Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Bit Meloncholy

I learned about the word meloncholy when I had to perform a song with the title of meloncholy in it. Tonight I feel a little sad, and don't know why. Maybe I'm a little sad that the summer is coming to an end? Or maybe I'm just a little afraid of starting all over at a new school? Or maybe all the above?

I managed to finally finish a star blanket tonight that I have been dragging my feet over for some time. This was only my 2nd star blanket,and for some reason, I had more difficulties with this is everything being as "tight" as it should have been. This star blanket was done for Tresayda, a baby of two of my students from Sandy Bay.

For those of you who don't know the relevance of a star blanket, it is the greatest gift that one can bestow upon a person. It shows a true respect and honour to whoever you're presenting it to. According to Diane Hill, who I consider one of the foremost experts in star blankets, they are sacred. Traditional to the Plains Indians; they also represented Star Knowledge. They're commonly given for ceremonies, births, weddings, and funerals.

As much as I love doing this for others, I feel I need to focus on my own now. Some time ago, I purchased all the fabric I needed to make an esquisite star blanket, that is traditional, yet not quite traditional. I think I need to focus this next one one me to balance myself out. I haven't even been able to cut the strips yet for my star blanket, and that's heavy on my heart-that I haven't been able to have the time to do it. So, now that this one is ready and going to be given tomorrow morning, next time I sit down to do a star blanket, hopefully it's my own!

Friday, August 28, 2009

All in a Day's Work (and an ode to a tree)

So despite all the drama of yesterday, I have been busy today. I'm quite proud of myself for just how much I've gotten done...maybe the stress will be relieved a bit. I think right now I'm a little out of balance, so hopefully the last 24 hours has helped me to get a bit back to normal..or whatever normal is.

I finally finished my mosaic last night. Yes! I was so scared of it for the whole project. Unlike my other mosaic pieces, this particular one was my own design (of sorts, there was inspiration) and contained only random pieces of glass (so no pre-cut and grounded bits of glass). I think it turned out rather well.

So, I'll describe it for you. The inspiration came from an Ojibway beaded jacket, dating back to the late 1800s. I've included a picture of the inspiration. What I love about Ojibway beading, especially the beading of the late 1800s and early 1900s, is the organic nature of the style of beading as well as the intricate detailing. It appears somewhat simple, but really isn't. And if you look behind the layers, it tells a story. How I intrepreted this story was that it was like a tree of life. A tree that sustained growth, beauty, and goodness.

It might sound a little silly, but I find a lot of comfort in trees. I find them peaceful and beautiful and a reflection of a community. A tree must be nurtured and cared for. In return, it does the same for you. One of my favorite things to do is listen to the wind blowing through the trees. It takes me back to a happy time in my childhood at the lake where things may not have been perfect, but in that moment, were good. I truly believe that a community or an area that has an abundance of trees is a healthier place. I wouldn't want to live in a community with little or no trees. Where I live now, there are some but there aren't enough. To me, it reflects that a lot of people don't take pride in their homes or may not be willing to make a committment to stay in an area.

When I have children, I want them to be able to run amongst the trees, rake the leaves only to jump in them, build tree houses, climb them, get stuck in them, lean against them as they read a book. As trees have meant so much to me, I want them to matter to the coming generations. I want them to remember that it's a living organism given to us by the Creator. That is should be valued and even honored.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Daily Struggles

You ever have those days where everything seems to get to you or rub you the wrong way? Yeah...that's my day today. I'm stressing about everything-from money (was waiting for a $600 cheque to be put in my bank account which I just found out now is not going in), to school (a lot to do), friendships, when to keep my yap shut, and finishing up committments.

Sometimes I wish that one could just wave a magic wand and that everything would be okay. That everything would be great. Do I have a good life? Yes, I do, and I'm not trying to take anything for granted (though we all do in some way). But I feel like I need a break. I need a vacation from my life.

When I was young, all I wanted to do was to grow up. Growing up isn't easy. There's a lot of responsibility, whether or not you want it. Sometimes, you just want to go back and freeze a moment. But the past is behind us, and all we can do is move forward. So as much as I feel discouraged today, I'm going to look to tomorrow as a brighter, newer day. Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes.

Update: my cheque from work wasn't put into my bank account, nor was a cheque i was expecting worth a hefty bit of something...I have to go collect my cheque on Monday (an hour drive away), get someone to sign it there, and then go Keeshkeemaqua to find someone to sign it there...I pray that I can get it Monday, or I could be in a bit of a bind.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things...

Ah, so summer is coming to a close...I mean that's good and bad. September is one of my favorite times simply because I love the start of the new school year. But alas, it means that I have to say goodbye to nice days out on my swing reading a book.

Got into my new classroom today...and I'm quite excited. I know that I'm lucky to have a job in our economy today-so lucky. There aren't a lot of teaching jobs out there. I'm happy where I've been placed too-I'll be working at a K-6 School that has a high native population of students-which is right up my alley. What I get that we often take for granted? Paper, school supplies, and technology! I now have a Smart Board-no longer do I need to bring my own T.V. and DVD player. It's almost like getting a pedicure. You get to reap the rewards that someone else went to the work to do. :)

Mowed the yard today too...exciting huh??? Lol...I need a man who likes to mow, 'cause I hate it. Love my yard, but hate the mowing. My mother is coming tomorrow, so I want everything to look nice, but ugh... I'd rather be weeding.

Anyhow, those are my ramblings for today. Here are a few pics of my new classroom when I got in the door, but picture it without all the junk that I brought in!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Screw Up???

