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Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington

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December
2005
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Jennie's
Fishing Life

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December 1st
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Hey! Happy December!!!!
See? I told you! If I talked about snow, it wouldn't
snow! Darn me anyhow! The weather forecast said snow last night, and
now it's nowhere to be found! I woke at 1:00 and dashed to the window
to see! Nope! I woke at 5 and dashed to the window! Nuttin! Then,
I read the forecast. It said "rain." Them's fightin' words!

I don't know... I shake my head. Last year I did a snow dance, and
it worked.

Of course, last year I also fished for steelhead early, and kept catching
bright-as-a-dime late chinook! So, what do you know? This year, I
go out with a First Bite Jig and my light rod thinking, "Heh
heh... gonna get me one of those chinook on accident.. heh heh.."
And NO! There is nothing biting my jig at all! Go figure! I guess
accidents are supposed to be just that! Unplanned... accidents.

So, today I'm going to put on a big glob of eggs and go catch a chinook.
On purpose! Either that, or a jig for a steelhead. We'll see if this
plan works!

I'm so excited about the Christmas party that I can hardly stand it!
I've checked my list twice, and I know who is naughty and nice. I'm
getting ready! Things are going smoothly! Hey! This couldn't be Christmas!

I've got my upstairs loft all decked for the holidays in brightly
shining lights and greenery. I have my most beautiful fake little
tree topping my piano. It's one of those little laser light trees.
I adore it, and can't wait each year, to bring it out. The lights
are gorgeous on that little tree!

Of course, soon I get to pick out a big, standing noble tree, and
ohhhhhhhhhhh I love that smell! I can't wait for the decorating day!

Today, I may put out a couple lights, outside. That is, if it doesn't
rain! Snow would be nice for this occasion, but I doubt it, now. It
is awfully chilly, but well, we'll just see. It would be a treat,
even to experience a few flakes!

Off I go-- Please read Stan's column, today! It's fresh out for December.
You can find it by clicking here, or
checking the archives
for some interesting back reading.

Have a great Holiday Season-- I am! I am so thankful and excited to
get another chance at this!

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Let it snow!

December 5th
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Wow! I went a long time without writing on ifish! I
was out of town, and I had a great time! I'm sure tired now, though!
Talk about trying to catch up on my sleep! I came home, sat down on
the couch and within minutes, I was asleep! Then, I caught up on ifish
and took Kilchis for a walk. After that I got 10 more hours of that
wonderful sleep! My own bed felt like heaven!

I went to the NSIA banquet, which was a smashing success. I am so
proud of what Liz does. What an awesome lady! So many industry leaders
all in one place! I really had fun putting names to faces and meeting
some new ones! What a great business to be in! The fishing community
is full of great people that I am very proud to call friends.

I left early, because I was so afraid of the road conditions. It was
a good thing I did. When I left on Friday, the roads were just wet.
Had I left on Saturday, they were all snowed over and the drive would
have been much more dangerous. Yesterday, on my return trip, it wasn't
bad, either! It was beautiful and snowy. I almost stopped at one point,
as I witnessed a family playing with their sleds. Memories of doing
that with my kids came flooding back to me. I so badly wanted to stop
and ask for just one ride down the mountain. You have no idea how
close I came to doing just that!

I stayed at the Sheraton Airport and received a great rate through
NSIA. I had so much fun watching airplanes take off! I remember way
back as a kid, my Mom driving me to the airport to watch them take
off. I'll never get tired of watching jets. They amaze me, and still
give me a child like rush when I see them! I sure got my fill this
weekend!

The Sheraton was nice, but they promised a free WI FI connection,
and I could not connect to the internet. Thus, I didn't get all of
my catch up work done. I'm still doing that, this morning! It was
nice, though, to have a cyber-less vacation.

Tonight is the Christmas party! I'm so excited! I'm also so glad to
have a driver! Bill is driving me. Whoo hooo! I'm a little nervous
even as a passenger to come home on those icy roads, but I'll pray
some angels on all corners of the car, and we'll be fine.

Every year I worry about attendance of the children's Christmas party.
I sure hope you are going to come! If you don't know, it is at Pietro's
Pizza in Milwaukie from 6 to 9. The
link and map are here.
I have had more fun preparing for it, this
year. There is no way I'm going to miss any part of Christmas, in
any way this year, and what a grand way to kick it off! Every year,
I get so emotionally moved by all of the toys coming in for these
kids. What a way to set the mood! The reason for the season! Can you
believe that one year we gathered 900 toys? That's pretty good for
a little fishing web site! Plus, I just adore greeting all of the
people. I think it's my favorite ifish event!

My house is mostly decked on the inside, and I adore sitting alone
in the living room, fire blazing, Christmas carols on the stereo,
and the lights glowing all around me. We've yet to get a tree, but
that will happen this week! I've also got to get some help in stringing
a few on the outside of the house!

Oh, Christmas! I do adore this season!

After the ifish party, it's all about family and friends, and staying
home. It's about walking on the river and watching spawning salmon
dash from the river's edge when my footsteps spook them!

It's about decorating a tree outdoors for the birds.

It's about making my way upriver to the spawning viewing area, and
gulping huge, cold, surprised-and-delighted breaths of air as I witness
a group of them flashing their sides in the stark, cold sunlight.

It's about squinting my eyes to see through the brightly lit riffles
that dance in the cold winter sun.

It's about that mind numbing, bone jarring cold as I reach for my
rod in the garage and wonder how long my fingers will retain the ability
to cast as I hope for a bright as a silver snowflake steelie!

It's about the surprise of hooking into a mint bright chinook with
my whippy 1143! Ho! ho! ho!--oh nooooo! (giggle!)

I love this time of year. The colder it gets, the more clothes I can
bundle on. I wish for snow every day. It so rarely happens, that I
live each and every winter day with hope! Eternal hope! Hope for snow,
and hope for chrome fishes! What better way to live than in a suspended
state of hope and anticipation?

I have so much to be thankful for. My anniversary of my heart surgery
is coming right up. December 9th, I believe... But what day do I celebrate?
What day is my anniversary? The date of my dissection, or the date
of my repair? I have to figure that out! Or, do I just get to celebrate
each and every day, instead of just one? Hey! That's a great way to
look at it! Every day is my anniversary! Whoo hoooo!

LOL... This is hilarious! I called my Dad and left an animated voice
message for him. I was all excited and told him about being at the
airport, and all of the airplanes... and the Christmas party, and
my room with all of the pillows on the bed, and that I felt like a
princess! Anyhow, he called back and left me a message. He said that
it sounded like I had been having cocktails, and that that was just
fine!

Hey! I didn't have a cocktail at all! I was just excited! Nice to
get his parental approval for my childlike excitement! I'm going to
call him this morning and let him know that I hadn't been drinking.
I was just living a dream! I don't think I've had a cocktail in years!
A glass of wine here and there, but no cocktails! Who needs 'em?

