Saturday, December 08, 2007


Good Tree

We bought our Christmas Tree today and got it put up. It has been a much better experience then usual. The new tree stand we bought at the end of last season worked great, went together easier and faster, meaning much less grumbling to "humbug" the experience. We had a working saw to trim the trunk (in past years we have broken saws or had to borrow from neighbors). Vicky counted the rings in the cut and it was a 16 year old tree.
Best of all the tree itself is full and beautiful, one of the best we have had in ages. It was also an easy purchase, it was only $30 and the guy running the lot was VERY helpful and patient in showing us a number of trees till we found what we wanted. He even let Andrew help carry it to the car and showed him how he was tying it on.
I hope you to have a good tree experience this year. If you live in the W. Philadelphia area (or drive through it going to burb land) and still need a tree I would give this tree lot a try, all trees were #30 no matter what size, the guy was helpful and it felt good to support a local person rather then a big operation.

The Lot is on 61st and Lancaster Avenue across from the Kentucky Fried Chicken (hey you could grab dinner while you are there too!)
Happy Decorating

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Anthroplogical & Archaeological Find Updates

No, they are not my personal finds. The most interesting things I find these days are more likely to be from under the couch cushions then under the ground, or to be the notebook, bracelet, slotted spoon and white bowl left by our relatives on Thanksgiving. Instead this is one of my periodic updates of interesting Archaeological findings in the news:

1) Hot Cocoa : A vessel showing the earliest use of cocoa (chocolate) by the Maya was found in the Ulua Valley in Honduras in an area not far from where the group I worked with used to dig. The analysis on the residue in the vessel was done by the MASCA group at the University of Pennsylvania Museum where I used to work. So this is the most interesting and most personal find for me. It always amazes me what we can find out and it is also interesting how creative man has been over time in his use of the natural resources that God has given us and the many wonderful treats God has hidden there for us to find as we explore it.

2) Early Roman Worship: The finding of a cave turned place of worship that possibly commemorates the founders of Rome: Romulus and Remus. Even if Romulus and Remus are a myth this is a fascinating find and an interesting look at early pagan religions and worship in ancient Rome as well as the art and technology of the time.

3) More From Pompeii/Herculaneum: They have just found a royal throne, significant because up to now they were only known through depictions in art. Though it is a very grizzly site in some ways I continue to find Pompeii and Herculaneum fascinating. The nature of the catastrophe there has left so much for us to learn from, both about art, religion and daily life in an ancient Roman city but also about the fragility of life and the fleeting nature of all that we store up on earth and think is so important and lasting. The UPMAA where I used to work had a fair number of objects from there in the collection and one of my coworkers was doing her PHD research work on the excavations there. However, I had never seen in person (only in photos) the casts made by the eruption of those who were trying to flee but didn't make it. This Oct. while we were in Minneapolis we got to see a traveling exhibition on Pompeii that included some of the casts, they were very moving. It was a very well done exhibit complete with a kid level free audio tour. I am not sure where else it is being shown but if you get a chance to see it you should.

4) Michelangelo Sketches: The Vatican has just fund some misplaced sketches Michelangelo did for the dome of St. Peters.

5) da Vinci Lost art/found?: They are using modern technology to try and find out if a famous work started by Leonardo da Vinci is still there behind a fresco put up by a later artist. Modern technology and the ability to even investigate these things non invasivly is just amazing.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Cartoons Imitate Art

We were recently on a family weekend trip which (among other fun) meant the treat of cable TV for my kids. (Yes, we live in the dark ages and don't have cable). They were watching a Jimmy Neutron Cartoon** where it was Valentines Day and the boys were going to make some sort of love potion. My 6 year old son looks up and says "Mom, it looks like this is going to be a Midsummer's Night Dream Story!" My husband looks up at me with a look of shock on his face, all I could do was shrug my shoulders!!

**"LOVE POTION 9.368"A laboratory mishap exposes the boys to a powerful pheromone that causes each of them to fall madly in love with the next female he sees

PS to Cheryl: If they learned about pheromones while watching this can I count it as science? LOL

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