Posted in Blogging, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, Stories of my life, Wednesday Whatever!

Wednesday Whatever!

Wednesday

 

 

This week  has been a week of reflection. Today is only Wednesday so I imagine the rest of the week will be much the same.

I know I haven’t posted much this month. I took an unplanned month off of writing, of posting, of doing much of anything, really. I can’t even blame it on an active social life, as I don’t have one. All my friends are online. I don’t have anyone here that I go out for coffee with, that I go shopping with, that I just hang with. I hang with my computer, my dog Sam and sometimes the husband.

Don’t feel sorry for me. I don’t feel as if I’m missing out. At one time I had all those things. Good friends that I had coffee with, shopped with, or just hung out with. So I know what it’s like to have all that. It might seem strange to you that I much prefer how I am now. Today. Right this minute. On my computer typing out words that my friends will read.

Do I ever get lonely? You might ask that. The short answer…No. No, I very rarely get lonely. I enjoy my solitary lifestyle. It’s not for everyone. The husband hates being alone. In fact, he gets depressed if he’s alone for too long. He enjoys people. Being with people, talking, joking, laughing, drinking, whatever he and his friends do together. He enjoys that interaction and he misses it when he doesn’t get it. He is the type of person who needs other people around, he thrives on it. Unfortunately, since he got so sick and can’t do much physically his ‘friends’ have faded into the background.

This hurts him. He doesn’t understand it.

I do. Sort of.

The past year or so has been rough. Hell, the past four years have been rough. I don’t feel sorry for myself. It has shown me just how strong I can be. That’s always a good thing.

When my mom died at the end of May it hit hard. Not because my mom and I were best friends or that we had a tight bond. We weren’t and we didn’t. My mom and I had a rocky relationship since the day I was born. That’s ok. She taught me how to be strong and how to be my own woman. I guess you could say she taught me the true meaning of ‘tough love’. It was tough to love her. But I did. I just didn’t always like her. Or her me.

A few people know I have written my autobiography. I haven’t published it. I wouldn’t publish it while my mother was still alive. Now that she’s gone? I probably still won’t publish it. Not yet. Maybe never. It’s not pretty. I’m not even sure if it would have a happy ending. Because my life is still ongoing. For now.

The writings have a lot of my mom in them. She was never the hug you, compliment you, tell you she loves you type of mother. I never heard those words from her. “I love you.” Never. Not once. My sister and I had a conversation the other week and we discussed our mother and never hearing those words from her. It bothers my sister. It doesn’t bother me. Why? Because I accept that was the kind of woman my mother was. My sister has a harder time accepting that. That’s her right. I don’t try to persuade her otherwise.

The only time I heard my mother say, “I’m sorry” was for something she never did. Which seems strange, as she did plenty. Yet, the only time I heard her apologize to me was for something that was never in her control. My sexual abuse. She never even knew about it until I was an adult. Then she had to ask me outright if I was abused by the person who abused me for years. I told her the truth. That I was. She cried and kept telling me she was sorry.

I told her she had nothing to be sorry for in that instance. It wasn’t her fault. I couldn’t tell her when I was a child and it was happening. And later. Well, what was the point of hurting her so much? So I said nothing. Until she asked me.

My mother was who she was. I am who I am. So we never mentioned it again.

So many memories surfaced when my mother died. Then I received a box from my sister this week. It was filled with memories. With pictures and items from my mother’s house. I looked at all those pictures. Some of so very long ago. Of me. My mother. My dad. And I became reflective.

I called my sister and thanked her for the pictures. As I didn’t have any before that. Not a one. The reason why is another long story I might tell some day. Again. As it’s already a part of my autobiography.  And again, it’s a story of me and my mother.

So, I guess, in a long about way, I’m saying why I took an unplanned month off from blogging. Life’s memories got in the way. Mix that in with just being tired to the bone and you have the recipe for doing nothing. Or almost nothing. For a month.

I’m catching my breath back again. With the help of my friends. Here. Now. You. I will be ok.

Thank you.

 

Posted in Humor, Mi Vida Loca, Monday Meeting, nonfiction, postaday, Stories of my life

Monday Meeting ~~ On A Tuesday! ~~ September 29, 2015

I’m running late…late…late! So without further ado, let’s get this meeting started.

 

Monday Meeting

 

Good morning, afternoon, evening people. I do hope your week is going well. Mine as you can tell is going fast! As I am late with my Monday Meeting. I’ve been one busy lady lately. Busy with what you ask? Well, even if you didn’t ask, I’m going to tell you. Ha!

I told you last Monday that my mother (who lives in Wisconsin) made the request that she wanted a sweatshirt with the Canadian maple leaf and she wanted it to say Canada on it. Now that should have been an easy find, after all, I live in Canada! I’m close to the border, so we get a lot of Americans here, easy peasy, right? WRONG!

I ran all over town and do you think I could find a medium sweatshirt with ‘Canada’ on it with a maple leaf? Nope…not a one in sight. Now, my 86-year-old mother doesn’t need clothes. She is what I call a clothes hog. She lives alone in a three-bedroom house, all the bedrooms have closets…big closets. Do you want to guess what’s in those closets? Clothes, you answer rolling your eyes at my naivety. You would be right, of course, well not at my naivety, so keep those eyes steady will ya, but at the word ‘clothes’. They are full of clothes. My mother’s clothes. All the closets. Every. Single. One. Stuffed full.

