Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
February 2003
Jennie with Corky Soup!
Marty Peterson gifted me with a jar full of corkies!
Jennie's Fishing Life

FISHING THE COAST

A journal of my adventures.


February 1st

Happy February! I can't believe it, but it is February! Wow!
Of top interest to me, is my pleading for you to please attend the meeting in Salem on Tuesday!!
I'll see you all Tuesday, at 1PM, in room D at the Capital, in Salem, right???? GOOD!
This is to support an increase in license and tag fees so that we can keep our hatcheries up and running. In addition, Please fill out the form here! Anyone can fill it out! Kids! Families! Neighbors! Get them on this! Send an e mail notification to your friends, and link them to this form! The more the better! I'm hoping for at least 500!!!
The flood waters are receding, and I can almost get out to a partial bank on the Kilchis. Soon, Kilchis and I will go agate hunting, and treasure hunting, to see what the fresh water washed up. It's hard to sleep at night when the river is that high! It is so noisy! You can hear boulders moving around. The power of the river is amazing when it gets that big!
Congratulations to Kim Katsion, of Clam Gulch Lodge! It's funny, because Terry asked that I pick a girl. Even though, I really have no control over that, he got his wish! Kim's fun to fish with, and so is Mulkey! Have fun you guys!
By the way, it's fun to keep up with Kim's "Winter in Alaska" column, here!
And now for the next contest... with Kelly Short! Please, feel free to fill out the entry form for the Kelly Short Contest. It's a sturgeon trip for two! What fun! He's really good, and you should have a lot of action with a Kelly Short guided trip!
I'm off to go package up some Linekeepers. Ifish will have hats, decals, and linekeepers at the Pacific Northwest Sportsmen's Show at Salmon Master, Dennis Stewart's booth.
We will be in booth 1029. It's right in the middle of the main building, when you go in the main entrance, by the tower.
Come say hi! If I'm not there, Fishisabonus will be there, and so will Dennis! Try to see me early in the day, as I'm in better spirits, and I may leave early each day. Those Sportsmen Show days are some long days!
This is one of those columns of many links! I dare you to find them all!
Off I go, have a great day!

 

February 2nd

I moved me last night.
I brought me to tears!
I was touched!
Funny, because I have heard all of these things from other people in an audience, and most often it has escaped me as to why. I mean, I believed them to be sincere, yet... I just didn't really get it!
Hour after hour of performing music at different locations, I have witnessed people mesmerized at my playing. What moves them?
I'd always key in on these people. I drew energy from them. They drove me to play even more dramatically. They inspired me to play my best, despite the fact that I had been playing for three hours and I was dog tired of it! Their attention was my fuel on a sputtering and nearly empty tank.
Ignace Paderewski, a Polish Pianist once said:
"If I do not practice one day, I know it. If I do not practice the next, the orchestra knows it. If I do not practice the third day, the whole world knows it."
Well? I have not "practiced" for three or four years. I don't know why, but perhaps it was that I had chosen to use my music for work, and after so many years of it, it had deadened my ears, and extinguished my interest.
I was so lost, when I sat down, that I had no idea where to begin. I let my fingers stroll down a stack of books, and simply blindly pulled one out.
CHOPIN! OK!
When I began to play,a long lost friend approached me, out of the fog. I began to turn pages through the old book, and my fingers, although weaker than normal, and not nearly so accurate, sang to me, and struck straight to my heart.
I was mesmerized. Touched. Moved beyond words.
I play beautifully! -- or is it that Chopin writes beautifully? This is not to toot my own horn, so to speak, but man! Even after all these years, my fingers still work!
Prof. Regina Smendzianka says, "Chopin's Waltzes are interspersed with fragments of sincere lyrical expression, sometimes with bitter reflection, while at other points, with unrestrained joy and gaiety."
Precisely the round of emotions that I went through, as I flipped through the pages, and my fingers led my heart from one emotion to the next.
When I finished, I simply rested my hands in my lap, and I began to cry, emotionally spent.
Somehow, an instrument can help cleanse your heart, and lead you through a tough time, when all else fails.
If I do not practice one day, I don't miss it. If I do not practice the next, I still don't notice my friend gone. If I do not practice for three years, and then sit down to play, I realize what a treasure of a friend I have been without.
I promise never to be gone so long, again.

February 3rd

I wanted to make sure you all know about the Kings For Kids Tourney. It is posted here! This is the second year, and last year they did really well for the Royal Kids Family Camp! Join in the fun and serve a great need!
As always, when something touches me, I overdo. I spent probably 4 or 5 hours playing Chopin yesterday. My shoulders ache! I have this thing, and always did... When I get to difficult passages, my shoulders creep up! My teachers, even when I was 6 or 7, would stand behind me, and push them down! So now.... my shoulders ache! I can't believe I used to practice five to 6 hours every day!!!
But still, it is interesting to realize that it is true... When I get lost in the music, people used to laugh at me because I do this sort of low moan/gurgle thing... So when I get to the most beautiful parts, and I'm in the groove, yes... I do groan!
I can only hope I didn't do that, when playing for President Reagan. I don't think I did. I was so frozen stiff with fear that I don't remember much, though!
The Kilchis river should be fishable today. Very heavy water, but a beautiful shade of steelhead green!
I have so much to do to get ready for the show that I can only hope to have a bit of time to cast a couple times.
Off I go, have a wonderful February day!

