An accounting of some ventures in the life of grandma and grandpa for the kids, grandkids, friends and those who drop by for a visit.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A job done

Finally, the furniture for the computer room is finished. Got seriously delayed with the Little Theatre set building and the elk hunting season. But it is finished now and the furniture rearranged in the garage so that two cars can again be parked in the garage. Have soaked the deer

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Hunt comes to end with unseasonably warm weather

Don and I called off the hunt because the roads had become so muddy that access to our area was not practical. We even stopped at the Arctic Cat dealer in Council and salivated over the ATV's.

Last Sunday we were out with two other hunters from Fruitland. Don had located some 70 head of elk in a brushy patch of timber. He could get close enough, but not able to get a clear shot. By the time he had walked back up the ridge to his pickup, the other two had left for home. Don and I barely were able to get through the snow up the first hill. As we traveled along a snow covered ridge (the wind was blowing hard, the snow was coming down in blinding sheets, and every thing was drifting over) I used the cell phone (there are two places up there where we get weak service) to call the Fruitland guys. We got them, but had to back up 50 yards to get adequate service so they could hear what I was saying. They informed us that we would have to put on chains to get through the first cattle guard. Don did not have chains for his pickup. Fortunately, the Fruitland guys had an extra set that fit and drove back to bring us the chains. We chained up an got out okay. If we did find cell phone service and were lucky enough to catch them in the other place where cell phone service is available and they had chains, we might have spent a night out on the ridge.

We would have had to ask David to take a day off work to come rescue us with my pickup which has a set of chains.

The next day Don purchased two sets of chains. On Tuesday we took a drive up to the hunting area, but could not get to it because of the deep mud created by the melting brought on by the 50 degree weather we have been experiencing until yesterday. Even with chains on all tires we could not navigate the mud and did not want to tear up the roads trying to.

Friday we made 100 pounds of sausage. I made another 50 pounds (my share of the 100) that is completely Michael and Charles safe. No Morton's Tender Quik.

Don left the house at 4 Saturday morning and was back in El Centro by 9 pm.

Bad news is that we lost the hind quarters of our elk. Gangrene had set in. Jane had commented that they did not smell good to her the first day we hung them up. I have never experienced this problem before and it is very disappointing.

We saw to it that the wild coyotes ate well and the magpies have been feasting on the boned out carcass.


Papa Coyote

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

elk hunt

Don and I brought back a cow elk Tuesday night. A couple hunters from Cambridge loaned us a thousand feet of rope. Don went down the hill about 250 yards and tied the rope around the elk's neck. We tied the other end to the hooks mounted on the front of the Dodge 4WD. I backed the pick up, retied, put on the chains and backed the PU up until we had the elk on top of the ridge. Leaving the pickup lights on, we cleaned the elk in the dark, cold (21 degrees), and in a blinding snowstorm. Then we drug the elk a half mile to a vacated hunters' camp where we had seen a cross beam mounted. We had a block and tackle thanks to the Cambridge hunters, so we used the pickup, rope, and block and tackle to pull the elk into the air, back the pickup up under the elk and with a great deal of effort get the elk into the bed of the truck. Hoisting around a 300 pound animal is not easy.

The next day we got the animal quartered and hung. I spent two different cleaning sessions with Biz and detergent washing the blood from the interior of the pickup.

Friday we go out again scouting for Don's elk that he must shoot with a black powder loading muzzle gun. Effective range is no more that a hundred yards, so this hunt will be more challenging. We will be hunting with my school principal and his son and our school's football coach. D might be joining me as I birddog through the brush pockets trying to drive elk towards the hunters. If they succeed, the work starts all over again. Right now I am a little stiff and sore.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Chores Around the House Nearly Done....

Just about got the place winterized. Have storm windows to put up and the front yard to rake one more time. Almost all the sunflower stocks have been pulled up and piled for a future burning. The yard is fertilized and the bird feeders are out and filled. The sprinkler pipes have been blown out and the water outlet for the heating and cooling system has been hooked up to the dry well.

Don leaves Friday morning and we go elk hunting Saturday. Don might have to find a tree to sit under so he can rest up to help pack the elk out after his 18 hour drive from El Centro. D might join us for one weekend or the other.

Kids at school will have to watch some film and videos.

I will take some pictures at the two TG Dinners we have been invited to. Grand daughter L has a cold and Gramma J might be coming down with it.

Gramma J has been busy decorating the house for Christmas. I have built a cover for part of the stairwell to the basement where Gramma J proposes to place the tree. The wrought iron fence will then become the protector of the tree. As in baby proofing and toddler proofing. I think I will be busy putting up some outide decorations and lights for Christmas on Friday while also getting ready to hunt.

John died and went to heaven. When he arrived at St. Peter's gate he could not help but to notice the very large wall that extended forever and ever. It was plastered with thousands upon millions of clocks. He asked St. Peter what was with all the clocks and was told that they were lie clocks. As in tell a lie and your special clock in heaven would move ahead one click. As John looked over the clocks, he noticed one that had not advanced as much as a single click. Thinking it had malfunctioned, he asked St. Peter about it. St. Peter was particularly proud of the clock as it was Mother Teresa's...she had never told a lie. Immediately John thought of Honest Abe Lincoln so inquired as to where his clock might be located. St. Peter took him for a short stroll and pointed high up on to the wall where a clock's hands had only advanced two clicks. Wow! said John. Only two lies? Yes, was St. Peter's reply. Not quite ready to inquire as to his own clock's whereabouts, he delayed the inevitable facing of the music and blurted out, "Where is President Bush's clock?" St. Peter replied, "Oh, that clock is up in Jesus' office. He is using it as a ceiling fan."

Yeeeeoooooowwwwww! and Yip, Yip,
Have a very thankful and pleasant Thanksgiving Day, Dinner, and after dinner nap.

Papa Coyote Loves You All.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Goldfish are showing up!

Yesterday the sun was shining brightly inspite of the dire warnings by our weather forecasters for rain. I returned from work and looked to see how badly the pond would need cleaning since we had a brisk wind the night before. Yup! Lots of leaves in the pond...and what was that? A gold fish swimming in the middle, six inches below the surface? Yes, my eyes did not deceive me. And what is that near the corner of the pond? A dead goldfish floating amongst the few lilly pad leaves still holding on after several frosts? Yes. It is!

