Feds Deny Approval of Construction of the DAPL on Lands that Border Lake Oahe [corrected headline]

We must unite to ensure our tribal sovereignty is legally adhered to and we must continue to fight to protect our water and ecosystems.

Turtle Talk

Here is the United States’ press release:

JOINT STATEMENT FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY AND THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR REGARDING STANDING ROCK SIOUX TRIBE V. U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS

WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior issued the following statement regarding Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

“We appreciate the District Court’s opinion on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act.  However, important issues raised by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other tribal nations and their members regarding the Dakota Access pipeline specifically, and pipeline-related decision-making generally, remain.  Therefore, the Department of the Army, the Department of Justice, and the Department of the Interior will take the following steps.

“The Army will not authorize constructing the Dakota Access pipeline on…

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Summer Bird on the Trail

I’ve had cardinals coming to my window at work to eat the seeds I placed on the window sills. I love watching them.

Canoe Communications

A young cardinal crossed my path along the trail. It’s red beak and stripe of red tail feathers, along with song announcing its presence.

young cardinal looks like a young cardinal or female cardinal

Reminds me of this sweet poem perfect for the end of August.

    A Bird came down the Walk
    By Emily Dickinson

    A Bird came down the Walk—
    He did not know I saw—
    He bit an Angleworm in halves
    And ate the fellow, raw,

    And then he drank a Dew
    From a convenient Grass—
    And then hopped sidewise to the Wall
    To let a Beetle pass—

    He glanced with rapid eyes
    That hurried all around—
    They looked like frightened Beads, I thought—
    He stirred his Velvet Head

    Like one in danger, Cautious,
    I offered him a Crumb
    And he unrolled his feathers
    And rowed him softer home—

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Burning down the house with ghosts

Good conversation this morning.

Espíritu de Mérida

can she go homeToday on Facebook there were two very interesting posts next to each other in my morning feed.

The first post was by Mr Mike Forcia, chairperson at the American Indian Movement in Minneapolis who stated “If trump wins it’ll be Armageddon. And I think it’s best for everyone.”

The other post was by Ms D Yvette Wiley, a Native American environmental scientist from Oklahoma who’s stated, in regards to the Trump/Pence ticket, “These nazis will be burning people like me at the stake.”

So, we have two passionate, caring and smart Native Americans who are opposite ends of the spectrum regarding who their candidates. They both do not like Ms Clinton. Their distrust and distaste for her runs very deep. They seem to both despise Mr Trump. Yet their votes will cancel each other out.

Mr Forcia advocates “Armageddon” and states, ” If we can not live in Creation the way the Creator intended, then it’s…

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Caretaker: All the Wrong Words; All the Wrong Moves

What I find the most challenging in the caretaker role is the hatred hurled at me. Rarely do I have the right words that are approved or the right actions that heal and console. I am the bitch of the family. The abuser as my daughter states. I am the “one behind all of this” according to my mom. If I ask what it is that I am behind it is ‘all of it’….”you’re behind all of this. You told the doctors what to say. You are behind what the doctors decided. You are behind this guardianship.”

If anyone goes online to read about caretakers or to read about dementia what you will find are tender pictures of old people with a loving caretaker. Maybe other households have this, but more likely, it is an inaccurate picture. It is not the real world. It is the desired world. It is the kind old woman who is not angry that her daughter became her guardian. It is not the old woman who is angry and calling her daughter’s name every five minuets to have her do something—anything. As long as it’s disruptive. As long as it hurts. It’s meant to hurt. It’s meant to vent.

The question is what is the natural human response to anyone who regularly and consistently blames, complains, and denigrates their caretaker? How unhuman must I be to take it over and again? I have the answer and it’s pretty g’damned un-human because I handle it. I do not lash out. I do not hurt. I do not hurl back the anger.

No one knows. No one sees. No one cares. Why? Because I am the bitch of the family; the abuser and the attacker; the cunt (according the daughter’s words). I am the bitch tough enough to step up and do this. Day after day; year after year.

And it’s all my fault. I am the one behind all of this.

 

 

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Caretaker: To Fracture or Not to Fracture

June 27, 2016

12:45am: Jolted from the deep sleep of REM by a crash and a cry out of my name, “DONNA!, DONNA!” I bolted from my bed. The two cats who were sleeping next to me momentarily scattered. My worst fear for my mom is her falling. When in the hospital, she wore the familiar wristband that prominently states: “FALL RISK”. The sign hung on her door and at the foot of her hospital bed, “FALL RISK”. That is my mom. “FALL RISK”. Yet she often refuses to use her walker, refused to accept any training from an occupational therapist and refused to do any exercises that the physical therapist taught her. In her mind she is fine. She is fine until she falls and screams out with the crackled voice  so typical of an ancient woman.

It is a gut twisting and heart jolting response to see your 86 year old mother on the floor moaning. She fell. Again. I vaguely recall hearing her walker crash but was soundly sleeping when the fall happened. She was making her way to the restroom when she fell and had not turned on any lights. She does that. Has always done that……walked around in a dark house. It drives me insane, but she does it anyway. Close the blinds and turn off all the lights. She fears someone will see inside our windows. For the last two days she’s been in a vile mood. She has picked and snipped at me over the least of things: “turn off that light! it bothers me; move this cat off of my bed; has Molly (the dog) been fed? (it IS my house, by the way) She asked the same question five times in an hour. I answered the same, “yes the dog has eaten and the dog has eaten something other than dog food.”

