fireworks and a ballgame

we spent Friday with my grand kids. we had kinikwe and miamikwe in the morning. we took them over to the empowerment festival held at prairie peoples park. that started at one o clock. it was to informed the community about services or programs provided.

we walked around the park with the girls. we stopped at the bounce house. they played in there awhile. we also stopped at the photo booth. we had a picture of the four of us taken. we had on hats or props the booth provided. we were given a free print out of the pictures.

it was getting hot so we went to sit in the shade by the elders. they were located in a shelter house near the arena. i was given a cooling towel. it is designed to help cool down with after it is put in cold water. i kept putting it in my cooler when it lost the coolness. that kept me from feeling the heat.

a few elders talked about the days before air conditioning. we didnt have electricity much less a/c. some people today act like they cant handle the heat. we had to. we had no choice in the matter. i dont remember anyone whining about how hot it was back then.

we could hear the music from the shade. they had several musical acts. a couple of the musicians were prairie band. i like live music. they had good musicians playing. i got into a few indian dice games while sitting with the seniors. that was fun.

the girls’ parents came later. the girls joined them. we walked around some more. we had to get 15 signatures from the various booths to get the free t shirt, water bottle and bag. i wore the t shirt that night.

we had to leave for an hour to pick up the boys in topeekie. they played in the bounce house when we got back. there was a water feature near it. the kids were playing with the water squirting each other. they had a lot of fun. they were soaking wet. it probably kept them cooler. the temperature was above 100 degrees with the heat index.

we were back in time to hear indigenous, an indian band that played blues. i have seen them in concert before. i liked their cover of a Hendrix tune. after the music we waited for the fireworks. they didnt start right away.

we joked with the other seniors we were sitting with. we asked ‘do we start honking our horns, like at a drive in movie’. we had to laugh cuz that kinda aged us.

the fireworks were worth the wait. i thought it was a great display. i wondered why there weren’t more community members attending. it was a great all day event. i got to spend the whole day with the grand kids. we all went together to the photo booth to have our picture taken.

yesterday Andrew asked me if i was going to his game. while it was in question form, there was little doubt he was basically telling me to go. he said it might be my last game. how could misho resist that. i had promised to go watch him play one game. i was ‘talked’ into it. i drove him to Lawrence to watch the game. he had a good game.

end of june

they say corn should be knee high by the fourth of july. mine is there already

my crooked neck squash broke ground. i have 22 hills of it coming up. i am glad that they came up. i am running out of dried squash. i will try to do something different this year. i have heard not to grow too many squash on one vine. better to pinch all off but one or two squash. you get less squash but they will be bigger. the same thing can be done with cantaloupes or melons.

my corn seems to be doing good. it is about knee high now. cant predict what i will end up with. that depends on getting rain when needed and sunshine when needed. i wont know what i will get until mid august after the corn is dry.

i tilled up between the rows of my sema. got rid of the weeds that were growing. i hilled up the dirt. i watered the plants with rain water from my barrels. it is suppose to be in the 90s for the next week or so. the heat index will be 103 to 108 degrees today. i will have to keep watering my plants til this heat wave is over.

i was coming back from topeekie the other day. they have adding a layer of asphalt on top of the highway. it makes the ride somewhat smoother. used to be that you would hear a bump every 10 feet or so. it was from the tires hitting the holes or ridges in the road. the lanes heading south to topeekie aren’t done yet.

i ordered a pair of glasses a month or two ago. they are alright. i musta got a scratch on one lens. as much as i tried to ignore it, it still was within my vision. i was conscious of it every time i put my glasses on. i took the glasses back. i paid extra for scratch resistance. the place ordered a new lens. they will call me when it comes in.

we went to a garage sale. on the way home we stopped at a fireworks stand. it was run by our boys and girls club. we figured we would support indian business. not every one believes in doing that. the fireworks are for the grand kids to enjoy. we will take them to the fire works display at peoples park tonight.

i had a tick bite. usually they dont bother me. this time it had a little bit of an infection. i remember this one plant an old lady showed me. she said put it on the infected part and cover it. i did that with a band aid. the next day the infection was gone. good thing i remembered what that old lady told me.

