Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington

April 2016
Our new Moultrie 180 cam!

April 1, 2016

OK. Here's the truth for you.
I feel used and abused. I mean, darnit, I work my tail off without a break, every single day! 24/7!
I'm a volunteer, but I work like someone who gets paid! Other people who do what I do receive a salary, even! Why not me?
Am I not worth it to you?
If I try to take a break, even for five minutes, it feels like all eyes are upon me, waiting. Waiting. Waiting.
Jennie? When is it that you'll be back on duty?
It weighs on me. Guilt. "Get back on it, Jennie! You are needed!"
Can't things go on without me for even a minute?
Argh.
I used to have time to do things like write about my life. And I wrote about those lovely days where I could take time off to sit on my porch and sip coffee. Oh, I loved those days! The dogs lazing all around me, warming their fur on the heated planks of the open deck. It made me want to roll around on the planks, with them! Those were the days. I owned ifish, then... Things were just different. My dog, Kilchis, was mellow, and I was mellow, and it was just all mellow, all the time!
But, now? I'm on the move. I'm in the groove! I can't stop, but all eyes are upon me! It's really not fair at all, but I keep on it! I'm not giving up! Sometimes I threaten to quit, but so far... I'm still here!
I have to admit to all of you, that sometimes I want to quit. Just give it up and go back to the laze, but I can't! I just can't! I have this dedication thing going on. There is no way around this! I'm trapped. It does feel good to be needed.
You know... I created this, and it's more than clear to me that I am responsible for it.
There it goes again!
The boss is pacing! The boss is whining! No appreciation for what I do! And I'm working!
It seems I am forever employed by a springer spaniel named Willie who loves me. He's a hyper sort, always on the go,and he is extremely dependent on me. He can't seem to do anything, except for with me, glued to his side.
I love him dearly and he has my heart.
Hi ho! Hi Ho! It's off to work I go!
Walkie! Walkie!
That's my April Fools for the day. Did I have you going, even for a second? :)


My employer, Willie,
in a very rare shot of him resting.

April two, it's all in blue!

Hey, guys... Can you check out the new Tides page? The author of the Tides software wrote it so that it works better, and is more convenient. You can find it, here. It is also always at the top of each ifish page, along the header under... well, "Tides" of course! That guy has got talent! It's the best tides chart I have seen! Not long ago, I was getting e mails stating how sad people were that it wasn't working right. Please give me feedback on whether it is working better, now. I think so! I think so!
Well, yesterday's column was kind of fun. I really am not a huge fan of April Fools, but I have had some fun in the past. The best one of all times, was this one. Click Here. That was in 2006! Wow! We've been going a while, now! It was the best, because we involved the entire community, and it took hours of work to pull off right. That was back when ifish was smaller, and easier to manage. But, boy! Did we have fun!
Yesterday was just silly, because it was a spur of the moment thing. Some people thought there were some deep dark, inner meaning to it, regarding what I do at ifish. Not at all. I am simply frustrated by the amount of time I have to spend with my dog! He is so needy!
At the same time, I wouldn't be alive without Willie. I know that!
Even the "hidden message" some of you asked me about, regarding my ifish "job". It keeps me alive and going, also! I have a reason to get up, every morning! Ifish, and my dogs! I need my friends at ifish! I do!
I wouldn't be alive had it not been for Kilchis, either. Both dogs help to keep me alive.

Kilchis
My beautiful Kilchis dog!

Willie makes me go on walks, every day, rain or shine! When I had Kilchis, my aorta dissected, and I was literally flat on my back, unable to even move! It literally drove me bonkers, not being able to be out on the river, with everyone. I'd raise my head and peek out the window, and see Kilchis and the boys, running on the river bank, without me. Tears!
I still have and use my little chair, that enabled me to day by day, go on walks. At first, it was only a step or two and sit down. But, I had to get out there! It was a long, slow process, but I am there!
So, no. I'll never quit my "job". Not my job as a dog owner, and not my job as an ifish person, either!
So there!
I love my life, and it's a pleasure to fish it!