The challenge with being a caretaker of someone like my mom is determining what is dementia and what is her being lucid but her typical complaining, hateful and rude self. Being a caretaker is hard enough when the patient is compliant and good natured. Easy. That would be like my dad when he was terminally ill with lung cancer. He was easy. Good natured and still enjoyed things in life. I’d find him sitting on the edge of his bed playing Willie Nelson CD’s, or sometimes, Glenn Miller. Caring for dad was simple; just make sure he had a big cup of black coffee within reach. Cook him bacon or sausage and eggs for breakfast and he was good to go. Dad always did have an easy going personality. Me and my siblings always knew mom would be the hard one. She always has been a difficult person to be around. She will say mean things and rude things: “too fat; too skinny; not smart enough; or not pretty. But she can be, and often is, a giving person. She will defend her kids to the death. A few years ago I explained to both my sister and brother that mom is nicer now; nicer than she ever has been in her life. I figured it was because she knew her options were limited. She was frail and now she needed me. Having her live with me for the last six years has been easier than it has been hard; it’s been more enjoyable than not.

Regardless of how difficult she is, how hurtful and mean the words she hurls at me, she is my mom. Seeing this little 100 lb curled up ball of worn out old woman lying in the floor immediately dissipates all of the hurtful words and anger she flings toward me. This is my mom. This is the woman who put me before herself when she raised me. I breath in emotional strength and exhale the hurt. Today, she called my name every five to ten minutes. Each time was a complaint or hurtful word. Just picking at me. Just being Bettie. I breath in. My brother is coming today. To stay for a while. To recuperate from his own surgery and to be home with mom when I’m away. My brother is coming today.

Thankfully, this time there appears to be no fractures. She was up off of the floor within five minutes of the fall. She walked to the restroom with my assistance. This morning she got out of bed and walked to the restroom without my assistance. No fractures. Not her bones and not my emotions.

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Caretaker

Hey there everyone. I’m back, though I have very few followers given I use this blog irregularly. I normally will write about animals, environment or nature and issues concerning those things. Today I’m adding to that writing list—-I will share some of my experiences about being a caretaker for my mom. This is a new role for me, sort of. Let me begin to explain.

My mom has lived with me since early 2010 but she wasn’t ill. She was simply older and she needed a small boost. It worked out fairly well. She was home with the pets when I was at work or traveled. There was no need for anyone to be with her all the time or every day.

Our relationship was always a bit rocky so back in 2010 when I first offered for her to move in I did so with caution. I also felt I needed something else to do so I started a master’s degree in environmental science. During introductions at the beginning of any new class I’d say, “well, my mom moved in with me and I wasn’t sure how it would work out being around one another everyday so I thought it would be a good time to finally start this this degree to have a place to go to in the evenings.”  I finished that degree this past spring and my mom was too ill to attend my graduation. I felt saddened that after all this time of me working full time at my job and going to classes in the evenings, doing the field research and analyzing the results, and the writing and revising/writing and revising/writing and revising of the thesis, that my mom was not even able to attend the culmination of the work—my graduation ceremony.

After mom moved in with me my sister said I was a caretaker. I’d respond with “not really, because I’m not doing anything for mom other than most of the shopping.” That was then. That was before February 22nd. A Monday. A day I took off from work to take mom to the doctor to see if we could determine the cause of swelling in her feet.  She did not keep the doctor’s appointment. She refused to go. She was in too much pain. She had fallen when I had gone to the store at her request. She also refused any help from the emergency medical technicians (EMTs) that came when I called 911. This is a typical response with my mom. Refusal of medical care. Non-compliance and combativeness—all normal behavior for my mom. After a day or so, I suspected she may have fractured a bone, but she still refused medical attention.

Her life changed that day, as did mine. I witnessed my mom’s severe and steady decline from that day forward and I did not know what to do or how to get her help. Our story will continue and it is constantly evolving, but now?

Now I am a caretaker.

 

 

 

 

 

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So. Do We Have an Oligarchy or a Plutocracy?

A good short read. It’s timely too, given we’ll soon have a new president.

Class War In America

It’s a hard call. Plutocracy means rule by the rich, oligarchy means rule by a dominant class or clique. Either way, it all comes down to money, and most of us—those of us without the money—haven’t had much say about it.

Democracy, alas, takes a distant third place lately. Yeah, we can still vote, but for thirty years, the politicians we voted for have sold us all downriver, with more and more laws and regulations penalizing the poor and middle class and benefiting the rich. It’s supposed to “trickle down”, but so far it hasn’t. There’s a very small group of zillionaires who control everything via their pet legislators. They have systematically trashed all restraints on their activities, and now manipulate lawmaking to their own financial advantage with thousands of lobbyists and stealth activities that seek to control who votes. Social equality is not one of their goals.

If we…

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