Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
May 2001

Where am I?
Dang, I love to fish.


Jennie's Fishing Life


A journal of my adventures.


May 1st

It's May Day! I remember May Day!
You know, the tradition of picking flowers, making little paper baskets for them, and leaving them on people's doorstep?
Unfortunately, my most vivid memory of this haunts me!
As kids, we would make tons of these baskets, paper woven together, holding little pansies, primroses, sometimes even dandelions! We would ring the neighbors doorbell, leave the flowers, and run to hide in their lawn, watching their surprise and wonder!
One lady, whom we did not know well, came wobbling out with her cane with an angry scorn on her face. We shrunk. She didn't see the flowers, and yelled out in a shrill voice,
"I saw you, you nasty little kids!
You rang my doorbell, now where are you!?!
I know you are hiding out there somewhere!"
We were huddled in the wet bushes, absolutely frozen in fear of this treacherous woman! After a terrifying several moments, finally my sister Linda, (Oh brave big sis) came out of hiding and attempted to kindly explain the intrusion, that she should look down to see what we had brought her.
Boy did she feel badly.
I think that was the last year we played out that tradition. Maybe I'll try it again with the kids today. I think it so affected me, that we have never done this together! A little scary these days, with people armed! I can just see the news clip at 11:00.... argh.
Anyway, the river is high and muddy. Higher than I have seen it all year. I enjoyed cracking the door to my bedroom deck last night and falling asleep to the rush of the river. The true meaning of soothing white noise... white water. Ahhhh/zzzzz.
Bill is happily fishing the Willamette somewhere, and I have tons of site work to do.
I think.. I think.... we raised the $1000.00 goal we had in mind for the fund raiser. Thanks to all who helped out!
Bill said that if I made it to a thousand, that he would help buy me a digital camera! I can't wait! I did it!
Please see the new picture upload feature at ifish. This is helpful for you to post fish pictures and share them on the discussion board.
Please be aware that we are holding a contest for a TH CUSTOM ROD! Feel free to enter, writing a story on "The Passing of a Heritage, why I Taught My Kids to Fish" Include a photo or two. The winner will win a TH Rod, and the story will be placed on ifish!
Congratulations to Matt Hunter of Astoria Oregon. He won the trip to fish with Bill and I on Tillamook Bay for springers! It'll be a blast!
Here is the moderators new page Learn about who is who and who can help you on the discussion board!
Thank God for all of them, as I probably would have given up on this board, had it not been for BIGSTEW and the rest of the gang.
Ifish has kept me quite busy for some time now, and I hope to take some of the day off to clean house today. I have a few more chores to do, then, in celebration of May Day, I am going to go buy some flowers to make hanging baskets with.
I think I will make one very special basket and give it to someone that I want to make smile today. It'll be fun choosing just who.
I hope she doesn't scream at me!
Off I go, thanks for all you do to help ifish be a place to share information and meet new fishing friends!
Oh! One more thing... People love to share fishing, and I do too! But, I find myself wanting EVERYONE to come over and see the birds here! It is so awesome! So many, many birds! I find myself begging for people to come visit and see!


May 3rd

It is our turn! No more 280 mile trips, rising at 3 in the morning to fish!
The beautiful springers are headed towards my back door! Of course, I can't really fish the Kilchis for Springers, I can, but without bait, and not until the end of the month. I think that is how it works this year. Why? Why are the rules more strict on the K?
But Memaloose, Tillamook Bay, Trask, Nestucca... here I come! And this year... This year I want a springer on a jig!
I really can't wait! My bobber rod needs polishing and so do me spinners!
Big old beautiful globs of eggs! I want to catch a springer on a bobber rig!
Dud Nelson gave me a little baggy of his family made spinners, and Duds plugs! I have a Tim Juarez special! I collect spinners made by people that I admire! Only problem is, I am afraid that I will lose them! Tim gave me two last year, as I cruised by his boat with a sad, "I lost my spinner" look on my face. Now that I have one left, I don't want to risk it! But... I want to catch a springer on a spinner!
What will be the ticket this year? What color spinner? I like the chartreuse ones, or the red tipped ones.
What color jig? I think cerise. They all lay in my jig boxes, cleaned and fluffed.
I just can't wait!
I have to take Andrew to the doctor today, but I think tomorrow... Tomorrow will be the day! Tomorrow will be spinner day at Memaloose I think. Herring in the bay?

