a busy Saturday

i took a picture with my sisters in a photo booth, i was given another turtle, and my nephew graduated from high school.

it rained heavy yesterday. then it rained again last night. last year we were in near drought conditions. most likely not this year. we have had five and a half inches of rain so far this month. when transplanting my tomatoes last week i dug down a foot and it was still mud.

i am glad i took a gamble on that small window of opportunity last Monday and planted my indian corn. it should break ground this week. i have hoping that i get a good crop of corn this year. it is sacred to me. i wonder how many will get corn this year. not many grow it anyway.

since i have most things planted i have the attitude ‘let it rain’. i doubt others feel the same though. we have had so much rain that many haven’t gotten anything planted yet. the ground will stay wet most of this week.

it may be awhile before some get their gardens tilled. i am glad i built many grow boxes. they are ready to plant any time in the spring. just have to add fresh compost to them. i had to repair a few boxes but the rest were ready. that’s why i have a good start on my gardening.

i had a couple of graduation picnics to go to yesterday. i missed a call but got a text. someone wanted to know if i wanted a turtle. i said sure and went to pick it up. i wouldn’t have time later. the grandsons jumped in the car so they could see the turtle. i have two more to clean now. oh well, i will take care of them.

i was given some nenwezhek too. i have to get out and pick some this week. it should be plentiful this year with all the rain we had. i want to put some away. i will pick as much as i can.

i tried not to eat too much because i had two picnics to go to. on the way to the one on the rez the rain poured down. it really dumped a lot of rain. it eventually eased up. i got wet getting out of the car. once inside i was alright.

they had a photo booth at my nephews graduation celebration. my grand son made me take a picture with him. i was still in the booth when my sisters came to have one of us. the booth had props to wear while taking pictures. i wore a few while taking pictures to prove i can be a sport.

i enjoyed visiting with my relatives and having a good meal. i had to take off to the Kickapoo rez. there was another graduation celebration there. it was for my grand son. i am called misho by a lot of people now. seems where ever i go i am called uncle or misho. i like that.

this coming week end is the Brownville flea market. it is a mile long. i have been going to this one for years. maybe i will get my smoked turtle leg there. it is a two hour drive there. it takes me a couple of hours to walk thru all the stands. that tires me out. i have the two hour drive home to rest up.

will see what this week brings.

went to daycare pow wow

we got out of the house and went to the daycare pow wow.

my grand daughters kinikwe and miamikwe go to our daycare on the rez. i have nieces and nephews that go there too. the school had a graduation pow wow at peoples park yesterday. i needed a break from doing chores all week. we went over to support the kids.

i kicked back in my new lawn chair i got for my birthday. my old one broke. you cant pow wow without a personal lawn chair. there is always some street theater at pow wows. a few try their best to get noticed. that aint necessary. this is the rez. everyone knows who’s here.

the girls danced almost every song. i was able to visit with many friends and relatives. some just waved or nodded. a few shook my hand. that’s why i get out and about. i like to be around other people especially ones i know.

the day care gave away door prizes. i waited for them to draw my number. it didnt happen. i was hoping i would win another fishing pole. i have been so busy i haven’t had a chance to go fishing yet. once planting is all done and i am caught up with spring cleaning i will go fishing.

the day care was closed the rest of the day so we watched the girls. i enjoy anytime i can spend with my grand kids. they always make themselves at home at mishos’ and grandmas’ house. they rode some tricycles we bought at sparks flea market. we didnt have enough when four grand kids are here.

i cleaned the snapping turtle i had. it is now in the freezer. i will cook that later. i went to topeekie to buy some things. i found a note on my door when i got home. it said there was a turtle in the barrel. i leave a barrel in the garage just for that purpose. i am one Indian that really likes the taste of turtle.

while in town i bought a few companion plants to put in my grow boxes. i added leeks, egg plant and basil to my pepper plants. they grow good together. the boxes dwarf the small plants in them. i know that the grow boxes will be full of peppers when they are full grown. i will get plenty of peppers. i also added a dill plant to the box with cilantro. they grow together.

