Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington

March 2015
So fair, yet so cold like a morning of pale Spring still clinging to Winter's chill.
from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

March 1, 2015

Happy March! I did it first!
Poor Bill! I wake up early and I wake up happy. He was sitting at the kitchen table, draped over it like he were a table cloth-sloth, with his coffee cup sitting in front of him. Bill wasn't awake, yet.
I was dancing and prancing around, feeding the animals and busily sing-songing to all, as if Bill were a member of the living.
"Jennieeeee. I'm just not awake, yet." He warned, as he lay his head back down on the table.
"But, Bill!" I cheered. "Look at the all the animals in the zoo! They are jumping up and down for you!" I got him! He couldn't help but laugh.
I'm obnoxious in the morning. I know.
I grabbed the dogs their treats, quickly fed Molly Mae, (who swears she is a dog, too) and I was off to the computer room to hand out the dog's breakfast treats.
Both dogs know that they are to sit before receiving their treats, but Willie is a bit slow with the rules. He's one of those dog- in- your- face type dogs. Food first, rules later. (If at all)
Learning dog tricks is a cooperative thing, sometimes. I let my dogs pick their own tricks. Does your dog do anything funny? Name it, and turn it into a command! That's how I do it, and pretty soon, everyone thinks you are the most clever dog trainer ever!
When I was young, I had a dog named Ginger who did the most amazing things, all on her own. I named them all as commands, and pretty soon, she would do them on command. Like, "Open the door, Ginger!" Ginger had already mastered the trick, herself, and all there was to it, then, was to match the words with the action. Ginger would go over to the music door, where my Mom taught piano lessons, and open the door!
Oh-- and I had already trained Ginger to shake hands, so then I swapped my hand out for a book, pretended it was a Bible, and commanded her, "Ginger, do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?" Ginger would gingerly place her hand on the "Bible".
Ohhhh. I became famous for Ginger tricks! But, Ginger did them mostly on her own! (Sh! Don't tell anyone!)
So, now there is Willie.
Willie forgets to "sit" before being awarded his morning treats, so Revvie and I silently wait, until he figures it out,. It's so funny, once he finally understands! Revvie and I will be sitting patiently, and we are both staring at Willie, waiting for him to get with the program. He knows he's not getting his treats, and you can see his little brain wondering what the hold up is.
"Ohhhh! I'm not sitting!" and he immediately flops down onto the ground! Not in a 'sit" but, in a full on 'chest to the floor'- flop!
Once his mind figures it all out, he can't be any quicker to fall to the ground with a whack! Every time it cracks me up! This delights him as much as a treat.
I decided to command it. "Willie! Hit the deck!" and it's so perfect! He is now learning that "Hit the deck" means "get down on the ground for treats!" It makes me, the 'trainer' appear remarkably clever, and Willie, the same!
So, today is Jennie's "Trick your dog into training" class! Have a go at it!

March 3, 2015

Don't let this one get away!
With springer fishing opening up, everyone is getting excited about the 23rd Annual Spring Fishing Classic held on April 4, 2015. This is the first event of the year for NSIA, and on top of spending the day on the water, every contestant goes home with a prize!
This year the event will be at the Kliever Memorial Armory. Once again there will be a $500 prize for the biggest fish and team prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.
Tournament fishing areas include the Columbia River and its tributaries. After fishing, participants will bring their catch back to the armory to be weighed and enjoy dinner, a silent auction, raffles, and a chance to win a Willie Boat!
The first 35 teams to register are entered into a drawing for a free team in 2016's derby, so hurry and get your team signed up! Entry fees for the event are $80 per person, a team of three is $240. You can enter at any Fisherman’s Marine & Outdoor store, by visiting www.nsiafishing.org or by calling 503-631-8859. Free Spring Fishing Classic t-shirts come with registration.
Contact NSIA for complete derby rules.
!!!CONTEST!!!
Upload a picture of a springer you have caught and the best picture will receive a Wright & McGill Eagle Claw Essentials IM-7 Graphite Salmon and Steelhead casting Rod! Winner will be announced Friday, April 3.

By the way, if you haven't had a look at the NSIA website lately, you might enjoy doing so. It has gone through a major overhaul, and it looks abs ahhhmazing! Not only that, but it's filled with information that is right up our alley.
There is this thing going around Facebook about a person who sits down to google something important, and four hours later is watching a youtube video on something totally unrelated. That's how I groove on the internet. I get stuck in a process of clicking on links out of curiosity until it's wayyyy past my bedtime.
Well, the new and updated NSIA website got me in that way, except I just kept clicking on NSIA links! I got lost and two hours later, I was still exploring NSIA and all of the info, there! It's amazing! It's interesting, and it's totally fishing-addictive!
Go click on it, and come away fish-educated! Way to go, NSIA!

