my gardening has begun

i had to go pick up my grand sons friday. i stopped by the nursery after that. i bought some onion, cabbage, strawberry  and kale plants. i also got some seed potatoes.

it was suppose to rain friday night. i told my family we should burn off our field that laid fallow last year. it didnt burn too good because the ground was damp. it would have been worse after the rain. we also burned off last years corn field.

i wanted both fields burnt off to make tilling easier.  long dead grass wraps around the tiller blades. this prevents them from tilling deeper.  i will plant one field with our Indian corn. i will plant a ground cover in the other field.

yesterday i decided to plant the 25 strawberry plants. they are every bearing plants. the lady at the nursery said i should get 3 pickings from them. the ones in the ground were june bearing. we didnt get any berries late season.  i added composted manure and top soil to a 8 foot grow box.  i planted a dozen plants in it.

i ran out of composted manure and top soil.  i went to the walmarks up the road.  the cashier at the garden section said she didnt have the list of products or their prices. that seemed odd because that was her only job. her young helper stood there watching us with a blank look. neither were any help. i left. i found what i wanted at tractor supply.

i got home and added compost to a another 8 foot long grow box. i filled it with top soil. i planted a dozen strawberry plants in it. i planted onions to this same box. they are companion plants. i dont buy onion sets. i buy plants instead. they seem to grow better for me.

i added compost and top soil to another  box. i planted kale and onions in it. i put some tomato cages over them. it is to keep my dog from digging holes in the raised beds. he is a red heeler, supposedly a smart breed. he aint too bright some times. i covered the strawberry plants with fencing. i stapled it down. he cant bother anything i planted now. 

i transplanted the cabbage plants to the grow bed with garlic in it. i planted it last fall. it was covered it with straw over the winter. the garlic is growing good. it  will keep the bugs away from the cabbage.

i got done and watched the news. the weather guy said a cold front was coming in last night. a possible frost would come with it. he advised to bring in plants or cover them. i wasnt too concerned. i had my plants covered with straw.

my doctors already told me i have to be active after my surgery. no problemo there. gardening keeps me busy. when i get home i will have some crops already coming up. today i will plant peas, lettuce, carrots and radishes.

spring time

while we were in town the other day we stopped for lunch. we ordered deli sandwiches to go. we stopped at gage park to eat. while i was eating, a squirrel came up close to the car. town squirrels arent shy.  the park is full of them. its too bad the timber where i hunt dont have that many. a country squirrel that close would be soup.

i remember old ladies talking. they would use the indian word for squirrel or soup to describe a son in law. they would laugh about that.  they meant he was suppose to provide food for the table.

i had to buy chicken feed. i was in line to pay for the feed. an old guy asked me ‘you making any money raising chickens?’  i said no. he laughed and told me he never did either. i told him i get fresh eggs every day. he said thats the way he looked at it too. i really aint in the chicken business. i like fresh, cage free eggs and chicken soup when the hens no longer lay.

when i went to buy chicken feed i seen a garage sale sign. i did a quick detour. garage sales are one of the first signs of spring. it aint officially spring until  they open. i didnt find anything but a cd.  i had to buy something at my first garage sale of the year.

spring is gardening time.  i dont plant until after our spring ceremonies.  my garden aint tilled yet. i dont know how much gardening i will get in this year. for sure i will have indian corn. my sons will plant it next month. i dont know about squash. wild critters have been eating them before i get to them. i depend on my raised beds for many of my vegetables.

i had to get a covid test for my up coming surgery. it is required. a nurse stuck a cotton swab up my nose. it irritated one side. i had to sneeze a few times. that is the first time i had one of them.

i notified many of my relatives about my surgery. i wanted them to know. i feel good that many care about me. we will only be allowed to have 2 visitors at a time because of the covid. my relatives are coordinating with my wife so they can rotate in.

some of my southern kin are coming to visit before i go to the hospital. one of my sons got them a room. my sister offered room at her house  too. some of our teachings are we suppose to put guests up, feed them and even give them gas money.

i have had high blood pressure for several years. my doctor told me it probably will go down after surgery. my heart is working hard to pump blood because of the blockages. it wont have to work that hard after surgery. that is good news to hear.

