canning tomatoes

today we are (or more accurately mary is) canning tomatoes. i help by staying the hell out of her way. or i will do something to save her time or effort. we have 40 pounds of tomatoes. dont know how many quarts we will end up with.

i  made some pico de gallo. next i want to make some more hot sauce. i am running low. i put hot sauce on most things. my habanero peppers are still small. they havent changed color. they will turn orange, then i can make hot sauce. i will add some of my jalapenos to the hot sauce. i will also use my onions.

i know i gotta take every thing i see on face book with a grain of salt. i seen where people are warning others not to plant these unmarked seeds if they get them in the mail. i had to laugh. most people dont garden at all. it is very unlikely anyone will plant any of those seeds.

we have been getting lotsa rain. maybe not as much as topeekie. they have flooding down there. it is nice to see our cricks running. some years there was no water but a few pockets.

i tried mowing my yard yesterday but the grass clumped together. that aint good on the mower. i will wait til it dries out some. it isnt that tall yet. i try to keep up with it. my mower needed work done on it twice this year. it is working fine now.

this rain should make my ears of corn fill out. it is getting closer to being ready. i will be drying corn real soon. i havent remade any of my drying screens yet. the weight of the corn tears the screen loose from the staples.  i dont think i will need very many screens this year.

i got my primary ballot ready to mail. it is kinda a rip off. i gotta pay $1.20 in postage. most of the places where candidates names shoulda been were empty. they were like township clerk or township treasurer.  in other races some one ran unopposed. i had the option of writing in any ones name. basically my vote can only help decide two races.

my vermicomposting system is still going. i feed the worms every few days. i see the worms around the corner where i put the food. i add shredded paper or card board. i also add coffee grounds or ground up egg shells. the egg shells is the needed grit they use for digesting.

when this corona virus was just starting, some one asked me if i was ready to practice social distancing. i replied i have been doing that for 20 years. i added you never know who is mad at you, your family or your dog. it doesnt even have be any thing you did. some people act mean to others because they cant handle their own lives.

i have done more spring cleaning. i finished redoing the storage room in the garage. i added a  big work bench in it.  i need more work space in the garage. i am moving things out of the way. it takes time to get every thing stored.

gotta wait for things to dry out to do more work.

da plane

i was kicking back when i heard a plane fly real low over the house. no, no i dont smoke it no mo.  i had to go see. it was a crop dusting plane. it was spraying the corn field south of us. it kept circling over our house.  i dont understand why they spraying, that corn is about ready. maybe to stop dem indians from getting corn for pugnah.

last year another spray plane was working this area. i read complaints on  facebook about why is it on the rez, some one oughta report it, etc.  i wondered where have these people  been. spray planes have been dusting crops in this area for the past twenty or thirty years. it was usually a yellow plane that did the spraying.

i dont know if the comet neowise is still visible or not. i wanted to take a picture of it. we went out to look for it several times. it was cloudy a few nights we were out. one night it was clear. we scanned the sky near the big dipper. we looked to the side of where it was suppose to be, instead of directly at it. we thought we seen the glow of it. or maybe we just wanted to see it. but i believe we seen it. no picture though.

my chickens are still alive. no varmints have been after them. i havent caught anything in the traps for the past two weeks. i nailed corrugated sheets of metal over the fiberglass panels that let light in. the fiber glass got brittle and the raccoons learned it was easier to break. crafty little critters.

the chicken house is dark inside now. i lost the light i had. i ordered some solar powered lights off the internet. i have been wanting to do that. sometimes chickens wont lay as much in the winter. extending the light in a day spurs them to lay eggs when daylight hours are shorter. i want fresh eggs in the winter too.

this morning, i entered a coupla my roaches into an art show. it will be at our casino this friday. i dont expect to win any prizes or to sell any roaches. i just like to display my art work. i take pride in my work. i have been doing these for over 40 years now.

i tried to pop a kernel of my indian corn with my thumb. thats how i know when it is ready. i didnt feel it pop. the ears arent fully developed yet. they are getting bigger. i think i may get enough corn to dry. i will be happy with what ever i get. i like my indian corn so much that i am willing to put all that work into growing it. it is worth it to me.

i was asked about my garden. i said i was lucky. it would be more accurate to say i am lucky i learned from my failures. one year i got a hundred crooked neck squash. another year i didnt get any. thats the way it goes. i roll with it. i have enjoyed a number vegetables this year. i know there will be years when i dont get any.

i will go watch my grand son play baseball tonight. that is if it dont get rained out.

