Monday, July 8, 2013

For some of my former students; The Current Possibilities in Archaeology From a Lowly Tech.

Locale Update!! I am now working in northwest Arkansas, just outside the beautiful Fayetteville. Its lovely here, though hotter than one would think possible for being the middle of the mountains.
Quite recently I have had several of my former students ask me my opinion on their options upon graduation next spring. I feel like I’m really not super qualified to give direction. But I can share my experiences, and those of the people I’ve worked with over the last seven years and hope that that will be helpful.

Timbucto, NY. Unreal beauty
I feel like a brief description of my experiences is appropriate. I took my first field school in 2007, at James Madison’s Montpelier. I spent the next summer working there as a teaching assistant. The summer of 2009 I was in Timbucto, NY working in a field school there. While in college I worked in the SUNY Potsdam lab for several classes, and was a teaching assistant for several Into to Arch sessions. I graduated in 2011, and began work at Montpelier as a field tech. About a year later I was working as the Lab Manager. At the end of 2012’s summer I began working for a CRM firm in central Mississippi, Tennessee Valley Archaeological Research Inc. I spent about 8 months working for them, and am now working for another firm (Panamerican Consultants Inc. outa Memphis, TN).
In every experience I gained more understanding of how this field works. After years of watching co-workers burn out, never make it back to grad school, going to conferences, and hacking through soil there are a few serious tidbits I wish I could have been told from the beginning.

-First off, do not be afraid of applying to jobs. I think I have literally (wait,…just counted) applied to over 200 job ads over the years. Every time you look they are all going to say 1-5 years experience required, or some other such nonsense you don’t have. Whatever. They have to say that. Do Not let that stop you from applying. Everyone has a first job. Apply to anything and everything that you think you can do. If it says 1 year experience, they mean fresh out. Plus, if they say no to you, or more likely never get back in touch with you, don’t get discouraged, or take it personally.  Of those 200 jobs, how many do you think I actually got hired onto?

First Job! I met SO MANYYYY awesome people like this!
-Do tailor every cover letter (always send one) for each job. I have a basic one that I change the names/dates/locales for. They want people that give enough craps to do a little research. Earn your CV a look over. Also, have a good CV. This is important, but seriously not the end all be all (get there later).

-Do not expect a full time position/job. You need to read this one carefully. Many new grads don’t really understand this point. The majority (over 80%) of jobs out there are not full time, but rather hire techs for the amount of time they need them for. Working project to project generally the way most of us roll. Plus, the more jobs/projects you have under your belt the BETTER the archaeologist you will be. Think about it. The more experiences, the more context, the more you know right? Apply for the 6 week, 12 week, 18 week project. Go there and prove yourself. Also, the more connections you make in the summer, means more work for you in the winter. GO out there, travel around to different states, meet all sorta crazy new people, work like a dog, make your mark. You will have work if you prove to a company you are worth having around. We are adventurers! Enjoy your ability to roam while you can, and get paid doing it. This leads me to my next important point.

Find pretty places like this on your adventures! 
Or this!
-Do CRM. I know, frowny face. CRM is the real face of American Archaeology. Probably about 90% of all our archaeology is done through cultural resource management; academia is TINY. And especially (seriously) if you have only done historic stuff. I cannot tell you how many people I have seen that are clueless about one or the other; archaeology is about how much you have seen, its about continuously expanding your comparative knowledge basis. If most of our archaeology is prehistoric, CRM sites, than you should probably spend at least a little bit of time trying to understand that part of it. Pigeon holing yourself into one small area of knowledge is not a good tactic for archaeology. The more you know, the better you’ll be. That’s great for you if you only want to do mid 19th cent Diaspora Archaeology. What happens when you accidently hit a Early Woodland site underneath it? Prehistoric archaeology is executed completely differently than historic. You better know your stuff if you wanna run anything. Also, every tech should be able to rip out 20-30 cm of soil in a 2x2 a day. CRM will teach you how to get shit done. I mean for real; I am currently breaking out about 20 cm a day out of a 2 meter x 2 meter square with my partner, and we have to pick ax through most of that. And we are doing the expected. I have seen so many different techniques, sites, and artifacts in all these projects. The people I look up to the most are the ones who are seasoned vets with every kind of project under their belt. They can tell you anything/everything about archaeology. And they didn’t learn almost any of that in a book. Also, once you break into one company, if you do well word will spread. (It’s really that small.) If they can, they will keep you on for another project. If they can’t then there is a good chance another company that knows your last boss, crew chief, PI, will hire you on.

