Posted in Blog challenge, Cee's Share Your World, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction

I’ve Got To Be Me ~~~ Share Your World, Week 4, 2015

Hello people! I do hope all those in the wake of Storm Juno are doing well today. Did that storm actually do anything? How’s things by all of you?

This week is another question and answer session made possible by Cee, of Cee’s Photography. Why not pay her a visit and say hi! Also, check out her awesome photos.

 

(awesome song by the legendary Sammy Davis, Jr. )

Where did you live at age five?  Is it the same place or town you live now?

I lived in a haunted house in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was an interesting house to live in. No, I don’t live there now and haven’t for many years. I haven’t even lived in Wisconsin for many years. I’ve traveled around quite a bit since I was 5 years old.

You are invited to a party that will be attended by many fascinating people you never met.  Would you attend this party if you were to go by yourself?

I would like to think I would take the opportunity presented to me. But, knowing myself as I do, I probably wouldn’t go. I don’t enjoy parties or any large gatherings. The introvert in me. I feel out-of-place and awkward.

My childhood home which was haunted via google maps.
My childhood home which was haunted via google maps.

Did you grow up in a small or big town? Did you like it?

I grew up in the biggest city in Wisconsin. No, I didn’t enjoy it and got out as soon as I was able to. I’ve also lived in Ft. Worth, Texas, another large city, and no didn’t enjoy that either. I have most enjoyed living in smaller towns. Like now, where I live in Canada is a place that is just the right size. Big enough to have the conveniences that I enjoy, but still retain that small town flavor. The people here are friendly and outgoing. I like it here, except for the winters. Can’t have everything I guess!

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I had always wanted to join the Navy and have a military career. That was nixed with my hearing problems. So because of my great love for reading, I decided I wanted to become a writer of great books. I’m still working on that dream. 🙂

Other than that I was always open to possibilities. You just never know what’s around the corner.

 

What did you think you wanted to be when you were a kid? Did you become that?

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog challenge, Blogging, Daily Prompt, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, Stories of my life, writing

Daily Prompt: Distance is the new Rainbow

Daily Prompt: ______ is the new ______

Click over to your favorite blog, and pick out the 4th and 14th words (that aren’t “the” or “an”). Drop them into this phrase:

“_____ is the new _____.”

There’s your post title. Now write!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I thought today’s Daily Prompt was an interesting one. All I had to do was go to one of my favorite blogs, pick out the 4th and 14th word, plop them in the blanks and wham! I got my title for my blog today.

So off I went to tiny’s blog called “tiny lessons blog”.  She writes poetry and everything she writes is beautiful and full of joy, wonder and hope. I love her blog and consider her a true friend. So go on over and enjoy her words, after you finish mine that is.

Distance is the new Rainbow

 

When I left home many years ago I was young. Yet I had been so old in other ways. I was a strange mix of naive and wise, trusting and leery.

I had never dated. Didn’t have boyfriends. Not a lot of friends. I still lived at home with a few years living with a girlfriend. Living with my friend ended in tragedy so I moved back home. I hated living at home. My mother and I rarely got along and my dad did what my mom wanted. Or played referee.

I worked and paid board and usually bought my own food. So it wasn’t as if I was living there free. I wouldn’t have if I could. I was proud that way.

Anyway, I was corresponding with a man who lived in Mississippi for a long time. Decided to go for a one day visit and see how we hit it off. Flew down there early one morning (I lived in Wisconsin at the time) and after a really pleasant visit flew home that same night.

We wrote and phoned each other every day after that. He convinced me to move down there. So I did. Yeah, I did say I was naive. I had innocently told him about my savings (I had quite a bit) and I even owned some good land in upper Wisconsin.

To make a long story short. I moved down there. Stayed six months. Found out he was a momma’s boy asshole of the first degree. He was a man who liked to swing cats by their tales and kick small dogs. That wasn’t a lie. I actually saw him do these things!

So after six months of total assholiness (don’t think that’s a word but it fits!), and after he called me a whore (I knocked him off his feet on that one) I called my mom and asked if I could come back home. She said no.

I called my brother in Texas. Told him what was going on and I wanted out. He told me to come to Texas and he would help me find a job and a place to live. At the time my brother and I were really close, so I took a bus trip to Ft. Worth, Texas that same week. Little did I know my life was never going to be the same.

What I thought of with the guy in Mississippi was not going to compare to the hell I would go through for the next few years. But at the time I was full of optimism and hope.  My thoughts during the long 24 hour bus ride was this……….

