Sunday, October 30, 2022

Siouan Language Roots-Dakotan by Zina Abbott

I have written two blog posts about other branches of the Siouan Language groups, which you may read by clicking HERE, for Dhegihan and HERE, for Chiwere. Today, I will touch on the one that many of us initially recognize as coming from Siouan roots—the Dakotan.

If you are good with outlines, here is how the Western Siouan languages are related:

  -  Western Siouan languages can be divided into

     -  Missouri River languages: Crow, Hidatsa, and Mandan

     -  Mississippi River languages:

          -  Dakotan

          -  Chiwere-Winnebago

          -  Dhegihan languages

      - Ohio Valley Siouan branches.

Why so many? The branches of the Siouan language all come from a common group of people who originally lived in the northeastern woodlands of North America. As their population grew, and/or they were pushed out of their traditional hunting grounds by other groups of Native Americans, and bands within their tribes broke away, these people eventually migrated to the regions around the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.

Within the Dakotan language group, here is how it is organized:


-  Western Siouan

     -  Mississippi Valley Siouan

          -  Dakotan

               -  Sioux    

                    -  Lakota (Teton, Teton Sioux)

                    -  Dakota

                         -  Eastern Dakota (Santee & Sisseton)

                         -  Western Dakota (Yankton & Yanktonai)- misclassified as Nakota

               -  Assiniboine

 That is a lot of “follow the yellow brick road” when it comes to seeing how the Sioux language and its dialects fit together. 

Sioux family

One should keep in mind, the Sioux language is the fifth largest language group spoken in North America. The only four language groups in North America that are larger are Navajo, Cree, the Inuit languages, and Ojibwa.


Assiniboine family

The Assiniboine language (also known as Assiniboin, Hohe, or Nakota, Nakoda, Nakon or Nakona, or Stoney) is a Nakotan (Western Dakotan?) Siouan language of the Northern Plains. The name Assiniboine comes from the term Asiniibwaan, from Ojibwe, meaning "Stone Siouans". The reason they were called this was that Assiniboine people used heated stone to boil their food. In Canada, Assiniboine people are known as Stoney Indians, while they called themselves Nakota or Nakoda, meaning "allies".


You can see by a glance at the above map how much territory the speakers of Sioux and Assiniboine languages of the Dakotan language family covers. (The areas circled in orange. Their members are found in parts of Canada, including southern Manitoba and southern Saskatchewan. They are also found in the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, southern Minnesota, Northern Nebraska, and northeastern Montana.

Lakota people

The Dakota and Lakota tribes were well-known tribes of the Great Plains. They were among those who fought long and hard against being forced onto reservations. They are often the tribes that appear in Western novels and romances.


What started my venture into the different branches of the Siouan language was my search for the origins of the Omaha Tribe, their language part of the Dhegihan language group, which was featured in my Thanksgiving romance, Bee Sting Cake by Brunhilde, which you can find by CLICKING HERE.






My other Thanksgiving romance, which takes place in Colorado, is Loving Lila. You will find the book description and link by CLICKING HERE.



I will not contribute to the blog again until after Thanksgiving, so I send my best wishes for a wonderful holiday.



Most of my information came from Wikipedia

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

The Haunted Stockyards by Bea Tifton

  My computer died and I’m using my phone. Forgive the repost, but  it’s the season to be spooky!

A few years ago, I took the Cowtown Winery's Haunted Stockyards Tour. We had complimentary Wine a Ritas in our hands and a great tour guide in our midst. The event at the end really happened. It was the perfect ending to a fascinating glimpse into local history. In the time of Covid, I'd like to visit that wonderful evening again, so forgive the repost. 

The Stockyards actually have a branch of the Trinity River flowing under Exchange, the main street. Many people believe that water holds spiritual activity and heightens paranormal activity.

