Gently, softly, quietly

Every once in a while, everybody has a weekend that should just go back where it came from, and take its crappy Monday friend with it. This last weekend was like that for Sam.  For some reason, the last 48 hours have just picked her up in its nasty teeth, and shook her like she’s a plaything of the universe.  Sam wasn’t feeling well last week.  She thought she had a sinus infection, but those are mostly viral and don’t need antibiotics, so she just rested up, and waited to feel better.  By Saturday she didn’t feel better. Sam actually felt a lot worse, and she missed Joe’s birthday party, and felt terrible about it.   When Joe and I got home that night, she looked and felt like one of the horsemen of the apocalypse, and we took one look at her and realized that this wasn’t a sinus infection, or at least, not any more, or at least not only a sinus infection.  I don’t want to go into the details, because mouth stuff is gross, but on Sunday morning our amazing family dentist was meeting us for an emergency appointment,  and Sam’s now on antibiotics, and Tylenol 3 for the pain, and a more pitiful creature you’ve never seen.  She’s truly sick, the poor little poppet, and on soft foods and just feeling so terrible.

This is where she was at last night, already a rather sorry figure, when she called down to me from upstairs, almost hysterical.  Marty, the little hedghog she loves, was dead in his cage.

marty 2014-11-03

He’d been totally fine all day (I remember, because I was annoyed by him running on his wheel at noon) and Sam had noticed him eating and playing just an hour before, and in fact, she’d just opened the cage to give him a little snuggle and adventure time, and there he was. He was an older hedgie, but healthy and active, and had all the love and care in the world.  There was no warning at all.  It was like a hedgehog heart attack, or stroke or something like that, like he just fell over while jogging. Poor Sam’s just gutted.


There was nothing to do at that point, with a sick kid, a dead hedgehog and a few other things, except to slow down and try to make things nicer.  A big pot of soup went on the stove this morning, and I put down Fox Paws.   Right now things should be soft, and gentle and easy, and the family should be quiet, and kind and careful, and that really means that the mum in this family shouldn’t be sitting there muttering filthy expletives if anyone dares to speak to her other than at the ends of rows.

readysweater 2014-11-03

I fetched a treat from the stash room.  I’ve been wanting to make a sweater out of Greenwood Hill Farm Merino for years.  I see their booth every year at Rhinebeck every year, and almost buy it – and finally this trip I (mostly) blew my budget at their booth.  This yarn is cushy, bouncy, soft and so warm, and it’s what’s on my needles now.

Together with that and a bowl of warm soup, we’ll make things cozy here.  Since I’ve only got one row of knitting, can I interest you in a soup recipe? I like fast, easy, cheap soups, and although Sam isn’t a fan of soup in general, if she must eat it (and she must, her poor mouth) this is the sort she likes.  This soup takes a while to cook, but I still think it’s fast because it only needs me for a few minutes here and there, and then I can knit (and discuss “arrangements” for Marty the Hedgehog with the bereaved.)

Roasted Carrot Soup

Peel, slice and cut into chunks, four carrots (I had two freakishly large ones) two potatoes, one sweet potato and one red onion.  Toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and add sage.  I had fresh sage, so five big leaves went in, but I’ve used a decent sprinkle of dried stuff in a pinch.)  All that goes in your roasting pan and into a hot oven. (200C, 400F, Gas Mark 7.)

veggies 2014-11-03

Leave everything in there for a while – maybe about 20 minutes? Then add at least five  cloves of garlic. (Trust me. Roasted garlic is sweet and mild.) Toss and roast again until everything is gorgeously roasted, and tender.

roasted 2014-11-03

Take the pan from the oven and add a little white wine or water to deglaze the pan. Stir to pick up all the good brown tasty stuff from the bottom of the roaster.  Now dump all that into a pot, and add about 2 litres of stock (about 8 cups) and some parsley, if you have it. and bring it all up to a simmer.

roastedinpotwater 2014-11-03

Go knit for at least 20 minutes, and then come back and somehow (I have an immersion blender, but there are other ways) puree your soup.  The whole thing.

roasted carrotsoup 2014-11-03

Serve hot in bowls, with a little cream if you like it. (Sam does. I don’t.)

If that won’t make you cozy, I don’t know what will.  We’re settling in here, to have a simple day, with lots of rest, a farewell to Marty, and a hope that tomorrow will be better.  It usually is.

201 thoughts on “Gently, softly, quietly

  1. I’m sorry for Sam’s horrible few days, and hope things look up from here.

    Soup does make everything better, though. There is a hambone becoming broth on the stove right now, and and when the time comes to add veggies and barley and lentils and turn it into soup, homemade soda bread will go into production, too. And I will hide under the covers while I eat!

    Feel better soon, Sam.

