Be prepared pantry

When you are packing up, do you think about what you have in your pantry or what you might need at the new place? Being someone that cooks I like to have the basics of meal prep on hand. I have this vision of my new home having an amazing space for my pantry goods. I want labeled glass containers Right now our kitchen is so compact we have things in different places.

What you need might vary pending on the type of meals and baking are done in your home.

My home makes corn and gluten free. 

  • Flour (If you go gluten free without xanthan gum, you will need that too.)
  • Brown and white sugar
  • Salt
  • Spices (only what you would use in about 3 months. Spices are best when they are fresh. I grind many of mine fresh.
  • Baking powder (I buy corn free from my natural food store)
  • Baking soda
  • Maple syrup
  • Tapioca starch ( I thicken sauces and other foods with since I can’t use corn starch)
  • Chocolate chips or a vegan substitute
  • Soup stock (when I get to the new place I will make it home made again.)
  • Rice
  • Cooking oil
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Dried beans/lentils
  • Gluten free/ regular pasta
  • Non dairy milk/ powdered milk
  • Seeds/nuts
  • Canned tomatoes and tomato paste
  • Canned beans (chickpeas and black beans are our go to)
  • Gluten free rolled oats
  • Canned fish
  • Onion/ dried onion flakes
  • Garlic/ garlic powder
  • Bottled lemon juice (at our home we freeze whole lemons, taking them out and defrosting them when needed. Sometimes in the microwave) I use lemon juice in both salmon melts and hummus.
  • Canned or dried fruits or vegetables
  • Sauces and condiments

You can do some easy preparation to make many things to make life a bit quicker. When my family was at home I made biscuits and homemade soup. I would make a big batch and divide it into ziplock bags enough to make 8 or so at a time. We then would add the wet ingredients and make them fresh. They were a great midday snack.

This is biscuits recipe like the one I used, mine did not have milk powder or cream of tartar. You would add milk when you would make them. You cam make them vegan and gluten free. If you are allergic to nuts you can use any dairy free milk

photo by By Gemma Stafford | May 29, 2021  She has a great website with many wonderful ideas.

If you are non vegan you can do mini fish melts on the biscuits Vegan could eat them with cooked beans, hummus or make vegan mini sliders.

Hope you can enjoy yummy homemade foods. I read many more people are enjoying more cooking at home with the pandemic restrictions. It would be nice to read some of your pantry dishes are or what different things you keep in your food storage.

Routine Out The Window

People often have things they do over and over. Waking up and having set patterns and routines is part of how many living things pull though…

Then the holidays happen, all that once was is lost. Some are scrambling to get their first beverage of the day as they stagger about in their lost sense of the normal.

Many had time off around the holidays and had the option of sleeping in. Some of us stayed up way too late. This is never good for our health in the long run.

This blog was inspired by ”it is Wednesday, get the blog finished and ready for my readers”. Often I have instant vanilla coffee at 2:00 pm on blog finishing day. It is a nice break from my normal teas. 

My partner has a routine of starting work and having a hot beverage about 45 minutes later. The online meetings can drag out. Need something to keep you alert! I get up get, start my vehicle, grab my hot water or tea and my shake then out on the road.

I know this week’s topic is not very long. I spent some of the week not feeling so good and my brain still has not recovered fully yet. Tossed my routine off even more, but not my treat of coffee!

Note about my WordPress: I’m aware that people that are trying to subscribe are being told they are already subscribed. The people getting the email already are not able to view the blog though the  link. 

MicroStockHub—Getty Images/iStockphoto

I have been working with WordPress to fix this problem

Please go to the web and search if you would like to read the new blog posts. I will put a Special post up when it is working again.

Hope you have a great week. Set time for you in getting back to more normal.

Beds Then And Now

The unusual cold weather we are having in my part of the world has me thinking about how lucky anyone is to have a warm bed and nice bedding. 

The recharge station in the house. Photo by me.

Did you ever think about where beds came from and how we evolved from sleeping on the ground?

