Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Questions AND Answers

Answers to those who asked questions.
First: From Eliza's mom

1. Do you prefer Indian, Native American, or something else entirely?
Either is fine with me. I really think the preference depends on the region of the country you live in and what generation you belong to. Some are partial to one or the other, but I use both interchangably.
2. I think it's fair to say that people who aren't part of your culture hold a variety of stereotypes about it. What are the stereotypes that bug you the most, that you want to set people straight about (here, have a soapbox to stand on!)?
The drunken, lazy Indian stereotype gets me every time. I despise that people think that way automatically and I find it hurtful and demeaning. The other thing I really hate is westerns. I wasn't allowed to watch them as a child and now I am older, I can see why. Geez, all the white people killing the BAD Indians. My mom thoughtfully saved me from having my heart filled with that garbage. John Wayne is a swear word at our house.

I'm sure this is on your blog somewhere but what tribe are you from?
Clever girl, actually it isn't on my blog anywhere! And I won't say now either. I have a fear of someone googling my tribe and finding my blog on the internet. Since no one in my family knows/reads my blog, I think I prefer to keep it that way. There just aren't alot of us, and not many of us live off Rez, so I like to keep it to myself. We need to keep some of the mystery in our relationship, don't ya think?
And what aspects from your Native American culture have you continued in your life away from the rez? I participate in as many pow wows, and religious ceremonies as I can. Even though I am LDS, I still believe/participate in my native religion too. I haven't had any issues blending the two together. I fill my mind with good movies and books (approved first by my mother) about my culture and history so I can have a solid knowledge base about my people too. I also am proud to say I eat fry bread whenever I can!

From KJ and the kids I have heard and I'm sure it doesn't carry on in all tribes. Gay people are treated equally and at one time were treated on a higher platform ? This is certainly true of the Lakota. No one cares if you are gay or not. Dress as you like, have sex with either gender as long as you are not related to them, set up housekeeping, whatever. The Lakota are such a genuinely accepting culture and I love how they just don't think a thing when Little Man is being his little self.

Are you tax exempt? Not for state taxes.

Could you kill someone and go to the reservation and take safe haven? Um, well, sort of. Because the tribe is under federal law and not state law, the feds would have to come get me. BUT, because I am Indian, the tribe has juridiction over me, so the feds could ask the tribe to pick me up and they would.

To be continued tomorrow...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Mountain Monday

Home again and high speed rocks!

The view from my Utah window:

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The view in South Dakota from the car window:

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The view inside the car:
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The trip in the car was, um... well, let me say, we survived. There was much screamage on the part of two smaller people and much unhappiness on the part of the three larger people. Bald Man did much of the driving, since not driving involved the wrangling of a child. But there were no car troubles, which, given our trip history is HUGE! No breaking down in the middle of no-where and no expensive repairs.
Jack the dog HATED the drive, I think we should have left him at home. Meeko on the other hand, LOVED it!

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I have many blog posts coming and the answers to your questions. (Thanks for stepping up and asking some!)
Here are some snippets of the trip by way of pictures.

Wildlife of all sorts:

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Black Tailed Prairie Dog. See his black tip on his tail?

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Brown Boy was scared a coyote was going to jump in the car when we stopped to take some pictures of the wildlife. I guess South Dakota is a far cry from the big cities of Florida. We weren't nice, we laughed at him.

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Family Outings

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Trips to find long gone family

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Family close by too. Cousins!

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Traditional ceremonies (This is a star quilt)

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Pow Wows

We got home in the wee hours yesterday and honestly I was too tired to try and post anything. I am really busy today with much catching up, but of course, my first order of business was to catch up with you! I will be commenting on your blogs as I can, with high speed. I tried in South Dakota, but it just wouldn't work with dial up. So glad to be home. LOVED seeing my family, it was a great trip, and I feel grateful and blessed that we were able to do it.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Guess What?

1. We made the trip in one piece. The Pea? Grrr. Little Man? Grrr! Jack the dog? Grrr! Let me say that I was very, very glad the trip was over. I am NOT thinking about going home yet.
2. The good news? My sister has high speed internet! The Bad News? She moves far away tomorrow. So don't count on another blog post soon.
3.The babies?? Oh so very cute! We are on the tip of the next generation being formed and my heart is filled with warmth and gratitude.
4.I am having a WONDERFUL time visiting with my relatives.
5. Little Man has finally settled down and adjusted to being here and doing pretty darn good.
6.Have I got a story, with pictures, to tell you about turtles! You are going to die.
7.Keep the questions coming, while I am not posting the answers yet, I am asking my mom for the answers if I don't already know.
8. I remembered to bring my marriage certificate. Whoot!
9. Everyone is getting along very well and everyone seems happy.
10.Girlfriends fears have all come to naught and she asked Oldest Son, why don't we move here? Awwww.
11.Everyday is very busy, but things should chill out after Sunday. Today is rodeo, pow wow, fry bread, wedding reception for one of my many, many cousins.
12. It is so weird to be around so many Indians. Really.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

