Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
May 2007

May Day!

Guess who came to visit?
Mr. Grosbeak!

Happy May Day! Darnit anyway, but Pete was the first to wish me a Happy May Day, this morning. For .... how many years now? I have beat him to it! I must be getting old! At least I'm one up on all of you!
I made the most terrific waffles last night with my sourdough starter. Oh, they were to die for! Talk about heavenly food!
I'm so happy that my computer is fixed! Man, technical problems are a drag! Nothing is worse! Thanks to Octopus Computer Service, here in Tillamook, I'm back!
Now, all I have to settle is my Charter problems. Not sure how that will go, but we'll see. I have been waiting patiently for a call back.
In the meantime, I am committed to springer fishing this spring. I'm going to do it! No excuses! Life is too short not to!
Please read Stan's new column. I just put it up, today! What a great idea, Stan! I think I'll go, today!
What a blessed Season! The other day I was in the gardening center at Fred Meyers and I realized how excited I was. I said to the lady next to me, "Tis the season!" and smiled. She agreed. It's almost as exciting to me as seeing the first Christmas display! Maybe that's because they start too early now, for Christmas. It nearly spoils it for me! But, surrounded by flowers and bushes and greenery, exactly when it's happening outside, well... It's real! It's exciting! It's Spring! I just feel cushioned by the depth of green surrounding me. Lush, deep, (thousand colors of) green, wet in the morning dew. It's a good time to be alive! Happy May Day! (Gotcha again!)

May 3rd

Well, that didn't take long to get over! I was feeling so... happy! Relaxed! Clean!
This too, has passed. (laugh)
At the beginning of the week, I was so stressed out! To the point of tears, in fact!
I had come home from Portland so tired that I wished for nothing more than crawling into bed and staying there. But, I couldn't!
It is an awful story, but in short, last weekend I stayed at a very nice hotel. I'm not going to name it. That just wouldn't be nice. However, I got an unbelievable deal at this nice hotel that I could never afford to stay at, otherwise. It was ritzy! I expected to feel like a princess! I got in at a price that I just couldn't pass up! Anyhow, in the middle of the night I got cold. It was pitch dark but I managed to grab an extra blanket out of the closet and snuggle up. Ah.... Warmth! I cuddled up and snoozed off into heavenly (city) sleep.
The next morning while it was still dark, I folded it up and put it away and rushed to get to my meeting.
The next night I was going to do the same. This time, the lights were still on. I got out the blanket, and pulled it up close to my chin and started to feel that wonderful soft warmth spread over me. Except.... I felt something kind of crusty....
EWE! What is THAT?
I glanced down at the blanket.
Oh my gosh, but if there wasn't vomit all over the blanket!!! This is what happens to people who can't see very well! I still don't know whether to laugh or cry. Argh!
I called housekeeping and put it out in the hall. I was so sick! I had cuddled up in that, fully expecting cleanliness from this fine establishment. Ewe!
They said they were terribly sorry and that they would pick it up, immediately. One would hope so! This was a four star hotel, I believe! Funny thing, I checked the hall four hours later, (I couldn't sleep after that!) and it was still there!
I drove home, totally exhausted the next morning. It's back to the cheapo hotels for me, after this! At least they are clean!
I walked in the door fully aware of the fact that I was going to be way behind on ifish. I walked towards my computer but it was flickering oddly. Oh dear! My main computer had gone down! Totally crashed-wouldn't boot up at all! -and not only that, but I had that Charter problem looming over my head! I was facing giving up ifish because of this problem, alone! I was so tired, and just fit to be tied! I slumped in my chair in a mass of tears. I wanted so badly to feel sorry for me! To have a pity party!
I got down on my knees and instead of begging for help and pleading for mercy, I tried to be thankful. I listed off the good in my life, and thanked Him for them all, one by one. It wasn't easy, but you know what? It really helped!
The very next day, and as if by magic but actually through prayer, everything got solved all at once! (Go, God!)
Charter called and said not to worry and that I didn't need to pay for a business account after all, and then this wonderful man came to save my computer! I didn't lose a thing and only had to buy a new memory stick! Then, Andrew came home safe and sound from Los Angeles! My bread rose perfectly and tasted heavenly! Everything was wonderful!
It was kind of like when your head feels better when you stop pounding it against the wall!? You know that feeling? The pain that it all caused stopped immediately and it felt so good!
I was dancing the tango!!
I am almost thankful for Charters hassles, the hotel blanket, and for all the awful things because without them, I wouldn't have known or realized how wonderful it feels to be without all of those problems!
Normal life is just so darn good! Isn't it? I have so much to be thankful for! And by the way, home is much better than any ritzy hotel!
But...wait! Believe it or not- last night, laying in bed, I rounded up the energy to stay up late thinking... (brains be darned!) and I, without much problem, managed to create enough worry for myself that I was able to start the head banging again! Why on earth do we do this to ourselves?!?
Because it feels so good when we stop!

I couldn't get to sleep, and here I am, tired, once again!
I really need to learn that when I'm exhausted, I just need to go to sleep. Not just to bed, but to sleep!
Everything always looks better in the morning! And now, even though I'm tired, I can glance out the window and see how blessed I am! I am surrounded by the most beautiful spring morning! Everything around me is wet with fresh clean raindrops and dripping from a silvery, opaque sky. My ears are full of the most comforting symphony as the raindrops fall on the thick canopies of trees. The birds are amazing! So many different songs! And in the background runs the constant melody of the Kilchis River.