i got a text last night bout 11:30. first i cussed til i read it. my grand daughter told me she had a son. then i was happy. that is my third great grand child. that dont make me feel old. i am happy especially since i didnt think i would live to see 30 years old. now i am a great grand pa. i will take that title with honor.

time to mow

i haven’t been able to mow the lawn. the ground had been too muddy. yesterday’s temps in the 90s dried it out. i thought i better mow before the next round of rain comes. i am trying to keep up with mowing. seems like with all the rain we had, the lawn keeps growing.

i wanted to change the blades on the mower but didnt. i bought some off the internet. i will before next mowing. i probably will change the oil on the riding mower too. i want this mower to last me longer than the last one. i had it for bout 8 years i think. i keep this one in the shed.

the grass has grown a little high. i might rake up some of the cut grass to put in the new compost pile i started. i used up most of the compost from the last big pile i made. i usually give table scraps to the chickens. what they dont eat i add to the compost pile.

recently i was asked about the book i started writing. the question made me wonder why i haven’t been working on it. i am retired now. i planned on finishing the book when i retired. i write a blog every other day to force me to write. my book will never join my two older brothers’ books if i dont finish it.

i haven’t written anything for my book. it is tentatively called “aint no fort injun”. it is a autobiography about growing up on the rez and my travels through out life. it is my story but it could apply to many indians. some indians have similar enough stories that we can finish each others sentences some times.

i will have to make an effort to get back on that. i already have several chapters done. i had one done on my alcohol and drug days. thing is i lost that chapter. i only have about 3 pages of it. that kinda put me at an impasse of sorts.

i guess i have to rewrite that chapter. i really need that part of my life in my book. at that point in my life i could have given up. that life style took many of my bros. i had to relive those days in my mind. i will have to do that again. there is always someone to remind me of those days. i dont need that because i will never forget those times.

good thing i have a garden. a tribal program is giving away farmers market vouchers. thing is we are over the income level. been poor most of my life, now i make too much money? well hell i guess. its rare that families like us get anything anyway. its kinda like you get penalized for taking care of yourself.

been noticing our hay field. the hay is the tallest i have seen in years. well some of it is laying down because of the huge amount of rain we got last time. it will stand back up. usually by the fourth of july the hay is already cut. dont look that will happen.

i have given away some of my extra sema plants. i gave them to 3 people. i still have some left. i dont think anyone else wants them. i have plenty already planted so it aint like i will waste them.

gonna head to topeekie today.

and more rain

it was raining before i went to bed last night. i woke up a few times and heard it still raining. this morning i could see that the ground is saturated again. the rain is sitting on top of the ground. it is not getting soaked up because the ground is full of water.

we have water in the basement again. after hearing it rain most of the night, i kinda expected that. every time we get a lot of rain or snow melt our basement gets water. not much we can do except mop it up. that is a real hassle.

the winds were pretty strong yesterday. i had to pick up branches the wind broke off of trees. there were plastic trash cans that i picked up too. the wind blew them across the yard.

yesterday i took my dogs to get their rabies and distemper shots. they were also dipped for fleas and ticks. i think this is a good service. it was held at the tribal police department. they cosponsor the clinic. i dont know how many years i have taken my dogs to this. when they asked how old konugish was, i said 11. they thought older than that. i took him there since he was a pup.

mary picked one of the cabbages i grew. she fixed some home made cole slaw with it. it was the best cole slaw i had since the last batch she made. fresh cabbage makes it taste better. she picked about 6 more cabbages. some split on the top so we picked them. i will dice them up and save them for stew.

besides the cabbage from our garden we have eaten strawberries, kale, onions and radishes. even with all the rain we are managing to get something from our garden. our potatoes have flowered, so we should get some of them next. i picked more black berries. i froze them.

i was watching a tv show. it had indian people on it. the kind that were originally from india. that reminded me of when i used to help build bridges. i work with these red necks who always thought they were brighter than us indians.

on one job i seen this highway inspector. i said that is a real indian. the red necks asked how i could tell. i said ‘cuz he’s from india. they really didnt see any difference. they weren’t as bright as they thought they were.

at my last lab and doctor visit, the nurse checked my feet. i asked why. she said they have to do that with all diabetics. i said my feet are rough. i go barefoot a lot. even if i am just walking around in the yard. this is a hold over from my younger days. country indians didnt wear shoes all that much back in the day. except when they went to town.