i am glad i found some leek plants. i used them in cooking soups and stews. i use them to cook turtle with too. i already transplanted the new plants as soon as i got home. i watered them. some of the plants were getting root bound. i pull some of the roots apart so they take root in the grow boxes.

i have a couple of graduation picnics i am going to tomorrow. one will be here on the rez. the other will be on the Kickapoo rez. i will try to watch how much i will eat. i have lost a few pounds from being so active doing spring chores.

grateful i got my indian corn planted

i have most of my garden planted. just a few things left.

i have 14 raised beds planted now. i have cabbage, onions, strawberries, radishes, cilantro, Anaheim peppers, bell peppers, habanero peppers, jalapeno peppers, okra, kale and cucumbers. my lettuce, leeks and spinach didnt come up. probably too cold when they should have been germinating.

i already had potatoes planted in my field garden. they already broke ground. i plant them in hills so the saturated ground didnt rot them out. i planted red potatoes. i like them boiled, fried, grilled or as new potatoes.

i planted my indian corn on monday. the weather report predicted a 40% chance of rain on Tuesday. i thought maybe the ground would never dry out. i had to take a chance and planted my corn.

it took some doing to plant the corn. the ground was still muddy. it was harder to dig a furrow to drop the seed in. it was also harder to cover the seeds. wet soil dont move as easily as dry soil. it is heavier too. it was a good thing my son joe came to help. he has for years. we planted 14 rows that are bout 100 feet long.

i was worried i would never get corn planted with all the rain that is predicted. now the corn will catch the rain. it should germinate well. later i will plant indian beans when the corn is bout three inches tall. then i will plant my squash. i have cantaloupes and watermelons to plant too. plenty of time for that.

i transplanted 8 tomato plants. i have different heirloom plants. i added Epsom salt to the hole i dug to put the tomatoes in. i noticed the fish heads and guts i buried there last fall pretty much decompose into the soil. that will help the tomatoes grow. some of the tomato plants had flowers on them. i pinched them off. they need to develop a good root system before i let them bear fruit.

i am glad i have all these things in the ground especially my indian corn. aint no maybe, might, gonnas. all of it is planted. now if it rains, it will help my garden grow. i have already eaten kale and radishes.

while i was working in the yard the past few days humming birds buzz right by me. i heard them and they are gone. i see them at the feeders i put out for them. next time i am in town i will buy some more feeders.

i still have plenty of things to keep me busy. i never know what will come up.

more planting?

i stop to look at our buffalo on the way to nation station sometimes.

i fixed three more grow boxes yesterday. the boards warped and the wood screws broke. or the corner posts rot out and the screws come loose. i have to take the whole thing apart and replace the boards. i replace them with the oak flooring boards i bought at a garage sale.

the cost of building my grow boxes aint very much. the ones i fixed over have lasted several years. i said as cheap as it costs i dont mind if i have to make the grow boxes over every few years. its nothing compared to the fresh veggies, berries and herbs i get. i aint certified as organic but i know there are no chemicals in food i raise. and it tastes better than what the grocery stores sell.

i bought plants at the Lawrence farmers market. i stopped there after Andrews soccer game. i didnt find any Abe Lincoln tomato plants at the topeekie farmers market. the lady that i bought my others from said she had two more plants at home. she will bring them for me next Saturday.

i bought some more roma tomato plants at Lawrence. i bought two other tomato plants from some dude who said they were real good plants. he said he grows them on his farm. he takes them to farmers markets. i listen to any growers for tips.

i already have 11 grow boxes with plants in them. i will transplant what i got from the Lawrence farmers market into the 3 grow boxes i just repaired. i will add compost to each box. i will fill one box with cucumbers. one with bell peppers. i have a sweet potato in water to get some slips from it. i will plant sweet potatoes in the other box.

my grand sons were helping me. we added straw to most of the grow boxes as mulch especially the strawberries. we dont want the berries to lay on the ground. the boys seen the strawberry plants already have berries forming on them. we also added mulch all around each grow box. i dont want any weeds in the boxes or on the side.

i told the boys i didnt have any cash on me. i will pay them next week end for helping me. Andrew said ‘i will remind you’. i know that he will to. i dont mind paying them for working. it teaches them you work, you get paid.

