planting underway

I haven’t been vegging out in front of the tv during my stay at home.  I have used this time to plant vegetables. I am glad that the hard frosts we had this spring didn’t harm any of my plants. my strawberries are flowering. they will have berries soon. I have 4 grow boxes full of strawberries. they were real sweet last year.

I am debating whether or not to go pick strawberries at this berry farm. they will be ready in a few weeks. we went there last year. we have strawberries but the kids eat them up. I want to put some away for the winter. the berry place isn’t open til picking time. we would wear facemasks. I think we would be safe.

my radishes and carrots made it. I should be eating radishes soon. when they are gone, the carrots continue to grow. my cabbages are doing good. I have onions growing with most of my plants. we can pick them for green onions anytime. we will harvest the rest when they become mature.

I am trying to get a jump on some plants. dont know if we will have any late frosts but I am hoping we don’t. the temps will be in the 70s for the next 10 days. I have transplanted habaneros, leeks, onions, cucumbers and green peppers. they should get a good start. and they are catching the rains we are getting. I started peas from seed.

now i have a dozen grow boxes that are fully planted. all the boxes have multiple vegetables growing in them. i plant companion plants to fill the boxes. the companions help each other grow. I have three more boxes to fill. then I will plant in my field garden.

I went for my 2 mile walk on the paved road yesterday. as I was going past my field garden I noticed my potatoes have broken ground. I have been keeping an eye on them. once they flower I can have some new potatoes with fresh eggs for my breakfast.

I mowed my yard yesterday. as I was mowing I felt moisture. I was almost done so I continued. I wasn’t gonna run from the rain. I welcome it. I got done and parked my mower in the shed. then it started to rain. I got done in time. I wont let the lawn get out of hand. tall grass isn’t good for the mower.

I was thinking of my Oklahoma mother so I wrote her a letter. I remember the nice visit we had we went down there. I told her I wanna come down for another visit. she had a lot of humming bird feeders in her yard. I was sitting at the table as we visited and watched the hummingbirds flying around. i never seen so many hummingbirds in one place. that made me go out and fill my feeders.

I don’t know how many people still use snail mail. I do a lot.  it is a nice walk down to the mail box to check on mail. i can check on my gardening as i walk there. i also notice which plants are growing. i have wild onions, nettles, menashkuk and nenwezhek that grow in the ditch.

since it rained I will go mushroom hunting at least one more time. I like the exercise. gotta do my chores first.

more walking

i have been doing a lot of walking. yesterday i went mushroom hunting again. I have been out 8 times now. i walk an hour or two every time communing with nature. I haven’t found much. maybe a little over a gallon altogether. I enjoyed them though. I get a good meal and my exercise at the same time.

I walked on the paved road today. I did my two miles on the road. i made my dog stay home. i seen a coupla old rez guys. we go back decades. we lived here long before the money came. they stopped and talked. we had a few good laughs.

i aint got my stimulus check yet. damn politicians. they just interested in getting the rich their cut. I am in no hurry to get it. I just wanna know it is in the bank. no doubt it will get spent.

well I kinda got my mind set on buying a vermicomposting container system. huh? a what. that’s a worm farm. it makes compost year around. it has 4 levels that stack on top of each other. when one layer is ready to use as compost the worms move up to the next etc.

it is kinda pricey but I want one. my ttemok per cap will pay for that. I will always garden. I use grow boxes. i need to add organic matter to them each growing year. I can use this system year after year. and if I wanna go fishing I have the worms. they reproduce if I take care of it.  hell yeah, give this indian his check. my cash will still end up in the rich mans’ pocket.

there are stinging nettles in the ditch by my mail box. I am gonna pick some tops and dry them. I will make some tea out of them. I read about how beneficial it is to use this tea. it is suppose to lower blood sugar and  cholesterol among other benefits. I am willing to try it.  this diabetic is game to use natural teas besides my meds.

i gotta fire up the riding mower again. the rain we got hasn’t made the mushrooms pop up but the grass has grown. i want to put in a new spark plug, air filter and change the oil on my mower too. and sharpen the mower blades. I still have wood in the yard to pick up. seems chores never end.

speaking of my riding mower I found a buncha decal stickers I bought. I got them to pimp out my mower. I spend months on that mower keeping up my yard. i want it to look good while I mow. I have eagle feathers, bear claws, ku jayhawks and a Haskell stickers. I will make that mower look good to me.

gots to do more chores.

havent found many mushrooms

we had a good rain yesterday. I went mushroom hunting again today. i figured there would be lotsa them at my spot. i hoped the seventh time would be a charm.  we found the ones in the bottom right hand corner of this picture. they are bigger than the other ones we found so far. just wasn’t as many as I thought there would be.

