Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Greetings One and All

Oh yes, I'm well aware we all have our different views on this holiday...I just want to say I absolutely LOVE the fun lights put's my favorite time of year...

I wish you all the warmest of Christmas Greetings and I hope your New Year finds at least SOME of your dreams realized and accomplished...I wish you health and joy and abundance of love

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sharing a story from the "Songs to the Creator"

I love to's something I do day in and day out. When I'm not actually weaving, I'm dreaming of this design or that design, as we drive down the freeway to go visit the grandkids and if I see a little fern growing out from the basalt walls of the gorge I think "that would be a really nice weaving design" and often I will just go and do it. My brothers taught me weaving and the use of colors to express so to them I give that...

Here is a story from a book I love called "a Song to the Creator"

One time in the animal world there lived a young woman at White Salmon River. She was S'inmi (Grey Squirrel) and she carried frood in a pouch inside her mouth. White Salmon is where some people live and they are called /Lataxat (Klickitat). But animal people lived there before the People came.
A long time ago everyything was human. All the animals, plants and creatures were like people are today. They were able to talk adn walk like we do. This young woman lived at White Salmon River. She was slow and her fingers were clumsy so she was avoided by other people. The girl lived all by herself near a huge tree. Underneath this Cedar tree she would sit and dream in the shade because she did not have anything else to do.
This tree would watch the girl and he worried about her. He was sorry for her because nobody wanted to help her.
"That poor girl, she doesn't know the things a girl should know." One day he talked to the girl "my little sister, I cannot allow you to grow up like this not knowing anything, you must learn to do something to help yourself. I will teach you. You go to the mountains and find this kind of grass it is called bear grass. That grass is used for decoration for what I want to teach you. Pick this out by the roots and dry it in the sun, bundle it up neatly then you can pick berries and plants for coloring. After you've done this, come back and pick some of my tenderest roots.Some day you will be famous for your work.
This young woman prepared for the journey. She packed her root digger, flint knife and everything else she needed then she walked to the mountains. When she reached that place she found the plants were all there as the Cedar had told her. She gathered all of the things as he had instructed.
She brought her neatly bundled bear grass, roots and berries to Cedar and he was pleased that she had done as he instructed. He then told her to dig his most tender roots and dry them so she also dug these things.
When she was done she laid out a blanket and spread out all those things she had gathered for her project. She showed it to Cedar Tree and he was very pleased. He then showed her how to use these to weave a basket. The girl wove her first basket. She worked all day and into the night until she finished it and she was very proud of having done this. She showed it to Cedar and although he was proud of her he told her "don't get too conceited, you still have to pass a test, you must take this basket and dip it into the water. If the water does not drip out of it, then you have accomplished your goal.
The girl took the basket  and she carried it down to the lake and she dipped out some water. The water ran right througth the basket. She went home dragging her feet.
She told Cedar Tree what had happened then she sat down and cried. Cedar Tree scolded her, "don't feel sorry for yourself you are just beginning to to accomplish something. Soon you will be very talented, you have to practice and practice until you are perfect. Now go out in the woods and find some designs; seek out the things of nature and bring them back pictured in your mind. that is when you will be able to make beautiful things.
When he encouraged her like this she could not resist becoming more determined to succeed "He has so much confidence in me, perhaps I will someday make beautiful baskets."
She walked for many days looking at everything. She became confused because she didn't know what she was seeking. She walked down the trail one day when a rattlesnake crossed her path. He spoke to her, "see the designs on my back? Use them to design the edging in your baskets" She was grateful to the rattlesnake but thought that was too intricate.
She continued on her journey and saw many more animals and was spoken to about various designs and on the day she decided to return home she was thirsty and knelt down by the brook to drink. He spoke to her, "look at me, see the reflections and the designs with the waves of the water, you can use these for your designs"
She went home and began weaving a new basket. She was so busy she forgot the time and she wove all of the designs she had seen in the forest. She completed one beautiful basket. She showed this to Cedar Tree and he told her again she had to pass the test. She took the basket to the Columbia River and dipped it in. No water came out! Cedar Tree told her to take her first basket and give it as an offering, this will teach you to be thankful (Note: we are taught this by those teaching us our crafts, that we give the first one we made to an elder).
Coyote was down by the river and heard from Blue Jay what had been happening. He looked at her baskets and was very impressed. He spoke about the coming of the People (Klickitats) and that from this day forward they would be known for their beautiful baskets. To this day, these people are well known for their baskets.

