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Still Waiting…Thankfully

October 21, 2016

Yesterday was the Great Shakeout in British Columbia.  This is a yearly date set aside to consider preparing for the seismic event that will occur sometime in the future on the West coast, practicing how to survive and recover from earthquakes.



This year, during the designated time at 1020 am, I was attending a meeting at work.  A rare occurrence for me, but it was good to be able to share with my uncertain colleagues the purpose of the Shake Out, and demonstrate what to do if the ground starts to feel like a bouncy castle.


This advice hasn’t changed in the years I have been participating, but I have noticed the links I have included in the past for my posts have changed. Along with practicing, I use this time to review my emergency kits and exchange expired items, as well as add new comfort items to my grab and go kit.



Last year I added tea and a flask.  I can’t believe I could exist without tea during the recovery period of an earthquake or evacuation.  This year, on the advice of someone who survived the Christchurch quake who spoke on CBC radio, I will scan my important documents and include copies in an accessible place.

Here are some up to date links for 2016 on preparedness!

Government of Canada: Get Prepared  Know the Risks, Make a Plan, Get a Kit

Great British Columbia Shake Out  Join in and participate every third Thursday of October

Government of BC  Prepared BC – On your way to being ready

City of Port Coquitlam Emergency Preparedness – check out your own city for how you can be prepared locally and in your neighbourhood.

CDART – Canadian Disaster Animal response team – don’t forget your pet!


Get a kit!  Get a kit the quick and easy way, buy a ready made kit for you and your family, your car, your school, your pet or make your own…online at:

Red Cross  – you can now order online!

FAST – this is a local company in Delta, BC

St John’s Ambulance – You can order more than first aid kits

26 weeks to emergency preparedness – build your own kit a week at a time, it’s easier for when you are on a budget, also includes learning about preparedness.

Get informed a different way

Preparedness 101 – the Zombie Pandemic – A fun way of teaching preparedness, a graphic novel from the CDC

Fault Lines – CBC podcast on preparedness guided by a seismologist

I am all prepared, now what?  During my meeting I asked the group for a show of hands on who has an emergency kit in their home and car.  I was pleased with the response of many hands raised, and chuckled at the other response expressed, “oh, shut up.”  Everyone has a different level of comfort with disasters, and I can respect we all come from different places.  I have a friend who, many years before, lost her house in a fire, and I learned from her that  preparedness isn’t everything, but you can recover.  I choose to volunteer when I can with my city.  Do whatever you can, and I hope that throughout our lives we will keep waiting.








Gracious Living for Hamsters

September 9, 2016

I have been thinking about what a pet hamster would like if they could choose their living space and transportation.  They need to be active, and can run about 9 kilometers a night.  They are naturally prey animals, and can be stressed if they are in an environment they don’t consider safe. They instinctively want to dig and burrow, making places to store food and sleep.

It really depends on the hamster personality on what they prefer.  I have had hamsters that jump into the plastic ball so that they can run around the house.  Other hamsters would just roll into a corner and sit. One study showed that free wild mice will run in a wheel when placed in their field.  Rodents are all natural marathon runners!  I even had one hamster, Sally, that when she accidentally got out of her cage one night, came out from under the couch when we called her name.  We habituated her to the bedrooms upstairs, and she would happily climb the stairs, run around exploring and then come back to us when we called and it was time to return.

Here is a hamster that prefers expensive cars instead of hamster balls.  You can find him on Facebook, his name is  Abroham Squeakin.  He is one cool ham.



So you are a hamster sporting a cool car, but where is the living large hamster going to live?  The old method would be to have plastic tunnels connecting a myriad of cages.  That’s okay, but could be unsightly to fit in with the décor of your house.  Hamsters do need space to move about, as long as they have places they can hide in and feel safe.  Many are not fussy, I had one ham that adored sitting forever in a cardboard box that was from my spring bulb delivery.  Maybe it smelled nice, and it did have great air holes where he would poke out his nose.  But owners who love their hamsters want more than a box, and many pride themselves on decorating the hamster environment with themes.  Erin from ErinsAnimals blog and You Tuber has great advice and directions on how to build and create all sorts of things for your hamster, including a cage from Ikea furniture.



