The Coast, Oregon and Washington January
New Year from our home to yours!
Oh, yeah! I partied like the above pic,
One of these New Years, I must! It looks like fun, but I don't miss
the after feel! But, even one silly glass of bubbly would be fun!
But, not this year! This year, I made banana bread! That's what I
did! Banana bread and a really yummy navy bean soup.
It was good, but it was hardly celebratory!
That was fairly healthy of me, right? But, today... on this new day
of the new year, I'm going to eat everything I can that most people
have on their "do not eat" list. Ha! It's my New Years resolution!
Eat like there is no tomorrow!
I have been getting up really early, lately. I got up at 5 AM, just
like I used to, in days of old fishing days!
That means that by dinner time, I'm pooped! At five, it's wax on,
but at dinner time, it's totally wax off! I remember that I used to
take naps midday, when I used to wake early. Willy doesn't allow naps,
so I haven't been lately, and instead, I try to watch the news and
by 7, I'm out! That's what happened last night.
At five minutes till midnight, I felt a kiss on my cheek! No, it wasn't
Bill. I'm not in Tillamook, right now. It was David! He whispered,
"Mom, it's nearly New Years!" How sweet he is! I woke out
of this wonderful slumber into a good mood!
We watched the television as the ball dropped into a brand new year!
Funny, but when I woke up to make coffee this morning, I opened the
fridge and saw that he had bought some beer for his New Years celebration,
and there was none missing out of the six pack. I guess he failed
to celebrate, too!
Our neighborhood went a bit wild at midnight, and Willie ran outside
barking at the fireworks and festivities. David and I laughed about
it, thinking of him as an old grouchy guy, scolding the neighbors,
"You kids quiet down! Some people have to work in the
morning, you know?!" He really is quite strict, you
know. He was really giving it to them when an especially loud boom
shook the house. Uh oh! David and I predicted his expedient return,
and sure enough... in rushes Willie through the dog door, with one
fell swoop onto my bed. He settled in, and noted our suspicious expressions.
"What?" He looked from one to another of us. "I'm not
afraid! I just decided to let the kids party!"
Yeah, right Willie.
Being fully awake by then, I watched some show on TV until I got sleepy
again. Gosh, but there was nothing on the tube, last night! I fell
asleep both times to Hallmark movies. The Hallmark channel is my favorite.
It's always upbeat and has movies that end making you feel good. None
of that shoot 'em up murder mystery stuff for me, thanks!
When I'm at Tillamook, it's a completely different story. Bill watches
Law and Order and all those types of shows. Since I have little to
no control over the remote, that's what I watch, too. And, I have
to tell you, I do get into his shows, when I'm there! I have no choice,
if I want to escape to TV land. That's how I stop thinking about work
or stresses that are bothering me.
My home here in Oregon City is a bit of a retreat for me. I have complete
control over my remote! Muhahahahaha!
Regardless of that, I still miss Tillamook. It's beyond time for me
to go back home, but I have a doctor's appointment on the fourth.
It would be silly to go back, and have to turn right around and go
to Portland, again. I'll make it to the fifth, and then I can stay
in Tillamook for a longer period of time.
I think if I'm going to sell the house in the New Year, I should really
wait till Spring when the flowers are in bloom, and the lawn looks
Frankly, I dream that I can somehow, some day afford to keep this
house, but it's not looking positive. Life would be much easier for
me, if I sold the house. Even the small mortgage I have to pay adds
up to too much, and especially when things break down.
Oh! I have to tell you! I am getting so good at fixing things! It's
so exciting! My ice maker keeps going out in my freezer. The ice cubes
won't release. It's a Samsung, and I have done massive research on
why this is happening. But, what happens is that the ice won't release
when the tray turns over, so that when the water flows back into refill
it, that water just goes on top of the ice cubes, and makes a ice
avalanche, or what I joke is an "Ice-alanche". The entire
freezer is full of water which freezes everything together! It's a
mess. This is the fourth time it's gone out.
