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, September 23, 2009

"Murder by the Book"

Perry and I were asked by the director of the play Murder by the Book to build three bookcases for the play. We shopped for lumber at Home Depot and found a pretty good grade of plywood made of fir. We priced alder, birch and oak plywood, but thought the price too great. This is a theater in the round, well, technically in the round. The audience of 82 actually sits on the stage with set pieces behind them or around them. So we must build furniture and set pieces that look really good. When building for a conventional stage production, the furniture and set can be somewhat shabby because the audience never gets a real good look up close. We consulted with a clerk at Woodcraft in Boise about painting plywood in such a manner that the grain of the plywood would not show or at least not be prominent as is usually the case when one paints over plywood. He suggested that we sand down to a 320 grit sandpaper and then shellac the plywood. We did this and were really pleased with the results. We did face all the raw edges of the plywood with poplar and then painted two coats of a dark chocolate latex. Perry and I spent some time looking at paint chips and just knew we were going to screw this decision up. You know what women think of men and their choice of colors. So we told the director to go buy a gallon of paint that she thought would work well. Haha. We dodged that bullet. She did well. And we are looking good. Haha. We got the rich look of an old Victorian style bookcase. We had to create the molding at the top of the bookcases with a router. We dadoed grooves into the side panels to fit the shelves. We glued all joints and resulting in three very sturdy bookcases that stand seven feet tall and thirty inches wide.
Since we are not likely to have a need for book cases soon, we suggested to the board of directors that they conduct a silent auction during the six nights of performances to sell the bookcases. The accepted our idea. We have about $250-300 into the three bookcases. I don't know the exact figures because Perry was keeping all the receipts. We are hoping the theater can recoup the cost of building the cases by selling them.
You all have a wonderful day. If you are in Weiser the second or third weekend of October consider joining us for dinner and a nice performance of Murder by the Book. And, of course, you can bid on those very well built and nice looking bookcases. Call the Weiser Chamber of Commerce for tickets. 208-414-0452
Papa Coyote loves you all

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fly Tying Lesson

The master is teaching the class.

We have several women in the club and many come for the fly tying lessons.

See Marvin and Perry contemplate tonight's hopper pattern. Marvin tied this patter without the use of a fly tying vice. He is also a master fly tier.

You can see the grasshopper pattern. The body is of one-quarter inch closed foam rubber. The wings are made by taping a hens feather to a clear piece of two inch wide celophane tape used for wrapping packages.

Perry is the master fly tier and the teacher for the September class. He taught us to tie a grasshopper pattern.

This is a fly tied by Marvin Orwig a very accomplished fly tier and rod builder. Marvin worked in the Angler's Habitat Fly Fishing shop in Caldwell, ID and worked as a fly fishing guide in Alaska for eighteen years.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Son's Birthday Party

The sure sign that one is getting old is when his parents give him a present that is a tool so that an every day or at least weekly chore might become a little more easily accomplished. Such was the case for D's BD when his Mom and I gave him a Stihl leaf blower (also blows an inch or so of fresh snow real well) with the bag for vacuuming. Kind of like the five year old getting clothes for his birthday. Well, the other sign of getting older is when one is glad to get such a gift and D was pleased. He called today and said that he was out blowing pine needles off the deck this morning.

D and H and the girls came out Sunday for steak dinner with twiced baked potatoes. Also, home made ice cream. J baked two cream cheese cakes. So for desert we had cream cheese cake, homemade ice cream topped with huckleberry jam that J made. L helped Grandma make the twice baked potatoes. She gets into her work real well and for a three year old really is a good help. She also helped Grandma make tomato soup from tomatoes from our garden. She really liked the soup so Grandma sent home three pints of fresh tomato juice from which H and L can make soup for the family.

L helped Grandpa glean some onions from the neighbor's field of onions. Well, alright, the onions have not been harvested yet, so we picked up small onions that would be sorted out and culled anyway. Grandma fried the onions in a little butter to go with the steaks. Yummy! And, as is the ritual when L visits, she fed the gold fish. The gold fish get several helpings (BIG helpings) of food on the days L visits. I am sure the gold fish love to see L come to visit. Uncle D, L, and I raided the tomato patch for the little cherry tomatoes that are so sweet and flavorable this time of the year. Along with some swinging and bouncing on the bouncy ball, playing with the play-kitchen. L seemed to have a good day.

G will turn a year old in a month and she is doing the Marine crawl across the floor real well. She can really travel. She loves to laugh, just like her older sister so they are both a lot of fun to play with. Great aunt S enjoyed visiting with G, also. H and D are great parents. We are so proud of them and just love visiting with them and the grandchildren.

