redid my 24 inch roach head dress

i added a second row of porcupine hair to the 24 inch white roach i made. the front hair is 8 and 1/2 inch long. it takes very little movement to make it  bounce. it looked alright with a single row of hair but it looks much better now. i upped the price on it because of i used more of my long hair.

i now have 6 roaches done. i haven’t posted pictures of two of them on my site yet. gotta figure out a way to get a good picture of them. i dyed three deer tails and the yarn i make the base with yesterday. i am ready to start on another roach. this one will be royal blue i will make it with a double row of hair in front.

we got ice last night.  i seen on tv that the tribe shut down today. royal valley is in a two hour delay. don’t know how the roads are. don’t really matter we will stay put today. i ran out of my meds. i will have wait til tomorrow to get refills.

got a text from my niece the roads have been sanded. its just our driveway up to the clear road that is icy.

we had an ice storm a few years back. i could hear the trees popping then loudly crashing to the ground up and down the creek. that was kinda eerie. the storm knocked out our electricity for two weeks. people were given rooms and meals at the casino. some had electricity and others came from Topeka to get a room. we didn’t get one because they already had their quota of 100 rooms.

we stayed home and used our wood stove and kerosene lamps for the next two weeks. i lived like that back in the old days. it reminded me of those times. we ended up losing a large supply of food we had in the freezer. we started to do more canning after that. now we can, freeze and dry food.

maybe i will get on the treadmill again today. i walked yesterday but i will walk consecutive days. i am not over doing it like the doc told me. he said find a happy medium.  last time i over did it and the arthritis in my knee hurt so bad i kinda limped when i walked. not now.

i will have to feed my dogs and chickens. they have to eat every day. ol’ misho gotta be careful walking on the ice. i also have to keep the fire going. when i get done with my chores i will work on my next roach. ice storm or not, i stay busy.


sengo, working out

i was given a squirrel that was caught in a trap. it didn’t take long to singe it, clean it and bagged it up for the freezer. i had years of practice. the grandsons watched me.  i will cook the squirrel  with some wild rice and mushroom soup  at a later date.

that squirrel triggered an old memory. funny how when you get older anything can remind you of something that happened long ago.

i was eating at a ceremony once. an old guy would pass something to the guy next to him. he would say ‘sengo’. the second old guy would pass it to me and say ‘squirrel’. he did this with a few other dishes. then he turned to the first guy laughed and said ‘chemokman’ meaning i couldn’t talk indian. it musta made him feel big by putting me down. he wasn’t too bright, guess he didn’t know i could plainly see what was in the dish regardless of what language you use to name it.

there is some irony to the story. many years later i ended up doing the funeral service for the second old guy that made fun of me for not talking indian. i spoke indian for his services.

i took my blood sugar yesterday. it was 109. used to be when someone told me what their number was i didn’t know what the hell they were talking about. now i do. i know that number has to be under 120. i was glad mine is. it means the work i put in is paying off. been on the tread mill for the past 5 weeks and trying to eat better. i lost 7 pounds too. that is further proof my work is doing some good.

my chickens have been laying more eggs since it is warming up. i don’t know what breed they are because i bought them off craigslist. i got a good deal on them. my favorite chicken breeds are buff orpington and rhode island reds. they don’t always lay during the winter like the ones i have now. i am glad they are giving me eggs. i go feed and water them every day even during the winter. i got spoiled by having fresh eggs years ago. i cant see not having them. that’s why i put so much work and effort into raising chickens.

i have a 24 inch roach with white trim. i really like the last roach with Haskell colors i made. it has two rows of hair in front. i decided to add a second row of porcupine hair to the white roach.  i never made roaches with double rows because the man that taught me my art didn’t do it that way. he is gone now.

i am changing with the times. i know that more dancers want them double or triple rowed. i admit roaches with thicker hair look better.  dancers  pay more for double rowed roaches. i am not about the money but will take it. the extra cash might make up for the ones that never paid me what they owe me, even though i trusted them.

will see what this coming week will bring.

election year

this is an election year. you can tell by people you rarely see around here showing up everywhere being nice to everyone. funerals, general councils, ceremonies. break out that ribbon shirt. a few show they are real down by using their indian names. aho. some help out where ever they show up, even when they never help any other time. some start using the inclusive terms “we” or “our people”.

people say we need to get someone in there that will help us and talk up for us. yeah. “one of us”. (whoever we are). thing is once they get in, they develop a strange case of amnesia. they forget where they come from and who their people are. the only time they talk up is when they say ‘i wont be in today’.

in actuality we need 7 people working for us at the same time. more times than not, we end up with split councils. the ‘good guys’ are out voted by the opportunists who are just in there for themselves. not much gets done. money has brought out the worst in some of our people. once the smoke clears, our would be saviors don’t end up saving us thru no fault of their own. the ones that want everything wont allow it. we tend to drive away the good guys.

