Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Closed

I am moving.....sorry for the inconvenience but this shit ain't cutting it anymore. I love my blog but blogspot is going to hell! With all their spam comments and non fixing tech people... http://justarezchick.wordpress.com/ You can read me here from now on. Thanks for reading....really. I'm crazy and don't know why people read me but they do....and thanks. I might import these blogs to wordpress if I could figure the shit out. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Don't pity the poor

I watched CNN this morning and they did a special on the poor.
When I say I "watched" it, what I mean is I listened to it. I listen to CNN in my sleep and lay awake after the alarm goes off and don't open my eyes until the snooze goes off again.
So as I was listening to the report on the poverty in America, and all the hatred this nation has for the poor. As if poor was a choice.
There was one lady who was poor all her life and just got stuck in that lifestyle, brought kids in the world, into that lifestyle. Now those kids are living that lifestyle, the statistics of those kids making it out of that lifestyle are slim.
I am poor. My family is poor. We have a roof over our head but we are poor. We have internet that we really do struggle to pay each month, along with all our other bills but we are poor. My children and I have Medicaid and get food stamps and we live in an apartment above my mom. My mom doesn't have health insurance and I wished she did. So many people think you automatically get free healthcare just because you are an Indian, but that's not true. That is true if you choose to live on the reservation but once you move off, the healthcare doesn't exist. And you can ask anyone that lives on the rez, the healthcare isn't the greatest.
I am poor, but not as poor as some people, but according to the charts and graphs, yes I am.
I have met people homeless. I have met people who live either without water, plumbing, electricity, and/ or heat. Some people don't care and will make a home out of a broken down trailer. They try to make it as cozy and comfy as can because it's theirs. Have you ever taken the time to sit and talk to some of these people. I have. I have talked to them, hired them, and had a beer or two with them. I had neighbors who didn't have electricity. Sometimes they cooked on top of their wood stove, sometimes they cooked outside on a grill or a fire pit.
Sure they drank everyday, but seriously their chances of getting a real job, like everyone bitches about poor people getting off their asses and getting a job, were slim. Think of the homeless and poor and their hygiene and tell me you would give them a 9 to 5. They drink because it is their escape from their life as it is now. The hope they have is just to make it through one day to the next so they could scheme again for that next drink to make them forget the real struggle of trying to fit in a world that hates them.
My neighbor could fix any car and put a fence up in a couple of hours. He could light a furnace, winterize your house and whatever other small job was needed. And at times when people I knew stole from my house, such as steaks out of my freezer....my neighbor would watch my house if I wasn't there.
He was poor but him and his wife would have given me their last cup of coffee.
I am not writing this because I believe the poor need pity. Believe me that is the last thing they want is pity. I am writing this to let you know, don't hate them. They didn't draw a picture of a poor person in 1st grade and say "When I grow up I want to be poor so America can hate me." No, they drew a picture of a singer, a rock star, a teacher, an artist, and in my case, a cashier (for real) too. They had dreams and somewhere along the way, those dreams dimmed until they ceased to burn anymore and the only dream was to exist in this world, as a poor person.
Don't hate poor people, don't pity them, just understand they never wanted to be poor.
After all, not everyone can be as lucky as you are. Remember just because you might have your menu planned for the next two weeks or just for tonight, just because you ain't feeling the hard times that are happening, doesn't mean there aren't people out there struggling on a daily basis.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Change

I said a couple of weeks ago I was homesick.
One of my bros said "in due time."
He meant, of course, when I get off paper, I can go home.
I can go home now, if I wanted to, but I am scared of messing up....drinking....being driven to drink by the surroundings, yes I am that weak.
Then the more I think of it, do I want to go home? I was there for a few short years and hit bottom....that is all possible always.
So when I say I am homesick, I mean the feeling. Being surrounded by your people, the land, the huge huge beautiful sky that is only that beautiful in the Pine Ridge Rez. The feeling of the culture that is so alive as it was a hundred years ago. I am very proud to be from Pine Ridge and to know that we still have our ways. But I am also leery of the new ways, the turning to alcohol and drugs because you can't find work, the turning to alcohol and drugs because you did find work....I used every excuse I had until I had no more. It came down to my addiction.
Yes, I can live on the rez, with my addiction.
The question is, can I do it?
I am not sure about that yet.
I am not sure about moving home yet, not sure of myself yet.
I know things will be different, but that's a given...things change.
Always.
Will there ever be those days of sitting around a fire listening to my dad tell stories while we make soup on the fire? I hope so.
Will I ever move into my old house? I don't think so.
Will I ever be able to live there again and still be friends with the ones I was with before? Will I be able to be sober there?
Everything changes all the time, feelings change, things move on....people change. I told a friend the other day, I realized with age, that things changes so much and so fast that if you want to say something, you better say it. Do things you want to and love and live life in the moment....because someday you are going to sit there and realize there is no going back. There is no DeLorean to take you back.
I am happy in this time in my life, if I move, I have my eyes on a small town not far from here....that's if. I fell in love with it.
I am still homesick, yes- I will always miss the rez.
I am also homesick for the past.
But the realization that life changes, was hard but much needed. I am in the moment and loving life as is now.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Preview~Pointing With Lips

As it got dark out, we could hear the traffic and noises from the pow wow. I don't like going to the pow wow because it is so busy, it's like being in Wal-Mart when food stamps come out, and I just get too frustrated, but I do love being able to sit in my backyard and enjoy the drumming and singing.

I sat, relaxed, and watch my brothers and our kids all run around catching fireflies to make a lantern. Times like these, I love being from the reservation. The kids knew they could get their uncle to tell a story if they got enough fireflies. Mark was great at making up stories off the top of his head. It was definitely very interesting to have a hand in raising him, which always falls in the hands of the oldest sister, no matter what.

When Uncle Mark measured the firefly light and he determined that that was definitely enough light for story telling, he gathered all the kids around.

He takes a swig of his beer and puts it down:

"OK kids, today I am going to tell you of a contest, an event that happens in the district of Two Left Feet." He looks around for drama's sake.

"Where's that at?" One of the kids interrupts and gets shushed from the other kids. They all know Uncle Mark tends to pout when interrupted.
Mark goes on "This is the story of Chepa Big Buffalo and the Mr. Commod Bod championship."
One of the kids said "Nay-oh" but everyone else remained quiet to hear the story.
Mark gets his glazed look that could be from the story telling or from the beer and his voice changes to that of a woman's.


