Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
August 2010

When I think of late summer, I think of Ruth and I going to ICAST. We had so much fun on Freemont Street!

August 3rd! er.. I mean 5th!

Can you believe that? I'm three days late on the "Happy August!" That's OK. Summers are long and lazy, and that's exactly what I am!
I'm having massive trouble with my computer, at home. I should say "computers".
When things like this happen, I have no brain but to fix it until it is fixed.
OK, I started this, like it says... on August 3. Now it's the 5th and I still haven't published or finished it!
This has been one of those weeks!
I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life. So many friends and an awesome family! I couldn't do it, without!
I finally can breathe a bit of a sigh of relief, though. I think... I think I'm caught up!
Yesterday I took the canoe out for the first time in ages! It seems it's been windy almost every day! If you don't know, canoeing in the wind isn't possible! At least for me! I can't tell you the times I've been 20 feet from shore, and just couldn't get home!
It frustrates Molly the cat, if she is on shore, calling to me. She wants to get in the boat with me, but I can't get to shore to get her!
I guess the Oregon Tuna Classic was a gas in Illwaco! Del Stephens sent me some pictures and an article, but I found it online already, at the Northwest Sportsmen Magazine. Nice rag, by the way! I like it! Bookmark it!
This year, I'm going tuna fishing with Popeye and I can't wait. I find myself dreaming about it, leaning over the side, watching dolphins, tasting the salt air in the fog. I really, really can't wait!
I have to get off of here and get back to doing something... It's just not my week to write, I guess! So much on my mind!
(Oh- And by the way, Andrew fixed the network! The computers! Thank you, Roo!)

August 6th!

Busy, bsuy, bysu! LOL
Two new ifish sponsors! Whoo hooo! It is so rare that I add new sponsors, these days, but sometimes! Sometimes we do!
Today, it's DL Custom rods and Steve the Walleye Guy! (LOL, I just love that name!)
Let's start with DL Custom rods. Remember DS Custom Rods? Same guy! David Banaka! He was an ifish sponsor with TH Rods a while back. He just got back from Iraq and gave ifish a ring! He's back! He's an excellent craftsman and I posted a welcome for him, right here! Chime in and give him a thankful welcome for all he has done for our country!
Then, we have... (giggle) Steve, the walleye guy! Don't get me wrong, though, his fish catching skills are nothing to giggle about! He's a serious walleye fisherman and he's here to help us get into the fish! Known as "walleye guy" on ifish, I posted his welcome, here!
And now, it's off to the canoe. Kilchis and Revvy, too! It's the perfect day for me and for you!

August 8th!