They are so full that my mother culls them out a couple of times a year and gives what she doesn’t want anymore to her grandkids. And her granddaughters love wearing Grandma’s clothes! Now see, right there it tells you my mother has good taste in clothes. How many girls want to wear their grandmother’s clothes? Anyway, I digress.

Mom doesn’t ask much from me. Hardly anything in all the years I’ve been gone. So when she put in the request for a sweatshirt I was more than happy to take on the task. Foolish me. Let me give you a rundown on how my last five days has gone.

Day One…I talk to Mom on the phone, she puts in a request for a sweatshirt. No problem. Easy enough done. I talk to the husband and even he thinks it won’t be a big deal. We plan to go the next day. So I carry on with my innocent self, doing my edits on A Case of Deceit. Don’t even think about it much anymore.

Day Two…Still innocent and trusting I get up, have my cups of coffee and off the husband and I go for a little trip into town. First stop, Walmart….look in both women’s and men’s clothing. No Canada sweatshirt. Ok, no problem. We go to a place called ‘Hoodies’ who specialize in hoodies (duh!) T-shirts and sweats. I knew it would probably be expensive, but hey, Mom is worth it and she’s paying for it anyway. Oh yeah, they were expensive but….no ‘Canada’ sweatshirt. The lady sends us to the mall, maybe Sears has one. I hate the mall. Haven’t been to one in more than five years. Don’t want to go…..but….Mom……so I go. Hubby stays in the car, smart man. He can’t walk the mall anyway, too painful. So off I go…a little less innocent, but not jaded….yet.

I search Sears to no avail. I ask in the Women’s department. No Canada sweatshirt. They show me a few, but mom wouldn’t like them. More geared to the teenage crowd. Not for my elderly mother. So I decide to go into the dreaded mall. My eyes darting here and there like a frightened deer. It wasn’t very crowded being the middle of the week. Ok, I can handle this. I find a map of the place. Hm, lots of womenswear, but nothing I really want to venture into. Not even for Mom. Maybe they have a shop for things like I wanted. Hey, I don’t know. I don’t shop, much less shop at the mall. Plus, I’m getting tired.

I’m in the middle of the mall. I’m tired and thirsty and looking for my way out. The mall has kiosks set up throughout. I see one with a handsome young man manning it. He’s dressed like most young men, stylish yet comfortable. He’s in the mall every day, he must know what’s in it. Plus….did I tell you he was handsome? Oh yes, he was. Dark brown hair with eyes to match and a nicely trimmed beard. He also had a smile that lit up his face and eyes that twinkled. Or maybe he thought I was going to buy something. I didn’t care. I wanted to stop and say hi….so I did. Eh, hubby was in the parking lot. I was free….and easy apparently.

So I say ‘hi!’ and ask him if he knew of anyplace in town that sold sweatshirts that said ‘Canada’ on them. His brown eyes get serious and I can see he’s really giving it some deep thoughts. You would have thought I asked him about the world’s politics he gave it such serious thought. He was a nice young man being nice to an old lady that was harboring some nice thoughts of her own. Hey, I’m old, not dead. Anyway, he smiles his megawatt smile at me and says….’Try the Dollar Store! That’s where I go when I want something with ‘Canada’ on it!’

I thank him and tell him I would never have thought of that and take my leave. I find my way out of the hated mall and tell the husband to take me home. I’ve had enough for one day.

Day Three….I get on the internet and try to find the sweatshirt from hell. I find all sorts at Amazon.ca. Aha! If I can’t find one in town, I will just order her one from Amazon. That’s not cheating is it? No….well ok, maybe. I don’t have to tell Mom do I? I feel my aching legs from yesterday’s excursion and sigh. I do more edits on my story and try to forget about shopping for a while.

Day Four….My stepson tells the hubby (after hubby told him all about our shopping experience, minus the handsome young man, because, well I didn’t tell the husband about him) that he will take the husband to a store that he assures us will have the sweatshirt. Yay! One more day of no shopping for me! So I send the husband off with the son and wish them well (besides, lately the husband doesn’t want to do anything, so I take this as a good sign). I stay home and do housework and more edits. Hm, maybe I didn’t get the better end of the deal…..

The husband comes home empty-handed. No sweatshirt. Dammit. So we make plans to go to one more place the next day that I had thought about while he was gone. Yes, I had a revelation! If this place didn’t have what I wanted, Amazon was going to be visited by the bad daughter and an order would be put forth. Hell is where I was going……..sorry Mom.

Day Five….We get up, have my much-needed coffee and set forth on the quest of the damn sweatshirt. My revelation from the day before? The Tourist Information building! They have a gift store inside, they have got to have all sorts of things that say Canada on them! My legs still ache from day one, so I’m walking slower and going up steps are a bitch….but off we go. It’s on the other side of town. Of course it is. We’ve never been to it because we live here. So, no reason to go.

