Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
March 2009

Pretty March flowers... Spring is on its way!


March 1st!

I'm going to write it yet once again. I received an e mail asking about how I am able to own a boat like the one that I posted and such a lovely house.
As if!
Fact is, Bill and I are not a married couple. I don't own any part of his boat, nor his house, nor any part of either.
Bill owns what Bill owns and I own ... ifish! :) I'm proud of that!
I fully pay my own way in life and no one helps me. Although it can be difficult at times financially, I am extremely proud of the fact that I do it all on my own. I have paid into our system and continue to.
If Bill goes to buy milk for me, I give him the money and he brings back the change.
I don't have much in the way of material goods, but I have a life that I have loved living.
That, to me, is wealth beyond what money can buy.
I guess that if I'm going to write about my life, I'm open to these personal questions. I guess that this is why I may choose to stop writing, someday soon, too. I can't tell you the number of times that in the beginning, I was open to criticism that sent me to bed at night in tears. I've toughened up some, but sometimes people hit a raw spot.
I wish like everything that someday I could own my own boat! Even a canoe! LOL
The fact is, I am blessed being able to ride in it without the headache of maintenance and ownership!
Bill is kind enough to take me out fishing and lets me enjoy the things that he has been blessed with, and for that, I'm a happy camper! I mean fisher!
I am extremely lucky to have a supportive friend like Bill. When I first met him, I knew we would be soul mates.
He's the only one that truly understands how deeply the out of doors moves me.
He is a wonderful man that helps me when I'm ill, and cares for me and I do the same, for him.
We have fishing in common and we enjoy our time together.
We look around at this place that he has been blessed with, and we are in awe. We wait each season for the miracles to happen, and they keep happening. The first hummingbird of Spring, the first Thrush of winter... It's wonderful to share it, to talk about the animals, the birds, to hear the river's song, and the eagle's cry.
Oh, man. I don't like writing about this. It seems very personal to me. But people want to know, so there it is.
Life isn't what I thought it would be, nor what I planned it to be.
As a little girl, I always dreamed of being married for 50 years like my Grandparents were. That wasn't in the cards for me. (And I think it's too late! LOL)
This life isn't the one I dreamed of, but whose is? Fact is, this is an issue that hurts me, and it's embarrassing to write about. It's extremely personal. I wanted to be married more than anything. I thought that's why I was moving here. But, things just didn't turn out that way. There are those people in life that enjoy seeing me bleed, so have at it.
Truth is, I have few real regrets. Life has been very good to me, and I feel extremely lucky to have lived my life, and lived it well.
I have friends. I have two wonderful children. I have known love, and I have a river to walk on. What more can anyone ask for?
A whole bunch, God promises. I can just see it, now. You know, sometimes we get to being concerned over what we don't have, and wanting something else. But, God has the biggest, best things waiting for us. Things we never considered a posibility! It's so great to only rely on Him. I can imagine God tapping me on the shoulder and saying to me, "And you thought you only wanted to get married..." and then, having him surprise me with something better than my wildest dreams.
Our Father in Heaven loves to see us happy. He's just waiting to give us everything we dream of and more.

That said, Happy March!
I knew I was tired for a reason! Tired and not as optimistic as my usual self. I have a darn cold or some evil bug.
I felt OK when I got up, packed the car and took off, but on the way there, I kept thinking, "Why am I so tired?" Maybe coffee. So, I pulled over and got some. Maybe an aspirin for my headache? So, I pulled over and took one.
About the time I pulled up in Newport, my throat was swollen so that I couldn't drink, my nose was dripping, my head was near to explode, and I was sick!
I stayed for a little while, and man was it neat! I can't believe what the Salty Dogs have done with this convention! I see it really, really going places! It was so nice seeing so many people that I know! I tried to keep my hands in my pocket and my self distant from others. But, the urge to hug was overwhelming! So many friends! I am so lucky! Makes me smile. I'm extremely rich in hugs! I warned each and every one of them, though! I did!
I was going to stay the night so that I could see the next day demos in the water, but I just couldn't. It was home to my doggy and my cuddly stuffed bears. Bedtime for Bonzo, in other words.
I drove in the driveway, hugged my family and headed straight to bed. I just got up and I think I feel better, but not great. It's a day for rest.
Andrew is alright, for those that are asking. He just keeps having these weird pains in his chest. It's scary, but I think he's fine.
Anyhow, things are good, here on the Kilchis river. I think I'll go for a slow stroll, and see what there is to see.
Oh! I thought this was funny. My sisters commented to me in an email regarding my boat adventure. One said, "I think you should stop throwing good drift boats after bad canoes!" The other said, "Ever think of taking of flying kites?"
I think both of them are onto something.
Will investigate...
Thing is, it's nice not to own anything of value, sometimes. That way, I can't lose anything of value! I should have sent Bill in his new boat to get Bill's driftboat to get Bill's canoe!

