Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington

September 2011
Jennie and Mickey!

September 1, 2011

There! No one else wished me a Happy September, before I got you!
Take a look at this, will you? Wow. So many years of life! I'm so lucky!
Wow. Where did summer go? Can you believe it's "Back to School?" Of course, according to the papers, back to school was the day after July 4th!
Who is with me that thinks we rush things, in this world? Imagine if the papers didn't do "back to school" until September 1st. That they didn't do "Merry Christmas" until after Thanksgiving. Personally, I think it would be so much better! I'm all for slowing things down, a bit!
But, as Far as "Happy September!" I am in a rush! Think Fall Salmon! Whoo hooo! Think Steelhead! Yep! I'm in a rush! LOL
I'm just so excited, though, to stand knee high in the Kilchis river while big old lunker Salmon brush against my boots on their way upstream! I'm all for standing on shore, while I spy on schools of them in the shallows! I want to show people how miraculous it is! I want to share the excitement of it all with everyone! It really is amazeballs!
I'm at the Kilchis, and Bill and I are heading out to do some cutthroat fishing. There is nothing like throwing a fly, exactly where a salmon rolls, and have a cutthroat gobble it up. I think they follow the salmon, so that when they drop their eggs, they can have a feast. I really do! People on shore, fishing for the salmon laugh at me, with my little four weight fly rod. They think I'm fishing for salmon until they see me with a cutt, having twice as much fun as they are! (At least I think I am having more fun!) I do know that I have more action!
I find that flies in the #6 and #8 range are most effective, but you don't have to stick to these. It's just my choice. I like to be able to unhook them, easily. Remember that these fish will even strike at my K15 Kwikfish, so look out! They are aggressive little buggers! And the colors they go for? Just about anything flashy and disgustingly bright! I'm no good at the bug thing, trying to figure out what they are eating. I just make them mad with bright pink, yellow, all kinds of fun colors!
My fav, lately is a reverse spider. I've been fishing that, ever since a friend showed me them. Their action is awesome! I just did a google search on "Reverse Spider" and came up with this, to show you. Black and white, though? How bout pink and yellow- or red and yellow?!? Whoo hooo!
Please, please let these fish go!!! Even though the laws have changed, my law is that they go back to continue their trip upstream. I just can't imagine killing one of these mystical, magical creatures. It just isn't going to happen!!! It bugs me so much, that my fishing for them have somewhat decreased. To have an accidental kill would kill me!
OK, get out there and catch a 20 inch cutt!
Yikes- I still have nightmares about a fish that I spent over two hours trying to revive, and it died on me. I was so heartbroken over that one fish, that it has scared me off fishing for them... much.
But... I'm still out there. It took me quite a while to get over it. For a long time, I didn't fish for them.
Agh, let's get off that subject... it's not my fav, and talking about it is taking the jets out of my fishing trip, this morning!
I've got to hurry. There is nothing worse than not being ready when Bill fires up that truck engine. Panic! He revs the motor until I'm in the truck. I mean, come on, Bill! I have to have the right lipstick or I won't catch the right fish!
OK. Off I go!

