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It Ain't Easy Being Indian
August It Ain't Easy Being Indian
Tuesday, August 08 2017
 
Written by Ricey Wild,
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There is some Milkweed in my front window in the yard and since the biggest ones have bloomed itís been a daily show of gloriousness! Butterflies, bees, ants and hummingbirds have been visiting every day and I get to witness their beauty. They have given me hope when I was sure everything was going to H-E-double hockey sticks. I admit I get so depressed reading the news online and that I just canít stopÖyet. My herd of cats are also fascinated with the activity outside, and they scare the hummingbirds and the other critters off even though they are separated by a screen.

Thatís when I call them the fuzzy little monsters they are. For the record all my cats are indoor critters because they had been bringing me presents like dragonflies, grasshoppers, etc. But when The RZA got a bird, that was it. Nope! No more outside for them. Itís better for all of us.

I share this visual with you because when I lived in Minneapolis, my living room window looked into an alley that had a steady parade of drunks on their trek to and from the liquor store. It wasnít pretty, at all. I still loved living there but I didnít know about the gorgeous wildlife and critters who are my neighbors now. When I first moved here out to Rezberry I was actually astounded to find out there are cows and horses that live down the road. Not sure what I expected but it was new to me.

As a matter of fact, when I was 3-or 4-years-old I got horses and cows mixed up and cried when I was corrected. ďNo! Them is horsies!Ē Suffice it to say fifty years later I now understand the difference. I blame my Unkís for messing with a little girlís mind. LOL!

Ah oh, the big city! How I miss you. I always felt like I was part of something and there was always somewhere to go and things to do. Up here I am left out as being a weird cat lady who writes stuff. So in defense, I insulate myself even more from the bizarre antics I see people up here doing Ė like camping and hunting and eating bleached fish. Yaaaahhhhh!!! For realz!

Oh geez. Iíve been writing about this topic on repeat and Iím sorry for that. Truth is, I would never have had my Mitzi who saved me on the worst day of my life. Sheís nine years old now and is about the same age as me now, so we can age grumpily together while enjoying clean air. Take that Mpls!!!! SNIFFFFFF!!! AHHHHHH!!! Milkweed, yum!

A strange thing happened some years ago when an Elder, who is no longer here, told me on our bus ride home from work that there are ďOld OnesĒ buried in my back yard. I KNOW!!! I was slightly creeped out by her statement, but there are things that have happened in my home and outside that startled me, but make sense now. Sure enough, there are several areas behind my home that could be graves and I know that because my former job was to help families find appropriate burial sites and I spent a lot of time in cemeteries. I know what they look and feel like.

So I have put out asema (tobacco) and other offerings for them and I get the impression that they keep me here for reasons yet unknown. Like a spiritual tractor beam, for real. What that reason is I donít know but I do know Iím not going anywhere else permanently until I leave this physical body for good.

Iím not afraid or threatened by what comes after at all. I will, however, haunt anyone who threatens or hurts my furry family.

I watch VICELAND channel and just now a Vice Essentials piece came on, in which South Koreans seek and pay for a near-death experience! Of course, I had to watch it. If youíre interested the title is ďA Good Day to DieĒ (I know!) It is designed to help people appreciate life. Wow.

Coincidence? I think not. I had a life, one I loved and now I have a quite different life and Iím finally ready to embrace it. I think. ;) However, I will never,† ever, ever eat lutefisk Ė no matter the incentive. I have standards, yanno. Sadly, our fish are already deeply contaminated.

Oh, there I go again. We live in a strange world. I can and will be writing about it from my perspective as long as I can. No, my beloved Carol J. Iím not planning on leaving just yet. Iím just waiting for that big bus from the sky to try and get me. I still got moves!

Summer musings
Monday, July 03 2017
 
Written by Ricey Wild,
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When I write itís in the moment and a culmination of the past month or years. I have so much to say, yell about, and communicate.† Itís very difficult to put all that into 800 words. Thatís all, you say? Yes, thatís all. But I take it very seriously when need be, and then because I like to laugh that content belongs in this space, too. But Iím running out of things to laugh about.

It has to do with the hate and fear-mongering the Republicans are spewing and the Democratís kicked-dog syndrome in response to it. Really though, what is happening to our country? Turtle Island was ours first and then the immigrants showed up and literally destroyed and poisoned it. If there was a Garden of Eden, we Indigenous People lived in it. We prayed and were appreciative of the bountiful gifts the Creator provided us with.

