tilled in between the corn rows

yesterday i had to go to nation station to get gas for the mower and tiller. i fired up my tiller as soon as i got home.  it started right up. i bought that tiller a little over 3 years ago. i paid $150 for it. i put some money in it for a new tire, tune up and oil change. that was still a good deal. that same model of tiller woulda cost over $700 new. i will be able to use this tiller for a few more years.

the weeds were popping up everywhere in the corn rows. i knew the rain was coming so i decided to till the small weeds under. the weeds looked like a green carpet in between the rows. they would have only gotten bigger.  i wasnt gonna let that happen. it didnt take me long to till the corn field.

while i was tilling i noticed the real earthy smell of fresh turned soil. seasoned gardeners know what that smell is like. if i hadnt tilled the weeds would have gotten out of hand this week. last night’s rain soaked the ground. more rain is predicted for this weekend.  it will be too muddy to till for the next week. glad i got to it when i did.

i wanted to mow before it rained too. i missed about half the yard when i ran out of gas and the mower needed new spark plugs. i put in new spark plugs. it also needed new blades. i got the blades off the mower and tried to sharpen them. that didnt work too well.

i went ahead and mowed anyway because it was gonna rain. the grass i missed was already getting too tall.  i got it mowed. the new blades for the mower will be delivered today. i will put them on. it will be ready for the next mowing.

the green beans that i planted in the potato rows should be coming up. this rain will give them a good start. i only planted one 80-foot row of green beans. that should give us plenty to eat fresh and to can. might even freeze some but i gotta have room in the freezer for other things too.

i planted a mixture of white and red clover in last years corn field. it is a cover crop that will put nitrogen back in the soil. it has come up and is growing good. the earlier rains we had gave it a good start. it will be tilled under as a green mulch next year. that field will lay fallow this year.  i move my garden each year so the soil can replenish itself.

i have to go to town to get more chicken food. i might as well get another bag of dog food too. three dogs eat a lot. i have a coupon for $10 off at the feed store. i use them because i shop there often. my animals have to be fed every day. i spend several hundred dollars a year to buy feed.

gotta do my chores.

getting more rain

we must be getting our spring rains late. our weather is off.  it rained all night twice this past week. a gardener learns you cant conquer nature. you have to live with it and appreciate what you get. for sure there is skill in raising food, but there is an element of luck too. the best gardener cant make it rain in a drought.

i went out to check to see if our indian corn has broken ground. it hasnt yet but it probably will this week for sure. we are lucky we planted it when we did. the ground is soaked because of the rains we got. it would be too muddy to plant this week. our indian corn is planted. i am grateful for that.

i will have to till between the rows of corn when the ground dries out. the weeds are coming up. we make sure to leave enough room for the tiller to fit in between the rows.  i will till only deep enough to uproot the weeds. i wont do any deep tilling. dont wanna disturb the micro-organisms in the soil. the little creatures you cant see give the soil life. over tilling will kill them off. soil is more fertile when they are alive.

the rain is making the grass grow too. i bought two new spark plugs for my riding mower. it ran a little rough the last time i mowed. i remember what my uncle told me bout spark plugs. he said buy new ones, dont just clean the old ones. i put in new ones and the mower immediately ran better. i like a simple fix.

next i need to take off the mower blades. first i gotta buy penetrating oil. i couldnt get them off because they were stuck. when i did my first cutting of the lawn there were blades of grass still standing. i think that means the blades need sharpening or replacing. i ordered some off the internet. they were $20 cheaper than getting them at one of the lumber yards in topeekie.

i did get one row of green beans planted in the potato row. i wanted that done while the ground was wet. beans add nitrogen to the soil. it helps the potatoes grow. they are companion plants. i have been planting that way for a few years now. even an old gardener can learn new tricks. i know i do. i am continually reading up on gardening and listening to others.

last night was the last lunar eclipse we will see for 3 years. i went outside before i went to bed. i couldnt get a good picture with my nikon or cell phone. the viewing of the eclipse was better in the eastern part of the u.s.   a few years back i got a series of pictures from a lunar eclipse with my nikon.

had a good week end. my daugther was home.  4 of my grandkids came over for a visit. now i will see what this week brings.

