One Thousand White Women

I’ve been spending as much time as possible reading instead of a lot of other things like blogging. I feel like I really hit the jackpot on my last library trip, so I haven’t been getting much sleep. Between the books and the croup-y baby, sleep has been sparse for me. In fact, I stayed up until 1:30 am finishing this book last night only to lay there thinking about it at least 30 minutes after I completed it.

One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus was absolutely worth the dazed, tired feeling each and every morning that followed.

This piece of historical fiction is inspired by an even in 1874 in which the great Cheyenne “Sweet Medicine Chief” Little Wolf went to Washington D.C. to meet with President Grant in the hopes of making a lasting peace for his people.

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To secure the peace, Sweet Medicine Chief Little Wolf asked President Grant for a gift of 1,000 white women to become wives of the Cheyenne and to show his people the ways of the white man. The children born would then be a sort of bridge between the two cultures ensuring peace well into the future. In exchange, the Cheyenne would provide 1,000 horses to President Grant.

Since the Cheyenne are a matrilineal society (tracing ancestry through mothers, not fathers), the children would “belong” to the white man’s tribe; thus, the Sweet Medicine Chief offered the highest of honors known to his tribe. In reality of course, an appalled President Grant refused the offer.

One Thousand White Women, however, imagines that President Grant secretly agreed to the offer in an effort to move the Indians onto reservations more quickly.

The voice for most of the book is May Dodd, a scandalously sexually liberated woman who fell in love below her station. She has two children with her lover before her family has her committed to an insane asylum for her trespasses. It is there that she is recruited for, and agrees to participate in, President Grant’s secret “Brides for Indians” program. After two years, all the women will be free to leave the program and will receive an unconditional pardon from the jail, asylum or prison they were recruited from. May knows it is the only way to see see her children again.

The story is told through the journals May keeps upon leaving the asylum, her journey west and her experience becoming a squaw.

We learn about May and the other “Brides for Indians” who head West.

We learn about the West.

We learn about the Cheyenne people, beliefs and practices.

We learn about the United States’ Indian policies during this time period which lead to the killing of thousands of Native Americans, including May Dodd.

I found this book on International Women’s Day sitting on the shelf in the Good Reads section of my library.

I was intrigued. I was swept away. I have added it to my Good Reads section.

This is not a political book hell bent to revisit policies from this time. It is an attempt to tell the complicated story of a clash of cultures that resulted in the destruction of a land and a people. It is about friendship and women. It is triumphant and lovely and engaging and sad. It is, without a doubt, a book that celebrates women and relationships across cultures.

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You know it’ll be a good weekend when…

you grab all this out of the dollar cart at the grocery store on a Saturday morning. $10 total for six Rubbermaid containers that match our containers AND eight cloth napkins! Aaron told me to go back and get the rest of the Rubbermaid, and in the time I walked a total of 10 feet (five each way), it was all gone.

All week long I was looking forward to the coupon sale at Joann’s. I actually figured out what I needed and wrote it on the circular since I always lose the list when I write it separately. I knew it was going to be crazy with the sale, and I had a gift certificate to spend from my birthday.

Unfortunately, I didn’t find fabric for an Amy Butler travel bag I’ve been wanting to sew, but I did find other wonderful goodies…

Such as this pattern ($1.99) that was screaming to me, “SHERRIE! Look over here!”, and this mod fabric in a lovely gray and yellow (40% off) that will be made into look A (blue) before summer.

And this lovely summer fabric (40% off) yearning for look B (green) ($1.99 as well). Also, those pants? Hello! I’ve never made pants before…

And this romantic fabric begs for a 30% off skirt for summer. The leaves beg for a tank at $2.49/yard!

Remnants were 50% off, and I’ve been wanting to try some knits for Mila. I see a cute tank dress in her future…

Another tank dress along with some cute matching yellow pants…

And this find was by FAR the best deal of the day…Sew Serendipity by Kay Whitt. (40% off)

The pattern instructions look easy to follow which is good because I want this tunic asap! Unlike the mod dress pattern above, these sleeves will cover my postpartum arms.

And the jackets in here! Blazer-type jackets, winter coats, mod jackets, good grief! The possibilities are endless!

Thanks for the gift certificate mom!

Can you come watch this baby so I can get some sewing done?


What I Love in my Kitchen

This picture of my kitchen has five things I love.

My freshly painted tiles in three colors. My Bialetti Moka Express stove top coffee pot.  A Le Creuset mini crock my sister-in-law gave me that I use for my kosher salt. A turtle carved out of a rock that Troy gave me. (Turtles and birds are my favorite animals.) In the back is a ceramic tile that Jack made for me at school. It has a guitar on it.

Whenever we are anyplace we might happen upon a turtle, the first person who sees one gets a kiss from me.

I also love my KitchenAid Mixer and food processor. I use both several times a week, so they stay on the counter. I haven’t used my beater since this beauty arrived. I bought the three cup because my other food processor was probably a two cup, but now I wish I bought the seven cup because I regularly make a mess because it is too full.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Fiesta dinnerware in Plum. I have white and plum in the plates which look great on the table, but the white plates show all sorts of scratch marks. (If I had to do it again, I would go all plum.) I particularly love the fruit bowls that my mother-in-law gave me. We use these mini bowls for everything! Yogurt, crackers, cookies, chocolate chip snacks, a brownie, lonely loner eggs in the fridge, measured ingredients…the possibilities are endless which is why we are always using them!