This is the coldest darn summer I can recall! Although, I do think back to the early Astoria/ Cannon Beach days, and it seemed like it used to be like this in the summer? Like we are revisiting this from 20 years ago, or so?
I remember getting so frustrated that I could never lay in the sun. That's what it feels like, lately!
I had this awesome schedule when I lived in Cannon Beach. I still giggle about it, today.
I had two part time jobs. One, I worked at Duebers Variety store, selling coffee cups, shells, and pretty beach themed ash trays!
The other job was at night, playing the piano at Fiddler's Green, under the bridge in Astoria.
(Oh! I met the cutest guy there, one night!- Wonder what ever happened to him!)
Anyhow, I'd get up in the morning, oh, about 10 O' clock and if I didn't have to work at Duebers, I'd lay in the sun in my driveway. Sometimes I'd haul my TV set out and lay and watch TV! Other days, if it was really nice, I'd walk to the beach with my malamute, "Earl".
Then, I'd get going about 2:00 PM and take a shower. I'd throw my clothes around and decide I had "nothing to wear!" and drive downtown to El Mundos and cry, "I have nothing to wear!" They'd laugh, fully expecting me, and dress me up really pretty! I'd pay for it (or put it on a bill) and then drive to work, feeling all spiffy with my new clothes!
If I had to work at Duebers, I'd get up early and take my fishing rod to the local creek and catch a bunch of jack salmon. Then, I'd hurry home and get the fish smell off of me, so that I wouldn't be offensive to the tourists, and sell my quota of pretty ash trays!
Oh, those were the days... We had so much fun! I met the nicest people and I wonder, still to this day, what happened to them all!
The other day I was flipping channels and found "Once Upon A Mattress" on. I'd get involved in all the plays at the Coaster Theatre, and that was one of them that I learned the entire score, and played piano for. How fun! I'd walk downtown every evening and play the piano for either the practice or the performance.
This was all before I met Nancy Olson at the local college. She was the vocal coach there, and I was studying pedagogy and music theory with Chris Parker. I was sitting on the floor in the hall, one day after playing piano in one of the study rooms. She had heard me play, and adopted me to play the piano for her performances! Then, we began to travel together.
Those were the days!
From then on, I'd learn long scores of opera music and practice and perform with "Fancy Nancy" as my Mom used to call her. :) We traveled around, got to play for the President at the Washington Hilton and for many churches and colleges all over the states!
One time, we were playing in Texas for something, and stopped by to see her Mom in Clifton. She flung open the back screen door, letting it slam several times behind her, and said, "Mom! I'm home! Let's boil the [heck] out of some vegetables!" Still makes me laugh. And they do! They boil the vegetables until they barely hold together! All with a lump of lard thrown in! Yuck! But, home, sweet, home, anyhow!
I'll never forget that when we took our concert 'half times', she'd say to the audience, "We are going to take a break now. Jennie has to go fishing!" Seriously! In front of scores of people, she'd say that! Boy, did my face turn red!
Here I was, all dressed in a silk performance dress, and just like that- she reduced me to a fisher-woman! Of all things!
And yes, even then... I had the fishing bug! Bigtime! Perhaps, even more so than today.
I'm drifting... lost in memory this morning. -but summers, back then, seemed cooler than they have been, of late. I think this "cool" is actually normal for our Oregon coastal summers.
The haze, the cool, the drizzle.
This... is the Oregon Coast!

August 12th!

You know it's bad when both Bill and I forgot who had a Birthday and when! We both decided that it was David's Birthday, today, and bought presents accordingly.
Well, guess what? It's Andrew's Birthday! Too funny! What a couple of dorks are we!
David's Birthday is in September, and Andrew's is in August. They are a year and one month apart, and I'm continually forgetting whose is when!
This year, however, is the worst! I've never gone this far! I should know this!
Bill is always super good at Birthdays so I totally believed him, when he announced plans for David's Birthday. Pheh!
So, I'm off and about to make some switcheroos! Is this a symptom of getting old, or is it just funny!? I hate to guess!
Holy creeps! The INR people just called on the phone to remind me to test my blood.
I just found out my INR is 6.1! Eesh! Walk gingerly, Jennie! Stay away from wrestling with the dogs!
I go thru phases of being very careless with my testing and this is one of those times. When I forget to call in my testing results, the cardiac company sends out auto recordings, reminding me. I tend to get really cocky about it. But, this time, I pulled out the machine and did the test. Never again will I be cocky! 6.1! Yikes!
So, now, on this beautiful day where the sun is shining and I don't have a bunch to do, I may be going to the hospital to get Vitamin K. Nooooo! I don't wanna go!
It does mean, however, that I get to eat all the fresh salad and broccoli that I want! Something that is normally rationed for me! Yay! I think I'll have fresh salad with broccoli on the side! YUM! All I want!
(Gotta look on the bright side, yes?)
Other than that, and if I don't have to go to the hospital (pray!) I will simply lay in the sun all day and not move much! Moving around, driving, etc., puts me at risk for injury... and if I were to get injured (and yes, that includes being around fish hooks) I could easily bleed out, once I start bleeding. Yuck! I don't want to "bleed out"! That sounds like a fish at the bottom of my boat! I've seen "bled out" before, I don't wanna be that!
Oh, yesterday I had the most awesome walk alongside the river, and I was going to write about it, and get all flowery and descriptive, like I do! But, then... this darned test took all the flowery away, and now I'm talking about dead fish! Yuck!
I think I'll try again, tomorrow!