The Stockyards Hotel was built in 1910 and was a crown jewel of a hotel, attracting rich oil tycoons. Bonnie and Clyde reportedly stayed in room 305. That room now overlooks Merrick Fine Western Wear, which was then a jewelry store, and the nearby bank.  Two stories are told about their stay. One is
that they rented the room to stake out the two businesses, but they liked Fort Worth so much they decided not to rob either place. The other tale is that they told the owners of the bank and the jewelry store that they weren’t there to rob them or cause any trouble because, as  Bonnie and Clyde said, they were just hiding out from the law until things cooled down a bit.
The Stockyards Hotel has a full-bodied apparition named Jesse. He’s a cowboy who couldn’t have afforded to stay in the hotel at the time. People speculate that he just wanted to stay there in the afterlife.  Visitors hear his spurs jingling as he walks through the hall or see him. Jesse never interacts with anyone. 
Many have felt the presence of a former employee, Jake. He was a messenger from the 1900’s and he loved his job of 30-40 years. Visitors feel hot and cold spots and some of his physical duties are still taken care of. If guests leave their room unlocked, it will be locked when they return. For the last 30 years, the phone rings after hours. No one is there and the call cannot be traced, put on hold, or transferred.  

The Rodeo Arena  has had an indoor  rodeo since 1908. This arena is a hotbed of paranormal activity. There is a phantom black horse that runs around the arena.
Apparitions are of deceased cowboys in old-time clothing.  The rodeo was very dangerous and many lost their lives during their performance.  EVP’s (electronic voice phenomenon; conversation not heard by the human ear) record hearing a voice saying, “Cow, cow, cow.” And “Pig, pig, pig.” 
People have also reported seeing the spirit of Quanah Parker, who was the first Native American to ride in a rodeo.

The Exchange Building had two stories. One of the stories is that a man’s small child followed him to work in the early 1900’s. He wasn’t sure what to do with her, so he let her wander around. She went to play in the vault and an employee inadvertently locked her in. She wasn’t discovered in the airtight building until the next morning, and she had suffocated. Employees say they get an eerie feeling upstairs. They see a little girl running around playing and trying to get their attention. She looks out
windows at dawn. One early morning, the paranormal team from the Stockyards found two handprints on the inside of the door. 
The body of a prostitute was found inside years ago when prostitution was a licensed profession. She was probably murdered offsite and then dumped there. Her rose-scented perfume, for which she was known, can still be smelled on tours. 

The Armour Swift Corporate Building is quite an attractive building outside. Arson destroyed the building in the 1970s and, with all the residual animal fat, it took 1 month to put  the fire out completely. The Spaghetti Warehouse was there after the building was rebuilt, but they couldn’t keep staff. Silverware would fly, things would be moved, staff would hear strange noises and experience uneasy feelings.  The building currently houses business offices. 

Riscky's Steakhouse
 is a popular restaurant in the Stockyards. A brothel was above this popular restaurant. This was a high class brothel that was more expensive than usual. The last member of the 
Riscky family is very embarrassed about the brothel and won’t let people go up there. She threw everything away--but a red rocker once owned by the madame mysteriously reappeared in the building.The bells that signaled the men that their time was up are still there and working. The windows where the women would stand to attract customers have been covered up because people kept seeing apparitions of working women standing and posing in them.
Saunders Park
 is a lovely part of the  Stockyards.When the nearby area of Fort Worth was known as part of  Hell’s Half Acre, however, people would take care of disputes by shooting at each other. The dead or dying were dumped into the river by the park. Historic reports from the time say that sometimes the water was red with blood. Divers report that there are too many human bones to count remaining on the bottom of that part of the Trinity River. The city decided not to dredge, leaving them out of respect.   
Miss Molly's B and B is a popular place to stay in the Stockyards. Molly is actually the name of the lead cow in the simulated cattle drive and the mascot of Fort Worth.
The actual Madame was Miss Josie. It was a speakeasy until the 1930’s, and then the site became a low end brothel. The girls were actually 11-15 years old. Most of the girls were orphans or runaways.  Miss Josie was abusive. She didn’t take any guff from the male customers and was known to throw them out on the street. She was morbidly obese and ill-tempered. The girls had huge quotas and, if they didn’t meet them or they talked back, Josie would lock them in the closet without food, water, or facilities as long as she felt the the discipline was required. 
Girls were very competitive and would poison each other’s food and lotion, resulting in some violent illnesses and deaths.  Miss Josie had a daughter, father unknown, who she abused terribly. When the little girl was 8 years old, she disappeared.  Everyone thought Josie had killed her, but it was never investigated.  One time a little girl on the ghost tour had her hair pulled and told her mother that “Mary was messing with her.” No one had told the little girl that Josie’s daughter was named Mary. The owner keeps toys for Mary that no one else is allowed to play with and the playthings move around. 
Josie’s room and the Cowboy’s room are the most haunted. Men have their shoulders rubbed or their heads patted, but women report feeling very unwelcome and watched. 
Miss Josie's Room

