Sunday, June 29, 2008


I was home for the weekend, and now I am back in Randolph. At home, I awoke to solid fog beyond the deck off my bedroom on both days, and I am not sure it really cleared much. It rained most of yesterday evening and into the night. This morning it has been managing not to rain, but Coös County is under a flash flood warning, and back at home, my driveway is starting to wash out. I am sitting outside the cabin not being bitten by bugs, wondering at the cabin's ability to be stuffy even with all the windows open. It's said to be 81 F.

I did go to work yesterday,managed to clear up anything that had accumulated in about 3.5 hours, which suggests it is not very busy there this time of year. Even I find it hard to complain about a one-day work week, and they let me sleep late and listen to NHPR. I avoid such intimate contact with the real world (The NYT online is close enough) while digging but I hadn't missed anything there, either. About all that happened at home was the raccoons, maddened by our removal of the birdseed from their access, tore a hole in a large thick plastic bottle of the sort that sometimes contains bleach. In tis case it contained (note tense of verb) fish and seaweed emulsion fertilizer. While not anywhere near up there with dead moose, the smell in the anteroom is pretty awful and some kind of serious response will be called for when I get back, possibly setting fire to the carpet.

The raccoons also fought all last night while raiding the birdfeeders (you would think a daring midnight raid, they's be quiet, but no) ousdie the bedroom. The only wildlife I have seen in the Mt Washington Valley this trip was the bear and the woodchuck crossing the street in a nice residential area of Berlin on Friday morning, so I suppose being kept awake by raccoons at home fits in. The dig is going very well; we have been incredibly lucky with the weather, while a sister dig in Portsmouth has been rained out most of the days last week.

I was supposed to pack up the kitchen for the Great Leap Forward the contractor says will begin this coming week, but there were no boxes available in Concord on Saturday (well, there were, but they were too low down in the Borders dumpster to reach). The liquor stores had had a run on theirs. In the end I stole a bunch of Doug's boxes for packing to move to his GF's, (he has forgiven me) and got most of the kitchen packed up. I am wondering if the proliferation of soy-sauce bottles with about 1 2/2 tablespoons (say 20 ml)of contents left is something like what happens with wire hangers. Or maybe that's what knitting needles and ballpoint pens leave in their place when they disappear.

The dig is going very well. The more I think of it, the more a group of people getting together in a given location for a couple of weeks for a particular purpose and drinking and telling stories (and sharing the cooking, so one only cooks or cleans once a week or less) at night seems like shepherds getting like sheep. We still don't know quite what the paleo people were doing here (woodwork, among other things, and getting fresh tool-stone)but I hope they had good luck with the weather and as pleasant a time as I am having.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Packing, really, honestly

I am an hour and a half away from leaving for field school. I need to put things in the car. I am about 20 minutes from putting things in the car (wind a skein of sock yarn into a ball). It is pitilessly humid though not too hot yet.

Friday was the Only Beloved Daughter's Birthday. I went to meet her in Boston, with my my parents and her father and her boyfriend, and she made delicious chili and an even better cake. It was good, although the usual birthday discussions of the future were marred by our all having Done To Death "When are you Moving?" Sometime next week. It depends. She is fed up because too much is in flux nad the lease does all ow pets. This is a disappointment. She can't say much about her summer job doing research for the department chairman of her grad school, either. Flux. It is like limbo but with more blanket-tossing.

I spent the night at my parents', which is always pleasant. They have a back-patio container garden with many many pots of flowers. Sometimes they have a peregrine falcon living on the roof, but the chicks have flown and so has the falcon.

I went to see "King-Fu Panda" with a friend I have known for almost thirty-nine years. Since neither of us is over 25, this seems unlikely. "Kung-Fu Panda" (my friend likes pandas, I liked the clips on the NYTimes web site, we wanted to see one another) was enjoyable and I have seen many, many worse films. So the theme was stupid ("Believe in yourself and nothing is impossible."); it wasn't offensive or pernicious or suggesting I should buy anything. This movie did not make me ashamed to be a human being, and the animation and the art were really lovely. We had lunch at a Thai diner in Woburn with Daughter and Boyfriend and the company and food were lovely.

I may be the only person in the world who gets a manicure before setting off on an excavation. Digging tears up the hands. I have fragile nails and shreddy cuticles at best. Now my nails are short enough they won't break and the cuticles are as tidy as can be, and I have a very subtle glittery gloss of acrylic sparkles.

