Practicing Ojibwe with mom

My mother is half Anishinaape and half Scottish. We children are therefore one-quarter Anishinaape and one-quarter Irish and one-half Scottish, if you divided up the blood parts in us.

Mom’s first language is Ojibwe. Her mom spoke only Ojibwe and her father spoke only English but they managed to learn enough of each other’s languages to get along. We children were not taught both languages. My dad thought it would be too confusing, so we were raised in English. Mom did teach us some Ojibwe and I have always wanted to learn more. But I am too lazy and it is not easy, so I just continue on as I am with what I know.

I recently bought a little phrase book that is so cute. (I had purchased one before for my brother when we both became Status Indians under Bill C-3 a few years ago.) When I’m with my mom I always ask her how to say things. She can still remember her language perfectly. I hope that the dementia does not take that from her.

Yesterday, I took my little book over to her house with me and we spent time together laughing at me trying to read the phrases to her. It’s difficult to pronounce words correctly; you could end up saying something totally different. It was fun; I’ll do it again.

Kathy nindizhinikaaz.  My name is Kathy.

Ten Years

It has been ten years since I last saw you on this earth. Ten years. Ten minutes. It’s all too long and I still miss you. I guess that will never stop until I see you again. Some things have changed. I have managed to go on living this new existence. Your brothers are all doing good and that makes me so happy. You now have Grampa with you over there and that makes me feel better. Grampa’s death healed me a lot because even though I would have liked him to stay longer, his leaving was a more natural one. The way it is supposed to be. Yours was not natural but I can’t change that. I can try to let go of some fears and worry and pray for a natural life for your brothers. Yes, I miss you Ryan, and I will forever.

There was a time

when you were here

and we were a happy family

I know it’s true

ten years it’s been

and the ache is still there

only dulled by the clouds

it’s hidden behind

photos of you, smiling, so cute

hair sticking up every which way

and I know you were real

there was a time

when you were here

twenty-0ne years of life

we shared and more

I knew you before you were born

a lock of your hair

I can still touch, so sweet

and I know there was a time

when you were here

with me

 

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Caterpillar Invasion

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I have been trying really hard to enjoy the outdoors.  Parts of the area have been invaded by the dreaded army worms. Yucchh. They crawl all over everything and eat the leaves of trees leaving behind a naked path.  I supposed there is a purpose for them, the Creator created them for some reason. Anyway soon they will be cocooning and then turning into moths which I believe lay eggs for next year and then die? Adios, I say!

I have turned my attention to the fowl life, the birds, ducks and loons.  They’re much cuter. We have little swallows making a nest on the light fixture on our deck.  They fly in and out of the covered deck with their twigs and mud, busily working away to make a home for their family.  I think they have chosen a good spot because the seagulls can’t get to them on the light fixture. They squawk at me to move when I’m sitting outside trying to have a nice glass of wine.  I won’t move; they’ll have to get used to me. I’ve already been pooped on but they’re in my space so I’m staying.

The other day we stood on the dock and watched the loon swimming under the water as he approached and then popped up beside us.  Loon feet swimming under water look a lot like a frog. The little hummingbirds come to the feeder early in the mornings or evenings.  They are quite greedy and fight with each other.  Don’t want to aggravate those birds.

This morning, I took Maggie for a walk before it got too hot outside.  We walked down to one boat launch area where she went for her swim and then over to another boat launch for another swim.  I was holding her leash while she swam around for awhile and then heard a voice behind me say, “Now, that’s the way to do it.” I turned around to see Santa Claus sitting in a lawn chair. Seriously, I don’t know where he came from.  He had a Southern accent. Even Santa is a tourist of our lovely little town!

The Cedar Canoe is still waiting for me to paddle it away. It has been taken out on the water already by my son and his girlfriend, but my time is coming.

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My Small Town, Red Lake, Ontario, Canada

I love my town. Yes, it has its frustrations, such as limited shopping, out-of-town medical trips, having to leave home for education, everyone knows everyone’s business and those who love to gossip. But, it has many more advantages than disadvantages!

It is beautiful!  During the summer, the lake is full of fish, the forest is full of animals, the sky is full of birds. There is a provincial park just down the road. It feels like I live in a park! I don’t have to go too far to be alone, sit on a rock, sit under a tree, sit by the water or sit in a field of daisies. I don’t have to go too far to swim in clean, clear water. It is heaven for boaters, kayakers, canoeists, wake boarders, bikers, joggers, four-wheelers and float planes.