Cowboy's Room
The Longhorn Saloon 
is a popular watering hole.  Three cowboys stopped to drink, just boys between 15 and 17. They got drunk and got back on what they thought were their horses. The men whose horses they stole confronted them and the boys were hanged in the saloon.  Now women in the ladies bathroom report having their legs tugged and feeling like they are being watched. 

We ended up back at the Cowtown Winery. The paranormal team that works the Stockyards swept the building and found just as much activity as Miss Molly’s.  It used to be a Chinese Laundry with the family living above.  People feel the presence of a young boy. A medium said he was killed by an abusive parent, who kept him in a cupboard behind the bar. There is an old-fashioned sock monkey doll no one admits to having brought in.  It will disappear for days, then reappear in odd places. 

Another presence is also felt. Wine is spilled during the night, crackers are spilled, and cases topple over. The motion detector is never tripped.  People hear glass break and rush in, but nothing is broken. 

Photo: Jess Vide

While the guide was talking about the little boy, the street light in the alley was flickering. When she got to the story of the other presence, the light went out with a “Pop!” Everyone jumped, looked at the light, and then laughed at themselves. As the tour dispersed and the guide went back in, one of the remaining tourists said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if the light came back on?” 

And it did!

If you're ever in Fort Worth, Texas, you should really take the Haunted Stockyards Tour with the Cowtown Winery. I enjoyed it tremendously and the local history was fascinating. 

Do you believe in ghosts? Leave a comment below. 

Monday, October 24, 2022

NEW WORLD BREAD by Marisa Masterson


As German immigrants traveled west, they took their native rye seeds with them. They combined these with the items they found locally, foodstuff that they traded with native peoples. Oh, and they added that one item that was widely used by pioneers--molasses.

The result was a bread for the new life they found themselves living as settlers in the West. This dense, brown bread was also known by another name, one that is too derogatory to native people for me to include here. 

But, I wanted to introduce to you another aspect of pioneer life we rarely read about in novels. White flour was expensive. This bread allowed them to use a rougher, locally ground flour from the rye they'd grown. Also, it included the cornmeal that was a staple of the American diet at the time.

[This] is a healthy bread made with rye flour, molasses, honey, butter, cocoa powder, and cornmeal. It is a delicious and sweet bread. You can also add raisins and nuts to it.

Rye Flour2 ½ cups
All-Purpose Flour1 cup
Granulated Sugar3 teaspoons
Dry Yeast1 packet
Warm Water1 ½ cup
Molasses4 teaspoons
Honey2 teaspoons
Butter2 teaspoons
Cocoa Powder2 teaspoons
Salt1 teaspoon
Cornmeal2 teaspoons 

  1. Take a bowl and mix yeast, water, and sugar in it. Leave it for about 5 minutes until the yeast in the mixture starts reacting.
  2. Mix flour, molasses, honey, butter, cocoa powder, salt, and cornmeal along with the yeast mixture in a mixer until the dough is soft and lacks moisture.
  3. Put the dough ball into a lightly greased container. Cover the dough with a cotton cloth. Let the dough rest for about 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 455°C.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle the parchment paper with cornmeal.
  6. Place the baking tray in the oven. Bake it until golden for about 30-35 minutes.
  7. After that, take it out from the oven and let it cool for some time.

