Thursday, August 26, 2010


Looking through scraps of fabric as I was cleaning my sewing table, I realized that if I should die today and not get to go home first, people would know these things about me:

  1. I start many projects and you many not ever know how many I actually complete.
  2. Someone I sew for loves, and I don't say this lightly, LOVES Snoopy
  3. I rarely make things for myself, more often than not, my sewing projects are brother/son related.
  4. Not only do I love to sew, but I love all things colorful and/or sparkly...beads, yarn, threads, ribbon, shells, fabric, pens (I don't know why, it's difficult for me to pass up a set of colorful markers in the office supply store), fabric glue (does it stick better if it matches the color of fabric I'm gluing? Probably not), sewing thingies...did I say thingies? I don't know, I have a protractor, several rulers, a yardstick, some measuring tapes, a compass, a flat cutting out thing that I've never used, all in many colorful hues.
What does this say about my character? I don't know, but I'm headed home to sew this afternoon - of course it's a last minute project which I've had ample time to complete but didn't and it has to be done by tomorrow and these are my thoughts - I just have to say it, I didn't actually mention Paw Lee or Princess Phat ONE TIME in this blog...until the very end.

Monday, August 23, 2010

going to the city...

Saturday started out with the regular "what shall we do with THIS fine day" anticipation. My brother and I had tossed a few ideas around but for the moment, we were getting ready to go volunteer at a tribal event we'd signed up for.

I saw my phone light up and heard the text sound on it but ignored it because we were getting ready to go out the door. A few more preparations for the day and then I picked up my phone and looked at it...the text was from my son D who was going to have to have emergency know that sound you hear from afar off when you see a huge explosion? That kind of muffled "PUFF" sound and then you see the clouds? That's the sound in our home...we looked at each other and my brother said "we're going to PDX" and everything changed.

All of our preparations for the volunteering ended and we suddenly shifted into high gear - gotta get to the city...out the door we went. With good byes from Paw Lee and Princess of course.

The drive to the city was, as usual, interesting...

We picked up a hitchhiker about a third of the way. Now, be advised, we rarely pick up hitchhikers, usually only if they're someone we know and going somewhere we go...this young man looked different from the others, he had a sort of harried look as if he wasn't sure about this whole venture he was about to embark on so we picked him up...

We chatted with him from time to time but for the most part all of us were pretty much in our own thoughts for the rest of the three hour drive. We dropped him off with a good luck handshake and off to see my son.

When we got to the hospital he'd already come out of surgery, was in recovery and seemed to be doing fine. He was fairly opiated (grin) and spoke with that gravelly flat tone of someone who's just not quite in the room with you:-) As soon as we saw him and determined he was okay, we both (my brother and I) did a miniature "fall apart" I got all shaky like when you have low blood sugar (oh oops we'd forgotten to eat all day!) so we went and ate at the hospital cafeteria. We visited with him a little more, and then went to the OTHER kids home.

It's exhausting to have such a major blast to one's emotions...hearing the words "emergency surgery" from afar off and the full three hours of not quite knowing what to expect...this is the same son who went to Iraq and by gum I'm about done with getting all my grey hairs from him!!!! We gave short thought to "going out" after finding that son D was okay and went to hang out with son L and daughter J...grand-daughter entertained us and we gradually sank into our chairs...ahhhhhh relaxing! We got thirsty and headed to the store for a quick shopping...on our way there we were accosted by not one, or two but four different emergency response vehicles...ambulances, cops, firetrucks...sirens blaring, lights flashing...when we got to the store we were met by a bent over woman with stringy hair and poorly cared for teeth muttering to herself, she paused for a moment as we went by, looked up at us through her hair and then continued muttering to herself looking back at us balefully as if we'd had our nerve entering her universe without permission! We did our shopping and as we pulled out of the parking lot MORE lights and sirens, and as we took off got a call from son D who as it turns out was getting out the hospital and we got "I thought you guys were staying with MEEEEE" so we went back to L and J's house, gathered our belongings and took off back to D's...for actually, it was he who had gotten us to Portland anyway... kisses goodbye and out into the brazen, brassy city night.