I grit my teeth and we finally find the place. I’m praying to the tourist gods that they have what I need. We walk inside and are greeted by the nice older man and my eye spots racks of…..shirts! T-shirts! Hoodies! Sweatshirts! They all say Canada on them! YES!!! Paydirt!! I make a beeline over to the racks and I can feel myself becoming something I never thought I would be in this lifetime…..a shopper! I’ve gone over to the Darkside…….

If my legs hadn’t hurt so much, I would have danced a jig….please, no pictures……

I find a couple of shirts I know my mom will like. One even has bling on it! She loves bling……It’s a black zippered sweater/sweatshirt with pink rhinestones that spell out ‘Canada’. Perfect! I also find a shirt that says ‘Lethbridge, Canada’ (where I live). So another score! It has a maple leaf on it too. The husband decides to buy my mother a maple syrup sucker in the shape of a….maple leaf! Hey, I add it to the shirts, she’ll get a kick out of it.

I pay for our purchases and walk out a daughter champion. Guess I’m not going to hell after all. At least not for ordering the shirts from Amazon. But…..maybe for the thoughts about the handsome young man………….ah……it would be worth it!

 

 

 

So hell will have to do without me for a while longer….How’s your week going?

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog challenge, Blogging, Humor, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, stories, Stories of my life, Uncategorized, writing

Weekly Writing Challenge: Characters

This week’s writing challengeTell us about a character in your life.

I have met some truly unique characters in my life. Some were good, some not so much. But if I had to come up with one character that embodies what a quirky person is, then I will have to go with my Aunt. I haven’t seen her in years, but we have always corresponded through letters. She is my Aunt Nene. My dad’s younger sister. If you ever met her you would not forget her.

She has always been my favorite relative. My mom and her do NOT get along. In fact when I was younger and my mom would get angry with me she would often say I was just like my Aunt Nene. To me that was a compliment! To my mother that was a severe flaw.

My Aunt and I always had a special bond. I would often stay over at her house on weekends. She was great fun. We would lay in her bed at night and talk most of the night away. I could talk to her about anything and everything! I was probably about 14 or 15 when my mom put a stop to my visits. She said my Aunt was a bad influence on me and I was no longer permitted to stay over night. I don’t think I will ever forgive my mom for that. Later I learned she and my Aunt had ‘words’ over me coming for visits. My Aunt lost. As for my dad, he did what my mom wanted. Life was just easier that way.

One of the last times I went somewhere with my Aunt was an interesting experience. I thought it was hilarious, my mom didn’t think so. Maybe because I was only 14 and we went to a bar. My aunt told me that she was going to instruct me on how to pick up men. Oh yeah, my Aunt also swore worse than anyone I ever met. Her favorite word was the F-bomb. Yup, she loved that word and used it as much as humanly possible.

cuss

But back to the bar. Now my aunt and I were not alone that night, my mom, older sister and younger brother was there also. One of the rare times my aunt and my mom were getting along. My dad was working and my aunt and my mom decided they wanted to go out for a few drinks. In Milwaukee where I grew up most bars were considered ‘family bars’. They were neighborhood bars that whole families went to. It was not unusual to find kids in bars. It was not unusual for us kids to be in bars. We were practically raised in them!

Anyway, my aunt was noticeable  Not only because of her vocabulary but because she had flaming red hair and pale skin with blue eyes. She was short, barely 5 ft. Well endowed, and loud. I mean her voice was the biggest thing on her! For a small woman in stature she was very loud vocally.  Add that with her colorful vocabulary and believe me she stood out.  She was also opinionated and smart. All mixed together it was a lethal combination. At the time she had been divorced for the fifth or sixth time. I forget which. I know it was her last time. She never remarried.

So let me set the scene here. Two adult women, small women, neither one over 5 ft tall. One a flaming red-head, one a black-haired woman. Three kids in tow, two short girls and one young boy. Everyone in that bar stared at us as we came in. They probably thought a bunch of munchkins were invading. I remember the bar was full, it was a Friday night. Most of those sitting at the bar were men. There were a few women scattered around but the men far outnumbered them.

munchkins

My mom and aunt got themselves a drink and us kids got a soda (or pop). We trooped over to the back of the bar and stood in a group. That was when Aunt Nene leaned toward me and whispered that she was going to teach me how to pick up men. I laughed. Mom told her I was only 14 and didn’t need to learn that. My aunt laughed her loud laugh and said a girl is never to young to learn. That’s when things got interesting.

As much as I can remember this is how it went. **bad language will follow, I apologize if it offends you**

Pay fucking attention kid and you will fucking learn something.

First, don’t fucking be afraid to fucking flirt. Men fucking love it when a woman fucking flirts.

Fucking look them in the fucking eyes. Don’t be fucking coy. Let them fucking know you are fucking interested.

I did tell you my Aunt loves the F word right? I was not kidding! Now by then my face is beet red as I was still pretty shy back then. My mom is telling my Aunt to be quiet, my sister went over where my little brother was at the jukebox to get away. My aunt’s voice is carrying to everyone in the bar and several men are watching with smirks on their faces. Interested smirks. Yeah, my face was red but I thought it was so funny I couldn’t wait to see what came out of my Aunt’s mouth next. I was not disappointed.