During the winter, the lake is a frozen playground for snowmobilers, ice fishermen, skiers, snowshoers, and a short-cut winter road. I love to walk my dog on the frozen lake! There are trails in the forest to explore, hills to slide down and Christmas trees everywhere.

Everyone says hello, (even the Judge and your family doctor) and takes the time to stop and talk with each other. When someone is going through a difficult situation, there is support and caring and generosity. Red Lakers raise tonnes of money for charities.

Possibly our somewhat isolated location, breeds talent, because we have a lot of talented people: writers, singers, artists, musicians, athletes, a world-famous figure skater  and a Red Bull sponsored pilot.

Okay, enough bragging. You get it.  I love my town.  Sometimes I complain and plan to move away. But then who doesn’t? I am content right now. Focus on the beauty and the beautiful people. I think I’ll go outside and watch the airplanes land on the Bay.

Sun Rise

Sun Rise

loons and planes

loons and planes

My street

My street

A double rainbow

A double rainbow

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I need some fun

Yes,it is a lot.  Life is a lot. And sometimes it feels like too much.  But hey, that is life.  That is the way it is.  If you have goals and a plan for your future, that is the way to get on with things..  People have asked me how I go on in the way I do.  I don’t know, I just do.  And the one thing that helps me, is that I am so lucky to live in this beautiful part of Ontario where I get to meet nature each day.  Nature brings me back to reality.  Because it is real!!!  It wasn’t made by humans!  Who made it????  Yeah, it is real.

So today, we went to a town that is twice our size and about two and a half hours from here.  We went just to go and pick up some things at that would be cheaper and mainly just to get away. I have to say that driving down our highway 105 is like driving through a park.  We have had a lot of rain which had caused havoc, flooding the highway but also has caused the greenest trees that I have seen.  Well except for the parts that the Forest Tent Caterpillars have eaten… yesss they are here this year in the North!

Just getting away for a day was good because I appreciate coming home, and also the shrub that we were able to get on sale that will be planted in our yard.

I love Red Lake and look forward to the summer ahead..

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The last time I went down this highway, I was blind!!!

 

The book launch that never was

The old eyeball is getting better, so I thought I’d better update everyone on the book, “This Land, These Waters”.  I’m very proud and happy with this book.  It has taken me about four years to complete because it involved a lot of hours of conversations with my mom.  The book tells the story of how my family on my mom’s side came to live in Red Lake, Ontario, Canada, my little home town.

I have told it through stories and poetry as is my way and I think it will be interesting  to everyone and maybe even a little bit inspiring.  My family is culturally diverse and diverse in many other ways.  This is good for writing material. We have had a lot of tragedy and triumph.  My mother is the last of her immediate family who is living.  She had six brothers and was the only girl.

The book launch was scheduled for June 7th, but because my eyeball quit working on me and I had to leave town to see a specialist, it was cancelled.  It was also to be a little family reunion because writing the book has helped to reunite some of us, even if it’s just through facebook.  So I am working on a book signing day for the following week.

This is the story of the Cameron family.  You can find it as an e-book and it is sold on Amazon or through me.  I’ll share some pics with you here.

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My grandmother and mother

My grandmother and mother

 

dad with my uncles

dad with my uncles

Uncle Tommy

Uncle Tommy

 

My grandfather

My grandfather

Good-bye Summer, sob,sob

No, it’s not an ending, it’s a beginning, yes, I know.  It’s the beginning of a new season and a new school year.  Andy and Ben will turn 18 on the 4th!  That is the highlight of the month for me.  After that September is the rotten month, my sister’s 9 year anniversary of her passing on the 10th and then Ryan’s 7th year anniversary of his death on the 21st.

However, I must look back on the summer of 2013. It was great to have all of the boys home for the summer and we were able to spend some time together. William is now off across the country and starting a new beginning as well. Even though I am feeling lonely, I wish him lots of fun and adventure.

