Posts Tagged ‘Indians’

The Dangers of Popcorn

October 29, 2011

Most families have stories that have been told over and over and over… until extinction is unthinkable.  One such story in our house is retold almost every single time someone makes popcorn with the hot air popper.  Yes, we still have a hot air popper, remember those?  I bought it in 1985 when I was heading off to college…. an obvious necessity.

Fast forward to 1987, the year we were wed, in our first apartment in Langley, BC.  The hot air popcorn device had indeed arrived back in Canada with us as a married couple.  Unbeknownst to me the horror that would follow, I pulled the shiny yellow dream appliance from the cupboard and proceeded to pop some corn kernels for my Indian husband…. in memory of his people who introduced us white folks to this delicacy. (That’s not really why… we just love buttery popcorn.)

As per usual, I placed the huge metal bowl under the popper’s spout, poured in the kernels and slid the button to ON.  All was going well until one stray unpopped kernel flew out of the popper, shot down one side of the slippery bowl and out the other.  The kernel reminds me of the song “On top of Spaghetti” with the meatball that goes on a journey.  The tiny golden corn kernel bounced off the kitchen counter and down toward the floor.  Little did I know the pain and agony that was coming.  You see, I was barefoot.  Somehow beyond reason, the little fiery hot kernel landed between my baby toe and the next toe over and lodged itself there for all eternity, sizzling into my skin.  If you have ever burnt the tender skin between your last two toes, you probably have memory tears in your eyes at this moment.  I screamed.  I dropped to the floor.  I cried.  I pried my little toes apart.  I dislodged the burning morsel.  This all happened in a nanosecond, but the results were excrutiating.  The screaming, dropping, crying rapidly brought my husband to the kitchen…. he probably assumed I had chopped off a limb.  But no.  Burned my toes making popcorn.  Ice was applied and tenderly the toes were put up to rest.

Every time the exact same popper is brought down from the pantry shelf, as it was last night, one of my children will mimic me in mocking tones, “Do you want to hear about when I burned my toes making popcorn?”

The moral of the story is:  If the shoe fits, wear it (especially while making popcorn!)


March 15, 2010

As previously mentioned, I’m working on a high school Arizona History curriculum, you know, in my free time.  Yeah, I’m a nerd.  But if you’ve been around My Sister’s Jar for any amount of time, you know that already.  History books make me salivate.  And old family photos, be still my heritage-loving heart.  Currently I’ve been reading about the pioneer folks who settled AZ… these were people with moxie, hardihood, pluck and mettle.  People of great strength and hardy stock.  Wow.  I read the stories of rivers flooding, houses burning, Indian attacks, unending water hauling and I realize it was an extremely difficult life… then I remember air conditioning wasn’t invented yet, adding another level of intrepidity.  Wow.

Above is a glimpse into my heritage… my Great-great Grandparents and their daughters.  GG Grandpa Bethel crossed the plains and settled in Oregon.  I know I’m partial to these attractive folks, but they seem a bit smarter than those who settled Arizona.  It’s relatively comfortable in Oregon in the summer!  Yes, it rains a lot, but then you don’t have to haul as much water and your vegetables grow into mammoth blue-ribbon-winning beauties.  And yes, there were Indians, but not the Apaches!  Mercy, they were a tough lot.

This picture isn’t dated, but my guess is 1890-something.  Both the daughters were married by 1901.  I’ve foolishly thought that I would have faired well in those times.  The more I read, I’m not so sure.  I love the outdoors, gardening and baking, sewing, being ingenuitive….. but not for survival purposes.  More like for a hobby.

Anyway, I’ll be reading AZ history books for the next nine months, so I’m sure you’ll get more thrilling information that you can pass on to others who don’t really care either.

The Buffalo Chip in Cave Creek, AZ

August 29, 2009

Bull riding in cave creek by gt2697.

Well, ya never what might happen when it’s a girls night out in Phoenix.  Last time me and my peeps went out, we sat in a Mexican restaurant and talked for hours.  That’s it.  Just talked.  The girls were helping me with the end of my marriage book by feeding me real-life stories from their own marriages to get my memory working.  It’s been months since Donna, Missy, Patty and I have been out together…. until last night. 

Again, we ate Mexican as El Encanto (Uno, not Dos) and then Donna, the entertainment director of the bunch, took us to the Buffalo Chip for some bull riding festivities.  It was hilarious… I think we were the only four not drinking beer and still having a great time.  We sucked in the dust.  We sang at the top of our lungs, “I’ve got friends in low places.”  We cheered for the golden boy named Pretty Boy, even though he needed some anger management classes.  We shook the bugs out of our shirts and bras.  (Seems that we sat right under the light from where the bugs start their dive-bombs.)

They have a live video camera in the bull chute so we could watch the cowboys (and Indians) tighten their ropes and get ready to ride.  My personal favorite was a guy named Bubba who has a small hole in his Wranglers in an extremely precarious location.  Adding to this dilemma, he was on an ornery bull that kept squatting down in the shoot and Bubba had to do lots of kicking and pushing to get the bull up and ready to rock and roll.  Sad part was, the camera was perfectly positioned to document aforementioned Wrangler hole as it continued to expand.  The G-rated bull riding activity was quickly progressing through PG and PG-13 until my eyes were closed.

In the photo above, you’ll notice the announcer’s shack on the right.  Well, Mr Bo-Jangles was having a humdinger time announcing until all of a sudden his shack went black and his mic went silent.  We could hear him yelling “The plug!  The plug!”  Yes, his entire announcing shack’s electrical was run by an orange extension cord around the bull pen to a plug on a light pole.  Someone stepped on it twice while we were there.  So rinky-dinky, it made me laugh.

