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.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Bazaar in the Barnyard, Really

The above picture shows the highway side of the "midway" of the Bazaar in the Barnyard. The fall bazaar was dreamed up by my wife and our friend Jerri another retired school teacher. They approached the two men who own the Second Chance store on the corner of our lane and the highway. They thought it was a good idea and put in a quarter acre of grass for the occaision.
The above picture looks down the left side of the "midway" and you can see the red "barn" in the background. That houses the Second Chance store which has been opened a little over a year. The business has flourished and J has contributed many household items for consignment. She says she has made pretty good money. She also buys items from the store. I like the guys who run the store because we had an old sofa/bed that was just really heavy. J decided to try to sell it at Second Chance and I am thinking, "how are we ever going to get that thing out of the house and in the pickup?" Whoa, what's that you said? Oh, yeah. Todd and Darren came to the house with a horse trailer and loaded all of the stuff J wanted sold on consignment. How sweet is that? Another night after closing the store they dropped by the house (we live on the same lane as the store) and delivered this old, old paint chipped interior door. It is a five-paneled door and J has a thing about five-paneled doors. They take it out of their pickup and are walking up the stairs of our front deck when I meet them at the door with, "Who has authorized the delivery of that piece of junk?" That stops them cold for about two seconds, but these guys are very nimble of mind. Darren answers, "The Boss!" Young, smart alecky whipper snappers!

Now this is a seriously good bazaar. Perry Kelley, one of the founding members of the local fly fishing club (Indianhead Fly Fishers Club), manned a booth and tied flies during the day and sold beautifully made flies (he is a true artisan of the craft) for five dollarsf or four flies. The proceeds from the sale of the flies is going toward a kids' fishing pond that the fly club is sponsoring to be dug in the town of Weiser.

The above two pictures are of J's booth. J and Jerri collected $25 from each participant and gave the proceeds to the local Rose Advocates chapter. Rose Advocates helps battered spouses and their children. Unfortunately, there is a need for such a charity in our area. J did not have a real good day of sales, but not bad. Many people did take her card so she may have some custom orders down the line.
The owners of the Second Chance store did not charge anything for the use of their property and coordinated an open house with the bazaar. They had hot coffee, chocolate and several types of cookies for visitors to the store. J reports that Darren and Todd were ecstatic about their sales for the day (Friday). They had a really big day. The bazaar is suppose to continue tomorrow--Saturday, but the forecast is for some really serious storms, rain, and high temperature of 60 degrees with wind. So, the fact is that the bazaar may be rained out. That is too bad, but the first annual bazaar was such a success that it is certainly going to get a rerun next year.
Does spelling really matter? J thinks so. In the first posting of this report I spelled bazaar "bizarre." J thought I should reconsider my usage of bizarre to describe their bazaar. Hey, kind of sounds the same, but I really did not see anything very bizarre today unless I were to count the time I got onto my hands and knees to help Perry set up his canopy and found that under the new grass was a bumper crop of goat's heads. That is a particularly loathesome noxious weed that grows in Southern Idaho. It is also known as puncture vine and the seeds really can puncture about anything. It is death on bicycle tires.
Here is barking in the bazaar to you,
Papa Coyote

Thursday, October 2, 2008

On the Pacific Coast with Grandchildren

The two large light colored buildings at the center of the picture constitute the Rockaway Beach
Resort. We have owned three weeks of time share here since 1983. We have been vacationing there every year or have traded weeks to visit other parts of the U.S. and Canada. We feel that we really have received value for the money we spent on these. The resort is exceptionally well administered by the board of directors and managed by some very dedicated and friendly people. We could not be happier with this resort experence. The pictures show how wide and expansive the beach is. Most of Oregon beaches are very rocky and picturesque, but this is the only beach where one can walk for more than six miles with no obstructions.
This pictures the little village of Rockaway, Oregon.

The ever-present denizens of the beach out catching a late-in-the-day snack.

Picture of Manzanita and Rockaway Beaches taken from Oswald West Park. This is a great vantage point for watching whales swim by in the spring.

The Twin Rocks off the coast of Rockaway.

Looking north on the beach toward Oswald West Park.

