Saturday, January 31

Saturday Night, January 31, 2009

I still can't believe it's the end of the month already! The dog show was pretty good, I recorded it so my hubby can watch it later! I think I made him a dog person too!

It's super cold out still and blowing pretty hard once and a while, and my hubby is still out doing the barge. At least he's making some good hours this time, we have 3-4 people who work and we have to rotate them so they all get equal hours. And this barge was finally my hubby's turn to go up! Too bad the weather had to be so crappy out, only makes things slow down because it starts to get dangerous. I ended up walking down to get the 4-wheeler from by my parents house. What a crappy walk, but the dogs really enjoyed it. I bundled my Chi Roscoe up in like 2 sweaters and a coat! My lab Tug doesn't care, he just wants out and he especially loves the snow! He's like a little kid jumping in and out of snow banks!

I'm just going to sit around and keep flipping channels until my hubby calls for a ride home! The only reason why I walked down and got the bike in the first place. Trident is like a 20-25 min walk from my house, and that's in good weather! He's working pretty long and I don't want to have to have him out in that sh**y weather any more longer than he has to be. So I'll be sitting by my phone patiently waiting! He's going to sleep good tonight, and so am I. It's so weird, when you're used to having someone in your bed, and when they aren't there, it's so hard to fall asleep! Probably why I didn't sleep in as long as I wanted to this morning!

Well I hope everyone is having an exciting Saturday night, mine was spent at home watching the AKC dog show then just aimlessly flipping through channels trying to find something that catches my interest... nothing yet.... almost makes me want to put my home videos on from our Los Angeles trip last year! My husband and I love Los Angeles...... Can't wait to go back again! We are roller coaster/adrenaline junkies! We've been sky diving, on every ride southern California and Las Vegas has to offer as of November 08, and we're constantly looking for that next big "thing" to come along and get our heart pumping! I think the next thing I'd like to do is get in a shark cage and go swimming with the great whites..... but we'll see how long it takes for that to ever happen! We also want to go to Cedar Point, Ohio and get on this ride called Top Dragster :

Ok I'm out till tomorrow... take care everyone! Pray for good weather for me so my Dante to make it into my arms quickly! Thank you! :D

My new baby boy, Dante Cortez

My new baby has his airline ticket and I can't wait to hold him in my arms! Hopefully somehow the weather clears up for a day and lets him come home to me (crossing my fingers). Here is a pic of him when he was a little pup, he was born on 7/26/08! I can't wait to meet my new little addition to my family!

I am watching the AKC Eukanuba Championships on Discovery Channel. I love dogs!!

Thank you CB for all your help, it's greatly appreciated!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ahh it felt good to be able to hug my pillow a bit longer today! Hoping to hear if I get to have Dante or not. Whether or not I get that pup is all that I can really think about right now. Had to wake up at 4AM and get my hubby ready for doing a barge. He had a callout for 5AM, but the barge didn't exactly get tied up until about 5:45AM. I felt so bad for him and Raymond for heading up there right at 5 because we swore it looked like they were at the dock already. When here the tug and barge were just putting around waiting for boats to move out of their dock space! So they had to sit around in the cold, blowing snow for 45 mins before going to work.

I stayed up for a bit, but there is nothing good on tv that early in the morning. I'm not too big on football, so don't expect me to be rooting for the superbowl (although when I do go for a team, I go for the team everyone else doesn't like, so I guess I'm going for the Cardinals!). I only watch the halftime show and the commercials :P The Roadhouse (the bar) is going to open around 2PM and the cafe is selling pizza (whole and by the slice), shish-ka-bobs, and someother food items for everyone who's getting into the game (and also for sale to everyone else who isn't!). I wouldn't go anywhere to watch it except my living room with our 37in tv and 1500 watt surround system!!!

What happened to all the good cartoons that used to be on on Saturday mornings? So I went back to sleep around 7AM and woke back up around 10:30AM! I get so bored when I'm home alone (hubby is still working, he'll be done sometime tonight).

The weather is snowy and blowing from the east today. Pretty cold, staying in the low 20's! I doubt at all if the plane is ever going to make it in anytime soon with how stubborn our weather can be.

I don't have anything planned today. Maybe clean up the house a bit: vacuum, do the dishes, laundry and maybe scrub the bathroom out. I've been playing Guitar Hero:2 on xbox 360, getting pretty good at that game. Would have never thought I'd be playing an "instument." Working on expert mode now, it's super hard, but fun! My hubby would have never known most the songs on the playlist if it wasn't for those games. I on the other hand grew up listening to all the classic rock songs from the 70's and 80's, they all remind me so much of my dad!! We were visiting my parents one day and my dad was all like "I'm gonna put something good on to listen to in the background" and he goes and starts playing the songs that are on the game! I told my hubby "see, told you I grew up with all those!" LOL!

My mom is back and that means I don't have to run into town to get the paperwork out for the store. She does it on the weekends since she lives closer (and she has the 4-wheeler)! I'm happy to know that I don't have to get bundled up and walk down into town in this weather!