That's just one story I know about weaving. I hope you enjoyed.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

...the softer side of years...

My birthday was last week and it was OHHHHH so much fun! I find myself taking much more time to "stop and smell the roses" don't you? this isn't a rose but dang it's pretty!

One day a long time ago the Sun called for a Winter Dance. This dance was to celebrate the moment heard when she stepped forth on the shortest day of the year...she prepared herself with a sparkly shawl and began singing the most beautiful song...her song weaves through the ages bringing with it new life each year. She sings of past sorrows wrought with deep pain and she sings of fresh healing moist with dewy rain; she sings of the shadowy changes and her melodies swell with hopeful changes; When Sun calls for the Winter Dance all who hear leap forth.

Slowly dancers began entering her doors, first, Auntie River adorned in the most glorious blue dress with shells dangling from her sleeves and hems; next Grandpas Fir and Elm and Willow with their long whiskers and long nimble fingers; they carried on their shoulders the young...Brothers Elk, Deer, Moose and Big Brother Salmon all enter with dignity and deep voiced songs...

The laughter of children rings out with hope and one at a time all join the dance...

In the background swaying as one with the music are the Dancers in the Hills...they had woven for themselves shawls of powdery snow and in their hair they wore lightly beaded barrettes of icicle designs. Their feathers sparkled for they were gifted from eagles of their most delicate fluffs...

Winter Solstice is different for all of us, but Monday, you're all invited to listen for our songs!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Not my writing...

Below is an article written by my son...

How does it feel for us?

Everyone always gives their condolences to mothers and wives and girlfriends of military members for the burden they bear while their loved ones are gone. Honestly no one will ever understand how that person feels unless they themselves have gone through it. Another note is the fact that no one ever asks the soldier what his greatest sacrifice is and how he feels about leaving his family and friends and everything he knows and loves behind to travel across the world to fight in a war and kill people he doesn’t know. As a veteran of multiple combat deployments I will shed some light on this for the people who do not understand where I am taking this.

When a soldier gets notified that he is being deployed a whole lot gets put on his metaphorical plate of life. The unknown stresses that come with having to tell your family you are going to be gone for however long they tell him to be are one of the hardest things someone can do. He has to explain to his children who do not understand why he serves his country and why he is willing to sacrifice his family, his friends and his life for something as unpopular as war. What is worse though is being a leader in charge of soldiers. On top of the stress of breaking the news to his family, not only does he have his problems to deal with but those of his soldiers. A leader can have as many as 30 or even more under his command and as low as four which we call a fire team. So a soldier who has four team members below him has four sets of problems, four sets of personalities, as well as his own. The stress of a deployment isn’t in what you have to do. It is whether or not what you are doing is correct and keeping everyone as safe as possible while doing it.

The worst thing however about deployments and how the soldier feels isn’t adapting to society after getting back. Nor is it dealing with the fact that people have died by his hand. It is trying to find a purpose with his life after such an event. A person sees things in a completely different light when he deploys. He feels his life is useless afterwards and that he doesn’t serve a purpose. He tries to find meaning in his life and he tries to make things important. He knows it doesn’t give him the satisfaction of watching his buddies back in a firefight or have quick enough reflexes to realize someone is a threat or not. People are under the misconception that it is about the war and that’s why soldiers enlist. Civilians don’t realize that there is a brotherhood that happens with people you serve with in a combat zone. It is always about protecting your friends that have become family. There is nothing they won’t do for each other. That is the point of being a soldier. Part of the soldier’s creed is “I will never leave a fallen comrade.” Think about that for a second and how powerful those words really are. What it is saying is I will not only save my best friend out there or even an acquaintance. It is simply stating that I will help even the soldier that I hate more than anyone on the planet. Whether or not someone is your friend does not matter once bullets start flying.