May 4th

Maybe I'll get to go tomorrow.
I am having a sad/bad/disappointed day.
Bill just didn't feel like fishing so we are home... again! Whimper!
Oh well, there's always tomorrow!
As I drove along 101 yesterday all of the waters pulled at me.
Nehalem bay was extremely calm and inviting, and I nearly pulled over, grabbed one of the kayaks neatly tied up to the dockside homes and went for a ride! Andrew kept me steered straight for his appointment in Warrenton and away from theft charges.
Overlooking the ocean from Neahkanie mountain I dreamed of being aboard ship with Pilar, perhaps fighting a tuna or pulling up the crab pots! Ah... the ocean, a huge expanse of freedom!
Coming in to Seaside the Necanicum pulled at me... Just a short drift? No fishing needed, I just needed water! The sounds, the lull of the boat rocking, the excitement of whitewater! Gimme!
And so my heart fell today as I rose to Bill's change of mind. A calm trolling fantasy on Memaloose was what I needed! Heck with the fish! That would be an added bonus, should it occur, but I just need out there!
Here I sit.
Water pulls at me with an invitation that I can't resist.
So, with and ever building longing for the river, I sit rather stifled at the computer. I don't need to be here.
Go girl! Get loose from your desk!
I have to. I think I'll go grab my rod and find a quiet place along the Trask.

May 7th

The moon... was it full last night?
On the way home from a wonderful Mexican dinner the moon hung still in the windless night. It shone brightly just above the canyon walls, reflecting on the river like the cover on the sheet music from "Moon River".
We drove home slowly, past the glassy bay in Garibaldi, I, thinking of our boat, cutting a smooth wake through it that very day.
Down Kilchis river road, we made our way through the new grasses and overhanging brush, creating the ever shrinking pathway that leads us home. The roadside grasses waved as we past, our car causing the only movement in the air.
We watched for deer, raccoon, wildlife of any kind, but the forest was still and eerily vacant. Not but a moth glowing in the headlights.
As I got out of the car I listened. Silence. It fed my need for sleep.
I rose this morning to the opportunity to fish the Trask. From Cedar Creek down, it would be a long day on the river. I chose instead to stay home. I need more of this stillness, this silence.
Except for the 14 pair of Goldfinch that are fluttering near my feeder, except for the posturing of two male hummingbirds, the view outside is picture perfect, calm and still.
Not a breeze whispers through the trees that stand as tall and undisturbed as if captured on film. An eagle soars over the treetops with no wind resistance, his flight smooth and unchallenged.
Except for the slightest gurgle of movement, the water in the river that moves ever downstream seems muted today. Softened and slow.
Writing has been difficult for me lately, with the rush of life's challenges, the chaos of the wind in my brain, trying to keep up with deadlines that wreak havoc and force destructive storm waves, decision and action. A few social conflicts weigh heavy on my soul, searching for conclusions, searching for peace, hoping for stillness, closure and healing.
The time has come for me to stop and listen.
Time to pour another cup of hot coffee, head out to the picnic table and absorb more of this stillness.
With the warmth of the sun on my back, I have a prayer for you and I, and for everyone in the world:
May our souls learn the ability to reflect the same stillness as the moon on the bay. May we be as strong and as proud as the trees that stand green and alive, yet unruffled, with no resentment of the raging storms that have tested them through the years.
My hope lies in the promise that there will be days that we can glide through the air like an eagle, with no wind resistance to flight. To be assured of havens of shelter in our lives, when the need arise.
And on a lighter note, that we will fly for miles, yet will all light upon a place as full of bird feeders as the prolific 19 feeders I find around this canyon meadow! :)
I could have fished today... I just felt like any excitement, (like the overwhelming rush of a spring chinook on my line!) would interrupt my need to stop and listen today. The world is so beautiful!
I could have fished today... It's not like me to say no! To say no to fish for that beautiful, strong creature that is making it's way up our coastal rivers?
They are called home. Today it's not in me to stop them.
You know, a springer could be right out back of the house, (right now!), making it's way through those calm, low waters!
I wonder if I sit still enough, for long enough... and if I listen hard enough... Will I hear it's journey?

