Adventures of a Modern Day, Middle-Aged Hero, on the Glory Road(to family security)


At least it was sudden.

There were good things about the day today, and I promise I will focus on them at some point, but I feel that first I need to get the negative part of my day out in the open.

I slept in to my alarm this morning, which is a very rare thing.  More often than not, our big male cat, Rueben, wakes me up before the alarm, bumping his head against the door when he thinks it is time for his breakfast.

That didn't happen this morning, and neither was he waiting for me in the living room. Instead, I finally found him downstairs, when I went to change out the cats water.  He was huddled in a corner, meowing in a pathetic manner.  Around the room there were several spots of...well, not throw up...but more of a foam material.  When I bent to pet him, he started purring right away, but his muzzle was damp, and he just had a general air of 'miserable' about him. 

Just yesterday, he had been fine.  He woke me up, and eagerly ate when I put fresh food in his bowl.  This time, he didn't move from the corner when I topped off the food.  He was still in the same corner when I brought my dirty clothes down to the laundry room after my shower, and he had zero interest in me moving him.  A quick bit of research showed that those type of symptoms were 'Not Good'. There was not much I could do but leave a note for my wife, asking her to call me when she woke up.  I was worried she might not notice him downstairs. 

Fast forward...my wife called the local vet, and based on the symptoms, she was told to bring him in, and they would work him in.  Rueben is usually pretty mellow, but today he wanted nothing to do with the vet, and wouldn't let them look in his mouth.  The vet asked if we would mind them sedating him for the physical inspection, and we said yes.  The sedation seemed to work well, and they didn't find anything glaring wrong on physical inspection, but...he didn't come out of the sedation very well.  Low blood pressure, very lethargic, low blood sugar.  They kept him for observation and tried giving him some medicines to help him come out from under the sedation...but they didn't help much. 

Finally, they did some more blood work, and all indications were that his kidney and liver were not really working anymore.  Right around 7pm, we told the vet to proceed with putting him to sleep.  My wife, bless her soul, was the one doing most of the talking with the vet, and she kept it together until we got home from the date we were on. 

It's very much a bummer...and surprising.  I had zero idea we would have to make this decision when we went to bed last night.

We didn't tell the girls.  I'm not big on lying to them, but telling them right when we got home and it was their bedtime didn't feel smart.  We told them that the cat is spending the night at the vets, and I guess that is not technically lying. 

Tomorrow is soon enough for the whole truth. 

It's going to be interesting to see how Dahlia handles not having him around.

Son of a Motherless Goat.

So...I've been looking through the 2014 Washington Hunting Regulations, and, I am not happy.  Like...the kid who didn't get anything he wanted for Christmas. 

I'm not sure how things work in other states, but here in Washington, while anyone can buy a deer or elk tag, there are then several categories of special tags you can apply for...antlerless, buck(in areas that are normally not open to deer hunting) and 'quality buck', which gets you out at times without other hunters.  Elk has a similar breakdown for special tags. 

Now...each year you don't draw a special tag in one of these categories, you earn preference points.  The concern here is that if you get lucky and get drawn for more than one of those categories, then you have used all your points...but you can still only shoot the one deer/elk...so...have to kind of think about that when you apply for special permits. 

Last year, I applied for(and was selected for) a doe tag on in a nice little wildlife area about 45 minutes from the house.  Ideal.  They also had buck permits available for the same area...but, I had more doe points stored up(hence, a better chance of getting drawn for doe than buck), so I figured I would wait until THIS year to apply for a buck tag for that area.

Sweet plan.  Last year, I got my doe, and saw a few bucks...and so all winter and into spring I have been dreaming about getting back into that same area I am now familiar with to shoot me a buck this year.

You can feel it coming, can't you?

Yup...for some reason, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife decided to change the buck season in the Paterson Wildlife Refuge from muzzleloader to Gosh Darn ARCHERY!!!!!

Grrrrrrr.  I now have NO idea what I am going to do for deer hunting this year.

Luckily I have a few months to work on that. 

It's just so....Grrrrrr. 



A friend of mine shared this video on facebook, and I have to say I am highly intrigued.  The first four minutes are more of a Toyota commercial than a trailer commercial, but when you get to how the thing unfolds you can 'OH SHUTUP AND TAKE MY MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!'