If your fucking standing, spread your fucking legs apart like so. (She spreads her feet and legs apart, thank goodness she was wearing pants)

Now fucking thrust your hips out. This fucking stance makes you fucking sexy to men for some fucking reason. (Um, like yeah Aunt Nene, it’s like you are advertising)

embrassed

If you fucking got tits, lift your chest. Be fucking proud of what you got. You all ready got fucking good tits for a kid, you’ll do okay.

My mom is whispering her to stop, I’m trying hard to decide whether to laugh or sink into the floor. I decide neither as I am fascinated with what is happening.

Now with one hand flip your fucking hair over your shoulder, unless you got short hair like your mother, then fucking forget about it. (She proceeds to flip her long red hair over one shoulder)

Put your fucking hand on your hip and fucking smile! (Which she proceeds to do at a man at the bar)

She finishes her mixed drink and struts over to the bar. About half way there she turns to me and says,

When you fucking walk swing your fucking hips. Show you’re a fucking attractive woman.

I watch her as she squeezes between the man who she was eyeing and another man to order her drink. They exchange a few words, unfortunately I didn’t hear what they said. She picks up 2 mixed drinks and the man at the bar pays for them. Think she partly succeeded in her quest of the night. haha! She saunters back over to us and hands me one of the mixed drinks. My mother starts to protest and my Aunt says,

One fucking mixed drink isn’t going to fucking hurt her. (I take the drink and feel so grown up!)

See what fucking happens when you fucking flirt? You buy your first fucking damn drink and the rest of the fucking night you can fucking drink for free.

Next time I go fucking out I’ll fucking take you with and fucking teach you some fucking more!

Shortly after that night is when my mother stated I was no longer spending time with my Aunt Nene. I suppose looking back she might have been right, but I don’t fucking think so.

 

 

Posted in Daily Prompt, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, stories, Stories of my life, writing

Daily Prompt ~ Gimme

I hope everyone’s Christmas was a good one. If you don’t celebrate Christmas  I hope you also got through these last few days well. Mine was on the quiet side, so I enjoyed it. I like quiet. There is way too little of it.

I did make Christmas dinner . Turkey, dressing, all that goes with it. Lot’s of leftovers though, as there was only three of us to eat it. But, I love turkey sandwiches, so no hardship there. 🙂

So I’ve been sitting here wondering what to write today as I took yesterday off. Must have too many turkey fumes yet as I couldn’t think of a thing. Then I read the daily prompt and thought why not? I’ll give it a whirl.

The Daily Prompt was …..Gimme……Was there a special gift or toy you wanted as a child but never received? What was it?

Ah, yes.  There was.  So, let me set the scene. I have 3 siblings, a younger brother, one older sister and one older brother. I was kind of the middle child. My mother and I never got along much in those days. Hell, who am I kidding. We never get along much any days. We just got over another little hump this Christmas, but that’s for another story.

Anyway, I was fifteen, not really a child, but not yet ‘grown-up’ either. All three of my siblings had their own bikes. For years I had been asking for my own bike also. Otherwise, I hardly got to ride one, my siblings were not big on sharing, and mom always took their side, so hence I very rarely got to ride one. I always felt cheated. How come I was the only one without a bike??

I would ask for one on birthdays and Christmas. Every year I was disappointed yet again. The year I was fifteen, I told my Mom (again) I wanted a bike, that’s ALL I wanted. They didn’t have to get me anything else. Just a bike!

$(KGrHqJ,!iIE4rL+RwiQBOOL90JOrg~~0_12

I felt sure that year that I would get my own bike! I was so excited at Christmas time. I knew there was going to be a bike for me this time. I remember waking up Christmas Eve morning with this feeling of excitement deep in my belly. I made sure I was good all day. I helped Mom whenever she asked for it.  I mean, I did everything right that year! Or tried to.

In my family it was always tradition once us kids got bigger to open our presents Christmas Eve night. I don’t know why we did that, but we did. So of course we were all excited after supper and waited impatiently for Mom to say “Start opening them!” Now there was no bike under the tree, nothing really big wrapped hiding in a corner. I was all right with that, after all we had a basement, an attic too, maybe it was hidden there and Dad would get it soon.

Well, my Mom told us we could unwrap our gifts!  We all started passing around the gifts and opening them. Yes, I had a small pile of gifts to unwrap, but I kept looking for Dad to get the bike out of the basement! I kept watching and waiting, but to no avail. No bike again that Christmas. I was more disappointed than I had ever been. I felt sure that I was going to get one that year! I was positive! But, nope. Nothing, nada, zip.

I remembered I went to bed that night and silently cried myself to sleep. I don’t think I will ever forget that Christmas. Unfortunately I was usually disappointed at Christmas, especially my teenage years, as those were the worst years for getting along with Mom. But that one, well that one stuck with me the most.

Now, there is a shining light at the end of this story. My birthday is in September. My younger brother and I are 2 years and 2 days apart. My birthday is Sept. 12 his is the 14th. Now all the years we were growing up my brother and I had to ‘share’ a birthday. Usually it was on the 13th or his actual birthday the 14th. We shared a cake. We shared small family parties (if we had one), we shared birthdays. Which both of us thought sucked and wasn’t fair. But Mom, well she is who she is.