September 4, 2011

Cannot believe this. I'm a dork! Here I wished you all a Happy September (FIRST, before anyone else!) and then forgot to upload my column until now.
That's typical of me, lately!
Yesterday I had plans all day to go to a friends big annual Labor Day party. Well, I got busy with one thing and another, and by the time I got around to going, I would have had to head back. (I don't like to drive at night.)
I came home all guilty feeling and wrote Kim (the host) a sad note. She quickly wrote back, "That's OK! My party is tomorrow!"
LOL. See? See how I am?
So, that is just fine and dandy, except I told Pete I would fish with him, today! ARGH.
So, I wrote a sad note to Pete.
After all, Kim, the party host has been to almost every ifish function to support me, and besides... I love her so much! She's my besty.
We sure go back, a ways. She introduced me to our Oregon Coast. I mean, really... she did!
In grade school, we met at piano lessons with Lillian Pettibone. We started staying over at each others houses, and became fast friends. She's actually a violinist and a darn good one at that.
We went on to do concerts together at the Coaster Theatre, and she also had a home in Manzanita, which we would live at in the summer, while working in Cannon Beach. We had so much fun! (I don't know how we are both still alive, actually!-- Yes. THAT much fun!)
I lived with her in Glendale California, too, while she studied at Northridge and I? I had fun!
Anyhow... Today I'm going to her Labor Day party.
Yesterday I made my famous Traeger chicken and man was it ever good! I was going to take pictures, but alas, I ate it too fast! Faster than the flash of a camera!
Things are so different in Oregon City.
For instance, I was really lonely for the river, so I went down to Clackamas park. (Is that what it's called, down there across from the Oregon City shopping center?) Anyhow, we were there. Kilchis just sort of stared at me. "Is this... their river? With the freeway noise in the background, and the trash all over the beach?" That's what he said! I promise he said that! And... so did I. I felt so foreign!
And, in our back yard, Kilchis is known to stand in front of the fence and bark for me to open the door to "the rest of the back yard." But, Kilchy? There is no "rest!" This is it, buddy!
Each morning and each evening we go on a walk, because Kilchy refuses to do his business in the yard. "Not enough room!" He says, as he walks all tight legged in our quarters.
So, I grab my little neon "poo bags" and off we go. After, we walk clear around our block. Kilchis sniffs out other dogs, and I sniff out other peoples roses. One of these days I'm going to make up awards and print them, and present the neighborhood garden awards. I already have the categories thought out. "Best smelling rose." "Least amount of black rot" etc... Fun! I'm going to do that! I am!
I have really come to enjoy our walks. I have met so many of the neighbors, and they are all really nice. While walking, I am shopping for a husband for Tammy. She promises that she is never going to marry again, but I promise she will, if I can help it! She really deserves a good man.
So far, I have a few good neighbor-candidates. (If only she knew, she would kill me!)
Yep. I'm going to do that, and I'm going to honor every invitation that I get, from every friend, and never let anyone down again, by missing their invitations to do fun things together.
But Pete? Just this once, I'm going to miss your fishing trip invitation and go to Kim's party. I goofed. Forgive me?
I'm going to go fill my hummy feeders, now. They are upset with me, because their sugar formula is getting a bit cloudy, and the honeysuckle bush is beginning to lose its blooms a bit. I get dive bombed about it, every morning! Good thing that people can't dive bomb me!
When I am here, I long for the coast, and when I am at the coast, I long for my hot tub. Tammy and I get in, every night and end up talking until the wee hours. I'm not a "wee hours" girl, either! But, we just can't stop talking!
Life is so full. The longer I live, the fuller it gets.
There are just so darn many roses to smell!

September 7, 2011

When I'm at the coast, my mind is full of music and when I'm in Oregon City, I don't hear music, but I play what I hear from the coast. The song of the river, the trees, the wind.
This morning, all I want is to sit by the river, and listen to music. Funny, that if I said I heard voices in my mind, I would be considered crazy, but hearing music is perfectly healthy!
I was reading my past journal entries last night, and came upon a poem I wrote, right before I dissected. I had totally forgotten about it, and wanted to link it again, here. I enjoyed writing it, and I enjoyed reading it again last night, even more!
It was one of those things that just came out so easily. It's no work of art or anything, but just kind of entertaining.
Written "to the tune" of anything, Dr. Seuss!
The reason I was looking thru my past writings was because we have realized that the pain I was having in my shoulder, before I dissected, was probably a leak in my aorta. I tore it, while playing a fish.
All the doctors (The King's horses and all the Kings men!) thought it was a torn rotator cuff, or something, but actually, it was the first sign of dissection. Interesting, huh?
I remember that pain, so vividly. The first day it happened was right after ifishstock that year. I was in so much pain that I knew something was really wrong. I spent the whole day in bed.
After that, I spent a million doctor appointments and physical therapy, trying to figure out what was going on. I couldn't even lift and hold up a coffee cup, the pain was so bad. But, who would have thought dissection? Obviously not the doctors! Not me, for sure!
But, the day before I dissected, I became entirely frustrated with the pain, went down to the river, grabbed a rock, and began lifting it in frustrated succession, trying to work out the pain, somehow.
Well, I worked out the pain! I ripped my aorta, clear down to my iliac! That night, while simply walking to the bathroom sink, I dissected. Right there. Right then. I knew what had happened. I calmly called down to Bill, "Please call 911. I'm dissecting." I was so calm that Bill thought I was kidding.
The kids thought I was faking it. They had homework and were upset that I was causing such a fuss.
But- I knew. I had no doubt that something was very wrong, and that I was dying.
If only I'd known, when I had my pain, that it was a dissection. If only people in the future could know that when they have that pain, to look for things other than a sore shoulder.