May 10th

Haven't you ever read the books by Dave Hughes?
I have been asked that repeatedly through the years. I always had to think hard about that. Dang, the name always rung familiar! I just couldn't piece it together, and I never did get around to searching for his books.
I met two very lovely and unforgettable people probably 15 years ago, fishing the beaches of the Columbia with Ben Tagliovento.
Hope and Bill.
Last time I saw Hope and Bill, I had caught a beautiful Spring Chinook in Youngs Bay with Dennis Stewart. I hopped out of the boat, into my car, and headed straight over to Hope and Bill's house. I knew what I wanted to do with my salmon, and it had been too long since I had seen them. I knew that the salmon would make Hope smile, and in turn, make me one proud fisher person!
My mind traveled back to a time years ago, when my phone rang. It was Hope, telling me her salmon was just coming out of the smoker, and would I like to try some?
I left her house that day, with a brown paper bag, nearly full of the most expertly smoked salmon I had ever tasted. It was still warm, and Andrew and I pulled over and ate that smoked salmon in the car, with it's oils dripping down our elbows. There is nothing like an excellent food experience for creating permanent memories!
As I pulled my freshly caught salmon out of the car and headed to their doorway last Spring, I past the expanse of their garden. It was newly planted with corn and many other goodies. Memories flooded me. I remembered bringing them silver salmon during the fall months. I would leave with my car full of corn and tomatoes in trade, and a nice feeling in my heart.
These are unforgettable, hard working people, full of life. I knew they were special, not only from my experience, but from daily fishing with Ben, in which he would start the days conversation off with what was happening with Hope and Bill...
We would put our rods out, and stand outside until rain forced us into the warmth of his Ford Ranger. A cup of hot coffee was poured, and onto the small talk of the day.
"Bill and Hope's corn crop is doing well this year." Or "Hope's knees are not doing very well right now, I worry about her."
Sometimes I would hear, and I hope this doesn't get out.(!)
"I took Bill out trout fishing yesterday and all he could say when the bite was slow, was, "I should be home plowing right now. I have so much to do... I could be putting in the tomatoes..." (and on with his list of chores) That would frustrate Ben so much!
The stories that evoked the most vivid imagination, as I stared at the tip of my rod and into the expanse of the Columbia, were told of Bill and Ben's adventures on their fly fishing trips. Hiking up small coastal rivers to fly fish for cutthroat. I found myself experiencing it through Ben's stories and I still feel today that I must have gone with them.
I heard the same stories more than once, but I never minded. I liked going to these places in my mind, just as I fish holes myself, over and over.
I knocked on the door, leaving my salmon near the ever familiar faucet near the garden. Hope came to the door with a smile that I would dearly love to see right now. I told her of my catch and would she like some to smoke?
She invited me in. We sat around the living room talking of her son, the one who is an author. The one who is a great fly fishermen. Pride was in both of their voices as they searched for his books but was unable to locate one at that time. They spoke of his accomplishments that intrigued me. They wanted me to phone the next day, as he would be visiting, and I agreed I would love to talk with him.
Much later, we walked outside to hose off the salmon, to slice some for their dinner.
I left their house and drove home, satisfied with the gifts we had both receive. Me, a warm welcome and both of us, a lovely visit.
I missed talking on the phone with their son the next day by a matter of minutes. Dave had left to fish.
Dave Hughes. Hope and Bill Hughes...
Yesterday in the mail, I received a book from Pete Morris as a gift, and oh... what a gift it was!
"An Anglers Astoria", by Dave Hughes.
"I know who this is!"
I lay in bed last night, learning 'the rest of the story'. The stories I never heard. A rich history of his parents, Hope and Bill, that has provided Dave with the love for fishing, and salmon, and the Astoria fishing opportunities, that are so evident in Dave's book.
The places I had heard about from Ben, suddenly came alive with detail!
"Slender stems of bracken fern poked between the ties and spread broad fronds. Delicate lady ferns..."

Oh my! I know these places!

I'm going to call Bill and Hope today. I'm going to thank them for bringing Dave Hughes into this world.
And thank you, Pete, for bringing me full circle on this!

May 13th

I've done this more than once now, and I'm waiting for what I thought was my intelligence to catch up with me.
With a sudden intake of breath, I find myself rising from bed thinking... "Well... I can't fish in my back yard, but I could drive to the logging bridge and up the other side and fish!"
"Jennie", Jennie says to self... "The river is closed!"
The whole darn thing! From the itty bitty tip top to the bottom! Still, I have done this twice now. Where is my logic here?
Then my real brilliance kicks in when I go problem solving.
"Well, I can't use bait, but I can use a jig or a spinner.
Nope! The Kilchis is closed, period!
My mind insists on finding an alternative as I wonder where the steelhead are right now. Do any spring chinook still go up the Kilchis and where would they be? It frustrates me to no end, and I keep thinking I have discovered a way to answer my passion to know.
I've done a similar thing with a power outage. "Wah! I can't make coffee in the coffee maker!" Ten minutes later a light bulb goes off in my head as I think.
"I could use the microwave!"
Nope! Or I whine due to lack of heat, and I pass the garage and see my handy dandy radiant portable heater.
"Aha! I could use that!"
Portable heaters take power, Jen... the power is out.

