Friday, October 30, 2009

FRIDAY!!! and the last hour of work!!!

Last night was a meeting - it was very important but OHHHHH so long. If I could I'd share with you the humorous version of the meeting summary my friend and I wrote but alas, I have a shred of conscience that says "no, better not..."

I don't mind the meetings by the way. I know most people will cry and wail about this and that meeting they have to go to but without these meetings how would policies be set? Without new policies, how would our organizations progress? They wouldn't. They would stay in the same place they were hundreds of years ago. Thus, to me, meetings are important enough that I will sit through them and TRY to listen attentively. Ohhhh, please don't let me sound too noble. My brother tells me that nothing escapes my face...if I'm sitting there thinking "you're repugnant and slightly lurdane" it's clearly written on my face. I'll confess right here and now, ALSO, if someone in a meeting mispronounces a word or uses improper grammar? I can't NOT laugh...I'll admit it, I'm a bit persnickety when it comes to these things.

Because it's Friday I will also share with you this gift I received after the meeting. We (my brother and I) were on our way to the car after packing everything up and getting the final details written up...we were relaxing with some sort of bawdy humor of course when I looked down and saw this:

On the ground, in the rain, in the night there it was, a shiny golden heart formed by two autumn leaves...

Somewhere in the midst of the darkness and rain of our lives is ALWAYS the golden heart that brings light...I know this to be true!

Have a good weekend my good friends!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Who Knew?????

Okay yesterday as I shared, was a busy, kind of yuk day...I on the other hand have been gifted with some sort of inner ability to find a chuckle where it's needed. As I came out of the restroom stall yesterday my eyes were directly on the level with what's pictured below...

"oh I say, do be a good bloke and scratch the tip of my nose please!" he actually SMILED at me...which made me chuckle because I wonder how many other people walk in and out of that door and see...nothing...

This is "Beaver" our faithful travel companion who is often given to a slight bit of moodiness...he's got a bit of a lisp but we don't really make a big deal of that...we forgive him because he will break into song from time to time and has quite a few salty observations to make regarding the world around us.

I wonder if this car would be chagrined to know HIS face is on his back end????

Elephant Rock is a long standing landmark where I live. It was a gathering place below (at the river) for long before the dynamics of this country changed and still stands up on the hill...

 I try to imagine the stories this pirate rock might tell...looks a little on the disreputable side to me, which means the stories might be all the more enthralling!

I'm headed off to yet another meeting...

Water is my all time favorite element in this universe...when I saw this heartshaped rock in the midst of a little waterfall it was just so amazing. I left the rock where it was, I hope anyone who came behind me did the same! THESE are meant to be enjoyed and appreciated by many.

Have a good afternoon all!!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

this is a swirling vortex of entropy!!!!!

That pretty much describes my day...

I have absolute confidence that tomorrow will be better!!!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

beautiful sunday

I was going to post this yesterday but here's the deal: my photos were all on my cell phone and I now know that I am indeed one of those cell phone addicts...I had the shakes, I was sweating, I was PACING and then finally last night I found it under the seat of the car...yes, it's name is Shawna and I have an addiction to my cell phone...

Have you ever heard the song "Beautiful Sunday"? It's from the 70's and is very cheery and fun. If I could link it to this post I would...

Sunday morning when we're home is longhouse day...we get up and get our L-house gear on and head out...I'm a cook so I head straight for the kitchen where we all gather to prepare delicious food to be served after the service. Here I am in MY longhouse gear...

We have traditional foods to serve, salmon, deer meat, roots, chokecherries and best of all, huckleberries. The picture's blurry but to the left is one of the young cooks in training working on the frybread which is also a traditional food. She didn't really want her picture taken anyway...

One of the most endearing qualities of longhouse day is the broad range of community represented there...from grandmas to great grand-daughters and all in a new stage of learning/teaching.

Pictured here is Grandma Lonnie showing young Judith about separating dessert:-)

This is a picture of Axatinse (her Indian name) and she is the second lead cook. She's beautiful and full of historical stories, her mother taught her from infancy to present about longhouse traditions. She's one of the main women who taught me about the way we do things from when I first came home (2004).

