month of may

mary took this picture of me. it is on the bridge over little soldier creek. we cross over it when we walk on the road. we stop there to look at the creek while taking a water break. and no i’m not showing off my fairly new nike walking shoes i got for 50% off.  i do some leg stretches on the bridge railing.

this bridge is the first one i worked off back in my bridge building days. I used to bring my .22 to work with me. there were always squirrels running around. one day we were working and we heard the gun go off. we look up and the inspector was holding my rifle. he said I got him. we looked and sho nuff. he dropped one. he said he was from Kentucky and had hunted squirrels. the other indians I worked with thought he was alright after that.

we had to take the boys back sunday. I went to this side of the road place that sold flowers and other plants. I lucked out and found some kale plants. I bought a 4 pack of them. they will fill up one grow box and give us lotsa kale. we add olive oil and sea salt to it then bake it. good healthy snack. or we add it to soups. yesterday we had goulash with some dried kale in it.

whilst in the big city of topeekie I bought 10 bags of mulch. I use it to keep weeks down. I will put some around my tomato plants. the rest will go around my grow boxes. besides keeping the weeds down it makes walking easier after a rain. no mud to deal with.

when I am in town I wear gloves and a mask. I was kinda hesitant to wear them. then I see others wearing masks. the ones that don’t wear masks or gloves look at me like I am over reacting. so what. I am being safe. they are the ones that should be given looks. that’s how the virus spread.

i fixed up a soaker hose around my tomato plants. I spliced it together with a piece of garden hose. the garden hose is in between the two cages. I don’t want to waste water where nothing is growing. it will only water around the tomato plants. all I have to do is hook it up to my outside faucet and turn it on.

it is suppose to rain again Thursday. our newly tilled garden is already soaked. I hope the ground dries out enough for us to plant our indian corn on Saturday. we will plant anyway. last year we planted in the mud. we gots to have corn this year. its been some lean years lately.

today is the birthday of my grand daughter of Cecelia. we named her miamikwe. she is 6 years old. I sure love that little girl. I like it when she comes up to her misho and gives me a hug.

tomorrow is my daughter hatties’ birthday. we had planned on going out to visit her in southern California. we were going celebrate our birthdays together. we will still go out there for a visit after this virus stuff subsides.

then sunday is my birthday. I seen that 3 fires is  offering curbside service. this staying home indian is wanting a steak for his birthday. I always order the same thing, 6 ounce filet mignon, house salad and loaded baked potato. I see no reason to change. I like that meal. i like that i will have a steak dinner for my birthday. alright.

forgot to add I am wearing red today to focus awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. there shouldn’t be any missing or murdered Indian women. life is already tough enough.

almost done planting

I am almost done with planting. I put in 8 tomato plants yesterday that I bought at the farmers market. I have romas, Rutgers and mortgage lifters.  I want enough to eat and have some left to can. last year excessive heat zapped my plants.

the Abe Lincoln tomatoes I started from seed didn’t do well. the same with my kale and hatch peppers. I don’t let setbacks stop me. I buy established plants from nurseries or farmers markets.

I used to grow tomatoes around a 5 gallon bucket with holes in it. you filled it and it was suppose to drip deep around the roots. I read about that set up and tried it. I didn’t like it. I will replace the bucket with a drip hose. I can just turn on the hose instead of hauling the water.

the tomato plants are inside a big cage I made for support. they will be staked too. I don’t like my plants falling over onto the ground. I added composted manure and compost to the area. I will add mulch later.

I finished planting 3 more grow boxes. I put in  Anaheim peppers and jalapeno peppers. I had 3  volunteer cilantro plants that musta been from last years fallen seed. the plants were growing outside a box on the ground. I transplant them into one grow box.  now I have 14 grow boxes planted. no maybes, mights or gonnas. these are planted.

yesterday a guy from the tribe came to till up my two field plots. I burned off the corn stalks and weeds from last years garden. I have a plot on both sides of my drive way. I alternate growing between the two fields. I don’t wanna over grow in one spot.

