Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
November 2007

The comfort of the kitchen table... after a nice long fishing trip, outside!

November 2nd

I wanted to wish you all a Happy November and be the first, as always...but my internet connection keeps going down. Ah, winter time at the coast! Charter cable has troubles with the season. I don't know why, but here we go, again! I think I'm down more often than up!
This is supposed to be the That's hot! day, but I just can't, today. I've been full up with emotions, lately, and I have to write them out to continue on with my life.
Look for That's hot!, tomorrow!
November... There are times when the dark, gloomy days of winter hit me, at least in memory.
It is seasonal, also! Certain months remind me of things, and as we approach the (Wow! Go Girl!) three year anniversary of my aortic dissection the weather, the powdery blue of the sky, everything seems to remind me of my near-death experience.
As my 6 month test (pray for me on November 16th? Please?) for my aorta approaches, I start to worry about things. It brings back that awful time, in December of 2004 when 'that feeling' hit me, and I held my neck and chest and told Bill to dial 911. I was as calm as could be, and knew fully well what was happening. I had been prepared for this almost my whole life.
My aorta was dissecting. I had no doubt.
I held my kids hands, one by one as I lay in my bed, waiting for the ambulance, and told them I loved them. I told them how proud of them I was. At that time, I did not think of myself. I was concerned about my children. I instructed Bill as to where my will was, and used every minute wisely. Andrew now tells me he was mad. He thought I was being dramatic. He had a test the next morning, and didn't have time to go to the hospital. Especially when Tillamook Hospital told them to 'go home', it was confirmed. I was stealing his study time! Of course, they were wrong, and after they went home, I was raced to OHSU. Tillamook Hospital never told them, either. I phoned myself, from OHSU, and told Bill I was going in for surgery. I guess I called my other family members, too. Funny thing is, I can't recall those calls, nor can I recall anything past the ambulance picking me up! That is, until I woke up in ICU, tubes and wires strung everywhere, and my brother, David, trying to talk to me.
That was so weird. He was holding up a picture of my dog, Kilchis, and I could not talk back. It was so frustrating. I could see he was worried and it was so frustrating to not be able to tell him I was alright.
I'm going to allow myself to write about this once, and then let it go for the season, and live!
As I look out at the fragile, bare, and frozen branches of the trees, I compare them to how I once was. It is this time of year that I dare to recall these memories. Every year, this season, I get further in letting myself remember. It is scary to let myself go there, and as I do, tears sometimes fall.
The field outside my window is totally frozen over, today. I remember that view so clearly from the seat of a wheelchair back in 2004/05. During my recovery, I constantly felt an extreme need to get outside, and I recall the difficulty when left to my own devices, to get there. Interesting reading about how I felt about it, then, here.
Not only was the carpet in our home difficult to traverse, but the doorway jam was the worst! I'd open the door to outside and the cold air dared me even more to be there. But how? Backwards or forward? Either way was nearly impossible and once out, I knew I'd have to get back in and I prayed I had enough energy, should I become too cold.
Luckily, Bill didn't leave me alone, often, but once out, one day, I was stuck. When Bill came home, I was frozen and weak and crying, outside on the back deck.
This period in my life was the only time, and thus the only experience I have had at being outside my body, looking in.
When I think of these times, now, my lower lip gets big, and I actually feel true, awful sorrow for what I went through. A sigh of sadness come out in the same way as when I see an animal run over in the street, or know otherwise, that an animal is suffering.
I really do stand outside of myself, knowing the very real impact of near-death. Knowing full well that I almost lost my life, I think and sometimes even begin to cry the same way as when a good friend passes on. When I let myself go there, which isn't often, I have actually said, out loud, "No! I'd miss her so much! She's my friend!" And I'm talking about losing me! Losing myself. Losing my life. Losing my very best friend, which is myself.
I've felt that same awful sorrow and worry when my kids are late on a date, or when Andrew was in surgery for too long. If I ever think something has happened to my children, or Bill's out in the ocean too long--but I'm actually talking or thinking about myself! It's such an odd feeling. One that I truly don't think you can understand, until it's happened to you.
I don't want me to suffer. I love me. I care for me. I am my own best friend. I am nice to me, and I make myself feel good! By the way, these are the same qualities we look for in friends. :)
When I first came home from the hospital, it was Christmas, and I wanted everything to be as it should be. I wanted to cook dinner. Christmas would go on! The tree wasn't decorated right, but I have to say, Bill and the kids tried! But I was home, now, and I would fix it. Mom's do that.
So, I wheeled around the kitchen, cutting board in my lap, trying to make all the Holiday recipes. I ended up in tears, failing miserably. Dinner was awful, and I don't think anyone really ate.
The worst experience was when I told Bill I had to get to the river. I had no circulation in my legs, although no one had discovered that, yet. I thought it was normal that I couldn't feel my feet right, that my legs were numb but painful, and so weak that they wouldn't hold me up. I talked my doctor into getting me a wheelchair, although he felt, at the time, it wasn't necessary. No one seemed to believe me yet, that I couldn't walk, but at that time, they didn't know yet. They hadn't done any tests to find out I had absolutely very little blood flowing in my legs. I had no circulation!
And I didn't know better. I didn't know how people felt when they healed from an emergency dissection. I figured the reason that they were freezing cold, was that it was the dead of winter, and I was inactive. I used so many Grabber warmers on my feet, back then. My feet were so cold! Like they would break off like the branches in the cold, that I see outside, today. My feet peeled in full foot forms! Although I didn't know it, they were dying. My legs, my feet, if left in this condition, would have had to be amputated.
The day before you go home from the hospital, the physical therapist comes to teach you how to get along. When she tried to get me to traverse the stairs, I was totally unable. Why did that not set off an alarm for them, that something was terribly wrong? Why, when I tried to do as expected and walk the halls, did they rush me back to my room and have to give me morphine, due to the pain? Why did that not let them know something was wrong, wrong, wrong? I am in rage, now, thinking back to that. It makes me mad! They made me suffer, and it hurt me, and I don't want to be hurt! This is what gives me a fat lip. This is what brings sorrow to me. I care about myself, and I do, thinking back, feel true sorrow for myself.
Is this odd? I do not know.
Back to the day on the river, though. I thought I was losing the love of my dog. Watching Kilchis, waggly tailed as always, but following Bill or the kids out to the river when I could not go, gave me terribly mixed feelings. I was glad he could still go, but at the same time, I was selfishly envious. That's my dog! I wanted to take him! I felt guilty for being angry over this. Kilchis would come to visit me in bed, but he was losing the faith that I would ever go to the river. He no longer would come to me, begging to go out. I missed that, bitterly. I'd watch from my bedroom window as Bill would cast out into that beautiful stream that I missed, so dearly! I'd joyfully tell them to go, have fun! And then, when they left, the tears would fall in private.
One day, I told Bill that I simply must go to the river. I wasn't to the point of trying to walk there, yet. I couldn't, at that time, even make it across the darn kitchen floor!
So, I told Bill. Bill, wanting to comply, but doubting my ability, wheeled me to the garage door, and I limped, with his help, in awful pain, into his truck. He drove me to the river.
It was so anti-climatic.
I wanted to watch Kilchis play, but he just sat by the truck door, where I sat, and barked at me. Kilchis barked and barked as I tried to shoo him out to run. I wanted so badly to see him race across the low water, to run, to play, but he wouldn't. Soon, terrible hot tears of frustration fell from my eyes and equaled the pain of my legs and the frozen cold that was invading my weak body.
"Take me back." I begged Bill.
On top of the failure of the trip, once in the garage, I knew I had to make it to my wheelchair in the kitchen. With all motivation gone, all I can recall is bitter, icy, cold all over. Pain, and terrible weakness all over my body. The nerve damage in my legs screamed. My boots hurt on my feet. I could not walk. I was crying in defeat over the entire experience and I crawled on all fours up the back stairs and collapsed on the last step, before the landing. I just needed to rest, despite the fact that my face full of tears was resting on the dirty garage steps. I didn't care.
Even at that point, though, I did not want to give up.
I don't know how I made it, but I'll never forget the rush of warmth in the house, and the relief of sitting in the kitchen chair at the table. That memory still hits me now, daily, as I come in from the cold, from fishing.
In the end, even that memory is now a good thing.
What a total miracle it is, to come from that place in my life, to where I am now!
Sure, I have pain, but nothing... nothing compared to what I endured those awful months before they figured out my circulation problems! Thank GOD my doctor here in town finally discovered the problem. I had no pulse in my ankles! Thank God that the people at Stanford were able to fix it with their magic stents. Thank God I have family to help me through these things, that my sister went with me to California for the surgery. The very next day after surgery, I was able to walk, again! Pure magic!
And this morning, I'm going to shower without sitting in a plastic chair, and I'm going to put my Danner boots on that feel good.. actually GOOD on my feet, and I'm going to walk myself right out to the river, with my Kilchis dog, who now begs by my side, fully expecting me to take him out to the river that I love! The cold, brisk wind of winter actually feels good on my cheeks! My fingers get cold, and it's normal, and the pain of thawing them out under running water is endurable and actually almost good!
Somehow, I don't even think of the fact that since then, I've lost my vision and somewhat regained it. I have a blister on my eye that is painful, but no big deal, comparatively. I lived last year through a total loss of my vision... those things are so insignificant in comparison! I don't care!
Now, I can see my bobber, and I can walk, and I can do things that I once never thought possible! I can fish in a boat. I can walk on the river. All that I carry with me is a deep sorrow for the pain that I once went through, and even that, every year, is getting less and less, and more and more distant. I can finally think about it with clarity. That is, when I let myself go there.
Some people call it strength. I don't see it that way. I just feel incredibly lucky! Honestly, it's not until you've seen the darkest sides, can you truly live and enjoy!
I can say, with all of my heart that I truly appreciate life and all that it offers.
And now? As I look down and pet the head of a soft, silky Kilchis-dog whose head sets patiently on my knee, begging with those soulful, knowing eyes... I whisper, "Let's go fishin!" With a full smile on my face, he leaps back, barking and waggly tailed.
You have NO idea how terribly glad I am to be alive!
I'm going fishing!
Happy November!