as soon as my brother bubs would walk into my house, he would always take off his shoes. i do that too. when the nurse checked my feet she told me to put lotion on them. i doubt that helps much. i really do have rough feet.

what will this week bring.

more rain

i was outside and i spotted this butterfly. i wanted a picture of it. i got one

it rained again last night. the thunder woke me up. i thought more rain. my corn is visibly getting taller. this rain will make it grow even more. my indian beans should break ground this week for sure.

it started raining again as i sit here. i like to hear the sound of thunder. when i was out bumming around this country i was reminded of home when i heard thunder. when i was real young we had to put tobacco down when it thundered. i always remembered that where ever i went.

i am glad i transplanted my sema a few days ago. it hasn’t gone into shock like it would if it was hot. that will zap many plants. it didnt happen because of the cool weather we had and the rain. my plants became acclimated to their new home in the ground. i gave some of the plants i had left to my sisters. i still have a few to give away.

i went to town yesterday. i paid for my things and eased on out. i got down the road a few miles and reached for my phone. it wasnt there. i remember the last i seen it was on the stand by the cash register. i turned around and went back to get it.

they said no phones were turned in. i left my wifes phone number and left. a few miles down the road they called to say they found it. i knew it was there somewhere. i thought maybe someone had glommed onto it. it was in my shopping cart.

i thanked them and said i didnt want to pay to have a replacement. i will use this old phone until it is totally necessary to replace it. i priced phones and seen that i probably will have to buy a pre owned phone. no way i will pay the price of a new one.

i went to the elders breakfast yesterday. i got there early. not many were there. i ate and went outside to smoke a cheap cigar. more people started arriving. i went back inside and spent the next two hours visiting with the elders. i never thought i would be included with this group. i am younger than many of the other elders but older than a few.

i like visiting by actually talking to people. yeah texting and face book is convenient but not the same as talking to some one. its nice to sit with people that all talk with each other and are not on phones. visiting is old school.

i went bowling last night. it was for my grandsons birthday. he wanted to bowl. i haven’t ever had any instruction or pointers on bowling. i just roll a straight ball at the pins. no spin or curve. i bowled a 136 and a 127. not enough to have anyone recruit me for their bowling team. i only bowl for the fun of it. in this case for my grand sons birthday.

gotta go pick up my meds. will see what else happens today.

got some rain

the weather man predicted we would get rain yesterday. i got busy. i had already tilled some ground next to my corn the other day. then i had to clean the fish i was given. i didnt get to plant squash because of that. that was alright. i got fish in the freezer now.

yesterday i hilled up the tilled ground and planted crooked neck squash seeds. i have 22 hills i planted. i didnt get to plant any in the corn rows. the squash does alright when planted in hills too. if i have it in the corn, i cant till the weeds under when the vines spread out.

the squash seeds had been soaked. that makes germination easier. i want to have squash to dry this year. i didnt get any last year. my supply of dried squash is running low.

i also put in two rows of sema. i added compost to each spot i transplanted the sema in. now i have 5 rows growing. it is suppose to be partly cloudy the next few days. my plants shouldn’t go into shock. i got a taker on what plants i will have left over. i dont want them to go to waste.

i got done before the rain came. it was a slow drizzle that soaked the ground. even though we got a lot of rain earlier the ground had dried out on top. i imagine we still have water deep down. this rain will make my corn and indian beans grow.

i cleaned out two of my rain barrels before it rained. they collect leaves, bugs etc. they also get some algae build up. i hooked a hose up to the barrels and watered one of my trees. couldn’t see just dumping the water out. i will get to town one of these days to get gold fish to put in my barrels.

now i have everything planted. i probably wont put anything else in this year. i will go with what i have. now i sit back and wait. i will take what i get. anything can happen between now and harvest time.

now that i am caught up with gardening i still have plenty of other chores i need to do. and i haven’t worked on any roaches for some time. i haven’t made any indian dice sets either. i also have to put up my outdoor tv antennae too. yep i have plenty to do. it aint like my work is ever done.

got fish now

my nephew benny and grand daughter annie gave me a string of fish. now the fish are in the freezer

i have been wanting some catfish. i go to town occasionally for a whole fried catfish. it is really good. it is one meal i go to town just to have it.