We have come a long way since the first mattress was found 77,000 year ago. Many of us in non-impoverished countries don’t need to sleep in pits lined with grass, straw or drying leaves.

Bed from King Tut’s Tomb. Not sure who took the photo.

I love when I read about beds with canopies on them. They were there so things like bugs and other things would not fall on the beds though the rooves that at the time were often made of thatch. 

Those crafty Egyptians gave used raised beds. The Romans had raised metal bed frames The covers would be filled with feathers

Both then and now beds would be a sign of wealth. In today’s world most people do not have gold or other fancy embellishments so you may not be able to tell how much one has by their bed.

In many communities people still sleep on the floor or outside. People in combat often have to forgo beds and sleep for that matter.

I find many beds today don’t have the art and workmanship, they are also not heavy solid wood.

My dear friends from India set up floor beds and many of us shared the set up and space. It would be a sheet down first then heavy blankets and another sheet then the blankets. We all would share the sleeping spot.

Amritsar, India – March 29, 2016: Unidentified Indian people sleeping on the floor in the pilgrim`s dormitories of the Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar, India

In the 1980 our home had a waterbed. Guess many would think that was very odd sleeping on a rubber mattress filled with water. It was heated! I recall it being a bit difficult to make the bed.


Having nurses in my family we learned to do hospital corners. That was a way that the beds were made to keep things safe and helped keep the patients tucked in.

When you are blessed to go to sleep in a bed, I hope you wake up feeling rested and hope you can create some good habits for rest. It is almost a New Year so I’m looking forward to sharing new topics with you!

Dealing With Anxiety Attacks (AKA broken brain)

Being a human and a blogger sometimes means being real and vulnerable.

So.. Monday morning I got up at almost the normal time and started getting ready to go to work. My brain has been on full gear since 11:30 pm…(lets be real, been longer then that but I will tell myself the above)

~ 5 days till Christmas ~

No decorations (Thanks trying to get ready to move and things are packed), 

Not the regular company planned (Thanks grinchy Pandemic)

No gifts for others. (Stress is starting to build.) 

The icing on this not so lovely cake that has been hit with a flame thrower of emotions was I forgot to send a card. There was the mudslide of my brain.

Here are some tips to help someone in a full blown anxiety attack. 

  • Validate how they feel by listening. People that are in a panic are not thinking with the best part of their brain. Don’t argue with them.
  • Provide tissues.
  • Get them some water if they are ok to take a few sips.
  • If they are ok enough, hold them. Nothing is really feeling safe and ok at the time. They may not want to be touched..
  • If they are in a crowded space try to get them to a safer quiet space. Where they can try to regain dignity. Sadly an attack like that will fuel the bad feelings they may be having for themselves.
  • Try not to talk too much or ask more questions. Remember they are in flight or fight. The brain is overloaded.
  • You can try to help to remind them to breathe. (They might struggle to breathe through their nose.) Encourage slow breaths through the mouth. 
  • A warm cloth after they calm down.
  • If they have emergency medication, get it for them. Help them get it in their mouth.

If you tried the steps to help the person and they are still having problems ask if they feel they need to go to the hospital especially if this is the first time this has happened to them. Panic attacks feel scary by themselves but are not life threatening. They really suck and take a toll on the human having one.

Being in a state of brain break can be scary for the person going through it. 

Some of the physical things their body could be exasperating..

  • Crying, sometimes to the point of sobbing so much it hurts.
  • Shaking.
  • Sweating.
  • Heart palpitation.
  • Feeling of pending doom.
  • Weakness that they can’t hold themselves up. 
  • Flailing their arms.
  • Nausea.
  • Throwing up.
  • Chill or hot flashes (the body had gone into crisis mode and can’t regulate normal function).
  • High blood pressure.
  • Breathing struggles.

Anxiety is often very scary and fills the person going through it  with guilt and embarrassment.