March 6, 2015

I used to get up every day and write. Fresh, without doing my e mail, ifish moderating, etc. I have found that the problem with this is that my brain gets full of other types of jaded things. So, I'm going to wake up with my coffee, and just write this morning. I'm going back to the old way of doing things!
Before I went to sleep, last night I came across an e mail for the Guide's Forecast. If you want some excellent reports, this is the way to go! For 24.95 a year, you can access some of the best tips, recent fishing reports, and information from some of the top guides in the area.

Bob Rees
Bob Rees - The Guides Forecast

Bob Rees started this site a few years after Ifish began, and it's been going strong, ever since. His brother does all of the coding and web site action, and Bob fishes, shares reports, and gets reports from some of the local guides.
You can sign up and try it for free, but if you want in on the really good stuff, like I said, it's 24.95 a year. (And it's worth it!) Sign up, here!
I was looking over this editions highlights, and I found myself wanting to read every article! I'm not a member, right now, so I think I'm going to have to sign up. The teasers are driving me crazy, wanting to know more! Want to know when the lakes are stocked? That information is available at The Guide's Forecast! You'll know first! There is also an article called " Fly fishing is expected to be good" That article, right there is worth my annual dues! Under the header for that, it says, "This content is for members only. Become a member now
Read on »
Frustrating! I'm going to go pay up!!!
Another awesome source of fishing news, and areas where you can fish, without the crowds is The Oregon Fishing Club. I just noticed that they even have a Groupon for that, right now. Go take a look! It's not for the annual membership, but for a sample day of fishing. Sounds fun!
I am a member, and Bill and I have had some excellent fishing trips, fishing in places that only members can fish!
The Oregon Fishing Club has been around for 25 years. Not only do you get access to awesome fishing and camping areas, but they are a great group of folks who go to Alaska together, each year at some of the most awesome fishing locations. Each year Bill and I hear about it, and long to go along!
You know, I have some neat fishing information in my brain that needs to be shared, and the two web sites and fishing opportunities above are just a few of these! In the future, I'll be sharing more of what I know from running ifish for 15 years.
It's nice, not always writing about me and what is going on with me, lately. It used to be that I fished, daily, and writing about my fishing flowed easily. In the summer months, I'd eat my dinner at the Kilchis house, and right after, grab my fly rod, and head out to the river with the dogs. I hope to return to that, this summer. The dogs would go crazy, the minute I reached to grab my rod off the garage walls. They knew what was coming!
The winter months would find me fishing in my pajamas first thing in the morning! Even before coffee, sometimes! Especially during low water, as I'd try to sneak up on the river, without even a shadow showing! The dogs usually ruined those attempts, but it was fun, trying!
But, lately, it's been medical problem after medical problem.
I read this opinion of marfan syndrome from a guy whose sisters and brothers had it, and it made me so sad. He said something about the fact that he detested marfans, because marfan tissue just couldn't hold up to all of the repeat surgeries that affected people required. I am seemingly in that group of people, right now. My eye that recently had surgery failed, due in part, to so many darn surgeries.
As many of you know, I have lost the vision in my right "lead" eye and I'm really struggling. I'm stuck at home most of the time. Today, however, my girlfriend from the puppy park is picking my dog and I up, to go to the park! Yay!
Right now, I am not to lift anything of any weight, and certainly am not allowed to fish.
Anyhow, two days ago, I was walking Willie to the local park, and I looked down to tie my shoe, and I swear I saw the image of my hand, out of the side of my eye. I was so excited, that I stood there, waving my hand back and forth, trying to repeat what I saw. I did! I saw my hand! Although I can't duplicate it, now, I was so excited at the time, that I stood by the road, waving my hand and giggling about it. I am certain that my neighbors think I'm nuts! I was so excited, though!
And then, yesterday, I got up, and before I put the series of eye drops in my eyes, I held my hand in front of my face, to check my vision. I do that, almost every morning. It's kind of like Christmas. As the blood in my eye reabsorbs, there is a chance I will see, again. So, I brought my hand nearly to my eyelashes, and yes! Instead of the usual shadow blob I see, I could make out separate fingers!
I love progress! I love answers to prayer! I am getting somewhere!
It is so frustrating not being able to see. I don't know whether to keep that eye closed, or open. Either way, I can't really see. But, I don't want to get used to it being closed all the time, because the muscles might forget how to keep it open? Does that make sense? However, if I keep it open, the gray blob that I see kind of interferes with my left eye vision. I don't know how to be blind, I guess! I don't want to learn, either!
By springer season on the coast, I want to be able to fish, again. I hope the doc gives me permission, because I just can't imagine not partaking in that season ritual!
After my aorta dissected, I remember fishing springers for the first time, and I actually caught one! I was so proud of myself! I want to do that again, so badly! After I caught and landed it, I sat on the seat of that jet boat motor and kept repeating "I'm still alive! I did it!" I really didn't know how much my new aorta could take, but it has lasted me ten years of good fishing, and I expect it to hold another 10! 20! The sky is the limit, and no silly blind eye is going to keep me from celebrating life in the way that I choose!
FISHING!