Knot Bad.

Still catching up from the weekend, and the one thing I can't let get away without comment was the dinner I had with my wife on Saturday night. 

Without having to worry about the kids, we decided to go check out one of the many Puget Sound area brewpubs that I haven't had a chance to go to yet...Diamond Knot Alehouse, in Mukilteo. 

I cannot recommend it highly enough.  We made a good choice.  All four of the beers we tried were really good.  I had a pint of their Winter Ale and their American Brown, while my wife had the Possession Porter(expertly modeled above) and a sample size glass of their Barley Wine.  Truth be told, a 4 ounce sample of barley wine is just about the right size anyway.  It was the first time my wife had tried a barley wine...and she liked it.  I had tried one or two before, and I liked it also...pretty smooth and mellow for a barley wine...but I'll stick with the dark beers, thank you very much.

We weren't there just to get tipsy though...we needed to eat some dinner, also.  On this score, Diamond Knot more than measured up.

Starting far away, we have the 3 piece fish and chips(my wife wanted 2 piece, but I told her to get the three piece so I could do some guilt free thieving), and then a bowl of seafood chowder in the middle that we shared, before we see the enemy in the foreground...the Sloppy Tot Casserole. 12 ounces of their house made ground beef, chorizo and corn sloppy joe mix, covered with cheesy tater tots.  Yum.

The fish and chips I had was really good...more of a crispy breading than a batter coating.  While I prefer a straight New England Clam Chowder to a 'Seafood' Chowder...this one was really tasty.  I think it was the smoked salmon that gave it some good flavor. 

Service was also stellar.  Our server was on the ball all evening long, and our food was out FAST.  One might almost say too fast. As you can tell from the picture above, my wife and I had combined to barely eat half of the chowder before the entrees came out. 

Next time, I'll skip the peanuts.  Oh...and there will be a next time.  The pizza's looked really good, and one of the folks at the table next to us ordered the Reuben....it will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine. 

Even if I do need to bring the kids.


The hunt is on.

We had a decent Easter today...it rained all kinds of nasty on Saturday, and then dried out on Sunday so we could hide eggs outside at my moms house.

The kids had a good time collecting eggs(because the Easter Bunny didn't leave enough candy in their baskets already).

As for me, I didn't need to hunt for anything, because I already had everything that I wanted(and I'm not talking about the brownie in my mouth or hand).


Rollin, Rollin, Rollin...

Heading out early this morning(the goal is to be leaving the drive way at 9am...but I have learned, and so the family thinks the goal is 8:30). 

We are heading over to my mom's for an Easter Brunch.  We also have to deliver the case of wine she bought for wedding when she came out to visit in March. 

The kids are excited because they get to spend the night at Nana's house, decorating eggs.

My wife and I are excited because we are NOT spending the night at Nana's house decorating eggs.  I think we will be out for a grown-up dinner, and maybe some karaoke.

It should be a good weekend.  After action report to follow.


No wonder they were depressed.

My wife wrapped up her homeschooling session on WWI and the Great Depression today by having the girls help her to make a 'wacky cake'.

Historically, a 'wacky cake' is one of the many 'make do' type recipes that came out of rationing. It's an egg-free/dairy free cake.  The lift is provided by vinegar and baking soda, mixed together at the last minute, in the pan.  The result is...not good, but also not bad.

In defense of my wife and daughters...it's closer to being good, that it is to being bad.  Rather than call it bad I should probably say it is slightly...'bland' for a modern pallet.  It's flour, sugar and water, with a wee bit of cocoa powder and vanilla to give it a bit of flavor...but, I'm sure to kids back in the 30's and 40's...it was better than nothing. 

You could salvage this.  Add some more cocoa, maybe some chocolate chips, and some cinnamon/nutmeg...but then, it's not a pantry ready 'make do' style of cake.  It's not meant to be AS good as a normal cake...it's meant to be 80% as good as a 'real' cake, with the things you could get your hands on without a ration card. 

It's also meant to be a good history lesson, and something that will stick with the girls more than an extra paragraph or two in a history book.