I love his work! Nick Seluk on Facebook The Awkward Yeti

Panic attacks/anxiety are real medical conditions. I guide you to see your regular medical provider to have tests done.  The care providers need to determine if the stress is caused by some imbalance or medical condition. Sometimes hormones, vitamin deficiencies, food sensitivities and low iron can leave our brain vulnerable. Likely they will want to do a blood test just to make sure you are not dealing with other conditions. They might refer you to specialists.

Coping Skill

  • Get enough sleep.
  • Drink some water.
  • Eat regular small meals every 4 to 5 hours.
  • Try to keep to your regular schedule.
  • Have a safe quiet place for self care.
  • Take time to recover.
  • Read or watch something funny. Laughter helps the brain.
  • Singing releases happy hormones.
  • Do your hobbies.
  • Keep active, walks, stretching, swimming.
  • Keep a journal that can help you to learn triggers and share it with your medical staff.
  • If you have learned tools like cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) mindfulness, practice when you’re not stressed.
  • Try to remind yourself this is a moment in time not your whole life.
  • Forgive yourself.
  • Remind yourself you are a human and you are allowed to have emotions and you are allowed to not feel ok.
  • Work with a therapist (guilt, past hurt and trauma can affect how the brain processes).
  • Just because your brain does not play nice doesn’t make you a bad person. 
  • Take your medication (if your meds make things harder make an appointment with a doctor as early as you can. Even a teleconference) You have the right to feel okay and safe!
  • If you have vitamins, remember to take them too. B complex D can help please talk it over with your doctor and pharmacy before starting herb or vitamins. They can have side effects too.

My wish for you this holiday, happiness and calm. Remember it is ok to be “Okay enough” Be kind to yourself. This is your picture, create the best you in the moment. We don’t need to be super heroes. 

Artist – Devine Colors on Instagram

Tis The season to over do it

Well the holiday hustle and bustle is upon us, we as people often enjoy pleasing others at the expense of our own good.

Needing to meet one more person or cook something nice, maybe do extra cleaning.

If you’re like many with chronic health problems you may need to draw lines. (Thinking out loud, “I’m superhuman, I will make it!”). At what cost will you make it? How will you suffer? No is a word we as humans seem to disrespect. Learning to pace yourself is hard, finding the limits and fighting yourself to take the down time you need.

Coping strategies to maybe get you though. Something I do is I have 44 (and growing) offbeat holidays tunes, I will put them on in our home just to remind myself it is a weird time with to many unreal expectations and just do the bustle with my not so other people friendly music. One of the songs that make me smile is “It’s Christmas time (Let’s Just survive)” By Kathleen Edwards

If you are being a host for a meal you can invite people to bring potluck. Making time to have a nap can sometimes give you just enough to make it though.

Have someone you can call if you need a ride. Nothing worse than not having the energy in the first place and having to drive somewhere safely. Public transportation often is too much for minds and bodies to handle. If you have ever tried to get somewhere on transit nearing holidays, you can run short on energy. Standing, extra walking and people. 

Make a list of things to do, asking for help is hard but a huge life changer for someone with a health condition.

If it is in your control, stick to small gatherings. If you must go to a large event ask if there is a quiet spot or a room you might be able to rest in. 

If it is in your budget, paying to stay somewhere before and after the event can be a blessing too. 

Eat light or bring foods that you know are safe. With food problems it is easier for me to make something that suits my needs and have the hostess put it out for me. It feels better  than having the hostess stressed about how to feed you. It can create so much stress just thinking about eating to the point you’re wrecked before you even leave the house.

If you are going to a restaurant, call the day before, tell them about your food challenges, make sure they can accommodate your diet needs. If it is a work event, tell the person making the reservations. Many places I have been to have a special plate put aside for me.. It is a bit weird but I’m grateful for not feeling ill.

All this is about advocating for your well being. It is so hard to need to adapt to your needs and it takes more energy than we often have.  If you have sensory challenges it is okay to ask people to check in with you before touching you.

