Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington

May 2009

See the Fishes?

Pet steelhead redds

Happy May Day!

May 1st, 2009

I adore May Day!
Yesterday I went to Freddies and had more fun picking out flowers! Now, I'm going to go out and make some baskets and do my favorite thing! Make flower baskets!
Then, I'll have Bill drive me to friends houses, place a basket of flowers on their porch, ring the bell and run! Too much fun! It makes me giggle to even think about it!
May Day Baskets brings back great memories!
My sisters and I used to make woven paper baskets on May Day and do the same. It was a huge event. Whatever happened to that tradition? I don't see kids doing it, now.
Why is it that what sticks in my head, though, is the cranky lady who had no idea what us 'naughty' kids were up to when we rang her doorbell? She opened the door and yelled out, "I saw you children!!" in a craggy old mean voice.! We hid yet deeper in the bushes, afraid to come out!
She obviously didn't remember it was May Day, nor did she remember the tradition! She just thought we were playing naughty neighborhood tricks on her. Well, we were! But, good-naughty tricks!
She looked down and found the basket, and I think she felt terrible! She changed her voice, bent down to pick up the flowers and tried to lure us in. Not a chance! She was forever akin to the mean old witch in "Little Red Riding Hood" in our minds, then! We snuck away and forever more, that lady was off limits for our May Day "pranks"!
I hope never to run into that type, again! Thing is, she was probably a nice lady and if I had the chance, yet today, I'd go to see her. She probably ended up feeling worse than we did.
I see this happen on ifish, sometimes. You know? Where someone will misunderstand someone else and react poorly to our typewritten words. It's always too bad when it leaves a permanent impression. Don't let that happen, OK?
Give folks a second chance! We only live once!
Let's start this Spring by finding someone (that is still alive!) that deserves a second chance. Don't be afraid of it, like we were the lady above!
Go for it! Forgive and forget!
I bet you anything that if you do, it will leave a permanent impression so much stronger than the original! And a positive one!
May Day-- a fresh start for all of us! Springtime, when everything is new! What a perfect time to forgive! I think I'm going to start a new tradition!

May 2nd

Did you see the mention of the Marfan Gala on The Today Show? Click here and then scroll to 1:40. That's where it begins! I'm impressed! They raised a million dollars for Marfan!

It's May 1st and that means Stan Fagerstrom's latest colomn is out! Read up on Rapala, here!

May 3rd

I've pulled a muscle in my shoulder. I think it happened when I tried to buck the tide in my canoe.
Do I learn? Nope.
I was out canoeing this morning, again. "I'll take it easy", I told myself. I'll just float across, and then back again. The call to the river is strong for me, and if I have a chance to get closer than the bank, I will, every time. So much fun to search the water bottom and see what I can see! Steelhead? Trout? Maybe an eel? Cool!
I shook my head, yesterday, thinking about it. Will I ever grow up? Become a woman? I'm still a grade school tom-boy.
As I neared the other side, I spotted the most beautiful rock on the bottom of the river! I had to get it! It was five feet or so out from shore, and in water just deeper than my knee boots. I steadied the canoe, and hopped out. I hadn't been on the sunny side of the river yet this year, didn't realize the slippery algae had begun to grow and I barely touched bottom and fell swift on my bottom. Really slippery!
Luckily, the water cushioned the blow and I didn't bang into the canoe. It was just wet and cold and shocking. I had to laugh... a little.
After catching my breath, I stood on the bank. The sun was strong and warm, so I stood, gathering my wits. I was wet from the bottom down, but I was warmed by that intense sunshine. I searched West of me puzzled by the morning's weather. I could have sworn it was to rain and storm today. The river cuts a deep vee into the mountains that lead to the ocean, five miles away. A towering Cumulonimbus cloud (I love cloud names!) filled to overflowing the vee cut through the canyon, like a messy double scooped ice cream cone. It rose above the mountains. All that was missing was the cherry on top! So, there is my storm! Just then, the wind began. The storm pushed forward and I shivered.
I've always been pushed to the coast. I've tried soo many times to live in Portland or Canby. No matter how much it attracts me, I'm just not made to be a valley girl. Like... to-totally...
Every darned river that I've ever fished leads me to the coast. Why buck the tide?
It injures me when I try to row against the tide! What I don't get, is why all you Portland people can so easily buck that same tide? So many of you! How do you stay there, when the river pulls at everything it touches? How do you escape that pull? All flotsam and jetsam and fishes and fishermen are carried to the sea, so how to you folks cling on to that city? Do you have tentacles? A different force that pulls you? Is gravity stronger on some, than others? Get me near a river and I just lose my footing and slip to the sea! (As you saw this morning!)
I get near a flowing body of water and I just fall, helplessly and float on down until I end up in Astoria, Seaside, Warrenton, Otis, Lincoln City, Gleneden! Darned if I don't come with a U-Haul and all of my stuff, too!
I've been whisked down the free flowing hiways of rivers and plopped down into each of the above beach side cities!
I take one motion to fish their rivers and 'end of story'! Tillamook Bay, The Wilson, The Trask, The Nestucca, The Nehalem, The Columbia River, The Salmon River, The Siletz! You name it! They all plop me off at a home near the shores of their river banks, and that's where I stay.
I pick up to leave and darn it anyhow, if the current doesn't float me right back 'home' again.
I guess it's easiest for me just to follow the flow.

The sun took a turn behind one of those tall ice cream cone clouds and forced me back across the river. Brrr! Time to go change into some dry clothes.
I made certain to start high and float across so that I didn't have to buck the tide. It's just easier that way.
I have to go to the city this week, but you just wait. I'll be back! I love to visit the city, but I've learned my place and I've come to accept my home on the coast.
I've had a grand life of bucking tides in my life, but it's time for me to settle down and just realize that this is where I live. My home, on the Kilchis river.

Carly Simon
Be with me

River run to the sea
Salmon run to the sea
If you need someone
You can run to me

Flowers grow to the sun
Shines on everyone
If you've lost the warmth
I will give you some

Lay back on a starry night
Feel as big and as
small as you are

Well I see who you are
And I like what I see
If you want to be
You can be with me

May 5th

It's Spring... It's Spring... It's Spring!
I have to keep saying it. It sure doesn't appear to be Spring, but it is!
We have a genuine winter storm happening, here!
How can this be? I mean, it's not just a simple blow that occurs sometimes in spring/summer, but a 12 hour storm! Winds to 50, even in the canyon! Wow! What an awesome God!
Man, do I ever have a busy week. I have to be in Portland for meeting after meeting after meeting. I'm going to get some things done, by golly!
I'm trying to get the classifieds figured out, so that we can bring our gun sales back, so I'm meeting with insurance people and attorneys. I'm also meeting with some folks interested in helping me with ifish.
It sure would be nice if I could fish again. As it is, I'm so busy trying to figure out how to keep everything moving smoothly and keeping the bandwidth bills paid that I have no time to fish at all! With the current economy, I've had to change banners around, and with all of my son and my medical stuff, it's challenging to keep up. I haven't been feeling well, and so the energy I have has been spent on keeping ifish running instead of going fishing.
I need to go fishing! I know! And I will, as soon as I get this stuff that I put off, taken care of. Sometimes, like all of us, it seems like I keep saying that "as soon as I finish this, I'll take care of me". You know that story? I'm sure you do!
It's not fun stuff that I have to get done, but it's going to be so much better, once I get it figured out!
Thank God for ifish volunteers. We have so many talented professional people that love ifish and are willing to lend their expertise.
I want my baby back in manageable working order! I want the days back when I had time to be creative, time to run fun contests, and time to visit with my friends and talk fish on ifish.
My canoe was stolen from the river beach two days ago. Talk about sad. I loved that canoe! I looked forward to paddling, every day and it was good for me! I just couldn't believe it when it was gone. I was shocked! I posted about it on ifish and it was so nice to have people to talk about it with! It made me really long for the days when I was more involved with the board. What a bunch of neato people talk on ifish! I miss it! I read all about fishing and I think, "Wow! I miss fishing! I do!" But, it clearly showed me that in everything, there is good. Because of the fact that I lost my canoe, I was brought to re-realize the wonder of ifish and its members.
I do love ifish so much! (I love you!)
And I used to have time to fish and time to talk about fishing, rather than just wear this flop sided managerial hat. I don't think I'm meant to be a manager or a business owner! I get too stressed out.
I think that ifish should be community owned and run, and I'm going to see if I can make that happen! Wouldn't that be loverly? I think that after, what has it been? 11 years? I think that it's time for me to get some help with this monster! :)
And then I could fish again!
But, don't get me wrong... I always want to be a part of this great site!
Forever... ifish!