February 4th

Felt really lousy yesterday... spent the day at the doc office, and they sent me for tests. I have to wait for the results before I go anywhere. Doc's orders.
I do feel better today, and I'm hoping I can just get up and go! :)
I have lost 23 pounds in two years for no reason. I'm just not hungry. Weird, huh?
I have so much to do! Bill is going to the meeting today, and I'm going to take care of business here, and then probably, (with the doc's blessings) go to the Sportsmen Show. We will be at booth 1029, if you'd like to come say hi! Pick up an ifish hat, decal, or linekeepers!
Talk about computer dayz from... well... Never mind, but I can't believe the trouble I had yesterday! It would be enough to send you, too, to the doc! :)
First, my floppy drive went out. "Fine!" says Dell, we'll come give you another! So, the guy who is supposed to fix it, goes out of town, and I have no way to transfer my data to the lap top until then. So, another guy comes to rescue me at the last moment. Great!
So, he fixes it, and leaves. It worked while he was there, but now... It doesn't! Still doesn't work, and I've now surmised it is the motherboard.
I'm supposed to print out 400 letters to take to the meeting. Printer ink! OUT! Oh well, just the color ink... I call every place in town, and they have no Epson 1026 ink. My printer won't print if the color ink is out at all! Not even with the remaining black and white! What a rip!
Well, I could save it to floppy and print it on Bill's printer... Oh, wait a minute. The floppy doesn't work!
Well, I could e mail the file to Bill's computer... Oh wait, Bill doesn't have virus protection, and I'm afraid to open his mail. :) Network? No time!!!
I finally gave up, and e mailed Jerry Dove the file. He printed it. Now I'm stuck trying to figure out how I'm going to save the ftp info to something to transfer to the laptop while I'm gone... You know, passwords, bookmarks, etc.... This is SO fun! NOT!
Off I go to pack, and wait for the doc's OK. :) Have a floppy day!

February 5th

I miss Kilchis SO much!!! He is taking over my life and ruining my travels! I think of him all the time!
The Sportsmen Show was busy and fun yesterday. I got to meet lots of new ifishers, and hang out with some of the gang!
I figured out the heat situation in the room last night, and didn't freeze last night, nor swelter in heat.
I was so tired at the end of the show last night that I didn't have time to eat. I layed in bed and polished off the last of a bag of cheetos and dreamt of morning breakfast. It's time!
We had a blast with the cam I set up, and will set it up again, today. Have a blast, come see us, and have your picture put up, here!

February 7th

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.... It seems there aren't enough hours in the day! I mean, think about it! You sleep 1/3 of every day! What a waste of life!
There are so many people to see, and there is just no way to do it, while you work a booth. People tell me about all the cool things in the booths, and I never get to even get close to them. I beat a path from the door to our booth.
I do get to know my neighbors though!
I woke up this morning with a migraine, and my neighbor booth guy did accupressure on me and it helped so much!
Tonight I bugged out at a little before 7. I had to eat! Now I have... Oh shoot! It's nearly 8:00 pm! I thought I had time to myself!
Tomorrow I go home and I can't wait to hug Kilchis! Off I go, I have to check on my e mail and I promised myself a hot bath!
I'll write more when I get home and settled.

February 9th

I made it home to the wiggliest Kilchis I have ever seen! Man, was he a happy dog... and with a very happy girl to match!
I am SO glad to be home! The river awaits me! I have so much to do! Accounting, book keeping, updating, webcamming, e mail answering, and house cleaning!
I have been struggling here at the computer since 6, and it is prime time that I get out on that river! Don't you think?
I'll hack away at all this stuff, and be done in no time! But the fish? They can't wait! They have missed my sharp hooks and baited offerings!

February 10th

...and here is Marjorie!
Marjorie comes to visit me at the Sportsmen Show every year, and it's a pleasure to see her!
She is a real fishin fanatic, and likes to watch others fish and remind them of ethical fishing practices.
One year she brought me a keychain with salmonid ID tags on it. I still have it and I love it! Thank you Marjorie!
The first year I met her, she told me, "Do you know how I know you? My Mom reads what you write on ifish to me!" I was flattered!
I'm all in support of future female anglers, and Marjorie is my favorite!
I'm finally catching up on things, and will soon actually begin to be able to write about things that are on my mind... Fishing, steelhead, fishing, spring salmon, fishing, fishing fishing!
I got up this morning, and Bill has fishing on the brain. Wants to go down the Nestucca or the Trask... You know what? I do too!
Another hurried morning... I'll report back with our catches!
Oh yeah! Funny thing...
I came home, the last day of the show, and Andrew had made me a cake! Look at this!!!!

This, by a 15 year old teenage boy? I was shocked and pleased, and wowed! I couldn't believe it! YOU made that????
"Yip!"
It was 10 minutes later that he came upstairs to watch me unpack. I was still reeling in amazement!
He sheepishly approached me.
"Mom? Can I die my hair black?"
Nothing like a bargaining cake...
Argh.... Now Andrew has blonde/light brown hair with black streaks in it...
Oh well! The cake is really good!