If you want to do something with someone, be flexible. Let them know the back up plan if you’re having a hard day. I hate to cancel so sometimes I will say before in the planning stage. If I’m having a hard day instead of going out would you be okay if we order food at my place and we can eat and watch a movie. Or I know we were going to a mall could we do some online browsing instead. 

Are you like me and enjoy gifting, that can be a stressful thing when dealing with limited energy. It is really wonderful when people I care about share a wish list with me including things they would enjoy me making for them. I preserve foods so knowing that someone would enjoy some spicy pickles or salsa goes a long way. If there is something you would love, add a link to it. I know it sounds like you are doing all the work. Thank you for helping me to share with you!

Big family events wear many out. So if you can’t do it maybe invite 2 people over or make a time limit for the family events. Tell yourself I can handle 2 hours and then I must go. It is harder to do that sometimes than to not show up in the first place

Always take your medications with you and take any needed before you go. Set up your down time after events. Downtime might mean 3 quiet days at home. Everyone’s recovery time varies.

Being kind to you means learning more than you might want to know about yourself. 

Limits are key to surviving the negative zones of the holiday. Knowing how to not get caught in the realm of socal vampires.. 

May you be at peace however you enjoy the festivities. 

Some Like it Hot

How spicy do you like your food? 

Chili peppers – spicy and burning hot — Vector by toranoko

I was cleaning out my hot sauce collection to get more packed for moving. Now I have hot sauce that when the factory makes them they need safety gear. 

Some of the hot stuff at my home.

I make very spicy salsa. When I make a batch at home I wear gloves, a bandana over my mouth and sometimes eye protection. It is not fun breathing in the fumes when you have a hot pot of chillies cooking. You don’t want any on your skin or under your nails. I tell my family if you are cutting peppers don’t touch any mucus membranes so not your nose, mouth or eyes. And whatever you do, wash 3 times in cold water before going to the bathroom.

I can’t handle it as spicy as I used to. Got me thinking, what if I make my own hot sauce? 

Pepper’s spicyness go on a scale range called the Scoville scale, named after an American pharmacist in 1912. This goes from the more human tolerable range of things like paprika and banana pepper up to the “you might be better to set yourself on fire than try to digest them” level. Dragon breath, ghost pepper, scorpion peppers.  The hottest 

I have tried things that had ghost pepper in it. The jelly from Seattle Washington was the only one that had good flavors, everything else was hot but bland. Heat without flavor is just burn your face off with no enjoyment.

My range of enjoyment is the middle of the road with habaneros or Thai Chillies. They are still more than many people I know can handle. 

My homemade salsa has 6 cups of banana peppers and 6 to 8 habaneros. 6 cups of tomatoes, 1 cup of onions, fresh oregano, fresh ground cumin, fresh lime juice and apple cider vinegar. It is so tasty. I make about 24 jars, 2 a month for a year. I used to use 6 cups of jalapenos in place of the bananas. I switched it out because myself and another family member have problems with jalapenos.

2 years ago we started doing spicy pickles too. Adding a full hot pepper to a Litre (quart) jar of pickles.

One of the places I buy hot sauces from is Pepper Palace, the staff there is so awesome at helping you select the right products for you and others. Before the pandemic they gave you the ability to sample many of their products. I like that. Before being able to do that I have dumped out many sauces that were not enjoyed. If you want to see how hot sauce is made this by Brian Ambs.

In hotter parts of the world like Trinidad or Northeast Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland and Manipur, they grow peppers year round (where some of the worlds spicyest peppers come from), in Canada we have to grow in our home with heat and grow lights or heated greenhouse from early summer to later in the year like June or July. The advantages of growing any pepper, spicy or not, in the home is they have a head start for the year and I have had pepper going all winter in the house. The disadvantages are sometimes your plants get sick, Sadly that is what happened this year as I had to take my lights down to pack up for moving. So I’m down 4 plants. Next Year once I move I will grow more hot peppers from seeds.

