Sushi with a Shaman

oldironhoss:

Take a moment and read this great blog from my good friend!

Originally posted on Transform Siberia:

Shamans close heaven's gates in Ulan-Ude, Siberia.

Shamans close heaven’s gates in Ulan-Ude, Siberia.

I am getting phone calls from a shaman.

Actually, she is a shamaness. Newly initiated. We’re friendly. I met her about a week before her drumming in. The morning of our meeting, I briskly packed my camera in hopes of shooting the annual shamanic ritual called “Closing Heaven’s Gates”. The previous day, I spied an announcement about the rite taped to a window in the tram. Right then and there I knew, I was going to the shamans.

The mystique of shamans is legend here in Siberia. I am sure they prefer it that way, a little swirling mystery, the potential of tapping power inaccessible to most is good for business. Shamans get respect, even from those who do not believe, because deep down inside, we wonder if, or fear, or hope their power is real.

In an effort to sidestep all the…

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Walmart Manager takes MoneyGram and refuses to return it!

Sheridan Walmart Supercenterwalmart

  • 1695 Coffeen Ave
  • Sheridan, WY 82801
  • (307) 674-6492

I swear Walmart is stupid…I find 3 – $20 / $20 / $37 money orders and return them to the front and I tell the manager to announce the finding over the intercom and he says no we will lock them in the safe just in case they ask…I said well what if they are not picked up? Can I leave my name – he said no name no nothing…so I said give em back and he kept them. I stopped shopping – I checked out and asked for the manager – ya lost $200 right there because I stopped shopping! – He was to busy to see me and sent a polite Mexican lady that explained that no one could cash a blank money order because it is tied to the person it was being sent to – ? I said no, let me see the manager! She refused – and I left!

Is this how Walmart does business? Do managers routinely blow off customers and steal money?

I want this to be shared because I am starting a letter writing campaign against this manager! If the money is not picked up I want it donated and matched and given for Children’s Christmas presents through our local Catholic church here in Lodge Grass, Montana!

Please take a minute to share this on your Facebook and Twitter – hold this manager accountable

Hoss Lors

Men in Black – what do you fear?

When I was four years old, two men in black suits came to our home in Concord, Ohio and tested me. My parents claim this never happened but I remember it clear as day. I remember they took me into a room and did a series of test – cards with forms and shapes on them and then they talked with my mother and left. How can I have such a clear memory of this event and yet be told it never happened. When I was five I wrote a letter to President Nixon asking him to help “my people” Indians in the west. His Secretary of the Interior, Walter J. Hickel wrote back and told me that he was working to help the native people. Sitting in a meeting with a medicine man and asked to relay my clans I state Hungarian and German and….later the medicine man takes me aside and says you have another Clan Northern Cree.6291

I can remember my nightmares as a child falling. Being on a large ship and then plummeting back to earth.

Abstract thoughts that play over in my mind – the why of each.

I started to title this post To Fear or Not to Fear because growing up I was always afraid. I remember building these scenarios in my mind to get to sleep at night because I knew someone was going to “get me”. Abduction played over and over in my young mind. Christian school for thirteen years did not help matters. They instilled the fear of Johnathan Edwards “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”; your hair is touching your ear therefore you are going to hell legalism. I was whipped and rebelled, whipped more and began to escape into books and nature. I learned to ignore but the fear remained.

No one ever gave me options. I fumbled along through college and then through life directionless.

The one thing in life I have wanted to do – I have never done.

There is so much good I could do – yet I stand motionless – without ego – wondering, thinking, “IF”

Fear? It is amazing what one can live through!

It always goes back to 4th grade, Mrs Spurrier – Memorize Rudyard Kipling “IF” ! and then 7th grade Mrs Spurrier being hauled into the hallway and asked to rat on another student and not saying anything while she berated me and tried to trick me and say that “he said – she said” routine…I stood solid and never flinched and she finally smiled and told me I was okay – she hated rats! I took the whipping for David Smetters in fourth grade, took the whipping in fifth grade for Jimmy Venman, I can still feel the muscle memory of being whipped to this day. I think that is a good thing because it got me through my fear. Through one of the toughest times – “Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,” Lies ruined my life but set me free and they still circulate and I smile thankful.

