see you in september

i am probably lucky i am a home body. this year because of covid there is remote learning. my grand daughters go to school part of the time. they spend the rest of the week with us, their grand parents. i am happy to get that bonding experience with them.

i always say i want to teach my grand kids. i have that opportunity now. they say parents as teachers. you can add ‘grandparents as teachers’ to that. grand parents were and always are teachers. children that grow up with multi generations teaching tend to learn more.

the grand sons come to stay with us on weekends. i showed andrew my solar powered lights in the chicken house. he said ‘thats pretty neat’ after i flipped the on switch. the lights came on.  i got his seal of approval.

summer is winding down. it will be fall in a few weeks. my garden is still hanging in there. i still have peppers growing. i have some leeks that are almost ready to pick. i already put some of them away. my first batch of cucumbers are drying up but i planted a second grow box of them. i just picked 5 fresh cucumbers off the new plants.

i bought some garlic from the farmers market. i separated the cloves. i am gonna plant them soon. garlic grows better if planted in the fall. it will be ready to be picked next summer.  i want to use my own fresh garlic cloves in cooking.

i cut open a yellowing cucumber. i seen an article about saving seeds. it said a yellowing cucumber is the one to use for seed saving. i just happened to have one.  i spooned the seeds out. i have them soaking in rain water. after a few days i will put them on a paper towel to dry. when they are dry i will store them. i will plant them next growing season. saving seeds saves money. the plants grow better too after they adjust to the environment they grow in.

i am amazed how much better my computer and television is running. the internet guy installed a new router. i dont know why the hell they didnt do that the last few times i complained about the service. i have been with them several years. i am a good customer. that gotta count for something. anyway i am getting much better service.

i thought with better internet i can get my playlists back on my iphone. i redown loaded itunes. i still couldnt get my lists to transfer to my phone. i called apple support. i was transferred about 5 times. no it wasnt a tribal program. after an hour i got a technician that helped me out. i was on the phone with him for another 40 minutes. i finally got my songs to transfer to my phone. it was worth the hassle of waiting all that time. i gotta have my music. now i gotta recreate the rest of my playlists.

waiting on my flooring bid.

more green chiles

went to the farmers market in topeekie. i seen on facebook that one stand was roasting anaheim peppers. i thought we could use more green chiles. i went to that stand to get some. they said i had to buy 6 boxes to get them roasted. otherwise i would have to wait til someone else bought some.

i asked how much for 6 boxes. they said $15. i bought them and said i will be back to pick them up. they said it would take out 7 minutes. i was fine with that.  i picked them later. the girl said to leave them in the plastic bag about an hour and they would peel themselves. i thanked her and was headed back to the rez.

mary just got back this morning. she had a long train ride but she helped me. we scraped off the remainder of the outer skin. then we cut the peppers open and scraped out the seeds. then we diced the peppers up. after we were done with that mary used our food saver thing. it sealed the  peppers into bags so we could freeze them. we ended up with about 6 pounds of green chiles. we will add that to what we already have stored away.

one might wonder why this country indian wants so many green chiles stored away for the coming year. i developed a taste for green chiles while traveling in the southwest a number of times. i like spicy food anyway. i put hot sauce i make on many things i eat. we had enough to last us most of this past year. we will have enough to last this year too.

i had mary score me some chicharrons when she passed thru Albuquerque. her brother brought them to her. i really like the taste of them with a little hot sauce. they sell pork skins at the farmers market but they dont taste like these.

i was complaining bout my internet. i called the company and they came to check it out. the technician replaced my router box. he said they only lasts a few years. now my internet works good. i can watch tv without it hanging. i was listening to pandora radio on my tv while we were doing the green chiles. i was jamming while working.

when my internet was freezing up i couldnt get roku channels very good. and i couldnt watch amazon prime. netflix was okay though. now i can get in some television watching when i am working.

i was waiting for a bid on our flooring project. some dudes were here over a week ago. they said they would send the bid. i patiently waited and no bid. i called the company and asked where my bid was. they said it just came in. they would get back to me. they better. i want to move back into my big bed room. my grandson asked when i was moving back to my room. the guest room is his. he wants me out.

will see what this coming week brings.

solar powered chicken house eh

i have been picking rabbit beans. i got some. maybe not enough to cook but at least i have seed for next year. its very important to keep the seed stock going. i still have some growing in the corn field. i also have mattwaoshe beans growing there too.

