Monthly Archives: April 2015


The local pest.  Had been popping out of our woodwork one at a time and I have just not been quick enough to squish it before it skitters back into hiding.  We are not overly eager to share our home with these guys so today Chad sprayed for them in our problem area.  This guy was waiting for us when we got home this afternoon.  

 We are going to have to make a decontamination plan so we don’t take any of these buggers home with us.  Our plan right now is just keeping our bags and clothes off the floor.  I think that will be sufficient.

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Cleaning and Errands 

I am the deep cleaner usually, so when I’m not home for a lot of days in a row it is desperately needed.  Also, Chad’s contact subscription had expired and we are nowhere near his primary eye physician so he wanted to try his hand at getting in at Walmarts optometry clinic as a walk-in.  Chad headed to town and the kids and I put on some music and pulled up our sleeves with the goal of conquring the whole house in one morning.  We made a lot of progress while Chad was gone knocking out the dining room, most of the lanai (Caleb’s room), and the entire living room (girls’ room).  So the bathroom, our room and the remainder of the kitchen was all that was left.  Chad was unable to get in but was able to schedule a later in the day appointment (12:30).  He cleaned the bathroom for us (which is his usual job-thank you Chad) and I got the kitchen in order.  We rushed around in order to complete those two rooms in time for the whole family to accompany Chaf back to town.  We made it with enough time for me to sneak a quick shower and drive by the Kae’au Transfer Station (dump) to dump our garbage (there are no garbage trucks here you have to buss your own trash) on the way.  After Chad’s appointment we played at the park and I was able to talk to my mom a bit.  We stayed there until dinner time.  

    The kids requested burgers and Chad was able to find Hilo Burger Joint.  It was pretty much a bar with some family tables.  They had games that you could play while you waited for your food so us girls teamed up against the boys in Connect Four. My phone was dying (5%) so I pulled it out for a few quick pictures at the end and didn’t get any of some of the good matches.  The wins were pretty evenly dispersed.  

   The food was good too, so we will for sure be going back there again before we leave.

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Redeeming Sunday

After what I would call “hell week” I didn’t think too mutch could redeem the week and make it an over all good week.  God has a sence of humor!  Even though I couldn’t make the disc golf date that Chad had made with a couple from church it had been good and they were up for joining us for lunch after church.  We found out that it was their routine to go out for lunch while doing their laundry for the week at the laundry mat next door.  A lot of people here live off the grid if not completely at least partially.  The house we are staying in is mostly off the grid.  Most of the appliances are gas and our water is rain water that is caught in a catchment which looks like anything from a large round above ground swimming pool to a shorter metal silo.  It catches the rain water, it goes through two filters one UV and I don’t remember what the other one is.  It is drinkable out of the tap and actually taste pretty good.  It rains so much that we do not really need to be too cautious about how much water we use.  Here is a picture of our catchment.  


All that to say that our new friends live completely off the grid.  They have paid for their lot in cash and paid as they went building their own house with help from friends over the last year and a half.  They have not yet put in a washer and dryer and they have a guaranteed date time each Sunday so no rush.  After lunch they invited us up to see their place and it was SO COOL! We are totally amazed and jealous 😀.  Thank you Jesse and Isabel you guys are awesome! 

Like our house it was up a dirt road though it had a lot less pot holes it had bumps from  the hard lava rock underneath the gravel.  A lot of the houses here are build up off the ground I’m not sure why that is but I like the look especially on some of the ones that are way high up.  Jesse and Isabel’s place is in between and very cute.  


They have two solar panels and two batteries for electricity with a generator for backup (they have only needed it when running power tools otherwise the solar panels and batteries are sufficient to keep the house all powered up). And for just the two of them they have a much smaller than ours catchment.  

 We also loved the landscaping and Jesse’s hydroponics experiment where he is co-growing taro and tilapia.  

           After a short tour they asked if we would like to stay and roast marshmallows so we all pitched in to get the fire started.  The wood was damp due to humidity so it took a while.  

             The kids started playing in the mud while the adults (guys) took turns blowing on the fire to keep it alive.   

           When the fire came alive the kids took turns roasting marshmallows and drinking hot cocoa while we sipped on tea.  Eve decided she knew something that was even better than roasted marshmallows and hot chocolate separate and that was eating them together.  Before we could intervene she had dipped hers in and stuck the whole thing in her mouth.  Hannah had to try it out too it must have been good because they were pretty pleased with it.  

        Grandma Brown, whose face is this? Eve has to get this from someone.  

   Hannah made “Lava Marshmallows”  

  It started to rain so we moved the shelter from over the hydroponics pond to by the fire pit.  



Isabel made quesadillas for dinner, we hung out in the house and helped her while the boys kept the fire going.  


What a blast!  We came home late but with full hearts.  I have made friends at work and Chad has made friends with neighbors and at church, but this is the first time in the last year that we could just relax and hangout and enjoy the company of new couple friends.    

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Pacing Beads

A little while ago now our landlord gave the kids a bag of beads and miscellaneous craft stuff.   That same day a little earlier Chad had said that he would like to buy some beads to make pacing beads with the kids for keeping track of large distances while hiking.  It was perfect despite maybe the color (the guys didn’t dig purple).  It was fun to watch them work together on this project.   