Instead of calling Sears, this time, I simply got on google, found
the part number, ordered it from Appliancepartspro.com and fixed it
myself! I didn't even have to find a youtube video! I just did it!
But, after I did it, I looked to make sure I did it right, and I did!
Here is the video I found.
I'm so proud of me! "Mike" had the same problem I did! So,
instead of it costing me three hundred, it cost me less than one hundred!
I have fixed so many things, since I bought this house. So has David!
The lawn mower, the stove, David actually fixed his car with the help
of the neighbor!
Anyhow, it sure is gratifying!
Gosh, the wind is blowing so hard, this morning! Stay safe out there!
Anyhow... Off I go into the New Year! I hope you have the best of
all years, this year! I hope you catch your biggest steelhead! I hope
you fill your tag, and most of all, I hope you get someone else into
fishing and help others know the rush of doing what we love most!
It is absolutely colder than a well digger hiney out
I can't even seem to get myself to walk my dog!
Yesterday I went to the grade school to walk Willie, and my oh my...
the wind was so strong that I couldn't stand up, and I was afraid
that if I fell, I'd crack like an ice cube! My lips, my teeth, my
face was frozen! It's ice on the fishing line weather!
I seem to have a clock that lines me up with walking the track at
the same time as a friend of mine. We have no communication, but we
show up at the same time! I love that! We both mumbled about the cold,
and cut our walks way short!
My friend has more endurance than I do, and walks miles, religiously
every day. Miles! I walk slowly and not nearly so far or long. I feel
quite competent when I'm able to walk as fast as them, and talk without
being winded! I try, though. I do!
Stay warm, and I wonder... (Secretly hoping, even though others may
growl) if it's going to snow later this week? Muhahahaha.
That is what I came home to!
PSS... I fixed it! (If you want the video larger, click on the video one
time, anywhere on the screen, and then click on the small box, lower
right hand side. It will go full screen. To close it, hit your "escape"
I'm so tired, today, I don't even know why I'd try to
write! Revvie was up all night scratching her body and shaking her
head. Time for flea meds and a thorough ear cleaning. Like, every
day for the next week!
Both dogs have ear troubles, here at the river, as they are always
swimming. But, Revvie, especially, which is weird, because Willie
is the one with the long, floppy ears!
It was so neat to talk to the eagle, above. I mean, he wouldn't move!
The video is the second time I went down to talk to him, and he still
stayed a while! He was in that branch for the longest time! I treasure
these moments! Magic!
Here is one more video, below. The one where David and I were playing
in the snow, on Christmas Eve! Fun!
We had so much fun!
OK, one more! This is so weird! This is my pet song
bird at the Oregon City house! He comes almost every morning to listen
to me sing. I feel sorry for him, as I cannot sing worth beans, but
he seems to enjoy it!
Enjoy your day!
Having fun with videos... plunking for Christmas!
I was asked how we rigged up gooeys for bank dogging. :) It's pretty
basic, but it's here.
A little yarn for stink. (That sounds crude!) Quarter ounce weight,
about 18-30 inches up.
It was confusing to me, because it won, but then people
didn't seem to like it, and some actually made sport of it. They wrote
to me, saying they wouldn't buy it, and commented on the board, the
same. But, it's awesome, and NOW they want it! Better
order yours, because it's selling out!
frosty foggy wet gray low-water, still feels like Monday..
Yep. That's what is happening.
I can't really get excited about fishing, as there is hardly any water.
It's cold out there! I guess I could take a few shots at bank-dogging.
It's my new thing. I just throw it out a couple times in the deepest
slots and try to pick off the easy fish.
Yeah. I'll do that.
For Christmas, I bought Bill a gold pan and some dirt from Gold
Rush, the TV show. I put a link on Gold Rush, in case you want
one. They are cool!
I'm forever trying to prove to Bill that Christmas is for fun!
He's the practical sort, you know. Underwear, toothpaste, socks...
That's what he got when he was a child, and still expects in his stocking.
Yeah. Those things are all fine and well, but Christmas is fun, Bill!
Let's pan for gold!
I fill his stocking with candy, lottery tickets, fun things!
