Archive for Commercial Fishing Wives – Page 2

Home, Sweet (Messy) Home…

We have returned from our family vacation and are slowly getting things back in order. I spent today unpacking, sorting through little souvenirs picked up along the way, and catching up on sleep. I slept for twelve hours last night–from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. I warned G ahead of time that I was not going to get up early this morning, and he was sweet enough to get the household going without me.

Upon arriving home, it was clear that we left in a rush. In light of everything that suddenly went down with our dear Toby, we ended up leaving a day early for our trip. Our family came over and we had an evening together, and then we bolted. It was the best move; nobody wanted to stick around here for one more second.

So, we left and stayed the night at a super nice, cozy, and warm lodge before boarding the plane. Upon our return from Hawaii–once seeing the pouring rain and feeling the cold–we decided we were in no hurry to return home and stayed at the lodge again for one more night to snuggle and relax.

Coming into the house and seeing the kids’ toys spread around, crumbs on the floor, Toby’s toys, bed, food dish, and blanket still out, and piles of laundry in the bedrooms, reminded me how hastily we’d left, for I usually have the house in great order before we go anywhere.

However, I do not regret leaving early and leaving the house as it was. It was good to just get out of town, plus, having all the unpacking, cleaning, vacuuming, and dishes to do has kept me busy today.

Watching the news and catching up on all of the devastation in the south has kept things in perspective. I’m grateful we HAVE a home to return to, unlike so many in the southern part of our nation. I am also grateful that G has delayed his departure for the halibut and blackcod season by a week or two. Eva was thrilled to go to preschool this morning, and I did some filing of household bills. (In so doing, I discovered that I haven’t filed a thing since 2009. I told G I would try to do better this year, lol).

I also had some fun changing up this blog design a bit. I changed the background image, the Twitter badge, played with color, and added a picture of G to the sidebar. I also took out my Facebook profile badge and replaced it with a Facebook logo.

Can you recognize which Kauai beach I’ve used for my background?

Winner gets the prize!

Eva with the adorable little hula dancing girls.

Kindergarten is a Full Time Job

Years ago before we had children, G and I lived in a cool little section of a big city. Our little section was quaint and had a commercial fishing history. It was sweet, cultured, and comfortable, and we lived in a cool beach-front condo. As I walked our two dogs through the neighborhood, I imagined the day we might have a little girl or boy that I would walk to kindergarten to one of the awesome brick buildings right in our neighborhood.

After all, that’s what people did when I was growing up; we went to the school that was in the neighborhood. No applications, no testing, no competition, no nothing. We simply walked down the street, up the hill, and through the front doors of school. Simple.

So I was confused when I learned the local parents in that part of town became stressed out when it came time for their five year olds to enter kindergarten. I chalked it up to big-city elitism and promised myself that if and when I ever had children, I would never enter the fray. My children would simply attend our neighborhood kindergarten and that would be that. Easy.

Flash forward eight years. I now have a daughter set to enter kindergarten. George and I currently live in a different city full of wonderful elementary schools. In fact, we have a reputable, historical, renovated elementary school right in our neighborhood that Eva is set to attend.

All I have to do, come March 1, is sign her up. Done and done.

Or, it would have been done, if our school district hadn’t decided that full day, every day kindergarten was in the best interest of every five-year-old in our city.

Yes, Eva could do all day kindergarten. We’ve done “mommy and me” yoga and gymnastics from the time she was six months old. Eva’s participated in pre-k enrichment programs, ballet, pre-school, and more gymnastics. She loves excitement and is an eager learner.

However, I don’t believe that dropping my young daughter off at school at 9 a.m. and leaving her there all day until 3:30 p.m. five days a week for the next year is a good choice for our own family. I wish our district would offer options.

Don’t get me wrong; I was raised in the public schools and I have no problem with public schools in general. My problem is the district deciding for every family in town that all kindergartners will be better suited for first grade if he or she is in their schools five days a week.

