end of august

had my first picking of sema. got a bucket full. it filled the sink up. many leaves were as big as my open hand. I am grateful for how ever much I get. I know its late but better late than never. I have had late crops before. sometimes I wonder if I prefer them. that way I don’t have to work in the heat of july.

I had a late start this year because I covered my patch with composted manure. tobacco depletes the nutrients in the soil. gotta replenish them. I knew my sema wouldn’t come up because of that. I started my plants from seed. the heat zapped most of those plants so I had to reseed again. I had to carry a watering can back and forth from my rain barrels to the sema patch. I did this at least 3 times a week back when we had all that 100 degree temps. I kept my plants alive by doing that.  my work is paying off now, they are producing.

I was going to check out the flea market in sparks today. I have work to do at home. I probably have too much junk anyway. I will fix my sema instead. my hands were red the other day from dyeing deer tail. now they will be green from fixing tobacco.

 I am still working on a roach I started. I should have it done soon. I will list it on my for sale page with the other two on this site when it is finished.  I will continue to make roaches whenever I make the time. 

while I work on roaches I do a number of chores. I feed my dogs and chickens. I probably will clean some more chickens before winter. it is getting to be too much hassle to sell my surplus eggs. i guess people dont love fresh eggs as much as i do. I will only keep enough hens to supply my needs. today I am making chicken soup from the chickens I butchered earlier. I will use the egg noodles I bought at the amish store. this soup always tastes good. 

I was gonna clean that raccoon we caught in a trap. I am keeping him alive til my grandson Andrew can see him. he will want to reset both live traps we have. I really don’t want to catch rabbits right now. I would rather let them fatten up until this winter. we dont eat them until after the first snow. then all bets are off. I will trap them or drop them with my .22. 

I have been watering and feeding the raccoon. he is kinda feisty. bout like someone at a general council meeting. he snaps and hisses at me when I go near him. potawatomis used to keep raccoons or skunks as pets long ago. my misho used to take the scent bags out of skunks. one time a skunk sprayed him while he was doing that. it almost blinded him in one eye. I haven’t heard of anyone keeping a coon or skunk as a pet for at least 50 years. I think people got afraid of rabies. 

I am still logging my miles walking. I will keep it up. I know that it is good for me. I cant sit back and do nothing. I am glad mary walks with me. it is better to have a work out partner. 

gotta get to work………….

caught a raccoon

for some reason I want to put on the beatles white album and play rocky raccoon. maybe its because I caught a raccoon in our live trap. my grandson Andrew is always after me to set the live traps because he sees rabbits in our garden. he wants to catch a rabbit, we caught this guy instead.

the boys called me on facetime so they could see it. Andrew asked what I was gonna do with this raccoon. I said I was gonna eat it. both the boys said awww. I told them I would save it until they come up for a visit this weekend. then I will clean it. it is the right size for eating. I was wishing for one when I seen the two raccoons in a tree on my walk. got my wish. I love barbequed coon.

speaking of walking I am still at it. in the three weeks since I started I increased my miles each week. I walked 8, 10 and 12 miles during those weeks. the only way to top last weeks total is to walk two miles everyday. cant do that because I didn’t walk sunday. I walked last evening with mary. 

I did my speaking gig yesterday at the casino. it was for the tribal health summit. the topic of the two sessions I did was ‘healthy eating in your backyard’.  it was nice to see some of our local people attending. before we got started I went by a few of my nieces and told them to applaud loud when I got up to talk. I was only teasing them but they did. I had to smile at that. 

there was suppose to be four of us on the panel. one didn’t show so 3 of us split the time. the second session we lost another panelist. so the other guy and me filled the hour. after working on a traditional foods grant for six years it was easy to talk about this subject. I was also fortunate in that I grew up around our foods. 