  2. Poor Sam. There are few things more gut-wrenching than losing a much-loved pet, and to be miserably sick at the same time just isn’t fair. 🙁

    Funnily enough, I have a roasted carrot soup planned for tonight, too — although I’ll be adding some parsnips, too.

    • For those of us who can’t stand sweet potatoes, would the turnips do as a substitute? I love carrot soup, and I have a pot of the best vegetarian broth on the planet happily simmering on my stove right now, so I could use that instead of water.

  3. Oh, so, so sorry! Our little friends do sometimes throw us into the depths; it’s the intensity of the bond, I guess.
    The soup looks perfect for the day, the knitting will be much easier on everyone (Fox Paws looks like a BEAR to me) – add some good music and the warmth of your lovely family, and I’m sure everyone will feel better soon.
    Sending cozy thoughts…

  4. We can emphasize with Sam’s loss of a pet. Our cockatiel died last month at the age of 22 1/2 years. Our daughter got Dundee for her 7th birthday. When she left for college he could not go and then later we would let her have him back. Dundee lived with us longer than our daughter lived with us! We miss him every day but the hurt has lessened. We are sorry Sam.

    We are having stew tonight–that’s a soup–right?

  5. Oh poor Sam. I’m so sorry to hear of her loss, and I hope she is feeling better soon physically and emotionally. That soup looks healing and very delicious!

  6. Losing pets is so hard. Another comfort thing I do is re-read a book, usually something well-worn and happy, and maybe from my childhood (or my daughter’s). I’m fond of Laurie Colwin’s Happy All the Time, of Georgette Heyer, and there’s always Alexander and the No Good, Horrible, Very Bad Day [yes, I probably have the title wrong, but you know it).

    • The book I always turn to is another by Judith Viorst — The Tenth Good Thing About Barney. I was given a copy about 35 years ago, by my then-boss’s wife, when my little cat died.

      • The tenth good thing about Barney is a lovely book to help explain death to children.

        I hop Sam feels better soon, what a horrible few days. The challenge of pets is that they can’t tell us when they feel poorly, and with little ones like hedgehogs, it often happens quickly (we had hamsters growing up). Condolences and get well soon.

  7. To Sam~Much sympathy and hopes for speedy recovery. To Momma Stephanie~You are the best mom and friend, as Sam will tell you once she’s on the mend if she hasn’t already. Hugs to you all!

  8. So sorry about Marty the hedgehog. That is tough enough without tooth pain.
    That tooth pain that feels like a sinus infection is really terrible. Glad it could be dealt with quickly.
    Best wishes

  9. I’m so sorry to hear about Marty. Pygmy hedgehogs don’t have a long life (average of about five years, from what I’ve read). Mine is 4.5 years old and while he still seems fit as a fiddle, I worry about finding him like Sam did. My condolences to Sam and I hope she’ll be on the road to recovery (physically and mentally) very soon.

  10. As a fellow sinus infection sufferer, I can attest that mine have been mostly bacterial and have sometimes needed too courses of kick arse antibiotics to get back to feeling semi-human. (Then there are the side effects to recover from…sigh.) To be fair, such an infection CAN clear on its own….I’ve just never met one. To have it be from a tooth is the WORST!

    So sorry about Marty. At least he lived a happy hedgehog life, thanks to Sam.

  11. Oh Sam… I am so sorry. Tooth stuff just sucks dead moose. I really, really hope you heal quickly and feel better soon. Also I am so sorry about your beloved little hedgehog. You have had a terrible time of it. Feel better soon!

  12. So sorry Sam. There is never a good time to lose a beloved pet but on top of feeling so sick already… I can only imagine how gutting it is to not be able to have a cuddle with your little pal. Hugs to you.

  13. So sorry to hear about Marty. We have had the same experience except with hamsters, of which we’ve had lots. They usually give you a bit of warning that they’re about to shuffle off this mortal coil, but it’s still hard to see them go.
    The hardest bereavement we’ve gone through recently, though, was a very long-lived and much loved guinea pig named Caramilk. She was almost ten years old. It might be a bit early for Sam to think about this, but she might consider getting another hedgie some time. Your soup recipe sounds warm and comforting for both body and soul. Is the sweater going to be for her?

  14. I’m so sorry for the loss of Sam’s Marty. What a sweet face he had. He lived a well-loved life.

    And feel better quickly, Sam. Best wishes.

    (My first box of a farm share is coming Thursday. There will be multicolored carrots. I cannot wait, and that soup looks like just the thing.)

  15. My sincere condolences to Sam. Sometimes the smaller the pet, the harder it is to lose. Is it only coincidence that the yarn you (YH) have chosen to work with is more or less “Marty” colored?