November 3rd

That's hot!

Did you know that if you register on ifish you can see a whole lot more, on the board? It's easy! Register here.
First things first...
You've got to have it! Mark Anderson of First Bite Jigs has a new DVD coming out. Read about it here! If you want to learn from the master, this is the one to watch!


Everyone loves eyefish's posts. He writes articles in STS and every time he posts, he wows me with his pictures of beautiful fish! I love it when he fishes with his daughters. They are going to grow up to be wonderful examples for their children. I'm envious! I would love to fish with my kids!
It's time for the 2008 Kwikfish coloring contest. Don't forget to get yours in, soon! I think I'll close it for entries on Monday. Then, I'll post a poll and we'll vote!
Are you a photo buff? On Ifish, the "Life in General" board if full of fun things to do to pass the time and to celebrate each day. This photo opportunity is awesome! Enjoy! -and enter yours, today! See? We aren't ALL about fishing! I mean, after all, where can you discuss the best homeowners insurance, the best getaway at the coast, flint napping, and measure 49, all in one spot?
Back to the out of doors, however... (Ifish specialty!)
The Salty Dogs are lamenting the past summer. Things are bound to get heated, as their frustration level rises, due to not enough salt in their lives!
However, things are pretty cool, yet.
Where you buy your tuna gear is discussed this week.
Don't look now, but that darn wave buoy sank!
The hunting board is active and alive. Tis the season!
Look out! Here comes bigfoot!
This is a great story! Jon got his buck!
The hunting board gets a little riled up now and then, but I love the stories of great hunts!
I also adore the pictures of dogs!
Watch closely on the fly fishing board, because the next challenge will be posted soon by AndyK.
Catch up on John Day or Deschutes Steelies!
I don't know about you, but I really want to catch a chum on a fly. I've been trying forever! This is the year! That is, if it would only rain!
Did you know that you can keep track of your buddies on ifish and find out if they are currently online? There are several ways to do this.
First, you must be registered on ifish. Then, click on their name, which opens their profile. You can then click to add them to your buddy list.
Once you do that, then you can go back over to "Quick links" (on the top gold line of links). A drop down menu will appear and you can open your list of buddies. There, it will show who is online at the time, and who is not.
Another way is to simply click on Quick Links. A drop down menu appears. Click on "Who's online". This not only shows you who is online, but what they are currently looking at. Aha! A way to spy!
I hope you have a great weekend!
Think RAIN!
I just got back from attempting a fish out back. Don't drop a sponge! No kidding! The river will soak up and be gone!
Of course, no fish for Jennie, and that's not hot! - but I didn't drop a sponge, either... so there is still some water to fish in, regardless!