I haven’t found very many this year. just enough for a taste but haven’t got my fill. looks like altogether I found maybe a gallon. usually by now i would have found enough to give some away. it was an off year for me. that dont matter. as long as I got to eat some.

one good thing is we haven’t had problems with ticks. we found two. not bad for being out in the timber 7 times. I like walking around out there. my dog went with me a few of those times. he likes being with me and being out there.

we had to go to topeekie to pick up the grandsons yesterday. while in town we also picked up a meat bundle. even if they open up the economy so more people could possibly be exposed to the virus we probably will stay home anyway. we wanna be stocked up.

I have to get a coupla more grow boxes ready. I have to plant my habanero and jalapeno peppers. I have green peppers too. later I will add hatch peppers, the seeds haven’t sprouted yet. I gotta have diced green chiles this fall and winter. I use all these peppers for seasoning in cooking or to spice up food.

I also have some leeks to transplant. I use them in cooking. mainly for stews and soups. I grow them, diced them up and freeze them. I can use them all year. I add them when I cook turtle too.

the rich people got their money but I haven’t gotten my stimulus check. two trillion must not be enough. they had congress pass another half a trillion dollar stimulus they can get their hands on. and some poor folk still aint got a dime yet. when rich folks get money it is to stimulate the economy. when poor folks get it, its a hand out.

it started to rain again this afternoon. I have to check on eggs a coupla times a day. I started to go out and hail came down. I waited til it let up. I went out to get the eggs and it started to rain. I always heard you don’t run in the rain. I took my time walking to and from the chicken house. got eggs and got wet.

my corn field will be soaked. that’s okay. it will get watered deep down. that will help later. I aint ready to plant indian corn til next month. I am betting the tribe wont get to tilling the ground. if not, I will have to use my small  tiller. I already turned it over as deep as the tiller would get. I can do it again. at least I will get some corn in. I learned long ago to never depend on some one else.

the month of May is a week away. that is the birth month of me, my daughter and my grand daughter. I had plans to go visit my daughter in California. we were gonna celebrate our birthdays together. I will go out there once this virus stuff subsides or whatever it will do.

doing chores

I seen a squirrel again while on a drive around the rez.  that is still social distancing. naturally i didnt have my  .22 that’s the way it goes. i did have my camera though. I try to remember my camera for that one picture I gotta have. that’s why I have thousands of pictures.

I have seen squirrels in the timber while mushroom hunting. they were grays though. the grays are getting more common than in the old days. I  see more of them the past decade or so while hunting. I even seen squirrels that were red and gray mix.

i went mushroom hunting again yesterday. only found about 8 of them. I am keeping them until I find some more. if not I will have them with scrambled eggs. we didnt get the rain last night. so I wont go out today. they are predicting rain on Friday. I will go after that.

i moved my tomato, watermelon and cantaloupe plants into bigger pots. i started them from  seeds. they are healthy. i have them under plant lights. i reseeded into those empty spots in the starter flat. I wanted to make sure i had hatch peppers, leeks and green peppers. I restarted them because I don’t know what is in my second starter flat. better too many than not enough.

i transplanted my cucumber and kale plants i started from seed into my grow boxes. i reseeded in those empty spaces in the seed starter flat. there better not be another killing frost. I am taking the chance there wont be. if not, my cukes and kale will be off to a good start.

i planted some big sunflowers in with my cucumbers. i also added some peas to this grow box. they are companion plants. i planted onions with my kale. I now have 10 grow boxes that are already planted. most are cool weather crops. I will transplant my warm weather things later.

while i was working in my grow boxes I noticed that my strawberry plants are starting to have flowers on them. wont be long before they have fruit on them. my grandsons will be out there checking on them. last year they ate most of them.

while in the timber I checked out the gooseberry bushes. they too are flowering. they should be ready next month sometime. I always remember this old man who always said he was born ‘when the gooseberries are ripe’. same here. i was born in May.

i transplanted many gooseberry bushes in my tree line behind the house. I look at them every year for picking. they haven’t done well. I think it is because they are in between my ponderosa pines. the pine needles must make the ground too acidic. I may have to go back into the timber to pick gooseberries.