August 14th

Our house... is a very, very, very fine house...
It's one of those perfect mornings, and I just had to listen to that tune.
It's perfect, all the way around!
My INR, which reflects an eerie but reassuring "1.6" from a glowing monitor, to the sunshine on the porch.
It's odd to measure peace by the thickness of one's blood, but it is what it is. I'm getting used to it.
The flower blossoms hang in carefree clumps, almost glowing in full techni-color. They are restored from yesterday's heat. The flowers still hold their color, even if the blue summer sky is fading a bit.
A cool night, the flower pot bottoms drip a happy sound from their morning refreshments. I just watered them, standing in my robe, a cup of coffee in one hand, hose in the other.
Kilchis and I look over our land. He, sitting on the steps, bottom on one stair, feet down one step. We both agree. "It is all good."
The river whispers a quiet summer song. In addition, to add a little 'rush' to the river's 'hush', I set up a hose that sprays a small trickle down from my upstairs deck onto the bird bath. It's a waterfall! I find the birds adore it! It's not anything but a hose dripping into the bath, but the birds don't know that! For all they know, it's a perfect 'Sunset magazine' waterfall!
Besides, my feeders were filled two days ago, and they are still full! In the most busy periods, I fill them twice a day. My spring birds are going, going... not gone yet, but on their way. I had my first junco the other day. Signs of things to come... Fall.
Sometimes, in a motel room, or at a friends home in the city, I accidently leave the water on as I brush my teeth. Oops! Not everyone has an abundance of water as we do! Ours comes from a seemingly endless water table. I forget that city kids learn early on that they aren't to leave the water dripping, or heaven forbid, running, as I do! It is a luxury, here, to water the garden and soak it, or set up the hose as I have, for the pure folly of birds!
Bill has gone for the day to a Steelheaders annual meeting. The boys are sleeping in. I have the music playing, a batch of fresh sourdough bread already rising at 7 AM, and day planned with absolutely nothing but a canoe ride, down the river.
I feel as free as the water that runs!

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
e. e. cummings

August 17th

I know! I know! (She waves her hand, wanting to give the answer!) I know why the joy is being sucked out of everything! I'm not saying that this is a bad thing. It's certainly not! It's just hard!
We all raised the bar on happiness so high that now we need to learn to appreciate the small things in life. Get back to what joy was meant to be.
Simple, right? Not!
We raised the bar on happiness so high that we sucked all the simple joy out of everything!
Kids live on immediate gratification. It isn't about simply walking to the mailbox to write a letter anymore. There is e mail! Texts! And wait! The future of technology is just scary! What will be next?
And at the same time, the bar for happiness is raised higher and higher!
But likewise, there is a movement of people on a track to get back to simple! As long as that is the case, those that stay up with technology and immediate gratification live with criticism and we all live with the question of what is right and what is wrong. What is available, what is to come, and what if we went back in time?
Which way is correct?
In an effort to return to a world where we can freely find joy, ethics have been imposed on nearly every activity!
It's not a bad thing, as a whole, but it sure makes things more difficult, in the process, especially as we have those that work for "progress" right alongside those wishing to go back.
I think we are kind of on the back slide of things.
Kids used to be able to find joy in simply playing out in the yard. I remember having an absolute ball simply making mud pies with my friends, or even alone. I remember that totally carefree, joyful feeling.
Then, along came those little aluminum pans that pot pies come in, and we used those to get to mold our pies! Wow!! Technology! LOL
But when I had kids, it was all the rage to buy big plastic kitchens with coffee makers and printed on burners to cook those mud pies! But, no! Mud? They didn't play with mud, they played with tiny boxes of real cake mix and they'd "cook" the pie with a lightbulb!
But, now, having one of those big, wasteful heaps of plastic is out. It's badddd to have those plastic kitchens! Our landfills are getting ridiculously full!
I do wonder whatever happened to my kids "tiny kitchen", as they called it, or there tiny John Deere tractor with the cart they pulled around, behind it. Is it in a landfill somewhere? Eeks!
It's the same with fishing. There are so many rules now, that you have to have an attorney read them to you, to explain what you can do, on what date, and where!
Do we fish with bait for cutthroat? It's legal, but it's not ethical! Do we kill them? Some say yes. The law says yes. But the "wild fish freaks" as some call them, say no! No! No!
But, tell me, is it ethical to flyfish, to catch and release- and simply terrorize the fish and then let them go? That seems bad to me, too? Incidental kills! Not a good thing!
It's got me not even wanting to fish, sometimes! Well, except for the fish I eat.
Wait a darn minute! You are going to bite that carrot! Poor carrot! Put it back! It has feelings, too!
What happens when you catch a yellow eye? Uh oh! Barotrauma! Eeks!
Oh! And don't even mention the word marine reserves! The fishermen go crazy and the environmentalists, even more so! It's so serious that it's caused a huge fight between people who otherwise get the same joy out of the earth.
Where does it end in our fight to get our earth back? Where is the line dividing?
You know, we know how to bring back the salmon, but at this point, most folks aren't willing to make the changes that are necessary to do so. Then, when they are gone for good, we consider it, and some people change, and others think we are bloomin' crazy.
It's so frustrating.
I think I'll go make mud pies.

