Seashell Crab Casserole

Weeding

You know how you have a project you need to get done, and you either a) can’t find time to do it, or b) don’t have the motivation to do so? And then the project starts getting bigger and bigger in your mind, until it takes on gargantuan proportions? This happens to me, especially when I’m feeling perfectionistic.

I was thinking about the weeding in the yard–that in part has become a mammoth task this year because of all of the rain we’ve gotten. It’s been a strange summer, cool and rainy. The grass and weeds love it.

On one of those cool afternoons this week, I took an hour or so to work in the yard and get the weeds under control. I didn’t do the whole yard, but got through three large areas. And that gargantuan task suddenly seems like, huh, not a big deal, at least in part because I broke it up into smaller steps.

Baby steps are the way to go in most things in life.

And, strange as it may sound, baby steps are the way to go when dealing with death too. Our poor old dog is doing her darndest to continue on, but it’s been clear in the last few weeks that she’s reached the end of her natural life. Her back legs are tucked under in a typical fashion for old, arthritic dogs. She falls a lot. She can’t do stairs–up or down, and relies on me to lift her front or back half, depending on which direction we’re headed. She’s losing control of her bowels.

When the vet examined her on Monday, she said that Lucy has suspicious lumps in her abdomen, which could be cancerous, but we’d only know with blood work and x-rays. She eats a lot–another sign that suspicious for cancer since she’s actually losing weight. Her eyes are clouded and gray with what appear to be cataracts.

Life is slipping away from her.

So how are we dealing with it? By taking baby steps. I had the tough conversation with the vet on Monday. Each day we’re making our peace with the fact that she’ll soon be gone. We’re giving it a few more days to see if a last-ditch effort for treating her pain might help. But we’re not optimistic. Each day brings us a little closer to the sad reality that we have to make this choice for her, to end her suffering, to make her last memories happy ones.

In the meantime, I’m watching Funny Farm with Chevy Chase (thanks to Jeff and Kathryn!) and enjoying my viewing buddy, snuggled up next to me.

Seashell Crab Casserole
Well, this recipe (p. 59) was easy to adapt to lighten it up. I used skim milk, whole wheat pasta, and reduced fat cream of mushroom soup. The eggs, crab meat, and everything else is all good food!

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I gotta admit it’s not the prettiest dish ever–sorta like tuna casserole in that way. But it’s hearty and good.

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