seen on facebook some people didnt have any ideas for a halloween costume. my little baby sister edie didnt have that problem. she dressed up as a bag of popcorn for the daycare halloween party. no really she was a bag of popcorn. see the picture. rumor is she made people feel like renting some movies.
speaking of halloween, parr is sponsoring a dance at the bingo hall saturday nite. they will have a band, kareoke, eats and a costume contest. i say edie has my vote. it is nice someone is doing a community thing. back when we were poor injuns, we would have community events like halloween, christmas and 4th of july. now we aint got no money. its our money but we cant spend it on us.
my danseh wabeno has two beagles named chewie and obi wan. named after the star wars characters. they have a myspace now. i had to add them as friends and put them in my top friends list. i dont get on myspace much anymore since i am playing around with facebook. thing is on facebook i keep getting asked to join some cause. i never join. it aint that i dont play well with others, its just that i have my own causes i do. announcing them on facebook doesnt do anything for them.
it has gotten cool a few times now. i have started a fire in my stove down in the basement. the tribe brought me some wood since i am over 55 years old. i used to do that all the time but am slowing down somewhat now. the arthritis in my back doesnt allow me to be too active. sometimes i live in pain for a long time if i get carried away. glad they have that program for seniors.
i read a couple books lately since my garden is done. i read susan estall’s The Stolen House of Light. i met susan on the retracing of the potawatomi trail of death. i was surprised that she mentioned me in the acknowledgements in the front of the book. the book is about two friends who decide to move a house to save it from destruction. the house was part of the underground railroad. i read the book in about two days. susan is very encouraging to me in the writing of my book. you can check out her site at or buy her book at www.thestolenhouseoflight.com. a side note, last week or so a house in north topeka suffered fire damage. it was also part of the underground railroad. i noticed the house on rochester road a few times before, so i drove by to see it.
i also read dan brown’s the lost symbol. it is part of the da vinci code series. i read that one in a coupla days too. i had to read it cuz i read the other two and seen the movies.
saturday i plan on going to wamego to see my niece leah run. she is a freshman and is going to state in cross country. that is an accomplishment, she still has 3 years to go. she has done good this year and i havent had a chance to see her run. now i will. i like to support young natives when they do something good. and i love my niece, she is a good girl.
havent decided if i will wear a costume for the halloween party. my sisters are going. i wouldnt know what to dress up as, maybe a burned out hippie indian. i got that routine down…..
every fall my sugar maple changes into some brilliant red and orange colors. then it sheds its leaves. i enjoy the color for awhile tho. my aunt gave me two sugar maples to plant about 20 years ago. one tree didnt make it. maybe running over it with a van had something to do with that. i think of my aunt when the tree has its color. she knew it would be a good specimen tree. i have to agree with her now. i have other trees in my yard that change color during the different seasons. some flower during spring, others have colorful foliage in the fall. i have been waiting for years to see how my trees would turn out. once someone asked me what i had been doing, i replied ‘watching my trees grow’. gotta be patient in that.
so far we have canned 5 gallons of lye corn. well most people call it hominy. i will make some mish mot with some of it. i think there wont be anything else left to pick from the garden. maybe some potatoes and onions. that would be about it. it has been a good growing year. i am anxious for next year already.
i went to an auction this past weekend. i didnt buy very much. it is entertainment, like going to the casino. except a lot cheaper and you have something to show for your money. they have some real characters that show up for auctions. seems like its the same players every time. i go now and then, couldnt make it a regular thing though.
it is world series time again. i dont really have a favorite team. the only drama we can expect from the local team is whether or not they will finish last. they have been for the past 5 years or so. must be nice guys. since i dont follow any team, it is nice to have some cash down on the series. i use to have series pools every year, but someone burned people on a pool once. that was like 20 years ago. once in over 20 years. so naturally some people arent too trusting. they kinda ignorant in that it only happened once. and it wasnt me. i always paid mine. i got tired of the comments ‘how do i know you will pay?’ i would answer ‘you look bright enough, if you dont trust me dont get in’. its that simple. dont take a genius to figure that out. i may get a pool together for some friends and family. hell with the untrusting types. i dont trust people that dont trust me.