I'm goofy. My memory is not as good as it once was. I live with a
bunch of pains, here and there and everywhere. I can't walk far or
for very long. My hair is fried from the surgery and still growing
back. But hey!-- I don't care!

If people think I'm drunk with excitement, I am!

It's Christmas! Jesus Christ was born today! and... I'm alive and
I can still fish! That's a huge deal! We should all
be so lucky!

December 6th
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What an awesome Christmas
Party!!!
Yes, I'm sick and I'm tired and I have a lot of recovering
to do, but it was worth every minute of it! I went to sleep last night
with visions of sugar plums dancing in my head! What a total success
last night was! So many toys! So many wonderful, giving people! I
can't even begin to be able to thank each and every one of you! Makes
me cry, just to try!

Thank you!!!!

Special thanks needs to be given to Gary Cheney, our dedicated truck
driver. I sent this to the crew at Bullet Freight, and it doesn't
even begin to cover how deep this river flows for them and for all
that they do!

Dear Bullet Freight, David Logsdon and (dear
and special!) Gary Cheney,


I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for
your dedication and totally selfless donation of time and truck for
the www.ifish.net "Christmas for Kids" event.

When I finally found you at the pizza place last night, sitting alone
and off to the side, I just had to give you a hug!

Several people gather together for the food, the friends, and the
giving of toys. It was clear that you were there for one reason and
one reason only. You came for the kids!

I wasn't able to attend the delivery of toys to Emanuel Hospital,
but my understanding is that there will be a Christmas party, hosted
partially by a Mother who recently went through the loss of her child.

Late last evening, when they opened the back of that Bullet Freight
truck you were driving, over 650 toys spilled out! All those colorful
toys in all shapes and sizes were presented to this Mother and the
administrator of the event, Sally Kirchoff. It was overwhelming! I
can only imagine the emotions running through that Mother's soul.

Gary, it couldn't happen without you and the immense heart, dedication
and donation of your time that it took to pull off an event of this
type.

I'd like to thank you from the children who will wake on Christmas
morning to a little piece of the magic you helped to create. Thank
you from all of the members at ifish.net, who take pride in this event
every year, and who couldn't pull it off every year, without your
help. Thank you for being so reliable that not a worry goes through
our minds that "Gary the truck driver" will be there for
everyone that benefits from this event.

You are a shining example of the spirit of Christmas and the reason
for the season! You have a huge heart!

Angels come in all shapes, sizes and forms and we had one with us,
last night!

That angel was you!

Thank you, so much!

Jennie Logsdon Martin and the crew at www.ifish.net

December 7th
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I am tissue paper! It really is funny that "tissue
pae pae" was my nick name when I was little. You know, complete
with the french accent! It's true! I am!

This was even before anyone knew I had marfan syndrome. That's funny,
because it's a very apt description for a connective "tissue"
disorder such as marfan syndrome!

I was so ill yesterday, that I was certain that I had the flu. I slept
nearly all day. I didn't eat. I couldn't. Even with a Costco chocolate
cake staring me in the face! I kept waking up, then going back to
sleep. After dozing all day, I continued on at night to sleep the
whole night through. I was totally exhausted! I even had a fever!
I must have gotten 16 hours of sleep, yesterday.

Then, this morning I woke up, and thank God I almost feel alright!
I mean, I am ecstatic! Just to feel alright!!! 'Still am pretty darn
excited! I can get something done, today! Christmas stuff!

It's funny. I told someone I was sick yesterday, and they said that
they were sorry. I said, "You know, I'm really not sorry. I have
an excuse now, just to rest."

I find it very difficult to give myself the permission for time to
rest. Rest time makes me feel overwhelmingly guilty. I kind of think
that's why I get so ill. It's a double whammy. I go too fast when
I'm not feeling well, and I also hesitate to take time off during
that time. But, the problem is, I rarely feel well, so I'd never get
anything done if I just rested all the time!

I'll tell you a secret. Remember last year, when I was in the hospital?
I actually dissected my own aorta, just to take a month or two off!
OK, that's going a little far... I really didn't, but I can't believe
looking back and thinking, "That wasn't a bad vacation!"
I'm sure not going to repeat it, if I can help it,
but man oh man... what I wouldn't do to just rest for another couple
months! I am tired!

Light is spreading across the valley and I think I'm going to go for
a salmon walk. I love watching the pairs of salmon spawning. It's
fun to see the same ones in their spot, flashing on their redds. Yesterday
I found that a pair that I had been watching had been reduced to just
the female on the nest. The male must have finally given up the fight?
I wonder if the female will be gone, too, this morning.

I haven't been fishing. There is a week or two in time between the
salmon spawning and the actual chance to catch my first steelhead,
and we are in this period, now. I really feel that during this time,
when the river is so clogged with dying salmon, that the steelhead
just shoot through, dodging salmon carcasses, not really holding anywhere.
Can you imagine being a fresh, bright steelie, and hanging around
next to dying fish? Don't think I'd want to hand around that scene!

I have tried in the past to drift through some of these drifts, and
I keep feeling my weight thumping against dying salmon backs. Yuck!

Well, it's off I go. Maybe I will take a jig, just on the off chance
that there will be a steelie, somewhere. You never know-- I have been
known to catch a late bright chinook, trying to catch a steelie! It
can happen, and when it does, it gives me a renewed burst of energy
and a big ol' smile! I could use some of that!

I hope you have a wonderful day. When I get back, I'm doing some online
shopping. Thank God for that option, as I just don't have what it
takes to battle those crowds!

December 7th...
later
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INTERESTING!

I just spoke to my doctor. He mentioned something that has bugged
me in the past.

You know, I look normal, but I don't always feel normal. If you took
a picture of me, today, I'd look like any other normal person. I have
things that don't work normally. But you can't see that with your
eyes. So, when I feel crummy, well wishers innocently wish me better
health to come. Things like, "I hope you feel better, tomorrow!"
While that is very nice, and I appreciate their thoughts and kindness,
they are frustrated when the next day, something else is wrong. I
often get the look like, (and once someone even said!!!) "Jennie,
you are always sick! Do you take care of yourself properly?"
Argh!

When someone is in a wheelchair and paralyzed, it is obvious that
they will not be getting better. You don't say, "I hope you feel
better, soon!" But, since my disability is mostly hidden, I often
get those puzzled looks. When I hold things close to my face to read,
I get teased that I must have forgotten my glasses. It doesn't look
like I see double out of one eye and not at all out of the other!
While most of these things I'm used to and don't bother me much, imagine
my horror when my legs start giving out in public, and people think
I'm on drugs... or worse!

Imagine the few times I decide I deserve to use my disability parking
permit, and someone says, "Oh! Look at that woman using that
permit illegally!"