March 7, 2015

This eyesight thing is the weirdest, most exciting, most heart breaking, most up and down and down and up- emotional roller coaster that I've been on!
It's so uncomfortable, as I don't know whether to keep that eye open or closed. I don't want my eye to forget how to stay open, because it's almost always shut, these days. That isn't natural to do. Try it! But, it is natural to me, now, as I've been doing it for a month.
Bill keeps telling me, but most of all, I overhear him tell our friends things like this: "I think she'll get her vision back, but it's going to be a long, hard road."
"HUH?" I mean, I love that! I wish that! But, I don't KNOW that! How does he?! The doctor doesn't know that. The doc is very, very conservative in his hope and diagnosis.
For me, it's a protective "Expect the best, but prepare for the worst" kind of thing. I'm afraid to expect the best, because I have the furthest to fall, if the best doesn't happen!
The last two exciting things that happened to my eyesight- the day where I could see my hand off to the side, and then the next day, nothing! And then, the day I could make out my two separate fingers if I brushed as close to my eyelashes as I could. Then, the next day, no fingers at all! It's so frustrating! I soar to the sky, praising God, and then I'm laying in bed, crying out the Psalms. "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning? (Psalm 22:1, NKJV)?"
Bill isn't a doctor. He doesn't know what's going to happen, and although I really love his positive attitude, he just doesn't know! And I am the one who has to live with the opposite, should it become the way things remain. Darkness overcomes me!
The first two things that I have been able to see, flew me to the moon of moons of all happy-girls, but then I had to fall fast down to, "No. I can't see that, any more. It's just darkness, again."
So, what's going on? There is blood in my eye, and it has to clear- to reabsorb, and it has to do this between two layers of my eye. The sclera and the choroid. The blood is stuck between those layers. But, even should it all clear, the doc said some people don't see. I asked why, and the good doc said, "There are some things about how the eye works that we just don't understand." I understand that! I get it!!
And so I tell you this with half caution, and (a little more than half) "Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!"
(Precautionary statement and protection from heartbreak) I know that this may change, as the last two times I thought I had answers to prayers, my progress disappeared faster than I was able to call my doctor to tell him the good news! Things also change as I add eye drops to dilate my eyes, and whatever these other four eye drops do!
OK. Here's the scoop:
Last night I was up late. I couldn't sleep. Willie had to go outside one last time at a little past midnight. There were no lights on, outside, and I couldn't see a darn thing. Not even with my right eye. It was kind of like when you get up too fast, and can't see. It was so scary, but I grabbed hold of a patio post and waited for vision.
Nothing happened, so I very carefully, without any sight, walked in the house. When I got to light.... oh my word! My surgery eye worked in about 1/3 of its visual field! No way! So, I closed my left "good" eye, and yes! I could SEE! I nearly ran down the hall to tell David. Anyone! Almost called Bill, even though he would be asleep. I had to tell someone! "I can see! I can see!"
David's door was closed, and I knocked and he said, "Just a sec!" OK. I can be patient. NOT! I knocked again. He was on the phone... "David!" Finally he came out, and I told him, breathlessly. He was a bit cautioned, and then panicked when I told him my eye started to hurt. "Then close it!" He demanded. Now, how on earth and why should I close it, when I can see?! He was worried that I'd strain it, I guess? But, I couldn't close it, even though it was like cramping! I could see, David! To heck with the pain!
It didn't last real long, like that. I obediently taped my eye protection cage to my face, and settled into sleep.
But, even this morning, "yep!" There is improvement! I can see light and things moving, and it's so much different than yesterday. I put in drops for high pressure, and it took a little of the vision away, but I still see some things.
I just wonder what's going on! Are the blood clots moving around as they shrink and reabsorb? As it does, does it then leave a channel of sight? A path where my vision is fairly clear?
Well, it just is what it is, and I am greedy in wanting more!
This morning, it is less than it was.
I just don't know, but I can tell you that I think I'm thrilled! I think this is good news! I also protect that with a bit of caution, but... what if? Just what if?!
There are so many things that I consider.
Yesterday, a friend of mine that I met at the puppy park, Patta, took me to the puppy park. It was the first time I'd been there for a month, since before this whole thing happened. It was really weird, though, not being able to identify my friends. I felt like getting a shirt that said, "I have lost my vision" so that I didn't hurt anyone's feelings by not saying hello.
There are so many things that are new to me, being almost without sight. So many little challenges that you don't think about, until you have to do experience them. And frankly, I don't want to have to do those things, so if I can get my vision back, YAY!
I so badly want to drive again. I want to go to the puppy park all by myself with Willie and greet my friends with thine own eyes!!!
But, for today, I'm happy. I'm so happy, and I'm hopeful!! Maybe... just maybe Bill is right! I'm afraid to hope, but I've got one foot on the hopeful wagon!
Thank you, Lord!