Frankly, I think I made a mistake raising my kids to think that the
entire world was a wonder-playground of fun. But, Bill is an adult,
and he knows that life can be harsh. I can spoil him without ill effect.
Sadly, my kids learned the hard way about life. That is one heck of
a wake up call, to become an adult, and find things so difficult.
My Mom once mentioned that she thought I was going a bit over board
with the Disney life style that I portrayed for my kids.
In winter time I'd fill the plastic pool with warm water in the living
room. I even made sandy egg salad sandwiches, and lay out beach towels
on those days. It was so fun! I loved having little kids!
I was in on it, too. Meaning that I thought the entire world could
be fun! Should be fun!
Did my own Mother instill that in me? Did she see the error of her
ways, and then see them in me?
But, seeing your kids so giddy and happy is infectious!
How do you prepare children for the ugliness in life? The bullies?
The deaths of pets or loved ones? Financial stress?
I dealt with all of those things as I raised my kids, but I guess
I sort of hid those realities, and instead, escaped with them to a
summer festival beach in the living room in winter time.
Hey, kids! No matter the reality, let's go swimming!
Anyhow, what's done is done.
There's no hurt in trying to convince Bill that Christmas is a fun
time. He'd absolutely throw a fit if I filled the pool in the living
room! I won't do that...
But, he does like his gold panning kit, and by golly, that's what
we will do, today!
To heck with reality, let's go find some gold!
It could happen! Just dream!
Today is the day, and God has given me so much to do
that I can't possibly even think about it. "It" is at 9:00.
It's now 7:00 AM, and I am a busy bee!
"It" is a repeat mammogram, after the doc assured me my
last one was good. Then, on Christmas eve, I got an unwanted present.
While sitting by the lit Christmas tree, reading Christmas cards and
feeling very nostalgic and merry, I came to a letter from the hospital.
"We found some areas of ..." I can't even think of the stupid
words, but it said there were changes, and I had to go back for retesting.
WHAT?! No fun on Christmas eve, or ever!
I had been SO relieved! This was the five year test, and if you are
clear of triple negative cancer for five years, the medical profession
sees you almost as cancer free! DANG! No more dancing in my head over
being cancer free and back I go... THIS MORNING! AGH.
OK... onto the good news!
What a crowd! I recall the many times Bill prepared
for these meetings, and came home a bit disheartened when only three
people showed up, or something. Sometimes he was so frustrated, he
thought of giving it up. But, with the help of his loyal friends,
they have been having outrageous crowds! I am SO proud of all of the
boys keeping this Steelheader group alive!
Last night, (Quote from George Buckingham)
"Terry Mulkey was again our speaker last night. He actually showed
people how to tie egg loops, make slinkies and several other steelhead
rigging techniques even one on one with many people He did a fabulous
Whoo hooo! Just goes to show you that if you believe in something,
keep at it! No matter what! Bill started this back up in memory of
Erickson. Jim would be so proud!
You know, I still think of Jim at least once a day. Sometimes some
people just glue to your soul.
There are so many people that have helped Bill grow this group, or
I'd name them here. But, thank you, you guys! You rock!
Off I go to the shower/... (with no deodorant, no soaps or perfumes!
LOL) And off to the squeeze machine! Wish me luck or send prayers!
I just can't imagine even one more medical hurdle!
Oh! I woke up this morning and opened the door to let the dogs out
and the river sounds huge! Can't wait for daylight to see! Is it fishable?
I think so!
Well, looks like it's time for a biopsy.
That's all I have to say about that, except that they weren't worried
about the "fibroglandular densities"... they were concerned
over the calcification, or whatever.
They did another enlarged scan, and are concerned.
I'm going to go to OHSU to get to the bottom of this. For some reason,
though, I have the peace that passeth understanding.
It's all going to be fine.
Wow. One day the weather people say "Prepare for rain every day this week!" and then the next day blue skies prevail!
I wonder if they know how much they affect our moods, those weather people. I mean, I mentally prepare for rain with a deep sigh, dreaming of rain boots and plastic coats. Then, I wake up to sweaters and sweat shirts! Whooppee!
