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I'm finally back to the coast to heal from a most
After what I've been through in my life, it's hard to say that.
You know, aortic dissections, and near death experiences, but
this month was harrowing. I have to go look that up,
to see if it's the best word. BRB.
OK! "acutely distressing" I'd say that's
I have a lot to say, today, so bare with me. Funny. I've always
wondered whether it's "Bare with me" or "Bear
with me." and I guess others have wondered the same. I
googled it, as I do many things, and the entire page was made
up of this question. Of course it would be "bare with me"
because otherwise, you'd be doing it with a bear! WRONG!
Read here, to find out why!
So, with me! That's
Speaking of bears, look what was on our cam!
Click pic to zoom
That was a while back, but not sure if I posted
it. I had "bear" on my mind.
So, back to this harrowing month.
Geemany. I don't know where to begin.
I had been working diligently on the Kwikfish contest. You know,
it takes a lot of work. I enjoy the work, so I don't really
think of it as work. It's fun! Carmen always reminded me to
do it, though. It was kind of something we did, together. Since
I had sold ifish, I kind of let things go a bit more than I
had in the past, so I'd get a note, something like this one:
Time flies...heck it's already October.
What are your thoughts on the Kwikfish contest this
Please let me know. I'm already behind the curve on
Breaks my heart to read through our notes. When
I do a search of my gmail, it says "1-150 of many".
:( We were mostly e mail friends, but you know how that goes,
these days. Many of my closest relationships are e mail only!
OK, so I was busy with all that, and so was he. We went through
finalists, and the mockups of the finalists! Something new,
this year! Oh, tears... here they come. Carmen started that
new! He was just so great to work with! So, then the winner
won, and we ordered, and everything was set!
is the winner!
So, I prepped for the show... even bought a new outfit! :) I
found out a week before the show, that Carmen couldn't help,
so I panicked, and tried to get volunteers, here.
You know, I still think that is so weird.
I e mailed Carmen, since I hadn't heard from him, a week before
the show. I just wanted to make sure it was like always. That
he would be getting my ticket, and that we'd be in the booth
together, laughing as always. I emailed to make certain he'd
be able to handle the cash at night, etc. But.. I didn't hear
back. I e mailed again. No answer. One more time... I finally
called him and that's when I heard that the staff would be too
busy this year. I understood. I had kind of taken it for granted
that it would be the same, and I felt he was having trouble
telling me that. So, I got busy and got volunteers. That's always
difficult. When I had my own booth, I'd spend weeks setting
up the volunteer schedule. It became more difficult, with each
This year we don't have many mods, and they are all from all
over, so that was out of the question. I was relying on members
of ifish that I had never met before. This was exciting, but
a bit scary, not knowing who I was having there! LOL. I was
looking so forward to meeting them, though! How nice of people
to just volunteer! Ifishers are SO awesome!
And then that horrific morning, February 5th, when I looked
to see a private message by the name of "horrible news".
I thought at the time, "Oh. someone lost their password
or something..." But, then I had to write to Carmen, first,
telling him the final show schedule that I made with volunteers,
how many tickets I'd need, etc." I wrote the letter, and
then went to read my private messages. "Horrible news"
was that Carmen was no longer with us.
I sat in shock for a long time, there at my desk before I went
to wake my son up, shaking... I told him about it. He had met
One year, Carmen had done the entire show for me, during I think
it was my eye mishap. He even delivered everything to my home,
including the cash from sales. Every last bit of it. I tried
to pay he and his staff, and he would not allow anything but
a small amount. I really tried hard, too.
So, from there on, my e mail and private messages were a mess
of "the show is a go!" The show is NOT a go!"
Rinse, repeat, several times. I mean, just look at my
column or my
discussion board entries from this month! I'd go from not
knowing if I was even going to the show, to going, to not going
to going without kwikfish... It was so messed up!
Kris Nelson, Carmen's business partner was so helpful! She went
to find the kwikfish at Carmen's house, and delivered them to
It was a go! That was the last word!
Actually, the last word was that Kris said someone, maybe Roger?
Said it looked like she had only found about 200 of the lures,
so many might be missing. I thought that we could at least sell
those 200 at the show. I couldn't imagine how they'd be just
So, I went to the show. It was heavy traffic and raining so
hard! A dreary, awful day with the loss of Carmen heavy on my
mind. How was this going to go? It would be a tear festival.
I bought tickets, bought volunteer tickets and parking tickets,
and... and... I got to the show, and couldn't find the kwikfish
Kris said she had delivered! I looked everywhere!
Finally Sean Klaus came in the Rapala booth and told me that
Roger Neufeldt had taken the lures to have them put together.
I went from being in shock to being in more shock. or something.
I couldn't really call it shock. What is sadness, shock, and
stress called, all together, now?
Everything could NOT have been more messed up!
Losing Carmen was everything, and the kwikfish mess was bad,
and it increased the stress and loss of losing Carmen for so
I felt guilty for being upset about the kwikfish, when losing
Carmen was the big deal. At the same time, I had taken money
for something that I couldn't deliver to people, of which many
didn't even know Carmen nor how that related to something they
My head was spinning for a week of not knowing, well, not knowing
anything! Where were the kwikfish?
How many did we have?
Were the extras missing?
Was I going to be able to deliver some? All?
Kris maintained that they were missing. Someone at the show
in the Rapala/LJ booth told a bunch of ifish members that they
had been found, and that I was just "over reacting."
Who would say that?? Why? Sean?
Did they have news I didn't know, or were they just trying to
put people at ease, or what?
Gads, I would do anything to be able to say I was just over
reacting! Oh, please let me be over reacting! LOL.
For an entire two weeks, I couldn't sleep.
Now, I'm at least sleeping some. However, last night, very,
It was a start of "The show is a go! The show is not a
go" Back and forth until we got to "The kwikfish are
found! The kwikfish are NOT found! We have all the kwikfish!
We have none!" Back and forth... every morning, something
Roger had the kwikfish. But, after the show, I guess Roger was
terribly ill, and didn't get a chance to count the kwikfish.
I waited patiently. (Well, kind of!)
Finally, two days ago, I got the golden news from Kris:
Roger finished counting the Kwikfish lures.
There were 770 lure bodies plus the other components and packaging
materials. He said it looks like most