I was grateful the tribe tilled. I would have had to go till it up again with my small tiller. it wouldn’t have been tilled as deep as the  tractor turned it over. I seen the weeds I missed have grown big, now they are all turned under.

I will plant my indian corn this coming Saturday in one field. I will leave the other field lay fallow for next year. I will plant a cover crop in it this fall. my sons are gonna help me plant our corn. we should be able to get it done in no time. a few days after the corn comes up I will plant indian beans. then I will plant squash. then all my planting is done.

there is a slight chance it will rain Monday and Thursday. that may settle the tilled ground somewhat. we will still be able to plant our corn. last year we planted in the mud. it didn’t dry out because we had a wet year. I hope the ground will be workable next Saturday when we plant.

I checked my fitbit my daughter gave me. I have over 10,000 steps for the past 12 days. 10 thou is the daily goal. I wasn’t hitting it regularly but I am now. mary and I walked 8 miles on the road this past week. the previous week I was mushroom hunting often. and I have been doing my gardening. that all added up to getting my daily steps up.

all this physical activity has me at my lowest weight in some time. I still have a pow wow gut though. its harder for old people to lose weight. I am still working on it. I am always busier in the spring.

my birth month

the count down for my birthday begins. at my age birthdays aren’t a big deal. I am only aware of it because we are conditioned to celebrate birthdays. I am happy that i have lived this long. my birthday is 9 days away. I will be 68. that aint real old but sure isn’t young. before my birthday my grand daughter and daughter will have their birthdays.

i seen my first hummingbird of the season. good thing I filled my feeders. I ordered 3 more feeders off the internet. I will get them next week sometime. the hummingbirds usually come back every year. I like watching them. I even held one in my hands once. it got caught in my screened in porch. I caught it to release it.

i seen that more inmates, at a prison I worked in, have tested positive for covid 19. some estimates are that 3/4ths of the inmates could possible be infected. they were strictly stay in place. that means that the virus was brought into them.

i heard that over 10 thousand residents of nursing homes have died from the virus. again they were stay in play. the virus was also brought into them.

the spread wasn’t as widespread as predicted. that is because many stayed home or in place. but some didn’t stay home. if our government had acted earlier maybe this would be winding down a lot sooner than it is expected to.

i can see that yes people have spread the virus. thats why we have over a million cases. more than anyone in the world. even if we are the greatest country and have the best resources. the virus still spread.  yesterday Kansas went up 500 cases in one day. that proves it isn’t confined to ‘out there’.  no one can know for certain exactly how many more cases there are because of lack of widespread testing.

I stayed home but people drop in here occasionally. I don’t think they quite understand that they could bring the virus to me. yes they can go where ever they want, that’s their right. but I wish they wouldn’t put me at risk.  I have enough health problems. I don’t need anymore. and I don’t wanna possibly die cause someone else thought it was okay to go where ever the hell they pleased. its like they couldn’t care less for the well being of others.

they are easing up on restrictions. I am still gonna stay home. I don’t wanna sound like a rebel but I don’t believe our government. I can only take care of myself. if that means staying home a little longer than I will. that is my right. I just hope that others don’t come here to put me at risk. some experts predict a second wave.  I wanna be safe if that happens. if it don’t it don’t cost any one else, just me.

i am not afraid to die. when my times comes, I will go. I had a life. I just don’t wanna die for nothing. or die because some one else carelessly brought about my demise. that probably would be a fitting end for me.

all this virus stuff made me wonder bout something. I wonder why more tribes arent trying to help our Navajo brothers out. tribes lined up for standing rock. this is a different cause but it is still Indians. I realize tribes are shut down and got no casino revenues rolling in. but at the best economic times of our existence are we still living hand to mouth?

oh well maybe I am thinking too much. I better get back to gardening.

planting underway

I haven’t been vegging out in front of the tv during my stay at home.  I have used this time to plant vegetables. I am glad that the hard frosts we had this spring didn’t harm any of my plants. my strawberries are flowering. they will have berries soon. I have 4 grow boxes full of strawberries. they were real sweet last year.