WOW! We still have gold fish. Today I cleaned the skimmer box out and found about a dozen dead goldfish in the skimmer box. They looked none too alive. I think there are still about two dozen in the pond. It will be interesting to see what we have left come spring. Oh, Well. I know where to get some more.

Chad and I made 80 pounds of sausage Saturday morning. I tried a new recipe with a tablespoon of red cayenne pepper and a half a head of garlic for forty pounss. The red pepper definitely did not overwhelm the taste and the garlic is not too stong. J likes it and so do I, so I think the recipe is a good one. Chad had shot a small whitetail buck and got forty pounds of boned out meat from it. He put ten pounds of that meat into his sausage recipe.

Red Apple was nice enough to sell us 70 pounds of picnic hams boned out and ground for $1.59 a pound. We like dealing with the Red Apple meat department. They always treat us real well.

We were done early enough to try our sausage out for lunch and then go to the State Semi-Finals played at Fruitland. The home team won 49-21 over Timberlake so we were all happy with the day's activities.

Friday morning J and I leave to go to Pocatello to watch the state championship game. We are hoping the FB team can repeat as the state champions.

I don't know if you know or not, but the football team has a girl who kicks their extra points. She is pretty deadly and there simply is not a boy in the school who can do it as well as she can.

Papa Coyote

Friday, August 10, 2007

The flute arrives

As I have already related, my wife has won an Indian flute. Knowing nothing about how to play the Indian flute adds to the mystery of winning this beautiful crafted flute. You know that little carved bear on the top of the flute near the mouth piece? Well, that moves. It has to be moved to uncover one of the holes (it covers two holes) before one can blow a note. Trial and error done over and over and we might play a tune yet.

Learning to play a tonette was mandatory in my fifth grade class in Valparaiso, Indiana. Probably worthwhile except I only remember that it had eight holes with which one could play the scale and we learned to do that in the first lesson. Well, whoop-de-doo! This flute has only six holes. So, I am mystified as to how I am going to play a scale--if I could recognize it if I did play it. I even played the accordian for three years and the scale is as foreign to me as the subtleties of soccer. Are there any subtleties in soccer??

The first challenge will be playing the same note on purpose. Place a few fingers over some selected holes and blow. Nice sound. Do the same thing again and blow a little harder. Ah, different sound. Place the fingers exactly the same and blow again. Another sound. Ah, hah. How one blows into the instrument causes different notes with the fingers in the exact same placement. I am beginning to gain much admiration and respect for Douglas Spotted Eagle and Carlos Nakai and my friend High Eagle.

The flute and carrying case are pictured to the right. You can also see a pitch covered basket made by a Paiute lady and a rattle made by an Iowan Indian. I purchased the basket during our Momorial Day trip to Eastern Oregon and the rattle while at the powwow held at Wallowa, Oregon in July.

What kind of flower do you have between your nose and your chin? Ans. Tulips.

What did the the tie say to the hat? Ans. You go on a head, I'll just hang around.

I have been having an Ambrosia melon explosion out of the garden and it is ummmm, ummmmm good! Also, fresh corn on the cob every day. That is ummmm, yummmm good, too.
You can see the melons and the garden spot below. I have been throwing dozens of yellow squash and cucumbers away because we can't keep up with them. Too bad.

Until later. Keep eating those peaches.
Papa Coyote

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Powwowing with Chief Joseph's descendants

J and I drove to Wallowa on the 2oth of July via Brownlee Reservoir and Hell's Canyon. A very scenic, but slow route. We stayed at the Best Western in Enterprise, Oregon. When we checked out the clerk told Jane the room was free because of our points. What??!!!! Five years ago I made every effort to stay at Best Westerns because of the point system they had. But, before I could redeem any of the points, I got an e-mail saying, "Sorry, sucker, your points have all expired." I fired back a nasty note pointing out that I thought it was a pretty cheap way to treat a valued customer since they easily could have e-mailed that my points were about to expire and that I might want to use those that I had. I deleted my link to the Royal Crown Points club (or whatever name they went by) and was done doing business with them. I never did get a return on my nasty note, but I guess I was comped a room. We just have not stayed at a Best Western since then.

For a dining treat eat at the Calderas Restaurant in Joseph, OR. See my review at

Jane and I attended the powwow known as TamKaLiks. This is the seventeenth annual powwow hosted by the descendants of Chief Joseph. See if interest in reading a short history about the people and the event. The people have bought 360 acres so that they have a place to gather each year. While we were there, they broke ground on longhouse to hold their traditional religious ceremonies, feasting, and other celebrations. They have built a very nice arbor in which to hold their dancing and outdoor celebrations. We were very impressed with what they have done. There is also a nice monument remembering their horrific attempt to escape to Canada. What a sad story in American history! Besides the dancing J and I were honored to view a march of the horses. The horse is very important to the Nee-Mee-Poo people.

We were intrigued to watch a "give away" in which the Broncheau family broke their many months of mourning the death of a family elder (the members of the family attend no public events until the mourning period has ended) by giving items away to all who were in attendance. The idea is that if you receive a gift, you will remember their departed loved one. It works. Jane and I received a few yards of cotton fabric and a dish cloth. We were simply observers with no attachment to the family, but still were included. I was touched by these people's custom. Of course, the gifts to close friends were of significant monetary value. Thousands of dollars had to have been spent by the family.

We bought a program which included a ticket which entitled the bearer to win a drawing. There are several drawings and what appeared to be a hundred or so gifts to be given away. I won a ten dollar gift certificate to the health food store in Joseph. We drove all the way back to Joseph from Enterprise just to use that certificate and thank the store owner for their support of the powwow and the Nee-Mee-Poo people. We also bought five dollars worth of raffle tickets and can you believe, we actually won a prize again. J recieved a phone call a week later informing her that she (I put her name on 3 of the tickets) had won a flute. She did not think too much of that information until we had returned from Vancouver, B.C. and picked up the mail we had had held. This was a major Indian flute. It was beautifully crafted of elderberry wood by a man living in Richland, Oregon. Wow. Jane felt badly about winning such a fine gift. I have since purchased a book that I hope will help me learn to play the instrument and don't feel badly about her having won such a fine gift. J says she has no interest in learning to play the flute. I do.

