Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Many Things Help

The lovely golden leaves have fallen since we last talked but I was grateful for them while they lasted. I was also grateful for your emails, thank you so very much.

Family and friends help in a heartsick time, don't they?

Even when it doesn't feel as if your heart is in it, just seeing precious faces around you, hearing them laugh and talk, lightens the sadness. 

We celebrated one son's birthday here with local favorite Centerpoint Barbecue and their amazing barbecue beans. That left me with only potato salad and coleslaw to make. I'm really becoming a believer in make some; buy some company meals.

And have you noticed that more and more we're being encouraged not to "entertain" but to simply "have people over?" I love that, how about you?

I've even noticed a following for a new type of hospitality called "scruffy entertaining," meaning not waiting until everything is perfect before inviting people to your house. Don't deprive yourself of good times breaking bread together just because you haven't done a spic and span clean beforehand.

I know some people are always party-ready but I'm just not, never will be, but I'm going to make a conscious effort not to let that stop me from making memories with my loved ones around the table.

A good dessert goes a long way to finish out an average meal, and the Hershey Bar cake I made for our firstborn's birthday was a hit. He's requested it for his birthday cake ever since I first made it when he was a teenager.

I didn't get a picture of the cake I made for our other family gathering recently. My sweet potato cake was a flop. I'd made it perfectly recently for another son's birthday. I'm blaming it on the oven, another reason for getting a new one soon, right?

The big pot of chili I made the Friday night after Thanksgiving was delicious, even without all the toppings piled on it by one grandson.

We managed to get two sons and their families here for chili that night.

And two grandsons came, one with his wife and son--you know what that makes me and RH, don't you?

I just realized that I don't have a picture of our other grandson who was here, I think because I had him taking pictures for me. Next time, Caleb.

But our great-grandson ate his chili, with onions! Then he got distracted by my new Morvarian Star light hanging over the table when I tried to get him to smile for the camera.

Our local families went home but we were blessed to have our granddaughters and their parents here for the weekend.

And in the mornings were barefoot breakfasts.

Some things do help when you're missing two little dachshunds so very much.

Having loved ones around helps, the beauty of nature helps, for me even baking helps. Maybe it's smelling cinnamon and other spices, maybe it's the beauty of the finished cake that comes out of the oven. Eating a small slice helps, well maybe a big slice. With vanilla ice cream on it.

Getting sympathy cards help because it is a bereavement in the family, make no mistake about that. RH and I even got one from thousands of miles away. 

And beautiful flowers for Thanksgiving from a son helps.

A lot of things help and I've appreciated every one of them during these weeks without our darling Otis and Milo.

"Life renews itself, no matter how much we may suffer.

Whatever beautiful and precious we may have is always ours to keep.

Losing one we love is possible only if we let it be."

Gladys Taber in Stillmeadow Seasons

Our son Zack faced that same loss this week of his beloved Bentley. The coming weeks will be difficult for him and Courtney. They worked hard from June when Bentley was diagnosed with nasal cancer to give him the best of care, and Bentley soldiered on, trying his best to stay here. He stayed as long as he could but then it was time to say goodbye.

It will be a while, Zack and Court, before anything helps. But there will be things that help eventually, so watch for them. 

And Bentley will always be there for you to keep in your heart. Gladys Taber was right about that, as she was about so many things. 


  1. Hi Dewena,
    I've been thinking about you and thought I would pop over to see if you had posted. Glad to see you have. What a beautiful family you have! Looks like a wonderful gathering. I'm so very sorry about all of your pet losses...and now another loss of a beloved furry friend. So heartbreaking! Hoping your hearts are beginning to heal....sending love, Linda

  2. There really are no words to ease that kind of loss... for you and DH... and your son and his wife. I am thankful that you have begun to find ease in the care of others and the love and surrounding of family... and the doing of tasks... and the eating of cake. Your photos are WONDERFUL! You have such a beautiful family and I love that you are great-grands! So happy to see your post this morning. Sending special prayers for comfort and peace... blessings ~ tanna

  3. I've thought of you often. I know you are grieving and that is a necessary process. I hope soon you will have little puppies running through your house again.