I met a cashier at the local IGA who was being questioned by the FEDS. She was shaken up – dire fear – and asked for advice – no, I did not quote Rudyard Kipling – I simply told her to keep her mouth shut. Don’t talk to friends, relatives, e-mail, text, anything!

I think often of Edward Snowden who gave his life for our country and I wonder about his fear. I know the media is a mass manipulation of lies. Our politicians sold to the highest bidder.

Life is the energy you surround yourself with -

 

 If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

 

Thanks be to God who giveth to all men liberally -

This is dedicated to my old friend David Smetters – thanks for the brick in the wall!

Shooting My First Raccoon

BeaverOne of the most quintessential moments in a young man’s life is when he first takes the life of an animal. I spent many many hours with my father trapping in Ohio as I grew up. It all started with a Daisy BB gun that he bought me when I was eight years old. My mother had a fit but my father prevailed. (Mom thought I was too young) My father hauled me all over  Ohio and Canada in pursuit of fish and fur. Until  I was in  fifth grade, he would always kill whatever we trapped or hunted.

I remember being about a mile from our home in Concord, Ohio and checking traps we had set a couple days before and discovering a big old coon. I had my trusty Remington 22 single shot bolt action rifle but knowing I could not shoot without my father, I trekked home. I brought my dad back to the trapped coon – one leg caught in a Victor #2 leg hold trap. My dad asked me if I would shoot it. I was surprised because it was the first time he had ever asked. I chambered a round and pointed the gun toward the raccoon and fired. I missed by about a foot and almost shot my dad in the leg. My dad gently said to me – don’t close your eyes when your aiming and try again. I shot and can still see the quick death of that raccoon in my minds eye. Skinned it, fleshed it, and stretched it and finally went to Cooper’s Hide Shop to sell all our hides. (Mom would always freak out if we were busy and just left the raccoon in the deep freezer to skin later – we thought it was funny leaving em with their head peaking up from under the venison!)

George trapping

George trapping

I trapped many more raccoon and red fox and too many muskrat to count and even one beaver. My fondest memories are preparing the traps by boiling them in bark and water till they were black and ready. Catching salmon to bait our traps (my father would reach right down in the river and grab them by the eyes) – Catching hawks in traps (by accident) and letting them loose – I thought the hawk would peck my eyes out. Learning about possum and seeing the babies in her pouch. I was taught respect both of guns and wildlife.

My good friend Kyle proudly showed me his son George’s first antelope the other day and I could not help but remember and know that George has stepped into manhood. I gave George a 22 rifle last year for Christmas with 100 rounds of ammo and the three of us

Jade's buffalo - great knife thanks to Hank Will

Jade’s buffalo – great knife thanks to Hank Will

went beaver trapping. It is a good way to raise a child.

I am so thankful my father took me everyplace with him trapping, hunting and fishing. I don’t trap anymore but fish and bird hunt all the time. I am blessed to live in Montana where game is plentiful and moose and buffalo are in the freezer.IMG_20140427_165706950

So, ya think ur safe?

not my parents house

I grew up in an affluent neighborhood in Ohio well outside Cleveland. (Go Browns) My mom calls last night and says she has news and I dutifully call her back. (I hate phones but figured someone died)

Our family home sits on five wooded acres, a brick home surrounded by aging trees and  green grass. My father built this house by hand over forty years ago – as he used to always say – “not a brick front the whole house is brick!” I am sure they will be thankful during the coming Zombie Apocalypse.