The dancing was great. Not a real big powwow, but fun to watch and interact with these people who have such a wonderful heritage, albeit a very sad one. I don't know but what I would be much more bitter if I my ancestors had experienced what theirs had to experience.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Catching up

J and I just returned from eleven days on the road. Four days in Seattle and seven days in Vancouver B.C. Very nice time was had by both. Even bought a journal at Barnes and Noble at University Mall in Seattle to record our travels. We might back track some day and will want to know what happened the first time we made those tracks. I have lots of pictures so will post some of those. John and I finally got the Mariners turned around by helping them break their seven game losing streak. We saw them win two in a row before I had to leave town. Unfortunalely, they lapsed into their losing ways by Aug. 4th. Shannon Stewart of the A's did toss the ball he caught just into foul territory down the left field line. I fumbled it, but the ball fell into John's lap and he covered it up. The woman next to him about dove in, but modesty seemed to cancel her first inclination. The yard has not been mowed for 12 days and the pond filter needs cleaning, so I had better tend to that now and will post more during the heat of the day.

May all your trails be slightly downhill and the smoke blow in the other guy's eyes,
Papa Coyote

Monday, June 25, 2007

Grandson is in the den

Went to the trouble to learn how to get the pics on the digital camera to a disc and then to paper so that I could send some pics to my daughter. So, since, I had done all that I sent some pics to my son and guess what? The pics won't transmit to my daughter. They go out just fine to my son's e-mail address, but not to my daughter's e-mail account. bummer! So, I will post a few for her to view on this blog.

We have the grandson and he is doing well. We are having fun with him. We have been fishing in the pontoon boats. He has trouble with the coordination and strength to row, but when we tied the two boats together and he rowed on one side and I the other, we could make the "raft" move pretty well. He caught the only fish, so, he thought it was a good day of fishing. We will try the Malheur Res. tomorrow. Hope the wind dies somewhat by tomorrow.

I have been reading stories from Pat McManus' short stories. Great bed time stories. We have to make sure that he is not eating at the time because he gets laughing so hard, I am afraid he will choke on his food. He is also concerned about that. He wants water nearby to drink because he is laughing so hard. He likes "Mean Tents" about as well as his Mommy and Uncle D did when they were little kids.


Papa Coyote and Pup Coyote are hitting the trail to go into the forest ot find a piece of wood suitable for making a bow and some arrows.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Papa Coyote had expectations of finally taking a trip where no books or trinkets would be bought. Check the destinations: Leslie Gulch known for its beauty and geodes, Succor Creek known for its beauty, Jordan Craters last erupted 3200 years ago, Jordan Valley, Malheur Bird Refuge, Alvord Desert, Steens Mountains, and lots of sagebrush. Yup, no gift shops, no shopping malls, and no wineries; just wilderness and very few people. Seems like a safe trip. Gads! the great grandson of Peter French, who built the round barn, built a museum and gift/book shop four years ago. And it is a nice one. Like fully stocked with a great selection of books about the area Indians and western local history. And lots more. The credit card took a serious bombing.

Stayed the night in Burns and ate breakfast at a cafe featuring all kinds of toys from the 40's and 50's. Really a cool place to eat and pretty decent food with a nice waitress. I knew the trip out of Burns might be the site of a credit card ambush. There is a really good shop on the highway 23 miles north of Burns that sells seriously good quality Indian crafts and jewelry. This place is remote, but so busy that they have four clerks on hand to help a steady flow of customers. There are many, many stores in Boise who would kill for that kind of drop in shopping. Well, I purchased two rings for J (retirement gift) and a Navajo crafted water basket. It is covered inside and out with pinion pine pitch. I am pretty pleased with that purchase. It will display nicely with the Indian pottery that I have. So, now off to Boise to buy some office furniture and book cases to be stained and finished. That is one of the summer projects on schedule.

Questions for puppy coyotes:

Q: Why is a cook cruel?

Ans: They whip cream and beat eggs.

Q: How do you make milk shake?

Ans: Give it a good scare.

Q: What is the best day to cook chicken?

Ans: Friday

Papa Coyote is settling in to watch the Mariners!
They have won four in a row. Hope the world does not turn upside down.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Travel to Eastern Oregon's Desert Completed

Some of those who travel know that the "Travel Gods" must be appeased before embarkation! The mystery is just how to best appease those "Travel Gods." J and I left Saturday morning in the van (had thought real serously about taking the pickup) to swing through Jordan Valley, through Burns, and back home on Monday. Everything went pretty well if the two flat tires are overlooked, but most people tend not to view flat tires as a small matter easily overlooked, but our luck was pretty good considering we had two flat tires in less than a twelve hour period.

The story which would be best left to the oral rendition, but, since that is not format in blogging, here goes:

First we drove to Succor Creek and then on to the Owyhee Reservoir through Leslie Gulch. Both Succor Creek and Leslie Gulch are beautiful areas somewhat reminiscent of the country seen in southern Utah, but with less than one percent of the traffic. We ate a picnic lunch on the divide between Succor Creek and Leslie Gulch. Pretty spectacular setting for lunch.