Distance is the new Rainbow.

Good thing I never knew what was coming, or I would have laid down and had that Greyhound bus ride over me instead. But that’s another story.

 

(c) JLPhillips 2013,
(c) JLPhillips 2013,

 

 

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Posted in Blog challenge, Blogging, Daily Prompt, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday

Daily Prompt: Far from Home

Daily Prompt: Far from Home

by michelle w. on July 15, 2013

Tell us about the farthest you’ve ever traveled from home.

Today I thought I would do the Daily Prompt. For those of you who are interested, I am working on some new short stories, as well as Part 2 of my Etherbooks.com published story “House of Mystery”. I know it’s been several months since I posted new stories. Sorry about that. Life has been crazy lately, with moving, then floods and storms and everything that comes with all that.

Now though I feel the need to start writing in earnest again.  I’ve missed it. I hope you have missed it also. But for now, I’ll do the Daily Prompt.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s complex for me, telling you about the farthest I’ve been from home.

How can it be complex you ask? Well it depends on your definition of “home”. Do you mean where I was born and grew up? Or do you mean ‘home’ as in where I feel the most comfortable? Or does it just mean where I lived? See, complex. Maybe it’s just me making it complex.

home sweet home, kinda.
home sweet home, kinda.

So let me break it down for you. I was born and raised in Wisconsin. Good old Milwaukee to be exact. I hated it. I did. I hated living there and would never live in Milwaukee again. (Sorry folks who live there, no offense meant).  I just never felt like I belonged there. I always felt like an outsider, even in my own family of 2 parents and 3 siblings. I was so lonely 99% of the time.

I was a super shy kid and would spend most of my time reading books. I was painfully shy. Really. I would blush so red that it actually hurt. It took me a long time to get over that shyness.

Even when I was ‘home’ I was away. In my mind and my heart I was away from where I grew up. I always dreamed of far away places. I was determined to see other places and so I did.

crystalinks.com
crystalinks.com

 

My first venture of living away from Wisconsin is when I moved to Mississippi. Yeah, well that didn’t last but six months. I didn’t like where I was and I didn’t like the people I was with. So then if was off to Texas, where my younger brother was. Looking back that was a mistake and yet not. I suppose it was fate.

I lived in Texas for 20 years. I liked it for the most part. I thought I had found ‘home’ at last. Now, I think it was just another stopping place before I moved on. Yeah, a looonnnggg stopping place. 🙂 I had some living to do and some hurting to do as well. I got married, stayed married too long, then got divorced. I met some fantastic people living there. There are a lot of Texans that have hearts as big as the state they live in.

I don’t regret moving to Texas or staying as long as I did. I still have a bit of my heart in Texas with great friends. A bigger chunk of my heart stayed in Texas with someone I met and lived with after my divorce. I do believe he was the love of my life. He’s gone now, died of diabetes complications much much too young.

I also left a bitter angry stalker as many of you know. I’m not going to dwell on that one.

So now I’m in Canada. But the big question is, is this my home?

images (3)

Honestly, I don’t know. It’s a wonderful country with some great people. I’ve been here for a while now. So this is as far away from where I grew up as any place I’ve been. Around 1200 miles give or take a few hundred.

Is it home?

For now it is. I think I’m basically still looking. I might not be able to look any further. This may well be the end of my journey. Only time will tell.

 

Posted in Blog challenge, Blogging, Daily Prompt, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, Stories of my life, Uncategorized

Daily Prompt: The Road Less Traveled

Daily Prompt: The Road Less Traveled

by michelle w. on July 2, 2013

Pinpoint a moment in your past where you had to make a big decision. Write about that other alternate life that could have unfolded.

 

Where do I begin?? I have made many big decisions in the past that have impacted my life. But if I had to pinpoint one of the biggest, I would have to say that marrying my ex, and then divorcing him would be one of the biggest.

Couldn't find the original source.
Couldn’t find the original source.

I did lump the two as one, did you notice that? Yeah, in my mind the two decisions are like one huge decision on my part! The first was the bad part of the decision, the second was the best.

If I would have stayed married to him? That would have been the alternate life I would have had. I’m not sure it would have lasted, as I would probably be dead or crazy by now. So it would have been a short-lived alternate. Seriously.

My ex is the typical narc (narcissist). A Texas charmer who could literally talk you out of your panties. Then he would say things that would bring you lower than slug slime. Through it all you would think it truly is your fault that nothing turned out right for him. Yeah, such a sweetheart he was.