I am debating whether or not to go pick strawberries at this berry farm. they will be ready in a few weeks. we went there last year. we have strawberries but the kids eat them up. I want to put some away for the winter. the berry place isn’t open til picking time. we would wear facemasks. I think we would be safe.

my radishes and carrots made it. I should be eating radishes soon. when they are gone, the carrots continue to grow. my cabbages are doing good. I have onions growing with most of my plants. we can pick them for green onions anytime. we will harvest the rest when they become mature.

I am trying to get a jump on some plants. dont know if we will have any late frosts but I am hoping we don’t. the temps will be in the 70s for the next 10 days. I have transplanted habaneros, leeks, onions, cucumbers and green peppers. they should get a good start. and they are catching the rains we are getting. I started peas from seed.

now i have a dozen grow boxes that are fully planted. all the boxes have multiple vegetables growing in them. i plant companion plants to fill the boxes. the companions help each other grow. I have three more boxes to fill. then I will plant in my field garden.

I went for my 2 mile walk on the paved road yesterday. as I was going past my field garden I noticed my potatoes have broken ground. I have been keeping an eye on them. once they flower I can have some new potatoes with fresh eggs for my breakfast.

I mowed my yard yesterday. as I was mowing I felt moisture. I was almost done so I continued. I wasn’t gonna run from the rain. I welcome it. I got done and parked my mower in the shed. then it started to rain. I got done in time. I wont let the lawn get out of hand. tall grass isn’t good for the mower.

I was thinking of my Oklahoma mother so I wrote her a letter. I remember the nice visit we had we went down there. I told her I wanna come down for another visit. she had a lot of humming bird feeders in her yard. I was sitting at the table as we visited and watched the hummingbirds flying around. i never seen so many hummingbirds in one place. that made me go out and fill my feeders.

I don’t know how many people still use snail mail. I do a lot.  it is a nice walk down to the mail box to check on mail. i can check on my gardening as i walk there. i also notice which plants are growing. i have wild onions, nettles, menashkuk and nenwezhek that grow in the ditch.

since it rained I will go mushroom hunting at least one more time. I like the exercise. gotta do my chores first.

more walking

i have been doing a lot of walking. yesterday i went mushroom hunting again. I have been out 8 times now. i walk an hour or two every time communing with nature. I haven’t found much. maybe a little over a gallon altogether. I enjoyed them though. I get a good meal and my exercise at the same time.

I walked on the paved road today. I did my two miles on the road. i made my dog stay home. i seen a coupla old rez guys. we go back decades. we lived here long before the money came. they stopped and talked. we had a few good laughs.

i aint got my stimulus check yet. damn politicians. they just interested in getting the rich their cut. I am in no hurry to get it. I just wanna know it is in the bank. no doubt it will get spent.

well I kinda got my mind set on buying a vermicomposting container system. huh? a what. that’s a worm farm. it makes compost year around. it has 4 levels that stack on top of each other. when one layer is ready to use as compost the worms move up to the next etc.

it is kinda pricey but I want one. my ttemok per cap will pay for that. I will always garden. I use grow boxes. i need to add organic matter to them each growing year. I can use this system year after year. and if I wanna go fishing I have the worms. they reproduce if I take care of it.  hell yeah, give this indian his check. my cash will still end up in the rich mans’ pocket.

there are stinging nettles in the ditch by my mail box. I am gonna pick some tops and dry them. I will make some tea out of them. I read about how beneficial it is to use this tea. it is suppose to lower blood sugar and  cholesterol among other benefits. I am willing to try it.  this diabetic is game to use natural teas besides my meds.

i gotta fire up the riding mower again. the rain we got hasn’t made the mushrooms pop up but the grass has grown. i want to put in a new spark plug, air filter and change the oil on my mower too. and sharpen the mower blades. I still have wood in the yard to pick up. seems chores never end.

speaking of my riding mower I found a buncha decal stickers I bought. I got them to pimp out my mower. I spend months on that mower keeping up my yard. i want it to look good while I mow. I have eagle feathers, bear claws, ku jayhawks and a Haskell stickers. I will make that mower look good to me.

gots to do more chores.

havent found many mushrooms

we had a good rain yesterday. I went mushroom hunting again today. i figured there would be lotsa them at my spot. i hoped the seventh time would be a charm.  we found the ones in the bottom right hand corner of this picture. they are bigger than the other ones we found so far. just wasn’t as many as I thought there would be.