I'm so excited, Dante is all mine! All I have to do now is find a way to get him here to Akutan. I hope my cousin is still in Dutch waiting to come home, maybe she can bring him over or watch him if he get's stuck in Dutch. I don't know too many people over there that would hold a puppy for me until he can get over here. But that's so exciting that I was able to help give Dante a new home and I can't wait to get my new baby in the house! I gotta find out how much it costs to ship a dog down on Pen-Air cargo... and whats the earliest flight I can get him down to me!!! I feel like screaming off the roof tops, "I got a new baby coming!!!" :D

The weather is still crappy. Still blowing, snow squalls on the constant move. Still no planes.... the temp are still hanging in the low 20's! Feels freezing cold (then I go back to memories of going to UAF and feeling -53F and I warm back up!). I hope that the weather clears up long enough to get one flight in to bring my new baby home!

Friday, January 30

Friday, January 30, 2008

TGIF already! Woke up to a beautiful snowy morning. In the distance you can hear the sweet sounds of the rock ducks calling to each other as they bob up and down in the water out in front of town, groups of 10 or more. Seagulls flocking in the harbor, crying for more food from the fishing boats. The sky is heavily dropping these huge fluffy snowflakes. I felt like little kid again, walking to work with my mouth wide open catching some of the delicate frozen powder on my tongue. Giggling to myself as I reminisce my childhood days when we used to have lots of snow to play in. We'll be lucky if this snow lasts! It feels really cold out compared to the above freezing temps we've been having this winter so far, the temp this morning is hanging out right around 20F! George is out on the snow blower clearing the boardwalks, he might be busy all day if this snow keeps up the way it's falling!

Quiet all morning... my mom running around getting her work done. I have some paperwork to enter into the computer, but no real rush on it. End of the month so I'll be busy on Monday getting billing done up. Always something to do the first week of the month. I don't know how I forgot to do December billing, probably all the holiday rush I was caught up in. So I'm going to write a quick apology letter and put both months billing on one invoice. The weather is clearing up a bit, getting sunny out again. Beautiful baby blue skies and wisps of clouds looks like someone painted them up there! I took a pic of what it looks like from out my office window. Then all the beautiful weather gets blocked out by more heavy snow squalls passing by.

We're going to have a small lunch today, cooking up some tater tots (I like to bake them in the oven, they have enough grease in them). I guess you can say we try to watch what we eat, so far I have lost over 35lbs over the last 2 years. I cut almost all candy and junk food, and I'm trying to slow down on my "drinking" habit. I know they say natives have a problem with drinking, but my problem is more related to the soda industry! I rarely drink alcohol and when I do, it's a glass of wine at dinner (or one too many Pina-colada's on vacation). I am getting pretty happy with my body, I never really had great self-body confidence, but now I'm starting to learn to love the way I look. I still wouldn't mind dropping another 20lbs... but slow and steady is the healthy way I'm trying to achieve my goals. I don't really exercise as much as I would like, but at least I walk to work (which is about 5 mins one way, lol). I think our PA is nuts for running out in our weather sometimes, but he's more committed to it than I am. If I put more effort in it I'd probably see bigger changes, but I don't want drastic changes - slow and steady is the way I'm going!

More snow squalls all afternoon, nothing on the plane yet. I don't know if it will clear up long enough for them to make the 20 min flight over... I ordered my hubby a new coat, the one he has now doesn't want to zip anymore - at least it lasted like 2 years! They are still digging up some of the power lines, checking them to make sure there isn't any problems. I guess along the line power is "leaking" out somewhere and all the juice isn't making it to the end of town I live at, which is making the City's generators overwork by trying to cover the work load needed to run all the building down that way. So hopefully they find what they are looking for!

There was absolutely nothing on tv last night except for Hells Kitchen... the news was even kind of boring. Hopefully tonight will differ... oh and yeah, so when did Conan O'Brian start this count down to the end of his show? I heard that he's only going to have like 2 weeks left?? I know Jay Leno was leaving, but I don't ever recall hearing anything about Conan. Late nights aren't ever going to be the same. At least I can say we went to 2 live taping of the Tonight Show, once in 2006 and we just went again last November. His show is ending sometime in May.

I got an email from one of my best friends about a puppy that needs a home. A cute little chihuahua that looks almost just like my Roscoe. We were thinking about getting another little puppy sometime this year, it's almost like it was meant to be! My friend knows a lady who unfortunately has to get rid of the little pup, who's name is Dante, and she has 2 other people who are going to look at him tomorrow. However, if by any chance they don't take him, she's going to call me. So I'm hoping maybe this is the little baby I've been waiting for! I'm trying not to keep my hopes up too high, but I'm really excited. If I do get him I have to find a way to get him home... shouldn't be too hard to get him to Dutch then over to here! We'll see.. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Not too bad this afternoon. Actually had some people come up and cash some checks. City salary employees who get paid middle and end of the month. I also had a Trident employee show up to cash his check. Matthew stopped by and cashed in some quarters. We accept everyones change here in the office, always great to have a little stash of coins so we don't have to pick it up at the bank in Dutch as often. Plus both businesses and people depend on us to have rolls of coins; i.e. people get quarters for the washers and dryers, and the Post Office will get coins so they can make change(they go thru a lot of dimes and pennies). You wouldn't believe how much coins we can bring over and we still run out!! Then all I have to do is post a sign up asking everyone to bring me their change. After seeing some of the amounts brought in, it isn't hard to see where all the coins went! I too am also one of those people who put all my coins in a "piggy bank," and when it gets full I bring it up and cash it in! But some people's piggy banks are pretty big and takes a long time to fill before they bring it in. All in all, bring them up counted or not, we can always use them! The Corp has a change making machine in the Laundry mat that accepts $1 and $5 bills and spits out quarters. But sometimes it gets a jam and I have to go down and check it. I think I'm the only one who read the whole manual for that thing and I know how to run it properly (which isn't hard at all)!

