29 January 2019

A Yearly Challenge

“The weather outside is frightful.” It’s many degrees below zero with an even colder wind chill.  The sun is shining, with clouds beginning their dance down from the north.  The snow dances ever so often in the wind.  My mother used to say what they were and I don’t remember.  Perhaps a part of me does.  I wish, nah, not wish, cause I hear that voice in my head telling me “be careful what you wish for.”  Well, it’s not too late to write down what I remember. Perhaps some day, some descendant will wish to read these words.  There’s always one or two in a generation who thinks of the old days.

At any rate, I printed out a list of 365 writing prompts from a website yesterday whilst waiting for lunch down to the RTG. I pressed the print button after I’d taken out all the ads and what not.  It didn’t print, so I asked Sis how the thing printed.  She said “Hit the print button.”
“Which one? Is there a special way to do this?”  I was only wanting to know cause it, computer and printer, are on a private network and I didn’t know if the admins had set up a special procedure or…t’any rate, I brought the screen back up.
“That’s it.”
I hit the print button.  Nothing happened.
“Brother!  Is this printer working?”
He came over.  Pushed a command on the printer and said “Door’s ajar.”

Whereupon I remembered I’d put the paper in cause he handed me some just prior.  Naturally, I didn’t make sure I heard the click.  He shut it and the printer promptly spit out two copies.  I was ever so glad I’d reduced the number of pages down from 64 to 8.
“Now what am I gonna do with two copies?”
“One for editing and one for reading?”  Sometimes, brother doesn’t understand a thing I mean.  Perhaps that’s cause I was being rhetorical and he didn’t know that?  Well, I don’t think I’ll ever break myself of the talking aloud to myself habit.

During lunch, I conversed with sister about this and that.  Just as we were finishing, an Elder came in to collect his lunch.  On his way out, I called him over and set him a challenge.  I gave him a copy of the prompts and told him that in 365 days we’d see who wrote the most during the past 365 days.
“I’ll do it.”  After a few minutes thought, “I’ll probably do this for three days and then forget.”
So, I came home and didn’t do any writing on the prompts, though I did do some work on my lesson assignments.  Not enough to post it though.

This morning I reset this daily journal from the backup, set up the note cards and scene cards for the rest of the year.  I put a blank one in for next year so that all I have to do is copy over for year after year.  I see from the last date, it was four years ago since I wrote in this particular one.  Now, none of this has anything at all to do with what the outside weather is doing right now.  It is, as I’d hoped, something to spark the ol’ writing something.  Perhaps, I’ll look at this a year from now and just use the same prompt?  Perhaps not.

T’any rate, it’s time to venture out in the cold and see if I can hitch a ride down to lunch.

05 September 2016

Prayers and Good thoughts.

I've been sitting here this morning since the Thunder Spirits woke me.  I checked out different posts over on my second favorite haunt, Facebook.  I said my prayers and sent good thoughts to all those standing for the water over in North Dakota.

I think of the struggle we're going to have when we can finally go out on the lake to get our annual eating rice, Maanomin, cause the waters are too high.  This was brought up at our meeting with the Reservation Tribal Council.  I think of the old days when there were hundreds of canoes out on the lake, reseeding all areas, especially the few who tipped over.  After the first surge of disappointment, the inevitable comment, "well, I reseeded the lake for seven years from now" or, "I know where to come in seven years."  Now, there might be a hundred on a good day.

Yeah.  Imagine me, saying the old days.  I grew up waiting for the annual ricing days, cause we'd have food to eat, and hunters went out and brought back deer, duck and fish.  And this was 50 years ago.  50  years.  An unimaginable time for a young child of ten.  Heck, I didn't even have a good concept of weeks.

I remember the first time I put out tobacco before going on the lake.  I was scared, a little awed, cause I was finally grown up enough to do this for myself.  On the first day, there was an Elder who said prayers, offered traditional gifts, and asked for protection on the water for all of us going on the lake.  Why ask for protection?  Cause there are accidents on the lake, even among those who are expert canoers.  News of someone tipping over raced through the village, relief when the unfortunate were safe and sound, on the shore.

Now, my son makes sure I put out asemaa before we head out.  I smile, now, thinking, he has the privilege to do so.  Has had the privilege for 20 years.  Out of respect for me, he waits for me to do so.  I understand the feeling of being in harmony with the Spirits when we do this.  We parch rice when we get back with the rice we've gathered for the day.  We always put the heads in the fire, our offering for those in the next world.  I think of the green rice going to seed the waters above.

I think of my loved ones who've crossed the lake many times and did the same thing we do when we come ashore.  And I think of them happily doing the same thing when we send the green rice to them.  I think of them smiling, visiting, having a good time cause they have rice again.  They have deer, fish, duck.  They have much more cause we remember and put out tobacco, gifts and do the things they taught us to do.

