Rule #1, Don't Panic

Last week I attended a workshop on Disaster Preparedness and Object Salvage.  For a museum, one of the most important things to have is an Emergency Plan in place. For a museum in Florida, one of the most important things is to know how to save your collections during a hurricane. Our instructors work for a nation wide conservation disaster team and have been sent to New Orleans, Cedar Rapids and are getting prepared to be sent to Haiti.  They told us that it becomes a difficult balance when you have been in a natural disaster because you have to not only deal with your own personal life but also your museum's.  

Part of the workshop was to pretend like a disaster had happened and then we had to try to save as many objects as possible.  We used kiddie pools and soaked lots of different types of "artifacts" from paintings to shoes (all from the salvation army of course!).  Then we broke up into teams and tried to salvage as much as we could, mostly using materials that could be easily purchased in a hardware stores in case our supplies had been destroyed too.  It was amazing to observe how people acted during this scenario. The stress level rose and even certain people in my team were running around acting like a hurricane had really just hit.  Role play is not for everyone i suppose :) 

Triage area

Wrapping books in wax paper can help pages not to stick and stop bleeding
Most books would have to be frozen if wet

The little shoe I saved.  Padding it out will help it keep its shape
Remember to replace the wet tissue every 1/2 hour!

There have been several instances where all the objects in the museum have been taken down and put into the vaults to prepare for hurricane warnings.  Now that hurricane season is approaching I do feel better about being both physically and mentally prepared to deal with such a destructive natural disaster. Lets just hope I won't have to!

So ugly it's cute

Growing up in Colorado, Mallard ducks are a common site.  There was always a pair of ducks that hung around our house every summer and fall.  My mom named them Donald and Daisy.

The other day I went to check the mail and as I walked back to the front door I felt like someone was following me.  I turned around and out from under a car waddled three ducks.  They followed me back to our front yard and made themselves at home.  But unlike the Mallards, they are not the prettiest crayon in the box.

However, also unlike the Mallards they were very friendly!  They followed Bobby and I around and we fed them some bread and then they tried to walk into the house.  We see them around from time to time and I am trying to come up with some good names.  Donald and Daisy are just too prissy and proper for them!     


Always something new

Working at my job has introduced me to new ways of thinking.  It has been very eye opening working for the Seminole Tribe, learning their heritage and their way of life.  Its so interesting to look at the 1,000 year old objects in the collections and then walk outside and see how everything has evolved into the present day.

Like many tribes, the Seminole's are very private about certain stories and cultural rituals.  Why they do things may not always be clear to us. Even the different clans may omit certain things from stories so others won't hear.

One of the most unique things I have learned is how the tribe deals with removing cultural resources from the ground.  When the objects are excavated they are brought back to the lab.  But before they can be accessioned they have to go into the Isolation room.  This room serves two purposes.  The first is pest management.  The second is so that medicine can be done.  Our cultural advisor will go in and carry out certain cultural activities and then I am allowed to remove the objects.  After he leaves, the room smells like sage.

This would most likely be an unorthodox practice in other museums.  But to the Tribe it is essential.  Their beliefs and their culture trump my collection management training.  My thoughts of, "Maybe we shouldn't be burning things near the collection" will always be just a fleeting thought. 

I work for a sovereign nation, one that is known as the unconquered ones.  I get to work for a culture that still has pride and love for their heritage and rituals. To incorporate the old and the new is fascinating.  Besides, who doesn't love a little mystery in the work place.


New Words

I know you want to expand your vocabulary so here are some new words you can learn in Creek and Miccosukee!
                   Creek                Miccosukee

*Sun:          Hvse                     Haasi

*Moon:      Hvresse                Niilhaasi

*Water:      Owv                      Ooki

A is for Alligator

Modern day dinasour


Buon Compleanno!

It's my Daddy's birthday today! 

Happy Birthday!
to the Best Dad ever

Wish I could be there to celebrate and eat cabbage rolls and chocolate pie :)

How to Catch a Lizard

How to catch a lizard in your washing machine.

1.  Day 1-Try everything from banging to prodding. 

2.  Day 2- Try again.

3.  Day 3- Fill the washer with a little bit of water.  Wait.

4.  Turn the washer on spin cycle.

5.  Catch the lizard by his tail as he dizzily reappears after hiding in the middle section of the washer

6.  Put him outside so he can be reunited with his friends.


Kate and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Remember that book from when we were kids, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day?  