I started working on another roach. I didn’t have any red yarn or deer tails so I dyed them. I stocked up on dye for that purpose. I knew yarn would be hard to get so I bought as many white skeins of rug yarn as I could get. some skeins I bought at garage sales or flea markets for a quarter or up to a buck apiece. they sell for 10 dollars each now. I knew I could dye them any color I wanted. I dye the yarn and deer tail together so they match color. 

at the health conference yesterday I spoke to a lady I met at a previous conference. during our conversation I told her I was retired but I make roaches. she said I want your number because she knew members of her family that wanted some roaches. I wasn’t out to hawk my wares. I was just making conversation but I made a contact. 

my boss (me) says I got to get busy on my next roach…………………….

getting rain…..

we are getting some rain. that will be good for my sema. I have plants that are still growing. the bigger ones are ready to pick but I don’t have too many of them. I may get more out of my late crop of the 50 smaller plants.

it was thundering when my grandson Andrew woke up. he asked me if I put my sema down. he always remembers and reminds me. I went outside with him and Samuel to put it down. 

my misho had me and my brothers do that when we were young. it was one of our first teachings. we had to put it on a rock even if it was raining.  my grandsons are following that now. they have gotten wet from the rain like I have. 

Andrew said I’m going to make roaches too huh misho after seeing my latest one. I told him yeah I will teach you how to make them. then he asked if Samuel will make them too. I said yeah. I had to smile at that. 

speaking of roaches I will start another one. maybe a red one this time. I wont take custom orders yet. I will just make roaches in a variety of colors. I know complementary colors. I doubt if anyone comes up with a weird color combination that my roaches wont match. 

I wont be able to start tomorrow though. I will moderate a panel called “healthy food in your back yard”.  it is part of a tribal health summit held at our casino. there will be speakers from the tribes in Kansas who will tell conference attendees what foods they get from gathering, hunting, fishing and gardening. there will be two sessions in the afternoon starting at 1:30. I will score a gift basket from this.

last year I did a presentation at this same conference. I got an all expenses paid speaking gig in Detroit out of it. someone liked my presentation there and I was invited to speak at a conference in northern California. all my expenses were paid for that too. don’t know if history will repeat itself. don’t matter if it does. I have things I need to do. 

whos retired

this picture was taken at the vote counting of the gaming commission election. I sat with 3 of my sisters. this reminds me i lost 4 of my brothers and my parents. gotta appreciate family members while you have them. they had the swearing in thing for my son joe yesterday. I missed it. I couldn’t sleep the night before and over slept. I wanted to be there. 

I finished the blue roach I was working on. I am real pleased with it. you can make a roach or you can create artwork. I believe I elevated my roach making to an art form after 40 some years. if some don’t want my roaches that’s fine. somebody else will. my uncle used to say you don’t make it for the 9 out of 10 that don’t want what you make, you make it for the one that does. I learned from that old guy.

seems like I put in as much time on my roach making as I would on a full time job. I work whenever I feel like it even on weekends when the grandsons are napping. its not hard work once I get a rhythm going. I listen to music or do a bit of binge t v watching. I have watched an entire series in a few days. right now I am season 9 of cheers. I still get my other chores done like gardening and taking care of my dogs and chickens.

haven’t given up my walking. my first week I walked 8 miles, 10 miles the second week. so far this week I have 8 miles. I lost two pounds in during that time. two aint much but it is better than putting it on. 

while on one walk I seen two raccoons in a tree. there were young ones. watching them took a few minutes. I was thinking if I had my .22 we would be having barbequed raccoon. I looked up in that tree on my next walk. didn’t see them again. maybe I will when the leaves fall and I go squirrel hunting. that will be more walking. 

one of my nieces sent me a picture of a dead snake on the road. she asked if it was a rattle snake. it had rattles on its tail. it was near the house I grew up in. I told her I never seen one around there in my life. really I only seen two on the rez in my whole life. I know there are here. I just don’t see them. I used to jog when I was younger. every time out I would run at least 7 miles. once I was running and for some reason I stopped. I looked down and there was a rattler coiled up. it didn’t bother me but went on. my younger brother used to eat rattlesnake when he came across one. 

gotta get to work on my roaches. need to get something done before this afternoon. I am going after my grandsons in Lawrence. those boys keep me young.

bout got another roach done

I am almost finished with another roach. it is a 15 inch roach with 8 inch front hair and predominately blue trim. all I have left to do is tie some deer tail trim on the tail piece. it wont take much. once it is done, I will start sorting hair again for another roach.

I took time off to get see, well almost see, the eclipse. that took most of Monday. when I got home I seen my Anaheim peppers have finally started producing. I had to pick, roast, dice and freeze them. I found the grill didn’t do that good of a job so I made a fire in the back yard. after I had a good bed of coals I roasted them. 