I got to thinking about this because of my guilt over taking a rest
day, yesterday. I don't look like I need a rest day!
I look well! I mentioned it to my doctor and he mentioned that this
is a common frustration of living with a hidden disability.

I think that's why when I'm in public and my legs start "wiggly
woggling", I start to giggle-- hysterically, at that! Hey! If
you are going to assume I'm on drugs, I might as well play along!

December 9th
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It's the worst, most wonderful smell that there is.
I've talked to the neighbors, and they've told me several

"way back when" stories of the river. Stories of when you'd
have to close your doors to the outside during the peak of spawning
season. The smell was that bad. The entire riverbank was full of dead
and rotting salmon carcasses.

For the first time, I have a hint of what this must be like. Usually,
we have a few carcasses here and there. This year, I have to gently
step over their bodies to get to any of the fishing holes. Once there,
it's difficult to stay, the smell is so extreme. Every direction I
look, they are there. Many, in colorful costume, but the most prevalent
color is that light orange color you find in your coloring box called
"salmon". I remember that color, clearly. I always wanted
to use it, as I've always been attracted to salmon, but when you color
with it, it doesn't make your paper pop. It's just... well... salmon
colored. It blends with the rocks pretty well, and if it weren't for
the smell, I'd just as soon have them stay.

It's kind of a creepy feeling, though, having any sort of dead creature
laying bedraggled across the rocks beside me. Especially, so many
of them! It reminds me of how fragile life really is, and I can't
help but fish with a bit of a shiver down my spine. But, imagine pulling
a bright, chrome steelhead out of the river with this season of dark
and death surrounding me! I have to do it! The proof of life still
existing amidst this cemetery of salmon affirms my own life.

At this time of year, it's easy to feel like I live in a cavernous
mortuary... but it's really not that way! Nature's orchestra is actually
warming up for a very lively performance!

All is still and cold, damp and mostly muted/quiet in the forest.
Dead fish are scattered about the rocks in a place where the river
runs too full and strong for their declining strength.

But listen! Listen carefully!

The water song is constant and quiet, providing the warm up orchestration
before the curtains of Spring are lifted. One day, the first light
will finally peak out over the Kilchis mountains like a spotlight,
and the curtains will begin to lift.

Slowly, the river creatures begin their dance of life, and the most
amazing things begin to happen! Beautiful colors in sharp contrast
to the shadows begin to appear! As the river recedes, mossy greens
dazzle in the sunshine, and play in your field of vision atop the
rocks. Small purple and yellow flowers dance in the light breezes
(under the trees-es!)

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The alders and maples begin to dress for the performance.
First with buds of purple, then leaf by green leaf until the new sunshine
scours out the cold of winter and their branches become full and swaying
and heavy with costume!

Oh, the anticipation of spring! I can hardly wait! Until I can color
with a full box of "spring" crayons, I'll be happy with
my one little salmon colored one. The color doesn't pop out at you,
but it's a beautiful color, nonetheless... and just think of the possibilities!

December 9th...later

It just occurred to me that today is my one year anniversary
for my dissection. Wish me a happy dissection?

Lots to think about and reflect on. Such, as this
that I wrote, last December 8th
. Funny,
how it is themed around what I wrote about, today!...and odd how it
has to do with darkness and death.

How about this
long thread
that goes on and on about my surgery and
recovery? Brings tears to my eyes.

I think I need to be nice to me, today. What shall I do?

December 10th

I have been planning for a while what I would do on
my one year anniversary of my repair. Something exciting! Something
fun! Something just for me!

Oh! I forgot! I have kids, and they come first, right? I get to help
Andrew transport things from his apartment, to home! Hm. Well, it
wasn't quite what I had in mind, but I've decided to look at it this
way. It's normal. It's life. It's what I would choose to be doing
if my life were going as planned. And it is! I'm not in the hospital,
and I'm not so ill that I can't do normal things!

...and hey! While I'm in Portland, I can do one of my favorite things!
Stop by Baskin and Robbins and have a Jamoca Almond Fudge Ice Cream!
Whoo hooo!

Hey, if you have a moment and you are bored, I would love it if you
would click on the link below, and check insurance rates. I tried
one of the affiliate links and I have to make 25.00 to get a payment.
I want one! Sounds fun, to me! I'm at 19.00 and can't break over that!
Hey! I need ice cream money! Help me!
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December 12th

I'm getting used to planning for events and the resulting
"make up" time, afterwards, but this is nuts! When I have
plans for the weekend, or anything big, I know to plan for three or
four days of "sick" time afterwards. It's just the way it
is. If it doesn't happen, then lucky me! But, if it does, I have those
days put aside because I know that usually, that's the way it goes.

For instance, the weekend of the NSIA banquet and my Christmas party,
I put aside four days after for recovery. I needed every last one
of them! I'm glad I put them aside!

I made cookies yesterday and I had the most wonderful day! I was so
productive! I felt good! I felt happy! I got out all of the Christmas
cards that I had saved for years. I always told myself that when I
get older and not so busy, that I'd put together photo albums and
go through my kids school years things. I'll put them all in nice
order, and throw some of it away.

Well, I guess those years are here! I am officially "older"
now! Yesterday, I went through all of those Christmas cards, did my
share of weeping over memories, and saved the ones most special to
me. I also sorted through them and gave a bundle of them to my ex,
that would be meaningful to him. I went from an orange crate sized
box to a small shoe box full of cards! It felt SO good! I also wrote
a permanent list of addresses, and wrote out cards!

Then, I made thumbprint cookies, and Russian tea cakes!

So, at 10:00 PM, I fell asleep with a headache. It wasn't bad. It
hurt, but was tolerable. I took a couple Advil and called it a wonderful
day... a wonderful life!

Oh no! At 4:20 AM I woke up with the most excruciating headache I
had ever thought possible. No! It wasn't possible to hurt this bad!
Was it? In fact, it was the worst pain that I ever imagined anyone
could suffer! I'd have rather had a limb cut off it was that bad!

I called for Bill, who graciously brought me ice, heating pads, aspirin,
then vicodin... then morphine that I had been given years ago, for
emergency break through pain. Eventually, trying to lessen the pain,
I took them all!

I finally gave up, and asked Bill to take me to the hospital. While
he got ready, I had fallen asleep. He let me sleep. When I woke up,
the pain was still there, but at least tolerable. Let me tell you,
before, it was not tolerable! My limbs were contorting and I was in
tears! I would never wish that kind of pain on anyone! Nothing helped,
either!

Anyhow, just off the phone with my doc, and I need to go have a cat
scan, since I'm on coumadin. They are making sure I didn't have a
"bleed". I did bump my head, yesterday, so it's good to
make certain.

