finishing the blue roach

i dyed 6 deer tails a royal blue yesterday. i needed them to match the roach i am working on. six is actually more than i need but i wanted extra for the next blue roach. i didnt have enough of that color so i dyed more. i have enough to finish this one and have some for the next one.

i havent dye any deer tails in a long time. i havent forgotten how to do it. nothing to it. i do it on the stove top. i have an old enamel ware pan that i used just for that purpose. i heat the water, add the dye, some salt and vinegar and keep moving the deer tails occasionally. after some time the dye sets in. i rinse the tails a few times until the water runs clear. then it is done.

i dont wanna sound like i go out and gather natural dyes.  i use rit dye. i know that sounds modern and not real tradish. i wouldnt know what plants, roots etc to use to dye the deer tails with. i learned to use rit and probably will continue to do so. thats why i stocked up on it.

i know that my next trip abroad is a ways off. i have started a savings account for that. i have been putting money into it for the past year. i am thinking that trip is still a year or two away. it will take me that long to save the money for the trip i want. my bucket list is angkor wat and to walk on the great wall of china. dont know when that will happen but i am saving for that day. by the time it arrives i will be ready.

i dont wanna sound like an old guy but i am getting to be one. i remember the day when a persons’ word meant something. i knew people that had nothing but their word and it meant everything. today so many in the public view lie even when the facts are known. dont know what this world coming to.

i get emails all the time. most go into my junk folder. they are nothing but scams. they try all kinds of ways to separate me from the little money i have. i get up to a thousand emails a day on this site. so many that i probably missed some important messages i need to see. i wont go thru that many emails every day though. so i miss out on some emails i shouldnt.

we have had a fire going in the wood stove. it may be cold outside, especially at night but it is pleasant in here. we keep the same fire going all day and night. it is an art to keep the fire going. we take turns stoking up the fire.

i have ordered some cds from the internet. i am replacing songs that i lost. some got zapped. i gotta have my playlists when i am working or traveling.

gotta get busy.

aint no scrooge

no bah humbug here. we set up our christmas tree this past weekend. we do it to indulge the grand kids.  the boys helped set it up. i think the season has become way too commercialized. we buy things for the kids all year long. we still have to give them gifts because they believe it is expected during christmas.

the tree needs some lights replaced. a few of the strings of lights didnt work. we tossed them.  we need a plug in at the top so the star lights up. me and the kids like to see the lights on. someone will turn them on every day and leave them on.

during this season i will watch the christmas vacation movie because it is funny. i seen it so many times i know the next line. one of my sons bought me a t shirt with that movie logo on it. i still have it. i will listen to elvis’ blue christmas song and john lennons war is over. other than that i draw the line at christmas carols.

we even put a santa hat on the wooden bear i bought at a flea market. that bear is an indicator of what is going on around us. at halloween it dons a mask. during covid the bear had a face mask on. at new years eve the bear wears a party hat. the bear also gets a KU hat or KC chiefs hat during some games. maybe next pow wow season i will put a roach on it.

i waited all week to watch the chiefs game last night. as i have done too many times this year, i wondered are we gonna hang on for this win. the chiefs used to dominant games in the past. this time of year we got no margin for error. i am still hoping they go to the super bowl and win.

i notice on the back of the chiefs helmets they have “no hate”. pro sports teams are among the few that publicly stand against racism. what i dont understand is why the chiefs havent shut down the tomahawk chop. if they aspire to be world champs they should act like champs. the chop is stupid so is the big drum they bang on. we dont want racism but its okay to stereotype indians eh.

i will have to dye some deer tails. i need more blue trim for the roach i am working on.  i have two plastic containers full of deer tails that are already dyed. that saves me from dyeing tails every time i make a roach. i am out of royal blue now. i will dye some tails blue.

when i feed my chickens the wild birds eat the feed too. they must be fattening up before winter sets in. its not unusual to see robins, wrens, blue jays and cardinals eating with the chickens. i heard feeding wild birds would bring good luck. must be true because i am lucky to be alive.

gotta get busy.

finishing another roach

i am getting closer to finishing a roach i started awhile back. i knew i would make roaches during my retirement years way before i ever retired. thats why i stocked up porcupine hair, deer tails, rug yarn and dye. i wanted all my supplies assembled so all i had to do was make roaches. good thing i did. prices were lower then.