September 8, 2011

Off to fish! Look out, cutties! Momma is comin' to pet you!
I'm home at the river, and I can't wait!

September 12, 2011

I like joyful cats! Sargie is playing with the falling leaves, and it's so fun to watch! Andrew says that Sargie is too fat to climb the tree, so they are both going on a diet. You know, the "Cat and me" diet. :)
On the other hand, Kilchis and I have no need for a diet! We are both losing weight, or at least firming up, due to our morning walks. We are happy and I can even climb trees! (Well, I think I could!)
I'm headed back to the coast in search of the plentiful Fall salmon. Probably should call them summer salmon, as they are in the Nehalem. I heard one good report, so by golly, I am chasing it! Bill got up early one day and tried to catch that early morning bite. Too funny. They didn't catch anything!
I have always thought that I'd let all the early morning fishers go early, and then I'd go catch my fill of those early morning guys who "lacked the skill" to catch. I got that from Ben Tagliovento, my old fishing buddy. And, with him, it seemed to be true! But-- without him, sadly, it's just a cliche.
It's so nice to wake up this mornng to overcast skies and cool temperatures! It feels so good to wear something besides shorts and t shirts! I have warm, fuzzy flannels on! It's Fall!

September 15, 2011

It seems early! I live with a bunch of late night folks and I'm so afraid I'll catch that disease! I catch myself talking to Tammy about the past or David or Andrew, about one thing or another, till late, late in the evening.
OK. Get this. I had a hair appointment at 9:00 in the morning on Tuesday.
So, on Monday afternoon, Kilchis and I loaded up and headed for the coast. On the way to the coast is a great time for me. I can feel all my muscles start to go relaxed, and I enjoy the drive so much! Bill will be glad to see us, and we'll go for a walk around the property to see what he has done. We'll eat dinner together, and I will retire early and get a good night's sleep.
So, we did all those things and at about 7, I stopped in horror. I forgot my pill box!
My doctor knows how many pills I need to take. When I suggest not taking one of them anymore, he shudders and says I need that, because... Oh, dear. It's all because of my artificial valve. They need lots of medicine, it seems! So, without it, I'm lost. There are a few of them, that if I don't take them on time, I get sick. I called the doctor on call, and because I didn't want to irritate him, I just picked the one most important med, and asked if he'd please quickly call that in before the pharmacy closed. He did.
I was panicked. What to do? Without my beta blockers, my heart races and I can't sleep.
It's funny. I've been late on taking them before, and a guy looked at the front of me and said, "Jennie! Your sweater is moving!" Indeed it was. My heart (valve) was working so hard that my sweater was literally jumping along with it! Scary!
So, I lay in bed, unable to sleep, listening to a sleep hypnosis recording at 3 in the morning. I listened to it loudly enough to drown out the sounds of my valve, but still, my entire side of the bed was jumping around to the beat!
Oops! Bill woke me at 7. I slogged out of bed, with that awful, almost hung over feeling! And I hadn't drank a bit of anything!
I went to my 9:00 appointment, but wait! It gets worse!
Bill and I were going to fish the next day and all the sudden I got a call from my oncologist who wanted to see me at 2:30. That's when the migraine hit.
It was just as well, I guess, as I had to go home to get my pills, anyhow. There was just too many to pay for, to order up the whole bunch of them.