  16. Dear Sam,
    I offer my sympathies on the tragic loss of your beloved friend. It totally sucks to lose an animal companion and, I’m sorry to say, it never gets any easier.

    Please remember that you blessed Marty’s life every bit as much as he blessed yours. Marty was safe and warm and loved, he never went hungry or afraid — you gave him gifts that many creatures in this world never experience for a single day, much less for a lifetime. If he’d but understood that, he’d have been very grateful.

    May your bruised heart recover its strength, and someday open itself to another little soul.

  17. Oh, poor Sam, and my condolences on the loss of Marty. I totally understand being a mommy to someone whom the universe is kicking around… mine was sniffling Friday, got soaked in the rain on Saturday, was more stuffy on Sunday morning, then she discovered the cork in her clarinet is destroyed so she can’t practice scales for a scales test today, had two presentations to prepare for today, drank several cups of tea throughout the weekend to help her throat and stuffiness, and woke up this morning with no voice.

    While not quite as challenging as Sam’s weekend, I’m sure the emotional state of mine is rapidly approaching hers. Hugs to you all.

    • Gargling with 8 drops of Tabasco sauce in a glass of water will sometimes restore your voice for a short period of time. Best cure is rest…but that is hard with a presentation, isn’t it?
      Hope yours feels right quickly, too.

  18. So sorry to hear Sam’s ill and now grieving the loss of her beloved Marty the Hedgehog as well. There are no great words at a time like this, but know you’re in my thoughts and that I’m sending hugs and condolences her way.

  19. Ah that is so sad. I hope everyone if feeling better soon. Thank you for the soup recipe. Any recipe that requires knitting for 20 minutes is right up my alley.

  20. Sincere condolences to Sam on the loss of Marty. My own daughter is currently mourning the loss of her hamster, Hammy Dufresne, who had an unfortunate run in with the cat this weekend. It’s a sad, sad time. Feel better soon, Sam. I’m sure you gave Marty a lovely life while he was with you.

  21. Oh no! Sam, I am so sorry to hear about Marty. There’s never a good time to lose a pet, but there are worse times, and when you’re sick and miserable and reaching to him for comfort is one of them. Take care.

  22. Moms are so important when daughters are having struggles. The soft yarn and the mellow soup seem so perfect. Just spent five days with my only daughter and her dear daughter (smile smile smile ) who is a month old. I feel so fortunate to be a mother to a daughter and a son.
    Sam, I hope you feel better soon.

  23. Hail Marty, he seemed like a very fine hedgehog and was well loved. Many healing thoughts to Sam, for both the mouth and the heart. Home made soup made by her mum will be a good tonic indeed. (And thank you for the recipe!)

  24. Poor Sam – condolences to her. At 60 yrs, I have lost many pets, but the grief is the same for each of them. When they are a member of the family, it’s so so hard. Soup and Mum’s love is just the thing to help with Marty’s demise. Sam should take comfort in that she gave him a wonderful life, even if it was shorter than she wanted.

  25. Oh, Sam, I am so very sorry for your loss and your illness. I wish I had magic to heal your heart and your mouth. I have had companion losses, too, and it really, really hurts. I hope the day will soon come when you can think about Marty and smile.

  26. I’m so sorry, Sam. Marty was adorable. I hope you feel better soon – seems like life sometimes really kicks you when you’re down.

  27. Aww,
    My sympathies to Sam on the sickness and the loss of Marty. Just sucks wind, no other way to put it. A mom’s love and some hot soup go a long way toward making things better. Won’t take away the hurt, but I hope it makes Sam feel safe and warm all the same.

    May lots of hugs and snuggles come her way– She may think she is to old for it, but she isn’t.

  28. I’m so sorry for Sam on losing Marty. I hope soup and the love of her mum is comforting. We are having the kind of time here that makes me think, “I thought trouble came in threes, not dozens,” and your reminder to take a break from what is difficult and embrace some comfort is appreciated.

  29. Oh, I’m so sorry about Marty! It’s so hard to lose a sweet little critter like that. (We have guinea pigs, not hedgies, but they’re such lovely little companions, and it’s heartbreaking when they pass away.) Hugs to Sam. 🙁

  30. I’m sorry to hear of Sam’s friend passing away; I know that’s very painful.
    Good for you Stephanie for “taking the temperature” of the whole rotten situation and making soup accordingly.
    btw, the recipe looks delish.

  31. More decided should have instructions like “go knit for 20 minutes”! Love an good thoughts for Sam and Marty. I will make this soup if baby and I continue our cold, then I too will need cosy food.

  32. Having sick children is the worst! I’d rather take whatever they have cause I know I can handle it. Hugs to Sam and you. That soup totally looks like it will help☺️

  33. Much love to Sam and all of you. I think soup and gentleness and squishy quiet knitting would solve many of the world’s ills.