April 3, 2016

The minute someone brings up my dissection, several pictures come to mind. One of them is a picture of me on my hands and knees on the stairs up to our bedroom.
I'd be upright at the base of the stairs, with full intention of staying that way, but on stair two or three, I'd give in, and down I'd go!
Bill looked up at me. I can still hear him, "Ohhh, Jennie!" A voice full of pity.
I held up a handful of lint and dog hair I'd collected from the stairs, and say, "What? I'm being helpful! I'm doing my part, cleaning the stairway!"
I cleaned the floors a lot, those days.
From the cold, hard floors of the garage, up to the kitchen, and the stairway upstairs to my bedroom.
I remember the doctors repeatedly urging me on, saying, "Jennie! You MUST walk!"
So, after pleading with them for a wheelchair prescription and being denied, again and again, I'd try, over and over. I pushed myself so hard! When I got back to my appointments, I'd say, "I just can't walk! I try so hard!" There was nothing I wanted more than to walk! I wanted to walk to the river!
What a dirty joke, but also a huge relief to find that I really couldn't physically walk. It wasn't me, nor my lack of fighting to do so.
During those 12 hours of surgery, and after, they had forgotten to check the blood pressure in my ankles. I had but a trickle of blood going to my feet.
Answers! Yes! That's why my feet and legs were always so freezing cold! I couldn't get them warm, and would wrap them up with those little portable heater packets that I now carry on the boat.
Without delay, they flew me to Stanford. The doctors at OHSU were afraid of doing this surgery, but the doctors at Stanford said they could. A couple of stents in my legs later, I could walk! It was like magic! I was healed!
Now our stairs are dirty, again!
Funny. I wonder why I think about this all so often. I guess it's a huge part of my life. A big event that I'll never forget and that lives deep within me.
For years, after my dissection, I couldn't get over the pale blue tint to the sky that I stared at, while recovering. That pale blue winter sky haunted me, every time the season rolled around. Eleven years later, and I'm finally over that, thank goodness! I can look at a winter sky and see the beauty in it, again!
I can finally laugh at the thought of the dirty staircase. It no longer makes me wince to recall the cold, wintry day that my wheelchair got stuck on the door jam and I was there for hours, before anyone came home to rescue me! I had spotted the first ray of sunshine on our back deck, and I was just trying to get out to feel that warmth. Boy, did that backfire on me!
I was helpless and I think I have a bit of... what is that called? Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Yeah! That! I think I do have a bit of that in me, from the entire near death experience.
I sat down this morning to write about how lovely it is to crack my window at night, and to be privy to the magic and mystery of nights on the river.
Last night, after everyone was asleep, I lay awake and listening. I heard the clickety clack of deer hooves on the river rocks, and with that, I fell into a deep spring night slumber.
How this all turned into memories of my health problems, I don't know. I guess I just need to write about it, over and over, and over again.
Just like hearing those deer hooves, it's all part of healing.
I am blessed to be alive so that I can experience this awesome life!

April 6, 2016

I found my first trillium! I'm so excited and I think I have a new Spring tradition! One time I read from Ocean Blue, (Jennifer, long time salty) about how she found her first trillium of spring. Since then, I have wondered what they were, but not until this very year, did I figure it out! And this year, I also found one! So excited! I found so many of them, too! I was surrounded by them! I'm going back this morning! I will take pictures!

