I finally got to see Sally up close the other day!  She likes to hang out at the pond behind the maintenance yard.  She is probably around 5 feet long and we sat and watched each other for awhile.  She eventually got bored with me taking pictures of her and slid back down into the water. A living Dinosaur.

 Getting to Know one another 


Parents Weekend

These are the times that I hate being so far away.  Yesterday was my mom's birthday and today is Father's Day.  I wish I could be apart of all of the festivities...but I will celebrate here and try and wiggle through the phone to give you both a gigantic hug!

My mom is amazing and I heard she had an amazing birthday!  Full of hamburgers on the grill (tradition), fruit pizza and a little rock band action.  Maybe I'll make a fruit pizza today and help celebrate from cloudy Florida!

**my mom**

Today is Father's Day.  Happy Father's Day Daddy! My dad is the best--I look up to him all the time, trying to figure out how I can be more like him.  He is dedicated and thoughtful and he always knows the right answer.  I hope that I can be as successful as him both with my family and my work.

**my dad**

An Ode to my Parents!
I love you both will all my heart
You pick me up when I fall apart

You push me to always do my best
Even when I'm being a pest

You've taught me how to reach my goals
And to pick up my dirty plates and bowls (well sometimes)

I would not be who I am today
Without your love and wisdom everyday


SunRise, SunSet

Florida has one thing going for it.  The SUN...except when its raining 85% of the time.  I have never seen such amazing colors when the sun rises and when the sun sets then here.  The other morning driving to work I noticed that the sky had a strange orange tint.  I looked around to see the biggest sun I have ever seen.  It was a perfect tropical sun, the kind you see in postcards and beach advertisements.  The other night I got to take a walk in a glorious Florida sunset.

It was almost perfect... until I walked into a swarm of Jurassic sized dragonflies


I am Terrified of hurricanes.  I check the national hurricane center every day.  The weather here is too hot and too hot means bad storms (so I'm told by those floridians).  Great.  But today I am prepared.  I have gone through check list after check list making sure I have everything I need if we get blown away by a hurricane.

My Hurricane Kit

Canned Fruit* Canned veggies* Canned chicken and tuna (ewww)* Dried Fruit* Nuts* Crackers* Juice* Water*Water* and more Water* Granola Bars* Dried Cereal* Duct Tape* Paper Plates and Cups* Candles* Flashlights* Batteries* Radio* Can Opener* Mini Gas Grill* Peanut Butter

Everything is OK with Duct Tape

In case our gas goes out we can still have hot meals!

Fingers crossed there will be no hurricanes that hit the East Coast and if there are that we don't loose power or have the roof blown off.  Everyone says this is going to be a terrible season, but now I can huddle in my bathroom with the mattress over my head eating peanut butter.


Big Bug

When I lived in Texas the famous quote was "Everything is Bigger in Texas!"  YEHAW!

Not true.  Everything is bigger in swampy Florida. 

This may look like your average size grasshopper but don't be fooled.  Its was as big as my hand...


Stupid BP

Ok here I go.  I'm not the first to rant about the oil spill and I know I won't be the last.  My office has been working around the clock with federal agencies including NPS and the Coast Guard to try and solve some MAJOR potential problems.  Yes, the oil spill is effecting the environment, the economy, the fragile balance of wildlife.  It could cause an immense amount of damage and contamination if a hurricane blows through, not to mention the fact that it is showing the downfall of government policy and procedures.

However, with all of those immediate issues, there is one that not many have thought about.  The potential effect on cultural resources like archaeological sites, burials, shipwrecks, ceremonial sites, the Trail of Tears, medicinal plant gathering areas... (should I go on?).  The damage that the oil and oil cleanup could have on all of these things is scary.  My office is working to make sure that federal agencies will comply with the law and that they are aware of not only the importance of the preservation of these sites but making sure that they are including tribal communities in these decisions.  My boss is at the white house this week making sure the Tribe has a voice in this disaster. For example, the oil spill could potentially destroy the livelihood and cultural identity of the Houma Tribe in Louisiana...but that's what do best right?  Nothing like a little repeat of history.

