bobby and kate

the love of my life!


White Christmas

I just got back from a wonderful white Christmas in Colorado.  It was so great to see my family and friends and to enjoy each others company  for just a little while.  And for now, I'm back to sitting in shorts and a tank top with the fan on. 


We spent the time eating Greek and Italian food (thanks to Don and Daddy), playing Elizabeth's new Wii, catching up on stories, enjoying the snow, and opening up some wonderful gifts!

Bobby and I feel so lucky to have such a wonderful place to come back to.  And we will follow Gertrude Stein's famous quote "America is my country and Paris is my hometown"  but change it just a little...

"Florida is my state, but Colorado is my hometown"



"Christmas Time is Here, Happiness and Cheer"

Only 3 more days till Christmas!  It is my favorite time of year.  I love everything about it, the music, the smells, the traditions, and the sparkling lights.  

It is such a magical time, especially Christmas Eve.  It begins with a candlelit service at church, where we all get to hold a little white candle.  It is such a peaceful and beautiful sight to see all the little flickering lights and the glow around everyone's faces.  It is so quiet  and I know everyone is thinking about the real Christmas gift.

My favorite Christmas Eve service was when we stepped outside the church and it started snowing!  It was so beautiful with the tiny flakes floating down and the yellow tint in the sky.

When we get home, we eat lots of good food, drink egg nog and cider and sit around playing games and laughing.  When its time to go to bed there is always an excitment in the air, even though we are all grown up!  As we head off to bed, our tree and all of its glory sparkles its colorful lights in the darkness.

Now we will go to bed and wait for Santa.  I don't really remember the day I stopped believing, but I still love the story and the idea of such a magical night. 

"How does Santa make it around the ENTIRE world in one night?" 

"What happens if there is no snow for Santa's sleigh?"

The answer of course is Magic!

Only at this time of year do we let ourselves get carried away by the sounds and feelings of Christmas!  This year I get to spend Christmas back home with my family and I am looking forward to enoying a peaceful, sparkling night.


Is this sanitary?

Today I was working in the lab, sorting through animal bone, pottery, and lithics and I came across a few objects I just wasn't sure what they were.  So without thinking twice, I licked them. 

You may think that this is an unsanitary practice in a "museum" setting.  And ingesting 1,000 year old dirt may cause some stomach issues.  It actually is quite shocking that I do this seeing I won't share any sort of utensil or glass, even with my twin sister.

However, it is an amazing and very scientific test.  In order to tell if something is bone, it will stick to your tongue.  If it is a lithic or some other mysterious object it will not.  I did know someone to lick a piece of coprolite thinking it was bone... (for those of you who don't know, coprolites are fossilized animal poo).  It did not stick to their tongue.

So if you are ever walking by an archaeologist or collection manager and they are sticking objects in their mouth, don't be alarmed, it's perfectly normal.


Christmas in the Everglades

It is almost Christmas and I am counting down the days until I can go back to the beautfiul winterwonderland of Colorado.  Until then we have found a few ways to make it more Christmas-y here in the ol' swamp

THPO Holiday Card--notice the Santa Hats and that it is very apparent that no one helped to arrange us...

I spend about 2/3rds of my time at work in the lab with my laboratory manager.  We share the space with two of the exhibit guys and the conservator from the Museum.  Being in the Holiday spirit we first decided to dress up Vlad.  He is Santa's little helper this year.

Working with Exhibits also allows you to take awesome Christmas pictures because they are so good at photoshop!  We decided to go for the 80's glamour shot look.

From Left to Right: Stephen, Greg, Katy, Vlad, Me, and Cory

Merry Christmas from the Everglades!


Our friend the frog

Bobby and I have a new friend, well our one and only Floridian friend for right now! 

We are still deciding on a name for him.  Every morning he greets me as I leave for work, hanging out on the front of the house.  Sometimes all I see is his little head peeking out from the shutters around the front door.  And he is usually there when I come home from work, staring at me with his beady little eyes.

I'm sure our neighbors think we are super weird because every time we see him we get really excited and the first time we saw him we took about 30 pictures of him.

Luckily for him, we don't like fried frog legs.

Slow DOWN!!

This weekend Bobby and I made our usual trip to the grocery store at the most non ideal time, Sunday afternoon. We apparently like to punish ourselves. As we were making our way through the crowds of people and whiny children I realized that Floridians drive their grocery carts just like how they drive their cars.