People don’t ever realize how soldiers feel after such life changing events or even in the process of these events. People say when a soldier dies he makes the biggest sacrifice. That isn’t true. That is in my opinion not the case. I would say that when a soldier dies it’s not him who made this biggest sacrifice, it’s his family. His mother will never see her son again. His wife will never hold him again. His children will wonder why their daddy has not come home. They won’t understand that he gave his life so they could live in a free world or the closest thing to it. Now granted when a soldier dies it is a horrible event but the greatest sacrifice a soldier makes is leaving his family and stepping out of his comfort zone and hoping and praying that when he leaves his family will be ok. Soldiers have a lot to worry about. Not only do they have to stay alive, they worry about their families and how they are dealing with it. They hear bad stuff from home and have to deal with it because they can’t fix it from the other side of the world. They have to trust people back home not to screw up and keep everything in order. In my mind that is the biggest sacrifice.

Deployments do crazy things to people. A soldier’s wife could love him more than anything on this world. They could have had a happy marriage before he left and an almost perfect life with their kids. Then all of a sudden though someone out of the blue plays hero to his wife while he is gone, consoling her because he knows she is in a moment of weakness and then that marriage has pretty much ended. If the soldier finds out about it he will be devastated and wonder what he did wrong. A lot of the times when cheating happens to the soldier the person who did the cheating shifts the blame to them because they are gone. It is a terrible thing to experience. I am not saying that all soldiers are angels. That was merely an example. So many things can happen on a deployment to both the soldier and his family. While the wife or girlfriend or mother has to worry about their soldier living or dying, he has to worry about so much more while being gone. So next time you want to tell someone you know they are going through or you understand how hard it is, ask yourself this question. Do I really know how they feel or am I just making a careless observation? Ask yourself as well before you go up to a soldier and ask him how he feels about what he did that you understand his point of view of the world and the people in it after everything he has gone through. You will however be lucky to get an honest answer of how he feels because no one ever asks us.

Cpl DAG Scania/Iraq

these are his two daughters...Izzy (little) Audie...

Thank you Derek - and those thousands and thousands other young men (and old) and women who are serving our country in this way - more than words can say, I appreciate you all!!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

fun fact...

okay you know I love the dogs...I love their honesty and the warmth of their innate character...I've written many stories in which a dog or dogs are the main characters and humans following as supporting I came across this fun fact:

"According to a pet owner survey, 79 percent of Americans give their dogs holiday and/or birthday presents, and they dole out more cash for dog chow than baby food. Meanwhile, an American Animal Hospital Association poll showed that 33 percent of dog owners admit that they talk to their dogs on the phone or leave messages for them on an answering machine while away."

I'm guilty of giving my dogs holiday gifts...and birthday gifts...also I love to buy fancy treats for my dogs
AND I have to admit I've left voicemails for my dogs...
But also, my dogs love me, I have one dog who calls me her "goddess of glory" (the other one calls me "you") and these dogs work tirelessly to keep the coyotes at bay, to bring special treats for we humans, (dead mice, a deer leg bone, a chewed up pillow from the dump down the road, someone's hard hat, you know those little gifts that make you smile).

Just because I like pictures that make you smile, here are my daughter, daughter in law and grand daughter shopping in my "give to charity" socks...they ended up taking the whole bag and were all quite happy with their plunder:-)

Monday, December 7, 2009

smiles and more smiles

Today is a beautiful cold day here! For that I'm very grateful...I started an extra blog today ( and you're welcome to stop by although I should warn you it's going to be much different than this is where I will deposit my lovingly creative moments, anecdotes if you will and THERE is where I plan to leave the daily dreariness of petty battles, where I will leave the scarred remains of my sanity from time to time.

On a HAPPY note, a new puppy found his way to our home...his name is Pollywog because for some reason that's what he reminded me of!

No matter what goes on in my work world, my real world is sunshine and ice laced trees...going home to a wood stove warmed haven of weaving and sewing and laughter!

Friday, December 4, 2009

oh my GOOD GRAVY!!!!

...okay I confess, I will take the rose colored glasses award for the day...I think I might share it!

I heard a rumor about a coworker and although I am not close with her it just kept eating away at my conscience that I had heard this and should warn her...I kept it to myself for a couple weeks and would just try to stay friendly to her so she didn't feel COMPLETELY alienated then finally yesterday I broke down and pulled her aside...I shared with her the things the other office staff were saying about her and she just smiled at me with an ethereal calm and said "oh yes, I've heard those things about me..."