May 9th

What happened yesterday had my hands shaking, my heart racing, and I was very, very afraid, upset, and disheartened.
Ifish members are my friends. They are on my team, aren't they? They want more fish, right? They want healthy rivers and streams and oceans, right? Don't we all? Yes! so, what are we fighting over?
I'm a little more optimistic this morning. But, last night, I was sure I was going to give up. After a good night's sleep, I have a little energy and optimism.
I pray, Lord, help me to stand strong, and keep ifish a good place to be.
I wanted so badly to write happy things this morning. Things about how my canoe was returned and how happy I am about that, and about the overgrowth of lush, Spring greens and flowers. About how the field grass is taking over the country road that leads to my home and only a small asphalt trail peeks through!! I wanted to talk about happy things that make my heart soar!
Instead, I came home to ickies.
Passionate overgrowth, just like Spring, but not half as delightful! I mean, I have tons of admiration for the folks against marine reserves, but I'm not proud of the fallout, yesterday.
Maybe the good Lord showed me how he colored the world, how he used the brightest paints and the biggest brushes and went a little overboard with his Spring decor', just to remind me that there is good in the world, despite the troubles.
I used to decorate the house like that for my kids, and I could tell it made their day. Likewise, Lord? Thank you!
I have a hero that I admire that will stand by me as he colors the world, and makes all things for good.
You know, it all goes back to what I had in mind, when I started ifish. To this day, one of the most important things to me when I bring on a new sponsor is that we all get along together. That should be easy because we all want the same things. Healthy fish runs and a healthy earth. Right?
I was fearful when I started ifish, as I have seen awful in-fighting and competition in the fishing community, and I just don't dig that part. I don't want the "Jennie Spring Chinook Show!" I want peace!
I believe when fighting for a cause that you catch more bees with honey, than vinegar. It hurts me to see people hurt one another.
On the flip, it makes me happy to make folks happy.
When politics come up on ifish, I shake, I say to my fellow admins and mods, "Please! Take this over! I don't do politics well!"
I don't! I don't enjoy that part of the fishing scene. It makes me shake. It makes me nervous. I don't get it! I fish to get away from my problems, not to cause more. At the same time, I have passion for fishing, and I try to do my part in keeping the earth safe, and our fisheries healthy. Many people do much more, but I try to support and do my part. Part of that, is running ifish fair and balanced, so that all voices can be heard.
I just don't get some people's way, though.
Fight for a cause? Do it with information, communication, and calm and let's do it together!! Don't hurt someone because you feel differently. How does that do good?
Lately, I feel that Ifish has failed its mission.
One of our sponsors was threatened boycott if they didn't rid their staff of someone who believed a certain way.
Oh, great! They "won" and now there is an equal and opposite (thanks, Newton!) reaction of those boycotting if they don't bring Bob back!
Wait a minute! The sponsors believe in healthy fish runs and a healthy earth! I believe in the same. The opposition believes in the same, and so does their targeted enemy!
Do you see a problem? Um...this isn't working! We all want the same thing, people! Why are we fighting?
Shouldn't we be gathering at a table doing some negotiating? If we don't, I fear we will all lose! I just don't understand this! Quit it!
It seems, as I look far over the ifish land, that we have more division in our fishing community than ever. That is the saddest thing I've noted, and it weighs heavy on my soul. If we can't even get along, then I give up! What have we allowed to happen? How can we treat each so poorly when we all want the same dang thing?
Imagine the joy that those who believe different than us, feel, when they see us fighting amongst our own like little children? Terrible, awful acts of disservice to our fellow sports fishermen? Causing harm and carefully dissecting those that we don't agree with and plucking them right out of our brotherhood like a danged witch hunt!
When I choose new sponsors for ifish, I look for the qualities that will benefit ifish, and hopefully shine over the community in bringing peace, leadership and understanding, and helping us towards a united force to SAVE or at least HELP our fish and our earth and the things that we are passionate about!
I don't pick sponsors who might cause trouble for others.
But, sometimes, it seems we end up between a rock and a hard place and we are put there by our own? That's just craziness! Yeah, right?!
Way long time ago, I met a guy by the name of Bob Rees, and I've admired him since day one. No matter how he feels, whether I agree with him or not, he isn't afraid to say his peace and fight for it. I have never seen him fight for something that he didn't feel was good for all of us. For you, for me, for the fish... and he was able to calmly express to me why it was good and he believed it with his entire being.
EVEN when he realizes his position may put him in danger from the outcome of his actions, who believed different than he. HE believes he is fighting the good fight, and therefore proceeds passionately with his heart and his soul.
I can even look him in the face and flat out disagree or question him, and he doesn't become defensive or angry. He doesn't lash out to hurt me, for heavens sake! I like that man. He works to stand firm to further his cause, unafraid and ready to explain why.
I know of no one more passionate about fish or fishing. Historically, Bob has selflessly puts in more hours of work than most of us, because of his love for our fish and our fishery.
Bob knew what he was going to face when he chose to fight this most current battle, and it was worth it to him because he believes his actions are right and good and fair.
Do I agree? Not currently. I don't think so, anyhow, but that doesn't matter.
The fact that I know Bob, that he is extremely intelligent and educated, that his past works have been good, and that I have faith in the fact that he loves our earth and our fish means something to me. And now, after the attack that has taken place, it especially makes me wonder.
All I know is that in my opinion, we have to stick together, and we are currently failing, miserably.
I heard the quote below, once at an OWAA conference, and it stuck with me. I cannot think of a better example of someone living this quote, than Mr. Bob Rees.
Right or wrong in the battle, he has my admiration for sticking up for what he believes.

Pick one thing and stand for it. Believe in it with all of your heart, and all of your soul. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable. Along the way, you will make a few enemies and many friends. Be proud of both.

Who does that remind you of?

But, Lord? Watch after me. I spoke my mind, and now I, too may be a target from my own.
Let me not be afraid.
And thank you, Lord, for spilling so much 'green' on the earth during Spring. I'm enjoying it, immensely! I especially love the bright spring green moss on the rock in the middle of the river. That's so pretty!
Thank you, Lord, for the equal and opposite reaction of Spring, despite the dead of a winter storm on ifish.
Thank you for the return of my canoe. Today, I just may row out and touch that moss, soft on my bare feet.
I'll save the canoe story for later. That is, if I haven't been boycotted outa here. :) Thing is, I don't have passionate feelings about this particular issue and I don't know who is right and who is wrong. All I know is that I don't like how people are treated when they disagree, and especially when the desired outcome of both is the same. More, and healthier fish runs for all.
Boycotting things seem the easy way out. Perhaps it makes a political point... but does nothing to actually address any issues that need to be tackled in our fishing world.