Driving in Florida has been the biggest adjustment I have made here. I’m either getting yelled at because I’m already going 10 miles/hour OVER the speed limit (which apparently just isn’t fast enough) or I am stuck behind someone going a whopping 10 miles/hour. Generally the residential speed limit is 40 mi/hr, which in Floridian definitions means at least 60mi/hr. I’ve always learned that you have to drive in the right lane on the highway unless you are passing, but I’ve now applied this law just driving to the grocery store. Who knew that the minute you get in your car you have actually entered a NASCAR race?

On the other hand, you have all the elderly folk still driving at the age of 95. Lets just say their definition of the speed limit is to go at least 20 mi/hr under and to make sure they swerve and don’t look before they change lanes. But don’t assume all old people drive like this. There is the occasion that I have been passed by a red sports car who has flown by me at 90 mi/hr and when I catch up to them at the stop light I look over and see a little old couple sitting in the front seats. Really?

This is basically my grocery shopping experience. Everyone grabs their carts and as soon as they walk through the sliding doors THEY’RE OFF!! Bobby and I were walking down the canned vegetable aisle when all of sudden I could hear the wobbly tires of a cart quickly approaching. Within a split second a man had whipped his cart around us, just in time to stop right in front of us and cut us off at the green beans. I’m so glad he was able to get to them fast enough.

The next aisle was even worse. We started to venture down it but it was blocked by at least 4 elderly couples who had left their carts in every direction and were wandering up and down the aisle trying to read the labels. We had to take a detour.

I'll just continue to try and stay out of everyone's way, especially when deciding which deli meat to purchase.


Its Official!

I am officially a Florida resident.  I have a new driver's license, am a registered voter of Broward county, and have a Florida license plate.  Who would have thought...! 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today was Bobby and my 3rd Thanksgiving spent together.  The last two were in Lubbock, Texas where we actually had snow one of the years!  This year, the weather was a little bit warmer.  We spent the day relaxing and then cooking up our little feast of chicken, cranberries, rolls, green bean casserole (bobby's tradition), stuffing and of course pumpkin pie!

Our thanksgiving chicken

Our Thanksgiving table

Bobby Carving the Chicken

It was a nice day, although we both were wishing to be home with our families.  We did however, get to enjoy a tropical sunset before we sat down for dinner


I am so thankful for so many things in my life, especially having such a great job when so many have lost theirs.  I am thankful for my wonderful family and of course not having to scrape the snow off my car in the mornings :)


a Snake!

I saw my first snake today.  It was about 3 feet long and a yellowish brown color.  Better than seeing a banana spider any day.

yummy fry bread!

Today, several Tribal members cooked the staff at the museum and THPO a holiday lunch.  They served it in the village which is part of the 1 1/2 mile boardwalk that loops near the museum. 

Traditionally, the Seminole's cook under their Chickees.  Chickees can be used for several different purposes: cooking, sleeping, recreation, and entertainment.  The Chickees in the village are used for cooking and for tribal memebers to make their arts and crafts.

They cook their food over an open fire.  One of our cultural adivisors told us that the reason the women do the cooking is because they are the stronger sex and the men would complain too much if they had to stand over the heat!

The Seminole really only cook traditional foods on special occassions, with the exception of sofkee and fry bread.  Sofkee is corn, ground up and made into a a type of drink.

Today we were made several rice and meat dishes (pork and turkey), corn, two potato dishes and fry bread!

It was all very good (well maybe I didn't eat the meat!) and the Seminole women worked so hard to prepare us the lunch in the 85 degree heat!  Fry bread is just as it sounds in all of its fried glory.  It is a very thick and heavy bread.

I love working in a place that can teach me so much.  Its amazing to see a culture that hasn't forgotten its traditions and loves to share them with us!


Quarter of a Century

Tomorrow is my 25th Birthday!  Its hard to believe that I have been alive for 25 years and still have 75 years left!  The past 25 years have been wonderful.  I have been blessed with an amazing family and friends and have been able to experience so many great and unique things in my life.  The past few birthdays have been a little sad, not being able to spend them with my twinnie but thank goodness for phones and the internet!

Today, Bobby is taking me to the movies for an early celebration and tomorrow we are cooking a nice dinner and my real birthday present is that I finally get to set up our little Christmas tree!!  I've had to be patient because I was ready to set it up two weeks ago.

Turning 25 is a big deal.  I finally feel somewhat like a grown up, but i have to admit there are days that I still feel like a teenager.  I am learning to do things on my own and to be successful and do what I love to do.