M dressed for crabbing at Brighton Marina. Unfortunately, we were unable to catch any legal size crabs. Two years ago at the same time of the year and at the same place, we had great success and fun.

Brighton Marina looking into the Nehalem Bay. Even the salmon fishing was slow that week.

G dressed for crabbing. Children under 12 must wear PFD which the owners of the marina provide free. E is strapped to his mother's back and he really likes life from that position. We had a wet walk on the beach Thursday afternoon and that is the manner in which he walked the beach.

J and I had beautiful weather from the day we arrived (Friday) through Tuesday when S and the grandboys arrived. That Wednesday it rained and we went crabbing. Thursday it rained even harder, then the day we left (Friday) the weather turned beautiful with temperatures even hitting the low 80's Sunday. Wouldn't you know it!! The grandboys had fun each day in the indoors swimming pool at the resort. Oh, yeah, they liked the visit to the Tillamook Cheese factory. Pictures of that visit to follow soon. My daughter and I took off Thursday morning for a breakfast at Nehalem while J and the boys entertained each other. We had fun. Oh, S had just found out that she is pregnant and will have her second natural child making four children in the family. She has two adopted boys.
J and I spent the weekend in Newberg visiting with S, R, the boys and S's in-laws and daughter. The in-laws just returned for a month in Scotland visiting their granddaughter and grandson. More on that visit in the next blog.
Until later,
Papa Coyote

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Middle of September, work, play and WOW!--the colors in the Rocky Mountains

You might think we have done little this past week, not true. I took the camera, but forgot to take pictures and who wants to read a blog w/o pictures. J and I spent this past Thursday night at our WorldMark Condo in McCall. We had a very pleasant evening with the Kelley's. Perry and I fished Horsethief Reservoir in our kick boats on Thursday. I caught nothing (this has been a very bad fishing year for me) and Perry caught, but one, and he is a very good fly fisherman. Of course, the worm drowners were having success on the bank. Highlight of the trip was breakfast at the famous Pancake House. They added on this summer!

Believe me, this is not a working Great Pyrenees!!!!
Before we go playing there is some work to do. Everyday I feed the fish a couple of times. Well, okay, that is fun, but the filter screen needs to be cleaned twice a day and that is a tad bit of work. I have counted 21 fish and there might be one or two more. Five are still black, four or five are half black and half orange and all the others are all

I finished up painting the back wall of the garage and the east side of the house, sans gables for now. I follow advice of a friend, Hershall, who said never set out to paint the whole house in a year. The task will seem daunting and one might never get started. Paint one side a year and if one gets really in the mood, heck, paint another side. In four years, the house is done. I am following that advice, but also am throwing in the retired guys' motto--turn a day job into a week. Note the contrast of the new white paint on the existing white paint applied in 1992. The job went faster than I expected so the whole ceiling was finised in one afternoon, but the edges still need to be painted.

Seems that half of the work is getting ready to paint, but preparation really cuts down clean up time.

I took Tuesday off to gain a little serenity at Lake Serene--a two mile hike off Vance Creek Trail off the road to Hazard Lakes. For those who have gone to Grassy Twin Lakes or Coffee Cup Lake with me, I am using the same trailhead. This is a view looking back toward the road from a high point one-half mile from the road.

This pictures shows the burned trees from the 1992 fire that burned 250,000 sq. miles north and west of McCall. We had experienced a long drought (well, we still are) and the spruce trees had suffered a devastating invasion of spruce beetle. When the trees are distressed for a lack of water, they cannot produce the sap necessary to fill the bore holes the beetles make, thus causing the tree to eventually die. By the time of the 1992 fire, most of the spruce trees were dead and very, very flammable--and did it ever burn. I hiked in the forest in November after the fire had died out and I sunk a foot or more into the soil which had turned to ash. That was not ash from the trees, but roots and other vegetation matter in the soil that had burned to ash. I thought the forest would never recover, but by the next July bear grass was growing--the first plant to recover from the fire.

The forest is just alive with color right now. The predominant color is a rusty red brought to us by the dead sour dock. The mountains are covered by this plant which is the first to die with the first sign of frost. The three other most common flowers, and they are thick, are paintbrush, aster, and pearly everlasting. The red, purple and white mats of flowers are unbelievable. I even found some lupine in bloom which surprised me for this time of the year.