with all the rain we had, it looks like i will have to mow the yard again. i have already several times. the grass is getting taller with the rain we had. i dont mind mowing. it only takes bout an hour. i can listen to music while mowing.

yesterday was mothers day. we ate at a Chinese restaurant. i paid for marys dinner. i thought of my mother. she taught me so much in my life time. she was a good teacher. i will teach my kids and grand kids her teachings and other things i learned.

i had two fields tilled up before the rains came. i want to plant indian corn in them when ever the fields dry out. as soon as i can work the field i will plant my corn. all the rain we got only makes me more determined to get the corn in. last night i seen the moon and stars out for the first time in a few days. it has been cloudy or rainy a lot lately.

i haven’t had a chance to climb on the roof to put up my outdoor antenna yet. i made getting my garden in and spring cleaning a priority. i wont mind another month of cable before i cut it loose. i have to move the chicks off the back porch into the chicken house too. i stay busy. i relish my days off when i get them.

another day older

been feeding my humming birds. i thought why not try to get a picture of one with my Nikon. i couldn’t get close enough with my cell phone.

we went to eat at a Japanese restaurant for my birthday last night. when given a choice of where to eat i chose it because i haven’t been there in awhile. the chef cooked in front of us and put on a show. I’ve seen it enough times that i had my stoic indian face on. my grand kids enjoyed it especially when the flames shot high into the air.

we started with miso soup and a salad with ginger dressing. i had the filet mignon and shrimp. the chef even piled on some chicken which i didnt order. it was good with the rice and veggies.

my plate was piled so high i couldn’t finish it. i filled a to go box. it wasnt the first time off the rez for this indian but i sure enjoyed the food. it was a good birthday with my wife and some of my kids n grand kids.

i was glad we went to dinner. i had a busy day. it started with me going to the blood drive at the health center. i donated my red blood cells. they had a computer glitch so we had to wait an hour before we even started. once i was hooked up to the machine it didnt take long.

i used to work at the health center for bout 5 years. some of the staff grilled for those that donated blood. i ate a couple of hot dogs. i got a few birthday wishes from some of the staff i worked with. i also got a few text messages from family wishing me a happy birthday. i am too old for cake, ice cream and the singing.

after i left the clinic i worked most of the day doing more spring cleaning. i cleaned more of the car port and part of my tool shed. i can find my tools now and i have a clean work bench. i also weeded my sema patch. it was getting over grown because of all the rain we had. i stripped some of the bark off my fireplace poles.

i have an old boom box that blares out the sound when i work. radio stations dont always play music i like. i remembered i had one of those old bose radio/cd players. i hooked my cell phone up to it so i could listen to one of my play lists. my play lists contain only music i like. they have hundreds of my favorite songs. i work better with my kind of music.

my plans to plant my corn yesterday got cancelled. the field was too muddy. i seen some deer tracks in my garden. they were in a half circle. the deer walked halfway into the garden then turn around. it must have been too muddy even for that deer.

it rained a little last night. i am hoping my ground dries out. it will sooner or later. i will still plant my indian corn when it does. i gotta have my corn. i know the ground has moisture deep down. after this rain the water just ran off. the ground was so saturated. i will definitely plant two fields of corn this year.

today i will go watch Andrews soccer game in lawrence. it is his last soccer game this year. i haven’t been to one yet. i better go to support my grandson. he always looks for us when ever we are at any of his games. he wants to know if we see him.

on the way down there i will stop at the farmers market in topeekie to replace the plants i lost. it is the only place i can find Abe Lincoln tomato plants. on the way back i will get some gold fish at a bait shop. i will put them in my rain barrels. another busy day.

almost my birthday

tomorrow is my birthday. while it may be just another day for others i will celebrate it. i usually get philosophical about it. i look back at my life and i feel grateful i am still here. there are more years behind me than i have ahead of me.

i grew up on the rez. i witnessed the changes it went thru during my lifetime. we didnt have electricity, running water, telephones or computers when i was real young. we didnt have paved roads, many weren’t even graveled. many spoke potawatomi. there weren’t many jobs here. most of the few hundred indians that lived here were poor.