Tonight, I'm going to turn off the television early and go to bed and open my window and just listen... Listen to the Kilchis lullaby.
Turn off the television, and at the same time, turn off my brain.
I hope to be reminded of what the morning brings, and be lulled into a magical and restful sleep.
As I look around me this morning, I'm convinced that there really should be no head banging in this magical world I live in. Not even a little bit.
Ah, life!

May 5th

I slogged up the stairs and lay down in bed last night around 6 PM, lights flashing in my line of vision, head pounding. I felt awful. Mr. Migraine had again, come to visit.
I sank into the soft mattress. Kilchis jumped up, wanting to start his nightly ritual of play, but the movement caused a wave of nausea.
First he grabbed his "Kilchee place". --That's his blanket. His blanket goes everywhere we go, together. He knows where to sleep that way, and it smells like home. It also doubles as a play toy, protecting my hands as we wrestle and bite.
I just wasn't in the mood... at all. I couldn't play.
Kilchis stared at me, cocked his head in confusion and finally grabbed his bear and lay down beside me with a sigh. No play? This is most strange.
But-- he was so darling! His long, soft ears spread out on each side of the stuffed toy and his nose was all scrunched up in it.
What a dog. How human he is, sometimes. A dog with a baby and a blanket. Don't tell anyone he's all grown up. I don't want him to know!
I couldn't help but smile through the pain. Dogs do that for us. No matter what, forever man's best friend.
I snuggled up to him, and ran my fingers through his long, soft curls. I lay my head on his stomach and the tears started to flow.
I was "virtually" exhausted.
Yes, it's this virtual world of thousands of people online that sometimes draw the most energy out of me, until I'm totally depleted.
I just wasn't cut out for parts of it. I can't do the ugly part well. I can't do the accusation part well. The gossip, the untruths, the speculation, the ganging up, the groupings, the childlike, hurtful comments that are so easily tossed around.
Ifish isn't a judge or jury or justice system, and yet when something gets posted on the board, we tend to believe every word, even if it wasn't proven. Even if we weren't there to see it. Even if there is another side to a story.
If I try to be fair, and point that out, I'm seen as trying to dissuade people from the posted "truth". I'm seen as having the opposite opinion, or protecting the accused.
Oh, it's poison stuff. As Liz says, "Out with the poison air, in with the good air..."
I have seen lives ruined. I have seen hurt souls, and I have been one, myself. I know how it feels. I don't enjoy seeing it happen to another.
I've finally gotten to the point where when things are posted about me, I don't mind. It's the course of the day. I know it's not true, so I don't pay any attention. Still, I know the hurt and shock of it, and I don't enjoy seeing it happen to others.
They say that it is for the good of the customer, to warn others of impending doom, of bad customer service. That may be so, but I'd so much rather highlight the good, and just not mention the bad. Maybe it's not right, but like I said, I'm just not cut out for the bad parts of ifish. The uglies. The... mean, icky part. I can't do it.
So, as I lay in bed, tears streaming down my face, I decided that I had had enough, and I wanted out.
Oh, the times I have felt like this! I can't count the ways! The nights, the times!
And then morning came. I woke and walked down through a quiet house. Just me, and the scampering of excited dogs claws on the cold, hardwood floor. I grabbed a cup of coffee and I sat down to read through the comments that I was too weak to face, last night. And, although there were words against me, and words against others, it didn't hurt quite so bad on a body that had had a full night's rest in a soft, warm bed, next to a soft, warm dog.
Besides, and quite frankly, if not me, then whom?
The good with the bad... I guess my job is not finished, here.
Do you have any aspirin?
Here is an interesting article on defamation.


May 7th

You don't know what joy it brings me to see Kilchis play like a puppy again! He's so happy! He's no longer in pain and wags his tail, and does silly summersaults and plays again! Hug your vet, today! When I last visited him, I did hug my vet, and I think it took him back a bit. I hope he appreciated it, but I was in tears, I was so happy to have my dog well, once again.
I love to watch Kilchis play, and it brings the most wonderful smile to my face! My Kilchee is home! He digs again!
I'm taking him springer fishing, today. He's just going to flip! While we were still snuggly in bed, I started to whisper to him about springer fishing. He went nuts! He LOVES to Springer fish! Nothing better than to bark at all the seagulls and to be the ifish mascot in the bow of the boat!
The awesome thing about life is that no matter what, you can wake up in the morning, and everything is all new! The past is the past and we can all live for today! Life is what is happening right now, so we better enjoy it! I do!
Plus, the sun is going to shine, today! What more can we ask for? Wheeeeee ha!

Kilchis gives me a Springer Kiss for good luck!