  34. Oh, Sam, I’m so sorry for your tooth pain and the loss of darling Marty. What a sweet face he had.

    Stephanie, I caught my granddaughter, Lucy’s cold (she’s 10 months old, how could I not kiss her?) so I will be making your soup tomorrow just as soon as I can drag myself to the produce department. It looks delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

  35. My condolences for Sam. I, too, was suffering from a sinus infection thingy all weekend. It sounds like Sam’s took a nasty left turn, but I can totally sympathize with spending Saturday feeling like my face had been smashed into a brick wall. As for the loss of Marty, no words, just virtual hugs. Anyone who has loved an animal knows.

  36. I so identify! My daughter went to a memorial service for her coach this weekend… and she even requested soup (baked potato). I put down my Fox Paws, rewound some yarn, and made a big pot of soup.

  37. Oh man, that’s just too rough. Sorry Sam. One weekend my boyfriend of five years broke up with me and my beloved Grandmother died. I know you’re on the floor. Sending you fortitude!

  38. aw, poor hedgie. Our beautiful lab is nearing her final days and we are bracing ourselves for her departure. What is it about our pets that breaks our hearts so? sigh… Hopefully fond memories erase the sadness of loss.

  39. Poor, Sam. Some days just need to move on. I hope she feels better all around soon.

    But, that’s just the kind of soup I love and never make. My husband has a strong preference for brothy soups, and my (young enough to be unable to fend for herself) daughter for soups with pasta. So, vats of broth soups with a side of pasta to dump in is generally the way to go.

    • This one is brothy up until it’s pureed — perhaps you could ladle out a couple of good-sized servings for yourself, and just puree those?

  40. Sorry the world has thrown a curve ball at Sam. Some days (weeks) can be like that.
    Condolences for the Marty’s passing. We also just lost our sweet pup & pal Gus of 14yrs just two weeks ago.
    Let time heal the pain . . . and love heal the heart.

  41. So sorry, Sam, about your illness and the loss of your adorable little Marty. Sometimes life just gives you a double whammy. Glad you have Mom to give you homemade soup and hugs.

  42. Sorry about Marty 🙁
    Love those colors in Fox Paws.
    And yes, I would be interested in a soup recipe. It would be great if you posted some of your vegetarian recipes, every so often. Makes for nice color contrast with yarn.

  43. This may Sound really strange, but please make sure Marty did not get cold and go into hibernation. We had a really sad story about my kids hamster. After we had had the burial service a. vet told us he may have gone into hibernation. I have had horrible dreams for years !!!

  44. You are a good mom, and I am sure Sam is on the mend, and Marty is heaven bound. Thanks for the recipe – I need me some cozy warm food these rainy Vancouver days too.

  45. Condolences to Sam. Run free in heaven Marty. That’s a bit much for one weekend. And the soup sounds like the perfect antidote.

  46. Sorry to hear about everything, both the dental angst and the loss of Marty. It’s a hard thing to do, to say goodbye to one of those sweet little souls that share the planet with our more fractious species.

  47. Thank goodness Sam is at home, where all warmth and wool reside. So sorry about the little hedgie. Hope Sam starts to feel better soon. Eve from Carlisle

  48. Sam, you have my deepest sympathies. Missing Joe’s b-day party due to illness is bad enough. Having to see a dentist on an emergency basis is even worse. Losing a well-loved pet — well, there ought to be some sort of cosmic law against putting those three things into one month, much less one weekend. I am so sorry you’re going through all this, but I’m happy to know you’ve got your family to help see you through.

    Steph, the soup recipe sounds good — even to one who isn’t fond of sweet potatoes! The yarn is lovely and I can’t wait to see how the sweater turns out. P.S.: Would love to know what “filthy expletives” you’ve been using! Last time I was in a nightmare of a traffic jam, some of mine were in Klingon!

  49. Dearest Sam, I am so sorry about Marty. I know your grief, two weeks ago, my rabbit passed away. He’d spent his early years in my classroom and then retired when I did. Today I made soup and doubly missed him because he wasn’t here to share the carrot leavings with.

  50. So sorry to hear that Sam hasn’t been well! It always surprises me how defeating mouth issues are; truly horrid. Prayers for quick recovery.

    VERY sorry to hear about Marty. He was gorgeous, and his untimely demise is, I’m sure, even more difficult to handle. Sending light and love to Sam, and all of you.

  51. I am so sorry to hear that Marty died. I was looking forward to you describing Sam’s adventures with Marty. Sam what an absolutely gobsmackingly cute handful of critter Marty was. Aren’t pains in the mouth THE WORST kind. What a bummer of a weekend this has been for you. Sending you a big hug. This is the time for a fluffy blanket or quilt, flannel pjs and mom make socks as well as your favor soup.