But there was another life altering decision I made (well really there are others but this one stands out). That was to move to Canada. I moved for a couple of reasons. One, to finally and truly get away from my stalking ex. Now my family may have other thoughts on that one, but since they barely know me, what they think doesn’t really count. They don’t know he showed up in Wisconsin after I left Texas. They don’t know I saw him several times in one week following me. It’s a small town that I was living in, so he stood out in a way. Also, I’ve looked over my shoulder so many years for him that it came to be second nature.

http://www.theimmigrationteam.com/
http://www.theimmigrationteam.com/

The second reason I moved to Canada was a kind of fluke really. I went to visit someone I had been talking to for months. I stayed because I really liked who I was seeing, and I was told by my family not to come back. Ah family. To know them is to….. Love them? Don’t know about that one.  But that’s for another post.

I’ve been in Canada for over 10 years now. This is my adopted country. It really isn’t that much different then the states. At least in Alberta where I am. It actually reminds me a lot of Texas. There are cows. Lots of them. Think of Calgary Stampede and the Ft. Worth stockyards. There are of course the cowboys, they go with the cows. Then there is the land. Lots of openness, farms or ranches, lots of country.

Calgary reminds me of Ft. Worth/Dallas area. Big city with small country feel. It’s a friendly city but it also has its big city problems. They even have drive by shootings. Yeah, the not so nice part of big city living. Gangs, crime, what have you. Hey got to stay honest. Canada might not have the mind-set of a lot of Americans about guns, but they have their gun problems. Criminals will get their guns and crap no matter what.

Anyway, that was probably the most recent life changing decision I’ve made. Not the last I’m sure. If I wouldn’t have made that decision, what would have been the alternate? I’m not really sure. I believe I would be living alone, which is not always a bad thing. I might actually enjoy that as I did in the past. I doubt I would be writing like I do now. My family and I would probably not be talking. Hey wait! We don’t now. So scratch that last part. I would be working someplace mind numbing I’m sure. I certainly would NOT have ‘met’ all you wonderful people here on WordPress. Now that is a sad thought.

quotes-about-decision

So all in all I think I made some pretty good decisions, even if some were forced on me. All I can say is I’ve done the best I can with what I had to work with. I’m content for the most part. I made mistakes in the past, but that’s what makes a ‘past’. Who hasn’t made mistakes? Mistakes and decisions are what made me into who I am today. A writer with dreams.

That ain’t all bad.

 

 

Posted in Blog challenge, Blogging, Daily Prompt, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, Stories of my life, Uncategorized

Daily Prompt: The Natural World

Daily Prompt: The Natural World

by michelle w. on June 30, 2013

Describe your first memorable experience exploring and spending time in nature. Were you in awe? Or were you not impressed? Would you rather spend time in the forest or the city?

 

I love being in the country. I love lakes, oceans, parks, flowers, trees. Ah, trees. My first love is the forest. Beautiful, peaceful, serene, comforting, the forest is all this and more to me. And if I can get a small quiet lake in the forest. Perfection in nature!

Like This:

Courtesty of Parkcamper.com
Courtesy of Parkcamper.com

 

Or this!

http://blogs.usda.gov/
http://blogs.usda.gov/

 

As a kid, me and my brother and sister used to spend our summers ‘up north’. That was in upper Wisconsin. I loved it! It was a time that I didn’t have to worry about anything, wasn’t stressed, wasn’t complained about. It was as near  to perfect as I have ever experienced than or now. I wish a million times I could go back to those summers of peace.

My parents owned a place on the water. We had a small boat and a pier and could go fishing anytime we wanted. I used to like to row out and just watch nature in it’s own habitat. In times of chaos and stress I still like to sit on a pier and let Mother Nature soothe my soul.

Below is a picture of the Flowage we would spend summer on vacations.

http://statetrunktour.com/
http://statetrunktour.com/

 

I remember hearing the loons at dawn when the early morning fog was still lingering on top of the water. Most people think the loon call is lonesome or scary. I thought it was beautiful and would listen and dream wonderful dreams.

http://dnr.wi.gov/
http://dnr.wi.gov/

 

<div style=”text-align:center;width:300px;padding-top:3px;”>

<br><a href=”http://mp3skull.com/mp3/loon_sound.html”>loon sound mp3 download</a></div>

 

This video is not from Wisconsin loons but they sound the same. This will give you an idea of what I heard on those early mornings or nights when I would sit on the pier and listen to the loons. Isn’t it awe inspiring?

 

 

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)