March 11, 2015

Join ODFW for a day of family fishing

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife invites Oregon families to come fishing at one of 33 free Family Fishing events scheduled throughout the state this spring and summer.
The events are designed to show families how easy and fun fishing can be, said Shahab Farzanegan, ODFW angler education coordinator. ODFW provides loaner rods and reels, tackle, instruction and freshly stocked fish – everything a family needs for a successful fishing trip.
“These events are fantastic and I enjoy taking my kids and their friends and teaching them different techniques,” said one recent participant.  “The best part about it is that the kids catch fish and want to go again.”
Times, dates and locations of all the Family Fishing Events are listed below and posted on the ODFW website. Click on the Outdoor Skills tab at the top of the page and select Angler Education from the menu.
Children under the age of 14 can fish for free, kids 14 to 17 and adults will need an Oregon fishing license in order to fish. For families that can’t attend one of the scheduled events, ODFW offers several resources to help you go fishing on your own, including:

 2015 ODFW Family Fishing Events

 North Willamette

April 4, Canby, Canby Pond (youth only event), 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
April 11, Molalla, Shorty’s Pond, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
April 18, Gervais, St. Louis Ponds, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
April 25, Rainier, Trojan Pond, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
May 23, Sheridan, Sheridan Pond, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
May 30, Troutdale, Mt. Hood Pond (youth only event), 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Oct. 10, Gervais, St. Louis Ponds, 9:30 to 2 p.m.
Oct. 17, Troutdale, Mt. Hood Pond (youth only event), 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

South Willamette

April 4, Cottage Grove, Row River Nature Park, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
May 3, Eugene, Alton Baker Canoe Canal, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
June 6, Eugene, Alton Baker Canoe Canal, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

North Coast

April 18, Hebo, Hebo Lake, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
May 2, Vernonia, Vernonia Pond, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 Mid-Coast

March 28, Lincoln City, Regatta Park on Devil’s Lake, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
April 25, Toledo, Olalla Reservoir, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
May 16, Waldport, Eckman Lake, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
June 6, Florence, Cleawox Lake, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
June 6, Newport, Big Creek Reservoir, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
July 12, Siletz, Lhuuke Illahee Fish Hatchery, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 South Coast

April 18, Coos Bay, Middle Empire Lake, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
June 6, Lakeside, Eel Lake in Tugman State Park, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
June 13, North Bend, Pony Village Mall, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
July 4, Coos Bay, Mingus Park, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
August 8&9, Charleston, Charleston Seafood Festival, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

 High Desert

May 2, Mosier, Bikini Pond, 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
May 9, Dufur, Camp Baldwin, 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
May 16, Parkdale, Middle Fork Irrigation Pond, 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
May 16, Bend, Pine Nursery Pond, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

 Northeast

April 18, Hermiston, McNary Channel Ponds, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (youth only), family fishing begins at noon
May 16, Hermiston, McNary Channel Ponds, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (youth only), family fishing begins at noon
June 6, Hepner, Cutsforth Pond, 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. (youth only), family fishing begins at noon
June 22, Pilot Rock, 5412 Pond on Umatilla National Forest, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
July 11, Tollgate, Jubilee Lake on Umatilla National Forest, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

March 13, 2015

It really felt strange to drop a pre written article in this space, like I did on March 11th. I had to try it, though! It felt... empty!
I have made a decision, though, to share some interesting fishing information in my little place on the web, instead of updating my darn medical conation all the time! LOL Now, that, if anything, is weird and tedious!!!
It is so freeing to be able to write about people I like in the fishing world, after spending how many years, repeating, "No, I'm sorry, you'd have to be a sponsor for that!" Ugh.
Now, I can say, "Hey! That's a cool thing that you guys are doing, there! I want people to know about it!"
Giving back to all of the people that helped me along the way is exciting!! Thank you! And let's talk!
But, today it is medical update 101. :)
I have to tell you!