Then on to Highway 95 and a twenty-six mile (0ne way) to Jordan Craters over a gravel road. All went pretty well until the last mile which a sign advised the use of 4-wheel drive. I remembered the last mile not being particulary rough and I was correct, but after an hour of walking around the lava flows (only 3200 years old) and viewing into the caldera (yes, J really did walk this trail), we came back to the car to find the left front tire flat. J had a travel emergency kit stored away in the car which contained a can of compressed air with a latex sealant designed to inflate and seal flattened tires. Amazingly, it worked. Well, one would do better with two cans per tire, but we drove out the 26 miles on a half inflated tire. Near the highway I thought, "Hey, Jane has an air compressor that plugs into the cigarette lighter." We stopped and put that to use, but it was of no value. Onto the highway and an eight mile drive to Jordan Valley where we had motel reservations at the Basque Station Motel. Not bad for $59. Well, that was my opinion which opinion is usually contradicted by J. The service station (a real service station, ya know what I mean?) has an air pump in back so I borrowed a tire guage and added air to 36 pounds of pressure and then drove a quarter mile to the Basque Inn for an excellent Basque dinner served family style. Walking back to the car while holding our breaths waiting to see if the tire was still inflated, we hurried a peek around the neighboring car...and were we surprised? Naaaah--the tire was flat! I probably blew out the sealant when I fully inflated the tire. So, out comes the donut. Oh, before that we had stopped at the second gas station in town (they are both owned by the same guy as we later found out) and bought two more cans of sealant, but a different brand. We found out that the two new cans were about useless. Well, they were useless. So, as we were finishing up the job of putting on the donut, a couple stop behind us and tells us they had a flat tire that day and that the Shell station fixes flats (tires that is) and, get this, they are open 24 hours a day. So back to our home station (remember we have a motel room next door), and present our flat problem to the attendant. He says he will fix it, but it may take some time because he has to pump gas, but he does say he will stay after work (10:00 pm) to get the tire fixed because the next guy can't do that kind of work. He does stay. I check with him at 10:05 he is done and has started another job for another couple with a flat tire on their trailer. He charges me 9 dollars. I was flattened like the tire. I offered him a ten dollar tip and he was happy with that. Acted like he never had been tipped before.

Now get this. We get up in the morning and I hurry out to see if the tire is still inflated and am stopped cold by the flattened left rear tire. So, I take that off and roll it to the station (about 1oo feet) and the new day-time attendant says sure he can fix it and he does. Quickly. And the price is the same and the tip is the same. WOW!! I was impressed. Best flat story I ever had. The AAA option was of little value since there is no cell phone service in Jordan Valley and I don't know where the tow truck would have come from. Probably Caldwell!! Geez!

Tomorrow I am buying four new tires because these tires are the original tires on the car when bought new in 2003.

More about the adventures of Papa Coyote and J in the next blog. Yup, there is more to this story.

The end of the trail for now,
Papa Coyote

Friday, May 25, 2007

Last Day of School

YipyipyipyipYIPPEEyipyipyip yup. Last Day of School. How sweet it is. As much as I enjoy school, sometimes I think I teach so that I can savor the excitement of anticipation of the holidays, summer vacation, and even the weekends. Hey, my life has known that cheap thrill since the time I was six years old. D was telling me Wednesday that he sure would like to have three months off instead of two weeks, but he did not think he was willing to give up 2/3's of his salary for the time off.

My 3rd period class had 16 A's, 9 B's, and 6 C's. I never have had a class in which so many did so well. I have freshmen, sophs, juniors, and seniors in the class. In the class evaluation the older students felt the class should be limited to just upperclassmen, but the underclassmen said it was so neat to be able to take a class in which there were seniors in the room. My experience has been that even though the younger students can be too immature at times, they benefit from seeing how the older students conduct themselves in the classroom and how they prepare their lessons and themselves for tests.

Tomorrow J and I travel to Jordan Valley and stay in the Basque Motel. We will visit Succor Creek, Leslie Gulch, and the Jordan Valley Craters. Then on Sunday we will visit the Malhuer Lake Wildlife Refuge, Lake Harney, the Alvord Ranch, the Whitehorse Ranch, Alvord Lake (dry lake bed with vast salt flats like the Bonneville salt flats), and the Steen Mountains. We are looking forward to seeing lots of antelope and other critters. We will spend Sunday night in Burns, OR and maybe even do a little "charity work" at the Paiute Casino.
Time to find a den for the night,
Don't let the bed bugs bite,
Papa Coyote

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Granddaughter and Daddy Visit

Did you know that 16 month old girls can have a lot of energy!?What a kick. While H was back east helping her Mom and Dad with a doctor's appointment, D came to spend Sunday night through Wednesday evening with us. His employer allowed him to work from his computer at our house, while I kept L busy with activities while Daddy worked. Not easy to do! L was being real good about Mom's absence, but she sure did not intend to fall asleep only to wake and find the other parent had disappeared as well. D did not get much sleep Sunday night and as you can imagine the problem being that L did not get much sleep either. And she was not about to fall asleep Monday either for the same reason. Finally, she did relent and slept better Tuesday and Wednesday. My job was to follow her around as she explored the place. She especially liked the train and the tractor. She would repeat every word quite clearly. She is very smart and firm minded and she is very good. Her Mom and Dad will have some interesting times in the next 17 years, but she will be worth every minute. She was a joy to Grandma and me.

"Mom," said the little boy, in from playing. "I think the people who live next door are really, really poor?"
"Why do you say that, my little one?"
"Because you should have seen the fuss they made when their baby swallowed a dime!"

A kid was telling his friend about the changes in his home life. "You see, we have this new scale in the bathroom. On the bottom, it has a dial. I keep turning it, and you can't imagine how much nicer my mother is!"

Yeeeeoooooooww! It is time to den up,

Papa Coyote

Monday, May 21, 2007


The frogs were in the pond the other night trying to get a good night's sleep after a rather small meal of flying insects. While discussing the merits of moving back to the slough and giving up the quiet life in the Betts' pond, a slight sound of something heavy beginning to slip on plastic aroused Betty's interest. Betty frog croaked to Old Henry frog, "What is that noise!" Old Henry said, "Go back to sleep. It is just the sprinkler turning on. The big guy has put a sprinkler beside the pond that turns on at odd hours." Betty said, "I don't thiiii....." At that instant a huge rock located just to the north of the water intake slipped from the side of the pond and crashed into the still water sending up a giant wave (at least to a frog) cresting onto the waterfall. The frogs surfed the wave high into the air before being thrown topsy-turvey onto the rocks of the waterfalls. Betty frog sure thought Henry frog looked silly with his kicking legs spread out above his head while trying to croak out a warning and all the time kicking to dive to the bottom, but his legs were in the air and he could not get any traction or thrust. He just sailed along on top of the wave crest onto the rocks. What an indignity for such a dignified frog!! Well, you can imagine the croaking that Betty frog gave that night to Old Henry frog. The next day they were not to be seen anyplace in or around the pond. I thought they had left, but today we spotted Old Henry back on a lily pad looking for a flying insect to give himslelf up as a meal. We did not see Betty, though. Maybe she thought better of sticking around Old Henry and hopped on back to the slough.