April 6, 2016

I miss having little ones. I filled 'theys wittle' minds with fanciful stories about nature that, heck! Even I believed!
They really disliked having their hair washed when they were toddlers. I can see them, now, all sudsed up in the bathtub. They were so cute!
But, they did not like their hair washed!
So, I'd leave the bathroom for just a second, and come back with my most of my face and head tied in scarves, and jewelry draped around my neck.
"Hello!" I'd say! "I am the shampoo lady!" I was extremely charismatic and excitable. They liked that. And as the shampoo lady, they let me wash their hair! I'd tell them not to tell their Mom, and they'd promise. I'd come back in as Mom, all dressed like Mom, and tell them it's time to wash their hair.
"Oh, no!" they said. "The shampoo lady already washed it!"
Ha! The story went on and on. I loved that. I also loved bringing their summer pool in the living room, filling it with warm water, and having a "beach day" inside, complete with towels, sandy tuna sandwiches, and the heat turned up to 90.
Getting that cleaned up before my husband came home was no easy task. Nor was explaining the heat bill!
I just came from the river, where I learned how those beautiful little purple flowers I love so much are made!
Last time I was here, there were these tiny and beautiful purple butterflies. The come every Spring and they hang out together, inches from the ground. A flutter of butterflies! They are so pretty, that alone, they need no story! But, they were hovering above rocks where I walk, and this time I walked thru that same area, the butterflies were gone, but low and behold, there were purple flowers right where they had been! The butterflies make the flowers!
They do! I promise!
They hover over an area, occasionally kissing the ground, and before you know it, beautiful purple flowers form, where the ground was kissed!
That makes reasonable sense, right?
I made my little boys think that the world was all magic and Disney. I think it was hard for them to realize as adults, that life isn't all fun and games. I believed that the world was all fanciful and Disney, myself!
Having children was all I ever wanted, and when they were little, my world was perfect.
It took me growing up through their eyes, and seeing that the world can be harsh, in order for me to get a little more serious. I didn't want that, ever, but it happened.
I'm not nearly as child like as I once was, and that's OK. I guess.
But, just like I know why those purple butterflies pop up out of the ground, I know why God created GrandMothers.
He hovered over the earth and kissed the ground, and poof! Grandmothers!
We get a second chance, and I can't wait!

April 12, 2016

It's both the time to get serious about springer fishing here in Tillamook, and to search for spawning steelhead, here on the Kilchis river.
I stare at the water for minutes on end, at the same area... searching. My eyesight isn't as good as it once was, so I doubt myself, both in searching for agates and for watching for spawning steelhead.
"Was that a fish?" "Is that an agate?"
False alarms happen often, but that's OK. The agate searching keeps me stretching down, and the false sightings of steelhead are exciting, nonetheless!
Oh! My! Bill hired some guys to come help cut out our trails, around here. The winter wind storms were bad, this year, and wreaked havoc on our trail system. I had given up on them, after trying to do what I could to make my way here and there, but thank God for Bill and the guys that they hired! I can make way, now! So well that I feel like carrying a basket, and singing through the forest, like Little Red Riding Hood! (no big bad wolves, either!)
The trails lead me here and there, much more easily, and I can pop out of the woods onto the river spots where I search for spawners.
Yesterday was exciting, and I learned something that worries me a bit. Steelhead can be very spooky!
I was... perhaps 100 yards downstream, and as we poked our heads out of the trail onto the river side, Willie exploded into the river, with all of his might. What doesn't he do, without all of his might!?
Just as he "kersplashed", I was looking up river, and a water trail formed, spookedly (Is that a word!? It is, now!) crossing the river, as if a cormorant was escaping danger.
But, no! It wasn't a bird! It wasn't a plane! It was a spawning steelhead swimming through the shallows, right above the riffles! (Yes. Right where you were crossing the river, a couple days, ago, Mr. Fisherman!)
Anyhow, in the 100 yards that separated our splashing from its escaping danger, there were loud riffles and rapids. How on earth could it have heard Willie's splashing? Or was it a coincidence? I don't think so!
It makes me want to keep Willie on a leash, now, when I seriously fish. Thank goodness I rarely seriously fish! I usually fish for fun, and that includes letting Willie in on the fun!
But- a couple days ago, I asked politely that a fisherman I met not cross the river in the shallows where we saw the steelhead yesterday. He argued with me that there were no redds. But, that's right where we saw the steelhead, so yes... There are redds there. That's right where I see them every year, this time of year. Funny how they never change spots to dig. They are home bodies, like me. :)
Anyhow... we have got to get on the bay and see how the springer fishing fares. Tis the season!