There's No Place Like Home

In so many ways, I don't really have a place to call "home", a place where I belong fully. Having spent most of my growing up years in California, I used to consider that state home. But after living in Utah for 13 years, Cali no longer feels like home anymore. But Utah certainly isn't home either. In my heart, the place that feels the most like home now is the rez. There is a culture on the rez I can't belong to, because I don't live there. But with the bulk of my family still there, it is closest thing to belonging and the sense of home I have in my life. Enough like home that I plan to be buried there, in the family plot.
We are off tomorrow to go home. The purpose of the trip is two-fold.We have two new family members who have yet to be introduced to the the family Matriarch, my mom.
Brown Boy:

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And June Bug:

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The second purpose is my Bald Man's skills. Just think about this for a second. What would you do if you had a good handyman coming to your house for a week, just to do all the stuff you need/want done? Oh yeah man, my mom can't wait!!! So far, he is replacing all her windows in her house and fixing a roof. I am sure she will keep him busy from sunup to sundown. I really appreciate the good relationship between my husband and my mom. She likes him so much, if we ever got a divorce, I think she would dump me and keep him!
Things I am dreading:
*Little Man's behavior in the car and at my mom's
*The Pea in the car, that child is a terrible traveler
*Being more than 100 miles (one way!) from the nearest large box store
Things I am looking foward to:
*Having my kids all gathered with their relatives and me
*Introducing Brown Boy and Girlfriend to our culture and family
*Spending time with my sisters, aunts, cousins and my mom
Something I need to get done while I am there. My tribal ID is still in my maiden name, and I have been married for almost 27 years! I need to bring my marriage certificate in to the tribal office and have it redone. We shall see if I do it!
Blog posts will probably be sparse, as my mom has dial up! Dial up people! Don't know about that one...
And yes, we still have buffalo there.
Here is an assignment for all of ya. Leave me some questions you want answered about my culture. Feel free to ask anything, I won't take offense, I promise!

I can't wait to see my sweet Pygmy Child! And she can't wait to see her new niece!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Darkness and Light

Six men are trapped in a Utah coal mine. They have been there since Tues, our state, the nation and especially their families are praying for a safe deliverance of these hard working men. Please keep them in your prayers.

I was amused and delighted by a Filipino Prison's new exercise program. Instead of the half hearted exercise program, they have instituted a new dance program instead. Since the installation of this program, the fight rate has dropped to zero. It brings joy to my heart to know that in spite of the darkness that seems overwhelmingly pressing at times, there are good people all over the world, making a difference every day. I challenge you to find yours!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Because Some Things Need to Be Celebrated!

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Caustic Cupcake

Get your own church sign here: Church Signs

Monday, August 06, 2007

Mountain Monday with a Smile!

I got up today and after Little Man left for his summer program, I went back down for a nap. Yay for naps, boo for needing one!
Sundays are sooo crazy nuts here in our house, with the kids and the grand kids. I love the chaos of my family around me, and now there are grandchildren, it is even better. Sweet Chaos I guess you could call it.
And there is the problem of what to feed all those people! You would think that the slow cooker would be more used in the winter. It is just too dang hot to heat up the kitchen with the oven, so my large, double slow cooker gets the most use in the summer. It holds six quarts, which translates to a 3.5 lb roast, 2 lbs of carrots and 5 lbs of taties. Add two cups of hot water with two envelopes of gravy mix and one onion soup mix, leave it on all day and taaa daaa, the kids come streaming in the door, saying, "ohhh something smells good!"
I have also been making bbq chicken, which involves dumping the chicken pieces in the crockpot, adding a large bottle of bbq sauce and cooking for hours too. My pot will hold two cut up 4.5 lb chickens, so there are even leftovers. Moist and yummy. I made potato salad to go with the chicken last week.
I always get lots of compliments on the potato salad. And to tell the truth, I am a potato salad purist. No celery, or relish, or olives or any other kooky additives.Potatoes, boiled eggs, mayo, mustard and a smidge of vinegar unless you use my secret ingredient. Now I am sure you are all going, ohh, what is the secret? What makes a really delicious potato salad? Well...,okay, I can't resist begging...My secret ingredient in my potato salad is Zesty Italian salad dressing, along with the usual mayo and mustard. Oh yeah, a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
We have had some rain recently and it did a nice job scrubbing the sky for some lovely pics. Tell me what you think...