I still have more anaheims growing. might have to put another batch away real soon. they are growing real good now. I am glad I watered them to keep them alive during the heat. it looks like I didn’t need to buy any from the farmers market. I wont complain I have green chiles to cook with all year. I developed a taste for them while in the southwest.

my sema patch got weedy after all the rain we had lately. I weeded it by hand while it was cool yesterday. I put a lot of work into raising my sema. I depend on it. by the end of the week I will be able to process my first batch. I had some I started from seed and transplanted after the heat zapped most of my plants. they are doing good too. I will have a late crop out of them. 

sometime today I gotta walk two miles. not sure if I want to have both dogs on a leash while walking on the road. usually mary has one and I have the other. might have to hit the tread mill instead. the reason I gotta walk earlier is we are going to bingo tonight. I haven’t been over there in a coupla weeks. I spent all my winnings from that time. need to see if I can win again because the sparks flea market is coming up next week. 

time to renew my car tags. our tribe has our own tags. at first we had to go to the county office to get our tags. I remember walking in their to get mine and one of the women working there gave me a real hateful look. she said ‘I pay my taxes’. I am glad I don’t have to deal with that anymore. I have til the end of the month to get my renewal. 

better feed and water my animals. then get my walk in before finishing this roach. tonite we are eating at the buffet and going to bingo. hell yeah.

seen, well kinda, the total eclipse of the sun

this is a picture of a total eclipse I took today. cant see a damn thing cuz it was cloudy then the moon blocked the suns rays. I guess you had to be there to appreciate it.

I have never seen traffic on highway 75 like I did today. I drove the back roads up to iowa casino and back. it was worse coming back. I could see cars lined up for a coupla miles behind me and ahead of me. I jumped off 75 and hit the back roads.

hitting those roads was sorta like the old days when indians had to hide out cuz the highway patrol always stopped them for drivers license and insurance checks. most of the time many indians didn’t have either and the cops knew it. this was before racial profiling. indians took the back roads when they went to town. when we were young thugs we would do that too cuz we would have a cooler full of beer. that’s how I knew what roads to take.

I just made it to the casino in time to get their advertised $20 in free play. they also had cash drawings every half hour. I didn’t win any but I would dash outside after each drawing to check on the eclipse. it was cloudy. I was only able to see the eclipse in partial stages when the cloud cover would open up just a bit. at 1 oclock someone said it was dark outside so I went out to see. that’s when I tried taking this picture with my eclipse glasses in front of my camera lens. it didn’t work. 

the build up was greater than the actual event. oh well I got my juice by hitting the slots. I didn’t lose much after playing 4 hours. I will chalk that up to what it cost me for some entertainment. it don’t take much to amuse me. 

when I hear total eclipse of the sun I think of carly simons song ‘you’re so vain’. it had those lyrics in them. I was a young guy around that time. I was also so vain I thought that song was about me. 

I mentioned I witnessed an eclipse in san diego back when my kids were little. the news says this eclipse is the first total one in 38 years or so. the one I seen musta been a partial then. I stayed up for a lunar eclipse a few years ago. I have some good pictures of that. 

the next solar eclipse is 7 years from now. I will be 72. that is if I am still kicking. I don’t think I will be dashing in and out of casinos to check on the next one. who knows. if anyone wants to buy a pair of slightly used solar eclipse glasses, give me a holler. or maybe I will keep these til then…..

joe won

votes were counted for the tribal gaming commission election today at the old bingo hall. I went over there because my son joe was in the run off.  he won the position he was running for. I know he will do a good job and represent our people well. I don’t say that just because he is my son. evidently a majority of the  voters thought he was right for the job too. 

I have enough confidence in his ability that I took him as my partner in our ceremonial ways. he demonstrated to me that he can learn anything and do the work required of the position.  i told him before the election, regardless of the outcome he will be a leader in our ways for the rest of his life. I am happy for him and his family. he has worked for everything he has, nothing was ever handed to him. I am proud to call him my son.  

I visited with a few indians whilst out and about on the rez. it is nice to see people I know. some I go back several decades with. it used to be that I knew everyone on the rez. now there are people I don’t know. I have been staying home working on my roaches, gardening and watching grand kids. I don’t want to be too hermit like. gotta see the bright city lights occasionally.