I glance suspiciously at the wood stove and chuckle...
You can't fool me, wood stove.

Oops! I can use the wood stove! I can make coffee on top of the wood stove!
So where is the alternative for finding out what exactly is in the Kilchis? There has got to be one.
I sigh as I realize the only chance I have, is to take a canoe down the Kilchis and just look. Or perhaps be as daring as my kids and on a deceptively warm day, take an inner tube and gaze into the depths of the deepest pool. But I can't see very well! Isn't there a handicap version of the law for me??? Please? I just want to feel what's out there! It's a Braille thing!
Jen... the river is closed to all angling, for kids...for me, bait or lure, up the river, down the river, all around the river... No rods, no reels, no nets. No retention of any species.
How I wish it was something as simple as when I lived in the city and they'd turn off the water for maintenance. Yeah! No big deal! The faucets won't work inside so I can't have a glass of water. I'll show them.
I"ll just go outside and use the hose!

May 15th

The Kilchis river is filled with the rain that fell yesterday. Heavy fog is pushing down on the tree tops of the canyon, and then abruptly stops. The brightest colors of spring green explode all around me and forces me to squint to take it all in.
I enjoyed the storm thoroughly. It was fall yesterday, or winter, in the middle of spring! The rain blew sideways, the wind pruned dead limbs from the trees. I drove to town on a magical roadway, undisturbed and carpeted with green leaves and fallen spring blossoms.
But I already feel that longing for cool crisp mornings, and the feeling of fall at the end of summer. And of course.... Fall Chinook!
The summer ahead of me seems overwhelming and busy. Filled with travel and new experiences!
As I booked my flight to St. George, Idaho for the OWAA conference, it all hit me. When will I get to stay home this summer? When will we float the river in inner tubes, or drift lazily through the tidewaters, fly fishing for cutthroats?
There will be time... in between
St. George, Black Butte, Diamond Lake, and then Alaska in July. Phewie! I will be all traveled out and more than ready to snuggle in for fall. (And to get those fall chinook!)
I got my fill of airlines and travel when I was in my twenties. I played piano quite a few places, and was pretty much ordained as my own travel agent. I spent hours on the phone figuring out the best or least expensive way to get from D.C. to New York, from Texas to Seattle... Now it is stressful for me to book one flight to Las Vegas? It occurs to me that I really don't like to fly anymore! Nor play travel agent! I've always been a bit of a white knuckle flier, and I wonder if now I'll be worse? I have had so many safe flights! Is my time up? Yikes!
I do like to stay home, feed chickens, fish out back, and then write about all of it! I like to cook, I like the stillness of the canyon.
I have chosen to go do these things, I really do want to go! Simply because life is short, and deep down I am looking forward to the adventures of each and every trip that I will make this year.
I am excited about taking an Adobe Photoshop course at the conference, and meeting other outdoor writers.
I do wish that I could take my kids with me to Alaska and to St. George. Once you are a parent, it is simply not the same traveling alone. You want to share with your kids everything you see! I bet my cell phone bill will be huge!
It will be lovely not having to care for them, not washing their clothes, no dishes to do at night. It will be simply luxurious playing by the pool all by myself. No need to bring three sets of towels and sun screen for all! No need to find child care as I sit for hours on the Kenai and Kasilof and spend time with Kim Katsion at Clam Gulch Lodge! I can fish my foolish head off!
My kids are simply part of me though, and I want to be with them every minute lately.
That, I suppose, is why I am flying ahead to the lazy days of late summer and early fall. When I can be with them again, doing the normal Mom stuff. (And fishing for fall chinook...)
The storm we had yesterday reminded me of the days far ahead. Zipping through the busy summer and on to the homey days of fall and winter.
I made Knadel yesterday, a german dish that my Mother used to make on stormy days. I baked bread, the power went out, and the dough rose by the wood stove. I made a peanut butter pie and everything about the day was made up of warm fires, voices in every room, good smells from the kitchen and the feeling of family.
So today again, the weather man reporting more rain, I will recreate the winter that will be here soon enough. I want to grab hold of these days because I know it will be a long summer before they return.
The song birds are taking advantage of the calm in between the storms. I have my digital camera ready for the perfect picture.
Hold this moment, please. Hold this storm. Forever changing, forever a new season.
Throughout my travels, I have always looked forward to my return to the coastal rains. No matter where my adventures take me, it will always call me home.