August 19th

Pinch me!
I can't believe this is true!
I'm going to the Maui! I can't believe it! Not only that, but I've saved and saved and saved and I finally have enough points after years of saving to go to Maui.... for nearly free!
I think I am what the credit card companies call a free loader!
I normally pay off my credit card bill every month and collect the miles and/or points from using it for everything I purchase from a pack of gum to our ifish hosting charges. I have two cards. One for business and one for personal.
The points add up after years and years! They do!
I first got this idea from Jim Erickson who took his wife, Loretta, to Hawaii!
I'm going too, Jim! (I know he can hear me!)
Just put everything on a card! Everything! Pay it off and watch the miles and/or points add up. I finally arrived at my goal, booked a free flight on Alaska Air's flight sale, (for the kids and I) and a free hotel with hotel points!
Almost free for flights and everything but food!
The kids cannot believe we are actually going, still. I tend to have a wild imagination and they know it.
Pinch me! I don't believe it, either!
I have never been to Hawaii! I've always dreamed of it! I didn't know if we'd go to Cabo or what, but I've wanted to go to a tropical island, somewhere, forever!
Even though I could have had a trip there, instead, there was no flight sale to Cabo, and passports would have cost $150 each!
It was a better deal for us to go to Hawaii.
For food, we are going to pack lightly, and then fill one suitcase with dry foods. Then, when we get there, we are heading straight for Costco before we get to our hotel. Hey! People always forget on a food budget that you'd have to eat at home, anyhow. So, that's not really an extra fee, unless you dine out. We are dining in!
I sure wish Bill would go, but he just doesn't like to travel. So, he's staying home with my Kilchee-my-cuteso, Rev, Molly, Sargie, and the chickens. It's nice to Bill home with them, although I'd rather he be with me. He doesn't particularly care for Hawaii. He's been there once, and didn't like the muggy weather. I'll adore it!
Anyhow... I'm going to Maui, you guys! I can't believe my own dreams!
Eight nights, free! In a hotel that was on "Hotels for the Rich and Famous! Lololol! Think they'll point and laugh at us? I do! But, I don't care!
So, we'll be surrounded by people sipping on Mai Tais with foofy umbrellas at Fifteen bucks a pop, while I'm sipping a Costco soda, and eating a PBJ!
Mahalo! I'm thankful and I don't care what they think!
Oh! And I'm going to fish on a charter, too!
Whooo hooooo!