gotta finish this latest roach.

finishing another roach

i am finishing the light blue roach i was working on. it will be the ninth one i have finished. work stopped while i was under going tests. it will take a few more hours of work to finish it. i only have the outside trim to do.  it will be done real soon.

i had follow up appointments to do at the hospital yesterday and today. yeah i know, not another blog bout his heart. sorry. just want people to know.  i will have bypass surgery on monday, April 12th. i will be in the hospital for bout 5 to 7 days healing up. i probably wont be doing any blogging next week. unless i get my lap top in.

after all the testing was done my soon to be surgeon told me i was a good candidate for double by-pass surgery. my valves, my lungs and veins in my neck are all okay. i am not at risk for a stroke. the dr said i am healthy and despite the blockage i have a strong heart. time will tell what happens.

when i got home today i got some good news when i opened my mail box. i seen my stimulus check lying on top of the pile. finally. it was sent to my mail box instead of my bank account. guess it dont matter. i got it.  it will sit in my account until i get out of the hospital next week.

more good news is i will be able to do all the things i did before surgery. well actually better because my heart will be fixed.  i will continue my gardening. i told my son i dont know if i will be ready to plant our corn. he said ‘we will do it’. i have no doubt of that, i have good sons.  my grandson andrew has been helping since he got big enough.

i was teased a few times by friends n relatives. they said they didnt know i had a heart. i said well this proves i do. i told one i could go to the wizard of oz and get a heart. i could take along a person i wont name (actually i know more than one) and see if the wizard got a brain for that one. and some courage for another. life aint that simple though. surgery will fix my heart but some will go on with out a brain eh.

i wasnt able to donate my red blood cells last time i was scheduled. i will have to wait until this is over. i just got an email a few days ago. the blood center said they would give me a $20 gift card. i wont be getting that. i normally dont get anything any way. thats okay.  giving is not about getting rewards in return.

while i am recuperating next week i can lie there and think of what i can buy with my stimulus. i know we need a new grill. money dont last long. it will spend. i gotta psyche up for my coming surgery.


i have been staying home resting after my cath procedure.  i was having some trouble getting up. i needed help a few times. it was discomfort, not pain. i am getting around better now. i did feed the chickens  and brought in the eggs. everyone was gone so i had to do those chores.

its not good to be worrying. i havent been. when i was at ku med in topeekie, one of the nurses said something about “your open heart surgery”.  it wasnt scary but it made me realize what lies ahead could be serious.

i have been doing a lot of reflecting since i was home by myself.  my family went to our spring ceremonies. my daughter came home for them.  i wanted to go but my incision was still healing. many thought of me there and that humbled me to know they cared.

i know others had bypass surgery and came out alright. i cant help but think of my grand daughter cece. she was just a baby when she had open heart surgery. the next day  i will never forget how tiny she looked while laying there. it seemed like it didnt bother her at all.

i was told i have blockages because of my  high blood pressure, high cholesterol,  diabetes and past smoking. i quit smoking and take meds for the others. still got blockages. i guess my past excesses finally caught up with me. in the past i have told people “if i knew i was gonna live this long, i woulda took better care of myself”.

the irony of all this is i was healthy most of my life. now i have to take pills and insulin every day.  i remember once when i went to the clinic, they couldnt find anything in my file for 20 years. the doctor remarked “you dont doctor much do you”.  i replied i never had a reason to seek medical attention. i do have scars from injuries that healed on their own though.

i always want to know more about any thing that affects me. i have been reading up on by pass surgery. i am encouraged that it can add 10 to 15 years to my life. maybe more. that is what i want. my children are all grown. i want to see my grand kids continue to grow. i have a few items left on my bucket list.

there is a possibility that i wont get up off that table. odds are that i will. i know in life i have to accept what i get or dont get. thats the way it is.  i could have died a few times in my life. i didnt. i am still here. i try to live the best way i can. yes i know i made mistakes. i cant undo them. however i can try to better my life now.

tomorrow i will go see the doctor. i will know then what will happen. i cant worry about what will or wont happen. just gotta watch the ncaa championship game tonight. tomorrow will happen tomorrow.