I don't have anything really planned for dinner tonight. Might go to the cafe, or just heat something up in the microwave! Gotta get the house cleaned up. When we're both working, we seem to slack a bit on the cleaning part (mostly the damn dishes). I am super happy to be able to sleep in tomorrow!! Can't believe it's already the end of the first month of this new year! People were right, they told me that after I turn 21, time is going to fly by.... I swear waiting to turn 21 took forever! Now I am looking at 26 already!! I have been through a lot, but I have no regrets about anything and would happily do it all over again!!

I am going to go mail my niece Kenzie Personal Trainer: Cooking on Nintendo DS for her 9th birthday, which is on the 6th of February. I figured it would be great for her to start getting in the kitchen and learning how to use it. I was her age when I got interested in cooking and baking. I'm hoping this gives them both a great chance to learn some new recipes and to bond as mother and daughter! There are some pretty awesome recipes in there, that teach you step by step, just we don't have a store where I can go out and get everything all the time. So I figured they would benefit more from it than I would. :) Hope they like it!

Well, I don't think the plane is going to even try today and I believe my dad flew down from Anchorage, so he's obviously stuck in Dutch Harbor until the weather either clears up or he finds a boat. I should see when the barge is due in, my hubby's turn to work this week! But at least it wamed up 7 degrees since this morning. Well, have a great Friday night! Later everyone! ;)

Thursday, January 29

Thrusday, January 29, 2009

Still a cold windy/snowy day, but that doesn't stop my dogs from doing their thing. The street lamps are back on down our end of town. Looks like the Independence (Indy) moved from across the bay to our side of the harbor, can see it really good from my porch!

Was a very cold walk down to the office this morning, but I bundle up good before leaving my house! Nothing much going on in the office. Going through the list of recalled peanut butter products. We fortunately don't have any of the items on the recall list, but I noticed a few that Trident Store might have... I hope they know about the recall...

I swear one of my main weaknesses I can share with everyone is online shopping. I am an online shop-a-holic! I love bidding on ebay, shopping at,,,,,, columbia house dvd club and to name a few... There really is no other way to shop here on the island! Of course some times I end up ordering stuff that I probably didn't need to be getting in the first place, but that doesn't really stop me from getting it most the time!! :P

We had sloppy joes for lunch. We already have dinner planned from yesterday. The weather isn't really snowing as much, it pretty much cleared up and the sun has come out - offering little to no heat, but still blinding in the little coating of snow/ice left on the ground. It's still blowing pretty good, picking up the snow off the ground and blowing it around. Still looks like it's going to get dark and start snowing again.... Hopefully the afternoon goes by fast, nothing too important going on in the office. My mom got some charge slips and all our other receipt book supplies from NEBS, we are running low(our last order lasted almost 3 years!) I need to see if I should get an office supply order done up. We got our grocery bag order in last time we got planes in, so that should be good for a while, hopefully!! I got my hubbie's taxes e-filed, so he doesn't have to worry about it. I always laugh because I do his at H&R Block, and we see those commercials for it... and I always tell my hubby that he don't have to worry, he has people... LOL!!

I have a couple shows I want to catch tonight on television -one of them being the 1st episode of Fox's tv show Hells Kitchen! I love Gordon Ramsey, he has such a passion for cooking, I don't care if he's cussing and yelling - he wants it right the first time - plus those people should know what they are getting into before even going on his show, it's Chef Gordon Ramsey for goodness sake! I love playing Hells Kitchen on my Wii!

Pic is of the snow blowing off the hill, I'm standing by the City office's looking at the East end of Akutan -where my house is located.

So I've been blogging for about a week now and I'm not sure exactly how many people are reading this... but I would like to Thank Everyone for being interested in reading what I write. Makes me feel good in a way to know that I can share a little bit of my life with everyone! The only reason I started a blog was because I wanted to post a comment on our P.A. Darryl's blog, in order to do so I had to start an account. Then the next day I decided what the hell, you know?!?! I though, "I'm going to try this out." I'm pretty happy a week later knowing how many people are actually interested in what I'm doing and what's going on here! I will try to find interesting stuff to write about, your suggestions are always welcome! Thank you so much for reading my blog!!

~April Dawn~

Wednesday, January 28

Wednesday, January 27, 2009

Woke up this morning and all the street lamps down our end were out. If it wasn't for the nice halogen light we installed on our porch, it would have been almost impossible to see my pups on their morning outing. It's blowing wet snow from the east, the boardwalks were a little tricky to walk on with out slipping.

Quiet in the office this morning, got a couple phone calls and can hear the usual couple people walking in and out of the store. Some people come just to say good morning and enjoy a cup of coffee then on with their days. While others, like some of the elders, will actually hang out and visit for most the day just so they can get out and see people! My mom got a deposit ready, but no need to mail it since there obviously isn't going to be any planes today!