February 12th

It's hard to be focused on anything, with the world so complicated. Sometimes I wake up and think, "What is it that's wrong?"
Then I remember the intense ramblings on CNN, the radio, the newspapers... The world is a mess, and frankly, it's scary! Better be right with God, is all that I can think, and I'm working on it.
In my search for coming to peace with things, I have taken several walks to the river. These are the most intense times that I have long talks with God.
I turn off the echoes of repeated warnings I hear on the media. I turn off the worries that race through my head, and I follow the song of the stream. Here, I can focus on the intense beauty of the river, and the magic of life that freely inhabits this space.
The trees tower high above my head and I search each branch for signs of further life. Signs that someone else is with me here, on the river. Sure enough, a lone eagle is perched high on the top of a bare winter branch. He must feel my eyes focused on him, and launches off on a long and graceful flight for an area less public.
I toss a bobber and jig somewhat carelessly into the low and clear water of the Kilchis river.
The small cork bobber bobs up and down in the current, and my eyes are transfixed on it. It's a point of meditation to me, and I don't take my eyes off of it, except to glance around occasionally and smile at Kilchis, my fishing dog, chasing a dipper through the shallow riffles. He's content in the fact that the river has receded. The high water of the Kilchis river no longer restrains him with boundaries. He can run at full warp speed from one side of the river to the other. He riles up so much froth in the water that I'm sure no steelhead could be anywhere near.
On the banks of the Kilchis river, I find happiness and peace. I am free here to forget the worries of the world, and to focus on what makes my heart sing. I can bend over and pat my soaking wet canine friend and show him gentle love and caring.
I know that I'm not only fishing for steelhead, when I trudge down the wet and muddy path to the river banks. I'm fishing for peace, and tranquility, and the bravery to smile, and be the Mother of two children caught up in a world that they didn't create.
If the bobber should disappear, that would be just one more added bonus to the gift of clearing my mind. Oh! And what a gift from the sea! I have heard of people losing the love of fishing, and instead counting each trip by how many fish are caught, or how full their tag is. I hope that never happens to me.
As I walk back towards the house, I follow the trail of white smoke rising from the chimney.
Bill is setting the chickens free for a late afternoon outing. They peck and chatter excitedly about their newfound freedom.
The school bus is slowly rounding the country lane that delivers my kids home safely.
Kilchis takes off with a start and runs up the driveway. He knows the school bus driver loves to have him greet them on that big yellow school bus. His innocence is catching. I pick up my pace to match his enthusiasm and energy.
It's another day. We are safe and together. I smile as I bow my head, ever so slightly and thank God for the simple miracle of being with those I love.

February 14th

Just for today, show love! OK, do it every day!
Might as well...
I am starting the long and frustrating path of trying to get my eye fixed. I gave it a couple months breather, but I have to get back to it. Off to a new doc in Portland for me today! Hopefully one that doesn't tell me that my eye falls apart when worked on.
I've been sick for SO long, and finally the doc took a stab at some medicine to cure me. I think it's working. The other day I felt SO good, and it was SO good to feel SO good, that I had forgotten what it felt like! I washed my car! Even the wheels! I smiled a lot, made a fancy dinner, and walked around whooping about it! I kept telling Bill, "I feel so good today!" I think I made him nauseous.
Yesterday we fished the Wilson. I think we'll never learn. We, again, took two cameras. We, again, never hooked a darn thing. I still had a lovely time. I love taking low water drifts because you can learn so much about the structure of the bottom of the river. Just one low water trip isn't enough, either. The bottom changes so much after a flood, that you really have to stay up on things. Next time the water is up, I'll know right where to catch them, and you can bet your "bottom" dollar that I'll know just where they are hiding! You can also bet I won't bring a darned camera!
I think I'll leave early. I have to buy a token of my love for all of my family members somewhere in Portland.
My Mother used to make each and every one of us a fudge heart that was about 8 inches around! It was wrapped in tin foil on the bottom, and plastic wrap on the top. What treasures those were! I recall huge fights about them, too! What a way to show love! We'd hide them in our rooms like they were made of gold. I'll never forget the screaming from room to room, afterwards.
"WHO TOOK HALF OF MY FUDGE?!?"
Oh, lovely nostalgic thoughts of love and growing up...!
Off I go... and by the way, did I tell you? I feel SO good!

 

February 15th

This is intense and frustrating for me to write, but I have to see if I can get it straight. The doctor says I know too much about medical stuff. I wonder why?
Maybe I could skip the first two years of medical school, and rush on to do my own surgery? I think I know enough to get me into trouble! Cool! Look! I can buy my own Iridectomy scissors!
Doctor's appointment results:
Doctor Macaluso, at Casey Eye Institute, decided that he agreed with another doctor that the surgery I had in the Fall pretty much replaced one dislocated lens, with another. The IOL, (or intraocular lens) that they placed is not in proper position, therefore, I am "seeing" out of the very edge of the lens. It's not lined up with my pupil. This is causing the refraction of light, several times, which causes me to see many images in color, and ghosting. If I hold my hand out, I see 15 fingers and drop shadow effects. That's a lot of fingers! However, my brain is still learning to put these images together. The only real frustrating and still challenging part of my life is tying knots for fishing. When I grab the coffee pot, I have learned which image is the real image! With my other eye, it all seems to come together well enough for me to function safely.
So... the original Doc isn't looking forward to fixing it. He referred me to Dr. Macaluso. The operating surgeon said my eye falls apart in his hands, because of the Marfan Syndrome Tissue. Especially breakable, is my schlera. That is where they would make an incision, should they have wanted to go in and try to shift the lens. He doesn't want to, at all. Too risky, he says.
Quote from old doc: "Jennie, not only do I not want to do surgery on you again, I loathe the idea!" That's pretty straight forward, to me.
I could fly to Johns Hopkins, and get my eye fixed by the professionals who do Marfan Eyes, but I can't afford it. Dr. Maumanee there, is my "Marfan eye" hero. I wish, (so wish!) that I could go there.
So, Dr. Macaluso said that he could try to go in with one single incision, through my cornea, and try to lift the lens. By going through my cornea, it wouldn't be as delicate as the schlera, and hopefully wouldn't fall apart. Then, he would sew up the iradectomy, (when doing the original surgery, my iris tore, which also lets in too much light.)


