Friday, November 20, 2009

filling the bucket...

It's been a hectic week. Meetings and pissing matches (if you will)...stressing about this and that. Today is FRIDAY and it's funny that this epiphany comes at the end of the week rather than at the beginning...would haev saved a LOT of ...complaining from me:-). Today I realized with one of those "I could have had a V8" moments that none of the stressing, none of the bad thoughts and bad words will really take me where I want to go, we all pray in our own way and my prayers have been more in the line of whinings this past week so first I offer apologies and THEN I give thanks for the ability to hear beyond what I see! that goes along with this ever growing hope that I will one day be someone my granddaughters can reminisce about "I remember Grandma, she said what she meant and meant what she said!" It's funny really, I remember back when I was sitting in the back seat of my Aunt Dorothy's car...she drove a big old Oldsmobile and I used to marvel at what I in my youth saw as amazing dexterity and confidence as she drove down the road behind the wheel of that big car. I literally had confidence that Aunt Dorothy knew everything...I told her this just a few years ago, she must have been about 28 or 30 at the time but she's now in her 70's and just as beautiful and graceful as she was then...she chuckled at me and tousled my hair (like if I was still IN the back seat of her olds) and said "well, what do you think NOW? do you think I really DID know everything?" We laughed together and she said "remember this...that bucket gets filled one drop at a time and before you know it you're full and it's up to YOU what you're full of!"

I'm listening to Christina Aguilera's song right first it sounded smaltzy (haha is that a WORD?) but here's a part I think works:

And everywhere we go

The sun won't always shine
But tomorrow will find a way
All the other times

'cause we are beautiful no matter what they say

Yes, words won't bring us down, oh no
We are beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can't bring us down
Don't you bring me down today ...

I hope my bucket's filled with clear cold refreshing water from one of my favorite rivers!

this river picture came from a friend of old Celilo Falls picture

Have a good weekend all, I have some new tea I'm going to try out and my grandbabies are on their way to visit me!!!!


Thank you Alice in Wonderland for an award - very much appreciated!

Please also check out some of my favorite places to relax or have my thoughts stirred...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

what it's REALLY all about...

sometimes we just take ourselves too seriously. when all is said and done what does that get us? gray hair and wrinkles? I don't want that!

ya know, i actually have more than one brother. i decided i should share that since i more often than not make reference to just the one...he's about in the middle of them but i am the oldest

in my adopted family - where i was raised, i had three sisters...they were all older than i.

nooo today's story is about my three sons

when my daughter jill was born they were entranced with her, she really was quite stunning if i do say so myself but one day as i changed her, they gathered around the changing table to watch...SUDDENLY the third son BURSTS into tears and sobs his little heart out...

big brother mike looks at him with deep consternation and says "what's the matter, lee bee?" and lee bee bawls out between huge sobs..."sheee doesn't have a PEEEEEEEEEE"

i chuckled a little

big brother mike pats leebee on the back with older brotherly wisdom and says "it's okay leebee. she's grow one!"

i laughed so hard i cried too!

the worried one: leebee

Big brother Mike

To the right in between me and my brother (you have heard of Mr. Man, right?) is second son Derek...and right below is aforementioned daughter.

When I look at these pictures and think of these memories all of the stress and worry about what "they" are saying...the policies and politics of this world just melt away...

first, i am the mama!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

oh be careful little ears...

Yesterday I was minding my own business and working away at my job when I received a text from a very good friend of mine...he was telling me there would be a service at so and so's house on Wednesday. I was at first alarmed because in the longhouse way, we usually only do services at someone's home if they're very sick and wish for healing prayers, or if someone has passed away from that home and they need strength...AND also, if someone just wants to have their home blessed by longhouse songs and words...

I texted my friend back and said "what HAPPENED" to which he responded "nothing Miss Drama, So and So just wants to open their home." When I first read that text I was offended which is funny because in my line of business you can't really be thin-skinned...HOWEVER I think that my process was that this was a very close and dear friend of might even call him "brother" although in the most flexible sense of the word...he had taken what he viewed as a character flaw of mine and made it into a first response? SO RUDE...

Throughout the day (because of course I moved on and other things were more important) from time to time his words returned to me..."Miss Drama" and I began to think..."what if we all did that, pick a particular characteristic we view as a character flaw and use it for a nickname..." I began to fantasize the various nicknames I might give my friend...

Discretion got the better of me and I didn't text my friend back with the names I'd come up with...I also gave him the benefit of the doubt that he too is stressed and might not be as careful with his words as he ought...I also took this as a reminder that I should heed the teachings I know about watching our words..."be quick to listen and slow to speak" and so forth. Also took the lesson that it's not fair to hold this friend to a higher standard, he is after all, human...

This being said, let's get back to the title of this blog "oh be careful little ears what you hear..."