I am thinking about making grilled cheese and soup for lunch. My mom brought home a good amount of moose meat from my older sister, she's trying like hell to convince me to eat it. No thank you... only animals that stand on 4 legs that I eat is cows and pigs! I will eat seal and sea lion though (I don't know if I'd touch it if I didn't grow up on it). There are 2 ways I like to prepare it: cut into steaks and fried or made into a soup!

Nothing much going on this afternoon. My mom got some tax paperwork done for the corp. Made me think about getting my hubbies taxes done up. I haven't recieved everything in the mail to do mine yet. Not many people shopping downstairs today, must be the weather that's keeping everyone inside. Damn it wasn't a fun ride on the 4-wheeler on my way home at lunch, at least I have snow goggles! Eva (our store manager) brought me up a list of what we need to get ordered for the next shipment out of Seattle. We should have a freighter leaving Seattle on Friday, it takes a week to get here from there. Other than that, really quiet boring day today. I'm planning meat loaf, mashed potatoes w/gravy and green beans for dinner with maybe a glass of white zin tomorrow (was going to tonight but I don't want to micro-bake the hamburger since it's frozen, but it should be ready tomorrow!). Going to the cafe tonight for Chinese. Egg flower soup, mongolian beef and bbq pork fried rice is what we decided on!!

Weather stayed crappy all day. Seemed like it was blowing from the East this morning, becoming more of a Northerly by noon. I would guess the wind was blowing a good contant 20mph, gusting to 35+mph. The temp dropped from 34F this morning to 30F at 4PM, I don't think it's going to get above freezing anytime until maybe tomorrow...

Pic is of me walking in front of the library with town in the background. :)
PS. my PO Box is 106 ;)

Here is the forecast for the next couple days from the National Weather Service, AK region.
500 AM AKST WED JAN 28 2009








Tuesday, January 27

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

This morning was foggy and raining a bit when we walked our pups and it stayed that way all morning. It's not really a heavy rain but more like a heavy fog that gets you super wet when your in it! Its almost like spring weather out there! The temps are in the high 30's. I saw one of the draggers coming in when I was leaving my house. From what I can tell it was pretty heavy in the water - so they must have a good load of pollock in their tanks! They seem to be heading to the cannery to offload!

Nothing much going on this morning in the office. I can hear the usual one or two people walking in down stairs to go shopping. Made some small change for the Post Office, can't do business with only big bills in your till. I'd know, I have been working part-time for the USPS as a Post Master Leave Relief (PMLR) since 2003. Depending on when they need me, I'll go down and help once and a while when they need it. Nice to know that I know how to do all the paperwork by hand and on the computer, I don't think they teach that in the city - it's all computers. But here the computers aren't as reliable due to internet or phone connections or just problems with the computer - sending them out takes at least a month or two before you get it back! So it's really nice to be able to do it all by hand! The only thing I'm still trying to get used to is the rate changes, just when I start to get them all memorized it seems like they change. The best part of the job I think is sorting the mail, it's almost like Christmas with all the priority mail bags full of packages waiting to be delivered! Its amazing sometimes when the cannery is full and we have a couple of the floating processors in the harbor, how much of the mail isn't even for town! People here will get all happy hearing that there is like 1500lbs of mail coming over, and at least 75% of isn't for town and everyone is checking the PO Boxes asking, "Hey, I thought mail came in??" The weather isn't nice enough for the first schedule flight to come over... actually I'm not sure if this fog is going anywhere soon.

The cafe is open again, they closed for a couple days to deal with business in Dutch Harbor, but it's open again starting today! I had a french dip and my hubby had a chicken burger. I'm planning halibut chowder for dinner. I will make sure to post my recipe for it so everyone else can make it! And hopefully post a pic of what a bowl of it looks like ;)

Nothing much happening around in the office this afternoon. My mom paid some bills and I entered some paperwork into the computer. The phones are unusually quiet today. I can't believe how fast this month has already blown by! No planes all day today, the fog and mist just didn't want to go anywhere today! I got some bad news that I almost lost one of my cousins due to something medical, I hope to god that she's ok!! I dont' have much planned tonight. See whats on tv I guess and chill!

April's 40 min Halibut Chowder Recipe:
1-2 lbs halibut cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
1 pk bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces(I like Oscar Meyer Center Cut Bacon)
2.5 handfuls of rice (I like Niko Niko)
2 med potatoes, peeled and diced
1 can carnation evaporated milk
salt and pepper to taste

Take cubed halibut and cover with cold water in large pot. Bring to boil for 12-15 Min's or until the halibut is cooked, strain halibut into separate container (keep warm). Using the fish stock in the pot, add your potato and rice, low boil for 25 Min's, adding water if needed. At the same time in a saute pan, cook bacon until half done, then throw in onions. Cook until onions are translucent and bacon is almost crispy. Separate/drain bacon grease from the bacon and onion mixture, then pour it over the halibut, put on the side and keep warm. Once rice and potatoes are done, add halibut, bacon and onions. Add in evaporated milk (almost the whole can, about a cups worth), add in any more water if needed. Bring back to a light boil, salt and pepper to taste. I prefer mine on the salty side, so I never put salt and pepper in the pot, I wait until I have some served in a good sized bowl!! Great served with alotics (fried bread)! I hope you enjoy!