So, I raced home to pick up Kilchis and off we flew.
The drive back was so difficult. I had one of those visual auras that go along with migraines so badly that I couldn't see. I had to pull over and let it pass, and that made me late to the doc. They were so understanding and nice, though. I had to wait a bit. By the time that I was seen, I was in so much migraine pain that they threatened to take me to ER. I fought against it, knowing full well I'd be better off at home. But, it was a bad, bad migraine! The worst I've had, ever!
So, I went home, (to Oregon City) took my pills and went to bed at a reasonable hour.
The next morning I rose, and when I got up, coffee was made. I thought that was so weird. I am always the first up! Andrew was in the kitchen, obviously the coffee chef. He said, "You are late getting up!"
"Perhaps", I mumbled back, shaking my head to make sure my headache had left me. And I had! It was gone!
Andrew said, "Look at the clock on the oven."
11:00 AM? Oh My Gosh! I had NEVER slept till 11! Not even in my childhood! Not even in my young adult hood! Never!
I guess my body needed it. That's my only excuse! Yesterday, flew by like nothing else! When you get up so late, you miss the whole day! If I can help it, I won't make getting up that late a habit! That's for sure!
You know, I'm the only person I know of that can write a whole column on nothing, like I just did! Especially on a fishing page!
Sometimes I feel I am ready to step down from this job of writing, and let someone that talks about fishing take over. But, I keep getting folks who want to know what's up, and people who write me nice things that egg me to continue.
A week ago or so, I was looking for some information and read my journal, from back in the day. I found what I was looking for, but then continued to read. I wrote some good things back then! I like my writing style better, back then! And... it was mostly about fishing!
I really miss those days, and I miss my mind! I do think that along with getting older and the usual forgetfulness and slowness, that I did suffer some brain damage from being on cardiopulmonary bypass for so long. I think I was on it for like 6-7 hours. That's a long time. Some of my doctors have told me that others that were on for that long have "pump brain".
"Postperfusion syndrome, also known as pumphead is a constellation of neurocognitive impairments attributed to cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) during cardiac surgery. Symptoms of postperfusion syndrome are subtle and include defects associated with attention, concentration, short term memory, fine motor function, and speed of mental and motor responses."
Anyhow, six hours is about the max to put someone on that machine, and I was on it a bit longer than that.
I guess I'm just glad that I'm not really stupid. I get frustrated with myself. I am envious of how I used to put words together. I wonder if that's just my brain, or perhaps how I'm feeling about life without so much fishing lately? Or, with added pressures? I don't know! Maybe its all in my head!
All I really know for sure is that I've had my share of close calls. So much so, that I do realize how special each day is, when I wake up. Either at 11 O'clock or at a bright and early 6! I continue to try to take pressures off of me, and spend more time sitting. Listening. Just enjoying my friends and family!
I have now survived cancer, and I have lived thru my aorta ripping from my chin to my thighs. Do you think God was bonking me on the head? Saying, "Jennie! Life is short! Do good things! Hurry!"
I'm listening, God. :)