My first CRM crew. I will always be in love with these people.

Small bird point, shaped from a tiny flake.
I would have had no idea what this was a year ago. So Cute
-To Straight Through or Not to Straight Through? I am SO grateful I did not go straight to grad school. This is a controversial one, and you know me, I don’t dance around touchy stuff. Lotsss of archies choose to go straight through; it makes sense financially if you want to avoid starting to pay off loans, if you want to just get it over with, bunches of reasons. And I am definitely NOT at all saying that straight-throughs are not good archaeologist. I've met a lot of brilliant archaeologist that went straight through. But as a tech who has seen a bunch of straight-throughs in the field for the first time, I’m saying it ends up being harder on them most of the time. Archaeology isn’t for the faint of heart, and field school is like getting your training wheels. Once you get out there and are doing it every day it’s a WHOLE different story. Do you want to have your masters in an area that you suddenly realize you don’t give a rats ass about? Do you want to be 24 with a masters and legally allowed to run the site, but in actuality have no idea how to do that at all because you’ve only been to field school? Do you want to risk not being hired because a company probably is required to pay you more, yet you don’t have near enough experience to justify it? I’m telling you, it might sound great, but you really can’t just leap from the books and into the field and be in charge of things. They only way to understand how to run a site is to work on one. One that you aren’t paying to be at. Also, fun fact – most of the students I know who got into grad school on a full ride (paid assistantship) were out for 1-3 years. They want to accept people who have real world experience.

-It’s about who you know. I realize this applies to almost every aspect of life, but I wish I could have understood the depths this went in my field earlier on. Most grads I’ve met who can’t find steady work, or any at all, don’t know anyone. Think about the logic. It’s a small field; most jobs outside academia (again a tiny percentage of this equation) don’t post on shovel bums. They are spread word to mouth. The best way to look for jobs is troll your college friends, your old co-workers, your old bosses. Almost every job I've ever had I heard of from another tech. Keep in touch with all your archie acquaintances, because that can keep you employed. Go to conferences, email people you meet about jobs, contact older people you know are out on projects. I know when my company is hiring, if you contact me, and I have faith in you there is a good chance I’ll get your CV into the bosses. There is a greater chance of you getting hired. It happens all the time (I mean it happened last week at my current project.)

Example: not easy. Camping all winter. Freezing. 
-Don’t expect this life to be easy. This sounds so dramatic, I realize. But I am very serious. (Another reason it sucks to go straight through and realize this too late.) This is simultaneously the most AWESOME JOB EVER and one of the hardest. Since I graduated two years ago I have moved 6 times, lived in 5 states, worked with countless students/volunteers/techs. I’ve schlepped my belongings from the New York/Canadian border clear to the Gulf Coast. I’ve missed almost every birthday for most of my family members, I haven’t seen my best friends in years, every time I bond with people on a project, I have to leave them again and I feel loss each time. My body is at once in fantastic shape and also sore constantly. I work long hours (usually between 9-11 hrs), have no guarantee of steady work, and bust my ass to find small pieces of chert all day long. But shit if there isn’t a bright side. I have gotten to meet some one the most earth shattering people, I lived in a wigwam for 6 months, I camped for 8. I’ve gotten to gorge amazing food from New York to Louisiana. I know people in almost every single grad program I could ever hope to attend. I got to teach hundreds of awesome students and volunteers, work with native populations, see some of the most beautiful places in this country. And I would never thinking of leaving this career. 