The reckless haste and waste that the 1% are acquiring $$$$$$$$$$$ is sickening and short sighted. They donít get that money in and of itself is worthless except as toilet paper or lighting a fire with. I say let them go into their bunkers and leave the rest of us alone to deal with the aftermath of their destruction. Yes, Iím very sad but mostly angry at the current state of our Earth. No animal, except humans, could or would have laid waste to our Mother such as is happening now.

Call me Debbie Downer but the worst of capitalism happens to we who are browner.

So here in Rezberry there is an annual celebration for enrollees and their family. There are festivities for the kids, a feast and cash drawings for the adults. There are always cultural activities too, like at the museum I used to work for. Boozhoo Jeff! I got to make some jingle earrings with his daughter Leah and they are soooo pretty! I love that we get to celebrate us especially since we werenít supposed to be here anymore.

Think on that for a moment. We were hunted down to certain extinction but we survived.

All thanks to our ancestors who refused to be beaten even in the face of true evil. Yanno what? I feel in my bones and blood their love and strength to carry on yet another day and then some. We Ė you and I Ė have to honor that sacrifice. We wouldnít be here without them.

For the record I didnít win any cash but I got a free pizza cutter when I signed up. Imía use it next per-cap day when I can afford frozen pizza. Shhhhh!!! I also saw a bunch of people who I love and hugged, and more that I absolutely abhor. <shivering> Those creatures are horrible any time but having to see them in a concentrated venue is torture. Ick. Talk about a microcosm of insanity. It only happens once a year so thatís good. I just wanna know whoís throwing my ticket out of the barrel.

Next up is the Fond du Lac Veterans Powwow the first weekend in July. I know a lot of the Veterans Committee and they are such good people who want their kindred to be recognized. If you are a Vet, near or far, come check out our hospitality. And thanks for your service. My father Jerome Charette was Air Force. Iím sure every Indian family has someone who served voluntarily in the military. This was our land first.

SoooÖ. My social calendar is filled up for the foreseeable future but I still need to make it to Minneapolis, my old stomping grounds, to visit with Daniel, Rachel and kids.

Itís so comforting for me when I stay with them, itís like I never left! I become the City Indian I grew up as and I love it! I think itís strange though how even if we live in the Big City we still consider our rezzes as Ďhomeí. Come to think about it, wherever we step is Ďhomeí for us!!!

I know quite a few former City Indians who moved back to their rezzes and I really wonder why? My own motive was my Gramma Rose, so I can be near her. But what of others? Write me and let me know. My email is at the end of this column.

My sister Stefanie is in NICU for a head injury and while I usually donít post or write for help she could really use some support right now. Miigwech. Stef has a long road ahead of her and will never be the same active person. I brought her a little statue of an Indian woman dancing because she wants to do that again. Donít we all.

Just dance. Even if you can only do it in a chair.

Springtime in Rezberry
Thursday, June 01 2017
 
Written by Ricey Wild,
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I finally got to open the windows up in my cat-haired, dusty old house. Wood ticks have also returned and I found one on my dog Mitzi, and two were on me but I caught them before they latched on. Ick. With the pleasure of nice weather comes the danger because ticks can kill. Itís a warning for all you nature lovers, so layer up when you go in the woods or long grass. Just a PSA because I care!

There is a movie named ďThe HappeningĒ with Matt Damon that is listed as an Ďeco-thrillerí and of course, I couldnít pass that up even though I dislike Damon. The movie was about how a neuro-toxin that was released by plant life caused mass suicides. The more concentrated the human population the worse it was but exposure to it got you killed anyway. It was really brutal and non-discriminatory.

At the end of the movie they had an interview with a scientist who said that it was the planet, our Earth, fighting back against human atrocities (my words). I like that. I also believe thatís what we are currently experiencing with all the unusual, deadly weather around the globe. Our Mother is so done with our using and abusing her, whether we acknowledge our individual carbon footprint or not.

I know there are masses of wonderful people who are working hard to bring to our attention to the fact that our capitalist way of living is unsustainable and will be the end of us. My heart goes out to all of yooz who make it your lifeís work to help for the greater good of all. You are all in the fight of your lives against big oil and an incredibly corrupt government led by an illegally elected president. Here we are: Good vs. Evil and the fate of our species literally are in your hands.

Though I sit here peaceably right now, taking time to pet a cat, I am in this with you. I just have to find the best way to communicate my wrath at the administration and hope for our future. Armchair activism perhaps? Iíll give it all I got. Truth is, itís all I haveÖa voice. Good thing for us that we all have one.