"Would you like more to eat, Chepa?" Chepa's mom, Verna, is standing above him with a skillet full of scrambled powdered eggs and a spatula. There was also fried potatoes and onions simmering in oil in a skillet on the stove. In another skillet the luncheon meat was slowing to a sizzle since Verna had just turned it off.
Chepa was still chewing, he motioned for seconds with his hand. He nodded his head and shoved the plate towards his mom. He knew his mom turned commods into heaven. He has been living at home for all of his 33 years, well except for a couple of stints in JDC and one time when he tried to go to job corps, that didn't work out and Verna had to drive all night to pick him up.
One day, when his rap career got the jumpstart it needed he would buy his mom a house with a brand new six burner stove, he only imagined what she could cook with a six burner stove. The chefs on FoodTV had nothing on his mama. Even though he was almost full his stomach growled.
She was made for breeding commod bods. She was also the manager and trainer for his dad, Chepa Big Buffalo, Sr. who had won the 4th, 5th, and 6th annual Mr. Commod Bod Championship, Chepa was always proud seeing his dad grab the Golden Brick trophy and a hundred dollars cash. (Now the prize was up to $1,000) After his dad would win, he wouldn't come home for a couple of days, when he did there would be a royal fight between his dad and mom. That always resulted in a shiner on his dad for a few days and hickeys on his mom as they enjoyed the Golden Brick Trophy, because it was always all he had left when he came back.
Now that his dad was no longer here, it was Chepa's turn to take over reign as Mr. Commod Bod, he came a close 2nd last year, and third the year before. Each time losing to Lorenzo Belly Fat. Now that Mr. Belly Fat lost a toe in in a cat fishing accident, the title was up for grabs, as Lorenzo sans little toe, lost that Commod Bod swag that won him the title for 10 years straight. He no longer had that "I just killed two buffalo and walked off the rez" look. That same look that gets skins into fights when they move to cities.
So this year Chepa was ready. Ready to take back the title and bring it home to his mama. The same title his father received 17 years earlier and held onto for 3 straight years. He would do his father proud, because this year there was no Lorenzo Belly Fat.
Today was the big day, and despite hanging over, Chepa was ready. He had a few big cans of fortified malt liquor to help him through the hangover, plus he knew if he drank them, he would get that "just right shine" that was required only of Mr. Olympia's and Mr. Commod Bod's.
As fast as Chepa ate, Verna was there to dish out more. He ate faster than someone with a full set of teeth. "More Mama, more of the fried luncheon meat." he growled in between the forkfuls. The USDA approved can of luncheon meat gave a good gleam to his dark skin and it tasted better than SPAM. But the contestants from the body building competitions and weight lifting contests had to buy their shine. Mr. Olympia himself couldn't shine the way Chepa did when he was hanging over and ate a huge commod breakfast. It also helped right now that there was no air conditioning, the one in the window quit working two summers ago.
Finally after his fourth helping of everything, Chepa let out a long, loud belch that sounded like a herd of buffalo running. Then he drank the rest of his big can of malt and let out another loud belch. Buffalo again, running. He rubs his belly for luck and walks out to the clothes line full of white tank tops or "beaters."
"Chepa!" his mom yells out the window "Your going to town shirts are at the other end of the clothesline, those are the whiter ones."
Sure enough, when Chepa looked, his dingiest, most yellowed tank tops were at the end he was standing at. These were the ones he did his hustling in, cutting wood, gathering cans, tearing the copper out of wires, all in the name of a dollar and a dream, a hustle and a scheme. He walked along the clothesline, letting his hand trail through all his beaters. The next set of beaters were not so dingy-kind of white, wearing around the house kind of beaters. The next set were the ones he snagged in, his around the rez, spittin rhymes at a party kind of beaters. Finally the last set that he walked up to to the brightest white, almost torn from the package of three- white, fresh off the Wal Mart shelf-white. These were Chepa's going to town beaters. They were whiter than the tourists that came to the rez in the summer time to "hippy" it up or the ones that came to "save" the souls of the skins rez-wide. Chepa slipped the beater over his head and savored the smell of bleach that came with it. He pulled this over his tezi (belly) and went back in the house.
Once inside, he walked over to the full length mirror and started tying his bandana over his head, representation was everything, if he represented himself right, he might score an agent today. His mom was watching him down the hallway.
"You're so handsome, I don't know why I don't have any takojas (grand-kids) yet." She said to him.
"Don't worry Ma, once I win this, I'm going to use the money to get my rap cd cut, then you will be complaining that you have too many takojas, in every district!" She smiled as she was folding a basket full of his tank tops.
Cheap took one more look in the mirror before he left. His shine was in full force, you would be able to find him on the darkest night in a blackout. His tank top hugged every roll and stretched tight over his belly like a drum. His jeans hung onto his body for dear life. Hanging low where he should have had an ass and no matter how much he hiked 'em up, his butt crack always managed to peek out and give the world a sideways smile.
He gave his jeans one more tug, "I'm ready Ma." He said as he made his way to the front door.
Verna followed him out and handed him his sunglasses, aviators-AIM Movement style, he should have had an earring, dammit, he thought.
"Thanks Ma" He gets in the passenger seat of his mom's car and pulls the mirror down to check himself out with the shades on, he wished he had thick hair to be able to grow braids, maybe he'll try again. After all, he not only plans on winning this title, but hanging onto it for a few years. This contest was on his 10 year plan. The air conditioner in the car didn't work either and even though the breeze from the window was cooling him off, he didn't worry about losing his shine, it clung to him always. He knew once he got on that stage, the sun beating down on him would simmer him and make him shine up like a new penny.
The parking lot was crowded. This was the last day of the four annual end of summer competitions. The first held a couple of days ago was the Commodity Cook Off, Chepa had meant to go, but got lost on his way, hence the hangover. The second one, Miss Chokecherry Eyes was held last night, crowning the winyan with the most outstanding eyes, and ability to remember the traditions of use of the canpos-chokecherries, food of the Lakota. Earlier that day they had the frybread eating contest, using the wojapi from the Miss Chokecherry Eyes competition. And the best was saved for last.
Mr. Commod Bod.
Chepa took his place in the Mr. Commod Bod line, he could already feel his pores emitting the sweat needed to keep the Indian man shine going. Other contestants were already taking their strut around the stage, you could hear some getting booed, some were getting cheered.
Chepa noticed the frybread leftover from the Frybread eating contest, along with big bowls of chokecherry wojapi used for dipping, on a table behind the stage. His stomach growled, even though he was full, he was getting sun drunk from the hot sun and the beers he had for breakfast. He couldn't resist, after all....it WAS fry bread. He started dipping and dunking and growling and mauling the fry bread and wojapi until he felt a tap on his shoulder.
"You're up, man. They're calling you."
Chepa wiped his mouth on the back of his hand, pulled down his tanktop because it had rolled up and walked out on the stage. This contest was his. He walked out with both hands over his head, half eaten-forgotten fry breads clenched in his fists.
"Here he is! The son of the man who won the 4th, 5th, and 6th Mr. Commod Bods! He is back to try it again this year, give it up for Chepa Big Buffalo, Jr!" The crowd mostly boos, except you can hear his mother cheering wildly. Chepa leans into the mic "Soon to be known by my rapper handle, Skillet! Skillet in da house, woot woot! Look for my new cd up and coming 'Big Greasy' to be at the pawn shop soon, and email me at skilletgotrhymes@rez.com !" He walks away from the emcee and does his strut around the stage with his fortified malt glaze, showboating in front of the judges table, yeah he was sun drunk. After they announced all the runner ups, Chepa had hope that he would win, $1,000 would let him party hard tonight and probably get him a girlfriend. He knew for sure his mom would let him party in his room in the basement, if he won.
"And the winner is.........(drum roll from the drum group).....Chepa Big Buffalo, Jr. Also known as Skillet!" The drum group beats hard on the drum. Chepa goes to do a round on the stage, remembers he still has frybread in his hands, he takes a bite of one of the breads, walks like a rooster across the stage and winks at Miss Chokecherry Eyes. He decides to show off for her, after all she may want to party later in the basement. He stuff the whole frybread in his mouth, then realizes he can't chew it. It's too much, it feels like dough is rising from his insides. He can't even open his mouth, he was dying! His eyes were bulging! "He's choking! He's choking!" He heard his mom yell, oh lord, mama come get me...he thought in his head. One of the other contestants pushed on his gut to attempt the Heimlich maneuver but instead this happened. Chepa exploded on stage. Kleppa-(vomit) everywhere. Everything he ate and drank that morning and maybe yesterday too, when he staggered home in the middle of the night and started a small kitchen fire cooking dog food, exploded everywhere.
He spewed like no one ever saw before.
"Disqualified!" one judge yelled.
"Noooo!" his mom screamed.
All the runners up threw up.
The judges threw up.
The drum group threw up on the drum.
Miss Chokecherry Eyes threw up, well, chokecherries.
Everyone there threw up, barfed, puked, and kleppa-ed until they could no more. Eventually Lester Pretty On Top was the only one in the contest who didn't puke. He was 102 pounds soaking wet, 6 foot 4 and braids like a mouse's tail but he won. He was the new Mr. Commod Bod. But nobody will ever remember who won that year, no body will remember who won the cook off, Miss Chokecherry Eyes, or the frybread eating contest.
All they will remember is the year everyone kleppa-ed.

Mark finished his story with a flair, I love how dramatic he is when he is story telling. Our little brother Misu war-hooped. I gave out a leelee. Mark gave us high fives. And all our kids gave a combined "NAY-OH!"
Creighton started in "Nay Uncle, thats from that movie, that old movie mom likes, Stand By Me!"
"No it's not. True story." Mark says, as he is done giving high fives and sits at the picnic table.
"There is no sucha place as the district of Two Left Feet!" one of the kids chimes in.
"Sure!" Mark says, "It's over there." He points in no specific direction with his lips.


This is the end of chapter 2 of my book "Pointing With Lips: A Week in The Life OF A Rez Chick" A work of fiction, written by me, thanks for reading. © Dana Lone Hill 2011

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I'm not alone


I came upon a realization, as of lately and thanks to the evil empire of facebook.

For the rest of my life, I am going to have to put up with the fact that I am a felon, from other people's points of view. I mean, you know me, i really don't give a rat's ass what people think of me ever since I smoked weed in a CRX with my Jamaican friend Junior "I have 13 cousins whose first name are Junior" White. Junior always got deep in conversation but talked to me about not caring what other people think of you, which might explain his style.

Anyway, even though I could give a rat's ass, I realized for the rest of my life any opinion, thought, action I do, is going to be judged and weighed against my past. That's kind of fucked up, but it is what it is, you know. Is it gonna make me shut up?

Hell no! Well actually, I am technically not "speaking" but I will type on, oh yes I will.

Turning my whole journey or experience or whatever you call it, (sentence) from a negative to a positive is what I'm working on in my life, in almost every aspect and on a daily. I find myself getting more and more involved with the community, even though I am somewhat anti-social, they ask, I can't resist. I know some ex-cons don't like to talk about the time they did and ask why I write about it, this is just how I deal, ok? Anything and everything I write is a mouse click away if someone don't like it. And if it upsets your apple cart too bad, don't read me....on here or facebook. Simple shit, simpleton.

Either way, I will write about what I want to, I will still have opinions, I don't care if anyone don't "like" what I think, say, or write...I'm not alone, after all, I have children, my ancestors, and I am blessed in that way.



