Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Weekend Update - Lots of Clams and Fish

Howdy! Boy, have I ever been outside the blog world for awhile! I'm swamped at work (my boss is gone so I'm doing a bit of double-duty), I've been running around with Sparky every kid-free moment I have, I have been away from the computer. For what it's worth, Sparky lives out in the sticks and my cell phone is STONE COLD DEAD at his house. No internet, no texting, no nuttin. *Sometimes* a text will pop up, like the very funny one from Kim telling me to get my clothes back on and play Scramble with Friends with her. But usually, I got nuttin in terms of cell phone service down there.

We had a really great weekend.
Please note that I am wearing earrings while clam-digging. Sabrina was so proud.
What a weekend! We both took a vacation day Friday and rolled out of town mid-morning. Made it to his friend's cabin in the early afternoon. It was so cute! What a treat to get to stay there instead of a hotel. We had a campfire that night and roasted hot dogs and made s'mores. You can see the cabin had a great front porch and deck off the master bedroom. It was about a block from the ocean and you could watch the waves from upstairs.

It is good to have friends with connections.
Early Saturday and Sunday mornings, we made our way to the beach to go razor clam digging. It was fun! This trip was my idea, because I knew the clam digs were taking place that weekend. Greg (can I just call him Greg now, and you will know who I am talking about? haha) had never gone clam digging, which was surprising given how outdoorsy-oceany he is. We had a blast, and the clams were jumping into our bags. And I got to see how he reacted under stress when we got all the way down to the beach and had forgotten our clam digging licenses. Hmm, although I guess it wasn't that stressful for him, because I left him on the beach to dig while I walked back to the cabin and got them. But he did wonder if I was coming back for him, because while there, I decided to grab the car (oddly, you can drive on Washington beaches) and the clam shovels, then drove a few miles down to the vehicular beach access and went back to meet him. When I had left him, we hadn't seen a lot of clam holes. So I grabbed the car in case we wanted another spot. Plus, I didn't want to carry the shovels. Okay, you got me. ;)

Anyway, by the time I got back to him, he had nabbed gobs and gobs of clams, so the shovels were unnecessary. (We had started with 'clam guns' which are tubes of aluminum pipe with handles and an air hole you cover up when you pull back up to suck out the sand. The clam guns worked great.) The beach was PACKED! I was expecting this, as the last time I had gone clamming, it was a night dig and I remember being shoulder to shoulder with everyone on the beach, and a million lanterns lighting things up.

Me in my clam-digging finest.

Those are a million clam diggers on the beach.

After the digs, we went back to the cabin and set up a regular ole clam-cleaning operation. Dunk them in near-boiling water, submerge them in cold water to pop the shells off, and then proceed to hack away surgically separate clam guts from clam meat. I had done this before, but Greg took to it masterfully and was soon cleaning at twice or three times my rate, I think.

We saved the clam guts for fish bait, and headed down to Westport (we were based at Copalis Beach) so Greg could try fishing off the jetty. I couldn't fish because I didn't have a license, and the new licensing period starts 4/1/12, so it didn't make sense to buy one. But I proved myself a masterful sort of graceful rock jetty climber who did not fall, which impressed Greg tremendously.

We stayed at Copalis Beach and dug clams there (and Mocrocks Beach) but fished in Westport.
Westport has a really long rock jetty that everyone fishes off of, and there's good reason. Greg caught his limit on the first day pretty quickly: ten kelp greenling, plus a couple perch. The second day the fishing was slower but he still almost caught the limit, plus another perch and a few fish he threw back.

We didn't make it to the end of the jetty, but got pretty close. It is HARD to walk on!!
Kelp greenling. Tastes like ling cod.
Oops, if I'm not careful, this will turn into an all-pictorial post. :) We had a blast. Greg was super happy fishing and you could tell how glad he was to have me out there with him. At some point the evening after fishing on Saturday, he even said, and I am pretty much quoting, "This weekend was a big test for us. [implied: YOU] This is what I love to do, I was really hoping you enjoyed it, too." See, I told you this whole dating thing is really a series of interview questions and practical exams! Whew, I passed. And so did he, for the record. ;)

Okay, watching Greg fish was actually totally hot. You would think this would be boring, it was not. I had a great time, plus, all I had to do was loll around on the big rocks in the sun and cheer for him when he brought in a fish. :) I played a little bit of Scramble with Friends, but the cell phone service was spotty (although ironically, MUCH better than at Greg's house). When I lost signal during a couple games, I was peeved, and thus pretty much kept to chatting up my fisherman.


p.s. - watching other fishermen is boring, not totally hot. So it's got to be the right guy for the hotness factor, haha.

So we got tons of fish, and then we found a fish cleaning station at an RV park in town. Here, we had a slight difference of opinion. I said, duh, this is private property. He seemed to think using it fell under some "we fishermen take care of each other" domain. I asked him if he had a fish cleaning station in his yard, would he feel the same way if he looked out the window to see someone using it? He went looking for the manager, haha. Whom he actually didn't find, and decided to use it, anyway. I told him I'd come visit him in fish-jail. Not that Greg using it would cause it damage (a fish cleaning station is just a big sink with wide flat areas for cutting, and a hose and such). This man is meticulous - that station was cleaner than he left it.