The most spectacular color is the bright, bright, red and scarlet of the huckleberry bushes that have turned because of the frost. My camera does not even get close to capturing the colors of the mountains this time of the year and this lousy camera is really frustrating me.

Sour dock and pearly everlasting.

Mostly pearly everlasting with some sour dock. Incidently, sour dock was used by the Native People to relieve menstrual cramps. The plant has several other common names, such as, yellow dock. And the plant is reported to have many other medicinal uses.

I thought this tree was rather unique since only one half of it burned in the fire. The other half seems to be carrying on quite well. It is interesting how some trees can completely survive a fire with every other tree in a hundred yard radius dead. Another interesting observation is that the forest service had made no effort to replant this huge burn area allowing the trees to reproduce naturally. Well, nature is not doing too well. One can find a new tree five to ten years old and not see another for hundreds of yards. Evidently, our prolonged drought and warmer than normal temperatures are not going to allow this forest to regenerate. I don't think it would do any good to plant because the planted trees probably would not survive. Idaho is going to look like New Mexico in another hundred years or so.

You may have to click on the picture to see the enlarged version in order to see the subject of this picture. If I had taken a video with sound and smell, you would know immediately. Sheep! and lots of them. This is one band. I came upon two other bands later in the day. There are about 2,000-2,500 sheep to a band. That is a lot of smell and baa-baa-baahs, folks. Listening to the Peruvian herders call out to the herd dogs (Australian Shepherds, If you have never seen sheep dogs work a herd you are really missing a treat. Put that on your bucket list.)

The bad thing about this particular band is that they were being moved down the trail from Serene Lake and the guard dogs--Great Pyrenees--did not think I should be moving up the trail amongst his sheep. These are seriously big dogs when you get close to them and they growl and bark like they mean business. Oh, and they don't look nearly as pretty as they do in the pictures you see on the internet. In real life they are kind of dirty, thin, show signs of mixing it up with some predators and just generally don't look very sociable.

So I walked on past the turn off a couple of miles to see if there was another way to the lake when I topped over the ridge. There was not, so I walked all the way back, through the sheep again (guard dog never showed) to the car and drove five miles or so to Hazard Lake and CG.
There I fished, unsuccessfully, and enjoyed several hours of the sunshine and a sunny, crystal blue day.

Time to feel the hot shower, mmmm, I am feeling a bit tired and sore from all the times i went up and down that ladder and walking four miles in the mountains.
When I left town I filled the gas tank of the 1987 Toyota Camry station wagon which has endured 322,000+ miles to date. I was anxious about the price of a gallon because I had talked to Howlin' Howie of South Bend, IN, Sunday night and he reported that gas had spiked from $3.63 a gallon to $4.39 a gallon because of (so say the Big Oil execs) Ike. Whew! Price was $3.84. Upon returning to town I filled at the same station (Wow! price had dropped to $3.77). I had driven 218 miles on 5.87 gallons of gas. Not bad. My handy calculator tells me that mpg is 37.14. I spent $22 for gas on that trip.
If I had driven the pickup----ooooh!-----really bad mileage. The rocks are probably not good for the tires on the Camry, but nothing flat, yet.
Note for M: there is a dangling gerund noun clause in this posting. Can you and your Mommy find it? It is dangling so it lacks a verb to finish the sentence. Let me know if you two can find it.