the bottom line is ‘who controls the money’. that is really what it is all about. i don’t think some will be happy until we kill the goose that lays the golden egg. cant help but wonder if there will be anything left for our children and grandchildren. will the day come when we have to tell them ‘sorry but we didn’t save you anything’.

if you can make people think you are a ‘good guy’ you can legally haul off as much as you can carry while people are watching everyone but you. these guys’ supporters don’t realize they get nothing from it. there is an old adage ‘you cant trust an honest politician’. we don’t. we fall (or rather a majority of us) for the fast talkers every time. too often, we see honest people lose badly to known charlatans. so what if they ripped us off before, lets give them another chance. we been ripped off by our own so much we think it is normal.

this isn’t to imply all our people are rip offs. sure some are but we are good people. money has brought the greedy ones out of the wood work. we shouldn’t let them lead us. i never forget an old man saying ‘our people were so powerful that other tribes used to ask our permission to cross our land. we had many great leaders. they weren’t anything like some of the ones we get now that we have money. we should be an economic and political force in this state. why aren’t we? maybe some day we will elect the kind of leaders that will make us so in the future.

heat wave today

they predicting the temperature hitting 61 today.  we will keep our fire going. even if it is a little warm outside our house stays a little cool. with a fire going, it is usually about 70 degrees inside.  temps this week will be in the 50s but be below freezing at night so we will keep our fire going a while longer.

talking about keeping a fire going reminds me of my youth. i could never understand how my mother used to be able to cook on a wood stove. there is no temperature control on a wood stove but she managed to cook very good meals. i still wish for the biscuits she made in the oven of our wood stove. she would also make water gravy to go with the biscuits. a poor mans meal that was very good. when u hungry, you eat whats on the table and appreciate it.

it might be a bit premature to start gardening but i can look at the seed catalogs i got in the mail. i will also get my seed starting gear together. i will start some seeds later. it is already the middle of February. wont be long before i can put my cool weather starters in the ground.

if i am thinking about gardening i better find me some used lumber. i will need it to build more grow boxes. i have been checking out craigslist. old cedar barn boards would be perfect. sometimes they just bull doze a barn. now it is rustic or quaint to make things like picture frames or knick knacks out of the boards. this makes what were unwanted boards worth more than what i can pay.

when i do find boards i will then have 3 full rows of boxes in front of my house. they will be in direct sunlight and be near my water faucet and rain barrels. i plan on getting two crops from my grow boxes.

i am reordering some feathers from fish and wild life dept. i need some more to help replace old ones on a ceremonial belt we use. i have donated feathers i had in the past to help fix other belts.

don’t know if i will run to town or not. today my old folks check hits the bank. maybe i will think of bingo. i haven’t won in a while. i must be due.


we both gonna be retired

i  headed to Horton today for Mary’s retirement dinner. it was from 10 to 2. there was a nice turn out of friends and relatives to support mary. our sons were there but our daughter didn’t make it. i know she was with us in spirit.

people brought gifts and food. whenever indians get together there is always good food.  before we ate, there were speeches about mary.  most talked about how caring and giving mary is. i agree, she is a good woman.  she earned the respect of people she worked with and for.  i know mary enjoyed it.

mary will officially be off Thursday. even if the guv’ment shut down continues. when i spoke i said some people thought they would be bored when retired. i said that was a lack of imagination. i said our life was a full time job. we are always busy. i know mary will enjoy retirement like i do.

i deactivated my facebook account. i get on there every once in awhile. like today. i had to go see the well wishes for mary on there. after that i deactivated my account again.

my house seems quiet today. the grandkids were over again this weekend. Saturday night we had a sleepover. we had four kids here. that was fun.

i have to drop a check in the mail. a trapper sent me about 5 and a half ounces of porcupine hair. i said i wasn’t gonna buy any this year but i did anyway. i am gonna start tying roaches with a double row of hair. that will mean i need more hair.

when i got home i headed over to land dept. i said i was there to pick up ‘my commodity buffalo’. got a few chuckles out of that. i used the last roast i got in the corn soup i took to marys retirement dinner. now i can make some more.

what will this week bring?

seen a movie

i get off the rez occasionally. i went to a movie in topeekie. i had to go see ‘hostile’. it has some indians in it. i guess there are only a handful of indian actors. there are even less indian actresses. they had wes studi and adam beach in this movie. the other two indian actors must be in a different movie. the indian women in this movie didn’t talk much.

i went to this movie during a week day afternoon. must be a good time to go. there were only six others at the movie. maybe we were the only ones left that wanted to see it. the movie was alright.

