Author Archives: theowenscrew

About theowenscrew

This is dedicated to my family and all of the activities we are involved in.

The Heather Rayne

We woke up excited for our dinner plans.  We had invited a couple from church over for dinner and they had taken us up on it, but before we had even left the harbor last night they had instead invited us over to their home for dinner.  They live on their fishing boat. It is deffinately a different take on living in a tiny house or being a “fulltime family”.  After breakfast we walked up Rezanof picking salmon berries for our salad.  

After that we went to Walmart to get the girls some new leggings and pants as well as a fishing license for me.  It doesn’t seem real to have an Alaska fishing license, some how it seems like more of an accomplishment than an Alaska nursing license. 

We then headed to Safeway to get the fixings for our salad (dark romain, feta, apples, and chopped walnuts add to that the salmon berries…I know you are all drooling.  Don’t worry it was good and we enjoyed every bit of it.). 

Thinking we might be out late we had Eve lay down for a nap and Hannah and Caleb rest as well.  Eve was pretty excited about giving them cheese as a hostess gift.  Corrie is from Tillamook Oregon so we bought some Tillamook cheese as well as Dubliners which is one of our favorite types of cheese, crackers and some cranberry jalapeño jelly.  We stopped at the top of the ramp down into the harbor to pick out life jackets for the kids to wear on the boat. I loved the saying on the back of the vests. 

The plan was to catch fish and BBQ them for dinner.  We were going to catch some herring for bait out in front of cannery row, but the sonar wasn’t showing many down there so we only tried for a short time.  The lines that we used for that had three hooks on them each with a lure Corrie would drop them down the pull them up about 2.5-3 ft then down and back up making them dance through the water.  Since the sonar didn’t show many fish in the area we only did that a short time.  Then we headed out into the open water where Richard found a rockfish jackpot.  He showed Calwb how to do it and almost just as soon as Caleb had the pole in his hands he had a bite.  These poles only had one hook with a heavily weighted lure on it.  It took him about a minute to get the fish in the boat. The. He handed his pole off to Chad and Richard and I each dropped down another line also immediately getting bites.  We reeled them in landing them all three simultaneously.  They were all four similar in size.  Richard was guessing that they were probably about 40 year old fish.  It may have taken a whole five minutes to get all four fish.  As fun as it was to catch them we were only planning to catch enough for dinner so we put the poles up and ducked the boat into a cove on Long Island. 

Here is a video of Caleb catching the first fish. ​

​Moses took his job of guarding the fish seriously.  

This guy was my catch.  He was flopping around so much we couldn’t get the treble hook out of his mouth.  The spines of the rock fish are venomous so we had to be a little careful.  Corrie showed us how to bleed the fish then cut off the fillet from either side of the fish.  They were still catching us off gaurd flip flopping around while we were cutting them.  
Now that is fresh fish!!! We pulled into a cove on Long Island where we were protected from the wind (which was blowing at 30 knotts).  Caleb and Eve kept fishing even though there are very few fish in that cove. 

The scales made the skin hard to cut through. 

Eve working hard scrubbing the blood off the deck of the boat. After everyone had eaten their fish and salad Corrie broke out the smore fixings. 
What a fun idea…snores out on the boat in a most beautiful protected code. 

The time passed quickly and soon it was after 9:00pm, passed time to get home.  The wind was out and the surf a little choppy. Whales were spouting around us and one minke whale headed straight for our boat.  We veeredaway from him and he passed behind us.  It was so amazing to watch his massive back beak the surface again and again. 

  The sea lions welcomed us back to the harbor. What an amazing experience.  We will be for ever greatful to Richard and Corrie. 

Getting the boat parked in the harbor.  