This is the end of the trail,
Papa Coyote

Friday, May 18, 2007

An Unforgettable Character

At the baseball game last night (Fruitland beat Kimberly 5-1) I sat next to a most unforgettabe character. Lloyd Johnson is 90 years old--just a month a way from 91. He is widowed. His deceased wife, Betty, worked for several years as our school secretary. She defined by her actions the term "a lady." She also made the best carrot cake that has ever been made in this world. Carrots wiggled out of the ground throughout SW Idaho and made their way to her kitchen in hopes that she would select them to be in her carrot cake. Oh, the honor for the lucky carrot!

Last year I was talking to Lloyd at the district baseball tournament. He was hardly finding the time to come to the games because he was so busy painting the outside of his house which he wanted looking nice for the 90th birthday party he was hosting for himself. Geez! 90 years old and he is painting the outside of his house.

Last night he was giving me tips on what to use to catch big trout at Mann's Creek Reservoir.

He started working for the Forest Service in 1933 at McCall, Idaho. He was the person who organized and commanded the first smoke jumer base at McCall. Smoke jumping was in its infancy at the time. He helped to organize and build the ski jump at McCall. It use to stand at the Little Payette Ski Hill until a wind storm blew it down in the early 80's.

On his 50th wedding anniversary he celebrated by rising early and going to Brundage Ski Hill so that he could get 25 runs in before lunch.

Check the above site if you want to read more about McCall Smoke Jumpers. You will see his name mentioned under 1943--that was the year before I was born for cyring out loud!
This is the end of the trail,
Papa Coyote

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Watch out for crooked lawyers!

At least that is the warning my Grand Dad Roy used to tell my Mom since she was old enough to remember.

It has been an interesting week. We started with David bringing Lauren to the house on Mothers' Day for the afternoon. Along with the rest of J's family, we had a pretty good visit.

Then on Tuesday morning we learned at school that the school board decided to require students to wear uniforms K-12. That is proving to be pretty controversial among students as well as faculty.

Tuesday afternoon I received a letter from a Boise law firm saying that I owed some seven thousand plus dollars to a Coast Crane and had been refusing to pay the bill. Huh? Come again! I called the office, but the receptionist was pretty rude so I threatened to turn the letter over to my attorneys for legal action. She hung up. It so happened that a retired judge came to the house a few minutes later to work on a brochure for the Democratic Party. I had him look at the letter. He said the law firm was a pariah and had a very bad reputation. He told me to see a lawyer and whatever I did contact them in writing, but never give up the letter. They have a practice of coming after people to whom they send these letters whether a debt is owed or not. The owing of a debt is of minor concern to them. The money they will collect in legal fees while you defend yourself from a unsubstantiated debt is how they prosper. Wow! So let the games begin!! I know a real sharp Harvard Law School grad if they want to go to the mats. When I called the attorney's office this morning, the receptionist was nicer and said that the letter had been sent to my house by mistake (with my name and address on the envelope?) and that I should shred the letter. Yeah? According to the retired judge, that is exactly what they want me to do. So I would not have proof of what they had done.

This is the end of the trail,
Papa Coyote

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Froggies have moved in

We have new wild life in the yard! Two frogs have moved into the pond and they are of fair size. About 4-5 inches long. Looks as though Samuel Clemens would have been happy to have found them for the long jump contest in Calaveras County, Nevada. For a few days we only had one, but I noticed the new arrival this morning when I went to get the paper. I will be checking for tadpoles later. Already one has begun to croak (sound) and it is not a nice cheerful ribbet, but more of a bull frog type--deep and not at all enjoyed by J when she is trying to sleep. Ah, well. such is the life in the country.

Last week J saw a very big, white owl fly out of the pine tree. It has left a couple of nice white feathers and some pellets that are about four inches long. I sacked the pellets and one of the feathers and took it to our history teacher whose wife teaches 5th grade science in Nyssa. She has used the other pellets I donated in her science class. I thought maybe the class might have time to try to identify this type of owl. Big and white!
M, try this:
How Smart Is Your Right Foot? This is so funny that it will boggle your mind. And, you will keep trying it at least 50 more times to see if you can outsmart your foot. But you can't!!!
1. While sitting at your desk, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles with it.
2. Now, while doing this, draw the number "6" in the air with your right hand ... Your foot will change direction!!!
I told you so ... And there is nothing you can do about it. Make sure you pass this on to your friends ... They won't be able to believe it either!!!
This is the end of the trail,

Monday, May 7, 2007

House Painting

Friday afternoon I mixed some paint ready to paint Saturday morning. COLD!!!! Nah, nah, nah. Oh, yeah and windy. I make an excellent sail while perched on a ladder in a good gust of wind. Sunday was much nicer so the front of the house, sans the gables, was painted. Monday afternoon the white trim around the windows was painted and the board above the foundation was painted dark, dark grey. Temperatures soared into the low eighties here today and the report is for eighties the rest of the week. Beautiful! J has been sewing cushions for the benches on the deck. They are nice. She found some good foam at Mill End Fabrics and some nice outdoor fabric at JoAnne's. At a half off price no less.

We have a new refrigerator. Surprise to me. Just like the new black chairs in the old living room. Surprise! You will have to ask J about the new refrigerator. It is sitting in the old living room.

Spring Star flowers are every where. The are grown from bulbs, but can self seed from seed blown about in the wind and we have them every where. In the yard, every where. They are pretty and last for several weeks. They only open up their bloom in the sun. When the sun goes behind a cloud, the star starts to close.

M, Some robbers broke into our local police department and stole the toilet. Right now the police have nothing to go on!

What do prisoners use to call each other?

Ans. Cell phones.

Where do snowmen keep their money?

Ans. In snow banks.

What did the judge say when the skunk walked in the court room?

