Guys in Carhaarts

Earlier this week, my four-year old Eva said, “It’s taking a long time for Daddy to get home.” I didn’t have the heart to explain that it’s been less than two weeks since George left and we had many, many more weeks to go.

We also have two dogs here that adore G. Our dog, Toby, is especially a workin’ man’s dog. He loves diesel trucks, boat gear work, and any guy dressed in a pair of Carhaarts.

Now, we knew that about Toby.

Today I found out just how much my two little ones associate love and joy with a clean-cut guy in Carhaarts.

We were playing outside today, throwing balls for our dog Mandy, when the fellows George hired to maintain the lawn arrived.

Well, my goodness. Toby went nuts and jumped all around the two. Eva actually hauled out and set up two chairs so she and Vincent could “watch the show.” Vincent brought out his toy lawnmower to help work.

My kids associated these smiling guys in Carhaarts with their Dad and his crew. They miss Daddy a lot, and today they were happy to have some sort of connection.

They are just little, little kids who love and miss their daddy. They break my heart!

Like Father and Grandfather…Son.

The kids and I have gotten off to a decent enough start here at home since George left for the halibut and blackcod season.We’re just following our usual protocol; taking things nice and easy when we can, and allowing plenty of time for snuggles and getting used to Dad being gone again.

My son, Vincent, is a rather easy-going fellow and exceedingly sweet. The only time he makes his feelings known is when you suggest he do something he does NOT want to do. Like, for example, get dressed in the morning. He attends Jazzercise most mornings in his polar bear jammies and dinosaur boots. I finally decided a while ago that it wasn’t worth battling over that early on in the day!

Some of his stubborn nature can be attributed to the fact that he’s two years old.

My dad mentioned another likely cause: Vincent’s German and Croatian ancestry.

The German comes from George’s side, and the Croatian fishing heritage is from mine. Both Vincent’s father and grandfather are fishing captains (as well as his late great-grandfather).  Like all captains, they are independent, stick to their ideas, and do exactly what they want. Period!

One exciting bit of news from Alaska is that professional East Coast photographer David Hills is on board our boat and will be shooting some amazing photos of longline halibut and blackcod fishing. It’s a real privilege to have him on board, and I cannot wait to see what he comes up with.

David’s hobby is shooting commercial fishing photos, which you can view here. His professional client list includes ABC, Bloomberg Television, The Atlantic, Food & Wine, AT&T, Money, and National Fisherman, just to name a few. You can view his professional website here.

New Additions to Highliners and Homecomings

I’ve added a couple of new things to Highliners and Homecomings that I thought you might like to know about.

First of all, if you’d like to let your friends or associates know about a particular post or this entire blog, you can easily do so by using the “e-mail” link I’ve added in the sidebar to the right.

Likewise, if you would like to subscribe to this blog using Google reader, RSS, or any other format, you can do so by clicking on the “Subscribe” widget in the sidebar.

If you want to share this blog via e-mail or on Twitter, Facebook, or any one of several other social networking formats, you may do so by clicking on the “Share this Blog” widget on the sidebar.

In the sidebar, I’ve also added a live feed from a commercial fishing blog I love, Deck Boss. Deck Boss is written by Wesley Loy, a longtime journalist covering the commercial fishing industry. I’ve also added a feed from the sister blog of Deck Boss, called The Brig.

I hope you take advantage of and enjoy these fun additions.

Bookmark Commercial Fishing Mom

Let the Halibut & Blackcod Games Begin

Catch 'Em Quick and Come Back Home!

Wishing you all the best for a safe, profitable, successful, and amusing halibut and blackcod season. Go get ’em!

Bookmark Commercial Fishing Mom

Staying Positive Prior to Departure–or at Least Trying.

Tomorrow is the big day—or the crappy day, the sad day, the depressing day–however you want to look at it. I have to admit that right now, I’m considering it the depressing day. George and the crew are leaving for the halibut and blackcod longlining season and they will be gone for quite a while.Yes, of course we’ve all known it’s coming, and commercial fishing departures are something I’ve gone through my entire life, but they never get any easier.

Even one of George’s older, longtime professional fishing associates expressed to me personally the other day that he felt bad about how long George would be gone this time.

I started to get sad today. My eyes welled up and I had a little trouble breathing. Now, I’ve got two tiny little children here and I can’t afford to let that happen (at least not in front of them) so I knew I had to turn it around, and quickly. I decided to think about some of the positive things surrounding George’s departure. Here’s what I came up with, in no particular order:

1. I always lose weight the second he leaves. One time, I lost five pounds in one week. The minute he unties the lines, two or three pounds sail away with him. (The downside of this is that I gain the weight back the minute he comes home!)

