fall time…

young homiesi 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……..

pioneer day in mayetta

honored elder alvinai 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.

where da hell that internet guy

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…

buffalo bullthe 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.

thanks for the day…

electriceddiei 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. …..

had fun…..

me with key to fultoni 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.

leavin in da a.m.

electriceddiepacked and ready to go. been up for this trip for a few weeks. been so busy harvesting the garden and drying, freezing and canning what came from it. gardening is a full time hobby, vocation or whatever the hell you wanta call it. it takes half a years time. i still have things to pick when i get back. it has been an amazing growing year. may not see one like this again for awhile.

all i need now is some cheap cigars, some coffee and some road. tomorrow i will drive into the rising sun. it will be at my back when i quit driving for the day. there is something about being on the road. wouldnt want to do that all the time though. i enjoy my home life. i remember some of them old indians saying sometimes you gotta step back from where you at to see where you at. then you appreciate it more. amen to that.

i will meet people i travelled with on the retracing of the trail of death thing i was on last year bout this time. i will visit with them and some are putting me up for the night. we became good friends in a short while. there is always good people in this world.

i like to see places where potawatomi people lived or travelled thru. i know alot of my history. i like to personallly see the places i learned about. when i visited where our people lived up north i can see why they wanted to stay there. i also understand why our people came here. the way i see things we are one people. dont go along with that separate nations thing. we just one nation. too bad we dont live that way. it used to be that way.

i kinda dont know bout being an honored indian, like i will be up where i am going. i have devoted a good part of my life to learning our history, genealogy, language , culture etc.  and i have tried to keep what i learned going. sometimes its a thankless job. the more you do the more is expected from you. i do what i do because it is what i believe in. dont really need anyones thanks or approval. we have people that hate on others for no reason at all. sometimes for merely being in another family. so its kinda nice that somewhere someone wants to honor me. hell yeah i will take that. i know that most people will never have the opportunity to learn some of the things i have been exposed to. my teachers have gone on. they were great teachers. i honor them by living the life i live. thats a hard life to life. so i will enjoy this weekend very much.

just need a good nights sleep and i am off…………..

gearing up to hit da road

3 hand drums..scraped an elk hide almost all day today. finally got it done. i then strung 3 hand drums. i put one drum head and lacing in the freezer to take with me on my road trip. i have to demonstrate my craft at my stand. so i will string a hand drum. the drums i made today are still drying. i am anxious to hear what kind of sound they will produce. i bet they will sound good. i like elk hide hand drums. they have a different tune. i will make some with deer hide later. they have a good sound too.

i am anxious to hit the road. we leave early thursday morning. maybe before sunrise. got a coupla stops to visit with friends. nice to know people from other places. we have a place to stay all the way up there and back. we will camp two nights at the festival. they really get into it there. they have an old time village, log cabins and canvas lean tos.  they have 1200 people that dress up like in the early 1800s. they cook everything on the fire. lotsa craftsman will show their crafts and how to do them. they have canoe rides on the tippecanoe river, our people traveled that river. it really sounds like fun.

i put together an outfit to wear at the festival. i have white buckskin leggings with a breechcloth, ribbon shirt, yarn belt, fully beaded moccasins and a fully beaded bandeloir. i put it on to see how it all fit and damn i really look like an indian. since they all dressed up i thought i would get into it too. they will honor me twice during the indian dance part of the festival. so i thought i would dance too. so i gotta look like an indian. i also have to do two presentations about my history. that should be easy.

walmart and the mall should be full tomorrow. its per cap time. just in time for my road trip. gas has slowly crept up some since my last road trip. i may buy something at the festival. hard telling what they will have there. i will look for strikers to make fire with. those mountain men guys make them. i also like to ask the flintknappers for broken pieces of flint to make fire with. i will find something that i cant live without.

i will start packing tomorrow an be ready to hit the road…

gotta scrape an elk hide

scraping beami made a new scraping beam cuz the old one had it. it was out in the weather too much. this one is heavy, it is a treated telephone post so it should last. i will make one out of a hickory log  later. that will have smoother grain and will harden with time. last year some kin of mine brought me a post that was full of knots. they dont understand that could cause a hide to tear. gotta have a smooth surface.