this is a 12 inch boys roach. i have plenty of mens roaches done. i need more boys roaches on hand. recently i was asked if i have any boys roaches. i didnt. young parents and grandparents are always looking for roaches for the little ones.

i tied the second row of front hair for this roach.  i will finish tying the rest of the porcupine hair today. the inside trim is royal blue. i will add some other colors to the outside trim. it has 7 inch front hair. it has good bounce and movement.

some lady wants two woodland style roaches for her grand sons. she wants both of them red. i will start working on them next. i will sort more hair. i have a few boxes of it already rough sorted. i spent many hours doing that. it wont take long to get it fine sorted. it ends up with solid colors like the roach pictured.

i have been making double rows of front hair on every roach i make now. many dancers prefer a double or triple row of hair. i was hesitant about doing two rows. i made them the way i was taught to honor the roach maker who showed me how to make roaches.  now i see that they do look better with a double row. it uses more hair but i have pounds of it. and trappers keep me supplied with it.

last night my grandson asked me if we were gonna put up a christmas tree. i told him we would. the old hippie in me likes to see the lights. we have used the same tree for a few years. we wont use a tree that was recently alive. i dont wanna kill a tree only to throw it away. save the planet eh?

we have collected different ornaments over the years. many of them are hand made. we have native style ornaments and i have some with the KU logo. the grandkids also made some at school. we will get the tree up this weekend.

i started to log my water intake on the new to me fitbit. i only keep track when i have a fitbit. when i dont have any logged it makes me drink more water. my doctor told me to drink more water. it helps to flush the excess sugar and cleanses my system.

i havent been able to walk my two miles for the past week. i am anxious to log some miles again. i am lifting weights though. i do seated bench presses and use dumbbells for arm exercises. my upper body is getting toned.

gotta do my chores.

easing into winter

we only made one fire in the wood stove so far. today is supposed to be a record high of 72 degrees for this date. i have the wood stacked in the basement. i havent had many times to go down there to stoke up the fire.

i havent used the tread mill either.  mary n i walked for two weeks. this week would have made the third week. but no. my foot is giving me slight discomfort when i walk. i stepped on a nail last friday. i havent walked my two miles since then. my foot is better, i should be walking soon. dont know if it will be on the road or on the treadmill.

i have the new to me fitbit. tomorrow i get my new black wrist band. the fitbit has been charged and is keeping track of my steps. i am not logging too many right now. i am anxious to do my two mile walk. the fit bit is keeping track of my sleep. i havent started logging my water intake yet.

we ordered propane. we fill our tank and it usually lasts until spring time. we warm our house mainly with the wood stove. the furnace only kicks on when the fire dies down early in the morning. i prefer wood heat because it reminds me of my younger days. warmth from a wood stove makes a house feel like a home.

we were bracing ourselves for the price of the propane. we heard there would be shortages. sure enough the price has gone up. we are paying $200 more for the same 200 gallons. good thing it will last us until spring. we are lucky we have a wood stove. the price to heat homes with propane this winter will be high. i think businesses create their own shortages to make more profit.

i am working on another roach. i have the inside deer tail trim done. the first row of porcupine hair is tied and sewn on. i need to sort some more shorter hair for the tail piece. then i tie that hair. after sewing it on, i just have the outer row of trim to do. making roaches keeps me busy.

a nephew texted me. he asked if i have facebook. i told him no, i have a real life. he didnt answer for awhile so i texted back and said just kidding. he was looking for a boys roach. i told him i can make any size or color. he will come over to check out what i got.

a trapper contacted me about buying porcupine hair. i bought from her before. i said yeah i would buy the hair again. i said what i was interested in was all the quills off the porcupine. trappers already have the critter. pulling the quills is extra cash. i wanna try quillwork. i figure i gotta do it awhile to get better at it. i want to fix up a fan i have with quillwork.

gotta get busy.

last day of native american month

native american month went by.  i dont know if i did anything native. i had some fry bread on sunday but then frybread wasnt native. it became part of our diet back when we were given flour and grease to replace our native foods.