Geez. Then there are colonial oppression pieces that were called Ďartí at the Walker Sculpture Garden in Minneapolis. ďSaffoldĒ is a replica of the gallows used to murder the Dakota 38+2; the largest mass hanging in American history. Guess who was the architect of that gruesome act? President Lincoln, yes, THAT president who is glorified by the writers of the invadersí history. It fits right in with the hatred by white people against anyone not them; and their rants and raves, and their murdering of People of Color.

My optimistic soul wants to believe that the latest terrorist act was the worst and it wonít happen again, but it always does. Innocent people are being targeted simply for the color of their skin or religious beliefs. But thatís nothing new or surprising for us Indigenous People. That we have survived this long after the invasion is remarkable and it took every iota of courage we have.

Oh man, I am getting soooo worked up about this!!! I am hissing and spitting like a cat that goes all puffy! I snarl at those who think they are better than us because they have more money! Put that in a salad why dontcha! Grrrr. Their money is ill-gotten gains and they will come to realize that when they are in a bunker fighting over the last can of caviar. Some of us who get it will be eating fresh food and living in green housing, happy as can be.

There is a ways to go before we get to that serene place but there is a way. Iím always yelling WAKE UP!!! And I probably wonít stop until there is some semblance of natural order in our daily world. Iím very sure Iíve never lived what is called Ďnormalí and Iím not sure if I would fit. Or if I even want to for that matter. As individuals we are awesome, but gathered together in a common cause we are spectacular!

Happy Birthday to all my Gemini kin! I just had my birthday and it was fun but exhausting, Iím too ole for all that festivity nowadays. I had my time. I really want to go to the beach on Lake Superior,† which is where my ancestors lived until we got stuffed onto a reservation that is 50% swampland. I want to pay my respects and honor the place that has sustained us to this day.

PS: The Walker Art Center is removing the gallows. We have to stay aware and Miigwech to those of you who made this happen.†

Why Some Old Folks Are Cranky
Tuesday, May 09 2017
 
Written by Ricey Wild,
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Both my arms hurt so badly. It really sucks getting old for me when Iíve already had 11 surgeries and Iím fearful of more. Plus Iím diabetic.

Okay thatís all I will complain about for now. Iím ready for lilacs, dandelions and blooming trees, and I am worried about the wood frogs because up here in Rezberry we have ice, snow on top of that, and here it is the end of April. Sheez. Really?

Whoops. More complaining. My bad. I still havenít put away my heavy winter boots either cuz I just donít know when we will be done with winter and all its hazards. It may be July before I do. Well, I understand now why some old folks are cranky cuz Iím turning into one. Blah.

Then thereís my tooth. I was happily crunching candy I had bought for my Gramma Rose. They were peppermint lozenges that are stale but I needed some sugar NOW, so I opened the bag and munched away until there was a particularly hard one which I ingested only to find out I ate part of my premolar. Lucky for me it didnít hurt and I had a dental appointment two days later.

The dentist told me the tooth was worth saving and proceeded to work on it, but in doing so the entire rest of my tooth came out. Gah!!! Sheís going to cap the molar right next to it and add a fake tooth in the place of the one I ate. I took the rest of my tooth home in a little container and forgot to put it under my pillow. Iíll do so and make a wish that 45 is impeached sooner rather than later and yaíll are welcome for my sacrifice. I have big ole Chippewa Cheeks so my loss isnít evident because itís in my right lower jawÖbut if you make me laugh? Hai!

A sweet lady named Margaret who works for Rezberry Clinic brought me to my appointments and asked me how was I doing? I replied that I sit home 99% of the time and am bored living like this, but in fact, I now prefer it this way. Last year I had my son, then my brother and after that a friend living with me because they were homeless. The only male of all of them, my kitten Lenny Kravitz Shotley, is the only one who did not let me down.

The peace I enjoy now is delightful. Last year tore me up in ways I could never have imagine. But this year, Iím done with drama. Iím older, depressed and physically disabled. I donít need anyone elseís traumatic situations to intrude on my well being. Just saying.

Another point is that we all need to treat each other with caring kindness because you donít know what that person may be going through. There are millions of Facebook posts that say the same thing, but actually following through with compassion is the real. It seems silly but hugs matter. Watch out yaíll!!! Iím gonna be the Hug Monster!

Iím so very grateful to be here in my Kwe cave and for my furry family. I thank the Creator every for the gifts I have, which are many. I have no one

I see on a regular basis except my beloved Gramma Rose who will be 99-years-old this month on the 15th. She is still Ďall thereí but repeats she is getting dingy. LOL! Like we all donít experience what she does Ė like walking into a room and wondering what she went in there for! Rose asked me to tell ďGrammaís TalesĒ so here is one. I was about 1-year-old and my cousin LuAnn was 6 months after me. She was playing with one of my toys that I didnít care about except it was MINE! I hit a rocking chair in my possessive rage and it came back and knocked me down.