  52. Poor Sam! Please let her know how badly I feel for her. To get hit with two heavy things at once just doesn’t seem fair. Hope the sun shines for you all again soon.

  53. Oh, I’m so sorry. Nothing hurts quite like the loss of a pet. He’ll be waiting for you at Rainbow Bridge. So sad for your loss.

  54. Oh, Sam! Life just piled up all at once.
    She obviously has loving people around to love on her.
    And Mommy Magic can perform miracles (like a weekend visit with the dentist-really-thats miracle territory). Marty was well loved and cared for-all a wee creature could hope for.
    Maybe a knit hedgehog is in her future as a Marty homage.

  55. Love and hugs to Sam for feeling yucky and losing her sweet pet. The soup looks wonderful. Can I ask you how you keep your soup casserole looking so great? My Le Creuset pot is 48 years old (wedding present) and it looks like crap. It still is wonderful, but no amount of product works.

  56. While my days recently haven’t had nearly the bite of poor Sam, they’ve held their own special difficulties and this week seems to be getting off to a similar start. This morning I was just thinking that I needed to do something with all of these crazy carrots in my refrigerator and here you arrive. Thank you. I hope the quiet and calm helps Sam recover quickly. I think your soup will get my tribe through tomorrow with just a little less stress. Calm and quiet is what we need too.

  57. Please give all my best to Sam! Losing little pets is so heartbreaking even when life is otherwise okay. I hope she can take some comfort in the fact that he was happy right until the end.

  58. condolences …. marty’s last chapter was very much like my little hedgepig, thistle’s oh too soon ending… fine and then, suddenly…. not… i miss her still… hugs to you…. kath

  59. Sam, I’m so sorry to hear you’re not feeling well, and that your dear Marty has passed. I know there’s nothing I can say that will make it better, but I’ll be thinking of you.

  60. Oh dear. Please tell Sam we send heartfelt condolences over the death of her beloved hedgehog. That’s always the fine print in the bargain when we adopt pets, that we’ll probably outlive them. I hope that Sam will remember that Marty was lucky to her love and such a generous home.

  61. Ooof.

    When I was 22-ish, I got my wisdom teeth removed and was blessed with a bruised face like Winston Churchill. A day into recovery my beloved Cockatiel flew across the room, dropped out of the air suddenly, and was dead by the time I reached her to cradle her in my hands.

    So sorry Sam has to go through a similar ordeal. It was horrible. *hugs* for her … as non-creepily as possible from a complete stranger.

  62. Poor Marty. The saddest things about beloved pets is that their lives are shorter than ours.
    Except some parrots but let us not contemplate that!

  63. Oh dear, poor Sam is in the wars! And poor wee Marty, please accept condolences from an internet friend and fan of wee beasties. Soup and knitting and the good love of family and friends, all good things.

  64. Oh no! Sounds awful!
    Pass on both my condolences and a get well soon to Sam – and yes, coziness makes everything better (I can attest to that now being curled up in a quilt with a cup of tea, battling the remnants of a very bad cold…)
    Think it’s this time of year – nothing soup and knitting can’t fix!

  65. I’m so sorry about losing Marty, missing Joe’s party and feeling so crappy. Poor Sam, that just sucks! Hurray for great mom’s who can at least sooth a bit of the hurt. It’s so hard when life throws you a bunch of crap all at once.

    I have some leftover Roasted Carrot Soup with ginger and garlic in my refrigerator right now. It’s so easy and delicious that its a family favorite, but I never thought about adding sweet potatoes. That sounds yummy. I’ll have to try that next time I make roasted carrot soup!

  66. Sometimes life is a lot like November in Michigan: cold, gray, and sunshine and warmth become an uncertain memory. Fortunately, the sun eventually peeks out, not quite often enough, giving hope. I’m glad that Sam has antibiotics, soup, and you.

  67. Poor Sam. I hope that life starts getting easier for her.

    Here’s a nice vegetarian Tomato and Basil soup that is just amazing. It has a nice little kick to it, and is great with grown-up grilled cheese sandwiches (good bread, good cheese, a slice of red onion…)

    28 ounces of canned tomatoes (home canned Romas are best, but use what you have)
    2 ribs celery, finely chopped
    3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
    2 medium onions, diced
    2 Tablespoons tomato paste
    5 cups vegetable stock
    1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
    1 Tablespoon brown sugar
    4 cloves garlic
    3 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    Dash of Tabasco
    2 Tablespoon dried basil
    Salt and Pepper to taste
    Cream, optional

    Place all ingredients, except the basil, salt, pepper, and cream, in a saucepan and cook for 30 minutes.

    Blend the soup at low speed with a mixer. Add salt, pepper, and basil, stir gently. If desired, add cream to taste.