Anna takes something out of the oven. She's a cook who's always happy and full of life. One of our teachings is that we don't cook with "bad feelings" if we are sad over the loss of a loved one or sick or even just having a bad day we will usually wash dishes and help in other ways, we don't want the way we are feeling to make it's way to the food...

Grandma Lonnie is a wonderful teacher, she's patient and kind and always has time to answer a question about how to sew our wingdresses or what beadwork stitch would work best for our belt bag or just the right amount of sugar to can the huckleberries...

The songs boom into the kitchen from the longhouse and fills the day with rich prayers for strength, healing and safety of our loved ones overseas. From time to time a lull in the songs will be heard as this one of that one speaks from their heart to the full group.

On the last three songs, the cooks line up by age and go out into the longhouse to "dance" this is our way of giving thanks for the food and for our lives. We're ready to serve lunch! We serve our foods in an order...

Laughter, stories, birthday songs and a community feeling of warmth and comraderie came along with this meal...above is the line up of foods prepared. Directly left is one of our roots, the bitterroots...they're yummy...

But not as yummy as the huckleberries which end our meal...

So after longhouse I went home and although I was still in my wingdress I went out and stacked wood with the two dogs accompanying me...this was a bit of a chore since they both assumed that having me outside meant it was "dog time" and they thought I was playing with them by trying to get past them to work...silly dogs! Evening came along and a "house service" which was for Uncle Andy who had just recovered from surgery and wanted to share in giving thanks for his health...more food, more hugs and even MORE happy birthday songs! This niece just turned 16!

It was a beautfiul long and full day...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy Dance!!!

The dogs came home all tired and dirty late Friday nite...they're very naughty but they abjectly apologized! First we chastized them then we kissed them!!!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

cirque du soul

hahaha I have to chuckle because that title just came to me - I was thinking about what I might share today and I have to tell you it's been a deep digging week.

First I have to share that the wondrous keepers of our sanity and the guardians of the Little House on the Prairie may very well have moved on to a new assignment - oh don't be sad for us, in the country (as some of you might know) our keepers don't always stay long...not like my friend in the city who was so attached to her cat that when took ill and died she took a MONTH...say it with me...A MONTH off from work to recover.No, we wish them well if they've gone and will respect the joyous kissings of their memory...

Rocky and and hugs to you!!! It's actually another ironic moment, the LAST time I took a close up shot of one of our keepers (Daisy) SHE took off the next day too.

I'm in tribal's a challenging and daunting task from day to day but the rewards are beyond expression...when a policy I helped draft is brought to fruition by helping just ONE tribal member access a service not available to them prior to the inception of that policy it's a rich moment.

It's election year. I have to tell you, this brings out the best AND worst in people...the office I'm running for has three nominees, one, the incumbent has been making herself unpopular throughout her four years in term and has alienated herself in more ways than I can or should try to say here with her constituents. The other one happens to be my dear Auntie whom I love, treasure and respect...bottom line is, when I look in the mirror today I know beyond a shadow of doubt that I am indeed not the person who came to this reservation five years ago...that person was broken, tired and hopeless, afraid to speak her mind and afraid to be hurt one more time.

I have people who want to help me win this election and this is part of the SOUL part...they met with me on Wednesday and part of their counsel to me was to use the weakness of my opponent against about the things she's done wrong and exploit her every mistake to advance my own cause. Everything in me recoils at the thought and yet the evil twin lurks inside saying it's okay just this once...

Bottom line? I will not bow to base finger-pointing and name-calling, I will not use the weaknesses of my opponent to stand up higher and I will move forward knowing to the depth of my heart that I am working from integrity and honesty, I will be a respectable grandma and not a odious hoyden!!!!

:-) So...there it is

Have a good weekend my friends!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

irony makes me SMILE...

Here's some ironic moments just TODAY:
  • many of the blogs I follow are actually from across the big ocean...I find this ironic, I was raised in a non-Indian home and worked for many many many years to shake the persona from my being and yet I am drawn like a moth to flame! thank you my friends from across the ocean!
  • one of my most highly respected peers (you have no idea, I treasure her wisdom and quiet spirit)  is also someone I dread seeing in my "in" box.
  • my husband is NOW finding time to be romantic...after 25 years of marriage then 5 years of separation...WHAT?????
  • I have to add this one because I was busily typing and my nails are clicking on the keyboard- IRONY: I'm too busy and do too much work to actually care about or get manicures and NOW my fingernails are strong and growing nicely...WHO SAID????