May 11th

Hey! Look! It's raining! Will it never stop? We had one (count it) ONE day of sunshine here at the coast, and it felt soooooo good! The older I get, the more I enjoy sunshine! I used to think my Dad was nuts for going to Palm Springs, but now? I get it! I get it!
I've been watching for the return of the steelhead, out on the river. The river came way up during the rain storm and washed the redds away. Not really, just so that I couldn't see them any longer.
But, now it's leveling off, and I bet they'll be back. It would be so neat to have a BBQ, invite a few ifishers over and cook out and watch them! So much fun! I honestly could watch those fish all day!
Man, did I get a bunch done last week. I had meeting after meeting, handling things that had built up for months (years?). It feels so good to get accomplished on some of these matters.
Thank heaven for the people that help ifish for ifish! You know? Professional people who volunteer their expertise to better the site that they enjoy. It makes sense, doesn't it? It really builds a great community, that way!
Just find a bunch of people interested in one thing... say fishing... and then make use of all of our talents and skills to make it the best that we can be!
Thank you to Killertraylor on ifish for writing up a legal disclaimer so that we can bring back gun sales to ifish! He, and ifish member Esq! And so many others! Thank you!
We have a new awesome group of volunteers who will make our class ads the best that they can be! I wrote a thread about the gun class ads, here, if you are interested.
Funny... Bill and a friend are building a new chicken cage. Poor Bill put his back out, doing it, but that's another story...
Anyhow, in talking while they worked, John of "Shining Time Tackle" began to pine about fishing in Louisiana. How it's beautiful and sunny there, and how there are plenty of redfish.
I lay on my lounge chair in the sun, flipping magainze pages and listened. In between the pounding of nails and electric saws, visions of redfish danced in my mind.

Redfish abound in Louisiana's coastal marshes.

He went on about how they fight, how big they were, how you sight fish for them. Sounded fun!
Returning to thoughts of home, he said, "Fishing isn't 'fishing' in Tillamook, anymore. It's Wishing!"
The runs are scary low, on the coast. I should be springer fishing this morning, but we just aren't. Why? Because the reports are very slow. Frankly, I'd like to go anyhow, but Bill has this project going. I'll be patient!
I heard rumor that the Nehalem may have new regulations of (remember.. this is rumor!) no retention of chinook at all, and maybe retention of two coho. One may be wild? Wow! Did I hear that? Just scary on both aspects! What are we doing keeping wild fish? Is that to make up for no chinook? If so, I don't know... Keeping a wild fish seems extreme. Don't know that I could bonk a wild fish!
They do expect the run to recover. That's the only bright news that I have heard.
But as Bill said, "It's not getting any better, is it?"
No. Not lately.
Back to Louisiana, John went on with his dreaming, saying that the guys on TV shows fishing redfish complain about the cold weather in February, and yet they are only wearing long sleeve cotton shirts! That does sound tempting! "Any day the water will allow you to boat is a good fishing day!" John told me. (With stars in his eyes!)
I don't know.
Could I leave Tillamook to live in Louisiana just for the fishing? I do wonder, sometimes! The thought makes me giggle.
Sometimes I dream of buying a nice RV and traveling around, fishing and writing this column. How novel it would be, to actually have "fish" to write about, again! "Where's Waldo?" Where is Jennie fishing, now? Bill would kill me! LOL!
I had trouble understanding the reason that David Duncan, author of "The River Why" left the North Coast. He said in one of his books (not quoted!) that it was something about being unable to handle watching the commercial change on the coast, and unable to watch the damage done to our rivers and streams.
I am beginning to understand that concept a bit better, and can relate to how he felt.
It seems that as our resource dwindles, the people who enjoy them and depend on them for their sport or for their living, begin fighting with each other, instead of combining forces and fighting FOR each other, and for the fish. That frustrates me to no end. It's ugly! People get hurt in the process, and nothing good comes of any of it.
I Guess it brings out the fight or flight in people.
But... redfish? Louisiana? Hmmmm.
And... would I miss the very thing that I am complaining about, today? Rain?
I look around me and the world, even though wet, is incredibly beautiful, here! Deep green lush grasses and air that is sweet and fresh!
This is the Pacific Northwest, and it is truly beautiful!
I think that as long as I even have an inkling of hope to save our salmon that I'm going to stay put.
The North Coast of Oregon is my home.
But someday... if I turn up missing, you might call my girlfriend Tammy and see if she's gone, too. We did talk about the movie "Thelma and Louise" and dream a bit about running away, South.
Maybe we'll do our own show, or... maybe just I'll do a show. I'll call it "Thelma and Louisiana!"

May 12th

Are you attending? I am!

May 12th

Wood eye?
Would I drive to Portland Airport and use the last of my miles to fly to Palm Springs, stay at my Dad's for a week and come home?
Well, I might! Why not? There is no fishing, here.
After all, there is this cool ankle bracelet at Village Fest that I forgot to get for Ruth, one of my moderators. And while I'm there, I want one, too!
You know, I can do ifish from just about anywhere that has a Starbucks for internet access. We all know that everyone has a Starbucks!
Actually, I probably wouldn't. But, it's fun to dream! I mean, it would be free! It would cost no more than to live here! Tee hee heee.... Actually, I'm short about 3 thousand miles, so I can't. Good thing, or I'd be gone!
It's windy and cold and yucky out! Where is Spring? Oh, where oh where is Spring?
Think I'll put on my waders and my Glacier gloves and go out and pretend it's November. Maybe I'll catch a steelie!

May 13th

It's been a long time since I've done any coding or new fun things on ifish, but look at what I did with the help of the Pro Tides guy!
Ifish Tides!
It will always be on the fish data page, accessible by clicking on the Fishing Data page, up on the green line, above. It's always there. If you have any interesting weather, data, tides, fish info to add to that page, let me know!

May 14th

UNbelievable. Now I've heard it all.
It seems even my dogs are cold.
We just got back from a full walk of the river. This includes in the river, for some of us. (Not me this time, thank goodness!) But, the dogs are wet from nose to tail.
I kicked off my boots and sat on the leather couch to visit with Bill; to tell him that I found his 20 year old pair of pliers, and that all they needed was a little cleaning up. Who knows how long they'd lived in the rocks on the river!
I invited Kilchis up to sit with me, but first spread a doggy blanket over my lap. Cold, wet dogs! Yuck!
Kilchis jumped up, politely accepting. But, he wouldn't lay down. "Lay!" I said, but instead, he got down and headed over to the fireplace to check on the level of heat. There was none. He looked at me with winsome eyes and whined.
Oh, brother!
"The dogs want a fire, Bill." Rev stood by Kilchis, insisting the same. She's learning fast!
Bill shook his head. Now he'd heard it all, too.
It's not enough that they can understand all words that we speak and that we have to spell certain things and even then, the consonant start of the word is often a dead giveaway.
It's not enough that they get served first thing before coffee in the morning. That their needs are met before all else.
It's not enough that the dogs both sleep vertically stretched out on the King size bed, and that "lab"stinence is the practice around the house.
The dogs are spoiled rotten and that's the way I like 'em.
They are Kilchis royalty!
It was so neato down at the river. A big old red side steelhead came shooting out of the river, as if slung by an underwater sling shot. A missile from the depths. Not once, not twice, but five time! Each time squeals of glee came from way down in me. I couldn't help it! Involuntary excitement!
Everything was still all around me, except for the river and for that one steelhead that couldn't settle down. Who knows what he was jumping about?
I've seen steelies do that, but usually it's in the dead calm, when the water is really low. They jump in the deeper pools, and I think it's because they have finally found water! Deep water!- where they could shoot and dart and play! But, today? The river is high and muddy and fast! Yet this one steelhead darted one way and then the other and then the other, again! It was fun! Made my heart race.
And now, I have to get to work to get France's column up. Chapter Nine of his book, "Salmon on my Mind". If you haven't read Chapter Eight yet, better get on it! I'm fast!
The olive green swallows are out, today, swarming their nests, and fighting over who gets which one. It's fun to watch!
Good news! There is sunshine coming! It's peaking through, right now, but I mean real, warm sunshine for the weekend! Can I see some smiles?
Told ya I was fast! Here's Frances' new column!

