Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington

February 2006
Jennie's Fishing Life

February 1st!

..and with all the love I can muster, I'm late!
I have to drive to Astoria to meet with some folks, and I have a terrible migraine! I'll make it! I will!

February 1st! later...

I just can't do full days. I'm so tired. So tired that I don't even want to eat. Just want to know how to get up those stairs to go to bed...
But before I do, here is a letter from John Englund, from our meeting, today. I thought it was important to get it out to you.
That new store is sure beautiful. I'll tell you more about it, later. For now, it's off to admire my new pillows.

February 3rd

I leaned way over and stared, deep into an opaque, milky green swirl of heavy current. It was as close as I dare get to the edge. It felt dicey, daring... like driving your car way to fast at night, without the lights on. It was just the thrill I needed to wake me from being at the computer so much.
My feet were well aware that where I stood could give way, yet the warning hadn't traveled to the sensible part of my brain. Heavy wet clay sediment mixed



Flood... flood....flood... I'm going crazy!

with river sand, deep orange in color, loosely piled from the last high water. It held my weight... but for how long?
After a winter storm, loose debris gathers here. Amongst the limbs and tree fur and pieces of bark, treasures sometimes appear! Brightly colored lures and corkies!
Today, none of that. The flood water had receded, and what lay inches from my toes was a silted cliff that sloughed off into deep water. Any minute, another chunk could go. Before me, a narrow and deep chasm, a canal of fast flowing current, a shoot where the fish swim, and across, a wild horsetails of wicked rapids. Standing waves roared in my ears, four feet tall and four feet away.

You don't want to go through this section the wrong way, in your drift boat. I've been nearly dumped here, more than once.
Despite, or maybe because of the danger, this particular shoot of water has always fascinated me. I have spent time standing hip deep, just above here, holding my rod with a wobbler or a Kwikfish just 15 feet from the tip of my rod. The lure follows the current, and disappears into the depths. It works madly in the current. It's often the only route for the fish to follow upriver. More than once, a huge chinook salmon has attacked it, and nearly pulled me into the water. There is no greater rush!
When I am at home at the kitchen table, rigging up for this particular fishery, Bill knows what I'm up to. He warns me to wear my life jacket. I listen, but rarely obey. I know that I should. The water is fast, and dangerous, and my footing is not steady.
Today, the water is high. Too high to fish, but it's on it's way down. Darn it anyway, but there is another flood warning in the forecast. It seems, as soon as my hopes rise, so does the water.
As I walk the banks of the river, I think of so many things I'd like to write, both here, and on my piano. How I wish I had portable keys [of both type, and music!]
I walked, tapping my fingers against an imaginary keypad, imagining what might be in store for our future. If only I could write music or words, on my Kilchis river walks, when my mind is clear and active, and creative!
An invisible recording system? Maybe someday! In fact, I believe it will happen! Simply move your fingers and type! Oh! I would love that!
As my feet stumbled over the rocks, I wrote in my mind about the Kilchis river, and how it has been insisting on privacy, lately. It refuses to be fished, and blocks me from access to it's banks for more than just a few minutes at a time. Just as the water starts to recede, and the rain takes a rest, another storm pushes in, on the horizon. It pushes me away, with either wind, or rain, or flood. I have a few minutes to walk, to madly search the river beach for new agates. I snatch them up quickly, before the winds drive me inside, again. Quick! Before the river rises, and it's rushing waters tumbles the ground anew. Each time, exposing long buried treasures that I hold wet, in my pockets. These are treasures of the earth, thousands of years old. I don't know what to do with them all, but they are mine, all mine! They represent peace to me, and I scatter them about the house. In jars, on shelves and window sills, and in every pocket of every coat that I own.
I don't know how many times I've thought the weather was breaking. With excitement and relief, I quickly grabbed a rod and tackle, made it all the way to the beach, and the sky opened up with hail and wind so fierce, that there was no mistake. The river had no intention of welcoming me. Head down in disappointment, I slowly trudged, soaking, back to the house. My dog followed, tail tucked between his legs.
The river's insistence of privacy seems selfish to me, just when I need it most. Kilchis, my dog, thinks so, too. He is restless, laying by the fire day after day, as his owner is hounded by the stress of all things, running a fishing web site! Oh Lordy! Thousands of fishermen and women, just like me, are also kept from the rivers! They are pent up at their computers, constantly needing a fishing fix and feeding that need by the only thing that is currently available: Chatting about it on a computer web site!
If ever oh ever there was a winter of craze, it's this one.
Last night, I got down on my knees and I prayed. And before you start to giggle, let me tell you! It was a most sincere prayer!
Last year when I was very ill, I wrote that the river would heal me.
I meant that, with all of my heart.
But shortly after, I received a letter from a reader. It criticized me. I was told with no uncertainty, that as a Christian, I should know that the only thing in this world that can truly heal me, is our Lord and Savior.
Well, sir? My Lord and Savior created that river that runs out back of my home, and when I am there, I feel no greater presence. The river does heal me. It encourages me, it gives me hope and health, and peace! I believe that God speaks to me through that river like no where else!
So, after my walk, I got down on my knees, and I prayed for us all.. Right there on the river bank! I prayed for health, for happiness, and for access to our rivers, and most of all, for peace!
I'm confident that it's on it's way. The skies will clear, and soon, we'll be on the river, again!
After I spoke to my Father, I leaned over to pet my wet, cold dog. I told Kilchis about spring time, and how the door to the house will be open almost all day long. How the flowers will bloom, and the garden will grow, and how the sun will shine! He wagged his tail, as he read the inflection in my voice.
...and now, I sit at my computer, and the rain falls, outside. There is a storm warning out. Emergency e mail alerts fill my inbox. They speak of 90 mile per hour winds, and floods, and storms!
But, I know my Father heard me, and I know my Father answers prayer!
In His time... we will fish, again! In His time!
Until then... I guess I have a web site to run!
Let's talk fishing!
Oh, and please welcome new ifish guide, Fish Hawk Adventures, "Joe Salvey!" It's a pleasure and an honor to be able to add him to the fine list of guides, at ifish!

February 4th

Sometimes I wonder, but I know it's not true, if God has these mighty and powerful storms because he is mad. Or, is it because he needs to clear things out, before he can give us the sunshine we pray for? Or, like a child, is he simply moving the furniture in Heaven?
What a violent storm it has been! I was surprised to be able to sleep, but sleep I did! Well, not constantly. I'll be sure to be napping, today, but I slept every two hours or so. I went to bed early, woke at 1, at 3, at 5.... Each time, I wandered downstairs, turned the weather station back on, said a few prayers, and went back to bed. I slept with my clothes on! Right now, as I write, I'm saving my work every two minutes, as the power is still dimming and flickering. I joyfully hit "File- Save" because we all have to remember, "Jesus Saves!" ...and because of his all mighty storms, (and resulting power outages!) so should we.
As a christian, it's funny. I pick up terms and ideas that I really shouldn't have. But, I can't help it! I say things like, "Karma will get you!" Hey! I'm not supposed to believe in Karma! I do, but in a different way than others. I DO believe that God will allow things in your life, if you need a lesson! That's my "christian" belief in Karma.
Also, things like yesterday's writings... that the river will heal me. I do spend most Sundays "in church" on the river. Well, I do! And I really do have truly spiritual moments, there! I sing hymns at the top of my lungs. "This is my Father's world!!!" Everyone comes closer to God in their own ways. I may not be traditional, but I do walk with God every day.
In my mind, my God is a brightly lit, child like sunshine.

