Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
February 2007

No... They aren't here yet, but they are coming! I can't wait for the first hummy to show!

February 1st
Hey! Happy February!

It's my favorite month! Why?
Well, because I was born in February! Most people don't like to celebrate their own birthdays as they get older. I simply ADORE it and I'm starting NOW! No matter that it's not until later in the month! I believe that Birthdays are highly under rated. Come on, now!
So, if your Birthday is in February also, and you want to PARTY, let me know, and we'll treat ourselves to everything we always wanted, and more! This means that we can eat as many hot fudge sundaes as we want. If you want to take a long, hot bath instead of make dinner, lets!! If we want to go fishing instead of work, go for it!
OK, so it isn't reasonable to do this all month, so let's just do it for a week. Otherwise, our lives and our bathroom scales my scare us after a while.
All of you fellow February babies, take notice! And Happy Birthweek to you! We are going to party! Life is so short! Why wouldn't we want to celebrate our life on earth?
Oh! And take notice! Don't be disappointed if no one remembers your Birthday but you. That's OK! It is our responsibility to make sure we have fun! Start ordering presents for yourself, NOW! They don't have to be big or expensive. Even chocolate bars are fun! A fancy pen! A pair of 10 dollar earrings! Whatever! Make sure to have them gift wrapped, or better yet, take time to carefully do it yourself, before your Birth week-- and when you wake up in the morning, every day, have one or two laid out on the table, buy yourself a cake and start unwrapping! Sing to yourself! Treat yourself like royalty! Take yourself to the Dairy Queen! Do whatever pleases you like punch! I'm going to!
And to kick it off! I'm going fishing! Right now! Happy Steelhead to me!
Oh! I forgot one thing, and it's extremely vital to your success in having a Happy Birthday. Remember that in order to be nice to you, and in order for all of this to work to it's best advantage, (Remember, we want to feel GOOD!) you must be extra nice to others. That's the trick, actually. Try it! It's infectious. The nicer you are to others, the better you'll feel! Try complimenting someone. Just a simple, "Wow! You look nice, today! I love that outfit on you!" will work wonders! It comes back to you in amazing ways! I bet you end up wondering if that might be the best present you've given yourself!


Here is just one of those
"Happy Birthday fish!"

Toot toot!

Happy ValentineFebruary 3rd Happy Valentine

This one just beats all.
I get alot of mail and I can't answer them all, of course. Especially this particular and fairly peculiar shorty, from a thoughtful soul who calls himself "Len" who I assume isn't Len at all. This one has me stumped, but giggling:

I have enjoyed your articles, however, why aren't you catching any fish??

If there is one thing I love to do, it's laugh! This one has had me giggling for a couple days, now. Let's see. How do I answer that one?
Truth be told, I have been catching a few fish here and there, but nothing to post home about. The river is just full of dead salmon right now, and frankly, it's a bit hard to get around them all. But a leaping chrome steelhead has entertained me a time or two in the past couple days. It's always a thrill, and fun to tell Bill about. Especially when the water is this low. I don't take a camera fishing for steelies this time of year, because right now they are a wild run, and I really am too paranoid to try to capture them on a picture, when I have to release them, when I fish alone. Bill's been ill, so staying in.
But, let's just try some answers just for fun:
I haven't been catching fish because:
Oh, come on! How do I answer this!? I just sit with my hands poised on the keyboard, and I'm at a loss! Shall I post a pic of the old ugly salmon that I hooked yesterday that could barely swim, but yet found the plastic worm on my jig absolutely alluring? (Did I mention that the new Gulp worms are just awesome? Steelies love them!)
After I laugh about it a while more, sometimes a streak of frustration does indeed track across my mind, because never, never on earth, do I catch enough fish! That said, I haven't caught any fish --
because
Bill had cancer check ups and then came down with the "dreaded gomboo" as my friend so eloquently calls it. I've been a nurse
Because now that he is well, our boat is at the doctors! I'm stuck on the bank.
Because I've been in Portland at meetings and I just got home!
Because my dog, Kilchis, has a cranial cruciate rupture, and can barely walk!!!
Because I had eye surgery and I'm just now healing in time to get ready for the Sportsman Show, a trip to California to meet with the peeps from Earth Justice and then I go to the Salty Dog Convention!
Because all of this is before the 18th of this month!
YIKES!

Oh my! No time to tie a fly!
Oh dear! No time to toss a jig, I fear!
Oh crud! The rivers turned from dust to mud!
Oh my! No time to tie a fly!

I can hear the beat of a drum! Man-oh-man it seems the days are short! I remember the days of young Motherhood when sitting on the lawn outside, watching my children play, the days would stretch on and on! The evenings doubled that time!
Now, it seems like I just get up and sit down to the computer, and before I know it, it's time for bed! As we grow older, the hands of the clock speed up! I'm convinced!
And besides all of that, I'm still not catching enough fish because I'm frozen here, totally stumped by your question! I'm sitting with my hands poised, doing nothing but searching my brains for the answer to why I'm not catching enough fish! It's been kind of fun, and honest to God, you've allowed me some of that valuable time to just sit and think... in between giggles, that is!
Alright. I'm signing off, now. I can only sit at the computer for a very limited time, as my eyes still get very tired, very fast. I hope that will get better, soon! I have a few things to do. I may not have the time of a young Mother sitting with her children, but I have enough time to roll out a cast, now and then. Then, I'll come back and check my INR blood levels. Then I'll put my medication together for the week and make certain that the kids pack my wheelchair in the car. Then, it's off to work on getting the news out regarding Bounty on the Bay, The Salty Dog Convention, The Sportsman Show, and figure in a trip to California. In my spare time, I'll sell a couple ifish decals, pack and mail them out. After that, maybe I'll lay down with my laptop to rest... and see if I can't put together a contest for the First Springer, caught from ifishers! Then, I'll put up Stan's new column, which by the way, is totally awesome. Read it! I'll review the moderator forum, and answer some questions, if I can. I'll create a neat little booklet for Willie to read! I'll send that out, today! Then I'll work on the schedule for the show a bit, and pack and before I leave... I think I'll feel rested enough to go out and catch another fish.
I promise to try to keep up with my e mails, but please... can you make the questions a little bit easier?