November 6th

Oh my but I have a lot to do!
It's one of those days that I'd like to be nice to me but I keep getting these visual migraines and can't get a thing done. I try, and then I get another one. Then, I start in again, and wham!
I think my body is trying to tell me something!
It's so beautiful out. Why can't we just be happy with that? What is it about me that gets bored of the particular weather and want something else? I'm in the mood for a dark, stormy day. I'll get that, soon enough! After two weeks of it, I'll be begging for the sunshine, again. Pheh!
Makes me glad that I live in the Pacific Northwest, though, where everything changes!
Yesterday I picked a sun ripened blackberry off the vine by the river. It was incredibly sweet! Then, I walked up to the house and picked a few remaining blueberries off the vine from summer. Incredible to have fresh berries in November, isn't it? I love it!
Alright... I'm going to try to work again. Wish me luck! And keep those big bad migraines away from me. I don't care for them at all!November 7th

Ah, the countdown till the 16th. My CT with die. (Whoops! Fr. slip!) CT with DYE. :)
Oh, am I not looking forward to this at all! They can't even thread my veins for the test.
I didn't sleep last night, dreaming about it.
I don't know what the problem is, but they try to get that darn needle in, and my veins break. It has to be in there really good, too, because the dye has to be put in with lots of pressure. I don't know whether to warn the nurses of the problem, or not. If I do warn them, they get really nervous. If I don't, then I risk having some newbie try it on me. One time I had 18 nurses try it, before they called in some specialized IV nurse.
So, I say, quietly, "You know, threading my veins has been fairly difficult in the past."
Last time, they finally got it in, but it took three nurses to hold my arm really tight so that when they pushed the dye in, my veins wouldn't give out. They have to push the medicine in really fast, and once, somehow it ballooned out, in the past. Man, that hurts! Softball size bump of medicine in my arm. Ouch!
Why am I thinking about this? I gotta stop! Pull up, Jen! Pull up!
Hey! Looks like a change of weather! Bill and I were talking about the salmon being stuck at the jaws, waiting for higher river conditions.
So, I'm thinking... if they don't hurry up with some rain, do the salmon just say, "I give up!" and spawn, right there in the bay? I'll ask Bill. :) He knows everything.
I guess we are going to the Rendezvous dinner Thursday night. That will be fun! I haven't missed one in ages.
Tina Smith, Jack's wife (He's an excellent local guide) invited Bill and I, yesterday. I hope we can do something to help them out. It's a busy time and Tina and Shanna Juarez put so much into it!
Marty Peterson will be guiding in the tournament. That's a feel good thing. I'm glad he's fishing, enjoying it, and out on the river, lately. I just love Marty and Lee Peterson! Lee is always there with the other guide's wives, putting in their time. The Tillamook Guides crew and families are so faithful to the fisheries!
I have an important meeting at 11 on the phone, and I need to get showered... but first, I need to work on the Kwikfish contest.
I'm holding it open for entries, by request, until noon, today. Get your entry in! There is still time!
Lots of bickering going on in the CCA threads on the main board. Wow. There is so much more to this than meets the eye. I've been written to and pm'd and called on the phone until I'm just tired of the whole issue.
I need to concentrate on the good in life. So, please don't be offended if you write to me regarding it, and I just don't answer. It's this very political type of thing that I just don't do well with. Ifish is here to give you a place to talk about things, and please feel free to do, just that! Just don't call me about it.
I will continue, as always, to be a platform for promoting any fishery related non profit group that the people on ifish wish to promote.
I have taken down their link on the front page, as they do not want association with ifish. I can't keep the people from talking about it, here, but I can comply with their wishes in that regard.
Just get involved! I don't care with whom! I can't do much attending of meetings, as I can't drive at night, nor does my health seem to sustain me in that regard. However, I can provide a place for groups to get their message out, and I will continue to do that, as long as I am able!
Frankly, that time may be short lived, but it is my wish that the next person to take over ifish does the same.
I'm just not at all cut out for the political back stabbing and such, that goes on. It's just icky! That's the one thing I regret learning about, by my starting this web site. Oh! Is there ever ugliness where money is involved! I could have easily lived my whole life, without learning about what goes on, in that regard.
I live my life to celebrate the simple things in life, like eating fresh berries, having quiet days on the river, and talking about gardens and chanterelles and well? Just working on sustaining these things, and praising my Father in Heaven for all that surrounds me!
Anyhow, for now, Ifish!
I'm off to get ready for my day, and I hope you have a grand one, yourself!

November 8th

Oh, brother! People just won't stop! I finally blew my top on the CCA thread. If you want, read it here. It's all I have in me, today!
Somehow... I think my migraine is lifting...

November 9th

OK.. now let me get this straight...
Many months ago, Gary Loomis talked to me about the CCA at the Sportsman Show.
As the group was forming, CCA was introduced and promoted on, through posts on our discussion board.
Later, when I joined, I posted a post stating as much, and that I thought the group was awesome! CCA memberships were gained and later, meeting notices posted.
YAY! I though we were on track!
Then, out of the blue, many ifish members and other active fisheries groups felt publicly critisized by the heads of CCA in an article in The Daily Oregonian at Oregon Live. Many people misunderstood the intended message.
In fact, I just shook my head when someone read it to me. Weird! And yeah, it stung a bit!
Later, discussion of this sequence of events were discussed on the ifish board. What a mess it turned into! People bickering, back and forth!
I was asked to remove the link to CCA that was on our front page, and complied, right away, although I was still very confused by the entire situation.
What on earth had we done wrong? How do things like this happen?
That seems a little backwards!
Anyhow, ladies and gents, this is getting a little too crazy for this girl.
Enough of this nonsense!
The thing that attracted me to the CCA most was that it was intended to bring us all together!
It is my opinion that we MUST come together despite all of this trouble and division.
No matter what group you belong to, no matter who you like or dislike, I beg you to stick it out and come together for the benefit of our resource! Get involved and stay involved. Put your ego aside and keep one thing in your focus-
We need united sports fishing people to stick together once and for all!
I'm so tired of all the bickering!
However, it does not make me want to quit. It makes me want to fight all the harder! The opposition sits back and laughs at us when we fight amongst ourselves.
I won't have it!
I see people who you'd think would understand this simple principal of "getting along" saying terrible things about the people they are supposed to be joining forces with! Holy moly, People!
If you want more information on the CCA, please click on the link. It is in the left hand column, or above. Bookmark it.
BTW, I just spoke to Eva at the main headquarters of CCA. What a great gal they have volunteering! She's going to forward me the exact lingo on how linking works with their website.
As a side note, if "Ed" could please write me with your contact information, I would appreciate it.
Meanwhile? I sure need a break!

November 9th

Somewhere over the rainbow way up high
There's a land that I've heard of once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true

Some day I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me...

Click image to zoom

I'm going to dream some dreams, now.
I'm allowed to do that.

I wish I had a real job.
- A job that paid enough money to live on, and take my family on a vacation. I wish I had my very own health insurance, and that I didn't need to rely on disability and medicare and that I paid a premium and had to pay a percentage and that I could actually do it and complain about it, too!
I've never worked for anyone. What is it like? Is my work here worth anything? Sometimes I wonder if I could find a job where I do what I do here, and if an employer would actually value me, and put up with me being sick so much, having all these doctor's appointments and such?
I want to sit in a cubicle with other employees and have lunch in a lunchroom and talk girl-talk with the gals.
Sometimes I wish that I had weekends totally off, where I had nothing to worry about. I wish I knew the dread of Monday morning.
I wish I didn't know what Marfan Syndrome was.
I wish I could wake up and see out of my eyes like others do. I often wonder what that would be like. What do things look like out of those eyes? If I take a picture, will that show as normal vision? I tried, yesterday.

