Sunday, September 30, 2012

More from Treaty 4

During the grand entry, the girls noticed a classmate or two and as we were leaving, there was a classmate and a girl we had met at the neighborhood park.  We asked them if they would show us how they danced and if we could get their pictures.  It was one of those precious moments as we watched them get their regalia on and demonstrate.

The girls would have liked to stay all day and night to watch the dancing and competitions, but the boys were wanting to go home and play Star Wars- go figure! ;)

The next week were the educational sessions.  Dominique's class didn't go this year, but Ivan's did and Emora and I snuck in too.

Of course, she loved the eating stations a lot and who wouldn't!  She had bannock that I cooked on the fire for her and then it was lathered in cranberry jelly/syrop- she didn't share any with me.  We saw a lady cutting up meet to dry.  We both got a piece of fried bannock- because I begged me some to ;)  There were other food tasting teepees, but we didn't get to them.  We went to one about teepee teachings, another about clothing and their significance, one on peace, another was a coloring station, a game with following directions and watching the dances.  The final dance is the round dance when they invite everyone to join in-- a dance prayer for peace and unity.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Treaty Four parade and grand entry

The kids caught on pretty quick after their first Fort Qu'Appelle parade- candy is thrown out to the kids.  So since that first time when they walked back with their loot in clutched hands, they now come prepared with bags and in Dominique's case a matching hat.

During the educational sessions- that Emora and I took in, we found out lots about First Nations culture.  This hat was the buffalo hat.  A child would be brought up from a young age to learn all about the buffalo and when he got older, he would be the buffalo expert- where to find them, how to use the parts, which ones to hunt, how many were needed...  He was consulted or would direct the tribe in their affairs concerning the buffalo.

We found a few people we knew ;)

Ivan loves his one boy cousin in town!

During the grand entry- everyone stands and the flags and veterans come in, so do other officials and all the dancers.

I love how it is intergenerational and little little children were out dancing with their kocums (grandmothers).

For years we had visited our cousins in Medicine Hat, Alberta.  Now I actually know what one is!  This dancer is wearing a medicine hat.  For every cure he had learned, he would earn a feather.  So if he knew how to cure a tooth ache- he got a feather, if he knew how to set a leg, he got another feather...

So beautiful.

The girls watching the women go past us.

These two little girls were holding hands as they danced behind the big guys.

People came in from all over- lots and lots from Manitoba.  There were campers and tents all over the field as people spent the weekend.  They also had about 20 teepees set up- most of which were used to share teachings as school children came out and visited.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

canoe outing

I was anxious to get out onto the lake or in a lake or a pool, whatever I could find first, so I was able to convince Mike to let us take the canoe out.  Ivan has been desperate to fish all summer, so he came along and Arwen didn't want to miss out either.  We canoed to a beach, but by the time we got there (we were doing a slow paddle over) the sun was nearly down.  So Mike SOS called his wife (my cousin Sheena) who came and rescued us so that we weren't paddling back home in the dark!

While we waited for Sheena to find us, the kids paddled a little.

Mike was holding on to them with a long cord, which at first I thought was for safety- however, the fact that Mike was holding it may not have been the safest of choices!!  They kept rowing out and he would yank on the cord, which sent them flying a bit and laughing a lot.  It was pretty fun.  I'm dreaming of a kayak so I can get out there as needed without finding others to help navigate.

Emora got to have one of her best friends over- Nick.  She likes to tell the big kids that Nick is her boyfriend because it sends them into hysterics as they tell her she is not old enough for a boyfriend and then she laughs and laughs at them. 

Dominique is loving her dance class and Ivan is taking guitar lessons with a teacher that Brian really likes out in Lemberg (about a 30 min. drive).  It's nice for the guys to get to have some time together.  They are going to Ivan's first concert this weekend too- apart from the one we went to last night- done by his guitar teacher.

One of my goals this week is to get out and take some pics of the trees and hills, to hike up a trail and take in all the colors.  One of my absolute favorite things here is to see the hills transform- they are wonderful.  They are the same shapes, to the point where I recognize the horizon at the nearest beach, and yet, depending on the light, the time of day, the time of year, if there is fog or not, the geese, the clouds, frost or not, they are constantly changing in appearance- like they are speaking or alive.  I'm so glad we can see a little patch from our front window.  At times, we can spot some horses out there too.