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And now, for those smiles I promised you.
It has been a wonder and delight to watch my June Bug wake up to the world around her.

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Each smile is a treasure and she loved beyond all reason by so many. What a blessing she is and such a nice way to start off a week. Hope your Monday is blessed too.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Animal Wrestln'

I am feeling a wee bit under the weather. I am tired, very tired today. I was asleep by ten and slept til 8 and I am still tired. Bald Man informed me I am looking pale again. Shoot and I have been sooo good, I take my iron twice a day, with vitamin C for increased absorption, and a good multi. My doc is all the way in the big city and I really don't feel up to the drive today. Because of that, today's post will be mostly pictures and videos.
Animals.Right now we have a houseful! We are dog sitting for the Princess, so we have our grand-dog, Jack the terrier, Meeko the Bare Eyed Cockatoo Princess, Peter the dumbo rat, and the Kitten Formerly Known as Justin. The bird HATES the dog, but with good reason, since the dog is determined to eat her. The bird also hates the rat, and looks at Peter with a jaundiced eye when the rat is let out and goes and forages under her cage for the thrown out food. The rat is afraid of the dog, with good reason. Terriers were bred to kill rats, so yeah, the rat better be careful. The kitten is probably the best adjusted, because she plays with everyone.*

After hiding under my bed for three days with her tail permanently fluffed, when Jack first got here, the kitten decided Jack was a good playmate after all.

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Another video of the Kitten Formerly Known as Justin the the Cockatoo Princess:

The cat and the rat like to wrestle too.

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This picture was taken after the wrestle fest, I think the rat is saying, "come on, you're not tired yet are you? I can take you with one paw tied behind my back!"
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I saved my favorite videos for last. Meeko LOVES to play with Bald Man and these videos make me giggle every time.

I wonder if Bald Man has any idea how dang cute and charming he is?

Just some fun with our pets at Chez Tangled. We do enjoy a good laugh and some good fun. Hope you find some laughter today in your life. Right now, I am going to go take a nap... yawn....

*The animals are all supervised during these play sessions and the desire to play is mutual. I don't want anyone out there to think I am allowing the pets to torture each other. The rat and bird both start the play fights with the cat and neither are actually afraid of the kitten. As it is with my kids, if one decides they are done playing, or it gets too rough, I remove them from situation.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

To Doolittleville and Back Again

I returned from Doolittleville on Sat afternoon, but I have been very busy catching up on my life since my return. Little Man has been really sweet but needy. Less vile than usual, but I am sure if he could have himself grafted to my side he would. I have been spending a lot of time reading stories and watching movies to make up for leaving him. While he is gone during the day, I have been making the many doctor appointments his new pedi wants done. Many of these are because of the switch to a new insurance provider. New neuro, in Oct, hematology, first appt available also in Oct, to see if they get to the bottom of the weird cyclical bruising he does. Also the dentist, because he needs to be sedated. Geez. Meetings with various service providers and my week has already been jam packed with fun!
So, the trip. I really can't say a great deal about it, except I am glad I was able to help and that it is hard to see someone you care about struggle so much.
The best part of the trip besides Eliza's cute, cute, cute animals was Cupcake!

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While it was a bit disconcerting to meet someone with frosting instead of hair, she was so sweet, I was soon able to overlook her "differentness" and just enjoy her company. Speaking of sweet, Cupcake wasn't that sticky sweet that makes your teeth ache, she was a wholesome, (she will probably be annoyed at me for saying that!) kind of sweet that just makes you want to grab another bite! (Hopefully she can have her frosting redone, I just couldn't resist a taste or two...)
She arrived, Wawa pretzels in hand, to be so disappointed that a Wawa was just around the corner from Eliza's. I was disappointed that the Wawa did not live up to my great expections built up from Cupcake's descriptions of the Wawa being just a step down from Mt. Olympus. The pretzels were quickly eaten, regardless of the close proximity of the Wawa.
We talked, and talked and talked. About our families, about life. Cupcake is a great conversationalist. She is a good listener and asks really good questions to keep the conversation rolling. We wrangled the three animals and continued to talk. She impressed me with how wise she is. Not like sad-wise, but a bright, unjaded kind of wise. So much smarter than I was at that age. She is sooo not creepy, or mean, or tough in way, shape or form. Wholesome, sweet, funny, smart, and easily melted by the cuteness around her. We laughed and I feel like I have blessed with a new friend. Good stuff, those cupcakes!
Enjoy some cute grand daughters, I sure have been!

Can you believe June Bug is six weeks old??
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Here they are in the tub together, like a pot of Cute Soup!
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