Again. Freezing. Loved it. 
In the end, most archies upon graduating have a field school, some lab work, a few summer jobs working in academia. That is a great start (really). But that does not an archaeologist make. Archaeologist are made from years of digging sites all over the nation, experiences that expand ones knowledge base throughout time and culture. If you want to really know what you’re doing, you have to learn on the ground. Books can’t teach you how to handle a sharp shooter, how depending upon region people have different trowels, different names for tools, different ways of digging. Books can’t teach you how to bust out soil no matter the conditions, they can’t tell you how to identify lithics, native pottery, European ceramics, archaic burn pits, nutting stones, tipi scatters, refit sites, rock shelters, ect. They can’t teach you how to survive 110-degree heat, 90% humidity, and 90% granite cobble strats, transect through corn fields/brier patches/ swamps, transects for miles without a positive hit. They can’t show you anything but the outline. You have to fill the rest in yourself with experience. We have a absolutely fantastical job! Since 2008, things have slowly been getter better. If you work hard, put yourself out there, make contacts, you will make it. CRM is looking for people all the time. Work doesn’t even stop during the winter in the south. Apply everywhere! I am serious about hunting for jobs via people you know, so many of the sweeeet jobs aren’t advertised. If you want it, you can do it. You just have to be willing to go on some adventures to get there.

Friday, May 17, 2013

37 hours on a train. Yesssir

I’m going home.  (ON A TRAIN)

Those words make my heart flutter. I guess its because I’m a sap. It might be because I know that I can never stay, I’ll always move on. So maybe I’m preemptively already sad about the leaving part.  I grew up in a small town in the northern panhandle of West Virginia. West Liberty, population 1542, its the place my heart will Always Be. Its beauty was imprinted on me. I can never see hills without comparing them, like that one boyfriend you still keep as a standard. I grew up in town, but alas none of my family lives there anymore. My father lives just about 10 miles out on a farm and my mother lives just over two hours north in PA.  
The house of my youth. Rt. 88
I’m currently between contracts, hanging like leaf. I have been waiting for several jobs to pan out, and luckily I scored a sweet contract with PanAm, working in Arkansas for the summer. But the day I got hired I realized I had about 3 weeks before starting. So on impulse I decided to go home. This of course means making it from Hattiesburg, Mississippi to Washington, Pennsylvania somehow (I don’t have a car) without spending bagillion dollars. I looked up prices and VABAMMM! The train cost about half of a plane. Fancy that. Downside was….. it was a 37 hour trip. That is not a made up number. Google that crap.  Thus the journey began.

Listen to this while you're reading, you'll get the picture (OCMS, Lonesome Road Blues)

            I boarded the train heading to Pittsburg via DC at 9:30 am on Monday morning. The train station in Hattiesburg is actually lovely, very retro, and clean. As I was standing on the platform I was struck by how many people there were with me. I expected like 5 or 6. There were like 25 or 26. As I got on the Conductor waved me down to the right without explaining anything else, so I bumped and squeezed my way to seat 50 as fast as I could. And there lie a sleeping girl. She looked so content I really didn’t want to move her, or sit next to her at all. After forcing her upright, and getting my bags put up I settled in for the first 24 hour stretch to DC. Surprisingly there is way, I mean way more room than on a plane. One can nearly get vertical to sleep and there is so much legroom, you almost can't reach the tray from the seat in front of you if it’s up all the way. AWESOME SAUCE. The miles sped north and the sleeping girl broke my view but it wasn’t horrible. Eventually I got a window seat which improved my mood tremendously. A little Old Crow singing to me and some bagets and cheese, I seriously felt cool. Like some sort of mid century traveler.  In Birmingham, Alabama we picked up a heap load of people which happily brought the train to full capacity. Yes, Full. Then entire thing filled with people.  I was stunned really. But I was riding the Crescent Line, which goes from New Orleans to New York City. Apparently its full up most of the time. (gross)