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KCHC & Kodiak Harbor

I was really impressed with the Kodiak Community Health Clinic today.  My company had told me that I needed an updated physical that states specifically that I am healthy and fit for work with out any limitations or restrictions, and I needed an update on my titers incase I get into grad school.  I was able to kill both birds with one stone. Thank you to the nurses upstairs who recommended KCHC.  The phlebotomist was new and maybe still in training.  She was missing some confidence.  And when she didn’t get me (I have good veins) with the second stick I asked her to leave the needle in and ask her partner for help.  She was close to the vein but wasn’t getting it and was going to pull out the needle and try again in another place.  Her parter was able to come behind her and slip it into the vein without an additional poke.  I had the first girl sweating and I did feel bad for that.  I’m good with being practiced on by students but maybe not for three pokes especially when she was so close to getting it.  

We finished there just in time for me to pick up Chad and the kids.  They dropped me off at Harborside for coffee with the church ladies and headed to toe library to refresh their book stash as has become our Wednesday routine.  After coffee we dropped the books off at the house and headed out to take advantage of the 72 degree weather that was so hot!  We decided on a walk through the boats in the harbor on near island.  We loved looking at all the boats.  A lot of people live in their boats, and Eve stopped and talked to anyone she passed.  She asked questions about their boats and what they were doing.  Everyone was nice and engaging, patiently answering her questions, seeming to enjoy her interest. 

We liked the name of this boat and found out later that we knew the owner. Yay! So cool. As we walked done one of the docks we saw a familier face working on one of the boats.  It was Richard from church.  He grew up in Oregon and still spends a lot of his off season there.  He was smiling and talking to us before we even realized who we were talking to.  He showed us around his boat/home the kids were just eating it up.  It was so interesting, they are working on a documentary and have a passion for educating the public on fishing and the fishing culture here in Alaska.  We have so much to learn we don’t really know anything about commercial fishing.  I believe h said his boat is a Sanger boat.  We are learning about which boats do what kind of fishing.  His crew doesn’t fly in for another two weeks so it is just him and his wife working on their documentary project and getting the boat ready for the season.  Here is a few pictures from our visit with them. 
It was such a fun surprise.  We finished walking through the rest of the boats in that pier then returned to their boat and invited them over for dinner some night. Eve was quite disappointed when they didn’t show up for dinner tonight.  But before we had even made it back to the house we had set up dinner plans for tomorrow.  

After dinner Hannah and I went out for a walk to see how long it would take to get to the hospital from our apartment.  To see if it would be feasible for me to walk to work.  Even walking this is one of the shortest commutes I have had in the last 2.5 years.  On the way home Hannah discovered the salmon berries along the path.  She kept scootering ahead of me, then stopping to pick berries until I was a little ways past her.  Then she would pass me and do the same thing all over again. 
I’m so glad we bought that $2 scooter from St. Mary’s thrift store. It has already earned it’s keep. 

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Tired But Happy

The kids and Chad have been sleeping in so this morning after work I went on hike with Susie, one of the OB nurses here that I have loved getting to know.  I don’t have many pictures of the view as my camera was out of memory space.  I managed to erase enough pictures to snap a few, but we were mostly concerned with keeping our legs moving as this was supposed to be more of a workout venture. Susie warned me that it would be windy and cold at the top, but I didn’t expect to have to fight to stay in my feet.  Good grief.  It was quite thrilling actually.
I had good intentions to stay up longer but I fell asleep on the couch waking up just before noon with all three of the kids sitting on me so I move to my bed and didn’t wake up until after three still sleepy and sluggish.  At dinner time we ventured out and celebrated our birthday boy again over sushi dinner at The Power House.  Below is the Costie (coast gaurd) roll.  You can see the kids were completely enjoying.  It was so much better than the Happy Sushi Time truck. 

Now we are all snuggled on the couch watching “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”  

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35 Years Young

Happy Birthday to my handsome husband! Hannah had planned a suprise breakfast, but she needed his help with it so it probably wasn’t as much of a surprise as she had planned.  She made his favorite biscuits and gravy for breakfast complete with paper party hats and a Christmas chain type boa for the guest of honor.  Eve decorated his chair with her clothes.  It worked. 

