Friday, April 27, 2007


Monday, April 23, 2007

Vetting On Chance

We are so proud of our son for his bravery and non-squeamish tolerance towards open wounds and after-care of "patients" here in HamsterVille.

We had a serious casualty from one of the homes, where 3 girls were bunking together.

Is It Dying...

Two Saturdays ago, we had a rude shock when one of the hammies fell seriously ill out of the blue. There was no tall-tale signs that it was going to go into a limp, almost lifeless state.

Its eyes were closed with shallow breathing. Its body totally limp and looked like it was on the verge of dying very soon.

I force-fed it with Baytrill antibiotics when it came to, after massaging its cold body for more than 20 minutes. It fell back and forth between conscious and unconscious state.

"We will not give up on you," I said to it softly, "so don't you give up on yourself!" Assuring myself and praying in my heart to The Almighty to give this soul a fighting chance.

Come On Chancey

Cupping it with my palm while massaging its body to get the blood circulating for warmth, I told it that we will name it Chancey.

"Wake-up Chancey, wake-up..." I told her repeatedly. I kept talking all sorts of stuff to her that I could not remember what, but one thing was for sure... for her to fight on because we were not giving-up on her.

When she came to again after quite some time. I fed her with water by means of a syringe. She swallowed it and again went unconscious. It was disheartening and quite panicky to see her like that.

Nonetheless I kept massaging and talking to her for more than three hours straight.

Chancey finally came too again. This time she could open her eyes slightly and at times her front legs jerked a few times. I had more hope then and was very happy that she was in a better state, but she was no way... out of the woods yet.

I fed her with more water which she swallowed, She was really thirsty. I fed her concentrated food paste into her mouth using a cue tip; medications we got from previous visits from the vet. She swallowed these which raised our hopes even higher.

It went through a little past midnight, so I had to put into a small cage after wrapping her up to her ears with layers of facial tissues to keep herself warm.

"Be strong Chancey. I will see you in the morning." I said while petting her forehead. I switched off the kitchen light and retired to bed with a prayer for the little one.

The Morning After...

"Oh my God!" I exclaimed when I checked Chancey's cage first thing in the morning after getting out of bed... at dawn actually, on a Sunday morning.

"Chancey... Oh my God!... Good morning girl!" I said excitedly. Unexpectedly Chancey made it through the night. I was so relieved and was ecstatic to tell the good news to Wifey and Son who were still sleeping... exhausted from a late night.

It was like... a miracle for Chancey!

"How are you girl?" I started talking to her, "Time for your breakfast and medicine... OK?" I sounded like a seasoned nurse in a hospital ward.

I fed her with more water and the food paste, then a drop of Baytrill... the single most important medication I consider a must, in a first-aid kit for a hamster owner.

I discovered that Chancey had a black spot on her skin, under her left thigh. It was hard and was the size of a 10 cent coin.

Like A Trouper He Is...

Our son searched the Internet for plausible conditions. We narrowed it down to either fungus infection or something more serious like a type of cancer.

Without hesitation, our son called the vet, who could not confirm or dispense any medication either without examining the patient first. So we made an appointment that was open only on Thursday, 19 April 2007 at 4:30pm.

"I'll be able to make it to the vet on this date, Ayah." He volunteered straight away, looking concerned.

So before that date came, Chancey was in the care of 3 nurse-wannabes tending to her closely. She was fed water every hour, food paste and twice a day, antibiotics.

That's A Nasty Scar!

"Ayah, the vet is operating on Chancey," my son called me at my desk in the office, "she is removing the infected flesh off her."

He continued saying "We will need Woodlands Manuka Honey Uma 12+ for her wound... can you buy it?"

"OK, I'll stop by NTUC on my way back to buy that." I replied with pride in my heart the courage and conviction my son has to save a life.

I was apparently shocked that instead of a topical application for fungal infection I thought at first, Chancey had rotten flesh that had to be gorged-out into a hollow open wound!

I just wondered how painful it was for Chancey when the anesthetic wore off. There was no pain-killer medication being given. That poor girl.

It cost S$60.00 for the whole consultation and medications - Auraclen for cleaning of the open wound and Bactroban for topical anibiotics. No surgery fees were charged though.

Yes, like a real trouper our son is, he has been the person to clean the open wound and applying honey to cover it and Bactroban everyday. Wifey cleans the small cage twice a day with napkins for bedding as instructed by the vet.

And I Am Proud Of You...

"I think I want to be a vet, Ayah..." he suddenly told me as he passed by after cleaning Chancey the last time for the day.