J had very good sales at the annual Hyde Park event in Boise this past weekend. She is very happy with how her products sold. I am very happy for her. She works hard at creating and sewing and her real joy is seeing people appreciate and enjoy what she creates. The money is nice, but that is not her first love with this business of hers. Hey, the money from sales buys fabric and the fabricolic has to support the habit;)

Papa Coyote love you all

Friday, September 18, 2009

Upper Hazard Lake and a Sea of Sheep

Just had to get away and walk into a mountain lake. I picked Upper Hazard Lake because it is an easy two mile walk, it is pretty and I wanted to see how the introduction of nearly 500 six inch tiger-muskies two years ago has affected the fishery. The lake was its usual beautiful self. I walked around in a clockwise manner the edge of the lake til I came to a very large rock which one can sit on about ten feet above the water and have clear casting for the back cast. Thirty-eight years ago I sat on this rock and caught a fish so large that I could not get it to come in towards me and broke it off (not on purpose, mind you). Since the lake only had Eastern Brook Trout, I must have hooked one of the old big fish that some people caught back in the day so to speak. My old time backpacking buddy, Otto, is married to a lady who as a little girl visited her grandfather in McCall each summer for a few months. She is about 74 so this was about 65 years ago. Her grandfather managed the McCall fish hatchery and she remembers a story her grandfather tells of having to dump all the fish in the hatchery because the State ordered a closure of all hatcheries when WWII started. He planted several of the mountain lakes in the area with these brookies which are not native to the Western U.S. I don't know why the fish were in the hatchery to begin with, but suspect the plan was to plant streams in central Idaho. Brookies are very successful reproducers and these lakes began to become overpopulated with stunted fish about six to seven inches with heads that would better fit a twelve to fifteen inch fish. Upper Hazard has been a favorite of mine for taking kids to because the walk is just right for little ones and the brookies were thick and easy to catch and they taste really good when cooked alongside the lake. A great experience for kids. The Idaho Fish and Game has long pondered this problem of overpopulated lakes and about fifteen years ago planted large lake trout in the lakes with the idea that they would clean the lakes of the smaller brook trout. For some reason that did not work. Maybe fishermen caught the lake trout. The latest idea is to plant tiger-muskies which will devour the brookie fry and then as the t-m grows begin to work their way through the adult population of the lake. So I had to check that out.
I caught a total of five fish. Four were brookies of about nine to ten inches. They are a beautiful fish. I released them. So the plan seems to be working. Also, there were very few rises on the lake compared to before the plant of the t-m. I put on a #20 emerger with the idea of catching one of the three inch fingerling and succeeded. I wanted to see what kind of fish those fingerling were. I got the little guy up on the rock, but he fell off between my legs and wiggled his way back into the lake before I could get a really good look, but I think he was a rainbow. If so, then the F G has started planting the lake too soon. F and G does not show a planting in this lake this year, so I will have to wait for a few months for them to catch up on their record keeping. But, the little guy may have been a brookie. I will go up there every year to watch the progress of the experiment. I met a retired couple from McCall who were geo-caching. They have lived in McCall for 18 years and before that 25 years in Coeur d' Alene. They knew the family that lived on a farm next to my grandfather and grandmother on Lake Coeur d' Alene. Fun talking to them. They live in McCall six months of the year and six months in Maui. Tough life, but as he says, "Somebody has to it." Well. I told him I did not think he was tough enough to live through a McCall winter (I was not trying to make a friend here) and he agreed. Haha.

The bonus of this trip was that I saw some really neat mushrooms and got some good pictures. I will have to work on identifying them, but three I am sure of, they are boletes and considered to be one of the very best eating mushrooms and only make their appearance in the fall. Kind of nature's counter balance to the morel which appears in the spring.

I had only traveled a mile or so down the gravel road from the transfer parking lot on the way home when I came upon a band of sheep on the road. The herder had the Ford 350 PU along with the trail horse parked blocking the road. (the other herder was at the head of the band about a mile down the road). He told me that they were moving the herd down the road a mile or so then would move them up above the road to bed them down for the night. I would have to wait an hour or so. I told him I was okay with that. I asked the herder (Peruvian whose English was quite good) if he was herding for Harry and Angie. He says, "You know Harry and Angie?" He was surprised. He said this was one of three bands and that each band numbered 2,200 sheep before the wolves made dinner of a few during the summer. When he learned that I knew Harry and Angie, he told me that I could drive through the band. I have done this several times before about thirty years or so ago. If one just steadily moves along about five miles an hour the sheep will part and let one pass through. Took about 20 minutes to drive through. Fun to watch the Great Pyrennes doing their guarding. I never got to see the shepherd dogs, but I knew they working hard because sheep kept flowing down on to the road and up to the road. The five dogs can control a whole band of 2200 sheep. It really is an amazing feat, in my mind at least.

For some reason the upload function of the blog service is not working at this time, so I will close and come back tomorrow and hopefully can upload some pictures of the mushrooms, fish, scenery and the sheep, guard dog and one of the herders.

Papa Coyote

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Birthday in the Family

J and I traveled West for six and one-half hours, stayed four nights, celebrated a birthday, watched our daughter get a cold and cough (poor girl), learned to photograph drops, and had a good time visiting with all the grandkids. What could be better? Well, the G-Man would probably say "FRIES!!" Yup, we took the grandkids to Burgerville for the fries and they can eat fries until we run out of money. On Saturday, R and I made a run to the hardware store and on the way back bought three large orders of sweet potato fries. The kids love sweet potato fries. Burgerville does a real good job with sweet potato fries.