My new seat partner was a mother and 2 y/o child named Ra Ra. Of course. The next 20 hours were pretty great. She unintentionally formed a unsurpassable blockade op diaper bags, food bags, clothing bags, Ra Ra, ect. permanently pasting me against the window. 8 hours in I had to use the restroom. I could feel the pain in my eyes. There was no escaping – I had been slowly panicking since the fortress went up. After about an hour of strategic planning I finally went for it, hosting myself up and over the barricade by holding onto the luggage rack above me and vaulting over the walls with both precision and speed. It was reminiscent of the man who runs out Fort William Henry in The Last of the Mohicans really.  Once out, I moved towards the potty, which for all intents and purposes was more like a swaying crapwagon. The smell was terrifying, but I’d braved much worse in the portapotties of Kemper County.  After struggling with the lock for about 30 horrific seconds I burst out of the poop box only to realize I had no idea how to re-vault into the fortress without taking out Ra Ra’s head or breaking a hip. Onto the Lounge Car it was. See, the awesomesauce about trains is you can get up and walk around whenever you’d like. And there are places to go. The Crescent Line has a Lounge Car, Café Car, and a Dining Car. The Dining Car is like a restaurant and needs reservations. The Café Car has drinks and snacks available, and its run mostly like a cafeteria. The Lounge Car has a bunch of tables you can hang out in. As I approached the Lounge Car I had to twist through the crowds of people paying 6.50 for a beer and try not to die from inhaling their pit smells. Once there I secured a seat by sheer willpower only to find someone sitting down next to me almost instantly. Emmanuel was a 25 y/o broski heading from the Hat to NYC to start his career in Rap. You can imagine the conversations we had over the NEXT 3 HOURS. I knew it was either that or leaping the walls of Minas Tirith, so I stayed.
            I eventually stalked out the seat until she got up to use the restroom, but was then trapped in until 9:40 the next morning. Upon waking though, I realized we were in the Blue Ridges, and I got to watch the sun rise over Charlottesville, Virginia, which was breathtaking. I did truly love watching the south blur passed my window. It felt like the most appropriate way to travel through it; slow, easy, old fashioned. I loved it. I got off at Union Station in D.C. and spent my 6 hour layover walking through the station, over the The Mall, and eating at Johnny Rockets (YES! GOT A CHOCO SHAKE AND IT WAS FANTASTICAL!) I got hit on by the bag boy, a class trip of 14 y/o’s from RI, a creepy older business man, and a gorgeous lady with beautiful dreds. I left the Station feeling quite refreshed and good looking.
Harpers Ferry, WVa, from the train. 
            I boarded the Capitol Line, heading out of D.C. to Pittsburgh (the Capitols end stop is Chicago) and became even more enamored. The line was beautiful! It was sooooo clean, and gorgeous, the staff was all pressed and dressed and wonderfully friendly, the seats were even bigger, the car was more luxurious, they even had an Observation Deck! That was awesome, the entire roof and walls were glass, with chairs facing out so you could just sit back and watch the Appalachians roll by. This was prime timing because we were heading through the Cumberland Gap, and into some of the prettiest country I’ve ever seen. Plus, there was a wonderful Conductor who made me feel perfectly at home, and even woke me up in time for my stop. 
As we rolled through Harper’s Ferry, I felt the memories of hills like that come rolling in from my brain and it hit me hard. I felt my soul squeeze and had to hold in the tears. I was coming home. I’ll never get over the hills, and I’ll never be able to pass through them without feeling it stir my soul. Harper’s Ferry is breathtaking. It was augmented by the dozen or so thru-hikers that had taken the train into D.C. to visit and were no headed back to the trail and it reminded my good friend who is also hiking the trail this summer. I was very jealous of them as the got off and headed back into the wilderness to the A.T. Martinsburg flew by next, then Cumberland.
Station at Martinsburg, WVa
She's pretty. 
            The hills whizzed by and the memories rolled in. I’ll never forget my hometown. I’ll never shake the need to by deep in the hills, the Appalachians. They hold so much history, so much beauty, so much sadness. It’s the kind of place that truly is heart achingly beautiful. West Virginia deserves so much more than its gotten, and although I know the chances are slim to slimmer and none, I would love to go back forever someday. I want to stay in my little Ohio Valley. There are 3 switchbacks and 1 hairpin turn to get into West Liberty from the main roads (if you’re coming the common way).  It’s absolutely glorious. Although none of my own lives there anymore I think I’ll make the trek out. I want to see my town again, and remember all the things that formed me as a child.  This train ride through the mountains pulled back desires I hadn’t felt in years. I finally rolled into Pittsburgh about midnight Tuesday, refreshed and ready to be home.  
Right outside West Lib, heading east. This is what I grew up with.
            Maybe it was the slowness. Maybe it was the way the cars sway on the track. Maybe it was the smells; grease, engines, hot track, smells I remember from when I was little with my Pop. Maybe it was the comfort, or the history if it, the oldness of it. Maybe it was the way it lulled me back into my memories and rocked me to sleep. But I’m sold. It was the single best way I’ve ever been transported from one place to the next. The extensive hours didn’t bother me, because I enjoyed them. It wasn’t about how fast I got there, it was about enjoying the journey to get there. I spent countless hours reflecting, listening to music that moves me, watching the land roll by. It was beautiful and moving. An airplane has nothing on the old train man, nothing. 