Except on my sixteenth birthday. Now that birthday was special. Because of what my Dad did. Bless his soul.  My Mom actually refused to have anything to do with this one occasion, but again, that’s for another story.

That September, my Dad asked me after breakfast if I wanted to take a drive with him. It was on a Saturday, I remember that. My Dad usually did his errands on a Saturday, but his norm was to do them alone. It was a rare treat to go with Dad, he hardly ever asked one of  us kids. Anyway, he asked me and of course I said yes. We drove for a while and he pulled into the Schwinn Bike shop. I was confused. I couldn’t understand why we were there. We walked in and started looking at all these shiny new Schwinn bikes! Oh wow! They were beautiful!

He casually asked me which one I liked. I think my jaw hit the ground. He asked me again. I pointed to a shiny red and white one. I liked that one! My dad talked to the owner of the store and told him it was my birthday and he wanted to buy that red and white girls Schwinn bike for me! Oh, how I wanted to cry right there and then. But didn’t dare as I was afraid it would have embarrassed Dad.

It was a 3 speed and it was expensive! Schwinn’s back then were expensive, and my dad just bought me one. I was walking on cloud nine! I had that bike for many years. My Dad was always my hero! I miss you Daddy!

 

(I guess I can’t say I never received this gift. Because I did, just not for Christmas)

just like the one I got!
just like the one I got!
Posted in Blogging, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, writing

American Indian Heritage Month

Bo Zho!

That is Potawatomi for hello! As I am part American Indian Potawatomi I wanted to write something of my own ancestors for American Indian heritage month.  A lot of people haven’t heard  of the Potawatomi’s. They aren’t as famous as Apache, Navajo or many others that we have heard about through books or movies.

The Potawatomi Indians or Bodéwadmi as they call themselves were a part of a long-term alliance called The Council of Three Fires with the Ojibwe and Ottawa . The name Bodewadimi means “keepers of the fire”.

The Potawatomi are first mentioned in French records, which suggest that in the early 17th century, they lived in what is now southwestern Michigan. During the Beaver Wars they fled to the area around Green Bay, Wisconsin to escape attacks by both the Iroquois and the Neutral Nation, who were seeking expanded hunting grounds.

As an important part of Tecumseh’s Confederacy, Potawatomi warriors took part in Tecumseh’s War, the War of 1812 and the Peoria War. Their allegiance switched repeatedly between the British and the Americans as power relations shifted between the nations.

Today, the Potawatomi are a thriving community. They provide health services and education to the people, with revenues generated from the tribe’s gaming and other business operations. I remember when I was young, the Potawatomi community were quite poor. They had issues with drugs, alcohol and health. Now, they have active programs to deal with the  drugs and alcohol issues. They also have very active health programs. I know that within a relatively short amount of time they went from being the poorest tribe to  the third richest tribe within the United States. In part because they  got leadership that looked toward the future of their people.

The Forest County Potawatomi (FCP) have lived in Forest County, Wisconsin, since the late 1800s. Around 1880, groups settled in areas near Blackwell and Wabeno and have lived in that area since, as well as in the Carter and Crandon (or Stone Lake) areas. My mother was born and raised in Wabeno, Wisconsin, she is now one of a short list of elders of the Forest County Potawatomi tribe.

I have always loved being part American Indian. My mother used to tell us stories of when she grew up and even as an adult. There were lots of restaurants, bars and stores that would not serve Indians. They had signs up that said they wouldn’t. Much like the Afro-Americans in the south there was much prejudice about Indians. In some places that prejudice still survives. It always seem so hypocritical to me. The American Indians were here way before anyone else. Yet we were looked at as savages when  the white man killed us at every chance,  took our lands away and herded us like cattle onto reservations where  we would starve to death over the winters. Now really, who were the savages??

Here is a timeline of the Potawatomi tribes movements.

In the beginning, the Neshnabek (Original People) settled along the shores of the great salt water (Atlantic Ocean), near the mouth of the St. Lawrence River.

1,000 Years Ago

Movement began towards the Great Lakes.
1500’S

Near Saulte Ste. Marie, the Neshnabek split into three groups – the Ojibwe (Keepers of the Faith), the Odawa (Keepers of the Trade), and the Bodewadmi (keepers of the Fire). This relationship is known as the Three Fires Confederacy.

The Potawatomi moved towards Southwestern Michigan.

1634

First encounter with Europeans: the French explorer Jean Nicolet visits the Potawatomi near Red Banks (Green Bay, WI).
17th and 18th Century
As strong allies of Nouvelle France, the Potawatomi control the fur trade in the Western Great Lakes.
1789-1867

In 43 treaties, the Potawatomi were forced by the US Government to cede all their lands between Wisconsin and Ohio.

In the 1833 chicago treaty, the largest land cession contained 5 million acres.

1838

After the signing of the 1833 treaty, most Potawatomi were forcibly removed west. This march became known as the “Potawatomi Trail of Death”.