I burned off my old garden spot. it was full of grass and corn stalks. I  wanted it clear in case the tribe can till it. if they do, I  will reseed it with clover as a  cover crop. it will lay fallow til next year.

got more chores to do.

not finding many mushrooms

I have been out looking for mushrooms 4 times now. yesterday mary and I only found 3 small ones. this was after a rain. this is definitely an off year for me. I usually find more by now. granted I only go to my favorite spots. they usually give me enough to get my fill.

so far I have only eaten a bowl full of mushrooms. the hours of walking I did was certainly worth it though. I enjoyed that first taste of fried mushrooms. I go thru all that effort of finding them because I really do like the taste of morels.

I am determined to find more. it is suppose to rain tomorrow. I will go out again after that. I don’t think it is a waste of time. I am getting in some good walks in the timber. I enjoy the feeling of being out there. my dog went with me yesterday. he needs to get out too. poor old dog, he likes to bond with me on our walks.

it is good to go mushroom hunting. we have stayed home for the past month. we are not feeling trapped or having cabin fever. I have been a home body for a long time. I don’t mind staying home. but it is nice to go for walks. today I will walk 2 miles on the paved road by my house.

I haven’t had any maple sugar candies for some time. I talked to a coupla guys who help in maple sugaring. I told them I was looking to buy some sugar and candy. they knew people who would sell some. well that aint happened. I thought for sure these guys would be able to score me some.

I look for maple candy every year. I wanna find a hook up I can buy from every year. I used to get it and give some to these old men around here. they liked it when I gave the maple candies to them. now I cant find any.  I enjoy the taste of the candies like those old guys.

all the cold crops in my grow boxes are still hanging in there. the several below freezing temps we had haven’t harmed them. my strawberry plants, onions, cabbages, radishes and carrots are getting bigger. I hope to have a good crop of them.

I talk a lot about weather because it has a big influence on my spring activities. I gotta have warm days, rain etc in order for my garden to grow. I also need the conditions in the timber to be right to get mushrooms and wild onions. later I will get milkweeds or nenwezhek. yeah it does matter if we get rain or warmth. I am dependent on nature to give me what she can.

I am glad we borrowed a chain saw. I cut some low hanging tree branches. they get in the way when I mow the yard. not any more. I cut them out of the way. I had some plum bushes by the mail box that needed to be trimmed too. I have a few more by my other garden spot.

I will have to hook up my cart to the riding mower. I need to pick up the cut up elm branches laying in the yard. I have some wood left over from the winter too. that also has to be picked up. maintaining my yard takes quite a bit of work. it looks good when it is done though.

as long as I have work to keep me busy I don’t mind staying home. actually I am getting to more work by staying home. got work to do this week.

find ’em shrooms

I have walked about 7 hours looking for mushrooms. I like the walks in nature. its not aerobic walking because it is stop and go. there is climbing up and down crick banks. and some crossing fences. it is still a work out. I am doing a lot of walking. if I get tired I sit on a log and enjoy the quiet while resting.

so far all I have found is a bowl full of morels. i usually find more than that. it is kinda an off year for me. I am happy I have that much. i will eat these today. I will go out again. probably right after the next rain. once I get my fill that is enough. I don’t keep on going.

it takes about 3 to 4 weeks for potatoes to break ground. that would be this week for the ones I planted. temps are forecasted to be in the high 60s and into the 70s for the next 10 days. I should see my potatoes come up this week. they will be off to a good start.

i have two flats of seeds starting. I started one a week or two earlier than the second. it has my Abe Lincoln tomato plants in it. they look good, as do my cherry tomatoes, cantaloupe, water melons and kale. when it is time to transplant them, they will be healthy.

the second flat I started hasnt broke ground yet. I may have a problem identifying what plants are in there now. the marker sticks I placed in there got all wet from the water. that made the ink on them run. I have leeks, hatch peppers, bell peppers and marigolds in it. when they are big I will then know what plants are which.

the government is trying to end the stay at home. this is after not acting at all until it was obvious there was a pandemic. they are determined to kill more people. they are in a rush even though there isn’t enough testing to know who has the virus. nor is there a vaccine available.  it must not be a priority since not many are talking about or demanding it. they say that is a year to 18 months away. we wont be safe until that is developed.

even if they ease up on restrictions I will continue to stay home and practice safe distancing. I have no faith in our government. I had a trip planned to new york at the end of this month. that was cancelled. I also planned to go visit my daughter the first part of May. we were gonna celebrate our birthdays together. that is off as well.

while staying home I am texting and calling more. I have to keep in touch with family and friends. i especially like to face time with my grand daughters and daughter. I also am on social media more. sometimes it is just on. maybe causing some to wonder if i haven’t got better things to do. i am staying home, that dont mean i cant socialize.