Click image to zoom

I wish that I could bring the outdoors in on stormy days like this one.
I wish so badly that my aorta wasn't broken. Sometimes it seems like a bad dream, and it will all be fine when I wake up.
I wish for little things like that I could stand in line for dinner like all the other people at the Rendezvous, without having to take a break and sit down in a chair and wonder if people are staring at me.
I've had people tell me I'm too young to be tired like that. I just smile. What can I say?
I wish I were one of the fisherwomen in the tournament, written up on the board as having caught two fish! I wish I could sit in a boat all day long, and fish like that... from sunup to sundown.
-And as long as I am wishing, I wish I could sturgeon fish, again! I miss that! I miss lifting more than 10 pounds. I miss carrying my own groceries into the house. If I don't follow the doc's advice, would something really happen?
Over the rainbow... there is a trip to Hawaii for the kids and I. Or Mexico, or some (any!) exotic warm place with water! I just want to lay in the sun all day and laze and drink foo-foo drinks with umbrellas and float around in a lazy river!
Bill doesn't like to travel, but he can take care of the animals at home! If we are going to be kids, then by golly, I wish I were in Disneyland where everything is happy! I love Mickey! I'd love to go to Disneyland, again!
I wish I could go on the roller coasters! Oh, this is fun, wishing! I adore roller coasters and screaming my lungs out! I want to go! I don't know why the doctors won't let me.
Maybe... just maybe, if my test is bad, I won't decide to try to get it fixed, and instead, I'll just go on a roller coaster! So there!
Sigh. Reality. I wish people on the board didn't fight all the time, or at least, that it wasn't my "job" to have to read it.
I wish people weren't mean spirited, and that everyone took care of one another like they were delicate and knew that they could easily break. Like the soft petals of freesia. Delicate and fragile.

Click image to zoom

I wish that my freesias would stay in bloom, all year round. Aren't they beautiful? So strange that they would still be growing and blooming, now!

I wish that every pizza I made, turned out as good as this one did, and I wish Andrew hadn't eaten the whole darn thing! But, I am flattered that he did. I love it when he thinks I'm a good cook.

And every sourdough loaf of bread as perfect... Andrew said, "Mom, this is the best bread I have ever eaten." I glow.

Click image to zoom

I wish I knew what this plant is, that I grew from seed! If you know, please let me know!

Some day I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me...

All wishes aside-
It's fun to go over the rainbow sometimes and write out a list of magic! I hope that you know, though, that I'd really have my life no other way.

But now, I'm going to go pretend to plan a trip on the internet. Even if I know I'm not really going, it's a great escape to plan one!
Then, after that, I'm going to go to the store and buy some warm socks for my feet. Somehow, when I'm feeling down, warm socks really do the trick! Nice, soft, warm socks!
Have a good day!
Oh, man! Speaking of warm? I just forgot, again! Today is "That's Hot!" Day, but you know? I think I'll just wait for tomorrow again.
Happy warm socks day to you all!

and look at this one!

Click image to zoom


November 10th
That's hot!

Vote on your favorite top 10 Kwikfish for 2008! I finally got the poll up and finished! Man, that was work! Lots of great entries, though!
The Christmas Party is December 4th! I hope you can make it! Here's some pictures from the previous years! 2005 Christmas
2006 Christmas Don't know what it's all about? Click here!
I hate to even mention this, and I'm not going to link it! The discussion on CCA is sure controversial! Find it if you like... dig it up on the main board. If I link it, I'm asked not to, and if I don't, I'm asked to. I'm pulled in opposite direction on this one, but it's all about the CCA and it's hot!. I know I can link their page, though!

Today's challenge: The weather station seems to be broken. I think I'm going to try to replace it with a wireless system. I think we have rats under the house that keep nibbling on those wires.
Too bad, too! The wind just rocked last night! I woke up to check how much and the system is down. Darnit! To work I go~!

November 11th

What a day for a daydream... :)
It's a beautiful, stormy day out! I think we are going to go fishing, somewhere. I don't know where. But, it's just an awesome, wintry day. Blustery, dark, windy, then lighter and calm. There is a storm forecast. I hope it makes the fish active!
The barometer is currently going up. That's good!
I just adore the animal fishing friends post on ifish. Have you seen it? What wonderful pets! Seems like most people do fish with their dogs. I just love that. There is nothing greater than taking Kilchis out in the boat. He just adores it!
Sometimes he'll run down the ramp and jump in someone else's boat, by accident. Oops!
Anyhow, it sure is late for chinook fishing. It's amazing. Yesterday I drove to the Bay City Post office, and there were as many boats out fishing the bay, as in early October!
This Sunday morning... I don't know, but I am traditional. This is the day that the Lord Hath Made! I will be glad and rejoice in it!
- and as I look around at all of nature's miracles, I almost feel like crying. I am so grateful to be alive in all of this beauty!
It's interesting, though. I have looked through past entries of my writing, right before my CT test, which will happen on Friday.
I get so emotional! It's scary and dark, but at the same time, I begin to appreciate things so much and realize how grateful I am, to live!
I just can't understand how so many people live their life so full of hate. Do they even realize that our time is short, here?
Yesterday I was sitting at the kitchen table and I read some advertisement for something that David would like to have. Oh, I miss David! I ran to pick up the phone to call him and tell him how much I love and miss him. It was so good to hear his voice! He sounds like he is doing so well. His whole floor at his dormitory are all friends, and the stories he tells about them are wonderful! I'm so grateful that he is having this experience. It almost sounds like a summer camp, there! I hope his studies are doing equally well! For the price, he'd better be studying, also!
Well, I'd better get off of this thing and get fishing. Bill and I have turned into lazy day fishermen and women! Like Ben Tagliovento used to say, "I let all the race horses go down the river, and then I go clean up the fish that they lacked the skill to catch!"
I love that attitude! So, off we go!
Oh! The sky just opened up and there are those awesome streaks of sunshine coming down from the heavens, and lightly touching the earth! I love that! I wish you could see!
That's God telling me that He loves me. Nice to have Him around, isn't it? :)

November 11th later...

Off to the hospital. My bleb on my eye popped and drained. I guess this is dangerous as it leaves a hole into the inside of my eye, open to infection. Wah. Hope I don't have to have surgery. I'm just not in the mood. I really wanted to go fishing, doc.
Ya know?

Permission to whine?