I went back to bed after breakfast worn from lack of sleep and neededing to rest up more for work.  That whole lack-of-sleep headache was on in full force.  Chad took the kids to the fish and game to get a fishing licence and on to the Buskin river to try out their new cheepest fishing rods ever.  We aren’t much of a fishing family and have a lot to learn.  No one caught anything but I’m sure they learned some things.  For dinner Chad cooked the Pickled Willy’s frozen cod we bought shortly after our arrival.  It was juicy and so yummy.   

Time for work. 

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God Is Good

And we think God is not concerned with the details of our lives! It is so not true.  I now have a couple of Kodiak deliveries under my belt and they were both amazing.  I managed a short 1-1.5 hour nap before church which kept the I’m-way-over-tired headache at bay.  We had invited some friends to church, and I didn’t work Sunday night so I wanted to stay up long enough to go to church. Besides that, I missed last week due to working the whole weekend and I like going to church.   Kodiak Nazarene sings a lot of praise and worship oldies from my childhood era which are fun to sing and easy to get into.  The sermon, on grace, was good.  The people here have so far been easier to get to know than in most of the places we have been and these friendships have always been our favorite part of travel nursing.  It was fun to share that with friends.  A few times, but ever so briefly, I felt preoccupied with wonder at how they were perceiving the service.  As quickly as those thoughts came into my head I pushed them out.  They will form their own opinions and need to do what is best for their family and all that is between them and God and had nothing to do with me.  In life we go through dry spells wondering where God is at and is there any good left in the world. Then, we go through times where we can feel his love and companionship burning in our hearts.  I often wonder how people can possibly not believe in God as he is so real and feels so close to me most of the time. After church we made dinner plans to come and see their new pad out towards Chiniak then made a bee line for our house only stopping to get some food for lunch. Sleep was at the top of my priority list and so Eve and I crashed with directions for Chad to wake us up at 3:30pm to head out to our dinner date.  I hope they forgive me for looking like death warmed over.  The getting everyone in the car and drive out took longer than I anticipated so we were more than fashionably late.  We found them easily though, and are now so jelous of their views and “neighborhood” so so beautiful.  We visited until Logan woke up from his nap and then headed down the beach to find the rusty old WWII water to land landing vessel.  There is WWII military equipment strewn across this whole island.  Eve was dawdling far behind so most of these pictures are taken by Hannah Banana.  

So cool. On the way back from the boat ruins the tide had come in a bit so we had to get a little wet going around one of the bigger rocks.  It is good that the waves just barely lap the shore here. So we weren’t in danger of anything besides getting wet.  I had my danskos so I took them off and threw them around the corner at the beach.  One of them still got wet but one did not.  I took off My socks and put them in my pocket then rolled up my pants.  My intentions were to lift Eve around but she just jumped in pants and all before I could help her, getting herself all wet.  Crazy girl. Back at camp we changed her into her frog tog pants because that is all we had (I guess we should have been more prepared for that.).  She went on playing with Logan having to hold her pants up. It wasn’t too long before we noticed that she had a tear in her pants on her upper leg so that the pants no longer had good coverage. She had snagged it on some brush.  Major bummer as those where her hiking waterproof pants from grandma.  Oh well what could we do now.  She ended up putting on a pair of Logan’s shorts and heading back out to play.  They were inseparable those two.  Playing so well together the entire time.  So cute. 

We so enjoyed the company of Mike and Sandra.  We visited for five hours and never ran out of things to talk about.  We enjoyed their perspectives, attitudes, and testimony, not perfect people, working hard at life. Maybe this is what is so attractive about them.  

Even Zoey is amazed by the view it is so beautiful in Kodiak, and this campsite may be one of the best views on the island.  We don’t get a ton of good pictures together so I’m posting this one… I love my Chad man.

Could this dinner be any better!?! So delicious, and the angel food cake, strawberries and cool whip for dessert ended up being the perfect complement.  Thank you Powers family for dinner and friendship.  We love you guys.

This is the day that the Lord has made.  I will rejoice and be glad in it!