someone asked me again bout the sweat lodge thing down in the southwest. i said it was easy to be appalled by non natives that profit from our spirituality. i am equally appalled by natives that exploit our ways. just because they one of us, dont make what they do right. i see others that use a sweat as a ‘confessional’. they live anyway they want, then think a sweat washes away anything bad they did. then they start the cycle over again. that is justifying something. thats too easy.
hows that old saying go ‘the only reason i stick around is to see what will happen next’. well what will this week bring…
yesterday my great niece taliyah came to visit me. well injun way she would be my grand daughter. taliyah is the daughter of my niece caroline and her husband sonny. i enjoyed holding taliyah. i have been around little children my entire life. i love kids, even more so now that mine have grown up and have gone out on their own. i have many nieces and nephews, now they are having kids. so i am called misho by many. that kinda ages me somewhat. i enjoy that. i still remember the days back when i didnt think i would live to be thirty years old. at the time i didnt know that straightening my act out would prolong my life. since then i have come to appreciate life. holding young babies makes me feel young.
i enjoyed visiting all afternoon with my sister and nieces. i ran a sweat last week for some bros. we were talking while we waited on the rocks to heat up. i was telling them how our people used to visit all the time. i remember the days when people would come to visit and stay all day. then they would spend the night. then start visiting again the next day. now we have cell phones, email, etc. and we dont visit like we used to, just too busy i guess. it is usually hi goodbye nice seeing you kind of conversation with modern technology. i think we lost something we need to get back. i know i still love to visit with people.
i was walking with my dog konugish the past few days. i stop at the bridge by the creek. i usually notice animals. the other day i seen that someone had tossed a deer carcass over the bridge railing. it lie in the water. seemed like a waste to me. some hunters just dont respect the life they took. i told my dog that, he seemed to grasped that better than whoever throw the carcass into the water did.
speaking of my dog, my other dog the one with no name finally left this earth. she was just so old. it was just time for her to go. she barely got around. she used to follow me everywhere, walking, to the mail box and to the timber. she went with me for years until she just couldnt anymore. i dont know how long that dog lived here, at least ten years. she was a throw away dog no one wanted. i took her and gave her a home. for that she was good to me. i will miss that dog. so will konugish. he acted lonesome for a few days.
i read that surfing on the internet may help the brain from aging. if that is the case then i am doing my brain a world of good. i surf the net daily. it was hell not to have my computer on line for the past week. damn that company that is ripping us off. still havent heard from them. they musta thought i was gonna pay them with food stamps, beads or something. i learned long ago to spend my money where it is appreciated.
i have been taking the seed off my late corn i dried on the cob. my dad gave me an antique that does the job. i kept borrowing his every year. you put the ear with the corn on it into an opening then turn the handle. the cob revolves thru the inside while the kernels of corn are removed. it beats taking it off by hand. i have a canner full now and still have more to do. i may have another canner full. i will save the best for seed next year. then i will make some kakasuwabo. plenty of that. then i will make some lye corn. gallons of that. so i am still enjoying the corn harvest i had this year. i saved most of my produce by drying , canning or freezing. i had enough to give lots of it away. who knows what the next growing season will be like.
the leaves on the trees are turning color. i like the colors. nature is saying it is fall now. gotta get ready for winter.
been off line for a week. it was pure hell. i called the company that has a monopoly on wireless internet on the rez bout a month ago. then i waited. and waited. i called them back a coupla times. once they said they would get a technician out here as soon as possible. a week and a half later they said they would call me back. they never did. so i called the cable company i get my tv package from, they said they would be here in 3 days to hook me up. they did. which brings me back to the people that have a deal with our tribe. they put their equipment on our tower and for this we are suppose to get like a 10 dollar discount a month. i dont expect preferential treatment because of that, i just expect fair treatment. to wait almost a month for service is not fair treatment. i called a councilman that works with this company. i got his voicemail. it sounded so sincere. i left a message. havent heard a thing from him either. seems like when some companies do business with us, we get screwed. just like back in the old fort system. we just dont learn. to stimulate competition we should do business with at least two companies. then maybe, just maybe we could get better service for a better price. not likely tho.