People of traditional belief try to ruin that lovely picture for me. They want me to think of God as a big, scary thing. --Something to be afraid of.
Well, believe me, I do fear God in my own way. I know when I have done wrong, and no one can pile Christian guilt on better than I can. I was raised that way! The sunshine in my mind, is my way of healing myself over my youth, and the way I was raised. You will NOT take my sunshine away from me! When I pray, I see that image. It makes me happy, and it brings me peace, and I feel closer to God when I pray if I see that image!
Last night, I feared God! That was one scary storm! But, at the same time, when I closed my eyes to pray, I saw the above image, and it comforted me.
Soon, the sun will shine, and God is always with me, even when the storms rage, the winds blow sideways, and the rain pelts down.
Oh! Speaking of pelted!!! Last night, in the middle of the night, it hailed! It was so frightening! Ice balls were being thrown at the windows at 70 mph! That was weird! I'd never seen anything like it! I walked to the glass door and looked outside in the porch light. Hail, swirling up, down, all around! It didn't last long, but man oh man, was it loud on the windows and on the rooftop!
Sometimes the ifish board seems very frightening to me. Even more so than a storm! There is such chaos going on, and I get so stressed out trying to manage it! Trying to calm peoples passions, trying to convince people that we are trying our best to keep things peaceful, trying to bring peace between two arguing fishers... and in the end, that comical little sunshine above is all that can help me.
That's my God. He brings me peace! But, ONLY when I let Him. Only when I remember him. Only when I invite him into my heart, and thoughts.
There are many times I'm stubborn, and want to do things myself. You know what? It never works out as well. I need Him in my life. I couldn't do this, without Him.
It's 6:30 AM, now, and seems to be quieting outside. Poor Kilchis. He won't go outside to relieve himself. I think he's frightened! I don't blame him. I tried to go with him, and we were both blown sideways!! A flying tree branch, one inch thick and a foot long flew past my ear! If that's not a warning, what is?
Maybe I'll go with him, quickly now... before it begins again.
And... while I'm out there, I'm going to sing... at the top of my lungs: (You think I'm kidding? Just ask my family. They all say, "You know when Jennie isn't hurting too badly. She sings! Don't bother her when she is singing!)

I adore this song!

This is my Father's world,
and to my listening ears
all nature sings, and round me rings
the music of the spheres.
This is my Father's world:
I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
his hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father's world,
the birds their carols raise,
the morning light, the lily white,
declare their maker's praise.
This is my Father's world:
he shines in all that's fair;
in the rustling grass I hear him pass;
he speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father's world.
O let me ne'er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father's world:
why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad!

February 5th

There is sunshine in my soul, today!

February 7th

You know, you see those people that stand up for awards and they thank all the people and say, "I could never had accomplished this without..."
Well, sometimes it's true, but never so much as in my case. I mean, it's fact. I couldn't do this without help. Period!
In fact, I lay in bed last night, my mind was spinning.
"Why on earth did I do this? What good will it do? All week? Every day? As if I could do that! Even with the aid of a truck full of medicine and a wheelchair!"
However, without the help of Joe Salvey and Pete Morris, I couldn't have done this. Yesterday, Joe Salvey lent me his entire booth for the show! Even set it up with Pete Morris!
They called me on the phone with details. Yes, it was two days before the show, and I was already in tears! I had packed my jewelry and put it... somewhere! I searched for it for two hours. I unpacked my suitcase three times! I searched high and low! Finally, I found it, but not before these two gentlemen called me! They caught me in tears!
I had packed it in a little black bag, in a bigger black bag. It had been right in front of me all the time, but I couldn't see it. It hit me hard that my lack of eyesight is indeed, a handicap to me. I couldn't see the darn thing! Even from a foot away! In flooded the self pity, amidst the fatigue. Dang!
Anyhow, Joe and Pete? You are my heroes! No way I could have done that!!!
Then, there is Crabbait, who figured out the schedule and will be there, most of the week. Without Crabbait, I couldn't do this!
Bill is driving me to the show. I couldn't do that, you know. I've tried. My eyes get tired, and by the time I get there, I'm a mess. One year I drove myself, and I ended up at the wrong exit, in tears. I called Pete. He came to get me!
But Bill? He is going to drive me and drop me off, unload my heavy things, and get my wheelchair into the show, and help me finish off the booth. Bill, you... YOU are my hero!
And did I tell you about the rest of the moderators at ifish? They are going to run the booth! Totally! I am a third wheel, and can come and go as I am able. Ruth? Walt? Walter? Dave? A song comes to mind: "Did I ever tell you, you are my herooooooooes?"
Oh! And the sponsors at ifish! They are helping me, too! They will be there in designated time slots! Lots of heroics, there! Lots!!!

I will try to be there in my time slots, but please understand that there will be sometimes that I cannot be there. It's beyond my control, but I'll try to be there!

Wed Feb 8, 2006 11 - 4 [email protected] Brad Baker (Ifish artist!)
Wed Feb 8, 2006 4 to 9 Water Ready Pontoons!

Th. Feb 9, 11 - 4 5 cents! (Medical Insurance)
Th. Feb 9, 4 to 9 Chris Vertopoulos (Ifish guide!)

Fri. Feb 10, 11- 4 Chris Sessions! (Ifish guide!)
Fri. Feb 10, 4 to 9 Mark Anderson (First Bite Jigs!)

Sat. Feb11, 10 3 Fish Hawk Adventures (Ifish guide!)
Sat. Feb 11, 3 to 8 David Johnson (Ifish guide!)

Sun. Feb12, 10-6 pm Pete Troy, Alaska (Ifish guide!)

..and the biggest sponsor of all, Opus Interactive , who will have the cam up for us to watch all week! They are my heroes!

Luhr Jensen even got the Kwikfish to us in time for the show! We'll have hats, and decals, and Ifish custom Old Salty Planers!
So, as I closed my eyes, I was assured. I can do this. With the help of so many wonderful people, ifish will be at the show!
And I just wanted to say a word of thanks to my Heavenly Father. He has made all things possible, including these wonderful people, in my life! Bless them all!
I so often get thanked for ifish, but the very premise of ifish is the people involved! They provide the content, they make things happen! I just happened to be sitting behind a web site, when they all came to visit!
So, let's go to the show! Stop by and see us all at the
31st Annual Pacific NW Sportsmen's Show!