Ans. Odor in the court

This is the end of the trail. Yeeeeeoooooowwwww!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

The Over Achieving Bean

I have been checking the garden daily to see when (if) the seeds I had planted over two weeks ago have sprouted. ONE! Of all those hundreds of seeds I planted so carefully (and watered) only ONE bean seed has sprouted. It is about three inches high and doing very well, thank you. Yesterday I got back into the dirt and did some digging to see how the others have been doing. They have all started to sprout, but told me that it has been too cold in the evenings and they prefer the one inch to two inches of warm dirt blanket for the time being. They would have none of this talk about keeping up with the wild guy at the head of row two. Seems as though he is some social misfit and they don't have anything nice to say about him.

I brought the paper in Friday morning and noticed the thermometer reading at 34 degrees--several degrees lower than forecasted by Ricky. Fortunately, the tomatoes were not affected and seem to be doing well.

The Statesman has revived its gardening column and an older lady, well, really pretty old lady, is writing the column. She says that the best lettuce to grow in the Boise area comes from seeds sold by Territorial Seed. Hmmmm. I will have to try some. Hopefully, the free packet of lettuce seeds sent by TS with my last shipment will be the seed that was recommended.

I have tied some flies. They look much like some beginner fly tier had tied them. My experience has been that flies don't have to look good to humans, just look good to the fish. Lots of fishing lures have been sold to fishermen because the lure looks real good to the fisherman who readily takes a big bite spending big money. Might the human fishermen be part of the sucker family?

J has emptied much of the house of furniture and other odds and ends by setting it all out on the deck. J then called Darren and Todd who recently opened the second hand household items and antique store on the corner where the old run down trailer sat for so many years. (The trailer was running down because the owner was in prison and could not maintain the trailer) Anyway, Darren and Todd came and carried all that stuff out including the brown sofa/bed that has been in the computer room. Now, the really good part of this story is that Darren and Todd carried it off the deck and put it into the horse trailer while J and Papacoyote cheered them on. That sofa/bed is heeeaaavvavy! One might jump to a conclusion that the house is looking a little more bare which is the stated reason J gives for dumping so much stuff out of the house. Hahahahahahahahahahahha, gads I can't seem to keep from laughing. J is heading to Boise to pick up the other large black leather chair that we could not get into the van last weekend. We will have two in the living room by the end of this day.

I mixed a couple gallons of grey paint with the insulating additive last night, so I have some work to do painting the front of the house today.
There is a news flash. Update! The Mariner's starting pitching has given up five runs in one inning in each of the last two games. Word is that they are looking for help. (hint, hint, G) The starting pitcher today has an ERA of 18.26. That is the highest ERA in the history of MLB for a starter with four or more decisions. Want to guess Jeff Weaver's record after four starts???

This is the end of the trial.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Garden almost done

Haha!!! Almost done? A garden is never done. Kind of like life. Kind of fun to live life in one year and start over every spring. For tomatoes I planted three Early Girls, two Romas, one Better Boy, two grape tomatoes, and plan to buy a Beefsteak for a large slicer tomato. Everything is planted, watered and there is weed barrier fabric between every row. Now I am tired, but it is a good tired. Oh, yeah, and the Mariners won today.

Oh, yeah, a trick I learned from Territorial Seed. I planted a pretty red flower (seeds) between the hills of squash. The flowers are suppose to attract honey bees (I hope some are still alive) to polinate the squash blossoms and increase the yield. I also have a couple of varieties of sun flowers to plant at the end of the garden to help attract bees and make the garden look nice.

Visited with D,H, and L yesterday. Had lunch and then had dinner at H's folks. Had not seen H's mom and dad since P went into the hospital for the last operation. I was uneasy visiting with him because he is not quite his old self. He is doing pretty well, but I just did not know what to say. I did not want to embarass him or make H unhappy by asking him something that he could not recall and possibly upset him. I don't know if that would bother him or not. Mostly I just stayed out of the way, or tried to make polite conversation. But, L and I were discussing new research in Germany about the likelihood that the cause of the honey bee die off around the world is due to cell phone usage and P was knowledgeable of that research. To my knowledge that research has not been widely publicized. I heard about it on (where else?), but, NPR. I was surprised and impressed that he was up on that rather obscure news item. P and L are walking every day and she is trying to make nutritious and fattening meals for P so that he can gain some weight back. Unfortunately, L is eating those meals, too, but I could not tell that L had put any weight on. She is looking about the same, but much more tired and, frankly, older. But, why wouldn't she? This has been both a physical and emotional burder for her.

Michael, why do you go to bed?

Ans.--Because the bed won't come to you????

Michael, why did the computer go to the doctor?

Ans.--It had a virus.

Michael, what do you take before every meal?

Ans.--A seat, silly!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

"Gardening" or "an old man's excuse to play in the dirt!"

I have read and listened to numerous accounts of my grandsons playing in the dirt, mud, and water. Sometimes all three at once. Papa Coyote is thinking these boys are having way too much fun. How can I have fun, too. Ahhh, it is very socially acceptable for old men, women too, (but Papa Coyote's wife is not into having fun in the dirt) to garden or have fun playing in the dirt.

Hooray, the Territorial Seeds order arrived in a timely fashion. The garden is now half planted. Many strips of weed barrier have been laid between rows. Papa Coyote is thinking of trading hours of weeding and cultivating for hours of fishing this summer. Gramma is dragging me off to Boise today (Saturday)["I have about 3 and one-half hours (translated to I have about six hours) of stuff to do in Boise. Do you want to call Dave and offer to help him with his yard work or take a book along to read while I shop"], but I am holding out hope that I can complete the planting of the garden on Sunday and can start watering it so that the seeds will finally germinate. With our predicted 80 degree temperatures for the weekend, the garden could be off to a good start if everything was planted and watered.


PK and I went fishing at Paddock Reservoir yesterday, Friday. PK, at the age of seventy, has caught many large trout (really large trout), large bass, bone fish, salmon, and steelhead on flies. I had talked him into trying Paddock (After I had talked him into this trip and we had set a date, he "sneaked off" to Paddock with two other guys and fished the lake last Tuesday. On a cold, cloudy day they had very little luck and PK only went again because he had agreed to our trip.) after hearing good reports from two of my fellow teachers who had fished the reservoir two weeks ago. As we caught bass and bluegills (really small 3"-6"), I could not help thinking of the big fish PK has caught in his life time. He was a good sport and we both enjoyed the fast action. We probably each caught and released a hundred or more fish.