 Train bridge over the New River Gorge, West by God Virginia

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Thank You to Archaeology Men. Aka, some of the best kinds of men.

Friday, May 3

3:00 PM

A Thank You to Archaeology Dudes Everywhere. 
The Perks of My Life – Archaeology Men ROCK!
            I was talking to my Mom today on the phone about life in general, and my life in particular. We we’re discussing my choices and I had one of those moments. You know, one of those crystalline occurrences of reflection that break through your everyday life and help you re-evaluate. I’ve known for a long time that I am lucky. Lucky in life, lucky to be so happy, so fulfilled everyday, lucky to love my career so much. But as a woman I realized I am extraordinarily blessed also.

This is me, looking FAB. And how I look, everyday. 
            I am 24 years old, and totally at peace with how I look, how my body looks, how men see me, and how it all fluxuates. Part of that probably is a healthy dose of confidence. After dating several wonderful men for a few years at a time I’ve come to see that true attraction and true love is not based on how well I do my makeup and hair. It is my whole self that reels them in. But after a few hours of reflection I think I’ve come to the conclusion that it is also very much my choice of profession and those people I see everyday. (Photos given as examples of my everyday looks. Very Runway.)

I love those overalls. I mean, I LOVE them. 
For the past few years of my life, everyday I head to work in a sports bra, goodwill shirt, usually some version of stretchy pants or carhart overalls, and boots. I have no makeup on (it will sweat off/get in the way, and I don't like having stuff on my face) and pull my hair up in some sort of knot contortion. I sweat. I mean I SWEAT. And if its summer, or a particularly physical day I sweat A LOT. My face turns beet red, I have perpetual wacked out suntan lines (white foot, multi-strap back, and a torso of the purest snow), and I spit, a lot. Andddd we all do. All female archaeologist do this, some are a little more hesitant to cross into androgynous waters, but most of us has given up caring or trying to be ladylike. Now, I can see you thinking; how admirable they work so hard! But I’m sure it’s not great for their self asteem! They probably don’t get much done in the way of dating and attraction looking like that. HA! The more absurd thing is…. WE DO! On every site, every where, every project, everyone knows going in someone will end up dating. I mean we don’t really see many other people. Regardless, relationships of all types happen all the time within crews.