got a good rain

we got a good rain the other night. that will be good for our indian corn that we planted this past monday. it will break ground sometime this coming week. more of my potatoes have broke ground too. i wish that i would have transplanted my tomato plants. i have been busy.

after that rain i was wondering if any morel mushrooms popped up. i ate mushrooms 4 times already. i also got bit a number of times while hunting mushrooms. that is what is stopping me from going out again. i dont want any more bites or ticks on me. i had my fill of morels til next year.

some people are picking nenwezhek. i noticed some nenwezhek on the sides of roads. they are kinda small yet. i will give them a chance to get bigger before i go pick some. i got tired of eating them when i was younger. poor people had to eat them all the time.  now i really like the taste of them.

i havent filled my humming bird feeders yet. those little birds are probably waiting on me for their nectar. i bought a coupla new feeders. a few that i had were damaged in some of the high winds we had over the past year.

i have one less critter to feed now. charlie the goldfish died. it was after i changed the tank water. i used a scrubber to get it clean that musta had something on it. i told the boys i will replace him with a couple more gold fish. charlie was a survivor. he was in one of my rain barrels that froze over. i chopped a hole in the ice to get him out. we put him in a fish tank and he lived a few years in our house.

our pups are getting to be better behaved. they used to jump up on people. they kinda still do. i make them get down when they bother the grandkids. so far they are listening to me. i will train them to do other things with commands in potawatomi. konugish did what i told him in indian.

the new bird houses my grandsons made are hung in the trees in our yard. when they got here for the week end i told them i put the houses up. the other bird houses had birds living in them. there are nests in our trees too. i musta planted 20 to 30 trees in our yard over the years. some of the trees are 40 to 50 feet high now. we lived here awhile.

my nephew was up north recently. he brought me some maple sugar cakes. i have been rationing them out to myself. i enjoy a taste now and then. i dont wanna rush thru them because they have been hard to come by. i used to give maple sugar candies to these old men around here. one of them liked them so much he wouldnt share any with others. i made sure i gave him some when i found them.

got work to do.

birthday’s over

my son posted this picture on facebook.  i dont have an account anymore. i got many happy birthday wishes on that post from friends and relatives. others texted me during the day to wish me happy birthday. it was good to hear from all of them.

i had a good birthday dinner with members of my family. we ate at a thai restaurant. this country indian has only started eating thai food in recent years. i have developed a taste for it. this time i had a soup, an appetizer called money bags and drunken noodles. i enjoyed my birthday meal.

the meal was good and i enjoyed eating with my sons, their companions and my grandkids. i missed my daughter though. the grandsons came over from lawrence to eat with me. they gave me a steak house gift card. my grand daughters ate with us too. i only had a few birthday parties over the years so dining out with my family was nice.

i got a few compliments about my age. i was told i dont look 70 years old.  i know i am looking older. my hair is turning gray.  maybe salt and pepper is a better description. for the longest time my hair was all black. and now i am getting wrinkles too.  when i tell cashiers i am a senior so i can get the discount none have said “get outta here, you aint no senior citizen “. that would be nice to hear at least once.

i started mowing my yard. i was half done when the mower ran out of gas. i put some in and drove it to the garage. it wasnt firing real good. i bought some new spark plugs to put in. the blades also need to be sharpened or replaced. no big deal, i will take care of both. i can do regular maintenance on some machines. i am no shade tree mechanic though.

its been about six weeks since i got the rhode island red chicks. they are ready to be moved to the chicken house. they have feathers to keep warm.  they no longer need a heat lamp at night. i fixed a big area that is fenced off from the big hens. they will be kept there until they are big enough to be turned loose. i dont want the hens to peck the hell outta the chicks.

it is suppose to rain tomorrow. i am hoping i can get green beans planted in the potato rows. i will try to plant some today. the green beans fix nitrogen in the soil. last year i had a row of green beans and had several pickings of them. i will grow some to can.

i had my fill of morel mushrooms. i went out 5 times. got my exercise in. i found a few ticks crawling on me. i got a few bites on me.  i probably could find some more mushrooms but i am done for this year. i had enough.

gotta do my chores.