May all your trails be slightly downhill (wish mine were),

Papa Coyote

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A September Saturday

Jand I spent Saturday in Boise . Here is what we did after I finished the project Friday on the garage. This is one of the trim boards. I couldn't believe how much this board had warped. Also, a pretty good case for the argument about how much the quality of the lumber has detiorated over the years. I should have used cedar instead of pine, I did replace this board with cedar and really need to replace all the trim on the garage with cedar, at least on the south side where I get the most weathering.
A little project of my own. You can see the peeling paint on the trim. This is the back side of the garage. It is the south side and the sun can be blistering and with the changing of weather patterns that we have experienced in the last 20 years, most of the driving rain and snow hits against this side. Storms now come in from California rather than from Alaska. Yeah, that's right. We have a much warmer climate, but those who think of Idaho has a cold barren wasteland just keep thinking that way. At 1.6 million we already have too many people.
I enjoyed spending Saturday with son, D, moving a wall. H asked if I was not having as much fun working with D on the wall moving as I had fishing with D in the mountains. Is this woman serious??? The question almost, almost I say, left me speechless. I will have to admit that my legs are not as sore the next morning, but my shoulders and arms are feeling like I put in a days work. I have Thoraxic Outlet Syndrome and it is a condition that limits how much work I can do with my arms overhead.
Nice to see software engineers actually doing some work! Haha. D using the reciprocating saw to start the job of removing the wall of the laundry room. It was a beautiful day and we should have been fishing a high mountain lake. Sigh!

View from the garage of the wall that we removed then moved into the garage thirty inches to create an alcove in the laundry room to place the washer and drier. Now D and H will have the room on the opposite wall to put the cupboards that H bought so that she will have a lot more storage in the laundry room. With another baby on the way and plans for one or two more, she needs the storage room.

D screwing a wall into another wall. We used all screws and no nails on this project. I learned to use screws to fasten everyting while building sets for the local Little Theater. When D and I decided that we had done one of the walls incorrectly, it sure was easy to change because all the fatening had been done with screws rather than nails. The task of roughing out the alcove is nearing completion. One more wall to put up to D's right. We had to improvise and make the two side walls (about 30" wide) out of 2x2's so that there would be room to put a new washer and drier when they have to replace what they have. Even with the two 2x2 walls, it will be a tight fit to squeeze these modern appliances into the alcove.

After a hard day at the Art in the Park, visiting dad's relatives, and shopping, it is nice to relax with a ride around the yard on one's four-wheeler. Thanks, cousin C.

Feeding the lady bugs. Actually, ants, but to this two-year old every bug is a lady bug. And she stomps them, too.

Helping Mom by adding ice to the ice cream maker (in this case sorbet maker).

This is the result of a little girl trying to keep up all day with her 63 year old Gramma. Hmmm. The old gal can tire out pretty fast unless she has her nose to the shopping trip trail. I will have to compliment her on not buying anything at the yard sale. At the yard sale she gave Brian, for his birthday, a sack full of seriously tasty molasses cookies which are one of his favorites. He gave one cookie to L then hid the rest of them away from the ravenous relatives. I did hijack three the night before so that I could approve them for gift giving and be able to lend my expert opinion on this blog page as to the taste and quality of the cookie. Yup, darn good cookies! J also made key lime cookies which were pretty good, but she is still experimenting with the recipe and is not yet satisfied with the end result. Keep on testing I say!!!

This is a watermelon sorbet made by H which was really tasty and refreshing after a very good dinner of barbecued chicken on a stick and a couple good salads with several types of fresh tomatoes. Pretty tasty after my son worked me all day, I say there---all day, Good thing I didn't show up until ten in the morning.

L gets a watermelon sorbet treat made by her mother. L had just woken from a short nap started at the dinner table. Seems as Gramma had taken her to B and J's yard sale where L got to visit with daughter C, who L really likes. Nine year old pretty girls are very cool to an almost-three year old. Besides C is really nice and L loves her. Then Gramma and Granddaughter went to Art in the Park where L got one cheek painted with a heart and another with a butterfly. Pretty cute. They got to ride the shuttle bus which L thought was a fun adventure until the bus driver scared her out of her wits when he released the air to open the door. She did not know that loud noise was coming. Then, of course, if Gramma J is with ten miles of Ross, there is the obligatory trip to Ross which of course is another credit card ambush.
We had a fun day and J drove home a tired Papa Coyote.
See you all later,
Papa Coyote saying keep the line tight and the tip up

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fishing Trip and a Mud Rescue

View from the lower end of Paddock Reservoir looking toward the upper end. The reservoir is a private reservoir established by ranchers and farmers along the Little Willow. The water is for their usage and so maintaining fish populations is not of concern. The Idaho Fish and Game has worked out an agreement to allow fishermen to use the reservoir and two boat ramps have been estabished along with a brick outhouse. Some years the reservoir is drained dry and all the fish are lost. This year that may happen. Yesterday one could not take a boat from the lower end to the upper end because the water level is so low. It is as if there were two lakes. There are some large bass, crappie, bluegill, even some planted trout, and bullheads. It will be a shame to lose these. The F and G just restocked the reservoir three years ago.

