Okeechobee Lake

I finally got to see Okeechobee Lake the other day while driving back to work from the field site. It's definitely not what I was picturing for the 7th largest lake in the U.S, not exactly Lake Michigan.

Archaeology is Awesome

The other day I took my department on a mini field trip.  We went up to the Brighton Reservation to assist the field crew for the day.  It's important for me to always have a good relationship with the field crew.  We all have completely different jobs, but work with the same objects.  They've assisted us in the lab before so i thought it would be good for us to go out into the field to see what they've been up too.

They are working now on a Phase II, which basically means that their previous shovel test came back positive for artifacts and they now need to mitigate the site so a tribal member can build their house and not destroy any culturally significant resources.  We had such a great time....minus the giant white grubs and bugs I found in the dirt.  It was nice to be out in the sunshine and fresh air for the day and I got to tone my archaeological skills.

The Hammock

Brighton Reservation

Pretty Flowers

Digging the Unit

Screening for artifacts


Margaritas and Moonlight

I don't spent too much time on our back porch, mostly because I haven't bought any furniture to sit on.  Last night was so nice out.  It was warm and breezy and the sky was clear.  Bobby and I pulled out our kitchen chairs and two antique suitcases and made a little eating area outside.  We had a mini fiesta of margaritas and chips and salsa and enjoyed the moonlight hitting the palm trees.

I have visions of how I want the porch to look someday with flowers and twinkly lights, but for now I'll settle for the makeshift table and candles.



I walked down stairs this morning and found these on my kitchen table!

Thank you Bobby! 

He has been working several Proms the last few weekends doing sound and lighting and I guess this one had some left over flower arrangements. 

Boy Scouts of America!

Over a thousand Boy Scouts have descended on the Reservation for a big weekend retreat.  Right before lunch yesterday we heard music coming from outside.  When we went out to see what was going on, we saw a group of guys playing on their fiddles, guitars and banjos, marching down the boardwalk.  We were all so confused where they had come from, just randomly appearing out of the cypress forest and swamp.  The band made its way over to the parking lot where almost the entire museum and THPO staff were standing on the porch.  We found out they were college guys that started a blue grass band when they were Boy Scouts and perform all over the U.S. and were here to entertain the troops.

They played two songs for us and they were really good (and a little nerdy)!  It was so much fun to hear them play and have a mini lunch time concert and they put everyone in a good mood!


Car Pool #1

I never thought I would ever be in a carpool.  All I ever think of is the comic Blondie and Dagwood always late for his carpool.

Every morning I meet my carpool at the Coconut Creek Casino at 6:45am .  The Tribe has graciously given us cars to drive to the Reservation and pay for our gas and tolls which is so amazing that I don't have to pay for any of those things or put the miles on my car.

I have two people in my carpool. Our assigned carpool number is #1.  And its not just because we are awesome. I think I really lucked out when it came to carpool companions.  One carpool squeezes 9 people into an Expedition. Umm no thank you.  Even though I am asked to drive almost every morning (they are not morning people), I enjoy our conversations which range from Juan's newest fantasy story about Zombies taking over the THPO to Katy's little pug Radar.  We talk about family, work, weekend plans, and try and figure out why those two guys were hand cuffed on the side of the highway.  It keeps me entertained and laughing.

Most mornings are quiet, with me driving in while everyone sleeps.  The afternoons are when we all talk and like to play Mash or Would You Rather. Although sometimes its hard to be around people for 11 hours straight, they help relieve the stress of work and my fears of all things Florida that I'm afraid of.

The famous sleeping neck pillow

  Our Carpool Car- the hybrid Escape


"I'm Late! I'm Late! For A Very Important Date!"

I Hate being late.  It makes me incredibly anxious and I would rather not show up some place then be late.  If you are going to go to the movies to with me be prepared to leave at least 45 minutes early, even if its at the 2 dollar theater down the street.  My parents drilled it in me to be early and on time and now its ingrained in me. 

Today I was late to work.  Not just 5 minutes, but 40 minutes. Even though I called my boss I felt awful being the last one walking into work.  Now of course, it wasn't my fault that I was late(!!), but it still put me in a terrible mood. 

Here's a recap of my morning. 