August 21st

Where in the river are we?
Bill and I loaded up the duck boat yesterday and took off for the river. What river? It's up to you to tell me!
It was so cold out! We both laughed, as we have all summer, about it being the middle of August and having to wear winter coats, hats, and gloves! Brrr!
Really worried about cutthroat trout. We fished all day and caught one 13 inch trout.
We were so excited about three years ago, when we were thinking that we were getting larger and more plentiful cutthroat, due to having it closed for retention. But, then, even before they opened it for retention, we started to see less and less cutthroat trout. It's bizarre, because our findings (less trout) don't match up with what ODFW was saying. They were saying that our cutthroat population was healthy. Healthy enough to open it for retention? But, Bill and I couldn't be that bad of fishers! I mean, not only can't we catch them on a fly as well, but can't even catch them on bait! Sheesh!
Well, Bill did get one nice, big and fat 13 inch cutt.
Bill was saying that he doesn't think anyone in the entire world has spent as much time fishing for cutthroat trout as he has. I totally believe it, too! He's been hunting the cutthroat trout and studying them since he was a little boy, back on the Necanicum river, with his Grandfather. Even before that, on Sucker Creek! Since then, he's spent countless days doing the same! I feel honored to learn from him.
Anyhow, I haven't said what river we were on. We were doing our tidewater thing, winding around different bodies of water, hunting out the now elusive cutthroat trout! Oncorhynchus clarki clarki, from the Greek roots onkos (hook), rynchos (nose), and clarki from Captain W. Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Did you know that these coastal cutts can return to spawn more than once? :)
Anyhow, guess what river system we are in, and where in it we were (generally). Be the first, and I'll send you a gift bag of tackle from our sponsors!
Click here to enter. You must be a registered member to enter, because it's on the board. :) Have fun!

August 22nd

My Dad and Jerry Toman
Click to zoom

My niece, Allison, and Jerry Toman
Click to zoom

Way to go! My Dad went out with Jerry Toman and they are catching fish! This is the report I just received! I know no more, but I will let you know more as I do! So cool to see my Dad so happy!

August 24th

Finally! I fish again! Whoo hooo! And it isn't going to be an isolated event, either! I'm fishing again!
Plus, I have a new fish pic up there! And it's going to change often and always! New fish! Every other day, I hope! LOL
You know, I can't take a dang picture unless I have a fish in my hands. If people take pictures of me, I'm usually sullen looking. Like a basset hound, run over by a car! But, hand me a fish and I light up! Hand me a fish I caught and I really light up!
You know it's been too long in between fish when you can't even remember what number the species is, when you are filling out your tag. You know it's been too long when your tag is all new looking, and it's six months old! The last time I'd filled it in was in January! Sheesh! Yet, when I recalled the location code, it all came back to me! How many times in my life have I written 211 in that little square? I used to do it all the time!
The memories flooded over me, as I drove into Hammond. I drove past Ben's road and a lump formed in my throat. Oh, Ben! I miss you so much! And then I spotted a van driving the bumpy, sandy road to the jetty and another lump formed.
Corky's! Where is Corky? And then plans to stop by and say hi to Rosalie! Lump! I could barely swallow.
But, when I walked down to hop in the boat with Chris Sessions and Babs, it was all smiles.
The river was rough, but I didn't cringe as we raced over the waves, smashing through each one. My muscles knew when to brace and when to relax. You know, as you hit the first couple of big wakes, and you know there is a big whack coming, soon? Yep! You know! Hold on! Whack!!! And then the resulting cold wave of spray hits you! I loved it! It was the most freeing feeling I've had in months!
I was such a dork, too! When my rod went down, I had been having so much fun talking and laughing with Babs and Chris that I didn't even see it.
"Fish! Fish!" They yelled as they pointed at my rod! I raced to the holder, forgetting about the waves that rocked the boat, and nearly fell in. Babs grabbed my waist. I couldn't get the dang rod out of the holder! What a wimp! Finally I got it and I had to sit down! With the movement of the boat, combined with the fight of the fish, I just couldn't handled the contrary motion! The fish decided to commit suicide. You know, those fish that swim to the boat and then just go belly up? Yikes! There was tons of slack line and I had to reel in, really fast! I think some of the problem was that the reel was opposite of what I'm used to. I had to reel in with my right hand. I quickly picked it up, but it was strange to me!
I found it really painful to put the butt of the rod in my right leg, instead of the left. The stent placed in my right leg is right in the wrong place! Youch! But-- I got the fish! That's all that mattered to me!
You can click here to see the grip and grin! I haven't been happier!
It was so fun to be with Chris and Babs. Babs is a blast to fish with. I mean, what more can you ask for? Girl talk and fish! Perfect! I think Chris wondered if we'd ever stop chipping our teeth and get serious enough to fish! No wonder I missed the bite!
I can't wait till next time. The drive in beautiful weather, the anticipation.. I didn't sleep all night, the night before. (I kept waking, thinking, "Is it time, yet? Now? Now?")
I want to fish the rivers and streams, upriver, down river, the ocean, the big blue sea! I want to fish Maui, Cape Cod, the world!
I want to be free to fish in the sea!