Saturday, August 27, 2011

WHOEVER I THINK I AM


WHOEVER YOU THINK YOU ARE

THEY SAID

AS IF I NEVER LIED IN

AND MADE MY BED

AS IF I THOUGHT I WAS

SOMEBODY

AS IF MY PAST

WASN'T MUDDY

JUST SO EVERYONE

WHO WANTS TO KNOW

I'M NOT WORTH

A MIND BLOW

DON'T LET MY WORDS

RUIN YOUR DAY

DON'T LET MY THOUGHTS

FUCK YOUR PLAY

I KNOW WHOEVER

I THINK I AM

AND EXACTLY WHERE

I STAND

I KNOW I LOST

ALL I STOOD FOR

AND HIT BOTTOM

LOWER THAN THE FLOOR

I KNOW I HANDLED

AND FOUND MYSELF

I WAS ABLE TO GRASP

AT AND ACCEPT HELP

I'VE EXPERIENCED THE FEELING

OF BEING SET FREE

AND THERE IS NOTHING SWEETER

THAN THAT TO ME

THERE WILL NEVER BE A FEELING

AS EQUAL

AS THAT DAY THE WINTER SUN

WAS SHINING ON MY SOUL

I'VE HIT MY HIGHEST HIGH

NEVER IN MY PLAN

SEE I AIN'T NOBODY

TO BE "WHOEVER I

THINK I AM"


~DLH




Thursday, August 25, 2011

Free To Be Me


*pic is from over my house in the city

I have always known that I had the freedom to be me, to be who I am no matter where I was.
I was able to handle jail, prison, all of it by laughter and my wit, only because that is the only way I know how to be and it got me along so far.

Often, the table I sat at in county jail was always getting warning for "laughing too loud." That wasn't me, I met some crazy ass wonderful women in there. Out of the two county jails, the federal transfer center in Oklahoma City, and the prison itself, I was surprised to find out what took a good toll and tried it's best to kill my spirit was the halfway house. I wrote the poem Wallow there, because I honestly felt as if I walked into an episode of The Stepford Wives. I couln't believe they had all these 20 something Barbie dolls working with us, looking down their noses at us and acting and making us feel as if we were the scum of the Earth, it got to be depressing, annoying, and I felt hatred burning into my soul.

It was the first place I went in the whole journey where humor got me nowhere, even with most of the residents because everyone else there was letting their spirits die too.

One day I was talking to two older federal ladies about food, I LOVE FOOD! Especially soup and frybread, nothing makes you feel more at home than soup and frybread. Then they told me, Wellbriety has soup and frybread. Of course my ears perked up, mouth already salivating, but I was like
"What's Wellbriety?"

It's like a 12 step program, kind of like AA but not really, it's geared more towards Indians.-they told me.
I was game, frybread, I'm there, thats the rez in me, the skin in me, the big girl in me.
So I signed up.
What I found was a place I could be me, every Friday. A place I could hang out with my people, hear and sing our songs, smudge away negativity and air what I need to in talking circle. It was social, relaxing, and supportive. It showed me, that somewhere in this city, I was free to be me.

Not what I was labeled in society.

Not the number I memorized for the last year and a half.

Not how they looked down at me at the halfway house.

Not how the people who interviewed me looked at me when explaining why I was a felon.

I was Dana, the girl who came in quest for frybread....and found a niche where her spirit was happy.

Thanks for listening as I still sing the praises of Wellbriety.

dlh

To see the poem Wallow, please send me an add on facebook. Thank you.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hang Over Soup "Do Over"

Today's lesson in church was about new beginnings, it kind of tied into all the other stuff I ran into today, like the elder's meditation from Grandpa Fools Crow...

"The greater the faith, the greater the result."
-- Fools Crow, LAKOTA
The Creator designed us to act on faith. We are able to do this by holding firm to our beliefs. If we believe something and if we don't want the belief to change, we need to add the power of the Great Spirit to this belief. We must always have the spiritual added to our beliefs. If we don't add the Spirit, then we may very well change our minds the first time we are tested. Each time we are tested and we don't change our minds, we get stronger. The wind may blow on the red willow trees bending them and causing the roots to grow deeper. The more the wind bends the tree, the bigger, stronger, and deeper the roots grow. We should be happy that we are tested. It's the Creator's way of making us have greater faith for greater results.

Great Mystery, Grandfather, I know if I am tested today that I can count on You to give me the courage to get to the other side. On the other side of every test is the reward of strength. Make me strong.

And a random quote I found while stumbling on the internet,
‎"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living, the world owes you nothing. It was here first." -Mark Twain
~This is a great quote because in fact don't we owe the world? If anything at least a good attitude in life. It's not like we get another one.

It made me think of what my mom told me when I was finally free, don't go around being sorry all the time, because you can't waste your life being sorry, it's done, over with, you move on now.

So I am moving on, starting over, a "do over" what have you, and I am doing it with a new attitude, learning and being more accepting to learn all I can about life while I can.
Like Fools Crow said- "The greater the faith the greater the result."
This time I am going to be more open to learn, to have faith in myself that I can do this and to know that there is no way in this life the world owes me anything, I owe the world a piece of who I am so that one day when I am gone, the things I say and wrote about might be posted as someone's facebook status. Fuck yeah.

(still can't quit cussing, sorry.)





Friday, August 19, 2011

Drove By Yesterday




*pic by my sister Jaida, naturally.

I drove by the exit to Waseca yesterday, the place I like to call Club Fed or Club Feddy Feddy Fat Camp, I am slowly gaining back the weight I lost in there thanks to my new addiction to sweets.
My kids can't believe how I have this new found craving for sweets, and almost anything too. Doughnuts, I never ate before until I went there. It's every other Sunday, you have to stand in line for about 45 minutes to an hour at 7am and get a doughnut, and damned if it don't taste like Krispy Kreme. Ok, I totally don't know what Krispy Kreme tastes like because when I wanted to try the line at the Mall of America was too long. Yet there I was, wearing my sweats, in line with killers, embezzlers, drug dealers and mostly mules, waiting for my fucking doughnut.

It was fucking worth it, though.

You never know how good shit is until you don't have it, hence my new fondness for sweets.

You never know some things until they happen to you.

Like when I drove by the exit yesterday for a split second I wanted to flip off the place just for all the old feelings, the entrapment, the "when am I gonna get the fuck out of here!" feeling, then I remembered Kujo, my room mate who still has 15 years, and Dani, my bunky who still has 27 years, both my room mates whom I love dearly. I helped Kujo with beadwork for her dad's outfit, she gave me my tattoo.
Dani had a girlfriend in there, they both did....but Dani's girlfriend will be getting out soon. She was sad and happy at the same time about that.

So many nights we spent up late talking, them asking me questions about the outside, what is an IPOD, how are cellphones now, that sort of thing...
Both girls try to do their time with little drama as possible, both girls wake up every morning with the thought that this is another day to get through, this is my life, it is what it is. And it was just that, but with alot of laughs.
I was a short timer, drifted in and out of their lives, been there done that, moved on.
When I drove by I thought of where I was last year, how I wanted to feel freedom and see beyond the fence so bad that the glimpse of a Culligan truck confirmed to me that yes, the world is still out there and life does go on....without you. Which seemed harsh, but considering you are one person, it is true, just hard to grasp at the time that everyone in there is in the same boat as you, every single soul doesn't want to be there. The simple act of picking out a candy bar and taking it to a cashier with money is amazing when you first get out.
And I thought of them, my room mates who still got time. And take it on a day by day basis everyday because they have to.
And I have the audacity to take my recovery and supervised release day by day, what they would give to be here.....

Seriously fucking humbled just driving by that exit.

Thank you God, today I am here and not there.




This song reminds me of Waseca, and all the sisters I left. I will never forget the lessons I learned there and the laughs and the wanting of being where I am now. Even though every one that was in there for the rest of this lifetime will wear the label of a "bad person" that never changed the fact that we all have a soul. I remember when this song was playing one day and my friend A (another short timer)looked at me and said "I don't belong here."
"Me neither" I said.

MaanF*ckTheFeds

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I CAN not

I used to have this thought in the back of my mind for a long time. I used to think this before I turned myself in, after, and when I sat my number out...I thought

"One of these days I will drink again."

Like matter of fact and like it was a part of my life I couldn't let go. Or maybe not ready to let go yet.
It was so much a part of my life, I didn't see the illness of it.

A wonderful counselor who listened to Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley, and Sublime music, somewhat of a left-wing radical, kind of old, fuzzy, hippie dude, showed me one day.

He took the sentence on a dry erase board "I cannot drink while on federal supervised release."

I related to the sentence, bummer, cannot drink, sucks, have to find a way around that, I thought.

Then he underlined CAN. Then he looked at me and said "Dana (because he called us by our first names, everyone else called me Lonehill) look at what you CAN do."