I went walking again today. the 89 degree weather had me sweating and my dogs panting. last week I walked 8 miles. this week I logged 10 miles. not bad for starting out. I know I am not in shape yet but I have taken a big step in an effort to get into better shape. I plan on continuing to walk as much as I can. when the weather turns, I have my tread mill in the basement I can use. 

I have told some friends and relatives that I am walking again. I told one of my sisters I was going to Hawaii. my goal is to have wash board abs by the time I hit the beach. we laughed together about that. maybe that aint gonna happen but I will try to get rid of some of this pow wow gut. maybe I will use that as motivation. I don’t want to look like a fat tourist. eh. I said before I am walking for my health. my lower back doesn’t hurt from my arthritis when I am walking for exercise. 

besides exercising I am trying to eat better. it is nice to be able to munch on a fresh cucumber or tomato that I grew. they taste better than what I find in grocery stores. perhaps they taste better because I have the satisfaction of knowing I grew them. same with my indian corn and indian beans etc. gardening has kept me busy these past few months. 

I have all the porcupine hair tied for the roach I am working on. I am sewing it onto the base now. all I have left is to tie the deer tail trim and sew it on. then I will wrap it onto a small baseball bat (yeah I know, real tradish) to shape it. I have my rhythm going now. once I get that I can keep at making roaches. once this roach is done, I will add it to the roaches for sale page. then start on the next one.


all ready for the eclipse

glad I have this free eclipse glasses. hope they aint the fake ones where I could burn a hole in my retina or something. people are selling knock offs even if you can get these free.

this total solar eclipse event is shaping up to be everyone trying to make a fast buck. all the hotels and motels are full even with the inflated prices. some people are offering a tent site on their front yard for $75. meals and snacks are provided but are extra. 

don’t know what I will do during the eclipse. I like the idea that the farmers market in kc is doing. they are playing pink floyds dark side of the moon album. sounds good but then I quit the mind altering substances long ago. that was the only way to listen to pink floyd back in the day. wonder if the farmers market will do the laser show. I could be sitting there in these glasses saying faaar out maaaan. hippies used to drag those sounds out. guess it was cool or something.

if I do decide to head north I don’t know what kind of traffic to expect. some are predicting big crowds. normally no one comes to Kansas. hope they don’t notice how bad our roads are. the politicians robbed the highway fund to cover their “short fall”. this could be the biggest event to hit the state since Quantrill came thru. it should even outdraw the second largest ball of twine. too bad the state cant do an eclipse a few times a year. they could make some big bucks. the politicians would probably tax it and waste the money while killing service related programs. 

I have started working on another roach. I should have it done in a day or two. this one is a boys roach. I listed the last one I made on a new for sale page I created on this site. I started this site to market my art work. I wanted to cut out the middle man. often they make more money off roaches than the guy that made it. i don’t have to deal with those rip offs. blogging is to entertain me until I build my inventory. I planned on doing that after I retired. 

I am putting in hours whenever I can to sort hair. I will continue to sort hair and tie roaches to break the monotony. I will make as many roaches as I can. I aint worried bout selling them. its kinda like field of dreams. (in a whisper) build it and they will come. every roach I ever made sold. 

I am in some pow wow selling groups on facebook. I wont list my work on those sites even if it would be the obvious thing. i got my own trip to do. I am copying pictures of roaches for sale though. some are priced pretty high. I want to show people what they can have if they don’t want to pay me what I want for mine. some of those roaches are pretty rugged looking. they even make roaches with synthetic material. what?

gotta take a break from working on roaches sometime today. my yard needs to be mowed. then i have almost 10 pounds of Anaheim peppers i have to roast and dice up. seems i am always busy. people still ask me what i am doing. a few said it would get boring. not to me. its been a year now since i retired. i always have something to do.  i have no regrets. i got tired of working when i seen others not doing a damn thing. now i can do what ever i want. hell yeah.


end of summer

I had to take a picture of this wagon on my last day trip. probably seen at least a dozen of these horse drawn wagons. I had to pass a few as I drove around town. I thought it was kinda neat to see them still being used. 

a few families in the wagons waved at us as we drove by. I kinda liked that. the clerks in the amish country stores were friendly too. everyone used to wave on the rez as you drove past. not many do anymore. of course there are many more cars on the roads now. people waved more when there were dirt roads. people have changed with progress.

