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 27, 2008

Family Get Together

Took some pictures when S and C with family came to Boise and took more pictures when J's family came to Weiser for a gathering of the family. We had a perfect day in terms of temperature so enjoyed eating on the deck. As usual J had a perfect meal that all enjoyed. The pulled pork burritos were fine, but the home made vanilla ice cream was a really big hit.
We had a big rain storm tonight--the first since some time last summer. We needed the rain. The yard looks nice. Glad I got the fertilizer spread this morning before the rain.
Tomorrow morning we leave for El Centro, CA, then on to Casa Grande, AZ, then to Sante Fe, then to Taos, then on to Chaco Canyon to visit the Anasazi ruins. Some time within that time frame I am hoping to sample a few of New Mexico's trout streams. Will be back by the 15th so don't look for any updates to the blog until then.
Yeeeeeooooooowwwwwww! All is Well on the Weiser Front,
Papa Coyote

Friday, May 23, 2008

The First Mushroom in the Yard

I was out in the yard driving sticks of fertilizer into the ground around ornamental bushes when I happened upon the mushroom seen in the pictures. Technically it is growing just outside the yard next to the railroad tie in the NW corner of the yard. Of course, the mushroom guide book has gone AWOL. Hey, I just found it in the fly tying room. Now I will have to ID it, but first I am going to tie some pheasant tail bead nymphs. S just called and the family arrived safely in Boise. J is working out arrangements for meeting them. Got everything out for the camping part of the trip to NM. Hope to spend three nights in Chaco Canyon weather and roads permitting.
Put in the last day at work today. Grades are in and the May check collected.
Until Later,
Papa Coyote

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wedding Bells Are Ringing and The Seamstress Is Getting Rich--NOT

As you can see J is hard at the task of making this wedding dress a few sizes larger. The bride is using her mother's wedding dress and has to have it made a bit larger for her. Seems like this is the trend across the nation, but so far our two offspring have bucked the trend of the expanding waistline.

My excitement today consisted of spending $121 to fill the Dodge pickup and the Camry. Guess which cost 76.20? (Hint: See picture) Also, spent $64 on fertilizers and weed killers. The plan is to keep the yard looking good. As of now, I think the yard is looking as good as it ever has . Mowed the lawn today, again. Looks like this is going to be a twice a week chore, but the exercise is good for me.

Do you want to watch the results of poor skills and bad management? WARNING!! It will be an ugly sight and best not to expose the children to the view. Watch the Seattle Mariners play baseball. They are a pathetic bunch. Even the bad Chicago Cub teams of the late '50's were more exciting than these Mariners. They got a cleanup hitter and first baseman that makes $14 million a year and struggles to stay above the Mendoza Line. They had a backup first baseman that was hitting .438 and making a million a year, so who do they cut? Oh, yeah, the guy hitting .438. Obviously, the GM and the Field Manager have no incentive bonuses written into their contracts.

Tied some more flies tonight in preparation for the Saturday outing to Paddock Reservoir. Should be a crowd there because the word is getting out.

Yeeeeeeeooooooooowww! The word to the wise--don't waste your money on Mariner tickets this year.

Papa Coyote loves you all

Monday, May 19, 2008

Dinner and Testing

The picture is borrowed from the internet. Funny thing about morels--they have a tendency to take on the color of where they are growing. That makes them hard to see; not all the time, but often enough. They kind of blend in like rattlesnakes and kind of like the same domain. One might be well advised to move cautiously and know where thee hand is about to adventure.

The roasted chicken with the morels was scrumpdeliliscious. A little rice and the broth of the chicken mixed with the morels--oh, that was good!

The word is that the bluegill and crappie are biting at Paddock Reservoir and they are running on the large size this year. Oh, my, but the fly fishing is going to be goooooood! Yeeeeeeoooooowwwwwwww! I tied some Hare's Mask nymphs, but mixed the hare's fur with buffalo fur. I really like tying flies with buffalo fur. It makes a very realistic looking nymph with good bouyancy if it is to be fished near the surface or can be weighted with a lead wrap which is the way I tied these tonight.