"You CAN do this, because this government may have locked you up but they didn't kill your spirit. Your spirit needs you to take care of you now and you CAN not drink while on federal supervised release. It is a choice you CAN do."

I don't know if he made me see the light or if I felt the planets aligned or what, but I did know that I was strong enough to CAN not drink. That it was a choice also, not just a requirement and obligation.

I was strong enough today, thank god.

I will pray for tomorrow.

Wellbriety Facebok Page

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Facets of Me

As much as I put out there, as much as people know, there is so much more I keep inside. I have a whole side of me out in California, a family I never met and am getting to know because of facebook, and now that I am slowly getting to know them, I am thinking, why did I think this would be so hard? Why did I cautiously step forward like I was stepping in cold water?
I knew since I was a little girl, that a part of who I was, was my family out there. I never thought I would know them, or they would know me. Then it happened, connections were made and slowly I am getting to know them. I have a cousin who is also a writer. I have an aunt who is a sweetheart, an uncle with a strong heart. I wonder now, did I inherit any little trait from any of them? Do I raise my eyebrow like this one, or laugh like that one?
I am thankful today they are in my life today and look forward to meeting them all someday. This proves that love is deep in your heart. Deep inside you know who is a part of you, a facet in your life, especially when you can feel fascination and love for your family, and you've never met.
Yet.

Everything is so beautiful today. Everything with my life, my kids are with me, my cat, there is no humidity in the air, we have food to eat, the BeeGees are playing right now, and the sun is shining through the trees with the utmost will to shine on me.

And that is another facet in my life.

Friday, August 5, 2011

If I write it.....they will come.

Life is so amazing sometimes.
I wonder why I continue to blog when almost all of my ol' gang of blogging buddies have taken their blogs down, when I have no idea why- when it takes precious minutes out of my day.
I wonder why I get so worked up and passionate about certain things....then it is as if Tunkasila sends me a message and lets me know that
YES
I still am doing what I am supposed to be doing.
I know I need to publish my book, a friend let me know not to be in a hurry, mold it, play with it and shape it. That I will do.
My blog has nothing to do with my book.
My blog is here for a reason, one of those reasons showed up today in an email....

And I know with all of my heart right now, I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. I know this so much, I want to cry almost. I feel this so much, it's as if I am the dude Kevin Costner played in Field of Dreams and I just plowed under my cornfield....

I am almost breathless, the clarity of my dreams, wow, I can't even say.

And I guess

If I keep writing it....they will come.

To the person who emailed, please keep in touch.

~Dana

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

There is no safety net


I was thinking the other day, how close I came to drinking a beer. I didn't have it in my hand or in front of me or anywhere near me, but I craved it as if the foam bubbles were popping in my face. I wanted the feeling because most the time beer tastes like crap, right? That fuzzy, warm feeling you get from head to toe that makes you not give a fuck.

And I wanted that because my Grandma Erna passed, even though, when I hugged her bye a few years ago, I knew it was the last time I would see her ever.

I wanted that beer despite almost 1 year and 7 months into my sobriety because she was gone, because I had no idea how to deal without her, because deep down, I'm an alcoholic...still.

And that showed me that even after all this time, all the time I invested in recovery, there was no such thing as a safety net of time. When I see people getting their coins at AA for so many months years, whatever, that all those coins are worthless. They ain't shit, I would rather have arcade coins.

There is no safety net.

My sobriety is a day by day thing, for sure.

Although I am proud of my one year and almost 8 months now, it ain't shit because my strength is not in that longevity. My strength is in my heart, my prayer, my pure want of a better and longer life. And in my support system, my children, my family, and my Wellbriety group.

The strength in numbers is not in length, but in quantity. In knowing there are those there for me, and knowing that I am not alone.

Mitakuye Oyasin (All My Relatives)

If Grandma Dod were here....

If my Grandma was here, would everything be perfect?
Would the two oldest poodles on Earth, Bear and Shaggy have died?
Would the Cubs have won the World Series?
Would "her son" Obama have seemed more fulfilling?
Would she have been so disappointed in me?
Would the grass in her yard still grow?
Would the price of gasoline have been so high?
Would Charlie Sheen have lost it?
Would she have a facebook under her dogs name?
Would she have won those football picks by now?
Would she have been by my side in court like she was in my dreams?
Would she have made Kaylene name her brand new baby girl after Princess Diana?
Would we have been having a huge cook out for her 77th birthday, all halfway nervous as to whether she was gonna chew us out or not?
Would we all be healthier?
Would we still be the Bright Family?
Would we have snuck away from everyone to get Klondike bars?
I don't know what we would have been doing, what we would have done, or how we would all be now, If she was here.
I know she would have loved us all, told us to love each other, and get along because we were family, live our lives....um wait, she would have said that in her mind and heart.

If she was here she would have said "Roll out the barrel, Let's Go! Let's Go! Let's Rodeo! This ain't no got damn rest home, get up! Get up dammit! You can sleep all you want when you die, GET UP!!! LET'S GET THIS SHOW ON THE ROAD, MY CUBBIES PLAY AT 5!"

And we would have jumped our asses up awaiting orders....yes, we would have.

Happy Birthday Grandma, love you, miss you and hope you're watching your Cubbies, where ever you are! With young Elvis!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Scatter Their Own



These guys rock! They have less than 48 hours to make enough money to make their first video. Click on the video to donate. Rock on Scotti and Juliana, wish you all the best!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Taking care of our own.....


I get sick of American Indian women being portrayed this way. Or like this.

Always a scantily clad, shoulder-less, buckskin dress with a wolf. WTF is up with that??? Maybe some of these young girls now like to go around, dressed with thier ass cheeks hanging out and tiny tight shirts because it makes them feel good about themselves, but that is not what we were ever about.

We were always about family, about taking care of our own.

There are still so many Lakota women that are about family, many American Indian women about family.

Sometimes things get in the way, things happen to a young woman along the way to make her forget that. I was a horrible mother for awhile. I thought I was ok, but delving in my alcoholism hurt my children and made me miss precious time with them. I never wanted them to be "survivors" of my sickness, but that is what happened.

I met so many girls along the way, young girls that I talked to and listened to their stories. I listened. And they told me, why they turned to alcoholism, why they turned to drugs, why they became who they never thought they would be a few years earlier when they were dreaming of happily ever after. All of it had to do with some sort of abuse. In turn, it led them to abuse themselves. I am still connected with many of them to this day, I see them doing te same things they did to get them where they were when I met them, and some of them are trying hard to change their lives in a world that don't give a shit. I think it hurts so much because they are the same ages or almost same ages as my oldest kids.

It hurts my heart to look at a young girl, young mother with hopelessness. I wish the best for you, I think to myself, I wish you would see the light, I wish you would look at that baby and see the precious life you gave.

But I don't, I remain silent and remain a friend and let them know when they need to talk, I am there, just as I was there in the cell block we walked laps around when they told me their stories.
I pray for these young girls every day and their children, just as I am sure, someone must have prayed for me.

I also met many women older than me, who listened to my story. Women who in their own little ways, listened, said something to me that made sense, something that I still carry in my heart to become who I was meant to be.

See us Indian women can endure because of family. That is what keeps us going. Our life source. That is our reason for being on this precious Mother Earth, for our family, our people, and our way of life.

And so is the story of Moving Robe, Tashina Mani, The Hunkpapa Lakota that fought in the Battle of Greasy Grass, or as the Government likes to call it, The Massacre at Little Big Horn. Because we all know if the government does it, it is a battle or a victory, when it is against them it is a massacre.
Moving Robe's brother was killed and she took his lance and went into battle to avenge his death, she is rumored to have secured a revolver and has two confirmed kills. She is also rumored to have killed Custer, but that is not confirmed as many have claimed that.
That is a woman warrior. Taking care of your own, wanting to go to war for your family. No different than anyone who signed into the armed services after 9/11.

I wished I could make these young girls see that, life is so precious. I wished I could show them they are strong, beautiful, young, women-mothers, that don't need men to treat them bad to be someone. I wished I could make them see that. I had to find out the hard way....but I thank god I did.

We are Indian women, we take care of our own. I will be there to listen when and if they need me.

This is the kind of picture I like.
Moving Robe, as a younger woman.

And Moving Robe as an Elder.

"A nation is not defeated until the hearts of it's women lie on the ground, then it is done. No matter how strong it's men or how numerous it's weapons.". Cheyenne Proverb

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wellbriety Freakin Rocks, but this whole day rocked!


I had to sit and write about my AMAZING day before I drift off to dreamland.

It started off with me waking up happy as hell because one of my good friends is free today. He left the halfway house in another city at 8am this morning, and I woke up happy thinking, fuck yeah, I know how that feels. No one over you anymore know that they are over you. So I tagged him on facebook with Godsmack's Alive.

Awesomeness. You have no idea how freedom feels, how it is such a want. When you are locked up the want and need for freedom is so bad, it is like a hunger or thirst. I thank Tunkasila another Lakota was released today! (A couple of leelees if I see you.)