February 8th

Good morning! So much to do! Yesterday was so tiring. I asked myself, if I had it to do over again, would I do it? Well, yesterday was a no. Today? I hope to be better! After all, the show starts today! That means fun!
I so hope that I remember how to set up everything that Opus showed me regarding the web cam. Remember that you have to have Flash installed. Most computers these days, do.
I have to get dressed to go get breakfast? What's up with that? What do you think if I just snuck down in my jammies? I think everyone would run, by the looks of my hair! It's just too early for most folks to deal with that kind of shock. I'll be kind and get ready.
I totally rewrote files in my html cheater program, Dreamweaver, in order to do this. I'm surprised it works! I'm not a good hacker! But, I think it worked!
Maybe I'll write more before the show. If not, I'll see you there! Remember to watch the cam! It's a riot! We also have a projector, there!

February 11th

NOTICE: If you were going to come see me tonight at the show, I may not be there. I'm cutting back my hours. Best bet is in the mornings at booth 1252!!! Crabbait and Pete are going to be there, though! Talons in the morning, and David Johnson in the afternoon! And, tomorrow is Pete Troy and Justcallmedave!

Saturday...yawn. Wake me up. Don't ever buy one of those foam things for your mattress at home, and expect to travel and sleep in motel beds, ever again! You get used to them, and then can't sleep on anything else! I bought one because after my surgery, everything hurt, and oh boy, did it ever help! But, now I'm addicted!
I asked one of the guys who works here, "Do you have any of those soft beds, those upgraded ones...in any of the rooms?" He said, "Why, ma'am? Is the bed not fluffy enough?" It made me laugh. OK, so now he thinks I'm the princess and the pea! I tried to explain it, but the more I tried, the more I must have seemed like a princess. If he only knew how nice they are!
Imagine me now, trying to camp in the out of doors! I'll just bring along a roll of foam padding!
Well, the show has been so wonderful and so much a slap of reality, all at the same time.
I have met the most wonderful people, and I'm so glad I did this! Would I do it again? Differently, but yes. As it is, I try to come twice a day. (I have failed!) If I can get the help, next year it will be only once a day.
The show has made me feel overwhelmed with appreciation for the people that I have donating their time to help ifish.
You know, when you start to get back to your old self... when you think about how you've always done things, it's difficult to adjust to a lesser ability. It's not like getting old. That's gradual. It's like all of a sudden, wham! You are less able! I felt kind of wimpy before, and now? Eeks!
I thought back to how I used to do the show, and planned my schedule accordingly. Oh! Of course, I trimmed some additional hours, as I knew that I'd be more tired, but man! I can't even do that much! It's quite apparent that I can't do half of what I used to do and that's a bit hard to swallow.
It's especially difficult, because I try very hard to concentrate on the positive, and what I can do. That's tough to do, at the Sportsman Show!
I feel so dependent! I'm going to have to adjust to this and adjust to the fact that I just plain need help from others! I can't move my suitcases. I can't make it through a half shift. I'm not going to list what I can't do, but it has sure hit me hard this week! I never knew a girl could cry so many times in frustration.. I mean, break down like a little baby and cry! Multiple times a day!
I'm thinking that the trick here, is to concentrate on what I can do, and plan accordingly. I just had to learn what it is I can do. I learned that all in one week, so now I know, thank you very much. It was a tough reality, but now, if I set my goals a little lower, then I can still be proud of me, and still feel good about my accomplishments. I have always measured my self confidence and pride by what I am able to do, so this is a real adjustment for me.
I was sad to miss a meeting with Buzz yesterday for lunch. The wind actually picked me up and put me on the ground! I couldn't make it from the show to the bus! Now that was demeaning!
I remember right after my surgery, I had to be in a wheelchair, and one day Bill wheeled me into the high school and I saw all my old friends. Something about being so low. Something about looking up at people. I just cried. I felt so dang helpless and embarrassed. I couldn't even talk to them. It's weird to explain, but I was ashamed! Disappointed, like I was a failure, a wimp! A weakling!
And, there was a little of that, when I finally caved on day two, and got out my wheelchair and plopped myself down in it.
That night, I came home to this private message:

Jennie, saw ya last night and you were looking awfully tired. Please take it easy and don't be so bashful about using the chair. That is what it is there for. You should not be embarrassed at all as you have been though more than most of us can imagine.
Have a great show and take plenty of breaks.

Bernie
BTW nice to see ya last night too.

Dang. Did he ever read me right! I didn't know it was that transparent.
It's hard for me to know that people are coming to visit me, and I'm not there. I want to be there the whole time. Last night I missed someone I really wanted to see, and I was so disappointed!
I do alright most mornings. But, by afternoon, if you see me, I'm tired, OK? I might be in my chair. I might not make sense when you talk to me! I'm just tired! (laugh) That's just the way it is! Maybe next year will be better. All I can do is work on getting better, and better... and perhaps set my goals a little lower! Meanwhile, I want to thank, from the bottom of my heart, everyone who helped ifish be at the show. I am honored by all of the help we've had!

So, it's off to the show! The final weekend! I hope I get to actually see some of it! I haven't been out of my isle, let alone my building! But I'm going to make it to the end on Sunday, and I'm going to be proud of the new me, darnit!
See you there!!!!
OK... I'm waking up... Time to sing!
"There is Sunshine, in my soul, today...."
(And Kilchis? I'll be home soon!!! I can't wait!)
Later...
There is one thing really good about being so tired all the time. I get really silly. Watch the cam, you'll see! I was just in the shower, giggling about yesterday. I wonder what the neighbors think... :laugh:
I just reread my column. What a drag I am, sometimes!!! LOL!

February 12th

I'm so excited! Can you imagine? Snow on your Birthday???? It has NEVER snowed on my Birthday around here! I bought a sled 5 years ago, and I have NEVER used it! I want to use it on my Birthday! So, pray for snow on the 23rd!!! The weather people are actually talking about it!
I always have this delusion of relaxing, while at the show. I was all excited to get upgraded for free to a jacuzzi room. Ha! As if I'd even get to enjoy it! By the time I get to my room, I just lay on my bed and stare at it until my eyes glaze over.
Anyhoo, I'm out of here, this morning, and I can't wait to hug my Kilchis dog! --and my Molly cat! Oh yeah, and my family, too!
Every time I see a dog at the show, (and there are several) my heart just takes a dive. I keep thinking it would be nice to have Kilchis, but oh, what a hassle he'd be. He's so used to having free roam of the river. Both of us are, actually. Maybe that's why I feel like a caged animal at the show, too!
This morning, Dave (Justcallmedave) is brining pastries from some favorite bakery. Must get there, quickly! That, and some good coffee will be wonderful!
You guys-- It's a countdown! I've almost made it through the show, and I'm all in one piece!
Kilchis River? You just wait! I'm comin' home!
Each day is a precious gift to all of us, and today, I'm celebrating for no other reason, than just that!
Come on down and meet a great guy, Pete Troy! He'll be at the show all day! Funny, he's been a sponsor at ifish for years, and I just met him the other day. I knew I liked him, just from e mails, and I was right! He's really interesting and what a fisherman! Come by and visit with him! You'll be glad you did!

