Thursday

Reaching a dream! Fly fishing and managing my MS

A lovely memory popped up from a couple of summers ago - my trip to Hot Creek Ranch.  It's a bit too warm for me to be fly fishing around here so I'm enjoying this post again!

I just accomplished a feat never thought possible in past thirteen years. Between MS smarts, a great family and friend support, I just wrapped up a fly fishing trip at Hot Creek Ranch outside of Mammoth California.

With the right tools, experience and knowledge I took a trip that's been on my bucket list for years. Even one year ago I couldn't do this trip because of my MS. So grateful for my Friends, family, cooling vests, SPF shirts, gloves and neck wraps, cooling foods, and more which allowed me to make this trip. I am not a Wonder Woman. I am still learning. But I have learned many tricks!

Location. Hot Creek Ranch outside of Mammoth, California:

Have you ever been to hot creek ranch, mammoth? It's a private fly fishing ranch in the eastern sierras outside of Mammoth Lakes. I highly recommend it....dry fly only, no wading, completely barbless (to the point it needs to slip through your shirt cleanly), #20 or smaller flies, 6-7x, wind and clear as can be water. This is fly fisher speak. Basically, it's awesome!
Leaving Los Angeles. We head north. Eastern sierras here we come! Air conditioning a must for this girl with MS. 100F through the Owens valley. I keep my cooling vest handy. Even the sun coming in from the window can start to sap my energy. I am using a MediCool vest for this trip.
We Stopped at Alabama Hill Cafe in Lone Pine and missed them by 10 minutes. Bummer! They've got some great eats. Looking up at Mt Whitney always does something magical to me. We quickly get back into the AC of the car and head north. Onward to Bishop for food.
We head through Bishop and pick up some essentials. Jerky! Ok, jerky may not be high on the MS diet but it's high protein and fat, and good when out on river. We stocked up.
And then, We arrive! Nothing like being greeted by a big old American flag blowing in the wind.
The temps start cooling a bit as evening approaches. I stroll along the creek and Look back at cabins:
Fishing can be quite therapeutic. Fly fishing brings the sport to a whole new level. It is constantly reminding me of the importance of patience. The more I fly fish the better my MS seems to be. The constant balance of energy and regeneration.

I was also able to spend time with some of the best fly tiers and casters around. So much to learn and loving every minute. I'm fascinated by the fly fishing process.
Looking down stream from the bridge.

Hiding from the sun I head out with the girls. Under this mess of clothing is another cooling vest, neck wrap and sun protection. I wrapped the nck wrap up a bit before heading near the water so I wouldn't spook the fish.

My friends take me to the bluffs where there's a nice breeze and a bit of protection from the Eastern Sierra sun. 7:30am and it's still nice and cool.

Not much of a hatch going on but practicing casting, mending and getting a good drift. Missed a few. That's ok.
I fish with Barbara Komatsu in the morning. Her late husband was the beautiful fly tier and fisherman, Dennis Komatsu. I am blessed in so many ways. Barbara is a retired school teacher with a heart of gold and shared much vital knowledge with me. I stayed out a bit longer than planned as we were having such a good session. But then it was time. The temps were warming up and my cooling equipment wasn't so cool anymore. That's ok. Time to go in and cool off.
Some of my friends taking a break. Below, Marine Veteran and member of Project Healing Waters, Desiree, hooks a beautiful little brown trout.
The colors in the Eastern Sierras are always a bit amazing. My friend, Leigh Ann, tying one on before hitting the water. I was way too worn our from my morning adventure to fish or photograph so for evening I stayed cool and just walked to a couple little holes and watched my friends fish.
Leigh Ann took me under her wings the next day and we hooked up with a little rainbow. Priceless advice from everyone.  This is about the smallest trout ever but it was a great experience!
With fly fishing it's about the process more than the size for me. Still quite a newbie with flies I am just happy when I can hook up with one. That means that I:
  • Found a spot with fish
  • Matched the hatch
  • Didn't spook the fish
  • Casted
  • Mended if necessary
  • Got a good drift.
  • Eye on the fly
  • Set the hook
  • Tight lines
And yesterday I hooked up with a nice one! Lost it but that will come with more experience.
And that's what I love about fly fishing. It's the whole package.
Want to learn how to fly fish? I can hook you up with a great teacher!

I never imagined being able to take this trip since my MS ravaged my body so many years ago. But with some management, medicine, nutrition, and GOOD ATTITUDE, we can aim and learn to accomplish more in life.

Thank you for being my support group. For helping me every inch along the way. For some this may not seem like a lot. But for me it was the world!


















Saturday

A day trip to Downtown LA, a conference and fun times!