March 3rd

Oh, man. The coastal crud has hit me. A couple weeks ago I had a bit of an ear infection. Even though treated, it never went away and now it has spread throughout my entire head! A concrete block of a block head!
I have had numerous sinus surgeries in my youth, and it's all come back to haunt me! I thought I was over this! And a youthful ear infection, to boot! I must be getting younger!
Want to know just how bad I feel? I could tell you, but then again, what fun would that be?
Instead, I'll tell you that my dear son David came home sick, too. He is so nice to hug. He's nearly to the point of pneumonia, and I hope I don't get that bad! Nothing better for me than staying busy taking care of someone else. It keeps ones mind off things.
I should rest, but I just can't, lately. There are times that keeping going keeps me feeling better than if I just gave into it.
I fixed a nice pot roast for the boys last night and they enjoyed it. I couldn't eat. I cooked it, called them to dinner and promptly went upstairs to lay down and rest. Somehow, though, throughout a whole long night upstairs, I didn't sleep.
This morning feels like Spring, although it's a bit nippy, out. The birds are singing and I just adore that! Welcome home, guys!
Can you believe that Bill hasn't even had a chance to try out his new boat? And now, with my physical shape, I'm not going anytime soon, either! I'll be so envious if he goes out without me, but I certainly don't blame him!
I haven't had a fever like this in ages. My entire body aches from head to toe.
I need to convince myself. Over and over, today, I'm going to repeat, "I feel Greeeeaaaaat!" Half of being ill is all in your head.
Fact is, I need a break. A break from ifish. A break from everything. I just need to check out.
So, get this... I'm going to visit my Dad, again! I'll never forget my Doctor saying, "Jennie, if you want to travel, now is the time." I wonder if he knows how much that said to me. Maybe more than I should have put into it, but the fact is, I took it.. um... "dead" serious!
In my wildest dreams, I thought of being totally irresponsible and charging a tropical vacation on my credit card.
Since Bill doesn't prefer to travel so much, my high school girlfriend Tammy and I have been giggling about it, ever since. Where would we go?
I want my boys to go, too. I want to spend quality time with them. Seems I'm always busy. I want to be unbusy, and talk with them!
The thing I want to do most in the world is... NOTHING. I want to lay in the sun, talk to my boys, and visit with Tammy, who is going through a very difficult time in her life.
I've always dreamed of going to Mexico. So, we first set out talking about that. What did I find out? Even with accommodations at a friend's home, the whole trip was just too expensive. Hawaii, too, although my heart pulls me that way. I've always wanted to see Hawaii! Or a cruise? Oh, my! That would be fun! I think half the fun of going somewhere is planning. No, more than half! I love to dream!
Andrew was promised a trip to Coachella Valley Music Festival after his surgery, proving that yes, indeed.... There IS life after aortic surgery. The surgeon said that by April, he'd probably be up to going. Guess what? He is! (Most times... he still has days of wracking pain, but we are going to see a doctor about that, soon!)
Oh, that's one thing being address, finally. Andrew has had pain his whole life. We are going to specialist who has dealt with marfan, before.
I was told as a young parent that the reason Andrew screamed and cried as a baby, was that I was an inexperienced parent. Of course, I took their advice. They were doctors and I was inexperienced! Even after multiple hospital trips, ambulance rides, seizures, unexplained pain, etc. But a baby doesn't just wail like that for nothing! Andrew would come home from school and lay on the couch and scream for no reason!
Anyhow, finally we have found a doctor that is going to look into it. Andrew is relieved. It's interesting, because if you've never known what it is to feel good, what do you have to compare it with? It's kind of like my vision. I know no difference, so how would I know?
Back to the vacation... The trip of a lifetime... Well, truth is we can't afford Mexico, nor can we afford the "trip of a lifetime..."! But, it was fun dreaming! I wanted to look into fishing for Peacock bass like Stan Fagerstrom. I wanted to sail on the blue sea! I wanted to fish, or at least watch people fish for big fish!
Sometimes I have these dreams of buying a small motor home and taking ifish on the road! Wouldn't that be a hoot? Where's Jennie fishing, today? LOL
I wanted to go on those jungle zip lines! Turns out, neither Andrew nor I can do that, physically. The days of that and scary roller coasters have probably passed for both of us. Blech. That is no fun. I adore roller coasters! But, there is much more to life, so "oh well."
Even after months of dreaming and planning, Mexico was out. With the cost of passports and hotels and flights, well? Closer to home would be better.
We redirected our dreams.
We wanted sunshine. The older I get, the more I understand the lure of sunshine! Oh, it feels so good on the bod! So much so, that I find myself laying in a tanning bed, closing my eyes and pretending I'm somewhere tropical! Funny. People say that's bad for me, but really? Should I worry with my health history? LOL.
I had nearly 100 thousand airline points. That's four flights! Woo hooo! How perfect can you get? I had one night free at a Palm Springs hotel. Woo hooo! That's near to Coachella Valley where Andrew needs to go to see Paul McCartney and his other bands. Hey! My Dad lives there, too! We could visit and we could stay there! He has a pool! Things were just adding up altogether like magic. And inexpensive magic, at that!
So, altogether with hotel and airfare and a car rental, the trip is going to cost... (get this!) under $800 for four of us!! LOL. Can you believe that? For 8 days in Palm Springs?
I love it. I simply will not travel until I have the best prices, and I think I did really, really well! I spend time in bed with my laptop, watching prices go up and down and grabbing them just at the right time! And hey!-It's the very same sunshine that shines on Mexico, too! And if we are by a pool, somewhere, who cares where we are? If we went to Mexico, I'd come home exhausted from wandering to see things. This way, I'll stay put and relax! And... I'm close to a good doctor, if I need one!
I'm happy. I'm excited to have something to look forward to!
Just dreaming of the sunshine seems like it's clearing my head! Think I'll go lay in a tanning booth today, and pretend I'm there, already!
Or-- maybe I'll go back to bed.
Do you have any aspirin?
Off to take my INR, which is bound to be up, today. Antibiotics always do that to me. Then, I think I'll take a nap!