Sometimes you know, we are our own worst enemy...we hear tones that aren't there, we fabricate moments of offense from our own misguided sense of self and sometimes it's best to hear what we heard just as it was said...a passing comment, a tiny whisper...and just stop over thinking these moments...thing is, I'm one of those creative types and truth be told, we do have a tendency to be dramatic. It's true and I'll admit it. One of the benefits of getting older is that I hope hope HOPE I can learn the lessons necessary for gracious living!!!!!

So today instead of noticing the bad things I'm going to listen first for the wind, I love how it sounds in the pine trees up the hills...I love the whistling song it sings as it breezes through the winter wheat sprouting bravely in the cold; I will listen for the river, she sings with wisdom and joy bringing watery lfe where she goes...

this is my beloved Auntie Umatilla (Umatilla River) in the summer...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Karaoke means "empty orchestra" in Japanese

YAY!!! I wasn't sure what to call today's random musings and memories but when I saw the above I KNEW it to be the best description of what you'll read below...

On Friday after a week of hectic and frenetic busy-ness, dealing with mundane AND lurdane (ahahahaha that was FUN) we loaded up the van with a few things and headed off to Portland for what? We'd been invited to a fundraiser gala...

The trip was full of rain washed wonders such as the tree you see above, wonders just waiting to be pictures!
Here's my brother being the stoic Indian looking to the future...or is he just trying to see the coffee stand at the roadside rest area?

Arriving in Portland we checked into our hotel room and took in the view...

...before we knew it we were at the gala - for the first part there was some time for people watching and I have to tell you that was a really fun adventure because this gala was $10,000 per table so the hoity toity of all hoity toities were there...mayors and governors and individuals of that ilk (yay I love that I used the word "ilk").
Although the dinner was quite costly we found humor in the graceful historic architecture...for instance what is actually a gracefully arched entryway artistically edged with fruit and a crysal chandelier looks (to your right) looks much like a grumpy old codger who's saying "don't come in"
Pictured to the left is the hallway going into the banquet hall, a richly decorated and elegant room but what WE saw was a scary movie in the can just imagine the ghostly beings wandering around in the next room and the elevator bells ringing as "no one" takes them up and down the floors...

Our dinner was interesting and we chatted with a random guest who stopped by...she was charming and witty and immediately introduced herself as a "real Indian" which we all chuckled about (east Indian).
Once the dinner was over we were very happy and headed off to our hotel room where we were met with my daughter, granddaughter and their friend. We played around with them for a bit and then off to the rest of our night:-) a night of jollifications and refreshments...

Saturday we visited with Puppy Lee (third son), a visit thoroughly enjoyed and frought with all sorts of hilarity not the least of which was offered by his daughter Kyla who as it turns out is a very intelligent little one year old...Kyla amused us greatly but we also had other stories to catch up on with Puppy Lee, Kyla and Nellie...

Please note the kid pictures aren't very clear because they insisted on wanting to GRAB  the camera as well as be IN the camera::-)

Before we knew it, it was time to head home and the best part of visiting the kids is that when it's time to go home we're exhausted and can't wait to get there!

This tree was just BEGGING to have it's picture taken on the way home so I obliged...

Our last stop before heading home was at the grocery outlet in the Dalles...whilst shopping there we overheard the know the funny thing is, I think that cashiers take a special training to use the loudspeaker, they are instructed to speak in the least understandable intonation possible...very often what you hear over the loudspeaker sounds like "Blug Bluggo Bluggy...Blug PHHHHHHEET Mthofuggy!!!!" which is probably blogworthy in itself but no, at the store we heard blasted about in the most unfortunate of nasal tones "Jesus (pronouned as in Spanish and other such languages HAY SUESS) please come to the front for courtesy pick up, Jesus, courtesy pick up..." and for some reason this caused me to break into peals of laughter - guffaws if you will - I turned to my brother and said "get's SUNDAY and they're calling for JESUS????"

He elbowed me and told me "you're crazy"

and THEN we went home!

Friday, November 13, 2009 the works ANNNNNDD HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!!

One of my greatest joys is in the things I see around me. Usually I'm in awe of the splendor - lacy shimmery boughs emerging from lush green of summer through yellow warmth of autumn to cold sparkly winter...that makes me smile...

During the last week's events I was waiting at a bus stop with my brother and we were doing that whole "let off steam by laughing raucously at absolutely nothing" game which I must tell you really relaxes one in the midst of trying times - really. Try it out next time! I noticed a gentleman watching may not have wanted to speak with him but in his eyes I saw such sparkly joy at the inanity of our laughter...I asked him if he minded me taking his picture and he said "of course you can" so I did...

Oh what a SMILE he has!
I thanked him for his picture and we moved on...

