Field School Update

We are in the full swing of Field School.  Its been an exhausting week, but I have really enjoyed being out in the field.  The students have found some amazing things so far and we are all excited to discover more about this site.

The past few days have been hot.  No, that's an understatement.  It's been an oven, slowly cooking us until we are nice and crispy.  The wind has been still and no breeze is never a good sign.  

The air is filled with buzzing, the chatter of birds, and sometimes the distant grunt of an alligator.  I can hear the students off at their units talking "archaeology".  My co-workers are finally satisfied with the dirty condition of my snake boots.  

The Lab
Everyday I have students helping me in our makeshift lab.  I try and teach them about the artifacts they are finding, showing them the difference between one type of pottery and another.

Myself and a Cow

Well I'm off to bed.  The field day starts early!


Diamonds and Saphires

I went to a few evening events at my conference.  One was at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston were I walked through endless exhibit halls of Monet, Titan, and Pollock.  It was wonderful!

Robert Motherwell!

Jackson Pollock!

The other evening event was at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.  Here I walked through exhibits of dinosaurs, stars, and gems.  
I love gem and mineral exhibits.  I think its because most of the exhibits are dark and the gems and minerals are lit to make everything sparkle.  Its a very romantic exhibit style.

The Museum also has a long term loan from a couple just north of Houston who have been collecting Faberge for years and had no idea of the significance of what they had.  The curator went to visit their modest house and the woman opened the door wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and this tiara!




I love nice hotel rooms. Although I prefer to sleep in my own bed, I don't mind staying in a King size bed with HBO for a few nights.  My room in Houston was pretty swanky.  My entire walls were windows. 

I slept with all my curtains open so I could watch the city lights twinkle. 

I worked in the morning light

It made me miss living in the city.  There is something about the hustle and bustle and glittering lights that makes me happy.


I'm Back!

I have been gone since Saturday and I am glad to be home.  I am a homebody.  But this week I was gallivanting around Houston.  I went to the American Association of Museums Annual Conference and got to present at a session.  AAM is big.  It is the be all of museum conferences.  I got to see old friends and collegues and catch up on our lives and jobs. 

My session had been planned for 7 months but I was nervous and felt small in a sea of wonderful professionals.  People who have been in the field for 30 years were coming to see my presentation.  When it was my turn to present, I got up to that microphone, took a deep breathe, looked out at the 200 eyes looking at me and somehow spit out my words I had been practicing for weeks. 

My session: Yes we talked about documentation!
I am not the most outgoing person and would rather not talk to 100 people.  But I did it and I am proud of myself.  People listened to what I had to say and  I feel for the first time that I am no longer an "emerging professional".  Look out museum world!

My first grown-up dress (took the photo myself, hence the awkward hand)


Sweet Note

My life is busy.  I am presenting at a national conference next week (just thinking about it makes me nauseous).  Our field school starts next week.  I have a new employee starting next week and I am trying to hire another new employee in the midst of it all.  And to top it off, tomorrow I have a class for field school at the university campus.  Ooooh college kids.  Hopefully they are more interested then those 4th graders last week. 

The list goes on.  I am happy to be busy but I sometimes get stressed out.  By 4pm my head is pounding and I can hear my little brain cells softly crying. 

Today I opened my e-mail and found this from my sister:

I have to remember to slow down and to realize what is most important in life.  My family.


The Road Not Taken

  Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 

                            Robert Frost


Archaeology Day!

Who doesn't love archaeologists?  I mean come on, we dig up dinosaur bones and lost treasure.  Oh wait, that's Indiana Jones, the paleontologist.

This week we hosted ARCHAEOLOGY DAY! A day for school children to learn all about the exciting world of archaeology.  I'm still exhausted and it was two days ago.  I really don't know who invented school field trips.  The poor teachers looked like they were about to cry.  
I'm pretty sure the 350 little 4th and 5th graders took the following things away from ARCHAEOLOGY DAY!

1.  Archaeology is hot
2.  Archaeology is dirty
3.  Archaeology has lots and lots of bugs
4.  Archaeology is a lot of hard work
5.  Archaeology does not necessarily mean you will find buried treasure

When a little girl was asked what she thought of archaeology before ARCHAEOLOGY DAY! her answer was "Boring".  When she was asked what she thought of archaeology now that she has seen what Real Live Archaeologists do she said, "Only kind of boring".  Our work here is done.