September 16, 2011

Oh... it's a really, really fine morning! It's foggy and I can just imagine putting the boat in, somewhere and feeling that dense fog on my neck. Zip that coat up tight and let's catch some fish!
I just wish Jim Erickson were still around. I could make him go fishing with us, and kick that Fall gloom he always got, right out of him! All it would take is one good salmon on the line! (If that!)
I remember taking the boat out at Jim's and how totally sated we'd be from a full day on the river. From putting in, at the hatchery, to taking out in his back yard... and all of the points along the way! The Jack! The Queen! The King!
Oh, how I miss Jim on these days that hit the most fishy depths of my heart.
The neighbor bought a new trailer and he's been busy all morning getting ready to leave for a hunt! Everything is exciting! They just pulled out! I so wanted to walk over in my pajamas and tell them I was going, too! LOL.
He's a fishing guide. I've forgotten his name, but he sure is nice. I knew the minute I checked this house out, that it was for me, if a fishing guide lived here, too! What better neighbor!
The other night I took him a warm bowl of cobbler and in trade, he gave me some smoked salmon and it is SO SO good!
Anyhow, I'm going to get out some Halloween decorations, today and get in the Holiday spirit!

September 18, 2011

23 years ago, I was at OHSU (my second home!) giving birth to my second child. I had gestational diabetes, so I had to be induced, but that baby just wasn't ready to come out!
I remember my Mom and my sister were there, along with Jeff, David's Dad.
Due to my having marfan syndrome, the anesthesiologist didn't want any stress on my aorta, so he gave me a block and numbed me from my toes to my head. I was totally numb! I couldn't move anything but my hands. You'd think that would feel good, but it didn't! You feel heavy and it's frustrating not to be able to move!
I'd have to look up my journal, but I was in "labor" (if you can call it that), for days!
When he finally arrived, I was so tired that I slept for hours. When I awoke, it all came back to me, and I was asking where my baby was!
They brought in a beautiful, fat little baby boy, and I was so happy!
David has always been a pleasant person to be around, even as a child. I'm so thankful for that! Andrew was a difficult baby, as he had many medical problems, He just never felt good, I think. But, David? He mostly sat in his wiggly chair and laughed. That laughter was so contagious! All he even has to do now is laugh, and everyone laughs along. What a gift that is for people! What a gift, especially, for me, the Mother of two young boys, just 13 months apart. If I'd had two difficult babies, oh... my! Would I even still be here? LOL!
Andrew had febrile seizures that were so difficult for him, and so difficult for his parents! They were so scary! He'd all of the sudden have a spiking fever up to 104 and a bit over, even, and then go into spasms and choke and turn blue! Sure enough, Jeff and I would call the ambulance and off we'd go to the ER for a spinal tap. Poor thing! Poor all of us! Oh, it was a nightmare! And Andrew was born legally blind. We didn't even know it until he was three or four. Andrew has had more surgeries in his life, now, than most people have in five lives! He started his surgery "career" before the age of one, and now he's had surgeries on so many parts! At the age of 7, his vision was restored in one eye. You can read about that in "All my eye surgeries", here. It's an interesting read! (It needs to be updated, too!) His aortic surgery was by far the most intensive, and the scariest. Thank God that he came thru that and was able to spare his own valve instead of having a St. Judes put in, in an emergency, like I did. Between the two of us, I have more wrinkles on my face, etched due to surgery-worry!
David, on the other hand, has never had surgery. Not one! He's healthy and happy and has a great sense of humor. Actually, they both do! They both keep me laughing, most of the day.
But... 23 years ago! Oh, my! Where has the time gone?
Nobody tells you that the terrible twos are nothing. What about the terrible twenties? LOL. Why didn't anyone warn me about that?! You think that it's 18 years for some reason, and that is it! But, NO!
But, still? When we all load up in the car to go someplace, or when we all gather on the back patio for dinner, we all enjoy each other's company. We laugh. We discuss heavy topics and know each other so well that we can all finish each other's sentences! That's family, right there. There is nothing like knowing someone so well, and feeling so comfortable. It's a good thing. It's family and no one can take that away!
I know that I complain about their still living at home. I do that. But-- I think that these last years are going to be few, and soon I'll complain that they don't visit enough.
Last night at 3, my sleep was interrupted by my oldest son, and I wasn't any too happy about that. But, perhaps in my future, I'll lie awake and wish for that dependence on me, once again.
(Perhaps that is going too far. Perhaps I'll always prefer my sleep!)
But, David? Happy Birthday to you! I've known you for 23 years, and I can promise that no one has so often made me do that deep-down belly laugh like you have! From the time you were 3 years old and would just sit there and laugh in your bouncy chair, to last night after dinner, when you had me in stitches with that voice you were using. You just bring me joy. Your laughter is infectious. Thank you for that!
And Andrew? 24 years old last month, and never have I had a kindred spirit like I have in you. We are two of a kind, made from the same mold. You are kind and sincere and like my Mom always said about you, "Still waters run deep." Grandma would talk about how "winsome" he was. She loved how he appreciated the finer things in life. Who else, at the age of four knew the difference between bearnaise and hollandaise?
You are both destined for great things. I will never lose faith in your potential, and my expectations for your both, are great.
But, in the meantime, and for however short a while, I will be patient, and treasure this time with you.
It's off to make a carrot cake, now, for David's Birthday.
And tomorrow? It's back out to look for a danged job, you guys!