November 13th

I'm not strong. I'm bordering on going crazy, though. I'm off to Portland to get cut up, again. My bleb needs to be patched with someone else's sclera. Thank you, someone else! I appreciate eye donors, so much! I will now have three sclera patches!
OK, I'm OK with that... semi! I'm grateful that it can be fixed. But, what's a girl to do when the very next day, her other eye acts like the retina is detaching?
This is where crazy comes in. Man. Come on! Give me a break!
I'm heading to Dr. Michelle, now. I so hope it's something else. Something easy. I just can't see a thing, looking down. It's a blank black hole. Say it isn't true. Tell me it's a chunk of mascara that got in the way! Tell me all I have to do is where a better quality mascara! (LOL)
Yes. I'm laughing. What else can I do?
The part that really really bums me out is that I so badly wanted to go fishing, today! The river is to die for and I saw some chum and I really want to fight a salmon on a fly rod! I mean, I really really really want sock it to 'em! I need to fight something! I need to hunt 'em all! Big and small! I need to KILL SOMETHING!!!
No, I'm not killing chum and I'm not killing cutthroat. I just need the hunt and then a little sweat and tears from the fight!
So, tomorrow... there is always tomorrow.
Thursday I have to have surgery.
BTW, I am turning off my private messages on the board. The contact form will go to the moderators. I just can't see, due to the ointment I have to have in my eyes until surgery, so, please, be patient with me. I'm just going to be unavailable. This will be my last post, until I am recovered and home.
FYI, here are the details on my eye.
Please say a prayer that the anesthesia doesn't make me sick and that my good eye remains good enough to keep on keepin' on! It scares me a bit, but I have faith in God, our healer, like nothing else! I'm going to be just fine, if not better! Yes! Better!
Off I go. I will catch a fish and I will heal fast!
Have a good week!
Ms. Humpty Dumpty
All the ifish members again and again
Pray that Jennie gets better!

November 17th

I am home.
I am dealing with pain, so won't be writing much. I did have a detached retina, so they put off surgery on the right eye to do the emergency surgery on the left. I will get the other surgery when this one heals. Pheh!
I think that I might as well write off this Fall salmon season. I can't fish or be physically active for at least two weeks.
It's just so good to have my Kilchis's head in my lap. I love him so much!
I am late putting up Francis Caldwell's column. He is in a care facility right now, and will come home as he feels better. Please say your prayers for him.
I can't see out of my right eye yet, and it is very difficult to maneuver, walk, type, etc. Even though that eye was legally blind, I really realize how much I depended on it for depth perception and I can't wait to have it back!
The surgery supposedly went well and I am so grateful for that!
I have a gas bubble in my eye to hold my retina in place, while it heals. It's really weird! It's green! I can see it and as I tilt my head, it moves! I have to sleep sitting up so it stays in place.
I need to work on putting up the new weather station, next. I am so excited for that! A storm is coming in, too! I need to race to beat it!
Have a wonderful day, and thank God I'm home!

November 18th

Alright. I'm better, now. Francis Caldwell's new column on boat trailers is up!
My e mail and private messages are caught up!
The Christmas party is getting organized!
The new weather station is working!
The Kwikfish are getting ordered!
I have caught up on the mod board!
David Johnson caught a steelhead! It's time!
And... I cried, yesterday!
You know how it feels when you haven't cried for a long time, and then it becomes difficult to do so? I kind of get stopped up if I don't cry once and a while, and I need to get the negatives out!
I've gone so far at times, as to rent a sad movie just to unclog my tear ducts!
Yesterday, I finally cried! All by myself, and without a movie!!
A flood of tears released from the storm clouds! All of what I had built up from weeks past! It has been a painful drought in my soul. I'll tell you!
I walked down to the river, and as I slowly made my way over the rocks, I tried my hardest to feel really sorry for myself. It worked! Poor Jennie! Poor Jennie can't see! Poor, poor Jennie is tired and clumsy and she falls! (Just then I tripped, too! That helped!) Poor Jennie's nose is running. Poor Jennie feels awful!
Just thinking about it makes me giggle now, but it worked! Pretty soon the tears fell and I swear that the river came up two feet!
That reminds me of something questionably funny. Once, a very long time ago when I was a child, my Father and I were sitting in a hog line on the Willamette. I was blind, but did not know it. I knew no difference at the time and neither did my family.
I was at the very sensitive age of 8 or so, and I told my Dad that I had to use the girl's room. Not wanting to pull anchor and go to shore, he told me just to go over the side of the boat.
I didn't know what a hog line was, nor that there was anyone around, so I thought it was OK.
As I pulled down my pants, and began to do as I was told, my Dad yelled over to his buddies, "River level is coming up!"
I will NEVER forget that! And never forgive, either! I am damaged for life! (LOL) Poor Jennie was naked in front of the world! (Dad, I'm going to have to talk to you again about this!)
The above story is why I am still not bucket trained, to this day!
So, anyhow... Yesterday I unleashed a barrel of tears. I cried, and now I am cleansed and new and ready to begin my life, fresh and with a smile!
It all felt so right to me. The rain was falling and the river, rushing all around me. My tears were just a normal part of the scenery. It was all a blur, and with the wind blowing my hair into my face, that felt right, too. I couldn't walk fast, because I can't see and I am still a bit weak. Bill yelled at me from behind. I didn't know he was even present. Glad to see him, (but I don't think it was mutual, once he saw my tears...) I held his arm, sobbing, as I limped along, sup-supping, and searching for dead salmon, for some trace of the invisible run, this year on the bank.
We found none. If we had of found one, though, it wouldn't have been right. I would have had to be happy and the tears just felt too right.
Chalk it up! It's one more hurdle behind me. I have another surgery when I heal from this one, but I will... I will be back! You just wait! And this is the year that I will catch a steelhead on a fly! I'm so excited about that prospect!
I haven't heard from my thoracic surgeon regarding my CT/aorta scan, but I have a feeling this one will be good! It has to be! I have fish to catch! To bonk! To release! Fish, fish, fish!
Off I go. How great it feels to have some of this done!-- but yet the best feeling of all is to get those darn tears out of me, so that I can move forward!
I have a fresh slate to work with, with no negatives. That's such a good and clean thing! Flush those Fall leaves out, and wash them away! We are now totally prepared for a cold winter! ...for a clean, cold, blanket of snow! And I can't wait!

November 19th

Wow. Too funny. I was looking for an old picture of my hands and how long my fingers are, for a marfan fun page, and found my very first internet site. It's still up! The tools they use for midi music are different. The instruments have changed, so please don't listen to my music! It doesn't sound right, any more! But, this is funny! Geocities was how I learned to do HTML!
I also found this. I had so much fun making that piano. I used to be good at graphics! :) My nickname on the internet used to be "midifingers" and I used to write music for movies, and sell it via the internet! Fun! I made the midifingers page just as I bought the domain, "!"
Oh, and here is some more fun! Look at the archives of ifish and how it all started, here!
Did anyone see this article on The Today Show? Stanford was where I went to get the stents in my legs so that I could walk, again. I can so relate to that little girl! She looks just like I did, at that age!
Yesterday I worked too long and ended up in the worst pain. I will not do that again! I found out that most people take 3 weeks off of work, after a retinal detachment surgery. Wusses! (LOL) Actually, after yesterday, now I see why. I had the worst headache in my eye. I was in bed, the whole rest of the day. So, off I go for now. I must limit myself to minutes a day on the computer until I'm well. Have a great week!

