The Coast, Oregon and Washington
Happy New Year from our home to yours!
January 2nd, 2017
Good morning, Bill! I love you!
If I were home, all the animals in the zoo would be jumping up and down for you!
I wish I were home... Bill would be sitting at the dining room table, either with his newspaper hiding his face, or still lazy, with his laptop casting a glow on his face. He'd be leaning over his coffee, mumbling about how the animals squished him out of bed. :)
I want that. I want to be home!
I'm stuck in Oregon City, of course, due to the weather.
I was just watching the news, and it said Oregon City got anywhere from 2-5 inches of snow, but when I look out my window, I don't think the roads are even covered, here. So, it was a spotty snow storm. If you were lucky, (or unlucky?) you got snow.
I used to love snow, so much. I have this very clear image of years back when the boys were young, and Bill and I were early on in our relationship. It snowed, and I was staring out the back glass door, jumping up and down with glee because the snow was falling. By the look on his face, I think he wondered if he was with a crazy woman.
I still love snow, but I don't jump up and down about it, like I used to.
Maybe that's because my body doesn't jump up and down, anymore. Ahaha! Maybe little tiny baby hops, but not like before!
I think most of the reason I loved it so much was to share the joy with my kids. When the kids were little, they loved it so much! That's largely due to my excited crazies, I'm sure. Their experience with snow was kind of wrecked when their Dad picked them up once, and they got in a car accident. That would ruin it a bit for me, too.
I'm just guessing at that, but as they grew older, they were less excited about snow. I remember being so sad about that. I wanted them to grow up to be silly fun like me.
However... maybe the wreck wasn't the breaking factor.
When I was young, the Canby grade school planned a trip to Portland on the buses, where we were taken to the theatre. When the show ended, we walked out and the entire city was blanketed in snow. The parents were so worried, I found out later. For good reason! The bus I was on crashed and slid off a very dangerous road by the Canby Ferry. That road has since been rerouted. But, I'll never forget the adults helping us off the bus and down the icy-steep slope, worried that the bus would slide more and hit the line of school children. The worry was contagious!
I recall the parents being very mad about something. I don't recall what... but maybe it was that they went at all with forecasted snow, or were unprepared without chains? Who knows. But, the parents were extremely relieved when we finally showed up at the school.
That experience didn't ruin snow for me!
I just want to stay young. I want the cats and dogs to enjoy being around fun adults, if they can't have little kids to be fun with. I want Bill to enjoy being around me, and the excitement that things like snow causes.
Well, this week we are in for cold. No one jumps up and down about that. It's kind of fun and different, but I worry about the cost of my heat bill. No jumping about that, for sure! Adult worries take over, in situations like this. No jumping, whatsoever!
Well, Bill, looks like I won't be home until this weekend, at the soonest. I can't wait! There are steelhead to be caught!
January 7th, 2017
Sometimes when I have writer's block, I write here, as if I were writing to my Grandmother. She so loved my letters and told me so, each time she found one in the mail box! "Oh, how you can write!" She'd exclaim. I think now, that she said that because she liked getting my letters, and her appreciation encouraged me to write more often. She was a smart woman! Either way, it worked! Her sweet words made me want to write to her more and more. -And I am glad that I did.
Instead of writing to Grandma, I'm going to write to Bill. I miss Bill so much!
It's been a while since I've been able to get home. The ice and snow have me stuck here in the city. It's been kind of fun, as Tammy, my ex roommate is staying here with us so she can be close to her work. I've been playing lodge leader here in Oregon City.
But, as much as Tammy and I enjoy our giggles and fun, together, I miss home. There is no doubt.
Good morning, Bill!
I was watching Nashville last night. I love that show. It is always a bit sappy, and when Rayna James and Deacon reminisced about all the good times they had in their lives, it hit home to me and I got homesick! So, so homesick! Oh, Bill! I miss you! I miss Revvie and the chickens! Come get me!
As I tried to drift off to sleep, a digital picture display that Bill and I have at home came to mind. The memories it displays danced in my head and made me miss Bill and my home, even more. I'm really glad I don't have one of those here in Oregon City, or I'd never stay here at all!