My other absolute favorite things here are to swim in the summer.  I wish I could summon up the courage to swim in spring and fall, but I'm a bit terrified of being cold.  The other day when we canoed though, I put my foot in and it was quite warm!  And I love seeing live wild animals here.  It doesn't happen often, but when it does in quite makes my day.

We pulled up our garden after it had gotten a touch of frost (oops).  There are a few carrots out there yet.  We heard that a frost will actually make them sweeter.  It felt amazing to be out in the crunchy leaves harvesting buckets and buckets of awesome smelling and wonderful tasting tomatoes.  I know I'll appreciate them all over again as I pull them out through the winter.  I need to write down things we will do the same or different for next year's garden.  We are such newbies, but we still got lots of produce and even some okra!  Our ode to Big Buddy.  I fried it up and thought of how we used to fry up catfish too.  I think if we'd had friend catfish that night, it would have made me cry.  It was so weird how the taste and smell of even the okra made us remember Texas, our lives and friends there.  Treasures to keep in our hearts always.

Monday, September 17, 2012

neighborhood fun

I should be posting about Treaty 4, the parade, pow wow and celebrations, but that would mean getting the photos off my camera and I haven't done that yet, so you get to see these ones instead.

Amber and her sweet girls and her hubby Greg, live a street over, so we often end up walking home together, along with this crew...

Teagan, Tory, Lucas and their 2 older brothers moved onto our street over the summer.  The kids love to hang with them.  They are from "the Buff" as Lucas calls it.  He said he was hanging out at the Buff all summer and I had no clue what he meant- so I said "what???" and he said at Standing Buffalo- where a lot of his family is.  I was glad I'd asked.

Amber is a perpetual knitter and so as we visited, she knitted.  Before we knew it, my cat had mauled her creation, then the kids got curious, so she gave a demonstration, then handed over her needles and yarn to Dominique as a gift!

Of course the minute Amber left, Dominique couldn't remember how to do it and was looking to me who has absolutely no idea- thankfully we are surrounded by knitters and the cousins have come along with some tutelage.  The other night, Dominique sat at the dining table knitting.  I was looking closely and what she came out with looks somewhat like knitting.  She seemed to be doing the motions I've observed before.  It's weird to see her picking up something (that I have no talent whatsoever in- no less), due to other's kindness and sharing.  I know this is only the beginning.  Ah the places my kids will go ;)  I love it when people can come together to enrich a life with all our little nuances.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

School starting/ and birthday party

Ah- the Koops' back yard.  I guess a part of me will always think of it as home in a way since we lived there on and off all summer and since they are so easy going about sharing their space and possessions with us.  I have been known to borrow a bike, or canoe or child on occasion ;)

At some point, the kids engaged in some adult inspired water war.  Sheena was freaking a bit at the kids for bringing out a water war and they explained that one of the adults had started it.  Didn't take long for Mike to join in too.  The kids were wet, but oh so happy and there was a fire to warm up with.

Emora didn't get into the water war.  She was cold already and borrowed my jacket.  Wow- would you believe that some day this could be a jacket on her and not a full length gown.

This one is a bit of a mystery to me.  Sometimes she can be all talk, but not in big settings.  She gets super quiet around a bunch of people and it'll shock me all over again because I'm so used to the lively little lady.

It was our usual fare of folks... Koops', Muirheads and a flurry of stragglers.

We were celebrating Arwen's birthday very belatedly.  She has an August birthday, which can be a bit tricky since everyone or most of everyone and specifically SHE was gone around that time.  I think she was at camp then or thereabouts anyways.

Sheena has an intern this semester who joined us.  Dominique- the rich one in the family wanted to buy something for her cousin with her own money.  She's also been buying an awful lot of chocolate covered almonds that we are supposed to be selling as a ballet fundraiser.

hanging by the fire.

cousins rock!