Even after all of that, I still don't know a good way to answer that e mail!

 

February 4th

Ohhhhhh---You guys!!!!
I'm thrilled!
I'm posting this to prove to you just what a group like ifish and the other fishing websites around can actually accomplish if we set our minds to it and believe that we can. Fact is, we HAVE to!
It's amazing. It's proven. We've done a few projects, but we haven't tapped our resources, fully. You know what I'm talking about! We have so much untapped people power, here at ifish!!!! Let's not waste it arguing with one another, bickering, etc. Let's use it to save salmon! Ok?
I keep remembering the first time ifish actually did something like this. Remember how good it felt? Remember when we filled that huge room in Tillamook with people for the Tillamook Anglers and the hatchery issues? How many people did we get? That was simply amazing! We filled the room with hardly any work at all! I just listed what we needed and you all showed up! It was easy!
We were small potatoes (I mean alevins ) then. Now we have 12,000 members here whose passion for the fish is undeniable. Let's do something with that!
Since then, ifish has become a known source to "get the news out!" It works! We have a ready made listening community, just waiting to hear news.
However-- This group! WOW! Listen to this!--
I'm not even sure which of the most excellent web sites it was... maybe FishSniffer.com? Or coastside? I'm still learning about it, but it's got me on fire! Maybe all of the fishing internet groups in California? (If anyone knows, let me know!)
Anyhow, they gathered 30 THOUSAND internet anglers to sign a petition and it made HUGE waves!!
Here's the quote I received in my e mail that absolutely stunned me. Wait. --It didn't stun me, really. I know this is possible! I know because I've seen what we at ifish can accomplish and you know it, too!!! :applause:
Last year, the ONLINE work...
"around the CA salmon season resulted in 30,000 anglers signing onto a petition calling for a season and fixes to the Klamath as well as 9,000 letters that went to the White House and members of Congress. Dick said the White House ended up contacting ASA and asking them to call off the dogs. He said they also sent a directive through the Commerce Dept. to "fix" the problems. He said it was the largest advocacy campaign ever mounted by fishermen, and I believe him."
This, a quote from Dick Pool of American Sportfishing Association. Bob has forwarded this onto John McManus so he can see that IFISH has already hit the ground running on an issue that we are interested in. At least, I am!!!!
I have a dream... Let's SAVE the SALMON!
I just love it when I get so excited about this kind of thing! It pickles me tink! It gives me hope.
You guys, I love this kind of stuff, because it just proves that even in the darkest of times, there is light! Sometimes I get so down on things, and then I hear things like this, and it just turns me right around!
I asked Bob Rees when I heard it, "So, really? You have hope? Even with global warming, you have hope that we can save the salmon if we do things like this?"
His answer?
"YES!" Oh! That was SO good to hear! I trust his judgment! Bob Rees knows his stuff, and even though I'm not as informed as he is on all of these things, I trust his judgment! If he says so, then it really gets me going!
Once, a long time ago, I listened to Bob talk about the future demise of our salmon and I seriously have been a bit depressed and without hope-- since then. Maybe he didn't mean it to sound so dismal, but I took it that way. But, to hear this? To hear Bob has hope, now? Well? I'm all better!
Here is the release that I was sent along with an invitation to attend, to learn how these folks are using the internet in order to make changes! I am all ears! I was invited along with Bob Rees because the folks who drove the online advocacy campaign to get a CA salmon fishing season last year, and demanded the Klamath problems be addressed, will all be part of this event and they are very interested in exploring trying to get something analogous going up our way, by means of ifish!
I can't imagine going after the physical demands of the Sportsman Show, but how can I not? How could I refuse, if it means a chance of saving the fish? I have to go!!! ...and then turn right around and go to the Salty Dog Convention! It's OK! I may be dead, but I'll give my life for the salmon!
The part that John is trying to sell to us is the online advocacy techniques that could be lifted, lock, stock and barrel from there to where we are, put to use, mobilizing literally thousands of anglers to action.
It's hard for me to imagine true, long term fixes to the Columbia Snake unless, and until, tens of thousands of anglers demand it. We now have a proven model for motivating tens of thousands of anglers!!!
Ifish and other Oregon web sites... I have a challenge! Let's do it!

P R E S S A D V I S O R Y

WATER FOR FISH COALITION
Fishing Industry Launches Campaign to Restore San Francisco Bay Delta and Klamath River
Group Holds Press Conference to Detail Plans
WHAT:
A Coalition of Sport, Commercial and Tribal fishing organizations will host a press conference to detail their Water for Fish petition campaign. Participants will include The American Sportfishing Association, Coastside Fishing Club, The Allied Fishing Group, The California Striped Bass Association, The Fish Sniffer, The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, The Karuk Tribe, boat and fishing tackle retailers and many others. The top priorities are the restoration of the San Francisco Bay Delta and Klamath River. See
http://www.water4fish.org/
WHERE:
The Fred Hall Fishing Tackle and Boat Show at the Cow Palace 2600 Geneva Avenue, Daly City Calif. (415) 999-5797. Go to the South Hall and the Triton Boat saltwater tank seminar area.
WHEN:
Thursday, February 15, 2007 at 12:30 P.M. WHO:
Moderator, Dick Pool - Pro-Troll Fishing Products
SPEAKERS:
Mike Nussman, American Sportfishing Association
The Role of Grassroots Advocacy
Chris Hall, Coastside Fishing Club
Use of the Internet for Advocacy
John Beuttler, Allied Fishing Group
The Delta Need
Craig Tucker, Karuk Tribe
The Klamath Need
Dan Bacher, The Fish Sniffer
Water for Fish Objectives and Marketing Plan
----------------------------------------------
So... what do you think? Are you with me? Think it's possible?
I DO!

