Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What have I been up to? Been to the gym three times in the last week doing cardio. Tonight, after a frustrating afternoon at work looking for that missing notebook filled with maps and field forms, I could only manage 22 minutes.

Mostly behaving diet-wise, as my grumbly stomach tells me. I certainly slept like a log last night after the gym. The plan is to go four times a week. After a few weeks, start messing around with the weight machine thingys. I am so uncoordinated, that should be delightful.

Doug the handy-man will be doing some painting. I picked out a paint color for the outside of the house- a pale yellow. He's going to try a gallon the back of the house and see how it looks before I commit to it elsewhere. Also re-painting the back screen door, applying purple to the backside of the kitchen door. And making shelves inside my closet so it can be better organized and I don't have to worry about the 1909 wedding china getting broken.

At home I have been going through my family histories and updating them with corrected references and finding new data. I was able to identify a new set of great-great-great-great grandparents on my mother's side, but need to order some records on microfilm to look at.

This weekend is Evan's birthday, so I am traveling north to Flagstaff. I wonder if he will let me bake him a cake?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I started (twice) to write a whiney post about cooking for my mother, but what's the point? She is getting more and more difficult to cook for, and I expect things will just get worse. Remind me of this in 30 years or so, and I will not be a brat about whatever is put on my plate.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The doctor's office called and told me 1). I had a cholesterol count of 256 and 2). I needed to lose 20 ;pounds. So I will not be enjoying anymore delicious cookies, cheese, and pudding for the next six months. And will be dragging my behind to the gym in the early morning. Yeah for me!

I really like this song.

When I see the list of the popular songs, I'm like "Who are these folks?" Also, when the list of Oscar-nominated movies came out, I recollected that I had only seen one movie in the theatre in the last year, Super 8, with Evan in Flagstaff. Movies in the movie theatre are pricey and people have such poor manners in the theater, that it seems pointless to go.

Our esteemed governor, Jan Brewer pointed her finger at the president yesterday and then made a big fuss when he walked away from her. Really? Didn't she watch Howdy Doody and learn that it isn't polite to wag your finger at another person? I made the mistake of reading the comments on the Arizona Daily Star website. I saw that racism is alive and thriving, at least among anonymous commenters on online newspaper websites. Apparently there are a lot of white folks in Arizona that are still really pissed off that a non-white person is president.

Lol, a comment on the Washington Post website "She was on an airport tarmack, they should have taken her away for drug and alcohol testing."

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mary "May" Chandler was born in 1871 in Iowa, the daughter of William Chandler and Maria Hulick. She was my grandfather's first cousin once removed (she was his mother's first cousin). She had a tough childhood, her father abandoning the family and her mother dying young. Mary was the oldest and had to care for her younger siblings.

Although she spent little time in Traverse City, living in Chicago and Springfield, Missouri during her adult life, she kept in contact with her relatives there. She was married three times: 1) William Shannon, 2). Harry Van Camp, and 3). John Walter Kastler.

Mary (Chandler)(Shannon)(Van Camp) Kastler. 

 We have a few pictures of her and my mother remembers meeting her in 1946, the 100th anniversary of Traverse City. Mary came to the festivities and visited with my mother's family. My mother's middle name is Mary, and the older Mary thought she was named after her (she wasn't, but no one corrected her). She sent my mother a quilt, the pattern "Grandmother's Flower Garden." It was a popular pattern. My mother still owns the quilt.

 A big mystery in my family history research was "What happened to Mary?" A few years back I was able to identify her second husband and then her third husband. Her last name was pronounced "Kessler" and it was only after discovering her cousin Caroline Mahan in the 1910 census, that I was able to find out the correct spelling of her last husband's name. A couple of days ago I was finally able to learn her date of death- 1959, and place of burial. It is always satisfying solving a family history mystery.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Patrick joined Mummy and I on a walk at Sweetwater Wetlands. The number of ducks is increasing, and we saw one or two hawks/kestrals/falcons.

Patrick and Mummy.