Maybe I missed something, but I sure thought they said I'd have a week of rain!
In their professional defense; two things... I have heard that the Pacific Northwest is one of the most difficult places to predict the weather, and.. I didn't listen to the news last night!
Instead of "weather people" though, I think they should be called "mood predictors". You know, better than those mood rings of the seventies!
Bill and I were talking about how we wished they would explain the mistakes, instead of breezing over them with a new and different forecast. What happened? Why did it happen? (And it DID happen, by the way!) We are interested and we aren't going to heave spit balls your way. At least, very often.
I am supposing that Bill is home with a beautiful river to be fished. I'm in Oregon City, and I'm stuck here for a while. That sinks my mood quite a bit. In fact, yesterday I was as blue as blue could be! Wow, was I having a pity party!
I wanted so badly to be out on the river, fishing.
I did not once take Willie out for a walk, or to the park. I didn't go to church, as I'd planned.
The best I did was to bundle up in a blanket, and sit outside to sing to Willie, while he ran circles. He doesn't care, really. As long as I am paying him full attention, and he gets to exercise. David took him out to the park for a couple hours.
It's disgusting how much Willie runs our lives. He must feel all powerful.
I have never had a dog quite so powerful. He leads our lives, which are now very limited to taking care of his every need and wish. I can say that without any forecast of change, either. It just is. I have no life but what he commands!
People say that he has my number, and he does. It's a fact!
Am I going to change that? No.
Am I going to try? Not a chance. It's not about "Willie is my dog", but rather "I am Willie's person."
I mean, why else would I be out in 20 degree weather, bundled up in blankets, with my fingers frozen fast to a flashlight, singing "I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart..." at six in the morning, while my dog joyfully runs laps?
Believe me, the song is not that convincing at that time of the morning.
I do wonder though, what the neighbors must think. I try to sing quietly, but sometimes my voice runneth over to their house, I'm sure. :)
I was a bit surprised how well I took the news about my biopsy. I think I spent yesterday doing the blues about it, and now we march onward. It is what it is, and God has everything planned out. So, why worry? God has this one!
It is so comforting to know that from the moment I get out of bed, until the time I fall asleep, I don't need to worry or fret. God has me. :) How do people do it, otherwise? I can't imagine!
That's what gives me the peace that passeth understanding.
I have some friends that are atheists, and they think it's a crutch. Who cares? It's like a placebo, I guess. If it works, it works!
I don't know if it is the blue skies that I woke to this morning that shocked me out of my blues, or if it is the peace that passeth understanding- or both! But, I'm happy to be alive, this morning! Yay!
I'm going to finish my ifish work, and take Willie to the puppy park.
My biopsy is on the 27th, (I think.) I can make it here in Oregon City until then. Day by day will pass with peace until I'm home on the river, once again!
Oh, my! I forgot to upload yesterday's column-diddy. Here it is, below!
David James Duncan
I fell in love when I was 26 years old with a man who wooed me with hand picked flowers, poetry, and bedtime stories. We spent much of our time visiting rivers along the coast of Oregon. He scratched out love notes on bits of paper and as the sun fell, he read to me from his favorite books.
His copy of "The River Why" wore like a well read bible. The front cover was missing.
That love expired, but I still have that book, and those hand picked flowers still remain, pressed in between the pages.
I can't tell you the number of times new friends of mine have been created by the words, "Have you read "The River Why?" I know instantly that I have a common bond, and a new friend when I hear those words. People in love with fish read this book. Most have the same passion for rivers and streams and the earth, as I do. These people are by far my favorite people.
I have several copies of "The River Why."
I did a search on ifish for, "The River Why" It's linked hundreds of times. Quotes from Duncan's books grace our members signatures and are memorized and loved.
I often receive this book in the mail as a present from ifish members. "Have you read this book, Jennie?" the notes ask. I write thank you's and save each copy. No one can have too many copies of the River Why.
