Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Zhini on the Rez

Greetings from Dinetah! The Navajo Reservation! (Well, to be honest, I'm just north of it now in Colorado. But I spent a majority of my time on it.)

This is third time visiting the Rez, and I learn something new every time. While I wanted to come in less urgent circumstances around Christmas, I still loved my time here.

A bit of back story: The Salt Clan (SaltMama's clan and Mr. Salt's maternal clan) had a family emergency, so Mr. Salt and I took the 18 hour trip from Texas to get all the way to Rez. Why not fly? It still takes four hours to drive to Shiprock, Mr. Salt hometown on the Rez, from Albuquerque.

So while I have a moment, I thought I'd post some random thoughts about my time here. I'll have pictures soon as I develop them, as well as some more in depth posts:

1. I was probably the only Zhini (black person) for miles in certain areas of the Rez.

2. SaltMama's cooking, especially her frybread, is heaven.

3. I received a Storyteller's bracelet from SaltMama as an early Christmas gift.

4. I got a chance to meet more of Mr. Salt's family this time around.

5. SaltMama is my mom, shi ma in Navajo. SisterSalt is my sister. They're in laws, but I only refer to them as that when I'm talking to other people. Otherwise, it's my mom or my sister. It's common terminology for the Dine.

6. Rez dogs are everywhere on the Rez. Rez Dogs are dogs "owned" by people as far as being fed, but are allowed to roam free since there are no fences around the houses.

7. You truly make your own roads on the Rez. It was muddy around SaltMama's housing complex, and you could see the deep grooves in the dirt paths leading to the houses.

8. It's very cold up here! As a Texan, it's something I have to get used to.

More coming soon! Hopefully, I would have done the City Market experiment the next time I post. City Market is a store in Shiprock, and I need to by my quarterly supply of Blue Bird flour.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dreaming of fish?

This is the one time in my life that I want to be told that someone in my family was dreaming of fish.

As a lot of black people know, to dream of fish is a very good sign that someone you know is pregnant. I'm unaware of any signs that the Dine'(Navajo) people use (and I have asked Mr. Salt), but I do know that SaltMama is very keen on her predictions.

Yaah! (Navajo translation: An expression of frustration) Who knew that trying to create a Zhindian would be so much work! Especially with my PCOS. I've finally delved deep into the Trying to Conceive world and it can be intimidating. From basal temperatures, to egg whites, to 'Tussen, and baby dancing of course, there's a lot of information out there to make your head spin. And I'm beat.

PCOS, how I hate thee. I used to be regular to the day. Now I'm lucky to have a period. Mr. Salt is always happy for me when I do get it, though I always feel guilty about it. Why? Because culturally, Navajo men are not supposed to know when their ladies have their periods. The women just make sure that everything associated with it (like pads) are out of sight and unseen. So I feel like I'm shattering some of his traditions when I talk about it.

I don't know why I'm making myself depressed right now. It's still to early to know if I'm carrying a Zhindian or not. I'm hopeful, but all my twinges and signs in the past have been false alarms. So I don't want to be too disappointed.

But maybe one day...soon...


Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Kokopelli Recipe Box: 'Ghetto' Navajo Tacos

This is the first in a couple of entries for The Kokopelli Recipe Box, which includes all sorts of recipes from frybread to red beans. I hope others will like my recipes and use them.

Mmm...Navajo tacos. I made this for Mr. Salt's dinner last week. You can find these for sall back on the Navajo Reservation. The Cheesecake Factory has a version called The Navajo, but it isn't the same. I call my version 'ghetto' because a true Navajo taco uses beans. I replaced the beans with ground beef in my version:

'Ghetto' Navajo Tacos
Recipe by DineBoo

A few pieces of frybread (check my Frybread Power! post for recipe)
A pound of ground round beef
Diced tomatoes
Shredded lettuce
Grated cheddar cheese
Seasonings (salt, pepper, Accent, etc) for taste

Prepare your frybread recipe. You can cook the frybread before or after you cook your meat. I perfer after, so the frybread is warm.