As we walked around, we discussed recent events in Arizona. I was wondering whether the State Legislature would continue its vendetta against Tucson and Pima County. That appears to be the case, with idiotic Rep. Terri Proud introducing a bill that would allow tiny communities to veto county bonds. Last week Ms. Proud sponsored a bill that would require schools to teach the Bible (but not the Koran) so students would understand its "literary" aspects.

These ducks vote Democratic.

Luckily, idiotic Proud is not running for re-election.

Homer and Mummy, photographed by Patrick.

After dropping Patrick off and receiving a bunch of fresh Patrick-grown parsley, I took Mummy to lunch at Rosa's, then to a knitting/weaving/spinning store, then to a quilting store, and then home.

Tiny was ready to give smooches.

Later we went to the grocery store and I spent a ridiculous amount of money. Buying fancy gluten-free foods is pricey. I made parsley pesto and I had Mummy taste a little bit. Like all things new, she hated it. I've been reading about food choices among elderly people. It is apparently common for them to restrict their diet to a handful of foods (which my mother's mother did, resulting in malnutrition). My mother would live on potatoes, cheese, eggs, bananas, blueberries, and milk if given the choice. Unfortunately for her, I like to try new recipes.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The first phase of work is almost done at the old fort site. Today Pat, who does environmental testing, accidentally found a small pit while collecting a sample. Allen then excavated the small pit.

Allen and the pit. 

 It contained a shaped sherd, probably a jar cover, and a large stone core, raw material used to make stone tools.

Core and cover. The white thingy marks the location of the soil sample.

We then moved to the north part of the site and quickly found the stone foundation of the guard house for the fort, completed in 1873.


The guard house was 52 ft square when built, later an exercise yard was added to the west end of the building. It had dirt floors, except in the four cells, which had stone floors to keep prisoners from burrowing out. The building was used to house soldiers who had broken rules. On one occasion a group of Apache scouts were imprisoned there.

Close up. 

The foundations are made from rocks mortared together with a crude concrete. To the east we found another burned pit structure, this one with areas of plaster still intact on the walls and floors. I wonder what we will find tomorrow?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

In the morning, the backhoe uncovered a lizard, which had been hibernating in its underground home. I put it inside a paper sack and by the afternoon it was warm enough to start moving around. It sat in my palm for a few more minutes, before scurrying away to a safe place.


In the afternoon, we removed smelly dirt from the old driveway at the fort site, and beneath it we found a pit structure, perhaps 1,000-years-old.

The white paint line marks its approximate outline. 

Burned posts ringed the edge of the house. Archaeologists like burned houses because they often contain the items that the people were unable to gather as they fled.

Burned posts.

The backhoe clipped an upside-down bowl in the center of the house. I had Allen uncover part of it to locate the floor level.

Tyler is mapping the site with the GPS device.

It looks like a plain ware bowl.

Close up of bowl.

After the environmental testing is completed, we will excavate a unit around the pot to collect more information about the house.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Out at the old fort we are removing soil that has oil and metal filings in it, preparing this portion for use as a cultural park. Dan strips off the soil and soon we start finding archaeological features, from the fort and the tuberculosis sanitarium that followed, as well as prehistoric features.

The area north of two of the Officer's Quarters contains small ditches and numerous planting holes, just to the north of an adobe wall.

Planting pits.

In another area nearby, we found a pair of wagon ruts that probably date to the fort period, from 1873 through 1891.

Wagon wheel ruts.

In another area, Allen found a metate and a pestle. Somebody in the prehistoric period cached the two items, and for some reason never returned to re-use them.

Metate and pestle.

One unexpected find was a tarantula, about three inches across, which popped out of a hole as Dan was stripping away dirt. Allen found a safe place for it to hide inside.

Tarantula (click on picture for a closer view).

Monday, January 16, 2012

Forest and I traveled north on Thursday afternoon, in Flagstaff Evan awaited us for an adventure.

On the way.

We had some pizza and beer and went on a late-night hike.