One for the bathroom, one by my bed, one for my children and one for friends. You know, I too am known to ask, when the time is right, that very intimate of all questions between anglers and lovers of our rivers and streams,
"Have you read, "The River Why?"
Over 60 thousand people have signed up on ifish. Each one of us shares a common bond. One that has potential for a close friendship, and it's all based around the common desire to spend every minute that we can by water.
We argue amongst ourselves regarding how best to preserve what we love, but one thing we all agree on is that it needs to be done, and now.
I keep coming back to the fact that technology solutions have been tried since the 1700's yet salmon populations in Europe and England and the East Coast have never recovered. Haven't we proved that these ideas don't work?
We need natural habitat to support fisheries or we will lose them.
We can't raise fish in concrete runs.
We can't operate rivers to benefit hydro-electric generation.
We can't sprinkle pesticides and fertilizers on our lawn.
-and we can't cut the forests that moderate the little streams that feed the rivers and expect to keep our fisheries. You and I have to work to protect the things our fish rely on.
If we don't, there will be no reason to come together on ifish.net. It'll be just a silly web site with nothing to talk about. Soon, it will be too late, and there will be no reason to gather, as we do.
We gather to fish in our beautiful rivers. I am taken by the numbers of us! It gives me hope. I am encouraged to think there are so many, working together. We gather to learn the best ways so that we can help spread the message.
Each one, Teach one.
It is neat to know that I don't even have to ask you, "Have you read, "The River Why?"
I know the answer. And I know that you are by far, my favorite people!
Dennis Stewart and I, way back when...
I'm kind of speechless. I am pretty sure I have had a breast biopsy before, but I just read about them on the net, and I'm ready to cancel. These women sound like it's atrocious, painful, and scary! Is it? I don't recall it being so bad.
The whole thing, this entire week has been crazy and busy. Appointments and things to do, each day, and besides that, the worry that breast cancer is back. Do I do this to myself? Make appointments and be busy, just so that I don't have to think about it? Perhaps.
I haven't been to the river in almost two weeks. Things are just scheduled that way.
So much of me just doesn't want to deal with health issues any more. I just want to forget whatever they think I have, and unless something really bad happens, like I lose my eyesight, or my aorta blows, I just want to be left alone.
My sister keeps saying that I'm like a cat except I have more lives. I've been through so much, and I can live through more, too! I like her thinking!
When I tell people I know that I might not even do chemo if I do have cancer, they seem to understand, instead of revolt. I hope that is because they know I have been thru so much, and not because they just don't care! LOL.
So, if I'd do nothing, why even have a biopsy? See? I can talk myself right out of this!
My scheduled biopsy is tomorrow. Do I go? I'm planning on it, but that could change!
Today I have breakfast with my sisters at Babica Hen. It's our annual Birthday bash that we have for each and every one of us when our special day rolls around.
After that, I have a scheduled meeting in Aloha.
At this point, at 6 in the morning, all I want to do is shoot to the time that I come home, get in my comfy clothes and relax!
Willie doesn't at all care for these busy times. Our schedule is really interrupted. No walkie! No dog park. It just isn't fair, is it, Willie? I don't think so, either.
I know I will have fun at breakfast, but I'd so much rather just have that appointment, and then come home!
The older I get, the more I just want to be a home body. I enjoy my plants, my yard, and at Bill's, the river, river, river!
A couple weeks ago I was out in my driveway in Oregon City, and my neighbor Scott was tinkering around with his boat. I think he'd just gotten back from fishing. I began the usual "how are you" talk, and all the sudden, a female voice! It was his new fishing gal, Portland!
I had heard a bunch about her, and how much she loves to fish and hunt. She was standing proud and tall (and beautiful, too!) in the middle of Scott's boat, and I was flooded with memories. That was me, one day! She was all bundled up against the cold. I was skimpily dressed in comparison, and shivered at the thought of being out on the river, that day. It was like two weeks ago, during a cold snap. Brrrr!
It made me feel so old to see that pretty young woman, so strong and tall in that boat! I used to be like her! I could STILL be like her! (well, the fishing part, but not so much the pretty part!!) I want to get my "fish" back on! LOL.