Crumble the ground round in a pan. Season the ground beef the way you like it. I like it a little plain, so I add a little Accent to it, or maybe some salt. Cook until brown, and be sure to not let it cook until it's dry. You want the meat to be cooked, but a little juicy. Drain away excess grease.

Take a piece of warm frybread and sit it on a plate. Spoon some ground beef on top of it, as much as you like.

Add some shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and cheddar cheese, so it looks like a taco. Viola! Ghetto Navajo Taco. Aside from making the frybread, this is very easy to make and filling. Serve with a Coke.

You can eat it with a knife and fork like I do, or you can do what Mr. Salt does and fold the frybread in half like a taco and eat it that way. It kind of looks like a Taco Bell Chalupa if you do it like that.

If you have any frybead leftover, treat it as dessert and drizzle it with honey. Yum!

Happy Eating!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

You said what?

It's always been a fear of mine that I would say something horrible in a another language just by mispronouncing something.

For me, it was speaking Navajo to Mr. Salt a few weeks ago.

As I said to Diva in the comments below, Navajo (Dine bizaad) is a tonal language, meaning that where you put the emphasis in a good portion of the words can totally change the meaning of the word. Say it one way, it means this. Say it another, it means that.

So, when we were at the softball game I referenced a few posts ago, there was a grill fired up to cook burgers. Mr. Salt referenced the smoke coming our way in Navajo. Repeating him, I attempted to say the word for smoke. Mr. Salt immediately corrects me.

What I said wasn't smoke.

I had said shit.

Ah, for the joys of learning a new language.

It does has it fun moments. For instance, you can talk about people that give us evil looks (Angry Black Cat referenced this in her blog), and they can be totally confused because they expect Spanish(due to Mr. Salt's coloring). It always throws them for a loop.

Saying "over there" in Navajo can be fun too. The distance to get to o'er there where something is can change from two feet to ten miles depending how long you draw out a certain constant.

And, of course, misspeaking the language isn't always limited to me. Mr. Salt says that when he was little and learning the language, SaltMama had sent him over to his grandma's house for onions. So when he gets there, he tries to ask for onions using Navajo.

He didn't say onion. He said the vulgar word for a woman's lower anatomy.

So grandma was offended and was mad at SaltMama for teaching Mr. Salt dirty words.

Oh, and Mr. Salt's first learned English word?



Saturday, October 27, 2007

Tales from Dinetah: Sleeping Man and Sleeping Woman

This is the first of a few tales that come from Mr. Salt family in Dinetah. Dinetah is Mr. Salt's home, the Navajo reservation.

Mornings in the Mr. Salt/DineBoo residence go something like this:

DineBoo: Get up! Sleeping Woman was crawling all over you!
Mr. Salt: I know. She had me wrapped up pretty tight. I had to get Sleeping Man to come get her off me.

When you have trouble waking up in the morning (or just waking up period like I do), it is said that Sleeping Man (or Woman if you're a guy) has you all wrapped up tight and is not letting you go.

Sleeping Man and Sleeping Woman are said to be foul, smelly people. Just really rank and dirty. Their breath stinks (morning breath) and they have matty hair (bed hair). That dried, crusty matter in your eyes after you wake up either dried drool from your respected Sleeping person or something else entirely. Mr. Salt can get creative with what that 'something else' is, so I'll just leave it as other body fluids and continue on.

Sleeping Man is always trying to get with Sleeping Woman, but if she rejects him, he'll find someone else to be with for the night. Same with Sleeping Woman. So you (or your partner) need to shake him off and chase him away.

When you're waking somebody up you need to shake them hard so that Sleeping Man will go away and find another person to be with for rest the night. The harder it is to wake the person up, the harder you need the shake the person awake. You might say some really gross things (like Sleeping Man's drool is all over them) so that they'll wake up faster. Mr. Salt says this works great with kids.