February 6th

Here we go! It's SHOW TIME!
Here is the mod and sponsor schedule at the ifish booth, #1252!
I have posted my hopeful hours, but if I need more rest or feel sick, I'll not be there, so please watch the schedule. I'll change it, if I need to. I may just post it to the end of that thread, too, so please read for changes. I would really be sad to hear that someone came to meet me and I wasn't there. It's happened before!
Did I tell you that the ifish Kwikfish, 2007 may be available at the show, starting Friday? Wow! I'm so excited! Luhr Jensen works so hard to help ifish out! Thank you, Kathy and Roger! You are my Valentine!
Happy Valentine
I'm so excited, and at the same time a little nervous that I won't get everything done. I guess I'll just have to play it by ear and hope for the best! There is so much to remember!
I will be working with Chris Sessions (Make sure to stop by and see Chris's huge halibut tail!) and Scappoose Outfitters (They'll have tons of ifish clothes available for you!) for the week. We will have special guests come in, too! Nalu Charters, and Andrew Lewis, a financial planner. Also, on Saturday, look for Angel Eyes Jewelry!
I went for a walk on the river yesterday and I just couldn't get over the smell of Spring Chinook fishing! It was thick in the air! The fog rolling in reminded me of being on the bay. The wind picked up, just like it does in the afternoon.
We had a ball, the dogs and I. We walked to the end of the field, entered the blackberry brambles, dead from the winter, and pretended that we were lost in the wilds. I love that game! I whine to my dogs, "We are lost! Help Mom find her way to the river! They wag their tails, fully ready for this game!
It was so fun! We bounced on downed trees, and got fully lost in the wilds. We finally made our way to the river, and walked most of the way upriver, watching the spawning steelhead on their redds, and studying the river bottom.
I keep going back to that letter where I was asked, "Why aren't you catching fish?" Well, I'm catching fish in my own way. And oh! Most fully! I watch them. I hear them. I see them. I'm surrounded by their life and their death! When I'm on the river, it's all about fishing, whether with hook and line, or not. My life is fish, as far as I'm concerned. I live like a fish. I smell fish in the air. I tread on the beaches over dead salmon. The cycles of their life, surround me! Their decay makes up the towering trees that shade my home. The gravel that I walk on is littered with dried alevin that have washed up in the high water and mixed in with the silt from slides, way up river. There is joy and there is sadness. There is life, and there is death. I love living by the river with all of my childlike heart. I climb in the trees, and walk with dogs, wagging their tails and racing after seagulls that feed on the littering carcasses. I sit on a washed up old growth and stare into the ripples, hoping for a jumping cutthroat, or a steelhead back, trying to make it through those strong riffles. I cross the river at the shallowest point. The eagles soar over head, searching for a fresh spawned out salmon. By the time I reach home, I can't believe where the time has gone! I get so lost in my life on the river, that hours can pass that seem like minutes! Oh! How I will miss my river, while I'm gone, this week! My river is my Valentine.
Happy Valentine
Still, I love my time in the city, and I can't wait to meet my fishing friends at the show!
Alright-- Here we go! It's off to the shower, and into town! Thank God that Bill is driving me! He is just going to drop me off, and then come pick me up. He is my forever friend, taking care of me, and making sure I have all of my meds, my wheelchair, and everything I need! Bill is my Valentine. Happy Valentine
I hope you have a great week! I'll see YOU at the show!
Think fish and make sure to take time out to get lost on your favorite river, soon!

February 7th

It's back to motel life!
I absolutely adore my room. It's a suite and really not so modern, but just roomy and well... I can do yoga in here!
We set up the booth and the cam, yesterday. Thanks to Opus Interactive!
Click here to watch the show, today! You can also watch all the silliness going on in the ifish booth!
Absolutely exhausted by noon, I turned to Bill and said, "Can normal people really do this?" The answer was, "Yes." Ouch! That hurt. :( Thanks to Chris Sessions, we got her done!
I have a couple important calls to take this morning and then it's off to the show at 10:00!
No time to chat! Coffee! Coffee!
Have a great day! Watch for the yellow eye! :)