       There are nine beads on the bottom and three on the top.  There is a chart on line but we will use Caleb for an example.  Each of the bottom beads represent a tenth of a kilometer (59 steps of your right leg) or a tenth of a mile (99 steps of your right leg) when you have taken the allotted number of steps you slide a bead down until all nine are down the and yet the next number of allotted steps you slide one of the top beads down and all the bottom beads up and in this way you can pace out how many kilometers or miles you are hiking. 

After there project was finished they had quite a time of playing with the remaining beads.  

   I keep finding projects all around the house.

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Schedule Woes-update

Out of my 120 hours of work in 10 days I worked all but 17 hours (on call for the first 5 hours of the first shift and all 12 hours of the last shift).  Still crazy.  All by grace I was put on call my last twelve and was not called in all night.   I woke up early in the morning to enter my timecard online before the 8am deadline and Hannah made coffee for me and brought it out.  We enjoyed the birds and the morning light.  


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Schedule Woes

I am probably not picky enough on the wording of my expected schedule in the contracts I have had, but somethings I don’t think of because it never crossed my mind that it might happen.  My first assignment I was surprised by my schedule because no one had told me that I would be scheduled for four days one week three the next alternating and I didn’t have guaranteed hours, I learned really fast that guaranteed hours are VERY important.  Ok, you got me this time.  On my next assignment the schedule was pretty good and I had my 36 guaranteed hours.  Switching day shift to night shift was the only thing, but honestly I kind of liked that, and I knew from the interview that would be part of the deal.   On the next assignment I remembered the guaranteed hours again,  it was self scheduling, but I couldn’t schedule until last and the days with the fewest people were always the weekends so I worked pretty much every weekend.  It wasn’t my favorite but it wasn’t all bad either.  This assignment I was warned that I would be put on call a lot and that they would schedule me for 40 hours a week but I was only guaranteed 30.  I would still receive my full stipend if I was put on call as long as I had an initial on my time card saying that I had been scheduled my full hours but had been put on call.  When I got here I was informed it was really 60 hours guaranteed in two weeks not necessarily thirty hours each week.  Okay.  I am not a fan of being scheduled four or five days a week.  Granted that one of my shifts this week is a call shift and I have an added shift because a coworker asked to trade a day from next week for a day this week so she could go to a funeral and I’m a softy, but my schedule for the last week and a half had been atrocious.  All night shifts. Three shifts on one shift off, three shifts on one shift off have already been worked and now I start four more shifts on (it’s a total of six days working this calendar week).  It is very hard to recoup with only one shift off especially working nights… This is a pretty inhumane schedule.  Working 10/12 contiguous days….. We learn from our mistakes…Lord give me strength!

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Travel Tax

We have been nervous/dreading doing our taxes as a traveler ever since we started contemplating making this job change.  The idea of having to submit state taxes to every state we have worked in seemed daunting, but also with rental (from our roommates) income and housing stipends, had we kept all of the receipts that we needed, had we missed something that would come back to bite us.  Well we finally got our taxes done choosing to use a tax preparer who specializes in travel allied health taxes.  Called Travel Tax  As a former medical traveler Joseph Smith knows what being a traveler is like, and was very thorough, and made the process easy.  We submitted the required forms and then set up a phone call where he could ask anyadditional  questions.  Few, it all went great and we won’t be at all nervous next year. Thank you Joseph!!! 

He had a blot that I noticed on his website that I plan to check out!

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Our one year traveling anniversary

As I look at the pictures from one year ago today I can feel all the emotions that I felt that day.  Our car was all loaded up with everything we thought we might need having really no idea what we had gotten ourselves into.  Had we just made the biggest mistake of our lives and now be jobless far away from home with three precious little lives dependent on us?  I doubt you guys will believe me when I say it has been a hard year.  It has been totally worth it, but has required so so much more than waking up and showing up.  We have by no means finished a race or completely accomplished a goal, but we have completed our rookie year.  As many other travel nurses as there are out there who travel with their families maybe it isn’t that great of a feat, but I feel like I did when Suzanne and I cross the finish line of our century (100 mile bike ride) together.  Tears well up just thinking about it.  





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Pana’ewa Zoo

it was my first time to the Rainforest Zion here in Hilo, the kids had gone before and were really excited to show me all of the animals.  I have to say I enjoyed the veggitation as much or more than the animals.  I did love the anteater.  I don’t think I had ever seen one before.  


A cow print frog!!! Just my style!  




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Merrie Monarch 2015

Merrie Monarch is a yearly Hula competition held in Hilo.  There are craft fairs during the day, a parade the the dancing in the evening Wednesday-Saturday.  A lot of the dances and chants are traditional dances memorized and performed as a way of passing on the story of Hawaiian history and legend.  It is very interesting to watch and see all the floral and feather fashion and the different dance moves.  It is televised so we attended the craft show but watched the rest on television.  We were advised that it is better seen on TV because when you attend the actual event you are so far away it is hard to see.  That and the tickets were already sold out so our only chance was to stand in line all day on the free day, Wednesday, it hopes to get decent seats. Hannah told us that next time we should just stand in line because it would have been good to have the experience even if the seats were bad.  I’m with her and kind of regret not doing it, but I didn’t have a bad headache on Wednesday so it would have been rough…..hind sight is 20X20.

We tried normal lu’au tyep food, the kids weren’t a big fan of poi, but they did like the salted salmon, kalua pork, and coconut with sweet potatoes.  They liked the long transparent, mung bean looking, rice noodles too.  We didn’t buy anything but it was very fun to look at the hand made items and people watch.

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