1851
Simon Kahquados, last known Chief of the Wisconsin Potawatomi is born at Black Earth Village in Kewaunee County.
1890’s
The Reverend Eric Morstad assists several strolling Potawatomi families near Wabeno, WI homesteads under the Indian Homestead act of 1884.
1907
W.M. Wooster, b.I.A. Special agent conducts census and reports 1,972 Wisconsin Potawatomi Indians.
1913
Through the efforts of Charles Kishek and Reverend Eric Morstad, 11,786 acres of land is purchased using treaty monies.
1924
Native Americans are granted U.S. Citizenship by act of Congress. (The irony of it boggles the mind!)
1937
The Potawatomi Tribe is reorganized under the Act of 1934 and officially become the Forest County Potawatomi Community.
1988
Forest County Potawatomi lands granted “reservation” status
. National Indian Gaming Act (N.I.G.A.) passed.
2005
A four tribe alliance of the Potawatomi, Oneida, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and Viejas Band of Southern California build a partnership venture and open the Residence Inn in Washington D.C.
We as people have come a long way through out history.  It’s nice that we have a month for teaching about our heritage. It is a rich and vital one. We are people who are tough and resilient. We needed to be. The traditions and rituals have kept us strong. The cornerstone of those beliefs is the Circle of Life that parallels the seasons of nature. The Circle of Life is a demonstration of the Potawatomi reverence for all living things and nurtures the belief that they are a self-reliant and self-determined nation of people.
Bidgek (welcome)

 

Posted in Blogging, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, Stories of my life, Uncategorized, writing

Cancer, Death, and Movember

If anyone visited either of my blogs the last few days you might have noticed this rather dashing button I have on my sidebar.

 

 

I got it when I joined “Bloggers for Movember” . What is this you might ask? Well, let me tell you about it! The wonderful blog A Clown on Fire  (or better known as Le Clown) has set up Bloggers for Movember to raise awareness and money for prostate cancer and mental illness. A very noble and great cause! If you go to this link Le Clown will tell you all about it much better then I ever could! So please, let your click lead you there!

http://clownonfire.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/movember/

Now the main reason I joined is because cancer has struck my family too many times. Also, my father died of prostate cancer about eight years ago. After fighting it for years and going into remission twice, the third time is what sealed his fate. The cancer spread throughout his body until he just had no strength left to fight. He gave a valiant effort, but it spread faster than the doctors and my dad could fight it. It made his bones so weak that they would snap at the slightest pressure. My mother tried to take care of him at home, but it got to be too much for her. But she took care of him almost till the end. He was in a hospice for 56 days.

For every one of those 56 days my mother would drive 95 miles one way to visit him. She would get there when visiting hours started and would not leave till she was kicked out after visiting hours. She told me in all those days my father only complained once to her. And that was for his room-mate! He whispered to my mother that he had heard the night nurse slap the man in the bed next to him! She slapped a dying man!! My mother (small dragon that she is!) marched over to the nurses station and demanded to talk to the head nurse. My mom told her what Dad had and said and that nurse was fired the same day! Yeah Mom and Dad!

That’s the kind of man my dad was. My mom told me all the nurses loved him, because no matter how much pain he was in he always had a smile or a joke for them. I miss him so very much!

My mother has also had her battle with cancer. Several times. She has had colon cancer twice. The second time was at the same time my Dad was diagnosed with cancer for the third time. They were both fighting it at the same time! My mom is a fighter. Both times she had beaten the big “C”. She kicked its butt! But can you imagine trying to take care of a sick husband and being sick yourself? They are strong people and their love for one another was stronger. They had been married over 50 years when my Dad died. I make sure I call my mom every August the 19th, the day of their anniversary. Mom gets a bit depressed that day, she misses him too.

My grandmother died of breast cancer. I myself beat cancer when I was in my late  20’s. I went to a doctor about a spot under my chin that would not go away, a small sore that just wouldn’t heal. He took a biopsy, sent it off, and I learned two weeks later I had cancer. It was a rare form of lung cancer. The doctor told me that with this kind of lung cancer the spots very rarely show up outside the skin. When they do it is usually so far advanced that the patient doesn’t have long to live. You know what I said?

*uck that! (excuse my language) I was too damn young to die! And I wasn’t going to!! That day I learned I had cancer and the likely outcome, I went home and cried for hours. Then I got mad. I didn’t and wouldn’t let myself think of dying. Because I wasn’t going to! I think what made it doubly hard on me was that my marriage was pretty much over with and I hadn’t talked to any of my family for literally years. I was alone. But I still never considered dying to be an option. And as you can see it wasn’t. Because here I am! Alive, kickin’, and writing. Ahhh no matter how bad things get, LIFE IS GOOD!

So please! I’m asking you nicely, almost begging. Join the Bloggers for Movember! It’s a great thing and join me and many others in celebrating life while we do what we can to kick cancer out the door!

Posted in Fiction, postaday, stories, Uncategorized, writing

The Taxi Dancer

 

 

After  the music ended, Anita sat at her table and wished  she could take her shoes off and rub her tired, achy feet. But, she knew the music would start again in a few minutes and there would be another man holding out his 10 cent ticket to her. Then they would dance, maybe have a few snippets of conversation if he was talkative. If the man was on the shy side the dance would be quiet.