i have an elk hide that has been soaking. i will scrape that to make some hand drums to take to fulton.  i bought 4 hand drum frames with some of the money i made off my stand at the gathering . sorta like reinvest it to make more with it. a friend of mine said we could make some frames out of hickory at his dads place. his dad has modern and old school tools. we will steam the hickory and put them in a jig to dry in a circular form. that will save me the cost of buying frames each time. i will just make my own. in business you gotta cut costs.

scraping that hide should take a good part of a day. i have to save a piece to take with me to fulton. i have to demonstrate some of my craft. so i will make a roach and string a hand drum. maybe i will get my picture taken with some touristos. i have another salted elk hide in my tool shed. thats anutha days job. i talked to some of my homeboys about saving me their deer hides to make hand drums with. they said they would. maybe i will try to tan one again. my last effort didnt turn out. i will keep at it til i get it right.

i picked half a bushel of indian beans this week. i still have more growing up my cornstalks. i have some corn left to pick. it was late and hardened. i will make kakasuwabo and lye corn with that. my dad gave me an old tool used to remove the kernels off the cob. you can only find them at antique stores or flea markets. they are real handy. beats taking kernels off by hand and saves alot of time. i am still getting tomatoes, we are canning them. almost everything else has stopped producing. just gotta harvesting what is left. then i have to till the soil under and add lime. i will be ready for next year then.

the president addressed congress the other day. while he was talking some one hollered ”liar”. the prez was cool he stopped a second then continued on. the last prez woulda accosted the man. there is no truth to the rumor that the heckler was from one of our general councils.

i read an article in the paper this past week about gaming. i wonder why they cant write just one article about gaming without trying to slam indian gaming. the article said that indian gaming killed horse and dog tracks. yeah really maybe investing so much that they couldnt get their money back had something to do with it. maybe it was management.  perhaps they should consult with indians and ask ”how do you do it’? they might learn something from indians instead of making them the adversary. or the whipping boy for their own shortcomings. the thing is our paper prints this stuff while we pay for huge fullpage ads. do they consider the money we give them for advertising. do our people bring this to their attention?

gotta start scraping a hide……

not indoctrinated…

m_f4a050975543879d3f0953d299aade30lets see the president plans a speech to address school kids. parents threaten to pull their kids out of school so they wont be “indoctrinated” by his speech. a vocal minority call the president a nazi or a socialist. no one every questioned listening to dubya’s speeches. we talking about the president of the united states giving an address here. what was his message? to tell kids to set goals and meet them, to stay in school. talk about an over reaction. i tell my kids the same thing. i havent heard them say i was indoctrinating them. or that i was a socialist.

i voted for the president. an overwhelming majority of americans did. he won by a landslide. everyone wanted a change from the previous administration. now to hear a vocal minority no one wants our president to do his job. i dont envy him. he has a tough job to do. when someone says they want to help the average american citizen, that is called socialism. when previous presidents helped the rich, that was patriotism. figure that out. i doubt anyone can fix the problems that face this country overnight. it took years to get where we are at today. it may take years to ever recover from this.

electing a black president was a right step for this country. it shows that most people in this country arent racist. thats good. we all in this together like it or not.  there are still pockets of racism left in spite of all that. we had a state representative give a speech calling for a ”great white hope” to unseat obama. she clarified that by  saying she meant the great stars in the gop. yeah. it took this long to elect a black president. it will take more years before we elect another one. people wanted a change. change takes time. are we hiding behind labels like socialism to hide an underlying racism. no matter what color the president is, he has an uphill battle to face. we gotta support him. no one criticized the last president, ask the dixie chicks. we didnt have a choice with the last one. we had to go along with what ever he did. we fought wars because the war machine needed to make its profit. we wanted to keep our people safe from someone half a world away. now we dont want to help the people in this country. we can bail out the rich but dont want to help those that cant afford health care.

i am not up on my politics. i dont understand alot of all this. i dont go along with getting a rope before we ever give the president a chance. we are still the best country in the world. lets hope that he keeps us that way. government is our problem but it is also our solution. i say lets ride this out and see what happens. impeding every step is not a solution. democrats and republicans are both part of the problem. they have to work together to help this country. thats why we elect them. maybe they have lost sight of that. lets hope…