gonna have green chiles

 

i went to the farmers market in topeekie yesterday. this indian gets off the rez now and then. i needed more veggies for my juicing. i got in some walking and i checked out what other people are selling. most of those farmers grow a lot more than i do. i only grow food to store for us to eat during the coming year. i dont sell any of my produce.

i noticed a stand that had anaheim peppers. the dude was selling them for 4 bucks a box or two for $7. i wanted some so we could have green chiles to cook with right now. mine arent ready yet. i bought $14 worth of anaheims. if i was gonna buy any i wanted enough to make our labors worth while.

it was hot outside but i got a fire going in our fire ring. i have lotsa elm branches i had cut up. they came from a tree in our yard that fell over. the wind got it.  it took us awhile to get a good bed of coals.  we roasted the peppers over a fire in spite of the heat.  we were in the shade but it was still hot. this morning we added fresh green chiles to our hash browns for breakfast.

we will fix more green chiles when mine are done. i picked two big ones this morning. more are forming. i keep watering my grow beds. mary took out some pork from the freezer for some green chile stew. we will use my new potatoes and our roasted green chiles for that. it will go into the crock pot and simmer all day. that will be our supper.

i also wanted some cantaloupes and water melons. mine are still growing. i have one hill that has 7 cantaloupes a little smaller than a volleyball growing out of it. there were many stands at the farmers market that had melons. i bought two cantaloupes and one watermelon. i gotta eat them while they are in season.

i haven’t grown garlic. i bought two garlic bulbs. i will separate the cloves and plant them in my grow beds this fall. they will be ready to pick next year. i add garlic to many things that i cook. i use it when i cook turtle or shrimp. it takes away the gamey taste.

i had been putting my chickens in a cage at night. i still had traps set though. i havent caught anything in about two weeks.  maybe i got the critters that killed my chickens. or some other critter did. i thought it is worth a gamble to see if our problem was solved. last night we left the chickens out. they were all here this morning. i may call that one farmer who had hundreds of rhode island reds. i would buy some of them for next year.

i still get a kick out of political ads. both parties accuse the the other of being crooks. i think both parties are crooks. politicians created the problems we have. it has gotten to the point where we have to choose the lesser of two evils.

what will this week bring?

garden is producing

still getting more vegetables from my grow beds. i watered them during the heat we had. i also added straw as mulch to keep the moisture in. my plants have survived. there will be more heat though. but at least the plants are healthy.

my anaheims are getting big enough to pick and roast. then i will have green chiles. my bell peppers are getting there too. my jalapenos and habaneros are forming. i will add some epsom salts around the base of the plants. that will give them a boost in producing more peppers.

i have been picking kale for awhile now. i use it in my juicing. we made kale chips too. i picked some leeks. i have more growing. i use peppers, onions and leeks in cooking. leeks really make turtle taste good.

the grand daughters have been coming over. they have fun hanging out at misho and grandmas. they come out to watch me feed the chickens. they like to watch the chickens. kinikwe makes sounds like the chickens. cracks me up.

we are still walking. we have logged 6 miles so far this week. we should get an 8 mile week in. we havent for a coupla weeks. the heat stopped us. we keep walking though. we are on pace to have two 30 mile months in a row. now and then people stop to talk to us. we get some visiting in and still maintain social distancing.

this country had a million new cases of covid in two weeks. wonder how it would be if our “leaders” had acted months ago. they spent more time sending in goon troops to police peaceful demonstrators. they even tear gassed a bunch of moms that acted as a shield for the protesters. the government’s stance is we wont help you in a pandemic but protest and we all over you and that goes for yer mom too.

our governor signed a decree to open schools later in september. but this is kansas. no one wants to obey a democrat governor. some want to open school sooner. some believe that children cant catch covid. hmmm. its like lets send out the children first. if that works,  then we can go out. kids going to school will really get the economy going. if schools dont open we will cut funding. yeah that will teach them.

speaking of kansas. i get a kick out of the political ads. this is a red state. in most ads,  the one running proclaims they are pro trump, pro nra, pro life and for the wall. and they bad mouth “liberals”. i will be glad when the election is over. tired of hearing some of this stuff.

my indian corn is getting closer to being picked. it looks good. the stalks have two or three ears. i hope to get a good crop this year. i am getting low on my dried corn supply. i enjoy a bowl of corn soup so much that i will put in the work to get one.

gotta do some chores.

gardening work paying off

you cant dry your corn until it is done. the rains we had is making it grow. the rain came at the right time. last year we dealt with 100 degree heat around this time. cant control the weather so we have to accept what it gives us.