  68. Hoping that Sam is feeling better soon. My condolences to her on losing her hedgehog. Losing a beloved pet is really hard!!!
    kniterly hugs to all.

    PS – Thanks for the soup recipe – I’m going to try this one tonight.

  69. I’m sorry Sam has had a crappy weekend and especially sorry for the loss of Marty. Thanks for the recipe. It’s a dark and dreary election day here and I’m thinking my grandfather’s Depression soup (cream of tomato) would be excellent.

  70. Yep…had one of those nasty weekends not long ago. In the world of 10 year olds that day really stunk. Poor kid…his baseball team got hammered 13-1 and on our somber return home found his dog (the one he had known since birth) very sick and gone that evening. Big tears all around…

  71. My Mom used to tell us when we were kids and this sort of thing happened, that her grandmother told her that we have pets so things will happen to them and not us…I don’t know, it did bring a bit of comfort believing that. I’m sorry for your loss, but I believe he served his purpose.

    P.s I have to try that soup!

  72. Poor Sam! I hope she recovers quickly. Dental pain is some of the worst (top 5) I’ve experienced partly because of the anxiety that something is going horribly wrong in there and will cost a fortune to fix. (insert my rant about denticare and why it’s not included in medicare and “when did my teeth leave my body?” here) Having to deal with that while mourning the death of a cherished animal friend is just cruel. I’m sure you are delivering all the hugs she will accept. Keep it up.

  73. That is so sad, times like these are awful. If you don’t mind accepting big hugs from strangers, I’m sending some virtual ones to your home now along with best wishes for the softest, gentlest of days ahead for Sam.

  74. Poor, Sam. Hoping she’s feeling better soon. Many condolences to Marty the hedgehog. Hope the snugglyness you created for her yesterday has translated into a better today.

  75. I am so sorry to hear about Sam and about her hedgehog. Why does stuff just pile on sometimes. I imagine that she is feeling very comforted by the smells of soup and the peaceful home. And by what no doubt is a beautiful sweater taking shape on your needles.

    I’m totally going to try the soup.

    Here’s to a swift recovery both physically and emotionally for your Sam.

  76. I hope that Sam has a blanket and a good book (preferably one written for children). A log fire is always my comfort when I am feeling so under the weather and If she can’t manage cake then perhaps chocolate mousse or hot chocolate would be comforting? May the good times return soon.

  77. Your poor child. Her poor hedgehog. And poor you- the mental anguish, and the forced cessation from Fox Paws (I hope you are way better than I am at being able to pick up where you left off on a complex pattern. What am I writing? You are Yarn Harlot. You are the Superwoman of Knitting).

    The only good part of this weekend and yesterday for you all is that all of the badness was concentrated into one short time period. I know that is absolutely no comfort whatsoever, so I am hoping that you will have an equally concentrated period of absolutely wonderful goodness. I think your carrot soup is the start of that. (I have some umpteen-types of beans and peas soup starting now, myself.)

  78. Wishing and praying Sam well! My sincerest condolences on the loss of her pet hedgehog. Sorry that illness, mouth troubles and the hedgehog all hit at once, which just makes everything that much worse.

  79. Deepest and sincere sympathy to Sam on the loss of Marty. I’m pretty sure that hedgehogs go to the Rainbow Bridge too. I hope that the antibiotics and soup have you feeling better soon.

  80. *hugs* to Sam. Mouth stuff sucks.
    Marty will be missed (i was really hoping to see him wrapped in something yarny soon)

    Soup looks delicious, I think i have all that in the house (except parsley) so that may be what’s for dinner tonight.

  81. (The anti spam thing had me “touch the music note”. There is no music note, but there is a treble clef) 🙂

    Poor Sam. It’s terrible how these things happen all at once. Hope she feels better soon, I HATE dental pain and had a horrible experience a few years ago; ended up looking like a chipmunk for awhile.

    I was shocked though to see you say sinus infections are usually viral. That’s never been our case. I used to get them a lot, and my daughter does too, and we’ve been told they’re bacterial. They don’t always need antibiotics, but quite often do. Now I’m going to have to go to Google School of Medicine to find out more!

  82. Why does it seem like sometimes the universe just piles trouble upon pain upon trouble? So glad to see that Lou could lift Sam’s spirits for a little while. Many hugs and healing prayers coming all y’alls way!

  83. Condolences to Sam; Marty was obviously a well-loved, and lucky, hedgehog. Sending a virtual hug with a prayer that time will heal her pains…

  84. I kept murmuring “poor bubba” (my go-to phrase for wee one’s who aren’t well). Here’s to hoping Sam mends soon–but I’m very sorry about her dear little hedgie.