will see if i plant anything this week.

cool spring

I went mushroom hunting. I walked for 2 and a half hours. after staying home for the past month it was good to be out in nature. mary met me in the timber. I had to go find her. good thing i know this timber.  we  got fresh air,  vitamin D and our walking in.

my dog konugish followed us. he kept up even if he is old. he kinda waddles when he walks. I wonder how many more trips he will make with me to the timber. last year he just turned around and went home. I make him stay home when we walk on the road. he isn’t fast enough to get out of a cars way if he is in the middle of the road.

we only found 5 small morels. the small gray ones. the leaves were all dried out. I thought it was too dry. it had been cold a few nights. temps in the high twenties. that may be a reason why so few. it was probably the reason why we didn’t find any ticks on us too.

I think after this rain and snow the bigger yellow mushrooms will come up.  I will head back out when it warms up.  it isn’t spring until I had mushrooms and wild onions. I like walking in the timber. it feels peaceful. it gets me out of the house.

I got my riding mower back the other day.  I called one shop and they said they couldn’t even get to it for a coupla weeks. that is after I found a way to get it there. so I called my cousin.  he came and picked it up then fixed it. I am glad he rewired the mower. that machine is basically still new.

I heard it was gonna rain yesterday and last night. I fired the mower up and mowed the yard. I dressed up warm because it was kinda cool. I got done in an hour. glad I did before the ground got wet. the grass would have grown fast after the rain. it was already tall.

I don’t have cabin fever. I don’t feel a need to go demonstrate against the stay at home orders. that virus wont come into my home unless I or someone else brings it here. we try our best to stay home. for a while though people were still coming here. I thought its pointless for us to stay home if others that are out and about could come here and possibly expose us to the virus.

we haven’t gotten any stimulus check yet. I heard that others have already. ours will go into the bank and it will get spent. we try to spend wisely. that way we can get more things.

we ordered a meat bundle from the meat company we do business with. we pay for it over the phone. then we drive up and don’t have to get out of the car. they load it in the back and we are off. we don’t usually buy meat from a grocery store. this butcher place has the best bacon, sausage, ribs, steaks etc.

we stocking up in case this stay at home is extended. we usually have food stored any way. they are talking about easing restrictions. I think we will continue to stay home a while even if they do. I don’t know if there will be a second wave or if there are undetected cases around. we haven’t had any cases here yet but I still aint taking chances.

will see what happens next.

getcha check yet?

this is how my corn field looks now. I tilled it twice but it isn’t tilled deep. there are still some weeds in it. I have plenty of time before planting corn to get it ready. it has a natural slope. that will be good for drainage during heavy rains.

the tribe is gonna come till it sometime. i didnt know if they would this year because of the shut down. that’s why I ran my tiller thru it. I don’t think the garden program will exist so the land department is gonna use the garden program’s tractor to till.

mary signed some paper work when she went after our commodity buffalo. no bureaucracy can survive with out paper work. they said they don’t have the keys to the tractor yet so they wont till this week. I imagine half the gardens they till wont get planted. I know that from experience.

as long as it is tilled before the first of May. if they don’t come I will till again, even if I have to till a coupla times.  I will plant corn in May no matter what. I gotta have indian corn.  I do know that tractor would till the ground deeper than my small tiller. that tiller will be great for weeding between the rows though.

when we first moved into this house 35 years ago this spot was my first garden. I turned the ground over with a shovel. i was determined to have a garden. it was a lot of work but I was younger then. it was new ground. I got a gallon of corn in each row and I had plenty of potatoes.

i found an arrow head in this first garden. the tip was broke off. I didn’t find the tip. I also found a piece of pipestone. it looked like an end piece that was cut off the stem. it was rounded. obviously worked by hand. and I found a piece of clay. it was smooth on one side. I accidently broke it in half and you could see straw in the middle. I will look for anything after a rain fall.