It is getting so that I can almost see!! Not real well, yet- but it's like looking through milky water. I can't read or anything, but it's getting clearer, anyhow! I wonder when the progress might stop, or if it will go all the way to real vision!? Oh, I'm praying, Lord! I want to see so badly!
It's sad to me, but it's turned into a bit of a joke. I have a nice car. Nice to me, anyhow. I had never had a nice car, until this one. I bought it new. It is the first time I have ever bought a car off the lot.
But, now? It's David's new car! Agh! If that doesn't bite!
If you ever come over to my house, and if you are very brave, take a look down into David's big red Sedan. It's a kids car. It is messy. Oh, my, is it! There are papers and books, and McDonalds wrappers and glasses, and blankets! Oh, my! There may even be things growing, in there! I don't go in there. I don't even look!
I asked him, once. "What would you do if a girl asked for a ride home?" He said, "I'd kill myself." I bet! There is no room for anyone, anyhow!
So, much to my dismay and disgust, I went to grab something in my car, before Bill drove me to the beach, yesterday. On the floor of my new, beautiful car was his laptop. But, under and around it, papers of all kinds. The mess was limited to that one corner, but still! It was the start of something that will not be continuing! Ohhhhh no!
Yes. The car is much safer than his. Yes. I would rather he drive that at night to school. Yes. I'm not driving it, so he might as well, since he takes me here and there, in it, anyhow. But, no! He's not going to trash it out! It's bad enough, just because of Willie and his dirty sand and hair messes! It's not going to also have David- dirt, too!
I am praying for the return of my sight. The thing I miss the most, is my independence. Being able to get in my car, and go, as I please.
They say I am legal to drive, but I haven't yet. I will have to practice, and get enough confidence. Either that, or wait for my vision to return!
I have been so excited the last couple of days, as my sight has improved to the point where I am totally sure that it's improving, rather than just wishing on a hope and a prayer. It really IS getting better! I can not only see my fingers in front of my face, but I can make out how many fingers! And they are flesh colored, rather than just blobs of darkness! Yay!
The progress is slow, but it is certain! The scary part, though, is that this progress could stop at any moment. I'm just not going to believe that, though!
We are going all the way!

March 16, 2015

I went fishing! Wow! It has been so long! I barely managed to upload this short video. My iphone is so hard to read! I wish I would have gotten the new 6 plus! But, maybe-- just maybe my eyesight will come back? Oh, I hope!
I got a letter from a friend who reads this and he said he couldn't tell if I was blind in both eyes, or just one. Well, that's complicated!
If you go by the standard "Snellen" chart which is what doctors go by in testing eyesight, then I have one eye that is totally blind and one that is 20/40. I have been told that 20/40 is legal to drive.
But, there is a problem!
Not everyone's 20/40 is 20/40! The 20/40 in my eye is only at the distance that they have you read the chart. I have no up-close vision, and I have a very limited field of vision. My left eye has had numerous surgeries to get me to that statistic. Also, I see smaller images than a normal 20/40. There is no time limit in which to figure out what those letters are, down there, and it takes me quite some time to focus enough, so that I can tell you what those images are at a 20/40 line.
The Snellen Chart is something that has frustrated and worried me for a long time. I mean, think about all those people out there that have passed this Snellen chart test, but yet really shouldn't be on the road, driving.
The Snellen chart needs some updating, in my humble opinion!
When I sit down to read a recipe, I need to have a magnifying glass handy. I cannot read close up at all. Not even with glasses.
I also have very limited colored vision. I have a test strip for my hot tub, and for the life of me, I cannot read it. I have to have David do it, now.
I complained to my doctor the other day, "I feel blind, for all intensive purposes." He understood, totally and it was obvious that he shares the same "Snellen" frustration that I do.
At the same time, I do think I could drive, if I had the confidence. That will take some time, I suppose, if I ever get to the point where I want to try it. I am a very good driver, and I have yet to have a ticket or an accident.
There is so much that goes in to the ability to drive well, that I wish that we had better measurements. It would be awesome if we could take into consideration the ability to see at night, and the ability to see in direct sunlight.
So, I am just going to leave it at the fact that I am visually challenged, moreso than ever before.
The awesome part of it all though, is that I can definitely "see" progress! (Pun intended!) I keep thinking I am seeing progress, but then I wonder if it's just my wishful thinking. Nope. There IS progress! I hope and I pray that the progress continues! No one can predict when the progress might stop, but I'm praying that we go all the way!
I can see blurry images, now, and even flesh colored images, when I hold my hand in front of that eye! It used to just be a grey/black blob.