February 9th

I think it started on Tuesday. Remember? When I asked Bill whether or not 'normal' people could easily get through a crazy day like I thought we were having? He answered, "Yes."
To him, it was probably just a casual conversation that we were having. To me, it's echoed over and over in my mind as situations occurred, since then.
I spoke to Julie the other day. She is a successful female guide here in the Pacific Northwest. She's strong. Man, is she strong! Both physically and mentally. Sharp, that girl!
As she and I stood talking, my legs started to give out a bit. I was tired after two hours sitting at the show! She had been there all day and she was animated and lively. She was bubbling on about holding anchor, back bouncing a whole bunch of weight at Bonneville, and running the tiller motor at the same time. I was just blown away, thinking how I wouldn't stand a chance doing one out of five of the things she did, alone, let alone simultaneously! In fact, I couldn't "stand" at all!
"Julie? I need to sit down."
I was left shaken. I was feeling like such a wimp! Wheelchair, anyone? Anyone have a wheelchair for Jennie? My mind was cluttered with details and my body was screaming for rest. I turned around and there was Grant McOmie with a camera. Oh no! Not now!
I appreciate his attention for ifish so much, but at the same time, I just couldn't!
Sure enough, he wanted an interview. He, with a broad smile on his face, began to ask me ifish questions with enthusiasm and energy. I tried to answer. I tried to get in to the moment. But instead, I stopped in the middle of rolling the film and confessed, feeling totally conquered, "Grant, I can't do this!" I just didn't feel like I was making any sense at all, and my confidence plummeted to ground zero.
I certainly hope that he doesn't use that clip with me. Oh, man! I was toast!
Busy in the background was Karyn, from Scappoose Outfitters. My, oh my what a whirling dervish this gal is! Energy just sparkles from this gal as she races from one side of the booth to the other-- taking care of Jennie along with the multitude of ifishers, coming to visit. Selling hats, t shirts, smiling, waving, laughing! She'd been at it longer than I, and she was fresh and new.
It's 8:05 in the morning, and I'm starting my day. My mind is rushing with thought. Trying to be organized with the Kwikfish, having enough change in the bank, trying to keep track of this and that, and the other... I'm already tired!
I haven't even showered, or eaten and I have to be at the show in less than two hours. Will I make it?
I'm trying to think... What would make me feel better? Vitamins? Liquids? Have I had enough water? Would yoga do the trick? Exercise? Oh wait. Not supposed to exercise. Coffee? Should I go take a swim? A brisk walk? Yeah, right! Do that, and I'll be too spent to walk to the booth! (laugh) Everything seems a catch 22.
Whatever could be the magic formula? Why can't I do what my mind wants me to do? Is it that I had surgery three weeks ago? Is it just the way it is, since my heart valve and my dissection? Frustrating! Surely, somehow, some way... I can do something to make me feel better! I scan through the dozens of oddly shaped pills that I'm to take. Knowing full well that these are at least partially to blame, the thought crosses my mind to quit taking them. Beta Blockers are well known for making us tired. It slows my heart beat! Coumadin thins the blood. I don't want a stroke, but this does make me cold and weak. But-- knowing also that this is what extends my life, I have a serious decision to make. I want to live!
I shake the delicately colored 'life saving' pills out of their Friday slot and swallow them with a gulp. Yep. I want to live!
Alright-- It's onto the shower, and off to breakfast. I just have to do the best that I can do. I want you to know... or me to know... I just have to say how terribly frustrating feeling like this can be. I want so badly to have energy again. I want to keep up with my friends. I want some of that sparkle from Karyn to rub off on me, and fish next to Julie and have some of her strength! Just like the old Jennie had! I've never ever been quite as strong as these gals, but I got away with it!
Yesterday, Ruth, (STGRule on ifish) worked an entire shift at the booth!!! From 10 in the morning till 9 at night! Oh, my gosh! You have no idea how thankful I am for her hard work. Ifish could not exist without how she helps me! I lay in bed last night, not able to fully rest, feeling guilty that she was there, and I was not. I was so thankful, but at the same time, envious and well? A bit pitiful feeling. Jennie had a pity party! :) However, I did have my favorite TV show to cheer me up. But Ruth? Thank you!
Just a word to God, here, as I pray for the endurance of Ruth!
The sun is shining through my window for the first time in days. It's welcome! I want to live, and if this is the way it's going to be, I guess I have to accept it. I will just try my best to be as good to my body as I can.
I'll tell you, though. It is much easier when I'm home, and don't have to compare myself constantly with the reality of what other people are able to do.
At the same time, being around these 'super women' pushes me to be a better me. I see strength and endurance in all three of these women that I'd like to possess. When I go home, I'm going to fight every day to become more and more like these women.
I'm going to smile more.
I'm going to fight to have more endurance..
but most of all, I'm going to go fishing more!
I said to one gal, the other day at the show, "You should fish more! It's what keeps me alive!"
...and weak or not, tired or not, I fully believe that to be true!
This show has been rough on me. But, rather than give in, I'm going to fight to be here next year, too. I can do it!
That is, if I get out there and fish more, soon!
OK... off I go to the show! (and sorry about the typos, I'm rushed!)

February 10th

After what I wrote yesterday, I feel silly! I had a great day, yesterday and I had energy to get through it! I had fun! Whatever happened yesterday, I want more of it, today!
I can't believe the show is almost over. Come on down to the Sportsman Show and let's rock! Scappoose Outfitters has brought the absolute most beautiful ifish gear that we've ever seen. We have more beanies, too!
The Kwikfish didn't make it yesterday, but they may be in, today? I just don't know! Regardless, we are taking orders.
If nothing else, just stop by and say hi! I have met so many ifishers, this week. Is there a pop quiz, after the show?
Grant did, indeed put me on TV last night, but he did a wonderful job of editing. (Thank you, Grant!) The segment on the show that he did, as usual, was inspiring and I'm sure people will want to attend after that one! Grant is awesome!
One more day and I can see my Kilchis pup. I can't wait!

 