i always considered the rez my home. life took me to many other places. i felt i never really belonged there. i went to parochial boarding school, job corps, a few colleges, the military and relocation. i started out on the rez but always returned here. this was home.

there was a point in my life where i rejected everything. this may have started in boarding school. i didnt understand how ‘religious’ people could be so cruel to little indian kids. they beat us to show us the error of our ways. they shamed us by calling us ‘little savages’. they forced their beliefs on us. i couldn’t comprehend how this was religion.

i stayed home during my high school days. i went to a public school just off the rez. that was the first time i was around people that weren’t predominately indians. i was only around Indians growing up on the rez and going to an all Indian boarding school.

after i graduated i slowly drifted away from the rez. sadly this took me down a different road. i got involved in alcohol, drugs and violence. i bummed around all over the country. i was in a rebellious stage. i burned down all the opportunities handed to me.

i was lucky i was able to get out of that lifestyle. it would have destroyed me. others weren’t so fortunate. i lost many good friends. if i didnt get out of that lifestyle i would have joined them. i learned to appreciate life. peace means more after you have seen violence. i appreciated beauty after seeing so much ugliness.

over the course of my life i criss crossed this country many times. after awhile every where seemed the same. the only constant was me. that is when i found myself. some believe life is all about the search for self. i found my life was mine. i dont play the victim. yes life is unfair some times. it still goes on.

eventually i made it to all 50 states. i even got to see other countries. i love to travel. if i have a bucket list the top item would be to travel more. travel has shown me there is so much more to life than what we see in front of us.

i learned from life’s lessons. i developed my own beliefs. even today i wont let anyone force their beliefs on me. i always think if some ones’ beliefs mean anything they should live them. if they dont, they shouldnt expect me to either. i got my own trip to do.

i haven’t done every thing i wanted but done enough to be content. nor have i become a rich man. money dont mean all that much to me. in this world you need it to get by. i know it dont make very many happy. these times are the best economic times ever for our tribe. many make good money but they aren’t happy. i am glad i never got caught up in all that.

tomorrow my wife and kids will join me for a birthday dinner at a Japanese place. they cook right in front of you while telling dumb jokes. like egg roll as one rolls down the spatula. the food is good. i haven’t had it in a while. i will have filet mignon and shrimp with my rice.

all i can say to myself tomorrow is happy f$#(*#8 birthday.

spring chores

my grow boxes are looking good. so is my yard i just mowed.

i did some spring cleaning yesterday. i have so many chores to do i didnt know where to start. i figure the car port was a good place. most rez njuns use the garage as a work shop instead of parking the car in there. i spent most of the morning cleaning it out. i have more to do.

i was waiting for the lawn to dry out from the rain we had the night before. it is growing too fast. i wanted to mow it before the coming rains. i didnt want it to get too high. i got thru mowing before it started to sprinkle.

i was wearing my new head phones i ordered off the internet. i have to have my music playing. i would rather hear it instead of the mower running. the new head phones sounded good.

i am glad i got them. maybe i do too much reading. i read that the smell of fresh cut grass is the smell of distress. the grass has the same smell when bugs are eating it. i had my head phones on while mowing so i wouldn’t have to hear the grass screaming eh.

i got my first picking from my garden. mary picked some kale. she made kale chips with it. she drizzled it with olive oil and sprinkled sea salt on it. then baked it in the oven. the kale chips tasted good. i never had them before. i usually use kale in juicing.

my potatoes broke ground. i can see the tops of them just appearing now. i am glad them are coming up. i will have new potatoes sometime.

i am kinda concerned about the predicted rain. it is suppose to rain the next three days. i have to get my indian corn in this week. it aint suppose to rain on Thursday. i am hoping i can plant then. the ground has been tilled. all i would have to do is drag a pointed hoe down the row and drop the seed in. then cover it. i hope i can get it done. my son is coming over to help.

i thought i was done with mushroom hunting. maybe i will go out one more time. we ran out of the ones i picked. i had them in scrambled eggs many times. i wouldn’t mind some more. besides i like the walk in the woods. i like the musky smell of fresh mushrooms. i used to be able to smell them before i seen them. same with wild onions.