  4. ((((Dewena and hubby)))) and for your son and his wife also.

    Love, FlowerLady

  5. Hi Dewena,
    I think of you often and your heartache. I know it well. I pray that as time passes the loss will be more tolerable and maybe someday another one or two beautiful Doxies will come again into your life. Not to replace but to lighten your heart and loss. Glad you have had this time with your sweet family.

  6. Third time trying to comment. I keep getting an error report.

    It's been a rough road dewena, but the one ahead will be better. Your loving family must be a source of great comfort.


  7. Dewena, I cried so much reading about your sweet Otis and Milo, and I'm so sorry for the loss of Bentley as well. From one fur mama to another, sending sweet hugs and prayers your way...and some stinky kisses from the girls. xoxoxo

  8. oh Dewena.
    the circle of life is just too much with us.
    too many endings.
    Gladys says it best. and time is the healer. and even though the hours of that healing drag on it does finally happen.
    to be a child again and not know all such sorrow. only the beginnings.
    those tiny bare feet and little bed heads at your breakfast table! that is beautiful darling sister mine.
    love you.

  9. Yes, all these things help while grieving over a loved one. I'm sorry to hear of your beloved Milo. Having family around sure makes one feel better through the loss. Your chili looks great, Dewena, and I would have piled all these ingredients on, just like your grandson. The chocolate cake looks Yummy too. I love the pictures of the little one at his high chair and the girls at the breakfast table.

    Sending you comforting thoughts tonight, Dewena. Thinking of you during this time of sadness.

    love, ~Sheri

  10. I'm sorry to hear about your beloved Otis too. They both will be in your heart forever. : )

  11. Dearest Dewena...it is so good to hear from you again. Of course you haven't felt like blogging after all the heartbreak you've been through. I'm so glad to see that family has been all around you and is helping to heal your heart, even if just a little bit. I'm also very sorry to hear about your son's dog. Just so much heartache in your family right now with beloved fur babies. Sending you much love and a big hug.

  12. I so enjoyed your family photos in this post, Dewena, as well as hearing all about your family celebrations. Please don't hold me to keeping all of the names straight!

    I grapple sometimes that I'm now this in this older generation, my kids are adults and have kids. There are times when I feel so left out of the conversations. I always feel like I'm saying, "Back in the day..." Sometimes I long for the days when I was a young mother. But we have to remember we have a place in their lives, one that comes with guidance, wisdom and example. At least I tell myself that.

    I hear you on celebrating. I'm having a large celebration on the 23rd. We pass it around, and I host this year. I haven't actually counted, but it will be about 25-30 family members. I was going to order Turkey in gravy, and make all of the side dishes. Thanksgiving wore me out, I doubled all my recipes, and with only twelve guests, it was a ton of work. I'm ordering food for this occasion. I think next year should be a potluck. lol!

    You are doing what our dear lady, Gladys, wrote. But that hurt is going to have its stay for a long time. And I'm so sorry about Bentley. I wish they could have more time...

    Sending love and holiday wishes,


  13. I loved the pictures! What did you do to give them that look? I found that after our Sadie died, it was the time alone in the evening that was the worst. Tom goes to bed early and I'm up for hours. It was about six weeks before we got our Labrador. I don't ever want to go that long without a dog again. I hope you get another, or two. You are such a good person for dogs. Love your mention of Gladys. Are you in The Friends of Gladys Taber? By the way, I've always said having people over. Entertaining was a word for the rich. So love it when you post.

    1. Nan, I used the Gritty editing at Picmonkey, moving the fade button until I got the look I wanted for these. I'm glad you liked them!

  14. A bittersweet post, Dewena. Lovingly and beautifully written, as always. Hugs, Nancy

  15. Oh Dewena, I've been thinking of you, wondering how you've been. I'm glad to see that there have been some joyful celebrations and barefoot breakfast distractions...hugs.