What about afternoons at the park? Down time? Spending time with Dad when he’s home from sea? Ballet? Gymnastics? Art class? Visits to family? Before dinnertime, that is. Without attending a 7 a.m. ballet class, that is.

Come on.

As a result, I’ve spent the last week calling, e-mailing, texting, talking, and researching every single private kindergarten program in our county. I’ve inquired about rates, schedules, instructors, and philosophy. I’ve talked with parents who stand on all different sides of the issue to learn their opinions and hear about their experiences and thoughts.

Stay tuned….

Happy Valentine’s Day…I Guess!

Our busy weekend began with G’s surprise announcement that he was coming home so he could attend my sister’s 40th birthday surprise party. We were so excited!

While he was here, we got a heart-shaped Papa Murphy’s pizza and helped Eva make Valentine cards for her preschool classmates. Even though G kept saying he had to leave “first thing Monday morning”, I didn’t believe him. After all, the weather where he’s fishing is terrible, and the crew aren’t even in port!

“It doesn’t matter,” he said. “There are things on the boat that have to be fixed before we can go fishing again. I have to go fix them.”

Early this morning, G presented me with gifts from two of my favorite stores. I started to open one, but he snatched it back.

“Wait! I need to get the price tag!” he said.

“Do you have anything for me?” he asked next.

“Uh…no.” I said.

I did have things, but they weren’t ready yet! I didn’t know he was coming home this weekend!

I asked G if he really had to leave. What difference would one more day make? After all, if he stayed, I could get his Valentine’s gifts in order.

No matter. At 8:00 a.m., G fired up the flatbed. He gave one last look toward the house to see if we were standing in the windows, then blew us a kiss and drove away.

Next, I did what any other self-respecting commercial fisherman’s wife would do.

I called G. I called again. I texted. I reminded G that the weather was crappy. I sent an e-mail. I reported that the gifts he’d given me for Valentine’s Day did not fit right, and unfortunately, needed to be exchanged.

I held out hope that he hadn’t actually left, and was just busy running errands in town, until it was obviously time for me to get the household ready for the evening without him.

It’s okay, though. G did come home and we had a great time yesterday, and there are good times ahead. One silly day only carries as much weight as you give it.

Happy Valentines Day… WHATEVER! :-)

Happy Thirsty Thursday


To be honest, I’d never heard of  “Thirsty Thursday” until about five years ago. I may be wrong (and it wouldn’t be the first time) but I think I learned about it after casually asking my sister, Steph, what her husband Ryan was up to one early Thursday evening years ago.

“Well, it’s Thirsty Thursday,” I believe she replied, “So he’s out with some friends from work.”


Now, I’ve been out of the official work force since….2001, I believe. So if Thirsty Thursday is something relatively new, I missed it.


I have to thank one of my fellow commercial fishing wives, Amanda, for one of the best laughs I had all week (and I have to thank Steph and Ryan for the other one. KK2, yo!).

As you know,  the first round of casting is currently underway for the new commercial fishing wives TV show that is in the works. On our Facebook group Commercial Fishing Families & Friends, we’ve had an ongoing dialogue about the show and who we think would be great on it.

Well, out of nowhere, came Amanda with this post on the group page:

“Ha! Like we have a choice on holding down the fort! Er…sorry, been at it alone here for a couple months. I think I’m starting to crack. Oh well, nothing a glass of wine won’t cure! This show sounds great, I just hope they plan on supplying the wives with barrels of wine :)

Amanda, I couldn’t agree with you more on all fronts. LOL. Here’s a virtual glass of red wine from one fishing wife to another. Cheers!

Whatever You Want, Dear…

G and the guys got all the gear out in spite of horrendous weather and no sleep. In addition, the “soak period” was reduced this year by 24 hours, so they got absolutely no sleep in between setting gear, dumping pots, crossing the bar twice, and fighting weather before they needed to go bring it all back up again.

Now, G is a very amiable, easy-going husband. I don’t ask for much, and he doesn’t say no to much. If anything, he only asks me “If I’m really sure” about my decisions, or lovingly says “This is another fine mess you’ve gotten us into, Hon,” when my ideas don’t pan out.