have been reading about the ‘sweat lodge’ deaths down in the southwest. wish they would stop referring to this as a ‘sweat lodge’. it is roughly based on the concept of a sweat lodge. i doubt you could call it a sweat lodge. i first went into a sweat about 50 years ago. i have been in sweats all over the country with many different tribes. i have never been in one that held 60 people. nor was there a $10 thou price tag on going in. sure i have seen that there are plenty of scam artists that try to profit off native spirituality. seen that all over the country. some were passing them selves off as natives, even had what they thought were ‘native’ sounding names. names like raven, or two wolves, or princess moonbeam. their credentials often stated they studied under some un-named tribal elder, usually the grandson of a past chief. i dont know bout other tribes but i do know that prairie band leaders are here on the rez. not out on the traveling medicine show circuit.
when i worked with native prisoners i seen there were more scams doing the work than natives. at one place i was involved in a squeeze play by a wannabe. he and his followers (these guys always have followers) wanted me out of the way, so they worked the administration against me. said there were secret rituals that i didnt know about. secret rituals? wtf. he was a light skin, so his word had more sway than this blanket ass injun. i was out the door in no time. i seen this guy recently. he turned around and walked away from me, as if i had done something wrong to him. i just laughed at him.
i have met many people that want to learn native ways. i dont know if this is right or wrong. really isnt my place to judge one way or the other. many were bright, sincere people. its too bad that they end up following the charlatans that are out there. i dont believe that spirituality can be bought. nor do i believe natives have the only spiritual ways. i think everyone can be spiritual. i dont think they have to follow the ways of potawatomis to be spiritual. they have their own way within themselves that they need to find. i just wish that people would be smart enough to know it costs nothing to find God.
i had my regular 3 month lab work done at the clinic. while there i was asked if i wanted a flu shot. i thought sure why not, i am here anyway. a couple of days later i got sick. more like a cold than the flu. since i am a homebody i wondered how i caught the bug. only solace i had was that whoever gave the bug to me musta felt that miserable too at one time. hope the shot keeps the flu away. the experts say as a safegaurd against the swine flu we should constantly wash our hands. in that case the politicians in our country are safe, since they wash their hands of everything.
now that i have wireless i can surf a little faster…..so i am off….
i like this picture of my young homies i took at pioneer day in mayetta. had use it. i always take pictures of people i know, and these kids pose for me when ever i ask. they call me misho. i like that.
we are having our fall ceremonies now. so it will officially be fall. our thanksgiving season. i know i am grateful for what my garden produced this year. i tell people good weather makes good gardeners. i put away alot of garden produce this year. i dried, canned and froze things from the garden. i saved seeds from the best specimens i had.
i’m glad i didnt save any money for k.c. royal playoff tickets. they started out like politicians. full of promise then ended up they didnt do anything. one of our pitchers is in the running for the cy young award. that would salvage something out of the season. at least k u football gives us something to cheer about. i will miss the game tomorrow. oh well…
someone gave me a deer hide. will work that after dance time. i dont have a hand drum frame for it. i cant wait til i start making my own frames. a friend of mine has his dads shop where we will make some. will use hickory. may even make some ball sticks, once the sap runs down. and i have to make some drum sticks for the hand drums i make. i get a kick out of some of the internet sites that advertise hand drums. they say a free ‘drum beater’ is included. so i gotta make some ‘drum beaters’. ‘cept i wont say they are shaman drums. dont know what that is. says good on the net tho.
still sorting porky hair. got alot of it. a visitor at our dance said he seen a coupla porkys on the road coming down. he thought of me but didnt have room to pick them up. i will have more hair coming in with the new season. i still havent heard from that dude that owes me money on a roach i trusted him for. such is life. been burned before. and i still trust people. i refuse to judge all people based on the actions of a few. seen that too many times in my life. i wont be like that. the cost of doing business.
that wireless internet guy still hasnt shown up yet to hook me up. i know this county couldnt be that busy. if they dont show i will just go with another company. hell with the 10 dollar discount. i wont be here for the next few days. will be busy at the dance. then the dude will show. thats how it works.