we planted our indian corn

my sons and i planted our indian corn yesterday. no maybes, mights or gonnas. it is in the ground. it wont grow if we dont plant it. now we have a chance to get some indian corn.  we got 16 rows planted that are about 80 feet long. i soaked the corn seed over night. it is supposed to rain a few days from now.  our corn will germinate in about a weeks time.

when mary and i moved here 37 years ago i did all the planting by myself. i turned over my first garden with a shovel. i had to.  i didnt have a tiller. the boys started to help me as they got bigger.  i didnt make them, they knew if they didnt help i would do it by myself. they learned to be good workers. as they got bigger so did my garden.

its good they grew up gardening.  last year i was recovering from my open heart surgery.  they knew how to plant the corn without me.  this year i was able to help again. the grandkids are starting to help plant our corn now. they were in school yesterday. i missed having them around. they will be here when we dry the corn.

i am glad my sons still help me. i am getting older. they do the heavy parts like covering the seed with soil. if it is planted too shallow the birds eat the seed. as many rows as we have and how long they are requires alot of dirt being moved. they also drop the seed into the trough. there is alot of bending in that. i dont have to act like a boss. they do what needs to be done.

speaking of getting older, today is my birthday. happy birthday to me. i am 70 years old today. i never thought i would reach this age. i dont feel old but then 70 aint too old. but i definitely aint a young guy anymore.

i am glad we got our indian corn in yesterday. one of our old ladies, who is gone now, told me to plant indian corn by may 10th. that is easy to remember because it is my birthday. our corn takes about 90 days to mature. in early august it is ready to be dried.

that same old lady said corn was our life. as long as we kept it, we had life. when we didnt, our life was over. while traveling around i heard other tribes had similiar beliefs. i think of that when i plant corn. i spent a lifetime trynna learn about our ways. while i dont know everything, i wont ever, i am grateful i have learned what little i do know.

i remember my first gardening experience. an old man used to stay at  misho’s house. everyday he would walk to the timber. he had a garden in a clearing there. i found that out by following him once. when he seen me, he put me to work. i didnt realize it then but that old guy made me a gardener.  thank you old man.

tonight we are going to eat at our favorite thai restaurant. happy birthday to me.

went to watch samuel play soccer

yesterday we went to lawrence to watch samuel play soccer. he was happy that his misho, gramma, dad, uncles and cousins were there to support him.  it is second time i got to see him play. this is his first year of playing. they dont keep score at these games but the parents do. it was a tie game.

after the game i went to downtown lawrence.  i was looking for tomato plants at the farmer’s market. many home gardeners start heirloom plants early from seed. the price for one plant was more than i was willing to pay because i wanted 20 tomato plants. that is how many we had last year and we canned dozens of jars of salsa, tomatoes and hot sauce.

i didnt find a good deal so we headed to topeka’s farmer’s market. prices were the same there. i was intent on getting a good deal. i ended up going to the nursery i usually buy from.  i got what i wanted for a third of the cost the farmers markets were gonna charge me. thats why i have do business with this nursery.

i noticed at both farmers market they were selling fresh eggs. eggs were going for $4 or $5 a dozen. they use terms like cage free or organic to justify that price. i charge $2 a dozen for mine but i wont deliver at that price. i aint trynna profit off my eggs. i just wanna use the money to offset my cost for feed.

tomorrow my sons are coming to help me plant our indian corn. we will have it done before the 91 degree heat kicks in.  thats not that hot but it will be the hottest day so far this year. the ground will be workable.  i am soaking the corn seed today to help it germinate faster after it is planted.

i may or may not have enough t posts to string my electric fence around the corn field. i dont know if the solar powered electric fence will be strong enough to keep out the deer and raccoons. it dont matter. i have to try something. or rather a whole lot of somethings. i am determined to get a good crop of indian corn.

i will transplant my tomatoes this week. i will also plant my habanero peppers and cucumbers.  i am slowly getting over being sick. that slowed me down. otherwise i would have had many things planted already. i will still get it done. i have gardened for decades. i have plenty of time to get a good harvest.

yesterday i ate my last picking of morel mushrooms. now i had my fill of mushrooms. i had 3 pickings that amounted to a large bowl full each. they were about a pound each. so i ate $120 worth of mushrooms at this year’s price.  i found them myself instead of paying for them. i am glad i can still do that. i can see the day is coming when i wont be able to go mushroom hunting anymore.