Will and our friend Ryan

Will and our friend Ryan

Ben and friends John & Ryan

Ben and friends John & Ryan

Andy and I went once

Andy and I went once

I pulled Andy through the shallow part

I pulled Andy through the shallow part

The dog days of summer

The dog days of summer

The loon family raised a baby

The loon family raised a baby

loons and planes

loons and planes

A beautiful moose

A beautiful moose

Sammy the snake enjoying the sun

Sammy the snake enjoying the sun

Dad tried fishing

Dad tried fishing

Mom turned 81

Mom turned 81

Road trip to Shebandowan

Road trip to Shebandowan

At Dave's cottage

At Dave’s cottage

Red Lake's Pow Wow

Red Lake’s Pow Wow

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Ralph, Wendy and Ethan made chile and margaritas for the fireworks party!

Waiting for fireworks

Waiting for fireworks

Canada Day swimming

Canada Day swimming

Girls' night out

Girls’ night out

Cheers to summer

Cheers to summer

The fair came to town

The fair came to town

We watched the Walleye Falls Classic tournament from our deck

We watched the Walleye Fall Classic tournament from our deck

Rick worked on dock from under the water

Rick worked on dock from under the water

Will, Andy, Ben (Ryan is there too, in spirit)

Will, Andy, Ben (Ryan is there too, in spirit)

All in all, a good summer….ahhhh.

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Fun  with friends and family.  You can check out more at  https://momhealing.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1096&action=edit

Some other interesting videos about this area can be found at these you tube sites…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFXPDDe1DxM   CBC on Red Lake Gold Rush, Derek Yutzy site.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lr1qf6K9S88  A Norseman airplane flying, by Harriet Carlson

You Raise Me Up

Another milestone for me.  My oldest baby, William, will be 20 on Tuesday.  He is leaving his teens and entering adulthood, although, really, he did that the day Ryan died.  I am very proud of him and all of his efforts.  He is finding out that he takes after me in a lot of ways;we’re both goal oriented and can’t sit still too long.  Business keeps your mind from thinking too much so we always have a project on the go.   I’m sharing a song that is for William but I know he doesn’t read my blog so he won’t be embarrassed by it.  He’ll just be embarrassed by all of the baby pictures I put on Facebook on his actual birthday!  Gotta have some fun.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hX50cyaXVOA

 

Out of the Darkness

Out of the darkness

where shame and secrets hide

guilt makes its way like a snake

slithering and then strangling

hidden in the dark

the fear to be discovered

the pain that always threatens

to break you into pieces

and leave you alone

a pile of broken pieces

to come into the light

so blinding and exposing

bringing tears uncontrolled

they fall silently like glue

to slowy paste the pieces

one by one

one at a time

 

Our community will hold our second Out of the Darkness Memorial Walk at the end of May to bring awareness to suicide.  I will be attending the walk in Thunder Bay as well on May 6th. This is a pic of last year’s walk in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

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I Will Survive

The energy and excitement in the room was like being at a rock concert, waiting for your favourite rock star to come on stage (for me it would be Cher).   We were told that we would be having a surprise guest come and speak to us after lunch.  We then saw the Secret Servicemen stationing themselves in the room and the doors were all locked.  Could it be he, himself?  My heart was beating fast and furious, and then we saw him.  We jumped to our feet and screamed like school girls.  Bill Clinton, himself, appeared and took the stage.  Okay so it wasn’t Barack, but the next best thing?  He was in the hotel speaking at an energy summit and agreed to come over and talk to us, 1600 women from around the world dedicated to ending violence against women.

The conference was the most exciting I have ever attended and left me wanting more, more, more.  I met women from Africa, Georgia, Istanbul, Armenia, Australia, and many other far off places.  Many of those places have no shelters for abused women and in many places women are still property of their husbands.  It was a very humbling experience.

On the final night of the conference, Gloria Gaynor sang “I Will Survive”.  Can you imagine 1600 women from all races, cultures, religion, orientation and colour dancing and singing I Will Survive? Unbelievable.

I will probably talk about the conference in Washington DC a bit more in the future as it was another life changing event for me that has motivated me to go on in my work and my causes.  I’m really looking forward to the Out of the Darkness Walk for suicide awareness in May in Thunder Bay and also to our walk here in Red Lake.

The next International Conference of Women’s Shelters will be held in four years time, during the next leap year.  It has not been decided where it will be held but it gives us some time to fund raise because it is worth it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkStru-JNfk&list=FLoK1WnenNkyimF3a1j7T14Q&index=1&feature=plpp_video