2. It will be Springtime, and with any luck, the sun will shine more often.

3. My friend and babysitter, Allison, will be here.

4. My friend and miracle dog lover, Lisa, will be here.

5. My family is available and willing to hang out and lend assistance.

6. I have the most awesome Jazzercise friends in the world who understand me and never judge.

7. I pitched a story idea recently, which if accepted, will give me something to focus on rather than George’s absence.

8. The laundry and dishes are done, floors are vacuumed and mopped. The house is in order, so I only have to keep it that way, not spend the first two weeks of George’s departure playing catch up.

9. I have brand new Jazzercise routines to learn and teach.

10. I get to hang out with my kids all day and they love to snuggle, so I’m never lonely for hugs.

11. George is a smart, able, hardworking, capable fisherman and captain. He’s doing a job he is good at, has passion for, and actually enjoys. That makes me happy.

There we go. Still not looking forward to tomorrow, but at least I have this list to refer back to.

A Reminder about Facebook Commercial Fishing Groups

If you follow me on Twitter, you will now be alerted whenever a new post is published on this blog.

And don’t forget—if you are on Facebook, join the commercial fishing-related groups!

Here are a few that I recommend:

1. Commercial Fishing Families & Friends

2. The Faces of California Fishing

3. Commercial Fishermen Help You Live Better

4. Newport Fishermen’s Wives

5. Fisherman’s Voice

6. National Fisherman

See you over there!!

Sunshine and Clam Chowder

I love a nice day in the sunshine. The kids and I had a wonderful Saturday together! We had lunch with the whole crew at the harbor and were pretty surprised to see Auntie Steph and Uncle Ryan show up, along with their friend, Sean. After lunch, the kids and I went to the furniture store and I picked out and bought a new couch.

The special thing about that couch is that I actually paid for it with my “own” money, earned by teaching Jazzercise. Teaching Jazzercise is a hobby for me, but I have to admit it’s a bonus to get paid for your hobby. It means I get to do fun things like buy iPhones, a dishwasher, or a new couch without first receiving the go-ahead from the boss.

We finished our beautiful afternoon with a visit to our good friends, Kim and Terry. The kids played with sidewalk chalk, rode tricycles, shot hoops, and fed imaginary chickens, giraffes, and donkeys gravel from the playground.

I’m including a picture of our lunch today.

These are the days.

Have I Finally Lost My Mind?

I’m starting to get a little sad about George leaving soon. He’s only had two free days to truly hang loose since he finished the Dungeness Crab season; the other days have been filled with getting ready for the halibut and blackcod longlining season. I knew it was going to be a quick transition, mostly because the longline season is starting about two weeks earlier than last year!

We did have a great two days, though, and even threw an impromptu Sunday afternoon party that was a blast for everyone. And then of course, we rode the train on Monday with the little ones. So we’ve made the most of our time off, but you always wish it was longer no matter how short or long it actually is.

I’ve made a series of really weird mistakes lately. For example, I woke up one morning and looked out my front window to discover that I’d left my keys in the front door all night! I was embarrassed and also grateful that nobody took the opportunity to come in and rob us. Our two big dogs probably would not have allowed that to happen, but still.

Then, just the other day I went downstairs and realized I’d left one of the doors down there unlocked for several days in a row. This week when I finished teaching Jazzercise, I couldn’t find my car keys. After an hour of looking all over the studio, I finally found them inside my car. I’m glad nobody took that opportunity to drive off in it!

This weekend, I left my favorite, spendy Helly Hanson raincoat at a local establishment during an evening with George. Of course, it was stolen right away and I never got it back. And last week, George discovered that I’d put an important tax document into the recycling. That was a lucky catch.

I hope I can find where I left my brain before too long. I’d better find it for sure before George leaves for the rest of the spring!

Little Jazzercise kids are the absolute cutest.

Making Dreams Come True

Well, I’d be faking it if I wrote that we were having the most festive and relaxed time off ever.

To be honest, George is not that relaxed. He has taxes to pay, the crab season to wrap up, crew shares to calculate, and the upcoming halibut & blackcod season to prepare for.

Our children have had a few distinct wishes they’ve wanted granted for a while now. Eva wants to go back to the Great Wolf Lodge, ride her bike to the park, and ride the train. Vincent wants to ride the train and the tractor with Grandpa.

Eva is too young to ride her bike to the park, but her daddy has taken her there twice to ride her little bike. The four of us took a round-trip train ride this afternoon, and we’re planning for the “Wolf Lodge” this summer.

Eva wondered recently if her daddy was God and hung the moon. I’m not kidding.

Her Daddy may not hang the moon, but he always does his best, stressed out or not.

Downrigging Dungeness Crab Pots

It was an exquisite, sunshine-filled day to spend downrigging pots at the harbor. The kids and I went down to visit and deliver donuts, and the little ones ended up earning a little money running buoys back and forth for the fellas. Fishing is definitely a family operation! Here are a few pictures from our beautiful day.