Here is a list of 25 of some of my most favorite memories over the past 25 years ( in no particular order).  Most of them are very random and may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but they keep me smiling and loving life.

1.  I spent a summer in Italy.  It was beautiful! I met two amazing friends who are still a big part of my life and we ate gelato every single day (and sometimes more)

2.  Snow Walks.  My family takes these at night after a snow storm.  Silent Night

3.  My sophomore year of high school my orchestra traveled to Germany.  We played in a church that was hundreds of years old and the sound was incredible.

4.  Freshman year of college.  I lived on my own, met 5 wonderful friends, and lived in the coolest dorm at CU

5.  Christmas Eves.   Christmas is my favorite holiday so every Christmas has great memories.  But Christmas Eve is my favorite time.  The Christmas tree at night is MAGICAL

6.  Estes Park.  A few months ago the whole family went up and spent a few nights in Estes Park before Bobby and I left for Florida.  It was a perfect mountain memory.

7.  Driving to Diamond Rock with Martin and Jess.  We sometimes took picnics up to Diamond Rock along the Poudre, a place our family would go in the summer.  We would take the BMW and listen to Natalie Merchant and eat Subway sandwiches.

8.  Camping with the Family

9.  Sitting on the bed, talking with my sisters

10.  Glenwood Springs.  Almost every Spring Break growing up we would go to Glenwood Springs and soak in the hot springs

11.  AUSTRALIA!  I fed kangaroos, snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef, and watched shooting stars on the beach

12.  Visiting my Grandparents in Flordia.  We learned how to play scrabble and ate Grandma's yummy food

13.  Visiting my Grandparents in Michigan.  We would run around in their huge backyard and visit all of mom's childhood places

14.  My sisters' weddings.  Both were beautiful and AMAZING.  I'm so happy for both of them.

15.  Playing house in the ditch under the HUGE tree.

16.  Walking home from school in the Fall

17.  Getting my cat Pepper! I remember walking in the door from school in 2nd grade with Jessica and Elizabeth and we realized something black and furry laying on the couch on a pink blanket and we all started screaming!

18.  My friends Makenzie's and Lisa's weddings.  Such a fun time and both were beautfiul!

19.  My mom scratching my back during church

20.  Teaching school in a  1905 school house during the summers.

21.  Re-meeting my best friend Caitlin in junior high.  We went to pre-school together and became the best of friends in 7th grade

22.  Meeting Bobby.  He was playing the piano in my dorm when I first met him and he thought my name was Katie!

23.  Winning a piano competition my senior year of high school at CSU

24.  Playing Badminton during the summers in our backyard.  I may not be athletic but I am awesome at Badminton!

25.  Dance Parties.

Here's to the Next 25 years!



This is Vlad
He lives in the lab.  This is a good example that museums are pack rats.  He has been here for several years and no one plans to do anything with him.  He just watches over the lab, making sure we are getting our work done.

EVERY single day when I walk by him I run into him with my arm, hitting his nose/ mouth.  Because there is not a good spot to put him, he sits in front of the vent hood and door to the photo studio, which means he is Always in the way.  I'm really hoping he isn't covered in arsenic, otherwise my arm has definitely been contaminated.

He does support the museum which is nice.

Vlad and I have become close.  I like that my new best friend at work is very quiet and doesn't see the need to tell hour long stories or gossip about who knows what.  He lets me get my work done and scares away the little children who look into the observation windows.  

He may look ferocious but he is a teddy bear at heart


My new job is great.  However, I feel like I have no idea what I am doing sometimes.  It seems like everyday I am given a new project, a new task, something more to take on.  I was told the other day that if the money is found I get to have a research assistant.

Boss: "Have you ever hired anyone before Kate?"
Kate: "uhh nope."
Boss:  "Its easy, you just have to write the job description, go through all the applications, pick your top candidates, come up with your interview questions, do the phone interviews, pick your top candidates, have them come to Florida, do another interview, be their supervisor, and save the world"
Kate: "umm ok"
Boss: "Don't worry it won't take up too much of your time..."

I have 1 million projects that have been put under me since I've started.  I am  however proud of myself for being organized and staying on top of things. But this also means I have 1 million new file folders sitting on my desk.

I have had to learn the new lingo and to try and understand the archaeologists' jargon.

"Don't forget about the SFS.  You'll have to add it to the APR and then make sure that you have the GPS and GIS readings and put it into the file folder that deals with the BIA and STOF."