These mini plates are from Target this season. I love the colorful butterfly and that they match the dinner dishes. I bought four matching “glasses” as well.

These are my 8 oz iittala tumblers from one of my favorite Scandinavian shops which is in my hometown. (I wish you had a website Irma’s!)


My Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook! Oh, how I love you, and I’ve only made one thing from it so far! I’ll be making another recipe this week. It is in the living room on the wall behind the couch because I love reading it and looking at the pictures.


Sunny Sundays and Sewing

This weekend was beautiful which means everything now is wet and slushy. We still have plenty of snow left, so it isn’t as if we are in the home stretch. I did begin thinking about the garden this weekend though. We don’t have a plot of our yard set aside for this, but we do have some room in our flower bed for tomatoes. I’m thinking that maybe a couple large pots for some container gardening might be the way to go this year. I also need to put the bug in my husband’s ear about a compost pile too.

Sunday mornings I always look forward to a cup of coffee while reading the newspaper. I sit in the back living room on my rocking chair that I bought specifically to nurse my son in and drink and read. That is how I spent this morning.

I got very ansy to sew today seeing as Jack has been sewing like a madman lately. I have been wanting to sew coffee sleeves which I found in the Sew Pretty Patchwork book I got about a month ago. We finally got a printer which meant I could copy off the template and enlarge it by the required 200%! Though I spent about 45 minutes searching for the stupid cd and loading it, it worked great.

These little things went together in about 20 minutes each plus a little time to handsew the ends together which I did while watching the Super Bowl. I really love the little birdie on them. I used scrap fabric from a quilt I made for Jack. Tomorrow I will be purchasing a coffee at work so I can see if they fit the cups. I am very excited…both for the test and the coffee.

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While I was sewing, Aaron took the kids sledding for the second time this weekend. Each time the kids came home soaking wet, but they were glad to have had gotten some fresh air. I also took the dog for a walk today which was nice except for having to cross the people’s sidewalks that never shoveled. I nearly slipped and fell twice. Drake nearly slipped once as well. I’m sure the people driving by had a good laugh at our expense.


Unintended Consequences

Yes, I know it has been a long, long time since I blogged. I have been enjoying my last three weeks with family. It has been quite nice.

January is in full swing which means we’ve got the Boy Scout Pinewood Derby Race, my cousin and her family are coming down, sledding, a YW gals reunion (hopefully), me working 40 hours per week and, of course, Wii Fit to help with the post-holiday diet.

I’ve been reading Jane Eyre for a couple weeks, and I am really enjoying it. I can’t believe I was 35 before I ever picked this book up. It almost makes me a bit upset my book friends never made me read this before now!

Jane Eyre in combination with my 7:30 am work start time has put some serious crimps in my sleeping time. This morning, I feel asleep on the bus ride in (30 minutes) and woke up two stops past where I should have gotten off! The only reason I woke up was because the hydraulics on the bus were beeping. I know, I’m a loser.

I’m also teaching Monday – Thursday all day long as well which is quite tiring. I’d forgotten. Teaching basic computer skills can take a lot out of a person, but it is quite rewarding as well.

Jack got Shaun White Snowboarding for Wii last night, and it is quite cool! He is loving it and caught on to the balance board movements quite well. I only tried once so far, but let’s just say, I need some practice. It is fun to watch as well.


The Ant by Jack

Once upon a time there was an ant who had a happy life in the desert. Well, happy but there was still dinosors, you see. Well, I will jest tell you this story before I tell you that story. Well, it all started when a littel ant was climbing up a surrow (saguaro) cactus. An an owl poped out of a hole. The ant fell to the grownd. I am lost. the ant side. Wher am I? What is all that noise? Where is it coming from? Who cares about the noise? But where am I? The ant walked around for a few minutes. What shoud I do? Leav, stay, go left or right? What shoud I do, what should I do? Maybe I shoud go see what that horibell noies is. Sints I’m lost I will go. Maybe I shoud get a closer look? What is that? Look out! Somewon shouted. Crosh!! But it was to late. 😦 (with tears)

Below Jack’s story is a picture of an ant getting crushed by a dinosaur and the dinosaur is saying oops.

We are very proud of this story that was inspirired in part by Dav Piley’s The Adventures of Captain Underpants. Jack used several techniques that author utilizes to help his story along.

I fought the beginning of summer with Jack to get him to read. He refused to read anything. Now, he is reading nearly every night and actually asks for reading time!

🙂


An Evening With David Sedaris

Aaron and I just got back from an evening with David Sedaris whom we both LOVE! He was so funny! A few new essays and some great stuff on the election season. I laughed so hard which was absolutely perfect after the crappy day I had. He even had a great piece about Costco involving condoms, strawberries and his brother-in-law. OMG it was funny!

Aaron’s sister also went, and as it turns out, she was sitting in the row in front of us. Our position near the end of the row was PERFECT for getting to be one of the first in line for the post-event book signing. He signed Dress Your Family in Courduroy and Denim to Aaron and I since we were each reading, or in my case listening to, the book the first time we ever met. We had him sign When You Are Engulfed in Flames for Aaron’s brother Matt who is also hilariously dry and sarcastic. I had him sign Holidays on Ice for a friend who shall remain nameless until the gift is given. David was trying to chat with me and find something interesting about me, but unfortunately, I am not interesting. Fortunately, this came as no big blow as I pretty much already knew this.

I will not let this ruin my terrific end to a crappy day!