I was quite taken aback and realized that it's not just because I was so adamant to warn her that it was eating away at was also because by warning her of HER imminent rumor doom I was somehow cathartically cleansing my own soul from the nasty things I'd said about so and so and such and such!

Remember me saying this? Humans are so funny...the happy part of this is somehow in the midst of all the turmoil and stress of the last few weeks I've found a new place of actually having warm fuzzies for those who have in the past made me sigh and throw up my hands...I SOOOO hope this is part of the "getting older" process and not just indicative of having lost a portion of my grey matter!!!

When my darling children were little (hahaha I can say that now without vomiting) when they would get fussy and before I would go stark raving mad, I would take their teary face in my hands and begin what we now call the "worried-mad" game...I'd push their little eyebrows up with my thumb and say "are you WORRIED?" and then I'd push down and say "or are you MAD" and before long it just progressed into pushing up "worried?" and down "mad!" and before they knew it they'd be off into peals of laughter and VOILA! no more tears!
To this day they don't know that it was my tactic for getting them to stop being fussy (dang! I wonder if I ought to MARKET this game?). However, this being said, imagine my utter delight when I received this picture of my daughter apparently playing this same game with HER daughter!!! (CHUCKLE)


Life has been a chair of bowlies...I'm glad things are settling down and although situations did NOT go as planned I have to say this: SOMEWHERE these tests were written into someone's book...I just hope I passed with a better grade this time!

Beautiful Winter's on her way!

Auntie Umatilla wends her way singing a morning song through the frosty willows.
Life is good.
You all have a really good weekend!!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


OMG is it already a WEEK since I wrote? I hope to SHOUT! The world has been spinning and I'ev had moments of clarity but TODAY here is this - a basket I've been weaving through the turmoil and IT came out pretty...I think:

Elections took place last week on Tuesday, neither my brother or me won our positions and it seemed like the world kind of fell into pieces for a in retrospect I have to sit back and wonder...

In 5-10-15 years who is going to remember what took place in 2009 at our tribal elections? Will my children? Or grandchildren? I hope not but what I DO hope is that the things I stood for and believed in and passionately spoke about will remain...I believe that's what we work for, those of us in this blog-world...we hope that by sharing that tidbit of ginger or turmeric in our character will leave a tiny mark in the vast array of gifted writings so voraciously sampled by hordes of hungry readers...this is all we can hope for, that what we truly believe in and speak for will in the end, stand.

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! My brother and I as is our wont took off on a drive after the elections were over - this is what we do, once the "big thing" is over, we take off and get away. So we dropped the kids to say hi and spend the night then off we went on Thanksgiving day! We drove north towards Seattle but only make it part way. On our drive we saw the back of this pick up which was pretty chuckly to us...

Black Friday came along and dannnnnnggggg it was crazy but we don't shop much so it was fun for us to watch the nature of the beast arise in the most genteel of little old ladies! Oh how I love human nature!! Friday evening came along and we went to the annual "lighting of the Christmas tree" in the middle of the city.

I'm one of those schmaltzy people who love love LOVE the Christmas lights and music. I don't know why. I just do; during the lighting of the tree was stopped by and listened to some street musicians (BUSKERS is the actual word but I couldn't quite bring myself to say it). They had made drums from plastic buckets, the kind restaurants buy their olive oil and things like that in. These young men were so talented! I had to give them some change

So many people bustling about! I loved it and one of my favorite moments was when this fairly well off couple sporting cashmere sweaters and italian shoes stopped for a moment, their children immediately began visiting with the street people and petying their dogs. Mrs Snooty Patooty was fairly speechless with horror that her young darling was speaking to these scraggly strangers and she snorted just in time for one of the musicans to hear her... oh how I love the open free-spirited innocence of young children!
We got called home for business on Sunday but we were relaxed and finding a more comfortable place to think from so off we went...

I think we'll be fine and you know what? I've always said Mustard is Sunshine for the tummy...and what does Turmeric do? It imparts the yellow color to mustard!