Remorseless trespasser. Fishermen unite.
On Sunday when we returned to the scene of the crime went to clean more fish, the manager came out and actually razzed Greg for using the station without staying there. But Greg is an amiably fellow and pretty quickly had this very strange and freaky manager chatting easily and seeing the error of his ways in being indignant about us trespassing on his property. It's all for the love of fish, you know. The manager did hard-sell us on staying there next time we're in Westport, but I got the vibe off him that he'd be peering in windows at night. Nuh-uh. He actually asked me to get out of the car so he could show off the cleanliness of the bathroom and laundry room (which were both impeccably clean, by the way). It was a concrete building - I was sure he was leading me to my doom and was glad Greg is a big guy who could kick his butt.

Okay - watching Greg clean fish? Sexy. Who knew? He had all that fish filleted out in the blink of an eye. And I'm telling ya - this is a good guy to be with when the internet and banking industry collapse and we are all forced to fend for ourselves. Greg took that fish from the ocean to my dinner plate in the blink of an eye, and it was gooooooooood. Plus, he can build anything, fix anything, clean anything, cook anything...talk about your handy guy. Holy smokes, mama is hot for that. Did I tell you he gardens? And cans his own stuff? WHO DOES THAT??

Uh, we did have a couple of semi-serious talks this weekend. Not in a 'moving too quickly' way, but more in a 'let's run down the pros and cons of this relationship while you squirm uncomfortably' way. He said he had reservations about my young kids, especially given my youngest is only six. He said that was basically like starting over with kids and he had not intended to do so. (Duh. He's not stupid.) Lots of kid activities and kid-driven agenda. But he really likes me (this I know for sure, hehe) and he's willing to do it. He likes that I have a lot of free time, too. And sexist-piggedly, but honestly, he likes that my younger ones are boys. He's boy heaven, I tell you. Hunting, fishing, boating, ATV'ing, camping, working around the yard - oh yeah, boy heaven. My boys will eat him up. Blake only chatted with him for a few minutes last weekend and he already speaks of him with admiration. Last night at the grocery store, Blake mused out of the blue, "I was thinking Greg must be about six feet tall. He's a big guy." I said, yep, he is actually about six feet tall. (mama says yum.) Blake just nodded his approval, haha.

Anyway. Totally awesome weekend involving lots of sunshine, clams and fish, surf and sand. I was SKEERED to get back on the scale this morning, ack! I didn't feel like I had gained weight, but I had done my fair share of snacking this weekend, too. But the scale said, "Nope, you weigh 146." This is apparently what I weigh, because I have been sitting here for the longest time now! I'm actually doing a five-day protein drink diet with my friend Sarah this week (breakfast and lunch only). She wanted to, and I thought maybe it would help me break my pita-chips-and-york-peppermint-patties habit I've fallen into lately. 'Cept I forgot to do it yesterday, so I'm running a day behind. We'll see if I get cranky this afternoon when I want lunch.

Ahhhh...that's enough of an update for now. Really great weekend. I am heading back to his place tomorrow after work for a couple days, which means I will need to unpack and repack tonight. A bit of a hassle, but I am totally looking forward to seeing him again. And I am motivated to save my vacation time (of which I have very little) because yesterday he called and asked if I could take off three days and go to Oregon with him next week. Alas, I cannot! I DO NOT WANT TO MISS OUT ON OPPORTUNITIES TO GET AWAY! That's okay - it's his kids' spring break and he is/was taking his daughter to the sand dunes to ATV, and is/was meeting his sister there. But the weather is looking iffy and it sounds like he's canceling it because it would mean spending my kid-free weekend away from me so they don't freeze on the dunes. He said his daughter doesn't mind postponing the trip until I can come the weather gets warmer. ;)

Good times. Happy, happy.


  1. So like a wonderful weekend. FWIW - when my dad remarried - I was 5 and my brother was 10. My step mom had a 15 and an 18 year old. She said it was just liike starting over but once she just feel in love with us as kids and couldn't see it any other way. So you never know what will happen. I think it is awesome that he is honest and upfront about it, but you never know what will happen. His youngest my charm the pants off him.

  2. that should say your yongest! :) LOL

  3. Awwww, I missed me some Julie! Glad to hear about your great weekend and sooooooo happy that things are rolling along. I love that he has not only charmed you but the creepy manager at the fisherman-unite-cleaning station. HA!

  4. When you come to Oregon, you must stay south of me so you can stop by and say a quick howdy do, so I can meet this nice young man.

    6'0, huh. I still resent you short girls for taking a tall guy, even though I already have one of my own.

    His handiness turns me on. I love that in a man. Build me a deck, paint my house, buy windshield wipers for my car....

  5. Loved all the pictures. It looks like you had such a great time and that things are going really well!!!

  6. Julie, you absolutely crack me up. Your posts are so entertaining. Love all the pics. Keep em coming. Greg's a cutie. Glad you're having so much fun. It gives me hope.

  7. I'm starting to love Greg too. He reminds me SO MUCH of my husband but I know I've said that several times. When we were dating I wondered if his meticulous nature would eventually spill into high expectations for me to be the same, but it never did. He still allows me to be the slob that I am. Which I never called myself a slob til I met him. So really I'm just a little messy. But it works. And I've said it before but I'll say it again---never let a man that enjoys cooking get away!!!

  8. I have to admit, I'm a little bit addicted to watching this relationship unfold. It totally is like reading a Nora Roberts book. I'm THRILLED you find someone who treats you so nicely and seems to mesh with just what you need. I'm so happy that you are having such a blast. You MUST have it bad, because the pic of him cleaning fish did NOTHING for me; I'm sure it's your lens that makes him so hawt to you! ;)