March 19, 2015

No matter what we did, the other day, Bill and I did it wrong. It was just one of those days that irritate.
We went to town. Bill forgot his wallet. I went to pick up something at the bead shop I had ordered, and I forgot cash. They don't take cards. Just things like that, over and over and over.
It began to really get on our nerves, even though we started out laughing about it. By about an hour into the mass of mistakes, we were a bit grouchy!
When we got home though, it occurred to me, that life is what is happening, right now. No matter how life is going, this is it!
We say we want to live longer. We say that we don't want to die... but then at the same time, we growl at things that go wrong, and even go so far as to say, "I can't wait until tomorrow, to start over again!"
No, wait! Life IS what is happening... RIGHT NOW.
Change your attitude. Laugh about it when it starts to go wrong, and follow it through with more laughs!
Even as I'm at the ultimate of frustration over losing my lead eye! I can no longer paint, do my bead work- or see to read, or... so many things! But, I still want to live, right?
So, don't worry! Be happy!
Life! This is it! Love it! Live it! -or lose it!

March 21, 2015

I love to sit by the river with Bill and the kids. We were all down there, together. Molly the fishing cat on Bill's lap, Revvie, sitting by his side with me, and Willie, forever digging in the dirt.
The sun was shining and all around us was breathtaking beauty. Crisp, clear water (but not too clear!), green, lush, soft-spring tendrils shooting out of cold, hard, bare winter-brown branches, and a blue true dream of sky, above.
I know, I know, I use those words all too often, and they are not mine. The words belong to e.e. cummings, and I adore them!
Think about it! "A blue true dream of sky". Now, those are pretty words! As pretty as the picture it invokes, even when clouds are filling the sky!
Oh! And how bout this! "the leaping greenly spirits of trees" Oh, oh, oh, YES! That is Spring, my dear! That is SPRING! When I read those words, I see tall green leaves on the branches of trees. (You know, "limber timber!) dancing about in the wind, in that ole blue true dream of sky!
I think that those two phrases make up the entire reason that I love that poem.
The rest? I guess I like, but those two pictures he paints in my mind, touch me deeply. I mean, "...and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes..." I get it. I can understand, but I could listen to the other words forever, while I'm out of doors on the Kilchis River!
Someone needs to write a song about the "blue true dream of sky". I'd sing it forever! It would get me through the bleakest, brownest winters!
I write about Spring, today, and my memories of being with Bill on the river while the sun shines, because today is dark and cloudy. Cold rain falls from the sky, and matches the frustration I feel regarding my eyesight.
I was SO elated, yesterday! I could see! Not only could I see out of my hemorrhage eye, but I could tell that one day, I was going to regain the vision in my eye. I had total unrelenting hope and the future looked bright and sunny! I was so full of confidence, that I was soaring.
I am not bi polar, but lately I think I have some of those traits, now that I am going through the ups and downs of this ocular adventure!
One day I can see, and the next I am filled with despair! One day I can see nothing but blurs, and the next day I'm filled with promise! What the heck?
I guess what is happening, and as far as my doc and I can tell, the hemorrhaged blood is drying up and reabsorbing. I see a yellow cast over everything, whether it's a good day or not, so far. I guess that is because when blood dries, it turns yellow. Did you know that? I guess I did, but it hadn't occurred to me, until the doc spelled it out for me. :)
But-- as the blood dries, or moves around, sometimes it blocks my field of vision, and sometimes it doesn't. One day I'm happy, and the next I'm not!
For three solid, very exciting days, I have seen the most amazing improvement in my vision! So much so, that I forgot about these down days! A week back or so, it seemed like I'd have one good day and one bad, so that I got used to the ups and downs, but when you have three solid, exciting days of improvement, you get used to waking up to that Christmas like feeling! Like a kid in a candy store! I can see! I can see even better! And then, today... "I can't see a dang thing."
I even drove, yesterday! The doc tested me, and I was good to go! I'm sure I could drive today, but... I don't feel that exciting confidence that I did, yesterday. Things are blurry and disheveled. I can see the blinds, but they aren't in a straight line, like blinds should be. They are whacky and bend in odd places! No one wants curves in the road, where there are none!
So, I'll stay put, today.
The other day, I was out on the river with Bill, like I said, and I slipped and fell fairly hard on my back side. When I opened my eye, I was a bit scared to see if I had hurt something. But, I could see a bit better! Like things had jogged around in there and cleared my field of vision.
Yesterday, I mowed the lawn. Did I jiggle new blood clots down in the way?
Pheh. Who knows. All the doc knows is that this process of reabsorption can take months.
I had planned on going to a baby shower, today, but instead, I don't have the confidence to be around people, and I'm staying home. Funny how not being able to see makes me feel so unsure of myself.
I have a new and very profound respect for those who are seriously sight impaired, since going through this. I find myself tempted to stay home and out of society when I cannot see well. I don't even want company. I mean, how do you know if you have egg on your face, if you can't see? What if you sit on someone's baby or something?! LOL.
So, I'm staying home, today. I'm inside, dreaming of blue true dreams of sky and of leaping greenly spirits of trees out on the river, with Bill and my animals.
I feel let down by my vision, today, but in my dreams of being on the river with my family... well, it's not a bad place to be. :)