today we were gonna go watch the native american dancers at the local high school. we werent sure if we could so we called the district office. they said it would be full with all the students. we watched it on the school districts live feed.  we seen empty seats we coulda sat in.

i recognized one of my grand daughters. wasnt sure about the other one. i also noticed my nieces son. he was dancing with a roach that i made. he is a chicken dancer. i gave my niece a curved rooster tail feather from a chicken we cleaned. she added a white fluff to it and put it on the roach. that made it look good.

yesterday we took our pups for their second shots. the other dogs at the vets’ office were all nicely groomed. our pups were dusty and had stickers in their fur. they looked like rez dogs.

recently i seen a fellow tribesman at nation station. i whooped at him. he looked up and smiled. sometimes i do that and it embarrasses some indians. they get that look like ‘dont do that native stuff when i with my non-native friends’.

we have had our fill of kale. the plants are still producing even this late in the season. i have been tossing handfuls of the kale to the chickens. they like fresh greens. it is a break from the dry crumbles they eat. we also feed them chicken scraps. i hope the kale makes our eggs better. for sure it couldnt hurt.

my old fitbit quit. my daughter in law gave me a fitbit charge 3. they couldnt find the charger. my son located it and brought it over. i charged the fitbit and had to add the device to the app on my phone. first i had to remove the old inspire fitbit.

i ordered a new black wrist band for it off of amazon cyber monday. i dont like  the white one on it.  i am counting my steps again. it tells me how much sleep i am getting too. i keep track of my water intake. the fitbit makes that easier.

we aint got any christmas lights or a tree up yet. some had that going before thanksgiving. i dont celebrate christmas as much as others. some may not understand. i dont tell people it reminds me of my boarding school days.

there werent very many that had to stay at the school during christmas. the school was deserted except for us. we didnt get to be with our families like the others. it made us lonesome. they played christmas carols all the time. the other kids came back with new toys. we didnt get any. christmas reminds me of that so i dont really get into the christmas spirit.

gotta work on a roach.

went to KU football game

we went to KU’s last home football game last night. we bought our tickets a coupla weeks ago. wabeno was coming home so we asked her if she wanted to go with us. she said yeah. andrew wanted to go too. we were lucky we got their seats next to ours, but then the stadium wasnt quite half full.

KU was in it the whole game. i was hoping to see another win for this team. they didnt listen to the experts who counted them out the whole season. they showed up to play every game. we went to support our team. i plan to go to games next year.

when we arrived, we found 3 Indian ladies in our seats. i told them they were in our seats. they moved to the row in front of us. i asked one of them to take our picture. she did. i thanked her.

the band came of the gate near us for the pregame show. one of the flag girls was the lady’s daughter. they wanted to sit close to the gate to take her picture. the band did the half time show too.  i told her that her daughter did good. she thanked me.

during the day it was 65 degrees. that was great football weather. after the sun went down, it got cooler. during the game it got colder. it was 50 degrees by half time.  dedicated fans sat there and cheered our team on. half the stadium would holler ‘rock chalk’. the other half would answer ‘Jayhawk’. that was neat.

we huddled together and covered up but we started to get cold. we tried to hang in there because it was a close game. by the third quarter we were cold. i was recording the game so i suggested we leave. there was no argument. we listened to the rest of the game on the radio. KU scored again but time ran out. they lost by six points.

as we were driving home, we turn the heater up. we warmed up. that felt good after sittting in the cold for three hours. we stopped on the way home to get a sandwich. we didnt want a sit-down meal because it was getting late and we had an hour drive to the rez.

we paid someone so we could park close to the stadium. i was walking with a slight limp. i stepped on a nail in the yard. i keep the yard clean. dont know how that nail showed up. i think the dogs. they get into everything. it wasnt just lying there. it is on the way to the chicken house. i cover that ground a coupla times a day, every day.

i will go to the clinic monday. i might have to get a tetanus shot booster. you are supposed to have them every 5 years or so. i dont know if i had one. i will check. other than a slight swelling i don’t have any other symptoms.

we are having our family thanksgiving dinner today. getting together will be fun.

watching KU basketball again today

had a slight glitch on my website. it was off awhile.  i didnt go into panic mode. we notified the admin and it was back in no time.  i thought i posted a blog yesterday but it didnt show up.