Anyway, a great time was had by all.  And the Indian was the current winner when we left after round two.  Round three didn’t start until 10:45 and we were officially done at 10:15.  Thanks, Girls!

American Graffiti

June 29, 2008

Please refer to yesterday’s post to see the circumstances that brought on American Graffiti.  When we left our homestead to attend my husband’s naturalization ceremony, our home was far less patriotic than this:

Our driveway was clean… well, in a used-oil-stained-driveway sort of way…..

Not an exact replica” ??????  Try YOU’RE MISSING THE BOTTOM HALF OF THE FLAG!

Now I realize that to people in Canada the word Indian means people from India.  Well, this is referring to Native North American First Nations Feather-Wearing Bow-and-Arrow-Shooting Indians…. who were here FIRST.  And the 6 out of 7 was Rick’s score on his patriot test.  He obviously folded under the duress of the interview because the one question he missed was an easy one.  No need to mention it here.  But feel free to call him and ask him directly what the stripes on the flag represent.  His recall on this subject has dramatically improved since the said interview.

This is hard to read, but conveniently for the American Graffiti vandals, our garage door has the exact number of squares to spell both American and Maverick….   Speaking of Maverick, if you’re going to change your name… pick a cool name, like Maverick. Just a thought.

Now I think glittery confetti is cute in small amounts that unsuspectingly fall out of a greeting card…. but three gallons of red, white and blue stars, circles and flags…. ON THE FRONT PORCH.. tracks through the house worse than a fly sticking to flypaper.  We are leaving it for the Fourth of July, however.  Very decorative.

This is another decorative touch that goes unnoticed by the untrained yard graffiti eye.  There are 100 toothpick American flags in the tasteful desert landscape leading to the house.  The ground squirrels are sure to think something is strange in their territory.

The criminals returned to the scene of the crime offering an American berried-whip-cream-pound cake wonder of a cake as pittance for the crimes.  This is Andy and Jill‘s second appearance in my blog, this time minus the taped-shut eyes, wrist brace, bandaids and tensor bandages.  That visit was in honor of Rick as well as this one.  What dear friends.


It’s OVER! It’s Happy Dance Time!

June 8, 2008

Saturday night was our homeschool Pow Wow to complete our unit on Native Americans.  It was the FINAL day of schooling and I’m much relieved.  We played Indian games, shot targets with a bow and arrow, ate Indian food (salmon, hominy, jerky, blue corn chips, etc.), read the Native News written by our children and listened to our docent’s depictions of various Woodland, Northwest and Southwest Indians cultures. Three families were involved and we gathered another convert at the Pow Wow. 

As of this minute, I have 2 1/2 months of freedom.  It’s a great feeling of accomplishment to have finished yet another year… and still have living children to prove that you didn’t kill them.  :o) 

Newsworthy Information

June 1, 2008

Despite my terribly busy day (2 b-day parties, post office, grocery store, book store, Walmart, cooking 2 lasagnas, hemming and strapping the grad formal… whew) I sat down to eat lunch and decided to have a stab at the AZ Republic… our newspaper.  I get the paper during the week only because it was cheaper that way for my three Sunday papers for Coupon $ense.  So usually I don’t read them.  But today I must have been feeling intellectually stagnant and opened the wealth of verbiage.  It was a substantial news day, unlike most “shot cat” and “drug ring” and “road closed” type days. 

Substantial News Story #1:  There has been an uncontacted tribe of Indians with huts, spears and not much clothing discovered in the Amazon on the Peru/Brazil border.  Story and pictures:  And they paint themselves different colors.  Cool!  This amazes me, that we haven’t found everybody yet.  With the heat-sensitive apparatus available that can find a fugitive hiding in a dog house… FROM a helicopter… why haven’t we found all the people groups yet?  I read with interest and thought of Nate Saint and the End of the Spear movie.  The article stated that contact wouldn’t be made due to flying spears when planes neared and because our germs would wipe them all out.  It neglected to mention that they need Jesus too.

Substantial News Story #2: (OK, not nearly as substantial as #1) There is a blog called where you can post pictures from a digital camera or card that you find.  OR if you misplace yours, you can pray that the finder knows about the blog and posts a few of your precious lost pictures so you can again have them securely in your obviously slippery hand.  The success stories are also listed, and they circle the globe… guy#1 from Kentucky loses his camera in Florida… guy #2 picks it up and takes it home to the Netherlands… guy #3, a friend of guy #1, lives in Australia and recognizes guy #1 on the blog and VOILA! The Florida pictures make it home to Kentucky.  See, there are good people left on Earth.


Homeschool Humor

May 6, 2008

We are currently studying Native American Indians.  Today I was reading to the kids about the southwest Indians and their dependence on and ability to raise so many varieties of corn in this harsh landscape.  I had them dig through the pantry, fridge and cupboard to find all the food that includes corn.  It’s practically everything.  They each had to make something for lunch that included corn.  We had tortilla soup, hot dogs and corn chips.  Then I asked them what hominy is.  We are not from the south…. obviously.  Here are their profound answers:

“It’s when there are two people singing different notes that go together in a song.”   :o)    OK, that’s Harmony.  Close, but no prize for you.

“It’s the land where Puff the Magic Dragon lived.”   :o)   OK, that’s Honah Lee.  Close, but no prize for you.

And my favorite answer, with a twisted brow of confusion, “How many WHAT?”

Guess what we’re having for dinner?????