It can also be a sign of laziness when you are told that Sleeping Man(or Woman) is always around you. It means you're sleeping too much and not getting ready for the day!


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wait a minute...weren't you black last week?

First of all, I would like to thank all my visitors to my little corner of the web, as well as Halima and Diva for linking to me. Thank you so much!

This past Tuesday, I was watching ECW. A wrestling program. Weird I know, but I've been watching some sort of wrestling program every week for the past ten years and it's a very hard habit to break. Or maybe I like watching guys in skimpy shorts.

Anyway, there's this black looking lady called Layla that shows up at almost every show. I think she's the only black (looking ethnic) 'Diva' in WWE right now due to the fact they let go of the only other black Diva last week. In the picture here, she has curly hair and has noticeable black features.

Fast foward to this past Tuesday. She shows up as a part of this wierd entourage, and I had a hard time placing her. In fact, I thought she got replaced by someone else! But a few rewinds with with my trusty DVR confirmed it was indeed her. What was it that made her look so differnt?

She had straightened her hair.

Granted, I also chemically straighten my hair, but with her, she didn't look black at all! It was like she changed ethnicities overnight. Now, she could be of different heritages, but this one change made her completely look like a different race.

This kinda disturbed me, because I don't know why this change had to be made. Is she getting rid of one stereotype for the other? The wrestling world is built on all types of stereotypes. From the redneck, to the hoodrat, to the war chanting Indian, the wrestling world has or had these characters. Here, Layla flip flops from looking ethnic to looking white in a week!

I don't know. I guess I should be used to this by now. But Layla, please, bring back your curly hair!


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Rezzed Out...aaayyy!

Over time, Mr. Salt and I have developed our own unique way of talking and mannerisms. Some words we use are taken from the Rez, the Navajo language, and black slang. I'll start with the word 'john' from my previous post.

'John': Mr. Salt says this means a really bozzie "ghetto" Navajo. Yes, they can be ghetto. More relates to the way they live on the Rez and life itself.

"...aaayyy!" Attached to the end of the sentence, it's how women flirt on the Rez. "That guy was giving you the eye, aaayyy!" RezDog.com has a great shirt with this saying on it. I want one.

"...and everything!" Attached to the end of sentence, it rolls up what could goes on with a person or a situation into one word. "He was drinking with his friends and everything!" "He was running around and everything!" Most people know what the "Everything" is.

"O'er there!" Basically, "over there!" Also point with your lips when you say this to give the right directions. Mr. Salt rubbed off on me because now I say this every time I give out directions.

"Ckys!" Put your tongue at the roof of mouth and make the 'ck' sound. Basically used when you have a "Are you kidding me? No way!" moment.

'ennit': No explanation necessary. Really.

Indianuity: Whenever Mr. Salt figures out how to rig something to make it work or make it work better. Similar to N*gger rigging.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

One little, two little, three little zhindians...


That term was created by SaltMama when Mr. Salt and I were dating. "You two will have zhindians!" she said. It's a fun term. Mr. Salt and I use it a lot to talk about any future children and situations.

Yesterday, we headed to see a softball game (which was part of a tournament) of a couple we know from church. Their youngest daughter was the flowergirl in our wedding, and we've had fellowship with them for the past year. It was a great outing. We got fresh air, visited a new restaurant, and if I wasn't sick, I would have stayed longer.

Mr. Salt admitted today that seeing all the kids made him wish for kids...zhindians. I know I want to have them. I wanted my mother to see any grandkids, but she passed before she could even meet Mr. Salt. My PCOS (PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome) worries me, but if I get it under control, I should be fine. My PCOS has given me plenty of false alarms though, and even now, I dread taking another pregnancy test. I want it to be positive.

Having zhindians also creates some interesting discussions when it comes to Navajo clans. As I stated in my very first post, Mr. Salt has four clans, his main two being the Salt and Mexican People clans. When we have kids, the kids loses two clans, compared to another Navajo who have four. SaltMama has it figured it out to where any kids of ours will belong to a black person (me) and born for the Mexican People (Mr. Salt).

