Monday, December 31, 2012

Wise food review

Recently, a friend of mine asked me my opinion of the buckets of shelf-stable food one of those big membership stores used to sell on their website.  I told him I had no idea of the quality, and I urged him to consider keeping stores of extra canned goods instead.

And then I perused the company's website...and I found this link for free samples.  Well, I can't resist a free sample, so I submitted a request.  A few weeks later, I got a call from a representative at the company.  She asked my reasons for wanting a sample, my mailing information, and a few other basic survey questions for their records.  She sent out a package of food and encouraged me to write a review.  She also let me know I would be hearing from another representative who would be in touch with me before and after receiving my sample.

About a week and a half later, I got my sample:  Creamy pasta and Vegetable Rotini.

I neglected to take any pictures, but we made it for dinner one night that week.

The sample arrives in a mylar/foil pouch and made me think of one of those Lipton or Knorr noodle sides.  Upon cooking, the initial appearance is very soupy.  I figured since it had similiar characteristics to those other pouch foods, that it would set up after cooling a bit.  It became VERY thick - ideal for hikers/campers and the like.  Definitely rib-sticking thick.

The smell was just like those noodles-in-a-bag sides.  Lots of oniony goodness came from that pot.  I have to admit, I was drooling.  I'm no food snob, and I consider those sides a form of comfort food, as I grew up eating that stuff.  As you can imagine, I was a bit excited about this.

The flavor was very mild, and I liked it.  Chris's opinion was that it was not unpleasant, and it needed chicken.  I felt it could use a dash of pepper.  It already has TVP in as a protein source, so I can't imagine how filling it would be with extra protein.  It's a bit heavy but it definitely sticks to the ribs.  I could see carrying this on a backpacking trip.  I had enough left over for a small lunch the next day, and I found that upon reheating the garlic/onion flavor really comes through.  This may be a turnoff for some people but I liked it, and enjoyed it to the last bite.

I'm seriously considering trying other options from them.  They could come in handy when we're out camping.  Thanks, Wise!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Goodbye my sweet, sweet boy.

I never posted an update on Deckard's condition...I didn't want our bad news to crowd their way in on people's holiday plans and celebrations. By the time I had the energy to talk about it, it would have been a big wet blanket on everyone else's good mood.

Friday a week ago, we took him up to U Penn in Philly for a last ditch effort, but there was nothing they could do. The news went from bad - acute renal failure - to worse - renal displaysia of both kidneys. Basically, this means his kidneys were both underdeveloped. One was just large enough to function until he got dehydrated. Once that happened, he went into kidney failure. This was just crappy luck, really. There's no history of it in his pedigree (our breeder has been in touch with HER breeder to confirm), and this was a risk we took in bringing home the runt of the litter.

We brought him home last Sunday with a bag of drugs, fluids, some renal-specific food, and prayers and well wishes from everyone who worked with him in Philly. When we got home he was perky and happy to be home. He ran around the house, chasing the cats like a goober, and generally being himself. He got a visit from his "auntie" across the street and Chris's mom that evening, and from my parents on Monday evening. He was mostly himself until Tuesday. By Tuesday evening, we knew he was ready to go. We spent the night with him in the living room, and Wednesday we took him to the vet for the last time. He was surrounded by Chris, Chris's mom, me, and Deckard's favorite vet and vet tech...he knew he was loved to the last breath.

Today we had snow, and I can't help but wish he were still here to see it. Last winter was so mild I'm 99% sure he never got the chance to romp in it like a puppy should.  Right now I'm getting through and healing by thinking the kids from Connecticut needed a puppy to help them feel better, so they took the best one they could.

I miss you, my sweet baby.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

To all you crazy people...

Here's hoping you have/have had a merry holiday.

Friday, December 14, 2012

God, 2012 sucks.

Today I read that Garand Gal lost her puppy, Hag. My heart just broke a second time in two days.

You see, Deckard's been at the vet since Wednesday. And I'm not sure how much longer we're going to have him with us.

He's clumsy and awkward on his feet (just like me) and had managed to injure himself twice in the span of 3 days...the first injury was from trying to take out a tree with his shoulder, and the second was a strained ligament in the rear leg on the opposite side of the sore shoulder, probably from chasing the cats. I took him to the vet Tuesday a week ago, and she did the usual: check all joints for proper movement, X-rays, the whole nine yards. The vet prescribed Rimadyl (an NSAID) and Tramadol (a narcotic) and sent us home. For the first couple of days he was hippity-hopping on his back leg, as his front shoulder had mostly healed up. When I saw he was putting weight down without the narcotic, I stopped the Tramadol immediately...and the following day (this past Saturday, 12/8) we stopped the Rimadyl.

He looked like he was on the mend on Monday...Chris even took him for a walk, and he seemed to enjoy it. Tuesday he appeared to be depressed, so we took him for a walk in the evening, and again, he seemed fine.

Wednesday, though...

Wednesday morning he wobbled on his feet. And we took him in. Turns out my baby boy is in ARF (acute renal failure) and his prognosis is...not good. They've run test after test after test, and have managed to rule out a lot of stuff. They also took a look inside with an ultrasound, and didn't like what they saw. Apparently one of his kidneys isn't fully formed, and so it was not functioning well, if at all. So his other kidney was doing all the work. This would be fine, if we hadn't put him on something that assaulted his kidneys. NSAIDs are really bad for the kidneys.

So now, we wait. The vet is going to have a consult with Pennsylvania University today regarding what, if anything, they can do for him. Our vet is not optimistic, though, and gave a prognosis of 6-12 months.

I'm heartbroken. He's only 10 months old. Why must the good pups go so early? It's really, really not fair.

Anyway...he's fighting, so we're going to fight with him until he tells us he's ready to leave. We will do everything we can to make his remaining time good for him as well as us. There's a chance we'll be selling some of our firearms and other items, should things get exceedingly expensive. If that happens, I'll start posting things for sale locally.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Baltimore's going to have a gun buyback.

Bring in your gun, get a grocery store gift certificate.

It's a shame they picked the holiday season to do this...I'd be tempted to camp out and attempt to acquire another rifle/shotgun, or hell, a pistol if the individual's willing to go to the state police with me to transfer it. As it is, I'm broke as hell so this is a no-go for me. Figured other folks in the area might be interested. For $100 you could get a crazy find!