I went to town yesterday to make the last payment on my riding mower. it is mine now. I have been parking it in the shed I built years ago. I do this after every use. my thought is if my last mower lasted 7 years or so out in the weather how long would one last if it was sheltered. I will take better care of this mower.

I have some free glasses to view the coming solar eclipse. they kinda look like the old 3D glasses movie houses used to give away. no doubt I will look ridiculous with them on. I really don’t know if I will bother driving somewhere to view it. I am on this facebook page about the eclipse. they suppose to give pointers on how to view it or take pictures. I really don’t feel like buying any camera attachments to take a picture. I did take a series of pictures of a lunar eclipse. it showed various stages of the eclipse. 

I picked almost ten pounds of Anaheim peppers I grew in my raised beds. this is after I bought some at the farmers market twice. we have been cooking with green chiles that we roasted and diced up. I only picked the biggest peppers. it looks like I will have twice as many more when the others get bigger. they really started growing after the heat left. we will have plenty of green chiles this year. 

I am getting more cucumbers too. they got bitter when we had 100 degree weather. I tossed them into the compost pile. now that it has cooled down somewhat I am getting more cukes. they taste good too. seems everything is growing better now. 

I am spending a few hours everyday sorting porcupine hair. I will start tying another roach soon. sorting will be a constant chore all year long because I have so much hair. I will tie roaches now and then to break the monotony of sorting. I want to stock pile roaches. they will sell sooner or later. I gotta get to sorting hair….

started walking again

I started walking again. I had been relying on my spring activities for my exercise. gardening kept me moving especially watering. I was carrying water to my plants every few days during the early growth then thru the heat. tilling, weeding, building grow boxes and trellises also kept me busy. I went out mushroom hunting, gathering nenwezhek and picking menashkuk. that was a lot of walking. 

lately my activity slowed downed. I have to start walking to get more exercise. I saw no sense in easing into it. mary and I walked 4 times this past week. I logged 8 miles my first week. once I get started I can usually keep it up. I prefer walking down our road in the open air instead of on a tread mill. the tread mill is stand by in case it is raining or when the weather gets cold. 

I have my 3 month check up and lab tests next month. I want to have good results on my lab. when I walk my blood sugar is fine, my cholesterol is okay and my blood pressure is good. when I dont walk, my arthritis causes my back to hurt. I have been experiencing back pain recently. I gotta walk for the health of it. 

I took a day trip to amish country in Missouri yesterday. it was a nice, quiet drive. my corn is dry. I ended up with 3 gallons of dried corn, compared to I think 13 gallons last year. now I want to dry a years worth of squash. I wanted to see if they had any crooked neck squash yet. they didn’t. 

it wasn’t a wasted trip. mary and I bought up. maybe we might not have bought as much if i didn’t hit at bingo the night before.  we got big bags of home made egg noodles because we have chickens we butchered in the freezer. we also bought dried and frozen fruit, rolled oats, home made relish and jam, fresh bread and veggies. we are trying to eat healthier. that’s a hard thing to do. 

the nation is shocked with the violence at a rally back east. one was killed and many others injured when a car was deliberately driven into a crowd of peaceful protesters. it is wrong for any one to hurt another human that way. the president lumped both sides together. the ones protesting against racism are not wrong. they were showing that not everyone tolerates racism.

I wonder though if the subtle racism in every day life is okay. on the way home we stopped at a casino in st. joe. I heard the drink waitress asking other gamblers nearby if they needed anything. she passed by me several times and never asked once if I wanted anything. that has even happened to me at our own casino in the past. I have been in stores where clerks wait on others but ignore me. I have been ‘randomly’ searched at airports a few times. I have been in restaurants where others got served first. etc. 

I could go on with many more examples but wont. there is an underlying racism in our country. we have a history of it. not all americans want see it or admit that. it largely goes unseen. pretending it doesn’t exist doesnt make it go away. I wonder if trump and his cronies trying to undo everything our first black president did is really racist. wont even mention the wall planned to be built. if we deplore open racism maybe we should oppose all forms of racism. 

no grandsons to watch this week. I will get back to sorting hair and working on roaches….