All these thoughts have been in my mind when I check out the Facebook posts about the water protectors over on the Standing Rock reservation.  I have been there, lived in the Dakotas for a few years, met the people and have made a friend or two from the land around.  I stood on the banks of the Missouri River, the Heart River.  I've seen pictures of the land down in Iowa, where they've dug down 20 feet, disturbing earth that has been there for millions of years.  Now, nothing will grow there.  Rather, what will grow there?  Ahh, all I can do is pray and send good thoughts for all those struggling to protect what is left.

Why don't I go out there?  Cause I have things to do here, where I am.  All waters need prayer, good thoughts and our mainstay, Manoomin, is being threatened.  I did what I can, the best way I know how.

And why do I post a lot of BBC articles?  Simple.  In the 60's and 70's, the only clear station we could get was Channel 5, a Canadian station.  I actually knew more about what was happening in Canada, then my own country.  Guess that's what happens when one lives in the "wilderness."

29 August 2016

Another day in my life

Well, guys, it suddenly behooved me to post on here since I haven't posted in such a long time. Course if ya'll follow my writerly blog, you have some idea of the major change in my life over the past year.  And the latest happening surely can't be blamed on the g-r-e-m-l-i-n-s.  Or...can it?

Quite possibly, since I h-a-v-e been messing around with machines this very day.

As some of you know, I generally do my spring cleaning in the fall and leave yard stuff for the spring.  Mostly, in the hopes of some of the stuff mysteriously disappearing when the snow melts.  Hasn't quite worked out yet.  As Father likes to say, or rather quote: "Hope springs eternal."  There's always hope that one spring, I'll emerge from my winter's long nap and find my yard all ready for spring planting.  Yep,yep, yep.  There's hope in this heart of mine yet.

Hmm.  Mayhap, if I leave some goodies for the b-r-o-w-n-i-e-s?  At any rate, those rabbit holes are appearing everywhere today.  Started over to my favorite haunt yesterday with a post by Will Hahn, author of "Tales of the Lands of Hope" and this morning with a disappearing pin that was of intense enticement that I got lost in the land of Pinterest for 3 whole hours.

And since I plan on being somewhere else this week-end (which for me is Wed, Thurs, and Friday), I duly decided to forego my daily stint at writing and clear up some items on my to-do's.  Which is where I promptly found out that g-r-e-m-l-i-n-s may have found their way back.  Bout two, three weeks ago, one sock decided to go adventuring and left through the sewer system after causing a ruckus with the washing machine.  Fortunately, all the water that overflowed in the kitchen sink was caught in time to stave off requiring the services of a professional plumber and leaving a bigger mess.

Now, some of you may be wondering what the kitchen sink has to do with washing machines and why didn't the washing machine overflow.  Luck, I tell ya, puure-dee luck.  Or, perhaps, it was the fact that the builder of this house put the trap for the washing machine in the wrong place.  When the kitchen sink starts backing up, that's when we check the washer.  As for the dryer, well, let's just say, that it's a darn good thing that company is out of business.  Over the past 20 years, we've done some work arounds on the advice of our favorite fixer-upper over to the hardware store.  Good thing, folks around here know how to make-do.  I'm not as good as my mother was.  I found that out just a few minutes ago when I promptly decided it was best if I did a bit of writing.

After my brother and our cousin fixed the plumbing for me, I left the washer and dryer alone.  Til today.  Being as how my son and I are fast running out of clean clothes and have no desire to "find our cleanest dirty shirt," I decided to clean the dryer vent and clear out the machines a little bit since I'd pretty nearly finished with the rest of the to-do's in the laundry area.  'Cept for a new furnace. Must remember to add that to the list of things to get done before the snow flies.  I wanted to get all the dust producing chores out of the way as I want to paint.  And, voila, got my wish.

Plenty of dust of the lint variety and remembered why I hate cleaning the dryer vent.  Specially as the fragranced dryer sheets left their mark behind.  After sneezing and coughing for a bit, I got the vent completely unhooked.  Well, okay, I had wrestled with the outlet plug for a few minutes.  Oh-kay, more than a few minutes.  Decided it was time to get my brother to rescue me as son was engrossed in some doings on the net.  Sides, which, I D-i-d N-o-t want him to know as he gives me the look which I didn't quite want to face on this trying day.  Oh no, at least, not til he left for work.

Usually, brother goes on lunch break when son goes to work.  Brother took his lunch break early and he came over.  Course, he gave me a bit of grief but that's better than my son's sort of grief.  I went in to sister's to give  her a report on the community dealings.  I met brother on the way back and he said he unplugged the dryer and unhooked the vent from the machine.  Yes!  Not.

