Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Free (Partially)

When I first saw the orthodontist in August 2007, he told me to expect to wear braces for about two and a half years. If his plan had materialized, I would have been free in January or February of 2010, but here I am almost six years later - still wearing braces. One of the nurses told me that I've reached the surrender stage of wearing braces, like in Alcoholics Anonymous. "Let go and let God," she laughed. The doctor joined in the hilarity when he told me that I am just too "hard-headed." While the professionals laughed, I reached the point of despair and suggested that they needed to hire a psychologist in the office just to keep me on track. 

Well today I got a partial reprieve from my orthodontic suffering when the doctor removed one of the posts from my upper jaw. Installing the post was a surgical procedure that required a general anesthetic, but for some reason, he was able to simply unscrew the device and remove it from the bone. I felt a moment of  pressure in my jaw and then it was gone. It hardly even bled. I may be on the six-year plan, but today I am feeling free.  

In the photograph above, you can see that I am no longer wearing the post, but you can also see the hole in my gums that has not yet healed. 

This close-up shows that the post was actually a screw that was drilled directly into the bone of my upper jaw. It also shows that the screw was about 9/16 of an inch long. If you look closely at the head of the screw, you can see a set of small holes. They strung elastic bands through these holes and tied the elastics around the braces. This moved my teeth up as a way of reducing what the doctor called "excessive gingival display." 

It's strange to think this thing was attached to my skull. In any case, I am glad to be rid of it. 


łuʔ spisc'eʔ sxlxalt u xʷuk'ʷnten łuʔ i scxect. hayo, eslʔupn eł cil pounds łuʔ sxemc!   

čn nte xʷeʔyit łuʔ i scxect, pn qʷu cuys łuʔ in q’eneʔ u łłuw’et. qʷu cuntm kʷt qe p’ip’xʷut u mił xʷeʔyit xeʔectm łuʔ sxʷaʔlitxʷe, put xʷl nk’ʷuʔ spentč. xʷeʔyit npukʷnteʔes łuʔ k’ʷup’eʔs. kʷen’t qʷuyʔe, qʷn’qʷin’t łuʔ in eslʔupn eł cil pounds.

t nk’ʷuʔ u qʷu cuntm ep sʔupcin łuʔ itxʷeʔ. l šey’ u qeqs q’ʷlepm. n’e qe wis q’ʷlepm łuʔ qe sxʷaʔlitxʷeʔ n’em qe p’ƛntem łuʔ sʔupciys.    

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013


Francis and I went back to Spangle this afternoon to continue digging camas. He also showed me a great place to dig Indian carrots. During the first part of the day, the sky dumped rain in huge torrents, but after a while, the sky cleared and gave us perfect digging weather - not too hot and not too cold. Actually, it was perfect, and the mud made for easy digging. I wanted to take pictures, but I forgot the camera battery at home. Fortunately, I convinced someone to take a picture of us covered in mud, just so Shelly would know what she missed. I think this is what she called "hard core," as in hard core root digging. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Camas Seeds

The camas fields have already dried, but the tops are still visible, and each is filled with little black seeds. When the wind blows, the seeds rattle inside the brittle pods. As I dug the camas bulbs, I scattered most of the seeds on the ground in hopes of renewing the next generation of plants, but I collected a few to see if they would grow at home. 

Of course, I had to do my classic pose at least once. 

A barbed wire fence separates the camas from a farmer's field. 



All these flowers were growing
in the camas fields near Spangle. 
Can any one name them all? 

Elkhorn Clarkia (Clarkia pulchella). 

What is the name of this flower???

Common Blanketflower (Gaillardia aristata)

From the past...

Recently, I took a trip down memory lane and read some of my old journals from when I met Tim and Jeannine at the Bioneers Conference. According to my journal, that all happened on October 20, 2007. On November 10 of the same year, they invited my family to a fall harvest gathering near Sandpoint, Idaho. (This photograph was taken during the November gathering). 

Strangely, the day after we met at Bioneers, I felt compelled to write my first impressions in my journal. At one point, I directed my thoughts toward Tim, as if I were writing a personal letter instead of a private diary. I wrote, "You're searching for something, and hoping perhaps I may hold something in trust for you. And perhaps I do hold something from a previous time... but it's not mine, really. I simply hold something you misplaced or forgot many years ago."

In my journal, I also mentioned that Jeannine introduced herself and said that we had spoken before. I did not remember meeting, but I later wrote, "I remember you now, and as I look upon your face, I remember something much deeper." She was holding their son River in her arms. Actually, River's eyes are my strongest visual memory from that day. Regarding River I wrote, "I'm sure we met in another lifetime, maybe 10,000 years ago or more."