Oh I put my niece in a beautiful baby contest... please vote for her!! here is the link:

Monday, January 26

Monday, January 26, 2009

We woke up around our usual time on the weekdays and it felt good not to have worry about running down into town to walk my parents dog before having to go to work! Walked my pups this morning after getting up around 9 - I don't have to go to work until 10, but when my mom is gone I go to work earlier so I can get the paperwork out for the store before it has to open. There was a soft powdery snow falling softly from the sky, but an hour later when I got ready to head to work it had cleared up and there was about an inch of powder-snow on everything. The temps are hanging out around freezing, but should warm up a bit throughout the day.

Nothing much happened this morning in the office. I forgot my laptop at home, but that didn't keep me from getting work done. I hooked up my mom's new battery back-up for her computer. The one she had was so old that the battery needed replacement and the company didn't make that model any more. So I was able to send in and replace the old one with a newer model, they gave a percentage off for recycling the old one. After re hooking everything up and getting out of my mom's way, she was able to get payroll done. Cashed some town people's payroll checks, I need to start working on the next store order and have it out of the office by Wednesday - won't be much this time, we're pretty stocked from the last freighter. The first scheduled flight made it in just before lunch, a little bit of mail.

I didn't really eat lunch today, didn't feel to hungry after having a bagel with cream cheese just before lunch. My hubby went for a can of Dinty Moore Beef Stew.

Checked the mail after lunch. The store got in some of the Valentine's Day merchandise that I ordered like 5-6 months ago. Boxed candy, teddy bears and roses made from feathers. They should be a hit with the Trident employees, we'll see.... The afternoon went by pretty fast, the second flight should be arriving around the time I get off work today. The weather actually stayed clear all day, but cloudy. The snow we got this morning turned into slush on the boardwalks, pretty slippery. I got us ribeye steaks, potatoes, and corn on the cob for dinner tonight, maybe enjoy it with a glass of white zin. Other than that not much planned for tonight, see what's on TV I guess and wait till tomorrow!

Sunday, January 25

Sunday, January 25, 2009

We woke up to another clear, beautiful morning! There is always that slight chill hanging in the air this time of the year. We had highs in the mid 30's, lows in the high 20's, slight northwesterly breeze whispering through the air. The sky was painted a beautiful pink red, and it turned a deep red before the sun finally popped over the mountains.

As usual for the past couple days, we went down and took the dogs out for a walk. We've been taking our 2 down and my parents out to the ball field to play some fetch. Didn't seem to see many people today. We saw the PA (Physicians assistant) walking around when the first flight was coming in around 11:30, said good morning to him. I'm excited that today is the day my mom and great uncle come home, so no more having to worry about going into town to walk their dogs any more! I believe they are on the second scheduled flight, hopefully the weather holds up. Just before noon we started to get some snow squalls. One moment it's blue sky and sunny, next thing it's dark out and snowing, a little bit of rain then back to clear out. I took a pic of what it looks like straight off my porch looking across the bay with the snow squalls and sun popping out! I realized what time it was and ran over to the store just before noon and got the paper work out for the day!

We watched a couple of our new movies we got in. Thinking about sending our GameFly games back for different ones. GameFly is like netflix for gamers!! Right now I have Paper Mario for my Wii and my hubby was playing Call of Duty 4 on Xbox 360. I'd have to check what i have next on my list... but I think its an awesome way to test games before you decide to throw $60 down the drain for it. I hate getting games and never playing them because it wasn't what I expected it to be. So I LOVE GameFly!

The second scheduled flight made it in just after 4. Seems like they were timing today's flights perfect with the gaps in the snow squalls. We almost thought the plane would turn around, then here it came around the corner! I love seeing that plane come in, going to be sad when we get our runway one day and they retire it - but we all know its going to happen one day... but we'll see what kind of planes will start to fly here. I believe they are planning on building a 5,100ft (4800ft paved) by 75ft wide runway on the adjacent island of Akun (I'm not exactly sure on those numbers, but that's what I think I can remember reading one day.). There is a lot of work on what they are planning... so we'll see exactly how long this project takes to finish.

Didn't really cook anything for lunch... had some chips and salsa. But we had tacos for dinner! I brought home a handful of Taco Bell's Fire sauce, I just love love love that stuff on my tacos!! My sister should be sending me a handful more... since my closest TB is 750 miles NE of here! I get our lettuce from either Trident or the cafe for $2.00 a head.

Pix posted are:

The first one is of the snow squalls moving across the bay with a hole of blue sky and sunshine beaming through the dark clouds. You can just barely see the F/V Independence anchored across the bay on the right side of the pic.
The second one is from my father-in-law -after he ran home to get his camera- of this morning's sunrise and one of the like dozen trees planted on the island.

Saturday, January 24

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I didn't get to enjoy my weekend by sleeping in, we woke up and went down into town to walk the dogs around 9:30AM. What a beautiful morning, clear out and not a breeze. There was a slight chill in the air and the boardwalks were frosted over. For a Saturday morning there were actually a lot of people out and about! Usually never see anyone. Beautiful red sky sunrise, but I didn't have my camera on me. Saw my father-in-law, he's the Pen-Air rep here in the village, he informed us that the planes should start flying around 11AM.