we went to pick up my daughter at the airport the other day.  we went thru leavenworth instead of taking the turnpike. i was reminded of when i worked behind the walls. i remembered going into sweats with our bros i had met. i will never forget those guys.

wabeno’s plane was a direct flight and got to kc early. we picked her up at curbside so we didnt have to pay for parking. we took the turnpike home. she hadnt eaten so we stopped in lawrence to have supper. we ate at a place on mass street that served thai food. i had drunken noodles, a spring roll and a spicy soup. it was good.

while eating i met a guy i knew from my days working with traditional foods. he is a brother from the iowa tribe. it was nice to visit with him.  he asked if i was having the harvest feast. i told him i was retired from that gig and i live the life now. it is part of my life style. it wasnt just a job for me.

after eating we walked down mass street.  wabeno needed to buy a stocking cap to wear at the KU football game tomorrow. she lives in arizona now. our weather will be much cooler at the game than what she is used to. we have our tickets and we are ready for the game.

we didnt have a thanksgiving dinner yesterday. we did eat a meal together. we had deer back strop, wild rice and gooseberry pie. after we ate we played cards. we like to play pitch. later we played dominos so andrew could play. we dont get to play games often. it was family activities so we could visit.

we gonna have a family dinner on sunday. we will have a smoked turkey, nenwezhek, kakasuwabo, wild rice, dried squash, corn soup with deer and pie. i will try to get pictures of the family.

we finished our deer jerky off. i will make more with the roasts and bigger pieces of deer we froze. after that all we will have left is stew meat. we need room in our freezer because our cured meat from the half a hog we bought will be ready. we will pick up our ham and bacon.

today i will watch KU play basketball again. they played yesterday. some of our family were here so i didnt get to see the whole game. today i get to pay more attention. if they win, they play again sunday. we have depth this year. most will get time to show their talent.

i gotta change into one of my KU t shirts. i am one of those fans that like to wear team colors while watching the game on tv.

almost ready to fire up wood stove

there is no such thing as too much time with grand kids. the boys had no school yesterday and the girls got off the school bus here. i like it when 4 of them are here at the same time. i know i am getting older since i cant pick them up anymore. each used to fall asleep while i was holding one of them in my arms.

sunday my son and i tossed wood into the basement. andrew helped. he said i like doing stuff like this. i am proud that he is willing to help us. i say you can teach a kid to work but not an adult. the tribe brought us a nice load of wood, some of it was oak. that will keep our home warm.

we havent made our first fire in the wood stove yet. i have to go down stairs and stack the wood. i will clean the stove pipes out too. i replaced them late last season. i dont want any creosote build up.  there is always work to be done.

i will be glad when we have the wood stove going again. the warmth from a wood stove makes a house feel like a home. i go down to the basement more to stoke up the stove. i will be able to walk on the tread mill. i will be able to lift weights too.  the many walks up and down the stairs is a good work out too.

we are eating the deer that was given to us. while eating some i had to think of when some write stories about indians. they talk about a meal of ‘roasted venison’. i get a kick out of that. why not just say fried up some deer meat. guess that aint quaint enough.

yesterday i went after more chicken feed. i bought a new feed. it is designed to maximize egg production. i will see. it costs more but it is in 50 pound bags instead of 40. i get a discount because i have a rewards card. and if i buy $50 worth of feed, i get $10 off. i do that easily. the savings covers the extra cost and my chickens eat better.

tomorrow we are going to pick up my daughter wabenokwe. it is over an hour drive to the airport. dont know if we are gonna eat while in town. wabeno will go to the KU football game with us on saturday. andrew heard that and said i wanna go too. i was lucky to get the seats next to ours. we will sit together.

we arent having thanksgiving dinner on thursday. we are having it on sunday instead. thats okay. i will watch the KU basketball game on thursday. it doesnt matter what day we have our family dinner. the important thing is we eat together. hope my militant friends dont think we celebrating the day. we celebrate being a family and we always appreciate what we have.

got chores to do and porcupine hair for a roach to sort.

went to andrew’s basketball game

andrew had a basketball tournament yesterday in lawrence. he played at 9, 11 and 3 o clock games. i made it to the game at 11.  his team is coached by an ex KU player. that didnt help. his team got beat well kinda badly.