March 26, 2015

What an incredible day! OK, month! What a.. wait. What an incredible winter! Yeah! That!
You know, back in the Fall, I heard on television that with global warming and all, the Pac Northwest will be the new California, and the new "go to" place to live. At the time, I laughed in disbelief, but now I'm crying in reality! I don't want it to be the "go-to" place! This is our little corner of the woods! A place where we all joined, and didn't care if the rain fell, because everything is green and beautiful!
I don't want our pristine cold streams where the salmon and steelhead live to turn into bass rivers! Ick! Nothing against bass and all, but I just don't want warm, murky-moss filled rivers! I think I read a few years back in Bill Monroe's column about that. It just can't come true!
People that don't buy the whole "global warming" thing used to laugh at the prospect of all of these things. I'd love to laugh along if it meant it wouldn't come true! I sure hope they are right!
This morning, I glanced out at the meadow when something moving caught my eye. It was three does, munching on what is left of my raspberries.
Unfortunately, Bill and I gave up on our raspberry crop. I worked so hard on that project! There was nothing I wanted more than to continue playing "Berry Fairy" for my boys. All my boys! Bill, included.
I shouldn't say I worked so hard. Bill actually did. I worried. He worked!
Fences and repairs of fences... Fertilizers and pruning and weeding, oh my!
If you didn't hear the stories of old, I'd pick those huge, beautiful raspberries and go knock at my kids windows, and with a huge smile and a handful of berries, I'd shout, "Berry Fairy!" The boys would open their window and go shopping from my hands full.
Andrew would open his window with a smile and say, "May I have this one!?" as he picked out the biggest, most plump berry of all. He was so thoughtful to ask! "But, of course!" I'd say. "That's what they are for!"
The boys were as excited about the berry fairy as I was! (Well, maybe not quite as much!) But, I loved playing that, so much!
More than playing berry fairy, I loved just having them, there. I tried for years to get those berries to grow well, and I think out of 10 years of trying, I probably got 2 fair years of production.
I'll never forget one year, when I went out to pick the berries first crop and I looked them over and thought, "No... One more day of ripening and they'll be ready." I waited overnight, went out to play berry fairy and I was crushed! Someone left the gate open and the deer ate every last berry and blossom and stripped them to pointy stalks! I was crushed!
About four years ago, we noticed that our berries had some kind of disease. We took samples to the extension office, and no one could figure out what it was. I think we finally settled on some kind of worm-bug thing that lived in the stalks of the berries. The berries would look healthy, like they were doing fine, but when they ripened, they would fall apart and be flavorless.
It was my last straw. I couldn't fix it and we gave up.
The oddest thing, though, is that my crop in Oregon City also came down with the same problem-- and so did my neighbor's crop!
No more berry fairy for us. The berry fairy kind of left us when Andrew did. When I get to Heaven, I hope he shares the Berry Fairy with me. :)
At least we still have blueberries. Thank God the deer don't like them, and so far, no bugs have invaded that crop!
As I glanced out at the deer this morning, munching happily on the berry vines, I whispered under my breath, "Berry fairy!"
I hope the deer enjoy them as much as my Andrew did!

March 28, 2015

In my e mail last night- an interesting book review! I have to pick this one up!


Alaska Fishing Adventures
Bernard, James Scott. 2015
Warrenton, OR:
Bernard Publishing. ISBN: 978-0-9961665-0-8
Available at Amazon.com.

Not Knowing Keeps Us Fishing and Getting Up in the Morning

*From the back cover, Jim speaks to the importance of adventure, which is a state of not knowing exactly what will happen next.