So, you are done baking the [word removed] bread and it is ready to eat. Enjoy this recipe with your friends and family on a lazy Sunday or whenever you want.

You can find this recipe at

Gossip forces them into a marriage. After all, Minnie's been trusted to raise her precious baby sister. She and her husband are determined to make the best of this hurried marriage, but strange things keep happening. Then, Granny is kidnapped...

Will getting the old woman back take the life of the man she's only now coming to love?

Saturday, October 22, 2022

A Marketing Idea

 Post by Doris McCraw aka Angela Raines

The author's motto: "keep on going".
photo property of the author.

A post about marketing. Hopefully the information I glean from the marketing department where I work, or other sources will be useful to some of you.

I am starting with what we call a content calendar. I try to begin with a calendar that lists holidays for that month. The one below was available online. I also note if the month has significance. For example, March is National Women's History Month. These pieces of information are the baseline I will use as I schedule the various posts, both blog, and other social media.

Once I print the below calendar, I fill in the days when blog posts are scheduled. Next, I will note the days for social media. If I have a bookversary or new release coming soon, I will tie those pieces in with the holidays for that month. 

I do not post 'marketing' pieces, ie. where I ask people to buy my book. Instead, I work to develop relationships or followers who like what I share. Most know my passion is history, women's history, Colorado History, the Old West, philosophy, and of course, Authors. Therefore, if it is an original post, it will usually be one of the above subjects.

I also started a newsletter where I share my thoughts, tips, quotes, and photos. I felt it was time as blog readings and posts have been ebbing lately. I don't worry, for everything is ebb and flow, but I wanted to have something that would be in addition to other social and blog platforms. If you're interested here is the link: newsletter

Hopefully some of the above will help you out. If you have ideas please share them in the comments.

I've also spent time realizing a goal- a book about women doctors. I've released a short reference book about the early women doctors who are buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs, CO.


Until next time, happy reading and writing. 

Doris McCraw

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Desperation Pie - by Jo-Ann Roberts


When I was plotting out my Christmas book slated for a Black Friday release, I knew my hero was an only child of a single mother who wasn't a very good cook. But she did make one dish for her son...Vinegar Pie!

I imagine some of you are already puckering your lips, making an "eww" sound! While many people today wince at the thought of a vinegar pie, our pioneer ancestors loved it. They used apple-cider vinegar to take the place of citrus juices to make this tart and sweet pie. The filling is similar to a Key Lime pie or a Lemon Meringue pie, except vinegar is substituted for the lemon or lime juice.

Today, buying lemons or limes is as easy as walking to the produce aisle at our local grocery store. However, the pioneers didn't have that luxury. Something as simple as a lemon, orange, or lime was a rare treat, very expensive, and difficult to find. The availability of citrus fruits wasn't as great as today's demand, let alone the means to distribute the fruits. But that didn't stop many pioneer women from improvising alternate solutions. Thus, the first vinegar pie recipe was born. The acid in the vinegar delivered the same taste and tartness as the citric acid in citrus fruits. 

In the mid- to late 1800's, every logging or mining camp had a cook shack where the loggers and miners gathered to eat. Much of the menu consisted of wild game and fish. But dessert was another story, and while cooks in these camps were very creative, the options were often limited. Since pie was extremely easy to make requiring only water, flour, vinegar, sugar, eggs, and dry spices..."Desperation Pie" was created and became a camp favorite. It was not only sweet and tart but was often topped with a meringue.

Vinegar pie is about old-fashioned as it gets. The ingredients are readily available, and the benefits of using vinegar are numerous. If you want to get a good dose, plus appreciate a bit about our past, give this vinegar pie a try!