May 15th

Good morning!
This is my Father's World!
Bounty on the Bay is tomorrow! Are you going? I am! I'm going to get a springer! Wheee ha!
Gee. Wonder why I have 'sunshine in my soul this morning?' The house is quiet, now. I don't get it. I've been singing all morning. Bill and Andrew were here, and now? I can't find 'em.
Oh well! Silence is good!
I'm convinced that one of the main reasons that we went to Sunday School when we are little and that we should send our own, is so that those joyful hymns stick in your head forever! I'm not kidding! I mean, if the things we experience bring the words into your mind, then your soul will automatically pick up the beat!
And you know, we wouldn't know the joy of sunshine, if it weren't for all of the rain we had.
Likewise, we wouldn't know the happiness in life, it weren't for the hard times.
Today, after a hard work week, after cold, dark days... the start of the weekend for so many is sunny and bright!
Celebrate! I can sure use this day! Whoo hooo! Thank you, Lord!
Hey! You should SEE the new hen house that John and Bill are building! It is nicer than what we live in! I think I'll move in! I'll share a picture of it, later! It's totally raccoon proof (thanks to my insistence!) and it's just neato!
I just love the color of Spring! Last night I was closing the hen house at dusk, and just the color of the grass at my feet in the warm evening light overwhelmed me! I stopped right where I was, to breath in the musky air. It was so full of everything that is Spring! I could smell the new grasses and buds coming on. Over by the old chicken cage tender shoots of asparagus reached towards the sun, bursting out of the dirt! The apple trees, heavy with blossoms. (We are late, here at the coast!) Just the whole thing! I knew the forecast was for warm, but I didn't need to. You could tell! It was the feeling when you know the next day will be warm and bright and golden and good! My lungs filled with it and a perma grin hit me square on the face. I fell asleep with the window open, listening to the full, strong music of the river.
And I woke, singing.
PS: It drives Bill bonkers when I wake up singing! LOL!

There is sunshine in my soul today!
More glorious and bright
Than glows in any earthly sky,
For Jesus is my Light

(Sing along, Bill!)

O there’s sunshine, blessèd sunshine,
When the peaceful, happy moments roll;
When Jesus shows His smiling face,
There is sunshine in the soul.

(Why are you so cranky, Bill?)

There is music in my soul today,
A carol to my King,
And Jesus, listening, can hear
The songs I cannot sing.

(At the top of my lungs and Bill is now hiding in the garage!)

There is springtime in my soul today!!!
For, when the Lord is near,
The dove of peace sings in my heart,
The flowers of grace appear.

(Where's Bill?)

There is gladness in my soul today!
And hope and praise and love,
For blessings which He gives me now,
For joys “laid up” above.

I hear the lawn mower start up, to block out the "joyful NOISE"....and I continue with a new one! I know! I know! I'll sing to Andrew!

IN MY HEART THERE RINGS A MELODY, There rings a melody with Heaven's harmony!!!!!

Wait a minute... Where is Andrew?

That's OK. Kilchis will sing with me... soon as I get him out from under the house...

May 17th

I'm convinced that what ails your mind, what troubles your soul, is reflected on your physical self. I have been in physical pain for over two months.
It started in Palm Springs with the return of ulcers and has spread to that awful pain in the neck thing that radiates down my arms.
Sometimes, the pain is so bad that I can't sleep.
It's scary, because last time this happened, this "pain in the shoulder and neck" thing, I got frustrated, went out to the river and thought that extreme exercise would somehow benefit me. I grabbed a heavy rock and began pumping it like a weight. I was so frustrated! Stretching helps, so why not bench press this puppy all better?
The next month, my aorta dissected. (November 9th, 2004)
Actually, everything that led up to my dissection was bizarre. The very day before it happened, I wrote about death and how eerie the salmon littering the beach were. About how in the end, death rings alright with me, and how we all leave our memory on the banks of the rivers we love.
Weird. (Dec 8th)
I have the very same weakness and pain in that shoulder, now, and I have that very same frustration and need to "fix it" myself. I don't dare, though! I've learned that lesson!
Even though that area of me is "fixed" and wrapped tight in dacron so it won't break again, still, it frightens me when all these same feelings come to me, again.
I have twelve years of my life recorded on this website. How long will I do this? That question haunts me. I dream of having someone help me with ifish that can serve us all better than I can.
You know, I was so excited, at the onset of ifish! We all were! Remember? Seeing how ifish was able to bring sports people together so well! How exciting it was to see that we were organizing! That we were all getting together to make a difference!
But folks, as I look around, today, I am so afraid! I see more division today in our fishing groups than I ever have! What is going on with us? We need someone to head us all with renewed excitement and leadership.
The positive "glass half full" in me insists that after the storm, after all of this political fighting clears up a bit, there will be an educated peace amongst us that we will all benefit from.
The night is darkest, before dawn.
We will again come together and be all the better for it. We'd better, guys, (and soon!) because time is wasting! The fish need us! We need to heal our rivers and our oceans and our earth! -and meanwhile, we are arguing with our brothers and sisters! We are wasting time!
I live in such a beautiful and peaceful place here on the Kilchis river. People are so in awe when I show them pictures of where we live. Visitors marvel at the luxury we have here, as we walk along the river and quietly visit. However, even here in "lala land" things can become stressful.
Sometimes I cannot escape the phone that rings, or I have a zillion things to do and both Bill and Andrew seem to need me, and so do the dogs!
At the same time, I need to pick up and sort out my 13 prescriptions, test my blood work, and maybe the mail needs to be picked up or sent. Dinner needs to be fixed or the meat chosen and thawed. The bills to be paid, (and with what? LOL) the dishes washed, the windows cleaned, the floor vacuumed and my body hurts too much to even think of anything but rest.
If it's not Bill or Andrew, housework or business, and the dogs or the cats that need water or walks or food--it is a pile of paper work that leers at me as I try to focus. Then the wind blows in through the window, and the top 200 sheets blow all over the floor, unsorted.
Pheh! It does happen! I'm sure you can relate!
But, frustration on the Kilchis river??? How could it be? And yet, every member of this household feels it from time to time! Sometimes when I call out Bill's name, I hear the same frustration in his voice, that I feel in mine.
You know when it happens! And when it does, soon after you hear the door slam and echo in the canyon. Out the window, you see people trecking to the river.
The river is our peace!
Andrew does it! Bill does it! I do, too! Oddly enough, the dogs do it, and so does Molly the cat!
We all have our secret places where we go to regroup! For all of us, it is alone, along the banks of the Kilchis river!
You can see us "fall out" from stress, throughout a busy day!
Want to hear about my place? It's SO awesome!
It's a new one. My places change as the weather changes. My places changes as the foliage alongside the river changes, as the current and storms bring new logs for benches and likewise, taketh away! My peaceful abode, my fort, my hiding place- changes as new creeks form and trickle down into the main body of the Kilchis river.
The residents of this house never share with another, where "their place" is. Sometimes I search for footprints on the bank, just to see if their place is near mine. We respect each other's hideout.
I'll tell you about mine, though, because by the time you find it, it will change!
There is a sandy beach right alongside the river that you'd never suspect is anything special. From there, you can see spawning steelhead! The sand is sloped, there, with a cutout from the current, half way up, that serves as a perfect bench to sit on. It's totally enclosed by tall grasses and short, fully leaved alder trees. If a boater or a summer swimmer passes by, they don't even see me unless I'm standing.
The river is two feet deep there, right up to the shore, and sometimes, if I'm lucky and if I don't spook them, I will see a steelhead, sometimes two or three, edge right up the river alongside where my toes dangle in the cold current.
My breath stops!
When the river is swollen full like it is now, from the rain, the tall and bright green grasses that stood two feet tall and more, bend down and are gracefully pulled under by the river's current. It's gorgeous! Breathtakingly so! And it's there, that sometimes the steelhead hide, thinking no one can see them, either!
They come here to hide from that which menaces their lives. They come here for peace, too! A hideaway from migratory animals or birds, probably?
Sometimes the naughty hunter in me thinks about hiding four feet up from there, behind a tree, and running a short, light leader with a perfectly tied steelhead fly under it, down against this bank. But that would seem a sin to me. These fish share my quiet place, and I feel like that would break any healing that comes to us from sitting quiet, here.
I thought about making a picnic dinner, complete with picnic basket and red and white checkered cloth. How perfect, to dine with crystal glasses of wine, fried chicken and strawberries, and share this with Bill! But, that, too, is against the rules! This is my private escape!
Just as I would not expect Bill to share with me his place along the river, I will not share mine!
Today the sun shines brightly, and I need quiet time. I'm going to put on my swimsuit, and grab a book and a blanket and head out to my place.
It's Sunday and I should go to church... but sometimes, the river is about as religious of an experience as anyone can get!
This IS my Father's World. Right here, in my secret hiding place along the Kilchis river!
Oh! Dudley sent me some pictures that he took, while visiting. He is such an excellent photographer!