May 16th

I just went to feed the chickens and one of my bantams that I thought was just "playing" Mother has a baby chick under her! Peep Peep! It is SO cute!!!

May 18th

I live protected, in the canyon of the Kilchis River. Deep in this quiet forest, I hear the sounds of a thousand birds singing peace and life in the morning.
Sometimes the screech of a poor animal being attacked in the night wakes me and I lay frozen in fear, wondering who is doing the killing and who is doing the dying. I check around the darkened bedroom for my two cats, and Dee Dee the black lab. I listen to make sure it is not my chickens being attacked by raccoons. It's a wild, wild word out there!
The cry of the wounded animal bounces off the canyon walls and brings it too close to home. My bedroom becomes an amphitheater, and I don't want to be privy to this act.
I moved here because I am best left alone at times. I moved here because I like the quiet. I like to be able to think alone, to write, and to quiet my soul.
Social situations become a special occasion to me, rather than forced upon me, as it has been when I have lived in the city.
Due to my medical condition, I find that I am best at social situations when I feel good, and that I cannot always depend on.
I started this web page,, as an outlet for my writing. Partially, also, as a communication tool with others that I have a common interest. I am thrilled that people came to my party! I am thrilled that the community grew, and the discussion board is filled with lively people who also loved to fish!
The best of both worlds! I am alone by my river, yet I all I have to do when I feel good is to log on and the party starts!
The board... it grew and it grew and it grew!
Likewise, with all large groups, there is controversy.
I liken it to church growth. People get all excited about the new church. They tell friends, and friends tell friends. Everyone comes together because of one common interest, and pretty soon the church is bursting with enthusiasm and people. These friends, however, are human, and as the church grows, so do differing opinions. Small disagreements become blown out of proportion and the people are forced to take sides. These people forget the one common interest and divide to reflect their secondary interests.
Likewise, sometimes there are one or two people, most often at the forefront of the congregation who take a fall. They are the most vocal, they often are the ones with the deepest commitment.
As I lay in bed last night, wanting to cover my ears from the intruding screams of this dying animal, I also felt the need to hide from the involvement of watching a community divide. I didn't feel good, and I wanted to choose to not be a part of this social situation.
I checked around me, and to my horror, noticed that this time people close to me were being hurt.
Long after the animals cries, I lay awake thinking of the members of the board, some of which have become as close to me as family.
Oh! How I hope we can go back and remember what brought us all together! Red and yellow, black and white, we all love to fish, right?
Is it not possible to hold one common passion between us all, and realize our differences?
Is it not possible to lighten up, and take the board for it's entertainment value? To know that we are all different? To choose not to be involved when we don't feel good?
I don't want this animal to suffer and I don't want to be forced to listen.
I moved to the canyon to be quiet.
My office has become an amphitheater, and I don't want to be privy to this act.
I want to wake in the morning hearing birds singing peace and life.

May 20th

I've spent the last week or so doing a little spiritual searching, quite by accident.
I have been reading some soul enlightening literature, and also listening to a tape recording of David James Duncan, author of The River Why.
It has brought me closer to what and why the rivers, all of water, means so much to me.
I have spirituality in me, even though I am a fundamental christian.... I can have both! It's the feeling of pure wonder. When I feel 'wonder', I can place my finger on it now! I think that that that is feeling spiritual! Right?
While driving to Portland, I played the tape by David Duncan. It was a tape recording of him speaking to a fishing club about his feelings of the word, native.
I smiled. I learned. A tear was shed, and of course, my son Andrew made fun of me.
He spoke of the spirituality of the Macah (sp) Indian tribe. Of the spirits of fish and rivers. I will never feel quite the same.
Never the same as I walk down to approach the river that lies behind my house.
Never the same as I drift through the white water in the damp coastal rain forests.
That disharmony that I feel as I take yet another fish from it's river will take on yet another dimension of confliction. Or spirituality, or? It haunts me.
When he came to his rewritten lyrics to the famous Woody Guthrie song, Roll on, Columbia Roll on, I laughed and I cried at the tragedy of it all.
I ended last night with a prayer from the book,
Earth Prayers From Around The World
, Edited by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon...


took the dream
of the land
who staked down "private property"
through the soul of the deer

diverted streams
cleared forests
burned fields
seek to know
my own name

seek to know

after all that i have done
to hurt her
does the Mother continue
to embrace me

Charlie Mehrhoff
(Copied without permission, but with great respect.)