After walking the dogs, I went down and got the cash ready for the store for the day. The store is open from 12pm-4pm on the weekends, from 10am-4:30pm on the weekdays. I also stayed at work for an hour and got deposits done and ready for the outgoing mail later. I got done and went home about 12:30pm. I saw a couple people with bags walking down towards the plane ramp, must be taking off for meeting or something... wonder if any mail came in? I'll check the Post office later when I walk the dogs, since the PO doesn't open until 1pm.

Went back down into town around 2pm, walked the dogs. Decided we're going to cook steam bath. I love steam bath, I don't think there is a better way to get that clean! There are only 3 steam baths here in town. When I was younger there were at least 5 that I can remember of. My in-laws own one of the baths here in Akutan, so we cook bath there all the time! There was a freighter today so it's not going to be hard to find some wood pallets for bath wood. My hubby will cut the pallets with his chain saw, while I get a fire started and scrub out the steam room with boiling water and bleach (I do this everytime we cook bath, for sanitary purposes!). Steam bath takes about an hour to an hour and half to get ready. There is metal wood burning stove surrounded by volcanic rocks picked up from local beachs, the rocks help create steam - called "throwing water on the rocks." There are water containers - usually something metal - that are set on top of the stove so that we can have hot water. There is a cold water hose located in the wash room, hooked up from inside my in-law's house. There is a smaller cooling room that you have to enter in first. Here is where you put your clothes, towels and what else you might have brought. Don't forget to bring your soap and shampoo. I also suggest bringing a handtowel to sit on in the washroom, and another one to sit on it the cooling room. Inside the wash room, you are supplied with wash tubs to put your water in, cans are used for cups, and there is a water scoop for getting the hot water. There are 2 levels of benches, the lower bench and the top bench. The top bench is the best place to get the most heat! Steam bath can get up to 120F, with out throwing any water on the rocks! The best time to go to bath is when your nails are just long enough to scratch you good! I like to go in and sweat until I can't take the heat anymore, and cool until I feel a bit chilly. Go back in to the wash room and sweat and scratch - This is when you get super clean, by practically exfoliating by scratching "the dirt" right off your skin. You would not believe the crap you can scratch off you skin! Rinse up a bit and go cool again. Go back in for some more heat - never forget to keep feeding the fire so it stays hot- scratch somemore until I know I got every place I can reach, rinse and cool again. I go in my last time and completely wash up, always a plus to have someone there to wash your back! We rinse up the wash room, make sure the water on the stove is filled, and go cool for the last time before calling the next person to go. Most people go singly, while other like myself go with their significant other, sometimes they have like same sex bath where a 3-5 people go at the same time. They used to practice this back in the old days, where they would tell stories and try to beat someone off the top bench by throwing lots of water on the rocks and getting it unbearably hot, you weren't such a strong man if you stepped down early! There is this Unangan tool we use in bath called a "Meenkin", it's local swamp grass wrapped tightly around a wooden handel. It is used to bring more heat to the body by swinging towards your body, kinda like your trying to beat on yourself with it, hitting your back, chest, and legs. For some people the heat alone is enough. Who ever is last will hang the rugs in the cooling room - we wash the rugs in bleach before each bath. I don't care what anyone says, but you'll never be cleaner!

After steam bath we walked my parents dog again, and got ready to go home. I got a call from my brother (who is fishing on the F/V Farwest Leader, you can actually see him in season 3 of the Deadliest Catch), he said they were delivering to the Independence - a Trident owned floating processor that is currently at anchor in our harbor- and he needed some fishing gear (mostly boot socks and sweaters, but I thought it would be nice to throw him in a box of his fav soda (we call it pop around here....) dr.pepper and some carmex. Guess he said they are cod pot fishing right now and won't be doing opilio for another week or so. At least I was able to help him by getting him what he needed... can't be freezing his @ss off out there on the Bering Sea!

We ended up getting 5 flights in today, and they brought over a good amount of mail. I ended up getting some new movies in, so I'm excited we have something to watch this weekend! The weather stayed pretty nice today, mid 30's. Started to sprinkle lightly around 5:20PM, but that rain all froze up by the time it got dark out, so it's once again dangerouly slippery! We'll see what Sunday has in store for us... I didn't get to catch the weather forcast, but NOAA has a free number that we can call to check it. that number is :1-800-472-0391, as soon as you hear the automated guy, press 2543 and you will get our marine forcast for the next couple days.

Pix posted are:

Hanging on the door is a "meenkin. The second pic is of the door from the cooling room into the wash room , the third is of the wash room , the fourth is of the signature wall and the last pic is of the cooling room.Posted pix are of my in-law's steam bath we use - you can see my parents pup in the first pic.

Friday, January 23

Friday, January 23, 2009

FRIDAY!!! Today started out pretty good. The weather was nice when I went to work! The freighter came in this morning, so our store is stocked up again. It was actually nice out all day and we got our 2 scheduled flights in! The first flight was nothing but mail, which is nice! So I finally got my sister Ivy's baby's christmas presents in the mail today. I ordered them and they were shipped on December 10, and it's just now getting here. I swear it got lost somewhere!! I also got my new RAZR cell phone in today! I couldn't stand not having a camera on me all the time, so I got both of us one!