One year for Christmas, I bought the digital picture display for Bill. I spent hours picking out pictures from our lives together and loaded it to an SD card. I added music that he enjoys. We rarely use that feature, though. The pictures are just always flashing one to another, from the top of our bookshelf. Memories in a box! I set it all up, so that when he plugged it in on Christmas morning, it automatically started.
Those digital picture frames are really nice. They are very inexpensive. Here is a link to what I'm talking about.
They sure do make a great gift, especially pre loaded with memories.
They flash from one memory to the next. Watching it, often tugs at my heart. I don't think I'll ever get tired of it. Whether it be a laughing picture of Jim Erickson, old dogs from out past, or pet chickens that have been long gone.
Oh, my. As I drifted off to sleep,I thought to myself what a good life we have had. There is no denying that, as you watch that little 8 inch square of plastic! All of the fish we have caught are on that little card! All of those long days on the river! The kids when they were little, playing in the snow. Wow. Just everything! I have so much to be thankful for.
Indeed, I've been feeling a bit sappy, myself lately. :) Memories just out of the blue, touch my heart and make my eyes a bit damp.
Len Clarke is a good friend of Bills and mine. He helps out with the Steelheaders Association in Tillamook. It's the North Coast Chapter, if anyone is interested. Not only do these men do many good things for our rivers and streams, but those boys sure have a good time at their meetings! I was surprised to find that there are women members, too! I don't go, because I have difficulty by the time dinner is done. I very rarely go out in the evenings. Plus, I kind of feel like Bill deserves a bit of his fishing time off from me. I feel like I invade on his "manly" fishing time enough! LOL. Who wants to fish with a girl all day and then go to fishing meetings at night with a girl, too?!
This is about a guy that in grade school so badly didn't want to dance with a girl, that he put worms in his mouth! (That's another story...)
The other day I was out on the river, walking along with my head down, looking for treasures on the river bank. I looked up, and upstream from me was a boat with fishermen on the bank. You know my eyesight isn't the best, so I just slowly walked up to them, not knowing who they were.
To my surprise, it was Len and some guys from the local chapter of Steelheaders. I hadn't even noticed they had been playing a fish!
Later, I received this letter from Len. The letter was really nice, but the attached poetry he had written made me weep. I think it will touch your heart, too. I'm so glad he shared it with me! I can SO relate! I guess that Tim and Shanna Juarez has this writing framed on their wall. I can see why and I may do the same!
The letter to me follows, but the beautiful writing that I'd really like to share is in italics, below the note.
P.S. Oh, and Bill? Yesterday I found the boys bathroom flooded. More plumbing problems. The water is backing up and flowing out the shower. Sludge and water, four inches deep and overflowing. No fun! Plumber is coming, today. :(
"So nice to see you and visit on the river last week.
We were just turning the corner on the river above your place when I saw you in the distance by the riverbank walking our way - and then my bobber suddenly disappeared and the fight was on. It took you about 10 minutes to navigate the river rocks upriver and I’m not sure you even realized I had a 14-15# native bull steelhead on the other end of my line! That rascal made a dozen runs, plus a half dozen extraordinary twisting leaps that had us holding our breath and openly expressing “wows and holy cows”! Big bright silver native with a flash of red! Just as you approached and we all said “Hello”, my buddy Brian Hornbeak had the boat pulled over with net in the water ready to scoop him up when he just rolled over and somehow simply spit out the hook. Its always an immediate disappointment but we collectively realized once again how much fun we were having by just getting the opportunity to play with him - watching that magnificent creature work his way up and down the river, flying up in the air and eventually winning the battle by spitting out the hook and going back to where Mother Nature intended him to be – “Thanks for the memories” my magnificent friend! Fortunately, I have caught enough fish in my lifetime that I love just being a small part actor in the great play that is “Mother Natures show”. And it was further flavored by having Brian’s 13 year old son Issac there to enjoy the entire scene. “Aren’t you disappointed” he said. I replied “You know, I would have loved to handle him for a moment and then been part of of his release, but wasn’t that an amazing battle?!” He totally agreed. Lesson learned.