Since it's too warm to go outside for a field trip I am reminiscing a fun one I took awhile back:

Ever had that feeling about being so psyched for just being that you're shivering and jittery for the pure enjoyment of life?
That is me today. Have no idea what brings this feeling on and if I could bottle it I would. But waking up early, hitting the train by 7am, headed downtown to a conference, it brings the day into an exciting perspective.
The conference was on social media, small business and chambers of commerce. What a plethora of resources for sure.
I was just psyched to take the gold line to union station and grab a taxi a mile to the office. A mile isn't far but in downtown LA can be a nuisance. Had a great conference. All morning. Networking, social, learning. It was all there. Way to go Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
Small world story. Was chatting it up this morning with OJ and coffee. The wall filled with photographs of past board presidents. This one photo was right in my line of site. And all I could think about was how I know this person. He looked so familiar. So I checked it out.

No wonder! It was My friends dad, John Argue, who passed several years ago. He was very influential in 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.
The conference was on social media and marketing. Excellent program. Lots gained.
The LA chamber is located at 350 S Bixel.
The conference was great. Full of information and many new friends and folks. And best part? Public transportation, my favorite. This time I got the locals route and took the 16 bus to Pershing square where I could pick up the red line to union station and then the gold line to pasadena. Love how you can text to find out when next bus is coming.
En route was the beautiful Pershing square, the memorial to Pershing and the ice skating rink. All in the middle of downtown Los Angeles.
While palm trees define the LA skyline the juxtaposition between them and life downtown always intrigues me.
I stopped for lunch at Union station then on the gold line to Pasadena for some shopping and adventures. In the meantime, taking a break...
Union station is one of my favorite places. If these walls could talk. Wowza. Years and years of history. Beautiful architecture. People a plenty.
Time to hit the train! The gold line this time to Pasadena.
Leaving Los Angeles....heading north to Pasadena and then home.
And then to Pasadena we arrive. Time for shopping, strolling, and a glass of wine.
Well, that was quite a day. A fully packed, no MS sort of day! Tired today but not wiped out. Well, sort of wiped but can rally for two events today. A DAR meeting and then Festival in Lights at our local park where I'll be watching the kids play in snow. And knowing that Saturday will include beloved time on couch and Mizzou football, I don't mind pushing myself a bit beforehand.
Here's to a rocking Friday! Remember to take time to enjoy your days during this often stressful time we call the holidays. Take time for yourself. Be gentle. Be easy. Be kind. Love yourself.

Thursday

Obsessive Gazpacho

I created this recipe as Farmgirl - during my FarmosaFarms.org days.     Click here for other recipes I created as Farmgirl

Obsessive Gazpacho




  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Servings: 10

About This Recipe

"Cooling and nutritious. Make it for snacks on the go!"

Ingredients 

    • 6 ripe tomatoes, chopped
    • 1 purple onion, finely chopped
    • 1 cucumber, chopped
    • 1 red sweet bell pepper, seeded and chopped ( or green)
    • 2 stalks celery, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
    • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
    • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 4 cups tomato juice (low sodium) or 4 cups tomato sauce ( low sodium)

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Blend slightly, to desired consistency.
  3. Place in non-metal, non-reactive storage container, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight, allowing flavors to blend.
    LOVE LOVE LOVE this soup!   

Wednesday

Empowerment To Heal - Living better with MS

Woke up feeling a bit blue and legs on fire. This was a good read to get me feeling good again. This post is from Oahu, Hawaii near Kailua. Love this place!  What a morning. Woke up. That was good. Had no desire to do anything. I was angry, pissy and antsy. And it was beautiful outside. My last day at the beach and my legs felt like concrete. After some water and self encouragement my clothes adorned, I grabbed my bag to go explore the town. Or at least to stretch the legs.
Sun was shining bright. A bit too bright. hat on. Body covered in light clothes. I wasn't sure if walking to town was meant to be. The ocean washed among my toes as the sand passed by. But the sun had a chance to stop me.
I wouldn't let it! Meditation, prayer, mental concentration took over. Focus on warmth was waning and walking became pleasant. A couple miles down the beach I veered into town and hit the road. Trees and shade from the clouds a pleasant reward. Wandering can be such a freedom. How often are we stuck in neutral with MS. But not today. I empowered myself to mentally move beyond my illness.
I kept walking. Strolling more like it. Taking every sight in. Every sound. Soon, I was at town center. An hour or two later and I've explored local scene and ready to hit the road home. Knowing that I could catch a bus was a good back up plan. But I strolled back the long way and strolled down the beach one last time before my flight. What a feeling! A morning of concrete boots ended with a beautiful six mile adventure. The feeling of empowerment was and is amazing. We are capable of so much more than we realize. There is a fine line between empowering to do good for your body and over doing it. Today I found the balance and it felt amazing! The meditation while I walked created the attitude adjustment I needed. I pushed myself but just to the level of comfort.
Upon returning home I took necessary precautions and drank a double serving of "Calm", a magnesium supplement, took a rest and drank plenty of water. Boy did it work! All of my negative energy that I awoke with was gone. A clean, clear presence swept through my body. Peace again for this GirlwithMS, peace again.