Check out Burgerville at

We first learned of Burgerville by listening to Jane and Michael Stern started their report on Burgerville with an apology. Well, Burgerville is a fast food chain, but nothing like McDonald's. I could go on about Burgerville but that should be a whole 'nother blog. Oh, the Splendid Tables' program this coming Saturday will feature Amy Goldman who wrote The Heirloom Tomato: From Garden to Table. I love our garden fresh heirloom tomatoes. What Taste!

By looking at the pictures you can guess the E was the birthday boy. We bought him a Plasma Car which at the age of two he has no problem going FAST. He can wear out the toes of his shoes pretty quickly, but I noticed that when he is barefoot he can go just as fast and manage not to drag his toes. I think I would but him out to play barefooted as my generation played at that age. He can walk over gravel and thistle without a wince. I challenged him to walk over our goat weed in Southern Idaho without a wince.
I liked the picture of the G-man and his ghost. G-Man was not too sure about that picture. Hope I did not give him nightmares

R and I had a good time taking pictures of water drops. I learned a lot about my camera working with R. Thanks, R.
I have to run. Perry and I have finished the bookcases for the Little Theater. Now we have to transport them, carefully, to the theater where we will paint them. I will take pictures. We think they look good and they are well constructed. We used plywood because we knew they had to be painted and using dimensional lumber of any type runs the cost up in a hurry.
Papa Coyote



Monday, September 7, 2009

Shopping in Chinatown, San Francisco

The first picture is looking down Bush Street from Stockton. We stayed at the WorldMark which is very nicely located for a lot of fine dining, entertainment, shopping, and sightseeing. One had better do a little tuning up of the old muscles before visiting SF. We definitely had many chances to exercise little used muscles being that we live in the flatlands of the Snake River Plain in Idaho. I have found that it is a misconception that some people have that rural people are in good physical shape and city dwellers are potbellied slugs. Haha. Cities have fine public transportation, but the buses, trolley cars, or subways don't service every block. Sometimes it is just faster to walk instead of wait for the bus, and, of course, a lot cheaper to walk. So we do a lot of walking when we visit cities. In our rural setting we do a lot of driving and not much walking. When we visited NY with our family in 1989, we walked 84 blocks the first day. And that was after arriving after lunch. Our son was nine years old and daughter was 13. Geez, we walked the legs off those kids.
SF has its own special challenges with those hills. I have to laugh when I think of Idaho's famed Sawtooth Wilderness Area that gets over a million visitor days per year. The U.S.F.S. have reconstructed all the trails to have no greater than 7% grades. Really nice for walking, but if SF ever was taken over by the National Park Service, there would have to be some serious re-engineering of the streets and sidewalks. Don't think it is going to happen.
We rode the cable cars. Always a joy. And, yes, sometimes the passengers do have to get off and push the cable car for a few feet, I guess so that the cable can catch the car. Pretty cool to see a bunch of passengers jump off and start pushing the car in the middle of the street.
We were located one block from the Bush and Grant St. entrance to Chinatown. Our first visit netted a take home dinner from one of the bakeries and a big discovery. Well, a big discovery for J. After asking a few shopkeepers if there was a fabric store in Chinatown and being told "NO", J found one. What glee. Her reaction upon entering a fabric store reminds me of my buddy, Perry's reaction to entering a flyfishing store. A pure look of competence and anticipation. Makes me think of an alcoholic looking at that first drink of the evening. It was such a big find, that plans were made to return a few days later after thinking of what she could make with all that beautiful silk fabric and have time to really go through each bolt of fabric. And go through every bolt of fabric she did do. Yiyiyi, my aching back! Really. The salesgirl found me a stool to sit on while the two of them went through fabric. You can see the silk fondlers in the pictures. This was one smart saleslady knowing that keeping the husband contented was the secret to making a big sale. And a big sale she did make! I got to talking to her and found that she had lived in Boise, ID for a year, but it was too cold and she did not like it when her car made a 360 on the street one winter night. We Idahoans are always hoping for a real hard winter in hopes that it will drive the Californians back to California. They like Idaho until the winter sets in. Come on hard winter!!
A day later, J, caught a cab (I went to a bookstore and sat in Union Square reading the book, well, not really. I watched the homeless people. They are really interesting.) and went to the
Garment District of SF. There is an outlet there for some big merchandiser that I don't know the name of and they had bolts of fabric, too. J was seeing these numbers on the ends of the bolts and she thought it was the price. Like 35 etc. Well, it came to be that each bolt sold for the same price, something like $3.50 a bolt and the number at the end was the yardage. Well, that put the old fabricholic over the edge. She returned with three big black garbage bags full of fabric that must have totaled a hundred pounds. It took her several days to wash, dry and fold the fabric when we got home. Hey, a hundred pounds (a guess, but probably not much of an exeggeration) is a lot to handle when you are a retired lady.
She has plans for sewing outfits for the grandkids and, of course, sewing outfits to sell on the Etsy site under the name HattieJane's Creations. You can go to to catch a link to her online store.
Just thinking of walking those SF streets and lugging around that fabric has tired me out all over again.
To all those Coyotes out there, Yiyiyi.
Papa Coyote loves you all