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

brightly woven strands...

Did I already mention that Tuesdays are craft night at our home??? We open the house from 6:30 to 9:30 every Tuesday night and all are invited to bring projects of any type to work on. The ages of those who show up are from 15 to 70 and there are a few men from time to time as well. I love this day although sometimes I have to tell you, it's utterly exhausting.

For instance the first time I was asked to show my niece how to sew a wing dress...oh don't get me wrong - I've sewn many a wing dress but at THIS particular session, my auntie Bon (daughter of one of our Chiefs) and Vera (daughter of Grandma V who is inimitable and fiery) scooted in very close to watch my every move. They commented from time to time between themselves and I was SOOOO intimidated to be "teaching" in front of them! I actually deduced later through their little side comments that NEITHER of them had ever sewn a wing dress so I felt much more in my element:-) See the thing about me is this: I do the things I do because I like them...I am not good with being "taught" how to play the piano or knit or sew...but I can make anything I see or play anything I've heard and liked on the flute or piano (another tale to be told). So my teaching methods are not weak per se, but let's just say they're somewhat unconventional...

I started writing this blog a week or so ago and here it is TUESDAY again...I'm both excited and a little chagrined because this is between paydays so the snacks will be somewhat sparse...however I fully look forward to hearing the latest "news" and stories.

I've heard stories about Aunties who could be heard in the next room tearing fabric and then magically appear with a beautiful wingdress, about grandmas who wove the richness of the sun into their basketry...uncles who gave out both wisdom and hilariously raucous humor in the same breath...

yeah...I love craft night!

old songs...

this morning my brother went about getting ready for work humming happily along...what song? ROCKY TOP???? That's OOOOOOLLLLLDDD!!! I was thinking about old songs, they always conjure up deep feelings sometimes happy and sometimes not, but I think this is part of how we grow...having a non-threatening place to examine a moment from.

I don't know if you know what I mean, I only know there are some songs that have brought me through some of the darkest days imaginable and some songs that just hearing the opening notes to can make me want to dance...

Monday, October 19, 2009

glorious rainy autumn day

it was a day full of laughter
stepping in puddles and wishing
for hot cocoa
grandkids running
and asking for candy
so warm from
the inside

all in all
it was a
glorious rainy autumn day!

Friday, October 16, 2009

time heals...

i've been reconnected with some dear "old" friends this week...

memories of childhood darkness
claw at the joy
of loves fresh fire
wispy breath of fog
tendrils creep beneath
the shaded creeks remembered
laughter deep and full
echoes rich throughout
time heals - maybe not all wounds
but most

so today, I am grateful!

count your blessings!

okay so this is it. after this weekend we're going to go down to that cat place in town where they have kitties who have not only had their shots but that are also HOUSETRAINED. I mean please how could anything be better????? This is how I think things might be going in the little Mouse Community where I live...

Euphemina (mama mouse): Kids, you better pack up, I heard Them thundering about in the mountains and They are inviting the Great Evil to their domain.

Shmiffen, Phthormae and Hester (kid mice) all shiver and look with wonder at their mama, big ears trembling they quaver at her "whhhattt? the Great EVIL????"

Euphemina snorts: yes, after all we've done for Them, They will do this thing and we must pack our belongings and begin the Long Trek To the Other Prairie Home. I will put together some supplies and we will begin leaving tomorrow.

PhivelTipitMunstich (Papa Mouse) stands up: Well now, (harrumph...and can you please imagine by the way, how it sounds when a MOUSE harrumphs? Probably to you and I it sounds like a medium high squeak) you kids better be ready, and Euphie (her shortened name) did you wash all of their Skechers? (HAHA now you and I might be amused that mice wear tennis shoes named like OUR tennies but to the mice this is no small matter).

Euphie retorts "yes of COURSE I washed their skechers and you KNOW I've done all...