November 20th

I am without internet, so I'm getting some work done offline.
I find myself dreaming, though. Dreaming and hoping for huge returns of salmon for everyone!
You know what? I've not seen one salmon carcass on the river shore. I waded into the water the other day, and with my hip boots on, not one salmon was to be seen. I've seen them so thick that I had them rub up against my boots, in the past. It's always a special event, but it does happen, and nearly yearly!
As I peered around a brushy corner on the river where the chum are known to gather, I usually spot several. This year, I haven't seen one!
Ah, memories. I'll never forget fishing with Bill and having a multi-fish party. He, struggling with a fish with one hand and the trolling motor with the other; and I, with a fish in one hand and trying to manage the anchor with the other! Both of us, laughing in frustration and excitement! Oh, those were the good old salmon days!
Not only do my medical problems stop me from this this year, but the fish aren't here, either!
Every angler I speak to, even at the most perfect river levels and clarity, drift past me and raise their arms while shaking their head, signaling "no fish!"
The air on the river smells oddly sweet and pure.
I hear the song birds on the shore, and that's my only entertainment, my only sign that there is life on the river. The river bed is still mossy. No signs of rocks swept clean with salmon redds. There are no bright flashes of silvery salmon sides, as they dig. Other than the current's occasional whitecap, the river is silent and still and without life.
At least I have my winter birds. They are so beautiful. I get excited at the arrival of each species. Bill will shout out to break the morning quiet, "There's our first thrush!" I peek out the window to see if I have one, too. We have a bit of a competition going on. I swear that if I have more birds than he does, he'll "forget" to fill my feeder! Punished, I am... for my feathered friends!
There are 'his and hers' bird watching areas. Mine, a little hidey spot outside my office window. and his, the entire back deck. Mine is beautiful, but small. His is larger, but (in my opinion) not nearly so pretty! Mine is hidden, more protected. It has a bird bath clothed and dripping down the sides in moss that everyone comments on. "How did you get the moss to grow like that?" I didn't! It just happened! Funny thing, though, I can't get the bird bath to stay full of water, as the moss drinks it out of the bowl. At first I thought it was leaking, but now I'm convinced. It's the moss! It has to be!
The winter birds that come to visit are more spooky than the summer birds. Ever wonder why I don't come out with pictures of them all? It's due to the nature of these birds. The thrush, the junco, the chickadees, the towhee, they are all a bit more spooky than the summer birds that come to eat.
The native winter steelhead that come up the coastal rivers are likewise, much spookier than the seemingly sluggish but intensely strong and brave chinook salmon.
Is it the salmon's mission that smothers their fear? They are bound and determined to get across that ocean, through the bay, and up that river, no matter what the weather condition, the river condition, or what predators await them.
To spawn and to die. That doesn't sound like much fun to look forward to. But yet they are driven beyond fear to accomplish it.
At dinner time, Bill and I discuss it. "So, what do you think happened? Where are the fish? Did they shoot up on the high water? Are they still out in the bay? Or... (a hush comes over the room) are they just not coming?
When I go out to the river, lately, I long to see a dead salmon on the river bank. You'd not think a girl would be anxious to smell the rotting flesh of fish, but hey! My home is Tillamook!
On my way home from town, I often have to wait for "cow parades." The cows cross the roads, as they go home to their barns. While waiting, I sometimes visit with the farmers. I giggled once as I held my nose while talking. It was an incredibly smelly day! Seeing that I was offended, the farmer inhaled deeply, that aroma of cow dung and laughed, "Smells like money to me!"
Ah, the glass half full!
Just like that smell of cow dung rings a certain homecoming and welcome as I drive home from the city, the odor of rotting salmon is normal and right, and signals to me that all in the world is well. Cow dung with home, rotting salmon with winter- It all goes together like pumpkin pie at, or something!
Yep. It's mid November and well past the date or season for the spawning of salmon. I feel kind of disconnected in its absence.
There are usually several scavenging seagull that squawk outside my bedroom window and wake me in the mornings. They work furiously over the salmon strewn banks, fighting with one another. They are absent. I've not spotted, (nor has Kilchis!) the beautiful bald eagle that soars up and down the water's expanse, searching for an easy meal. I always wonder, do the seasons tell these birds to come, or is it the odor that draws them, upriver?
Kilchis has a thing about those bald eagles. When he sees them, he absolutely goes wild. He gives chase to the blue heron with almost as much energy as he gives the bald eagle.
We have a resident blue heron that squawks an awkward bark-like song as he flies up the river at first light, and down at sunset. Kilchis sits on the back deck surveying his property, and waits for him like clockwork. The eagle are more sporadic, and don't fly to the clock. A much more skilled game it is, to make chase after these hunters! Kilchis has lived only six seasons of the eagle's yearly visits, but he knows to expect them. He waits... he listens.
But the river is silent.
We sit together on the back steps in silence... listening, hoping...
It is truly an odd year on the river. Spookier than Halloween; more silent then a river's song during a late summer drought. There is something wrong. There is something most terribly wrong.
Scott Amerman reports that in 20 years, he's not seen such a bad fishing year. Bill Monroe wrote about it in the paper.
Some fishermen have hit it right. There have been good days. I remember seeing a picture of Marty Peterson's huge smoker, made from an old freezer. It was just full of fish! Wow, Marty! Leave it to you!
I remember Bill and I being so sad that Marty had stopped guiding. We worried about him not being happy without daily fishing in his life. But, he proved us all wrong! We've never seen Marty happier, and rightly so, if you saw that picture, too! He's driving truck around from farm to farm, and my neighbor farmer, probably breathing in the aroma of cow dung and thinking "money", too!
Bill just corrected me, though... Marty is driving for the cheese factory, now! Way to go, Marty!
With all this quiet and that seems wrong in this season, it is a good sign to see the sports fishermen rally together with renewed hope that has come with the arrival of the CCA.
It seems to me that we are finally getting organized with all of our sports fishing groups and I am so excited about what is to come. I love talking to Liz at the NSIA. She is always so hopeful and so positive. We will win! We will bring back the salmon! We are on the road, and it's so good to see everyone getting on board and working, together!
It is going to take every one of us and it is going to take more work than we have given, in the past.
So, Kilchis? You wait here on the porch. I've got work to do! And Kilch? Give me a sign when the seagull sqawk, and the eagle soars, searching for food. Tell me when you see the salmon hovering over their redds on a low water day where the river is clear and full of life. Tell us when our mission is accomplished!
Meanwhile, we people? We have work to do! Just as the salmon's mission smothers their fear as they traverse all kinds of obstacles to arrive at their goal of spawning, we have a very like journey ahead of us to save them.
Our mission is clear, but it is not going to be easy!
I try to convince myself that it's probably just an off year for the salmon, but it's enough to scare me into action! How bout you?
So, as you gaze out into a river without fish, raise that glass half-full and see it as an opportunity to wake us all into action! I think we can make it happen!