didnt get a stent

i got a pound of porcupine hair delivered. it looks like good hair. some one may wonder why am i still buying hair when i got pounds of it.  i need longer hair for the fronts of roaches. and i need more of it since i am making a double row of front hair.  i have plenty of shorter hair for the middle and tail of the roach.

i havent finished the royal blue roach i was working on.  i finished the base and the inside deer tail trim. i tied both rows of front hair on this 15 inch roach. the front hair is almost 8 inches long. i will finish it later.

i was scheduled yesterday for a cardiac catheterization. the doctor previously discussed maybe a balloon or stent. or both. we found out i had two blockages. so they did neither of the procedures. it was decided that a bypass is needed to fix me up.

the heart doctor told me about all this when i came out of the cath. i dont remember a word he said because i was still doped up. they told my wife since they knew i wouldnt remember anything.

i didnt have to stay in the hospital over night. i did spend all afternoon there while they were monitoring me. they were making sure i had no reactions etc. i didnt feel any pain but i was conscious of the incision they made in me to get at my heart. they keep checking it to make sure it didnt start bleeding. they also checked to make sure i was getting blood flow to my feet.

i am meeting with another doctor this coming tuesday. i had tests done while i was still at ku med yesterday. bottom line they were checking to make sure i would  be able to undergo bypass surgery.  they are thinking in a week or two.

i will find out for sure this tuesday. but it sounds like that is whats gonna happen. i was accepting the idea of a stent. now i have to re-psyche myself for a possible surgery instead. if that is whats gonna happen then i guess. i want to watch my grand kids grow. i will do the surgery to give me more time to be with my family. i have faith i will come thru it too.

i got home late afternoon yesterday. i just  rested. i was warned not to do anything to made my incision start to bleed. i stayed home today also. i aint suppose to drive a coupla days nor lift anything over 10 pounds. they are making me take slow release aspirin. to thin my blood i think.

i didnt feel like working on roaches. that is too much sitting. i dont wanna irritate my incision. i kinda have trouble getting up. i am just taking it easy. there is plenty of time to catch up with every thing else. i asked my family to feed my animals and bring in the eggs.

i am maintaining a positive attitude. what else can i do.

aint scared

i am ready for my cardiac catheterization tomorrow. i had to look up the spelling on the handout i was given to read. i leafed thru it. i am not overly concerned. i trust modern technology. i will do anything that will improve my health. i dont care to have shortness of breath. nor do i wanna risk a future heart attack.

i got a call from the hospital today. i had to answer a buncha questions. they asked about my medical history, the medications i was taking, any allergies etc.  i had to pause at one. i was asked if i have a living will. i said yes i do. i was told to bring it with me. if i couldnt find it, that was alright too.

i didnt get shook and ask ‘what you getting at’?  they have to have it on file.   i found it and will take it with me.  there is a reason i filled one of them out a few years back. i have one on file at our clinic. i do want this on file with the hospital.

i was told not to bring too many personal items. no cash or credit cards. okay. just an over night bag with a bath robe and house slippers.  this indian didnt have a bath robe. i ordered one off amazon last week.  if i will be walking around  i will have one.

i was told not to take one of my diabetic meds for a few days. that is so my liver will work good during this.  i am not to take my insulin tomorrow. they know bout this things so i will go along with them. i have to leave the rest of my meds home.  if i need them, the hospital will supply me.

dont know why but i was thinking about strawberries. i picked a few pounds of them last summer. we had some thawed out in the refrigerator.  we call them ‘heart berries’ in our language.  since i am having a heart procedure, i had a big bowl of them. they were good.

i remembered  one of our teachings. i eat alot of snapping turtles. when i was young i was told to swallow the still beating turtle heart and i would have a long life. i did that a number of times. i had my family do that also.

i received encouragement from others that had a stent put in. a few had a stent done 5 years or so ago. they had the same amount of blockage or more than i have.  they told me they are still doing good. one of my aunts had the same doctor as the one doing mine. she had a stent put in 24 years ago. thats good to hear.

i cant eat or drink after midnight tonite. i will be up early tomorrow. i have to be in topeekie no later than 8 a.m. i will be there. its rare if i am ever late. aint no such thing as indian time to me.  i am writing this blog cuz i wont have time in the morning. i believe every thing will turn out okay.