Click to zoom

May 18th

Off to the doc! I hope he works magic, today. I haven't felt this awful in a long time.
We fished on Saturday all day. We heard of two fish caught, but we weren't lucky. I think I had a bite at one time, but I don't know for sure.
The banquet for Bounty on the Bay was excellent. I live for their oysters, once a year! Take a peek! I hope you don't have to be a member of Myspace to view that. If you do, sorry! Here's a picture of our back yard in the sunshine, too! Lovely! I'm having more fun planting flowers, flowers, and more flowers!
I heard from my old friend, Steve, today! LOLOL

May 21st

One time I got a love note on a roll of register tape. I loved that. This isn't a love note, but it would fit nicely on a roll of register tape. The whole darned roll!
It took me three days to say this. I have so much to say, so much held in that I still can't say, that someday it's just going to all have to come out. Pieces will fall where they may.
I realize, now, why I've had such trouble writing, lately. I have so much inside me that I want to write and can't. But, someday I can and I will.
The other day I was trying to solve a problem on the bulletin board. Part of the pieces started to fall. It was a disagreement, regarding new rules. I was trying to explain why we had decided to disallow boycotts on ifish.
It's so frustrating when folks don't know the entire background of what I deal with on a day to day basis. Who says what, and who says it saying they'd appreciate my confidence.
Others who say things, thinking... hoping I'll be in confidence, (because what they do is bad!) when someday I'm going to get so tired of their awful ways that I'm just going to write about it.
The number of people I'm dealing with at any given moment, the phone calls, the letters, the bills, the problems, the ideas, and the ideas that I forget, because I'm too busy!
By far, the most people I deal with are good. Thank God for that!
It's hard to write this, today, trying to explain how I feel, the pressure that I'm under sometimes, and the same was true as I was trying to sort out and explain the reason why we weren't allowing boycotts to be organized on ifish. So, I broke down and just let some of it out on the Salty Dog forum.
It's getting nearer and nearer to the point where I need to let go.
I never want to be without ifish, totally. I just don't want to do it by myself, anymore.

Oh, how hard it is to truly explain things without saying things that I don't want to say... yet.

Since ifish prides itself as a voice for all who love fishing, I get it from all sides. Not an easy position to be in! Especially, since I feel like I understand, respect, and appreciate many points of view.
When I take a few days off, I get behind, and the mods take over. But, when I get back, not only have things stacked up, but, if the mods made an unpopular decision regarding a situation, I'm immediately alerted to it. It's almost like, "Mom! Look what those mean mods did to me!" Then, I have to go back, research what occured and try to smooth feathers. If I ignore it, it's bad, if I change the decision, it's disrespectful to the mods hard work and if I don't, then I'm bad.
There are some things I'm not ready to share, yet. I'm not sure why I care, because the people that would be bothered are the ones who have intentionally tried to hurt me for years. I just don't want to get involved in that "he said-she said" right yet. I can't take it right now-but I can guarantee you this: There will come a day.

I've been told to ignore it. To rise above.

I have done just that, with a very few slips. I have done that for nearly 10 years now and I have nearly 10 years of material that have been sent to my inbox and saved. It's quite a stack! This will become its own chapter, (its own book?) about what it's like to run ifish, or perhaps, to run any big website.
It's a wonder, really, that I've held on this long. Or, maybe I should say held "out" this long.
Thank God for the moderators, who help me keep steady. Oh, thank God for the moderators who tell me not to read that stuff! Thank God for the moderators who keep me away from other gossip websites, and keep me focused on ifish. I've learned to worry about my own four walls and that advise has served me well.

Thank God.

Back in the fourth grade I loved to play on the bars at the playground where I went to Grant Elementary School, in Canby. I worked so hard at it! One rainy day I convinced my Mom to come watch me. I was so excited to show her, but somehow, oddly, I could tell she wasn't all that excited about it.
My Mom was usually very supportive. She took me to piano lessons every week, attended my Syllabus, my concerts, and stood by me for practice every day. But for some reason, somehow, this wasn't that exciting in her eyes.
Maybe she had something on her mind that day, or maybe she wished it was something else that I was "in" to.
I had asked for several Saturdays that she come to see what I had accomplished on the bars. Finally, one rainy, icky weather day, she drove me over to the grade school to watch.
The day was here! I was thrilled she was going to finally see me 'perform'! Even though I could sense her lack of interest, I was going to prove her wrong!
The bars were wet, though, and it wasn't nearly so spectacular as I had planned. What a disappointment. It just didn't happen to turn out like I wanted. I don't know what I expected, but it wasn't what happened.
What I had practiced had been hard for me. With marfan syndrome, I was gangly and uncoordinated for my age. I wasn't in with the "in" crowd of pretty girls and handsome boys, but I was able to get in with the bar crowd! (Oh, no! Not that bar crowd. That came much later!)
In kid terms, what I had accomplished was "hard work!" Probably harder for me than for the other kids, but in the end, I was just as good and some better! I spent hours practicing at lunch and after school until I could do back flips and forward flips! I'd hold tight with my knees, and let go of those bars with my hands. I could twirl and twirl on my knees or on my tummy, or both! The grand finale was called a 'forward flip, no hands'. You sit on the bars and fall forward, hanging on with only your knees, and flipping, clear around to the top. I did it! In front of my Mom I even did it! I was brave enough to just let go, despite the rain and the wind and the challenges of my uncoordinated muscles-I did it!!
I really thought, my Dad being a coach and athletic director, that this was good stuff. That there would be interest in me performing these tricks!
And so, I had already accomplished the "back flip- no hands" but the front flip was terrifying! If I failed, it was a face plant into the dirt, right in front of Mom!
But, I did it! And after, finishing it off with several more twirls on the bars, flipped off, and put my hands out, just like a circus performer!
I expected grand applause! I expected that the crowd (of one) would clap and stand in ovation, but there was silence! I peered into the car window and she was reading her newspaper, the windshield wipers flapping time.

She hadn't even seen it! Argh.