Let me tell you how wonderful it is to feel good. I had such a wonderful
day, yesterday! Yes, today really bothers me, and I feel rotten, but
yesterday! Oh, yesterday was grand!

You know how they say that you'd never know what it felt like to be
happy, if you never felt sad? Well, it is a relative thing! When I
feel bad, I feel really, really bad! But, when I feel good.... LOOKOUT!
It's the most awesome feeling in the world! People think I'm nuts
and tease me because I wander around the house, nearly always in song,
(and loud song, at that!) when I feel good. Bill often notes to other
people that when Jennie is singing, that he knows I'm not hurting,
so even if it's off key and awful, it's wonderful! IT IS!!!

So, that said, I'm off to the hospital. I hope you have a good day...
but I hope it's not too good! I'd really much rather you would have
normally good days instead of the extreme highs and lows that I seem
to have.

At the same time... I bet you've never felt as darn good as I did
yesterday!
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It's quite
an experience!

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http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-1442910-10282953

Boat US


December 13th

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Here's a picture of my darling Roo. I'm glad he's home
for the holidays! Isn't he cute?

Speaking of darn cute, I love my chickadees! When they first started
to show up here at the house, years ago, I thought they were cute
enough. However, they were very shy. They'd swoop in, ever so quickly,
grab a seed, and dart back to their hidy spots.

Now, we've got 10 times as many, and they are actually friendly sorts!
Not afraid, they will land a foot from my head when I am out feeding,
talk to me a bit, and then dart away. They are darling! Right now,
I have up to 10 of them actively feeding outside my window. They are
a very interesting little social structure to study. I love the way
they interact with one another, and with me! They talk to each other
as they hop from one feeder to the next. I'm beginning to think they
are my favorite winter bird.

They are all in their places with white little faces!

Smile Facial expression Sleeve Food craving Happy

Doesn't everyone have a thrush pet?

The varied thrush are finally showing up in good numbers.
We have not seen but one gold crowned sparrow, about a month ago.
Wonder where they are? Looking back at my calendar, though, I guess
it's not too unusual to have them absent this time of year. It's a
bit early.

One lone kinglet comes to feed, daily. He's so tiny! So cute!

We have a full grouping of junco feeding daily. It's funny how they
prefer ground feeding. We have to be awfully careful to sweep up the
fallen old seed, and to provide fresh seed (but not too much!) daily.
Otherwise, they mold and I'd hate to spread that awful disease around.

I've sure learned alot about bird feeding. Partially from experience,
a lot from reading Bill Monroe's Homes and Gardens articles, and quite
a bit from the web.

I used to just throw seeds out. Not anymore!

I have put off driving Andrew to Portland to finish up his apartment
business, so as soon as the roads thaw, we are on our way.

I'm feeling pretty good, today. I had to go for a cat scan yesterday,
regarding my headache. No bad reports, and I'm on my feet again, today.
Hurray!

Well, off I go. Enjoy those birds, will you? It's a wonderful time
of year to study and appreciate the beauty of the Northwest winters!

December 15th

I have a new pet. He doesn't come well when called.
I pretty much have to drag him around by his leash. But, drag him
around, I do. From room, to room, every where I go! His leash is kind
of neat. It has one end that plugs into the wall, so he never runs
off.

His name is "Presto". It says so, right on his face. He
keeps me warm, and sits by my feet. I don't even have to tell him
to sit/stay. He just does it, with a warm, glowing smile.

I drag him to the kitchen to sit at the table where the floors are
icy cold. I drag him to the office, where he takes the chill out of
the air. I drag him up the stairs and sit him on a chair so he's level
with my bed. He doesn't have any fur, but that's OK. He's so, so warm
and friendly!

It's so cold outside! I know it's not very nice, but when the weather
warms up a bit, I'll just put him in the closet, and forget about
him. He is an independent sort, and when I take him out again next
time, he'll just light right up! Here is a picture of him.

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Isn't he beautiful?

It's 28.6 degrees out, right now. The entire yard is
all frosted over. It does look like it's snowed! Even the trees are
sparkling! There is a pink cast to the sky, and it reflects on the
meadow. I simply adore pink sparkly things! I have my Christmas lights
on, and even in the daytime, they look gorgeous!

And now, onto coffee makers. I really love my coffee maker, and every
night I load up the coffee, (plenty of Peets!) pour in the water,
and set the timer. If all goes well, I get up to fresh brewed coffee.

This is if all goes well. If it doesn't, there is a price to pay!

Why is it that if you accidentally forget to set the timer, that it
takes twice as long to make the coffee? There is no longer wait in
the world, then for coffee in the morning. Every drop that drips out
of the maker is agonizingly drawn out. If you watch it, it's worse
that waiting for a teapot to boil. If you turn away, it's a bit faster,
but still! Oh, my! The wait is forever! My fingers drumming on the
desktop make dents in my table.

And how bout this? You have a fishing trip in the morning, so you
set the timer for 0-dark thirty. You wake up and the coffee is made,
and everything is wonderful! But, the next day.... oh! The next day!
If I forget to reset the timer, I leisurely wake to cold, three hour
ago brewed coffee! Oh, that's the worst!

Nothing worse than throwing out coffee, except for microwaving a cup
and having it taste awful!

The thing is, I've become spoiled. I used to wake up, leisurely make
the coffee, and everything would be fine. I enjoyed the smell of it
being made, the steps it took to hand grind the beans, the whole ritual
of the process! Now, I'm so accustomed to dragging myself across the
kitchen floor and slopping coffee into my cup, that when it doesn't
happen that way, I'm lost!

This is the means to the end, right? Realizing my hopeless addiction
to coffee is going to make me break free from it, forever. Right?
Am I that dependent on the chemical reactions of caffeine, that I
get hopelessly worked up if it doesn't go off as planned? Yes, I am.

That's why I have another new pet. His name is "Mr. Coffee."
It says so, right on his face. I drag him from room to room with his
friend, "Mr. Presto." His leash is kind of neat. It has
one end that plugs into the wall, so he never runs off....

Techno pets. Gotta love 'em.

December 16th

Oh my! 10 days till Christmas! Do you have your shopping
done? I don't!

I am so proud of me, though... I don't care! Yesterday I walked all
the way up my driveway without stopping to huff and puff! I've been
trying to do this for a year! Usually, I have to stop, bend over,
breathe, and it's quite an effort. Not every day will be that easy,
but yesterday, for the first time, I did it! That made my day! My
legs didn't hurt, and I wasn't out of breath! Whoo hooo!

All the way up the driveway! It was like someone was carrying me,
it was so easy!

With memories of being stuck in a wheelchair, high centered on a door
stop, half inside, and half outside on a cold January day. I was!
I'll never forget that! Couldn't walk, couldn't move, just waited
for the boys to get home from school. I had been trying to get out
to the sunshine on the back deck. It was so alluring! (Or was it all
an illusion?!) With all of the drugs that I was on, who knows? Regardless,
it was the most helpless feeling!