6:25- race out of my house to leave for carpool
6:45- arrive at carpool on time and ready to leave!
6:45-7:04- waiting....waiting...
7:05- get phone call that the person with the car keys for the carpool car just woke up and is sick
7:06- Decide to drive my own car to work
7:06- Realize my toll pass has $1.00 left on it and I have no cash to pay the tolls
7:06- Realize I forgot my debit card at home (of course)
7:07- Turn around to drive home to get cash
7:11- Get phone call from sick person asking if I can pick up a laptop that someone else needs at work (sure why not...I'm already late)
7:30- Pick up laptop and because they felt so bad gave me their toll pass
8:40- Finally arrive at work

I wish other people felt the same way as I did about being on time.  No one seems to care about it in our society anymore and no one ever seems to feel bad for making me late.  Ok.  Now I'm done venting and am going to go watch The Office to make myself feel better. 


I finally saw her today!  After 6 months of waiting I finally got to see Sally, the resident gator at the Museum.  She was sunning herself right next to my building.  Security wasn't too concerned with the fact that she was out in the open waiting for a small animal or child to innocently run into her mouth.  I tired to take a picture, but I only had my camera phone, so it will have to do for now.  Maybe she'll be out tomorrow...

Sally the Alligator (hiding in between the trees)


Must be my Lucky Day

Today was a lucky day.  I got to work safely even though it was pouring, got to eat lunch outside and it didn't start raining till I took my last bite, AND I got to have spaghetti for dinner.  My co-worker on the other hand did not have such a lucky day.  He got called into an emergency 3 1/2 hour meeting, saw a 6 foot alligator attack and kill a bird right in front of him, and then while riding out to an archaeological site in the field got stuck in the muck and then lost control of the car on the slippery mud and was feet from sliding into a canal. I realized as I was pulling into my parking spot why I had such a safe and lucky day.

Mr. Seahorse

When my sister came to visit we went to the beach.  Because the weather was not ideal for swimming, we decided to walk along the beach for awhile in the 30 mi/hr wind.  But on our walk Jessica found a Seahorse!  It had washed up on shore.  I have only ever seen them at the aquarium and zoo.  Unfortunately Jessica didn't have any room in her suitcase to take it home with her, so she nicely left it for me sitting in a little bag on my kitchen table.  Well...1 month later it is still sitting on my kitchen table.  I'm not quite sure what to do with him.  Where do you keep a Seahorse?  For the most part he is a pretty good dinner guest, but maybe I'll move him to the bookcase.


My niece

I got this in my e-mail last night.  I love being an aunt, although I wish my sisters would hurry up and have little Backos' and Wolfe's so I can be an auntie to other humans.


I love all kinds of music.  I am partial to quieter things like classical, jazz and singer/songwriter music.  Before I moved to Texas I never really listened to country.  My parents had a few Alabama and Garth Brooks cds, but it was never a favorite.  When I moved to Lubbock it all changed.  Actually, it had to because there was nothing else on the radio.  It slowly grew on me, listening to people sing about their baby, their mama, a boy in a Chevy truck, beer, and their hometown.  Country music tends to be on the simpler side mostly talking about love and loss.  There is something romantic about the open space, with tall grasses blowing in the wind and nothing but the big open sky.  Cowboys riding off into the sunset, sitting by the fire with just the crickets and the coyotes. 

I complained a lot when I lived in Texas.  Well, a lot may be an understatement.  But now it seems all those bad memories of dust and dirt have blown away and all that is left is an ideal picture of the ol' west.  So now I sit and listen to my country and dreaming of the west, while my neighbors blasts their Haitian rap.  


Some of my favorite lyrics from the Dixie Chicks:

I wanna sleep on the hard ground
In the comfort of your arms
On a pillow of bluebonnets
In a blanket made of stars

I wanna be the only one
For miles and miles
Except for maybe you
And your simple smile

Cowboy take me away
Fly this girl as high as you can
Into the wild blue
Set me free oh I pray
Closer to heaven above and
Closer to you closer to you

Texas Plains



Bobby got a job! A few weeks ago Bobby had an interview and after 6 long hard months of looking for a job he got one!  Sometimes I can't believe that he moved all the way across the country for me.  For me!  Someone loves me that much.  He left his family, friends and job.  He spent the next 6 months looking and looking.  He did a lot of laundry and playing golf.  I have gotten spoiled, coming home from work and walking into the kitchen and dinner almost being ready.

Tonight he is at work working hard.  It was strange to come home to a quiet house and have to rummage in the cupboard for a single serving of something to eat. But that's ok, I'm so proud of him!  I'm proud of both of us for taking the risk to move here and completely flipping our lives upside down.