Graded the tests and had one student score a perfect grade and another miss one question. I bribed them with a Weiser Classic Candies Bear Claw Award--one for the highest score and one for the highest score above their test average. One student score 22 points above his test average and a Mexican boy (great freshman 400 meter sprinter) scored 23 points above his test average. Oh, yeah, Mexicans love chocolate. I have eight students taking the final exam Thursday. Grade those and it is time to go fishing. Yeah, Baby!

I mowed the lawn on Saturday. As J and I sat on the deck eating roasted chicken and morels tonight, we noticed that the yard was going to need mowing tomorrow. Now come on! I just mowed it two days ago. The lawn is really looking good this year. I guess it was that dose of fertilzer I gave it this spring, or maybe the double dose last fall--once in late September and once again in late November. Or possibly the aeration. Nowlin Yard Service said that aerating the lawn really works. Might have been a well spent $75. Last Saturday I put on a granulated, time release insecticide. I get a lot of little white millers which means that I have sod worms. They are not welcomed guests, eat way too much and don't know when to leave.

Papa Coyote is reading In Spite of the Gods so had better get to bed for his night time story. NPR featured a new novel on India called White Tiger. Sounded pretty good. I think J and I will read that next. Got to keep up with what is going on in the country D visits a couple times a year because of his work.

May all your trails be slightly downhill and may the rains bring big, fat morels.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mushroom Hunt

Up at the regular time this Sunday morning to get ready for 7:30 departure for the mountains above Indian Valley and a mushroom hunt. J could not be talked into this outdoor adventure and the heat today was a real turnoff for her. See half of the take in the picture. The club met for a hunt. Twelve hunted on Saturday and managed to get one rig stuck on FS road 217. Five rigs were in a caravan and so they were able to rescue the high centered vehicle. R and I showed up in Cambridge at Mrs. G's for breakfast with the club president and her husband (G and M) and the membership officer who drove over from Challis. She says she loves the outings. All had gone home except these three. G and M wanted R and I to find some morels so they stayed and took us to some good sites and showed us how to find the morels. We are so very greatful for G and M to do this. M was marking all the sites with his GPS. Morels at this time are really small. See the nickels in the picture to get an idea. G says it is because the season is early and the spring has been so dry that the morels get an inch or so big and then dry up. I was looking for those 2-4 inches morels and was not finding anything until G showed us how to get on our hands and knees in the burns (pretty messy hunting) and really look for these small morels. Many times we had to brush away 2-4 inches of dry pine needles that had fallen during the winter from trees that had been killed by the fire, but not burned up. When we brushed the needles aside often we could smell the morel, but still really had to look hard. When we found one we usually found two to as many as a dozen in the same area. I was thinking that a bird dog could be trained to sniff out these morels. I really think that if I had trained Teddy, our first Brittany, that he would have had a great time pointing morels, especially if there was a treat forthcoming.

A word of caution to those who go hunting morels. They are poisonous until thoroughly cooked, so be advised. Drying intensifies their flavor and they can then be frozen and rehydrated later, even much later. See our website--

I am hoping for a good rain this week, then I will be back on the hunt. G thought there would be a lot of good size mushrooms right after a good soaking rain. Pray for rain!!!

Papa Coyote should be grading tests right now, but I am procrastinating. This will be the last full set of tests I ever grade and the nostalgia, well, I am not feeling any of that. I am tired of grading tests and creating and typing tests and preparing lessons, etc. Been there for a long, long time and done that. Bring on the fish, elk, a fine book, morels, grandkids, oh yeah, and that Margarita while we sit on the deck enjoying the sounds of the pond or in the back patio enjoying the shade of the oaks and the sounds of the fountain. Ah, but life is fine.

FHS won the State Baseball Tournament. We sat in 94 degrees in Ontario, Oregon. (imagine an Idaho state baseball tournament in Oregon, but we really don't think much about the state line around here except when it comes to a break on our sales tax. Oregon does not have one and Idaho has a 6 percent tax.) The score was six to one--FHS over Bear Lake High School. A boy that I spent two summers working with his pitching and hitting when he was in the sixth and seventh grades pitched a win in game one of the tournament, hit a two run home run in the championship game and pitched the last two innings of the championship game. He had an outstanding tournament which made him and his family very happy. I was happy to be part of that success. He is a junior as were the other two main pitchers on the team.

Well, Papa Coyote has got to go wash off some of the ashes and dirt that I managed to accumulate on myself. I am a bit of a mess, but am looking forward to that chicken roasted with morels for dinner tomorrow night. Anybody wish to come over for dinner? You are welcomed!!!