August 27th

Fished Monday, recovered Tuesday, fished Wednesday and Thursday, fly fished last night, woke with a migraine, today and so I'm recovering from all week!
I was going to go to Portland, today, but my migraine stopped me from driving. I can't drive if I can't see, right? Well? It feels good to stay home and do nada. Water the plants, watch the birds with what little eyesight I have, shop for weekend bbq food.
I'm so excited! I love to try and get really cheapo prices on travel arrangements. Get this! I kept looking for a car rental, or for shuttles from the airport in Maui to our hotel. Shuttles were about 80, round trip. That way, we'd have no transportation at all, and it was expensive!
Next up was a car rental, but they were all 300 and up. So? I decided to try Priceline. Starting the bid low, at 15 a day and... I got it! Whoo hooo! That's less than the shuttle plus tips! That was for a full size car, too! Here is our winning bid:
Your Offer Price: $15.00 (per day)

Total Rental Days: 8 days(7 days and 22 hours)
Subtotal: $120.00
Taxes and Fees: $63.04
Total Charges: $183.04
Lowest Published Price: $351.17
Total Savings:* $168.13 (You saved 48%)

Pretty darn good, right?
Oh! Here's another "Where are we fishing" video. Can you guess where we were?
Here's Kilchis and I having coffee in our morning spot.
Here's me stuck in the river!

August 30th
Final Feliz

It is the end of summer.
I've got to admit, I love Fall! I really do!
I'm getting so excited to see the first chinook come up the river. I hop in the canoe and scout it out, daily.
I sit on the river edge and note the changes, the crunch as I walk along the river, the ripening blackberries the dogs and I love so much... Rev is a hoot! She's the best darn berry picker that I've ever met! Dang, she's fast and efficient! But, look out! In the bedroom at night, well, let's just say that they don't settle well with her digestion... That dog has the most digestion problems I've ever ... um... witnessed! She routinely throws up about 4 pm each afternoon. We all know to watch for it.
But, the evening "musical" is more than I can take!
It's been a long road for Rev and I, but I must say that it's endearing and cute how much she loves getting love and approval from her Momma.
She is darling. -Even if you can't cuddle with her. It is like trying to hug and cuddle with an amusement park ride in motion. She's stiff and excitable and it is downright dangerous to do! She'll knock you in the head and keep going and she doesn't even mean to! She loves lovin' but doesn't know what to do with it!
I asked Crabbait about why she is like this. He wrote, (and I found this so interesting and probably very true!)
It's because she was never taught that she can be in her calm happy place while with her humans. In fact, she should have been taught that you have to be in your calm happy place to get attention from her humans.
They breed trials dogs to be on the wire-edge, high-tuned, high intensity retrieving machines. They need all that drive to take the pressure of training without breaking the desire to retrieve. It makes for a classy, fast, obsessed retriever that scores well with the judges.
Turning off all that energy when what you really want is a loyal house and garden pet is difficult when you start with a puppy. Many retriever training facilities use attention as a reward. If the dogs performs it gets attention. If it misbehaves it gets put on a chain with other dogs and ignored while dogs train in front of it. This really gets the retrieve juices going and teaches the dog that it must retrieve flawlessly if it wants human attention and praise.
Imagine the psyche of a dog that washes out of such a program. It has lived in a kennel with other dogs, only taken out to train, only human attention is while training and positive attention only when doing well. Suddenly it isn't training and isn't receiving any attention at all until it is sold or given away (or put down).
Now unleash this dynamo on an unsuspecting family. The first thing that needs to be retrained is that she can get praise while calm and subdued and that her self-worth isn't necessarily connected to a perfect retrieve. She needs a job and commands and praise based on performance but that performance is calm obedience.
Much better off to start with a dog that has not been previously programed.