You have no idea how every single time I walk down to the river, how
absolutely thankful I am! Every step, I remember being stuck in the
house, while Bill or the boys called Kilchis, (MY DOG!) to go out
to the river. In one way, I was thankful that they were there to amuse
him and exercise him. In another way, I was selfish, angry, and heart
broken. That was my job to take Kilchis to the river!
How dare Kilchis leave my side to go with another? I encouraged him
to go with a smile and an excited voice, to convince him it was OK.
But, as soon as the door closed, the tears would fall. Oh, the pity
I felt! The drama! I felt so physically awful, that I'd get to thinking
that maybe I wouldn't live, and that perhaps this was all good that
he was making new loyal friends, and that Kilchis would soon forget
me, if I went. Tears, tears, tears.

One day, Shane Stewart came to fish. I convinced him to take Kilchis
to the river with him, since no one was home to exercise him. He wouldn't
go with him! I was secretly happy about that! There remained a bit
of loyalty, anyhow!

Now that I'm well, and Kilchis knows Shane, he'll go with him. But,
that's OK. He goes with me, too!

Anyhow, I'm proud of me. I've come a long, way, baby! I can make it
to the top of the driveway without stopping!

I think I'll go out to the river, this morning. I know that some days
will be harder than others, but the memory of yesterday's ease will
be with me for a long, long time! I can walk, again!

December 20th

It was five days till Christmas and all through the
house, all the dogs were up barking, and not at a mouse!

There are raccoons out in the trees, and the dogs are just going nuts.
Calm, dogs, calm! Oh! They need to go fishing! That's it! They need
to go fishing badly!

So do I!

You know, I thought I was doing right. I thought I was enjoying the
Christmas season. Well, I was! I am! But--- all of the sudden out
of nowhere I got this really anxious feeling. I need to fish! Fishing
is my life! I don't think I've gone this long without really fishing
for years! I haven't been now, for what? Two weeks?

OK, So, I've grabbed a spinner and taken it down to the low, clear
Kilchis. I've tossed it out there a couple times and retrieved it.
Once in the freezing cold when the East wind blew. That didn't last
long! But actual hop in the boat and go? Or grab the duck chair and
go down to the river for an any period of time? Haven't done that
for ages!

Besides that, I'm so unprepared! My steelhead gear is scattered everywhere!
Usually, by this time, I'm all prepared. Rods cleaned, reels greased
up, fresh line on the spool, jigs in order, corkies picked out, yarns
of many colors hanging out of Holdzit containers, and fresh shrimp
in the fridge! Hey! Santa Claus needs to come to my house and kick
me in the backside! I'm way behind!

This is the price I pay for being "ready" for Christmas!
I told you right here in this column that last year I totally missed
Christmas because of my heart surgery. This year, I wasn't about to
do that. I recall things like trying to cook Christmas dinner, 2 days
out of the hospital from a wheelchair. That was awful! I'm out to
erase those memories!

I told you that I was going to experience every part of Christmas
this year, and do it right! I told you I was going to get my shopping
done early enough to enjoy the spirit! The lights! The tree! I did!
I am! But, what a high price to pay!

How many silver sided, beautiful laterally lined chromers have passed
my house, waving as they go by? "No worries here!" They
giggle as they pass! "Jennie is Christmasing this year!"

Last year I was sick, and this year I'm celebrating? Wait a minute!
Just what am I doing to get rid of those hatchery brats!? NOTHING!
I'm not doing my job at all! I need to put the fear to those fish!
How dare they wave as they go by?

How come I have no steelhead roasting on an open fire? Isn't that
how the song goes?

I told Bill, "As soon as Christmas passes, I'll be ready to fish."
Not! That was last week that I said that. Well, by
geebers, I can't wait. It is five days until Christmas, and I give!
To heck with the presents, forget all those lights!

I'm sorting my corkies cuz I need a fight!

Out with my Lami, and down to the stream!

If I don't fish now, then I'm gonna scream!

....

You know, in a way, I've so worked myself up with expectations of
Christmas joy, it's no wonder I feel a bit let down. There is just
no way that you can build up all of this expectation and have it be
totally fulfilled. Especially without adding my favorite component:
Fish!

How can I deck the halls without chrome scales glittering all around
me? How can a person feel true peace without piscatorial pursuits?

I'm getting ready and I'm heading out the door. Down to the river,
to see what's in store.

The river is rising, the fish are on the bite-

and I'm going to fish them with all of my might!

And she sprang to her sled, to her team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

On Kilchis, On Dee Dee, On Molly, On Bill!

It's down to the stream side and on with the kill!

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But I heard her exclaim, ere she sled out of sight,

"Happy Fishing to all, and to all a good fight."

later, night, dark,
cold out.


I rarely write this time of night. But, tonight the
world just seems too still. Restless, I had to move, to do something.
I couldn't just sit in bed and read. I got up to stare out into the
dark of night. The snow came at me like a thousand meteors. There
was a sheet of glass between me and the night sky, but my eyes weren't
convinced. Blinking out the intrusion, I started lapsing into a sort
of dream like trance.

Christmas.

' Tis the season.

A season of a thousand memories, a thousand good byes, a thousand
feelings and powerfully mixed emotions.

I used to have no patience for those who chose to be depressed during
this season. But as life grows richer and fuller, as I have had more
experience with life and with death, I am more tolerant to these delicate
feelings, yet I still stand firm in my decision to find joy... somewhere,
somehow. It's there, you know. You just have to locate it.

As we decorated the tree, I carefully unwrapped ornaments, treasures
from my past. A tiny, delicate pink violin from my aunt Dorothy Lee.
A set of brass instruments from my Mother, and one that reminded me
of my Grandmother.

Two sisters and their Mother...together, somewhere a long ways off.
They are in Heaven, where there are no tears. I can't even grasp that
concept, yet I believe it with all my heart. Are they up there beyond
those snowflakes? Where?

Still full of questions, I am reduced to a child staring out into
the snow lit night.

It is all so perfect. The lights are lit outside, reflecting down
on the freshly fallen snow. The Christmas tree sparkles. It isn't
the grandest I've had. It's a noble, but stands only 7 feet tall.
With the star fitted precariously on top, it still shines brightly
and lights up the room.

It is all so perfect, the Christmas season. The smell of fresh bread
and the warmth of the wood stove surround me.

Then why, sitting here in the dark, with just the glow of the computer
screen and the flickering of a single candle, does a tear fall from
my eye?

I miss the ones that gave me the traditions of Christmas, that taught
me the feelings of joy, of peace, of happiness.

