Monday, April 01, 2024

Back in 2009 a little furry white and red kitten showed up in my backyard.

Homer and Snowball, 2009

My mother named the kitten. It was a male but always acted like a female, so I called Snowball a "her." 

The first few years she ran around the house like crazy. Mama Cat, Puff, and Joey hated her. Later on, when only Puff was left, he made peace with Snowball and they became friends. After mother died, I brought Buddy Cat back and they became friends too.

The last couple of weeks Snowball's body gave out. Stopped eating. Just huddled in place. Still wanted to sleep with her head on my shoulder. I called a vet this morning to come help things and when I moved Snowball to a blanket in the living room, she just suddenly died.

I wrapped her in a blanket inside a pillow case and buried her near Joey, Buddy Cat, and Mama Cat. I will miss my little friend.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

March. I spent a day survey with Brent northeast of Tucson. A 12.5 hour day. Looked at one previously identified site and that the most interesting thing. Lots of wildflowers, so that was nice to see.

Walking along US 70, north of Mount Graham.

In mid-March I took Matt to India Twist for his birthday supper. Afterward he got a store-bought cake (I know, bad). 

Matt, 47.

I put out some decorations for an Egg Day Party.

Mother made me the knitted ducks and chicken.

I made a cake and cookies.

Chocolate and raspberry cake.

Lemon sugar cookies.

A small group showed up to dye eggs, eat sandwiches and potato salad, and hang out.


Mark, Matt, and J.P.

Ruby had a nice time. John played Ball with her for a long time.


Sunday, March 10, 2024

I asked Matt to go to Catalina State Park. Unusual, I am not the best hiker. We did three miles and I almost fell down once.

Catalina State Park.

Snowball is getting elderly. Losing weight, breathing harder, wanting to eat mostly milk and cheese. I also realized that Snowball is actually 14 or 15 instead of 13 like I thought.

Matt and Snowball.

Meanwhile, Clyde continues to be a handsome puss.


On Wednesday at work I was eating a piece of bread with cheese on it and the corner of the left mandibular second molar decided to break off. The next day I got it repaired.

The broken tooth.

My fifth article in American Ancestors magazine. I am already working on the next one.

American Ancestors article.


Sunday, March 03, 2024

I went to the Santa Cruz River with a group to pick up trash. First we had a meeting where we talked about the history of the river and the De Anza trail. There were about a dozen folks, young and older (I am one of the older).

Tucson Wastewater is putting treated water into the river at this location. The vegetation is lush in the riparian area.

Tree tobacco.

Unfortunately, when it rains water carries trash from the washes that empty into the river. Unhoused people live in those washes and under bridges. The trash they discard is carried downstream and the vegetation in the riparian area catches it. 

So much trash. I found:

- 4 syringes (luckily no needles)
- styrofoam, a lot of it from broken up Polar Cups
- cigarette butts
- food wrappers
- plastic bags
- three toys
- a coat
- lighters
- plastic silverware
- plastic bottles and aluminum cans

I filled up a big bag. I had brought a bucket and just sat on the ground and collected trash, then moved a few feet and collected more. It is important to do so because endangered fish and Sonoran mud turtles are in the riparian area and you don't want them ingesting plastic.

My collected trash.

In all, we recovered 17 huge bags worth of refuse.

17 bags.

I felt like a did some good today.

Garbage man Homer.


Thursday, February 29, 2024

Spring has arrived. It is warming up and raining a lot.

A couple of Saturdays ago I said let's go to Saguaro Park West Unit. We stopped at the visitor center and I gave the staff a bag of lemons. The woman was very happy.

We found a spot to hike and wandered along a trail. Matt is going on a big Grand Canyon hike and wants to get in better shape.

Saguaro Park West Unit.

Last weekend we went to the rodeo. People watched, rodeo watched. Rodeo bull and horse riders are insane. They had 4-year-old kids riding sheep.

Matt, Carver, and Homer.