Anyhow, Rev is that dynamo. With Rev, you don't dare move your arms around when she's around. Something about that causes her to jump at you, yikes! I learned that straight away!
I love to pet Kilchis' stomach until he falls asleep on his back. It's adorable to put him into a cuddle trance! But, Rev? Not a chance? She can't quit moving! Turn that ride off! Please! Sometimes I wonder if Rev would like it to be turned off, too! I just don't think she knows how! Or is able to!
Regardless, she was a great guest at the party! People adored her, and Kilchis, too.
Rev still wants to bash Kilchis at a dead run. I will never figure that out. Is she competing? Let both dogs out and Rev runs straight for Kilchis and tries to tackle him. Poor Kilchy is getting older, now and can't take that rough play! (Not that he ever could!) Kilchis has learned some protective tactics, though. We all have had to adapt to the wild one in the family!
On Saturday, Kay Brown had a Birthday party and it was fun to hop in the canoe, let Kilchis run by my side and float over to Kay's house. She lives downriver from us.
What a great time we had! Bill drove and brought our two lawn chairs and set them out. We took some of my smoked silver to share.
I met the most wonderful people! One of the most notable was Howard Horton. He was a professor at OSU when Bill was a student! Man, is he full of interesting fisheries information! I could listen to that man forever! His wife, Jeanne said "He would be willing to talk forever, too!" That's fine! I love to learn things about the fisheries. I'm all ears!
I love to listen to Bill talk about fisheries, too. Give me a long drive on the road with Bill, anytime! Just keep him talking fisheries and the miles fly by!
If anyone knows how to contact Howard Horton, I would love to e mail him how much I enjoyed our visit. I enjoyed meeting that couple so much!
I wish I would have known, back when I was 19 or so that I had a passion for learning about fish! I almost attended OSU! My Mom fought for it tooth and nail. Even took me there to take my tests for placement at one point! But, I was wild and rowdy and knew everything in the world, and one thing I "knew" was that I didn't want to go to OSU. Oh, how wrong I was! At least, about that. I mean, if I'd attended OSU, would I have found my love for fisheries? Just has me shaking my head, wondering. I probably would have taken music classes because that's all I knew! That's what I excelled at. I love music. Don't get me wrong, but fisheries information just excites me! Passion! I knew I loved to fish, but I had no clue that you could work and do something in the fisheries!
I am often intrigued by a friend of mine's work at ODFW. She's a sturgeon biologist and gets to hands on work with fish, all the time! Wow! I love to hear about it!
In the end, I ended up here with ifish, so all is good!
You know, speaking of dogs, Mr. Horton told me that God made one big mistake... that just as a dog gets old enough to be your perfect companion, the end of its life comes. How true is that?
Another friend lost his beloved last week, and told me regardless of how much happiness there is during our relationship with pets, there is never a happy ending.
Another truth.
But-- I think that when Kilchis goes, (fear grips me when I say that) I will get a new puppy immediately, and I shall name him... "Happy Ending".