PhivelTipitMustich interrupts her, "now don't go gettin' all het up Euphie, I'm just gettin' ready to warn the kids about those big lumbering oafs Rocky and Sandy who will do all manner of stupid stunts to try and scare them as we leave this prairie!"

I won't go further into the preparations taken by these little creatures. I will tell you that Rocky and Sandy aren't very astute with regards to the whole rodent issue, we tried to show them a mouse and they just looked at it like "uh, that isn't steak" which I guess can't really be seen as their fault...we do spoil them a bit.

Long story short, the Great Evil, a CAT is going to be brought to our home early next week! I'm OH SO EXCITED!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

a new day...

This is the new day dawning ever so gently over Auntie Umatilla (Umatilla River) who is dancing a joyful autumn dance wearing the mist laced with dew for her shawl...

I'm so glad about new days, aren't you? Yesterday frought with questions and fears and angers and such, GONE...I hope you all had a really good one today!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

first woodstove fire of the season!!!! MMMMMMMMMMM

The day was spent at home yesterday nursing the tale end of an's true, FINALLY I realized that when one is sick or even a little extra tired one should take time to rest and rejuvenate rather than to go and spread the germs or exhaustion into the world! dang! look how long it took to teach me that!!!!!

Rocky and Sandy were overjoyed that I stayed at home...this meant their duty of "watching the house" was doubly important and from time to time they'd take off barking for absolutely no reason other than to show that indeed they were RIGHT ON IT SIR!!!!! (by sir, of course they were talking about Mr. Man). Make no mistake, they were utterly convinced that had they not held the back porch down perhaps the entire house would have flown away...

Off and on throughout the day I would take some time to finish a chore that had been put off for this reason or that...found some little things I'd put aside a LONG time ago and THAT was serendipitous! I got braver later in the afternoon and went outside to clean up Rocky and Sandy's playpen but got tired and ended up just playing a lot and gettin' some affection from them...

I should put a note here that Rocky was very much with the kisses but didn't want his picture taken...Sandy of course doesn't mind the camera at all, he thinks of himself as quite handsome anyway!

I went in and started dinner because I was feeling very homey and productive...Mr. Man finally got home and last night was cold enough for the first wood stove fire for the season! He built the fire, poured water in what I call our "Little House on the Prairie" tea pot and tossed some of our "Indian Medicine" (Sorry, can't tell you what it is...) on the top of the stove...our home instantly warmed up and the smell of our delicious medicine wafted with healing strength throughout all of the rooms! I did a little bit of weaving and all in all it was another amazing day at home!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

where the wild things aren't...

okay i will now tell you some facts:
  • whenever possible i will imagine myself in these sparkly jimmy choos and not in my serious and funkshunal skechers
  • this morning when i greeted the dogs they told me a joke...i didn't quite understand it but i chuckled with them and wished them a good day

  • I LOVE BEIN' THE GRANDMA...but i loved bein' the mama FIRST
  • instead of writing down fanciful phrases for fun and finesse i should actually be preparing for a meeting but hey...the flow of words beckoned...
  • i made Sandy wear a baby first he was proud of it and tried to show it off to Rocky but then Rocky told him "oh you're dumb, that's NELLIE'S sock!" and then Sandy got embarrassed and tried to take it off. Here's the naughty part of this secret: I made him continue wearing it because I couldn't quit laughing out loud at him!!!!!!

  • it's true I love the fancy and fun phenonema but to the depth of my being I am THIS PERSON

  • although i've enjoyed this little path of fact sharing i really REALLY must go prepare for that meeting...please feel free to share fun facts about YOURSELF with me!!!! and our friends!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Color is a function of the human visual system, and is not an intrinsic property.

Objects don't "have" color, they give off light that "appears" to be a color. Spectral power distributions exist in the physical world, but color exists only in the mind of the beholder.

As I stepped out this afternoon to go to lunch I was greeted first by Mr. Magpie who queried politely after my health. After exchanging pleasantries I walked on towards the car and came across in a few short strides a variety of color expressions to share!
It's the last big hurrah so to speak and here are some of the fun rides!
This shy bush to the left...donned in red leaves for the daily dance in the sun...

First my brother cares for the rosebushes, he then shares with me the last rose of summer:-)