Mom is chattering on the phone with dad filling in the back-story. My mom is the women’s chaplain at the Lake County jail and even at 72, she is still working with wayward ladies – they call her the church lady but she has never seen the Saturday Night Live skit! She pulls out of the driveway aIsntthatspecialsnl-church-lady_zps7b680a80nd drives about 40′ up a small hill and sees a young black male with his hands in the air. He is slightly waving his hands and mom stops…a sheriff burst into view and the man drops to his knees. Mom is flustered but deals with the sheriffs daily so she rolls up and smiles as 30 squad cars surround the scene. “We got our man” the sheriff smiles at mom and she drives away calling my cousin Heather to find out what all the commotion is about.

Three black men abandoned their vehicle (thankfully left all weapons in vehicle) about three miles from my parents home and proceeded on foot. This young man got to within 50′ of my parents home! My dad is in his 80’s and spry and can still rock a shotgun or 32 Mauser! The neighbor man is probably in his 70’s and still carries daily! But in this pristine wooded affluent community – all it takes is one person to wreak havoc.

Stay safe my friends!

 

<no, that is not my folks house – figured I would not tempt fate>

Smudge

I collect my own sage, bear root and cedar to make smudge bundles. I always light sage or burn cedar before I pray. For well over a year I have prayed for one person and lit sage or cedar. Psalm 141:2 says, “Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” and even the foreboding book of Revelation 5:8 speaks of “golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints”. No, I am no saint my transgressions are numerous and yet I continue to pray – not for myself – but thankful for where I live in the beauty of the Crow Reservation and for my few friends.

My friend Shawndae was talking about his girls and how much he loves them – and he said “I pray for them everyday”. That moved me!

I remember a t-shirt “Smudge Me Don’t Judge Me”

Smudging is a way to cleanse a space of all negative energy and spirits. I like to let the smudge “do the thinking” for me. The other night I lit a smudge (always before my evening prayers) and it just took over the room and the house. Thick caustic smoke cleansing everything. I thought to myself wow someone was really sending some negative spirits or energy to my home. I was thankful that the incense of smudge was lifting even my prayers.

 

 

 

Aside

Grandfather

4H Pond

4H Pond

I was up at the 4H Pond fishing with little success and saw a huge a pine tree that had fallen on the road. Someone had made long work out of cutting it up and left behind huge pieces of wood. I walked over and wondered how this grandfather had come to fall? Strong storm up at 6000 feet in the Wolf Mountains -

I thought back to a poem I had written in college – probably the only poem I have left after years of travel. My grandfather was a lumberjack. He was one of probably thirteen children – I really do not remember – but I do remember him telling me how as a boy he came home and found his family dead at the dining room table. Some in the family say it was mushrooms and some others  say it was canned food. Fact remains he and his sister were late for dinner.

My grandfather was drafted into the military and when they went to take his fingerprints they rolled one finger across two finger spaces. He had huge hands! He was a giant a gentle giant.  He finally took the whip away from my mother when I was thirteen and hid it away.

I get my stubborn nature from him – Grandma kept complaining about his driving fast and at 65 he told her if she said it one more time he would never drive again – yep – she said it and drove him around the rest of his life. When I was a freshman in high-school, I visited him in Florida and he was brewing homemade grapefruit moonshine! Breakfast had a kick!

I will let the poem speak for my grandfather – he passed at 98 or 103 depends on if one believes Ellis Island records or ?

 

Grandfather

Solid, very solid

like the many timbers he has hewn

A lumberjack by trade

He lived life not in hate

of forest

but in respect and love.

Once he said to me (his favorite grandson)

“Hoss, you need to be careful of the tree when

you go to cut, twenty minutes TIMBER

bellows from your throat

one hundred years yells growth!”

We both have an affinity

for sitting on the back porch

I could always find him there

killing bumble boars that

ate the soft redwood

I find him there chewing Havana Blossom

that ever familiar orange and brown pack

and drinking Genesee beer but always

the sweet reek of beer and tobacco

mix together – grandfather. Upon the porch we have spoken

He a man of few words.

At thirteen a Schrade knife he gave

me – symbol of his love. His bleary

eyes look upon me and seem to say -

of all my grandchildren – Hoss you understand me best.

At fifteen, he taught me

to use his double bit axe

sharp end for the tree and dull

for roots in ground.