March 4th

Well, if this isn't a sign of the times! Life is too busy. We go at manic paces and the things that are important, often get passed by.
My sisters and I all try to make sure that we treat each other well on our Birthdays. After all, if we don't, who will?
It is a fine tradition, then, to have pancakes at The Original Pancake House on Barbur.
We eat! We talk! We laugh! My sisters are special to me!
Luckily, I am on the mend. Antibiotics really are helping me this time around! I still have my ear infection, but I'm better. I don't recall ever having this! Every time I cough it pops and hurts so bad! Poor kids that suffer these! I had no idea. Poor, poor babies!
Anyhow... after much planning, we had a date. This morning!
The main reason I decided to go, despite illness, despite snow on the road, despite the early travel hour was for Andrew, really. My sister's breakfast was a secondary treat!
Now, get this. I can understand this, but when I hear about it from someone else, it really touches a soft spot in me.
Andrew can't see. He was born blind, had an operation in one eye at the age of 7, and was able to see out of one eye. That is, until his lens that was sewn in his eye broke. The surgery to fix it didn't go well. In fact, he was again blind. This time, they couldn't sew a lens in for him. A one hour operation stretched to nearly five, and finally the surgeon came out with the news. Not good! The failure of his eye surgery started the ball rolling to a very difficult time in his life.
Andrew is the first to say that he really messed up his life for a while. I'm not going into details, but it was the hardest thing our family has ever been through. In many ways, he is still paying for it. We all are, actually.
Now, when people say to me that something was the 'hardest thing they'd ever gone through', I can relate, fully. I never had an idea of that concept before Andrew's real trouble ensued.
But, I am his parent, and the candle always burns.
After the eye surgery failure, he learned he had an aortic aneurysm that needed repair. What a ride, huh? Marfan syndrome is a tough cookie.
Anyhow, Andrew lost his glasses on the beach last summer. He had a very dark pair of prescription sunglasses as his only glasses for many months.
Andrew needs to see like all of us, but he made due with those until they broke.
Andrew has no financial resources. Without prescription eye glass coverage, he can't get glasses. We tried everything to help him get glasses, but no luck. Lions, Eagles, Doernbechers, he was out of the age group and didn't qualify for this reason, or that.
I think it's criminal that people that can't afford glasses are just out of luck. How on earth is someone supposed to get work if they can't see?
And so, he can't work right now. If he can't work, he can't have glasses. He is still recovering from heart surgery. Thing is, he wants to work, to contribute so badly, but of course, not being able to lift nor see and being in pain, he is rather limited in his choices and he can't go to school, if he can't read.
Last week I finally caved and told him I could put Costco glasses on my credit card and he could gradually pay them off. It really hurts me that my son can't see. I see his frustration daily. He holds his iphone up to his face to read. His nose is at the computer. He can make things out if they are big enough, but can't read books, recipes, etc. He gets teased, but he's used to that. After all, in high school he named himself "Krazzy Joe."
"But, why? Why, "Krazzy Joe?" I once asked him. He answered, "Well, that way I can make fun of myself, before anyone else does." He was very young at that time, but what maturity, I thought, to face his problems in that manner. Way to go!
I'm proud of that boy. I really, really am. He touches my heart. As one who grew up being teased, I can relate. I was a tall, skinny, gangly thing with coke bottle glasses and an awkward gate. Why on earth didn't I think of that? "Krazzy Jennie!"
So, I decided to go to the Sisters Birthday breakfast. I told Andrew that afterwards, we would go fit him with glasses. I said it in passing, not fully realizing his excitement. He can be hard to read.
But, yesterday, David was here, and in a quiet moment, he said, "You don't know how excited Andrew is to get glasses."
No, I didn't! I knew he wanted them, but for him to tell David something like that was huge. That just really touched my heart and drove me stronger to make this happen.
So, it was off to get breakfast with my sisters, and then go get Andrew some glasses! I couldn't wait to see the look on his face, when he puts them on! Wooo hoooo!
And to be part of it? Being able to help provide someone with sight? That's awesome! What better could I help him with?
I set the alarm for 5:00 AM, went to the computer... and found that my sisters had cancelled our breakfast, due to busy lives, all around. My heart sunk! I was really looking forward to seeing them, and to have to cancel it when I know how much they want to go, too, well, what does that say about our lives? We are too busy!
We need to slow down and smell the roses!
But, don't fear! I called Dr. Boyer and he can see Andrew next week. This is almost better as Andrew's eyes have probably changed some, and Dr. Boyer is the most awesome low vision specialist I've ever met. And he's so, so nice!
When a window closes, a door opens.
Perhaps then, my sisters and I can get together for breakfast. :) It will all work out!
I'll keep you posted on Andrew's vision! I'll never forget when I lost mine and then it was fixed. Talk about joy! Talk about excitement! Each and every day when I use my vision, I am thankful! The world is a stunningly beautiful place! Don't ever, ever take your vision for granted!
My lens also came loose a couple years back, throwing me into a dark world. It could very well happen again. They are finding that sewn in lenses like mine don't last forever. Therefore, I appreciate each and every thing that I see. I behold it! I drink it in! Color! Sparkles! Oh, my!
I have kept a journal on our eye surgeries, here. It's not been updated for way too long. So many surgeries have passed, since my last entry. I'll catch it up someday... You know, when I'm not too busy!
So, since I have nothing to do, today... I'm going to catch up on my work, first, and then go enjoy my eyesight for a while. Just the thought made me smile. I hope to help bring that same smile to my son's face.

