Sunday, July 6, 2008

AHHH! Sweet Summer Time!

I can't believe how fast the summer is flying by!  It has been a strange summer, weather-wise.
First we had all that rain, rain and more rain; storms and more rain.  June was much cooler than normal and so far July has been rather pleasant.  

My summer generally consists of three main stages:  mid June is Sundance which is something I plan for all year and actually spend nine to ten days camping and dancing.  After Sundance is completed for the current year I begin to plan and prepare for the 9 Day Encampment, previously known by all as the 9 Day Ride.  Again I physically spend about nine days camping and riding in the Shawnee Forest near Golconda, IL.  Just a few days after the 9 Day is over it is time to saddle up and begin the "Sikeston Ride".  This is a three day event that begins (on horseback) at the Williamson County Fairgrounds in Marion, IL and ends at the Sikeston JC Bootheel Rodeo.

Last year was so HOT and DRY that some of these events were not as enjoyable as they have been/will be this year.  We had beautiful weather for Sundance, warm breezy days and very cool evenings.  I have been attending Sundance for eleven years and began dancing seven years ago and this was the best, as far as the weather goes, ever.  We had a somewhat smaller group this year and not quite as many supporters but all in all is was a very powerful dance.  One that will always be special for me because my nephew was able to attend for the first time ever.  For many years I have hoped and prayed he would someday be there and this was the year.  

Life is good.  Prayers are heard and answered.  Sometimes the world around us gets really crazy and if we allow these crazy times to affect us in a negative way, life might not be so good. Life is good.  Stay positive, look for the good in all people and situations.  Do not dwell on the negative and if necessary, distance yourself from those who do.  Life is what we choose to make it.  Life is good.

I recently cleaned up my tipi and now it feels like home again.  I keep a tarp on the floor because of all the rain, it's easier to soak up the puddles than wade through the mud.  We removed the tarp, hosed it off and then applied some lime to the areas beneath the tarp that were extremely squishy.  I put a fan in the tipi (I ran an extension cord from the nearest source)
for three days to help dry out the floor then put the tarp back in place.  My firepit is one that I can carry in or out and sets on stepping stones on top of the tarp.  I usually try to build at least a small fire in the pit every day or two to help keep the wood bees at bay as they can reek havoc on my lodge poles.  It's nice to have everything back in place and the tipi ready to use.



Hopefully sometime in the very near future there will be a sweat lodge next to the tipi. We wanted to build one last fall but the weather was so dry that the willows would have been almost impossible to peel! So, check back often and maybe I'll be able to post a photo of the new lodge.

That's all till next time.  Have a wonderful, safe summer and always remember to
LIVE, LOVE, and LAUGH!!!

My Cherokee Grandmother

My Cherokee Grandmother
Selva COX/Opal Nokomis SMITH Nolen

Enjoying the Ride

Enjoying the Ride
October 31, 2008

Daddy Cat, Jr.

Daddy Cat, Jr.
"You're blocking my light!"

Chester

Chester
Chester & Princess Out For a Ride