February 13th

My Mother, (the queen of promoting feelings of guilt), used to say, "You shouldn't do things so often that you are sorry for."
So, yesterday on the drive home, I thought about how thankful I was to all of the people who helped the show go off, without a hitch. Then, it occurred to me, "Should I not be doing things that I so often have to say I'm thankful for?"
There is a point, isn't there? That you have to stop and ask yourself why you are in a position to thank people, so often? Yikes!
I have no voice left. It's scratchy and weak. I drank tea with lemon all night, and gargled with salt water. I am so weak after this "week"! I slept like a rock in my own bed. Thank GOD for my own bed! I don't think I moved one inch from the moment that I passed out, to the moment I woke to my alarm. That's funny, too. I usually wake up right before my alarm. Not this morning! My body just wanted to stay there forever!
I have to catch up, and I'm low on meds after the guy at the hotel misunderstood me. He emptied all of my meds into the garbage, instead of just not spilling my milkshake. He was deaf, and I opened the fridge and showed him. He acted as if he understood, and then went to totally clean my fridge out. Argh! Meds all gone!
It was funny, actually. I had to laugh. I couldn't blame him. He was deaf. I just smiled when I saw it, and told him thank you.
Ah... life on the road....
Gotta get going'.

 

February 16th

I have a new resident, here at the Kilchis house. I still haven't found a name for him, but he has found his way to my bed! He's soft, oh, so soft!...and did I tell you how soft he is?
You know, when I go in search of a teddy bear for someone, it takes me forever. I have to sort through them all, giving each one a hug to find the softest one. They make bears so differently than they did when I was little. They are incredibly huggable! Irresistible, actually! So what if I'm mid forties? I still love stuffed animals!
Well, without even shopping for one, I received the softest, most incredible Valentine bear on Valentine's Day! And from someone I certainly didn't expect! Two old time ifishers have found each other, and they are incredibly happy spending time together!
There is a red heart on the bear's neck. On it, engraved, it reads, "Thank you, Cupid!" Enclosed is a card, saying thank you for starting ifish!
Now, doesn't that beat all? I've been thanked for all of the fishing friends people have found, but never until now, for playing match maker! Fun!
Maybe I should start a new forum-- ifishfriends.com!
They also sent a dozen pink roses. Do you know that deep pink roses express "Thank you?" There is a list of traditional meanings of rose colors, posted here.
Anyhow, I had a wonderful Valentine's Day. Probably my best, yet. Do you know the trick? Expect nothing! That I did, and I now have enough chocolate on my kitchen counter to overdose on! I'm well on my way! I have flowers! I have cards! I have a teddy bear! But, most of all, and most importantly, I have love!

Yesterday mid day, Charter cable went down. This means that not only did I not have access to the internet, but I had no television, either. Talk about a shock to the family system around here! Absolute quiet and two kids at home! Two kids who are used to being constantly wired. I guess I'm guilty, also!
I was laying in bed, laptop in lap, trying to catch up on a few things, and my TV went "ZSHHHH!" and my connection died. Hm.
"Andrew?" I yelled downstairs.
"Yes... mine too, Ma!"
Hm. Silence spread heavy through the house.
I leaned over and grabbed a book, thinking that it would be back, momentarily. I read three chapters.
I went for a walk.
I cooked something good to eat.
Time slowly ticked by.
I lay down for a nap.
I heard the clock. Tick. Tick. Tick....
I heard Andrew downstairs, thumbing his bass guitar, pacing the floor of his room, as the beat vibrated under my feet. We were unplugged in a new way.
When I woke, the cable was still out. I took Kilchis for a walk on the river. I sat in the lawn chair for a long time, and stared deep into the water, hoping to see a random steelhead pass by. But, the water was too low and the sun high in the sky. My chances were slim. The fish were hiding, spooked by the light of day.
David came home from school. I invited him to clean his room. Earlier, I had a tornado in his room, throwing all out of place items (you know, pop cans, two week old half eaten pop tarts, empty bowls of leftover cereal under the bed... the usual David stuff...) all in one pile in the center of the room. Did you know we had tornadoes in Tillamook?
I didn't have the T.V. or the computer to compete with my direct orders. I thought I was in luck. I thought it would get done!
Somehow, though, he chose this time to chat with me. I had the time to listen, and found the chat refreshing. How long since we had talked like this? Hey! There was nothing else to do, right?!
The room didn't get cleaned.
Later found us all in the kitchen. We found something to laugh about, and believe me, I hadn't laughed like that in ages! I don't even remember what it was, but I was absolutely doubled over! The term 'bust a gut' was scaring me! Hey! Life without wires is pretty fun! I just hoped I didn't blow an aorta!
As darkness approached, I tried the remote again. No luck. Just fuzz. I called the cable company. No ETA. I asked what happened. She guessed a million things.. Power line down, car hit a pole, major malfunction... and finally came up with "Evil squirrels."
Darned squirrels, anyhow. The quiet continued.
I grabbed my book and returned to chapter 11. Darkness fell, and the most beautiful stars appeared. I went out to my bedroom deck. I could still hear Andrew playing his bass and to the open window below, I yelled, "Hey, &roo! &ROOOOOO!"
"Huh?" I heard him poke his head out of the window.
"Come up and look at the stars with me!"
We stood quiet on the back deck in the bright of a moonlit night in the freezing cold, staring in wonder at the thick blanket of stars.
I broke out with a tune playing in my head, and sang...
Starry, starry night
(Paint your palette blue and gray
Look out on a summer's day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul
Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills (oh yeah!)
In colors on the snowy linen land)
- JOSH GROBAN

I quietly returned to my bed, and Andrew to his. David had been fast asleep since right past dinner. I heard him rise. The house was incredibly quiet. Not a bass plugged in, not a television. Not a radio. Just the extreme hush of a Kilchis river winter's night.
No wind stirring
No rain.
The river, low and hushed.
The blanket of stars suspended from a black canopy of night muffled yet more, the river's quiet song.
Just as I settled in again, I opened my book and a chorus of coyotes began an eerie territorial serenade.
They weren't 20 seconds audible, when Kilchis joined them on the porch, his nose to the sky, howling! The chill down my spine quickly turned to hysterics, as Kilchis sang along! I darned best not let him out, no matter how badly he wanted to join his friends!
I did a quick check to make sure my cats were in, as I listened. It went on, forever! Kilchis is hoarse, now.
The telephone broke my attention. It was Jim Martin, asking me to go fishing. Me! Not Bill, but me! (Me! Me! Me!) He took Bill last week, and they had a grand time. Now, it was my turn! Mine!
Do you even know how long I've wished to fish with Jim Martin? Do you know that I could listen to this man talk about fish for hours, given the chance? Do you know how much I admire him? I think you do, now! He's my all time fish hero! His knowledge is incredible!
...and he wanted to fish a river that I adore! Visions of sugar plums danced in my head as I thought of sunshine, and bright shining fishes, and eternal youthful days past, when I used to fish with so many friends... and I had free time and energy to go often, and all day, and... Well? Imagine my heartbreak as I heard myself telling him I could not go.