We hope this would do if our kids have to go to school on the Rez. One of the very first greetings to one another on the Rez is "What are your clans?" It helps establish family, friendship, and dating possibilies (You're not supposed to date within your clan. It's considered incest).

So for now, we talk about future zhindians we will have. And how 'john' they will be. What is 'john'. Rez terminology that have to dedicate a future post to. But for now, think upper class ghetto.


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

It's all about perspective...

Yesterday was Columbus Day. My conversation with Mr. Salt went like this:

DineBoo: Today's Columbus Day! Feel like scalping someone?
Mr. Salt: Not yet, but soon!

Prior to meeting Mr. Salt, I really didn't think about Columbus Day. All I knew it was a holiday that I didn't get off at school or at work. Now I know that it can be very insulting for some.

Imagine giving a holiday to the person that started the invasion of your homeland? That started the massacre of your people? That it is one note in history that caused your people great harm?

So we have Columbus Day. Mr. Salt doesn't celebrate it, obviously. He also doesn't really celebrate Thanksgiving, another obvious one. I mean, the Family comes together to eat, but that's it.

Because of a man, Native Americans were almost reduced to nothing. They were caricatures. And it's taken years to address that, even though some negative images remain.

A black comedian said it best: Washington N*ggers.

Puts it all into percpective.

As a side note, Mr. Salt was cheering when the Clevland Indians beat the New York Yankees. What he said, and I quote:

Mr. Salt: Screw Columbus! The Indians have won!


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Hormones, hormones, hormones...

For a lot of women, there comes a time during every month where our female hormones start surging. Apparently, mine started this week.

I have had mood swings all week. One day I get really aggravated with Mr. Salt over something silly that I normally don't care about. The other day I'm all depressed and want to be left alone. Today, I'm sobbing over the ending to A Time to Kill. Yes, I know it's emotional, but it's not a movie I've cried about before. And I've seen the ending more than five times!

I just love my body.


Monday, October 1, 2007

Time to get back to work

On Tuesday, I reenter the workforce after being off for about a year.

During my time off, I got married and played homemaker, taking care of Mr. Salt. It was kind of a test run, mostly to see if we could handle things if I had zhindians and I wanted to stay home. We're on the edge, but it's a wait and see type of situation.

I'm kinda nervous. I haven't been in an office for a while, but I think I'll be okay. It'll be nice to get up and have something to do again. Now all I have to do is to start planning for when to do my exercises and Mr. Salt's and I lunches. And buy more businesses casual attire. I need a long skirt, a few tops, and another jacket.

I've enjoyed my rest, but now is the time to put my degree to use. I've spent too much money on it not to.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I Love a Good Sweat

I've been working out regularly for the past month now. It's weird...if I don't do some sort of exercise, I feel really guilty! (Like today...)I guess that trick to making exercise habit forming stuck.

I've been hitting the treadmill whenever I can, or doing my Walk Away The Pounds DVDs. I also use the weight machines every other day. I don't stop until I get a good sweat, and my heart rate is in a good range. It makes me think about all those times when I just got on the treadmill and leisurely walked. Right now, I make sure I walk on an incline and make sure I go faster than 2.5 mph.

All that sweating paid off. Stepped on the scales this weekend, and I had lost 3 pounds! Which is good for me due to my PCOS. Now I have to make sure I eat at least 3 times a day. In the past, I would only eat a big meal at dinner time and graze throughout the day. Today I eat when hubby eats, regardless if I go back to sleep (since hubby has to get back to work so early in the morning). I try to drink more water now, too, since I was drinking tons of soda. Now I either drink water (which I have been slacking about recently), or tea. Now, if I could only stop my iced coffee cravings...

And of course, compliments help. The other day, Mr. Salt said he could tell I was working out due to my butt getting firmer. ;)


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Am I nesting?