September 21, 2011

I'm writing with the full knowledge that soon, Bill will hop in the truck and start revving the engine. Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! I'm typing in nervous spurts!
We must... we must.. we must fish the top of the tide! If we are late, why fish at all? There is a wimpy tide exchange today, though. I'm not that worried! Bill? Rev away! I have stuff to write!
I've tried to hurry this morning! I have! I told him I wanted to write, but that's never as important as fishing. Right? I hurried to pull my clothes on, to make the coffee, to lay out my coat, my fishing license, everything I need. (My secret power bait weapon! - The perfect color of fish catching lipstick!)
The last few days I have been on a quest... A search! A hunt!
Fall is here and the quest is best!
I love the hunt! And, I'm hunting for all of my favorite things!
The search for salmon!
The last two days, I've searched out and gathered chanterelles. I cooked them with onions and garlic and poured them thickly over a juicy "market" steak (man, those are good!) purchased at our newly opened meat store in Tillamook. It's reopened! I think I found them here on Facebook.
I love that place and the new owners are really nice and really helpful!! They have one of those Angus licenses that mean that no one else can carry the same beef within 100 miles, or something. All I really know is that the product is GOOD! I've been thinking about becoming a vegetarian lately, but when I taste that beef, I really wonder how I could!
UH OH! Bill's engine just started! Crud! --Oh... He's just hooking up the boat... OK.
So, about those chanterelles. It's a bit early, but with a little work and a lot of searching, we found a few. It seems every year this mushroom hunting is gaining popularity, so I'm searching out new grounds. Secret grounds! New secret grounds! I mean, there is a huge forest out there! It can't be that hard. Can it?
Also, I've drifted on a lazy Kilchis river with the canoe. The dogs ran along side, crossing the river, back and forth, trying to follow me.
I've gazed into deep waters, searching for the first salmon in the deepest hole. So far, no luck. I was so hoping! The water is alder stained, and reflects the turning of the leaves, above. It's so gorgeous! The sunlight dances on the riffles. The first rain always brings surprises to the coast. Chanterelles, salmon, salmon, and did I say salmon!?
My paddle for my canoe broke. I need a new one. What is that saying? I'm still using it, just thinking, "OK, so I have to work harder to get back upstream!"
The dogs are now by my side, whining. They hear Bill hooking up the boat, and their minds are full of "Do we get to go?" I hate to tell them. I just don't want to have to deal with the crowds at the ramp, and two wild doggies. They do get so excited, and they do love to go with us. I hate to tell them! So, before I leave, I'll have to take them on a quick walk down on the river. I hope it satisfies them. I know full well it won't. Maybe we'll have to take them...
Anyhow, life is good. Fall is in full swing. The drive from the coast to the city will only get more exciting as the leaves burn from a deep green to fiery reds, oranges, and browns.
Fall is a full hunt, all the way around.
The other day, the neighbor guy bought a trailer and I got to listen to the excitement of their family getting ready to go hunting. I thoroughly enjoyed that! The hustle and bustle and the sounds of tin camping cookware being taken to their new trailer. The morning was crisp and cold. Oh, how I miss going camping in the Fall!
Yes, I am (was) sad to see summer go, but once I get over that hurdle, I can see Fall as exciting, and new, and the hunt begins!
I went to KMart and bought a green table cloth and a sparkly Fall arrangement. I decorated for Halloween by putting a few pumpkin stickers on the windows, and Halloween and Fall candles on the table tops. Starbucks has Pumpkin Lattes! Berries hang thick on the vine!
Everything is Fall!
Let the hunt(s) begin!

September 25, 2011

Fall. It's kind of here.
The wind is blowing thru the trees, picking off a leaf or two as it goes- and here and there we have a shower of rain. It's kind of like when they were predicting the sun the first half of summer, though. Day after day of rain, the weather people kept predicting sunshine, and it just wouldn't completely happen! Now, they keep saying Fall is on its way,, but it seems we all long for a full blown storm, and it just kind of sprinkles on us.
We've had a full about face of seasons, and summer was just a spattering, really. An Indian summer is all we really got. I'm not complaining! It was lovely, but it was so short!
I'm in the valley. I wonder if Fall is really happening on the coast? Is it raining? Blowing sideways? Has Fall arrived at the coast? Do I need to make the drive across the mountain pass in order to experience that? I'm on my way, tomorrow. Will I dodge it, as I travel? Or will I get to drive thru the heart of it, with my car getting boxed around by the wind and rain? Oh, that sounds fun!
I'll stop and put my rain clothes on, and search for enough chanterelles to fill my Fred Meyers bag, and then head home to cook.
I haven't spent one day here in the valley, when its been raining. Somehow, I've missed it, or it hasn't happened! I want to see what will blow over on my patio, so I can prepare for a real storm. A full blown storm, where everything changes...

Joan Baez

Sometimes I get lonesome for a storm. A full-blown storm where everything changes. The sky goes through four days in an hour, the trees wail, little animals skitter in the mud and everything gets dark and goes completely wild. But it's really God--playing music in his favorite cathedral in heaven--shattering stained glass--playing a gigantic organ--thundering on the keys--perfect harmony--perfect joy.