November 24th

Well, last night broke my theory.
I've been sporadically without internet for the past five days. I finally thought I had it figured out! I still think I do, but last night is puzzling.
Years before, the Charter Internet folks came on a trouble call and told us there was water in our lines.
Well, as soon as it became freezing outside, the internet would go down. Likewise, in the morning when it thawed, my internet would come back.
I'm a morning person. So, every morning at 5 or 6, I'd get up to do my ifishing, and low and behold, it would be out until late morning! At that time, I'm already tired!
Let's just say that my house is clean! There is nothing else I could do!
Well, of course when Charter came out, my cable would be back up, so they didn't "fix" anything. Finally, I think I've gotten it through to them that they need to work on my lines, but alas, they can't do it until the 29th. So, I may be powerless to help you when you need it. Sorry! It's beyond my control!
I had a wonderful Thanksgiving! It just wasn't the same, however, not being able to write about it, and to be thankful online!
Of course there are things that weigh heavy on my heart. Yesterday on my daily trek on the rive, there were no fish lying on the bank which is terribly frightening to me.
This is the time of year that the sun doesn't hit our canyon all day long. The sky is dim and dark, and therefore, anything that should have a hint of color is muted to a light shade of gray. The rocks are wet, and stand out a shiny, dark gray or black. (That's what makes agates so easy to find!- even for me!)
There is a chill in the air that freezes your fingertips. Often, a slight mist is falling from the air, and tiny beads of water threaten to freeze on the hair that falls in my face. Brr!
The whole picture just screams steelhead to me, but it also haunts me with memories of Jim Erickson. The excitement of steelhead somehow makes the sadness of losing a good friend, even more dramatic.
I wish I could get to that point where I could be nothing but happy and when I catch a steelhead, smile, and yell up, "Got one, Jim!" I will get to that place. I know I will! I'm just not there, quite yet.
His wife, Loretta, is doing quite well, I hear. She has a list of "haven't done this" and she's ticking them off, being independent and doing them, alone! I love it! I was worried about her at first, but no need! No need at all! She's one tough cookie!
Now, for some pictures. Since I am unable to fish, Bill took my brother David and his son, Bret salmon fishing. I guess it was really strange. In a place normally filled with salmon, there was none! Not one!

Click pics to zoom
Before fishing- Bill, brother David and Brett

Fish pie! My, oh, my!

Family at Thanksgiving

I tease my friends and family and say, "Welcome to the handicapped Holidays!" Once again, I am disabled enough to make it a real challenge to cook. I did it, though! Never mind that I was so exhausted by the time eating came around that I didn't eat much, but hey! The family had a great time, and those memories are what I'm after!
My scan on my aorta shows no change, and I'm so thankful for that! My eye is healing, and although there are problems, I'm still thankful for the healing! I have another surgery coming up. I so hope it goes well!
Anyhow, I just keep thinking lately, how absolutely lucky, happy, ecstatic I am, to be alive! It really thrills me, to the bottom of my soul to think about what I've been through, and what I still can do!
Thank you, Father! Thank you! Look at the beautiful family I am blessed with! I'd miss them so much, if I had to go, now! I'm still betting on grand babies!!! Now, that would be cool! (Not yet, though, guys... I'm patient!)

November 25th

I have deemed today, Sunday, November 25th, as official complaint day for me.
My eyesight is driving me batty. I mean, really really batty!
I have a gas bubble in my eye to hold the retinal detachment fix in place. It is supposed to shrink and reabsorb within 3-6 weeks.
It's like... it's like having a carpenter's level in my eye. At least I can hang pictures with ease!
It bounces around in my eye, as it shrinks. It refracts every light, seemingly a million times, so that everything is crystallized looking. I live in the Kilchis Canyon Crystal Cathedral!
Every movement I make, even my heartbeat, and the bubble jiggles! Shampooing my hair is wild! Ba bump bump bump! Up and down and sideways! Ever looked through a kaleidoscope? It's great when you mean to, but having one eye kaleidoscopic and the other normal? Bizarre! Plus, my lens that was put in the last surgery, is doing all the weird refracting. It has shifted into my iris, and I believe I am again, looking through the edge of the lens. The doctor had been so proud of the placement of that lens! I feel sorry for him that now, it has changed. :(
It is true, and I don't know who said it, (maybe me?) But, marfan patients are a surgeons balance, for their otherwise heroic deeds."
As soon as I heal, the doc says he'll put dilating drops in, and I'll have to stay flat on my back, hoping that it will fall back into place. If not, they'll have to take a needle, (in the office) and try to pull it down into place. (Oh, horrors!)
Even if I try to keep my eye closed, I still "see" the bubble and its horizon. My cheek is sore from squeezing that eye shut, and my other eye isn't very good, so it's hard to walk!
Sometimes, a piece of the bubble will break off and fly around. Last night a big one flew off, and I thought a black dog ran by me! I stepped back, to not be in its way! Argh!
But get this- this is the worst! I don't want to see anyone, or go out in public. I just want to hide, seeing like this. I am very self conscience. But having cabin fever, last night Bill and I went into the grocery store, after going to get my Christmas decorations out of storage.
Big mistake!
I held my head down, and walked with him as my guide, hand on his shoulder.
We almost made it through the store without seeing anyone we knew. But, then it happened. Walking right towards me was the store manager, Jim, I think his name is. He is such a nice guy! All of the sudden, fear took hold of me. I saw him coming right at us in those red and blue clothes he wears. Yikes! Someone I kinda know! Someone that might expect a greeting! Panic hit and there was no place to hide! The cereal isle just wouldn't do!
In a wee little voice, as I passed by, I said "I can't see."
That would have been fine, if we'd just kept going. But Bill felt the need to add something, and this is what he said. Get this!
"She is seeing sparkles, due to her bubbles."
HUH? I am seeing sparkles due to my bubbles???!!!
Oh, my! I suppose that Bill thought that he knew that I had eye surgery, but I'm sure he had no clue about my personal life.
Sparkles in my bubbles, huh, Bill? "Jennie, with the sparkles in her bubbles." Sounds like a song! Mostly, though, it sounds like we are both crazy!
At least I have a sense of humor and got a giggle out of that.
For now, though, I'm back into hibernation. No more grocery store, thank you very much! The river is as far as I'm going to go until this bubble goes away! Walking on the rocks out there, though is really a trip! Dangerous, I should say!
I would do anything to speed up this bubble into reabsorbing! Anything, that is, except to put a needle in my eye! Sheesh! Really? Is the good doc' really going to do that to me? Yikes!
Today, truly is "feel sorry for me" day.
I'm going to go upstairs to the ladies room to slather on some of my favorite Estee Lauder face cream (Comfort Creme- have you tried it? It's the best!) and have "girls day". I'll play with my makeup and have "spa day". I'll be locking the door and reading a book, in between painting my toe nails and waxing my legs. This is what makes me feel better, on "National Complaint Day."
But, at the very least, I can still giggle. I am, right at this minute! After all, I hear that sparkles in your bubbles will do that to a girl. November 28th