It feels kind of like that to do ifish, sometimes.
Oh, the things that I have read before it was yanked away from me!
What people say!
I turn around and I pretend it wasn't said. I go on, on a daily basis, without letting it phase me. They say the ugliest, meanest things they can think of!
I guess it's kind of like what you see in the tabloids about famous stars. Sticks and stones may break my bones but words they never hurt me. I guess I'm a sissy, because those words do hurt, sometimes, and sometimes it reverts me right back into the days when I was in school.
I'm lucky that I live by a river that heals me.
Imagine having a friendly and wonderful relationship with someone on ifish and really liking them, and then find that they are talking mean about me, somewhere else. That they really aren't who they say that they are.
The anonymity of the internet-- It's just weird. It's dented my trust in humanity. Things I never wished to know about people have come into full view, because of ifish.
I have found that some people have as many as 20 monikers, and sometimes log in as one after another and talk to support their agenda! Sometimes, against ifish! Weird, right? Who has the time for that kind of silliness? Who on earth would sit at home nights, spending their precious time doing this? Why for? It's just so opposite to the way I think. I feel good when I do good things. How must these people feel spending so much time for evil?
These are the bad parts of ifish, but there are equally good parts. Excellent parts! Wonderful, loving things that make up for it.
I have been approached by media to tell my story. Perhaps someday I will. I'm not ready, yet, but what a story it will be!
It was after that rainy Saturday, that I gave up interest in the bars at school. I think I had learned all that I had to learn from them.
I love ifish in the same way that I loved those bars. You have to passionately love something, in order to be successful in what you do. It also helps to keep focused.
I worked so hard to learn all the tricks of running a website. It was scary! It was hard work! I challenged myself and I feel like I did a pretty good job of it and I was excited to have a job of it! I still am! It's neat to find something that I love, and that I can do, and I can do at my own pace. I feel very, very lucky!
But, it is tough, all at the same time.
When I first started ifish it was such a thrill! LOL Look at my first attempt at!
So clean! No banners! And of course, it was fun to make things move! Animation was new and exciting for media! Remember the first age of the internet, when everything was animation, all over the place!?
Since then, I've learned a bit about marketing, a bit about advertising and a bit about how to do books! I learned something entirely new to me. Business!
The day last week that I wrote on the Salty Dogs board, I was so frustrated with things. It felt like the end, to me.
It seems the moderators and I have just been swatting at flies, lately. Now, looking back, I think we have responded to problems in too strong of a manner. I think we'll need to back off on some things, and loosen up a bit. Too many rules and regulations are strangling us.
The board belongs to the people, and some regular posting, wonderful members are voicing their disapproval.
I blame alot of the bickering and problems on the state of our resource. We are fighting over the last, few chinook salmon. Too many people, too few fish? Maybe that, and the incessant rain has dampened our spirit. Perhaps the sunshine will bring happier times. Now, if the salmon would only follow the sun...
I look around and I see more division in our sport fishing community than ever. I remember back when we were such a small group and we were all united! Well, there were a few, even back then!
Not so much on itself, but just in the fisheries, altogether. It's so sad to me, and it's causing everyone stress. In the beginning, I lived in such a small world. I had no idea about political fighting, and all of that. I was a musician, living in a world of playing music. I was so isolated and I had no idea! Maybe that was a good thing? I wonder how I'd be, now, if I'd never experienced this?
Despite the dismal runs, (and maybe because of?) just keeps getting bigger and bigger! Ifish just can't please everyone, no matter how hard we try. We have learned that. Nonetheless, it's none the easier to swallow or manage. Even if the percentage of happy folks remain the same, as the crowd gets bigger, the voices of those displeased are often the loudest.
There are some people that come to the ifish playground and they are just not impressed. I have no control over that. We can try so hard! I can do front flips and back flips and they just sit in their car with those windshield wipers flappin time.
Some of them are even so bold as to boo! Hey, wait a minute, there! I worked hard to do this! How dare you?!
But, I have to take the time to look at the reward to myself as a person. I have learned so much, grown so much, stretched so much, become stronger in so many ways, through ifish!
Thank God!
Even if my Mom wasn't impressed, I still had pride in what I had done for myself! I learned that lesson so long ago, back in the fourth grade. Even though my Mom wasn't impressed, I was, and I took that with me, forever!
And likewise, I haven't done ifish for the money. Lord knows that. Why have I worked so hard on this? Ifish is my baby and I have pride in it. I have met the most wonderful people and the moderators and admins and many members are like family to me.
I was the baby in the family, and after five kids, my Mom was probably a bit tired of the routine of going to so many kid events, watching us quarrel, feeding us, taking care of us, and cheering us on, sitting in that car with the windshield wipers (yep, that's right! Flappin' time!).
I sign my name on ifish with "Ifish Mom".
It really is quite interesting how I really do feel like a "Mom" in all of this. I have worked at this for 10 years. This 'Mom' is getting tired.
My girlfriend gleefully looked over the names of men on my site and said to me, "Jennie! All those neato men!!!! She licked her lips. "How can you keep focused?"
Well, I don't even see them as 'men' in that way, really! I see them as friends, as brothers, kids, almost! They are my family! Truly! She was teasing me about them all being boyfriend material! Frankly, that doesn't ever cross my mind!
I don't know. There's just so much to think about, and my mind is just full. Ifish is family, not boyfriend material! I don't know how to talk about this, except in analogies that get all mixed up. I love ifish so much. Like a Mom.
Interested people come to me who see ifish as a goldmine. A financial thing. I can't look at it like that, either! I have had offers to buy it outright, but as you know, I consider ifish a community and it's not a gold mine to me, because it's not MINE! Ifish belongs to every one of us, as a family.
Not only that, but I care deeply about where it goes, where it is headed, and to whom. You can adopt kids, but you can't buy them! How do you pick a new Mom? It's about as far for me to fetch as to think of the guys here as boyfriend material!
I care about who carries it on and that whoever might have it in the future, care about our members, deeply, passionately, and without dollar signs in their eyes!
If I were to post an ad for it, it would be more of a "Nanny wanted" ad, then a for sale ad!
I always and forever want to be a part of ifish. I just want to move on to "Grandmother" instead of Mother. I want to enjoy my grandchildren, without having to put them to bed each night, and worry when they are out late as teenagers. You know? Kids are great when they aren't yours!
The time is near. I want to fish again! I want to breathe the air. Life is so short!
I just don't think I can be the only one to run it, anymore. The fisheries are getting to be a very serious and difficult subject. One that I'm not educated enough to lead, by far. The passions brought out by the seriousness of the issues are too heavy for me.
I started ifish as a place to come together to share our commonality. To share our joy in catching fish. To discuss how to become better, but as the earth suffers more and more damage and as we fight over the last percentage of the resource, there are darn serious things that need to be considered and discussed and it's all too big for my britches!
I need help, direction, and it's time for someone with education and experience and leadership to take this captain's wheel.
Heaven knows that everyone needs their Mom's love, and as long as the members want me to be in ifish's life, I will be there to love and to be proud. I still want to be involved. I want to do contests, and to travel to sport shows, and to cheer!
I want to watch you catch fish, and buy new boats and take your children fishing! I want to bring you new products and to show them all off! I want to watch the sponsors that I'm so proud of choosing go far! I want to see the guides take you on fishing trips, lodge owners to give you experiences that you will always remember and I want to read about them all on the ifish boards!
I always want ifish to be the best of the best. I want to make sure of that, and I'm willing to work hard to do that.
We want the best members, the best tackle, and the best sponsors!
I want to be proud of you while you work toward saving our resource.
I have faith that we can do that through the power of our combined membership and community. I really, really do!
Mom's just have to let go after a while. I need to stand back and watch.... and to be proud! Just like that front flip no hands, though... it's going to be scary for me to let go.
And who knows? I may fall face first into the dirt! But, if I make it, I'll be so proud of me! I did good on ifish. I feel that in my soul. I know that I tried my best, and that I did good, whether I fall face first, or not. I tried. I was brave enough to just do it!