It’s sort of our routine. Well, just last night, I made a request of G via cell phone. It was not an earth-shattering request (I didn’t suggest another baby or announce I was going to buy the Acura SUV I have my eye on). It was about a check from Christmas past that I discovered recently and the way I wanted to use it.

So I called G. A sleepy, worn out, exhausted, spent-to-the-limit G.

“I don’t care, Hon,” he said. “…whatever you want…if that’s what you want…sounds good to me…go for it….I really need to go back to sleep now…”

I haven’t heard from my husband today but am sure he stands by what he said….ha!

Jen’s Friday Favorites


It’s a new feature here on Highliners and Homecomings. Actually, it’s an old feature with a new twist. A couple of years ago I borrowed something my friend Kim does on her blog, which is create a list of my “Favorites of the Week.” I try to come up with five or so things, people, or places that struck a chord with me that week and include them in the list.

I thought it would be fun to give the Favorites of the Week a new spin by giving it an official logo and creating the list each Friday. I searched around last night looking for images and I found this cute Snoopy one, which I personalized a bit. I love it!

Anyway, here’s my official Favorites of the Week:

  • My Jazzertogs order that showed up. I love everything in it and got it all on sale. Now, if only my kids and I would regain good health so I can sport my new gear at Jazzercise next week.
  • The AdvoCare order that arrived. I’m so excited. I just learned about AdvoCare from my friends Krissy and Sara last week and was so optimistic about it that I’m now a Distributor. More info and a link to my Distributor page later.
  • The professional commercial fishing photographer, David Hills, arriving in Westport to board our f/v Vis to take photographs of the Dungeness crab season. His work is awesome; just check out the link to his longlining photographs in the sidebar.
  • Sending G and the crew off. It’s certainly not my favorite thing to see G go, but the send-off was cheerful and upbeat. It is so important for fishing kids to see their mom and dad (and everyone else) staying positive and optimistic in light of departures. We waved and waved, G blasted the foghorn (a tradition started by my dad) and then we got into the car and went directly to Jazzercise to play.
  • The unexpected check I found while sorting out presents and cards from Christmas 2009. I was shocked! I also found a couple of gift cards from Eva’s birthday a couple of years ago. I’m crossing my fingers the check is still good, lol.

Have a great weekend!



Update on the Commercial Fishing Wives Television Casting Call!

A couple of days ago I wrote about the announcement for a new show that will feature Alaska commercial fishing wives. While I thought the show was an awesome idea and loved the concept, I was disappointed that fishing wives from other areas would not have the opportunity to participate. (You can read the entire post here.)


Here’s the update from the Casting Producer, Annette Ivy, which I’ve taken from our Facebook group Commercial Fishing Families & Friends.

“Hi Guys!! Thanks for the info — we are definitely now considering other areas besides Alaska!! Please contact me at or call me at 323-904-4680 if you are interested or you have any candidates. Looking for BIG personalities and women who hold down the fort while their fishermen are away! Thanks so much! Annette Ivy, Casting Producer”

I’m really excited about this. Go for it, ladies!!! And thanks for being open to our thoughts, Annette!

From Deckboss: Calling All Alaska Fishermen’s Wives

Directly from the blog Deckboss:

Shed Media US, a Los Angeles television production company, is looking to cast a new reality series called “Alaska Fishermen’s Wives.”

Casting producer Annette Ivy tells me she’s looking to contact women who are “outgoing and have big personalities.”

“We are interested in hearing about the day-to-day worries and stresses the women have to endure as a result of being fishermen’s wives,” Ivy tells Deckboss. “We also are interested in other activities they are involved with as a result of living in such a beautiful wilderness such as hunting, fishing, etc.”

Shed Media US productions include “The Real Housewives of New York City,” “World’s Strictest Parents,” “Basketball Wives” and “It’s Me or the Dog.”