So in my midst of being inspired by Alendro's Indian cooking, I thought I can try I tried a recipe from Anne Lindsay's light cookbook, a lentil and vegetable dish. I went out and got the ingredients and got all stoked. The results? Yuck, yuck, yuck...that gross...maybe the problem was that the recipe came from a white woman??? Go figure. I had planned on putting the recipe up if it was any good, and yah, no, so I'll put up another recipe, though it won't have anything to do with Indian cooking unfortunally.... :(

Mom's Banana Bread

1/2 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups flour
3 medium bananas, mashed
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Cream margarine and sugar together. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Add mashed bananas and blend.

In second bowl, stir in flour with baking soda and baking powder, and salt. Add to banana mixture, stirring only to moisten. Transfer to greased loaf pan. Bake in 350 preheated oven for 1 hour, or until knife inserted comes out clean.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Happy Cooking

So yesterday, I had the great opportunity to have an authentic cooking lesson in East Indian food. And I mean AUTHENTIC. None of this Indian food crap that I've tasted here in Manitoba-the real deal.

I went to visit my friend Michelle and her husband Alendro, who is originally from India. Michelle and I have known each other since we were probably 13 or so-so we go wayyyyyyy back. I told Michelle that if Alendro would be willing, I would make the trip out to Brandon in a heartbeat to see a real food lesson.

So, the menu? Butter chicken, Korma, Daal, and Papadom.

First of all, I love food, and consider myself quite the cook and baker. I've taught Home Ec. And I knew that food was art, but never really got to see others in their "element", and should see Alendro.

No measuring and all confidence. Don't get mad at me for saying this Michelle but I've always said that if a man can cook a meal, it's the quickest way to impress a girl...and boy, did he impress me.

So butter chicken....yummy...for those of you who don't know, it's like chicken in a cream sauce. Within the pot, there were probably about 4 onions sliced, oil, cinnamon sticks (this was a shocker to me), crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, turmeric, cumin, garlic, ginger, cream, chicken (previously cooked in a curry paste), and a few other things. It was just the most beautiful art form to see the food start from one thing of onions cooking in oil to end up in a beautiful cream sauce that emitted the most enticing smell.

Korma, is a vegetable dish in a type of sauce made with a paste of coconut milk and crushed cashews (brought back from India). This had more garlic, onions, fresh tomatoes, and spices. yummy!!!

Daal, a lentil dish, was so yummy...again, lentils, tomatoes, garlic, spices, onions, etc. So yummy. I learned that cumin breaks down the compounds that cause gas from lentils (who knew?).

Papapdom-premade tortilla like looking round lentil flats, that you fry and to me, taste like cumin...

Put it all together...

And oh my goodness, I've died and gone to heaven. The smells, the texture, the colors, the taste!

According to my mother, I stunk, but my mother is a meat and potatoes lady. My mom isn't into other types of food...I took it as a compliment...I worked hard, and I ate hard...

So now, I'm defintly ready to do a bit of my own cooking with Indian food, but I only have one recipe which I'm going to try if anybody has really good ones that they wanna share, please share!!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Another Night

In the last couple of months, I've experienced a lot. My job where I was a home ec teacher ended in a community that I loved. Leaving there was hard-not only did I have to leave an amazing position, but I was very deeply connected to my students and friends that I made there. I've done prety well with handling it, but right now I just can't help but feel the sadness in me. I promised myself that when I left, I would carry the strength of the people there with me and I have. But sometimes I can't help but reflect on what I've lost.

I made such good friends, and while I'm in touch with a lot of them through facebook and such, it's hard not seeing them on a daily basis, let alone at all. I miss these people so much-I guess on top of the sadness there is lonliness too. I mean they became a huge part of me. They helped to shape me into a more complete person, in my opinion. How I've grown in the last year due to my time at Sandy Bay. I've never been more sure of myself nor so confident. I've never felt like I fit in anywhere until there. My saying this is actually funny because my skin is as white as it comes and Sandy Bay is for those of you who may not be familiar with it, is a reserve.

As much as I want to be honest, I haven't even been able to write in my own journal about how I feel. Writing it makes everything more real. I'm not lying when I say that I've handled things pretty well because I have. But I have little moments, like right now, where things hit me. I realize that things have changed and that I must go on, which I get. But sometimes you just want to just go back in time and freeze a moment and hang on to it because it brought you so much joy and laughter. I still have the joy, but oh, I miss the laughter. I really miss the laughter.

Yes I get to go back and visit, and I will quite soon. But things have changed, people are gone, but this time, it'll just be me. No one beside me to share the trip.

They say that people come into our lives for great reasons, and maybe when they leave our lives it's because the lesson that they had to teach us is over. To one particular person, and I hope you know who you are, I have this to say to you: Thank you. Thank you for putting me first and for thinking of my needs. Thank you for caring for me so much that you chose to walk away. Thank you for allowing me to trust and open myself up. Thank you for being you and for letting me be me. You have been one of the greatest friends, one of the greatest blessings that came into my life. I'm happy for what our friendship was. Whether or not we can continue as friends (and that is yet for you to decide), I will always be there for you if you need a friend.

And to the rest of my friends, thank you. I mean it when I say that I will take the strength that you all poured on me and carry it in my heart.

Friday, August 14, 2009

In The Midst of It All...

This is not my first blog. This is my second. My first blog? It was true to my heart-a basis of my teaching on a reserve here in Manitoba. The reason for it to end? It's a long story, but a new journey is beginning, yet again.

The difference between the last blog and this one? I'm determined that this blog be more than just about teaching. I want this to be about me, as selfish as that might sound. I'm 28, fairly close to 29, and am an average woman I figure. I've loved, I've lost, and I'm still figuring out what's going to happen in my life. But then again, probably when the moment that things seem to be comfortable, is when they'll get shaken up again.

So, my point of this blog is to be honest and for it to be a continuing journey of myself. To be able to reflect and grow and remember the good and the sad times. This blog is about being true to myself.