going for a procedure

i have quarterly check ups. i do that as a precaution. if something is wrong with me i want to know early.  at my last check up my doctor seen i had a stress test done bout 4 years ago. she advised me to get another one done.

after i retired i had chest pains one night. our emts came and took me by ambulance to the hospital in case it was a heart attack. it was a false alarm.  i didnt have insurance at the time so the er room sent me home fast as they could.

as a follow up i was scheduled for a stress test. it was to see if i had a heart attack before that episode. the stress test revealed i didnt. i went to get the second stress test my doctor ordered last month.

i was told that i had to get a CT scan instead. my first stress test had an irregularity and it would be pointless to do the same test. the movement of my heart and breathing would affect the picture.

i got the CT scan done on the 11th of this month. i got the results a week later. bad news is i had 90% blockage in one valve. its not the main valve though.  the heart doctor scheduled me for a cardiac cath on april 1st.

i have to go to k u med in topeekie (it used to be st. francis) this thursday. i was told the doctor that will do the procedure is the best. that is comforting. i am also comforted by the thought that modern technology is doing amazing things.

they might have to do the balloon thing to open the valve. if that dont work they may have to put a stent in me. i wont know until thursday. i  have to spend the night in the hospital. i have never spent a night in a hospital in my entire life.

the heart doctor told me the blockage didnt just happen. i had it awhile. looking back i can see that now. when we planted corn, i would take a break after every 4 rows. i also got short of breath while throwing wood into the basement. i had my son pull the wagon full of wood so i wouldnt have to. i still got tired.

lately i get short of breath now and then. before it was only after doing something strenuous. now i dont have to do anything before i feel shortness of breath.  i will be glad to get this fixed. i still wanna garden, hunt mushrooms and go for walks.

i know i could be worried but i aint. i have faith my beliefs will take care of me. i have my family. that means every thing to me. only one will be allowed to be with me because of covid. some of my relatives said they would pray for me. i thanked them. i cant help but feel good about this. others that had a stent put in say they are doing fine.

cover boy

i didnt make the cover of the rolling stone but i finally made a cover. mary and i are on the cover of the boarding school survivors annual report. this coalition was sending care packages to indians that went to boarding school. we both did so we sent our names in.

we got a package. it was full of things produced by indian groups. i was grateful some one did something for us. we were told to send a picture of us opening the package. we had to give our permission for them to use our pictures. we did. now we are on their cover.

the coalition was basically saying we care about what you went thru. after over 50 years that was nice to hear. i appreciated that more than the apology some gave.  it was nice that someone said we care.

over the years i read articles or seen interviews by indian spokesmen about boarding school. they musta felt they could speak for all that went thru that experience. i noticed they said ‘they’ instead of we. the ones talking about what boarding school was like didnt actually go them selves.

once our tribe was gonna bring a speaker here to talk about boarding school. i wondered why didnt they undertstand that we have some on the rez that went too.  its that mentality indians have that someone from some where else always knows more than we do.

i took my mother on several trips with us. once we were in south dakota. she wanted to see the school she went to so we drove there.  she sat in a pew in the church, the only building open. she said she had to sit there when she was little. she went back years in her memories.

further down the road we were passing near the school where i went. she said lets stop. i said no i hated that place. she said lets just go. i didnt want to but shes mom.  we went there. it felt different. i was no longer a small child a priest or nun could punish. it didnt seem a threat. i was able to finally let some of it go as i drove off.

my brother larry told me a good way of letting something go was to write about it. that’s what he did about viet nam. i did write about my boarding school days. it brought back many memories i had tried to forget. i did let some it go. i still wont step into a church today though.

i know this lady that had a book published. she asked to read some of my writings. i let her read my chapter on boarding school. she said she was half way thru when she realized it was a first person account. later she told me she would help me get it published. there were only a few changes she had to make. i decided nobody gonna change a word of my story.

to all those that went to boarding school we survived. we have our own voice. we can tell our story better than anyone. no one should forget what we went thru.