I don't know if there's a pre-nesting stage in a woman's life, but it feels like that for me right now.

I am hopelessly addicted to Nick Jr. Once Mr. Salt is off to work it's time to turn on Nickelodeon. Nick Jr. has all the preschool programs geared to the little ones, and I'm finding that a lot of them are very good. I don't remember any other shows like this when I was growing up, besides Seseme Street and Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.

My favorite Nick Jr. programs are The Wonder Pets and The Backyardigans. The Wonder Pets, based on school pet superheros, singing and lyrics are great and very cute. The messages they employ are not heavy handed like other shows I've seen. Teamwork is important, and their differences are played up as strengths.

The Backyardigans is great for showing the powers of playing together and using your imagination. Their latest double episode, International Secret Spy, was great and funny. I think I liked it a lot more than some other movies I've seen recently.

Now, there are some I can't stand. That's reserved for Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go! The pauses for audience participation drives me nuts! If they actually had a voice for the audience one their shows and not just silence it would be much better.

But I digress. Maybe I'm preparing myself to watch all these shows in the future. Or maybe I'm just bored with adult TV right now. But it's good to enjoy it while I can.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Frybread Power!

Diamond in the blog post below this asked about frybread, so I decided to post about this since I finally uploaded my pictures.

Frybread is dough fried in shortening or lard until it's crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. The Dine like their frybread just a tad bit more salty than other tribes, so the recipe I use for Mr. Salt adds just a bit more salt.

The recipe for frybread I use calls for:

2 Cups of flour. I use Bluebird Flour from the Rez when I can get it. If not,
use King Author All purpose flour. This is the brand I've found that is closest to BlueBird.

1/2 Tablespoon of Baking Powder. Make sure it's fresh!

1/2 teaspoon plus a little more of salt. This varies a bit since I eyeball it. I can use up to 3/4 of a teaspoon. If you don't like salty food, use a little less than half .

Enough warm water to make a dough ball, about a 1 cup.

Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Add enough water to form a ball of dough. Note the spoon in the bowl. SaltMama uses her hands to mix the flour and water together. I have long nails, so I use the spoon.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface, and kneed the dough until it's soft, but not sticky. Separate the dough into smaller pieces, about 6 or 7.

Now here's the tricky part: You need to flatten a piece a dough to a uniform thickness. I press the dough ball between the palms of my hands to flatten it out, forming a shape like a miniature pizza. You can use a small rolling pin for this if it's easier for you. SaltMama(and others) can do this really fast by tossing the dough between their hands like a pizza. I'm not up to that level yet. Google some frybread making on YouTube to get a better picture.

Melt enough shortening in a large skillet so that the oil comes halfway up the side. Gently place one of the flattened pieces of dough into the skillet. The dough will cook quickly...and watch out for spatter. When it puffs up, floats and turns brown around the edges, flip the piece of dough with a pair of tongs. Let cook for about two minutes more, then remove when browned. Place frybread onto paper towels towels to drain.

While the dough is cooking, I'm usually flattening another piece of dough. You can do this advance, because if you're not fast enough, the bread can burn. Continue frying the dough, and stacking the frybread on a paper towel.

Voila! You get the frybread pictured at the beginning of the post. You can eat the frybread as is, or drizzle it with some honey. Eat it while it's hot!

The batch pictured here was called my best batch I've ever made by Mr. Salt. Yum!


P.S. Oh yeah...make sure you have some sort of vent and close the doors to your kitchen when you make frybread. Or open a window.The smell of frybread gets everywhere, so if you don't want to smell like a fried bread at state fair the next day, make sure the vent is on. ;)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Mmm...Comfort foods

This evening, I made a pan of cornbread from scratch just for the express purpose of being eaten with milk. Mmmm....

Something I got from my father, sweet cornbread with a splash of milk is a dish I eat when there's nothing else to eat or I'm sick. Reminds me when I was little, learning how to cook from Dad. It's very filling and a great meal replacer in a pinch.

