- My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
I'll admit it, I'm in a funk. It has rained and rained, and then rained some more. And its downright chilly for July. It's definitely a pj's and grubby robe kind of night. But its not the weather that is bugging me. Frankly, I'm not sure what's bugging me, but whatever it is, its getting the better of me. At a time when I should feel fulfilled and blessed and happy, I'm disgruntled, discontent and depressed. At a time when I should be busy getting ready for a day of music and Harley's, I'd much prefer to crawl onto the couch with a big cozy quilt and watch garbage TV.
Part of this attitude is due to people. People are difficult to work with. People tend to put themselves first regardless of whether its all about them or not. People don't return calls. People assume the worst about you without bothering to check it out. People are rude. People are, well, people.
Part of it is just "stuff" too. Stuff that wears me out. I came home from the Rez to find my house trashed by a dog that went into a full blown doggie panic attack, a son that enlisted in the Army in a highly deployable position. We've had 3 bands drop out of Rezonate. The guy in charge of getting food vendors for REZonate tells me that we only have 2 - none of the others are returning phone calls. Thank God for Papa Johns Pizza who is not only on board, but have paid their fees and are even putting fliers on all their pizza boxes for us. Makes me want to order a pizza just to support them. Oh, and the contact person at the venue we are having Rezonate at is on leave with no return date.
So I'm trying to book some bands. And I've got to tell ya, I'm really tired of people who think they are God's gift to the world because they have a guitar and can sing. I run into that a lot. Way too much really. There can't be that many "stars" out there that I've never even heard of.
So much for bands. Today I'm trying to buy some school supplies today ... and its not working out so well. My Jeep is not running which slows things down big time. While its being fixed I thought I shop online to see if I can find any good deals. And I ran into a snag there too. Seems that a big name office supply store wants me to fax them a tax ID certificate before they'll take off the tax. My tax ID number isn't good enough all by itself. Nope, they want me to fax them what amounts to a blank form that I write my tax ID number on. Make sense? Not to me. Just more red tape. Just more aggravation. Just more for me to fiddle with because I'm not willing to pay $25 tax. That would buy a lot of folders or notebooks. Nope, I'll jump through the hoops and maybe I'll even find a better deal somewhere else in the meantime.All of that is do-able. Its really just par for the course. Things like that happen anytime you attempt to do anything. I'm not really worried about it because I've been around long enough to know it'll all work out. Its just that I'm tired and I really don't want to do any of it.
OK, I should probably end this on a better note because reading over it I make myself sick. So on a good note, I'm enjoying learning some photography. I'm not good at it, but I'm having fun learning and it was kinda cool yesterday when I went in to pick up some prints I ordered, gave them my name and they said, "OH, the really pretty pictures! We were all talking about them this morning." OK, that was nice.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Anyway, on to the point of this post ... Facebook is a wonderful thing. Since I've been home from the Rez I've found or been found by several of the people I went to grade school with in Petersburg, IN. Its been great finding them and seeing what they're up to. Problem is, I'm swamped with stuff to do, and I'm getting swamped with messages from my old friends and well ... I've lost track of who I owe a message to. If you're one of those people you should know 2 things, first, I'm sorry, and second, my life will not be this wacky after August is over. Right now I'm recouping from taking a group of people to the Pine Ridge Reservation where we built an addition on to an elderly lady's home and fed 150 kids every day, and gave out 550 backpacks full of school supplies to the children in 3 villages. So, I'm kinda tired and have lots of paperwork to catch up on. AND I'm also gearing up for REZonate Music Fest and Charity Bike Ride which is our big fundraiser each year and I get the honors of being the coordinator for that. So yeah, life is crazy right now. In fact I'm looking at 56 emails in my inbox right now that need some sort of response.
But I DO want to catch up with y'all as soon as possible. My parents are on their way to Pike County right now. Marv Bird passed away and they'll be back for his funeral. I will always remember Marv as a kind, gentle, easy going man with a big smile who owned the Shell station in Monroe City. I know he'll be missed because he was such a great guy.
Well, its back to work for me.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Well ... either the Walgreens web site or my computer didn't want to cooperate. I FINALLY got them uploaded and ordered and jumped in the Jeep to finish my errands only to have my Jeep die ... again.
SO, back home thinking that since I'm stuck here maybe I can run the vacuum. Wrong. The bag is full and I am out of new ones and I can't go get new ones because the Jeep isn't working.
SO, I can work on the video for Sunday right?? Well, maybe. The software keeps crashing. A certain adorable video clip just doesn't want to work for me. Don't know if its the software, the video clip or my computer but something isn't working right.