** ** **

Alaska Fishing Adventures comprises the gorgeous recollections of twenty years of guiding fishers at Yes Bay Lodge, near Ketchikan, Alaska. The guide is Jim Bernard, who is known to many in the area as the captain of the Sea Tiger, which was moored in Hammond for many summers. He and his wife live in Warrenton.
Jim Bernard’s recollections take the form of fishing stories and in order to avoid the impression that they are simply tall tales, most stories are accented with images of fish caught. Salmon and halibut are the most prevalent species while trolling and jigging with baits and lures are the preferred methods.
Yes Bay Lodge is the setting – a fishing lodge located on the Cleveland peninsula within easy reach of both salt and fresh water fishing along with shrimping and crabbing. Access is a 50 mile trip by float plane from Ketchikan and guests stay about a week. Some fish intensely while others only occasionally. Most go home with a substantial trove of fish and shellfish.
Guides at Yes Bay Lodge are given nicknames and in his first day guiding guests, Jim earned the nickname “Slice” by putting cutting into his index finger when baiting a guest’s hook after netting a nearly 40 pound King salmon. As is the character of the man, Jim wrapped his finger in a towel and kept on fishing.
Alaska Fishing Adventures provides an excellent account of catching what some fishers call the “barn doors,” that is, halibut. As Jim explains, when hooked, these fish fight to dive to the bottom and lifting them up can be utterly exhausting. While salmon twist their heads and squirm away, powerful halibut strip line from the reel with surging forces pulling straight down. It sometimes takes a team to bring one to the surface.
What beams through the fish stories, however, is the spirit of an adventurous man who takes great delight in the success of his guests. A guide’s success is measured by his “regulars,” that is, the clients who come back every year. Jim had plenty of them including regular visits from his wife Cherie and their many children and grandchildren.
When I first met Jim and fished Buoy 10 and the open ocean, I asked him one day, “How often do you fish?”

“I fish every day that the Lord allows me.” was his answer.

David King
Portland & Astoria, Oregon

March 31, 2015

Of all the medical problems I have had in my life, while dealing with Marfan Syndrome, this last one has affected me the most.
The others may have been life threatening and more serious, but this one just has a grip on me.
I don't know if it just goes to show us how important vision is to our lives, but whatever it is, it has me in a downward spiral. I'm desperately trying to grasp for some kind of normalcy and attempting with all I have to grab my happiness back.
I went out to the river yesterday, and finally found a redd. The first redd I've seen all year! With everything else happening so bizarrely early, I guess I was expecting redds to show up early, too.
I felt the tiniest twinge of the same kind of excitement I used to feel at finding my first redd of the year! Oh, it was so good to feel that!
I watched and waited to see if I could catch a hen on the redd, or a buck swaying behind, but no luck, there. I still waited and watched for quite some time. I don't know if I was so much waiting for the fish, or just enjoying my happiness in finding this treasure!
I've noticed that I haven't written about the first grosbeak that showed up at the house, or how many hummies we have, this year. Where did that Jennie go?!
It's not that I haven't noticed! I have! In fact, I have been watching my olive greens fight over the house that they fight over, each year. The one right out my office, here. They fly and swoop and chatter about who gets to use the premium house, this year! At least, that's what I think is going on!
I don't know what is worse, though, and I have been trying madly to figure it out.
I'm so lucky to have any sort of vision left in the eye that has had so much trouble this year. But, as my vision comes back, it is so frustrating! It's blurry and I'm not sure what else, but that eye isn't working well with my other eye. It's driving me absolutely batty!
You know, eyesight is something that you just get up and expect to work in the morning. It isn't something you really consider, in a normal life. But, mine? It's a constant! I have to think about it, every second. Do I close my bad eye, and just use my good (used to be bad) eye!? Or, do I attempt to make them work together? When I do, one image is normal size, and the other, (my latest surgery eye) sends information to my brain that the image is smaller, and it's speckled with yellow dots and it is somewhat skewed like you'd see if you looked in a fisheye lens.
I want to scream!
Will it ever fall into sync with the other eye? These two eyeballs are meant to work together in harmony, but they are fighting like dogs and cats!
I know I should be thrilled that almost every day, my vision in that eye is improving. It's blurry, but I can now see colored images if I rely only on that eye. I can get around the house, should I have to rely only on that eye. I hold out hope and pray every day that the two eyes will soon work in stereo!
I know that I will pass this test. It's just a matter of time. I said to Bill the other day, "I think I'm a little depressed." He said, "You think!?" as if he knew it to be true, and was a bit surprised that I had just come to that conclusion.
Yeah. I'm probably a bit depressed. It's just been such a long and painful journey.
But, I'm human, and I will get out of this funk, soon. Without depression, we would not know the luxury of happiness.
Just don't send me to a doctor and put me on any of those weird pills!
What I need for this malady is a coastal Spring chinook! That is what the doc ordered to get me up and going!
It would be even better, though, if I caught a springer and I could see it with both thine own eyes!
That, my friends... would be da cure!

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