Fettuccine Alfredo is another comfort food of mine. It's usually made for my lunch, but only when I have good Parmesan, cream and garlic in the house. Since I've been trying to lose weight, this dish hasn't been made in a while.

Mr. Salt's comfort foods are ground beef with fried potatoes. With frybread, this is made when he's going on a work trip somewhere. Other comfort foods are beef stew and fried bologna sandwiches. And fried SPAM. All made by SaltMama back in day.

Yum. You know, maybe I'll make a small dish of Fettuccine Alfredo with my fish tomorrow...


Saturday, September 8, 2007

Are you red or brown or...

Last night, I posed this question to Mr. Salt:

DineBoo: Do you consider yourself brown or red?
Mr. Salt: Hmm...Brown.
DineBoo: Where did red come from?
Mr. Salt: Don't know. Always wondered about that myself.

It's funny how we perceive ourselves. A good portion of minorities can look mostly brown, but classify as brown, red, or black. Going further, if others are perceived to act too white, we're either an Oreo (as I've been called on occasion when I was younger) or an Apple for Native Americans.

Then, when it comes to Mr. Salt, there's the whole 'You don't look like an Indian!" comments that he gets, which is another blog post in and of itself.


Sunday, September 2, 2007

I love my hair, but...

Yesterday, I was able to go to the beauty shop (read: beauty salon) in order to get my hair retouched. A retouch is when a beautician applies a relaxer only to new hair growth, instead of all of the hair. My head feels much better, as I've been really sweating into my hair as I've been working out every day.

As the retouch was being applied, I started thinking about how much work my hair is to maintain:

On average, I spend over $100 on hair products due to its length, which is midway down my back. I usually have to spend a whole night to a weekend in the kitchen when I decide to wash my hair, due to amount of products I put on my hair just to keep it healthy. Since I only trust few people to do my hair, only one beautician does my hair, and has been doing it since I was in jr. high. Mr. Salt has graciously learned how to apply a retouch when I can't get back to my beautician in time.

And why do I put myself through this?

My hair, in its natural state, is thick and course. NAPPY. If I didn't put a relaxer on my hair years ago, it would be a thick bush. Hard to control and hard to maintain. Thus the monthly regimen.

Love the results, but it does have its drawbacks. For instance:

I can't swim. Or get rained on. If I did, I would have do my hair washing for hours afterwards. So much for jumping in the pool on a whim.

Humidity in the air takes out any style I may have placed in my hair. Ditto sweat. My hair turns into a frizzy, poofy mess.

I have to be diligent about what I put into my hair. If I don't, that risks my hair breaking or causing it damage. I've already done the cut my hair to get rid of the damage routine twice now, and I don't care to do that again.

So does the good outweigh the bad? Perhaps. For the most part I love the way my hair looks. Mr. Salt is getting an quality education by sitting in a black beauty shop for 3+ hours. And now he knows why I complain when I'm caught in a sudden downpour.

I really hope that any future zhindians doesn't inherit my course hair. It will be up to them how they want their hair, but at least they will have any options open to them. I want any future little ones to enjoy a hot summer or a dip in the pool like I did when I was a kid...without any worries.


Monday, August 27, 2007

The Kokopelli...Made in China

This past weekend, Mr. Salt and I visited a local Trading Post. This Trading Post buys and sells Native American arts and crafts. While Mr.Salt went off to find a Dine made Dreamcatcher for a friend of his, I headed for the stuffed Kokopellis.

What's a Kokopelli? In short, a Kokopelli is flute player that can be a trickster, as well as bring good harvests and help with fertility. The Wikipedia article linked goes more in depth.

I love Kokopellis. Even though they mostly identify with the Hopi and the Zuni tribes, the Navajo also talk about them as well. Mr. Salt and I talk about them a lot. In our trips to trading posts and back home on the reservation, I'm always looking for them.