Time and experience will teach him that so much of the adventure of being outdoors in any way is truly a blessing and that the catch is not the most important part. Camaraderie, the adventure and the memories are really what its all about – not the meat. I have a raft that I used for 20+ years primarily on the Deschutes to move from place to place (you cannot fish from a boat there). I named the raft “Anticipation” because I came to realize that was what the boat brought to me. After all it was catch and release, no fish were coming home. The raft put me in positions to enjoy the scene, participate in luring and hooking a fantastic fish on a fly that I had personally tied – and we usually did it with good friends. When I experienced landing a great fish, I got to hold him, admire his beauty then rock him back & forth in the water until he was re-oxygenated and then release him (catch & release only) directly out of my hands back into his river. I love to feel the power when his whole body recovers, tail pushing against my hands, splashing water back and forth while thrusting forward to allow it to explode out of my hands and return on his journey home.
The day we saw you, that Kilchis river buck made it back to the river on his own. After it was over, Jenny, you walked into the scene not realizing we had just had a great experience. We all just moved on and we enjoyed the scenic location on the river in the midst of a great conversation with you, Jenny. I believe you said Bill was in town that day. Thanks for being a great hostess on the river you love – it was a pleasant way for us to put a cap on our day. BTW, Issac caught two more beauties on the way back to the takeout! I will enjoy watching him grow up - he will be a great sportsman!
I attached a little ditty that I wrote a few years ago – I was feeling entirely blessed after a series of successful adventures - hunting and fishing with good friends and my dog. I tried to capture the moment. Enjoy!
See you soon, Len"
EARLY MORNING BLESSINGS
WE OUTDOORSMEN ARE BLESSED TO BE WITNESS TO MOMENTS ON EARTH SADLY MISSED BY THE VAST MAJORITY OF HUMANITY. THESE CAN BE EVERYTHING FROM HUGE, GAUDY SPECTACLES OR JUST A SWEET, QUIET AFFAIR WITH MOTHER NATURE. IT STARTS WITH THE STILLNESS OF FIRST LIGHT AND MOVES ON AS SUNRISE BURNS OFF A LAZY FOG TO REVEAL NATURE’S TRUE COLOR AND GLORIOUS SETTINGS.
YOU MIGHT BE LYING IN A DITCH BY A FROZEN FIELD WHEN THOUSANDS OF DUCKS AND GEESE GET UP AND BREAK THE MORNING SILENCE AS THEY GET OFF THEIR ROOST AT DAWN. THE WILD SOUND IS AN ENORMOUSLY RICH NATURAL SYMPHONY THAT CANNOT BE CAPTURED ON ANY MOOD TAPE, NO MATTER HOW GOOD THE SOUND SYSTEM IS.
MAYBE IT IS JUST YOU AND YOUR DOG IN A GRASSY BLIND IN THE BACK OF THE BAY - SURPRISED BY A BRACE OF TEAL EXPLODING FROM THE CORNER OF YOUR EYE OUT OF THE MISTY PRE-DAWN WITH WINGS LITERALLY WHISTLING LIKE JETS, AND PITCHING IN ONE AT A TIME TO SHATTER THE STILL SURFACE AMONG THE DECOYS LIKE A PAIR OF LOBBED BASEBALLS.
IT COULD BE THE EXPLOSION OF A PHEASANT UNDERFOOT; THE DYNAMICS OF A TROUT BREAKING THE SURFACE WATER WHILE GORGING AT THE PRESENTATION OF A FLY; THE PULL OF OARS IN A DRIFT BOAT MOVING SLIGHTLY UPSTREAM TO AVOID A ROCK AND THEN FREE-FLOWING DOWNSTREAM; THE BUMP OF A STEELHEAD AT THE END OF A DRIFT; THE MIGHTY ROLL OF A SALMON SIMULTANEOUS WITH THE FIRST DOWNWARD TRUST OF THE ROD; THE SIGHT OF A PREHISTORIC STURGEON LEAPING IN THE AIR WHILE PULLING A BOAT UPSTREAM; ALL OF WHICH IS TEMPERED BY THE TOUCH OF YOUR DOG LAYING ON YOUR FOOT – OR JUST KEEPING IN CONTACT - WITH UNLIMITED LOVE AND A SINCERE DESIRE TO PLEASE.
THE POINT IS, IT DOESN’T REALLY MATTER - BIG SPECTACLE OR SMALL PERFECT SCENE, YOU HAVE TO SACRIFICE SOME TIME AND EFFORT, NOTABLY EARLY MORNING SLEEP, TO GET OUT IN THE OPEN WITH MOTHER NATURE AND BE LUCKY, SO DAMN LUCKY, JUST TO BE ABLE TO BE THERE TO TAKE IT ALL IN. HAVE A GREAT MORNING!
