Wednesday, April 30, 2014

McAlester OK State Prision; and Big MAC OK

Oh once again I had a remarkable reception and great time in Choctaw Nation! This time with the Pittsburgh Co. Child Abuse Task Force hosting a conference for those who work with children and adults all over the place, in the darkest of times, that hardest of situations and seeing the worst of the worst as they advocate for the children attempting to keep them from harm. OR as they remove them from harms way....
Where I spoke was also a stone's throw from the State Prison that has today made the news across our Nation! I had several conversations while in "Big Mac" about that prison; maximum security, where the death penalty is carried out, where to escape those 4 sided sharp razor steel coils that appear as barbed wire would take some doing.  

Where I spoke to some awesome folks was also the place that an intertribal Pow Wow was held the very next day. Oh my goodness... was I blessed, but interestingly once again I heard about the prison!

 An ominous place, with the cell blocks in the background, the armed guards in the towers, the baddest of the bad inside. Yes, it may look like barbed wire... but it is much more than that and I'm certain that inmates know just how sharp what it is really is.

 In talking about this prison, a friend let me know that she has a woman friend who has worked there as a guard since the 70's.  The cell blocks have little window holes just enough that perhaps prisoners can see outside or light can get inside. That prison is known by just about everyone I met on this trip. Some had relations that had served time there, or at the minimum security prison in Steigler. 

Imagine my surprise when the news today featured the very same prison that I laid eyes upon and talked about; the inmate that died after execution that seemed to be "botched" by the new cocktail used. 
Clayton Lockett, 38, was declared unconscious 10 minutes after the first of the state's new three-drug lethal injection combination was administered. Three minutes later, though, he began breathing heavily, writhing, clenching his teeth and straining to lift his head off the pillow.
The blinds were eventually lowered to prevent those in the viewing gallery from watching what was happening in the death chamber, and the state's top prison official eventually called a halt to the proceedings. Lockett died of a heart attack a short time later, the Department of Corrections said.  It seems that drug makers who oppose execution have found a way to stop selling to correctional facilities or loop holes that have now made it harder for both the inmate dying and the ones bearing witness to it.
"Tuesday was the first time Oklahoma used the drug midazolam as the first element in its execution drug combination. Other states have used it before; Florida administers 500 milligrams of midazolam as part of its three-drug combination. Oklahoma used 100 milligrams."

Lockett was a four time felon, a man who shot  19-year-old Stephanie Neiman with a sawed-off shotgun and watched as two accomplices buried her alive in rural Kay County in 1999 after Neiman and a friend arrived at a home the men were robbing.  He has been waiting on death row a long time it seems to me, as do most who are placed there.

In McAlester there is another prisoner who was to face execution yesterday but it has been postponed as a result of the drug combo difficulty.  An inmate named Warner had been scheduled to be put to death two hours later in the same room and on the same gurney. The 46-year-old was convicted of raping and killing his roommate's 11-month-old daughter in 1997. 

Interestingly, Lockett and Warner had sued the state for refusing to disclose details about the execution drugs, including where Oklahoma obtained them... later the high court dismissed their case and their stay.

So as I reflect upon my time in McAlester OK, or as it is lovingly known as Big Mac or MacTown... I was also quite shocked to read about the very prison I set my own eyes upon just a couple days ago and the happenings there.  To think the felons involved are on death row for heinous crimes against children; one 17; one just a baby made me sick in my heart.  I can only imagine how those I spoke to at the conference feel.

WE must stop violence against our most precious resources; our children. 

After attending the Pow Wow and seeing the children there dance, seeing the tenderness shown by Mothers/Fathers/Elders/Community; I truly believe that ALL children should be exposed to dance as an outlet of creativity, of oneness with spirit, of the Universal Connection to Creator and to community.

Much to think about; whether you are opposed to the death penalty or for it, or neutral in your stance. It is just ironic that today's news would let us know of the same place I heard so many stories of just 48 hours ago along with the crimes of those involved.  

The question of the day?
Whatever has happened to swift justice? Sitting with three hots and a cot all those years at tax payer's expenses, working out, enjoying television, playing cards, getting "buff" while a 17 year old was shot and buried alive, and a baby was abused and killed leaving families behind to mourn with a community.

Just a question, perhaps it is rhetorical.

Have a most joyous week:

Thank YOU all in McAlester OK for your hospitality and treating me as family, I look forward to returning.

Walk in beauty,

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Baby Gator
Lake Tarpon

Sure is good to see the sun
after the Thunder Beings
cleansing rains of last evening!

Just a thought:

Sometimes even the most powerful of words
seem lost in the pictures and
actions of others don't they?

I think of some of the great photos I've been able to capture and enjoy sharing here
of the sights AND people watching that I so enjoy...
it reminds me that even as much as I love words
their power
and intention behind them
it is so true
"a picture is worth a thousand words"
I can't help but be reminded
that sometimes
our daily movements
are misinterpreted by others
as we move into our days
depending on what we have on our minds
at the time.
Those movements
can be seen as
"flighty", "angry", "giddy", sassy"
or just plain out
but oh for the love of words
even if at times they may
they may be found to be
powerful and sharp like a knife
or harsh
they also can carry profound healing
and messages of love and wonderment
just a photograph
that takes your breath away
makes you think
"oh my"
like that baby
just knowing
if there is a baby gator
just laying there
in the canal's edge
there must be a big ole Mama Gator
somewhere nearby!
"Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning." Maya Angelou

So then,beauty
is all around us
whether the swimming ones, the winged ones
the four leggeds
two leggeds
if we approach it and all in the circle with
great respect, tenderness and
we can all just get along real fine!
The music is there for you
you must find your own steps
for the dance
and be willing
to risk the steps involved
with that said
this day
enough said!