February 12th

I've been asking David to clean his room for weeks, now. I think I see the problem, though. I understand why it's not being done.
He's totally overwhelmed! You can also see the result of living in disorganization in his uncombed and unruly teenage hair and his disheveled appearance. (Or is that cuz he just woke up? )
And here I am. I'm sitting in my pajamas looking much the same, amongst days of mail and e mail. I've started a list of things to do, but by gosh, where do I even begin? It just seems insurmountable. Indeed, it is! Especially for me!
When I become this behind, even if I begin the process, it doesn't appear to make enough difference to encourage me to go on.
Poor kid! I've decided that to help David out, just this once, I am going to attempt to clean and organize for his room for him. --Someday! I'm going to buy stacking containers for him, and perhaps a new desk. I'm going to put out garbage bags for us to help in the process. This goes to Good Will. This goes to the burnables. This goes to garbage and this to recycle...
You know, I'm a great procrastinator, and I get a whole bunch done in the process. The only problem is that I usually don't get done what I intended to, or what is behind.
I need to catch up on my own things. But what am I doing? Thinking about cleaning David's room!
Who is going to help me do what I need to do? I'm dreaming of how wonderful it would be if someone would dig me out of the mess I've created!
David? Wouldn't that be great? I'll clean your room, Dave, if you take over my job! (laugh)
Just looking around me at the stacks of mail, and the long, long list of unanswered e mails, my heart begins to beat faster and a sort of panic sets in.
I can't do this! I can't even begin!
So, instead, I pulled on my boots and took the dogs out to the river. Actually, this needs to be done, also, so I can check "exercise the dogs" off of my list.
Once outside, I stood, staring at the trees at the other side of the river and began some deep breathing exercises. In with the good air, out with the bad. I stretched my limbs in a stress reducing yoga position I learned.
The sounds of the river filled my mind and sure enough, my nerves began to unjangle. (Is that a word?)
As the river began it's work on my nerves, I started to organize David's room in my mind. I saw it clean and orderly. I think that in so doing, I'm going to teach myself how to tackle my own office disorganization. I closed my eyes, and saw my desk without a thing to do on it! No stacked mail! No unread magazines! No e mails in my "in" box!
I'll put one stack for things to read in bed. One file folder for folks who want to advertise, one for folks who need immediate answers to their e mails.
I just need to do a bit at a time, and soon... soon enough, both David's room will be clean, and my work will be done!
It is possible, isn't it? It will happen, won't it?
Feeling a bit better, I walked in the door after my time with the dogs on the river. I was just sure I was going to start in with David's room.
But, instead, I opened up this page and began to write.
Oh, where oh where do I begin?
Little by little, the list I've started of "things to do" grows longer and longer.
I just came back from David's room, though, and the idea hit me.
To heck with organization for David. It's way, way beyond that. I think I just need a fire hose, or perhaps a fire torch. Maybe a dump truck and a shovel? He just needs to start all over!
And the more I write, here, the more my e mail keeps dinging with new mail.
I'll let you know how it goes. But, for right now, I think I'm going back out to the river!
By the way, I've never seen a happier Kilchis pup in my life. He's so glad that I'm home! So am I, despite the things I need to do.
The show was great, but I am so tired!
My bed held me close from 6:00 PM last night until 7 this morning! Oh, home sweet home and bed sweet bed! I always forget how much I miss my own bathtub, my own bed!
I'm home... and I will get started on what needs to be done. Some day... I will!

February 15th

I'm pickled tink! I went to the eye doctor yesterday. They measured me for glasses. No more contacts for this girl! My sclera patch is huge, and just won't allow it. Not only that, but my astigmatism is really bad and in several different places, now, due to the surgery. OK, one more reason is because I have corneal problems and may need a transplant in that eye. Alright, another problem is that it's really dry and painful... But, alas! Fear not! Be thou tickled! Listen to this! Yesterday I read the line that is 20/25! No, it's not normal vision, but I could read it! I'm pickled tink! Yes, I am!
The bad news is that my other eye is totally gone, now, but fear not again! Next on my plate is surgery to fix that one, too! Can you imagine if that eye would also have 20/25 (not real, dry, and corneal wrecked), but still? 20/25 vision? And if the surgery does not work, what do I have to lose? It's already gone! So, nuttin' honey! Of course, I'm signing right up! I want the chance to see again!
My eye doc shook her head, saying, "You know what really bothers me is people that have such slight vision problems, and they complain about being so blind. They have no clue what some people struggle with." Well, yes indeed that is true. But, you know? They say that if you were to shed your problems into a pile and get to choose someone elses, we would all probably take our own, back. There are people yet worse off than me, and I'm pleased as punch at what I've ended up with. It's a miracle!
I have to wait a week and a half to get my glasses, and I'm counting down the days. I cannot wait!
OK, onto the news:
Kwikfish: If you are a member of ifish and want a chance at the Ifish 2007 Kwikfish, simply sign up, here.
If you are not a member, and would like one, please click here and follow these directions. Please fill in your name, your e mail and then check "OTHER". In that field, carefully write KWICKFISH in all caps. That way I can make a filter for my e mail. If you do not, the e mail may very well be lost in my clutter!
The Kilchis River: We got tons of rain last night. 3.63 inches, to be exact, in a day and a half! The Kilchis is high and muddy. I'm all dressed up with fresh sandshrimp, with no where to fish! What is a girl to do?
I have more chocolate than I know what to do with! Thank you, everyone! I have a tower of almond roca from my family. I made the mistake of saying I wanted some, and every single family member provided me with opportunity! This is not to count other wonderful chocolates I received, both at the show, and in my postal mail! Whooo hoooo! Thank you! I'm all dressed up with chocolate! Everything from Jacivas, to Sees to Dove! Dark, dark chocolate! Yum!
I'm a little nervous about an upcoming CT I have to have on my aorta. As we all know, I have a new aneurysm, and I really am not crazy about the idea of another heart surgery. Yet, I guess it's best to keep an eye on it. I'm really not in the mood to die yet! Too much fishing and chocolate in life to even consider that! I just pray for God's will, eat lots of chocolate, and fish as much as I can!
I'm very excited about the Salty Dog Convention and cannot believe the line up that they have offered to us. Look at this! Professionals from OSU, ODFW, Orseagrant, IATTC Research, Seafood Lab, and The National Weather Service! No way! How did they do this? I'm impressed and I can't wait to attend! The dinner is sold out, but I have a lucky ticket! I can't wait! The Salty Dogs are really on the map and what a great and friendly group they are! Ifish is prouder than peas!
Well, I'm off. It's a great day for me to rest and recover from life.
I'll take some deep breaths, and listen to the wind in the trees, watch the water rise and erase all footprints from its sandy beaches and uncover yet more beautiful agates for me to find! I may even put on my galoshes and stomp in the mud puddles! I'll check all of the winter brambles for new buds popping out! Soon, the entire brown/gray hillside will be alive with color! And oh! I put out hummingbird feeders to attract the very first hummingbirds of the year! I can't wait!
Come on, dogs! Walkieeeeeeeeee!