while big corporations are poisoning the air, water and food for a profit, i am still trying to save the planet. well in a small way, trying to do something. the tap water we get on the rez is hard water. at times i can smell the chlorine or what other chemicals are in the water when i wash my face. my skin is dry after a shower because of the hard water.

if i make coffee with water straight from the tap, i can taste the ‘city water’ taste.  i also make indian tea with it. That is why i buy bottled water.  Buying water fills trash bags full of plastic bottles. thankfully i can recycle them thru the tribes waste disposal program.

i decide to quit using all that plastic. it will stay in the environment way too long. i went to a water purification place. some say it is the same as tap water but i don’t think they tasted mine. i bought a refurbished cooler stand for $35. it will dispense room temperature and cold water. big time. just like a guv’ment office. this will make it easier for the grandkids to get water.

i also bought two 5 gallon jugs that can be refilled whenever i go to town. i will get another 5 gallon jug when i go refill these ones.  i don’t want to run to town every week.  the cost to refill the water jugs is 35 cents a gallon. that is cheaper than buying bottled water and i will eliminate using plastic bottles.

i check out the prices on larrys book every now and then. i bet the guy is turning over in his grave seeing the latest prices. the top one is $686.29. the good news is that includes free shipping. well thanks. if you tried to save a few bucks and buy the one for $428.71 you have to pay $4.76 shipping. that don’t include taxes. i only have one copy that i am holding onto. i had to buy it. someone glommed onto my autographed copy. hmmm wonder what it is worth. sorry brother. jk

going to watch Andrew play basketball in Lawrence today. i will be back before the KU game starts. rock chalk.


happy birthday larry n gary

today is my older brothers’ birthday. i don’t say used to be cuz it still is their birthday. larry and gary were born 67 years ago. man them guys are old. i carry the memories of our lives together with me everywhere i go.  we drank together, played ball, went hungry, shared a love for music and backed each other in bar fights. that aint all we did. we had many good times. they gone but never forgotten.

i like this picture we took at a potawatomi gathering. our tribe usually gives away all our buffalo heads. our buffalo are sacred so we cant have nothing of them except for an occasional package of burger. they were giving this head to the host tribe. we stood it up and posed for a picture with it as a joke. there were many others that came to take our picture. they musta liked these old indian guys’ sense of humor.

my library aint complete until i have my book next to theirs. we have different writing styles. gary wrote about history and larry wrote bout his experiences in viet nam and other places in verse form. i think i was mentioned in both of their writings somewhere along the line. i have them in my book. it is an autobiography about growing up on the rez and beyond. now and then i add some more writing to it. gotta finish it before i am finished. when mine is done, some one might say ‘all dem mitchells wrote a book’. indeed.

don’t know what is happening with the government shutdown. funding ends at midnight tonight. that is unless our idiot lawmakers can work something out for the American people. they had no trouble  passing a tax bill benefitting the rich. well balancing the budget takes more votes and our president don’t wanna sign anything that will benefit minorities. so who knows what will happen.

marys retirement dinner is still on regardless of a government shutdown. we are telling everyone we see to come join us at her dinner.  who can pass on a good meal and having a get together. maybe i will charge my Nikon cameras battery to take some pictures. like i need more pictures.

i got a flu shot this year and i haven’t been anywhere but i still came down with something. maybe i caught a cold that my grand son had. i sorted hair for a few hours this week. i walked on the treadmill once. hopefully i can walk today.  i don’t think i got as sick as i heard some people were.  i have to do my chores every day though. gotta feed my dogs, chickens and the wild birds that come to eat.

will see what this day brings.

marys retirement

posted is the flyer for marys retirement dinner next Monday. she has put in 20+ years working at the BIA. everyone is welcome to come join us if you can. we are trying to let people know ahead of time so they can make plans to be there.

it is a pot luck dinner from 10 to 2. we will bring indian corn soup with buffalo, dried squash,  wild rice and my world famous vegetable stew.  well maybe my veggie stew aint that famous. when indians get together there is never a lack for food.

a few people have told me they wouldn’t know what to do if they retired. they would get bored in a few days. i have been retired for about a year and a half. i haven’t been bored yet. i remembered an inmate asked me if i got bored. i looked at him and tapped my temple with my index finger and said ‘i got to much going on in here to be bored’. he kinda shrugged. that’s true though. i don’t get bored because i have a lot to think about. plenty of things going on in my mind and i keep busy.

a few people joked with mary about how she gonna be around me all day. i had to laugh at that too. well after 35 plus years together i suppose we can make it. that’s a little longer than most couples make it. one neat thing is we have grandkids. that takes time and provides lotsa entertainment. i don’t know what i would do without them.

my routine is back on schedule i think. i started sorting hair again. i haven’t taken pictures of nor have i posted my last coupla roaches. i will get to it when i get to it. i will keep making roaches. who knows maybe i will have the largest collection of roach head dresses around.

