Tuesday, October 28, 2008


When I was a little girl, my grandpa would twirl me. It was always all of a sudden and spontaneous.

He would be in the middle of cooking, he would be listenig to some old standard on the radio or old country and singing. He would step away from his cooking, take a drink of his beer and grab my hand as I was running by and twirl me.

"Stop Grandpa." I would laugh. Which made him twirl me more, in the middle of the kitchen. I remember seeing the walls whirl by in their 70's color theme and rooster wallpaper. I remember smelling the food, smelling my grandpas beer breath as he laughed and sang to me. I remember seeing the fruit magnets float by me. I remember my grandma smiling but at the same time telling him not to tease me.

I would be embarassed but I knew, if I snuck up on him again, he would sneak up on me and twirl me again.

One of my many Halloween stories

How sweet it is to out your family.
The year was 1997, I had my 2 oldest boys then. We lived in the pretty little town of Red Wing. My mom lived in a huge 5 bedroom split level home. It looked even more monstrous because it was on the upper level of the neighborhood and sat on a hill. Her front yard and driveway were downhill. She would hire me occasionally to come over and stay with my 5 siblings, whenever her and my step dad went out of town.
She also had a Rottweiler named Jasmine that year. Jasmine was still a puppy, but you know that stage they hit, where they get real tall and clumsy. Right before they grow into thier paws. Jazz had a bad habit of climbing the deck in the back and the garage and then the roof. There she would bark for attention.
Well it was around Halloween when I had to go up to my moms with my 2 boys. They all wanted to play with the fog machine, that my mom purchased so they can have some sort of special effect when passing out candy. In the family room they built a "nightclub." With a strobe light, the fog machine, Christmas lights and the stereo. Ok I admit I helped them.
I was upstairs when the brood approched me again.
"Can we please just fog the whole house? We want to play hide and seek?"
"Yeah sure" I say, I retreat to my moms room because I knew that would be the point of clarity.
After a half hour I hear various smoke alarms going off. I run out, can't see, they turned it off and are pulling batteries out of alarms in different rooms. I know this is highly illegal, but hey, anything to keep them quiet, sane and not fighting for a couple of hours.
Next thing I know they are calling me out again. I can't see. The strobe is red. I am questioning whether or not I can breathe in this red, flashing fog. I start to feel like, clausterphobic, for a second, then somebody grabs my leg. I let out a scream and began chasing rugrats at high speed. We are all running like maniacs...then the doorbell rings. They all run and hide. I hate being the adult sometimes.
I make my way down the stairs and open the door. As I open the door, a whole cloud of fog (it was cherry scented) follows me out and surrounds the Mormon family next door.
After a coughing fit, Bishop Lash asks "Are you all ok?"
"Sure" I say," my mom just bought the kids a fog machine and we were testing it out." I close the door behind me, because the fog won't quit and I don't want him to see the red flashing light.
"Ok" he says, looking at me doubtfully "You let us know if you need anything?"
He starts walking away with his wife and kids, then turns back "Your dog is on the roof again."
Darn that Jasmine! I think, in all the chaos, we didn't hear her barking. I walk down to the lawn so I can see her and tell her to shut up, before I went to retrieve her. When I looked back, I noticed, how could I have forgotten, my mom took the drapes to the cleaners, because some little girl (who shall remain nameless) colored them with markers. The huge bay windows in the living room looked like damnation, fire and brimstone, the lake of fire, and on top of that you could hear the kids screaming. Thats when I also noticed, cars driving by real slow. Looking at the house. I wished I was 12 years old so I could flip them off. Instead I yell at Jazz to shut up, wave at the cars, and go to the back deck to get my dog.
She is going crazy when I get her down, she hears the kids screaming inside and wants in so bad. I slide open the deck door for her, she flies past me and proceeds to chase rugrats around like I was. OMG I think, they are having so much fun. I am sure people think we are witches, or worshippers, or the Adams Family. I watch my kids, siblings, and dog running in the fog laughing. Then I think "WHO GIVES A CRAP!" If we stop now, the damage has been done, already.
"Hey you rugrats!"
"What" they sound a little panicked, like I am going to turn off the fun.
"You better run, cuz I am going to get you!!"
They scream and run.

This year will be my first haunted house this year...if you dare stop by.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sometime you are just inspired

In this Nebraska prairie

On this old, lonely dirt road

Between these amber fields of dried grass

Grown for yearlings to become prime rib

At Marie's Casual Dining

During tourist season

I look at the stream in the morning sky

Made by a jet plane passing by

And I wonder

I wonder why

Destiny brought me here


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Review is the truth

The following is a review to my reservation from roughguides.com. Following that is my rebuttal to that review.

Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
Pine Ridge, the second largest Indian reservation in the United States (after Arizona's Navajo Nation), overlaps the southern Badlands. It is also located in one of the nation's poorest counties. Its prefab homes and beat-up trucks blend sadly and uneasily with the surrounding dry grasslands, rocky bluffs, and tree-lined creeks.
The largest town, also called PINE RIDGE, comprises a collection of shabby, paint-stripped structures. Though the emergence of the profitable Prairie Wind casino in Oglala has improved life here, in many ways the reservation towns are an even more bitter pill to swallow than places like the nearby site of the Wounded Knee massacre. This area posts the highest poverty- and alcohol-related death statistics on the continent, and the average lifespan is just 52 years.
Red Cloud Indian School, four miles north of Pine Ridge on US-18, is named after a former chief whose fight against the US forced the closure of military forts on Sioux hunting grounds. The school is doing its best to counteract the ill-effects of life on the reservation, and each summer it holds an Indian art show featuring work by tribes in the US and Canada; it also has a gift shop (daily summer 8am–5pm; winter Mon– Fri 9am–5pm; free). Red Cloud, who later signed a peace treaty with the US and invited Jesuits to teach his tribe "the ways of the white man," is buried in a cemetery on a nearby knoll. The Oglala Nation Fair, held over the first weekend in August, features a powwow and rodeo. For details, contact the Oglala Sioux Tribe, P.O. Box 2070, Pine Ridge, SD 57770 (605/867-6121). For news and both traditional Lakota Sioux and contemporary American music, tune in to KILI 90.1 FM, "the Voice of the Lakota Nation." If you want to stay on the reservation, the Wakpamni Bed & Breakfast (605/288-1800; www.wakpamni.com; $50–130), offers lovely guest rooms as well as accommodation in tepees; tours of the reservation or horseback rides with a Lakota guide can be arranged.


Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

As reviewed by Dana Lonehill, born and raised Lakota until the day the good Lord taketh her away, (yes I said Lord.)

If you have never been to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, you must do so in this lifetime. It is an experience you will never forget. The largest town, Pine Ridge consists of cluster housing neighborhoods whom, I might add are well protected by the Neighborhood Crime Watch. It says so on the signs upon entering each neighborhood. You can see this under the layer of gang grafitti on each sign and in between the bullet holes.

Although alcohol is illegal it can be found on and off the reservation. You can purchase only two miles away where we make people that live on the border of the reservation scorn and scoff at us while getting rich from our lager dollar. There you can also experience the best in Mixed Martial Arts, Grappling and Ultimate Street Fighting. You may also see UFC style fights or purchase alcohol in Combat Alley, near the only grocery store owned by bigwigs in California who price gouge the poorest in all the land.

Although many night hotspots have closed down due to increase in police force, such as Sattelites, The T, and Lover Lane, you can still kick it on Beer Can Hill. Just hire someone to watch out for the new BIA force in town. They don't take no crap and love arresting people for liquor violation, which is now $35 to get out, no more 8 hours in the tank, although they do provide you in the finest of clothing from the Dr. Seuss collection and 3 square meals a day. These cops don't crawl in your windows nor do they seize your unopened cans. Let's hear it for the BIA! But they still don't let you have a beer to Sunday football. BOO!

Let's hear it for the drug dealers. Maybe you can't work real jobs and get rich peddlin coke to tribal workers, but hey you made a good run at it and it took over a decade to catch you guys. Long enough to pass on that to your offspring and spawn. For those that didn't get caught, hey at least some of you still have your jobs, you know who you are.

Wait I was supposed to convince you why you should come, but I can't do it by honestly telling you that flute music plays, while wolves run beside children in buckskin and men ride horses bareback while women sit in tipi's on fur....no.

If you want to visit the reservation, don't look with the taste of sour grapes in your mouth, don't wear your rose colored glasses. instead look at my hometown with the understanding that these are a people that are still proud of who they are as a people, in spite of the fact that the economical situation they grew up in. In spite of the fact that they live in a country that is the land of opportunity....something went wrong here in this promised land. Generations of oppression led to generations of alcohol abuse which led the condition of our reservation.

We want change, then we have to make it happen. Not expect the government to step in and undo the wrong they did...as if. You want to visit? Do so, but don't do so with pity, with fear, or with scorn....for this is the home of a still proud people.

Like me.

For I am Lakota.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bitter Pill to Swallow

My boss gave me this link to this chick's review of our reservation. I bet not only did she draw Pine Ridge Reservation out of a hat that only the losers and uptight bitches in her office get to pick from.

I think for next week's column, I will review my reservation from my persepctive...which is always with humor.

Read it here.

Friday, October 17, 2008

You know how this tribe is

Bitch, whine, complain, and moan.

I hear it everyday. Every corner I turn in the grocery store, in line at the grocery store, or where ever people congregate to talk. I hear the same phrase over and over. When they complain of nepotism, or incentives, or conferences in Vegas.

"You know how this tribe is."

Huh-huh. As if it was some other skin's tribe. But I admit, I am guilty of that too. I say it all the time.

"You know how this tribe is."

We say it as if it is a finale. As if it is The End. As if there is no hope for things getting better and all there is left is "You know how this tribe is."

Kind of like this country we live in. It was always the same make and model running for president of this land. Like a cookie mold. Until people came out in record numbers and voted because they actually believed they could make a difference and change this year.

As a tribe we are also capable of making a difference for ourselves. I am not saying who should vote for who, but at least vote for our leaders. Let your voice be heard.

Then maybe instead of all of us saying "You know how this tribe is." We could say "This is how my tribe is."

Please remember to vote, make that difference for your reservation, your tribe, your people.

Dang, after typing that one, I should throw my hat in the ring. Josh, I don't even have a hat.