Yeah, Joan! That kind of storm!
Where shall I put my lemon and lime plants, so that the fruit won't blow off? Will my patio furniture get soaked?
I have a hint of nostalgia and sadness in me, today.
Remember my little pup, Kilchis? Remember when he was just a baby, and I'd post pictures of him standing on the open dishwasher, cleaning plates? Well, that little pup, so sweet and innocent and tiny- so full of joy, is getting older. It breaks my heart to watch him limp, and although his spirit is still wiggly and smiley, his body is beginning to fail. It's so hard to say that!
I have been lifting him into the car for months, now. Maybe a year. He has also used a trunk to aid him into getting up on the bed, at the coast. But, here in Oregon City, my bed is also very tall, and I couldn't figure out what to use for him to break up the jump from the slippery wood floors, to the bed, and back down again.
Yesterday, I went shopping at pet stores for steps. Wow, they are expensive, and so bulky. I figured I'd do better with simply an ottoman, or another trunk. So, I went shopping at second hand stores, and found the perfect thing. It's a perfect height, and is a sort of shelf or coffee table, that sits on the ground, and goes perfectly against the back of my bed. 25 dollars, and it works great! Kilchis was thrilled when he figured out what he can use it for! That dog understands everything at this point! I can talk to him, and he picks up almost every word. There is just an air of understanding with this dog, that is so rare! As he went up and down the new and easy way, he wagged his tail and smiled. "Thanks, Mom! That helps!" He looked up at David and Andrew, as if to say, "Look! Look what I have!" And repeated the steps, up and down. Dang, I love that dog. I can't imagine the day.
When I said that to Andrew, he said, "You women are just a bundle of emotions, aren't you? Stop that! Don't think that, and especially don't say that in front of Kilchis!"
I can't help myself. I worry. I worry a lot about that. I simply can't imagine how I will handle this. OK. I will deal with it, when the time comes. Enough.
I had to stop writing there. I stopped, and took Kilchis for a walk in the wind. It was so refreshing! Poor thing, though, he's limping badly. I think a visit to the vet is probably in order. :(
I broke a tooth and have to get to the dentist on Tuesday, in Tillamook. Wednesday, I'd like to fish, rain or no rain. Bill went yesterday, and Buck caught a nice 25ish pound salmon. That's the report I like to hear! Tis the season!Way to go, you guys!
Fall is amongst us, and if not quite yet, it's on its way! -For sure! The leaves are spitting from the trees, and I wore a scarf, for the first time this season. A scarf, over a tank top, that is. Sweater season is on its way!

September 28, 2011

I'm going.... FISHING! And I can't wait!
My brother David will be out there somewhere, too! I sure wish I could post auto updates here, but someday that will happen! Until then, I'll do it on Facebook!
Which brings me to another point. Are you going to keep your facebook page and move to Google? I wonder how many of my friends are going to move over to Google. It would be so nice just to use ifish, instead of either of those choices! I can't wait for that, but yes, the day will come!
It's so Fall out! The salmon are here! The leaves are falling and I don't miss summer one bit, right now!

September 29, 2011

I sure miss being "dialed in" on a fishery. That happens when you can fish just about every day. Bill and I just can't, anymore! So, we aren't "dialed in".
I was thinking though, yesterday, just how "dialed in" must you be, to catch fish at the ghost hole? It's the same thing, every year!
We spent a good five hours on the bay, yesterday, trying to catch a salmon. Man, it was beautiful out! It was a rare, nearly windless and warm day. One of those days that you peel off your socks, sit on the back of the boat, and dangle your feet in the water.
The seaweed was thick, so I got plenty of exercise, cleaning off my rig.
I remember fishing the Kenai, and thinking, "How hard must this be?" Race up, run down working your lure in the current, and race up to do it all over again? Use the lure that did it last year. You know... the one with the teeth marks in it! Pick that one!
Actually, it's not easy and I'd never take it on! That river is swift and crowded and to play a fish in that current and run the boat- well, I'd never attempt it! But, if I had those skills, I could probably catch fish, there. Right? ...Maybe? :)
Back to the ghost hole-- I guess you need to know the tides, and things like that the top of the high is good, and that a big tide exchange means better fishing. You need to know that years channels and what time the fish seem to be where. I guess you need to know what scent seems to do the trick that year, or what the newest gadget is.
I remember one year, a guy was soaking his herring in so much anise scent, that you could smell his boat speed by! And he was really catching fish!
And, you certainly need to know where the sand bars are! I tell you, sitting on a sand bar can be a big waste of time!
But, really. There are old stand-by lures that do it, year after year. For instance, my brother texted me that he was using a red and white spinner and doing well. Well? It's always been in my 'book of tricks' that when it's sunny out, a red and white spinner blade is a go-to lure.
Is it just luck? Or is it being dialed in?
We were using herring. We wanted to catch salmon, yesterday. I suppose, had we wanted to fish for silvers, we would have switched over rigs, and headed for the west channel. My brother caught a beautiful big 15 pound silver on that spinner!
Yesterday at the ghost hole, we only saw about three fish landed.
Terry Mulkey is dialed in. Terry Mulkey caught fish!
If we were out there today, tomorrow, and the next day, I bet we'd have fish, too. We'd be just enough 'dialed in' to do the trick! But, instead, I'm making a blueberry pie, today, and Bill is going to do the lawn. So, I guess the question I need to ask is, "Why are we choosing to do other things?" How did we used to do life and still have blueberry pies and mowed lawns? We used to be able to do it all!
I think (Sh! don't tell anyone!) I think- we are getting old!
Owie! That hurts to say!
So, yes. When I say I miss being "dialed in", that means I am saying that I miss being young!
Still, I saw plenty of people out there much older than me, catching fish. I just bet they don't have blueberry pies at home!

