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.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I am getting out and walking a mile in the morning lately. I took some pictures of the field behind and to the sides of our house. You can see that the wheat is soon to be harvested. The last picture shows our house in that clump of trees. That clump of trees works really well to keep the house cool when the temperatures get near one hundred. Our daughter called and said she was sitting on the air conditioning vent today. They live a few miles south of Portland, OR. Portland recorded 105 degrees today. Seattle hit 104 downtown. Highest temp ever recorded in Seattle was 100 degrees. This is some pretty serious heat for the Northwest, but the wheat is loving it. Should be a good crop. Funny thing about NYC recording the coldest month of July ever. You can see that our neighboring wheat field is pretty stressed by a healthy yield of thistle. There is a county ordinance--actually state law, about failure to control weeds. Evidently, farmers are unofficially exempt from compliance. Not really, but, well, really. The weed commissioner visited a couple of summers ago and did not give me any hassle about my weeds--I do a good faith effort trying to control them--but herbicides are really expensive now. There is no way I can eradicate the thistle on my property and I do have a problem with thistle if the farmer is not doing his part. The best solution I have come upon to control weeds is to plant sunflowers. They go to seed and then go wild. I have 8-10 foot sunflowers all over the place. Guess what? The weeds don't have a chance under those sunflowers. The weed commissioner was duly impressed. He had never heard of doing that before.
Hey, hey! the garden is beginning to produce. The yellow summer squash is just about a staple of our dinners now. We are getting a few cherry and grape tomatoes, but in a week or two we will be overwhelmed with those small tomatoes. Plan to give a lot of them away. We got our first ripe slicer tomato yesterday and it was yummy. Forget about buying tomatoes in the store. In-season-tomatoes are the only tomatoes I eat now. I don't even call in-store-tomatoes, tomatoes. Just some red, artificial matter. And, the first three ears of corn. Oh, that was so good. My sister and brother-in-law will be visiting in September and they have their mouths already set for those tomatoes. Brother-in-law calls the cherry and grape tomato plants candy bushes. If you eat a sun warmed and ripened tomato right off of the vine, then you know what the sun tastes like.

We had come to the conclusion that our lonely squirrel was love denied. Hah. We are sorely lacking in knowledge concerning the sexual habits of tree squirrels. We have three little squirrels running around. They make a habit of not running around together, so we don't really have an accurate count. I believe that we may have squirrel stew this fall after all. Well, maybe.
Tomorrow I will be off huckleberrying again. Depending on how it goes, I may go back out again Friday. I got a hot fishing tip from a fellow in the waiting room at Hanigan Chrysler while we waited for our vehicles to be serviced. The creek with seventeen inch rainbows is within a few miles of one of my huckleberry patches. Hmmmm, I could possibly get distracted if the patch is not producing a lot of ripe berries.
In case you were wondering, coyotes, I am sure eat huckleberries. I use to have two Brittany Spaniels, Teddy and Leaky, who would most delicately eat huckleberries (one at a time) from the bushes. If I was picking huckleberries with them around, and they often accompanied me on such outings, I would have to pick like mad to get my fair share. A Brittany Spaniel with his pink nose and blue tongue is quite a sight. Oh, for a picture.

Papa Coyote has to go, bedtime. I won't be dreaming of huckleberries, but last week after two days of picking berries, I kept seeing berries in my mind when I tried to doze off to sleep. Geez.
Night, Night,
Papa Coyote loves you all

