Tuesday, November 15, 2022

 The 2022 midterm elections are almost counted for Arizona. Thankfully the Democrat Katie Hobbs has won over her crazed opponent Kari Lake. Also we will have a Democratic Attorney General and Secretary of State. Mark Kelley was also re-elected. 

Arizona is slowly turning Blue, partly because younger voters are overwhelmingly choosing Democrats and partly thanks to the recent arrivals from California.

After weeks of worry, I can rest easier for a while.

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

October was the busiest month. I gave a Zoom talk, three cemetery tours, and taught a paper flower and crown making workshop at the Presidio Museum. The workshop had 14 women, including five from San Francisco. They had such a good time, I really enjoyed them.

Crown ladies.

I also constructed an Offrenda (altar) at the Museum, the theme was Thrift Store Ancestors, consisting of photographs I have purchased at thrift stores, antique stores, or estate sales.

Thrift Store Ancestors.

I hosted an All Souls Procession cocktail party yesterday. I made an Offrenda and decorated it with photos of my ancestors and pets. Each year I have to make hundreds of paper flowers. The arch is a bit crooked, I probably need to get a new piece of plastic pipe for it. 


I made Better Homes and Garden sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies. I messed up one batch of each and had to start over. But they got baked, finally. Peter and Corey came over and helped decorate them with lemon icing. They were delicious. 


For the party I made vegan chili, jalapeno cornbread, squash casserole, hummous, fruit salad, pico de gallo salsa, and a chocolate mayonnaise cake. People ate most of the food, although I have a lot of hummous because I made a big batch.

I did a lot of people's makeup.

Armando and Robert.

I had made five paper flower crowns. Ginger was one of the persons who wore them, she looked great.

Ginger and husband.

Caleb, Ben, and Homer.

Homer and Matt

We walked down to the Procession. As always, I enjoyed seeing the creativity of so many people. 

Afterward when I got home and washed my face I discovered the red dots were very stubborn.

Monday, October 17, 2022

It is October and finally things have cooled off. It is still raining after the end of the Monsoon. There was even hail on Saturday.

Robert and I hung out one Saturday and among other things we went to Eegees for lunch.

Open your eyes Robert!

In September, Sandy made a special guest star appearance from Australia. He hasn't been back in the US for 10 years. He stayed at my house for the first week and one night we got on the street car and went down to IBTs, where there happened to be a trivia contest. We placed third! Sandy is planning to return permanently to the US next year. Yeah!

Sandy, Diva, and Homer.

Ruby was super-excited to have a new human boyfriend. Sandy was nice to play ball with.


Someday I need to adopt a friend for Ruby, another dog for her to play with. I will probably wait for Snowball to go, since I don't think little Snowball would like another dog.

Matt bought a condo in a co-op and has been slowly fixing things up- removing the many shelves and painting primer and paint. 

Homer and Matt.

I bought a set of photographs at an estate sale. Not expecting that they were from the same family. When I removed some from their frames, I found that they were labeled and could be identified. I researched the family and posted the data on my Identifying Thrift Store Photographs website. It is very satisfying to solve genealogical mysteries.

Austin Todd.


Sunday, September 18, 2022

Version 59. I stayed home from work for my birthday and cleaned house. Addison and Elizabeth got a pizza and cake for me. 

Matt took me out to dinner at Denny's and I had a side salad with 1000 island dressing, grilled cheese, onion rings, and chocolate shake. He got me a Smokey the Bear hat, a Smokey the Bear mini building blocks, and a nice painting. It was a good day.



Friday, September 09, 2022

 Queen Elizabeth II and I were 10th cousins, twice removed, something I learned earlier this year. Our common ancestor was Thomasine (Belgrave) Frost (1562-after1616). We have over 200 common ancestors. This is according to data on WikiTree.

My mother was fascinated by the British Royal Family late in her life. After she died I found a bag of expensive Royalty magazines. Susan says she got up early to watch Harry and Meg get married. She would have been excited to know that she was a 10th cousin, once removed.

I was very sad yesterday. It seems strange to be sad about someone I never met. But she was a constant, steady person who I remember from my childhood, and really there aren't many people left from that older generation.


Monday, August 22, 2022

For the first time in three years I boarded an airplane. I wore a mask in the airports and on the planes. I do not want to catch Covid.

First airplane.

Plane tickets are ridiculous. I had to fly into Detroit, rented the cheapest car (a Mitsubishi that blew around in the wind and got terrible gas mileage). And drove to my sister Susan's house.

She was attending a concert. I discovered the black raspberry bushes behind her house at delicious blackberries on them. I also discovered her septic tank was backed up.

Black raspberries.

She still has Mother's 16 or 17-year-old toy poodle Darby. The poor thing is blind and pees everywhere.

Homer, Susan, and Darby.

I ended up renting a hotel in the middle of the woods near my brother's house. It was like a serial killer hotel, but I got to see deer and turkeys and enjoyed the AC.

We went often to Tractor Supply, where I bought horse medicine, dog and cat food, and some clothes. I was naughty and snuck this picture of my Amish brother getting into the tiny red car. I chose a red car since it was easy to find in parking lots.

Amish brother.

We went to Oakwood Cemetery and looked at tombstones. This is my great great grandparents'. He was a Civil War soldier.

Philip David Feiger and Julia Ana (Krauth) Feiger tombstone.

He has a mulberry tree next to his house and I enjoyed eating mulberries right off the tree.


My brother joined the Amish church in 1996. Below is a panorama of his house, not wired for electricity but with a bathroom with water pumped by his windmill.

Brother's house, click on photo to enlarge.

It was the tail end of cherry season. I bought one batch that was really good, and one batch that had good ones on top and mediocre ones hiding below.

Mediocre cherries.

I had gone back to Michigan to attend Uncle Phillip's funeral/memorial. I had to buy a last-minute tie.

First tie in three years.

The event was held in the backyard of the Perry Hannah house in Traverse City, now a funeral home. My great great grandfather was friends with Perry, who basically founded the city.
Perry Hannah house.

Lots of relatives showed up. Aunt Judy said, "You don't look like Homer." I said, "I'm bald and fat now." Sisters Elizabeth and Susan, brother-in-law Jeff. My Amish brother could not come because of the military aspect of the event. Cousins Deb, Andy, Fred, Janeen, James, Richard, Tim, Marcia, and Edna (I had not met her). As well as various spouses and children. I always enjoy talking to my Ransom relatives and when I got back to Michigan I sent them the family history I had put together. Deb, Fred, Richard, and Peter told stories. Members of the American Legion fired a salute (Phillip had been in the Marines). 

Afterward Susan and I drove to the cemetery. There Phillip's urn was placed in a plastic casket, lowered into the earth, and we sprinkled soil on him. 

At the cemetery. Sister Elizabeth is in the red shirt, with brother-in-law Jeff next to her.

At the Amish store where my brother works I bought a bunch of jams and some granola for Matt at the general store. Lee works in the Produce store down the driveway.

Produce store.

At the back of the produce store is the ice room. They cut the ice on nearby ponds in the winter and it keeps things frozen and cold all year long.

Ice house room.

On the way back to the airport I stopped at Bronner's Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth. I noticed the nativity out front did not have a Black king (all three were very white).

Bronner's Christmas Wonderland.

The interior is enormous with areas with specialized ornaments. Penguins! Food! Unicorns! I bought a rhino and a Santa baker in the clearance section. Still a little pricy.

Bronner's interior, click to enlarge.

I made in back to Tucson safely. I did not catch Covid despite not wearing a mask in most places (hardly anyone does up there). It was a nice trip.


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.


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