I haven’t found very many this year. just enough for a taste but haven’t got my fill. looks like altogether I found maybe a gallon. usually by now i would have found enough to give some away. it was an off year for me. that dont matter. as long as I got to eat some.

one good thing is we haven’t had problems with ticks. we found two. not bad for being out in the timber 7 times. I like walking around out there. my dog went with me a few of those times. he likes being with me and being out there.

we had to go to topeekie to pick up the grandsons yesterday. while in town we also picked up a meat bundle. even if they open up the economy so more people could possibly be exposed to the virus we probably will stay home anyway. we wanna be stocked up.

I have to get a coupla more grow boxes ready. I have to plant my habanero and jalapeno peppers. I have green peppers too. later I will add hatch peppers, the seeds haven’t sprouted yet. I gotta have diced green chiles this fall and winter. I use all these peppers for seasoning in cooking or to spice up food.

I also have some leeks to transplant. I use them in cooking. mainly for stews and soups. I grow them, diced them up and freeze them. I can use them all year. I add them when I cook turtle too.

the rich people got their money but I haven’t gotten my stimulus check. two trillion must not be enough. they had congress pass another half a trillion dollar stimulus they can get their hands on. and some poor folk still aint got a dime yet. when rich folks get money it is to stimulate the economy. when poor folks get it, its a hand out.

it started to rain again this afternoon. I have to check on eggs a coupla times a day. I started to go out and hail came down. I waited til it let up. I went out to get the eggs and it started to rain. I always heard you don’t run in the rain. I took my time walking to and from the chicken house. got eggs and got wet.

my corn field will be soaked. that’s okay. it will get watered deep down. that will help later. I aint ready to plant indian corn til next month. I am betting the tribe wont get to tilling the ground. if not, I will have to use my small  tiller. I already turned it over as deep as the tiller would get. I can do it again. at least I will get some corn in. I learned long ago to never depend on some one else.

the month of May is a week away. that is the birth month of me, my daughter and my grand daughter. I had plans to go visit my daughter in California. we were gonna celebrate our birthdays together. I will go out there once this virus stuff subsides or whatever it will do.

doing chores

I seen a squirrel again while on a drive around the rez.  that is still social distancing. naturally i didnt have my  .22 that’s the way it goes. i did have my camera though. I try to remember my camera for that one picture I gotta have. that’s why I have thousands of pictures.

I have seen squirrels in the timber while mushroom hunting. they were grays though. the grays are getting more common than in the old days. I  see more of them the past decade or so while hunting. I even seen squirrels that were red and gray mix.

i went mushroom hunting again yesterday. only found about 8 of them. I am keeping them until I find some more. if not I will have them with scrambled eggs. we didnt get the rain last night. so I wont go out today. they are predicting rain on Friday. I will go after that.

i moved my tomato, watermelon and cantaloupe plants into bigger pots. i started them from  seeds. they are healthy. i have them under plant lights. i reseeded into those empty spots in the starter flat. I wanted to make sure i had hatch peppers, leeks and green peppers. I restarted them because I don’t know what is in my second starter flat. better too many than not enough.

i transplanted my cucumber and kale plants i started from seed into my grow boxes. i reseeded in those empty spaces in the seed starter flat. there better not be another killing frost. I am taking the chance there wont be. if not, my cukes and kale will be off to a good start.