I feel like this squirrel, hanging on for dear life, hoping I don't mess up and that everyone is secretly wondering why they hired me.

I'll just keep on taking one day at a time. And until I get everything under control I'll just keep nodding my head and keep looking forward. 


I love Fall

This is my favorite time of year.  I am missing the fall colors, the smells, and the crisp air in the mornings.  I have so many distinct memories from when I was younger that revolve around this beautiful time of year.  Playing in the leaves, sitting outside in the sun on a warm afternoon, and eating fall foods like pumpkin cookies and drinking apple cider.  Because there seems to be a lack of this season down here in the sunshine state I have gotten out my only solution to surround myself with that "fallish" feeling.

My Pumpkin Candle!  I have had it lit all day and it smells just like fall.  My mom always burns one this time of year and it has helped me feel a little less homesick and made it feel like a beautfiul fall day.  That is until I looked out the front window at the palm tree...


Ever Amazing Everglades

I work for the Seminole Tribe of Florida in the Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO).  I am their Collection Manager for the archaeological collections.  So far I love my job.  Although at times it has been high stress, learning the ropes and trying to understand what in the world is going on, I feel that I am finally settling in to a routine and remembering everyone's name.  My work is located in the heart of the Everglades which means a commute of 1 hour and 15 minutes to and from my house.  The early morning drive has been quite enjoyable, watching the sunrise and the fog rise over the swamp.


This is the time when I usually see the alligators slowly drifting with their heads barely above the water. The most I've counted in one drive is 6, but I've heard you can see as many as 200 during the summer!

On the drive I also get to enjoy seeing many different types of birds.  The white herons perch on the bushes and skinny branches and are often standing on the side of the road.  The Ahinga sits in the branches with its wings spread, and the first time I saw one I thought it was a giant bat.  Today on the way home from work we looked to the side of the road and for about 5 miles thousands of birds were in the air, looking for mosquitoes and bugs for dinner. 

One day at work, one of the museum workers came in to tell us a turtle was about to lay eggs in front of the building!  We ran out to find her digging her two holes.  Because one of her legs had been injured she was using only her left leg to dig both holes.  We stood and watched for about 20 minutes and then she started laying her eggs.  There were about 10 eggs total.  Once she was finished she began to bury them, keeping them warm and to hide them from raccoons and other predators.  Hopefully I'll be at work when they hatch!

I'll continue to keep my eyes open for new and exotic animals!  It is still a shock to see an alligator.  I always think I am looking at a dinasour taking a morning float down the river.  I have yet to see the panthers, bobcats, and bears but hopefully when I do they are just as scared of me as I am of them!  I did have a dead frog fall out of the umbrella at the lunch table next to my yougurt the other day, reminding me of just how weird of a place Florida really is.


I'm a Floridian

Hello All!

After 40 some hours of driving, my mom, bobby and I finally made it to Tamarac, Florida!  It was a fairly uneventful trip and we got to see some amazing parts of the country.  Who knew Tennesse and Kentucky were so pretty?  The road trip taught me some new things like how to drive a 22 foot truck + a trailor and listening to book 6 and 7 of Harry Potter will get you all the way to Florida.

The first week of being here has been a bit stressful, trying to get everything fixed and working and dealing with becoming a Florida resident.  Bobby and I are learning to become defensive drivers because everyone drives at least 15 mi/hr over the speed limit.  Our landlord told us the other day that he drives at least 100 mi/hr on the highway to get to work!  We've also had to adjust to the weather which has been seasonably warm with days in the 90s.  The humidity has ruined my straight hair-do and I will have to adapt to something less tame.  We've also had the pleasure of dealing with the lizards and large legged insects and lots of ants.  Our first day unpacking a lizard decided to help out in our living room and we spent 20 minutes trying to shoo it out of the house.

We are almost unpacked and it is starting to feel a little bit more like home.  We finally got our internet working and that has made us feel more connected to the world.  Everyday has been an adventure, trying to learn the lay of the land and not getting lost going to the grocery store.  Hopefully it won't take long to not be so dependent on the GPS.

Today we went to the beach in Boca Raton, but the minute we stepped onto the beautiful white sand beach it started pouring and we had to run to the car soaking wet.  Maybe we'll actually get to hang out there soon!  Tomorrow is Bobby's birthday and we might try out golfing, but it is supposed to be cool tomorrow so that might mean rain. 

I miss Colorado so much, but am trying to enjoy what Florida has to offer.  My new job starts on Monday and I am excited to start working and being part of a new team.  I'll keep you updated!