Sunday, March 30, 2014

When we got to the field school site yesterday Mike was already there and came to tell me that there was an injured dog there. We walked back and found a brown pug dog lying on the protective fabric we had removed from last year's excavation unit. It looked up at me with sad brown eyes. I walked back and told Barney and took a blue plastic tub with me and carefully placed the dog into it and carried it back to the vehicles. I got some water and dipped my hand into it and trickled water into the dog's mouth. After a while it started licking my hand and I gave it more water.

After the kids went off to work I examined the dog and found about nine puncture wounds- I thought from bites from a coyote or bobcat, someone else thought they might be from a large hawk. Nicole helped me clean and apply antiseptic and antiobiotic cream to them. The dog was very docile.

Barney was able to call the B & B that is nearby and they knew a woman named Julia who could take the dog to a vet to get examined. I rode in the back of Barney's parents' car and we delivered the dog to her.

Poor little pug.

I am waiting to hear whether he survived. He was wounded pretty bad and the largest puncture was infected, but perhaps he will survive. He seemed to be a sweet little dog.

UPDATE: The little dog is doing well after a visit to the veterinarian. I wonder if Julia will be adopting him.

Friday, March 28, 2014

After I finished the first talk this week, my mother said to me, "That was more interesting than your other talks." Sometimes I think she totally doesn't understand etiquette or is just socially awkward. A while ago she said to me that her "Being a loner was just like you being gay." I was totally weirded out by this.

Yesterday I have another talk and as I was driving home for lunch I saw that Doug had called me. These gas tester guys had found a gas leak at my house. When I got home I discovered the front door open (cats locked up in my bedroom) and my mother sitting on a lawn chair in the front yard fuming. They had sent her out of the house while she was cooking lunch (and making an utter mess of the stove) and then she had some older lady problems. Her mood turned foul and bitchy and later that night I yelled at her, "Mother, just stop it!"

We went to Rosa's and she had two beef flautas and she later threw up and this morning she told me she had been poisoned. Terrorists are everywhere.

Two estimates for the gas leak repair- $1,100 and $1,035. Dan the next door neighbor did it instead and I ended up spending $450 instead. I was pleased about that, I did not have to empty my savings account out or charge it on my credit card.

At one moment I went into my bathroom and shut the door and stood in the shower. So stressed out over everything.


Tonight boiled potatoes and spinach salad for supper. Afterward I may clean the fridge. After my mother leaves I have plans for social activities. I am done sitting at home on Friday nights.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Field school 2014. We headed south, almost to the Mexican border, to excavate at the Spanish Mission site. About a dozen students, some graduate students, Barney, Jeremy, Jeffords, and a few others.

I kept forgetting my camera so not as many archaeology pictures as usual.

Excavating our first unit.

Out first unit was a bust- we thought we might be in an early farming portion of the site, but we had Hohokam pottery all the way down to the layer of cobbles.

Back at the ranch, we set up tents and I visited with the animals.

Curious chicken.

It is spring here in Arizona and the wildflowers and fruit trees are blooming.

Cherry tree.

We re-opened the unit from last year.

Teaching leaf blower skills.

At night it was cold and I slept poorly. I had hoped the eye allergies that have plagued me would stop, but they didn't.


Every night our caterer Emily and her assistant Yvonne served us supper. So nice to be spoiled. Our ranch host was Dean, a really nice man.

Dean and Barney.

We opened another unit in the mystery structure. We found a burned beam and latillas, and fire-hardened mud with latilla impressions.


Some days were windy and the ranch's windmill spun round and round.


One night I visited with the three miniature burros. They were very cute.

Best buds.

The sun sets quickly and the moon was so bright I could see what color my shirt was in my tent.

Another sunset.

The students were fun and learned how to do their archaeology work well.

Fabiola, Lily, and Kristen.

Close to the floor of the structure we found some cattle bone.

Barney uncovering a cattle skull fragment.

Jeremy showed up from Santa Fe and I put him to work uncovering a large stone near the structure.

Jeremy and stone.

It had a circular hole through it.

Preparing for a photo.

We flipped it over and measured and photographed it before putting it back. It is a "killed" metate, with a hole smashed through it. Who knows for what reason.


Among the wild flowers were many poppies, my favorite.


As work progressed, we found the corner of the room.


James, a student from last year, arrived to help out. It was nice to see him.

James, Fabiola, Catelyn, and Alex.