Len Clarke 1995
January 12th, 2017
It is darn good snow. It makes one heck of
a good snowman and snowball. It is beautiful! It is
peaceful and quiet!
But... I miss home! I miss my fishing! I miss Tillamook! I miss Bill! And Revvie! And Maizee! and my chickens! And... and... I can't get to them!
I have been one with the trip check road reports and weather reports, lately. The bookmarks are getting worn out!
It doesn't look like today is the day. Nor was it any day in the last two weeks or so! Geemany! I keep thinking, "I should have gone yesterday". But, none of the days looked good enough for this chicken driver! I used to be so brave! What happened to my sense of adventure? I'll tell you what. I don't like to risk my life!
It used to be that I could hop a flight all by myself to Las Vegas and rent a car to drive to St. George. All by myself! I'd never do that, now! Or would I? I need to work on this!
So, here I sit in the cold garage, where my computer is. I don't like my work area to be in my living area. Most of the time it's just fine out here with my kerosene heater. But, lately I've been cold even with that running! Honey! It's cold, INside!
I have been enjoying this latest batch of snow. If I didn't miss home so much, I'd be enjoying it so much more! I'm glad to be here in a way, because at home in Tillamook, they only got an inch of snow or so. We are buried! 8 inches of beautiful powder snow! I got my sled out and we have been giggling over here in snow heaven!
I have friends staying here, so that they are closer to work. So, we have been a bunch of cackling old hens, giggling at everything. Fun!
But... the steelhead live in Tillamook! Am I making any sense? I don't know where I want to be! I feel guilty enjoying this paradise, when Bill is calling every day wondering where I am!
By the way, David and I got in on that Alaska sale and used our FF points to buy a trip to Disneyland during my Birthday. I was so excited! I didn't have a whole lot of money, so for Christmas, Bill gave me enough money to get a hotel for David and I, while there. Well, that's a good thing, to have a place to stay! Right? But, if I have to have someone give me money to stay somewhere, I started to wonder why I was even going. It's no fun to be on a vacation and to be on a budget! Is it? Heck, no!
And then, directly after I received that gift, I started handing out money like it was going out of style. I had to! Everything in my house was breaking! a couple hundred to this plumber, even more to that electrician... A bit to the extra heat bill. Oh my gosh! It didn't take long till I realized I didn't have the cash for a hotel! LOL. Is that life, or what?
I was starting to become stressed out about my trip to Disneyland, that it wasn't even worth it! I adore Disneyland and at the time, that's what I thought I needed. A total escape from reality to the happiest place on earth! I am forever a Disney addict!
But, happiness is expensive! It wasn't the kind of happiness that I needed, or could afford.
So, I got on the phone with Alaska and I cancelled my happiness. I also cancelled my cheapo hotel.
You wouldn't believe the relief I feel that I'm not going to Disneyland! It makes being stuck here in the snow feel like I have all the happiness that I need. And I don't have to worry about leaving Willie!
So, now I'm going to go out in the snow and play.
It's all the Disneyland that I need!
January 15th, 2017
Blank Page Problem!
Many people who use Internet Explorer are having troubles using ifish, since the Internet Explorer 11 update. When clicking on the discussion forum from the main page, it either flashes the forum, or just returns you to a blank page. If you google "Internet Explorer Blank Page" you will see many returns on this problem. It appears to be a global problem, and not a problem with ifish.net.
For now, the only fix I can think of, is to use any other browser: Safari, Firefox, Chrome... anything but Internet Explorer.
The techs at ifish.net are not available until tomorrow at the earliest. I am aware of the problem, so no need to write in. I will write about this on the Ifish Help Desk, and I have alerted them, otherwise. But, you can access the updates about it, here with an alternative browser. I'm so sorry for the problem, though! Must be frustrating!
I am still trying to get home, home, home. I'm beginning to believe that I'll never see home again. This is the most frustrating experience! I love the snow, but, just... wow! Stupid wow!
January 16th, 2017
Photos courtesy of Darla Jenson
Click pics to zoom
Click pics to zoom
Click pics to zoom
Still waiting to come home, but had a blast playing in the snow with Willie, yesterday!