  85. that little hedgehog was the cutest little darn thing ever!!! losing a pet is tough, and to lose a pet when you’re not feeling well.. you all have my sympathies. and now I’m going to go make soup. definitely soup weather here.

  86. Dear Sam, I’m sorry the Universe has chosen to punch you in the face and the heart at the same time. That sucks so, so much. I hope that time gradually heals the ache in your heart that Marty’s passing leaves. Losing pets is so hard and horrible. I’m holding you and your sorrow in my heart with deepest sympathy. And I hope the antibiotics kick the crap out of your physical ailments ASAP.

  87. My heart is breaking for you Sam; what an awful weekend! Sending love and healing thoughts your way. Hope you feel better soon.

  88. The loss of our pets breaks our hearts because their love filled us to overflowing. Feel better soon Sam.
    So is that sweater fo Sam?
    Remember the pressure cooker for stock. Great stock is just minutes away.

  89. So sorry to hear about Sam’s bad weekend. And yours. You are only ever as happy as your unhappiest child!
    Soup looks wonderful, thanks for the recipe.

  90. My condolences to Sam. Marty was a gorgeous looking hedgehog.

    Thanks for sharing your soup recipe. I make a similar soup myself from carrots, swede, parsnip and onions. They’re sold in Britain together in stew packs. I can recommend adding a parsnip or two if you have them available. I’d never heard of deglazing a roasting pan, or adding garlic cloves, I’ll try both next time. Fingers crossed for a really tasty soup.

  91. There’s nothing worse than hearing your wonderful, adorable daughter wail “MOOOOOMMMMMM, (insert small cuddly creature’s name here)’s DEAD!” ::sobsobwail:: In our case, it was Wilbur then Frodo, both happy little guinea pigs who didn’t last long enough.

    You’re a great mom for tending to her woes.

  92. Please give our sympathies to Sam. My son lost his Chinchilla a few years back in just the same way. So heartwrenching and heartbreaking. We are truly sorry for your loss.

  93. You and Sam have been in my thoughts today. This summer we abruptly lost a much loved cat – she was her usual friendly, active self at bedtime and then I awoke to find her having a seizure at 4am; moments later she was gone. Such a sudden loss is incredibly hard, it’s good Sam has you to help her through.

  94. Oh my goodness! Sam’s little friend looks exactly like my son’s hedgie, Donald, who died a couple of months ago in a very similar way. He seemed fine and then he wasn’t. We had no idea he was ill because he seemed his usually, cute self until we found him in his cage unresponsive. So hard to lose a sweet little friend like that and even more so when not feeling well. Big hugs and condolences to Sam. Hope everyone is feeling better soon.

  95. Oh dear, what an awful weekend indeed. My condolences to Sam on Marty’s passing. That on top of the dental emergency is completely unfair. I hope things keep looking up and the awful doesn’t visit again any time soon. Hugs to all.

  96. Oh Sam–so sorry about Marty!! We lost our 8-year old golden retriever very suddenly 4 weeks ago. I think the suddenness of her dying hit us the hardest. Beloved pets
    are family, and their lost is felt just as keenly as losing a human. Cherish the memories of Marty–he will live forever!!

  97. The Husband was a poll worker for the elections in the USA and I made the soup for dinner. Yum! Although the next time I will only use four cups of broth because I love it thick and chunky (I used six carrots and a big sweet potato). Thank goodness the sage and parsley are still going strong. Thanks for the recipe!

  98. My condolences to Sam and your family. Thank you for your soup recipe. I’ve been on a big soup kick this fall and can’t wait to try this.

  99. My dogs are my constant companions and best friends. I totally get Sam’s pain and to be sick at the same time is just one huckleberry too many. Thinking of her and glad she has you to help her through this.

  100. Thank you for the soup recipe. Our daughter has decided she is a vegetarian, and I (resident beef-eater albeit on a very limited basis — I was close to vegetarian already) am doing my best to accommodate her desire to be a better person of the world than I have been. I am so sorry about Marty. And send loving healing thoughts to Sam. Weekends like that do need to crawl back right where they came from and leave us the hell alone to our Mondays through Fridays without hope. all the best.

  101. So sorry about Sam’s furbaby and that she’s feeling so poorly. Hopefully her body heals and she feels well quickly and the loss of Marty isn’t too hard for her. She’s got a good mum to take care of her.

  102. So sorry to read of the illness and loss. I hope Sam is soon on the mend.

    Thank you for sharing your soup recipe. Do you ever skip the pan and just roast the vegs in the pot to begin with? Maybe that doesn’t give you the carmelization you want, due to crowding? I’m thinking: decrease dishes, increase knitting time.

  103. Oh Sam, how awful. You are in the right place, with comforting soup and Mum and wool to pad the sharp stuff life is handing you. Feel better. (My dad calls me poppet, just having him call me that makes things better.)