deer were eating my corn stalks early on. i didnt get as many corn stalks are usual. the ones i do have are healthy. it looks like i am getting two or three ears of corn on each stalk. some stalks are short and not producing but overall the corn looks good.

it is still too early to tell but it looks like i might get a good crop this year. i better get to fixing my screens i use to dry the corn on. last fall i bought a whole roll of screen at a good price. probably half the cost of buying individual rolls of screen.

i planted sunflowers in my rows of corn. they are companion crops. this is the first year i have tried planting them together. dont know if it works but my corn sure looks good. it is tall too. i will use the sun flowers as bird feed. i might even try salting some and baking it. we like sunflower seeds.

my watermelons are doing good. i have the round crimson sweet. this rain has made them grow. my cantaloupes took a while to grow but now they have fruit on the vines. my mexican kickapoo squash is vining out all over. no squash or flowers yet. they are growing good though.

i will get a second picking of sema. this rain has made it grow too. i had been watering it during the early heat we had. i kept it alive. there were times that it was wilting. it would rejuvenate after the trees shaded it and i watered it. glad i put that work into it. i should have enough to last us for awhile.

i got a friend request on facebook. it was from a guy i made a roach for back in the 90s. the 1990s, not the 1890s. he is interested in another roach. that was nice to hear that he still had the one i made. he passed it on to his son. i will make him one that others will wish they had.

i am still putting my chickens in a cage at night. no critters have returned to my chicken house. i still have traps set. i wont give up on trying to catch whatever comes around. if these chickens survive i will buy more chicks for next year. i will feed them all winter and have plenty of eggs next year.

there are these big bugs that fly around our yard light. (i bet some old timers remember when there were only a few yard lights on the whole rez. you turned those ones on with a switch.) these bugs land in my rain barrels. there are lotsa them. i scoop them up and toss them to my chickens. i toss grass in there too. chickens that forage for insects and grass have better eggs.

got chores to do. that is what keeps this old guy going.

thunder rolled in

i woke up to the sound of thunder rolling thru. i like that sound. when i use to be bumming around the country in my younger days the sound of thunder always reminded me of home. i thought of the times they made us put sema down when we heard thunder.

my ears of corn have been forming. this rain will give them a good growth spurt. it is getting close to picking time. i will dry my corn. it wont be a bumper crop but i will take what i get.

the grand kids wanted ‘smores yesterday. i had to make a fire in our fire ring. i am getting my $40 worth out of that fire ring. we waited til late afternoon when the shade covered the area. it was hot out but it felt good in the shade. it only took 35 years for the shade to cover our yard.

i mowed yesterday. i wanted that done before the expected rains. i didnt want the grass to get too tall. that aint too good on the mower. again the shade came in handy. i would get to cool off while mowing under the 30 or 40 trees i planted over the years.

there is a shortage of coins. our casino is offering $10 in free play if you cash in your coins. i slacked off gambling drastically so i had mary take my coins over. she played the 10 bucks. my coins totaled $184. the cashier said that was the most turned in so far. i save all my change, i usually cash them in before taking a trip.

i am getting a kick out of the political ads on tv. the politicians dont run on their own merit. they have to cut the other candidate down. now i see where our tribal politicians get that. i remember old people saying everything the world has, we have. no doubt.

i notice some places are announcing that face masks are now required. walmarks comes to mind. thats very proactive. wonder why this wasnt done earlier. say like 3 or 4 months ago. some people get all strung out over wearing a mask. they feel their freedom is taken away. wow what a tough life they can tell their grand children about.

i have been eating lotsa in season produce. i grew some and i bought some at farmers markets. its rare i buy produce from grocery stores. unless its off season. so far i am filling up on cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, new potatoes, radishes, onions, kale, strawberries, black berries, blue berries, sweet corn and peaches. gotta eat all i can cuz this winter they wont taste as good as they do now. nor will they be as cheap.

i ordered a new tent. thanks covid check. some of the poles on my old tent broke in a wind storm. i called and emailed the company that sells replacement poles. no answer. i did order the same tent so now i will have replacement poles if needed.

the tent will hold 7 people. not that many camp with us. i like to have an air mattress and my lawn chairs in the tent. i also like room to be able to change my clothes. cant wait until i can camp out. i will set the tent up in the back yard. i will camp out with the grand kids.

did my chores this morning.

heat wave

seen some new buffalo calves that were born this spring. had to get a picture even if i was far away.  i kinda miss seeing a big herd. the tribe sold some of our buffalo. i know buffalo need more land to graze on but it was nice  seeing a big herd.