ISH! That's me eye!
They call it a key hole pupil. See also, how the lens is not centered with the pupil? It's SO obvious, and the original doctor didn't seem to want to explain what happened to me! I kept asking him what could have gone wrong. Well, duh! Look at it! The lens is supposed to be centered on the pupil. I still don't understand why he couldn't just tell me??? Was it ego or ugo? Like "ugo" out the door and I'll start on the next patient??
I asked the new doctor the 5 million dollar question. "Doc, if it were your wife, what would you tell her?"
He replied, "Well, I'd say, honey..."
Then I told him not to call me honey! I did! The nurse, the doc and I all had a good giggle!
Anyway, he said that he probably would recommend it, and that there is an 80 to 90 chance that it would be better. Of course, we don't want to talk about the other chances, now do we?
I asked, "Have you ever worked on a marfan eye?" He said no.
I asked, "How do you feel about it?" He said, "A bit stressed".
So, Jennie, I ask myself.... do you gamble for better vision, or do you thank God that you can see to even be able to be writing this? --Or do I debit all my credit cards and run off to Johns Hopkins?
Don't get me wrong. I'm not confused. I know exactly what to do.
Kilchis!!!!! Let's go fishin!

February 16th

Think I'm going to pack it up and go explore the Wilson river and all of it's hidden upriver treasures.... You know... Like steelhead!

February 17th

How did it happen? Where has the time gone?
It started on Thursday. David and Andrew made plans to do separate things on Friday night, then join up with a friend to stay overnight all together.
Cool! A night off on Valentine's Day!
Bill had made secret arrangements to take me to Roseanne's for dinner. We showed up for dinner, but the line, even with reservations, was ridiculous! So, we ran away, got chinese food, and went home to a quiet house. I loved it!
Bill got up in the morning and left for an overnight in Portland. I had the house to myself!
I had made arrangements for the piano tuner to come. He did, and stayed for three hours, while I either fished, or wandered the quiet rooms of the house.
The phone rang. It was the kids. "Can we stay another night?" Well, gosh! Yes!
Another night to myself!!! And then-- Their Dad was to pick them up from there the next day!!
Bill was in Portland, the house... to myself! Four days, the kids were gone! The river... to myself! I don't recall having so much time... to myself!
What would I do all by myself?
My mind raced through different scenarios of long walks on the river, taking leisurely bubble baths, watching late movies, and eating the chocolates that I had gotten for Valentine's Day.
So what happened?
I realized, even by myself, there are not enough hours in a day. I also realized that it takes great restraint to do things only for yourself.
By the time I scrubbed the shower, cleaned the boys room, and scrubbed walls of the office, I was too tired to take a bath!
I did watch a good movie, though!
Kilchis forced me to go out on the river, and I did take my time, and three rods! I fully covered every technique I know to try and produce a steelhead out of that low, clear water. I didn't even have a bite, but I did fully enjoy the experience!
Bill came home last night. We had leftover chinese food for dinner, and I finally took my long, leisurely bath.
Being alone is great, and everyone needs it. Now, looking back, I realize how difficult it is to spoil yourself. At least, it is for me. I have too much time to glance around and realize how much work there is to do!
Maybe tonight when the kids come home, I can relax. We can watch a movie and eat my Valentine's Day chocolate.

February 19th

...and then there was the day that the sky opened up and dropped steady rain on the countryside.
It was Monday, February 17th, 2003.
Bill and I gathered weapons of mass destruction and boarded his F 150 for combat on the Trask. We each carried two rods. One outfitted with a First Cast Jig, and the other, a corky and fresh shrimp.
We headed up the Trask River in search of the illusive Pacific Steelhead.
The rain increasingly pounded on our windshield, while the wipers were flappin time with our steadily increasing heartbeat.
The mud puddles alongside the wooded road increased in size and squishiness. The whole area was a soggy and beautiful rain forest.
Bill's truck hugged tight corners as fast driving log trucks surprised us, on our way. In an effort to avoid total contact, we found ourselves hovering way too close to the cliffs that fell down to the fast rushing Trask River.
Ah! Safe! We pulled into a soggy turnout where the wheels of the truck sank into the soil, and helped us to stop.
Armed with our rods and a heavy shoulder pack full of gear, we headed towards the river.
Bill stopped, as usual, at the first suspecting hole. I set down my heavy bag, and as usual, felt an urge to follow the river to the most difficult spot to maneuver. The most secret of all secret holes, which of course, lay just around the next corner.. or the next... or the next!
Jennie will never learn to bring her whole bag of arsenal along. Traveling light and swift is the mistake I make, repeatedly. Be prepared for anything! I didn't bring any pliers! Nothing! Just my jig rod and two shrimp in my pocket!
Sure enough, around corner four, and far, far, from any signs of humanity, I see it! There, lying close against the opposite river bank is where they are! I know it, deep down in my gut. Reading water is something I feel I have a talent in. It's not like I can tell you why, it's just that I know!
Underneath a log, laying partially underwater, is a deep, darker colored water, wedged closely by a huge boulder that just out into a piece of flatter water.
I tossed my jig just to the head of it, quickly mended my line to avoid a snag, and under it went! WHEEEEE! Battle on!
Oh my gosh! I forgot my pliers! As I fought my opponent, ideas rushed through my head. Where to land it? How to get the hook out? What to do about the fast flowing shoot of water where he is headed?
I quickly lay my rod across my arm, and poked two little fingers into my mouth to whistle for Bill. Bill has pliers. My screeching whistle, that I learned as a child hadn't been honed to perfection in a long time. My whistle let out a pathetic breathy blow. "BILL!" I screamed, at the top of my lungs. No reply.
The nine pound buck was ready to land. As he approached my feet, I leaned over to grab the jig with my bare hands. The hook was embedded snugly to the side of his upper lip, and as my hands neared him, he shook one last violent shake and the jig came flying towards my face, and the fish shot like a bullet to hide again, in the frothy water. I looked up to avoid contact, and towering over me, was Bill.
"Hi Bill!"
OOPS.
"No pliers, huh, Jen?" My helpful troop mate handed me my pliers, and turned around, to silently walk back upstream, shaking his head.
"Thanks, Bill!"
Although unprepared, I did outfish my partner, that day. I hooked another large native buck in a slow deep salmon holding pool. My pink and white tipped jig, set at nine or ten feet deep was too much for the thick shouldered steelhead to resist.
It was three holes later, with my hat dripping a constant rhythm of rain on my Helly Hanson rain jacket, that it finally hit me. A sudden alarm was sent, straight to my brain. Alert! Alert! It told me that my fingers would no longer cooperate unless they were warmed by nothing less than a truck heater set to high speed.
"Bill? It's time."
... and after the infamous, "one last cast", while I sat on a rock, with my frozen hands tucked up in my bare armpits, gaining body warmth, Bill finally complied with his female counterpart.
He helped me up the muddy and steep trail, and opened the door of his truck for the drive home. With the blast of heat coming from the fans, nostalgic thoughts stirred. Thoughts of the many, many days I spent fishing with my Dad in the cold, sleeting rain, and the welcoming drive home, in his old Ford pickup. Many times, we would stop at a small restaurant and have hot chocolate, topped with sickening sweet whipped cream.
And so, on arrival at home base, I topped off my trip with a little whipped cream floating atop my hot chocolate.
A perfect winter battle, and the sweet return home, from victory.