May 10th

Sh! Yes, I've been a bit quiet. I'm a little stressed out. I don't want to write, because sometimes when I write, the stress leaks out all over the paper.
Tomorrow I have a CT on my aorta. I guess I'll just say it, name it, put a tag on it. That's why I'm quiet. That's why I'm stressed.
I try not to be. I've noticed, lately, just how beautiful things are. The colors... how thankful I am for my vision, etc. Yesterday I was driving to town, and noticed a gal walking in the sunshine. She wore a deep red jacket and it was just stunning, against the greens of spring, alongside the roadway. I nearly had to stop my car. Tears fell. I can see! I can see! And how beautiful this world IS to see!!!
I just wrote a post on a thread on ifish. It is a thread that I hadn't seen in a long time. Oh, the flood of memories!!! It is here.
I couldn't help but post to it, here.
Then, I got to thinking... Oh no! People will think it's new, and that I'm in the hospital again! So, I changed the thread to "OLD THREAD NO WORRIES!" (laugh) Sheesh. I hope no one is thinking....
I keep wondering, did I call anyone from the ambulance? I can't remember much from that night.
Yep, I am a drama cow, today. I am worried. But, this worry makes me very appreciative of my life. It sure does! I look around me. The birds, the sunshine, the green... Oh, I love my life! Few people, I think, understand how it is once you have faced death. It makes life so precious! And eyesight! Oh-- It is so precious once you have faced blindness! Both stun me!
Ach! I gotta get over this, and get my mind on my work, or fishing, or something. This isn't healthy to dwell on these tests, tomorrow.
This too, shall pass. Man, oh man! -The sooner, the better!
I'm nervous. I'm sure you can tell.
I think I am going to take the day off. To sit in the sun, to fish, to garden, to rest, to-- or should I try to keep busy?
Oh my. Enough of this. I'll write more later.
Please wish me luck. Whatever will be, will be. My heavenly Father will take care of me. I'm afraid this is one of those days, where I just want to climb up in His lap, and be comforted.

May 11th

Off I go. I got hardly any sleep last night. I'd like to say it wasn't due to stress, but it probably was. I played musical beds all night. To the couch, to the loft, back to my fluffy bed... to the couch, argh...
But-- had a terrific evening. Everyone was gone. It was just me, alone. I had a bowl of cereal for dinner. I loved that!
Then, I went out to the new hummy feeder, buzzing with activity. I was wearing a blue coat, and no one would come near me. So, I put on a red jacket and went back. Amazing! I had two perch on my shoulder and one on my arm. They waited their turn at the feeder, as it was full. Four more perched on the sugar feeder as I waited. Flashes of bright red throats, and florescent green feathers popped against the lush green background. I stood still there, in total amazement for minutes as I studied their little bodies. They are such amazing creatures!!! I just want to share this experience with everyone! Ever had a hummy on your elbow? :)
Then, I went out to the river where the steelies are spawning and if I stood up high where I usually do, the sun was in my eyes. So, I found a spot right by the river. It was perfect. There was tall grasses I had to peek through, but they couldn't see me at all. A log was there, perfect for sitting. I sat down my glass of water, and waited. I watched them, all 11 of them, digging their redds. Then, all of the sudden, they drifted over to where I was... closer, closer, until they were right at my feet! I mean less than 12 inches from me! How amazing! That is, until Kilchis came to take a drink in the river! Then, they shot out and back to their redd, 20 feet out. Still, the whole experience as the sun set was miraculous. I barely made it back to the house, as the sun was setting and darkness fell all around me. I made it back by feel. I know the trail to the river so well that it wasn't much of a chore.
I live in a Discovery Channel world!
OK... Off to my test. Wish me well. I want to live to have more hummies sit on my shoulder, and more steelhead at my feet.