This countryside is all green at the moment. The sun was about to retire for the day leaving the landscape covered by every imaginable shades of green. Miles and miles of uninterrupted vistas was a fitting end to an enjoyable afternoon of fishing. As we drove out we passed two cowboys riding toward us on the road. They looked very much like the cowboys one imagines driving the cows north on the Chisholm Trail in 1860. Couldn't help thinking of a motto Idaho Dept. of Tourism once used a few decades ago (before Micron's rise to prominence)---"Idaho is what the nation use to be."

I have set up the fly tying vice and am in the process of creating the workspace (banished to the front porch) needed to tie some flies. Eyesight is the major concern, so am anxious to see if I can see well enough to tie the flies that I hope too.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The power of the group

This past autumn I joined the Indian Head Fly Fisherman Club. It is a group of men and several women of Southwest Idaho who share an interest in fishing with flies, tying flies, and promoting a clean environment conducive to good trout fishing. The club is very active and composed of genial people. I even was invited to give a program on fishing the high mountain lakes of Idaho. Papa Coyote and children have been to some of those lakes. Anyway, to the theme of this entry.

On St. Patrick's Day, the 22 club members were known to be afloat of Malheur Reservoir on a day that reached into the mid-70's. (We have not seen those temperatures since) We caught and released over 400 trout. Even Papa Coyote managed to land 20 trout with two hitting 19 inches. These fish are very healthy, strong, and fight like G getting his diaper changed.

Six of the club members went back to the reservoir yesterday and were greeted by a small front moving in that seemed to really discourage piscetorial cooperation. I fished for a few hours without a bite and with the winds causing larger, and larger whitecaps, I headed for shore. (I am out on the lake in my kick boat) On the way I passed fellow club member, J.G. who said he had landed eleven fish. (He is retired and moved from Florida saying he had his fill of hurricanes and alligators. Can you imagine a retiree moving north from Florida? This guy is heyoke! He loves Idaho and he stays for the winter. Of course, we don't have winter any more. I hope he is telling his friends in Florida what a horrible time he is having) WOW! Papa Coyote was wondering if this guy might be more coyote than I had imagined any other person could be. Then he said he brought six others to the net and lost them. Hmmm! I am thinking, Hmmm! then he said the largest was 19 inches. Hmmmmmmmm! Then he offered to me the fly he was using(he had tied several the night before). It took me over an hour to cover the hundred yards to shore because I had ten bites and landed four fish. Two were rather nice 15 inchers that each took a good five minutes to land. If I had not been fishing with a group, I would have been skunked and Papa Coyote doesn't like skunk or skunked. J.G. is very coyote in the ways of catching fish. I like this fellow coyote a lot.

J.G., P,K, myself and maybe a few other club members are going to fish Paddock Reservoir after I get out of school on Wednesday. We have reports that the steelhead smolts that were planted last spring are now 19 inches and are being caught. Bass, up to 17", are being caught. And, surely, there must be crappie to be caught. We are hoping for rising barometric conditions and warmer weather by Wednesday.

The trip from Huntington to Malheur Reservoir is a pretty drive through the Eastern Oregon desert (sorry no trees). We see herds of elk, deer, antelope, lots of range cattle, herds of horses (tame) and the lek grounds of a rather large group (0ver 100) of sage grouse booming attracting mates. I even drive by the ranch of two of my students (brother and sister) in my Native American Studies class. The girl is interesting, being a straight A-student, beautiful, a cheer leader and in the summer she rides the ranges looking after the family cattle. And it can be very, very hot on that sage brush desert.

As the Coeur d' Alene story teller would say, "This is the end of the trail."

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Jack Frost--You Go Away, Right Now!!

Papa Coyote has been looking at tomato plants because the snow is no more on Cornucopia (a triangular shaped peak in the Wallowas visible from Weiser). According to the earliest settlers here, when the snow leaves Cornucopia, it is then safe to plant the fields and gardens. S0, the Old, and I do mean feeling older, Coyote, plopped down $31.80 to rent a front-tined rototiller. This machine might better be described in the rent shop as a self-flagellating machine. After all, planting a garden is a rather spiritual experience. How can one get any closer to Mother Earth than getting right down there sitting in the dirt and sifting Mother Earth through one's fingers? (Hey, M and G, your Mom really was into the garden thing when she was your age.) After a thorough beating, I did get the soil well worked, raked out with the big four-foot-wide-baseball-diamond rake (the only way to go!), and a plan in mind where to plant what. I returned the rototiller (the shop attendant is still pondering how I got that machine unloaded by myself off the pickup Ha! He does not know I am Coyote!)
I asked him if Bill (the shop owner) included a $45 massage at Sandy's in the price of the rent. He thought I was being funny and laughed. Well, he did not know the state of my body at the moment. Funny!! I was dead serious.

So, I got off an order to Territorial Seed. My Lord, they do dearly hate to part with their seeds. I had to come up with one and one-half day's pay to convince them to give up those seeds! Now, for the best part of the plan which I began acting upon today until my lovely wife offered to take me to dinner at the new Japanese restuarant in Ontario--Ogawas. (It is pretty good). I have a roll of landscaping-weed-blocking fabric that comes in a four foot wide roll. I have a big roll. So, I am cutting it into 16 foot lengths (in two foot wide strips for between rows) and putting it down to cover the garden space. I have already started to put grass clippings over the fabric. I am hoping to seriously cut down on the amount of hoeing and weeding that has to be done this year.

The garden will have cucumbers, yellow summer squash, three types of tomatoes, two types of potatoes (red and blue), string beans, a winter squash, ambrosia melon, and corn. Also, ordered several packets of flower seeds to add a little color around the house. And oh, yes, more sunflowers. Got to love Territorial Seeds sunflowers. Even got one pack of the giant. Can you imagine sunflowers as tall as the garage? Wow, Papa Coyotehas got to see this.