When you plant any pepper, put some sulfur near the roots, peppers love sulfur. I use 3 to 6 paper matches. It makes a huge difference in helping them grow and bud.

Hope you stay warm as we are nearing winter in the northern climates. If not you could try some new hot sauces they might warm you to the bone! Hope to read about the spicy things you have enjoyed or tried and then burst into flames. I have tried sharing hot stuff with willing friends that don’t handle quite the same heat scale as me, I’m lucky they still talk to me. 

Wired differently

My week has been busy thinking about what to cover in this week’s blog. Does your brain work differently than others?

I could not find who to credit for this.

Whether you are someone that thinks too much or appears to hold a calm brain we are all built the way we were meant to be.

Neurodiversity, I only became aware of this term during the pandemic. I was in a zoom meeting with other intellectuals. The term was talked about. Many of the people with multiple levels of education could relate to the term. 

Rainbow infinity sign. Colorful symbol of neurodiversity YuliaBuchatskaya

This is when the brain is wired or set up differently. It is like setting up a device like a computer or a cell we all have individual settings and we all have applications we really like and need, the same goes for the person with a neurodiverse brain. We have a way that works best for us.

People that have a variation in the human brain. Whether it is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, epilepsy, anxiety, neurodevelopmental disorders, mental health related or other things that change our brains

We are not lazy, crazy or stupid, we are the people who might see the world differently. The people that might be looked down on or thought to be less. 

Sometimes things that might be more of a challenge. Noises, activities, being too busy, or needing more quiet, needing order, understanding jokes or double  entendres. They might talk too much. They might need more time, space and patiences. They might seem shy or standoffish. They might have strange quirks. 

 Photograph: Granger Historical Picture Archive/Alamy

Neurodiverse people might be that person who forgets to put pants on but can solve problems that others think wow. Take Albert Einstein, the teacher leaving him feeling like he was a failure, saying he would not amount to anything. They later surmised  he may have been autistic or schizophrenic, they did not have the same ways to diagnose people with different conditions in the late 1800 and early 1900.

Many famous people from the present and past are neurodiverse. Here are some of the ones that have ADHD, Autism.

Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pexels success

I will leave you with this, you are not broken or damaged, nor are the people you may know that have any differences. If you feel different or out of place, Find the things that bring out the best in you, make goals, work to learn things you are good at. If someone does not believe in you, don’t give up, you are worth the fight. Keep building a better you, be the best you can. Learn many new things, you might like some of them you might not. It is all about learning and growing. No one has the right to keep you down. If I let all the horrible things that people including teachers said to me keep me down I would not have ever become a blogger. Have a safe week

Emergency grab kit

The recent heavy rains in my area that caused mass flooding in the area around me got thinking. What is in our emergency grab kit. Before you’re ever faced with a disaster, sign up for a first aid class. 

When I opened my kit it was not very ready. I will be fixing this soon.

Not soon enough, the heavy rains are due to start again and the supplies for restocking are becoming a bit more of a challenge to get. This is giving me ideas on how to make do with what you have on hand. 

So our floods have shut down the railways and broken or blocked many roads that bring in valuable supplies. We are restricted to how much gas we can buy at one time, this is something I don’t think I have experienced. The refinery that supplies one-third of our area gas can’t get the crude oil there to refine it.

Tin can candle and single burners, I know I have candles and matches at home. I also have cotton string so I could make a single burner stove. I’m not  sure if I have large tin cans. That coffee comes in. If you or someone you know has one then you can make this. So you would take a small tin can line a fish tin and cardboard, wax and a taller can like a soup can to put over that. The last can would be a large coffee can. With many parts of North America having recycling you can easily get the supplies needed. There is many ways to make the burners, I included one with wax and one without. You can also do a search for hobo stoves.

Have one person to contact that will be able to contact others on your list. You may only be able to make a few calls. 

If it is not safe to leave your home, call 911 to get help.

If you have the time and resources beforehand, put gas in your means to drive out. 