January 19th, 2017
I made it home! I made it home! So much to do. Will update later!
Need help logging in? Contact Jennie for help! Any link on the contact form comes to me. I can help!
Bill called, the morning I was to drive home. "We had wind
damage." He told me about the cupola, which weighs over 100 pounds. It
was atop his childhood home in Lake Oswego, and he was able to extract it,
bring it home, and have it placed on top of our home. It was really nice.
Nice that we had a piece of his history, and nice looking, also. Plus, he
had put in so much work, polishing the copper top, and then finding someone
who could put it up on the roof!
Well... during the windstorm a couple nights ago, it fell.
Not only was it ruined, but it fell atop our new picnic table. That, too, is ruined. Both are heart breaking! Mostly the cupola. When will the weather give us a break? That's what I keep thinking!
And I am the lady who loves extreme weather! Or... I did. I think I'm finally growing up.
That said... is it growing up, or is it losing my innocent childhood joy? I kind of hate to not jump with glee when the world turns white. I love snow! I don't think I'll ever stop loving snow.
I love the wind! Even though it's been known to scare the bejeebers out of me, it does so with a joyful scream and a quick dart to the house for safety. I mean, in our history here, I've been known to dodge trampolines, as they tumble, head over springs, into the river. Yikes! I don't know how many times we rescued that trampoline, when the kids were little, before we finally gave up. Even with braces into the ground, the coastal wind made our work laughable. Nothing would hold that trampoline down, when our winds came up.
My drive to the coast the day Bill described the damage was so scary! The rain was coming down in buckets. That, and the standing water left from melting snow made my tires seem like roller blades. I was slipping everywhere! The fog was so thick that with that, my ailing eyesight, and the driving rain, my visibility was low.
I finally escaped the fog, and was met by the snow melt (and lack thereof!) on the coastal summit. Man! There was still 2 plus feet of snow up there! Not on the road, so much, but slush was still present, and big ruts in the pavement, too.
Willie was doing his ritual whine, and we neared the summit. That's where he gets to get out and play.
"Oh, geez, Willie! Do we have to?" His whine increased. I just can't rob him of his youthful joy, so I turned off onto a side road. BIG MISTAKE. The minute I turned across the highway, it hit me. There is no place to turn around, Jennie! And the snow was deep! I panicked, but I couldn't stop, or I'd get stuck! I knew that I was going into a place where my chances of rescue were slim to none, if I couldn't get out. Oh, geezzzzz. Panic!
But that little Ford Escape, it just kept going. Even though I was fish tailing in the slush and pushing 2 feet of snow out of my way, I made it to the top, and back out again. I did stop at the top to let Willie out, and good thing I did. He was in dire need of a bathroom break and so was I, after that scare!
Finally, the road evened out as I neared Tillamook, and the drive was easy and stress free the rest of the way home.
Home. Oh, home-sweet-home!
I got out of the car, and if Bill hadn't told me of the wind storm, I would have known by the tell-tale wind scoured lawn and field. Like a child's road rashed knee, it was littered with fauna and flora and a few huge limbs, here and there. The ground underneath was wounded to the point that the lawn was peeled back, and bare mud showed through.
The lawn had an owie. It looked sore!
But, I was home sweet home. The river is muddy and high, and the river bank is fresh and new with lots of beautiful agates uncovered. I can't wait!
I just keep thinking of Spring, though. I think it will be no time at all, until we wake one day to the sound of birds chirping as they begin their new family for the year. I can't wait.
In fact, my Daphne is beginning to bloom at Oregon City. I hope that our recent snow and cold spell didn't kill the blossoms!
I think I've turned past the point where I know I will make it to Spring. Life is like that for me, since I've been through a couple of very serious health problems. I wonder, each winter, if I'll make it through. I passed the point where I doubt, and all signs point to yes! Once I get to this point, there is no stopping me!
Spring! Summer! I've got it made!
Need help logging in? Contact Jennie for help! Any link on the contact form comes to me. I can help!
Man oh man. I'm busier than a one armed paper hanger. That's
so old. I should be able to come up with something more creative, but I can't!
I've been making threads, this morning, trying to keep my mind off tomorrow. Tomorrow I have my annual aortic CT test. Last year... well, I had a new cardiologist, and he's very good. He said I needed surgery for my abdominal aneurysm. I was so scared that I made another appointment with my old cardiologist, who said I could wait. What in the world will they tell me tomorrow? Especially if it has grown at all?