i planted some big sunflowers in with my cucumbers. i also added some peas to this grow box. they are companion plants. i planted onions with my kale. I now have 10 grow boxes that are already planted. most are cool weather crops. I will transplant my warm weather things later.

while i was working in my grow boxes I noticed that my strawberry plants are starting to have flowers on them. wont be long before they have fruit on them. my grandsons will be out there checking on them. last year they ate most of them.

while in the timber I checked out the gooseberry bushes. they too are flowering. they should be ready next month sometime. I always remember this old man who always said he was born ‘when the gooseberries are ripe’. same here. i was born in May.

i transplanted many gooseberry bushes in my tree line behind the house. I look at them every year for picking. they haven’t done well. I think it is because they are in between my ponderosa pines. the pine needles must make the ground too acidic. I may have to go back into the timber to pick gooseberries.

I burned off my old garden spot. it was full of grass and corn stalks. I  wanted it clear in case the tribe can till it. if they do, I  will reseed it with clover as a  cover crop. it will lay fallow til next year.

got more chores to do.

not finding many mushrooms

I have been out looking for mushrooms 4 times now. yesterday mary and I only found 3 small ones. this was after a rain. this is definitely an off year for me. I usually find more by now. granted I only go to my favorite spots. they usually give me enough to get my fill.

so far I have only eaten a bowl full of mushrooms. the hours of walking I did was certainly worth it though. I enjoyed that first taste of fried mushrooms. I go thru all that effort of finding them because I really do like the taste of morels.

I am determined to find more. it is suppose to rain tomorrow. I will go out again after that. I don’t think it is a waste of time. I am getting in some good walks in the timber. I enjoy the feeling of being out there. my dog went with me yesterday. he needs to get out too. poor old dog, he likes to bond with me on our walks.

it is good to go mushroom hunting. we have stayed home for the past month. we are not feeling trapped or having cabin fever. I have been a home body for a long time. I don’t mind staying home. but it is nice to go for walks. today I will walk 2 miles on the paved road by my house.

I haven’t had any maple sugar candies for some time. I talked to a coupla guys who help in maple sugaring. I told them I was looking to buy some sugar and candy. they knew people who would sell some. well that aint happened. I thought for sure these guys would be able to score me some.

I look for maple candy every year. I wanna find a hook up I can buy from every year. I used to get it and give some to these old men around here. they liked it when I gave the maple candies to them. now I cant find any.  I enjoy the taste of the candies like those old guys.

all the cold crops in my grow boxes are still hanging in there. the several below freezing temps we had haven’t harmed them. my strawberry plants, onions, cabbages, radishes and carrots are getting bigger. I hope to have a good crop of them.

I talk a lot about weather because it has a big influence on my spring activities. I gotta have warm days, rain etc in order for my garden to grow. I also need the conditions in the timber to be right to get mushrooms and wild onions. later I will get milkweeds or nenwezhek. yeah it does matter if we get rain or warmth. I am dependent on nature to give me what she can.

I am glad we borrowed a chain saw. I cut some low hanging tree branches. they get in the way when I mow the yard. not any more. I cut them out of the way. I had some plum bushes by the mail box that needed to be trimmed too. I have a few more by my other garden spot.

I will have to hook up my cart to the riding mower. I need to pick up the cut up elm branches laying in the yard. I have some wood left over from the winter too. that also has to be picked up. maintaining my yard takes quite a bit of work. it looks good when it is done though.

as long as I have work to keep me busy I don’t mind staying home. actually I am getting to more work by staying home. got work to do this week.

find ’em shrooms

I have walked about 7 hours looking for mushrooms. I like the walks in nature. its not aerobic walking because it is stop and go. there is climbing up and down crick banks. and some crossing fences. it is still a work out. I am doing a lot of walking. if I get tired I sit on a log and enjoy the quiet while resting.

so far all I have found is a bowl full of morels. i usually find more than that. it is kinda an off year for me. I am happy I have that much. i will eat these today. I will go out again. probably right after the next rain. once I get my fill that is enough. I don’t keep on going.