Today we did a proposal presentation for a big project that has little actual in-the-ground archaeology. But lots of historical research. Will we get it? Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

I made sugar cookies using Martha Stewart's recipe. I added Meyer lemon zest for one batch and orange zest for the other, both picked off my and the neighbor's trees (you really couldn't taste the difference.

The frosting was just powdered sugar and Meyer lemon juice. The bags of frosting kept opening up, it made a terrible mess, but I got the decorating done.


Last night Matt came over and we had a Valentine's Day dinner and afterwards he ate a lot of the cookies. My co-workers got the rest and they quickly disappeared.

It was a nice evening after yet another day of exciting report comments from reviewers. 

Friday, February 09, 2024

 Archaeology used to be fun. I mostly did excavation projects on mostly historic period sites. I managed crews excavating interesting things (buildings, wells, outhouse pits, trash-filled pits, etc.). I would analyze the historic artifacts. Research the people and buildings. And write interesting reports. Often I would give public talks about the work (I still do, but for old projects or for solely historical research I have done).

Lately archaeology has been less fun. Much less fun. I walk along portions of Interstate highways. "Oh look another urine-filled bottle." I watch trenches being dug for utilities. And then I write boring reports.

And wait for the comments. You try to write a perfect report, and the people reviewing the reports find new things to comment about. Sometimes these are new policies that have been enacted since the report was written since it can take months for the review to take place. Or the reviewers have information about something that they didn't bother to tell you about. Or the "area of potential effect" changes. Or they want additional information that requires maps to be altered or more historical research.

Recently I was called unprofessional by a reviewer. In that case citing a city's historical website was deemed unprofessional. 

So anyways, archaeology isn't much fun anymore. I get more satisfaction doing genealogical research.

Friday, January 19, 2024

I spent nine days in the Phoenix metro area working on a dig. I have not spent much time up there since 1996, when I ran a dig for two months.

I attended Arizona State University in Tempe from 1988 to 1992. Fast forward and Tempe is unrecognizable. New, tall buildings everywhere. The river is dammed and is a big lake. A streetcar runs through it. I finally saw a few university buildings and two churches that I remembered. Tempe is surrounded by other cities, so the only option is to build up (but not too far up, since the Sky Harbor airport flight path passes overhead).

Traffic was crazy. Phoenix has turned into another Los Angeles.

Matt took care of Ruby, Snowball, and Clyde. They were all pleased to see me yesterday afternoon, I certainly missed them too. Hotel rooms- blech.


Sunday, December 31, 2023

Last day. So 2023 is almost over. Today Matt and I went shoe shopping and ended up purchasing matching sneakers. Will the trend continue? Afterward a gross meal at IHOP, where they no longer make grilled cheese sandwiches. Won't be going back.

Highlights of 2023:

- turning 60 in Pompeii
- getting engaged to Matt in Rome
- spending time with my Amish brother
- finishing a couple of books
- having an article accepted for American Ancestors magazine
- three successful parties
- healthier!

Lowlights of 2023:

- car being broken into (it truly is cursed)
- catching Covid
- work has been pretty dull
- Snowball's incessant meowing in the middle of the night 

End of the year selfie with Clyde

What will 2024 bring? Stay tuned...


Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Can you have too many holiday decorations?  Let's find out?

I had my annual Holiday Cookie Decorating Party on Sunday. I decorated the dining room, living room, and my bedroom. Click an image to make them larger.

Dining room:

Erzgebirge angel choir. 

Red tree with felt ornaments, made by my mother and sister Susan.

1940s Holiday cards

Giant Santa head that Mother gave me.

Living room:

Flocked tree with Shiny Brite ornaments.

Santa and his moose.

Ceramic and one beaded tree. The pink one doesn't light up, unfortunately.

The 1968 Nylint house trailer I got for my birthday from Ace Hardware.

The main tree with mostly modern vintage looking ornaments. 

The bedroom:

IKEA tree with home-made ornaments.

White tree with crocheted or tatted balls.

Creepy Santa.


Homer-made luminarias.

I baked about 140 sugar and gingerbread cookies and made 4 pounds worth of powdered sugar and lemon icing, which I colored and put in bags. 