yesterday i wasnt planning on doing anything but plant squash. good thing i had some time set aside. my nephew brought over a string of catfish. he and his daughter caught them. they usually give away their first catch. this year i was the lucky guy that got the fish.

i really appreciated that. i used to do that too. there was an older lady that lived near me. i would always take over my first rabbit, mushrooms or gooseberries to her. i am glad that some of our people still do that.

i not only got a string of fish they showed me a few pointers on cleaning them. annie and i cleaned 4 of them. they had something to do so benny asked me if i would do the rest. i said sure. i had a rhythm going. i finished the rest of them. seemed like every fly in the hood came over while i was cleaning the fish.

mary was cooking out for fathers day. she took some of the cleaned fish and grilled them. annie told her put lemon pepper on it and wrapped it in tin foil. it really tasted good. usually i get it fried. or blackened Cajun style.

i saved the big yellow cat for last. it was the biggest fish. i got some big fillets out of it. i told mary to put it in a separate freezer bag and mark it. i didnt want to mix it with the rest that were blue cats and flat heads. after it was all bagged up and in the freezer i felt good about that. now we have fresh fish to eat.

as i got done cleaning the fish i had to wonder why i haven’t gone fishing. i keep saying i will go. the grand sons are after me to go too. the new fishing poles mary and i won are now a year old. gotta make myself go fishing.

i kept seeing the flower pods on the nenwezhek by the house. last night before sunset i told mary lets go pick them. i like them in potato soup. it gives the soup a different flavor. we walked along our drive way and picked them. didnt take long to get enough for later use.

i didnt plant my crooked neck squash yesterday. i will do that today. i did get the ground tilled up. the seeds have been soaking. it wont take long to finish planting today.

will see what else comes up.

almost summer time

i tried to get a picture of it lightning last night. my camera wasnt fast enough

this Friday is the first day of summer. i was asked if i had any travel plans. i said not really but i will end up going some where. i usually do. i haven’t soaked in a hot spring for some time. i can travel whenever i want now that i am retired. well if my money permits. and if i dont have to watch the grand kids.

they say Friday will be the longest day of the year. it will still be a 24 hour day like the rest. i guess they mean the longest amount of sun light in a day. tonight will be the full moon, the strawberry moon.

i picked a sandwich bag full of black berries yesterday. still glad i didnt get rid of that berry bush on the north side of my house. there are some volunteer bushes coming up next to this bush. i may transplant them to a slope in the back yard that i cant mow too good. i will fill it with black berries instead.

i got three rows of sema plants in now. i still have some in starter pots. i will transplant two more rows. i probably will have some plants left over. i try to give them away to some one but dont get any takers.

i am soaking some crooked neck squash seeds. i will plant them today. that will be ambitious. i will till a place to make some hills. i will plant the seeds in some hills and some seeds in the corn rows. i want to have squash to dry this year. soaking the seed will give it a better chance of germinating.

i haven’t put up my outside tv antenna yet. been busy. i will make an attempt to get that done. i am serious about cutting my cable service off. there were a few shows i wanted to watch this past month. i grew up with the 3 local channels. i have also had hundreds of channels with a satellite dish. and still nothing on of interest to me. so why pay all that money.

its per cap time. that means i have to renew my virus protection on my computer. i paid for it last year. now it is due. i always get virus protection. had a computer freeze up once. never let that happen again. as i have said i grew up with out electricity and running water but now i need my cell phone and computer.

i bought a 10 foot slide at a garage sale for $15. i have been wanting to build a play ground set for the grand kiddies. the slide is the first component. i will make a play house structure and add the slide and swings to it.

as soon as the grand kids saw the slide they asked what it was for. now i have to build it. i got some carpentry skills. i bought a coupla books with playground set plans in them. i want ideas on how to build it. i suppose i could just wing it but i want this to last.

nothing planned this week but something will come up.

good to go

this spider web reminded me of some of the deals potawatomis get. we are drawn in then they got us

i had my quarterly lab and doctor check up this morning. good news for me. my blood pressure and blood sugar levels are down. i am glad. i attribute that to me being more active in the spring. my garden and spring chores keep me busy.