Six years later, it is strange to look back and see how this relationship has evolved. It is even more strange that I even thought to write my first impressions of that meeting. It all makes me wonder what things were set in motion on that day, or maybe what things finally reached the surface. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Solstice

Last night I dreamed about the summer solstice. 

An old man said, "Pray for the sun, because tomorrow is the summer solstice - the longest day of the year." So then a small group of men gathered together and sang to the power of the sun, and as we sang, the sun rose high into the sky and smiled. 

When I awoke, I thought, "Is today really the summer solstice?" I rolled out of bed and checked my calendar. Sure enough, my dream was right. 

Later in the day, I visited my uncle in Wellpinit and saw these amazing white daisies growing in the meadow behind his house. They reminded me of the smiling face of the sun from my dream.  

Even as I was feeling poetic about these flowers, I later learned that daisies are considered a noxious weed. They came originally from Europe and have since been naturalized in other areas of the world. In some parts of the country, they form dense colonies and displace native vegetation. They're such pretty little things. Who would have thought they could be a problem? 


After three days of constant rain, the sky finally began to clear, but the torrent left raindrops on serviceberry leaves near my uncle's house. They remind me of jewels that sparkle in the sunlight. 


This post was inspired by a question from a Facebook friend. I recently blogged a photograph of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and she asked, “What is the [Salish] word for sacred or holy?” Many times, the exact meaning of a concept does not translate into other languages. I suspect the same is true of “sacredness” in Salish. As will be seen, this word makes a wide variety of renditions in the language.

When the Jesuits translated prayers and hymns into the Salish language, they often used different words to describe the same concept. For example, they used the word xest (good) to describe something sacred, as evidenced in the hymn “Sacred Heart of My God.” This was translated as: “xest spuʔus in k’ʷl’ncutn” (Connolly & Michael, 1958, p. 4). Other times, the Jesuits used a Latin base to describe something saintly or holy, especially if the term referred to a name, as in “Holy Mary Pray for Me.” Holy Mary was called “sent mali” (p. 21).  On still other occasions, the Jesuits used the word pxpaxt (wise) to describe something sacred. A prominent example includes a translation of the Christmas hymn “Silent Night” where the first line reads, “qmqemt skʷkʷec, pxpaxt skʷkʷec” (peaceful night, wise night).

An unpublished Spokane dictionary used a different word to describe the concept of sacredness: xaʔxeʔt, translated variously as something sacred, feared, respected, or held in awe. Based on the dictionary entry, this word may sometimes refer to powerful or mysterious forces of nature.

Finally, an old Rawhide Press advertisement from the early 1980s wished readers a “Happy Christmas” with the phrase, “pipit nčputétn sxlxalt” (Happy most holy, sacred day). In this case, the root word seems to come from putʔem, referring to something respected or honored.

From all the examples, it is difficult to know which word most accurately reflects the traditional, pre-Christian concept of sacredness. Is sacredness good, wise, mysterious, feared, or respected? Maybe it’s a little bit of all of them. 


Connolly, T., & Michael, M. (Eds.). (1958). Quay-lem u en-chowmen: A collection of hymns and prayers in the Flatead - Kalispel - Spokane Indian language. Worley, Idaho.

hi čč'im'sq't

hi čč'im'sq't
hi q'ʷay łiʔe sč'čmasq't, 
xʷeʔit łuʔ sčtmip kʷen't i čim'.  

hoy čaʔłasq't u st'ipeys.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

IEL Class of 2013

The Hillyard staff at the the 2013 IEL graduation. 

Much to my surprise, Derrick graduated today. 
This was the first time I saw him in more than a year. 

My colleagues from the Monroe Center. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


A photograph from Whitney's dance recital. 


A fire last Saturday burned part of Geno's Pizza on North Hamilton, along with the adjacent Sinto Apartments. I just happened to drive by during the height of the blaze and managed to get some pictures of the event. Krem 2 News reported on the official story. 

After a while, a woman stood on the street and started screaming at the people. She said, "Get the hell out of here! This is our home, not a f---ing freak show!" I thought it was a valid point to make, though I certainly understand the impulse for people to be captivated by unusual events. 


xest yesu, tam sq'sip u wičncn. lemlmtš.


yo sxʷxʷiy'epeʔłp snc'eʔk'ʷt, 
qʷamqʷmt łuʔ a sk'ʷƛus. 
kʷen't a spuʔus 
ec'xił kʷkʷr'iy't kʷkʷusm. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Sunday, June 16, 2013


As one more photo tribute to my dad before the end of Father's Day, this picture was taken in the summer of 1988, just after we buried my Yaya Messie Moses Haines. It is one of the few photographs where my dad and his three children are all together. 


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