Then I kind of freaked out because my ex messaged me today. We talked. He's the one I married. I told him he was still my friend, no matter what and I wished he would sober up because I hate hearing about him going around town drunk and beat up.

He said he has nothing left in life anymore. Nothing and that's why he drinks. I said Are you kidding all those songs you spent years gathering from the elders, visiting them, taking them blankets and tobacco so you can learn the old songs, all the spiritual songs you have. You have more in your heart with those old ways than some people spend a lifetime trying to get, don't say you have nothing. You are lost, you need to find yourself because I sure don't want to be going to your funeral next. He said Thanks, he was on his way to a pow wow to sing. I asked him to sing from his heart. He told me thanks again for saying what I did and I wished him luck. He was with one of his sober friends, so I guess maybe he was going to a pow wow. I wish him the best.


The next thing is I made a sale and my sons made more money than me today, that was cool as hell. I was walking around with my two oldest then we decided to split ways so they could explore the city, I walked along the river that runs through this city.

I saw the river and decided to sit by the river for awhile and ponder. I was texting one of my best friends the whole time, I must say it feels good to have him back in my life too. We are hoping and praying (well I might be the only one praying) to go to the Yankee/Twins game together. That pic above is from sitting by the river while texting.

After than I walked to the store, got cold chicken and coleslaw for supper because I knew I wasn't gonna cook. I think when I walked into the store it was maybe 95 degrees, when I walked out it was 118 degrees. This old lady in a huge van asked if I wanted a ride, I thought for a millisecond about all the vans like that on Law & Order SVU, then said sure. It was really hot. I live 3 blocks uphill so it wasn't that far for her to pick up speed as someone might chloroform me from the back seat, I had mayday ready to text but she took me home. When I got out I looked back because I knew I heard breathing.
There was not one but three large 80 plus pound dogs in the back on a mattress. Whoa! Ha Ha, that was a surprise. Oh yeah and she talked about the book of Revelations on the way back and Mayans and whatnot. Nice old lady and three ginormous jomonstrous doggies.

Next I get ready for Wellbriety, still texting bff, and then I am off.

I get to Wellbriety and as I get there I get an email from my old boss, whom I attempted to make ammends with about two weeks ago, fingers crossed the whole time. It went through, The feds, of course never gave him my apology letter they probably peed on it and laughed. I was able to get it out and have him forgive me and my heart is so much lighter. It was such a HUGE step in my recovery process.

Next I saw someone from home, who was also just released from prison. Someone who was new to this town and I went to school with all my life. Sometimes a familiar face is all someone needs. I sure would have appreciated it. I was able to give encouragement, straight from my heart and he thanked me.

Everything and everyone I interacted with today had a purpose.
Including my brothers comment on facebook about my post on Wellbriety.

"Anything that helps my sis over come the bullshit this world drops all day. each and every day. love u sis."

This comment from Mike

"Dana...you know you're on the right track for YOU when you start looking forward to such gatherings and attending all things sober. The heart and head may be messed up to the max, but still easier to cope and grow when sober. You get to make decisions that you can appreciate later, unlike most decisions made when high."

Then this text with my one of my bff's Ron

"Awesome, seems like you're having fun. And that's what matters."

And I will end my great beautiful awesome lovely wonderful day there!!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Sit back and watch the world go by" -WayJay

LOL This is a picture my sister Jaida took when we went back to the rez of Grandma Tiny and the newest edition of the family, my cousin Kaylene's precious baby Nakiya. I think I spelled that right. I guess Grandma Tiny is a legend for making babies cry by talking to them all sad and saying "Oh poor baby, who's picking on you..." and stuff like that and the baby will indeed cry. Word is, she used to make me cry in less than a second, nice to see she still got it like that.

In my recovery process, I learned about life going on, with or without you.

And today was a good day in my Pirate Reformatory Class. Or Moral Recon-whatever Therapy. I completed Step 3. (I would spell it right but my book is upstairs.)
I realized something when I was going through class, things I worry about that I have no control over. I like to credit myself for being smart enough to dodge that whole "not letting other people's toxicity damper my moods."
But to actually try and worry and stress over other people's problems, that are not really my business, see I even have the nerve to say "not really" my business. Because these are people I love and I wish I didn't worry about them so much because life just has to be.....sometimes, let it be, you know.
I agree it is a waste of energy, I do need to not let it get to me. And my final goal in the step was to someday reach that level of Wolakota. Beyond peace. Today I realized I will never do that if I let worry stress me.
I question myself how, how, and how do I not worry about my family? As a Lakota woman who has a strong sense of family, how do I not let that worry burn bright as picture show?
How do I relax enough and let life play itself out like that picture show?
We also talked about temporary. I remember being stressed, worried, like I was carrying a huge weight on my shoulder and it actually weighed me down at the nape of my neck, about being locked up. I wasn't really scared because I had talked to my dad and he told me some things. He told me (he actually knew I was stressing about prison before I told him) but he told me that us Indians are hustlers, we know how to adapt and survive anywhere and we do good in prison, not that we should be there, but we can handle it. And I did. He also told me a bunch of other stuff that I will never forget and never would have gotten through if it weren't for him. But all that went by so fast that I got how we talked about things in life being temporary.
In fact life itself, is temporary.
Like I had to say good bye to one grandma a couple of weeks ago and at the same time say hello to a brand new beautiful niece.
Yes, my instincts are to worry about my family, to think that is my job, but I realize there is nothing that worry will do but give me more silver hair. (Yes, I said silver)
I have to sit back, as my cousin WayJay says, and watch the world go by. (Of course he says it from the front seat of his car sitting outside of his house with a beer in his hand,) but it sounds like good advice, nonetheless.
Life will indeed go on, with or without my worry.
Gotta learn...sit back and watch the world go by.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Right in the old cante....




I haven't really been feeling the urge to write, from my heart. Then I read this link my friend in Paris, Karin put on her facebook to this guys's blog.

I especially didn't want to write anything about anything to be even associated with the recent passing of the new member of the 27 club.

But after reading that guys blog, it hit me in the ol' cante. (heart)

When I was in treatment, we were given this chart called the Jellinek Curve and was told to find ourselves on it. I started on the left side and worked my way down, until I got to the bottom, where the circle was.
That is where I was before I got locked up.
I knew it, all along.
I just never wanted to know it. I hid it from myself more than anything, making my drinking a big joke....so I would never have to face it...feel it....or fear it.
I tried to act like it wasn't hurting anyone, though I knew it was, especially my kids. I used excuses to drink, every excuse I had.

When I finally got to prison, the wonderful man who was my treatment counselor showed me what the two outcomes of my area on the jellinek curve were....incarceration, or death.
I thanked God I was in prison, my kids did nothing in this world to deserve to lose their mother. Sure I was locked up, forced to be away from them for a while, but I lived.
I will continue to live. For them.

When I was asked the other day in my MRT class, during testimony, "Do you feel a force inside you that makes you want to be sober?"
I said yes, it is the will to live on, for my children.

See for me, prison wasn't a bad thing, though I hated it every day, every minute I was there, I am thankful I went.

Because I live.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mitakuye Oyasin


Do NOT underestimate who I am
Or twist the meaning of my words
For so defiantly with my right hand
I will throw down some wicked nouns and verbs
Like this:
I come from my mother
Whose knowledge spreads like the Milky Way
I come from my brothers
Who are the warriors of today
I come from my grandmother
Who wasn't scared of a soul
I come from my father
Whose heart glows like a red hot coal
I come from my sisters
Who always stand to the side of me
I come from my grandfather
Whose beliefs are rooted deep as a tree
I come from my ancestors
Whose spirits are those that are truly free
I come from a strong people
Who have been underestimated
Remember that
Before you think you know who we are
For we are all related.
Mitakuye Oyasin


© Dana Lone Hill 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What? I'm an engine now?


So many times in my life, I have dealt with with alcohol.
Like my grandma died or when anyone died, I drank and tried to remember them in a good way.
Holidays, almost every feeling, whether good or bad, I had-was dealt with inebriated.
I saw the world as maybe an artist from the Impressionism Era you know-no clear lines.
Which is crazy, that's how I paint. I always wonder if maybe they were near sighted back then, but it can't be that, the details in all the colors are there.
I got used to letting the brandy go down my throat in order to cope.
Now my life is different.
Now I deal.
And cope.
Without.
And it's not easy.
And I am not doing it this way to prove a point to anyone. All I am doing is proving to myself I can do this.
And I think I can.
I think I can.
I think I can.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Rezervation Girls



*sigh*
I miss all my rez girls.
When I was in county, so many of the girls were doggin' on rez girls.
-They're so scandalous!
-They're so mean.
-They're hatin'.
-They're jealous.
-They'll take your man.
-They fight.