i am getting habanero peppers too. i used some of mine to make a years supply of hot sauce. i have a lot that are still green. they are slowly turning orange. i have jalapeno, anaheim and bell peppers that are starting to ripen. i will store them for this winter. i already have some of them stored away.

one of my nephews posted a picture of the house i grew up in on facebook. i took it decades ago. i was studying photography at haskell. it was a junior college at that time. i got an AA degree in liberal arts from there. i was a photographer for the school paper and year book. i developed film and prints in the dark room. that may age me some what. nobody has done that for years.

that picture reminded me of another time. i was walking over that same hill. i had a view of about half a mile in each direction. i was amazed how that neighborhood had changed since the time i grew up there. there was lotsa tribal development where there used to be empty fields. i know things change but i seen much change on the rez in my lifetime. i lived here before the tribe had money.

i was sent a text message. they were trying to recruit me to call or text voters in swing states. i was kinda interested because i dont like what our government has become. our national leaders are only puppets for special interest groups they are beholding to. they accept deaths caused by the pandemic they didnt do much to stop. they dont seem to care about black citizens being gunned down in the streets.

i was sent a link to get training for this voter drive. i seen that it was on zoom. i dont really do zoom. that kinda ended that. i will vote though. i already sent off for an absentee ballot. i will deliver it to the court house. i want to be sure my vote gets there.

i finally hooked up the solar powered lights in my chicken house. i had the solar cells charging for some time. they have a battery to store power. i turned the lights on after i installed them inside the chicken house. they work. i will use them this winter to keep the chickens laying eggs. they dont lay as much when the day light hours are shorter. lights will fix that.

now i am thinking of getting some solar power for my tool shed. i dont have power running to this shed. i want enough juice to run my power tools like saws and drills. i can have lights in this shed too. i will take my time shopping around til i find the best deal.

gotta renew our tribal tags.

happy birthday to me (kinda)….

well its not actually my birthday. its an old AA term to remember the day when I quit drinking. its like when my life started. i can buy into that. i do have a new life.  it has been 25 years for me. not bad. i don’t go to AA so i wont get a pin or medal to mark this occasion. dont matter, i know and thats enough for me.

i will never forget being told i was nothing but a drunk and thats all that i would ever be. i out lived many of the ones that said that to me. i quit for me not to prove them wrong.

i never forget where i came from either. if i do, i know a few people that would gladly remind me. once i heard ‘you dont know where you are going until you know where you have been’. i also remember some asking if i thought i “was too good” when i refused to drink with them. i never thought that. i only wanted out of a life that i knew eventually would kill me.

i  became a drug abuser some where along the line. i also got involved in too much violence. i couldnt count how many fights i got into. or the scars that i got.  i gave all that up years ago. i  buried many of my down bros. some of them died way too young. there were a number of times i almost joined them. i am always grateful i still have life.

once a guy with a drinking problem asked me how i stopped drinking. i said i dont know. i just quit. it wasnt something i was consciously trying to do, it just happened. the longer i went, the more i was aware of the fact that i no longer had alcohol as part of my life.

i burned down many golden opportunities because of my alcoholism and drug use. i dropped out of fine schools, lost many jobs and friends. many of the bad things that happened to me were the result of my wrong lifestyle.

i am writing a book. my alcohol, drugging and days of violence are the hardest things to write about. i had almost a chapter done on those times. then i lost it. i have to go back and relive those days in my mind to write about them.

they were times i don’t like to remember. i bummed around the country. i went hungry many times. i had no where to go and all the time in the world to get there. i had no purpose other than just be in the moment i was in. i call them my lost years.

i wonder what kind of life i could have had if i wasnt into all that drinking, drugging and violence. no doubt i would have had a better life. i may not know what i do now though. it is the hardships i went thru that taught me to appreciate life. i found peace by seeing violence. i know beauty by having seen ugliness. i learned compassion by seeing others that had it worse than me. the education i had couldnt be learned from a text book.

i am content in life. i have nothing to prove to any one. i am glad i am alive. happy birthday to me.

weather gonna warm up

the yard always looks nice after mowing it. i like to walk on it bare foot. we keep glass, sharp objects and any objects off of the lawn. we make sure it is kid safe. we lived in this house for 35 years. the lawn looks real good now. all the bare and uneven spots are filled in. i have trees that provide shade thru out the yard. it takes years to get a place to look like a home.