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Chiniak Lake And The WWII Bunkers

I could be wrong about the name of the lake we hiked along beside today, I know for sure that it was beautiful.  The photos never do it justice.  We were on a quest looking for the bunkers not expecting the gorgeous views or well maintained hiking trails (ATV) trails that kept going on and on.  Eve didn’t wear long pants under her skirt so the pushki and salmon berry plants had free access to her legs.  Also, her boots rubbed on her legs.  We won’t do that again.  We stopped at St. Mary’s thrift store on our way out and bought a dining room chair (we only had four) for $5 and a razor scooter for $2 it embarrassed the kids when I told them that u bought it to ride around the neighborhood with.  We picked up lunch at the Happy Sushi Time food truck before heading south.  We then stopped at Java Flats which is a well known coffee shop and now we know why.  It was amazing.  Chad bought a Bruin, a cappuccino with ginger and molasses, and I picked a Kodiak Mist which is a green tea of some kind with vanilla soy milk. It tasted like a funky chai tea.  They had a whole selection of monster cookies too including a monster gluten free chocolate chip.  Caleb had white chocolate with dried cherries and almonds, Hannah had chocolate chip and coconut, Eve had chocolate chip, and Chad had a peanut butter cookie with chocolate swirled on the top so it looked like a cinnamon roll. 

We then drove on until we came to the old WWII runway.  

Above is the ocean side of the trail and below is the lake side of the trail.

Can you see the bunker up at the top of the hill?  

The first bunker was the exact same floor plan as the bunker at Fort Abercrombie’s Military History Museum.  

The trail kept going past the bunkers which enticed us to keep walking on.  It lead down to a narrow strip of land separating the lake from the ocean.  We also could see more gun turrets on the next hill up ahead.  

We paused for quite a while to enjoy the beach and tidepools.  These tracks were everywhere on the beach as well.  I’m guessing it is Sitka deer or mountain goat, but most likely deer since we have seen so many deer in this area (none of which were today). 
We continued up the hill to check out the gun turrets on top and sure enough it was another bunker like the one on top of diamond head. 

Eve had red marks on her legs and had stepped on a branch of the salmon berries so she was starting to have a rough time so we didn’t continue on.  Next time we will have to make sure she has leggings on so she will have a more fun experience.  On the way back to the car we split ways and the boys walked the beach while we took the road around the back side (lake side of the hill).  We discovered another bunker on top of the first one we checked out so we checked it out as well. 

Don’t read the graffiti some of it is pretty bad.  We were keeping our eyes out for drug paraphernalia, needles, broken glass, people you name it.  They are so cool it is sad to see them being used for bad things. 

We beat the boys back to the car by a ways so Hannah and I enjoyed he beach while Eve was our watchman.  Although I think Hannah spotted them first. 

Can you see bright green Eve sitting on the hood of the car? The boys didn’t make it around on the beach and had to backtrack.  I worried about them a little but they were fine. 

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Journal Making And Beach Combing

The kids had signed up for a journal making class for 7-12 year olds at the library at 2:00pm today.  We chilled at the house until almost one with the kids making us breakfast.  Actually these days they almost always make breakfast.  Usually oatmeal but both of the big kids have mastered that skill and so we let them practice regularly.  It was a nice treat to be served breakfast in bed this morning, we are blessed by their willingness and eagerness to take on this chore.  At 1:00pm Chad dropped me off at Harborside Coffee House to have weekly coffee with the ladies from church while he took the kids to the journal making class at the library that they had signed up for.  Poor Eve was not old enough for the class, but she did enjoy reading books instead.  I was going to walk from downtown to the library, it really isn’t that far and it was a nice day.  It just so happened that Sophie had to go to the library anyway to pick up her son so she offered me a ride, thank you Sophie I so appreciated it.  It was after 3:00pm but the kids were not quite finished with their projects so I read to Eve while Chad helped in the class room.  We read a few before Caleb came out first to show us his journal, and by the time we finished our pile of books Hannah was done too. Here is Caleb’s journal.

Hannah felt like her first journal cover was too big so she made a second but brought them both home.  Here are her journals. The bottom one was her first attempt. 