May 22nd

Feeling like a child, I was literally skipping through the lawn yesterday with a bouquet of extremely fragrant lilacs, wild bramble, rhodies, all in a basket ready for a bouquet at the dinner table.
This weather in incredible! Summer! Mid day at 83 degrees, lemon cucumbers, carrots, and zinnia seeds had been neatly tucked into rows of drying soil and then watered.
The lemonade in the fridge called me indoors for a break.
"Whose idea was it anyway", I thought, "to let the bantams have chicks?"
Mine. I take full responsibility. However, it is a lot of work! Who is the Mother anyway? Pretty soon I will be walking around crowing.
If I just let nature take it's course, some would die, and I just can't watch that happen to those furry innocent balls on two stick feet. So, into their box they go, every couple of hours. I move their water in, move the mother in, hand them some feed and feel like I can rest assured they will not be pecked to death by the older, more mature members of the chicken family, if not but for a couple hours..
The Mother is very good at what she does. She protects them against the other members fairly well. She walks around acting as if 'what a fine thing it is to be a Mother'. She is proud, teaching her young what is good to eat and what is not. She 'kr kr's' to them a warning when something is not right, and they come running to hide under her wings.
When all is well, they hop on top her back and play like she is their jungle gym. It really does induce giggles, and is quite fascinating to watch.
I currently have one Mother in one box with two chicks, and another Mother in another box with one chick and four eggs. I thought I would let the Mother have a little more time before I give up on those other eggs. She is quite divided in her time, trying to teach the little one how to eat, and still keep those eggs warm.
Spring is full of new life all around me. Fall is my favorite time of year, with it's falling leaves and the promise of steelhead, but I can't help but look around me and marvel at all the new birth. Colors bursting out of places I had forgotten held life.
At the start of the day, I fished Memaloose with Bill. No bite, except for a cutthroat trout that Bill caught. Poor little fish impaled on a huge treble hook. It didn't look good, but the fish just popped off easily, and swam away wondering what the heck? All was well, and he was let go to fatten up for future trips up the coastal streams.
There is a slight movement in the air this morning, and the thick foliage of the trees are waving to me. You can barely see the river for the trees this time of year. Everything is lush and thick and protected. It takes me longer to walk around the house lately. So much to discover, and something new appears every day. Yesterday it was tiny yellow flowers that appeared next to the fallen and rotting trees created by the beavers.
We aren't mowing our field this year, in hopes of attracting and allowing more goldfinch to feed in the thistle, ground nesting birds a place to hide. It too, seems to wave it's new growth, inviting me out, once again to pick flowers, to plant more seeds, to be a part of the miracle of the cycle of life.