mary took a train out to california to visit our daughter. wabenokwe had lasik surgery and wasnt suppose to drive a days. mary went to help her until she got over the surgery. it is hot there compared to kansas. she isnt around any of that wild fires smoke.

the grand kids still come over.  i cherish every moment we have together.  we are managing. i have cooked meals and sent out for some. tomorrow i am cooking ham and beans. got beans soaking overnight.

i wanted to go but someone had to stay home and take care of things. i got animals to feed, grand kids to watch and gotta take care of whats left in the garden. i will take a trip at a later time. i dont worry about traveling. i know i will always get a trip in some time.

the other day i didnt know what to cook for breakfast. i went out to the garden and dug up some red potatoes. i fried them and some eggs. i kinda like that i can go out in the front yard and chicken house to find something to eat.

i had to go to town to get more chick starter. of course i wore a mask. the two month old chicks i bought are growing. i have to keep them on starter feed until they are about 14 to 18 weeks old. then i  switch them to all flock or layer. these chicks will start laying by late fall. thats why i got them.

i haven’t hooked up my solar powered lights for the chicken house yet. it has warmed up and will be hot all week. maybe i can do that in the evening. i had to clear an old trellis i had in front of the building. i grew indian beans on them. trouble is a hummingbird vine took over. i had to cut alot of the vines out. next i have to uproot them before i can plant again. first i will put up my solar powered lights.

since i have been staying home these past few months the ups truck rolls in frequently. havent reached the stage where the drivers call me by my first name. nor do they just walk in, put my packages on the table and have a cup of coffee. the delivery trucks do come here alot though.

even out here in the sticks, we can get anything delivered to our door step. who in the old days would have guess that happening on the rez. i still remember holcombs store, the only store on the rez. it was between our house and snows church. we went there a few times for pop if we had any money.

will see what this week brings.

happy birthday mom

today is my mothers birthday. she would be 92 today. she has been gone for about 19 years now. well not really gone because all of her kids and grandkids will never forget her. in that way a part of her will always be with us.

she taught me many things. i can pray in our language because of her. part of her language has already been passed on to the next generation. i grow, pick and save some of our potawatomi foods. i learned that from her. i always think of her when i am drying corn or eating wild onions. happy birthday dear mother.

i dont cook often but i can. last night i made some chicken soup. i used some chicken legs we had in the freezer. they were from the last two chickens we had. the rest were killed off by raccoons. like an old kung fu movie i got my revenge. i trapped the raccoons and killed them even if that goes against my zen nature. the chicken and rice soup was real good. home butchered chicken always taste better.

i am still looking for more chickens to raise for butchering. i check craigslist often. some want way too much for chickens. i also check out lawrence and kansas citys craiglists too. they have more choices and are with in driving distance for me. i may end up buying chicks, which are cheaper, and raising them.

dont know if we done canning yet. we do have 14 quarts of tomatoes, 16 pints of hot sauce and 14 pints of salsa canned. that wont last all year. we will have some saved though. i will be glad this winter when tomatoes cost about a buck apiece and have no taste. we have canned other things besides tomatoes.

i said i voted in our tribal run off election. well maybe i didnt. i put the ballot in the mail box outside the post office. i heard that goes to kansas city even if it is addressed to mayetta. this is at a time when the president is trynna obstruct the post office. so now maybe it wont get back to be counted. or maybe it will.

i dont see why the tribe cant delay counting votes for a week or two. thought we were sovereign or sumthin. getting ballots late, and some didnt get theirs yet, is no fault of the voters. 2/3rds of our eligible voters dont vote. it dont seem right  that some votes of the ones that actually do vote wont count.

i was mowing the yard the other day. i was almost done. i made a sharp turn and the front wheel came off. the retaining ring broke off. it is what holds the wheel onto the front axle. i got a retaining ring from my cousin who fixed my mower a coupla times. i put it on but it popped off. i put it back on and it did that again. now i dont know. maybe i will just call my cousin to fix it. cant afford a new mower right now.

my worm farm is still going. i see the worms when i feed them. they seem to be healthy. i do want to use their worm castings in  my grow boxes. i will have to add new organic matter every year. i have a compost pile but i want worm compost too. it has more nutruients than regular compost. i will try anything to have better crops.

gotta do my chores.

done painting

i hope i have enough hot sauce to last me all year. i made 16 pints of it. mary canned it for me. i used some of my habaneros, jalapenos and i even tossed in a few anaheims peppers i grew. i added some of my tomatoes and onions. i tossed in some garlic i bought at the farmers market. i simmered it on the stove and let the tastes blend together overnight. now i see if it lasts me til next year.