i ordered two more books on quillwork. the two new books only cost 5 bucks each. i am looking for more. the one i already bought about quillwork on birch bark wasnt so much instructional as it was pictorial art. i want to learn how add quillwork to a fan i have. i seen an old fan with birch bark on the handle.

i have dyed quills with dye i used on deer tails for my roaches. i had a coupla hides someone sold me. i plucked the quills off myself. first i had to soak the hide to loosen the quills. i have a supply of quills on hand now to practice trying to do quillwork.

the reason i want to mess with quills is i have opportunities to buy quills. i get asked that from trappers who want to sell me their porcupine hair.  they have the porkys already just need a market for the quills. they ask me how much i would pay. i never know how to respond to that.

porcupine quills from the indian supply houses cost too much for my taste. those places always charge too high. they know the indian market has to take it or leave it. thats why i will try to buy from trappers. we cut out the middle man. i would buy all the quills from several porcupines if i got a good price. the trappers toss them otherwise.  i will see this next season.

i have been watering my plants from the rain barrels. i also use the garden hose for my raised beds. i want to keep my plants alive in this coming heat. they are predicting a heat index of 105 to 110 degrees today. i do my chores in the morning or evening.  i will stay inside with the central air on. we lived a lifetime without it. now it is nice to have.

i havent caught any more raccoons. its been over a week and a half. i still cage the chickens at night. just in case. i am getting about 3 eggs a day. i think i have 2 roosters and 9 hens. production should go up soon i am guessing. i noticed the chickens roosted on the small roosts i put up for chicks. they will learn.

i was talking about a mail in ballot. i did get one in the mail for the primary election. i forgot i sent that it. i believe it was online. i will probably send for a mail in ballot for the november elections now. if i can vote from home i will.

i continue to be disappointed with my internet. i had to buy a hotspot so the kids could play their games. then i bought a wifi repeater that was suppose to help with our slow internet that kept dropping signal. it didnt. granted i did buy a cheaper model. i thought if it worked i could upgrade later. nothing happened with it.  i call the internet people but it seems they dont really give a damn as long as they get paid.

gonna stay cool today.

comet, chickens n mail in ballot

i took andrew to his baseball game in lawrence last night. the game was at 7:45. the sun was gonna down as the game ended. i wanted to see if i could get a picture of the comet that is passing by. no luck seeing that. it was cloudy in the northwest. i did get this red sunset picture though.

i have been out every evening trying to see this comet. it has been cloudy almost every night. i know i wont be around in 8 thousand years when it comes back. next week it is suppose to be visible with out binoculars. i will have my nikon ready.

another raccoon got into my chicken house a few days ago. it killed 2 chickens. since then i have put the chickens into a cage for the night. the coon cant break into that cage. i let the chickens out in the day. it only takes about ten minutes to cage them or let them out.

i have to patch the hole in the roof where the coon got into. it is the plexiglass that lets light in. it gets brittle and thus breakable. i will cover it with corrugated sheet metal. i need to replace a couple of boards and maybe the door too. more work to do.

i am thinking i will fatten these chickens up to butcher them. they are a hybrid. they were raised in a pen. they dont know how to roost in the roof rafters. nor can they fly up to the nests i built to lay their eggs.  they will become soup. dumb chickens. thats why i prefer heirloom breeds like rhode island reds, barred rocks or buff orpingtons.

`this corona virus is proving it is not a hoax. positive cases are going up, not flattening out. human lives are the sacrificial pawns to get the economy going. records for positive cases are being set daily over the past week or two. forget the second wave, the first wave isnt over.

now our government is pushing to open schools under the threat of holding back funding if they dont open. nothing has been done to make kids safe from school shooters so that isnt a big surprise. we are the country that has locked up kids at the border for a few years. that lack of humanity shows how much we care for kids.

i try playing it safe. it dont matter. many arent wearing masks or practicing social distancing. i have stayed home the past few months. i even stayed away from ceremonies. i am 68 years old and have arthritis. i take pills for diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol. recently i had to start injecting insulin because of my diabetes. i would be considered a high risk for contacting the virus.

some may wonder why i havent gone. my beliefs are what i live by. they are not in a building or ceremonial ring. my life is what i believe in. i dont have to prove that to anyone. i am trying to stay safe because i have more work to do. i want more years to teach my grand kids.

i dont know if i want to request an absentee ballot for the november elections. i probably will end up doing so. mayetta dont have that many voters. there is never a line in that small town. i have voted since i was 18 years old. i may have missed an election back in my bumming around days.

got to get to my chores.