Yeeeeeeooooooooooow, Papa Coyote is dragging tail over the hill.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Stove Now Fits Against the Wall

As you can see the stove now fits snuggly against the wall. Of course, the process was a struggle and worse than I had imagined. To start with I could not force the cable down through the access hole that we had drilled when we remodeled the kitchen back in the seventies. So downstairs to see where I could get a hold of the cable to pull from underneath. Not so fast, buddy. The cable poked up through the floor on the living room side of the wall, not the storage room side where I have fairly easy access. So after careful consideration, consideration because I have to remove two shelves of books and remove the ceiling portion of a bookshelf, I did all this work only to find the cable was four inches above the other bookshelf. So put all those books back, put the ceiling back and do the same with the other bookshelf. Still can't pull the cable down. So, go get a piece of rope, wrap around the cable (still not easy to get to even though books and ceiling tile had been removed) and pull the cable. Ah hah! Success. Replace all the books and ceiling tile (this turns out to be the major part of the whole project) and back to the stove. I had to cut a board and use the pocket jig to screw holes into the end of the board so that I could attach the board to the floor board in the stud wall and the top to the cross piece of 2x4 where we had originally attached the plugin for the stove. Now I could move the plugin down three inches. Then I cut a piece of hardboard and cut a hole out in the correct place that matches the shape of the plugin. Used a piece of cardboard to make a template so that I could get the hole in the right place. WaLa, It worked. That was an ugly job that I am glad to have it behind me.
All the hostas that I transplanted are thriving. Whew! I have been digging in the flower bed in front of the deck in preparation to divide and transplant mores hostas. Dug out the grass around the trees in the front yard and have those edged. Place is starting to look a little better. I have poor water pressure in the underground sprinkling system. Don't know what that is all about. I think I am in for a lot of work to fix this.
Fertilized the flowering plants and the hostas with 16-16-16 formula. Have a time release granulated insecticide to spread over the lawn. It was too windy today to spread the insecticide. I had thought of having a yard service come to do this, but did not like the price they wanted. So, I continue to limp along with the DYI approach.
Happy Mothers' Day to all you Mothers. Thanks for the calls. Pretty quiet day on the home front. J sewed all day on a wedding dress and cut out fabric to make bags to sell at the Fiddle Festival. She has rented a booth at the Vendome during the week of the Festival. This morning J was thrilled to check her Etsy account and see that she had sold a bag. Her first that was not a friend or family. She also sold a bag to the boys' basketball coach at FHS that he gave to his wife for Mother's Day. It is a wine bag--black with orange ribbon trim and her initials on the bag. We hope that she is pleased.
Time to howl,
Love you all,
Papa Coyote

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mundane Shopping Post

In my way of thinking shopping is like doing the dishes. It is one of the gottas in life. I try to make shopping trips as painless as I can. Painless in this case means spend as little as possible, get exactly what I want, and take as little time as possible. The emphasis is on the latter two. (Actually, J does most of the shopping and the dishwashing. This is my truth in posting obligation to you the reader.) Today, after work (got out 45 minutes early because of an academic award assembly) I stopped at Albertsons in Payette because it is on the way home. I needed shaving cream or some cheap substitute, pit stick, and toothpaste. I go into the store and head for the aisle marked cosmetics and whatever else. On the way I get detoured by a small stand with a few items marked down for quick sale. Ah, hah--buy two Old Spice pit sticks (not the type I wanted, but what the hey) for $5.00. I take one and thinking they had better not make me buy two. Head for the shaving creams and gels and buy the cheapest gel I can find--marked 2.79 a can. Do you suppose I can find toothpaste in that aisle? Yeah, Right. Looked to the aisle to the left, looked to the aisle to the right--no toothpaste. Now would you not put toothpaste in the vicinity of the pit stick and shaving supplies? Not Albertson. Of course, at 10:40 a.m. there are no "clerks" available to help. If there was a clerk then it would be even--one clerk and one customer. So, I am thinking that Albertsons is probably going to charge me too much for these items, that I have to pay sales tax, and I am pissed because they moved the peanut butter away from the bread two years ago and put the peanut butter in some obscure aisle that I still have trouble finding (obviously I still have not forgiven them for that---don't mess with my peanut butter!), so I retraced my steps, put all the items back on the shelf (neatly and in the proper place mind you--I am not a retail-terrorist, yet) and got in the car and drove from Payette to Walgreens in Ontario. As I was reading through their flyer about items on sale, a young lady asked if she could help me. No, I said, I was just checking if the things I needed were on sale--ah, hah--the Crest toothpaste is on sale. I head down the aisle and am looking over the choices for shaving gels, cream, lotions, etc. (big choice) when another clerk asks if I needed help finding something and made a recommendation to me. Ended up buying another, but I thought it was nice of her. Asked where the toothpaste was located and was led to the aisle. Ended up buying two tubes of toothpaste (2 for $5), one pit stick of the type I wanted, and a shaving gel all for $10.08 and, of course, in Oregon I saved 60 cents on sales tax. (I don't feel bad about that because two years ago Acting Governor Risch called the legislature into a special session to raise our sales tax by a percentage point so that we could all enjoy a break in our property taxes. The next year my property tax is even higher than the previous year because my property was "re-evaluated". I am still pissed over that. Oh and get this, an article in the Idaho Statesman last week said that we should not expect a reduction in our real estate valuations because of the recent downturn in real estate values. At the register my sales receipt included a $4-off coupon on my next purchase at Walgreen. So the purchase really only cost $6.08. Match that Albertsons! Oh, Wow! Just as I typed Walgreen this time I remembered I have to get off an order for three months of prescriptions. I am down to the last week of pills.