    My day from Hades just ended with a hot bath, during which I realized there was also a floaty dead spider in there. Really, universe? Was that necessary?

  104. Poor Sam 🙁 I’m sorry she’s not feeling well, and I’m especially sorry about her hedgehog 🙁 My brother and his wife had one for about a year. It suddenly up and died with no warning as well. I think it’s just how hedgehogs do it 🙁

  105. Can’t wait to see what you do with the Greenwood Hill Farm worsted. I’ve had a sweater’s worth since Rhinebeck 2013 (had been lusting after it since MS&W 2011) and planning to make their very own “Airy Aran” pattern. Just checked it out in my queue (sure ’nuff — still there) and had a brainstorm. What a great project for my maiden venture into Amy Herzog’s CustomFit universe! This is going to be FUN!

    Just discovered roasted carrots a few weeks ago and I am smitten! Can’t wait to try your soup. Bet it would be great with roasted cauliflower (also recently discovered) too.

    No matter how “big” our girls get, there will be times when they really need their mothers. It can be wonderful for us – but it’s often terrible for them. 🙁

  106. Ugh, how awful for poor Sam! What a nice way to wind down after all that crap… the recipe looks great and I’ll be making it soon since it will be chilly here in upstate NY this weekend!

  107. So sorry, Sam. We just lost our Arlo, a blue canary, after 13 years…

    Here’s one to add to your arsenal, Stephanie: Butternut Squash Soup
    1 large or 2 small-ish butternuts, cut in half, peel and scoop out seeds. Chop roughly.
    Add about 2 small carrots, chopped into chunks, 1/2 c. chopped leeks, and 2 Granny Smith apples, cut into quarters, removing seeds.

    All of this goes into a Dutch oven (soup pot) with a little olive oil. Stir it around and soften things up just a bit. Add 8 c. water + 2 Knorr Veggie cubes (or 8 c. veggie stock, if you have it made).

    Add tarragon, salt & pepper and a bit of dried lemon peel. (to taste…dried tarragon about 1 tsp.)

    Simmer (go knit) till you can poke the squash and it’s tender. Add 1 c. half-and-half and whiz with blender. Serve warm in a mug you can hug… It also freezes well.


  108. Oh, poor Sam and poor Marty 🙁 My sister just lost her bearded dragon, just as suddenly. Condolences, Sam, and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  109. Just wanna say thank you so much for sharing this recipe:) My eldest just had surgery and is on soft diet for awhile. I was looking for a simple soup recipe to make, and he liked the sound of this one. I’m making it for sure.
    Have a great day:)

    PS RIP to Marty:(

  110. Okay, this is crazy — I just pulled out my Greenwood Hill Farm yarn too. It’s been sitting in my stash as well for many years. Look forward to watching your progress. I’ve swatched, but that’s about it. Hope your daughter is feeling much better!

  111. Obviously I’m behind on the blog but poor Sam! I hope that by now things are a little bit less painful, physically and spiritually. Love and peace to Sam, Marty and the whole family.

  112. I just made your recipe today since the weather is supposed to become more wintery here this week. My house smells amazing and the soup is so tasty. Thanks for such a nice recipe!

  113. Please pass along my sympathies to Sam. Losing a beloved pet is horrible under any circumstances, but to have it happen so unexpectedly and while she’s so sick is just plain awful. My husband and I had a hedgie many years ago – they are sweet little critters with cute personalities. Hope Sam feels better soon!

  114. When I saw the yarn there I totally thought that you were going to make Sam those hedgehog mittens I’ve seen recently on Pintrest and I was getting all up in arms on her behalf about how insensitive that was and how it was “too soon” and “no substitute for her beloved Marty” and … and … you’re making a sweater.

    Oh. Good mom.

  115. I made this soup last night – we’ve had a spell of cold, damp weather of late here in Edmonton, so this soup was perfect. Made the house smell divine – and it is in my lunch today 🙂

    Thanks for the cozy recipe!


  116. Pingback: more of the same but even less timely | Swampwater Debutante

  117. Thank you so much for posting the soup recipe. I’ve made a variation several times, & everyone has complimented it. (less water, plus red lentils). The toddler gets quite excited about ‘soupy dinner’ too 🙂

  118. aaand I’m back again to check on the recipe. This is the second time I am making it. A bit of improvisation–I tossed on some basil since I don’t have whateveritwas you called for. sea salt instead of the salt and a white onion instead of the red (again, what I’ve got).

    basically, what I’m trying to say is, this is a keeper. I don’t even *like* vegetables and I ate all of this stuff the last time I made it. Snowed in for a few days down in the US’s middle east coast so I figured warm soup was again called for.

    hope you are well, thanks for being awesome

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