May 12th

Yeah, well? What does a person say when they come back with so-so news? I have so-so news!
I'm trying to understand, digest, admit, come to terms with the diagnosis.
Wow. It's so deep, the thought of death. It is as curious as wondering where the ceiling over the stars might be.
I've decided to allow myself one day of sorrow and a most appropriate pity party and then I'll just get on with it. Maybe even a half day since I started yesterday afternoon.
I don't want to waste any more time than I have to, doing this pity thing but right now, I have to do it, feel it, name it, say it, know it.
I don't know what I expected. I knew I had been diagnosed with a new aneurysm. What'd I think? It'd go away? That it would shrink like cancer? Suddenly, miraculously disappear? Heck, yeah! That happens, and it could happen to me. I'll never give up that hope!
I didn't expect that, but I did think it was possible that it wouldn't grow larger. I wasn't that lucky this time, though.
The worst part is telling your family the news. My Dad... That's tough. Parents don't like to hear this stuff. And how do you tell the truth without being dramatic? It is dramatic. How do you lighten the tone of such a scary thing, to sound like it's not quite so bad? I don't know. I tried.
It's unnatural for a child to die before a parent.
My Mom refused to 'let go' until her Mother passed away. Then, within a week after Grandma's death, she indeed 'let go and let God'.
And... do I tell the kids, or do I just go on and not tell them? Do they want to know? I don't know. Maybe I'll ask.
The worst part of the test (besides the after-news) was getting poked. I have really crummy veins. They look great, but the nurses can't thread them. They pop, or break, or something! It's frustrating, both to them and to me. It's painful, but I've learned that the more you relax, the easier it is. So, as I breathed deeply and said my "ohmmmmm"s, three nurses took turns trying to get the needle threaded. They kept saying, "You are doing great!" Well? I've learned. It's worse if I am tense. I continued to breathe as they poked me. They searched my arms and flicked my veins with their fingers. They packed them with hot pads, hoping to make a new one show up for their further poking. My arms look like bruised pin cushions, now! I look like a druggy! Finally, they got one to 'sort of' work. Still, when they put the die in, they had to stand there and compress my arm to make certain the die didn't pop out of my vein and absorb under my skin. Ouch!
Then, it was upstairs to visit with the doc, and talk about what the tests showed.
It was good to see him. He's the nicest doc. We exchanged pleasantries.
And then that awkward time. A deep breath and then, "Indeed" started the good Dr. Song, "Indeed I am worried about the growth of your descending thoracic aorta." Bummer! OH, BUMMER!
They try so hard to manage the growth of this aneurysm by medication, slowing my blood pressure to lessen the stress on these ballooning areas of the aorta, so that I won't have to have surgery. Surgery is a big risk for this certain area of the aorta. The survival rate isn't what I'd like it to be. So, they have to weigh the risk of surgery against the risk of rupture. If it ruptures, that's pretty much 'end of story'. But, the surgery survival rate isn't that great, either, so.... so... so... ???
My coffee tastes so good. The Spring air feels so fresh in my lungs. My flowers are amazingly beautiful. The sunshine shines bright on my day, even though there are clouds in the sky. The birds song is beautiful, cascading tremolo over the symphonic background music of the river. Did you know chocolate is a wonder drug? Sleep is heavenly.... especially when I wake!
These are a few of my favorite things...
And on the flip side, my descending aorta is now at 5.0, having grown 2 mm every six months since surgery. At 6.0 we do surgery. It can continue to grow at this rate, or it can leap up... or it can stay the same. You know, it can do whatever it darn well pleases! We just don't know. I wish it would slow down. You know I do! I'm just starting to feel good! Don't stop me, now!
I asked about a trip to Mexico. I want to go so badly. I want to take the kids. I want to travel. I asked him and whether or not he meant it this way, I don't know, but the words, "Jennie, if you want to travel, do it. Do everything you want to, now."
Yikes. That bites. So, what do I do? I can't afford it? Is it time to just max out the cards? I don't know!
Lord, give me more time. I want Grandchildren! I want to live to fish, to eat fresh bread, to cook, to play, to travel, to see, to taste chocolate melted on a strawberry and sip champagne and feel the bubbles tingle down my throat! I want to lay in the fresh spring grass and look up into my cherry tree and see the blossoms float away in the warm breezes, one by one. I want my waggly tailed dog to run up to me and lick my face and make me giggle.
I want to breathe, to live, to play.
This is my one day. My one day of begging and sorrow and drama over the news, and after this, I will forget about it until next test. And each day I will be thankful because of this news. Because I realize that life is truly short and death comes unexpected even though deep down, we know. All of us do. You and I, living in a most beautiful world, where life is precious and extremely fragile and there is no promise, or guarantee for any of us.
I asked him if it would hurt if it ruptured. He said that probably, it would be over pretty shortly. Luckily, that with pain that great, our bodies are protected by going into shock.
Well, you know... it could shrink. Really it could! Miracles happen all the time. Maybe denial is a good thing, and another mechanism that we are gifted with to protect ourselves from hurt and worry. I'll just go into denial. :)
Well, I got all these words out and I think I'll be done with them, now. I'm going to go work in the garden, and enjoy my kids. I'm going to smile more, and be more thankful. When things stress me out on the board, I'll try so hard just to let it go. And, although I'm not going to max out my credit cards, I might just get them out and dream about it. Maybe even do a pretend planning of my dream trip with the kids somewhere tropical, where the sun shines warm enough to wear a swim suit all day long. Where you wake in a beach hut, barefoot, and can walk straight to the ocean. Where the warm waves lap at your toes and the water is a deeper blue than the sky. Hawaii? Ixtapa? Zihuatanejo? Cabo? Jamaica? (BIGSMILE!)... You know, the planning is the most fun part, anyhow.
Sure a ton more fun that planning a surgery!
OK. I'm done. You won't hear more unless I hear more. I'm going to go take a gander at the last remaining steelhead on their redds. Life is such a miracle!

May 13th

To all Mothers, the Mother of a small crying baby, or Mother of the earth- a Mother of a small puppy, (whether human or canine!). I have gratitude for all of the male 'Mothers' who care for small children! Here is to every Mother on our shared earth! I wish all of us happiness on this day, and on every day!
Let us Mother our earth! Let us walk quietly and not take more of it's resource than we need.
Celebrate! Love! Care! Be gentle in spirit!
I am so blessed to have two wonderful children that are such wonderful Mothers of our earth!
I was proud when I asked my son David if he might have children. He said he'd like to have just one of his own, but then adopt, as the world is so full of unwanted children. I love that!
I want to be a GrandMother so badly! I can't wait!
Andrew is so concerned about our earth, and reads labels and won't eat things that aren't healthy, or that abuse the earth. I am so proud of him, too!
My own Mother taught me so much! I miss her with everything that I have in me.
Once upon a time, a very long time ago, the kids and I were in the car together. Up in the sky, the sun shone in rays that break through the clouds in powerful bolts. One of my children, I don't remember who, exclaimed, "There is Grandma!" and pointed toward the sky. Bright rays of sunshine shone through the clouds and struck the earth. She had recently passed away, but indeed, I do think it was Grandma.
Since then, whenever the conditions are just right, "Grandma" shows up!
Happy Mother's Day to all!
I'm going fishing this morning. I can't wait! What more could a Mother dream of? :)

May 16th

A grosbeak stopped by for a drink, today!
Click on the pic for a bigger one.