Today, that moment of clarity helped me to see that although I am a strong, independent, confident women, its certainly not all me that helps me do that. I can feel that way so easily because the men that surround me in my life appreciate all of those things. They see my female peers and I looking for all the world like construction workers every single day, they see us spitting, and shoveling, and covered in stank and it doesn’t phase them a bit. In fact, I feel like its safe to say I’ve heard numerous times they admire us for it. How can it be that we can look so gross and still be admired as women?

I am holding a machete. All my best outfits are
complimented by a deadly weapon.
Because these men are the rare ones. I’ve heard a million times it takes a special type to stick with this job, and that is so true for both men and women. But these men are the rare men who appreciate and prefer strong, independent women. They aren’t judging us based on our hair and makeup scheme. They see us in our most elemental form and find the beauty in that. How do I know? Because no matter where I go, female archaeologists are still getting love, still being pursued, still being admired by their male and female counterparts. We, as a profession live in a world apart from most. But in our little slice of it, our world is based on a different scale. The kind of scale that is based more on the natural, than the created I think.

Hence, I don’t find it necessary to try to enhance my appearance much to impress men. I don’t feel like wearing overalls makes me unattractive. I don’t feel like playing stupid or acting weak will make me more attractive. I mean I’m telling you that I went for days/near weeks at a stretch without seeing a mirror. Wearing clothing that most women my age would laugh uproariously at, and I never felt unattractive. Part of that is being confident. Part of that is truly not caring much how other people feel about it. But a part of that is also getting to be surrounded by men and women who for the most part do not base their whole judgment of a woman on ability to make her self up well. I’m not talking about myself in particular, but all women. Time and time again I’ve seen the attraction happen, heard these men expressing what they find attractive, and its not at all usual. Its quite rare I think in this world, and I just realized today how lucky I am to work in a field where that is the norm.

Classic stretchy pants/sweat shirt combo. Preferred Fall and Spring outfit. 
Who knew under all that gear lie a woman. 
Sunburn. Makes the youngest people look old.
I sometimes feel like I have to prove myself a little more, because I can’t physically be as strong/big as a guy. In archaeology that can be a problem. But I’ve never fully appreciated that I don’t have to feel self-conscious about my appearance. I don’t go to work wondering if my outfit makes me look fat/good. I don’t have to check my hair or makeup, and I don’t ever really worry about how I look to the men and women I work with. I’ve taken for granted that they aren’t judging me too harshly for not being glammed up, they aren’t finding me a less attractive person. And that, my friends I realized is rare, beautiful, and lucky. Archaeology as a rule is a rough path to follow. But everyday I realize there are more hidden perks around every corner; knowing large groups of rare men and women like this is just one of them. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Homemade Handscrubs, and other fancy things.

Afternoon! I decided to make this particular post because several people have asked me for the recipe to  the handscrub I usually have at my apt. Also, I've just return from an amazing girls weekend in ol' Huntsville AL with some of my good friends from my last job. We crafted and talked to the wee hours (really, like 4am) but somehow didn't squeeze in making this recipe. So, if they'd like they can use this to make it themselves without me :(

While I was in college, I started moving towards making a lot of things homemade. Its cheaper, its usually healthier, and I love the process of creating something useful. Like crafting with a result that is useful to everyday life. At this point I make most of the things I use on my body at home including hand/body scrubs, facial scrubs, facial masks, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, and cleaning stuff like laundry detergent, floor cleaner, and kitchen/bathroom cleaners. After typing that I realize that seems both insane and bordering on extreme hippie levels. I swear its neither, (I can see you rolling your eyes Dad!) If you subtract everything you spend on these products at the store, you'll probably shock yourself. Archaeology is a shoestring budget in these younger years. Also, I love making all of them. The scrub I made today is my absolute favorite. It is a citrus and cinnamon scrub. It uses citrus rinds/oils, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and extra virgin olive oil. You can wiki all of these things, or trust me when I say they are allllll good for your skin in different ways.