February 22nd

This morning I woke to a quiet, non eventful morning on the Kilchis river. I typed answers to e mail requests from ifish members, and sipped my coffee. (File, save.)
All of the sudden, shot fired loud and abruptly, and echoed long into the silent forest.
"What was that, Bill?"
Bill raced to the door, and spotted a truck, with a man in it, on the opposite side of the Kilchis river. It was parked, but soon, his truck door opened, and shots fired again We watched the man running down the road. What an interruption into a calm winter morning! (File, save.)
I called 911, as the shots seemed random, and pointed no where in particular. Bill jumped in his truck and sped off to get a license plate number.
Turns out, I guess... that there "might" be some kind of special elk season going on. But shooting from the truck? Isn't that illegal? If nothing else, it was intrusive to me! (File, save.)
Nonetheless, I am fully awake now, and no blood has been shed here! Just another reminder that I'm darned glad to be alive! Man, those guns are loud!
I had a bad day yesterday. (File, save.)
I woke up at 5:30 in the morning, almost on schedule. I had forgotten to set my alarm. I had slept so well! I felt refreshed, but... uh oh! My surgery eye felt like sandpaper! I had fallen asleep watching TV, and had forgotten to remove my hard contact lens.(File, save.)
Oh no! You know what this means? I can't wear it all day! I have to live without my eyesight. This is never a good thing. I had to wear it, however, to drive the kids to school. So, in agony, I left it in for an hour.
While driving the kids to school, Kilchis and Dee Dee barked loudly out of the slightly cracked window. They barked at random cows, and an elk herd that crossed the winding country road, just in front of us. (File, save.)
I have to give you a little history here. I have learned that I have to keep the window partially open, or Kilchis gets sick, while riding in the car. Last week, I was driving home, with Kilchis and Dee Dee, and Dee Dee lunged to bark at a cow. Kilchis was already half out the window, and I had left the window down, too far. At 35 mph, Kilchis was half pushed, and half lured out the window at the enticing cow enemy. He landed on his head, did a couple death rolls, got up, and ran quickly back to catch up with his car! I was panicked beyond my wildest dreams! Not only that, but an oncoming car would not slow down, as I tried to retrieve him. BIG lesson learned. The window stays mostly rolled up now. Kilchis is fine, with only a scrape on his head.. I am lucky!
OK, back to the "bad day" story...
So, the window is rolled up, safely, halfway. David is sitting in the back, fending off two wiggly, large dogs.
"Mom? Kilchis just threw up."
"Where?" (File, save.)
"All over the floor and seat."
Of course, he missed the blanket that I have laid down for protection. So, now we have two wiggly dogs, dancing in vomit in the back of my truck. My eye stings and burns, and the smell, as the truck heated up, was obnoxious.
I get home, cleaned the truck, washed the blanket, and sprayed down the floor mats.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch... Chris Sessions is visiting our home. He's helping us to remove the kitchen panel lights, and replacing them with can lights. It's always nice to have Chris around. The night before, he made us a beautiful spring salmon dinner!
But that is yet another story! Here is a picture of it: (File, save.)
Alrighty, back to bad day... I take out my contact, and start to work. I am working on Chris' web page, in trade partially, for the work on our kitchen. His new web page is here.
I work hard for two hours... What is that, that they teach you for computer work? Save often and always?
Yip, and for good reason.
Well? I didn't!
I mean, I worked really hard, nose up to the screen, since I couldn't see. My neck was aching, while I did back breaking, mind boggling coding work.
All of the sudden it happens. The blue screen of death! The fatal exception of all exceptions!
Upon recovery, all work is erased most cleanly from my computer. All of it! (File, save.)
Yes, this was truly a bad day! So, for that, I have learned to control, alt DELETE!
This morning, I woke from a slumber to the quiet that only a forest can produce. The water in the Kilchis is high, and ferocious, yet it only adds to the peace and muted quiet. A rainbow stretches across the sky, but then clouds over, giving way to a heavy, violent shower. Spring is on the way. I can feel it!
Miscellaneous birds come to my window, pecking bits of suet from my window feeder. Chickadees, ruby crowned kinglets, and sparrows all stop to have a bite. A dipper sings a ridiculous tune, and it rings through, clear from the brush that lines the river, and into my slightly opened window.
They have long forgotten the loud and intrusive sound of gunfire that interrupted our morning on the river.(File, save.)
I am going to forget, too. Delete that ringing gunfire from my head!
With one breath of clean fresh air that blows into my window, off I go...
Life goes on.
Today will be a great day. My kitchen is beautiful! My eye is feeling fine, and Kilchis hasn't thrown up anywhere.
This is a new day, and a good one, at that. Just goes to show you... You can't appreciate a good day, without having experienced a bad one.
(File, save.)