Ivan especially LOVES his cousins.  He has a harder time making friends than Dominique, although she's had a bit of a rough start to grade 1, I think she was missing her friends from last year, who are all in the other class.  So, it REALLY helps to have the cousins who love us no matter how weird we are!  I've said before that we wouldn't have made it here without these families... they've meant a lot to us with the move here and trying to find our place in life here in Fort Qu'Appelle.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

2012 Garden

It's been a super dry August.  I put water on the garden last week, but haven't looked at it this week.  Brian said that he's noticing that people have their gardens all pulled up.

It is getting cold at night.  I'm not sure when we need to bring in the herbs and get the rest pulled.  I still have some beets in there, lots of tomatoes- I'm sure more squash, cucumbers and zucchini.  We pulled the lettuce that was going to seed.  There are still some carrots in there and LOOK!

Big Buddy's okra!  They aren't as big as they were in Texas (everything is big in Texas), but we do have some okra in the fridge and some on the plants.

I really do need to go check on them, but I got a bit of a flu bug or something, so I was laying low this week.

Oh, yeah, we could have some green peppers in there too!  It's been so nice to not have to be running to the city for veggies.  I'll have to do more carrots next year and cucumbers.

We've had lots of fluttery things in the area.  This one just wanted to lay in the sunshine and didn't bat an eye as I took his picture.

It's a bit of a jungle mess.

I've been surprised at how much we have liked the green beans, since they have never been a household favorite.  But the kids love them raw and they are amazing to me cooked too.

Monday, September 10, 2012

School start

The kids keep asking for more pets, but we are at our family limit.  One dog, one cat and our fish.  I did discover that fish are happier with plants.  Before we had the plants and little caves, when I turned on the light, they went totally crazy.  Now, they go to their little safe place and don't act so traumatized.  Of course with the addition of caves, we now have babies.  Thankfully some of them disappeared.  We used to have about 20 baby fish, and now we are consistently finding 4.  I'm guessing I will take fish to the fish store as they multiply?  Not sure what to do about over population issues.

We were excited to get to see a lot of same age friends right before school kicked off.  They all had a play date at a beach that we hadn't visited in a couple of years- as it was a heavily flooded beach.  It was perfect this day though and the kids were so happy to see each other again.

I finally did something to our front door.  When we moved in, it had had panels on it that were removed, leaving holes in the door that looked like bullet holes.  There were probably about 16 holes all over the door and a metal plate saying "no smoking" pasted to the door to.  We took off the metal plate and I had filled the holes with plaster, but you could still see the ugly dents.  Then on pinterest I saw the door below and was inspired to create a similar pattern.  I haven't worked with drywall plaster a whole lot, so it was a bit of a challenge, but I like it for all the textures it makes.  It's forgiving in that I didn't want a solid flat feel to it, so I left in a lot of the scrapes and bumps.  I also added our little circles.  I was going to start with 5 for the people in our home, but ended up with 8 because that looked better.  Ivan decided that the extra 3 were for our pets- dog, cat and fish.  Then the kids picked out which dot they were!

A couple of new families moved in on our street over the last few weeks.  Tory and Teagan live 2 houses down from us with 3 brothers, their mom, grandpa and dad when he comes to town (he's a trucker).  Tory, Teagan and Lucas are the younger trio and love to hang out with our kids.  Teagan is 12 and is so good with the kids playing with them in the field and giving them piggy back rides.  We have found each other on the walk home from school several times this week and it's fun to hear about their day and how they are adjusting to their new school and year here in the Fort.

Ivan and Dominique are off to a good start this year.  So far they are really enjoying it although Dominique has some boy troubles already (a boy who "likes" her).  So we've been talking lots about how to be assertive and to voice her feelings.  She also had some drama about clothes, so I'm really hoping we can work through that.  Ivan and Dominique both get emotionally attached to their old clothes (they probably get that from me) and don't like to wear their new things, but they have grown and really don't fit into their old things.  I guess we could have started getting them used to the next sized clothes in the summer, but the weather only just now started to cool down some.

Hope you are having a great week!
Did you have a back to school routine when you were a kid and what was it?