March 6th

This is one of my favorite things.

Click here for Andrew's Prayer

You can see by the pinholes how many times I have pinned this up! It's been in so many houses, so many rooms! I have read it to myself in good times and in bad.
Ever gone through your house in your mind, thinking what you would take with you, if a fire? Uh huh. This prayer that Andrew copied as a child is one!
I refuse to believe it! Snow? No way!
I have always counted on the fact that there is slim to none chance of snow on or after my Birthday. Things are just weird, you know? From the weather to the financial forecast. I hardly think snow is as bad as the stocks, though! I guess that on the bright side, if you don't have anything, you have nothing to lose. I count my blessings because I may lose that prayer in a fire, but it's something that I can always have with me, anyhow. No one can take that away from me! No way, no how!
We had our first hummingbird yesterday. I heard it, before I saw it. Every year when I hear those little wings beat so fast, I get so excited that my heart almost competes!
I raced to the kitchen and put dinner on! Sugar and water, bring it to a boil... but that's too slow for this immediate demand!
It was funny. When I finally saw him, he came right up to my window. Previously, he was just doing a fly by, checking it out. I swear they do this each year. They will stare in the window at me, until they get their way!
Last year, thinking of this, knowing this, I saw some instant nectar at the store. I thought that would be a good thing for immediate demands from Sir-Hummy Mr. Bird.
I stirred it together and glug, glug, glug, filled up his jar.
I hung it out, and soon enough, sure enough, here he came! But, what's this? He took one sniff and left! He came back and took another and ... buzzed away!
By that time, the normal food was cooling. So, out I went, grabbed the feeder and gave him his way. Filled to the top with real sugar water, made by Mama Jennie, specially for the first guy in town!
I took it out, hung it up, and before I could get out of there, he appeared!
He sat right down in front of me and began to eat! His beady little eyes turned to glance at me... and I swore he smiled! HE DID!
Then, I went back into the office to chuckle to myself, and all of the sudden, it's three! He went to get his friends!
Now, that's too funny! He didn't go get his family until he got his way with real sugar and water. I guess hummies don't prefer chemicals with their dinner. They want the real thing. Oh, berother! But, finally he tasted the sweet goodness of real nectar and told all of his friends.
"Come on, you guys! It's the real deal! None of that cheap fast food stuff you find in stores! She's going to be our personal chef for five months! She's the one I told you about that fills 8 feeders a day, making batch after batch in the morning until our tummies can't take any more!"
Just before the sun went down, that little pioneer hummy came buzzing up to my feeder and sat down. He glanced at me and said, very gallantly, "You know... it's nice here. I like it. I think I'll stay."
I turned to him, propped up my chin with my elbow and listened.
"I'll get myself a cute little girlfriend and we'll fall in love. We'll build a home over there in the pink blossoms of the apple tree and make some babies. By the way, I better get to bed. It's almost dark. Thank you for the grub, today, ma'am!"
I sat, stunned for a moment.
"Hummingbirds don't talk!"
I rolled my eyes.
...Yeah. And it may snow in March, too!

March 7th

Heavenly Snowshine, Heavenly Snow shine, Flooding my soul with glory divine!
That's what I've been singing all morning, but it just occurred to me--
Will it? Will it flood? 6-12 inches of snow in the mountains in the Springtime? Uh oh....
You know, I can't believe that I'm shaking my head at the snow. It's beautiful! It's gorgeous! But-- people! We have had snow more than our share, this year! I've never ever been 'blessed' by this much snow! Never, ever would I believe that I would be praying for no snow!
Truth be told, I'm not. But, I'm close!
I still get a thrill out of waking up in the morning to snow. It's engraved in my soul to do that. It's all the school mornings as a kid when we'd wake to snow. We'd anxiously listen to the radio and sure enough! Canby! Canby is closed! Woo hoooo!
.It's the anticipation that starts with the 11:00 O'clock news, and after, you can't sleep all night. Running to the window, to see if it is snowing! Funny, but I keep the porch light on at night, still, just in case it snows!
It's memories of the entire neighborhood getting together to sled and drink hot chocolate! To do dumb things like sled behind the old 57 Ford pickup. (We were really, really bad kids! Do NOT try this at home!)
It's the pile of wet clothes in the hallway that my Mom first experienced, and then I went through with my own kids. Let me tell you. Motherhood will change your outlook on things! What a mess! Still, I like it. I can't help but like it.
I miss calling my Mom when it snows. If it snowed at her house, she'd call me all excited and ditto, flip side. I loved how excited she got! Sometimes I still run for the phone. And then I remember. :(
But, these are the good things in life. I love people who get excited about life! People who decorate for Valentine's Day and Halloween. People who bake cookies for Christmas and hold fast to traditions. People who make a big deal out of Birthdays. People who like to put on rubber boots and splash in mud puddles.
These are a few of my favorite things!
But, as I think about those mud puddles, I do worry about floods! I do! Maybe I'm silly. Maybe it won't happen. But, my little baby steelhead! I can't help but worry for them.
Anyhow, we have about 2 inches of snow. It's kind of melting, I think. I woke up to 31 degrees, and now it's 32. We'll see!
Oh! Salty dogs! Be on the look out for a tote up for auction on the Salty Dog board. It was supposed to go to convention but I forgot to bring it!
Have a nice day... and you guys? Young or old! Get out your sleds and be happy!
If life gives you snow, make hot chocolate!
(Isn't that how that saying goes?)