"If you think you love animals that much, why not." I told him, obviously proud at his conviction and veracity.

Chancey is doing fine. I am also proud of her fighting spirit.

The big open wound is slowly closing in its gap. She is eating well and so responsive to us being around. She likes to be held. She and the rest are such a wonderful gift to our family.

We thank The Almighty for giving us another chance... with Chancey.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Happy 35th Wills!

To A Dear Friend On Lopez

Anne & George Wills
Happy 35th Wedding Anniversary

May You Both Be Blessed
With Many More Wonderful
Years Together...
In Love

Friday, April 20, 2007

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Clutter Me Free

Your Mind is 45% Cluttered

Your mind is starting to get cluttered, and as a result, it's a little harder for you to keep focused.

Try to let go of your pettiest worries and concerns. The worrying is worse than the actual problems!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I'm Going Green

"Do you bring your shopping bag, Sir?"

It triggered me first when I saw the green eco-friendly shopping bag on the cashier's counter before it was my turn to be served. Oh yes, today is the first Wednesday of the month.

Today is the first time the NEA or National Environment Authority of Singapore launches a "Bring Your Own Shopping Bag" campaign for shoppers to use recyclable shopping bags instead of the widely used plastic bags.

Stopping by Shop & Save Supermarket after work, I bought a few groceries and snacks for home as well as to keep some in my desk at the office.

"No, I want to buy the shopping bag, please. How much is it?" I asked willingly.

Not so much to pay 10 cents for every piece of plastic bag you will need to fill your purchases in though, but to support any effort to save the environment. Monies collected today will be channeled for this cause... and there will be more green days ahead.

The recyclable shopping bag bearing the supermarket's name and logo costs only 70 cents. Why not?! I consider this my long-time yearning to have a hand in saving the environment... however minute it may be.

The bag is durable, having a good and comfortable handle to carry my purchases in. I kind of like it and should bring it along for my next grocery shopping.

I think this is an ingenious idea to get people in Singapore to switch from plastic bags to eco-friendly shopping bags. There are people who got a surprise at the checkout counters today, and unfortunately were irritated at the idea of having to pay for each plastic bag they need instead of getting them freely with their purchases.

I believe persistence is the key here as it takes time to make everyone a little environment friendly with very little inconvenience at the start. It will eventually be a normal part of our island life here, hopefully.

It is but for a good cause, a greater good because we only have one planet earth.

Like the ingenious advert I really like that says, "Save our planet. It's not like we can go shopping elsewhere."

Monday, April 16, 2007

Back From Bangkok

Garlans At End Of Floating Market Boat Ride
We are home!

That has always been my wonderful thought every time our plane touches down and when we actually open the front door. Will always feel good to be home again.

I finally get to write about our recent trip to Bangkok, Thailand.

As the days passed by, I began to miss our home and its occupants. Not of the inanimate objects in it, but the living, breathing beings we left behind to go on this trip.

How were the residents in HamsterVille doing?
Hopefully well as we gave plenty of food and attached an extra water bottle to each cage. All to last the 3 nights we were away.

How was our corridor garden plants doing?
Hopefully our next door neighbor remembered and was kind enough to water the plants while we were away.

All these worries were at the back of my mind while we were trying to make the best of this trip. Not so much a vacation, but we did go on a complementary half-day tour around Bangkok City and its river market.

It was more of a "business trip" as we sourced for new stuff for our new shop that we hope to stock-up and open in early May 2007.

To do that, the best way is to go on foot, so... we walked the walk and "shopped the shops" till we dropped... dead tired, like our leg could pop out of its sockets.

Woke up at about 7:30am and got ourselves ready. Had our breakfast at 8:00am and left Bangkok Palace Hotel for shopping by 9:45am... in time for the shops that lined the streets, the makeshift stalls that filled the pavements and the shopping centres to open at around 10:0am in the morning.

Had lunch in any halal Muslim restaurant that crossed our path... and for the first time, we had the authentic Thai Tom Yam! Tom Yum-my it was!

We rested for an hour or two and then off again to look for more stuff from more shops till it was time for dinner.

Another hour of break to fill our stomachs and rest our tired legs before we headed off again to shop. This time to the night markets and bazaars till way past 11:00pm to midnight.

Our son gave up on us on the first day of our what would be our 3-day shopping routine. Being summer season in Thailand did not help at all as the humid weather heated-up the Bangkok streets to as high as 41 Deg C or 105.8 Deg F... amid the congested pathways, deafening traffic noise, smog and dust.