some little critter chewed up some of my plants i bought. it better hope i dont get ahold of it. i lost two of my abe Lincoln tomato plants, my Anaheim peppers, my cucumber plants and my roma tomato plants. i have to go buy some more i guess. i want plants instead of starting them from seed.

my new glasses are ready to be picked up. i will head to town to pick them up. they look a little different from my current pair. i ordered them because my eye sight changed a little. at least my eyesight isn’t getting worse from diabetes. that is good news.

sunday was my grand daughters birthday. yesterday was my daughters. this Friday is mine.

went to the big city

bought some plants to fill out my garden

got off the rez to buy plants for my garden. i was up at 7 and headed out early. we stopped in topeekie first. i checked out plants they had at the farmers market.

i found 3 of my favorite tomato plants–Abe Lincolns. these cost me $15 for four plants. they only had 3 Abes, so i asked what another good one was. the lady pointed one out and said that one. so i added it.

i know that is pricey but this are nice tall, healthy plants. they will produce earlier than the smaller ones i seen. Abe Lincoln said you get what you pay for. maybe it wasnt abe.

i also found cucumber and Anaheim pepper plants. i bought them too. i added some marigold plants too. these flowers are good for keeping harmful bugs out.

then i headed out to the Kansas City farmers market. i bought habanero, jalapeno pepper plants, watermelon, cantaloupe, okra, bell peppers and four more tomato plants. two were roma tomatoes and two were cherry tomatoes. i like to sun dry cherry tomatoes for soups etc. we can romas.

we also bought a spring mix of lettuce, green onions, asparagus, bell peppers, spinach, melons and fresh tomatoes. gotta have fresh veggies for salad. i bought a sour dough loaf of bread and zucchini bread from an amish stand.

i only had a breakfast burrito at the topeekie farmers market. it was close to lunch. i told mary we oughta head to gates bbq. when in k.c. you gotta have bbq. i was up for a slab of ribs. we ate them when we got home. i could picture that knight in indiana jones saying ‘you have chosen wisely’. we damn sure did.

after eating i transplanted the habanero and jalapeno peppers. i added a okra plant to the same grow box. they are companion plants. i put Epson salt in with the pepper plants. i also add azomite, a natural fertilizer that has over 60 trace minerals in it. i added compost to every grow box.

i planted the Anaheim peppers in another box. i like to have smoked green chiles to add to cooking. i added the marigold flowers to my strawberry beds. they can be planted anywhere in the garden.

while working i heard a buzzing, fluttering sound. i know what it was right away. i looked up to see the first humming bird this year. i liked that. as i worked i noticed another one. they would fight over the nectar. kinda like fort injuns. plenty enough to go around but they gotta fight over who gets it.

i started to fix another grow box. some i have had for bout 5 years i think. i figure even if they fall apart i can fix them. they are cheap to make. i used recycled pallets boards, old lumber and some oak flooring boards i scored at a garage sale cheap.

i fired up my tiller. i needed to create a place for drainage at the end of my grow box row. i dragged the excess dirt to where my new boxes will sit. there is a low spot at the end of the row.

next i gotta till up in front of my tool shed and chicken house. i have trellises reaching up to the roofs. i plant climbing plants like cucumbers and indian beans there. i will add compost to it when i till. i used half of my compost pile so far this year.

today i go to my grand daughters cook out. i need a day off.

count down to my birthday

caught my first turtle of the year

we went to the sparks flea market yesterday. one stand owner asked “drove all the way up from Mayetta huh?” i said yeah, i do every year. must if they recognize me.

it took me three hours to walk the whole place. i checked out most stands. i pass on a few. i didnt buy much. nothing really caught my attention. i found a coupla of old wooden bats for a buck each. one was marked 1.99 but i asked the guy if he would take a buck. he said yeah. i use the bats to wrap roaches on. i cut them down to size first.

i found a button that said ‘i did time in Leavenworth, Kansas.’ i guess it was a play on the fact that prison is the main industry there. i worked there for 5 years. i had to buy the button. i added it to my collection. i have over a thousand buttons. i have political, sport, hippie, pow wow and advertising buttons.

