Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Last day. I meant to get a haircut before my annual Last Day photo, but didn't manage that task.

Last day, 2014.

I dressed up and went to work and read through newspapers from 1884 and 1885, culling articles on saloons, deaths, undertakers, butcher shops, and coroner's cases.

I did not spend a lot of time reflecting on the last year. It has more ups and downs. Favorite times: field school, Egg Hunt party, road-tripping with Matt and seeing LeGrand, Jim, George, Mark, and Ted. Visiting with Forrest, Travis, and Colin. The times I have spent with Jesse and Craig.

I've got some work lined up in 2015, and a lot of volunteer stuff to do. I have to go to Michigan to visit the family, and I'm hoping for trips to Portland, DC, and of course, to NC to visit with the guys. 

I hope those people who read my blog have good memories from 2014. See you in 2015.

Monday, December 29, 2014

LeGrand and his boyfriend Dean were in town and LeGrand wanted to go on a hike so I took them to King's Canyon.

It is December and cool in Tucson, but I wore my shorts anyways and was glad that I did.

The walls of the canyon are lined with thousands of saguaro cacti, along with smaller numbers of barrel, fishhook, and pincushion cacti.

LeGrand and Dean.

We wandered along, LeLe dog running ahead. Towards the end of the wash I pointed out the rock art panels.

Click on photo and see if you can find the rock art.

I wrote a book, Rock Art in Arizona, a couple of decades ago, so I know that these images date to the Early Agricultural period (roughly 1200 BC to AD 50).

You see abstract geometrics, squiggles, grid patterns, stylized corn stalks, and human figures on rock art panels from this time span.


It was nice to get outside and see nature. I spend too much time inside typing away at the computer (just like I am doing now).


I attended a couple of Holiday parties- one at Rick and Pat's, the other at Richard and Roger's. This year it is just difficult to get in the mood. Drinks help.

This one is very strong.

Richard's Christmas Tree was very tall and I really liked it. I want to go out in the woods and pick out a tree in 2015.

Richard's tree.

My tree did not have a lot of presents. I purchased pink flannel pajamas, the complete Borrower's books, a spinning yarn book, and a miniature electric organ for Mummy. Doug got a jeep model and an old fashioned miniature pinball machine. I did not purchase gifts for Buddy, Puff, or Snowball.

Holiday decorations.

Christmas was marred by the death of Craig and Jesse's dog Chopper. He was a really nice dog, sweet tempered and lovable. I am very sad for the guys.


I purchased this topper ornament years ago at Linda Ronstadt's uncle's estate sale. I also put a bunch of 1940s-1950s Xmas cards on the tree, something I occasionally do. They are cute and most of them say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

This year I am the Grinch.

Craig and Jesse's Meyer lemon tree is over-loaded with lemons. So I picked some and I canned many jars of lemon curd.

Lemon curd cooking.

Onions were on sale so I purchased many and also made carmelized onions. 

Carmelized onions.

My meringue cookies burned so I took curd and onions to the company cookie exchange. I discovered people like the curd more than the onions.

The drama with the car continues. The insurance companies decided I was 100 percent at fault. So much bullshit. I guess my insurance goes up now. I figured out that in the 21 years I have had the same car insurance and 15 years house insurance, that I have paid about $50,000 in insurance. In that time I have replaced a windshield, a side window, and a back window. No other claims. And now the insurance goes up. Nice.

I was feeling poor and waited until payday to go buy a Holiday tree. Doug drove me over and with the Home Depot gift card I got for giving a lecture, I purchased one. They were down to their last trees so it was shorter than usual, but also much fatter and very heavy- which is apparently a sign that it is also fresher. I ended up paying $14.96 for it.

Came home, set it up, but the little colored lights on (they never show in the pictures). They took Mother to the bazaar, to see Patrick, to the library, and to the grocery store. She totters around in her little baby steps, clump-clump-clump goes her shoes. Terrible balance now and so uncoordinated. She has fallen twice since getting here. 

In the evening I put ornaments on the tree.


I only picked out the glass figure ornaments, and a few balls. 

Abominable is always my favorite.

Mother has her silver tree and some of my childhood toys are around it.

Mother's tree.

Honestly, I am just blase about the holidays this year. There is a lot of stress in my life. The cats are being extra needy- always wanting to sit on me. My cat hair allergies are crazed and have been for months. I wake up with swollen eyes. 

Sometimes it would be nice to have a carefree life like Buddy. Spoiled rotten. Getting fatter and not caring. Interesting things to bark at. That one human who gives tummy rubs so nice.


Sunday, December 07, 2014

I drove the trusty Ford Focus north to Jesse and Craig's House. We went to Thai food for supper.


Afterward we played games with Scott, Curtis, and Brad. 

I had brought along my box of crafting goodness and we spent several hours working on Holiday cards.

Craig sniffing Elmer's glue.

Jesse was very concerned about the glitter and so I did not use the sprinkle glitter, which would have coated every surface. Even the glitter pen caused a few errant glitter flecks to appear.

Blurry Jesse

I tried to do new themes this year and I ordered Jesse and Craig to make cards with a snowman theme. It was a fun time.

Some cards.

The Craig and Jesse card I made is upper left.

I took a nap, picked some Meyer lemons, and got in my trusty Ford Focus. At the 5-point intersection at Dunlap and Cave Creek I followed cars through the green light and a black truck magically appeared and ran into me.

I then was magically given the ticket ($211) and get to pay a $500 deductible to get the trusty Ford Focus back into minty green condition. The rear door is jammed shut (although the car insists it is ajar instead of a door).


Wednesday, December 03, 2014

So Facebook is a great tool to discover which of your acquaintances are racist scum. Last week, after the grand jury decision in Ferguson, I had to delete three gay men who I have never met in person. They were blabbering on and on about "thugs," the new code work for young African-American men. One of the three debated me and claimed he was not racist. Bull fucking shit.

A day or two later, a former archaeologist who now works as a police officer in Phoenix posted an image praising the death of Michael Brown. He deserved to die. I sent Cathy an email asking her why she would post such a vile image. Her response was something like, "I have freedom of speech, if you don't like what I have to say, defriend me."

Which I did. I have absolutely no tolerance for racist crap. The fact that Cathy is a police officer and had the gall to post racist garbage astounds me.

The Maricopa County and Phoenix police department are tainted by institutional racism. Maricopa County has spent millions in fines and payments due to race-based persecution. Seems like the department needs to do some sensitivity training for its employees.

Monday, December 01, 2014

It's that time of year. I pulled out the big bulbs, the one that remind me of Nice Grandmother's tree (I will never, ever have bubble lights or tinsel because those were always on Evil Grandmother's tree) and hung them up on the front porch.

Buddy came out afterward to inspect. He might get some tennis balls this year. No use getting him fake or real bones because he just goes and buries them somewhere, and never remembers where.

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