I guess I wasnt the first indian to live here. my aunt told me there was a well where this garden was. it never went dry during the depression when other wells dried up. I did the water witching thing and the rods went crazy in one spot. i found a well casing stone there. so I guess I know where the well used to be.

i assume it is a spring below ground. i guess that is why the arrow head, clay piece and pipe stone were there. people need water to live. they found it here. my aunt said the well was only 15 feet deep. probably long ago the water may have been closer to the surface.

i heard some people got their stimulus check. I haven’t been stimulated yet. we are in no hurry. the money will sit in the bank and it will get spent. my wants are simple. nothing I really gotta have. I wouldn’t mind traveling some where but that is out for now.

getting by

I always try to get a good picture of a nice sunset. got this one last week. it was hazy from farmers burning off fields and old hay bales. the smell of smoke hung in the air. I saw the sun setting over little soldier creek. i took several pictures to get this one I like.

i dont know how much longer this stay at home is gonna last. I am content in staying home. I have only been out 3 times in the past month. I know that aint strictly stay at home but I needed things like chicken feed, groceries. etc. I didn’t just go for one thing. I took care of as much as I could in one trip.  we had to do that in the old days.

i really believe this virus didn’t spread as bad as it could have. it is bad but could have been worse. controlling the spread happened because people stayed home. it wasn’t because of the leadership of our country. they will take credit for it though. if they had acted sooner we would have had less cases and deaths. now they are threatening to end the stay at home earlier than it should be. this isn’t over yet.

i have been busy at home working on my chores. I started my early gardening work. i tilled up my garden. I didn’t get it tilled as deep as I could. I will do that when it is time to plant. I wanted to get the ground broke and kill the weeds.

i am waiting on my riding mower to get fixed. once I have it back I will mow the yard. no big hurry on that. I will have to do that chore for the next 4 or 5 months. I plan to save much of the lawn clippings this year. I will put them into my new compost pile.

one positive thing about staying home is I am saving money. not actively trying to save, its just that I haven’t been anywhere to spend any.  i am far from getting rich though. still a poor indian but rich in other ways.

we haven’t eaten in town either. we are mostly cooking at home. we do that a lot already but more so now that we are home. we did get a bucket of fried chicken once. and a pizza from nation station, where everybody knows your name.

one thing I learned is money isnt that important. i care about my family, beliefs and health more than i do money. but then I had a life time of knowing that. it aint as important as some make it. I will take that stimulus check though.

i am on face book more during this stay at home. it is the main contact I have with some people. I communicate with them thru messaging. or on posts. I never was one to post a lot but I reach people thru social media.  I haven’t jumped into any picture challenges though. I use face time to call my daughter and grand kids. I like to see them when I am talking to them.

we didn’t get that much rain over the weekend. my garden is wet though. my potatoes should break ground this week. I think it may be a little cold for morel mush rooms though. maybe I will go for a walk sometime and check anyway. they come up when they gonna come up. when they do I will get a bag full of them. then it will be spring.

still doing spring chores.

it was windy as a politician today. so I got the old kite out. Andrew had fun flying it for awhile. his arm got tired. he  had to fight the wind. it had some strong gusts.

we just got  back from walking our two miles on the paved road. we seen many cars and a few motorcycles. most waved at us while we were walking. its different riding in a car. not many wave while driving. now and then people that know us will stop and chat with us. we don’t mind the break.

i am slowly breaking in my new nike walking shoes. just got em and only wore them twice while walking. I will only wear them for walking. the last pair I had lasted me awhile.  I would have bought some new ones even if I didn’t get the 50% discount. gotta have good shoes for walking.

the weather guy said we would have a freeze again last night. I went out side when it was almost dark. I covered my grow boxes with straw. the ones that had things growing in them. it didn’t really need it. looks like everything made it.

i am starting some more seeds. I good the starter flats I ordered. I bought enough to last me a few years. it cost too much other wise. cant just buy a single green house flat. they mark up the price.

i had to go get chicken feed the other day. I wore a face mask that some one gimmee. I also put on disposable gloves. don’t wanna seem like I am over doing it. I just wanna be safe. I bought enough chicken feed to last me over a month and a half. wont have to run to town for that again for awhile.

i was all set to mow my grass. I got on the mower and tried to fire it up. nothing. I took the battery out and charged it. it showed a green light, meaning it was charged. I put it back in and again nothing. I opened the hood thing. I took out the gas tank to see inside. the wires were all chewed up. damn pack rats. we have a problem with them critters.

i called my cuz who used to work on them. he said he don’t very much anymore. I was interested if he knew who I could take it to. he asked me what was wrong with it. I told him. he said to bring it up. I said I didn’t have a way. he came after it. I imagine he will have it fixed up in no time. he fixed my tiller last year in just a few days.

by the time I get my mower back the lawn will need mowing. it already does. thats why I was trying fire up my mower. my yard is about an acre. it takes me an hour to mow it with a riding mower. doing it with a push mower is out. I only made  my yard bigger after I got a riding mower.

still doing spring chores. that will keep me going for awhile.