I guess I'll take advantage of the quiet, catch up on my girly shows, and wait to welcome him home. 



My sister and I have issues throwing things away.  We have always felt that inanimate objects have feelings.  If you throw a box of crackers away make sure there are at least two left so they have a friend.  Don't forget to throw away both of your shoes at the same time.  Bobby also has this problem which is always interesting when we both take 10 minutes to throw an old toy away.  I just saw this new commercial on t.v for the new Crocs that are out.  This is why I feel the way I do.  Society needs to stop putting cute faces on objects. Check it out.  I think instead of a kitten I want a pair of little Crocs to run and greet me at the door.

Good Advice

Museums are notorious for being our nation's attics, collecting everything and anything.  I've even noticed that I tend to collect unnecessary things, making piles of REALLY important pieces of paper.  Here is some good advice for those of us that love to collect:

"It is good to collect things, but it is better to go on walks"
Anatole France

Mermaids and Suckling Pigs

A big part of cataloging objects in a museum is classification.  I read this the other day and it made me laugh

"Just because a classification system allows you to assign a category to everything does not mean that it is a useful system.  In “the Analytical Language of John Wilkins” essayist Jorge Luis Borges describes a Chinese encyclopedia called The Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge that divided animals into 14 groups:

1.  Those that belong to the Emperor
2.  Embalmed Ones
3.  Those that are trained
4.  Suckling pigs
5.  Mermaids
6.  Fabulous animals
7.  Stray dogs
8.  Those included in the present classification
9.  Those that tremble as they were mad
10. Innumerable ones
11. Those drawn with a very fine camel hair brush
12. Others 
13. Those that have just broken a flower vase
14. Those that from a long way off look like flies

Maybe I’ll use this list to help standardize the collection database at work.  I'm sure identifying animal bones as a Mermaid would be perfectly excepted. Or even better, maybe I should use this list to help us standardize other things in life like Boys:

1.  Those that are trained
2.  Those that smell good
3.   Those that smell bad
4.  Those that from a long way off look like weirdos
5.  Those that are handsome
6.  Those that belong to me



A Prayer in Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.
                       And make us happy in the darting bird                                 
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.

Robert Frost

 Our backyard tree



5 years ago today I started dating Bobby.  We have been together ever since, through school, long distance, and the ups and downs in between.  Its been an amazing journey, falling in love and watching how we've grown and changed together.  He's my best friend and the love of my life. 

The first time I met Bobby was in my freshman dorm.  My friend Makenzie who lived across from me in the dorm wanted to introduce me to one of her friends who she grew up with in Basalt, CO.  I remember walking into one of the common areas and he was sitting at the grand piano playing a song.  I think I played something for him and the three of us chatted for a minute and that was that.  I didn't see him again for over a year.

I guess it took him that long to get the courage to call me!  My sophomore year he asked Makenzie to get my number.  We went out on our first date to a fancy Italian place in Boulder.  He wore a blue argyle sweater and I wore my pink sparkly shoes.  A few days later I invited him over and we stayed up till 3 in the morning talking and laughing and watching The Incredibles. We've been together ever since.

I love you because you love me when I'm grumpy

I love you because you care about all my needs, especially when I need a back rub

I love you because you make me try new things

I love you because you always comfort me and give me hugs

I love you because you are an amazing musician and you sing duets with me

I love you because you make me feel pretty even when I'm not

  I love you for your patience, kindness, and respect

I love you for letting me be myself

I love you for always telling me that you love me 

**To the next 55 years**



Missing you

Pepper (aka: Peppi, Peepee, Pepperoni, old man)


Kitty Cat

I love cats.  I can not wait till I get to have my own kitten one day.  Our family cat Pepper has been the love of my life since I was 7.  My sister recently adopted two adorable cats who I am trying to be the best aunt possible. We skype.
However, I do not think that I will ever love cats this much


Yesterday I was enjoying a nice quiet lunch outside.  All of a sudden a tiny insect landed next to one of my co-workers.  She started watching it as it walked around the table.  Then all of a sudden it lost all 4 of its wings.  We thought it was weird and then continued eating our lunches.  As I was taking a bite of my apple another bug flew onto the table and I watched as it shed its wings.  "Another weird Florida insect" I thought to myself.  Then another one appeared, and another, AND another.  Within minutes we were swarmed with these bugs.  I looked down and there were 4 in my hair and recently shed wings were floating dangerously close to my open yogurt. I looked up and there were hundreds flying in the air! I had to run inside to escape the disgusting-ness that was encroaching on my lunch break.  Luckily I have learned to control my spastic movements when flying insects are around so that I don't completely embarrass myself at work. 