Perry and Jim from the fly fishers club and I went to try our luck Wednesday. Wednesday happened to be J and my 42nd Anniversary. [Pretty understanding wife, huh? We had a nice dinner at Murphey's the night before and used that trip to attend an owners' education class for WorldMark Wyndham (timeshare ownership association).]

We caught several crappie about seven inches long and a few blue gill about six inches. We could not locate the schools of the bigger fish. We were fly fishing with sinking lines.

We returned to the ramp to load our kick boats and saw a white Tundra pickup parked to the side of the ramp. A little girl crying caught our attention. A 25 year old member (Justin) of the Air Force out of Mountain Home had taken an exploratory drive for the day with his 4 year and 2 year old daughters. He had driven near the shore line and got himself hopelessly stuck in the muck left by the receding water level. It was not a smart thing to do, but then all three of us didn't express any criticism toward him remembering our younger days of doing some foolish things ourselves. I remember coming down out of Florence, Idaho (a ghost town that I have not been to since) on what I thought was the road along Allison Creek. Wrong! It was a double path jeep trail that was not meant for two wheel drives...and it had a BIG bog hole for entertainment. Tim and I had to cut uncountable small trees down to make a corduroy road to eventually get the truck through the bog. There was no turning back with the two wheel drive on a road that was so rugged and steep. And there are more stories.

Anyway, we unhooked the trailer. Justin had a tow strap. Good thing, I had no chain or strap. We tied off to the hooks on the front of my 2007 Dodge Ram 1500. We were both in four wheel drive, but I could not pull him out. So I drove around in front of him (keeping out of the muck) and we tied off to my trailer ball and to the brush guard on the front of his pickup. That worked easily. Whew! He was very relieved and I expect the four year old was more relieved. I told him that I needed to get one of those tow straps. He handed the strap that he had just wound into a roll and said, "Here it is yours. I have two others and have access to hundreds." I am thinking I may be the recipient of stolen government property, but have not made a close inspection of the strap yet. We were the only people on the lake. There were two pickups at the dam, but I don't think there was anyway that Justin could see them and he did not know they were there. He will probably be much more cautious about pulling up near the shore of a reservoir in the future, but we all tend to learn those lessons by experiencing the pain. Oh, but aren't we fools. As in the fool learns from his own mistakes, but the wiseman learns from the mistakes of others.

When I delivered Jim to his house at 10:30 , his wife was not too happy about our late arrival. i told her that if Jim was going to be going with me, that she had better prepare herself for some late arrivals. That California city girl recently retired to this small western town did not seem too happy with my warning. She had already called mywife. J could not see the urgency--heck it only had been dark for an hour. Jim launched right into the story about our saving a four year old, a two year old, and their daddy. He did not say anything about the mud and the stuck truck to start and left her dangling for a few seconds with images of us brave guys pulling the family from the clutches of the cold, gray waters of Paddock. His wife seemed to accept that we had good reason to be late. Hmmm, I did not think we were late. There was still an hour of daylight to fish and I only had kept four crappie. Oh, well, J and I enjoyed a late breakfast of filleted crappie. We had fish sandwiches. Yum.

Time to go read a book.


Papa Coyote loves you all.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Visit to the Zuni Pueblo

A church across the street from the museum.
The countryside where the Zuni Pueblo is located on the western side of New Mexico. This mesa is sacred.
These are the charms I bought from Stafford. One bear and two frogs. Bears when blessed are fetishes to bring good health to the owner of the fetish.

Stafford concentrating hard so that he does not make a mistake and have to start over. He is using soapstone here. Fetish makers use about every stone imaginable including many stones imported from many places around the world. They like the softer stones simply because it easier on their grinders and thus less expensive to produce a fetish.