May 24th

Oh yeah, this is just great. I'm leaving in one week for The Outdoors Writers Conference in St. George, Utah. The folks at the medical clinic say I need to go get an ultrasound this morning. I have been having this cramp like pain in my lower right rib cage for about 3 weeks. I tried to ignore it, holding my side as I fished for salmon, sharp intakes of breath as it made me clutch my side as I gardened outdoors.
I made an appointment to go a week ago, and the doctor was so late to see me that I finally gave up and went home. Partially because I didn't want to know, partially cuz I was tired of waiting. I finally went in yesterday and stayed, to get it all checked out. Hopefully, it is nothing, right? I just hate the waiting and wondering part.
I looked at the chart on the doc office and realized that I see one doctor or another once a week or more.
How entertaining!
In my Quicken home and business program it lists entertainment as a family budget expense. Is this where I file the mileage for this? The meals out? I sure would think so, as Andrew gets to go just as often, and frankly, this is where Andrew and I spend the most quality time together. On the road to the doc, we sing along to the latest songs on the radio, discuss social affairs and tell stories. Waiting together in offices before appointments finds us playing cards, or doing a puzzle in the newspaper. Always laughing, while watching the pretty colors on the echocardiogram, we giggle about whose heart is grander, whose aorta has grown larger, whose blood pumps the fastest. We've been in trouble before for playing basketball with wadded up paper towels. This is a great pre appointment pleaser. Wet the towel with just enough water that they sail through the air to the docs garbage can. Just don't put the garbage can in front of the door. We once hit the nurse that way.
There is a real common thread there, and when David gets sick and needs medical attention, he looks at me in mystery as I get all excited for our time together! He just doesn't get it! This is fun, David!
I have come to equate sickness with quality time spent together.
If overnight Andrew and I became healed of Marfan Syndrome, I honestly don't know what I would do with all the extra time I'd have with my kids.
Some of my fondest memories are medical related.
I remember my first lens replacement in my eye. I was newly divorced, and they said that I needed a responsible adult with me post surgery. I chose Andrew. He was all of 11 years old at the time.
After the surgery, my dear, lost friend Gary drove Andrew and I to a downtown Portland motel. I was not supposed to be active, but Andrew and I thought it great fun to walk around downtown in the city at night, so we did! We took Max to the center of town, found the highest building we could find. I was half dizzy from anesthesia, and a little giggly from pain pills. Upon entrance to the building, we located the dual elevators and proceeded to have races to the top floor.
The next day we hung out at the local city park, dangling our feet in the clear pools of water, the sounds of the fountain in the background. We ate chicken, veggies and rice prepared by a street vendor, complete with the hottest hot sauce they had. He read to me.
He led me around with a patch on my eye, not knowing whether the surgery would reveal new eyesight, or no eyesight at all. It was a stress reliever to be with Andrew, and when the patch came off, I saw new things that I'd never seen before. Detail in everything! The world was new, and Andrew was a part of it.
When Andrew had his next surgery, memories of my surgery relieved his stress a bit, as he looked forward to spending some time in a motel in Portland. Pre surgery was spent giggling, eating at TGIFridays, and swimming in the hot tub with his surgery bud, Mom.
He's had 9 surgeries in 13 years of life. In other words, he's had a lot of fun with his Mom!
The blue sky of morning above me is interrupted by a jet trail, screaming through the sky. White and puffy and breaking up, I think of my flight next week to St. George. I wonder what it will be like to not have a doctors appointment. What will I do for an entire week? Can I readjust my fun meter to realize That I too, Jennie, can have fun without a doctor around! Will I, could I, wander around and have fun and see all the sights as a healthy person?
Or.... will I break down in the middle and simply insist I have to tour the local clinics and hospitals? Jennie, a member of the MWAA? Medical Writers Association of America?
Nah, it just wouldn't be the same without Andrew or David.

May 26th

Wow! Not only do I have a river in my backyard, but I have the ultimate in practice casting fields! It's time again, folks! The Kilchis River is open and I'm going to learn, by golly, to fly fish!
Last night found me, cheapo fly rod and reel in hand, practicing my fly cast. I got SO frustrated!
It reminds me of ice skating. I used to watch the TV, amazed at the grace of ice skating, and I wanted to go so badly! I finally convinced my Mom to take me.
ARGH. It's not at all as it looks. I spent the day on my ankles.
Fly fishing, I watch others perform this graceful cast. I can do that! I think! I know how to fish! NOT!
It ends up, no matter how many times I have been taught, not in a graceful line, but all bunched up 15 feet from me in a tangle. Every once in a while, I accidentally do it right, but can't duplicate it! Unlike ice skating, I am dedicated to learning!
The Jig Starter Kit! Yes! Finally, and easy way to start jig fishing! Mark Anderson, of First Cast Jigs has provided ifish with a starter kit. All you need to fish the North Coastal rivers for summer steelies! I'm going to get one, give a couple away on the board as prizes, and support this idea whole heartedly! You need... It is imperative to give jig fishing a try! Never before have I been so delighted to see a bobber down! Fun! And now in one pre selected box of goodies, you too, can have everything you need! Order one!
Dream casters is all ready to go, please read the notice on the board, or on the ifish page, or on their very own, most beautiful page at!
OK, on with another cup of java and out to the newly opened river! My life is anew! Kilchis.... HERE I COME!
Oh yeah... forgot to update the med issue.. The docs found out from testing that they need to do more tests. Geesh!