I heard it all, and trust me I asked for more. I thought it was funny. Funny that rez girls had such a rep.
I was born and raised on the rez, the Pine Ridge Rez at that.
It's funny the rep you get for being a rez chick and then for being a rez chick from Pine Ridge.
I don't know how many times people get "that look" when I say I am from Ridge.
I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world, though. The world I grew up in, the memories I made, the chinese fire drills at the four way, the hay ride, the times out at the T, the Satellites, East Dam, Whiteclay Dam, cruising round and around the town on summer nights laughing, it was some of the best times of my life with my rezervation girls. My cousins, my friends, Paula, Georgine, Joy, Lori, Aimy, Cayme, Sox, Lisa, Melita, Lisa, Andrea, Darin, there were so many....and so many times we hung out, raising hell, being young and not giving a fuck.
Those were the days and maybe we all didn't accomplish our dreams, but we did have them, back on the rez.

Are rez girls really all that bad...ask any one of them they'll tell you.
Not bad, bad ass.
And the times were bad ass.
We used to sing this song as "Rezervation Girls"

Those were the days. I can look back now that I am approaching 40 and say I had such fun in my youth. And someday I can look back to these days and think the same way....

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Writing About Some Kind Of Wonderful

"A writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view, a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway."
~Junot Diaz

That was sent to me by my friend Mike in Maine and I know in my soul I am a writer. I wrote myself through the most turbulent time in my life because that is the only thing that made me feel better, hopeful, and because that is what I do.

Here is a piece I wrote while I was locked up in federal. This was probably October of 2010. 5 months from release, but I didn't have a release date yet.

When I first got my second hand radio, most of the songs made me sad, reminded me of a different time. Reminded me of home, of my mom,of my dad, of my kids, of my brother, of my aunt, of my friends, and of course, of him or whatever. I had to work hard at getting over the fact that I was away from all that I love.
After I got over it, music set me in deep thought, thinking of what to write about now as I walked. Every word meant something. Every phrase a philosophy until I came back to my precious notebook.
I got off work today, took a cold shower, and elected to stay in rather than go to rec. I needed some alone time. I put my headphones on and Louis Armstrong's "It's a Wonderful World" played.
I opened the window through our bars and pulled up the shade. The breeze was blowing and for once didn't smell of the trash pile or pig farm the prison supposedly sat near. I watched all the things out there that Louis sang about: the sky of blue, clouds of white, leaves of green, and all that crap through the bars. I remembered being in county and seeing it but never feeling the fresh air on my face. Feeling that tease of freedom that is right around the corner for me.
This incarceration is not only a slap in the face kick in the ass wake up call. It is also a gift to me.
I am sober.
I can see clearly the second chance at life I was given.
This was my chance to make right, to do what I was destined to do, and to make time and memories for my children.
This is my life.

Louis Armstrong had it right, What a Wonderful World indeed.
I feel it in the breeze through the bars.
Thank you Wakan Tanka.


So that was writing from the inside, have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Where I come from....


So I went back to the rez, took my Grandma Erna home, and we had a nice service. It was so good to see my family, maybe it was part of being locked up, maybe it was part of not seeing everyone since the last funeral, maybe it was part of going through loss together, maybe it was part of living off the rez, (btw my Steve Madden shoes survived the mud), or maybe it was just because deep inside my heart there is a need for connection to my family, I felt so comfortable and loved at the funeral yesterday. Everyone that gave me a hug, held on for a minute and kissed me. Nothing was said about where I was or what I went through except by a drunk Uncle who teased me a little bit about "Big Mama getting me in prison." I retorted by saying "Maybe I was Big Mama." But the hugs are what got me, I let them hug me and enjoyed being held, even with my 39 year old ass. This is what freedom was about, this is what I dreamed of....this is what family is. I was sad to leave. It made me miss those days back when we had get togethers for more than funerals. When we had family events for holidays and one aunt would bring homemade pickles. When everyone had their special dish and the love was there with the food and the stories. I've been talking, trying to get the word out. We don't really do that anymore except maybe within our own immediate families. We need another big family get together. To just enjoy ourselves. Aunt Erna, or Grandma Erna (I always called her aunt) was the last of the brothers and sisters that started us all out as a family. It's never too late to start the traditions over, especially since Aunt Patty makes a bomb ass pasta salad. Lovin' my life and where I come from today.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Within-273

It was fate they say
That rage of hate from yesterdays
Although it was about an hour late
It still picked me up on the way
And took me to a land of no opportunity
Listening to the man
While praying for mutiny
Never did I dream this would be me
My life didn't seem to have a hold of me
As I looked about me
And at the fence that held me in
Although I wanted to scream and shout FREE
I knew that "free", that that's what I found within.

-Lonehill 10543-273

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Stumbling

"-as each of us can live but one life, a choice must perforce be made.
We choose in reality without ceasing; without ceasing, also, we abandon many things.
The route we pursue in time is strewn with the remains of all that we began to be,
of all that we might have become.
But nature, which has at command an incalculable number of lives,
is in no wise bound to make such sacrifices"

I found this on http://www.stumbleupon.com
Which is a very addictive website, btw.
But it really made me think.

We do shape our destinies by the choices we make and by the choices we throw to the side, you know. What's going to happen, eventually will, but we shape the path there and inadvertently become who we are by those choices.
Sometimes in life we don't think that the choice we are making today, something as small as not stepping on that ant on the sidewalk may affect us down the road. Like the butterfly effect.
Because it is this one life, we have to choose for.
But nature, nature is choosing for many, including ourselves and has no mercy or caring of the outcome. Nature could be as beautiful as it is harsh and mean. And one of these days this planet will shake us all off like bugs....and start over with cockroaches again.
Although we are already stumbling down the path we were meant to be on, what we do or don't do today can and will shape us as to who we were meant to be.

Makes me wonder about the young med student in Florida who just passed his boards and wanted my number.....but my boss put the ixnay to that. Aw, he's probably boring as hell anyway and don't even like baseball.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

RIP Grandma Erna


Grandma Dod, Grandpa Bog, Grandma Erna

When I was little, my grandpa Bog died. That's him in the picture. He was my Grandma Dod's twin. It never hit me what death was then. I didn't go to the funeral. I remember when so much family was gathered at Grandma Dod's for this though. It took until I was 7 to realize what death was, meant, the sadness of it all, when my Aunt Kathy died. She was 15. There was no way she should have been lying up there in a coffin, but she was. I distinctly remember thinking. I'll play with her later.
Then I saw the sophomore class from her school go up to the casket and let out one combined wail, and it hit me right then and there. I was never going to see my Aunt Kathy again, was I? She was never gonna tease me, let me sit in while she smoked joints and burned strawberry incense, while she listened to Dr. Hook and Rod Stewart sing and daydreamed about whatever 15 year olds in 1979 thought about. I was never gonna tease her until she chased me again.
And I cried so hard because I realized she was gone. Taken from me and my life and I am so selfish, I want everyone I love around me.
My Grandma Dod was taken from me in 2008. I'm glad she didn't have to go through me being in prison and everything. It probably would've broke her heart.
While I was locked up my Grandma Erna wrote to me. She wrote to the judge for me about my character, one of the only ones that did. She sent me money now and then, always apologizing for not sending more and always apologizing for not having anything interesting to say. She never had to apologize. I told her it was just wonderful to hear from her.
She moved back East about 4 years ago, to take care of her son (my Uncle Pete) with his progressing Parkinson's.
I had a feeling I would never see her again.
The last time I talked to her was before she went in for surgery, she had cancer. She told me she was so happy I was out, she loved me and she didn't have to worry about me being locked up anymore.
Talking about me, when she was going in for surgery!
I told her I loved her too.
She was all heart, always helping me out even though I never asked her too. That's just how she was.
She was never the same when she came out of surgery. She passed yesterday about 2 in the afternoon.
Another Grandma gone.
I'm gonna miss her.

I love you Grandma Erna, I will miss you always.
Rest In Peace, and join your family on the other side. They are surely waiting for the last sister.

I'm gonna go cry for the hundredth time, now that I have another reason to dislike the 4th.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Story of the Kick Ass Boots


One time, when I was a bartender in the strip bar like a zillion years ago, my best friend Becks the lap-dancing waitress at the time had told me about these boots.
They're kick ass and about a hundred bucks.-she said. I'm going to the Mall of America tomorrow to get a pair, if you want a pair give me the money. I'll bring them to work tomorrow.
I hesitated. I had two young sons at home and my job was great with tips but a hundred bucks was , well a HUNDRED BUCKS!
I don't know.-I said.
Well, think about it, let me know.-she said.
Every time I banked a tip that night in my beer pitcher, I thought about those boots. There was a stripper there with those boots on, she's the one that told us about them. I kept looking at her boots thinking...man, a hundred bucks.
I never did anything like that...for myself.
I remembered when I was about 18 years old, I saw this girl I went to Jr. High with, she had two small babies. In her cart she was buying all the necessities of being a young mother.
But nothing for herself.
My mom pointed with her lips, -Don't ever let yourself get like that. Take care of yourself, as well as your children.
When I thought of that, I gave the hundred bucks to Becks. I knew I would make another hundred the next night.
I bought those boots.
And damn they were some kick ass boots.
Every time I wore them, I thought about how I was able to take care of myself, that time.

