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.

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.