May 30th

I feel like I am in a terrarium.
I slowly sip my coffee and look out to the back yard. I must be in some kind of bird estuary, or pay per view show on T.V.!
Time slows to a halt as upside down goldfinch make me giggle, evening grosbeak still my thoughts with wonder, purple house finch flutter and hummingbirds buzz and dive bomb their way to food.
They are all close enough to touch, should the glass windows disappear. It's magical, the colors, dynamic. The birds are back dropped by cheerful, dancing pansies (somewhat like smiling children). My begonias are just taking off. Bursts of miscellaneous color spots are neatly planted in fresh cedar boxes and damp rich soil. They all stand against the greenest of springs trees and lawn. Sometimes I can't tell the goldfinch from the yellow blossoms of cone flowers.
Time flies when you don't have any. The more hurried I get, the more I just want to sit and take this all in.
Nope, I won't be ready to fly out to Las Vegas on Friday, pick up my rental car and drive to St. George Utah, so I might as well just sit a while longer. :)
Let's see... lap top, all the files for updating sites, (should people need emergency updates), clothes for 100 degree weather, music, (just in case I run into a piano), cameras, rental car agreements, flight numbers... Heck, it's no wonder I prefer spontaneous travel! Planning stifles me! I would so like to get up in the morning, go wake up the boys and say, "Hey, let's hit the road!" Drive down the blistering summer highway, unplanned! I'd spend my time eating popsicles, barefoot on the curb of 7-11's, no time constraints. Just the kids and me and long stretches of summer vacations.
Do you believe in miracles? Heck, I rely on them! I'm just going to sit back and watch this magical show and when I get up, all my bags will be packed and ready to go!
Obstructing my view of the birds, I see a list of 'to dos' that stretch across the yard and back! My mind just can't reflect the peace and serenity of the forest today.
Gosh, and I won't be able to fish for 7 days! Now the rods and reels dance across the lawn in my mind, enticing me to the river. I just want to pick up my fly rod and run a fly across the river. Escape!
Here come the ban tailed pigeons! I had probably 40 of them yesterday. They are so beautiful! I wonder why Bill and I go through 200 pounds of bird food a month? Another task haunts me. Time to go feed the birds and chickens.
A Swainson's thrush! The cat got one the other day, and killed it, but here is another! We do have another! We have lots of black headed grosbeak, goldfinch, red house finch, and chickadees.
I have lots of laundry to do. Boo hoo.
We have a couple juncos that didn't leave this summer, and some towhee... Two different kinds of swallows, tree swallows and some other kind we have yet to decipher. (Violet greens?)
My three baby chicks are doing well. Well, they are not mine, but they seem to be, the way I care for them. The Mothers do a great job too!
Oh my... I guess I should start on that list that keeps obstructing my view of all that nature has to offer here.
Now at my computer, I watch a tree swallow brings shreds of riff raff to her nest on my front porch. She is terribly busy, and I am starting to feel the need to get things accomplished also.
I'll get the boys off to school and then I'll start on my list.
I wonder, though, how many times I will be interrupted by all that this canyon has to offer my eyes. It really is incredible!

May 31st

I have a love/hate thing for wild thunderstorms, and I am hoping I will be a part of one in the big high desert of St. George, Utah! The forecast doesn't show one coming, but I can still hope, right?
I just hope it doesn't occur when I am landing in Las Vegas. That happened on my trip to Florida.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we will have a bumpy approach and landing".
No big, I thought.... But... It was! We swerved all over the place, dodging big super cells!
Upon landing, we were informed they were tornado warnings everywhere! YIKES! Remember that, Gary?
I am getting really excited now!
Despite the fact that my suitcases are strewn across my bedroom floor, out in the living room and my carry on in the office, I feel relatively ready for take off! NOT!
I have heard there are some fresh fish pushing into the local streams. Rumor of a couple in the bays have peaked my interest.
Funny, but the same phenomena that hit the board is affecting me.
I haven't gotten out to fish much in the last weeks so all I get is hearsay, and I am afraid to post anything I hear, because I might lose some friends over it.
That said, I will try to rely mostly on my own experience out on the rivers, and publicly printed information.
That's why I've been talking about the birds lately! I know what is happening there! :)
Looks like the next best tides for fishing Tillamook Bay will be when I return home, so goody of all goodies, I won't miss much! Hey, if I can't catch springers, you can't either!
I love to crab! I can't wait to get back on the bay and get some of those melt in your mouth crabs!
Nothing better than laying newspaper all over your table, fixing a big salad, and digging in! Crab juice dripping down your elbows, an ice cold beer at your side. I love to compare perfectly shucked whole legs with Andrew. Who can get out the biggest piece of meat without one tear in it? Yum! I love that, because sacrifice of sacrifices, I usually give them away to the person next to me! What a heart felt gift! Can you give any better than that? :)
OK, I'm rambling... I'm going to copy some needed files off my computer for the trip!
YIKES! I'm leaving tonight!