After leaving the library we took home our new ginormous pile of books (Hannah has just recently started reading the thicker books and she checked out as many as she could find on wolves).  I even found a book to read.  

We all grabbed our rubber boots and got back in the car to check out a new beach called Gibson Cove.  Eve fell asleep on the way and didn’t wake up for quite a while. I sat with her in the car while Chad and the big kids checked out the beach.  I had to take a picture of my new boots while waiting for Eve to wake up. 

I did not imagine this beach to be as awesome of a find as it was.  I was completely blown away by it’s beauty, peacefulness, and little treasures.  I could go there everyday for the rest of this assignment and still probably not get enough of it. 

We combed the beach for sea glass, fun shells and other treasures.  Chad and Caleb skipped stones, Hannah was making a person out of different stones that she found, and Eve jumped right in with both feet and didn’t stop at the point where the water was over her boots before we knew it she was soaked.  It was warm though sunny and around 60 degrees which doesn’t sound warm but to us it felt hot.  There were plenty of teen kids at the beach in their bikinis soaking up rays as well so I know we weren’t loco feeling so hot in this wonderful heat wave.  

​At around 7:00pm we called it a night and headed home for dinner.  
After getting home we emptied our pockets and checked out all of the fun beach combing treasures. 

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Boy Scout Lake Tide Pools

Named Boy Scout Lake Tide Pools I’m guessing because of the lake you pass hiking down to the tide pools we may have never found these tide pools on our own.  A nurse here named Jessica who’s love of nature is quite contagious offered to take us to the tide pools this morning.  A few others of her friends met us too so we had quite the crowd heading down to the beach.  The lake was near the road, and Eve so eager to use the net she had been given to hold though she would catch something while we waited for a few more people. They raise salmon in the lake and some of the little guys escape so we were watching just up the stream as well. 

It was a negative two foot tide so we were able to see quite a bit of the tidepools and they went on and on.  We didn’t have time to look at all of it in the 3.5 hours we were there.  I loved the muscles packed in so tight between every rock like perfectly masoned mortar. 
There were buckets, bait nets, shovels, and plenty of critters to catch. The kids were in heaven. 

Check out the Chiton Eve is holding this was a main staple food for the people’s native to this region of Alaska, the Alutiiq people.  You are supposed to boil them and I hear they are really really chewy.  In our bucket we had three or four starfish most of them small, two chiton, a big snail, four eel one that was about 5 inches long, two crabs and a whole bunch of hermit crabs ome had a giant blue claw, several chinaman’s hats (I need to learn the real name for them), rockfish and more.  The kids kept catching the rockfish with their bare hands.  Poor fish. I think though it took me longer to get all these critters out of the bucket than it took the kids to get them in there.  They held on for dear life. 

At lunch time we found a barnacle free flat rock and ate our lunches while watching the tide come in.  On the hike out I remembered that Chad’s water bottle fell out of my backpack when I was trying to release our bucket captives.  I needed to finish my job before putting it back so I set it on top of a rock and went back to work.  In the excitement of finally prying free the last chiton I had forgotten to replace the bottle.  I jogged back down to the pools to discover that the tide had risen significantly and I had to jump out to the rock the bottle was on which was now just barely above the surf.  I was risking getting wet, not my life though so no worries.  I grabbed the bottle and bobbled my way back across the barnacle covered rocks to the sand and back up the trail.  Glad that the weather wasn’t any warmer as I was sweating as it was.  It is amazing how quickly our bodies acclimate to climate change. 

On our way home we picked up take and bake cheese pizzas  that Jessica told us abouts to Al’s and fixings at Safeway for dinner.  We were excited to get to host friends for dinner.  The kids went to go play at the playground and ended up coming home 45 minutes early because they were worried they would be late and so then they hung around the apartment asking every five minutes when our friends would be coming running out to greet them when they did arive.  Logan and Eve were so cute together and we enjoyed the fellowship of getting to know Mike and Sandra better.  They moved to Kodiak the same day we did and are in the same place getting settled in their new home.  Our situation is different because we are temporary, but there is a lot we can relate with.  It was fun and relaxing, and we are looking forward to the next time we get to spend together.