Enjoy this day,
embrace it
dance on friends
and notice
that words are powerful
as are actions
are the photos of your minds' eye
Enjoy!  Something to chew on today!

After months and months of planning... it's time to board that big plane and head back to the great state of OKLAHOMA! I am honored to be speaking to the Pittsburg Co. Child Abuse Task Force and hundreds of Professionals that put in some hard work with those that need them most in McAlester Oklahoma! McAlester is in Choctaw Nation and I am honored. Yakoke! Our children have some strong advocates there, who are seeing and doing remarkable work.  Not everyone can do what they are doing.... I hope to remind them of that. WE MUST STOP ABUSE!

*thanks for the continued vibes, prayers and thoughts... I'm upright, and oh boy does that feel better, still improving!*  Take best care of YOU out there!

Walk In Beauty,

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Blessings to all
as families friends gather
both near and far
that Easter Bunny
has been there
leaving a basket of goodies
and wonder
the sounds now will be heard on the winds
all around.

Although I have heard that the news that cold weather is still holding on to some places in our country and even that stuff known as
Snow is making the Egg Hunt a bit of a challenge for some!

I guess the ole Bunny will not be deterred
families will still gather
to celebrate
to see the sunrise over the mountains, the waters, and to stretch into a day of wonderment,
to sit around tables
while sharing time honored traditions. Others may be starting new traditions, doing things differently.

"Easter is not a time for groping through dusty, musty tomes or tombs to disprove spontaneous generation or even to prove life eternal. It is a day to fan the ashes of dead hope, a day to banish doubts and seek the slopes where the sun is rising, to revel in the faith which transports us out of ourselves and the dead past into the vast and inviting unknown."
 ~Author unknown, as quoted in the Lewiston Tribune

So whether you are coloring eggs, throwin' the ham in the oven; deviling those great eggs or getting your Easter bonnet out to get all dressed for a day of rejoicing on the mountain or by the seaside,
or reflecting upon the New Beginnings of Spring
and thanking the Creator or Goddess of and for your many blessings in your life
May your day be richly blessed
no matter your thoughts, your beliefs
or your faith
From my home to yours
Happy Spring
with heartfelt wishes to you and yours
and always.

may you celebrate your traditions
your cultures
and remember those no longer with you
by saying their names
and recalling times gone by.
May you know that miracles are all around you, you are living proof of that. 
May you rejoice in knowing
there is
NO distance;
hearts once joined in love and connection
cannot be separated
unless by your choosing
they stay connected
through time
with each beat of the heart.

Today we also celebrate life,
we celebrate spring
the New Beginnings and the moment
this moment
right here
right now
by the choices we make
those we have in our lives
and the way
we choose to love them
honor them
by our actions
our treatment of them
each moment
with each breath we take
each conscious action we make.
Life is for the living
Live well
Laugh so much your face hurts
Eat every flavor of pie you can find
start the exercise program on Tuesday
when you share with your friends at home
the new discoveries you made during the
Easter visit
all the new quirks of families and friends
you discovered.
If you go to church
remember to not go to sleep
if you saw the sunrise
at the sunrise services
you  attended
wasn't it just amazing?
He/she just went and did it again
for us...
Brought that sun up just for YOU
and oh boy what a sight to behold it is.
you can never ever ever have enough
Love, laughter, good friends
good times, music

Just so you know:

The name Easter derived from the Saxon Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre). The ancient Saxons in Northern Europe worshiped the Goddess Oestre at the time of the Spring Equinox. The Goddess Easter represents the sunrise, spring-time and fertility, the renewal of life. The name Easter derived from the Saxon Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre). The ancient Saxons in Northern Europe worshiped the Goddess Oestre at the time of the Spring Equinox. The Goddess Easter represents the sunrise, spring-time and fertility, the renewal of life.

Pagan Anglo-Saxons made offerings of colored eggs to her at the Vernal Equinox. They placed them at graves especially, probably as a charm of rebirth. (Egyptians and Greeks were also known to place eggs at grave-sites). Just a little history to start your holiday today...

For those who are out and on the roads traveling this weekend- remember there are many out there as well, be safe, buckle up and keep those doors locked! Sing songs and play games while you travel, take breaks and enjoy each stop along the way! It's holiday time, avoid the stress by knowing GAS PRICES ARE RIDICULOUS, SO SET YOURSELF FREE ON THAT ONE!

To those who have served and are serving this great Nation, I thank you and your families.



We are together in prayer, in thoughts of all that is needed to remind you we are WARRIORS... gentle warriors of kindness and compassion even during times of stress.

May you find comfort in knowing we are with you always:

AND for that I give thanks, and so it is!
FOR: OUR Ancestors; where would we be without them.

For those who have asked, the blog and I will continue on... just a hiccup the last month or so have kept us "off the grid" so to speak!
Thanks for checking back often, you are cherished.