I would just like to congratulate the guilty parties for taking their time in dealing with one of our worst environmental, economical and cultural emergencies. I'm glad you've stepped up and made an effort. Not only have you pointed the blame at everyone else but have also allowed Kevin Costner to brainstorm possible solutions. 


Evening Stroll

It poured again this afternoon.  Shocking.  But as we were finishing dinner the sun started to come out and Bobby and I decided to take an evening walk in the drizzle.
Rainbow over our house

Not sure what kind of flower this is but it smells pretty!

Sun finally breaking through

too hot

Wow is it hot outside.  I can barely breathe and I got a third degree burn from my steering wheel.  The humidity is at least 99%.  There is nothing really pleasant about this weather.  It is sweaty, uncomfortable and not to mention it makes people super irritable.  Good thing summer last for only 10 out of the 12 months down here...

Time to make frozen margaritas!


Art Museums

A few people from work recently returned from the American Association of Museums annual conference.  This year it was held in L.A.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it but I got a chance to talk to some co-workers to see how it was.

Me: "How was L.A.?"
Co-worker: "It was good"
Me: "They have awesome museums!  Did you go to the Getty?"
Co-worker: "NO! I HATE art museums!"
Me: "oh"

I can't believe they didn't go to the Getty!  One of the best museums in the U.S.  Now yes, they did have some legal/ ethical issues a few years ago, but that doesn't take away the amount of amazing art they have.  I guess I'm biased because I was lucky enough to work in an art museum and walk around beautiful and interesting art all day long.  I got to pull out the Monet's and Renoir's for my friends and family and be in heaven walking around the Renaissance and Modern art during lunch. 

As a museum professional I hope that I can appreciate all types of museums.  I work with bone and pottery all day, but I'm still in love with what I do!  How can you love anthropology or history museums but not art museums?  How can you only appreciate what people made 1,000's of years ago but not what people have made over the last 300 years? 

How our conversation should have gone:

Me: "They have awesome museums!  Did you go to the Getty?"
Co-worker: "NO! I HATE art museums!"
Me: "Well maybe they hate you!"

Ok... so I've never been great with comebacks but I will say that all museums are near and dear to my heart.


Weekend o' Fun

One of my best friends came to visit over Memorial Day Weekend.  Laura and I met while standing in line waiting to go through airport security on our way to Italy for the summer.  I had just found out my luggage had been lost (I hadn't even left the country!) and I was so upset that the start of my trip was not going so well.  Laura recognized me in line (we were paired up to be roommates) and told me everything was going to be ok and that she would share all her things with me!

We became instant friends and we spent the next 6 weeks living in our tiny apartment in Perugia, exploring Italy and becoming best friends with Jodi!

Jodi, Laura and Me = Perugia 
Since then, the three of us have tried to see each other at least once a year.  I flew out to D.C. to visit them a few summers ago and last summer they both came out to Denver to visit.  This weekend Laura was able to come relax in the Florida heat and I am planning a trip up to D.C. in August to visit both of them in the city in I love.

I had such a wonderful time, catching up and hearing all about Laura's amazing life as the youngest lobbyist in her D.C. firm.  To me it is so glamorous and I love listening to her stories about all the people she gets to meet.  We spent our time going to the movies, the beach, and the pool--getting sunburned and de-stressing

We love to reminiscence about our trip to Italy.  How amazing life is to put you somewhere at the right time and the right place--  that the three of us were able to meet and become such wonderful friends!


I can't believe that it is already June 1st!  I remember back in August when I was offered my job, I sat wondering what it will be like in 6 months.  I have officially been at my job for almost 8 months!  wow.  Time flies.  I don't remember any other time in my life where the weeks and days have passed so quickly. I blame it partly on being gone 12 hours a day from home-- my life has turned into a whirlwind.  I have learned so much and am continuing to learn the ins and outs of tribal government and the value of culture.  I have learned to appreciate all those hours I sat in class.  And I continue to figure out the strangeness that is Florida.  I wonder what the next 8 months will be like...