gotta do chores.

may is our birthday month

may is the birthday month for 3 of us in our family.  my daughter wabenokwe has her birthday today. yesterday my grand daughter cece turned 8 years old.  i remember waiting for these two to be born. i was hoping each would hold out another few days and be born on my birthday.  we dont share the same date but our birthdays are within 5 days of each other.

my birthday is tuesday. i usually get philosophical and look back at my life. there are more years to look back at now.  i will be 70 years old. i am no longer young but i dont feel old.  i feel young in my mind but my body is slowing down. i get tired after doing some thing strenuous. and there are  things i dont do anymore.

getting old isnt an excuse for not doing anything.  i still  do my chores and keep up my home place. i keep our woodstove going in the winter. my animals depend on me to take care of them.  i will garden as long as i can.  i hunt mushrooms but gave up hunting squirrels, rabbits and deer. sometimes young hunters bring me game because i am getting older. i used to do that for elders.

in my youth i was wild and reckless. i didnt think i would live to be 30 years old so i lived like that.  i did way too much alcohol and drugs. i got into too many fights. i bummed around all over the country. i had nowhere to go and had all the time in the world to get there. once i was hitch hiking and wasnt getting a ride so i went to the other side of the road and went that way.

i slowly realized my lifestyle wasnt good for me. there are probably a few times i could have died. somehow i lived thru all that.  somebody musta been watching over me. i am grateful for that. now i am a great, grand pa.

i was always off on a new adventure. i crisscrossed this country many times. my wandering eventually took me to all 50 states. i was lucky  to see 9 other countries. i seen places that i thought i would never see. growing up on the rez and being in boarding school those places seemed like a world away. they were.

one time i was at a ceremony. i was watching one of my uncles dance.  he was 70 years old. i was thinking i wish i can dance like that when i am 70. i have reached that age but i dont dance as good as that old guy.

one downside to getting old is you lose people. my mother and father are both gone. i lost six of my brothers and sisters. most of my real down bros are gone. many other people i knew are also gone. i miss all of them. i am still here though. again i am thankful i am alive. will see how many more stories i have to live.

found some morel mushrooms

i have been out looking for morel mushrooms. first time i went skunk. second time i found 4 small mushrooms.  that didnt discourage me. then i found a bowl full twice. might not sound like much but one bowlful was enough for a cooking. i dont need to find the biggest or the most. i just need to find enough to get my fill until next year.

i am glad looking for mushrooms made me get out and walk.  i know it aint aerobic walking but the walk up and down hills and crick banks is a workout.  i had to rest a few times by sitting on a log. i havent been walking because of a sore ankle. i think i over did it on the treadmill and it wouldnt heal. now i can walk again without any discomfort.

people are selling morel mushrooms on craigslist. i was shocked to see the prices being charged. they are going for $40 a pound. i wouldnt pay that price as long as i can go out and find them myself. this last bowl full i found is almost a pound.  i will have a $40 breakfast this morning.

i talked with my sons. we are planting our indian corn this coming monday. it is supposed to rain a few days this week. we are hoping it will dry out by monday. the garden has already been tilled. we will cut a narrow trough down the row and drop our corn seed in it. then we will cover it with soil.  we should be able to work the ground well enough to plant corn.

i am getting over the sickness i had. i will catch up on planting. i have to fix some of my grow boxes. i am hoping i can find some more boards to make new boxes. the price of lumber, even used has gone up big time. i dont think i have enough grow boxes. soon as they are fixed i will plant each grow box with veggies.

another year has passed and i didnt score any maple candies or maple sugar. i was hoping to find a source to get some. mary was on a trip last week. she went to albuquerque for training. she was down there during the gathering of nations. i told her to see if anyone was selling maple candy. didnt get any but she did bring home a coupla loaves of oven bread from some of the pueblos. we had french toast with some of it.

i moved the rhode island red chicks to the screened in porch. i hooked up their lamp so they wont get cold. they will stay on the back porch a few weeks. then i will move them to the chicken house. they will be fenced off from the big hens until they get bigger. the chicks are now a month old or so. they have feathers.

my new office chair arrived yesterday. i put it together while watching tv. now i can surf the net while being comfortable.