March 10th

Yesterday was a tough day.
Do you ever get the feeling that you have a little bit of a sixth sense with things? Do odd things ever happen to you like you are thinking of someone you hadn't seen in a while and then they pop up in your life? That happens to me a bunch!
It's usually a good thing because then my friends pop up in my life out of nowhere! And it's a joy to talk to them or see them! Sometimes I am lead to pray for someone and then I find out it was for good reason!
Three days ago Bill and I were walking on the river, and out of nowhere I said, "Have you heard from Dick Gammon?"
Dick is a friend of Bill's who has become a friend of mine, also. He stops by here occasionally and we fish together on other occasions. We've taken him out to B-10 and on the Nehalem. I enjoy his company.

Dick Gammon took this picture of me.
It was a fun day on the water!

Dick moved to Surf Pines not long ago, and had been telling us of his adventures in the woods, there. Sounded like a great place!
Bill hadn't heard from him, so he called him the other day. For some strange reason, his phone was redirected to another number.
Yesterday, Bill got a call from someone calling about Dick. I didn't know Bill was on the phone, but I kept hearing these, "Oh, noooooooo! Oh, dear.......!" And I kept saying, "Bill! What's wrong?" I thought the kitty had killed a bird, or I just didn't know what.
Finally, Andrew came in and said "Bill's on the phone!"
At that point I knew something was terribly wrong. I picked up the phone and was met with the terrible news.
We had lost our friend. Dick was gone.
Dick loved to hang glide. I was always fascinated over his ability to do all that, and loved to ask him about it. I would have loved to fly with him, sometime! I think!
His friends are going to wait until better weather and fly over the ocean and drop his ashes in the place he loved best. The deep blue sea.
I need to learn that rather than to wait for that feeling that reminds me of my friends, to intercept and call before I get that feeling. Because sometimes, that feeling comes too late.
And like ifish member Horsecreek said,
The future is promised to no one..... and the past is a canceled check.

March 12th

Click to zoom

Good morning. Is it cold enough? Beautiful sunshine, yes, but brrrr!
I'm worried about our forests, this morning. I was sent this document, and I'll share it with you, here. It's interesting, whether you agree with it, or not. I can't help but worry over our fish and our forests. Click here "The Tillamook, Volume 1, and click here for the map.
As I look up towards our forest, and remember how beautiful it was the other day with the sun shining through it, it really hits home to me how much I love those tall, tall trees.
You have to click on this picture. I just love it! I had David click pictures while I was driving. How is this for the golden arches?

Golden Arches!

Funny how the weather changes from in Tillamook to where we live on the river. Tillamook has no snow and raining and as we go up the canyon, snow begins to form on the side of the road, and then in the road! By the time we get home, the following!

Snowy river

I had a lovely walk on the river the other day, during our snow storm. We must have had about three inches, again. It's mostly gone, but we have piles of it as a reminder. This morning the entire meadow is frozen.
It's really odd to hear the spring birds and see snow at the same time. Our juncos are thinning and the hummingbirds are starting to show more frequently. Yet, the snow is still coming down. Poor, poor hummies! Brrr!
I went through an entire course of antibiotics and I'm sick again. I can't believe this. I had an ear infection and it went away, and now it's back again. Argh. Time to up my vitamins!

March 15th

I like it. The rain, the wind, the storms.
It's a good day to catch up on Francis' book, "Salmon on My Mind". If you haven't read it yet, you should. I just posted Chapter Seven, today.

It seems as if this entire winter has been a series of frozen cold sunshine or snow. It's nice to feed a fireplace, watch the rain and cook good things in the kitchen. Sometimes when it's cold like we've had, nothing can pierce it. My feet stay like frozen blocks and the only way out is a hot bath.
The rivers only rise this year has been due to snow melt and a just bits of rain, here and there. But, this... what we have today, this is the 'real deal'. Pacific Northwest rain that swells our rivers and soaks our soil.
It's hammering against my window pain, right now and doesn't let up. It feels right. It feels good.
This is, however, also what combines with those snow melts to cause damaging slides, terrible floods and log jams.
...and power outages.
Remembering last storm, I was writing each paragraph and then hitting "save". Now, this is funny! (It is now, it wasn't then!) But-- I've lost whole hours of work due to power outages. So, in a period of financial plenty, I bought a UPS power supply for the computers. I hooked it all up, thinking I was doing right, and finally I got a chance to try it! It worked! The power went out and my computer was still on! I was thrilled! It beeped along merrily and I thought, "OK, now I need to turn it off! Everything is saved!" But... but... my monitor wasn't on? How was I to turn it off it I couldn't see what it was I saved?
The power supply was hooked up to my monitor, but I guess this particular monitor is too much, or the power supply too little, but regardless, it didn't save a darn thing. Again, I had lost hours of work.
So, knowing that, today I saved every paragraph I wrote! Every bill I entered into booking! "Save! Save! Save!" Jesus saves, I should save, too! Right? Well, right after I saved.. not seconds after, the wind blew and she blew and she blew my power out. I don't need a UPS! I just need to save! Today, I was lucky.
But, it was kind of neat as I had my router and my modem hooked to it, so I was able to use my netbook and still get internet. That was kind of novel.
This is all part of the hazard of living on the coast. Part of what we put up with for living alongside the great blue ocean, or the beautiful Kilchis River. We take Mother Nature's fits of fury along with our grand green forests!
Yesterday I spent most of the day laying in bed with a sleeping cat and 2 large lab sized dogs beside me. When I'd force the door against the wind to let them out, instead of bolting out, they backed up in fear. Sissy dogs! They won't go out in this weather!. So, I caught up on my reading, and we all snoozed off and on. (They, more often than I!). I made biscuits and gravy for dinner. Everything was comfort in the storm. The dogs even got to lick some leftovers!
At one point, I couldn't take it any longer. I bundled up in both my Frogg Toggs and my Grundens and faced the wind and rain. The dogs followed me, thinking I was nuts.
I walked along the river on the freshly flattened sand, counting the animals that had walked it before us. Deer, beaver, and what's that? An elk? Must be, by the size of the print. How do I miss so many sights? They pass by my window, and all I see are the left over prints.
By this afternoon, I'm feeling a little stormed in. I think I may go to Freddies and see what I can find interesting to cook.
It's a good thing it's not always stormy, here. I'd be really large! In fact, that is odd. I've lost weight this winter. Perhaps it's a sign of so little rain!
This coming week is full of doctor's appointments for Andrew and I. I'm having eye problems, again.
Well, enjoy the storm and cook lots of good things for your family. Go ahead! Eat too much! Spring is on its way and we'll all work it off, soon enough!
Now, maybe just a bite of the carrot cake I made for Bill's Birthday. Yeah... just one bite. The cut lines are kind of messy, though. I'd better clean those up a bit. Everyone likes a nice clean line on their cakes. Bill will be happy if I do that...