Click here for more birds caught drinking!

The gun closet smells like a sourdough factory. That's where I rise my bread. The hot water heater is in there, so it makes a lovely, humid and warm place for bread to rise. Oh, but the smell... It's heavenly to me! Next time Bill gets ready to go hunting, he's going to wonder what the dickens is going on in there!
"But, Bill!" Hey! He loves to eat the bread more than anyone! Today it is sourdough whole wheat! I was so tickled to receive a really nice book on sourdough from who else, but ifish's own "sourdough"! That's his name on ifish! So appropriate and the book is lovely and appreciated!
It's a beautiful, although cloudy day. It's warm and muggy. Kind of like the gun closet! Lots of bird activity outside. I've had so much fun, lately with the hummingbirds.
My freesia is getting ready to bloom. They are such luscious, rich and tropical blooms. Perfect for this weather!
Oh! Not too long ago, a guy showed up from Charter cable all dressed in a bright yellow and red construction outfit. He stood by my office window which is where my hummingbird feeder is. He spoke to me from the window. The hummingbirds just went crazy flying around him, landing on him! He enjoyed that so much! He was absolutely astounded by it.
So, later that night I put on all the red I could wear, and went out with my camera. In fact, I wore a red bikini on my head! Anything red!!! It worked! They landed on my head! My shoulders! My arms! It was crazy! The story is on LIG, here.
Yesterday I drove to Portland once again, but this time for my eye doctor. Remember that saga? Well, it's still going on.
I haven't updated "All my eye surgeries" lately, but I need to! Here comes another one! That is, if my cardiologist says it's alright.
I have to start thinking about when might be good, according to the fishing schedule. I'll need at least two weeks of no fishing at all, and then another month of very light, no stress fishing.
Every morning, more and more, my left eye is going blind. It takes hours for it to clear up. I found out yesterday, that's because I have edema on my cornea and I need a transplant. They have this new method of doing corneal transplants. Let's see if I can recall the terms. One is endothelial, I believe. It's a quicker surgery and a faster recovery. I like that! So, they'd go in, take out my lens that is under my cornea, and then sew it in like my other one. An intraocular lens.
I had it sewn in anterior, but now they are going to sew it in posterior. I'm over it, but I told the good doctor that marfan people should not have anterior chamber lenses, but no one would listen. Sure enough, I have all of the signs of all of the complications of it. And to think that the other doctor would have done it again in my right eye. Argh. When will they learn to listen to Dr. Jennie??? I'm kidding, of course. They know what they are doing, but this one time... I was right! --and it's caused me alot of problems. I do with they'd at least consider my understanding of things, since I do listen to what the marfan experts say.
It may not even be possible to do a posterior IOL, due to my fragile tissue.. but as we have seen, it didn't work to do the anterior chamber lens. :(
Anyhow, there is this great doctor, Dr. Mathers, and he is so good. He's equally as good as Dr. Hwang. I love them, both! And, the plan as it stands is for them to talk, and perhaps tag team an operation. Dr. Mathers would do the endothelial corneal transplant, and dr. Hwang, the Posterior IOL. We'll see. First, they have to talk with Dr. Song, my cardiologist.
Anyhow, here is a page about doing the procedure in this new way. I hope it's good for marfan people!
Off I go! I'm glad to be caught up in medical things so that I can just live for a while. Live, and fish and live TO fish!

May 20th

Francis Caldwell's Pacific Troller

Mr. Caldwell is my absolute favorite Alaska fishing author and now you can order all of his books, online! I've read every one of them so far and can't wait for the next! Please, check it out! If you order his books, you'll be so glad you did!
I'd suggest starting with Pacific Troller. If I had to pick a favorite, that would be it, but they are all magnificent! In fact, my list of favorites of his is every single one that is listed on this site! :)

Wake up and fish!