really looking forward to our dance. i enjoy them. will be tired when we are done. then gotta catch up with chores again……..
i went to mayetta’s pioneer day yesterday. i wanted to get a picture of alvina wamego who was the honored elder of the parade. i have known her all my life. it is always a pleasure to visit with her. she waved at me while i snapped her picture. another tribal member, meeks, was the honored elder last year. it is nice that mayetta includes our people in its history. our histories are interwoven. the town sprang up on the border of our rez. the railroad even came thru eventually. it shut down years ago, but the small town remains. i have always called it my hometown. most people had never heard of it.
the town of mayetta has garage sales during pioneer days. we got up early to look for more canning jars. we bought about 30 quart jars. some one that arrived there earlier already bought up the pint jars. some stands downtown were selling canned goods. i bought a jalpeno mustard mix. mary bought a sweet relish. we have learned to appreciate the work that goes into canning. i also found some spray for fruit trees. i will use it next year on my peach and plum trees.
i had breakfast at one of the churches, they served bisquits and gravy. while eating i visited with many of the ladies sitting there. they spotted my mayetta high t shirt. that opened up conversation. most were mayetta alumni. we swapped histories. we discovered that many of the people we knew were gone. after breakfast we went home to can a dozen quarts of pears. they sure look good. we finished in time to make it back to town for the parade. we had a late lunch at a stand ran by tribal members. we had a ndn taco. it was good.
they had a stand that caught my attention. it was called poultry bingo. they had a big fenced in board filled with about a hundred numbered squares. you could buy a square for five bucks. then they would set a goose inside the fence onto the board. then where ever the goose dropped its load, who ever had that numbered square won a hundred bucks. after that, the main event was a chicken doing the same thing for one hundred and fifty bucks. the gambling nature of a few indians drew them to this event. we were all laughing and cheering for the goose or chicken to go on our number. crazy indians were trying to score some money to go to the casino with.
i visited with many people during the course of the day. i took a few pictures too.i visited the antique shops in town. first time i had been in some of them. i bought a few items. i also bought a t shirt from another stand of one of our tribal members. it had potawatomi – keepers of the fire on it. it was a fun outing. we needed a break from our harvesting and storing of our gardens produce.
been waiting all week for the internet guy. either business is booming or they got an ex government employee doing the hookups. thing is they got their equipment on our tower so that wireless is possible out here in the sticks. our tower makes it possible for them to reach households they couldnt otherwise. for this tribal members get a 10 buck discount off their bill. add in taxes and its about the same. thought products delivered on the rez were exempt. not really. the phone company has the same deal with our tribe. they put their equipment on our tower and we suppose to get a discount. taxes nullify any break.
dont know what the hold up is. i called last week and the internet guy said it would be the first of this week. i called again yesterday and the guy said he would get a technician out here as soon as possible. so far nada. maybe the tribal should hire this guy, he’d make a great program director.
the tempurature was suppose to have gotten into the 30s last nite. i dont notice any change in the garden. the leaves on my beans are still thriving. i expect soon though that the garden will quit producing. i gotta put this year on my calendar as one of the better growing years. others must be experiencing the same thing. i went to several places to buy canning lids and bands. they were out. finally found a grocery store that had them. more people must be canning. thats a smart move. whenever a crop fails, prices go up. never know what is gonna happen in this country. was it last year that they had over 90 foods that were contaminated?
the small town just off the rez is having their pioneer day tomorrow. i may go check it out. last year and this year they honored tribal members as the elder in the parade. whenever i was bumming around the country people would ask me where i was from. i’d tell them mayetta. they asked where is that. some didnt even know where kansas was at. others would make comments about how flat it is or about the wizard of oz. and they think we dumb rednecks.
i expect the internet guy is coming…..hope he aint riding around on friday afternoon…
the other day a friend came for a visit and to see our buffalo. i took a few pictures. this one is an old one i took a year ago. i also have some video footage of our buffalo i shot a year ago. i like to get footage of different scenes. i have some good shots of geese landing near my house last fall. someday i will put my footage together and make some kind of video. that way the college classes i took wont be wasted.