The office was a little active today, cashing Trident employee checks. Must either be no fish to process or people are coming down when they should be sleeping! The temps were in the low 40's to high 30's, there really is no snow left. It had been raining the past couple days! We had microwave food for lunch and ate dinner at the cafe - I had a french dip and my hubby had chicken nuggets. My dad left for meetings today, and my mom has been in Anchorage escorting my great-uncle Chris to his hospital appointments. So I am watching both of their houses and their dogs! My mom and uncle should be back soon though, so I won't have to worry about the dogs for that much longer.

My hubby is working for the City right now, digging up the power lines trying to find a break somewhere in the line. They have an electrician working here showing him and a couple other guys where to dig. Hopefully they get it found and fixed soon! The barge is going to be in tonight, but Trident doesn't have any product needing to leave, so no need for a call out. A call out is when the captain on the tug Gyrfalcon calls and says if he needs any longshore men to come out to work. Right now we only have my hubby and Raymond, my brother is out fishing on the F/V Farwest Leader doing opilio crab fishing (God be with him and keep him safe). I also heard a rumor that the new Aleutian Housing Authority's (AHA) new 4-plex "up on the hill" -as I call it- is having a rodent problem. Not good, that's a new building and the tenants just moved in like less than 6 months ago! Hopefully get that problem worked out. So that was what today was like...

Hopefully the weather is just as nice tomorrow as it was today!

Explaining who I am and where I'm from....

Let me see... how to start this. I live in Akutan, Alaska. A small volcanic island that is located in the Aleutain Chain, which is in Southwestern Alaska. We are about 40 air miles northeast of Dutch Harbor/Unalaska, 770 miles southwest of Anchorage. Unangan's (Aleuts) moved here from the nearby islands and the small village was built, Akutan Founder's Day is written in the books as September 12, 1878. Last year in 2008 we celebrated our villages 130th birthday!

There are around 45 building that make up the village, about 36 of those being residential. There are only about 77 people total living in the village, ranging in age from 1 year to 82 years! Most of us have all lived here all our lives and watched our village change and grow over the years!

I am the second to last person to have been born here in the village, my cousin Halie was the last to be born here back in 1991. My parents still live in the same house that I was born in. My maternal grandfather died a couple months before I was born, and I lost my maternal grandmother in 1992. My paternal grandmother is still living down in Washington, but my paternal grandfather died as a student in an UltraLight accident over the Knik Turn, near Anchorage, AK on 06/06/03. Here is a link to a site explaining it:
Both of my parents are still here, living in the same house that I've known all my life! This year will mark my parents 16th wedding anniversary, although they have been together for the last about 28 years (when my dad turned 18!) I love them more than words can express!

I live with my husband Demetri Jr, we just got married in court last year on August 14! We are exactly 24 days apart, with me being the older one! We moved into our own house here for 5 years ago already! So far we don't have any kids, but we have 2 beautiful dogs. A black lab named Tug and a chihuahua named Roscoe! We have 3 cockatiels, 4 bala sharks and 2 silver dollars (fish). My husband and I have been together unofficially since we were 12, officially let everyone know when we were 19! I love, love, love him! Without him I don't know what I would be doing or where I would be right now, he keeps me on my feet and I love spending as much time as I can get with him!! We love traveling to warm places and enjoying new experiences together!!

I currently work for our local corporation, the Akutan Corporation (AC). The AC owns/runs a grocery store and a small "hotel", and rents out 2 different buildings:The Corp Building has the Akutan Traditional Council office located in it and the cafe is leased out to an awesome couple who keep it running as the Akutan Bayview Cafe. We also have a sub-company called the Krenitzen Island Cattle Company, which one days hopes to be working a full cattle ranch - raising, slaughtering and packaging the "wild" cows on the island of Akun, about 7 miles from the village.
I work in the Corp office with the title of Secretary/Bookkeeper. I answer the phones, take care of most of all out going bills, we cash checks for 10%, I have to keep our store stocked by doing mass orders every 2 weeks with the help of the storekeeper. I take reservation for our small 6 room hotel, believe me when I say to book early they fill up pretty fast! Especially with all the work going on trying to get us a runway on the island next to us, Akun island. I work from 10Am-5PM, Monday thru Friday. We get an hour off for lunch where we get to go home and cook, or eat at the cafe! I have been trying to learn more about shareholder information and how to deal with stocks and transferals. My mom is my boss, her title is Corp Manager. I try to learn how to run this office on my own so she knows she has back up when she needs it, especially when traveling! I am getting pretty good at Quickbooks now! We have one of the first credit card machines on the island (the post office had the first one!)! So we take cash, credit and check for payments at the store and hotel! I have been working here since August of 2003 and I love my job, although it can get stressfull - but what doesn't give us challenges once in a while right??! My office is located upstairs above the store (McGlashan Store is the name). I pretty much take care of stocking our office with all the supplies needed to run properly. I never really did think that I would be doing as much as I do, but it doesn't bother me any! Give me more! ;) My office contact number is (907)698-2206

My hubby works miscellaneous jobs for the City, and also does Longshore Man work for the Horizon LLC container shipping company. He has been doing "the barge" -as we all call it- since he turned 18! He is one of the best workers they have working over here, other than Raymond M. who's been there much longer than my hubby has!