Erin also has instructions on how to create items for the cage, but if you visit Andrea Probst you will meet an incredibly creative woman who makes entire hamster buildings.  You can find them at her website

This is called the Mediterranean.


This one, outside of its hamster habitat, is called the Castle.


She learned wood working as a hobby in their family home to make a building for her hamster, and her talents blossomed from there.  If you don’t share these talents, you can purchase her creations.

So take it from the hamster, if a place is nice, it is a good place to stick around and store your sunflower seeds.



Bear survives another visit to the PNE

September 4, 2016

It’s Labour day, and that means the fair at the PNE is coming to a close soon. Of course we couldn’t miss our trip to experience the treats.  So this week we made it out, even though the day was a bit rainy, we had heaps of fun.

Every year I bring along a stuffed bear I won long ago at the midway.  He has two left feet and looks kinda homely, but I figure he likes to visit his old stomping ground.  It also gives me an excuse not to spend more at the midway again.  He sports a PNE wristband that I got a few years ago, and I think he looks kinda cute.  Hopefully he will be good luck in winning the prize home!

20160831_140327Here he poses in the kitchen of the prize home.

We sure like trying the unique food, and little bear helps us pose with our treats.

Mmm good, deep fried tequila shots, Mexican style perogies, award winning smoked ribs and pulled pork, fresh satay noodles and oreo churros!


Can’t miss treats are the macaroni stuffed burgers and the bacon flavoured cotton candy. Also, bear poses with the bbq trophy.

That’s it for this year, we are all stuffed!

An unlucky break

August 31, 2016

Even little hamsters can have a rough time.  This baby ham picture was posted on Reddit to evoke comments and sympathy, but had no explanation other than “Little fellow broke his arm.”  One has to imagine the juvenile hammy going on his first days to school and having the other hamsters sign his itty bitty cast.

Hamster Mario

August 31, 2016

Even a hamster can enjoy video games.

2016 PNE food adventures.

August 30, 2016

Alright, when I was younger, the annual exhibition was all about the thrill of the rides.  All day passes meant striving to get on at least 40 times in a day.  Rollercoasters, swing of the century, the monster…

I guess when we mature, life gives us plenty of thrills daily in other ways.  But there is still thrills at the PNE not to be missed.  Who can resist a stroll through the marketplace to buy some wonder that will seem sensible, but then sit in the garage?  I must admit the rubber broom sweeps away the rain puddles that sneak in under the door.

Nor to be missed are the animals.  Those amazing canines of the superdogs and their big show antics can be fascinating and hilarious. A couple years back we discovered mini chuck wagon races.  They are so small with minature horses, but the same desires to win as the full size at the rodeo.

But the ultimate highlight is probably the food.  Experience this year the big pickle corndog, bacon cotton candy, oreo churros, mac and cheese stuffed burgers, chicken teriyaki perogies, or butter chicken fries.  The questing has to be, how can we fit it all in?  Maybe it was easier in the days of aiming for fourty rides.



This beauty thanks to Daily Hive.Daily Hive


pne-food-deep-fried-pickle-corn-dog-1  The yummy corndog thanks to Foodgressing

Maybe I will get a little help again from my pal, PNE bear.  He originally came from a win at the midway, he sports a wristband that says, “PNE the best part of summer,” and if you listen caefully, he can be heard to say, “PNE, let’s go!”  Who can resist?

Shall I Stay or Shall I Go?

February 18, 2016

With the Canadian dollar trending low, we decided to do the stay-cation and spend dollars on things around the house.  It doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the wonders of world travel when we have the marvel of the internet.  Our little friend the hamster takes us to Hawaii!

Who can resist tasting a seashell, the cabana and then discovering the bar and buffet taste better?  Surely no hamster can!  No hamster can resist digging in the sand and then trashing the buffet before indulging in a bit more of a snack either.

Then our little friend is on to exotic Egypt!


Our tiny hamster friend takes pleasure in climbing pyramids, participating in an historic dig, raiding the tomb of the pharaohs before heading home in a balloon.