i bought two reels for a buck each. the guy said he bought out the whole supply of them a few years ago. now he just wanted to get rid of them. said they might need oiling or other work. the two i picked both worked. we have rods that need reels. gotta have enough rod and reels when we take the grandsons fishing.

mary bought a couple of trikes for the grand kids. we dont have enough when the grand daughters and grandsons are all here. now they can each ride something. Andrew has a bike he rides. Samuel has a tractor.

i got hungry around noon. i ordered a rice bowl something or other from one stand. it was alright but not what i wanted. i had my heart set on a smoked turkey leg. they wont have them until today. i couldn’t wait that long.

some lady asked me if i found mushrooms. i said yeah three times now. she asked ‘i bet you dont sell them tho.’ i said no but they do on craigslist for 30 bucks a pound. she said they charge 80 in Kansas City. i just shook my head. damn.

i had mushrooms and scrambled eggs again today. it was the fifth time i had them for breakfast. i had them fried twice. we have maybe enough for one more supper. i gave some away. the prime picking is yet to come but i may be done with it. got my fill.

on the way back from the flea market we took a different route. i like to travel every road we see. that is so we dont have to go the same way every time. i started yawning because i was tired. i got up early so we could make the almost two hour drive. mary said she would drive.

i was just about to nod off when she said ‘theres a turtle’. i became alert right away and said pull over. i jumped out to pick it up. it snapped at me a couple of times. that usually dont happen. maybe them turtles know about me. i used one of the wood bats to pin the turtle down so i could grab it by the tail. i loaded it into the car.

i put it in a barrel of water. it is just the right size. they are tender at that size. the bigger ones have to be cooked longer. my first turtle of the year. i will clean it later.

out and about

kinikwe had a birthday. Samuel graduated

last couple of days got me off the rez. i didnt get to some chores i need to do. i went to kinikwe’s birthday party in topeekie Monday evening. last night i went to samuels graduation in Lawrence.

kinikwe’s party was at a place called bonkers. maybe because the kids go bonkers. they get to climb thru floor to ceiling mazes. they had safety nets so the kids cant fall. my grand daughter miamikwe keeps climbing the entire time we are there.

they also had arcade games. we had to keep filling Andrews card that was used as payment for the games. he ended up with a lot of tickets. he traded them in for a cheap gift compared to what we spent. Samuel didnt bug us as much as his brother.

we had a private room for Kinikwe’s party. we sang happy birthday to her and had ice cream and cake. we also had pizza and pop. there were a lot of kids that showed up to help her celebrate her birthday. the adults had to follow the kids around. i was glad to see 4 of my grand kids smiling and laughing.

we had to drive thru the rain to Lawrence for Samuel’s graduation. he goes to hilltop pre-school on the KU campus. Samuel will go to kindergarten next school year. that’s why he had a graduation ceremony. we were there a few years back for Andrews graduation. they both went to hilltop. i think it is a very good school. they really teach the kids.

before we went to Samuel’s graduation we went to eat. i had to have a filet mignon at the texas round house. we have been eating there before KU basketball games. i like their food.

i will go mushroom hunting again today. i think after the rain we had they should pop up today. i have found them twice. i had them in scrambled eggs three times for breakfast. we fried them once. i probably will start giving them away. i had my fill til next year.

tomorrow i will drive to the sparks flea market. i go every year. it has about 200 stands. it takes me about 3 hours or so to walk thru every stand. i will have to take a pain pill because that much walking will make my back hurt. it is worth it though. i need the exercise and i like looking for treasures.

i never know what i will buy. i probably have too much junk the way it is. on the other hand i have plenty of tools when i need them. i dont know how many jobs i couldn’t have done if i didnt have the right tool for it. i may look for some garden plants at this flea market. someone usually has some.

if i am lucky one of the bbq stands will have a smoked turkey leg for lunch. that gives me a chance to sit down and watch the people go by.

i told mary we will take our fishing poles along. there are places going toward white cloud we can stop at. the road side is next to the Missouri river. i haven’t fished there before. i want to get some fishing in. all work and no play makes this indian a dull boy.