Life in the village is pretty simple, nothing really changes. Everyone knows everyone and their business. It doesn't take long for word to spread around here. It can be a good thing, or a bad thing... but it all depends on what it is that's being said! There are boardwalks that connect all the houses and building together, none of that muddy road crap here, unless your walking to Trident Seafoods. Speaking of the cannery, its considered one of the largest bottom fish processing plant in North America! Around peak season they can hold over 2000 workers! They process mostly pollock, cod, halibut, and crab, along with others that I'm not to familiar with.

To travel too and from here we have to fly through Dutch Harbor on an amphibious Grumman Goose run by Peninsula Airways (Pen-Air), a ride that takes about 20 mins from take off to landing! We have one of the biggest runways I've ever seen, if you considered the whole size of our harbor the whole runway!! The goose will land and take off in the waters in our harbor. All flights are weather permitted, most the time its blowing, raining, or visibility isn't great so they don't make flights all that often. We are supposed to get 2 scheduled flights a day! When the airlines gets back up with passengers, we will rarely get any incoming mail due to the fact they the airlines said "Passengers and baggage are more important than moving the mail." So, once they get all the people and their bags moved we will finally get some mail and freight! You get used to it living here.

Let me see here now, let me explain to you what we have in the village:

We have a school here that teaches grades K-12. But they have been suffering the last couple years to have at least 10 kids enrolled. I'm not sure how much longer our school is going to be open. Which scares me because if I plan on having kids, I don't want to have to home school, send my kids away or have to move because no one had any ideas on how to get more kids here. I went to school here and graduated in 2001 with 2 other classmates! One who is my husband now, and one of my very best friends! Our school team is called the Akutan Falcons, and we wore black, white and silver for our school colors. We were pretty much unbeatable during my high school years. It was always so much fun to be able to fly out to another one of the smaller schools in the district to play against each other! With barely any kids in school today, there is no sports program anymore, pretty sad! School's number is (907)698-2216

We have a grocery store here, prices are pretty reasonable prices for a village due to the fact that most groceries get shipped here on a freighter from Seattle, WA. If everything was flown in air freight, you wouldn't even want to know what postage prices would do to the grocery prices! As I said before, I work hard to try to keep that store stocked with everything we need. It's not really my fault when the storekeeper and her stock person doesn't let me know when we are either low on an item or completely out. I'm just lucky I guess that I have to cook every night to eat and I shop and notice what's missing! Plus I like to throw a couple new things in each order just for something different, even though most times my mom doesn't agree with me getting it. I just say "HEY IT SOLD QUICK RIGHT?" LOL. I think it's good to get something different in once and a while! break the routine! Store's number is (907)698-2226

We have a small "watering hole" here in the village. I believe it was built in the late 60's early 70's. My paternal grandmother and grandfather built it and established it as the Akutan Roadhouse. They only serve beer and once and a while some wine cooler. I believe they open from 6PM until 1 AM Monday thru Saturday, closed on Sunday's. Their number is (907)698-2219

The City of Akutan offers check break down and they also sell and supply town with our gas, fuel and electricity needs. We go down and pay for it.. and they will have it delivered :) They city also has weekly garbage pick ups on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Recyclables are picked up on Fridays by the Tribal Office. We have a pretty state of the art water filtration system, and a working sewer system established in town. The city also has a multi-purpose building that holds our library, museum, art n crafts and rec center. Hours vary, contact the city for current hours at (907)698-2228

We have a small clinic here that has some pretty awesome stuff in it for being in the village. Some pretty smart technology that they come out with these days. Nice to know that we have that stuff when we need it! For Emergency's call (907)698-2208

We have local law enforcement called a VPSO, Village Public Safety Officer, who works out of the "police dept" building, complete with 2 jail cells!! HA HA..... Call him when needed at (907)698-2315

we also have a small cafe, Akutan's Bayview Cafe (907)698-2260, which is open seasonally. Their hours vary, but right now they open at 9:30 AM and close at 8:30PM Monday thru Saturday, closed Sundays.

The Akutan Traditional Council is our local tribal office. They help by offer town aluminum, plastic and battery recycling. They also help by having a say in what goes on in this town. You can call them for more information at (907)698-2300.

We have a small USPS office located in the same building as my office and the store. They are open from 9AM-5PM Monday thru Friday, 1PM-5PM on Saturdays and closed Sundays. Their phone number is (907)698-2200

Trident has a little store that supplies some food items and "Trident Akutan" souvenirs. They also provide DVD rentals. For their hours please call the office at (907)698-2211 They also have a gym and church which is open to the pubic.

Other than that, we don't have any cars that drive in the village. Our mode of transportation is ATV 4-wheelers or bicycles! Our boardwalks are lit up with street lamps, so it's not just dark our like some places! We used to have a Tsunami building up on the hill, but due to not being taken care of, it rotted and had to be torn down.

So, with this blog I am going to try to document how my days go and what's going on around in the village. Like weather updates, if we got planes or not (I should say if mail comes or not, lol) and what I'm kinda up to in the office. That's if anything is going on at all :P I hope all of the above information gives you an idea of who I am and where I live. I'll try to write everything that goes on. And fill in any missing info that I might have missed. :) All business phone numbers are listed in the phone book. I hope you enjoy my blog.