CEREMONIES – Mid-winter Ceremonies were off the hook! Got a lot of spiritual rejuvenation, spent some quality time with the Spirit, with friends and with my fellow Midewiwin. But I can’t remember a time where we had a Lodge “snow day”. It was so stormy that we were sent home early and encouraged to arrive at noon the next day. Our Lodge leadership are so kind and caring for keeping everyone’s safety first and foremost. What’s new at the Mide School? A Three Fires Lodge fire truck! Our Lodge has always had to work extremely hard to ensure potable drinking water was available at the school, at Madigan Park in the Spring, for ceremonies and for all the cooking, cleaning and scrubbing required to feed and water all those thirsty Midewiwins. Now through this fire truck, complete with a large tank, self-contained pumps and hoses, water should no longer be a problem or a significant chore. Great job, Bawdwaywidun and our Center Fire brothers and sisters.
WEIGHT LOSS & HEALTHINESS – As of this morning, I am 21 pounds lighter than I was in 2013. Hello!! Living a much more healthy lifestyle, mainly through the support of Deborah and my faith in the Spirit. My latest solution: a program called Isagenix. It’s meal-replacement plus detox plus exercise. I never would have believed it possible. My next weigh-in or two should surpass three goals: the most weight I have lost in 20 years of dieting, surpassing my 10% per cent Weight Watchers goal (so long WW!), and achieving my playing weight when I played for the Bulldogs football program. Crazy eh? I’ve given up caffeinated diet soft drinks, popcorn and movie theatres, fried food, fast food and carbs. Still miss eating all that good stuff though.
VISIT TO ARIZONA – Deborah and I travelled to Mesa, Arizona to spend some time with Deb’s Mom Wendy, her partner Jim, her Grandparents, Aunt and Uncle. Everybody is doing well and in fine spirits. We had a really nice time visiting, spent a night playing cards, visited the swap meet and travelled to beautiful Tortilla Flat. We got in a round of golf, did some aqua-cise in the pool and spent a leisurely evening lounging in the hot tub with Deb’s grandparents, Walt and Audrey Becker. We also met a lot of great new friends, retirees from BC, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Iowa, Minnesota and many other places. After two visits, Deborah and I made the decision that Mesa is the place where we want to retire to. As we were walking through the Venture Out retirement community, it occurred to me that because Jay Treaty of 1794 and the US Immigration and Nationality Act, Canadian Indians with more than 50 per cent blood quantum are entitled to US permanent residency status. Unlike other Canadian citizens, we are not limited to a 6 month window. We can live there as much as we want. Did you know that as Anishinaabeg, under Jay’s Treaty, we cannot be refused entry into the US? Cool!
DRUM KIT – A while back, I purchased my brother-in-law’s Gretsch drum kit and added a new snare, high-hat and cymbals. Having a lot of fun learning to play again. It’s like a bicycle – you never really forget for to play. I especially like playing tunes using my noise-cancelling headphones. It’s a pretty good balance of sound and drums. Unfortunately, for the rest of the house, they only hear me pounding it out.