February 23rd

I'm 43, and the proud new owner of a Calcutta, CTE 400!!! Bill had it in a new tackle bag, all laid out on the kitchen table for when I got up. Birthdays are still a blast! I've always wanted a larger Calcutta and now I have one! I'm always sad when I have to hang up my steelhead Calcutta. You really need to have one for every season! They are so pretty that you can wear them on a gold chain to church on Sundays. Only problem is that the 400 would have my head hanging pretty low. I'm thrilled, don't ya know?
I also got a tackle bag that is big enough to hold my large Kwikfish bag for springers. Hey, I'm set, and ready to win the Springer Contest!
I'm also going to buy myself a metal detector. I've wanted one for so long! There is a period, when the river is closed on the Kilchis, and I hunt for treasures. Mostly agates, in the past, but soon it will be all kinds of goodies! If anyone has any recommendations on metal detectors, please let me know. I'm hunting on ebay.
I still get thrilled by holidays, birthdays, and Christmas, and I hope that never dies. Bill wants to forget his, always, but I'll never let him. Birthdays are special days where you don't have to do any work. It's when people cater to you, surprise you, and love you! If you don't have anyone close to love you, you are ordered my me, to love you, yourself! I have had many birthdays when I was all alone. It would have been easy to have a pity party on those occasions. I'd take myself out to breakfast, lunch or dinner, and cook myself favorite foods on the other meals. I slept in, no matter what, and called off anything I didn't want to do. I'd take long baths, (more than once, if I wanted to,) and I'd ALWAYS go fishing. (If even at a nearby lake.)
Sometimes depression overcame me, and you know what? That's OK too! Relish in it, because sometimes that is what you need, too! Depression is very normal, and I feel, should be celebrated as a normal cycle. I read a book once called... "Care of the Soul" (I think...) The only chapter I liked was the one that celebrates depression as a normal and necessary state.
If it is your birthday, too, please do yourself a favor and celebrate your life! The alternative can be pretty gloomy!
Andrew made me a cake yesterday. My very favorite! German Chocolate with extra frosting! My Mother used to make those for me. I couldn't wait, and we dug in last night and had cake and ice cream and watched a movie together.
The Dell tech came yesterday and gave my computer a new mother board. Life is good!
Today, the Kilchis river is dropping and looking very tempting. I know what I'll be doing soon!

February 24th

Whewie! My Birthday is over! That was stressful having so much fun.
The day was perfect...
All day, everyone was having a great time treating me like a queen. The boys, Bill, and an active Happy Birthday thread on ifish all made my day.
Andrew was going to make me my favorite dinner, but he also surprised me, along with David, with a beautiful home cooked breakfast! I was out fishing, when the breakfast bell rang from the house. It was so nice to come in from the cold and eat!
They outdid themselves with bacon, eggs, sautéed potatoes with sun dried tomatoes and mushrooms, toast, and orange juice! Andrew baked my favorite cake the night before, and we had already gotten into it after last night's dinner!
They exhausted themselves, obviously... because, well.... dinner was another story.
It was 5:00 PM, and I was relaxing, visiting ifish. I was kind of wondering, in the back of my head, when I would start hearing noises from the kitchen. It was odd for me, because 5:00 always starts my mind thinking of what to do with dinner. Andrew had promised me a home cooked dinner, and we had gone shopping for all of the ingredients, the day before. He had it all planned. I thought!
The kitchen was silent.
"Oh well," I thought... It will start soon.
5:15-- Nothing. Silent!
5:30-- Nothing.
Andrew was busy at his computer, and David was at a friends... Perhaps I'll be surprised with something?
5:45... Still no commotion anywhere. My stomach is starting to grumble.
AT 6:00 PM, with no motion sensors going off, I slowly pad to the kitchen. Bill is watching TV, and Andrew is busy at his computer. No one notices my presence in the kitchen being different than it should be.
Mom is in the kitchen, preparing dinner, like she always does.
Andrew walks in. "I thought I was cooking!" I said,
"I thought so too! It's 6:00 PM, now, Andrew... A little late!"
"Oh." He walks out.
Oh well! No one knows how to cook prawns like I do, anyway. It was to be Fettucini Alfredo, and sautéed prawns. A fresh salad of interesting greens, fresh bread, (that Bill did bake earlier!) and broccoli.
We all gathered at the table. The mood was a little off, somehow.
The mood?
Tired of Birthdays!
The night before, we had a wonderful dinner at the table. Andrew's cake was festively cut into and well, my Birthday had effectively started the night before. I think the party atmosphere was sizzling to a close.
The boys poked at each other. Bill was unsettled and chose to complain, mildly, about things around the house. I was sensitive, and generally tired of hearing squabbles from all around.
Lesson learned? A party can only last so long! Even I, myself was growing weary of having people serve me! The normal bicker of families living together was almost a relief!
I thoroughly enjoyed cooking and serving dinner, and I'm glad to get back to life as normal.
This morning, I rose out of bed, thoroughly rested and ready for normal life.
"Andrew! Your bathroom is a mess! David, pick up your shoes that I just tripped over!"
Ah.... Life as we know it, has returned.