not making excuses but the other team was older and played together before. andrews team is young, small and  playing together for the first time. they will learn over the course of the season. having a KU player coaching will help.

after that game we went to eat lunch. we had chinese food at a place where my sons used to eat when they were poor students. mary, samuel and i headed for home after eating. i wanted to watch the KU football game at 3 o clock.

i got home in time to watch KU almost pull off another win. it was tied with bout 4 minutes left. i was hoping they would win. the fact that they were in the game says something. the talking heads picked KU to lose every game. now they have two victories and narrowly missed winning two more.

i have tickets to the last home game.  i  have watched every game. i gotta be honest. i switched channels at half time a coupla games when  the hawks werent in the game. i’m going to the last game to show my support. i believe this staff is making our team better.

friday we picked up our fresh pork. on the way home i stopped to pick up 5 more hens for $5 each. they are isa browns, a crossbreed designed for high egg production. they have some rhode island red in them. they lay big, brown eggs.

i want to continue to supply the people who bought  our surplus eggs. that helped pay for feed. now i feel some loyalty to them. they made sure our fresh eggs wouldnt go to waste.  i believe eggs must be eaten fresh for the best taste. i didnt want any sitting for some time like the ones in grocery stores.

when i got the hens home i put a zip tie on their feet to mark them. they are 2 and 1/2 years old. they may lay eggs 6 more months or longer. maybe even less. when they stop we will butcher them for soup. now we have 17 hens. all breeds that lay even in the winter.

mary managed to get all the fresh pork into our freezer. it is full now. we havent gotten our cured meats though. we wont get that until after the holiday.  we wont have the ham in time for thanksgiving.

we will have our thanksgiving meal on sunday instead of thursday. what day doesnt matter to us. the main thing is we will eat together as a family. my daughter wabeno will be home and the grand kids will be there.  i like to take pictures when we are together.

today i am watching the k. c. chiefs play. i cuss when they lose and am happy when they win. lets hope i end the day with a smile.

half a hog ready

i woke up last night bout 4 o’clock. i remembered there was a lunar eclipse. i went outside to see it and get a picture. there was only a small area that was dark. i had slept thru the best part. i tried to take a picture with my phone. i didnt get a good one. it was kinda cool so i didnt stay out very long.

years ago i sat outside with my nikon during a lunar eclipse. i took pictures of the moon at various stages of the eclipse. my house is off the road, down in the hayfield. i worried some one would drive by and see me sitting outside in the dark. didnt want them wondering if i was crazy or smoking that stuff. i liked the pictures i got though. thats why i wasnt gonna be outside for five hours last night.

the meat processing place called. our fresh pork is ready to be picked up. our cured meat (ham and bacon) will be ready next friday. we will get 4 pork chops or 4 pork steaks per package. we will get some roasts like pork butt. we will get sausage, ham hocks, neck bones, lard and spare ribs too. we will eat half of the ham at thanksgiving.

we will render down the lard. we have done that before. we thought of giving it away but decided to keep it. or at least some of it. we will fry chicken or fry bread with it. some day we may try to make lye soap but that’s another time. older people say lard makes the best pie crusts. we will try some in our thanksgiving pies.

they asked me how thick if any i wanted the fat trim on the pork chops. i said leave all of it on. i am like my uncle bud, now i like to eat the fat. some may say eating the fat isnt healthy but it wont be much. it aint like i will have it every day.

we eat more pork, buffalo, chicken or deer meat than red meat. we will have an occasional steak. that is a luxury we wont do with out. i still say that wild game and meat from lockers tastes better than grocery meats. probably healthier too.

my last lab results showed my sugar levels were high. i admit it is because i was slacking. i wasnt concerned at all after having a A1C reading of  6.8. now i know i cant let up. we have walked 6 miles this week. i also lifted weights 4 times. i am getting work outs in now. i wont let up. it is up to me to get back to where i was a few months ago. my health is my responsibility.

i finished another batch of deer jerky. i added more of my habanero hot sauce to the marinade. i cant taste it in the finished result though. thats okay the jerky is still good. my kids all want a share of what i made.

gotta work on my roach.