Love of nature, trees, being outdoors

love of strong beer and whiskey

but never chewing tobacco -

Grandfather

Hopefully she remembers this day – as her grandfather – I can only hope I am as good as mine!

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Bear Root Smoke

Montana winter starts early and the fireplace roars dispelling the cold. Bear Root wafts from the stove heated atop – These last months have been full. Aside from Sheridan, Wyoming – I rarely leave the peaceful confines of the Crow Reservation. I don’t really write much and yet write constant in my mind. I am so blessed with the oddest of friends that have come into my life serendipitous. From the editor of Grit Magazine, Hank Will sending a handmade knife to this weekend Mr. Bulltail giving me a quarter of a moose when I was up in the Big Horn Mountains.

Jade called two weeks ago and was coming down from the Big Horns with her first buffalo taken with her bow! “hey do you want some meat?” She has given me elk and buffalo which I butchered using Hank’s knife in the garage. Moose stew, elk steak, buffalo soup – honey from a guy I traded horses with – a Pendlelton blanket from another trade. I just have to say how blessed I am with friends!

I have been up into the Big Horn Mountains quite a bit of late. The old Toyota is a good mountain rig and with my good friend Woody Springfield, I have been up looking for Sasquatch. I have been surprised with many stories about Sasquatch sightings – coming from some of the most unlikely of sources.

My quest is now to learn more about Sundance and the Crow people – from meeting and talking to the elders nothing fascinates me more. Reading today from Tom Yellowtail and understanding (or trying to understand) the way of the people before the coming of the white man.

It is good -

From spring water at the 4H Pond to Commissary water – Windy Point and everyplace in between!

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COEXIST

I took this job as Caretaker here on the ranch – it is a quiet peaceful job.

Westwood Ranch

Westwood Ranch

It allows me to think and drink Colorado Koolaid while I mow lawn for 12 – 15 hours a week. The ranch is small for Montana but really big to me encompassing probably 10 square miles. The Little Big Horn flows through and irrigation ditches feed the 15 acre well stocked lake. I spend time with the farmer that keeps the crops rotated and perfect. He is 72 years old and a fount of knowledge and defines “old school”. I have nothing but respect for him.

The owner of the land is rarely on the ranch.

I have been asked several times by the owner to kill beaver that eat the trees and dam the irrigation. My friend Kyle the mountain man and I trapped beaver this last year and tanned their hides and sold them. I think that is legit! But I have been asked to kill the beaver out of season because the are a pest. Yes, they are in a way – but…it goes against the way my father raised me. My father spent days and weeks in the woods with me trapping and hunting when I was young. I was taught respect!

Beaver Dam busting

Beaver Dam busting

He never said anything silly like ” our earth mother waits for rain from sky father and we must always respect…”. He just raised me right is all.

So, I have been really struggling with the beaver and killing them. I tried lying and saying “oh yeah shot the life out of them”. But it was not convincing. The last caretaker killed everything – he killed because he loved to kill. He was sick – his soul absorbed all the negative kills and finally his wife left him and he left the ranch (thankfully). I went hunting with him once – he shot two pheasant and then threw them out the window on the way home – said it was too much to clean em. His soul is dead and will not be reborn.

My friend Kyle, the mountain man, comes over and I present my dilemma to him while fishing with his daughter. (Arbonnie caught 6

Arbonnie

Arbonnie

bass and it was awesome!) He told me a wonderful story – this guy down in Wyola, Montana was always shooting the big bucks and just cutting off the antlers to sell. He wasted the deer and did not care. Long about July 4th weekend, Kyle’s wife was at Pow Wow and cooking up some venison. This guy kept asking for a steak – elk steak or venison – everyone was cooking before dancing. No one gave him anything to eat.

I will not  be the Pow Wow dancer with no venison or elk to eat.

We coexist -

 

My friend Tori really spent time asking “why trap” and I owe her for fueling the question! Thank you Tori! I have no  problem hunting or trapping if the animal is used for good and we are thankful. This writing is for Tori!