February 25th

I had a "stupid pet trick" day yesterday. The whole day made me laugh.
First off, Jack, our big adopted cat, loves to hunt birds, much to the dismay of Bill and I. We try to discourage him, but fail. Yesterday, he was on the hunt.
Unfortunately, for him, our mean rooster, Ralph, had attacked Bill the day before. Ralph is so mean that you can feed him bread, and he'll eat it, turn around, and viciously attack you. (Anyone need a beautiful, but mean bantam rooster?) Bill got upset and locked him out of the cage that night. He let nature have a chance at it's course.
Well, Jack was on his hunt, and saw something moving in one of our planter pots. He snuck up on it, with all of his feline stealth, and began his attack. I'm sure he thought it was a blue jay. That was when Ralph popped his ugly head up, and began to attack back. I've never seen a cat jump so high in retreat before! The whole scene was comical. Wished I had a video of it!
At bedtime last night, as always, I had a blanket full of dogs. I'm usually first to bed, and by the time Bill comes upstairs, there is very little room for him to squeeze in. The bed is King sized, but the dogs prefer a horizontal approach to a vertical format. It causes, many times, a condition we know as "labstinence" in our relationship.
So... I'm in bed, and Kilchis wants to play. He brings me a ball. I attempt to play with him, but I'd rather play tug of war with the Kevlar Frisbee he has had since he was a pup.
"Kilchis? Where's your Frisbee? Get your Frisbee!" I tell him. He knows the word Frisbee very well. Kilchis is high strung, and very smart. He has a toy basket, where all of his toys are randomly thrown, several times a day. You think picking up after a two year old is tiring?
Kilchis got off the bed, abandoned his ball, and brought me the Frisbee. "Good dog, Kilchie!" We played tug of war, for quite a while, when I decided on an experiment.
"Kilchis, I'm tired of the Frisbee. Go get your bunny!" He cocked his head at me, knowing full well my request, but didn't react. He picked up his Frisbee and shook it at me, as if to say, "No! Frisbee!"
"Go get your bunny, Kilch!"
"No!" He said, with a shake, and a growl.
At that moment, Dee Dee walked in the room, knowing that it was time to retire. She walked by my side to receive her nightly loving pat, and scratch.
"Dee Dee!" I said, with enthusiasm. "Get Kilchis' bunny!"
At that very instance, and with no hesitation, Kilchis jumped off the bed, dropped the Frisbee in the basket, and grabbed his bunny! There was NO WAY he was going to let Dee Dee grab that bunny of his!
I laughed out loud until my ribs ached.
It's pretty bad, when you have to spell the words "I'm going F I S H I N G" to Bill, when I don't want to deal with waggling tails and excited barks, while readying my gear. I can't even begin to grab a rod without total canine chaos breaking out.
Key words that we avoid: "Dinner", "Fishing", "river", "outside", "walk", "car", and the word go."
Seems every day they learn a new word.
When toys have recognizable names at the age of one year, you have to realize that by the time a dog is 10, he knows every single word you say.
Minutes before the school bus arrives at 4:00 PM, Kilchis gets restless. His boys will be home, soon, and he has some kind of knowledge of time.
Minutes before his 5:00 dinner, his "Pavlovian" salivary glands start working.
David, my son, has to leave early for school this morning, to play in a concert breakfast at the Y.
I just yelled for him to get ready-- That we have to "go".
Kilchis stands by my purse, waiting for me to grab it. He is barking excitedly, tail wagging, waiting to get in the "car".
"Mom, don't forget your purse!"

February 26th

While chatting on the phone to my sister yesterday, feet up on the desk, gazing out onto my little chickadees, I let out a scream.
"OH! OHHHHHHH! OHHHHHH! TERI!!!!! There is a hummingbird outside my window! I have to go!" I quickly hung up, without a good-bye.
A little tiny male rufus hummingbird had its beak nearly to the window, hovering, as if to say,
"Mom! I'm home! It was a long trip! It's cold out here! I need FOOD!"
"I gotta go, Teri!" and I hung up the phone. Ran to the stove, put on the sugar water, then headed out to the garage for our stored feeders. I was SO excited, Bill thought I was going crazy!
"My babies are home, Bill!" He chuckled.
I was so panicked that he would see no food and go search elsewhere. Foolish me! Of course not! This little baby waited patiently, and when I had the feeder hung up, he zoomed in and started feeding voraciously!
The only problem I have now, is they are frozen! I'm going to have to drag them in and unthaw them for this morning's feed.
Hummies in February? That's odd! El Nino? I wonder if the rest of them will show up today?
I'm traveling to St. Helens today to tour the USIA plant. They have Adventure Charters, which is not for the weak of heart. (Oops! That would be me!)
Dang, it sounds fun, though. They actually reserve the right to determine if you are fit enough to join them. Then, they gear you up with some awesome gear that is made for military training and combat! Whooooo hoooooo! Ever fished with the military?
Here is a quote from their page:
These are open boats and this experience is NOT for the unadventurous. This is a “hardy” adventure and should not be taken lightly. These boats are mobile and we use the ports of Newport, Depoe Bay, Tillamook, Netarts bay, and Nehalem bay as our usual launches to the ocean. Cruising speed between 20 and 37 knots depending on ocean conditions and customer comfort.
We are an uninspected commercial vessel, insured and licensed by the State of Oregon Marine Board and California Department of Boating and Waterways. We reserve the sole right to determine your fitness and stamina for ANY of our offshore operations.
Well, I may not be going out with them, although it sounds like a blast, but I am going in, to get fitted for waders today. This excites me to no end! Do you know how hard it is to fit a girl in waders when she has long legs, and size 11 AAAA shoes? These are custom built-- and warm!
Jim Erickson will NEVER let it die that I froze out on one trip. NO MORE! This guy at USIA promises he's going to make it so I never freeze out again! HA HA JIM!
Off I go. Have to get the kids up, warm the feeders for my new guests, and off I go, over the icy hills of the pass!