Back to son D's house for late night snacks, settling him in and then trying to get comfortable on their sleeper sofa...failed. Moved up to their room where they kindly offered to have us sleep on their bed...OMG I hate getting old!!!!! Couldn't get comfortable, finally slept thanks to my brother generously making ANOTHER run to the store for some benadryl...

Woke up to a phone call from son L who was appalled to awaken and find us gone...tell you the truth, he's gotten spoiled into us taking him to breakfast by himself on Sunday mornings, daughter's usually got plans so it's just him and we take him for breakfast...we DRAG ourselves out of bed and go get him, take him to said breakfast and ahhhhhhhh FINALLY time to get out of the city!!!!!

I used to love the city...indeed when I'm in the mood I enjoy it from time to time but this time the noise was jarring, the people were odd, we got stared at when taking son L to breakfast...I realize now, we were probably quite the sight to see, myself, not showered albeit in clean clothes...looking probably pretty tired and crazy, my brother, long hair braided but still bushy, unshaven two days worth, my son, 6'4" and tattoos from his neck to the ends of his arms...okay, I'll give the city that one...

Heading home...we were tired but happy - son D was okay and we'd gotten to kiss and cuddle with baby Nellie...etc...did some shopping and finally got home to our little house on the prairie - daughter M had fixed us a delicious deer steak dinner and we could hear the coyotes yipping outside in the wheat scented night...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

taking the go...

so my car's been sick for quite some time, something like three months. first time she was sick, some mice made the unfortunate choice of making their home somewhere under her hat (my car's name is Bonnie by the way, she LOVES it when you sing to her - my BONNIE lies over the oceannnn, my BONNIE lies over the seaaaaa), then when we started her back up again, the stench was horrific...I tried to mask with all sorts of natural remedies, nay even Indian sounding things such as rose petals in her vents...sage picked at the first morning's light, even eagle feather shaped smellies bought at a pow wow...NOTHING, we had to bring her to the hospital (the shop) and have this CHEMICALLY removed from her....we called it cosmetic surgery and she preens from time to time if you mention it...pause for a moment to imagine a 1992 bonneville "preening"...

So, Bonnie went for awhile, faithfully trudging to and from work, occasionally venturing as far away as the next town to go for supplies but faithfully going...until one day she decided not to any, she may whimper and say we pushed her too far but PLEASE...this is the REZ!!!!!

Bonnie's been parked on the carport at the Little House on the Prairie now for quite some time and has become the object of protective affection by the two LHOP dogs Princess Phat and Paw Lee Wawg and their guests Lop Ears and Shy Girl (funny, Lop Ears thinks her name is something like Austeen and shy girl is something else...) pictured to your right is Shy Girl.

So finally the day arrived when the ambulance came to take Bonnie to the hospital - also known as Riverside Automotive...the driver pulls up and my brother came out to greet him and give him the necessary instruction.

Paw Lee reached my brother first. He jumped up and yelled at my brother "MR MAN DO YOU SEE WHAT THEY'RE DOING THEY THINK THEY'RE TAKING BONNIE SOMEWHERE IN THAT GREAT BIG GO THAT'S NOT IN THE PLANS IS IT MR MAN? DID YOU KNOW THAT LOP EAR JUMPED ON THE GARBAGE CAN AND DO YOU THINK HE KNOWS WHAT TO DO WITH A GO MR MAN? I'M HUNGRY AND PRINCESS PHAT KEEPS PIDDLIN ON STUFF" My brother of course put Paw Lee down and said "get the *(&!!! down Paw Lee!!!" Paw Lee didn't hear that though, he heard "thank you Paw Lee for your wise and insightful comments"

Shy Girl didn't bother with Mr. Man, nay, she went straight to the source "I don't think you should be taking Bonnie anywhere in your big stupid's not on the books and I don't believe that my goddess of glory has deemed it to be so" (Shy Girl's goddess of glory is my daughter who at the time is staying with us) She further inspected the driver of the go (I don't know, dogs just call cars and trucks seems a simple solution don't you think? if humans did the same, I think all the fuss over having a new one or the latest one would be far less intense)

Princess Phat walked around in a worried circle of pacing and kept saying to Bonnie "you'll be okay, they'll take you to the hospital and probably give you glorious snacks of pannacakes and that yummie green gushy stuff it will be FUN"

Bonnie was starting to sniffle a little, she's been sick for so long that now she's starting to wonder about her purpose on this earth and now THIS?