When the first snow fell, I reached for the phone to tell my Mother.
We used to always do that. After realizing my error, I went to call
Hershey, my old dog. He used to race around in it with me, tail wagging,
body wiggling, crouching down to play. Hershey is gone now too.

I was alone in the house with the snow, and the tree, the wood stove,
the bread.

My voice echoed back at me.

I took a breath though, and smiled through it. It was snowing, and
in an odd peaceful way, I felt strong.

In all that I have been through, the losses, the memories, the years
of Christmas past, I am still here to share with my children this
very special, and very delicate time of year.

Now the snow has stopped falling, and my eyes are tired. Time to walk
around the house, and turn Christmas off.

Heaven is a place with no sorrow and no tears. Sounds pretty nice.

(I wrote that in 2002, but everything in it is exactly
the way I feel now, complete with the single candle buring. Even the
snow that fell, and my wanting to call my Mother. Even the kids home,
and missing Hershey.

It is amazing to me how the seasons pass and the things I write are
almost the same, at the same time of year.)

December 23rd

I miss having a camera. I keep taking walks on the river
and seeing the most beautiful things that I wish I had on film. There's
one spot on the river that has these incredibly red berries hanging
over a sandy embankment. Next to it is the most wildly colored dead
salmon. It's oddly beautiful.

Brilliant life, and the mystery of death. I want to get up close to
see it, but the darned salmon stinks too badly!

The rivers are raging. We just spent 36 hours inside the house while
the wind howled and the rain fell, jet propelled, sideways. The river
rose to cover the banks, and most of the dead salmon carcases were
washed to sea. There was such a wind that now, as the river recedes,
the beach is littered with broken trees, leaves, and dirt... tree
debris, I guess you'd call it.

I have all my Christmas shopping done, I think. I've failed again
to reduce Christmas to a simple thing. I think I really needed to
"do it up" this year, since I missed last year. Next year,
however, I'm going to reduce! I spoke to Marty Peterson. Now, their
family has it down! They've set a small limit for presents, and they
are going sledding! What fun! Now, that sounds like a Merry Christmas!
Except, Marty? Where is the snow? You'll be driving a long, long way!
Still, I love having that thought in my head. Sledding on Christmas!
I have to do that, some year!

For New Years, I've finally decided to start tackling my eye problems.
I've had this real need to keep away from doctors unless I really
need to. My heart surgery really burned me out on doctors for a while!
I needed a break.

But, on the suggestion of a friend with marfan, I would like to go
back East to a Marfan eye specialist! I have the free air miles to
travel. Why not? I've always thought of going to see Dr.
Maumanee
, (Click on her name for a link.) and now I'm going to
start planning it. I want to go in the Fall, as I've always wanted
to see the Fall leaves back East. I haven't been back East since I
played the piano for President Reagan, so many, many years ago. 1985,
it was! Oh, my, but I'm old!

The thought of not seeing double and having this vision fixed is intoxicating.
I would be so happy if I could see straight, again! Somehow I must
have lost some faith along the way. I can only imagine seeing "different".
Not better, anymore. With each eye surgery
that I have, it just changes things. Maybe this doctor can help me?
Maybe? Sometimes I think I'm too getting too old and what does it
matter if I can see... That makes me mad enough to start planning!
I'm at that point! I'm going to go! Never too old, right?
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At the very least, I'd like her professional opinion!

I think my lack of vision is why I miss having a camera so much. When
I can't see things well, I like to take a picture. Then, I can take
it home, put it on the big screen and study it up close and really
appreciate the details.

When I see things that are beautiful with my eyes, I can't help but
imagine the potential. Sure enough, when I look at it up close on
the screen, I'm blown away! I really want to see like that! That's
so cool! You guys are so lucky! I don't think I'd get anything done
if I could see like that!

I'll never forget having my first eye uncovered after surgery. I sat
in the parking lot and the colors were just so vibrant that I couldn't
take it all in. There were times when I'd just have to shut my eyes
because my brain became so overloaded! Colors! Shapes! Glare! Reflection!
How do you process all of that and still think?!?

Life is a Kodak moment, and I can relate to that more than I want
to. I really want the real thing!

That said... Santa? Will you bring me a Nikon D50? There's these bright
red berries on the beach that I just have to look at up close, but
there's a dead salmon near it, and...
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December 24th

The verdict is in. My pajamas are NOT waterproof! Come
to think of it, I wish Santa would bring me some waterproof pajamas.
I mean, it's nice to wake up and pull on my waders and go, but it
would be nicer, without. Imagine the luxury. Wake up, grab your rod
and go!

I mean, come on. As it is now, It's a total hassle. I have to sit
down, pull on my waders, reach WAY up to grab my rod and walk all
the way across the lumpy lawn, down the muddy steps, and onto the
gravel. All I ask is that my pajamas not soak through. Is that too
much to ask?

Really?

They need to think this through. How many times have I woken up, had
a short cup of joe, and not been able to resist the lure of the river?
It has to happen to someone else, too. There simply has to be a market...
a huge market, for wader pajamas. If anyone is smart, they'll get
right on this for me. Breathables would be nice, and oh yeah-- make
them in a medium TALL.

OK, now that that is handled, I hope you, too, have a Merry Christmas!
It's Christmas Eve! Tomorrow is the Birthday of our Savior!

Frankly, I can't understand the gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.

If I were to bring him a gift, it would be something extremely practical,
like Grunden waterproof pajamas.

I think I'm excited! Everything is all Christmas-sy out, and I'm celebrating
by spending the entire day in and out, fishing... that is, if I can
last that long! The fresh shrimp is being delivered, and I have beautiful
eggs and lots of colorful lures hanging on the tree! Let's go! The
river looks high, but fishable! I just need a bigger slinky and I'm
off, again. And, as Erickson puts it, the boat is leaving! Toot! Toot!

This time, I think I'll put on some proper clothing. I guess a girl
can't have everything she dreams up!

I hope lots of boats come down the Kilchis tomorrow. I want to hand
out candy canes! (Or how bout "candied skeins"?)

Do me a favor, alright? Be Merry and Bright!

And may all your Christmas fish put up a fight!

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December 25th
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Merry Christmas, darlings!

(To my children, who I love!)


I have the spirit and the joy of Christmas in my heart,
and the sleepies in my eyes! What a night! We had a gust of 58 mph!
It just rock and rolled all night long! I didn't expect it, so some
windows were left open, and everything crash boomed and banged! When
the light hits the day, I'll witness the damage, I'm sure! Usually
we prepare for the winds, but this time we didn't!

The power went out, and Bill actually called the power company and
said that Santa must have accidentally hit a power line! I heard him
say that! I did! Bill!!!!
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I don't think I got a solid hour's sleep! Oh well, if Santa can do
it, then I can do it. It's all magic. Just watch me!