Yesterday I gave it my all, and more! I got up at 0-dark-thirty and sipped coffee until I could move. I didn't shower. I just slipped on my fishing skivvies, shook the spiders out of my rain gear, and tossed everything into the car. We were going fishing and everything was as it always was, including a night before, spent waking every hour. "Is it time, yet?"
Funny, because even though the forecast for fishing was gloom and doom and not so fishy, I still had that familiar excitement! You just never know when you'll be the lucky angler! It felt good to have that hope!
You know, that hope that drives even sane people to do insane things?
Bob Rees instilled that in me, after he told me that only one fish had been landed, the day before. "But that's good!" Bob said, with that eternal optomism, that hope that only a seasoned spring chinook fisherman can sustain. He continued, "That means that every day that passes without a good catch, makes the day when the bite will explode, happen all the sooner!"
Somehow that logic stuck. It made perfect sense. "Oh, yeah!" I exclaimed! I get it! Even through blowing winds and driving rain... hope eternal hit me like lightning!
I was going to catch fish!
Truth is, I didn't. Nor did my fishing partner, Pete, nor my fishing guide, Bill. But, dang we had a good time! The 'hope eternal' caused me to sing songs like I do when my heart is filled with joy. Songs that made my fishing partners grasp their ears in pain, but still made them laugh.(a little)
Scream along with me, will you?
"Oh, the Lord is good to me, and so I thank the Lorddddd!-- For giving me, the things I need, the fun and the rain and the fishing weeds, the Lord is good to meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" I sang, as I again reached out to clean the seaweed from my hooks.
The first couple of hours flew by as fast as the tide sucked out beneath our boat bottom. Soon, that familiar sandy, wood littered bottom of the river came closer and closer to greeting us.
I adjusted the depth on my spinner, constantly, growing more and more tense.
"Bill, I don't wanna get stuck down here." I warned him as the wind picked up and sent a chill down my spine. "Bill, please... I'm cold, let's not stay down here..."
A warning like that from a woman is a stern warning, indeed. It's a warning that should be taken most seriously. Men do not like to be caught in a woman's "I told you so." Oh, no! That's a bad, bad thing for a man.
Let's just say that I spent a couple hours saying to him, "Told ya so!"
I began to hear more frequently than I'd like, warnings such as, "Man, the river bottom has changed!" Man! There used to be a sand bar here, and man! The flood sure caused change! There didn't used to be a delta (bump) here!"
Uh huh.... I felt the "told-ya-so" coming soon.
The dirt and sand spit and colored our till water behind us. He revved up the jet pump and a brownish horse tail arched far behind us. Uh oh.
There was one way, and one way only from point A to point B. The only way we could get from the Sheep's coral back to the dock was through the flats. The flats were now less than a foot deep and littered with logs, stuck in the sand like carelessly ocean thrown darts.
Oh! And guess who had a stick stuck in the pump so we couldn't get on plane?
That would be us.
"Told ya so, Bill." (Oh, men hate that!) "Told ya so." (Oh, from a woman? That's a bad thing!) "Told ya so." That sing-song chant began to get on his nerves.
I reeled in, and held onto my spinner, which was ineffectively spitting out of the shallows behind the boat. I decided to smile and screamed another round of,
"Ohhhhhhhh!!! The Lord is good to me, and so I thank the Lordddddd! For giving me, these things I know, and now I can say that I told you so!"

Told ya so!

What else was there to do but laugh?
I thought he was gonna kill me! He was cold, too!
On a good day, I can fish for maybe two hours before the pain starts in. On a good day, even if I make it four hours, afterwards, my bones ache like I'm 97... but I know that will happen, and I just measure whether it will be worth it.
It was a good day, but stuck in our cramped fishing quarters, two hours turned to five, and the five to five point five and I was more than ready for the heater in my warm, wonderful automobile.
I started thinking, "I could walk back... through the mud flats and down the road..." Nah...
Later that night at the Awards banquet, Bob Rees introduced me to someone saying, "Jennie really put in a good effort, today!" He knows I'm only good for a couple hours, but he fished next to me for an unusually long time!
I laughed as I limped, "Not by choice, Bob! Not by choice!"
Out on the water, finally, we risked it. We got up on plane and I closed my eyes when I saw sand come up to greet my eyes in way-too-shallow waters! We nearly flew over the flats. That never seems right! I know from experience what it feels like to hit sand with an aluminum boat. It doesn't skid. It stops flat. I braced myself against the steering column, waiting for sure death.
But-- Bill is a pretty darn good captain! An expert, in fact. I trust him. I remember Jim Erickson used to call Bill the very best captain that he knew. One of the only he trusted to take him out in the ocean. That always made me so proud of Bill! --and even though 'I told him so', we made it and slid home. Our boat gently settled into safe, deep waters after whizzing 40-50 mph over the flats. I could almost feel the heater in my car, which was now close enough to us to feel like a real possibility!
The Bounty on the Bay Tournament is fast becoming as large if not larger than any coastal tournament that I'm involved in. What a success! And what a grand cause! Mark of TEP said that almost half of the people there, were there through ifish, too! Go, ifish!
And... Bob Rees is my hero. I'm writing him in for President of the United States. I think he'd be a grand candidate! You watch! And when it happens, can I please say, "Told ya so!"
I had a great weekend, despite my pain. It is worth every single pain that I feel. In fact, it's kind of like after you go skiing or something-- How it hurts so good? :) It was worth it. Every minute of it. I had fun! Pete, as always, was great company.
You know, The Lord indeed, is very good to me.
I can't wait to go springer fishing again... and you know what? The reports have been lousy, but that's a good thing! Any day now... it's going to open up! Right, Bob?

Have a great day!