Then I came home and complained about being a 51-year-old mother of two who still has menstrual cramps. It was a great excuse to put off packing. Ithink I have run out of them... maybe I'll brush my teeth.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

and so, forth

Getting two people graduated from college (considering they did all the work) and having a fit of pique because No One Understands Me and in Particular No One In New Hampshire (other than Sarah) Has ever Heard of the Blogisphere (I am not kidding. My knit shop doesn't read anything. I think they are seriously foolish but it's a darned good LYS), and also There Is No One in My Office But Me and my work verges on the meaningless

these things can surely not contribute to a lingering feeling of doom and depression, can they?

Maybe a little.

The terribly hot weather last week nearly killed me.
My feet would like me to lose about fifty pounds. Or five. I don't think it's going to happen. The hotter it gets outside the less inclined I am to garden or anything else. And the chickens have torn up my flowerpots and done no real good to the few places I have weeded.

I suppose the fact that Doug is moving out of here and in with his lady-love might not be contributing to a feeling of well-being either. And he won't take the rooster.

On the plus side, I have had three days of the Only Beloved Daughter's cooking and company, before she moves to New Jersey, where her apartment-mate (a Craigslist find) forgot she wanted to have a cat. And some other things. Her father and I have offered to have him killed but she asked us to hold off.

Her father, whose ankle is not really all better from being sprained last fall, has sprained the other one (and will wear heels less. Being a woman is hazardous.) and is the parent-of-transport for moving the daughter to NJ. I think I may end up missing some field school to help her move.

Part of me would like to be starting a new life and graduate school, even in New Jersey and even recognizing that the OBDaughter (by graduating) has lost a huge chunk of her social life and her home, and will be now (or once in NJ) about 3 times farther from her boyfriend, and the cats she graciously loves even though she did not grow up with them (of the four, the third one died the day after she graduated, leaving only Shenzi who lives with the daughter's father. More her brother's cat, really, but awful timing), and me, although since she hates where I live this is not such a trial.

Right, PLUS SIDE: it's now unseasonably cool and lovely, and I am not anywhere near a flooding river. I have regularly visiting indigo bunting, evening and rose-breasted grosbeaks, and a bunch of more monochromatic birds whom I like anyway. The peonies have been spectacular, if kind of sucker-punched by the heat.

Field school should be fun, although it is a historically amazing year for ticks.

I am nearly done with the top of a quilt in rows of pieced triangles -- something like eighteen rows of fourteen units -- for the OBD. It is very pretty and bright-- bright, though not loud, which is interesting. More interesting is a chirality-challenged person trying to make even, straight sides to a saw-toothed object. One who is too parsimonious to just rotary-whack down through the least common sided-ness (besides, since it took awhile for the realization to come upon me that the finished item should NOT be a rhombus but more of a rectangle, the waste would be huge and the result narrow). It may be finished by the end of July but not before field school, alas.

My sewing machine is patient.

My knees are pretty good.

I am mostly somewhat packed.

It is not absolutely certain that McCain will win.

Oh, and through the graciousness of an immediate ancestor I am having Work Done on my kitchen, which will probably improve my life.It will certainly make the kitchen and dining area less annoying and much brighter. Only I feel unworthy and wonder if I ought to be begging for help paying my taxes instead. Also, I think at this point I am supposed to be supporting my parents, and not being propped up by them.

Sometimes we wonder if my anti-depressant has lost its effectiveness.

Since I am not blogging my dig, as such, if you would like to get regular (somewhat) Tales of Life in The Woods and Test-pits, please email me at channelflakeATTTgmailDOTTcom.

what the world eats

Sixteen shots of sixteen families with the food they eat for a week. It takes too long to load but it's fascinating.,29307,1626519_1373664,00.html

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Emo kid

I am not feeling that life is full of mystery and wonder. I am feeling that whatever I do the reply is "That's interesting, but not really what we want." This is not tending to make me more optimistic or "passionate" (the human services buzzword of the year).

Specifically, today: Dick says he has received flak because "some of my comments, people think reflects badly on SCRAP as a whole." He then cited some remark I am supposed to have made about someone never emptying their own bucket, which I don't remember saying. I have really tried to be upbeat and cheery and honest.
I already do as much self-censorship and reaching out to people who don't know what archaeology is about as I can and it is boring me. So I am quitting blogging on New Hampshire Underground.

At least it rained, even if not very much, yesterday. The colorful birds continue to show up.