trying to buy hair

i started my next roach. it will be 15 inches long and this color blue. i had troiuble dyeing the deer tails. i started with a bottle of liquid rit dye called kentucky blue. it was on the stove top an hour and the tails werent holding the color. on my last roach, the  bottle of liquid neon green dye didnt work either. i had to add kelly green rit powder dye before it held color.

i added a powdered dye called bahama blue to the blue dye solution that wasnt taking. it was a pretty blue color. it was a dye i bought at a flea market. it didnt take either. then i added a royal blue powdered rit dye to all that. it came out this color. i can live with it.

rit dye has limited colors of powder dyes. i havent tried to mix colors. thats why i was trying liquid dyes and other brand powdered dyes. i wanted different colors especially the neon colors.  too bad these dyes i bought didnt change the color of the deer tails. i will keep using rit powdered dye. i know it works. i have used it for the past 40 years.

guess i am sticking with it even if i wont get many different colors. i find that primary colors like red, blue, yellow will match most outfits. rit also has a few other colors and varying shades of the primary colors. the alternative is buying ready dyed deer tails used for fly tied fishing lures. problem with that is they cost more and are smaller tails.

i would rather dye the deer tails myself. they are cheaper and bigger than ready dyed ones. i get more deer hair that way. i go thru a lot of deer tails to make roaches. i cant afford to pay more for less. i ordered more tails this week. i might get them today.

i am trying to buy some porcupine hair. a trapper has 24 ounces of it. i can afford a pound of it now. i have pounds of hair saved but i want this hair because it is good looking hair. i made an offer to buy a pound of it now and buy the rest later. i should get my stimulus check soon i hope. i will wait for the answer on my offer.

i got on the bath room scales this morning. i check my weight all the time. i seen that i lost 7 pounds. it may or may not be a permanent loss. i will see. the weight loss is the result of a change in diet. i eat oatmeal every other day now instead of bacon, eggs and fried potatoes. i cut the potatoes down to once or twice a week and just small pieces of bacon.

i drank only one pop in the last two months. i switched to multi-grained bread, no more white bread. i have made other changes as well. the main one is i am eating less. my doctor said it was more about what i eat instead of how much i exercise. i will keep trying to get my exercise though.

gotta get busy.

finally finished another roach

i finally got done with the green roach i was working on. it looks better than this picture. i took a few days off this past weekend to watch the ncaa tournament. it is a sacrilege to not pay attention when the KU jayhawks are playing on tv.

maybe i shouldnt have watched that last game. they got beat badly.  now jayhawk fans start their chant “wait til next year”. we better get us one super star if we gonna compete in the tourney again. perhaps the players we have will develop further. they are still my favorite team. rock chalk.

i bought buffalo wings for that last game. the place i usually go to only had boneless. that is not the same thing as bone in. boneless are really chicken tenders. i want the real wings.

i remember when no one wanted the wings. it was what small kids got to eat after the rest of the chicken was eaten. i remember eating wings and the chicken necks. we had to wait until after guests and big people ate. then it was our turn.

buffalo wings got famous during sporting contests. now they cut the wing in half and sell each piece for a buck each. so the price of a set of wings cost 4 bucks. you can buy the whole chicken for six bucks. we used to buy 10 pounds of wings at sams club but they dont sell that size anymore. they sell 5 pounds at a markup. that forces us to pay more for them precooked.

i ran out of wild bird feed. i wont buy anymore. the wild birds are eating with my chickens. i think it is enough spring time that they will find food on their own now. i fed them when the weather was bad.

i went thru my box of dye i saved. i was looking at the colors i have. i was tryna decide what color roach i will make next. i seen i had a dye called kentucky blue. it is a light blue not quite like a turquoise blue but is a nice shade of blue. i will dye some deer tails that color. that will be my next roach. i will start on it today.

the topeekie farmers market will open next month. that is only a few weeks away. i will go down there to see what kinds of garden plants they are selling. i didnt start any seeds this spring. too busy working on roaches. the people at the stands always sell good plants. many of them are heir loom plants.

some of my relatives got their stimulus already. mine aint arrived yet. i am in no rush to get it. i want to see it in my bank account. my per cap went into two car payments. the stimulus will allow me to buy the things i pass on now. more than likely it will sit in the bank and i will spend it as needed.

gots to get busy