Evan and Forest.

Once again I saw no elk.

Late night exposure.

The next morning we crammed into Evan's truck and went to see some sites.

We are pouty.

At one point we climbed way up and I took a photo.

When I climbed down I had a perilous moment.

Forest realized his dreams of becoming a cheerleader.

Mascot for the Tumbleweeds. 

We climbed in the Focus and headed east on I-40.

The scenery was pretty.

That night we went to Little Anita's in Albuquerque. The food was grody. Forest developed unfortunate symptoms. While I attended a conference on Saturday, he and Evan had a harrowing adventure involving the car, ice, and a truck from Georgia.

That night we went to a diner.

I had a grilled cheese, onion rings, and a shake.

Forest was still feeling a bit off.

He also had a milkshake.

The next morning I returned to the conference. Evan and Forest went hiking in the Sandias.

Mountain climber Evan.

The scenery was pretty.


My talk was the last one of the conference and I did a great job. We left Albuquerque at 4:00 PM.

Driving west on I-40.

I arrived home at 2:00 AM and was out at the work site at 8:30. I am a tad groggy as I type this.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Forrest is here for a week visiting. I made him hash browns and cheesy scrambled eggs for breakfast. He says I make them just like him (that's because I learned how to from him).

And cats.

Tomorrow we going to FLagstaff and he and Evan are going to play instruments and then we are off to Albuquerque, where I have a conference to attend and they get to go hiking.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Little Tiny had a genital operation and won't be able to many tinier Tinies, a first for my neighbors, who have never fixed any of their dogs.

She always runs up to fence when she sees me.

I finished my PowerPoint presentation for the conference and wrote some feature descriptions. I then went to Swade Barbershop and got my hairz trimmed.


The Arizona State Legislature is now in session and I can hardly wait to see how the Republicans will punish Tucson. In their last session they took a sewage plant away from the county and gave it to a small community. A sewage plant that all of the residents of Pima County paid for (millions of dollars) and is given free to a Republican stronghold.

And they tried to force the City of Tucson to change how we do city elections, unhappy that Republicans only hold one or two city positions. That didn't succeed.

The most egregious was to ban Ethnic Studies in Tucson's school district. Our current Attorney General and the his replacement as Superintendent of Public Education are racist scum (that gets you elected in this state). So they convinced the State Legislature to ban a successful program that has helped many Mexican-American high schoolers get an education, writing a law that specifically targeted Tucson. The Tucson Unified School District is now being told that it will loose 10 to 15 million dollars a month unless it gets rid of the program. Of course the fucking Republican politicians in this state hate education with a passion, since most of them are fundamentalist Christians or Mormons, who would prefer that tax payer dollars be spent on religious schools, where children can be taught that the earth is 6,000-years-old and electricity is magic.

Personally, I hope I never meet Tom Horne- I'd kick that piece of shit right in his racist ass.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Patrick and I played Scrabble last night.

I know all of the two letter words.

 As we played we talked about things.

I had camera envy.

His nice next door neighbors were having a Wayne's World 2 viewing party. I saw the end of the film and understand why it did not win any Oscars.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

This morning I trimmed my beard and I look 3 years and 2 months younger.

I need a haircut.

Suddenly I will be out at the old Fort site next week, I wonder whether we will find anything. 

Forrest is coming to town next Tuesday. On Thursday we will drive up to Flagstaff, where he and Evan will play music. On Friday the three of us will go to Albuquerque for the weekend. I wonder what kind of trouble we will get into?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

I left Mummy at home to watch over the cats and drove north to Flagstaff.

Evening approaches.

 We made a lemon cake for New Year's Eve.

It was delicious.

 We went for a walk in the woods, looking at the remnants of pit structures. Some were excavated in the 1930s or 1940s and never back-filled.

Evan stands in a pit structure.

There were many sherds that we looked back and returned to the ground.

Black on white ceramics.

It was a lovely weekend, spent with my man. I even managed to get up right before midnight on New Year's Eve.


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