I made some delicious "Sweet petals". That's a recipe that
I grew up with. It's a type of cinnamon roll. Sweet dough, coiled
into snake like tubes, rolled in butter, then sugar and nuts, and
shaped circular in a pizza shape. They are drizzled with butter cream
after cooking. I can't wait! I haven't had the energy to make these
in years! Andrew helped me, as we sang carols, together.

Andrew is an absolute delight to have around. He's joyful all the
time. Recently while being with him, I said, "I want whatever
you are taking." He said he had had a recent injection of life.
I can relate to that! So, I took some, too! I'm glad to have him around.
Being around someone who is forever cheerful rubs off on a person.
He sings. He dances. He grabs me and makes me waltz around the living
room with him! I've decided to try and be more like Him, as well as
hang around with Andrew more often! He encourages to me!

You know, I have so much to be thankful for! Both boys are delightful
to be around. I get frustrated at their lack of motivation, but when
I think about it, is that what life is about? Motivation? I think
not. I think it's about being happy, content. They have that part
down pat! What is their secret? I think I know, and I'll share it,
later.

So, it's on with the sausage and the dozen eggs in the traditional
electric skillet, just like Mom used on Christmas morning. Oh, the
smells of Christmas! We have tins of goodies all around us. We'd better
eat them all up. They aren't good for you, so we'd better get rid
of them, right?

...And the angel said unto them, Fear not:
for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be
to all people.


For unto you is born this day in the city
of David a Savour, which is Christ the Lord.


...and that news, regardless of computers, Nintendos,
worldly goods, and things that go bump in the night... things that
I worry over, things that I give too much attention, is the message
that my children were raised with. I worry about them until my hair
turns gray, but they know the news of Jesus Christ in their hearts,
and I do believe that this is the secret to their inner joy. They
may not even admit it all the time, and they may spend much time debating
it, and talking about it, but I do believe that truth is engraved
on their hearts.

Believe me, if I did one right thing in this world,
it was to share that news with my children, often and always!

Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6)


I am so glad I did! And I am so glad that my Mother
and Father shared that with me!

Glory to God in the
highest, on earth peace, good will toward men!
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MERRY
CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL!
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December 26th

As always, it's good to put away the clutter on ifish.
All of the Christmas decorations, neatly stored away in a folder on
my computer, until next year. Wish it was that easy in the house!
The concept of drag and drop sounds good!

How many of us feel the build up to Christmas, and the let down, afterwards?

For some reason, yesterday, I found it difficult to open my presents.
I waited until the last minute, after everyone else had had their
fun. I had so much fun watching them open theirs! All of the thought
that went into each gift, dissolved into satisfied smiles and fun,
and ending in a huge heap of wrapping and ribbons! Why do I worry
so much that it's not enough, or not the right thing? It's not supposed
to be about that!

Somehow, though, it's been passed down on me. My Mother took Christmas
and the resulting emotions so seriously and so personally, and it
all wore off on me! My parents and relatives worked us kids up so
much about Christmas, that it was an event that was barely survivable!
I don't know how on earth we slept on Christmas Eve!

First, it was the eternal wait for my Aunt and Uncle to finally show
up from Bend. We'd be on watch, sitting on that brown couch and staring
out the window, all day long!

Sometimes they wouldn't get there until what seemed like "forever"
at night! Then, of course, my cousins and I would have to catch up
and visit. All the while, my parents and my Aunt and Uncle are trying
to rush us to sleep so that Santa could come. The threat of him not
stopping by, somehow enforced our sleep.

At the crack of dawn, and sometimes before, all those tiny feet would
be scampering down the stairs to take a peek. I'd hear my parents
groan, with disapproval! It was much too early, and we knew it! But,
they rose, anyhow, muttering something about coffee, coffee....

Seven kids tearing at stockings, all in a small living room half taken
by a grandly lit noble fir is a memory I'll never forget!

Then, there was breakfast and then-- PRESENTS! Wrapping flew everywhere!
Ribbons in the air, and paper, three feet deep! How did we not lose
things? (Oh! We did!)

I'll never forget one Christmas. My expectation was huge! I wanted
an AM radio, so that I could listen to 62 KGW at bedtime, just like
my sister. I wanted to take it out in the berry patch with me in the
summer... just like my big sister. I wanted to be.... my big sister!

I finally opened it, in all of it's glory! It was shiny pale blue
with a white face. It's dials stuck out, in a pale white and the dial
ran all the way across it's 12 inch or more face. It was perfect!
Until-- I turned it on. For some obscure reason, I could not tune
it to the radio station of cool: 62 KGW. It hissed and it whined,
and it played loud and clear static!

I laid in bed that night, in my tiny bedroom in back of the house.
The TV was going in the living room, and I was surely exhausted. The
day was over, and my aunt and uncle and cousins had gone home. The
rustle and bustle, laughter and noise had finally come to a total
end, and was it ever quiet!

I pulled my covers over my radio, and watched the dial glow. I tried
it again. No signal. I turned it this way and that, and stretched
the antennae as far as I could. It hissed. My heart fell.

Oh, Christmas of all Christmases! How could this be? My Mother...
nor Santa-- they don't give imperfect presents! How could this happen
to me? Shame on me, as I began to gently cry myself to sleep! And
then, the most horrible thing happened. My Mother walked in! She caught
me crying! What could be worse than being caught crying on Christmas?
I'll tell you what! The guilt of being unappreciative at Christmas!
But, there was no escaping it! I was caught, red handed! Tears running
down my cheeks with my present in my hot little hands!

I, trusting her to understand, explained about the station reception
and showed her. I cried harder. Half of me knew I risked making her
feel responsible, even at that tender age. Now that I'm older, though,
I understand the serious impact of it all! I understand why she didn't
comfort me as I wanted to be comforted. She too, was tired. She felt
totally responsible for my sadness. Instead of being able to go to
bed, tired, but with that wonderful satisfaction meeting someone's
wishes brings, and the expected glory for being the hero at Christmas,
she was met with a crying child?!

Oh! Can I ever relate to what she must have felt! I study the faces
of the people I gift to measure the joy, and hope that my satisfaction
meter is met! I, like my Mother, am a giver, and I measure my worth
daily by how satisfied others are, with my performance. From cooking
a fine meal, to piano performance, to webbing, to being a Mom... I
need to know that I did well.

It happens daily, not just at Christmas, but at Christmas, the emotional
stakes are so high!

Well, yesterday I passed. I think everyone was happy! David, with
his beautiful brown corduroy blazer, and Andrew, with his black Derby
hat.

But, as I went to bed, I thought about change. I thought about stopping
the giving to one another, and changing the tradition, altogether.
Now that the children are older, do I dare change? Do we dare make
Christmas more about Christ, and less about our satisfaction? Mine,
and the kids? Would I go to bed more fully satisfied, if it weren't
so much about us and more about our Heavenly Savour?