I spent the day straining my voice above the chaos, comforting little girls who were crying because of the bugs, trying to make 5th graders think artifacts are cool, and sweating like there was no tomorrow.  It was only 98 degrees.

 Learning about Excavations!

 My station: Artifact Analysis.  Maybe I should have called it Awesome Artifacts...

Calm before the storm.


No Love For You

Love Bugs are in full force. The sky is black with swarms of love bugs.  They attach themselves to your hair, your legs, your shoes or any other available spot and hitch a ride into the office.  Then they crawl around on your desk, doing inappropriate mating right on your Post-Its.  We walked into our office this morning and it looked like a mass graveyard.  Hundreds and hundreds of little black bodies strewn on the floor.  ewww

My water bottle today:



 My Mommy

My mom is amazing.  I think I call her at least 5 times a week, and usually I have nothing to say but just want to hear her voice.  It always makes me feel better.  Happy Mother's Day to the best mom in the whole world!  

I heard these Taylor Swift lyrics a few years ago and it always makes me think of my mom:

I'm five years old, it's getting cold, I've got my big coat on
I hear your laugh and look up smiling at you, I run and run
Past the pumpkin patch and the tractor rides, look now, the sky is gold
I hug your legs and fall asleep on the way home

I don't know why all the trees change in the fall
But I know you're not scared of anything at all
Don't know if Snow White's house is near or far away
But I know I had the best day with you today

I'm thirteen now and don't know how my friends could be so mean
I come home crying and you hold me tight and grab the keys
And we drive and drive until we found a town far enough away
And we talk and window shop 'til I've forgotten all their names

I don't know who I'm gonna talk to now at school
But I know I'm laughing on the car ride home with you
Don't know how long it's gonna take to feel okay
But I know I had the best day with you today

There is a video I found from back when I was three
You set up a paint set in the kitchen and you're talking to me
It's the age of princesses and pirate ships and the seven dwarfs
And Daddy's smart and you're the prettiest lady in the whole wide world

And now I know why the all the trees change in the fall
I know you were on my side even when I was wrong
And I love you for giving me your eyes
For staying back and watching me shine
And I didn't know if you knew, so I'm takin' this chance to say
That I had the best day with you today



I still get homesick.  I guess I always will.  Not everyday, but sometimes something I see, smell or hear will make me miss Colorado.  Today it was when I got into my car and couldn't touch my steering wheel because it was too hot.  It's May.  It made me miss the cold weather of winter turning into Spring.  I miss wearing my coats and my 40 different scarves.  I miss feeling toasty and warm under piles of blankets and drinking hot chocolate at night. 

A favorite photo:
Christmas in Ft. Lauderdale:  Wearing my coat for only the 3rd time since I've moved here.


Pet Peeves

I only have two pet peeves.  Please read this and then make sure to never do them around me.

#1.  Clapping after a movie in the movie theater.  

Do you think that Hugh Grant can hear you clapping for his lovely performance?   No.  He can't hear you.  No one can hear you except for all of the people sitting in the movie theater next to you.  

#2.  People who sing along to the car radio with other people in the car.

There are of course some exceptions.  If everyone in the car is singing to the song then it's generally a good time.  Also, singing along to Christmas music is acceptable at any time.  But if you choose to sing along to a song on the radio in a car full of people who are not participating it makes me uncomfortable.  Especially when you start pretending you are on American Idol.

Thank you.



Core Field School staff

It was a nice day out in the field today.  Another logistics meeting before our field school gets under way at the end of May.  So much to do!
It was overcast today and rain was threatening but it held off until we got back to the office.  The clouds actually kept the temperature down and there was a nice breeze out at the site.  I even had a Winnie the Pooh moment as I watched a hive of bees fly in and out of their home inside the hollow of an old tree trunk. 

Mother Nature, you sure are magical.


Stop and Think

Today I was annoyed.  EVERYONE was overly excited about the recent news.  People who haven't shown one ounce of interest in the war were talking non stop news updates.  
"If I had been in NY I would be out in the streets with everyone celebrating!"
"Wow this is the best day!"

Celebrating?  No.  I don't think that the news is worth celebrating.  A man who had thousands of innocent people killed should be severely punished.  A man whose goals were to unleash harm and hatred on others should be severely punished.  What do we accomplish by celebrating?

"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."