March 19th

It's not over till it's over.
Obviously, it wasn't over for me! Man, I was sick last week, or so I thought... until this week, when I got really sick!
Heaven help me, I think I'm finally on the upswing. I sure hope so! That was awful!
I feel like I was playing whack the mole with my infections. One ear is filled with fluid, the other has an infection, then the other was infected and... Oh, who knows! I have ear drops, eye drops, nose drops, and huge horse pills! If this doesn't do it, then I'm going back to my herb drops! I just want/need/must get well!
Doctor! Doctor! Give me the news! I got a bad case, of fishing blues!
It was the hardest thing in the world to watch Dudley and Bill tow the boat up the driveway and leave to launch up at the park. I sniveled my way back into the warmth of the house and lay down. I just wanted to cry. Oh, wait. I did!
I haven't fished in a drift boat since last year. Can you believe that?
I didn't fish the Kilchis for salmon from a boat at all this year. What is a girl to do without recent boating memories to fill my mind, to lull me to sleep, to calm me in the day? The memories of music; the waves slapping against the chine of the boat orchestrating the dance of salmon on the bottom of the river, or on the end of my line!? I can still hear it. I can! But it's becoming faint. It's like some old 70's song and I'm fast forgetting the words. How does one get by? I'm learning. I'm learning that I don't like to 'get by' one bit! I miss fishing madly! It's frustrating to be ill. If it's not my eyes, or my heart, it's a wimpy cold! Seems like those of us with serious illness should get a "Get out of viruses free card". Don't you think? Or at least a pass to get out of aches and pains of middle age. LOL
I am being responsible. My health isn't great, so I do what I can, and lately, all that I can do is to handle my volunteer work at ifish.
I'm just wondering about priorities, though.
I find myself wandering out to the river lately to take the dogs to play, but instead of a rod in hand, I carry a glass of water or a cup of tea. Instead of rain clothes, I'm wrapped in a blanket.
Usually I wear my glasses to spot fish, but last night, wrapped in a blanket, I stumbled out to the river. I was weak and feverish, but I just had to get out. It was becoming dusk, and I certainly didn't expect company! But, my oh, my, much to my surprise... there was a drift boat anchored in what we call "The Bedroom" hole. Ach! How embarrassing! Here I am, a usually avid fisher. I had perfect and unusually irresistible water conditions in front of me and I'm wrapped in a darn blanket, hunched over, shivering like some old lady!
This wasn't the Jennie that I knew. I always have a rod in hand! What is going on? I looked down and mumbled hello. Without glasses, I couldn't tell who I was greeting. I was embarrassed, anyhow, and turned the other way to 'stumble' the dogs down the river.
I must have looked pitiful.
That was enough for me. Sick or not, this must stop.
Never again is that drift boat going to leave this property without me! I am willing myself well. I must!
Today, I am going to Costco to get Andrew and my glasses. I've been without for a while, now as they are broken. I've been living with a pair that are rubber banded together, as has Andrew.
Perhaps my new glasses will provide me with the 'umph' to get out of this sickness slump. A whole new world awaits us!
Is it the antibiotics? I don't know... but it's good to feel this fight in me! I hope it lasts, because I'd like to share a little of my fight with a fish, soon. Very, very soon!
Sick is for sissies!

A reminder!
Do not burn yourself out.
Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast...a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it's still there. So get out there, and hunt and fish, and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the Grizz, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely mysterious and awesome space.
Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: you will outlive the (bad word edited for this family site!!)."
--Edward Abbey


March 20th

Guess who?

March 23rd
(Warning: Graphic medical content.)

