included many photos of her mother and uncle, and even some of her. I sent them to her and I know she must have been excited to get them, she sent me a card afterward. I wrote a blog post on my other blog (HERE).

Homer, 31 December 2021, 11:02 AM


Holiday decorations, 2021. Click on any picture to enlarge them.

I managed to find a nice, fresh tree at Home Depot ($81) and decorated it with blue lights, felt ball garland, and mostly modern (with a few antique) glass ornaments.

Tree no. 1.

I took down the television, cannot remember the last time I watched anything on it. In its place were ceramic trees and bears.

Trees and bears.

Bottle brush trees, Santas, and deer were on the adjacent shelves, backlit with lights.

The top Santa has been in my family for decades.

Above were the German Erzgebirge orchestra angels and a few other wooden ornaments. These were in the box that I got for $6. On Ebay the angels are selling each for $20 and more. 


On the knick-knack shelf are a couple of ceramic deer and my vintage blocks.

Happy Holiday!

Next is the flocked tree with all hand-made ornaments including many made by my mother and Susan.


A panorama shot of the dining room with a wreath I made, animals and bottle brush trees, a red tree with Shiny Brite ornaments, vintage cards, silver tree with crazy Grandma's ornaments, some Santas, and etc,

Click to enlarge!

I hosted a small, vaccinated Cookie Decorating Party. People had a nice time seeing old and new friends, eating foods (don't do vegetable dip next year!), and decorating cookies.

Matt talking with JP while Doc talks with Jamie.

I made gingerbread and sugar cookies (Better Homes and Garden recipes). The frosting was powdered sugar with Meyer lemon juice squeezed from my tree.


Matt and I exchanged presents. I think he liked the ridiculous capybara book the best (or maybe the Martha Stewart signed cookbook?).

Matt and Homer.

I hope however you celebrated, you had a nice time.



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