  16. Your children and grandchildren are all beautiful and I can tell that everyone was glad to be with you and together. Such a lot to be thankful for! But I'm very sorry about Otis and Milo and am happy that there is this post in which I can comment and tell you so. God bless and comfort you, Dewena!!

  17. I've been wondering how you're doing. It's just such a sad, sad time. Nothing takes away the pain of the loss..but as time goes by--it does lessen. How blessed we are to share our lives with these incredible animals God has given us, how much richer and sweeter our lives and our memories are because of beloved kitties and doggies! (and horses, birds, hamsters, etc. and all other animals we have and love)

  18. Dewena, you have a lovely family, and what a blessing to have them with you. Life is such a combination of sadness and joy, isn't it? I think Gladys' words are very wise. Love to you, Deborah

  19. All I can offer is a big big hug, dear Dewena. I'm thinking of you.

  20. Dear Dewena,

    Your words and images speak for themselves, including your wonderful, 'to the point' title. I am so grateful that you are, once again, among your beautiful, growing family, and I'm sure they are thrilled to have you and your hubby so close by, making such precious gatherings so joyful and comforting

    Scruffy entertaining, huh? Well, if that Hershey Bar cake is representative of this kind of new, no fuss hospitality, I wonder what you were whipping up with the old? In any case, recipe please!

    Have a lovely week ahead, sweet friend.


  21. Oh, my gosh, Dewena! I am heartbroken for you! I have not been keeping up with my blog buddies like I should (dang it, Instagram!) and missed your posts about your pups. I am so sorry! We lost our beloved Jazzy last year and it took me awhile to feel happy again. She was a wonderful dog, and I can see that your boys were also very beloved. I can't imagine losing both dogs so close together! You poor thing! One is hard enough. I hope that you will one day let another needy dog (or two) come back into your life when the time is right. So many needy pets without the love they so crave. And you have so much love to give. You have such a beautiful family gathered around you. Such a blessing for you during these difficult days. Give my condolences to your son and his wife over the loss of their Bentley. God bless you, sweetie, and much love!

  22. I had read the earlier posts where you stopped the comments ( Understood :)

    May healing be on your way / looks as if a bit of that has started

  23. Dewena,
    I left you a note on Facebook, but wanted to come over and tell you how sorry I am and that I am thinking of you. Loving seeing your dear family and don't families make all the difference in the world.

  24. Dewena, I am finally catching up to you. I am so sorry fro everyone's loss of their beloved pets. Hugs to all. It was so sad...I think of my children's pets and get a lump in my tummy. It must have been nice to have the children running around and laughing. It helps me to see our little ones. Blessings to you, Merry Christmas to all, xoxo, Susie

  25. Losing our furr children is never easy...Hug sto you! We waited over 3 years after our Bo died...but now that we have Ginger we realized loving another one doesn't diminish the love we had for Bo. I so glad you were able to spend time with your family.

  26. Hello,
    Sending hugs. As I shared with you, our Molly is slowing down each day. We changed her diet, she is doing better. It is hard to know when to say it is time. She is still eating and wants to go for walks. She does get very confused some days. We just give her extra hugs.

    It is great family has been with you.
    Hope you have a blessed Christmas,

  27. I'm so pleased you spent time with family, I enjoyed seeing your photographs.
    Life can hit us badly at times and family and friends do provide such great support. I enjoyed reading the words by Gladys Taber.

    Sending my good wishes, and may you have a blessed Christmas.

    All the best Jan

  28. I couldn't find a way to comment on your most recent post, but I am SO excited you will be welcoming new little loves to your home! Such lucky pups! Merry Christmas, dear Dewena! And all the very best in 2018! blessings ~ tanna


RH and I love your comments! They are sent to my email for moderation first but I do hit publish as soon as I read them. A few commenters' comments are not sent to my email for some reason but I try to visit that section on my design page twice a day to see if they're hiding there so I can publish them. I went the first 3 years of blogging not knowing that was there and when I discovered it there were many pages of old comments that never got published. I was so embarrassed and contacted recent ones but hid in shame from those who had given up long ago.

In these busy days I appreciate so much when you take time to comment. Thank you so much!