Wolakota




Wolakota is peace, beyond peace. Being happy with who you are, what you have in this world and not wanting more, while in this world.
I'd like to think I was there, I know I'm not, but by God I will claw my way there. Sometimes, in this world you have to lose yourself to find yourself.
It's about finding myself now.
Amazing.
Wolakota: my goal in life.
I pray for Walakota for all my relatives who are lost and not at peace. For all those who need to find themselves today, I pray for them.
Wolakota.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Learning to Fly, but I ain't got wings.

I love so many of Tom Petty's songs, so many of them hit home, so you know he has heart.
Yesterday when I was cleaning, I heard Learning To Fly so I will post it at the end here.
That's where I think I am, I think.
I'm learning to fly without wings. I'm learning to be happy and control my emotions by my happiness,...without the aid of alcohol.
I had to open up my heart in MRT class last week and give my testimony. God it was so hard to tell them why I was committed to change. It's not like you can say, "Just cuz." I was able to do it with a shaky voice and ready to cry at times but I did it. I told everything I have ever done bad, well almost but my progression into alcoholism and how easy it was when I moved back to the reservation. I told how it made me forget any bad things I knew I had done, and how easy it was to drown.
And I was drowning that whole time.
I was looking for a life preserver and thought the FBI threw me one. Tell us, they said, everyone will go down.
I did.
And I went down.
That was my first lesson in this government don't give a fuck, this government will lie to you. And they can.
SO that's when I knew.
It was time.
To take care of myself.
The right way.
To stand back up and keep my head up.
I came from my grandmas, and I will not go down like that. I will not be "that one that got locked up." I am still me and I will let everyone know who that is.
I am that one. That one that is a mother to four beautiful children, that one who writes with all her heart, hopefully like Tom Petty sings. That one who loves the Yankees and collects rocks as memories.
And that one,
that is currently learning to fly.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tin roof....rusted.

My brothers were talking about "takin' the rainbow back" the other day.
I think the whole conversation started with us all discussing the name of my mom's wireless
B-52's
I asked if she named it that because of the fact that she's a hag and she went to one of their concerts. She swears she didn't.
She swears the internet company named it for her.
Anyway, I think all the siblings were a little suspicious.
Then my brother Trav started singing a line from "Love Shack."
We all laughed, and I am almost sure it was me that whispered "gay."
He said "Why is that song associated with gay people?"
I don't know, I said. It just is.
They just took the rainbow, my brother Jesse said. And rainbows are ok.
We might have to start something, take the rainbow back. I said.

Now I would never take the rainbow back. I don't care all that much for rainbows. I just wonder how somethings get associated with gays.
Rainbows, triangles, Judy Garland, antique-ing, Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand, Madonna, wine tasting, Bravo, vintage lamps, velour pants, hair styling, (because who gets their hair done by a chick?) disco, they just took it all.
But to tell you the truth, I've been a hag since I was four years old, so they can have it, I'll just hang right in there with.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Just sayin'

I'm always just sayin' all kinds of shit.
My brother always used to tease me because I write and he said it was just me talkin' shit on paper. LOL.
And I admit, I do. I talk shit. Sometimes, I am merciless. Sometimes, I piss people off. LOL.
Sometimes, I make them think.
Sometimes, I make them see the truth.
Sometimes, I make them laugh, or cry.
I don't mean to, I just talk shit...on paper too.
I even did it in prison, often listening to people, when they needed to be heard. Offering a shoulder or trying to make them laugh somehow.
Sometimes pissing a guard off with baseball trivia and because he was a Yankee hater and t I told him the Yankees were like the big brother to the Twins that always beat them up.
And I told people about me, my life. I told so many people about my life and what is in my heart in my blog. And it has been a blessing to me, for I never needed therapy, although I think I came close.
Now I am opening up another part of my life.
My blue collar bitchiness in writing.
I want people to know what it is like to be a housekeeper.
So as if you don't have enough to do...here's another part of my life in writing. Unfolding...
Not Maid For This Shit: Imagine that: "Work is hard. I don't have to remind anyone of that because it is a crappy job and everyone knows it and that's why no one works it. The pa..."

Friday, June 24, 2011

Soul Scraping


There's always sidewalk trash on my way to work. But this was on the bridge just off the interstate.
I don't know who these people are who can dig that far down to hold a sign like this up for all to see. And know that each one that passes you thinks you're a beggar and worthless and just keeps driving. I mean that's some scraping of the soul right there, putting it all out there and letting all know you have nothing.
I don't even like to ask for change for a dollar.
Coming out of prison, I did some serious soul scraping by going around, applying for jobs, it was tough....to see people look at you that way, but you put your head up, get your warrior look so no one fucks with you and move on.
Seeing that sign on the ground gave me mixed feelings, I mean the person must have found food, and hopefully a kind soul, (not some psycho.) And it also made me realize life is tough out there, everywhere.
I am thankful for my job, even if at times they try to kill me. LOL. Thankful for the roof, the water, electricity, and most of all for my family....for without them, I would surely have a sign like that too. Although I am sure mine would be prettier, more creative, and catchier.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Texting With My Bro



Last night I was texting with my brother about his health. He said he was so pissed all the time and so stressed it was taking a toll on his health. He was gonna work on being happy.
I texted "Yeah you gotta be you, stop conforming to your environment. Be a happy mofo again."
He texted "I know right? Gotta Be Me! That sounds like a Cookie Monster song!"
I texted "Cookie Monster don't eat cookies anymore. They fucked him up real good. He eats veggies now."
Him "WHAT????"
"Sure, they blamed him for obese kids. You know %$#*@ people are fucked up. As if I wouldn't stash cookies from the kids anymore, lol."
"What a pussy whipped world we live in..." He texted

Typical of me and my bro, as we texted during the storm about his health, it turned into conversation about Cookie Monster....

(pic is the window during the lightning as I lay there texting)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Brother's Keeper

My brother just left. He went home to Minnesota.
He told us he thinks something is wrong with him health-wise, he stayed here for the past 5 days with two of my nephews.
I guess I kind of knew something was up with him because of the way he always talks about all the crazy ass times and things we did, but I tried to ignore it and pay no mind because it feels like we just got over the obstacle of my incarceration and now this is the next curve ball. Whatever it is he feels is wrong with him, it has him questioning his mortality.
I don't like this. I don't like seeing him like this.
But I also know this is my brother, we been through thick and thin. He was the one who came down from Minnesota to the reservation and took me to the federal building to turn myself in. He was the one who walked with me through the mud for 3 miles.
He is my brother and whatever we need to do we will do.
We are Lakota.
We will do this as family.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Today I Am Sober

When I was locked up, I remember when that one year of sobriety came, I told my roommate "Hey, today's my one year of sobriety."
She said "It don't count if you're locked up, you start counting when you're free."
I felt instantly shot down, like what the fuck? I was seriously kind of proud to have one year down because it had been awhile.
I pondered it and thought of all the people that went to solitary for drinking hooch and I thought, you know if I wanted to drink hooch, I could. I could do all the messed up shit people in there were doing, but I chose not to. I chose to do my own time. And that choice was to act right, finally.
I'm too old to be getting in trouble, kids are growing up, can't afford to lose anymore time with them. I was facing seven years so I was lucky, I got 18 months, that way I could see my sons graduate high school.
Now that I am out, I face negativity like that shot down all the time. When I got out of the halfway house I went to a Wellbriety meeting and told some chick, that I just got out of the halfway house and it sucked there.
"Yeah I know" she said. "I was there 3 times in the past year."
"Whoa. I am not going back there ever." I said.
"That's what you think, I said that 3 times."
"Well you don't know me." I told her. "I believe in myself."
And I do and every time I run into that negativity I feel a bit stronger in my sobriety. Even when people don't believe in me.
will I be sober forever?
I don't know.
Will I be sober when I get off paper?
I don't know.
Will I be sober tomorrow?
I don't know.
Today, I am sober.
Today, I feel the strength within me.
Today, I believe in myself.
So you see, it don't matter what anyone says to me.
Cheap shots don't hurt, I know how bad I was and I'm not gonna do an Eminem rant of all my bad points like on 8 Mile when he didn't want the Free World to diss him.
I'll just say what I said before, to myself:
Today, I am sober.
Today, I feel the strength within me.
Today, I believe in myself.
And that's enough for me, today.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Ability To Maintain

The strength that lies deep inside
Gives one the ability to maintain
Where grown men have broken down and cried
At the fall of a gentle rain
You have walked and endured
The lightening and thunder
Others have tempted easy escape and been lured
Now their souls lie broken asunder
You hold tight to that strength within
And walk through the torrential rain
For this life is yours for living
You just have to have the ability to maintain

-dlh
June 13, 2011

(For all my Sioux brothers and sisters on the inside)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Drinking Cold Coffee

I get so tired from my job, cleanin rooms ain't no joke. I swear it is where people want to be the nastiest they can be. *sick bastages*
Plus I work with like girls that could be my daughters and keep up, they never believe me that I am their mamas' ages lol.