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I have not been too good about keeping this blog up, but it did not help when the last time I tried to log in the blog sponsor, evidently Google, was telling me that I needed to log in under a Google account, but if I wanted I could log in as I have in the past. Wrong! But tonight the blog sponsor must have relented and allowed me to log into my account. So I bring you pictures of our trip to Newberg go visit grandkids and return M. M had a Boy Scout day camp for the week that he had really been looking forward to. By Wednesday the poor kid had come down with a hard case of the stomach flu. When we left that morning he was Z'ed out on the sofa and missed camp.
We went to the berry patch and picked berries with S and the kids. U-pick berries are $.99 a pound--all types. I concentrated on blueberries. We ended up buying $30 worth of blackberries and raspberries. Really good stuff. J made some blackberry and raspberry Barbecue sauces.
The boys like to play with their friends in the neighborhood park which is only half a block away from their house. You can see G on the play set with some of his pals. He has lots of pals and is a very socialable fellow in the neighborhood. I see that S has not added to her blog in quite awhile, but I can attest to the fact that she has her hands full with a ten year old boy, an almost five year old boy, an almost two year old boy, and a three month old little girl. Dad helps, but during the day it is pretty interesting in the old neighborhood.
I have been sick for a few weeks with some kind of cold or another. The Doc in the Box gave me a round of antibiotics and a couple kinds of cough meds. He said it has been a particularly nasty species running around in the town. In our small burg they don't test for swine flu or any other nasties because it would mean writing reports and there is no time or staff for that falder rah. So who knows what I have had. I know it has stuck around for a few weeks and I still don't have my energy back. Heck, I have been taking naps in the afternoon. Geez!
Anyway I have been out huckleberrying last Thursday and Friday. I have two really good places, but I am going to let the berries ripen for a week before going out again at the end of this coming week.
The first two pictures show huckleberries. The temps have been in the high 90's but I have been picking at about 5000 feet. So the temps were probably more like about 85 where I picked, but huckleberries like to grow in the full sun so that was where I picked. The first day I finally was driven out by the mosqitos and the second day there were lots of flies. I finally stopped when I ran out of ripe berries and then scouted out the second spot. The second patch is alongside a road, so that might be picked out by the end of the week. The first spot is about a hundred yard walk up an old overgrown log skid trail. I doubt that anybody finds it and it is a really good patch. My mushroom hunting buddy and I found this patch while hunting mushrooms this spring. Berries in southern Idaho are quite a bit smaller than berries in northern Idaho so it takes a lot of picking. When all was said and done, I cleaned and put into containers about three quarts worth. J made a huckleberry coffee cake that is really good. I don't eat berries when I am picking because they make me thirsty. we have been eating huckleberries with breakfast. Really a nice way to have cereal.
Time to go,
Papa Coyote

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Grandson visit

M is beginning his 4th annual visit. J and I drove west to spend a few days with RasJane and family and bring M home for a ten day visit. We have a 3rd of July visit with D and family. M really loves to set off fireworks with his Uncle D. That is one of his favorite times of the year. Then we have a couple nights of camping and fishing on the calendar. Today we set up the pool and patches leaks. M spent much of the day in the pool and, of course, I forgot the sunscreen. He has fair skin unlike my darker skin. I rarely use sunscreen except on river float trips and have hard time rememberting to slather up M.

Here are some pictures of M's brothers and some pics from a hike intot Pearl Lake. The fish at Pearl Lake are cutthroat and they were just beginning come out of their winter hibernation. There was still snow around parts of the lake and lots of very cold runoff into the lake. Marge Lake on the other side of the ridge was still iced over and snow packed. So the fishing was not good. I had one bite.

The young lady on the sofa is the niece of a friend of mine here in town. She lives in Orlando, Florida. She was visiting with her Dad. We met them in McCall. She did not have hiking boots and walked the six mile hike in tennis shoes, but she did have a good pair of socks. She ended up with two blisters. She never complained once about the mud, the snow, the water in the trail, the blisters, or anything at all. She was quite a trooper. For some wierd reason there is cell phone service at this mountain lake. Only one I know that has that available. She and her Dad called Mom who stayed back in Orlando. Her mother is Brazilian and had declared that she is only talking to her daughter in Portugese this summer so that the daughter can practice her Portugese. The young lady was born in Mexico City so is a Tri-Citizen.