it takes about 3 to 4 weeks for potatoes to break ground. that would be this week for the ones I planted. temps are forecasted to be in the high 60s and into the 70s for the next 10 days. I should see my potatoes come up this week. they will be off to a good start.

i have two flats of seeds starting. I started one a week or two earlier than the second. it has my Abe Lincoln tomato plants in it. they look good, as do my cherry tomatoes, cantaloupe, water melons and kale. when it is time to transplant them, they will be healthy.

the second flat I started hasnt broke ground yet. I may have a problem identifying what plants are in there now. the marker sticks I placed in there got all wet from the water. that made the ink on them run. I have leeks, hatch peppers, bell peppers and marigolds in it. when they are big I will then know what plants are which.

the government is trying to end the stay at home. this is after not acting at all until it was obvious there was a pandemic. they are determined to kill more people. they are in a rush even though there isn’t enough testing to know who has the virus. nor is there a vaccine available.  it must not be a priority since not many are talking about or demanding it. they say that is a year to 18 months away. we wont be safe until that is developed.

even if they ease up on restrictions I will continue to stay home and practice safe distancing. I have no faith in our government. I had a trip planned to new york at the end of this month. that was cancelled. I also planned to go visit my daughter the first part of May. we were gonna celebrate our birthdays together. that is off as well.

while staying home I am texting and calling more. I have to keep in touch with family and friends. i especially like to face time with my grand daughters and daughter. I also am on social media more. sometimes it is just on. maybe causing some to wonder if i haven’t got better things to do. i am staying home, that dont mean i cant socialize.

will see if i plant anything this week.

cool spring

I went mushroom hunting. I walked for 2 and a half hours. after staying home for the past month it was good to be out in nature. mary met me in the timber. I had to go find her. good thing i know this timber.  we  got fresh air,  vitamin D and our walking in.

my dog konugish followed us. he kept up even if he is old. he kinda waddles when he walks. I wonder how many more trips he will make with me to the timber. last year he just turned around and went home. I make him stay home when we walk on the road. he isn’t fast enough to get out of a cars way if he is in the middle of the road.

we only found 5 small morels. the small gray ones. the leaves were all dried out. I thought it was too dry. it had been cold a few nights. temps in the high twenties. that may be a reason why so few. it was probably the reason why we didn’t find any ticks on us too.

I think after this rain and snow the bigger yellow mushrooms will come up.  I will head back out when it warms up.  it isn’t spring until I had mushrooms and wild onions. I like walking in the timber. it feels peaceful. it gets me out of the house.

I got my riding mower back the other day.  I called one shop and they said they couldn’t even get to it for a coupla weeks. that is after I found a way to get it there. so I called my cousin.  he came and picked it up then fixed it. I am glad he rewired the mower. that machine is basically still new.

I heard it was gonna rain yesterday and last night. I fired the mower up and mowed the yard. I dressed up warm because it was kinda cool. I got done in an hour. glad I did before the ground got wet. the grass would have grown fast after the rain. it was already tall.

I don’t have cabin fever. I don’t feel a need to go demonstrate against the stay at home orders. that virus wont come into my home unless I or someone else brings it here. we try our best to stay home. for a while though people were still coming here. I thought its pointless for us to stay home if others that are out and about could come here and possibly expose us to the virus.

we haven’t gotten any stimulus check yet. I heard that others have already. ours will go into the bank and it will get spent. we try to spend wisely. that way we can get more things.

we ordered a meat bundle from the meat company we do business with. we pay for it over the phone. then we drive up and don’t have to get out of the car. they load it in the back and we are off. we don’t usually buy meat from a grocery store. this butcher place has the best bacon, sausage, ribs, steaks etc.

we stocking up in case this stay at home is extended. we usually have food stored any way. they are talking about easing restrictions. I think we will continue to stay home a while even if they do. I don’t know if there will be a second wave or if there are undetected cases around. we haven’t had any cases here yet but I still aint taking chances.

will see what happens next.