I heard from one of the girls I did time with.
She's still in there, I hear from them time to time.
I told her I pray for her to be strong every day and think of them everyday. And I do.
I feel as if the relationships I established on the inside are strong in their own way because we met at our lowest point in our lives, we were all straight, and we somewhat depended on each other, as family.
I think of those girls everyday.
I think of their kids.
We all made mistakes but that doesn't change the fact that there are families out there missing someone.
And in the United States, they have more people incarcerated than any other country with the population only growing every year, never flatlining or decreasing. But nothing can be done, it will still only rise. Tax payers will pay and people will struggle to pay their student loans off every year.
It is what it is.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Realize

Visualize
And realize
With your evil eyes
That your fucked up ways
From way back in the old days
Of tryin to take my people's ways
Of thinking you're The Man
The government with a plan
A plan to take these people's land
Repress them, Depress them, Oppress them
Make them forget their spiritualities
Give them blankets with disease
Lock them up, throw away the keys
Guess what Mr. Man
Mr. Govt. With a Plan
We're still here to take a stand
To let you know, this is our
Motherfuckin land.
Where you and yours do your livin
But you can have the fuckin land
We're on the rez, we ain't trippin'
Because a piece of land is just dirt
On any given day
Despite it all,
We still have our pride, our spirituality
And our ways.
Hoka hey!

DLH-Waseca FCI

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Price of Bacon

I sometimes try to pretend I don't give a fiddles about the world, like nobody cares, right? If you care about the ozone and feel guilty about all the Aqua Net you used in the 80's, then you're a flippin tree hugger.
If you care one way or the other about politics you're an extremist, or not extreme enough.
I came from a spot where people are for the most part ignorant about what is going on in the world, cripes I DIDN'T even know about that oil spill explosion thingy that happened in the Gulf, right? Well, whatever it was it happened in April of 2010, I found out in October of 2010.
Had I been free, I would have been alllll over that, probably not doing anything about it, but feeling sorry for the wildlife, cursing fossilized fuel, which is really "God." I would have been plastered to CNN and raising a fist with Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta.
But I wasn't. I was on the inside, wondering how everyone in there could be so ignorant as to what is going on with the world and not knowing myself. I wondered how they could think Obama was a terrorist because their mama told them so, or how they could be preturbed by his middle name. So what? Who cares what his middle name is, my middle name sucks stink toes too.
Then the more my date loomed in front of me and teased me, the more I thought about being free and not giving a flip about what was going on with the Big World. All I could think was "I'm gonna be out there....out there."
I didn't care what was going on out here, and saw why the rest of the inmates didn't care. I had no idea we were in a recession. Why even care right?
Not like you can vote to change it.
Then I got out, and realized how it must be for people to have to pull themselves up to even be on the lowest level of humanity again.
So I got out with this hard ass attitude like, "I don't give a crap about the world anymore. People can trash it, people can do whatever and I will not give a fuck." I will not live by CNN and watch the world via CNN like I can actually do something about it, because for real I have no voice anymore.
I can write, yeah that's always a voice, but I can't vote, man. I have voted in every presidential election since I was 18. So I was all heavy metal hard like:
Fuck this World!
I don't care!


Then I accidentally overheard that they found Bin Laden and killed him.

And I felt myself being sucked back into the vortex, I was trying so hard to stay away from.

I avoided CNN and all news channels like they were an ugly one night stand.

Then I saw the price of bacon.....WTF!!!

Really?

World, I am trying to not care and be all heavy metal-head bangin-hard core about not caring...

But why you gotta fuck with my bacon, man.

btw-I know there is nothing I or anyone can do about the price of bacon, but man.....*smh*

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

One of the hardest things to realize and accept when one obtains freedom is accepting the fact that people change, things change. I mean, I changed, in a good way. And some changes you see or experience are good, some aren't. Like I realized my precious daughter has a fear of bugs. My second born fights his dad, who, I would be the first to admit was and has been a dipwad in the past. But that was the past and I commend him now for being a man and stepping up to care fo our sons. I don't expect a big "welcome home" anything, not even a pat on the back. Because where I was, don't deserve any kind of celebratory anything. I am sure there are those who would be happy to have a beer with me because I'm out. But that would really only be to have a beer, you know? Nope, I don't expect anything or want anything from anyone. Except I do find satisfaction in knowing that I'm happy to be out and I have a profound appreciation for freedom.

Monday, May 30, 2011

November 3, 2010


I saw something that broke my heart today.
I saw a lady with a 20 year sentence say bye to her daughter, who was released today. This lady is in her late 50's and she has 18 years to go on her sentence.
Her husband sold drugs, she didn't, but she knew he did so she got a conspiracy charge which is an automatic 10 to life.
Her daughter was turned on them and eligible for early release with a drug program. Her mom said she knows she had to do what she had to do, she was after all her daughter and pretty much all she had in prison.
Being a felon, her daughter can never visit, with her mom's age and health, who knows if they will ever see each other again. I was somewhat miffed her daughter was irritated with her mom for "making a big deal" out of her leaving. Because what she is not thinking, is this might be the last time they see each other ever. The mom couldn't stop crying, it was so heartbreaking, I had to look away.


My affirmation for myself today is a Persian proverb my Iranian friend Cyrus told me, and I have been using it alot through this whole journey.
"Even at the end of a long, dark night, the sun must rise."
It is a simple, onle line sentence tha packs so much power within it. So much power that when you think of it, it is almost breath-taking.
I have thought of this many times this year.
You must firmly believe in this sentence with all your heart because no matter whats happens in your life, what you are going through, how ever you feel, you must believe and know that sometime soon things will get better, the sun will rise.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hostility In My Veins

I was born with hostility in my veins;
Flowing like dirty water down the street after it rains.
Dripping from my fingertips while I write;
Like the icicles hanging from my HUD house in the sunlight.
The hostility the government stirred into my people's blood;
It was always there, but now it's dirty as a puddle and thick as mud.
"How do we take care of them?" Mr. Govt. says;
"It was all supposed to be better when we put them on the rez."
"That was supposed to civilize them, make them docile;
But what seems to have happened is we made them hostile?"
Mr. Govt. You can't take the warrior out of our women and men;
You can't cut our hair and expect us to not be what we've always been.
You put us on a reservation and call us savage;
Then you act shocked when we uprise and ravage.
We break your laws so you put us on the inside;
Then you act shocked when we still show our pride.
But you see, being on the inside is like being on a reservation;
And the way we act, is a part of your creation.
Remember that when you question why we are how we are;
The warrior in us will always come out like the evening's first star.
Because you see, we was born with hostility in our veins;
Flowing down the street like dirty water after it rains...

-Dana Lonehill 10543-273
May 2, 2010
Waseca FCI
Waseca, MN
(my first prison poem, written upon arrival)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Here I Am

That's a saying from the inside, when someone shows up they start out by saying "Here I Am," and it used to annoy the hell out of me.
They also start each sentence or conversation with "Listen" because they are all attention whores. They been locked up so long, they want to make sure you hear them. So in a way I understand why they all talk like that. I mean, who was I but a short timer with a short little number? Like all the other short timers showing up in and out of their lives and daily routine of getting up at 5:30, showering-going to breakfast at 6-work at 7:30 and so on and so forth, same routine everyday for years without ever going anywhere away from there, unless it was in a book or if they were lucky enough to have figured it out, in their mind.
I made some good friends there and a couple of enemies.
And I'm not there, I'm here. Free to come and go without the use of a book or meditation. Free to wander wherever I want, whether that be physically, spiritually, or mentally.
Yet every day, EVERY DAY, I think about it. I think about them. Those I left behind who still have time in that place. I don't ever want to go there again EVER but every day I can't help to think about all of it.
And I want to cry.
But I won't cry because I am out here, where they want to be. If it wasn't for the sisters I made in there, I wouldn't have gotten through the halfway house as strongly as I did. I wouldn't be able to maintain my sobriety so strongly.
Maybe I'm one of those people that draw strength from others, hopefully it don't take away from them to do that,
but
yes, I think of that god awful place everyday and of them, locked up as society's outcasts, bottom of the barrel, criminals, and I know it makes me a stronger person.
Because I know that's how people see me, other than my true friends, and immediate family. I am no better than Timothy McVeigh, Charles Manson, or Lindsay Lohan. I have experienced a shift in attitude to those who now think of me as pond scum, but still talk as if they still like me.
And they might make jokes, like we are still all cool, but I can feel their opinions as if they stood up in my soup and screamed them at me.
But I'm cool with that, people have a right to opinions. I have no more explanations for my past, IT IS WHAT IT IS.
I'm still me and
"Here I Am."