Papa Coyote has to find a place to curl up and sleep. It is 11:22 and the day starts at 6:00 a.m. Yawn.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Yip,Yip, Yip, what a beautiful morning! I spent Easter weekend at the Coeur d' Alene Indian reservation. Imagine, if you can, the State of Idaho building a four lane highway to an Indian reservation. It is getting closer to being finished. What a difference a large casino can make. Twenty years ago the people of Kootenai County did their best to ignore and/or discriminate against the members of the Tribe. The Couer d' Alene Tribe is now the 2nd or 3rd (depends on the monthly figures) employer in N. Idaho. Only the Kootenai Medical Center employs more people.
There is good news and good news concerning this trip. First, I won $80.20 at the slot machines. The Casino advertisement says that the Couer d' Alene people are friendly and are good hosts. I concur. And the food in the Sweet Grass restaurant is very, very good.
The second good news is even better. I went to the Casino to observe the stick game, a gambling game that has been played by Indians and people of Asia for over ten thousand years. Archaeological digs have confirmed this. When I walked into the huge exhibition room Saturday morning, I was overwhelmed. There must have been a thousand Indians nearly half of whom were chanting and beating hand drums to conjure up some magic to confuse the opponent in their attempt to guess which hand held the marked bone. The game is reminiscent of our childhood game of "school" where we had one playmate act as teacher and the kids played the role of student and could move up the stairs (grades) by guessing the hand in which the teacher held the pebble.
Ever been a minority of one? Haha. I had lots of stares being the only white guy in the room. I found it interesting that none of the thousand or so white people playing the slot machines just on the other side of the doors had enough curiousity to enter the room and see what the stick game was all about. With all that drumming and chanting, I thought at least one white person would be curious, but I guess they had taken the childhood story about curiousity killing the cat too seriously. Heck, maybe they thought it was a scalp dance!!
What a wonderful learning experience watching the various ways different teams of five would work their magical spells to throwoff the other team from guessing correctly. Since the winning team won $10,000 and some very nice letterman type jackets, the teams played the game with great intensity. Indians gathered from all over the Northwest and Canada for this first stick game of the year.
Late Saturday evening the Cree people (about 200) from Alberta, Canada had drawn up their folding-fabric-lawn chairs (what did they ever do eight years ago before the invention of these chairs? Maybe that is why some of the players were wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words, "Stick Game, the best damn game played in the dirt.") on one side and were playing the stick game with another tribe of nearly equal size. The game was serious in a nice way and money was flowing back and forth across the aisle between the two tribes. After all, this is a gambling game. There is also spiritual significance to this game, but that is another story.
The last week of March the wife and I spent at Lake Chelan in Washington. We had a good time, relaxed and learned a few things. Oh, yeah, and found a really fine winery. We drove to Twisp to see the school J's father had been the superintendent of and then to Winthrop, then to Omak and finally to Nespelum where Chief Joseph was exiled upon his return from Oklahoma (another exile). Deb Louie, a tribal council member and director of the Colville Confederated Tribes natural resources, was kind enough to meet with me. I pumped him for a ton of information in the 45 minutes that we conversed. Really interesting. He invited me a jump dance next February. I am going to have to lose some weight because right now I could not jump from sundown to sunrise two nights in a row.
Hope you are wearing yellow today (G) to match the beautiful sunrise that some people experienced this morning. We sure had a nice sunrise.

Bye, Bye,
Papa Coyote

Monday, February 26, 2007

What is a Jump Dance?

MamaCoyote is beginning to feel better. She got up and made some meatballs for spaghetti sauce. She hasn't been able to eat much and so is hoping for a small miracle and the loss of a few pounds. Seems one should get some side benefits for being sick. Do you know how the Coeur d' Alene Indians restore harmony among tribal members once a year? Thought not, haha. Learned this from daughter's anthropology teacher, Dr. Frey. In late Jan. or Feb. members of one or two families (50 or more people) meet for three consecutive nights at one person's home. The event lasts from sundown to sunrise. A person rises and tells of problems they have been having and then starts singing his suumesh song. (personal medicine song). Then the drums are beaten and everybody jumps and jumps until the singing stops. This goes on all night for three nights. Great exercise, a lot of sweat, and some become so tired that they hallucinate and become bluejays and fly off into the night. Wow! What a party!! (No drugs or alcohol allowed, really) Oh, yeah, and harmony is restored because people speak from the heart and all the dirty laundry, so to speak, is hung out to air.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The wife is sick again this year!

The wife has come down with her third cold this year. Well, one was more flu like, but it turned into a cold. I think she really is looking toward retirement when she won't have to be the recipient of so many germs from her less-than-clean students. Some students I have taught probably go a week or more without washing their hands. Or more. Any question why I am reluctant to eat in fast food places. Haha. I teach those kids. Most are pretty good and responsible, but often the ones who put in long hours at the fast food joints are of the lower economic classes and they tend to have bad personal hygeine habits.

My sister celebrates her 71st BD today. Well, maybe one doesn't celebrate much when that many years begin to pile up. She, is not sure of what day each day is, so the BD thing kind of sneaked up on her. But she liked getting my card.

Coyote says, "Mother of mud rats should pre-wash mud rats with the garden hose before stripping off the outer layer of clothes in preparation of mud rats for thorough cleaning." Build character into mud rats!!--Coyote must go! Bye, Bye

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The digital record mess

Oooh! Whether it be in a file drawer or on a some file saving device for the computer, records can sometimes be hard to find. I must have spent three hours looking for my files for the book Song of Sorrow that I will be teaching from for the next five weeks. Even went to the attic. Finally, cleaned out a corner and found some zip discs. Bingo! on the last disc I found what I was looking for. Now to print out copies of study guides and quizzes to have run off in the office.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sierra Trading Post had their grand opening on President's Weekend in Boise. Wife presented me with a one hundred dollar gift certificate for my recent birthday so we traveled to Boise after working the morning installing and cleaning theater seats at the Little Theater. We both had welcoming gifts sent in the mail from Sierra Trading Post that would allow us a ten percent discount for purchase over seventy-five dollars. So spend I did. I more than qualified for the ten percent and had to add another one hundred twenty-eight to the mix to get out of the store. Wow! All of that and I now have four new shirts, a good rain coat and a flyfishing vest.
Then the wife and I ate at Whitewater Pizza and Pasta in Meridian. Very good and we took home enough for two meals each the next day.