Instead, with a Predator-like action figure handmade with twining aluminum wires we bought for him, the hotel room was packed with fruits, snacks, biscuits and sodas... he chose the obvious, comfortable and more interesting option; he stayed in the hotel room watching TV, doing his homework from school and had hours spent dipping in the hotel pool. Smart choice!

I only get to check out the gym room but not get to do any workout. The walking was considered my cardio.

Tuk-tuk Taxi Ride 20 Bhat
It was our second trip to Bangkok in over 2 years and everything looked exactly the same... we even can recognize the pothole near our last hotel when we took a ride on a Tuk-tuk.

It is interesting that the city is incredibly buzzing with business from huge shopping malls all the way right down to the small spot on the corner of the street. Locals and tourists alike are busy shopping and bargaining.

Hundreds and hundreds of choke-a-block makeshift stalls filled up the streets everywhere you turn... distractions to the shoppers senses from the noise, the dust and the ever pungent sewage smell that arose from the sweltering heat.

What was rare to find were trash-cans! Our son complained when he had to hold-on to his empty soda can for a long stretch as we could not find a trash can. We had in many occasions leave our trash among a heap of trash on little corners... guiltily!

It will amaze you when you realized back in your hotel room, that your boogger is actually jack black! I know it is disgusting, but I just have to mention this observation.

My admiration actually went to the locals there for their tough stomach and very high immune system. What we considered poor hygiene, is norm to them when they can consume food handled and prepared right on the streets... just awesome! It somehow made me feel such a weakling.

The most interesting part was that the food looked healthy with lots of leafy mixtures and smell... oh so nice, I would almost willing to endure diarrhea... until you see the peddlers fingernails! Holy-Super-Yikes!

Coming back to the order of the day... shopping, our hard effort to source for items really paid well as we got lots of what we wanted there. Wifey was happy with the designs available and I was happy with the competitive cost prices.

Wifey With Thai String Music Performer At Dinner
In a nutshell, Wifey was the most happiest person on the trip when I bought her a ruby studded gold ring and bracelet that set me back about S$2,000.00. While our son got his action figure and new shoes, I unfortunately got a measly S$7.00 belt to remember the trip by... sigh.

Then again, I am happy that Wifey is happy. I am even more excited about how our new store layout should look like and the way we wish to display our items. It is all up to our creativity and taste.

For this month of April, I will be busy designing the theme and deco for the shop. I cannot wait!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

TICKLE My Confidence

Monday, April 02, 2007

We're Whole Again

My family is whole again!

In a way... since we had our shop, Wifey were always stuck tending to it, while our son had been stuck to his computer and friends to actually spend some time with us as a family.

Well, Sunday was hopefully the start of many more family outings and time spent together again other than at home watching TV and sleeping.

First off, we had lunch at Bedok Food Centre at Old Bedok Road, off Upper East Coast Road.

I was excited inside to have both my favourite people eating out with me together... without having Wifey to rush to open the shop or our son back home.

So excited inside, everything there looked extra delicious. I ordered several dishes that, I have to admit, were just too much for a 3-person meal. We had Ayam Penyet each with Tom Yam Soup and Baby Kailan in Oyster Sauce.

Wifey and I had Teh Tarik , tea with condense milk and froths, while our son had Milo Dinosaur... well you can figure out what drink that is... an over-sized chocolate drink with a heap of chocolate power on it in ice.

Fortunately I was too slow to order Satay, skewered barbecued beef in peanut sauce, else I do not think we could finish them since Wifey is not a big eater. I ended-up eating the leftovers from Wifey's and our son's

Wifey was excited too. Knowingly so, she had been liberated from the shop. Well, at least for a month. She suggested going shopping after our lunch, but before that, our son had his hair cut at a Malay Barber Shop across the road where the hawker centre was.

Then off we went to IKEA Tampines over at Tampines Avenue 10 where we pretty much had decided how our new shop should look like and what display furnitures we should buy. Bought a few stuff for the home, and the sofa bed covers for our son's room.

That was where we met my Mom and Dad, my 3 sisters and their husbands, as well as our nieces. Fantastic! They were going shopping there as well.

We had dinner together at Courts Megastore Box Foodcourt, just beside IKEA.

Then off we went to Giant Hypermart at Tampines Avenue 10. A first visit for Wifey... a total bore for our son! Picked-up some groceries for the home as well as some packed food and essentials to bring for our trip on Wednesday to Bangkok, Thailand. Yes!

A full day outside was invigorating for all since we were all together again, in a long while. More weekends should be like this! I'm looking forward to them.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Hammie Pet Parade