i have been editing my picture collection. that’s taking time with all the pictures i have on hand. i will do some and go on to other work i have. it will take a long time to do them all.

some rednecks can sit back smugly now. they often say ‘indians don’t pay taxes’.  i don’t owe any taxes this year so i wont have to pay anything. the rednecks don’t consider that every time we buy something there is a tax on it.

right before this last snow i tossed in the wood the tribe brought me. i have it stacked in the basement. another snow is suppose to come this afternoon. i don’t have to worry bout the house getting cold. i simply toss in another chunk of wood. ah retirement. hell yeah.

day trip, basketball, super bowl

Andrew started playing basketball. i didn’t make it to his first game in Lawrence but will go to future games. they don’t keep score like the soccer league. i guess to teach them sportsmanship or something.

parents and grand parents do keep score. we won something like 30 to 10. andrew scored 6 points, coupla assists, coupla steals and some rebounds. a good game for the first time playing. he had a problem dribbling so i bought him a basketball to practice with.

KU isn’t scouting him. after losing yesterday they need something. i kept thinking they would come back. they didn’t. maybe this isn’t their year. around here that is heresy to say that out loud.

mary and i did drive to Jamesport the other day . we left after breakfast. no sense in buying breakfast on the road when we have fresh eggs, locally produced bacon and fresh ground coffee. we were on the road by 8.  we had a good drive. seen two bald eagles and one immature golden eagle. we thought that was neat. that always makes the ride better.

we spent more money than we should have but we got what we wanted. we have oatmeal, homemade noodles, dried beans, sauerkraut, pickles, cheese and fresh bread. most of the foods are grown and made locally by the amish.

we bought big bags, like the oatmeal was ten pounds, so it will last us til next trip over there. i noticed the ingredients on the egg noodles said ‘wheat flour and eggs.’ that was it. nothing that you cant pronounce or cant spell. i make this drive to get food that is pure food at a reasonable price. organic stores charge a lot more.

i had to drive along country roads to follow the signs to the farm that made the cheese. i passed by garden plots. i noticed that they also dumped ashes into their gardens. i used to tell people that when i worked as a gardener. when i would go till i seen piles of ashes in some gardens. i didn’t think i had to spell it out that they should spread the ashes around and not dump in one pile.

we got home and later had four of the grandkids over. that makes my day when i see any of them. even better when four of them are here.

i let our fire go out for a few days. i got one going last night. they predicted snow for today. it is coming down. guess the ground hog was right. they will be more winter. our president said since hes been in office, the ground hog has seen his shadow more times than ever before in history. well maybe he didn’t say that but he could have. he has to convince all that what he does or takes credit for is the biggest, best, most etc. whether it is true or not. i knew people like that.

super bowl game on today. we will make buffalo wings and nacho cheese. i aint pulling for either team. i want to watch the commercials but couldn’t care less bout the half time show. hope it is a good game.

another month

finally finished the purple roach i was working on.  gotta say it sure looks good even if my mother said to never brag on your own work. i usually spray the hair with a light mist of water before i wrap it. that helps to finish shaping it.  i tell people its like a spit curl, you wet it and when it dries it retains the shape you want.  i will start another  roach soon. i have plenty of things to keep me busy.

i got an email from another trapper who had 5 ounces of hair. i really aint buying any hair this year but i said i would take it. that’s half a pound of hair i bought this winter. i passed on a pound of hair because i cant afford to buy that much in one purchase.

i have spent hours sorting my pictures. i was checking my flash drives and external hard drive to see what pictures i lost when my hard drive cooked. i reloaded what i lost. i seen i had too many duplicates of the same pictures. i deleted over a thousand  of them to free up space on my computer.

then i started to organize my pictures. i have folders that are labeled by the past ten years. i can look at a picture and know what year i took it. i also have folders of events where i took a lot of photos like in Peru, Alaska or Guatemala. i started a new folder with same subject matter like pow wow dancers. i have thousands of pictures. some i haven’t edited. they are in the big format they come in from the sim cards. i need to edit them to save space.

i am gonna drive over to Missouri tomorrow. it will be a two hour drive over there then two back. should be a nice day trip. i am going to buy more rolled oats. i have been eating oatmeal for breakfast in an attempt to eat healthier. the amish town where i am going sells them in big bulk bags. i want some big bags of egg noodles while i am there. no doubt i will visit the amish bakery next door to the general store. i want some fresh baked bread.

maybe i will eat lunch in town like the last time i was there. the restaurant fixes everything fresh. homemade bread, pie etc. it was a good meal. they have lotsa antiques shops too. don’t know if i will have time to see them. maybe one or two anyway.