i finished putting on the second coat of paint in my bedroom. it looks so much better with the second coat. there is no bleed thru now. it is a solid tan color. today i have to put the electrical covers back on the light switches and plug ins. i have one vent cover to put back on too.

the flooring contractor was here to measure the bedroom for a floor covering. they will send the bid to lowes. then lowes calls me to go over how much it costs etc. i cant wait til that floor covering is done. i can move back into my bedroom. in the mean time i am in the guest bedroom with charley the goldfish.

i sent in my ballot for the tribal runoff elections. i hope it gets counted, trump is trying to sabotage the post office. i always vote. i gotta have hope we get someone in there who works for the tribe. some times we end up with some that are only in it for them selves. no one cared when we were broke ass indians. money has changed too many of our people. it brings out the worst in some of our people.

our people rag on our council all the time. as a result many wont run for office because they dont want to deal with that mentality. when we do get someone good, the charlatans run them out of town. sometimes that leaves us with the choice of picking the lesser of two evils. sometimes we can’t win. such is life eh.

i got a request form for an absentee ballot in the national election in november. i filled it out and sent it in. i have voted since i was 18. the letter i got with the form said my voting record was “average”. voting for 50 years is average?

i dont identify with democrat or republican. i vote for who ever. i was watching the democratic convention last night on tv.  i agree with many of the speakers. i think the only way trump can made america great again is if he gets voted out. indians have had authoritarian politicians like him too many times. we have to put up with them until they are voted out. most tribes are like that.

it is cooler today. the high will be in the low 80s. i will mow my yard now. i will mow when it is hot but i prefer this kind of weather to work in. i have to pick up low hanging branches i cut off. i also have corn husks and cobs in a pile from our corn drying. gotta get busy.

pass the hot sauce

week ends are when people  kick back and take it easy. when u retired, every day is a week end. or every day is a monday. i spent the  week end getting our bedroom ready for new flooring.

i had a wall paper border around the top of the ceiling. i had to take it off so i could paint. i used a hot water and vinegar solution. i sprayed it on the wall paper. i let it set awhile then scraped it off with a sheet rock knife. if the paper didnt come off easily, i wet it down some more. it came off then. that took most of the day friday.

after i got all the wall paper off, i patched nail holes. i had alot of thumb tack holes to patch too. i also had indentations from what ever. after i patch every thing i used a sanding block to smooth out any imperfections. i got white taping mud dust all over me.

saturday i put a second coat of taping mud on. after it dried i sanded it smooth. i got alot of dust on me again. that was alright because i knew i was ready to paint today.

i picked a light tan paint color.  i bought two gallons of paint. i put the first coat on today. i cut it in first. i painted where the wall meets the ceiling, and just above the floor. i also painted around the light switches and plug ins. i cut in around  windows and doors. then i used a roller to finish the walls and doors.

it looks okay but i can see some of the previous light blue trying to bleed thru. i will add a second coat of paint. that will fix that. i can probably do that before the flooring contractor comes. i get a bid from them and turn it in to housing before they start.

my daughter said she will buy us a new bed. that is to go with our new to us bedroom. i was about to say nah we good but thought why the hell not. i try to help others when i can. i wont turn someone down when they wanna do something for me.

after i was done painting i wasnt done. i made a big pot of hot sauce. i used habanero, anaheim and jalapeno peppers. i put them in with tomatoes, onions and garlic.  i added some vinegar and spices. i grew some of the tomatoes, onions and peppers.

i put them on  the stove and simmered everything together. i want the peppers to add hot to everything else. i will let it set tonight so the flavors blend together. mary will can it tomorrow. i hope i get enough to last all year. i put hot sauce on every thing. or thats what mary and my kids say.

i was busy all weekend. tomorrow i have to mow the lawn. first i have to put things up. got a few screens i dried corn on laying around. and there are some low hanging branches i cut off. there is always work. that keeps me  going. who ever told me they would be bored if they retired aint got no imagination.

new floor almost done

i have to get busy in my bedroom. we were eligible for a tribal grant. we used it to replace the floor in our new master bedroom. some of the joists and underlayment rotted out from water damage. insulation was added  around the concrete footing. plastic was laid down on top of the ground to reduce water evaporation.  treated lumber was used for joists. the floor is solid again. 