i have been waiting for the guy that is going see if i can get wireless internet. i hope i can. dial up is such a hassle. i cant post any video. i had no real need for speed but i got tired of the slowness of dial up. i posted some videos on my facebook and that took forever. then i only put up 30 second clips. i wish that dude would hurry and get here. they only have my home phone so i cant get on during the day. i grew up without electricity and running water. now i cant be without my cell phone or computer. i need them for my business. and they are my contact with the world. modern injun.
i finally logged 2 miles walking. i have been busy, didnt have the time. i didnt walk during my road trip either. i was kept busy. my faithful dog konugish waits by the door every evening to go for a walk. i have to keep up my walking. its for my health. so far i have lost 15 pounds. the health fair i attended last month says i have to lose more. my back and hip havent been hurting. i not really taking meds. i have them for the occasional pain i get now and then. i wish i wouldnt have to take them, but who needs pain. good news is i am not taking them regularly. got a doctors appointment coming up. i have an appointment every 3 months. just to keep on top of things.
finally got my lawn mowed. my nephew tug helped me pick up my mower. the lawn was really over grown with all the moisture we had this year. good growing year for everything. i was worried it was so thick the belt might break again. it didnt. i found out my mower was done a month ago. the guy that fixes my machines couldnt get ahold of me. my computer uses my land line. another reason for wireless.
been sorting porky hair. that is monotonous. its not hard work but is just doing the same thing over and over again. the more work i put into sorting, the better quality roaches i make. i have piles of hair. gotta get it sorted because a new porky season is about to start. i buy directly from trappers. that eliminates the need to buy from supply houses. they charge so much and skim out the long hair. what a racket. so i get good hair from the trappers that keep me supplied. i pay them more than the supply houses. we cut out the middleman and are both happy.
i am getting into making hand drums now too. getting that down to an art. got another elk hide that needs scraping. i am planning another road trip to colorado. there is an elk farm i get hides from. i can get 4 hand drums from one hide. i may buy 4 hides. that should last all year. plus my home boys will save me their deer hides they get this year. i like the sound that both deer and elk hides make. my experience from stands if you gotta have a variety of product. and i have to have small trinkets too. not everyone will buy roaches or drums. i plan on having a stand at a pow wow this fall.
our fall dance should be coming up soon. i cant wait. i always enjoy our ceremonies. one of my homeboys said i should wear my gear i had on at fulton county. they used to dress up like that. i may have to think about that.
i guess today or someday soon is american indian day. well thanks. sure appreciate that. dont know what that entails but maybe i will do something indian today. i havent heard if some group is trying to take the day away from indians. we get some reactionary types that resent anything indians may get. most people are alright. just a vocal few are ignorant.
i will go check out the veterans pow wow at da park. that is after i watch the k u football game. the game is sold out. i knew i should have bought tickets for it a few weeks ago when i had the chance. i believe the jayhawks have a “fighting” chance. bad pun. especially after the basketball and football teams were in the news over fighting. the media made such a big deal out of a few trivial events. we tend to glorify violence in this country then act pious about some kids acting out what they see on t.v. or in the movies. the hawks are still my team. no matter what. rock chalk jayhawk.
the game will make me miss the first grand entry at 1. thats alright with me. i dont like to do all that standing while it is goin on. my lower back starts to ache. i will go to visit with people i know. this pow wow is put on by our veterans group. they moved it to the park and to indian day. it was formerly held on veterans day in a fair building off da rez.
still catching up on my garden. been shelling njun beans. got alot of them. and tomatoes are still ripening. gotta can more. probably will can more hot sauce. my habeneros are producing yet, they are turning orange. thats when they are really hot. i had my picture in the tribal paper showing my crooked neck harvest. that was a great crop.
my riding mower is finally done. my yard has overgrown. it has been a month since the belt broke on my mower. it looks like i could just have the yard hayed. it will be nice to get the yard looking good again. i have about an acre of yard to take care of. one of my homeboys is gonna show me how to replace the belt. that will save me time and the hassle of finding a ride to take it to the shop and picking it up. a strange phenomenon occurs when i tell my friends and relatives i need to take my mower to the shop. they suddenly cant hear. they forget the help i give them whenever they need it. i need to get me a pickup.