So... if you are the praying sort, please do! If not, send all the good wishes you can, if you will! I AM Scared. Where is my faith when I need it most?
Sounds like I need to spend lots of time on my knees!
I hold my springer spaniel tight. It makes me feel better.
SO... I've been so stressed about the show. I just found out that I need volunteers to help me sell kwikfish. If you can help, please click here and choose a time. Post, or PM me, or use the contact us form at the bottom of each page to tell me when you can help. Thank you! Thank you! If you can help, I need you! :)
Then, I posted a thread where you can post your booth, if you have one at the show. That's right here!
I am a stress case. I have to drive back to the city, today and Willie is patiently waiting. He loves his "David", and I told him we were going. He's waiting by the car door. LOL. That dog is so smart! He knows English so well! Get this...
We lost his stuffed bunny. We looked all over for it. He knew we were looking, too. I know he knew.
The next morning, I was in bed and it occurred to me when we had it last. I said out loud, in front of Willie...
"Willie! I know where bun bun is! It's in the fort!"
Willie got up, ran to the door and was gone. I got up and looked out the bathroom window to see Willie running across the field, and to the right, where the fort was. He came out with the bunny in his mouth!
I tell no lies! That dog can speak!
He came so happily up the stairs, and plopped on top of me with "bun bun" in his mouth.
January 30th, 2017
Oh me of little faith!
Despite several times I've been worried for no reason... Oh, me... of wimpy faith!
Tomorrow is my Birthday MONTH and what a way to pre-start!
Two days before I begin celebrating my 57th birthday month, (yes, month! I celebrate all month long! Got that, Bill? Tee Hee!)
OK... anyhow, Yesterday, I go to the doctor and I'm panicked to all get-out. I'm ready to be whisked away to the surgery of my demise. AAA surgeries don't often go well, and my odds are even worse.
So convinced I'd die, in fact, that I wore my very best bra and undies.
So, they put the needle in my arm, and what? It went smoothly! Usually my veins pop or won't do what they want, in some way. It HURTS. Once my arm blew up like a balloon when they put the contrast in the IV. Oops. That REALLY hurt. But, this time, all went smoothly! Remember to drink lots and lots of water the night before you have an IV!
So... back to the CT... I decided to try and relax, to see if my aneurism would maybe shrink up a bit, showing that there was no growth. It either worked, or there was no growth! WHOOP! So excited! Ladies and Gentleman, I'm going to live a bit longer!
My Doctor, Dr. Song, (Dr. Song-in-my-heart, I call him, because he performed the life saving surgery 10 years ago, when my aorta dissected.) How do Doctors do surgery for 14 hours straight? I have no clue!
Anyhow... he came waltzing in with all the care of a care bear. He hugged me. I was rigid. What would the news be? It went something like this.
"Well, you don't need surgery this year. Your aorta is at 5.1 cm, just like last year. It is certainly ABNORMAL." (Yes, he said it in all caps.) "But, I am satisfied that you don't need surgery until it shows growth of at least one more cm. At least..". Several studies show that surgery is considered at 5.5. I'm not sure why he says one more, for me, but whatever. I'm satisfied! In fact, I'm deliriously happy!
Whooo hooooo! I cried. I hugged him. I'm happy!
Happy Birthday month, ME! Let February commence!
I have SO much to do, and so much on my mind with the web site, (didn't I sell ifish.net??? Dang. I thought so!) and show prep, and tax prep, and not knowing how I'm going to manage all things, but nothing matters, anymore! My stress rate has been reduced to near zero, no matter how much I have to do!
I got a big ole latte on my way home and sang, the entire way!
I'd go back home, but I want to celebrate my sister's Birthday with pancakes this week, and then, it's supposed to snow, darnit. I hope it doesn't block my way home. I need the river to keep me calm, before show time!
I'm so happy. So dog gone happy. :) I'm sitting here smiling sitting at my computer, like a dork.
I'm just happy! I do love my life!
I think about it, honestly, and no matter what happens, it's going to be cool, because here on earth, I have loved ones, and in Heaven, I do, too. But, I'm just not quite ready, Lord.
I've got a couple more earthly fish to catch, before I go fishing around in Heaven!
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