Ryan, Jeffrey, Shannon, and Amelia decorating.


Matt displaying more cookies. 

I served chili, corn casserole (popular!), chips with dips and salsa, a fruitcake, and a chocolate mayonnaise cake with cranberry filling and Nutella cream cheese frosting on top. Also Homer-made eggnog.

We all had a good time and it was nice to see people I don't often get to see. 91-year-old Ann was the highlight, she loves how I decorate.


Friday, November 24, 2023

Day 10. Every morning I tromp up the mountain. Sometimes it is still dark and the sun is just starting to rise. Sometimes, like this morning, it was light outside.

There is a steep, shorter way or a longer, less steep way. I've been doing the steep side. I huff and puff.

Near the top.

I sometimes see people walking their dogs. I always say hello to both.

I often see animals- little birds hopping about, cottontails, coyotes (twice), a javelina, and deer (twice). Today I saw three deer. One of them stopped to stare at me.


Yesterday was Thanksgiving, not one of my favorite holidays. I made carrot-raisin salad, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes. Matt made vegetarian stuffing, green beans, and turkey (blech!). Sandy made deviled eggs. I also bought a pumpkin pie and a pecan pie, and made whipped cream. 

Doug, Sandy, Homer, and Carver (Matt took the picture).


Sunday, November 19, 2023

I went to an estate sale. The transferprint platters were already gone. But the painting wasn't. It was painted by a woman named Roberta Sharp from Texas. Other painting by her sell for between $350 and $1500. I paid $20.

Roberta Sharp Painting.

The doctor prescribed me the new wonder drug Ozempic to lower my blood sugar. In the three and a half weeks since my blood sugar is down from the 130s to 99. I have also lost nine pounds.

Matt has been urging me to get more exercise. So I have started going up to Sentinel Peak each morning. 3.4 miles round trip. 

At the top.

One day I saw a javelina. The poor thing was limping.


Yesterday morning I went very early.


I have been challenged to do this 90 days in a row.


Sunday, November 12, 2023

Finally. I got to spend a day digging, although I found nothing real. Lesley dug most of a roasting pit. 813 fire-cracked rocks in the excavated portion. Will be interesting to see what the radiocarbon date is, we found no pottery.

Lesley digging. Fire-cracked rocks piled up on left.

I taught a floral crown class at the Presidio. The participants had a great time. Also gave a talk about saloons and two cemetery tours. Plus made an offrenda.

Floral crown participants.

It is that time of year. I made gingerbread and sugar cookies.

Cookies. All decorated by me.

The All Souls Procession Party was nice, people enjoyed themselves. I made chili, an enchilada casserole, chips and green chili salsa. And cookies. Sandy made cemetery cupcakes and Matt made cornbread. 

Homer, Offrenda, and Matt.

Allen doing John's makeup.

Ginger and Kate, I made the floral crowns.

Homer (untucked), Helen, and Jeff.

The Procession was a block from my house. Seemed shorter than usual. The best thing was the Hari Krishna human-pulled float with an enormous pagoda rising (and close to the power lines).

On Tuesday morning Francisco, next-door-neighbor, came to the door to tell me the car window was broken. I went out. Yup. When I opened the door I saw the steering column torn open. They were trying to steal the car. Apparently there is a video floating around showing how easy it is to steal Hyundais. So I have an over-sized Nissan Altima rental and I have to park in my driveway and lock the gate,

What a mess.

Yesterday I went to an estate sale. The two transferprint platters were gone, but there was the fun painting. I purchased it for $20. Turns out it was painted by a woman named Roberta Sharp (d. 2013) from Texas. Other works of hers are for sale for from $350 to $1500. Pleased!

Roberta Sharp painting.

I made nine fruit cakes today, Robert helped. It smelled so good. Then I made air fryer eggplant mozzarella. I am eating it as I type this entry.

I am on Ozempic, which is supposed to lower my blood sugar levels. Also makes you lose weight. Down five pounds the first week. Will I be able to fit into those shirts and pants again?


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

comments powered by Disqus