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Hike Up Pillar Mountain

It was so sunny and beautiful when I got off work Monday morning.  All last week we had a running date with a family from church that if the weather cleared (the views weren’t as fun in the fog) we would hike up the mountain and it never did clear up.  So I messaged Sophie to see if she was up for hiking this morning since it was clear.  She responded back that she was watching her three grandkids, but if we could give them 45 minutes they would be there. Two of the kids are Eve’s age and one is Hannah’s age so it ended up being perfect.  We met at the gravel pit and so the kids explored while we waited for them.  They ran up and down this hill, then pretended they didn’t have any energy when we started hiking up the road. 

Sophie taught us the names of the plants we were passing by we saw more chocolate lilies, wild geraniums, and broadleaf plants that I had though we’re also devil’s club but they are not. They called them Pushki. She stated that as a kid they would pick them and peel the skin off and eat the inside.  It tastes like celery.  The sap (I know there is a better word for this when we are talking general plants not trees) will burn you and it is best to not touch them.  The views while walking up the road were amazing.  The May bugs that circled around were also amazing.  You will see many of them in our hiking pictures.  

Eve had her pockets so full of rocks. I’m not sure that that is what slowed her down because she usually holds up the rear for us, but it didn’t help her mountain climbing motivation.  

The kids played for quite a while carving sticks while the girls kept brining us rocks with graffiti on them ooohing and aaaweing over how beautiful they were.  I love that the graffiti says I love you.  I suppose that is the best kind of graffiti to have.

I finally agreed to carry Eve’s rock filled coat if she promised to run to catch up with the others which totally worked.  I jogged along behind her as we were quite a ways behind them. I’m sure it was good for both of us.  Such a fun and beautiful hike although were we’re glad to get out of the bugs as they were all over us, stuck in our hair, flying into our mouths, and hitting us in the face and even the eyes.  Good thing they weren’t blood thirsty biters or we would have been toast. 
We went home for a late lunch it was after 2:00pm.  I fell asleep on the couch and woke up to a plate next to me on the arm of the couch.  Oops. Even though I was completely wilting I hate to waste a day off especially a sunny day off.  After lunch we went for a scenic drive out to Larson Bay.  I tried really hard to stay awake to see it but I pretty much missed the whole trip.  Darn night shift/day off transition. 

When we arived back in town we went to Walmart to purchase irrigation boots/rain boots/mud boots/muck boots what ever you want to call them, you know what we are talking about.  Caleb picked out a black pair of rubber boots, Hannah picked out a pair of floral boots, and Eve picked out a bright pink pair only because the purple ones only went up to toddler size 10.  She was extremely happy with her purchase and had to put them on to wear at the cash register as soon as they were paid for.  Hannah is also quite pleased and has been wearing her boots ever since.  Chad and I both have birthdays coming up on this assignment (both the girls do too actually) but we decided as a gift to eachother we would do the Alaskan thing and get XtraTuf boots.  Why not it is in the top 100 things to do in Kodiak list, and I have been wanting fun rain boots for the last four years or so.  We found them on sale for $73 each with was much better than the sticker price of $109. Now we are set for tide pooling tomorrow and on the Oregon coast when we get home.

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Now This Is The Way To Do Night Shift

I have been blessed so far in this assignment as it is tied for lowest stress work environment.  Nursing, and Labor and Delivery are known for their inevitable stress. It is nice though to have a job that doesn’t have to be stressful every second that you are at work.  There is staffing ratio stress, provider intensity stress, coworker relational stress, management stress, these are in addition to the natural stress of really sick patients, and scary things that can happen in the process of labor and shortly after delivery.  This hospital does an excellent job at minimizing the other stressors.  And what place can you work where the daylight is shining in the window most of the night!!! This picture was taken at 10:00pm.  Almost as good as working day shift.  Except that the kids weren’t overly quiet Saturday so sleeping wasn’t so easy. 

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