Contact Ivy at (323) 904-4680, ext. 1061, or

Original Source:

Deckboss: Calling all fishermen’s wives.


My own two cents is that I absolutely love this show concept. It’s high time fishermen’s wives were showcased for the work we do to support our fishing families and businesses.

At the same time, I’m disappointed that this opportunity is limited to only Alaska fishing wives. It’s too bad that the wives from Newport, San Francisco, Astoria, Long Beach, Westport, Seattle, Bellingham, etc..are automatically excluded.

Still, if you are a fishing wife from Alaska, this is an excellent opportunity and I can’t wait to watch the show down the road!

The Last Night for a While

Well, the guys have worked all week finishing up a lot of projects in addition to loading pots onto the boat for the 2011 Dungeness crab season. I’m trying to not feel sad/bad. G and the crew are excited to go while I am not looking forward to the departure in the least! G is myrock and the glue that holds us all together. He’s got a quick wit, makes the most hilarious faces, and can fix and do anything. Plus, he’s a wonderful and loving father. I’m trying to focus on all the good things going on and looking ahead to the spring when we will take our first real vacation in several years.

I’ve got my family, my Jazzercise friends, the preschool crowd, the gymnastics and ballet groups, and my other friends to help keep us moving forward. I appreciate all of these people so much; they are my support and laughs much of the time, and especially when G is gone. Tonight will be hard and tomorrow will be worse, but I’ll be back to my normal self by Monday, forging ahead with renewed energy and motivation.

I’m posting two pictures of Brett and the boat taken yesterday with all the Dungeness crab pots on board.

The last picture is of the boat crane that was lifted off the Vis for some reason this past fall. I can’t remember why G had it lifted, but I know the crane well from my own time seining on our boat in SE Alaska (with my dad and sisters) and thought it was rather funny and unusual to see it on the flatbed trailer.

Oh, and how could I forget. One thing I’m looking forward to after G leaves is beginning the 24-Day Challenge through AdvoCare that my friend Sara turned me on to. I had not heard of AdvoCare before, but I do love my vitamins, supplements, and working out, so it sounded like a fun thing to try.

Their national spokesperson is DrewBrees, the New Orleans QB who was the MVP of the NFL World Championship game. I’m obviously not an élite athlete (or even a fan of football) but fortunately, the product line is for everyone. Be sure that I’ll let you all know how it goes, lol.

Will be back tomorrow with Departure Day pictures. Have a great night.

Challenges Last Year, Outcomes This Year

Writing Prompt From the Lady Bloggers Society:


Write about a challenge you faced last year. What was the outcome?

When I think back on 2010, two challenges come to mind. The first one is that I could not, even as an active mother and Jazzercise instructor, keep my weight where I wanted. For years and years I felt great and confident, even after giving birth. After giving birth and nursing two children back-to-back, I reached and maintained my lowest weight ever and felt good.

Unfortunately, after I stopped nursing and grew a few years older, things crept up on me.

The second challenge was George being gone for way too long last year. Now, I am a tough girl and, having four generations before me, was more than ready to take on the commercial fishing life. For Pete’s sake, I am the daughter, grand-daughter, niece, great-niece of commercial fishermen and was writing for National Fisherman magazine when I met my husband.

Even so, G was gone too long last year, and that was a challenge for both of us.

As for the results to my challenges….

When I recently discovered that my calorie-counting and heart rate-tracking Polar Watch was dead, I ordered a similar watch to replace it. (Yes, I could have replaced the battery in the original watch, but I don’t know who replaces batteries in this town and it seemed simpler to order a new one!) I’m also signing up for Jazzercise Boot Camp in addition to my regular Jazzercise classes.

As for George being gone too long?

Only he can handle that end. I am so, so glad we had a lot of time together this fall and over Christmas. It means everything to me and we’ve had an unbelievable time. I hope that his Dungeness crab season is a success and that catching the halibut and blackcod quota goes much more quickly than last year. If it goes slow, I hope he will take a break and come home to visit at some point or let us meet him where he is.