When we got home I still had the chores waiting for me...chopping wood and so forth but I spent the majority of the weekend making necklaces. Why? because for some reason that sort of creative outlet brought closure to my bad weeks...really, I do feel better now!
I started this post on Tuesday but didn't finish it - today is Thursday and yesterday was Veteran's Day. Of course where I live this is a time to gather at the longhouse...

First most of the local tribal veteran's gathered at the Veteran's park on our land. Songs of honor and memory are sung and prayers said...then all move to the longhouse where more honoring takes place...this time we recognized one of my nephews who just returned from Iraq. We also recognized our tribal flag and eagle feather which had been sent to Afghanistan with some young men. Of course, because we are American Indians and this is of our culture we ate a meal together...served by the longhouse ladies with love and laughter.

There wasn't enough room the main room for all of us so a few of us cooks and their children ate together in the adjoining room...laughter and fun  at our table was actually at the same level as the room next to us with about four times as many people. My friend brought her children to eat and they kept eyeing the cake you see here...noticing the wonder in their eyes I felt the need to expand on the wonders of this yummy colorful confection and so I started telling the story about how this cake was a Magical Cake and if you wished on the gumdrop with a pure heart your wish would come true...
My friend's children looked at me like "Hm, I don't know if she's crazy or not but she sure does tell a good story - and in the telling of the story they magically finished their meals...which was one of the goals of my story - I used to tell my kids things during dinner and before they knew it they'd eaten their broccoli without once having to complain about the very vegetableness of it!

Next thing we knew, my friend's son had his chicken hat on! She told the story about how this had been his favorite hat for the longest time but that she was pretty sure he hadn't left the house with it. I smiled at him like it was our little and I both know he'd made his wish on the Magic Cake and it came true!!! He chuckled at me and took a big bite...

Laughter continued to be our theme and we all shared memories of our days...full and happy it was time to clean up after the meal and this time it just went so fast!

After a warm day of love and honoring and good food it was time to go home and that's what we did.
I'm headed off for yet another adventure today...I hope you have good plans this weekend!!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wow:-) the day just keeps getting better!!!

Had a grand discussion with a good friend - I love friends that bring us balance!

Got another award!!!! Thank you SO MUCH CHRISTIEJOLU!!!

As with all awards they come with rules, so here they are:

1. Thank whoever gave this to you

2. Copy award

3. Post it in your blog

4. Tell us 7 things that your readers don’t know

5. Link 7 new bloggers

6. Notify winners of the award with a comment on their blog

7. Keep being awesome!

Seven things you may not know about me?
1. I love love LOVE Mozart
2. One of my favorite smells in the world is coffee with hazelnut creamer
3. I wish I could kiss just about every horse I pass on the velvety soft nose!
4. Tiny things make me happy - such as tiny yet brilliantly colored flowers peeking up from tall unmown grass.
5. I'm easily intimidated by loud women
6. I one day hope to travel to Alaska


Alice In Wonderland - a fun and amazing place to stop!

Musings From Grandma's Attic - we're kindred spirits

Writing - she's been through the fire and still shines...

Heaven's to Betsy - mmmm a cozy spot for a cup of tea!

Bicando - unique and refreshing

Cut and Dry - very creative and fun

Random Rawr - I'm quite taken with her blog!

Have a good day all!!!

Tomorrow is Veteran's Day - regardless of your feelings on politics please take a moment to give thanks in your own way - to pray for safety and wellbeing for our soldiers out there in the war...

Myself? Thank you Derek and Philip and Stephen and many more!

Monday, November 9, 2009

stupid ol' dogs anyway!!!

My title is humorous yes...but the truth is my last couple of weeks have been horrific and yet gloriously rich at the same I'll start with this. The dogs left again and this time have not returned. I imagine they're off on some trail of curious curiousity and got off track and will just leave it at that!

On Monday last week - wow, just one week ago, I got news that my good and long time friend was very very sick and in ICU in Portland. My brother and I worked the day and then took off to go visit with her. A good plan. We got there and although she was not conscious physically I know she knew of our presence there...we visited with her, laughed, shared stories, sang a longhouse song and finally about midnight after six hours with her we went to my daughters house to rest. I told my brother as we left the hospital "I think she's going to leave in the 3:00 hour. At 3:45 AM her sister called me and said that she had passed at 3:40 AM.

My personal loss is great but at the end of the day, you and I both know none of us gets out of this alive right? I'm grateful for some things, my friend no longer endures the daily pain of her increasingly severe rheumatoid arthritis...she no longer has to bear the pain of once having been a vibrant and bouncy woman of beauty to the needy and dependent...still a woman of beauty though. I will miss her smile - and though she was proper to the core I will also miss her bawdy sense of humor.

A greater loss to Indian country, she was passionate about Indian women's wellness and was not afraid to use herself and her personal experience to further the cause. Her "I finally quit smoking when..." story is pretty amazing and a very apt description of this.

So if you wonder where I was last week - that's where I was...