SO I'm thinking I should call it a day and go read or play with the dogs. Doesn't seem like I'm going to get much else done today.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sigh ... I want to go back.
This morning I have managed to:
- get all of the sponsor logos sent to the person who is getting the banners done for us.
- do a radio interview
- update web sites
- and try to book a new band for REZonate
- contact the local newspaper to submit photos of our group giving out backpacks
What I've not gotten finished is:
Yeah, I'm still in my pj's ... if these people I talk to ever knew what I looked like when I talked to them .... oh my ....
Sunday, July 26, 2009
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.
© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I'm still not back to "normal" yet either. My routine is still a mess and I'm dreaming about the Rez. Last night I dreamed I was here at home but went out shopping and found another pink hammer. The pink hammer came in handy for helping put siding on Melda's house and our macho guy Jeff even used it a time or two. I'll be posting more in the next day or so ... I hope.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
And then sometimes I believe God just steps in and makes a divine connection. That happened this year when a lady from the Reservation contacted me via email asking what she needed to do to get backpacks for the children in her community. She needed 350 for the children and youth in the Calico community.
Finding Calico proved to be an adventure in and of itself. After getting lost a few times we finally discovered a small police station and received a tribal police escort to Calico by Officer Afraid of Bears.
Once we got there it became very clear that this was the lady we were meant to see. Below is an amazing video interview she gave us.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I say it was the best trip yet because it seems to me that the relationships we have begun with the people on the Reservation just continue to grow. Some evidence of that is that Melda and her family presented our group with a star quilt. That is significant because in the old days the Lakota people gave a buffalo robe to people they chose to honor. Now that the buffalo are all gone, the star quilt has taken it's place. It is a very high honor for the Lakota to give a star quilt to someone and I was overwhelmed when they presented it to me by unfolding it and wrapping it around my shoulders. I mean really ... what can you say to that??
It was also cool to have Melda show us the pictures of her family. They look like something you might see in a text book - pictures of old Indians in full regalia, but these are her family pictures. She pointed out one in particular, her great grandfather, a friend of Crazy Horse and the one who built the cabin that we added a room on to. It was a surreal feeling to know that we are connected with that man and have joined him in the building of a home for his family. They told us we are family now - even to the point of them kidding Dennis about throwing out the hot grease from the booth at the Pow Wow because he was "family now, so get to work".
(click the pic for a larger view)
In church on Sunday one of the Lakota women stood and sang a song of thanks to our group and wanted a group picture that they can hang on the wall of their church.
And there were of course the kids. Kids who will break your heart. One in particular that stole all of ours. They were really hungry this year. They ate and ate and ate. One little one would even take the chicken out of her sister's mouth because she couldn't wait to have hers cut up to eat it.
There is so much more. A lot more. But I've got to get to the groc store to get something for dinner tonight. I still have to unpack and take care of mail, email, etc.
Oh wait. .... this one can't wait...
When I got home I found a letter that was in a thick envelope. The address was from a man who had emailed me just before we left and asked where to send money to for Backpacks. I opened the envelope and found check after check after check. Some for $10 and some as high as $200. And there was a letter which read,
My name is ___________ and I am a Cherokee. When I was a child and I
went to the white man's school, they treated me pretty mean. They didn't
understand my culture. I also was from a poor family and never had lunch
like everyone else had. I had stuff from the garden that my Mother gave me
to eat. I also was never allowed new school supplies. When I was 7
years old the gym teacher gave me some tennis shoes to wear because we couldn't
afford any, the right one was red and the left one blue. And one was too
big and one was too small. The while people really laughed at me.
That's why I took upon myself to help the Lakota children. The
Lakota people mean a lot to me. They are very brave warriors. Also
the best people you will ever find. I hope the donations that I received will
help many more children than ever this year. It means a great deal to a child to
have new school supplies. I wish I could give more than what we are
giving. The funds that I have received total to $860.00 and if I receive
any more I will mail them to you. "
We just have to keep doing this.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Thursday, July 09, 2009
And it doesn't take anybody really special ... just ordinary people, young, old, employed or not, healthy or not. They all do their part and the result is absolutely amazing!
- a crew of 14 people who are willing to take their vacation time and rough it, driving for 4 days in a van full of people to work their butts off and get their hearts broken.
- A lady who had an idea to give a shower for an older lady that she's never met.
- A lady who has never met any of us who read a blog and sent a generous gift - and then another generous gift.
- A construction company who offered whatever was in their warehouse (which was a LOT) to give a lady they've never met a nicer home.
- Strangers from all over the U.S., England, Germany and France who contributed whatever they could to buy school supplies for some of America's poorest kids.
- A rock band in Virginia who did a benefit to raise money to buy heaters for people who can't afford to heat their homes.