we aint indians either

they finally will change the redskins name. that is probably because of the social awareness the protests brought to the public. the white house press secretary said a poll showed that 90% of indians didnt mind the term redskin. i must be in the 10% that didnt feel honored. some probably think that the indians at standing rock didnt mind the rubber bullets, tear gas and attack dogs either.

i have worn a redskin or cleveland indian baseball cap before. not that i agreed with it but indians just werent in the public consciousness years back. it was either the savage indian, chief wahoo or tonto that we seen. then came billie jack who didnt even look indian. we had nothing to identify with.

i am a big fan of the kansas city chiefs. i dont know what to make of the name. i have gone to a few of their foot ball games. i never did like the tomahawk chop. nor do i like people dressing up like what they think indians look like. the chiefs organization would show some class if they stopped all that. they are a championship team. act like it.

when i was going to college some dude asked me if i lived on the reservation. i said yeah. he wanted to come take pictures of indians. he said he wanted old people that were real wrinkled. dont know what his thought was but i didnt help him out.

some have asked me about the use of the term reznjun. they said it was a stereotype. i answered that back in my youth i was called a f#$@&+! injun so many times. i got into many fights over that. i know that violence isnt the answer but i did stop some from ever using that term to me again.  i once heard you can say a word over and over until it means nothing. to me the silent prejudice hurt more than any word. people that havent experienced that probably wont get that.

when i was a young lad i thought it would be nice to be a carpenter. i went to take a test to become an apprentice. i scored 98 out of a 100 on the test. the dude administering the test told me ‘thats pretty good for an indian’. without hesitation i said ‘thats pretty good for a white man’. i was kinda radical in them days. i didnt get the job. no one liked uppity indians then.

that wasnt the first or last time i was denied a job because of what i was. i learned to live with that.  some new wave indians think us brown, country indians are dumb and need to get out of their way. that kind of prejudice coming from your own people is the worse.

i get on facebook because it is nice to get away from the real world now and then. i got nominated to show my work for 10 days. at first i was hesitant. then i thought what the hell. i do a number of crafts. i create art with my hands that i am proud of. why not show it. i dont know if i have 10 days worth of work though. if not, i will let it go at that.

i drank a coupla gallons of indian tea so far. i have a big batch of tea curing out. i should have enough to last me until next years picking. it is a good tonic. at my age i will use any help i can get.

got chores to do.

seen a few animals

 

i was driving by the buffalo pen the other day. i stopped to check out the buffalo. i seen one on the top of a dirt pile. i knew then it was a rez buffalo. it was playing king of the hill but no one else really wanted to play. if it was thinking it coulda leapt over the fence. then it woulda spent all its time trying to get back in.

this morning i glanced out my front window and i seen a deer in the yard. might be one of those that nibbled my corn. if any of them are still around this winter, they will end up in a pot. their rawhide will be stretched over a hand drum frame.

i have been missing raising chickens. i fixed that. i seen an ad on craigslist for hy line chickens. that is a hybrid genetically altered to be superior egg layers.  these were 12 to 18 months old and lay big brown eggs. the chickens were 5 bucks each. i took all 13 of them. thank you covid check.

they are a passive breed. that should be good for my grand kids. the grand kids like to go outside and watch the chickens. sometimes they help me gather the eggs.

i would much prefer heirloom breeds like rhode island reds, buff orpintons or barred rocks. none of these were for sale at a good cost. i buy chicks of these breeds because it is cheaper to raise them instead of buying laying hens. i didnt want to wait for chicks to grow so i bought these. i want eggs now.

it was a good sunday drive picking up the chickens. we had to go to baldwin city. that is an hour drive from here. on the way back i stopped at a look out tower south of lawrence. it is about 3 stories high. it is on top of a hill and overlooks the surrounding area. it has a good view. it was a good break from the short drive. we then headed back to the rez.

i nailed a couple of sheets of corrugated metal on top of the chicken house. i seen where the raccoons got in.  the metal covered the holes. while i was working i noticed a couple of the chickens squaring off. it looked like their combs were longer than the rest. they must be roosters. i will keep the dominant one and eat the other.

i dont know if any more critters will come around to try to kill these chickens. i trapped 3 raccoons and one possum. i had traps set for the past week. i havent caught anything. i am hoping i got the chicken killers. i went ahead and bought these new chickens because i gotta take a chance every thing is alright. only one way to find out. i will keep traps set.

now i add feeding and watering chickens back to my list of daily chores. it is worth it to  me. i would rather eat fresh eggs instead of store bought. fresh always taste better. some say they dont notice the difference. i can sure taste it. thats why i raise chickens.

it was a good day. start of a new week.