The tow truck driver cleared up the details with my brother and loaded up Bonnie who out and out sobbed as she was being hoisted up but wait "ohhhh that chain TICKLES" she was heard giggling "OMG stop it! that TICKLES!" her tears forgotten, she waved at all the dogs as she left, "it's FUN, come ON, it's FUN!!!!!"

The dogs all looked at each other and smiled but they still believe that nothing good can come from a big go taking the small go...

Princess was still worried and again tried to convnice Mr. Man that something should have been done to save Bonnie...

It was the topic of excited conversation for the entire two days (or however long an evening is in dog time). The murmur of their voices could be heard long into the evening even though it was windy and the clouds were swirling around...they all looked at each other and nodded "yeah. see what happens when people just come around and take the go!" The sky looked ominous but you and I know that only good can come of having the second car repaired!

Monday, August 16, 2010

deliciously yellow

At my tribe I'm one of those women known as "Gatherers and Cooks" it's almost like a job, really, when there's a funeral and we're called upon to do so, we provide meals and what comfort we have to offer to the grieving family...that's part of the cooking...

Each season brings out "New Foods" these are celebrated and sung for...thanks is given and we don't individually gather these foods until they're "brought out" first in the longhouse. This coming Sunday is going to be Huckleberry Feast - my favorite.

That's another story altogether and believe me, I'll share it.

Another staple is dried corn. Our foods were dried and cached during the winter months. Someone would be assigned to go to the cache when stores were low. Some people still know sites of old family caches...

Last week I had the honor to be invited to go to Kotsa Vina's house. Kotsa Vina is a beautiful grandma, the mother of my close friend and sister T. I was so excited to go there, I love these two and spending time with them was a blessing I was looking forward to, but spending time with them while learning a new food practice was over the top!!!!

We got there and Vina handed out aprons to us all. First, time to shuck the corn then she blanched it.

It was brought out on the cob and our next chore was to cut it from the cob.

One of my favorite qualities of Vina is that she's just full of rich stories and each story has a meaning. Her instructions are always gentle and she explains why things are done, I've never seen her crabby or in any way unpleasant...

Once the corn is cut from the cobs it's ready to spread out on tables in the sun for drying.

It was an amazing day and I'm so thankful to have gotten to participate in it!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Gary and his new family...

I will start with some kudos and thanks - thank you Caffeinated Globe (Asia) for mentioning me in your "refreshing luncheon" blog!

Kudos - Fiona Designs, how refreshing! I stopped by just for a visit and stayed

For Charlie - I am grateful, wisdom and laughter and a moment of pause always await me there:

My good friend's like we KNOW each other and yet...

ahhhh it's been a busy summer! I was blest last week by a surprise visit from sons #2 & #3 which of course included son 2's daughters Auttie Dootie and Izzy Bizzy, and son 3's daughter Kyla Berry...L got stuck here in P-town so martyrs that we are, my brother and I kept him and drove him home on Friday night...

A fun time was had by all
Along the Columbia Gorge....mmmmm! I can almost TASTE that beauty!
Princess and Paw Lee had to stop by of courseMy darling Kyla her beautiful suit of birth:-)
The infamous Nellie Bellie graces us with her smile
Well, those are some of the pictures from the weekend, what I'm REALLY here to talk about though is Gary and his progress.

Gary has been feeling a little under the weather. I've been busy of course, and he tried to tough it out but there it is, living creatures must be cared for!

Gary, a little under the weather in his new digs

Peppermint Patty has moved in
Stravinia and Sondheim Sage

It's been a busy and GROWING summer