Why on earth did I do that? I sat, puzzled and so heartbroken!
Am I in a rut? Well, yes. I think so.
But, besides that suspicion, I also know that Jim Martin has got more energy stored up and packed in that body than anyone I know of.
There is no way I could keep up with that, let alone endure the complete embarrassment of not being able to help him with anything! I can't row. I can't pull the anchor. I can't very well even walk and I shouldn't fight a fish! Who is this new girl?...and I haven't tested it, but I don't know that I could last 8 hours on any river, anymore! Oh! The horrors I would have, if I wimped out mid way! What on earth would I do? I don't ever want anyone to see me wimpy! Ever!
You have no idea the trips I have passed up, since that fateful day, on December 9th, 2004.
Wow. It's weird to have lived one life, and to be met head on with another. I mean, I've always been challenged, but since my surgery, it's a whole new thing. I'm still learning to deal with it, let alone deal with it in front of other people. I used to fish so much, and with so many people. I have such great memories of so many great days! I don't want those to end!
I'm just going to have to kick myself in the backside and learn how to explain to people that it is what it is. I am, what I am... and go anyway, right? I'm sure that day will come. I'm just still learning how to deal with it. We only live once! I've allowed myself to miss out on a great memory. Life is so short! Dangit! I knew that as I heard myself say no to Jim.
I so wished I had just said, "You know that I am not as able..." and tried to explain it. I'm sure he'd understand. Right? After all, I hate to say I'm disabled. I'm just not totally able!
I'm just still feeling like a drag to be around. Not as much as I was, but still a bit. I can't think of the word... but I'm not feeling like an asset to others! I'm still getting used to having to ask my kids to carry the laundry upstairs for me!
It'll get better, and I will fish with others, again. Just give me time. I have alot to accept, here. Somehow I know that others will be able to accept it easier than I am. I just have to give it a shot and see for myself.
So, here I sit. It's nearly 10:00 in the morning, and I'm still in my robe. I'm typing on ifish, mailing out Kwikfish, and writing my column. My internet connection is back. My TV is on.
I'm going to turn everything off for a while, and take Kilchis down to the river... and when I get back? I may just not turn them back on.
And next time, Jim? (and everyone else I've made excuses to!) I'm going to just say yes. After all, how bad would it be to have to play my fish for me, if I poop out? Bill certainly hasn't complained, yet!

 

February 20th

This morning, in the hush, still quiet of morning, tiny snowflakes fell from the sky. The birds were singing outside my window. I have to go crack the ice in the bird bath, but I don't want to wake up the morning! It's so still! Tiny little frozen flakes float from the sky, ever so gracefully! They are too tiny to accumulate, and I suppose that is alright. I'm satisfied with the flakes! I've gotten to see them twice this year. Each time I ran to the kids room, and woke them. "Andrew! Wake up! Look outside! David! Quick! Look!"
A chill snuck into my office, though. I had to get out my faithful friend, the Heatdish. It's glowing and warming my legs, now. I wish the fire's warmth would reach me, in the office, but it has trouble reaching around corners. The plug in heater is just an electrical extension of it's warmth. I pretend it's fire, but it's not quite the same. There is a comfort and warmth to the feel of fire that is difficult to reproduce.
I think I'm tired of hotels. I was glad to crawl under the down comforter in my own bed when I came home from the Salty Dog Convention. Did I tell you that I bought a feather bed on ebay for 20 dollars? It's beautiful! I think I got a steal! Now I have a foam pad and a feather pad! It's so poofy that the kids laughed at me when they saw it. Poor Kilchis can hardly make it to bed at night. Dee Dee has all but given up. They think it's a conspiracy. It is! However, when Kilchis ever does make it, he's in pure heaven! So am I!
The convention was wonderful. I'm so lucky to be a part of the community the Salty Dogs has built. What a wonderful group of people! I was mesmerized by Depoe Bay Dan's film of a rough day at Depoe, where the charters were coming in. I was even sent home with a copy! I watched it when I got home, too. It's amazing! People pay to do that? Yikes! Just more reason for me to stay out of the salt!
However, once upon a time, Jen (Ocean Blue) described to me in detail, some of the things she loves about the ocean. I don't recall her exact words, but it left me with a forever and detailed dream of dolphins leaping next to a racing boat, of pods of whales breaching and spouting, and somehow... it gets me to feeling so free and full of life's spirit, that I imagine myself dancing on deck, with salt in my hair, and feeling light and breezy. I often drift off to sleep with this image in my mind. That is why people pay for charters, I'm sure. Not for the danger of coming into port in 18 foot swells! I much prefer and preserve Jen's description!
And it is these people that gathered... these 'dogs' that dance on the ocean with whales and dolphins all around, that gathered in Newport this weekend to celebrate their love for the ocean.
They have spirit, I'll tell you!
They all sport Salty Dog Decals, (that you can purchase, here!) and they all keep in touch on the ocean, and they can be heard calling GPS coordinates to one another for miles around on the radios, at sea.
I joined them for dinner, only. They had classes all day. Classes to keep them safe, to teach them operational skills, and to introduce safety and other fishing gear.
By the time I caught up with them, you'd expect them to be weary, after such a long day. Not the Salty Dogs! They were still going full steam ahead, and after dinner was over, I'd bet that some of them carried on, well into the night. I think they are used to it. After all, a full day on the ocean for tuna is not half over once you get to port. It is then, that the carking parties commence! Yet, after that, you'll find some of them stirring up big batches of fresh tuna ceviche in the parking lot! I'm not sure, and I haven't seen it myself, but I believe there is also some ritual stories involving whole fifths of tequila. Perhaps I'm wrong. I don't think so!
I know I'm not cut out to be a Salty Dog, myself... but I can dream, and I do!
Last night, as I lay in my bed, Jen's words echoed in my mind. I was taken to that place, out in the ocean. I lay on my bed, high atop my foam pad, (sea foam?) and my feather bed... (seagull down?), fatigued to the point where I could easily imagine my room a boat, rocking and swaying to the lull of the ocean waves... You know that feeling when you've been on the water all day, and the waves just keep rolling, even after you have hit land?
Kilchis was so lost in the feather bed at my feet, that he was hidden. We were like two boats lost in long, slow, separate swells.
I drifted off into a world where the sea creatures play all around me. And, in my sleep, I have no handicap, and I am free to dance on the deck with my hair blowing in the wind... and as night falls, I join the crew on deck.
A thick blanket of stars overhead, and a quiet and calm ocean surrounds me. Deep sleep robs reality as gently as the lapping of the waves and as constant as the rhythmic output of water flowing through the scuppers.
And then, to wake to a day like this... Oh! A quiet, still day... with nothing going on at ifish... no show, no convention, no doctors appointments, no upcoming Holiday!... Just a fresh, clean week to enjoy the world-- with snow falling, nonetheless!!!
Ahhhh, But this is life!!! And I am alive to live it, and that, my dear friends, is no salty dream!