Shortly after arriving home, J goes out to get the mail and I get a phone call--from the FBI. Really. The agent says his name and that he is with the FBI. My response? "Yeah, Right! So did Mel Person put you up to this or Mike Knee?" No, he says, he really is with the FBI, and can you believe, he was just talking to Mike Knee at his office. About that time J comes in shouting about something and now I can't hear either of them. I have to tell Jane that I am talking with the FBI. that quiets her down, and apologize to the FBI agent. He was calling to do a background check on a former student. Yeah, for those of you who really don't think what you did in high school makes a difference, teachers really do get calls about their former students from the FBI, sometimes from the Department of Defense, and sometimes the Treasury Department.

Try this:

1. WITHOUT anyone watching you (they will think you are GOOFY......), lift your right foot off the floor and make Clockwise Circles.

2. Now, while doing this, draw the number "6" in the air with your Right Hand. Your foot will change direction.
Papa Coyote has to finish a letter of recommendation. Friend of mine wants to enroll in a private university to earn a Masters Degree in Education. The school wants two letters of recommendation. I am thinking they are a private school. If he pays the outrageous tuition charges, he qualifies. But, we all have to play their game.
Papa Coyote Loves You'all,

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Keeping Up Appearances

The day was spent saving money by not going fishing and dividing hostas. The hostas are just beginning to emerge from the ground (bullet stage) and it has been three years since I have divided them, so that was on the agenda for today. I now have hostas that are green with lots of white striping that grow about 8 inches high rimming that flower garden in front of the house. The bleeding hearts have just begun to bloom. The grass is greening up pretty well and filling in after a harder winter than usual.
Spent a few hours and washed down the deck. Looking pretty good. The pond continues to have yucky guck rise to the surface. I have threatened to put on the waders and get in and clean it out if the temperatures would get to 70. Darn if the temps didn't get to 70+ today. I get a reprieve tomorrow because I have to have the pickup serviced and have a particularly difficult senior project to grade which is probably going to take hours. I won't miss that part of teaching.
I notice that the digital camera does a pretty poor job of capturing color. Kind of washed out. I miss the Fujica.
Two of my faculty buddies (Mike and Mike), one now retired, and I have gone together to buy a raft for river running. The boys basketball coach is the other owner. He and I went Saturday morning, bright and early, to Boise to attend the annual swap meet. We bought a metal box to haul out ashes, a waterproof box for cameras and watches, and a bunch of straps. Use lots of straps in rafting. We still have to get a dry box, PDF's, rope, and fire pan. Oh, yeah, and a potty. We are looking forward to some trips this summer. Might be running the Owyhee River at the end of May. That is a great trip.
D has set his Mom up with a web page. Pretty basic right now, but at least she can direct people to her merchandise on Etsy. See Have a look. She has sewn some great stuff.