I cleaned the lint screen and the inside of the little tube.  Took the vent hose apart and cleared out the elbow and sleeve that hooks up to the machine.  Washed those in the bath tub as I just felt like it.  Took the vent and looked inside.  Reached in as far as I could on both sides.  Pondered a few minutes, shook the thing, nothing felt out so I decided to wash it to, being that it was aluminum, it would dry fast.  Yeah!

I ran water in one end of the tube, shook it while lifting it to let the water run through to the other end.  Was doing this cautiously, cause if anything came out, I could put the bucket under it to catch it.  Then, I lifted it straight up and...horror of horrors.  Not a spider, such as the two I'd found this morning.  All those little floating black things was the wet, black lint I'd shaken from the tube.

I stared in utter fascination at the amount of it.


Heard the gurgling of the water flowing down the drain.  Then...nothing.  I leaped, I tell ya, that was a sight to see in the tiny little bathroom we have.  How I managed not to fall and injure myself is a miracle and my guardian angel must be happy to have things to do once again.  Too late.

All those lint pieces were now clogging the drain.  Nooowww what.  I pulled as much of it out as I could and grabbed the little strainer thing we have for catching hair and wondered, why or why, did I not think to make sure it was in the proper place.  I watched in relief when the water started draining, then horror when it started plugging up.

Frantic again, I looked around for something, anything, with which to stave off having to call brother and cousin again.  Aha!  The plunger.  I quickly used it and felt such a sense of joy when the water and everything went down the drain.  Well, not everything.  I made sure the little spider looking lint pieces stayed in the tub.  Decided to take a break and write a post whist waiting for the little spider-looking lint pieces to dry out a bit before I get up the courage to clean the tub, before cleaning the rest of the vent and putting everything back together.

So...tell me, how is your day going?

27 July 2016

Old times

I was over to my favorite haunt this a.m. and came across a couple posts that had me laughing and now I'm thinking bout memories.  Course, my favorite haunt used to be second favorite haunt and now that most things have been more or less fixed, specially since I quit messing bout with coding and such, I spend quite a bit of time over there.

At any rate, the first post was something bout "if a woman says "do what you want," best stand still, do not breathe, etc and I laughed.  A few memories popped right into my head, mostly of mom, an aunt or two, a few friends and neighbors,  and then popped into my head those very same ladies with "the Look."  It was the Look that popped into my head when I read the words "Just play Dead."

The second post showed an old style Jingle dress dancer.  Took away my breath just watching her.  It was great, hearing those jingles, seeing the smile on her face made me feel good, happy.  Tried to download it, instead I shared it so it'd be on my wall as I'm not friends with the original poster.

That brought back memories of my childhood, being at powwows, and learning to dance.  Going barefoot most summers, even when it rained, sometimes, or should I say, especially, after it rained.  Those times are when I mostly got the Look.  Tramping in mud was most especially frowned upon.  Never did stop me though.  What finally stopped me was the time when I stepped on a piece of glass and, well, the sight of that much blood pouring from my foot was a bit scary.

Particularly when accompanied by the shouts of my sisters and friends who were trying to quiet me so the adults wouldn't come running to find out what happened.  We had to give up when we couldn't stop the bleeding.  Had to face the Look.  Especially on five or six of those very same ladies.

Oh, I know the context of that particular meme was probably written by a man, specially after that song popularized "Deer in Headlight look" but every time I see it, I think of those ladies.

Ahh, memories.  Going to go create a few more.

19 May 2016

A to Z Challenge Reflections

Reflections on the 2016 A to Z Challenge.  One major-time!  I do not have time to read everything I wanted to during the month.  I will be availing myself of the list during the rest of the year.  I did have fun reading many of the posts.  I think, not, I know the main reason I didn't have time to read as much as I liked was because I checked out blog posts as well as sites.  That can seriously cut into reading time.  Another thing was reading the other comments and checking out those who made some interesting points.

I also do Camp NaNoWriMo during the month.  Two major Challenges in one month?  Can be done, with some planning.  I wrote my entries in February and March using my Scrivener, Aeon and Scapple programs.  Not that I was paid to write that, it's just my life has gotten simpler using these and at the same time, more complicated because I happen to think that I can do so much more now that my tracking and writing has gotten simpler.  As I scheduled the posts, I edited.   Doing both well takes a bit of pre-planning.

One problem I had was finding follow links.  I thought back to when I first started blogging.  There were a couple that I didn’t even have an idea about doing until I had read a few of the blogs of the more experienced bloggers.  Of all the sites I checked out, the NaNoWriMo and A to Z challenge sites were the most helpful, especially the Captain’s Ninjas.  A few were helpful enough to send me an email.  I may not have let them know I appreciated the help.  Here is a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has helped me in some way.

However, I would like to point out that, I have and will continue to have my idea of who, what, where, when, and why I write and sometimes I fit in, sometimes, I edit, sometimes I revise.  That’s all anyone can do, really.  So, my take on the whole Challenge?  Have fun, learn one or two things and move on.