Sometimes if Anita liked the look of the man, she would try to get him to talk. Most times not though. It was a job. Times were tough, she had to help  with the family finances and this was better than nothing. She got this job because she could dance. She always loved to dance, even when she was little, Mama would catch her dancing all over their tiny  apartment. Now that Mama was sick, it was up to her to pay the bills. So she came to the Taxi Dance hall and got a job.

The job was tiring and she usually went home with sore feet and achy muscles, but it never stopped her from returning the next day.  The pay was fair, mostly because she was one of the most popular Taxi’s there. Men enjoyed dancing with her and she had her weekly regulars. She knew that some dancers working there did ‘side jobs’, but she wasn’t one of them. She was a good girl and she  wouldn’t shame Mama  that way.

Anita heard the band start another song, and just like she knew would happen, there was a man standing in front of  her with his 10 cent ticket in his hand. Without even glancing up at the man’s face she took his ticket and stuck it inside the small black purse dangling from her wrist. She stood up and took his outstretched hand, finally tilting her head up and see who it was. This one she didn’t know, he was a new face in the crowd. The handsome young man smiled at her and led her to the dance floor.

They glided smoothly across the oak  floor. Not speaking. Anita was okay with that, there didn’t seem to be a need to talk. She thought he was an excellent dancer, better than most of her ticket holders. She felt comfortable. As they twirled once more around, he finally spoke in a soft deep voice. “I’m glad my buddy talked me into coming here tonight.”

“Why is that?” Anita asked.

“Because I just met the most beautiful woman, who dances like an angel” he said with a small smile.

“I bet you say that to all the ladies” Anita joked.

“Only you”  he said. “Only you from now on” he whispered.

 

 

 

 

**I came across some information about Taxi Dancers while I was researching something else. It fascinated me. They were women who in the 1920’s and 30’s who got paid for dancing with men. The men would buy 10 cent tickets to be able to pay for dancing with them. The women received a commission on how many tickets they collected. This is a very short story that came out of that.**

Posted in Blogging, Humor, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, Stories of my life, Uncategorized, writing

A Conversation With Mom

My mom and I have had a relationship problem most of my life.  We never got along when I was younger. Truthfully we never got along until my father died 8 years ago. At different times in our lives we have gone years without  talking. The longest being 7 years when I was married to my ex. She never liked my ex, and well I was too stubborn to say she was right, till after my divorce. We are both very stubborn women. Looking back I think one reason we never got along is because we are two peas in a pod. According to her, when my dad was dying he told her to  make up with me and to surround herself with her kids, because life was too  damn short to keep fighting. I think she took those words to heart, because we have been friends ever since. My mother is sometimes so funny. You have to stay on your toes to keep up with her.  This is a typical phone conversation with her. I called her this morning and here is how it goes. (Mom is  83 years young)

Ring!  Ring! Ring!  (me calling mom)

“Hello? Hi!”

“Hey mom, how you feeling?”

“I’m doing good. I got a new gadget!”

“What you got now mom?”

“It’s for my blood pressure. It’s kind of  like my heart pacer machine. I take a reading of my blood pressure and it goes right to my Doctor’s office!”

“Wow, something else to play with”

“It’s really nice. Hey, your brother got a new job! He’s babysitting some kids.”

“That’s good.”

“Your sister’s been sick though. I’m thinking she had a small stroke, but she don’t believe me.”

“A stroke!!  You kidding??”

“Her doctor said she has a case of palsy, but I think he’s wrong and I told her to get a new doctor, but she never listens to me.”

“Mom you scared me!”

“I got a fox living under my front porch, and someone is stealing my apples!”

“You got a fox?”

“Yeah, he got rid of those hundreds of rabbits I had in the yard.”

“I guess that’s good?”

“Just wish he would get those damn squirrels! I hate those damn things.”

“I know you do mom.”

“If I find out who’s stealing my apples they are going to get their car windows shot out with my BB gun!”

“Um, mom I think that’s illegal.”

“So is stealing my apples! I  get hold of them they are going to wish I didn’t!”

“I’m not sure you should shoot at them mom.”

“I told your brother-in-law what I was going to do. He gossips with all the men in town. Word will get out, so it’ll stop!”

“That’s better than shooting them.”

“I told your brother I’m making an apple  pie  this afternoon. But  I need to go to the store to buy the apples, because my apples aren’t good this year.”

“I thought they were stolen anyway?”

“Not all of them, but they aren’t good for pies. But I like to feed the deer with them.”

“Okay, I got it now Mom.”

“I’m going to clean out my closet today. I got about 50 pairs of shoes and I need to re-arrange things.”

“50 pairs??”

“Yeah, I noticed I didn’t have any green shoes though. So I might have to buy some green ones, so I need room.”

“You going to give some away then?”

“No! I don’t want to give any away. I just need more room. ”

“You can only wear one pair at a time.”

How’s things in Canada?”

“Things are going pretty good here mom.”

“Hey, I’m going to have to hang up for now, I got to go to the bathroom.”

“Okay mom, I’ll call you later this week.”

“Okay, bye!”