When you live a life full of medical stuff like I have, things don't seem as gross to me as they may to you, so read with caution! I'm cracking up but Bill just read this and ran to the other room to get sick.
BRRRR. I want sunshine! Thank goodness that my girlfriend Tammy and I will be in California, soon. I can't wait! We are going to drive to Disney with the boys, one day while we are there!
This drizzly rain and freezing cold sure has me in wait! The dogs keep looking up at me today, like "Why? Why can't we go out?" Well, they can, but I'm not going!
I should. I should toss out a line. I don't have any shrimp, though, and I have little confidence in my jig, alone. I don't know why. I used to catch them on just a bare jig.
Funny... I have zero confidence in a jig and a pink worm on the Kilchis. For some reason, these Kilchis fish don't like pink worms. I think it's something about the wild run. They know a plastic when they see it, and they aren't buyin' it.
I'm just dreading finding out why I have had a cold for over a year. I am on my second round of antibiotics. I have ear drops and eye drops and nose drops, whoo hoo!
When I was little, I had 15 sinus surgeries. Count 'em! 15! Including one wham dammy traumatic one at the end, when they finally said, "We've had it!" They drilled a hole up through my upper lip and cleaned everything all out. It hurt! But, not so much, really. When my Mom brought me home, she tucked me in after unveiling a get well present. A beautiful brand new bike they had gotten for me. I think they felt I deserved it after all that hoopla. I did deserve it! And it was beautiful! A burgundy Gitano 10 speed! I loved it!
She sent me off to bed, and left for the grocery store.
Well, I got right back up again, and got on that beautiful new bike and headed out to go ride my my horse! 2 hours after surgery! Oops! Kids don't know better!
I'll never forget the rabid sounding beep of my Mom's Volvo when she came up behind me. Scared me half to death! The car itself seemed to snarl. The look on her face matched the ferocity of the front bumper! I guess I wasn't supposed to ride my bike?... yet.
Anyhow, that was the end of my sinus surgeries until I was a young adult when I had one more and final (I thought!) surgery. (Sigh) I thought I was finished. I thought I'd graduated to serious or nothing things like heart surgeries. I haven't had sinus troubles for years!
But, all of the sudden, of late, I'm having the same darn symptoms I had as a child, and worse! I'm so afraid for what's going on.
Yes. It's kind of disgusting, but I have had 20 or more polyps removed from my sinuses. Look them up if you care to, but I'm not going to gross you out by describing them, here. (Or is it too late?)
I was six when I had one that would flutter when I breathed out. I called it my propeller and that always made my Mom laugh. Sick family have we! One fine day, I nearly choked and one came out. Yes. I gave birth to a propeller.
My Mom turned green. She was so afraid, and thought sure I had cancer. Maybe she thought I WAS cancer by that point!? We spent most of my childhood in the hospital. Shaking, she retrieved the specimen and like the good Mom she was, took it into the doctor in a jar of alcohol.
You know, my Mom had four healthy kids... and then she had me. She made no beans about making sure I knew I was an accident. Oh, boy! I don't think I ever ceased to amaze her. Or shock her. Or leave her in horror.
What is this long gangly thing in a leg brace that keeps needing surgery? I was there to keep her humble! She had cheerleader-children, and basketball player-children, and track runner-children, and straight A student children-all, and then... me! SURPRISE! LOL.
At least I was cute! (See below!)
Anyhow.. .I'm just terrified that they are back. You know, like ET.
It's not a fun surgery. Not at all. I'll never forget the last one that they did "in office". It hurt SO bad! I was just 12 or so, and I was screaming. The doc turned to my Mom after it was over and said, "We probably shoulda done that in under anesthesia." Um, you think?
So, never again will I do it in-office. I think that they've graduated from those primitive "you can take it" ways by now. Now, they put you to sleep and give you things that make it not hurt so much!
But, still. Seems like one thing after 5 others.
Ya gotta just hang in there. Life throws you some hard balls, sometimes!
After all I've been through, I'm still a bit of a sissy about surgery. It's like I keep thinking that I've had so many successful surgeries, that it may be that my number is up? I hope not!
I think I'll wait till after my vacation to find out, though. I'll just pretend I'm fine. I've learned to be good at that.
Besides, laying in the sun in California? Who wouldn't be "just fine?" I'll have a foo foo umbrella drink for you all.

March 27th

Wow! What a week it was! All doctors, all of the time! We did medical testing, and gene testing, and took blood samples, and went to eye doctors and eye doctors and eye doctors! Oh! And one cardiologist, too! What a zoo!
In between, I had breakfast cakes with my sisters at Original Pancake house and visited with some ifish clients!
The banana pancakes are so good! I just love my sisters. It's neato to have your sisters be your favorite people on earth! We had fun, giggles and opened presents!
I came home to the river. Ahhhhh... the river. No place better on earth! The water came up a bit, and it's perfect to fish. I'm getting out my rod and heading out with the dogs, first thing. Well, first thing after ifishing, that is!
I'm dreamy, lately, thinking of going to Disneyland, again. I'm the mayor, there. I'm not sure if you all know that, but I've been to Disneyland about 7 times! I can't wait to return! Tammy and I and the boys are going to drive there one of the days, from Palm Springs. I hope the drive isn't too bad! I want to stay late, until the fireworks! They are so magical and I could use some magic, Disney style! The date of our departure to vacation is April 13th, and I'm counting the days! Actually, we may leave the 12th, so I have a place to park while we are gone.
We are flying into Ontario, where there is an Okuma headquarters. I'm going to meet one of our guys for lunch, when I get there!
I'm sleepy! I don't have much to say, this morning. I'm just recovering from being gone. I'm so glad to get those appointments behind me!
Last night I slept like a log from 7 until 7 this morning!
More, later... Maybe a picture of a nice, big, wild steelhead! Argh. I am always so afraid to take pictures of wild ones! I'm just no good at it! I'll have Bill come along to be the photographer!
It was great. Yesterday I walked out to the river just in time to see Mark Anderson and friend in their pontoon, out trying for the big one. It's really fun to walk out and have people to visit with, on the river. Last week I kept running into David Johnson. Since we are so remote, I welcome the people I find floating the river. They are like neighbors and it's fun to get them to come in for coffee and a visit! Get them all warmed up so that they can return to the river. I used to look forward to floating the N. Fork, and stopping off at Milton's to do the same. Warm up, visit and then head back out to the river.
Have a great weekend!