- Another band in Pittsburgh who are doing a benefit to help buy school supplies
- A gifted artist in Seattle who continues to donate his time and talent to create stunning logos and promotional materials
- A bunch of bikers who want to make an effort most of them had never heard of (REZonate) their big fundraising event of the year.
- A widely listened to radio station that is willing to promote an effort they had never heard of either (REZonate)
- A lady who's been battling stage 5 breast cancer, and who doctors told would have stage 6 cancer if there was a stage 6 is volunteering to help load the truck and work at REZonate.
- A man who is also battling cancer who has made a lot of runs to buy supplies
- A man who loans his pick-up truck to pick up supplies
- A man who loans his work equipment in any way its needed.
And those are just a few that come to mind.
And then there are the little kids at church who heard about the watermelon eating contest we had with the kids on the Rez last year and saved their money all year to buy the watermelons for the watermelon eating contest this year. Last Sunday as the church sent us off and these kids brought a red wagon with some watermelons in it down to the front to give them to us and to give us the rest of the money they had saved - sticky dollar bills and nickles and dimes. It came to $115.00!
So here are some pics that Tim took ... enjoy!
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
There were other stations in town that laughed at me when I approached them ...and then asked for a boat load of $$$
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Monday, July 06, 2009
This morning I called the little grocery store that's in the town near the Rez and ordered all the bread and buns. It's good to give 'em a head's up so we don't clean them out entirely. They seem to appreciate that as do the other people who live in the town that were planning on sandwiches or hamburgers that week.
I also stopped by Walmart to get a shower curtain for the outhouse that has no door. It is a mission trip and we're all willing to sacrifice comfort and a good measure of privacy, but there are limits.
The question has come up a few times in the past month or so about the possibility of someone staying in a trailer by themselves once we get there. Actually, it was offered to me and Brian by the missionary. As much as I appreciate that the missionaries want to take care of me there's no way I would stay away from my crew. We also have a couple that will be celebrating their 25th anniversary while there. I did say I would allow them to use it for that night but not for the week - and I couldn't guarantee what might be going on outside the trailer that night. Really the only person I would allow to use it for the week would be one of our guys who has a physical need. We don't have "special people" on this trip ... just special needs. And yes, you can take that a few different ways.
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Today I've packed some and ran an errand, getting some brochures and a video ready to send off to the guy who's doing a benefit show in Pittsburgh for us. The rest of the day I'm going to read, take a long hot bath, do my nails, make turkey club sandwiches and fresh fruit for dinner and then we'll have the annual pre-trip to the Rez viewing of City Slickers.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Some good things are happening ....
Melda's shower went over big. In fact, I'm still getting gifts for her. Someone came up to me last night and said that it had gotten past them and they wanted to give some money. I told her that I wasn't sure I'd have time to get out shopping before we leave but that I could always pass on the money to Melda if that was OK with her. It was. She handed me a roll of money saying, "this is all I have on me right now". I got home and looked at it and it was $80!! Another lady who gave a $50 gift card at the shower on Sunday came up to me with 2 more gifts for Melda last night. And another lady who brought gifts to the shower gave me a bag of soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, lotions, etc. for Melda last night too. And to top it all off, one of those women is currently out of work. What do I ever say to something like that?? Wow ...
Trust me, nothing that was given will go to waste. Whatever Melda got I am sure she will share. Just a up the hill from her home is a single-wide trailer with no indoor plumbing and the only electric is a cord running out to the pole. There are 15 people living in that trailer, 8 of them are kids.
Did I say all that already in another post?? Maybe. Life has been so crazy I don't remember what I've said to who.
Things for REZonate are going well too. I meet with a radio station next week to see what part they want to play. HOPEFULLY they are not just trying to sell me advertising on their station. I'm not going to be happy at all if that is the case, but, I think there's something more there because they've been putting us off since Feb. and I figure if they wanted to sell me something they would have been all over it by now. So I'm hopeful. I'll let you know as soon as I know.
I also received an email from someone in Pittsburgh who is wanting to do a benefit for Backpacks. I have no idea who this is but he already has a venue booked and a band booked. It'll take place on Aug. 15th. That will make 3 cities that have had a benefit show for Backpacks - Cincy, Winchester, VA, and Pittsburgh, PA.
Now, in family news .... I'm not happy to say that I think Logan is about to join the Army. He was set to go to college this fall but has never heard back from them about student loans he applied for. He has called countless times and emailed and left messages and they simply do not get back to him. So, he's back to thinking about the Army. He would be an MP. Did I mention that I'm not happy about that??
And the news is not all that great for my dad either. Looks like he'll have to go back on chemo pretty soon.