i wrote a blog bout running out of wild rice. i was at the rez league softball game the other night and one of my homeboys gave me a bag full. he just got back from up north. a few weeks ago another friend offered me what she had left. thats kind of both of them. i dont dwell on the few ignorant mean people when there are so many good people. man by nature is good. he just learns not to be from all kinds of circumstances. i enjoy the good people in the world. there are plenty of them.
got to get the buffalo wings on before the game. …..
i had fun at the fulton county’s trail of courage 09. heres a picture of me after they gave me the key to fulton county. looks like i turned native on us eh. many at the festival dressed up in clothes that would have been worn before the 1830s. i thought i would be a sport and dress up also. i could have worn one of my roaches but the style of the potawatomi in that area was to wear a turban. so i put one on. i havent worn a beaded bag my great uncle gave me so i wore it. i made my leggings and had the rest of the things already.
they must not see many indians around indiana. when i walked around i heard little kids say things like ‘wow look, an indian’. or others would come up to me and talk. i politely answered every question. many had an interest in indians. i even had one lady come up to me and asked ‘are you a genuine indian?” that made me chuckle. i replied i dont know bout that but i am indian. we talked awhile. the lady got all apologetic about what happened ‘to the native americans’. i told her we still here, in spite of what happened. that kinda eased her mind somewhat.
i plan on going back again. it was that much fun. i didnt get to see everything. i had to give a presentation each morning about my history. that was easy. then each afternoon they would have an hour of indian dancing. i was required to be there as the honored indian. since i already had my gear on i even danced. showed them some of my moves. i havent danced much in public before. maybe some honor song for a friend or relative. so i danced for the festival people. many of the other dancers came up to me and we became friends. one nice old lady told me i was ‘a magnificent man’. i hugged her. seems i hugged many people all weekend. the people there were so friendly. i was happy to have met them. many thanked me for coming and invited me back. or told me of other festivals that were held up there.
i was allowed to have a stand. they had 200 stands there. i sold a few things. i gave alot of things away as gifts. people would just stop to talk and admire my art. they usually have 18,000 people go thru there on a weekend. i received many compliments on my art. a young lady that was one of the aztec dancers liked my hand drums. said she didnt have the money to buy one. so i gave her one of my miniature hand drums. she liked that. when they were dancing on stage later she smiled at me. other people gave me gifts so i just took things off my stand and gave it to them in return. kinda humbled me that people were so nice to me. as i always say there are many good people everywhere. my wife mary would watch the stand while i was away.
even though i didnt get to see every stand i did visit many of them. i admired each craftsmens art. i bought a striker to make fire with from a blacksmith who made them. i stopped and talked to a flintnapper. i asked him what he did with the discarded pieces. he said he just made smaller pieces from them. he asked me why i asked. i told him i liked sharp edged ones to make fire with. so he went thru his pile and gave me a nice piece of flint. i asked how much and he just smiled and said it was mine. so i took his picture. i bought an otter hide from another dealer. it was priced 125 dollars, but he took 80 for it. i will make a turban with that. i bought some woven leg bands from another nice gentleman. it was a set with a belt but he broke the set for me. he told me they were hudson bay colors. i like them. i bought a straight razor from one stand, to go with my shaving cup and soap. maybe i will shave with them sometime. i bought some lye soap from a nice old lady that had a stand next to mine.
there were so many stands i didnt get to see all of them. every time i would walk somewhere people would stop and talk with me. it would take me an hour to get a hundred feet. i sampled alot of the food stands. most food was cooked over a fire, i like it that way. they had a canoe ride up the tippecanoe river for a buck. i didnt get to do that. i know potawatomis canoed up that river in the old days. maybe next trip i will do that.
i met people i knew from last years trail of death. i stayed with a coupla of them. people put us up every night all the way there and back. one night i had offers to stay in 3 places but i did want to camp at least one night. there is something about sleeping on grandmother earth. people fed us too, many fine meals. i took pictures but not enough. i wish i had more. maybe i will post pictures on my facebook. i will remember everyone i met and all the places i seen, even without pictures. it was indeed an honor to have been with everyone i met. i had one hellva weekend.