the rain we got is good for my corn. it is looking good. i may be one of the few that will have corn this year. just lucky i guess. my indian beans are coming up in the rows of corn. next i will plant my squash. that will be the last thing i plant this year.

i mowed yesterday before the rain. i am glad i did. i try to keep up with it. seems i am mowing more this year. the rains we have had makes the lawn grow quickly. i noticed our hay is real tall too. probably the tallest i have seen it in years.

i transplanted some of my sema plants. they were the big ones i dug up when i tilled my plot under. the rains we had made the weeds grow fast and they took over. i have more plants i started from seed i will transplant today. i do that while it isn’t hot. they dont get into shock like they would if it was real hot.

we have the grand sons every weekend. yesterday we went to a garage sale and bought bunk beds. they will have their own room now. they already claimed that room as their toy room anyway. now they will sleep in there.

today is per cap day. i didnt rush to town to spend it. mine hits the bank and i slowly spend it on things when the need arises. i lived here before the money came. we managed when we didnt get per cap. now we are living in the best economic times of our existence and some still aren’t satisfied. i dont get that.

i have a black berry bush that came up as a volunteer. it is on the northeast corner of my house. it has berries forming on it. i am glad that i didnt cut it down when i first seen it. i will eat the black berries.

that reminds me of back in the day. i was hitch hiking thru northern California. i was hungry while standing by this bridge waiting for a ride. i looked down and seen lotsa berry bushes. i went down there and had my fill of black berries. i always remember those berries. they were good.

the young fellas that have done jobs for me finished cutting the elm for me. i ended up with a good pile of wood. i have enough to make a number of ceremonial fires. i am happy about that. i thanked the young guys. i haven’t heard from the tribal guys yet. no matter i got it done. even if i had to pay for it. dont know why some just wont help their own people.

back from sugar creek

mary and i met with this wonderful group of people

we had a great experience meeting a group at sugar creek. they were retracing the potawatomi ‘trail of death’ march. mary and i arrived before they did. we parked and walked up to the gate to wait for them.

they usually walked at different times as they retraced the route. we waited for them as they walked the last two miles into sugar creek. they did this because the potawatomi had to walk the entire distance from indiana to Kansas. we walked the rest of the way with them down to the camping area.

we were told before their arrival that they were gonna spend the night. we brought our tent so we could camp with them. we brought some corn soup, dried squash and nenwezhek. we ate supper together. none of them had ever eaten nenwezhek. they all liked it.

after supper we sat around the camp fire and talked. we had a good conversation. members of the group came from different parts of the country. i met three of them before. i was in the caravan 11 years ago with two of them. some were seminary students. one was Palestinian and one was from Ethiopia.

all of them cared for people. they retrace the trail of death so that the potawatomi on it would not be forgotten. some asked mary or me questions. they wanted to learn about the potawatomi people. they will do this again two years from now. i was asked if i could meet them again. i would be happy to.

some gradually went to their tents to sleep. they were tired from the trip. some of us stayed up til almost midnight talking. it was so easy to converse with everyone. i like talking with people. eventually the rest of us agreed it was time to go to sleep.

mary and i went to our tent. i didnt go to sleep immediately. my mind wouldn’t shut off. i laid there going over every thing we had done and what was said. i enjoyed the company of these good people.

next morning we had breakfast and coffee. many of us shared the need to have that first cup of coffee. after breakfast we formed a circle and talked again. a few gave mary and me a gift. we were given maple syrup from indiana and a girl from Georgia gave me some soap from there. mary was given a pair of earrings and some honey. we broke camp after that. we seen the group off.

mary and i stayed after they left. we walked around the grounds. i wanted to smoke my Cuban cigar. my son brought it from his cruise. i enjoyed that good cigar. we headed for home after i finished it.

it is a two hour and 15 minute drive home. we stopped for lunch about half way home. mary took over driving because i was tired from not enough sleep the night before. i took a short nap and we were home.

my grand daughters came over for a visit. i like spending time with any of my grand kids. the young guys that help me also came over. they were gonna finish cutting the elm but it starting to rain. they said they would come back.

i am glad for the rain. earlier this spring it seemed like it would never end. now it will make my indian corn and indian beans grow. i am grateful for that rain.