Turn off gas to your home. Turn off water. Sand bags might be something that you can do for floods. Lock your doors when you leave.

If you have a pet and have time to get them, get them. I have a pet carrier for our last pet. If you know your on evacuation notice, put your pet in a cage or safe storage before you have to race out. Pets get scared and can go places where it is hard to get them. Remember to put food and extra water in your grab kit for each pet. I put the leash and harness in the safe carrier and a soft blanket that the pet has used before.

Flood Waters cover Highway 1 in Abbotsford BC, Tuesday Nov 16 2021. Photo by Jonathan Hayward

Sadly many of the farmers 30 minuets to the east of us had to leave their livestock. The floods happened very fast. It will really affect us in the next many months. Many of the milk and eggs come from that area. Many of the food fields are under water

Have a safe place to meet the family you live with. Or go to the directed safe spot/evacuation area as soon as you can and get your name on the safe list. If you are in a workplace or a place away from home, Wait for guidance from someone in charge  to guide you. If you’re at a workplace, plan an emergency meeting. If there is no one around you will need to get to the safest place at the time. 

view of the formation of a storm in the earths atmosphere

If you are dealing with floods, or fires you need to leave quickly. Hurricanes and tornadoes are some of the things other people I know have dealt with and have been displaced from their homes too. 

Be mindful to listen for open routes and for how they want people to move out safely. Just because you are instructed to go on the route does not mean it will be easy or short.

I recall coming home one year from 100 mile house, this is about a 7 hour drive from where we lived at the time. Once you’re on the route you have very few areas to go. We were stopped due to a forest fire. We were stranded on the road, very close to the flames. It was really scary. I happen to have things in the vehicle to eat and drink but because the fires were so close we were not allowed out of the vehicle for hours we could feel the heat from the fire and hot ash fell. So this might have been a time If we had to go to the bathroom we might need to open up one of the adult diapers and do our business and then toss it in a bag and tie it off. Not something I ever want to have to do. 

Vector Illustration of items to have on hand in case of an emergency (all items are grouped individually).

Things to put in you grab and go bag. When you put thing in put as much as you can in plastic bags to keep it dry and clean.

  • Candles
  • Premade food in cans with pull off lids or ones without and a can opener.
  • Water 1 L per person per day, they say 4 per person. But one would need to make do.
  • Adult diapers can be used for many things including if there are no toilets.
  • Toilet paper
  • First aid kit (I have 2 in my vehicle)
  • Hand crank flashlights or ones with batteries
  • Hand crank radio or one with batteries
  • PPE including masks, some way to clean your hands, disposable gloves
  • Reflectors
  • Long Matches, or lighting torch
  • A good knife and scissors
  • Heavy gloves, sometimes you have to move things that can be broken or rough, the last thing you need is to hurt your hands when you may not have a clean place to wash. 
  • Copies of important documents including your insurance papers
  • Contacts of anyone you need to notify, including out of town people.
  • Dry socks for each person in your home.
  • Keep an old, good pair of foot wear and toss them in a sealed plastic bag.
  • Rain poncho
  • Medication,  supplement a copy of your current medications. Many pharmacies can give you a printed list of what you take. If not, write out your medications, what instructions for taking, like the time and how much. If you are hurt someone needs to be able to give you your medications.
  • If you have over the counter things like pain or stuff to help a bad gut, allergy medications. Leave instructions about them too. 
  • Snacks like protein bars, fruit leather, seeds or nuts if you’re not allergic. Canned fruits 
  • Utensils
  • Glasses, if you have a spare put them in the kit if not try to get the ones you have. 
  • Photos of the people in your home can be helpful if someone is lost or not with you.
  • Card or other small games or other small entertainment.
  • Blanket for each member of the home.
  • Female hygiene supplies pads, wipes, bags to put waist in. I would say that this is good stuff to add to your kit even if  you don’t have a female in your home. You might be able to help someone. If you have sanitary pads, they are clean and very absorbent so if someone gets a bad cut you can compress them on a wound.
  • Glucose tablets. If someone’s sugar goes low, this can be a crisis. Some are really hard, you can crush them a bit and put them in a small amount of water and they can drink the water.
  • Batteries.
  • Eye drops and chapstick. 
  • Extra bags and ziplock
  • back up power
  • If you have someone that has a care plan a copy of that plan is a good idea. It is worry some enough to go thought an evacuation. but then not to have the care plan for anyone that needs different or specials care
  • Moist towelettes. I don’t love them but in an emergency it could be a good tool.
  • Hair ties
  • Basic small multi tool I keep some in my vehicle
  • a whistle
  • large garbage bags, you can use then to keep things dry, put wet stuff in or cut holes in it to help like a poncho.