Matt and I save all our citrus fruit peels and freeze them because they're used in so many things like scrubs, cleaners, and hair conditioner. So the yogurt container is full of frozen clementine peels. You could use and type you want, but my all time fav is orange and lemon. I use regular salt, but you can get fancy and get gourmet. I also use the cheapest EVOO, it doesn't matter at all.

You want to pick out the container for your scrub ahead of time, so you can eyeball how much to make. I like the small, flatter ball jars, like the one hiding in the back right of the photo above.

First, you are going to zest your rinds. Frozen makes it easier to zest when you have just peels left because they're stiffer. You are going to want the end result to be something like 1/3 of your container (why I say small. It also lasts longer than you think it will). The below photo is probably about 1/3 a cup. I don't use exact measurements, really because no one is going to eat this...I hope.  Zest away!!! When done, take a small break to drink a lovely beverage and regain feeling in your phalanges. If you have an elephant tea pot, you win this section.

After you've gotten all your zests zested, its time for the other ingredients. Like I said, measuring is usually not happening. But, for the first go I suggest 1.5 tbs salt, .5 tbs cinnamon, 1 tsp cloves. 


I put the cin and cloves in first. It should cover the zesties pretty well. Then the salt.... and mix with a fork. Try to get all the zesties coated nicely. 

Alright, once coated put into your container. It should fill it up 1/2 to 1/3 of the way.  Then you need to fill the container up to near the top with EVOO and stir (carefully). It will separate while it rests. The separation is natural. When you use it you are just going to pinch some out with your hand, or use a spoon so you will always stir it up before use. It should look like this....

Here is the thing though. It is not soap, its not made to be soap. The salt, cin, and zesties WILL effectively scrub whatever dirt you have on your hands off. The oil will act basically as a lotion does. So after you've washed your hands it will be as though you used used both soap and lotion. For people with dry hands, like myself this is amazing. When using the scrub use hotter water, scrub for about 30-60 seconds, then rinse for the same amount. Your skin will feel moisturized when your done, and that's the point. Skin needs oils to be healthy and this scrub doesn't strip out your natural ones. It will feel much different from using hand soaps, but it leaves your hands smelling divine, and also moisturized and clean. Its pretty much a win win. 

After trying lots of different recipes this is my favorite one. I would NOT suggest this for your face though, you'll break out instantaneously. I would instead use a honey/sugar based one. If you'd like a recipe, let me know!! For me, there are so many benefits to doing things this way. Besides how cool the laundry soap looks! 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Beautiful Places

Since I'm just getting to this, I thought I'd throw up some of the beautiful places I've been and seen on my Adventure.

I-90, blasting through New York. 

This was the view every time I travelled through  New York to get to school. When it wasn't a white out, of course.

The view on my way to excavations in the heart of the Adirondack's.
North Elba, NY

Timbucto, NY
We had to hike in everyday, but the view was perfect.
Timbucto, NY

South Yard, Montpelier, VA. Excavations of a early 19th cent. slave quarter

Montpelier is in the Piedmont Region of VA, and is in the Blue Ridge. The whole plantation is gorgeous.

This is Poison Ivy. Are you jealous? It lasted about 4 weeks. Courtesy of Arlington House, Montpelier Station, VA. 
Turk Mountain, Blue Ridge, VA

Edge of the drop

Driving to the city, weddings season

Arlington House, my home for most of Virginia. 

Dirt roads are always better. Montpelier, VA

Fall, Virginia

Museum of the Native American, Washington D.C.

Roanoke, VA

Black River, Miss

Cork, Ireland

Irish Walls...

Cliffs of Moher, Irish coast

Irish beaches... hahahaha


Leicester, UK
New Orleans, LA

Kemper County winter, shanty town in snow.  Photo taken by Paul Shockey