So while I was here, I bought the little stuffed Kokopelli pictured above. I've been meaning to by him since I saw him at the trading post last year. He's cute, don't you think?

After I bought him, I noticed a tag on his bottom with some wording I hadn't really paid any attention to. I took a closer look, and saw this message:

"Made in China...Not a Native American made product."

Who would have thought it. Kokopelli's have been outsourced to China!

But, it does make you think about what other products in the Trading Post have been made in China...

DineBoo, who still loves her Kokopelli regardless. And yes, I really know that this a "neutered" Kokopelli.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Walk this way...Part II

Mr. Salt and I finally made it once around the trail at the local park yesterday. I was proud that we did it! Mr. Salt has been very encouraging. If we keep it up, we'll both be in better health. Losing weight is just an added benefit.

Since we've started walking, it's been an effort to stay hydrated. Especially in this Texas heat. Prior to this, I never drunk a lot of water. Now, I'm on my second 3 cup bottle, which is a feat in and of itself. I've found if I drink a bottle while waiting for Mr. Salt to go to work, it's easier to drink more water throughout the day.

Food is another subject for me. I never eat enough. Usually, I just eat once a day. So for now, I've been trying to eat at least three times a day. SparkPeople is a great free website that helps track the food you eat, as well as offer plans to help you lose weight. It's a nifty site.

If Mr. Salt and I keep all this up, we'll both be in better health. Losing weight is just an added benefit. And doing this together makes our bonds stronger.

DineBoo, drinking her water

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

"Don't use your lips!"

Whenever SaltMama calls or when Mr. Salt calls her, I try to use it as a chance to practice my understanding of the Navajo language.

Since I've met Mr. Salt, I've learned bits and pieces. It's not an easy language to learn. There's a reason why the military used Navajo Code Talkers in World War II.

Mr. Salt says not to use my lips as much, and concentrate on using my tongue more. It's hard to adapt to since English and the French lessons I took almost require you to use your lips, but I'm working on it.

Why am I doing this? So I can enjoy talking with SaltMama(who knows English) and Mr. Salt more, and to pass along the language to any Zhindians that may come along. Mr. Salt and I both want our kids to know their language.

So for now, I practice. And enjoy Mr. Salt when he speaks it. One of the most beautiful things he has ever said to me is that he loved me in Navajo...and that's not the full translation.


Thursday, August 9, 2007

Walk this way

Mr. Salt and I didn't walk today. He was tired and and has been working weird hours.

We recently started walking to lose weight. We chose to walk outside, since there's a lot of trails around here. But Texas makes it so hard since its really hot now. But that's no excuse either. Texas stays hot until September.

The good thing about walking outside is that it gives Mr. Salt and I a chance to talk and unwind about the day together. We also surprise ourself on how far we can walk before returning back to the starting point. So the pros of walking outweigh the heat at this point.

Since we're walking to lose weight, it also means we have to adjust our diets...which means no more frybread for now. That excludes celebrations, however. Special occasions always call for frybread!


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

What are your clans?

First of all, welcome to my blog! I'm DineBoo, the 'Zhini' of Zhindian Affairs. I've discussed with my husband about creating a blog about our life, so here it is. This will also have commentary on interracial living, issues, Navajo way, and of course, frybread.

So let me introduce my husband, the 'indian' of Zhindian Affairs. I'll say this in English to simplify things:

He belongs to Salt Clan, and is born for the Mexican People Clan. So he'll be called Mr. Salt from now on. If I say his other two clans, people would probably figure out who he is ;)

If we were to create our own clan, it would have to be the Tasty Salt Clan. It's a joke from my mother-in-law.

When Mr. Salt was talking about his family when we were dating, it would often confuse me when he would talk about his many grandmas. Especially when I thought you would only have two grandmas. Now that I know about the clan system, I get it.

So what are your clans?

DineBoo, who passed all but two of the tests to be a Navajo wife. More on that later.