May 23rd

Look at the board! It's all fishy! I hired a gal way back last year to redo the graphics and it's finally done! It's beautiful! Still a couple crinkles to work out, but it will get done!
...and I haven't been fishing since the last I wrote! Now, see? That's why I haven't been catching fish, lately. I quit! I see that there is nothing around, and I wait too long, probably. You really have to get after them every day until you get lucky. Then, it seems you have a lucky streak and everyone in the world thinks you are a magician. :) I remember those years!
Instead, lately, I fish and get skunked so I take a week off to "catch up" on things. Gardening, ifish, etc... and all the while, I bet you anything that Bob Rees and gang are out there just knocking them silly! And I'm missing out! Therefore, I'm going to go! No more of this catch up! I'm going fishing until I get into a string of them! My freezer is getting pretty wimpy looking! The springer shelf in Grandmas cupboard is bare!
But, I have to admit, my garden is growing nicely! It's weeded and clean and my freesia are sprouting! My begonias are grand, and my asparagus looks like real asparagus this year!
My bird feeders are clean and full. My hummingbirds buzz happily with feeders full of clean, sparkling sugar water.
But, who wants it?
Soon, very soon I'll be soaked up to my knees in fish slime, my feeders will go dry. The birds will follow me to the bay, crying, "Jennie, Jennie! Come home! We are hungry!"
Muhahahaha.... I've got bigger fish to fry!
Ifish will go unattended. The crowds will go wild breaking the AUP, posting unapproved links, and talking boat talk! Overmoderation will soon be undermoderation!
Ha ha!
My garden will wilt in despair as I leave in the early morning sun without turning on the sprinkler.
Ah, the thought makes me giggle, but frankly, I think I can handle it all. Thank goodness for moderators! Thank my heavenly stars for automated sprinklers and I can have the kids fill the bird feeders! We'll all make it AND I can catch a springer! You wait! You watch and see!

May 25th

It wasn't like me!
This has been a very difficult week!
Most of the time has been spent gazing at the computer screen, posting about wanting to run away on Life in General. I spent long spells considering travel to far away places that other people on ifish suggested as physically and mentally restoring, renewing and relaxing.
Was I really going to go? I thought I wanted to! I thought I needed to! I almost did! My suitcases are actually sitting, ready to pack!
At some moments the urge was so strong to run (!) that a backpack would have been sufficient. Other moments brought long stretches of intricate planning at, reading trip reports, and eyeing 'just the perfect' hotel room.
Fact is, though, I think I took my vacation time, just planning it!
In the past few days there were times when my eyes grew so tired gazing at travel sites that I was forced to close them.
My ears filled with the sounds of spring birds, and the trickle of a low river. When I opened them, I found myself surrounded by the most beautiful green trees stretching up to the sky.
It's so beautiful here! What am I running from? And trout season opens this weekend! I'm already here in heaven!!
Surely, whatever spooked me couldn't be quelled by Hawaii, or Mexico, or any sunny beaches.
It is always very difficult to hear unpleasant medical news, and it takes time to digest it.
I learned somewhere in my past that a family is like a mobile. When you rearrange one part, the rest of it gets thrown totally off balance, and hangs, limp and broken. A lot of rebuilding and moving around needs to be done to regain some sort of balance.
Right now, we are still hanging straight and balanced, but the idea of what could happen, what might happen, what the good doc' prepared me for threatens the integrity of the balance. I think right now, we are all scared, imagining our mobile hanging like objects on loose and entangled strings.
I've been taking short breaks and wandering down to the river. The Kilchis is so beautiful this time of year! Green lush grasses tumble down to the water. It is so beautiful that at times it brings tears to my eyes, and then the whole wash heads out to sea.
I blamed it on the beauty, but I know better.
My emotions have been plenty tender, as of late.
Last night I attended my son David's very last high school jazz band concert. Some of the seniors proudly displayed their cap and gowns. The mood was cheery all around me. I tried to smile.
So many memories! Cupcakes and Birthday parties and Christmas, Oh my!
David isn't going to 'walk' in the graduation ceremony. It's a long story, but he decided that it's just not for him. My opinion is much different from his. I feel selfish. I mean, whose graduation is this, anyhow?
David, of whom I am so proud. He is such a talented, intelligent, capable sort. He will go far! Of that, I am certain. Still, I can't help but wonder if I'll get to see it? No fair!
For some reason, in my silly and selfish parental view, this is my graduation! When Andrew graduated I felt such pride! David is my youngest child! I want to watch him walk! I spent 18 years raising him up in the way he will go-- But, no. David has decided not. He's decided that it's all hooplah, and he'll have nothing to do with it.

