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So hard to grow up

January 9, 2012

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I'm tempted to say we were out sunning ourselves in the heat but some things just aren't all that funny. Not when you live in a place known for wind chills and snowdrifts and plain old cold and there's nothing but yellowed grass in the yard and a warm breeze blowing in. Just not all that funny.

Like the whole hamster ordeal this week. My youngest asked, through tears, if I would please gently end her hamster's life as the tiny thing was clearly suffering -- a number of growths, hair loss, open wounds, etc. Enough detail. Someone had to do something, and I agreed. I think I spent about an hour researching how I might accomplish the task in the most kind and painless manner, and after a small argument about car exhaust (didn't go that route) it was decided and she went off to school in tears and I set about fulfilling her request.

Rodent or not, pets are pets and such decisions are painful. Carrying them out is a whole other ball game. My gosh. When I became a mother, no one mentioned I'd have to put hamsters out of their misery. I pride myself on exterminating any mice that show up in the house, so you'd think I'd have no trouble. The problem was the interaction. I picked up the hamster, and our eyes met. So much for detachment.

For all practical purposes, the hamster went to sleep and its tiny life slipped away, out of its ragged body. I gently wrapped the cold animal in Kleenex and sprinkled her with cloves and nutmeg and put her in a small cardboard box with some evergreen needles and poinsettia leaves. When my daughter came home, I handed the box to her and she went out into the garage and wept awhile.

The funny version of this story -- and there is one -- I will save awhile. One of those things where laughter might require time passing, and a bit of healing in my daughter's heart. So hard to grow up.

The weather person just said that snow is on its way, later today. I'm just so happy about this. Was simply a matter of time. Like most things.

Nothing like a thick, savory soup full of beans on a cold winter day. Here's the soup recipe. Now we just need a genuinely cold day and we're good to go.

Great Northern Bean Soup

1 1/2 lbs chicken, cooked and chopped or shredded
2 24 oz jars Great Northern Beans (or 2-3 16 oz cans of navy beans)
1 can creamed corn
1 1/2 T chili powder
1 T cumin
1 can Rotel chopped chilis and tomatoes
8 oz Monterey Jack cheese, cubed and added at the end

Cook for 2-3 hours on high in a crock pot. Serve with cornbread and a salad.


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