Fly Tying

Since James found out about the arrival of Baby M, he knew his extravagant fishing days were limited.  Realistically we should not be spending massive amounts of money on fly rods, reels, line, and especially flies.  Those tiny little things that get tied to the end of the line, thrown into the water, get hooked in mouths, and get stuck on something and lost are at least $1.50 a piece and I have seen some for $6.00!  I could not believe it the first time I saw how much they were! The hooks are tiny!!  Although–I must admit, they are quite amazing to look at!  The colors, patterns, materials that are used are crazy!

Flies that James likes to use to catch Trout.

Now, you may be saying that those don’t look too hard to make–because I said the same thing when I first agreed to make flies for him.  Well let me tell you, those tiny little masses of feathers/rabbit fur/deer hair/elk hair/string/wire are some of the hardest things I have EVER tried to do. And truthfully probably one the of the most frustrating things I have tried.  The hooks are tiny, TINY, the string or hair NEVER stays were it should, you have loose ends hanging out everywhere, and most of the time when I am done it does not look like what it is supposed to.  We have had the fly tying kit for close to a year now and it only comes out when James gets desperate, wants me to try something new, or when I decide to make up a brand new fly–AKA, seeing what colors/material I can throw together and see if it actually catches any fish.  I enjoy fly fishing when it is 90 and sunny, James fishes all year round–sun, wind, rain, snow, cold, you name it, he has fished in it.

Since we decided to cut back on recreational activity spending (i.e. spending $20-$50 on flies each time we go fishing–which for James is almost daily in the summer and two-ish times a week in the winter), there really isn’t much choice in the matter. Fly tying will be in our blood eventually. Besides, most of the fly fisherman we know around here do tie their own flies because it is so much cheaper.  In order for me to agree to make some dysfunctional looking flies I told James that I get to pick out some of the colors we use.  He likes the browns, greens, browns–me on the other hand enjoy seeing lime greens, blues, pinks, orange, sparkles.. If I were a fish, I would skip the boring tan fly and go straight for the eye catching lime green and pink fly!  James tries to tie the flies but his hands are too big–he can hardly hold onto the hook without covering the whole thing up, and turns out his fingers can not be all at nimble and gentle without ripping the material, or breaking the thread. Eventually, I always end up fishing the flies.  The best part is that no matter how horrible the fly is James always says it looks great and he always uses it!

81tDzgFxjDL._SY355_.jpgThis is our fly tying Kit.  Not a fancy one, but it works.

Let me tell you–the video in our kit and the YouTube videos that tell you how to make the flies look so simple; lies, its all lies.. Even the simplest ones, like what we made yesterday were hard!  James wanted to go fishing with a friend, but wanted some flies that looked like worms.  Seems easy enough right, I thought I could bust one of these guys out in a few minutes.  Well turns out it took us 30 minutes for the first one and it looked horrible.  We did make 4 of them after the first one and by the end I had it down to about 10 minutes a fly.  The fly we made yesterday had one piece of long thick string or rubber down the back of the hook–that is it.  Should not have taken so long, but of course I once again underestimated the difficulty of the fly tying skill.

Our fly tying contraption.

Now, most people who do this on a regular basis have their very own room to fly ties and keep it set up 24/7.  We on the other hand have all of our fly tying things in a Tupperware box that sits in the closet until I get enough courage to actually attempt to make a fly. We set ours up on the kitchen counter when it needs to be.

To make our squirmy wormie fly: (This was a team effort–it took 4 hands occasionally)

  1. Get a size 10-12 hook and put a gold bead head on it.  James had to do that because I was not able to get the head around the hook part.
  2. Wrap the copper wire around the shaft of the hook to the curve to make sure it has enough weight to keep it under water.  Make sure that the head is locked in place by wrapping a lot of wire right behind it.  Make sure the wire is tight, otherwise it just moves around the hook as you make the rest of the fly–super annoying when that happens.
  3. Take the sparkly thread (that was a must for me) and wrap it from the bead head down to the end of the copper wire, covering it completely.
  4. Take one of your squirmy wormie bodies and put it on top of the hook shaft–we both needed to hold the worm part onto the hook while I wrapped the sparkly thread around it from head to toe.
  5. I folded the worm body over its self twice to make the worm body thick enough to where I thought it looked ok.

IMG_20160206_144517287_HDR.jpg Tada! Squirmy Wormies

Can you guess what color I picked out?? Of course the neat pink one with sparkly thread!! We made our squirmy wormies for $0.50/each, not $1.50/each from the store.  They may not look like the ones from the store, but James did say he had a lot of bites when he used them yesterday–sadly he did not catch any fish though.  He told me a few times that he likes my squirmy wormies more than the ones from the store! He actually really liked the sparkly aspect of them.  And! The fly on the upper left, the sparkly tail feathers were his idea and he said the fish loved it!


Bump Watch

Week 37:

Well since Baby M could be born any day now–and I am hoping its sooner rather than later at this point; I thought I would post weekly posts for the last few weeks.  Baby M dropped even more this week and I am really not sure she has much more room to drop; I think she will be on the floor if she drops anymore.  But because she dropped so much I am now waddling 24/7 and there is no hiding it at this point.  My coworkers and the residents at work have realized it to because this week about 90% of the people I saw told me it will be any day now.  I must have looked rather uncomfortable all week too because the ladies at the retirement home seemed to think that I was going to go into labor at any second!