That was my day yesterday. 

Everything went wrong, and the more that went wrong the more I felt that this was the the most terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  Ever have one of those days, where life seems to get chaotic over the smallest things?

I have this thing were sometimes I tend to think that if something isn't perfect than its the end of the world.  I pride myself in being a rational, down to earth person.  But sometimes that all goes out the window.  Especially when I start the morning off stepping on a live cockroach, which led me into a full blown panic attack (just ask my sister who I woke up at 6am hysterically crying) .  I think that's definitely what started my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  

This morning I woke up with the sun on my face and the birds chattering outside.  A brand new day where I realize that I am perfectly capable of having a good day, even if one little thing goes wrong.

**I did however make sure I wore my slippers downstairs just in case there was another giant bug trying to ruin my day. 

Day Off

--Today is President's Day aka: day off from work.  I am working really hard on not doing anything.--

These are my big plans for the day:

*  Sleep in till 10

Catch up on my shows: Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Ghost Hunters, The Office, any other awesome reality show

*  Take a Nap

*  Watch a movie

*   Eat Dinner

work on my puzzle (yes I'm that boring)

Go to Bed
Its going to be a rough day.  But I'll suck it up and do it all in the honor of Washington and Lincoln.

Thanks guys 


No Snow

I just found out that a girl at work has NEVER seen snow!  She has lived in Florida her whole life and never experienced the beautiful scene of cold and sparkly snow.  She is going to Indiana this week to see it for the first time.  Those of us who had grown up with white winters tried to give her some pointers during lunch the other day.  Someone of course warned her of the dangers of yellow snow.  I told her to go sledding and make a snowman.

Of course living in Florida has spoiled me already.  I don't have to scrape my car, or get up 20 minutes early.  I don't have to worry about waking up and seeing that yellowish glow from the sky and know that my commute to work could be somewhat dangerous.

But I miss the Snow!  When it first covers the ground and everything is beautiful again.  When that Colorado sun hits the ground and it looks like diamonds.  Taking snow walks at night and having it be completely quiet.  I think that one day I will eventually drift back to a state with snow, enjoying those winter wonderlands.

Backyard in Boulder

yellow snow sky


Snow walks



Love Bugs

Florida Love Bugs.  What a perfect topic of conversation on the eve of Valentine's Day. When you think of Love Bugs you think of something sweet and cute.  Something that must bring love and joy to others. 

I do NOT love Love Bugs.  These little black flies start appearing in the early spring and again in late summer.  They've already started to appear.  You usually see them stuck to one another (mating), hence the name Love Bug.  Obviously they are not shy about their love.  Today a large swarm of them interrupted our lovely lunch.  Everyone has warned me about this nuisance of a bug.  They fly slowly and always seem to fly right into my face.  They generally congregate in huge clouds along the highways and can cover cars in a black mess.  They leave a big cleanup and have been known to destroy your car's paint job and obscure your vision out the windshield. Yet another wonderful thing Florida has to offer!

I've been told this is not an exageration.



People are just plain mean down here.  They are rude, selfish, and self appointed gods.  What is everyone's PROBLEM?!  Whether I am driving and getting flipped off by moms in mini vans or listening to people yell at others because they are taking waaay to long to pick out a green pepper at the grocery store, or hearing my neighbors racist comments, the attitude problem need to end.

The other day on the way home from work we were driving down Snake Road which is the road off of I-75 to get to the reservation.  We were driving along and we saw a turtle in the middle of our lane.  Even if we hadn't been paying attention we would have missed it because he was smack dab in the middle.  As we passed over him we looked back just to make sure he had survived and all of a sudden the car behind us (people I work with) started veering straight for the turtle and BAM! hit the poor little thing.  Who does that? I could see them just laughing and smiling in their car. 

I hope people down here are aware of that small little word called KARMA.

There is of course no way to change the fact that everyone down here acts like a 13 year old teenager.  But I guess I can do my part and stick to the golden rule. And even when I feel like punching someone in the face for killing innocent animals or yelling at little old ladies I will just try to be the bigger person and know that what goes around comes around.


Trees: A poem

Trees, Trees, so many Trees.  The Everglades are full of these! 




Some are Straight and some just Lean

Light Green, Grey, Yellow, Brown
Colors, Colors, all Around

Up, Up into the Sky 
Only where the birds fly High

the end :)