 

February 21st

We are always in wait, aren't we? Waiting for something! We wait, instead of living for today.
Well, I suppose I should give up the wait on snow, for yet another winter.
I keep waiting and wishing for a white blanket over everything. You know, that blanket that puts a hush on the forest... I love that!

That's why I so love this graphic! I can't wait, each fall, to put it up on the ifish front page. And when I take it down and replace it with spring flowers, that means I'm done wishing for snow..
Without the possibility of snow, I doubt I'd love winter so much. There is always that chance, you know! It could snow!
It could still! I heard something on the television about another Alaska front coming in. Gee. It's my Birthday on the 23rd. Can you imagine what that would be like? Snow on my Birthday? Epic! Like winning the lottery! It's never happened! It's something to grin and dream about, but the chances are slim, and about that of winning the lottery!
Speaking of the lottery, I don't do lottery tickets in general, but I did for the eve before my Birthday! I bought four of them, for the 22nd. Can you imagine if I won? As I stood at the counter holding them in my hand, I listened to the girls talk about someone who won 800 thousand, and I thought, if I were to win 800 thousand... what would I do?
What would you do? Think about it!
If a person won the big one, well, that kind of takes the dream out of it for me. No question. Everyone would quit work, buy houses, play, and travel. I hear that sometimes that much money can ruin your life. But 800 thousand?
I didn't even have time to think about it. I'd buy freedom! The certainty hit me so fast I was shocked. I'd give away ifish! Flat out, give it away! Ready, set...!
I'd most likely give it to Pete, since Pete knows how to run it, and has a passion for it, like I do. www.ifish.net couldn't go to just anyone. The right person would have to have passion and history and also, the admin know-how. My kids could 'run' ifish, but they lack the passion for fishing. That wouldn't work.
Then, I would buy myself the best health insurance money could buy! That would tickle my fancy and secure my insecurities.
Thirdly, I would drive straight to the airport and hop a plane for someplace warm. No reservations, no plans! Giving up on snow in Oregon for the winter, I'd go straight for the beaches of Hawaii or someplace warm and clean, where they serve you foo-foo drinks with paper umbrellas, and all I'd do all day would be to read books, take dips in pools, eat fantastic food, get massaged and painted toe nailed, and read more good books!
When I returned home, I would hold my Kilchie-dog tight, walk on the river, and come back to the house. I'd sit down at the computer, open up my writing program, and write all about it... on www.ifish.net! (Pete would hold that place for me, I'm certain! I'd insist!) I never want to be without my place on ifish. Ever.
So, really... if I close my eyes and dream, I can win the lottery without winning! I can go all of those places, and pretty much do everything in my dreams that I could do with actual money from the lottery. Things like going to Hawaii all end up dreams and memories, anyhow, and the Kilchis river is where I'd like to end up. Right here, writing here.
All in all, I don't think that 800 thousand would change my life so much. I'd have everything that I could dream of, but in the end, I'd be right back where I am right now! Just a little differently situated, and perhaps more secure. But really, what is security? Health insurance is a good thing, but it sure doesn't ensure good health!
Now, if I could buy my way out of Andrew and I having Marfan Syndrome... now there is a lottery winnings!
People think I'm nuts, but frankly, the happiest I've been in my life, is when I've had the least money. I'll never forget being so poor in my life, that I was excited to walk to the store to buy a can of Comet to scrub my sinks. I was overjoyed! I had just the right amount of money! Scrubbing that sink brought me so much happiness, that day! When I am able to duplicate that feeling in my present day life, I know I've won something!
I think I'll book a half hour in a tanning booth, today. I'm going to close my eyes and take a trip to a warm sunny beach, somewhere.
My winter daphne is in bloom, and it smells so good! There are daffodils around the yard, and camellias down the way, all bright and flowery, in full bloom. Spring is on the way, I'm certain!
But I'm still waiting and hoping, and my snow graphic is still on ifish! It could snow, still! Snow on my Birthday? Epic! Like winning the lottery!
But... lottery winnings can't buy snow, and can't buy that 'Comet' of happiness.
Still, I'm not ready to throw away my lottery tickets.
800 thousand dollars sounds kinda fun. Doesn't it?

 

February 24th

Wow! What a surprise! Blue skies, as far as my eyes can see! Little white whispy cloudlets rest in between the trees, just barely brushing the tops. It's really pretty out, but brrr! Is it ever cold!
I can't wait for tea time! My son Andrew, a girlfriend and I are going to La Tea Da! If you haven't been, you are missing out! It's wonderful!


The La Tea Da experience!

We have the high tea experience, which is found, here. Oh! It's so fun!
Anyhow-- that's what I'm up to. It's a Birthday thing. You do know that Birthdays last a whole week or more, don't you? Well, mine does.
OK, want to hear about Chapter 6 in Jennie's goof ups? Sure you do.
So... I go out to cast a couple casts. The only pool that is available for fishing is a wide, deep spot in the river. There is probably no fish there, but hey-- a girl has to hope, right?
So, I get there and I get ready to cast and ohhhhhhh! The smell! There has just got to be a dead fish around here, someplace. Yuck! I can barely stand it! I look around, and there are no dead fish. Weird! I call Kilchis to my side, to see if he's been rolling in one. I couldn't identify him as the source. Wow, that's some bad stuff. What a mystery.
I cast a couple, and the smell faded a bit. I didn't catch anything, so Kilchis and I left for sweeter smelling activities.
Fast forward to two days later.
Same thing. I head for the only deep pool in the river. I get ready to cast, and ugh! Oh! Yuck! That smell again! It was awful! I again searched the nearby landscape for the source. I climbed high on a rock to peer between other rocks. Nothing! Ish, it was just awful this time! Worse than before!
I left. I couldn't take it!
So, yesterday I returned, forgetting fully about the mystery stank. I arrived at the spot and began to get situated. My rod was poised and ready to hook into the big one. I adjusted my jig, and just about fell over. It hit me like a wall of rot. I nearly fell over. This was bad. This was really bad!
Just as a person loses things and tries to recover them, I retraced my actions and tried to locate the smell.
OK. It happens right here. I looked around me. Nothing.
OK, it happens right when I go to... Oh no. Don't tell me.
It happens right when I take my hand out of my pocket... oh dear.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen. It was I. I was the source of the stink!
Two weeks ago, Bill and I had been fishing. I am the type that doesn't carry a tackle bag or box. I prefer pockets. We were trying to divide up the sandshrimp, and I placed three live and wiry critters in an empty plastic worm bag.
As I ever so carefully placed my hand in my pocket, (You know, the same pocket that warmed my hands on the walk out, every time!) I daintily pulled out the plastic worm bag.
Dripping with rot, I was met with the most obnoxious item a girl could ever come face to face with!
And what to do with it? It's not like I could leave it there and litter!!! I had to carry it home with me to dispose of it!!!
Each step over the rocks was pure agony!
You know-- I love fishing coats! In each coat (and I have several!) that hangs in the tackle room, I have a pair of pliers.
My tackle coats are lined up, all ready to fish. One for each species, one for each style of fishing. I don't carry bags, or boxes. I carry tackle coats! I pick out my coat, throw a bit of bait into the pocket, and go! I'm always a 1/2 mile ahead of any of my partners that way, too!
Well, my steelhead coat went straight for the washer! I had to take my pliers and all of my tackle out of the stinky pocket and hand wash them! Oh, it was awful!!! I tried my best to totally turn off my olfactory system, but could not find the switch!
I'm not changing my coat/tackle system except for one thing. No more raw bait in the pocket. I hesitate to admit this, but... this has happened before.