February 19th

Oh! What a beautiful drive! Yesterday as I crossed over a bridge on the most lovely little Nestucca, the sun poked through and lit the sky!
I was just beginning to loosen up. To lose the worry about driving alone, and began to feel more relaxed, driving along, (slowly but surely!) listening to some favorite music.
Looking up, I noticed that the sky was split into two.
To the east, a broad bank of dark stratus clouds spread low over the forest, and cut into the coast range.
Over the ocean, towering and tall cumulous clouds attempted to hide a bright blue sky.
I approached the bridge. I could see ahead of me. I entered a gaunt yellow hue, complete with a haunting foggy mist that played on the rippling shallows. Just at mid bridge, the sun found it's way through the collage of clouds, and magically took the lead. It dried the mist, and tipped the rippling waters with crystal sparkles so bright, that I had to grab for my sun glasses!
The whole drive was enchanting. Familiar sights brought memories. I have come to know the coastal strip of 101 well.
Since coming of age, I have resided from Astoria to Newport.
Now, when traveling this highway, I tend to mark my way by fishable waters and the people that I have fished with, as my life progresses.
I had already crossed the big Nestucca. I smiled big as I thought about Jim Erickson and I, fishing one sunny and warm summer day. I longed for one of those spiritual moments people tell me about. Visitations from the dead. I wished Jim were in the car with me. I could see his face, but no such luck. No visitations for this girl. Just memories...
We had just released a huge chrome springer and stopped to rest on the bank. The warm rocks lulled me into sleep where I lay, listening to the water while Jim fished. Out of nowhere I heard Jim shouting from downriver, "Toot Toot!" Time to move on! I rose, shaking off the summer sleep and I jumped into that familiar raft.
Later, we had a flat trailer tire on the way home, and hobbled our way to Les Schwab for a quick repair, before we parted ways. Memories...
As I crossed the Salmon river, my mind traveled to my young married days living in Otis, and how I discovered fishing for steelhead with the help of my friendly neighbor man. Oh, the good old days, B.C. (Before children!)
The little stream just out of Lincoln city-- Now, that's a stream I never did fish, but every time I crossed it, I always wished I had a fly rod. Today as I crossed was no different. That's got to have big sea runs in it! It's got to!
I adore my time alone, but I have to fight these days, for my independence. It doesn't come easy, anymore. Why do I struggle so, for it?
I have such wonderful memories of being with people and learning from them.
The Salty Dog conference was simply amazing. I am so proud of that group of people and what they have done for themselves. I am so glad I made the effort to go. I wasn't feeling well, and frankly, I almost stayed home.
I wasn't able to attend the meetings, but I heard that they were amazing. And like I said, the lineup of classes and their instructors were so impressive!
My room was perfect at the Embarcadero.
I lit the fireplace after the busy buffet dinner with all of the Salty Dogs.
I opened the door and breathed in the wonderful salt air. An occasional boat motored through the dark on the bay, and I followed the light and the noise from shore to shore, staring into the night.
Independence.
It is so important to me! I struggle daily for my independence. Every trip that I take alone is uncomfortable, but when I get home, the satisfaction is immense! I did it! Alone!
You know, I enjoy company and I wish I could enjoy it more often. However, the struggle for my independence gets in the way. I wish I were more comfortable just letting go and letting someone help me, but I'm stubborn, I'll tell ya!
Driving isn't easy. I have to really concentrate. I can't wait to get my new glasses, which are supposed to really help me. That will be in the next two weeks!
But the quiet of the room was so refreshing. I didn't have internet access, and although frustrating at first, I look back and I'm glad that it wasn't available to me.
I was alone.
I thought back to all I've been through! Losing my eyesight, (losing my independence) having my dissection, (losing my independence!)
And yet here I was, having driven myself three hours down 101, through the memories of my life, and arrived here in this room.
I couldn't lift my suitcase up two flights of stairs. They are more than my permitted 10 pounds, but I had them by me, anyhow. I managed to talk a stranger into helping me. Is that independence? Being able to ask for help?
I struggled to find the right pills to take before bedtime, and laughed at how easy it used to be without these kinds of hassles.
They keep me alive, though! Is that independence? To take the right medicine at the right time... The medicine that keeps me alive?
I think so.
I didn't sleep well. The stomach bug that I've had for so long kept me up, and kept me from attending brunch with my friends, or classes, after.
But, as I drove home, it still felt good that I had attended the whole sports show the week before, and was able to also go to this event! Even if I didn't do everything at either thing... I went! I made it! I drove myself!
I couldn't help but feel good, even though I felt sick. You know? I did it!
Today I'm going to rest. I'm going to write thank you cards to all the people that help me become independent by helping me!
I think I've learned a big lesson, really. That people can help you and teach you, and assist you... and you can still be independent! -And meanwhile, you are blessed with the gift of friendship and wonderful memories with them!
Sometimes I tend to push people away, thinking that I should do things alone. Now I realize how much I miss out on, when I do!
The event was wonderful. I got to say hello to people I love, and meet new people that I'm sure to love in the future!
I'm tired... but I am so proud of the Salty Dogs folks!--and frankly, I'm so proud of me!
When you have had a close brush with death in your life, and you really understand how fragile life is, you learn to appreciate each day like never before.
And when you have a day where you can sit back and think that everything is all good, and that even though life isn't easy, or perfect, and that you are needy at times, that's ok! I have been blessed and lucky in life, and well? That's just a darn good feeling.