 

My  mom might be old, but she is sharp as a tack. And she has no fear. She lives in a very small country town near a large lake, so she has all sorts of critters wander through her yard. She loves animals, except squirrels. Her and the neighborhood squirrels have a running feud. Sometimes they win, sometimes she wins. Most times it’s a draw. I have to laugh every time I talk to her because she is just so…….her! She 4 ft 11 inches of toughness. I love her dearly. And I hope to goodness if I am like her, that when (or if) I get to be her age I can age as gracefully.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in nonfiction, Stories of my life, Uncategorized, writing

Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone — Gladys Berthe Stern

I read this quote the other day while I was researching something for my WIP. “Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” 
— Gladys Berthe Stern

It stuck in my mind and I couldn’t seem to get it out. Then this morning I sat down with my  usual cup of coffee and started to really think about what this quote meant to me and why it wouldn’t go away. I finally got it. I needed to thank all the people in my life, past and present who helped make me into the woman I am today. I’m a strong, independent, stubborn, creative, word loving woman. I’m fearless in trying something new, whether it be a new hobby, job, food, or place of living.  I didn’t get this way on my own. Several people helped me, and today I would like to take this opportunity and thank them publicly for their contributions to the shaping of my life.

My deceased father: He gave me my love of books. He was a man who always had a book in his hands, and taught me to love them also. He liked a good conversation or debate. He taught me to be frugal with my money, how to love unconditionally, and how to garden. Gardening was his passion. Thank you Daddy, for being the best dad you could be.

My Mother: We didn’t get along all my years growing up in your house. We fought, argued, and generally disliked each other. But, deep down we loved each other. Thank you for teaching me to stand up for myself. To never back down when I believed in something strongly. Thank you for showing me how not to be a victim. How to be independent and strong. We are great friends now, and that I treasure. It was hard-won. Thank you also for showing me that holding grudges is wrong on so many levels. I saw what holding grudges did to you and your family. I will NOT make that same mistake. I love you Mom, you are the strongest person I know. I deeply respect that.

Miss Minney: I never did know her full name. She asked me to call her Miss Minney when I first met her at the age of five. That’s all I ever knew her as. Miss Minney was the old woman who lived 2 doors down from us. She had white hair, always wore a dress, and loved to hug. I need to thank Miss Minney for teaching me how to sweep a floor the right way! How to dust, and generally keep house. She took me under her wing when I was just a tow-headed little girl. I would help her clean her house, run errands for her and listen to her talk about her own little girl who had died years before in a drowning accident. Her only child. Even at such a young age I could feel the sadness and love she had for her little girl. Thank you Miss Minney, for showing a little girl that no matter what age we are we have something to teach and to learn.

New Orleans: Thank you message in the grotto o...
New Orleans: Thank you message in the grotto of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church; added by those for whom prayer or miracles were granted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My older brother: My brother is a bit of a bully. Loud and obnoxious. Him and I have always maintained a love/hate relationship. It continues to this day. He taught me to stand up to bullies. That they are a cowardly breed on the whole. They talk rough and try to intimidate a person because they are bigger and stronger. But if you stand up to them they will always back down. It may not always shut them up, but it makes life a little easier when you show them you aren’t afraid of them and their hot air. Thank you big brother for helping me to grow into someone who will not tolerate a bully. Just because I am small and a woman I don’t have to put up with it.

My best friend from childhood: Gloria was a great person. Deeply troubled she turned to drugs and alcohol to escape a life she thought was destroying her. Instead she went down a road to destroy herself. We drifted apart when my parents forbid me to see her again. I never did get the full story of why. But, I miss her to this day. I know she went into prostitution to pay for her drugs when she was still a teenager. I saw her once when we were both about 19, I almost didn’t recognize her she had changed so much. I believe she knew who I was, but she turned and walked away without a word. Thank you Gloria, for showing me that drugs were not a way out of difficult situations. I could very easily have taken the same road, but thankfully did not.

My very best friend in adulthood: Terri is a wonderful and loving woman. She is another strong person. We used to talk for hours and hours every single day. She raised 3 boys on her own. Took care of her mother when she was dying of cancer. And buried her father six months after her mother died. She was the glue that held her family together. She is a tiny little woman with the biggest personality. I lost touch with Terri when I moved to Canada from Texas. I’m still trying to connect with her. Her phone number doesn’t work anymore and when I wrote I got her letter back. Some day I will find my best friend again. Thank you Terri for showing me that being single is not a bad thing. To never give up on myself. And just thanks for being there when I needed someone so much.

gratitude. =)
gratitude. =) (Photo credit: camerakarrie)

To my ex-husband: Yeah, you read that right. My EX-HUSBAND. He taught me several valuable life lessons. He taught me how not to take something at face value. To always question it.  If something looks to good to be true, you should examine it throughly and ask a lot of questions. He taught me to believe in my instincts and not drown them out when they are screaming at me that something is not right. He taught me that violence against women is not right in any form. That just because someone says something is true does NOT make it so. He taught me that once a cheater always a cheater. Thank you ex for being who and what you are. A large example of what not to have in a husband.

I will always be grateful to everyone who helped make me who I am. I’m sure there are others I need to thank. Maybe that’s another posting in the making. Till then, remember to thank the people in your life.