Biodegradable non toxic cleaners. If you have a flood you don’t want to put more chemicals in the environment.

If you find yourself in an emergency stay as calm as you can adding a list of steps to do is a very key way to keep things a bit better. If you have a rubber bin like I do, tape a large ziplock bag with your instructions facing out for quick access to read and the rest of your important papers inside.

If you are displaced and you find my blog, I hope you are safe and dry. If you need help many groups and individuals are offering help. I read that there are trades people and other people looking for work as they are stranding and displaced. Please check your local Facebook groups and other social media. See if you or someone you know can be of service to each other. Many of the flood areas have a boiled water advisory. Links if you are effected by the British Colombia floods aids November 2021

Hope you are safe.

The Gift Of Giving

Many of us have been exposed to kindness and helping others. I recall growing up watching the Variety Children’s Telethons. That was a TV telethon that many homes in North America.

Public Broadcast system did one my partner remembers when they would do Red Dwarf marathons and such for donations. Was a local station out of United States of America.

This is the 2021 logo

Today’s read might need a bigger cup. So grab yourself a cup and enjoy! You might get sidetracked with checking out Desert Bus For Hope.

Being a geek I was introduced to a really fun online charity called Desert Bus For Hope. My home has had part of the team in our home on screens for 13 years so far. They are a great bunch of people that started 15 years ago in the basement of one of the people’s homes

The Loading Ready Run is a team that produces podcasts, videos, and live streams. This  comedy sketch team covers topics to appease the gaming and other geeky intellectuals.

Besides the great team of humans that run the Desert Bus for hope, I love that they go 24 hours a day based on a mathematical equation that I have never really understood. They run for almost a week with 4 teams. We catch 3 of the 4 teams. Darn that needing to sleep thing! The shift we miss goes from Midnight to 6:00 am pst known as Zeta shift.

This is the four shifts logos. From Left to Right Dawn Guard Yellow (6 am to 12:00 pm) Alpha Flight Red (12:00 pm to 6pm) Night Watch Blue(6pm To 12:00 am) Zeta Purple (!2:00 am to 6:00am)

There are so many entertaining parts, my personal favorites this year and years past have been lunchtime stretches and limbering with Jacob Burgess. He does a great job instructing and his buoyant personality shines. In that shift they also are running a Dungeons and Dragons  campaign. The team has great characters. They inspire my curiosity into the game. He is on Alpha Flight From 12:00pm till 6 pm

Kate is the mother that let the team hang out and run the fundraiser in her basement. Kate now hosts coffee pong in the mornings just after 6 am. One of the most heartbreaking days was when Bill Watt her son died January 2016, He was one of the original team and spent a time in children’s hospital when he was younger. It was a heart break to all who were introduced to him I have a huge place in my heart for the hip and versatile mom she is. She spent years before the pandemic being a volunteer live driving the bus and telling stories.

Desert bus helps kids. Through donating a lot of money every year to Child’s Play.

Paul Saunders and his shanties have been a wonderful sound. His voice is calming. He gets up early to be with Dawn Guard that is the 6am to 12:00 pm shift.

Max Loy has treated us to beautiful musical pieces on the violin. He was part of the back working as well. He worked the Night watch team. They run from 6 to midnight pst.

