The Quiet is Deafening . . .

The quiet is deafening. My little black shadow isn’t following me anymore and my heart is breaking.ali-7

Ali was her name.

And she was the sweetest Schipperke ever. If you know the breed, you know that they are fierce and protective. There is a reason why some folks call them Tasmanian Devils. But not Ali. She loved everyone and was happiest when people were here. Especially Eli. When he came over it was always a party going on and she would go into her happy dance. They would run around the backyard and she would be so excited that her boy came over to play with her.

When it was a Wednesday, I swear she knew the day of the week as she sat by the door waiting for all the ladies of my Wednesday group to come over. We would sit around the table and she would sit at our feet. Often grossing them out with her farts, powerful for just a little thing…but she was always happy to have her friends here.

If there is a Heaven for dogs, I know it was my friend Kathy Taylor who opened the door for her. Anytime Kathy came over the house, as soon as Ali saw her she would head to the back door. She knew Kathy had infinite patience with letting her in and out and in and out. When Kathy passed away, Ali was a little lost. Where was that nice lady who took care of her on Wednesdays?

Jet black, typical of Schipperkes with no tail, a little small for the breed, but the sweetest face. She was a bundle of energy that loved going on half a walk. She always wanted to walk, but about halfway through, she would sit down and not budge. So there I would be taking my dog out for a walk by carrying her home. Up until the last day she would follow me in every room I would go to, up and down the stairs. Like I said, my shadow.

The one thing I did that annoyed her was staying up too late. About midnight she would finally stand up and stare me down . . “Aren’t you going to bed yet?” I never could get her to go into the bedroom with Robert. No, she had to stay up with me. After all, I was her Mom.

The hardest thing about being a pet owner/lover is that they live too short compared to our lifespans. I thought I had it all figured out, seriously. She came along when I was 60. Schipperkes are long-lived breeds, so I figure out she wouldn’t get too old until I was about 75 or 76… just when I was getting too old. That’s the only time she’s let me down. She went too young at eleven.

We don’t quite know what did her in, but she was having digestive problems for about two months. Problems that we couldn’t figure out, but she seemed to be tolerating them well until last week when she wasn’t as interested in eating unless I offered her people food. It makes me smile to remember the last thing she ate was part of a Famous Amos cookie (no chocolate!).

Over the weekend she had a seizure or perhaps a small stroke, but it progressed into neurological issues that were steadily getting worse over her last twenty-four hours. So at 10:30 on a Sunday night we went to the hospital, held her in our arms told her how much we loved her and we let her slip away. So hard. So sad, but the right thing to do.

So now I face days that are too quiet, rugs that are not peed on, no more water bowls in four different rooms, no more automatic crumb catcher, no more heavy weight snuggling right next to me all night long. No more happy face running to greet me when she hears the door opening.

My sweet Ali…. Much too short a time on this earth for the happiness she brought us.

October 14, 2004 – November 1, 2015

Barb’s 15 Rules of Life

Just my two cents, for my grandkids.

  1. Remember that people will judge you by what you post and write on social media, you never know who might be reading those four-letter rants or risque pictures. Is that what you want employers or your parents to see?
  2. Always buy lemonade from the kids selling on the corner.
  3. If you stop to listen…. always give some change to street musicians. And if they are not so great, make it a buck.
  4. Don’t steal someone’s thunder by announcing their news on your social page.
  5. Tip generously when the waiter/waitress is trying their best, does that extra dollar make more of a difference to them or to you?
  6. Complement a stranger.
  7. Don’t always be the taker in a friendship, but then again, if you’re always the one giving, the question is why?
  8. Never, ever pass a Christmas kettle without helping others.
  9. Buy the “good” candy for Halloween.
  10. Vote. In every election.
  11. Give the service folks a present during the holidays. Think of how much easier they make your life!
  12. Treat people kindly, as we never know what they might be going through.
  13. But when the negativity gets to be too much, don’t let it destroy you. Vacate the relationship!
  14. Pick up that penny on the ground, it’s your lucky day.
  15. Tell someone you love them. Everyday.

Don’t wish me Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day, first celebrated in 1908, was started as a sentimental honor that soon went very commercial.  In fact the founder, Anna Jarvis tried to rescind the holiday about ten years later when she saw how companies just wanted to profit from the day.  Honestly that’s how the day feels to me. I do want the love shown to me by my children, but I don’t like how they are manipulated into buying and spending money, whether they can afford it or not.  The day becomes a holiday for everyone and in turn has lost it’s meaning.  The clerk at the store wishes me a Happy Mother’s Day, the person checking me out at the cafeteria cash register, I fully would expect a policeman writing a ticket to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day!