Look, Ma! No hands!

May 23rd
Here's the bird cam!
Mostly grosbeak right now.

I have come to really love the grosbeaks and the way they play. It seems like every time I go to sit down, here, they are in a different position, like they are modeling for me.
I'll have to put up the bird cam. It's quite interesting to watch! I'll do that right now!
They look like tropical birds, and it makes me laugh, when they pose. Now, I make certain to fill my feeders each night. (Yes, they go through three feeders a day, and that's only in the front of the house! There are about 10 feeders in back!
Anyhow, it's usually two grosbeak to a feeder, except when they are training their young. That's a whole new story! Talk about a hoot! They really get frustrated with their young. Sometimes the babies try to drink out of the hummingbird feeder. They get in trouble for that!
Sometimes the adults are both face forward on the feeder, staring at me. Sometimes, facing away, and sometimes, one each way. No matter how they pose, they just look so darned playful and cute! Like a book cover! And the noises they make and the way they cock their head!
When they first came here about four years ago, they were very shy. Not any more!
Now, they are as curious as river otters, and just as darn cute! They cock their heads, studying me. They whistle at me, and cock their head some more. Does she react? Yes! She laughs!
Should one grosbeak remain on the feeder and a purple finch comes up, they stretch their neck to look around the tube feeder and when they see it's a foreigner, they cock their head nearly all the way around! They aren't unfriendly. It's like they are saying, "What are you?" As if they've never seen such a bird!
What a mess they make! It's worth it, though. My birds and my garden. That's what I do since my kids have flown the coop.
Can't wait to show you our new chicken house. Like I said... it's nicer than our home! I'm going to move in!

May 24th

Today my Dad's coming over with his new lady friend. We may take them out on the bay in the new boat, but the forecast is for very windy. It's been so windy in the afternoons! I was hoping it would lay down, today.
I have to get up and get going. Make some bread and choose what kind of meat to throw on the Traeger. It's a beautiful day! Celebrate!

May 26th

The peace that passeth understanding.
I've been singing that song for the last couple days. "I have the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!" (Where?)
Down in my heart!

But, I love the second verse!

"I have the peace that passeth understanding down in my heart!
Down in my heart!
Down in my heart!!!!

Remember that one? I love it! It makes me happy... (When skies are blue!)
I mean, life is really hard, so why are we mean to one another?
I've been reading on the Life in General board thread after thread of what makes people unhappy. Sometimes I think I should rename it "UNhappiness in general!"
It's no wonder the news on television and radio highlight things that are negative, awful, scary, and depressing. People seem to thrive on that, and especially lately.
Can you imagine the news full of good things? I can! And I would love it!
While standing in a grocery line, I was reading the covers of those gossip magazines. Where is the gossip magazine in defense? Someone needs to start a magazine that highlights nothing but good things about our celebrities! A magazine that defends the stars! I'd buy it up in a minute! They could even still have paparrazi people, but they would be looking for the good in their lives!
Do you think it would catch on? I wonder. Probably not. Doesn't that seem inherently wrong? What is it with our society? Why would we be attracted to bad things? Bizarre!
Our Heavenly Father wants nothing but good things for all of us, and yet we crave bad? Bizarre! That's just wrong!
I was watching one of my favorite television shows last night. It was so sad. "John and Kate plus Eight." I've always loved that show, because it was just happy. A nice family, without problems, but lately, really hard things have crept into their life and it was all made worse by people craving bad news. Their faces are on the covers of every celeb magazine, with awful things that will only make their problems worse.
As Kate (the Mom) spoke about it, she began to cry.
In a very small way, I know a little of what she must feel. I have that happen, but in a micro amount of what she must be going through. I can't imagine what she must be going through.
There is a website and you are probably familiar with it. It highlights everything wrong about me. I mean, it's ridiculous. If I say I like horses, then they make fun of me for that. If I say I dislike horses, then they make fun of me for that. No matter what I say, it's highlighted in negatives. Cruel, awful things.
Thank God that 99.99999 percent of the feedback I receive is positive and I choose to focus on that.
I received a letter in the mail the other day from a lady that I really like. She talks about the fact that the hard times we are going through is producing a bunch of angry people in our society. I tend to agree.
You can read it, too. I asked her permission. :)
This year if you look through the discussion forum, you find a lot of "pet peeve" type threads, negative complaints about business and such.
I really miss the ifish that was full of our collective appreciation for things. I mean, after all, that's why I started ifish. I started it to celebrate our love for fishing.
I loved that, and I want more!
That's why I want to step down from the business side of things, and to go back to trying to make people happy. It's catching!
I'll tell you a secret. Used to be, a long time ago that when there were ugly subjects on ifish, Pete and I, who mostly ran ifish by ourselves, back then, would take turns creating happy subjects, or posting to old happy subjects, to bring them back up to the front page! Thus, the negative things would be pushed off the front page, and out of view. People forgot about it, and became consumed with the good things. The joy would last, too! I mean, it was catching! Pretty soon, and for a while after, it would be all happy things on ifish! Imagine if all of the people that want ifish to be a good place were to do that? Create happy threads, and bring up old things that we were proud of? We could win the war on negatives!!
When I made ifish, I just wanted to multiply my joy of fishing, by sharing it with others. I wanted a place to come to that was full of my love for fishing! I wanted to hear about other people's experience, so that I could feel more of what excited me about my passion for fishing.
I wanted everyone to fish!
It worked for a long, long time, but lately, it's turned into many people complaining about everything!
Is it largely because of the trouble in the world? But, if it is, why isn't an escape from that? Do we have to bring the ugliness of the world here, too? NO! Why can't we leave it all behind and use ifish to celebrate the good in life? Just one little place on the internet to escape from all the yuck!?
We already have a ton of opposite websites to ifish that concentrates on the negatives. So many places to talk politics, and religion and celebrate your differences. Enough of that to fill the whole internet!
Ifish is different. Ifish is a place to celebrate the peace that passeth understanding!
If you need to, go to those places and get your frustration out! -and then come to ifish and make someone happy. Let's escape from the traffic, the financial woes, the pushy people on the elevator, and make ifish our peaceful place! Do something to make someone happy!
Many times a week, the moderators post on the mod board what they call "feel good" threads for me to see. They do it just to keep me going and to make me smile. We could all do that for each other! Just to keep us all fed with good things, so that we don't give up hope!
Read this, for example! It is a wonderful example of how we can positively affect others lives. It's great stuff! It's all about why I started ifish and why I'm still here!
I'd like to post this on the main board, and suggest that we all highlight and try for the positive side of things. That we search out ifish for the good! That if we can't find enough good, that we should create our own, and do a test and see if, in fact, filling our lives with positive, creative, and good things, our day doesn't go a bit more smoothly?
It's so much better than the negatives!
The other day I had a day that you would NOT believe. Terrible, awful things happened that I thought I couldn't handle, and then later, worse things happened along the same lines! It was outrageous.
I wrote on the mod board that I really should write a book, but that I was only waiting for the happy ending. It was kind of a joke in the face of disaster. The more I think about it, though, we make our own happiness, our own happy endings. It is all in how we look at things. How I look at things, is to only look forward.
Just look around us and see all of the blessings that we have, each one of us. I count my blessings a bunch because I have so many and it always helps to put things into perspective.
And that, my dear friends, is where I get my peace that passeth understanding. Down in my heart! You just have to dig it outa there! Go out and find your own peace that passeth understanding and let all that bad go! Rise above it! Create your own joy and I promise you this.
I promise that it will catch on to those around you, and they will give it back to you in multiples!
Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me!
and Let it start on ifish. We have a wonderful testing ground here to try this. Post about something good and see how wonderfully it can affect your life.