our contractor did a real good job. we are glad we went with a native owned business. he has been in business for 25 years. other indian contractors cant do work for the tribe because some dont have the insurance or other things. too bad, i know many can do the same work as non natives. 

we are getting a bid for the floor covering this coming monday. we are going with a interlocking tile that has an oak wood look. it is pictured above. i always wanted a solid wooden floor. because of costs i will get a simulated wood look instead. i can live with that. 

i have to remove the wallpaper trim near the ceiling. after that i gotta patch any nail holes or indentations. i want to paint the bedroom an earth tone to match the new oak look floor. i have to have all that done before the floor contractor comes. i dont want paint dripping on the new floor.

when all that is done, we will move back into our big bedroom. i added it on years ago with equity money we built up from paying off our house. it is 13 and half feet wide by 15 feet long. that is plenty of room. we are not cramped in this room.

we will rearrange the house after that. the grandsons guest room is 10 feet by 8 n 1/2 feet. we will move them into our old bedroom which is 12 feet by 11 feet when they come up for weekends.  we have a bunk bed for them but neither wants to sleep on top bunk. we will separate the beds in their new bedroom. they will have room for their tv and video games.

some people complain about these old hud homes. i dont. i remember growing up on this rez when our house had no electricity, running water or telephones. didnt even have gravel roads. over the years,the cedar shake shingles sprung leaks when it rained. later they were replaced with the 3 tab shingles. it had bare wood siding until a new slate siding was put on.

the old insulation settled to the bottom until new insulation was added. we used a wood stove to heat the house. it seemed like it was still cold sometimes. we didnt have storm windows or screens in them days. nothing to keep out dust or flies. i will never forget our old rez home. that old 24 foot by 24 foot house was one of the first government housing projects n the rez. we added on porches and rooms later.

i lived in this house on my mishos allotment for the past 35 years. thats more than i have lived any where else. we made this a home. we paid all costs on the upkeep of our home. i built a chicken house, tool shed, wood shed, sweat lodge, fireplace and a garden here. i planted 30-40 trees that are 30 to 50 feet high. i never forget my days of bumming around with no place to go and all the time  to get there. i appreciate i have a home.

cups n tomatoes

i took a picture of my pendleton cup collection. i need a picture so i dont buy the same design when i shop for a new cup. these cups arent made in pendleton, oregon. the are actually made in thailand. i guess that makes them knockoffs. but they kinda have indian designs on them. horses, buffalos and feathers right?

lotsa people make a buck off selling goods to indians. this has gone on since the old trading post days. some overcharge because they know indians have to buy from them. its like ‘buy from me chief, or go home without’ so you gotta lay your money down.

i was given a few of these pendleton cups as gifts. i had quite a few of them when i started to collect them for the hell of it. i gave some away. i sold a few duplicates and bought others that i didnt have. i usually buy when our gift shop gives a 20% discount to tribal members.

i like these cups because they are the right size for my morning cup of colombian supremo coffee. i dont have a favorite cup. i just grab one and drink my coffee. i add to it when i get some cash like per cap or covid check. now this indian has 24 cups.

my tomatoes arent producing much. i bought 40 pounds of tomatoes off craigslist. i want to make a years supply of hot sauce. i am getting down to my last jars. some of my habaneros are ripening. they are turning orange. the bushes are full but not all are orange yet. i also have jalapenos getting ready. i will use a box of onions i grew.  i prefer my home made hot sauce.

i was picking sema this morning. i seen a hummingbird going after the flowers of the sema plants. the first time i seen a humming bird here was in my sema bed. after that i started putting out feeders. now i have 4 feeders around the yard. i also have a big humming bird vine growing on my tool shed and chicken house. the birds get plenty of nectar at my place.

nothing has bothered my chickens. those hens are fattening up to be soup size. but something is eating up all my cantaloupes. i have some watermelons almost ripe. i hope to get a few before the critters eat them too. the rabbits can fatten up so i can eat them this winter.

some one sent me a link about boarding school survivors. a group called the native american boarding school healing coalition is gonna send a “we love you” care package to the first 1000 to sign up. survivors have to be 60 years old.  i filled out the form. they said they got my request and will check it out.

the packages are to bring ‘joy and healing for them’. if i dont get one, hell with it. nothing will make me forget how cruel those ‘people of God” were. on the other hand if i get the t shirt and some gifts i will take them. beats the hell out of the apology some gave.

gotta do my chores.