We later found out they were recently hatched female termites.  Ummm gross.

Dear Florida,
Please stop ruining my lunch.  And please stop producing flying insects.
Thank you.


Oh the Joys of Academia

My second week of work I found out that I was going to be part of a paper being published. I was very excited to know that one day soon my name could be found in an archaeological journal. The paper is on Fort Shackelford, a mid-nineteenth century Third Seminole War Fort. Last summer, Florida Gulf Coast University students came out to attend a field school that the THPO hosted. They were trying to relocate the fort which, according to historic records, burned to the ground after the war. The federal forts built during this time were used to try and pressure the Seminoles to relocate to the West. 

**An interesting Fact: No peace treaty was every signed between the Seminole Tribe and the Government.

I was lucky enough to come on board as the analysis of the artifacts was taking place and had a hand in writing up a section for the paper. Our lab manager and I also cataloged and re-housed all of the objects that came out of the excavations. We have some great artifacts like early 19th century ammunition, a lead canister, square cut nails that date to the time period and they were able to recover ceramics that were manufactured in England and brought over to the New World.

Sneak Preview:

I know you are all just dying to read it and the suspense of what happens in the next 35 pages will keep you up at night, so I'll make sure to keep you updated!


Spring Cleaning

It is perfect spring weekend and I am enjoying the bright sunshine.  The sky is the brightest blue and there is not a single cloud in the sky.  There is a slight breeze that is rustling the palm tress outside my window. 

Back home I know that everyone is hard at work at my parent's annual raking day.  Our backyard willow tree tends to leave a mess every winter and come spring, my whole family goes out to the yard and does a little spring cleaning.  I have to admit, I have been fortunate enough to always be out of state when this day occurs so I can always relax while I know my sisters are hard at work raking piles of sticks 5 feet high. 

The downfall of course it not being home and enjoying home cooking and my overly grouchy cat  Pepper. 

Maybe I'll go do some spring cleaning so that I am working hard like my family....


I think the laundry can wait while I go lounge by the pool.


The Visitors

This past weekend Jessica and Martin came to visit! I had been looking forward to them coming since December.  It was wonderful to see them and to spend time with my sister, catching up and being a twin again.

We spent the 4 days they were here exploring south Florida and showing them where I've been hiding for the past 6 months.  

Here's a recap:

Saturday:  Picked them up from the airport and welcomed them into a beautiful sunny day!  We spent the afternoon relaxing, taking a walk down to the park and making dinner.   I was so excited that they were finally here!

Neighborhood stroll

Enjoying the sunny park

Dinner Time

Sunday:  The weatherman's prediction of sun and heat was very wrong.  We woke up to clouds, wind, and chilly weather.  Even though the weather was not beach weather, we decided to take the chance that the sun might come out.  Jessica's only goal for her vacation was to get a tan and unfortunately that didn't happen.  Of course the day they left the weather has been nothing but sunshine!

We went up to Boca Raton, and spent time on the windy beach and in the Spanish River National Park where we had a mini picnic of lunchabels.  Martin, known for his refined taste in food and drink, managed to gag it down.  The park was neat and will be a good place to go back too.



Spanish River Park

Nature Trail

Monday: We woke up to a massive thunderstorm at 6am with lightening and tornadoes.  It rained most of the day so we decided to go to the 3 dollar movies down the street and then went out for seafood at the Rustic Inn, a famous crab shack in Dania Beach.  There Martin and Bobby indulged in the critters of the sea while Jess and I stuck to the only 2 non seafood items on the menu.   

Tuesday: The rain finally moved on and we woke up to a sunny day.  I took everyone over to the Big Cypress Reservation and showed them where I worked.  We also got a chance to go to Billy Swamp Safari and did the air-boat tours and ate some fry bread.  It was a lot of fun!  It was also great to show everyone where I work and they got to meet some of my co-workers.  

When we got home we ran over to the pool so Jess could get some sun and build up the warmth to bring back home.  For dinner we went to a Cuban restaurant and then spent the rest of the evening relaxing.  



Wild Boars and babies

Under the Chickee


Jess and Martin left early Wednesday morning.  It was so hard to say good-bye but my mom always taught me to say, "See you soon" instead of "good-bye".  

Come back soon! we miss you already.