Oh! I forgot to mention that I have a job! I'm going to open an ifish store, so that I can sell all the ifish stuff. I always loved doing that, so here I go! Employed, again!
I'm going to do the Ifish Lure coloring contest, and then I'll carry hats, decals, shirts, all the ifish stuff that we used to carry. This will be fun!
We'll sell it online and at the Sportsmen's show, as normal! Fun!

September 30, 2011

Hard times coming ahead.
I keep thinking about things like Pete, when he lost his good old doggy Stoney and then got his new puppy. We go thru phases, don't we?
I lost Hershey, my good old mutt, and that was so hard on me. Then, life was all new when I got Kilchis. Kilchis has been my absolute life companion for so long and thru so much... stuff! He was by my side when I lost my eyesight, when my aorta blew up... LOL. He'd lay by my side, wondering why I wasn't going down to the river, and why I had to crawl up the stairs.
Well, now it's my turn to be by his side.
Kilchis will be 10 years old, this year. I can't stand to watch this, though. He's limping. Somehow he hurt his left front leg, and he's been limping terribly. So, I took him to the vet.
The vet said to watch it, to make him be easy on it.
Yesterday, though, I went out to the river in the canoe, and he followed.
It was the absolute scariest thing. He crossed the river just fine in the shallows. But, he tried to cross back over at the deepest point, and he found he could not swim. I panicked, and had to row the canoe over just perfectly in heavy current-- right beside him, but not run over him, in order to grab him by the collar and swoop him up from drowning. And he was drowning! He was going down! I had no time to spare! I finally got him to shore, and we were both a bit shaken up.
How to get him back across? I put him in the canoe, pushed the canoe back to the shallows, and pushed him across in his own little ferry. He wagged his tail and thought this was great fun.
But, then, this morning he got up, hobbled down the stairs with my help, and went out. I thought he looked OK.
But, he didn't come back for a long time!
Then, when he did, he was holding up his rear right leg, and limping on his front left! ARGH! What in the world? What happened, Kilchy?
He was just shaking.
Back to the vet we went.
I don't know what's going on, and what's more, the vet doesn't know. We are going to wait a bit ( a week?) and then, if things aren't better, we will do x rays. The vet said, "Not that we will be able to do something, necessarily, but we should take x rays."
Oh, man. I feel it coming on. That miserable time when your companion begins to fail.
Man, life is hard, sometimes. It gives me the same feeling that I felt as a young child, when I first really listened to "Puff, the Magic Dragon."
What a tough song that was, to digest as a little one. I remember watching it on Captain Kangaroo, all illustrated with pictures of the sad dragon, crying. That is when I first learned this really, really sad feeling, and it comes to visit, way too often.
But, it so illustrates the old saying that you wouldn't know joy, nor appreciate it so much, if you didn't know sadness.
And, you wouldn't appreciate a puppy so much, if you hadn't known the death of a beloved friend.
I also wouldn't know fear so well, if I didn't know the every day safety and comfort of life, living with Kilchis, my very best friend.