The band concert was emotionally charged for me, and I had to leave early.
And Andrew... oh, my dear and beloved Andrew, with who I share so much in common. I am a mirror of the medical situation he might face, one day.
We had a terrible fight over... (don't laugh) "mashed potatoes" this week. It was awful.
How terribly hard life must be for him. And in watching my life unfold, things crop up between us-- little arguments get blown out of proportion and spun into a huge outburst that pretty much blows the family mobile into smithereens. How will we ever put it back together? Thank God, though, in a few quick and magical strokes, it's all back together again.
I've been enjoying Andrew's company so much lately. We'd have tea after he got home from school. We'd sit together and chat, having so much in common. Yet, it's these very commonalities that cause us so much grief.
This week I received a letter in my e mail from Andrew, and oh, how his childhood memories differ from mine! He expressed hurt in his life that I never imagined existed. It was so difficult to read! A friend reminded me that we can't control how someone recalls things. I just learned that, (with a big gulp and a couple more tears) through his writing. Andrew is blessed with the gift of expression that some folks say that I have. His words hurt as I read them.
My sister reminded me that kids act this way before they move out, so that we, as parents, don't mind them moving quite so much! I giggled as I agreed. It's so true!
We are all three, now; Andrew, David and I...We are full grown adults! Wow! When did that happen?
We have such wonderful, complex and imperfect personalities intertwined with memories that we all 'remember' differently.
The past season has been cold and rainy and the sunshine would indeed feel good on my bones.
I am still a bit tempted just to jump on some plane and go, go, go!
This morning is chilled by a gloomy overcast. I wish the sunshine would break through the clouds and melt the tumult of my soul. I don't know where I hear this from in my mind, but I keep hearing these words,
"Winter's wrath begins to quell" Where is that quote from? And where is the Spring sunshine? Why does it seem to be missing this week?
I know that this too, shall pass. If there is one thing I've learned, it is indeed that this too, shall pass.
I think I'll put on some jazzy jumpy music and dance. That always helps me.
Last night, I received another letter from Andrew. This time, one that connects us, that tells me of his love and one that made me smile again.
David just woke up and came to my office door. "Good morning, Mom." He smiled.
I hugged him. He is so huggable!
The sunshine is indeed on it's way. You watch.
And... for now, I'm stayin' put.
I would like to see Hawaii, though. I really would! Warm sand between my toes still sounds darn good!


May 26th

Kilchis has no clue! I can't wait to tell him!
This is the day I wait for, eagerly, for days! Days and days on end, during the Spring where each morning I try to find something new to see on the river. The river has been closed to fishing, so I make myself really look at things, study the river bottom, explore rocks, channels, take the binoculars out and scan the trees for eagles. There really are surprises at each turn!

It's kind of like this hidden arrow between the E and the X in Fed X. Have you ever noticed?

I have pointed that out a couple times, but I still get a kick out of it. Mostly because I'm amazed at how much we, as people, miss by not really looking at things.
There are so many wonderful things to see and to notice, and I spend the river closure time looking for them, as I do my daily walks on the river.
When the day finally comes to fish, it's like Christmas!
Kilchis will again go totally NUTS when I reach up to the rod rack. He knows! Oh, does he know! He gets totally waggly tailed and spins in circles. I don't know why he gets such a kick out of fishing, rather than walking, but he sure does!
So, it's time. I'm going to go quietly as I can to get my clothes on, and when I go for my boots, it will be stage one of the wigglies, for Kilchis!
Then, when I reach for my fly rod, look out! Kilchis is going to explode into flying fur! I think I'll grab my camera and try to capture that digital joy!
When I get back, I'll share with you the images that make this morning so special!

May 28th

What a beautiful morning on Tillamook Bay!

David Johnson

What a great morning! David Johnson called last evening and invited us to fish with him this morning. I dropped everything, and went. That was unlike me and really felt good! I just said "YES!"
I'm so glad I did!
We didn't catch anything but we had an awesome morning. Relaxed, hopeful, and exciting!
I'm beginning to wonder if maybe catching a springer this year is somewhat like falling in love. Perhaps the moment I stop trying so hard, it will just happen? Maybe if I just enjoy myself, quit thinking about it, and just notice other things... maybe my heart will skip a beat and my rod will go down? We'll see! That's my new philosophy on fishing and love and by golly, I'm sticking to it!
After all, I did have a great time and I didn't catch a darn thing! My heart feels light and cheerful!
We didn't even have a bump, and who cares? I didn't! I still left the parking lot, sunkissed and happy, relaxed and refreshed!
Fishing with David Johnson is a blast! I want to go again! He's the greatest guy and I picked up some handy tips that I'll use next time... you know, when I'm out next, not trying to catch fish! (laugh)
I tried out a new gizmo that I picked up this week. It's called the "Set The Hook". It's handy for me, because it keeps the pressure of the fish off of my chest and takes alot of the weight, right there on the strap. It's surprisingly comfortable. Funny thing, I thought it would get in the way, but it doesn't! I didn't even know I was wearing it!

Click on the pic for a larger view

You'll see a black strap below my elbow on my arm. That's the "Set The Hook". It fits on tightly, with Velcro. You can find an illustration of how it works, here. Of course, I didn't get the chance to try it on a fish, but we did plenty of fake takes to feel the pressure. I think it just might work!
Well, I'm NOT going to go through this springer season alone and heart broken. I will "fall in love", right? I will get the chance? I know one thing, and that's for certain: I'm not going to catch a springer sitting inside at this computer!
I'm going to give it every chance that I've got. That means fishing... EVERY DAY until I get my chance!
Spring is here! I want my heart romancing!
Spring is here! I want my heart to go dancing!

Oh... doesn't that just sound fishy?

Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day
God Bless our Soldiers

As soon as "Taps" was first sounded in July 1862, words were put with the music. The first were, "Go To Sleep, Go to Sleep." Over the years, other versions have been created. There are no official words to the music but here are some of the more popular verses:

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the hills, from the lake,
From the sky.
All is well, safely rest,
God is nigh.

Go to sleep, peaceful sleep,
May the soldier or sailor,
God keep.
On the land or the deep,
Safe in sleep.

This Memorial Day, please remember those who have paid the ultimate price. Regardless how some may feel about war, please, let's join hands and remember the brave.