February 22nd

I'm on the hunt for spring.
In my mind plays one of those speeded up versions of a seedling bursting out of the soil, wobbling clumsily upwards, as it reaches for the sunshine.
I had a great adventure, yesterday. Head down, (Oh my achin' back!) bent over double, searching for sparkling agates on the beach. River diamonds!
Bill's so funny! As the high water recedes, he shakes his head, "Jennie's got a whole new world of agates to explore!" I swear, all he can think about is fish, sometimes. Just to reassure him that I wasn't totally blind to that possibility, I say,
"Yes, that... and new steelhead, too!"
Relief washed over his face. I am still a fisher girl at heart. But, there is so much more, lately!
The river is still glacial and strong. Too strong for jig fishing, and barely fishable for a drift.
There is so much more! It is indeed, a wonderful world we live in! I love a fresh clean slate, and God provides that to us, daily! The rocks were washed clean. What I look for is sparkles in the rocks that you can't see when it's cloudy. When I find a sparkling agate, the sun shines just a little stronger. Food tastes just a bit better. The day is good!
I call these jewels river diamonds, and they are far more precious to me than any real diamond in a store front display. I only have about 20 to my name, and they are displayed under a light, in my downstairs bathroom. I admire them so! They are beautiful jewels from heaven!
I'm reading Francis Caldwell's new manuscript about a couple, living in Alaska, and it's lovely! What impressed me most last night in what I read was the main character speaking to her small church congregation about the fact that God lets each one of us start new, at any time. And no matter our wrongs, he is always willing to take us back into the fold again. That, to me, is starting new! What an opportunity! What forgiveness! What grace!
And oh! What examples God gives us of that, in the new world he shows us, daily!
I can't wait for this book to be published. When it is, I will sure let you know. Darn, but this man is a great writer! Beginning on my Birthday, (tomorrow!) he'll be speaking in Astoria! Click here! Have you ever been to Fisher Poets? I haven't. I'd love to, though!
After agate searching, I hurried around the yard from scraggly winter branch to branch, searching for spring leaves and buds. I found them! My winter daphne is about to burst forth with flowers! I can't wait! The fragrance of that small bush is incredible!
It is the season where the wild rabbits come out of hiding, and munch on fresh grasses.
My raspberries have tiny little messengers of spring popping out from them! Little, tender green baby shoots out of dead winter brambles! I love it!
There is life in what appears to be dead and gone!
Isn't that amazing?
This got me all excited, and made me wonder about my freesia bulbs. Oh, man. The time is near! I can't wait for that miracle! Look what happened last year!


My beautiful freesia!

I got in a hurry, this year, and planted some inside. They still haven't bloomed, nor even burst out of the soil. But... I can wait! Really I can!
I'd better go check on them. Nope, not yet!
Not even my begonias have started to shoot out of their bulbs, but I'm patient. Really.. I am! I'll wait. Do I have a choice?
I bought a little portable greenhouse. Will this speed up Spring? Maybe!
Usually my bulbs start to grow roots right in their bucket of peat moss, but it's still early, I know.
I'm just so ready to start new with Spring.
God gave us Spring to start new. I'm in!
I took my miniature roses out of the garage and began to trim what I thought were dead branches. There was green inside! Life! Simply amazing! It looks so dead, but it's not!
Life is never what it appears to be. There is more to a book than it's cover!
The thought of spring chinook and long days on the bay fishing just drives me bonkers thinking about it. I so wish that were happening, now!
The morning outside just looks like bay fishing to me! It's cold out, but if I just look outside, I can imagine the jet sled in the driveway, like a carriage, waiting to take me away to the bay! Waiting to open the door to Spring!
I want to turn a new leaf! I want to shed my winter sweaters for cotton sweatshirts and colorful tee shirts!
Alas, I'm a little ahead of myself. It's still sweaters and steelhead for me and my house.
That's OK! I can wait! Really I can!
Bill found the most awesome river diamond yet, yesterday and I'm pickled tink about that! It just glistens under the light, and I could stare at it for hours.
Yesterday, I clumsily balanced the four inch rock on my hand, and said, "Dear, do you think you could have it set for me?"
We laughed.
I just cracked open my window. Darn, it's cold out! As I pull a sweater over my head, ready to head outside to check on the river and scan the beach for river diamonds, underneath it all, there is hope for spring. Just knowing that it's under those dead looking branches, now, (I saw it! I peeked!) I have hope!
I can't help but think that my raspberries feel that same hope. That longing to escape our winter dregs. We are all (nearly!) dying for some of that warmth before we start new, and shed some of our winter clothing.
Under my sweater, just like those green shoots, waiting to come out, I am wearing a pink spring tee shirt!
If the sun so much as begins to shine on my back, I'm throwing off my sweater and getting some of that sunshine on my arms!