This is Stafford working on the frog charms I bought. You can see his grinder is partially enclosed by a homemade cowling covered with some plastic. He is trying to keep the dust from flying all over and into the house. You see the tall plastic drink container. It gets hot at the Zuni Pueblo. Real hot.

The Zuni Museum. See this site if interested in many pictures showing the Zuni people all through the year. I like this site because we were only there for a few hours and caught only a glimpse, a moment in time, in the Zuni Pueblo.

The shape of the bread is typical of the Zuni. The flavor is reminiscent of sour dough. I bought bread at the Taos Pueblo and told the lady that we had earlier bought bread at the Zuni Pueblo. She turned up her nose and said, "Oh, that bread tastes like sourdough. This is good bread." There seems to be some jealousy between the Taos people and the Zuni people. I thought both breads were real good. Give me some cheese and wine and all bread tastes pretty good to me!,-106.018066&spn=8.485466,14.0625&z=6 (Click on link to see a map locating the Zuni Pueblo) J and I were driving quite a long time traveling from Casa Grande, AZ, to Albuquerque, NM when we unexpectedly came upon the Zuni Pueblo. Unlike the other pueblos we visited there is no gate or visitors center where money is collected to drive or walk into the pueblo. A lady at the Taos Pueblo expressed a very low opinion of the Zunis because they do not control access to their pueblo. "They are even letting some Arab families live in the pueblo." We drove in and found the museum near the entrance. Paid our admission and took an hour or so to peruse the small museum, but nice displays and much to be learned of the Zuni history and of the controversial anthropologist Edward Curtis. See for more about Curtis:
When we finally arrived at our motel in Albuquerque it was about ten at night--a long day. And then after making reservations, they did not have our reservation. We found out about a month later that the lady at the central office for La Quinta had screwed up and told us one address and then put us in a different La Quinta motel in Albuquerque. We ended up getting a room okay, but the desk clerk was scrambling. The next day we we off to spend three nights at a WorldMark associate property in Sante Fe--very nice and within walking distance of the Plaza. J was thinking it was a long walk coming back, but she did fine. We really enjoyed the Geogia O'Keeffe Museum. I learned that she was a controversial figure in her day having posed nude for published photographs taken by her professional photographer husband.

After visiting the Zuni museum, J walked out the door and saw a man sitting on his back porch (talking real rustic, here) at a grinder making fetishes. (To us non-Indians, charms, because they have not been blessed by a medicine man or shaman) She asked him where to buy bread and he referred her next door to one of the pueblo houses. We are talking some seriously old housing now. You can see the two loaves of bread that she bought. That actually was our dinner that evening. You can see the ovens that our used by the pueblo people to bake their bread. Many pueblos have community ovens and one can see these ovens behind houses all over the SW. The ovens are called horno. Actually, these ovens have been adopted from the Spanish culture. See for more about hornos:

J suggested I go over and talk to the fetish maker. I did and ended up sitting down on a chair beside him for 45 minutes to watch him make some bear and frog fetishes. We had quite a conversation and I met his children. Turns out he is the straw boss for the Zuni Forest Fire Fighting Crew. Living in the West, I have heard of them . They are considered the best Hot Shot Crew in the U.S. His name is Safford Chimoni. He gave me his address and phone number and invited me to come back when they have some of their annual celebrations and he would take me around and explain what was going on and introduce me to other Zunis. I had told him that I teach Native American Studies. He liked that I was doing that. Actually, he had been in Idaho twice last summer because Idaho had an outrageous fire season. So far this year things have been pretty quiet until tonight when a grass fire on the outskirts of Boise got our of control with winds gusting to 50 mph causing ten houses to be totally destroyed and nine others burned. Anyway, Stafford is mentioned in two different books I bought about SW fetishes. He is considered a quality craftsman. I bought three charms for $60. He did not ask a price just let me pay him what I wanted. I hope it was about right. I feel badly about shorting any craftsman of the money they are due because they put so many hours in for so little return. But, I don't like to be cheated either.

Well, another lesson for the student of Native American cultures. I am not teaching this year so maybe that explains my need to do these posts. Besides it will help me remember our trip in future years when I look back on this post.
Time for bed,
Yeeeeeeeooooooowww... May the smoke blow in the other guys eyes...
Papa Coyote