Having all of my organs shoved up into my rib cage, sharing space with my lungs makes it hard to do the exercise class and talk at the same time.  I wore myself out yesterday during class–the residents keep telling me that know I know how they feel after class is done, and yes, yes I do.  Yesterday one of my exercisers thought that it was a good thing that we had a retired pediatrician in the class “just in case something exciting happens!”  Apparently having a baby in a retirement home would be the talk of the century because all the ladies would like to be in attendance if that happens! Luckily though, the hospital is literally a stones throw away from the retirement home.  Since the retirement home I work for is owned by the hospital (and I am a hospital employee) I can jump on the bus and get a ride right down to the Birth Center–it would take about 1.5 minutes depending on traffic.  So much to the residents dismay, there is NO WAY I will have my baby in a retirement home.

I am very ready to have Baby M out and in my arms.  Many people have asked James and I what we are going to name her–and we honestly still have no idea.  We have a few names (one or two mainly) but we are going to wait to meet her before we actually give her a name.  We have kept those names a secret because we do not want to have anybody else’s input or critiques.  My boss told people what her little boys name was going to be and she said it was a horrible mistake because everybody at work, home, and friends gave their opinion on the name.  So to avoid all that, we haven’t told anybody.

Many people have asked if I am nervous about the labor and delivery and then what happens afterward.  My answer is no.  I am not nervous at all–very calm and excited actually.  I was nervous for the labor few months ago but now I am ready.  I am excited to meet my baby girl and to have my own body back (and to start running again!!).  These days my thoughts on labor are: People have been doing this for years and many people do it without medication–yes, it will hurt, but it is also temporary and the doctors will not allow me to be in full, painful, labor for more than 24 hours before intervening.  Yesterday James asked me what he should do if I tell him I want an epidural during labor.  I told him to tell me that I can do it and to just hold off.  I told him that IF I ask for one 3 or 4 times (I guess I left that up to him) then to start considering the fact that I might really need one.  But hopefully I do not because I want to be able to walk around and FEEL my legs.

Since I found out I was pregnant people have been offering advice non stop.  I understand that family, friends, and people who I do not know will give advice about pregnancy–solicited or unsolicited, and that is fine.  Honestly most of the time I listened and forgot it because everybody is different and I was going to figure it out myself.  But there have been a few things people have repeatedly told me or informed me of in the last 8.5 months that I feel is truly appalling and just blows my mind.

(Yes, this is a slight rant, so if you prefer not to read it, I understand.)

  1. “Labor is the worst pain you will ever experience and you NEED to have the drugs–no question!” Or “..Of course she is going to get the drugs!” Ok, thanks for the advice and thanks for talking for me..  I am well aware of how bad labor will probably be–I know the anatomy down low and am aware of how big the baby is when they are born.  Any logical person would assume that there will be some extreme pain–but do not tell me that I do not have a choice on whether or not I am going to use any sort of medication to dull the pain.  My body, my choice–keep your opinions to yourself.  Besides what expecting mom really wants to hear how incredibly painful and miserable labor is 2 weeks before shes going to give birth!?  On the other hand, I have come to find out that I am a very stubborn person and having people tell me that I will take the medication makes me want to prove them wrong and not have anything like I had originally planned; so maybe I should be thanking them!
  2. “Oh you don’t have family here, that really sucks and you will be miserable without family around.” or “Wow, good luck, there is no way you can do this on your own without family here.” or my personal favorite “Why would you have kids without family around, that’s rather selfish!  You won’t be able to manage!”  Wow, thanks people! Again–advice that MOST sane people should probably keep to their selves.  It is already hard enough without kids to be far away from family.  Having a baby will make it twice as hard to be away from family–obviously. But James and I have made a conscious decision to have a baby and we will manage just fine out in the mountains.  But never, ever, call me a selfish person for deciding to have a baby without family in town–especially if you do not even know me and you are just talking to me in a store!
  3. “Is the baby moving, can I feel?” People I know or don’t know just coming up and grabbing at me–like my baby bump is not actually a part of me.  For anybody that knows me, I have a VERY big personal bubble.  Truthfully I do not really even like hugging..Big Bubble.  Having people that I know or don’t know come up to me and ask to touch me or just flat out grab at me makes me very uncomfortable.  I do not know where people have decided that once you become pregnant your belly is no longer yours-but let me tell you, it is still your belly and having people grab at you continuously is obnoxious.  I have not met a to be mom who enjoys somebody just reaching out and touching them, so please let’s avoid doing that.
  4. “Why would you have a baby if your just going to put it in daycare?” Or “If you don’t work after having a baby you will be so broke that you won’t even be able to afford a baby; babies are very expensive.” This is a personal decision, much like having the pain medication vs. going natural.  It is nobody’s business what I do with my baby and whether or not I put her in daycare should be nobody else’s concern.  There are pros and cons to both sides of the coin and James and I decided one way and that’s what we are doing. It should only matter if the immediate family (meaning Mom and Dad) is ok with the decision that is made.  Yes–babies are slightly more expensive, but they are only as expensive as you, the parent, make them.  Cut some other things out of your daily life and BAM diapers are paid for.
  5. “Oh you should not be lifting/doing/saying/ect. that, your pregnant.” And “Just let people wait on you, your pregnant.” This is one of my favorites. I have been hearing this since day one.  Many times I want to tell people that I am pregnant, I am not dying–I can still do it all by myself.  I understand that there are certain things that I should not be doing, and I stopped doing them.  But I am still more than capable of doing most things on my own. I am a very independent person and do not want to have people wait on me–its awkward and rather boring.  My doctor and I have discussed what I am able to do and what I am no longer able to do.  Like my husband said (half jokingly, but is true) “The Indian women worked in the fields, had the baby, and went back to work.” People have been having normal, healthy babies for centuries and they did not have anybody waiting on them.  I do not need anybody to wait on me either.  That being said, if I do need help, I do ask for it, I am not reckless.