Monday, February 29, 2016

Spring has arrived. Wildflowers are starting to bloom. I did an immense amount of yardwork and gave a bunch of plants to my new neighbors, Pete and Rose, who have moved into the house to the north.

I have two lemon trees that I planted. The house to the north used to have a beautiful lemon tree but Dan stopped watering it and when I realized that, it was too late and it died.

My first lemon tree is about three years old and this year it made two lemons.

On the tree.


I made creamy lemon pasta and Doug and I agreed it tasted great.

I am giving a tour of the other Spanish fort on the San Pedro River next weekend, so I asked Mark to go along with me and we went down south.


Wall foundation.

The fort was in existence from 1775 to 1780. Apache warriors killed over 90 of the soldiers and they finally abandoned the place. Tucson's fort lasted until 1856.

Mark and I had picnic lunch at Fairbank, a ghost town. We wandered down to the San Pedro River, which has water in it. It was a nice day.

Mark and I.

At home, the little peach tree that grew from a peach pit I threw into my compost pile (all of my kitchen scraps goes into two different areas in my backyard instead of in the garbage) has decided to bloom for the first time.

Peach tree.

I wonder if I will get any peaches from it. I also wonder whether the dirt is contaminated with lead paint residue. My house was built in 1927, and I am pretty sure there has been plenty of time for lead paint to get into the dirt outside.


Blossoms, with my recently deceased Cuisinart toaster in the background.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

So Justice Scalia died and people are blabbering that we should show his dead corpse some respect because he was reportedly brilliant. At first I didn't think I should say anything, but then seeing people clamoring about how I am supposed to feel sadness and respect for that narcissistic psychopath, I changed my mind. Someone I have been blogging friends with for over a decade unfriended me on Facebook. I actually didn't care.

As someone else said, Scalia showed no respect to large numbers of living human beings. He openly hated LGBT people, African-Americans, mentally disabled people, and women (I am sure I am missing a few groups). If you weren't straight, white, Christian, and male, you were to be despised. Sorry, but I am not interested in respecting someone who feels that way. I didn't respect him while he was alive (I loathed him), and certainly not going to respect his embalmed body.

I believe people have one life to live. That's it. I do not go out of my way to make other people miserable. I could care less if you believe in some sky fairy or another. But if you try to force me to live my life following your particular set of myths, I do not feel inclined to be nice to you. Scalia was like that, he wanted everybody to be Catholic like him. He was like a little boy, having tantrums because he often did not get his way (oh his judicial dissents were so wonderful! puke). I'm glad he lived long enough to see gay couples getting happily married.

So anyways, I don't often blather on about political stuff on my blog anymore, but wanted to record these thoughts so if/when I come back to this I can see what I was thinking.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I recently watched an episode of Antiques Roadshow and it got me thinking about a painting I have. I purchased it for five dollars at a junk store back in the early 1990s. It is a landscape scene, depicting dunes and some foliage. I had always assumed it was from the east coast of the United States.


 The painting is signed on the lower left side. I thought it said Amy Lyney, and attempts to find a person with that name were unsuccessful.


So I decided to play detective and did some internet searching and found a watercolor done by the same person, this time a scene with houses and trees.

Watercolor, street scene.

I asked my friend Seth, who is an antique expert and he said that the signature should read Am. Lyney instead of Amy Lyney. Searching that name brings up a few other paintings and watercolors, created in the early 1900s, some in Belgium. My painting wasn't a Picasso or a Monet, but it is nice to see that the artist had a career and that there are other pieces out there.

The Brabantsch landscape, 1909.
Dames bij de bloemist (Ladies at the Florist).

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

I graduated from the University of Michigan in June 1986, almost 30 years ago. Right before graduation I decided to volunteer on an archaeological excavation in New Mexico. I really did not know what to do with my archaeology degree, the professors at the university were not particularly useful at guiding people on other to tell them to get a PhD and become a professor, "All of the professors will be retiring soon!" Most of the archaeology professors who taught at the University of Michigan in 1986 are still teaching there in 2016, but I digress.

A bunch of us got into the big blue University of Michigan van to drive to New Mexico. We spent one night in Iowa and I am fuzzy as to whether it took one or two days from there. We ended up in Mountainair, New Mexico, living in a rather disgusting building (a former motel?).

Mountainair, New Mexico.

First day, we posed with the sign to thank the company that gave it to us (we cut it down and used it for the photo board. Back row: Ross, Tristine, and Homer. Front row: Jodi, Karen, and Holly.

Our luxurious housing, complete with vehicle parts and cattle bones. Left to right, Jodi, Holly, Ross, Jennifer, and Homer.

The first day out in the field at the Kite Site was exciting. We walked up a huge arroyo that was actively cutting through the site and you could see pottery sherds and bones sticking out of the wall. We started to lay out units and a rattlesnake showed up. Unfortunately, it had to be killed as it was not very happy about the humans encroaching on its home.

The arroyo cutting through the Kite Site. Dark stains visible in the left wall are from a pit structure or midden.

Karen and I were assigned a unit in the trash midden area. We excavated squares to collect a sample of garbage which Allison used for her PhD. By the end of the summer we had dug a bus-sized hole. I even managed to find an unbroken plainware mug (which I cracked with my shovel). I mostly screened dirt and filled out paperwork because Karen liked digging best. I remember finding this fired clay object and puzzling over what it was. I showed it to Karen and she exclaimed, "You found a dick!" It was a clay penis, something you occasionally find, perhaps used as a fertility object.

Karen and Homer on a rainy day.

Karen telling Homer what to do. A Munsell soil color book is next to my trowel.

Filling out paperwork while wearing short-shorts.

We often visited the University of Iowa crew, who worked at the adjacent Gran Quivira Mission.

Gran Quivira unit of the Salinas Pueblo Missions.

In Mountainair, we spent a lot of time at the Rosebud Saloon. The jukebox had Patsy Cline and Eddie Arnold songs. On weekends we went on field trips to Chaco Canyon, Santa Fe, and to the Billy the Kid Days in Lincoln. One night I slept next to a horse corral, the pickup next to us had a 101-year-old Navajo woman sleeping in the back. That night we danced at a little saloon that was opened once a year.

Rasmi, Homer, and Allison at a restaurant in Santa Fe.

4th of July celebration in Mountainair, Jennifer piggybacking.

I had brought along my Smokey the Bear teddy bear, which I got back in 1969. We were driving to Lincoln and saw the sign for Smokey the Bear's grave site in Capitan, so of course we had to stop.

Homer and Smokey.

I had been somewhat unsure what to do with myself. After spending 10 weeks digging and exploring New Mexico, I decided that I really wanted to be an archaeologist.

Pottery from the dig. I found the mug.

I always thought the design on this bowl resembled the New Mexico state flag.

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