I have the peace that passeth understanding, down in my heart!
Down in my heart, to stay!

May 27th

Last night as the sun went down, I sat out on the upper deck surrounded by plants and flowers that I had planted earlier in the season. I continue to add to them.
As I settled into a chair, I was reminded that I had to get some fertilizer up here, to keep them lush.
It was warm out. I shed my robe, which is unusual for a coastal evening. The birds around me were just settling down for a long Spring nap.
This is the peace that passeth understanding.
The cherry tree is still in bloom out there. It stands quiet. There is no wind. The only movement is from a bird that lands on its limb, shedding ripe blossoms as it leaves. A shower of pink blooms float down to the ground.
You could hear the naughty little birds, new in their nests. They were settling in with resistance while the parents shoosh them. It's like its own little community up there in the trees, and I was up there, a part of it all.
I giggled, thinking of my Dad's nickname for me, when I was little. "J-bird".
I listened. We all need to listen more and chirp less!
I had gone out there to escape the noises of television and people, people, people! I had been a bit rattled but not for long! As I closed the door behind me, it vanished. Peace immediately washed over me.
Our home is quite large, but it's all central and open. No phones ring on the upper deck. No televisions blare.
It's a good thing we have several places like this to escape. The river, the upstairs deck; they are my sanity... away from computers, television, people!
Noises like these birds singing almost go over our heads, so to speak. I had to make myself listen, and when I did, it was amazing! It tells its own story.
We had so few hummingbirds this early spring, but just last Sunday more seemed to show up. Now, as I sat in the evening light, a late night hummingbird came for one last drink before bed. The naughty little one, right? "Mom, I need a drink!"
I have a little oasis up there on the deck. Each year I have more fun decorating the out of doors. The dogs and I love it there.
I have two plastic chairs and a lounge chair for sitting and a soft rug for the dogs to lay on. They lay on the rug and rest their head on the lower beam of wood that makes up the rail. They find a space for their bed, surrounded by greenery, ferns and flowers. They look out over their land and see that it is all good. They watch for the first deer to come out of the trees that surround the meadow.
I hope that the deer wait till later. I need to hear nothing but birds, right now. No dogs barking yet, please?
Beside the lounge chair is my portable greenhouse. This is my nursery where I grow tiny plants that are nurtured until they are strong enough to go into the big garden. That is, if we every get that plowed!
Beside me is an old wooden table that Bill made out of driftwood, and on it, several candles glow softly... and then, yet another flower basket.
I overdose on flowers this time of year. It is my guilty pleasure.
The other day, I sidestepped the grocery store where I was supposed to be headed and drove my car right on to Hidden Acres Greenhouse, a nursery that I just adore! It's just beautiful, there. I could spend hours!
Hanging high over my head, I found a flower basket that I just fell in love with! Low and behold, the darn thing ended up next to their cash register. Cha ching! It was mine! All with a flick of plastic!
I placed it on the little carts they provide, and wheeled it, an excited kid with a wagon -out to my car. Surrounding it, a few other little plants. Like abandoned kittens, those plants needed me! I headed home. When I got there, I went to get Bill up and out of his easy chair, excitedly telling him I had bought a present for he and his house!
Well? It was true! I don't own any part of this house, so it is for him and his!
Yeah, right?
He got up from his chair, probably thinking I bought something fishing or hunting related, or what... he couldn't imagine. A boat toy? I could sense his excitement!
He knows that I do love buying him gifts, and usually they are good and appropriate gifts!
You know, it's funny. He loves getting gifts, but he's not so much into giving them. It just doesn't occur to him. Not that he isn't loving or kind, he is just a bit more frugal than I. So, leave it to me to buy him a gift FOR ME!
We hurried to the car. I opened the back of the tailgate and there it was in all of it's blooming wonder! I beamed!
"SEE? It's for you! Isn't it beautiful?" I was so proud!
He laughed, grabbed it and hung it for me in the place of my choice. I had done good!
I smiled as I thought back to this, my mind wandering freely, sitting out on my oasis, close in to the trees.
The birds were getting quieter. The sun slipped slowly behind the mountains and darkness spread over the valley.
Just a random chirp now. One on one mountain wall, and another chirp across the way. One on the river, and then all was quiet.
The brilliance of the bright red Rhododendron seemed to flash, and then the fiery red faded into the wild brambles of blackberries behind it.
Rhododendron is Greek for "rose tree". How perfect is that? There is one at the Tillamook pharmacy that is pruned like a tree and it's just gorgeous. It stands 11 feet tall or more, and is in line with other trees that line the street. The bottom is pruned like a trunk instead of a bush. Look for it, when you drive through town. It's stunning!
It's time for bed. Another day in Spring time has come to an end. How beautiful is Spring on the coast when the weather is good! How peaceful!
There is no better sleep medicine in the world than my upstairs deck. I just need a few more candles... a few more flowers.
I have to wonder when it is like this, how we ever made it through the long, cold winter months. But, then again, what would we have to compare if it were always like this?
I woke to the sun, still shining... as if it had never gone down. I need to get to the store and buy the milk that I had gone to get, earlier.
Immediately, my mind wanders to the garden center, there, and then to how the nursery down the road is so much better...
Uh oh!
Bill may be getting another present, today!

May 29th

Chicken Coop Pictures!

What an exciting and fun morning!
It's absolutely gorgeous out, first off.
Second, my ifish internet tech figured out a problem, no problem and fixed it right up for us! One big problem down, and pretty soon we'll have our replies back on the classifieds!
A little later, our hunting classifieds back, complete with guns for sale! I promise! Just locally, though, I think. No more of the National sales. Ifish is a regional site, pretty much, so let's keep our gun sales regional too. Right?
We have a forum for about 20 people to chat about it. They volunteered to help me, and I feel so much better about it all, now. I have to write a check for insurance, but after that, we are up and running!
Third, Michael Blair Construction, a really nice guy that Bill has known forever, came over with his "big diggy" and tore down the old chicken cage. It was so exciting! I love that kind of thing! Rats flew everywhere when he tore it down! Yucko!
I have before and after pictures that I'll put up after I take a shower, but it was so fun to watch!
John from "Shining Time Fishing" helped, too. He's been so great. He knows how to do all the building stuff, as he's worked with Michael for a long time. Actually, Michael used to work for John in the beginning, I think?
I really admire guys who know how to work those boy toys and know how to build things. I think every woman admires that. Don't we?
This little diggy he has does everything, and I can't believe how precise Michael is with that machine! Wow! I think it's really an art form, being so precise like that! I mean he tore down one building, and not inches away was one that we wanted to keep. No damage at all!
Some people can't figure out how I play the piano, but I can't figure out how they do all those things at once with all those controls! It seems like patting your head while rubbing your tummy to me!
After he tore down the coop, they put up fence posts and used the big diggy to push them in! It's a post hole digger, too? Wow! They hit a river rock on one of them and just kept pounding, anyhow! COOLNESS!
When I grow up, I want to run one of those!
Talk about a stress buster! Let's tear something down, you guys? What's next?! Whoo hooo!
Then, they put up the fence, lickity split! The whole project was done in a couple hours! I'm impressed, and the chickens are in heaven!
Like I said, it's just about nicer than my house!
If you live in Tillamook and need a building torn down, or just about any construction done, I think Blair Construction can do it! I'm so impressed that I was about ready to ask if that diggy can do windows or vacuum, too? LOL.
I'll take a shower and get down here and look at these pictures. I had more fun trying to catch a picture of the rats fleeing. Yuck!
So, later we are having a chicken cook party. I'm bbqing a pulled pork. Yum!