August 31st

This last weekend I was standing under a wonderfully hot shower, and I had an experience as if it were read right out of a women's magazine article.
My ex husband used to read me fairy tales as I fell asleep at night. I loved that! But this was sort of like laying on a comfortable pillow top mattress, falling asleep to a warm and soothing voice reading me nightmares!
My fingers rested on, what was that? Something in my breast? I found it again, and then froze.
I stood there in the shower with my hand to my breast seeing nothing but pink ribbons everywhere. No. Couldn't be!
How could the pounding of warm water against my tired muscles, something that felt so wonderful, be matched with something that feels so horrid and scary?
My heart... or rather my metal St. Judes valve pounded, furiously.
I felt again. Yep. That was definitely something! Something not normal at all!
At the very same time that I felt frozen with fear, I felt the need to like, burst out laughing or something, because I knew, I just KNEW it couldn't happen... to me!
This is a joke... RIGHT?
I mean, come on! I knew what the bus looked like that was going to hit me!
People say that you could be hit by a car at any time. So true!
But it's different, knowing you have a life threatening illness. I could even read the license plate numbers on the bus that would some day hit me!
My "bus" was an aortic aneurysm that the doctors watch grow and change in me every six months. That was what my bus looked like! I have known that for so long that I've become almost, not quite, but almost comfortable with that fact.
There is an odd comfort in knowing how you will go. I didn't want to lose that. I've felt the pain of an aortic dissection and I know that your body goes into shock and it doesn't hurt... that bad! I think of all the ways to go, and mine isn't that bad.
I was simply walking from the bathroom to my bed when my dissection hit me. I just knew, very calmly that something was very wrong and I told Bill to call 911, that I was dissecting.
What do I do with this info?! This strange lump in my breast that my fingers lay on. What is it? How dare something mess with my bus?
OK. OK, I'm getting ahead of myself, but don't we all, when something like this happens? Of course I didn't have breast cancer! Of all the silly things! I tried to swallow any fear, because this was just totally silly. It's a no-thing!
Still, come Monday morning I called the doc. Had to wait for my appointment until this morning. A simple mammogram would prove that it's no-thing. Not anything. No thing at all.
Well, of all the tests in the world that I had, of all the diagnostics, the pictures, the x rays, the ultrasounds, the echoes, I've always had to ask them to explain it to me. Ask them what is what and where.
Not this time!
I could see it from across the room! I left that big old machine right in the middle of the test and ran over to it. "There it is!" I said, shocked. A big old mass. There was no denying it was a some-thing! But, what thing was it, is it?
She hurried me back to the machine to finish tests. "I'll show you later." she reassured me.
OK, so it didn't have smooth edges like she wanted to see, so I flunked that first test.
Feeling more hassled than worried, it was off to the second test to show it was a no thing. Ultrasound.
Hm. Flunked that, too.
It was proving for sure to be a some thing.
They wanted it to have smooth edges. It did not. They wanted it to be a certain color on ultrasound. It was not.
The doctor came in and looked, and held my hand and told me what this thing was or was not, and what it could mean or not. He talked about a biopsy, but also started talking about surgeries and removing it and radiation, and... I interrupted him. "Are we jumping the gun, or is this really some-thing?"
"We are jumping the gun, but..." and he went on with all the scary "c" talk.
So. Is it nothing? No-thing?
Or is it some thing? We still don't know.
I couldn't have the biopsy today because my INR is too high. I have to wait until I stop taking my coumadin to get my blood thicker, in order to do the biopsy. Then, there is a week's wait, with the long weekend, and all.
I don't know whether to laugh or to cry, or to just carry on. I think just carry on. It is what it is, no matter what I choose to do!
It's a darn good thing that time flies, though, because all the complaining I do that summer is over will now be a good thing. Zip it on by, now, so that I can get those results behind me and move on!
I think I'm going to go take a shower. I want to feel that nice, hot water again, and this time, know that I'm doing all that I can to be as healthy as I can. That's all I can do, right? It is what it is. Plain and simple. It is... what it is.
It is either no-thing... or some-thing.
It is a mass and it is there.
The doc said 50/50 chance of (insert c word), from what he saw on the tests. That's All I know, but somehow, somewhere deep inside me, I know that I'll be fine.
No matter what, I will be fine. You know?
Odd thing, is that I don't feel like crying. I'm just fine about it, so far. But, will it be like a volcano that is dormant? Will I break out in tears without any warning? I hope not! I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
And in the mean time, it's all I can do to search "Maui" and Haleakala on Google. I get lost in daydreams, wondering if I can still hike, or if I should, and whether I can do the biking down the mountain, or if I'd rather just snorkel all day. I just get lost in the dreams about Hawaii!! I can't believe that I'm actually going! I have dreamt my whole life about this!
I guess I spend far too much time day dreaming... and now, I think I'll just 'dream me' some more!
It feels so awesome to know that I'm going and the best part is knowing that I've worked hard enough so that I truly deserve to go! That is just the most awesome feeling!
I'm going to Hawaii!
Now, THAT is some thing!