new birdhouses

my grandsons made some new bird houses as a school project. andrew painted the planets on his house. samuel painted whales, fish and other sea creatures on his bird house. after the houses are done they are put up for auction. the money raised goes to the schools garden program.

i bid on andrews first bird house a coupla years ago.  i bid 5 or 10 bucks. a teacher at the school put in a higher bid on the houses to drive up the prices. i ended up bidding $20. that set the price. i had to match that every year. that is what i bid on these two bird houses. mary covered one of the houses.

now i have six of their bird houses. it is understood that misho has to bid on them. i dont mind. i support what they do. the boys are happy to see their bird houses hanging in the trees of our yard. birds have moved into the houses. my yard is full of birds. i can hear them singing all the time.

i went mushroom hunting again. i found about a bowl full. i had them fried for breakfast. after i found these a car pulled up to the spot where i was looking. i bet they didnt find any. i got all of the ones that were out. there werent many. it rained all night. i think they will be up again. it is now a race to be the first one looking for the mushrooms.

even though i have been out looking for mushrooms i am not over whatever sickness i have. i  speak with a raspy voice. i lost my voice about a week ago. having to cough will wake me up at night.  i do get tired. when i was in the timber i had to sit down on a log to rest. i heard of others that had similiar symptoms.

i havent been able to do much gardening. i will still get something from my garden. it is early for warm weather crops. i will plant my indian corn sometime this week. my sons will help me plant. they planted my corn last year because i had my heart surgery. this year i will be able to help.

i am trynna score me some t posts. i asked my relatives if they had any  laying around. my niece has a few. i have to string an electric fence around my garden. i will put a fence around my grow boxes too. i gotta keep the deer and raccoons out of the field garden. and i need to keep the dogs out of my grow boxes. the dogs bury bones in my grow boxes or just dig. they broke a few boards off the grow boxes.

my office chair broke. the bracket that held the armrest screws broke off. this chair was suppose to be sturdy. it did last a year or so. i ordered another one off the internet. it will be delivered on wednesday. i like to spend time on the computer. i need a comfortable chair.

gotta do chores.

a storm passed thru

the sirens on the rez went off last night. i was surprised to hear them loud and clear. usually, we barely hear them.  a weather alert on my cell phone said take cover, we were in a tornado alert.  the tv guy was saying a funnel touched down west of here and was heading our way.  they were talking about jackson county and the rez.  we went to the basement until it passed over.

i respect the power of tornados. i was in lawrence back in ’81 when one passed thru town. i was living in a trailer court. tornados must not like trailer courts. all the windows of the trailer i was in imploded inward. things were floating in the room. after it was all over i went outside and seen the damage. most of the surrounding trailers were flattened. the one i was in wasnt. part of the roof was off and some walls did cave in though.  i was lucky.

the storm did knock out our internet last night. the lights flickered but stayed on. i must be addicted to my computer. i didnt know how to act without being online. it finally came back on. the hotspots we had needed charging. one finally charged and my cell phone had 26 messages. mostly my relatives saying a storm was coming. yeah like we missed that.

yesterday i went mushroom hunting. i only found 4 little mushrooms. i sauteed them and had them with scrambled eggs for breakfast. that only whetted my appetite for more. i gotta have more all fried up. i will go look again. spring aint complete until i had my fill of morel mushrooms.

i found two ticks on me. gotta accept that every time i go looking for mushrooms. i remember when a law student from KU came to the rez. she wanted the experience of mushroom hunting. i took her out to find some. she thanked me for showing her. later i found out she had bout 50 ticks on her. she said she would never go again. hey mushroom hunting is serious business.

our pups went with me again. konugish followed awhile then went back home. the pups stayed near me most of the time. this is probably good training for them. i want them to be loyal to me like konugish is.

people talk bout keeping their mushroom spots secret. there is no such thing as a secret spot. so many people cover this rez that almost every spot is covered by someone. i seen a car parked near the spots i go to. i only found 4 small ones, so i imagine they didnt find any either. finding mushrooms is more about when to look instead of where to look. gotta be the right time.

we got some more rain last night. the clover seed i sowed in last years garden spot should come up now. i am glad i got out and did it. if i let it slide i woulda missed the rain.

gotta do chores.