I wonder... and I wonder if we stopped, if it would be a success.
If it would be a tradition that the kids would carry with them, and
want to repeat.

Of course, I decided in the end, that we should probably do both.
Keep giving, and keep the traditions, but maybe increase our "reason
for giving" a little more each year, as we all grow older and
wiser.

It is all about Christ, but we all get a little bit too "wrapped
up" over it all. And I am the most guilty of all! What do I expect
from my kids? For them to say, "Well Done Good And Faithful Servant??"

It occurs to me that when my Mother held me that night, even as her
heart fell, knowing full well that I was not pleased, but that she
was acting and feeling much like my Heavenly Father must feel, on
a daily basis. Perhaps we should all study His face for reactions,
more carefully!

My Heavenly Father gives me so many, many gifts on a daily basis.
Oh! How I must displease him at times! --and yet he holds me each
evening, even while I cry.

Last night, was no different.

As I drag and drop the clutter of Christmas from my house, Lord, I'm
going to try, try so hard to please you more, and see if in so doing,
I can bring more constant joy to others on a daily basis... instead
of just at Christmas time.

(Note- I thought this link went along well with this thought. Click
here
.)

December 30th

Ok! I'll write, already! I have had so many people wonder
if I'm alright. Yes! I'm alright. Haven't been feeling real well,
but I'm fine, for sure!

It's kind of frustrating. I was so proud of myself the other day,
when I walked up the driveway, without a problem. I haven't been able
to do that, since. Now, why on earth do I have days when I can, and
then weeks when I can't? Someday, again, it will happen! I'm sure!

I see my neighbor ladies walking down the road, nearly daily. I have
been invited to join them. I have their phone numbers on my desktop
on my computer. Oh! How I'd love to do that! I'm just too embarrassed,
still. Can you imagine walking less than a football field and then
turning around? These ladies are in shape and walk daily! I don't
think so! I'm trying to build up a little more strength before I join
them. It will happen, right?

It's too bad there is no flat area where I live. It's all hilly! I'm
a little afraid to go downhill, in case I can't make it up, and I
can't go far uphill, before I get tired! From here to the river is
flat, but the rocks make it difficult to get a good stride going.

I need a track installed in the field! (laugh)

I used to walk with a neighbor lady when I lived in Astoria, and we
had so much fun! We'd take along a litter bag and pick a street to
clean. The bending over is really good for you, and the streets looked
so nice!

We also had a "beautiful garden" award for neighbors that
my kids and I would do. We'd take neighborhood walks and decide who
had the prettiest flowers. Then, we'd go home, have a little arts
and crafts time and create banners for "prettiest smelling roses"
or "lawn of the day" or "beautiful garden". Then,
the next day we would hang the banner on their door, while they were
gone. I don't think they ever found out who did that, but we sure
had fun!

People, there is a meeting on the 6th that you should read
about, here
. It's very important that you attend. Wear a shirt,
hat, or name tag that says you are a sports fisherman or woman. We
need to show up in force! I don't think I'll personally attend. I
have doctor's appointments nearly every day next week and getting
healthy is my main objective for a while.

Well, (and that's as deep of a subject as the Kilchis river may be,
soon!) I'm off to watch the river rise. I certainly hope we don't
have flooding and slide issues in the days to come!

I'm busy watching the Wilson
River flow
, and the weather
report
. If you'll click on the weather, it's amazing how many
red alerts we have, lately! I can't keep up!

Last night, I stared awake at the ceiling, listening to the rain pour.
Although comforting, it's also a bit worrisome! We have had 2.38 inches,
now, since 6 PM! Please feel free to watch our Kilchis
weather station
, also! It shows our high winds, too!

I'm off to put up Stan's new column for the first of January. Look
for it, soon!

December 31st

All I really wanted for Christmas, was my Mt. St. Helens
web cam to be fixed. Well, it was... in a way, but the picture still
doesn't show. It had been stuck on December 16th, and then on Christmas
day it updated to the 25th, but still no picture.
Click here,
and if you notice it is up again someday, please let me know! Not
that I still don't check, daily! I also love to check the The
Pacific Northwest Seismograph Network
. I've always been interested
in earth movements. It seems so awesome. I just hope it doesn't move
around here!

Stan's new column is up and if you want to learn The
Prescription for Success
, read this! Stan's
archives are located, here.
You can find Part 1 of that article
in the archives.

I have been sick "ish" since Christmas. It's getting very
tiring. It's just a low grade fever and the not feel goods. I wish,
sometimes that I'd just get very ill and get it over with! You know--
a two day flu and then poof! Gone! Yeah, that's what I want!

It was very wintry and blustery last night. Swirls of wind so strong
that I thought they'd pick up the house and take me away. The river
was loud and angry and you could hear it rumble in between bursts
of wind. I can just imagine the huge rocks and debris that are being
relocated with this powerful body of water. It's difficult to image
the slow, still and almost stagnant Kilchis of long summer days, when
I lay in the dark and listen to it's winter's rage. No wonder the
days are so short in the winter! There is no way it could keep up
this kind of power and energy as long as a summer day would require!
I think that the noise it makes during long winter's nights is just
the river snoring really loud. There is just no way it can keep up
the churning 24/7. No way!

When the light crosses over the meadow and the trees are forced to
come alive, wet, soggy and cold, they dance in the rain, and swirl
in the wind, just like they've been at it, all night long.

Their secret is safe with me. I know what happened last night. I heard
it!

Maybe a river and the surrounding forest hibernates, seasonally, like
a bear. Except-- they sleep during the summer, and forage in the winter,
only taking short naps when the weather is calm? That would make sense,
you know... as the river is filled with life, salmon and steelhead
runs, and bald eagles soaring overhead, in the winter. Only delicate
little cutthroat and crawdad play in the summer currents as the river
sleeps.

Who knows, it's a mystery to me, but I get lost in thought, trying
to figure it out.

I bought a high candle power spot light to try and catch the river
in it's sleep. I also spread it's light across the meadow, to see
if any deer or elk are froliicking in the night. Last night, I crawled
into my bathtub, dry, and cracked open the window closest to the river.
It has a direct view down the trail, and onto the bank. I shone the
spotlight across the field and into the water, and tried to see what
it was up to. I just couldn't get the right angle on it. It was just
a mass of flowing dirty brown river.

The river remains a mystery in the dark.

Oh, how I would love to have a river cam on the internet! Then I wouldn't
have to rely so much on staring at a mountain! Especially, a mountain
cam that is broken!

At least, here, I can upstairs and watch the real thing. As soon as
daylight hits, I'm going to do that very thing.

Oh! Don't forget to go get your fishing license, today! I know that's
what I'm going to do! I can't believe that I haven't, yet!


FISHING THE
COAST

A journal of my adventures.


HOME
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