That memory always makes Rose laugh, and I do too because itís KARMA and I now recognize it as such; I never set out to do wrong, ever. However, I do not put up with otherís drama cuz I have enough of my own despite my avoidance of it.

Wow. I just realized Iíve been imposing my own drama on yaíll. Sorry for that, but sometimes it feels really good to unload.

Blessings to all of you!!!

The Misery of 45
Tuesday, April 04 2017
 
Written by Ricey Wild,
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Iíve been waiting for 45 to be impeached. Sigh. Been waiting too long Ė like for the warm bus to show up at 4:45 am on a bigly blizzardy morning and save me from certain and complete poverty. No headlights in sight, cigarette is wet, no matches anyway. My diabetic nerve pain is flaring up and my earmuffs canít drown out the horror of the current US administrationís war upon The People.

This misery, and by that I mean 45, and its cabinet has it in for we American People. So many great citizens over the years made it their business to speak up for the downtrodden, theÖyou get it. Us. I praise the collective activists who now gather and take up the cause for everyone. Us. Except for my Cat Purrince the sneaky little fur ball who is trying to prevent me writing this column. Heís been napping on the sofa until this moment and here I thought he was with us. (He just jumped on the keyboard in an attempt to delete my previous words) I donít know whose payroll heís on but Iíll get to the bottom of it. Purrince IS gray and white.

I have been super-glued to Ďnewsí stations which I have now separated from news, semi-fake news, alleged news, super news, and super fake alleged newsÖyou see my dilemma. Some guy I friended on Facebook posted an absurd piece by an author plugging his book, saying 45 is a victim. IKR????

I almost peed mah knickers laughing. Then I looked at it again and the author did have a point. Stay with me here. The craven deplorables who surround poor ole 45 are the real ones in charge. Theyíre all like, ďLeave this to us (not so gently pushing 45 out the White House) you just go golf and it will all be all right! Gwan Ďden!Ē

Thatís all the wasted time I have for those white devils.

Here at home, in my HUD house Iím waiting for the frogs to begin singing. I live in a semi-swamp which is btw-the land left over to we Rezberrianís after the white people took the best. Gawd, I just depressed myself until I recalled our swamp is now re-named ďwetlandsĒ which makes it sound better, to white people. And now they want that, too.

I go back and forth in history in my lone life so Iím never really bored. I ask ďWhy?Ē and seek the answers. Heh. A white woman asked me, ďWell, donít you like electricity (as if she invented it)?Ē and I had to laugh saying ďWell yeah!Ē Her point was the benefits of colonization, and mine was that we did just fine without it. At the time, I didnít feel like spouting my own belief about Ďcivilizationí in European terms. That we Natives had been there, done that, and found it unsustainable. We simply preferred camping.

I am sick whenever anyone, no matter how much I like them, spouts such an entitled, racist ignorant view. Iím very tired of fighting too. I gotta leave that to you young ones who are not so battle weary and cynical as I am.

I will never quit writing because thatís who I am. I am very appreciative of those who are taking up the banners to fight for whatís right. The truly sad ones are those who will work for our common enemy and donít care. No judgment here, just saying.

Tupac Shakur Shotley, the cat, is by my side just purring up some serious songs. I want to be more like him and just groove but get in some sweet lyrics too. His might be like, ďdonít try ta save meh, Iíve been a shelter cat bay-behĒ or something like that. Hehehe. I got a new gig writing lyrics for my five cats and one dog, Mitzi.

(Someone named Amanda or Daniel or Rachel or Lorri PLEASE HEEEELLLPPP MEEEEE!!!). Iím dreaming of lilacs, margaritas and scones. I have to break out of the Rezberry tractor beams.

Now Iím hearing purring in stereo, Tupac and XiXi, the two elder shelter cats I have given a forever home to. Both had their paws mangled but they love anyway just the same. I encourage yooz to get a cat or dog from a shelter, they will love you unconditionally for it.

Hey. Can someone adopt me, too? Iím so sad from being alone. But no jerks, users, thieves, stinky people, blamers orÖnever mind. I yam what I yam. I can be alone and happy. Last year certainly proved that to me in spades, yo. Never once have my Fur-amily back-stabbed me! Well, I do have to keep a sharp eye on Purrince.

 

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