March 28th

Oh, brother.
Last night was Friday night! The night to party, right? At the local Emergency room! I had a blast!
I did IV drugs! Whoo hooo!
I was just so sick! Sicker than when I dissected, actually! In fact, I thought it was the end and it wasn't the way I'd choose to go!
Ever had nausea so badly that you just didn't care if you expired? Oh, yeah... like sea sickness. That's the danger in that, actually. If you are a boat captain with sea sickness out in the ocean, that's the end! You just don't care if you die! In fact, you wish you'd die to escape that awful feeling!
I was given this great drug called Zofram. It's a miracle anti nausea drug. Makes me wonder if that would be a good sea sickness pill?
Truth be told, I'd much rather be sick and given this as a party drug, than to feel good and to take some kind of recreational drug, for sure! What a relief! That, and bag after bag of IV saline because I was so dehydrated from, well, the usual causes of dehydration due to nausea. I won't go into detail.
I feel sick, still, but so much better! Much better than a hangover! So, in that sense, I'd much rather spend my weekend nights in ER than go to a bar, for sure!
I soooo didn't want to go to ER. I put it off until I could barely get into the truck to go. The last time I remember being that sick, was when I accidently ate mussels from a rock, exposed to the sun. I must have had food poisoning, or something. It was just plain awful.
So glad to be home with my doggies and my family. So glad to be alive! So thankful for Zofram and the doctors and nurses at the ER. They were so kind!
OK, now to build back up so that I can go fishing!
Can you believe we still have not fished in the new boat?
I'm frustrated with sick. So, so tired of sick. Sick is for sissies, and I have to admit, now... I am one!
That's going to change. I'm fighting it with all of my might.

March 28th later...

Did you know that the Greeks named the different scales after cities which reflected the mood of the seven modes of music. Modern music theorists now call these modes Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian and Locrian.
Just like I have done, when I wrote songs for all of the rivers that I fish. I have longed to record them for so long, that I hope I haven't forgotten them all! I know that I'll never forget my favorite, "Nehalem". It's a beautiful, haunting melody that I hear, still, when I float or fish it.
At one point, I did whole variations on the theme, and had so much fun with the waterfalls, the rapids, the way that the river speeds up and then ends up in a slow, swirling pool.
Someday... someday I will record it all. Recording has come down a bit, with new technology. I've always wanted to put my music to a fishing show. I'd love that! Or, to Grant McOmie's segments! Yeah, that!
Today, Bill and I braved the nasty weather for a fishing outing. It was so nasty!
We have this thing in our house, that we can't leave until our eggs are gone, or our shrimp is gone. You know, the one on the hook. If it still looks fishy, you must stay.
It was raining so hard, and it was so nasty, that I have to admit... I gave my bait a fast pull in the water, and pulled it right off! The wind slammed me in the face, just as I did it. I turned to Bill and said, "Oops! Bait is gone! See ya later!" And I headed towards the warmth of the house. Kilchis was smart enough to come with me, too!
I wonder if there is a payback for that kind of naughtiness? I hope not!

March 29th

Wow! I hope my neighbor is watching! Look what we had visiting, this morning! It looked from afar like a tiny bald eagle! It's a white junco! Not truly an albino, because it didn't have pink eyes, but?? What the heck? If you click the picture, it will take you to a picture with a regular junco by it's side. (Who is to say WHO is regular, and who is not? LOL)

White junco!

March 31st

Did you notice? We don't get new sponsors very often, but we have a great addition to ifish, this time! Tom and Christine of Secret Island!
Follow the Secret Island... It has a catchy sound to it, doesn't it? I'll bet they have plenty of boats doing just that!
I can't wait to go out! I'm going to! I have to! They have been fishing in Alaska, and now they are right here on Oregon's coast! I like them a bunch! Click on their site and check out the boat. Talk about comfort! And they don't fill it up. They keep it to a cozy number and pay special attention to each clients. Want to see what it's like going out for Albacore? Give them a call!
If you would like to go out of Astoria, we also have a fine list of folks there, too! And Tidewind down South!
It's so fun having ifish where I know each and every sponsor/charter/guide! I would trust my life with any of them, and I have full confidence catching fish and having a blast with ALL of them!
They surround this column, so give an ifish sponsor a call. Leave your own gear at home and have a fun day on someone else's boat! Talk about fun and relaxation!
You know, it took me a lot of time and patience picking these sponsors! I'm so proud to have every one of them!
I just got back from the doc. Hey-- I thought docs made you well. I can't believe it, but my ear hurts worse than it did. LOL. I mean, it screams! I guess he accidentally scratched my ear drum? It's bleeding, again. Argh... He was trying to clean it out. owie!