February 27th

The sunshine was a false front. Earlier, I lustfully stared out the window as the sun shone, full force down on the meadow. It was still, warm looking, and inviting.
Finally, finished with about as much work as I could handle (which wasn't much... just couldn't focus, today), I started for my fishing gear.
With Kilchis and Dee Dee barking at my heels, and knocking over my wading boots as I attempted to get them on, I called for Bill to join us.
He, too, wasn't getting much accomplished today. Although we weren't confident that the river held many, fish, we both gave in to the invitation of sun, and warmth, and recreation.
By the time we reached the river's edge, the wind began to hit us, full force, in the face. Although we were both wearing down coats and flannel shirts, a chill drove through our clothing as if we were wearing nothing but T shirts. It came from downriver, and arched our fishing mono far behind our original cast.
After several casts, Bill yelled at me, "So what kind of fish are supposed to be here?"
The river has not produced steelhead with any regularity this year. You can "expect a fish with every cast" for only so long before you begin to adjust your confidence, or your reason for being out there, this year!
I have decided that this year, I fish... for peace. That way, I can "expect peace with every cast" and be confident that I'll land most of my dreams.
I have honed in on some things, and I still learn new strategies for many instances of fishing, while I'm out "peace-ing".
For instance, I have become very adept at retrieving snagged lures.
It used to be, that the moment I felt that deadly pull on my line, that meant a rock had snagged my slinky, I'd immediately pull back.
I don't do that anymore.
I try to think of it, like this:
Whether it is my hook, or my weight that is snagged, I "tickle" it out.
The structure of debris on the bottom of the river is somewhat like the weave in a sweater. ... If it were something snagged in my sweater, would I yank on it, or work it out, carefully?
Therefore, I have learned this tickle method works quite well.
The minute I feel that deadly pull, where the current is pulling at my mono or braided line, I immediately release more line off of my spool. As I do that, I start "tickling" the reel and rod. Little soft jerks that stop, once I feel contact with the source. Sometimes, just letting the line off the spool, (rather then immediately reacting with the impulse of jerking,) will release a snag, all by itself. It seems that the weight of the line, arched, and carried by the current, is all that is needed to unhook the snag.
Tree snagging? Now that is a different story, but the same process often works. The worst thing you can do is to pull violently, and shake it. Doing that always further knots up the mess, on the other side of the river!
Tickle it out! It's amazing, but it most often works! I've witnessed Jim Erickson do this so many times! I've finally gathered the patience to try it myself, and I'd say, 50 percent of the time, I can tickle out a favorite lure, successfully, myself.
Frankly, if all I were fishing for, were fish, as I faced the frigid wind, seemingly steelhead-less water, and deceiving bright sunshine, (BR!) I would have lost patience.
But since I've changed to fishing for peace, patience comes easily, and lures come out of snags a whole lot easier.

February 28th

"Work day!" I keep reminding Kilchis, as he begs to go fishing. (What day isn't, lately?)
So far today, I have worked on the new board upgrade, (trading in some old bugs for some new ones...)
Put up Stan's new column on casting with your left hand, when you get tired.
Welcomed Grant Scheele to Amerman Guide Service, now on the Top ifish Guide's list,
Welcomed STS Guide Service, to the new area on ifish, BC Adventures,
Welcomed Stabi-Craft to the Salty Dog Board,
Put up a temporary link, and welcomed Black Rocket Charters, to ifish,
Uploaded a couple pictures for people, changed a couple user names, answered 58 e mails, and.... it's only 9:30 AM!
Whewie, girlfriend, you gotta go fishing, sometime! Right, Kilchis? Right?
Next, I have to build a new Honors page for the 2003 donation drive that we are doing, because ifish has run out of outbound bandwidth, and needs not a new server, but a whole new host! Lucky for me, I've found one that suits our needs. Now...to just pay for it.
So, I have to update that page...
--Finish troubleshooting the new upgrade,
I'm going to do a couple Ready, Set, contests...
I have to do bookeeping and set up new accounts for the people that have recently joined ifish...
I need to look into buying David a professional sax. This, just after paying off his student grade sax, but the band director insists he is incredibly talented and NEEDS this! Of course... I can only hope that Andrew doesn't get any better on his student bass!
I have to go to Freddies and buy some mailing supplies, put up the finch feeder, just in case one stops by early and decides we aren't feeding this year... I just had a visitor! A Townsend's Warbler! Her bright yellow throat was beautiful! I guess the males have a black throat. I have two hummies, now, too!
Well, sigh... Doesn't sound like I'm going fishing, anytime soon. -- Or? You know? Maybe I will! Life is too short not to fish, occasionally, right? I just wrote myself a to do list, with this column, and hey, that's half the battle, right?
"Kilchis! Let's go fishin!"


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