April 16, 2016

It's back home to the city. I'm going to miss skipping around (ok, walking) the trails, searching for deer and animal prints by the game cam, searching the river for spawning steelhead, and letting Willie run wild.
Most people giggle at their dogs, but I was out and out howling last night, at Willie. He has the best sense of humor and loves to make me laugh. He knows that when he twirls in circles, or talks to me in a certain way, it makes me giggle, but sometimes, he really gets into it, and after, checks my facial expression. If he's successful, he repeats it until I'm laughing so hard I can't sit right on my chair!
Laughter is great medicine, you know!
Well... so is sugar!
I came home here and made (for Bill, of course) a banana cream pie. Bill and I have enjoyed our banana cream pies very much, lately! Especially when I make Mom's homeade crust recipe. So, we ate that.
When that was gone, I made a pineapple upside down cake. The first night I made that, I also made a bacon and cheese and veggie quiche. So, we had pie and cake for dinner!
The cake disappeared too quickly, so by golly, I made another!
This has been in the time frame of one week. Oh, my, but we love our sweets!
We also have a "candy club" in our boat. That term comes from when we were kids, and we had a candy club out in the field. My sister would yell for us, and we'd all get to go to the fallen oak tree, where our fort was, and enjoy our latest candy that we had gotten from the gas station, down the street.
That was, until the ants invaded us.
Anyhow, under one of our boat seats, Bill and I keep a storage of candy bars.
Many are the nights that I don't make a dessert, and I have to tiptoe out to the boat, snow, sleet or high water, to borrow a candy bar from the "club".
It's a wonder that we don't both weigh too much!
It's back to the city where I eat more healthy. Bummer.

April 21, 2016

Whew! Spent the morning updating the links (finally!) on the marine/data page, here. It took forever! When I sold ifish, I thought I wouldn't have to do this kind of thing, anymore. Ha! :)
Anyhow, if you see any errors, something missing you want, etc. Please let me know. Broken links? The same! Contact me!
I have gotten SO much gardening done this week! I'm so happy planting little spring flowers here and there... composting, putting compost from last year in my garden, etc. I'm so proud of me and I love my garden so much!
I have butter lettuce, all ready to eat, now!
Have a great day and I can't wait to get out to the bay. I'll be home, soon, Bill!

April 24, 2016

Time to get my rear in gear and get out of here to the bay, where it's time to go fishing!
Dangit, anyhow... woke up this morning to Scott and his girlfriend Portland, heading out fishing. That hurts! Every good fishing morning, (Which is nearly every morning!) they are on spot, heading out to go get 'em!
They are young and in shape, and ready to go!
We are not going to let age affect us, Bill! We are going to keep it up! Just like we used to!
Let's GO!
Oh.. my achin' bones... Can we just have one more cup of coffee before we go?
And that's how it is, these days! We are certain we are going to go. That is, ntil we decide to garden, or fix something around the house, or do something... anything that doesn't require getting ready to fish!
So, from now on, we are getting ready the night before, so that it's easy to hop in the truck and go. OK, Bill? Check?
Let's go!
I'm on my way home to the Kilchis.
That is, as soon as I have another cup of coffee.

April 27, 2016

Blast from my past!
It's really how I got into fishing, I think. I mean, I had a background of fishing with my Dad and brothers, but when I met Dave Richardson, we fished!
We fished and kissed and had so much fun driving around the forest roads around Estacada!
Dave was my first real boyfriend. He took me to the prom, and I still have pictures around here, somewhere!
We fished Eagle Creek often, and we'd go to the Willamette and fish for bass, too. (or whatever bit!)
His Dad, Vance, was an avid fly fisher and outdoor artist, and I always envied his fancy rods and reels. :)
I last saw Dave in about 1982? I think that's about right. I hadn't seen or heard from him, since.
However! I fished with his Dad once, a few years back when our family went to Black Butte. We fished a nearby lake for trout together, and had so much fun! I just loved his Dad. Loved his whole family, actually!
Low and behold, the other day I got a cryptic "contact Jennie" email from the ifish site. I posted it on the mod board, asking anyone if they knew what it was about. Then, I got another one, did a google search and found out it was Dave!
No, he isn't interested in reuniting as the song "Reunited" goes. We already tried that in about 1981, and he even played that song for me.
Nope. It was a young love experience, and with a broken heart, it ended.Dave was my first true love!
We had so much fun by e mail reminiscing!
So good to hear from Dave!

 

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