It has now been 12 days since I have left this lovely house on the Kilchis river in Tillamook, Oregon. I have cabin fever like I have never experienced!
The pain in my left eye seems to be letting up and I get all excited about it, and then I'll wake up one morning and it's all back, and worse. It's levels of healing, I think, I hope!
Today (and I remember this from prior eye surgeries) is about 10 days into healing and the stitches, they itches! That's a good sign, but man-o-man it's bothersome! The worst thing you can do, I hear, is to satisfy that itch. Hands off that eye, young lady! (Young? Ha!- but I can dream!)
The gas bubble in my eye is the most annoying thing you can imagine! At the same time, sometimes it makes me giggle.
There was once an avatar that a young man had on ifish. An avatar is a picture that goes by their moniker on the ifish discussion board. It was an animated picture of a young lady walking. It showed only her upper half and she was... er... well endowed. It had to be removed, of course, as ifish is a family friendly site. Anyhow, my bubble in my eye reminds me of that! With every step I take, that bubble bounces around in my eye. It's like the game pong. Remember that? With every movement, this silly bubble goes ba- bong, ba-bong, all over my eyeball! Sheesh!
Now for the good part! If I look straight down, the bubble centers in my field of vision and acts as a refraction- like glasses or contacts! So, I can see! This is especially handy for agate hunting! I found the most awesome agates, yesterday, while walking on the river! One that is almost fist sized! I hurried back to show the family my prizes! I had about 10 agates, and all, so beautiful!
So, it is then that I have to thank God for my vision! After how many surgeries? I still see! Yippee!
I'm focused on the Christmas Party, on December 4th. I have so much to do! Last night I took a "worry notebook" to bed with me, so that when I thought of something I must do, I could jot it down so it wouldn't keep me awake with worry. Now, I have my day planned out for me, if only I could read those nocturnal scribbles!
I will get better. I will get back out there and fish! I will heal! I will get my energy back!
I am taking vitamins and eating right and trying to exercise, as much as I'm allowed.
The Christmas party will be my final healing and my joy. I can't wait! It's food for the soul! I sure hope everyone out there attends if at all possible! It's December 4th at Pietro's Pizza in Milwaukie! Be there!
I've talked Bill into taking me to the grocery store again, today. Regardless of those "sparkles in my bubbles" I'm going to do it!
Oh! I have three chickadees on my new suet feeder! They are so cute! One is upside down! I can't believe I was able to see that! I wonder how long they have been using it, without my seeing! Wow! I have to go tell Bill!
Oh! I just ordered a new web cam for the Sportsman Show and I'm going to practice using the software by having a bird cam for you to watch. Stay tuned!

November 28th

It has now been 12 days since I have left this lovely house on the Kilchis river in Tillamook, Oregon. I have cabin fever like I have never experienced!
The pain in my left eye seems to be letting up and I get all excited about it, and then I'll wake up one morning and it's all back, and worse. It's levels of healing, I think, I hope!
Today (and I remember this from prior eye surgeries) is about 10 days into healing and the stitches, they itches! That's a good sign, but man-o-man it's bothersome! The worst thing you can do, I hear, is to satisfy that itch. Hands off that eye, young lady! (Young? Ha!- but I can dream!)
The gas bubble in my eye is the most annoying thing you can imagine! At the same time, sometimes it makes me giggle.
There was once an avatar that a young man had on ifish. An avatar is a picture that goes by their moniker on the ifish discussion board. It was an animated picture of a young lady walking. It showed only her upper half and she was... er... well endowed. It had to be removed, of course, as ifish is a family friendly site. Anyhow, my bubble in my eye reminds me of that! With every step I take, that bubble bounces around in my eye. It's like the game pong. Remember that? With every movement, this silly bubble goes ba- bong, ba-bong, all over my eyeball! Sheesh!
Now for the good part! If I look straight down, the bubble centers in my field of vision and acts as a refraction- like glasses or contacts! So, I can see! This is especially handy for agate hunting! I found the most awesome agates, yesterday, while walking on the river! One that is almost fist sized! I hurried back to show the family my prizes! I had about 10 agates, and all, so beautiful!
So, it is then that I have to thank God for my vision! After how many surgeries? I still see! Yippee!
I'm focused on the Christmas Party, on December 4th. I have so much to do! Last night I took a "worry notebook" to bed with me, so that when I thought of something I must do, I could jot it down so it wouldn't keep me awake with worry. Now, I have my day planned out for me, if only I could read those nocturnal scribbles!
I will get better. I will get back out there and fish! I will heal! I will get my energy back!
I am taking vitamins and eating right and trying to exercise, as much as I'm allowed.
The Christmas party will be my final healing and my joy. I can't wait! It's food for the soul! I sure hope everyone out there attends if at all possible! It's December 4th at Pietro's Pizza in Milwaukie! Be there!
I've talked Bill into taking me to the grocery store again, today. Regardless of those "sparkles in my bubbles" I'm going to do it!
Oh! I have three chickadees on my new suet feeder! They are so cute! One is upside down! I can't believe I was able to see that! I wonder how long they have been using it, without my seeing! Wow! I have to go tell Bill!
Oh! I just ordered a new web cam for the Sportsman Show and I'm going to practice using the software by having a bird cam for you to watch. Stay tuned!

November 30th

You can bet that I'm worried about the storm forecast. Yikes! Did you read this?
Of all things, it's right before/during our Christmas party, and the roads after wind storms are often closed.
It's not only that, though, it sounds all to heck like the Columbus Day storm on steroids. 30 hours worth of sustained winds? Blow 'me house down! Out of curiosity, how come we don't name our storms? Isn't it strange how those are hurricane forecast winds, and here it is nothing but a "wind storm?"
In the morning, I check the weather forecast as part of my "coffee" ritual. It's especially interesting in the morning, as we usually get an updated "Special Weather Statement". I didn't link it, because it will probably change by the time this is read. What's odd and kind of spooky, is that they usually jump on updating this page, and this one is very vague and from 1:00 PM, yesterday. It doesn't speculate on what the winds will be.

Well, we'll see. My eye is somewhat better, and now the gas bubble has shrunk quite a bit. What a relief. It's still bothersome, but man-o-man, am I tired of this whole thing. This surgery has been my most trying of all... what? 8 eye surgeries? Retinal Detachments are no fun!
Thank God they were successful in repairing it, however! Go, Dr. Hwang and Witherspoon!
It has now been 14 days and I have full right to fish! I think I'll do that, this morning.
Bill caught a chum out back, yesterday. Nice to see a few of those, if still not many. I also found one (count 'em!) one dead salmon on the bank. Know that this time of year we usually have the entire bank covered with rotting salmon. I worry about Rev, as I'm not certain that she has had salmon poisoning, so we are very watchful of her, on the bank.
Oh, dang! This is Friday-- "That's hot" day! But, you know, and according to the Oregonian, also, fishing is just not that hot! Perhaps later today I'll do a little feature on what's hot on the boards, but one thing is for sure-- salmon fishing was not hot for me, this year!
For now, I'd better get my cold weather gear and run a jig through my favorite spots on the river. Thank God I can fish, again! The world is my playground!