Oh my! I have to get running! It's almost time for tea! Whatever shall I wear? The steelhead/drift/dead sandshrimp coat or the salmon/bobber one?
I'll have to go sniff and see.

February 25th

A very dear member of ifish once taught me a bigger lesson than I could possibly swallow. I do think, though, that it's sinking in.
When things get hectic moderating the board on ifish, out of the blue, he says, "But Jennie, what's for dinner?"
That'd always stop me cold and make me giggle.
In other words, what in the world does it really matter, anyway? What matters, is what's for dinner!
Truth be told in full, it all originated with a very missed member on ifish. "Crusty". Oh! I loved Crusty! He had a wonderful sense of humor, and I believe that Crusty was the first one ever, to ask me what was for dinner. He could tell when it was all getting to be too much for me, and appropriately shot me down with that question. By the way, where is Crusty, and what is for dinner?
Carrying the torch, however, was Bait O' Eggs. Now, there is an ifish member that has touched more lives than I can count.
Bait O' Eggs has been with ifish since, well, the Ifish.net control panel records it as
Reg Date: 04/16/00 12:00 PM
I think we should throw a celebration this year, on that date, at that exact time, for member number 26 on ifish: Bait O' Eggs! That's a long time! Almost seven years!
You'll hear him shouted down on the ocean radios as Roy, or simply "BOE", of the Salty Dogs. BOE has contributed more to ifish than any ordinary ifisher. He's put in time as a moderator, and served as a personal peacekeeper to my troubled, moderating soul. He's put on jetty fishery parties, and taken fellow ifishers out on the ocean, and taught many on ifish to create their own custom rods. The BBQ that you've cooked on at ifish functions were probably made by Roy, himself! He never ceases to amaze me with what he can and does do!
But, "What's for dinner?" puts things into perspective for me.
When I hear him repeat that phrase, I picture his lovely Mom. I imagine that she knows about food. She knows how to calm stresses. She knows how to cook things for growing boys and has done so for many years in her country kitchen in Tillamook. I can just imagine the wonderful things he must have grown up eating. Things that soothe the soul. Things smothered in gravy!
Those wonderful thoughts drive me to my own kitchen where really important things in life happen. You know... Food! Good food!
I drum my fingers on the cutting board in my kitchen, as I let all the troubles of ifish go. What would BOE's Mom be cooking, now? What is his wife cooking for him, as we speak? What will I cook?
Visions of fresh beef, or fresh fish on the BBQ! Fresh pies, and cakes, and rolls! Oh my!
It used to be so easy. Things lately have been a bit of a challenge in the kitchen. It seems that my dear son Andrew has decided once again to play vegetarian. That throws me for a loop, every time. Having to cook meat for some, and all veggies (and protein!) for another, well... that stifles my creativity a bit. It complicates things. Now, David, fast following in his brother's footsteps has decided this veggie thing might be for him, too.
Somehow it's hard for me to imagine that a pile of green beans is going to soothe anyone's anything.
"What's for dinner?" is getting complicated, now.
Now, don't get me wrong! I could become vegetarian, again, but that's not the point!
I have been vegetarian in the past. I spent my college days dining on tofu and veggies and brown rice nearly every night -- and cashews. I actually followed a mostly macrobiotic diet. More about that... well, probably never, and please, please, please, do not mention macrobiotics to my kids! It wouldn't at all bring the sense of peace I feel come over me when I hear, "What's for dinner!?"
It makes me giggle to think of buying Andrew the bumper sticker that says "Imagine whirled peas." After all, it's what's for dinner...
No... "What's for dinner" is about wonderful smells, and fattening homey foods. It's about pies, and cakes, and rich roasts of beef drizzled with dark brown gravies. Peas on the side, please.
What's for dinner is about forgetting the battles over the fisheries. It's about removing myself from personal issues on ifish, and who is dating who in a tangle of 'ifish' lines, and who thinks another member is throwing out partisan inflammatory comments, and who else now, is posting classified ads without contributing information to the collective ifish system.
But, as I skimmed through the list of problems in both my e mail, and the moderator board, I decided that the beauty of it all, is that "What's for dinner" can start before breakfast!
After just 20 minutes at the helm as both moderator and admin, I'm getting out the dang slow cooker. To heck with the vegetarians in the world, I have visions of something besides whirled peas, and I'm taking short term leave of any ifish responsibility for world peace, also!
"What's for dinner?"
Thanks, BOE! I'm smiling my way to the kitchen.

 