I'm still watching for the first
hummingbird of hope!
February 23rd

It is February 23rd.
If there is one date that you learn in your childhood, it is your Birth Date! It leaves a lasting impression of joy on a person! At least, it does me! I can't help but think of all the birthday parties, the anticipation, the cake the cake the cake~!
It is my birthday, today! Let us eat cake!
I was so proud to learn that one of our moderators, Ruth, heard that I ate cake all day on my Birthday, and now she, too, has picked up on my tradition! I think you should, too! Everyone should!
Bill, however, is somewhat shocked. It's not in keeping with his thoughts on how it should work.
"You mean you open your cake in the morning?"
Open? Like it's a present, Bill?
You don't open a cake!!!!
You eat it! What? Should I eat it all day tomorrow? Or on my Birthday? I think... on my birthday!
And so I shall!
I'll also get a massage! At promptly 1:00!!! I can't wait for that, either! I think I'll take along some cake, too!
The cake Bill got me hasn't nearly enough german chocolate frosting, so I may stop by Safeway and grab a little container of it as a side dressing.
Oh! And Bill was asked to get ice cream. He got fat free ice cream! Bill! You don't eat fat free ice cream on your Birthday!!! (Laugh) So, I'll trade that in for the real thing. As fattening as I can find! Real, thick, cream-made ice cream!
I'm as proud as a peacock to be 47! Not many can relate to that. After all, it's very near 50. It's very near 50! Wow! I'm very near 50! Isn't that awesome?
When you are told you'll cap out at 35, 50 is just awesome! 47 nearly as good! I'm pickled! I'm tickled pink and pickled tink!
I lived through a dissection! I've been blind, twice, and now I'm healed! Amazing, wondrous grace!
I think we should all feel this way!
CELEBRATE your birthdays, peoples! It's far better than the alternative!
And now.... the cake!

February 23rd

It is February 23rd.
If there is one date that you learn in your childhood, it is your Birth Date! It leaves a lasting impression of joy on a person! At least, it does me! I can't help but think of all the birthday parties, the anticipation, the cake the cake the cake~!
It is my birthday, today! Let us eat cake!
I was so proud to learn that one of our moderators, Ruth, heard that I ate cake all day on my Birthday, and now she, too, has picked up on my tradition! I think you should, too! Everyone should!
Bill, however, is somewhat shocked. It's not in keeping with his thoughts on how it should work.
"You mean you open your cake in the morning?"
Open? Like it's a present, Bill?
You don't open a cake!!!!
You eat it! What? Should I eat it all day tomorrow? Or on my Birthday? I think... on my birthday!
And so I shall!
I'll also get a massage! At promptly 1:00!!! I can't wait for that, either! I think I'll take along some cake, too!
The cake Bill got me hasn't nearly enough german chocolate frosting, so I may stop by Safeway and grab a little container of it as a side dressing.
Oh! And Bill was asked to get ice cream. He got fat free ice cream! Bill! You don't eat fat free ice cream on your Birthday!!! (Laugh) So, I'll trade that in for the real thing. As fattening as I can find! Real, thick, cream-made ice cream!
I'm as proud as a peacock to be 47! Not many can relate to that. After all, it's very near 50. It's very near 50! Wow! I'm very near 50! Isn't that awesome?
When you are told you'll cap out at 35, 50 is just awesome! 47 nearly as good! I'm pickled! I'm tickled pink and pickled tink!
I lived through a dissection! I've been blind, twice, and now I'm healed! Amazing, wondrous grace!
I think we should all feel this way!
CELEBRATE your birthdays, peoples! It's far better than the alternative!
And now.... the cake!

February 24th

It is spring, you know. The birds... the spring birds are calling.
You should hear it! I just cracked my window open and the first dim light brought with it a full orchestral warm up! As the light grew stronger and the morning lit up, the birds quieted a bit.
Still, it's Spring! It must be! The birds say so!
Still missing is the warm sultry air of an April morning. It's cold, and the branches cascading off the hillsides are still brown. Upon closer inspection, you can see tiny buds and leafs sprouting, but from a distance, it's still winter.
As the days wear on towards spring, these branches turn a million shades of green and pink, and as they do, they soften. That's when the birds really go nuts!
Any day now, I'll see a hummingbird at my feeder. It's been waiting, filled for over a week, now. I watch it intensely, waiting.. waiting for spring!
My Birthday was yesterday. (Did you know? )
The most awesome thing happened. I had ordered my glasses and they weren't to come in, till next week. They were early! What a present! I was so excited! What a gift! Eyeysight! I quickly drove into town to be fitted for them. I don't think the people in the office had ever seen anyone so excited to have glasses in their business life!
I rushed home and went straight to the river to see.
Oh! The things that I can see, now! Texture! It's amazing! And what a gift to be able to see Spring coming! Before, the meadow out of my office was a blur, but now, I can pick things out. There is a wild rabbit in the corner lot, and last night as I held the spotlight over the meadow, deers eyes! Thank you, Lord, for the most wonderful present! Eyesight!
I'm going out to fish, now. The forecast calls for a windstorm, but it's as calm as can be, outside. I'd better hurry, as the barometer predicts the same as the weather people!
Wish me a Birthday fish, just a little bit late!
(Oh, by the way... did you know that I can see?)

 

February 25th

Just for a moment, let me stop to make fun.
I asked Bill to follow me into the office. There was something that we needed to do. If we put it off, it wouldn't get done.
"Bill, we need to copy what's in our wallets, just to make sure we know, should we ever lose them." I took out my wallet cards and lay them out on the scanner glass to make a copy.
The puzzled look on his face would win an award.
"What are you doing?"
"Copying the cards in my wallet. Phone number and all, Bill! It's easy."
I showed him the easy to read copy containing all the info you'd ever need.
He declined, cursing technology.
Later, I walked into the kitchen, and there he was, head down, pad and paper in hand, writing down the contents of his wallet. I giggled. I had long finished the chore.
Studying hard, card by card, writing down account numbers and phone numbers with his pencil.
Back to work here at ifish, an hour or so later, he walks into the room. He places the long list of numbers on paper into the top slider on my machine, and mumbles commands as he pushes buttons....
"What are you doing, Bill?"
"Making a copy!"
I still can't stop laughing!

February 26th

Holy shakin' snow, batman!
Bill woke to an earthquake, and I to a valley full of snow, and still snowing! We have over an inch and it just keeps piling up!
Get out the sleds! Cancel the trip to the docs! I'm going to go play!

 

 

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