Kathleen de Vere has been part since we started watching, I love that we have watched many of the team evolve. She is now married to Graham Stark and shares stories about the family including the pets. She Volunteered on the Alpha Flight That runs from 12:00 pm to 6pm she also had a fun character in the D&D game.

They have so many talented people.

Andy Cownden and Maddy both sing and entertain. Because of the pandemic they are doing more remote guests and shifts.

Ken Stacy used to come in and he was a ball of weird and wonderful energy. They made some amazing funds when they would do one of his donations. .

They have many behind the scenes volunteers. That you to all of them for keeping all this running and fixing glitches as they happen. Streaming can bring glitches. 

They have t-shirts during the drive and presales before the drive that $15 goes to Childs play on Behalf of Desert bus For Hope. Friends and family of mine own many years of the custom years t-shirt. If you find yourself loving the fundraiser and enjoying the team it might be great to own your own shirt. You can get them at Fangamer They are $28 USD they ship to many places in the world.

These are the shirts to buy from Fangamer.

There are many things that have been staple in the runs, the caramel dance is an example. The whole team gets up and dances and does the actions. Nothing gets me moving like that. 

Friday November 19 will likely be the last day this year to you will be able to take a peek at this fun and rather obscure fundraiser. They are for the children. They have silent auctions, live auctions and giveaways. If you love something you see or want to donate you need to create a donor account. Even 5 dollars is helping.

The whole team is trying to be very inclusive of all walks of life. They also can poke fun at many of the simple things. I really could go on forever about all the amazing ways this team makes me smile. This blog is supposed to be a hot beverage length.

Shawnigan Hills B&B

Have you wanted to run off to the hills and enjoy wildlife and clean air? 

Their nice welcome book.

When I go away I like having a quiet place with less people, I love to cook when I’m away. So having a mini kitchen to enjoy works well for me and others I cook for.

This time I had the pleasure of staying at Shawnigan Hill Guest House B&B with a small fridge, pans to cook on a double induction burner. I loved this cooking platform so much that after my last experience at an airbnb I bought one. There was a toaster, toaster oven and a microwave. We comfortably had 3 adults in the suite, which had two queen beds. 4 people could enjoy the place. 

It was raining so I was only able to get a photo of one of the alpacas.

There were animals that lived there too. 2 alpacas, I think 3 sheep, 3 dogs and 30 chickens. We had fresh eggs as part of our breakfast. The other 2 humans were able to enjoy dairy free blueberry pancakes on Sunday the host offered them so they brought them down at about 7:30

The host was very cool and offered to get gluten free bread for me. We were thankful but declined due to the other things I can’t eat. This was very different than other B&B’s I had been to in the past. They gave you the makings for Breakfast. Including coffee teas and hot chocolate. 

When out in town there were some sushi places, we had Thai take out from Montra Thai Eatery. At this time they don’t and sit in dining or a designated website. It was good they were able to accommodate my food sensitivities. The Lakehouse At Shawnigan was a nice place that overlooked the lake. They make the food fresh in house so if you have foods you don’t eat you can talk to the staff and they can work around diet restrictions. They have a gluten free deep fryer and they were able to accommodate my other foods.

There is the Kinsol Trestle that is about a km and a half walk. It was raining quite hard the day we were there. Raining in BC early November.. on the West coast or as us that live here say the wet coast! 

Caught this on the deck of the ferry, The rain has hope and beauty.

If you are venturing to Vancouver Island, things have been very busy, my recommendation would be to go through the hassle and $17 of expense to make a reservation on the ferry. We had to wait more than 3 hours and 2 sailings before they finally slid us in with the last 2 cars getting on behind us. We celebrated getting on and on the way home. 

This was a break after the rain on the way to the Island. Taken by me on November 6th 2021

Hope if you are reminded of someone that did not come home from war or a battle or if you or someone you loved or knew are/were in the armed forces I hope you are filled with blessings. May you find the peace you deserve. Have a good week.