February 25th

A very dear member of ifish once taught me a bigger lesson than I could possibly swallow. I do think, though, that it's sinking in.
When things get hectic moderating the board on ifish, out of the blue, he says, "But Jennie, what's for dinner?"
That'd always stop me cold and make me giggle.
In other words, what in the world does it really matter, anyway? What matters, is what's for dinner!
Truth be told in full, it all originated with a very missed member on ifish. "Crusty". Oh! I loved Crusty! He had a wonderful sense of humor, and I believe that Crusty was the first one ever, to ask me what was for dinner. He could tell when it was all getting to be too much for me, and appropriately shot me down with that question. By the way, where is Crusty, and what is for dinner?
Carrying the torch, however, was Bait O' Eggs. Now, there is an ifish member that has touched more lives than I can count.
Bait O' Eggs has been with ifish since, well, the Ifish.net control panel records it as
Reg Date: 04/16/00 12:00 PM
I think we should throw a celebration this year, on that date, at that exact time, for member number 26 on ifish: Bait O' Eggs! That's a long time! Almost seven years!
You'll hear him shouted down on the ocean radios as Roy, or simply "BOE", of the Salty Dogs. BOE has contributed more to ifish than any ordinary ifisher. He's put in time as a moderator, and served as a personal peacekeeper to my troubled, moderating soul. He's put on jetty fishery parties, and taken fellow ifishers out on the ocean, and taught many on ifish to create their own custom rods. The BBQ that you've cooked on at ifish functions were probably made by Roy, himself! He never ceases to amaze me with what he can and does do!
But, "What's for dinner?" puts things into perspective for me.
When I hear him repeat that phrase, I picture his lovely Mom. I imagine that she knows about food. She knows how to calm stresses. She knows how to cook things for growing boys and has done so for many years in her country kitchen in Tillamook. I can just imagine the wonderful things he must have grown up eating. Things that soothe the soul. Things smothered in gravy!
Those wonderful thoughts drive me to my own kitchen where really important things in life happen. You know... Food! Good food!
I drum my fingers on the cutting board in my kitchen, as I let all the troubles of ifish go. What would BOE's Mom be cooking, now? What is his wife cooking for him, as we speak? What will I cook?
Visions of fresh beef, or fresh fish on the BBQ! Fresh pies, and cakes, and rolls! Oh my!
It used to be so easy. Things lately have been a bit of a challenge in the kitchen. It seems that my dear son Andrew has decided once again to play vegetarian. That throws me for a loop, every time. Having to cook meat for some, and all veggies (and protein!) for another, well... that stifles my creativity a bit. It complicates things. Now, David, fast following in his brother's footsteps has decided this veggie thing might be for him, too.
Somehow it's hard for me to imagine that a pile of green beans is going to soothe anyone's anything.
"What's for dinner?" is getting complicated, now.
Now, don't get me wrong! I could become vegetarian, again, but that's not the point!
I have been vegetarian in the past. I spent my college days dining on tofu and veggies and brown rice nearly every night -- and cashews. I actually followed a mostly macrobiotic diet. More about that... well, probably never, and please, please, please, do not mention macrobiotics to my kids! It wouldn't at all bring the sense of peace I feel come over me when I hear, "What's for dinner!?"
It makes me giggle to think of buying Andrew the bumper sticker that says "Imagine whirled peas." After all, it's what's for dinner...
No... "What's for dinner" is about wonderful smells, and fattening homey foods. It's about pies, and cakes, and rich roasts of beef drizzled with dark brown gravies. Peas on the side, please.
What's for dinner is about forgetting the battles over the fisheries. It's about removing myself from personal issues on ifish, and who is dating who in a tangle of 'ifish' lines, and who thinks another member is throwing out partisan inflammatory comments, and who else now, is posting classified ads without contributing information to the collective ifish system.
But, as I skimmed through the list of problems in both my e mail, and the moderator board, I decided that the beauty of it all, is that "What's for dinner" can start before breakfast!
After just 20 minutes at the helm as both moderator and admin, I'm getting out the dang slow cooker. To heck with the vegetarians in the world, I have visions of something besides whirled peas, and I'm taking short term leave of any ifish responsibility for world peace, also!
"What's for dinner?"
Thanks, BOE! I'm smiling my way to the kitchen.

February 26th

I can count the times. Thank God I can count the times! It is one, two, three times now, that I have had migraine headaches, or TIA, or whatever they are, that at the time, I truly believe are going to kill me. The doctors can't identify them, or I'd be in the E.R. begging for help. I truly feel like I want to die when they happen. Seriously! Where is Kavorkian when you need him?
Oh.... they are awful things! Call them what you may, but they make me want to die, or to just stay still and scream, but I can't, because that would hurt, worse! Inside me is a repressed, agonizing scream.
I have heard it said that if you have terrible pain, you should pound a hammer on your finger, and the existing pain goes away. I can see that. Got one?
I sat at the kitchen table in the dark this morning, ice pack on my neck. My fingers fumbled through the medicine chest. Give me anything. Aspirin, advil, stronger? I couldn't see at all out of my left eye, so I packed an eye patch with ice, and placed it over my eye. Worst of all, I'm still tired, having had no coffee. Pills fall on the floor, ice cubes skitter across the floors, I'm dropping everything and when I bend over, the pain is oh-so-worse!
Just call me the ice pirate in pain, and look out, cuz I'm really mean, too!
Over the top of my eye patch, I balance a pair of big, gaudy sunglasses to protect both eyes from any incoming light.
I swear, if light hit me, I'd shrivel into a little tiny ball and never come out.
After the above description, I'm sure that you can anticipate and appreciate the joy, the happy dance, and the singing that goes on, as the medicine starts to kick in, ice dripping from my chin, and the pain fades into it's evil residence.
I don't know if it's the ice, or the darkness, or the meds, but whatever relieved that pain... you are my hero!
If you knocked on my door at this very moment, you would be met by the most ridiculously happy woman in the world. Don't let the costume scare you!
There is nothing like relief from pain to make a weak woman waltz! And waltz I will!
Whooo hooooo! It's a wonderful, wonderful day!
Funny how fast our minds help us forget about pain. Amazing that even though I still have the normal pain left from my surgery, that I can feel so well, even though!
So, whatever or however badly you might be feeling this morning, celebrate! Believe me, it could be worse!

February 27th

I missed writing about it on Valentine's Day, but I did find this rock on Valentine's Day! Funny, because I wasn't even looking for rocks. I suppose it popped out at me because of Valentine's Day, though!
There is a bigger picture of it, here.
The rock is a perfect size for display on my coffee table. It's about 5 inches tall. I just adore it! It's as perfect as perfect can be!
Man, that migraine stuff really wears me out. I had three auras yesterday. Either that, or it was just one big long one that kept getting worse and then better. When I woke up, yesterday, I totally couldn't see out of my left eye. Then, it hit me. Yuck!
The doctor actually thinks that they are mini strokes, or TIA's. I had several, I guess, while in surgery for my aneurysm. That's just the way it goes during big heart surgeries.
Anyhow, while driving I got so dreadfully sleepy, that I kept having to pull over to nap. I have never had to do that! It was the most odd, groggy feeling! I slugged down two double lattes and I was still tired! I honestly feared for my life. I thought that I was just going to pass out and be done with it all. Thing is, I was so tired, I didn't care!
But, there is good news in all of this! I am so excited! I have five new servers for ifish in my car! Is that not amazing? They are all formatted and ready to be plugged in at Opusinteractive in Portland!!!
By the way, have you ever heard of Classmates.com? I think you probably have. I have been a free member for about 8 years. Since it looked like this! Does anyone besides me remember that??
Funny, because just a year ago, I began as a paying member. It's been worth it! So worth it! I have come into contact with several of my old classmates! I couldn't do that, as a free member.
Not only that, but I feel that good things come back to people who do good for others. Not long after I paid, they donated these servers to ifish. Coinkadink? I don't know! I don't care!
Anyhow, ifish member Reelfine contacted us to tell ifish that we now have 6 new servers, donated by Classmates.com to use at ifish!
We took delivery of them at the Sportsman Show, and Ifish moderator and member JustcallmeDave took them home, and has formatted them. (Thank you again, Dave!!!!) So, I drove to Astoria to meet with Dave and to pick them up. They are now ready to be hooked up, software installed, and sometime in the next month, put into service by Opusinteractive! Man, do we ever have a team to be thankful for, both on and off of ifish!
So, from the bottom of my heart...



Thank you!!!!!
(And thank you to my Heavenly Father for everything! For all of my friends, and for helping me to travel safely! And for helping me to stop that awful headache!!!)

FISHING THE COAST
A journal of my adventures.

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