A calf was in the pen next to the turkeys, it wasn't sure whether to like me.


I finally bought a pad, but by the end of the week I was just worn out from lack of sleep. And I snored so loud people could hear me at the campfire.


Dean rode up on Scruffy and examined our mystery area and agreed that it was probably a corral.

Dean and Scruffy.

We thought lines of vegetation were adobe wall alignments, but they turned out to be trenches for a post and (probably) wattle fence. We used a t-shaped probe to locate the trenches in two areas.

James probing.

We marked the trench locations with pin flags so they can be mapped next Saturday.

Trench location.

Two more Saturdays of fieldwork and then the students analyze the artifacts and features we found for their presentations and papers. Science! 


1 April 2000 - 19 March 2014

She was a good kitty, even when she went through that phase of peeing on the furniture back in the early 2000s. The last year or so she liked me to put my arm around her as she rested her head on my shoulder. She felt safe (her brother Puff was sometimes mean to her).

She had been losing weight in the last month and I took her to the vet and he found a mass in her abdomen- almost certainly a tumor. Her last night was spent sitting on my mother's lap getting petted. I was away at field school and my mother didn't call me. The neighbor boy Ignacio and Doug helped bury her next to Mama Cat in the backyard.

Monday, March 10, 2014

I purchase old photographs from my hometown of Traverse City on Ebay. They come from all over the country. I am perplexed at how they end up for sale- I suppose some are left behind in storage units. Others belonged to people whose relatives were not interested in old family stuff. I've known of both things happening.

Some of the photos have the names of the people on them, written on their back. Those are great because I can research them and sometimes contact relatives and send them the scanned image.

Most are unidentified, although in several cases I have been able to determine who they were- once because I ended up with one photo of a couple and then purchased two more photos of the woman. In the other case, I happened to have seen a man's photo in another source.

I have researched the photo studios and that allows me provide rough dates for when they were taken. The Boswell studio operated from about 1900 to 1906. 

As I accumulate photos, I am seeing the same props and backgrounds used over and over again. The McManus studios used this fence, gate, and grass matting prop in the 1890s for the photos above and below.

I'm hoping that with enough dated photos, I can develop a better dating system using the props, backgrounds, and photographer's marks. 

Eventually I will donate the collection to the historical society in Traverse City, where they can be cared for.

If you have old photographs like these, I hope you are asking your older relatives who the people are, scanning them, and sharing them with your other relatives, so that they do not end up as nameless images on Ebay.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

My family has lived in Michigan since the 1830s. I am the one of only a handful of members of my family to have left (my mother's brother and his wife and kids live in Oregon and Texas, a cousin lives in Florida).

All the rest live in a state that banned same sex marriages and even civil unions back in 20XX. The last couple of weeks have seen the ban on same sex couple's join adoption and marriage on trial. The State of Michigan rounded up six witnesses to testify paying at least some of them $300 an hour for there time (which typically include pre-trial prep, trial time, and travel time).

The first witness was some snotty-nose brat named Sherif Girgis who styles himself an expert on why homos shouldn't get hitched. The judge declined to hear him, since he isn't an expert at anything besides being a student on his third degree.

The second witness was University of Texas professor Mark Regnerus. Who put together a "study" at the behest of the Witherspoon Institute, a fundamentalist Christian group. The guy hates gay stuff- he recently wrote a paper stating that if gays get married, straight men are going to want more anal sex. I'm guessing that Mrs. Regnerus doesn't like caboose sex, but then who knows?

I didn't really pay attention to witnesses three, four, and five other than to note they are all funded by the anti-gay crowd or members of those groups or boardmembers or just hate anal as much as Regnerus or Mormons, or all of the above and then some.

The sixth witness blathered on with statistics that he pulled out of his unfucked butt- girls with gay fathers are only 15 percent likely to graduate from high school. I mean, how stupid does he think we are? And at the end, he admitted on the stand that unrepentant homosexuals are going to burn in Hell.

I have to admit even I was shocked a tad that someone would be so stupid as to say that on the witness stand, but I guess he said it somewhere else so it was on the record. I can't imagine a judge who hears someone say they are unbiased about gays in one sentence and then hears the same person say the fags will writhe in HELL will think much of that person's testimony.

Anyways, I blather on because I wanted to record my impressions of the trial. Will the judge rule for the lesbian couple caring for three special needs kids? I hope so. I look forward to Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage being all sad again, bitching about activist judges.

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