Can you believe that I stood at the counter at Fred Meyers, and it actually crossed my mind not to buy my fishing license?!? Oh... my... gosh! But, it was 82 dollars! That's a bunch of money for my budget! I'm not complaining about why it's so expensive. I understand all of that, but I do worry about the people that will turn away at the counter, and choose not to fish, due to the high expense.
I exchanged my old tag for my new, and I'm embarrassed to admit that it was the first year that I did not tag a salmon. The first year ever, I think!? It's been pitiful, before, but no salmon at all!?
I used to have all the fish numbers memorized, and all the locations clear in my head. I didn't think twice as I filled those out and helped others to do the same.
I mean, what location is the North Fork Nehalem? I have no clue! LOL. Jim Erickson would be ashamed of me! How about the Columbia out on the beach in Fort Stevens? Oh, my gosh! Not a sliver of memory! Pheh! I'm hopeless! I'm helpless!
I feel so lost about all of that that I'm going to close this up and go refresh my memory, just because!
I could go on, though. Do you know we bought a brand new boat from R&B last year, and I have only been in it one time!?! Once! And that was only for a shake down. I haven't fished out of it!
Alright. Enough of this. I'm going to go to ODFW.com and figure out locations. I need to at least feel like a fishing gal!
I'm nervous about tomorrow. Yep. But, after that, I'm going to get my fish on. Even if it just means standing in the boat, looking like a fishing gal.
:) After tomorrow, I get to head back to the coast. I really, really cannot wait. I miss Bill like mad, and the river, the same.
I have such mixed emotions, today! For one thing, I'm so excited for Spring that I could burst out in bloom, just like my Daphne bush out front that is nearly doing the same! I can't wait for that smell, this year. I love my Daphne Odura!
On the other hand, I want to hide. Today is my biopsy. After five years of being cancer free, they find something. Darn them. Darn me! Just darnit!
I just keep repeating in my head... "It is nothing. It is nothing. It is nothing."
It isn't something, is it? I mean, the doctor told me yesterday that only 15 percent of micro calcifications are cancer, and that many women over 50 get them. (I'm only 22. Hahahah.)
My appointment is at 12:20 PM. Say a little prayer for me? Please? :)
I also made the stupid mistake of reading about this type of breast biopsy on the internet. If you want to convince yourself that whatever medical procedure you are about to have will kill you, read about it on the net. :) NOT a good idea!
You'd think these ladies had nearly died!
I have had a biopsy before. In fact, twice. Neither one of them hurt badly. But, this is a new type and it does take 90 minutes. 90 minutes of anything 'medical' has got to be no fun. True. But, come on! It can't be that bad. Can it??
I will let you know. You KNOW I will let you know!
I'm half nervously giggling and half giddy about spring. The other half (I have three halves) is worried and wants to hide.
Good thing David is taking me, and won't let me out of it, because I might run!
Oh! Yesterday David had my car and I really, really needed something at the store. I tried to wait for him to come back, but couldn't wait longer, so... I rode my bike! Do you know what it is like to ride a bike at 50, when you haven't but gone around the block on a bike in 20 years?!? Oh, my! I ache from head to toe! When I was riding it, I was nervous around traffic, and almost couldn't dismount! My legs were just shaking! The funny thing is that I walk every day. But the bike muscles have not been used, obviously! I have been shaking ever since! It was fun, though, and I think I'd better start doing that bike riding thing more often. Those muscles are in dire need of a work out!
OK. I'm off to the doc. Please Lord! No cancer!
I am so incredibly sore! Anyhow, just sos you know...
I have 72 hours to wait for the results, so no need to e mail to ask
until then! :) Thing is, I don't know if they count weekends in those
hours. I kind of doubt it, but will call to ask
It didn't hurt very much in the office for the biopsy, but it does
hurt 24 hours after! I'm bruised and battered.
The ladies were so nice and so gentle, that I don't know how I got
into this condition! But, black and blue I am! I was going to drive
to the beach, but at this point, I don't think so! Tomorrow will be