It just makes me sad for those who no longer have loved ones with them to hear the phrase Happy Mother’s Day from strangers. Strangers that do not know the circumstances. The day must be close to unbearable for them. My heart aches especially for Oleta, who will face her first Mother’s Day without Kathy who passed away last summer after a deadly and quick bout with melanoma. My heart also aches for Janet for lost her beautiful daughter to a car crash fifteen months ago. Mother’s Day will never be the same for them and I hope those meaningless platitudes from strangers don’t wrench at their heart each time they hear them.  Unfortunately my two friends are just two that come to mind, just think of the mothers you know that are not able to celebrate with their loved ones.

Maybe I’m just strange, but I don’t want complete strangers wishing me a Happy Mother’s Day, they don’t know my status and said to the wrong person can only bring hurt and pain to those no longer able to celebrate with family members.


The Thunder, Brooks and My Two Cents . . .

I’ve been  absolutely stunned to see the reaction on and Facebook on Brooks’ firing. Truly.  I’m just ranting here, but . . .

I’ve lived in Oklahoma long enough to witness the Oklahoma syndrome of “but he’s a good guy”. I see it locally and I see it now.

My question to those people are — have they been to many games, the fans that love him so much? The television viewing doesn’t show it all and watching them up close and personal it’s been beyond frustrating for years.  The play clipboard with “Give it to Durant” written Sharpie, the rotation going by the time left in the quarter, not by how anyone is or is not playing. The yanking of guys on a hot streak because it’s “time” for them to sit down.  The standard starting line-up, the rarely calling timeout when another team is catching up on our lead until it’s too late. It was funny at times to watch the way other coaches would out-coach him with the substitutions and predictability our team brought to the court.

I could go on and on.. the time management of minutes of Durant over the years. That poor kid, literally the phrase “they shoot horses, don’t they?” comes to mind when he was so overplayed because he & Russ were our only answer. I’ve wondered many times how much of his foot injury is caused by the number of 40 minute games he had to play because he was our only answer and it sure didn’t look like we had any playbook.

My dislike of Brooks goes way back to the Earl Watson years when his vindictiveness and pettiness seemed to rear its head. Perhaps there was something to the problems, but it was very puzzling and frustrating to watch and made us keep an eye on the way he handled the players who were not named Westbrook and Durant.

And as to the people who are unhappy with Bennett..  omg.. are you kidding me, what he and Presti have done for the city is incredible. They both live and breath OKC..   From what I understand Brooks’ family doesn’t even live here anymore, surprising for someone who is supposedly part of the fabric of our city (according to the many complainers about the firing).

whew..  I am beyond excited for a new chapter, perhaps we will even start watching the press conferences after the games again instead of muting when Brooks comes on with his “gonna watch films” and “gotta give them credit” pat phrases.

It was funny, within minutes of the announcement I had messages from a professional basketball writer in NYC, Raptor fans in Canada, folks in California . along with dozens of locals…  all asking one thing.  “Are You Dancing in the Streets?”

Yes I was and still am

Selling Cookie Jars on Facebook

monopolymanI recently wrote an article over on about the new ways people are finding to sell their stuff — the ABC’s of Selling Your Stuff on Facebook.

Having a garage sale, donating, eBay or perhaps selling on Craigslist has always been an option for clutter clearing, but over the past few years another avenue has opened up. Facebook. Yes, Facebook is not only a good way to keep up with friends, but also to sell and get rid of your stuff — good, valuable and even junk.

Facebook is also a great place to sell and buy cookie jars. The groups aren’t huge, but there are several on Facebook that are terrific for collectors to share their treasures, share their finds and also sell/trade jars.
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Kevin Durant and Mother’s Day

© Laurin Rinder | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Laurin Rinder | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Winning basketball’s coveted MVP trophy is a basketball player’s dream. Most Valuable Player trophies are given out every year and fans can name many of the past winners. But for those who are not basketball fans, you most likely aren’t aware of who wins it, why they win it and what difference does it make anyway? Even though I have stronger feelings this year since our hometeam’s player won the award, I have a feeling that this year’s winner will soon be known to those who don’t even have an idea of what team he is on.

As one headline shouted out, Kevin Durant just trumped all our mother’s day presents. He did indeed.

As an emotional acceptance speech was winding down, Durant made a point to name each of his teammates by name and say something special about each one of them, after thanking the staff of the Thunder and also the city and fans, his greatest moment was yet to come.
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