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Author: Brandi Barker

Fancy

Fancy

One of my all-time favorite Christmas gifts is a foot-tall snow-white sparkly ceramic squirrel from my nephew Isaac. When my brother Chris asked Isaac why he picked that present for me, Isaac said, “It’s fancy and Aunt Brandi’s fancy.” I chuckle whenever I look at the decoration because I’ve never considered myself elegant or formal. Still,… View more

Fragile

Fragile

Everywhere we look, we’re told to be merry, bright, sparkly, celebratory, and cheery. Our hearts don’t know we’re supposed to be festive when they’re feeling fragile. I miss Gavin so much. Mabel shares Gavin’s snuggly and sensitive proclivities and Finn’s never-ending energy and needs for fun, fun, fun. Ten years apart, my boys left this world… View more

Oh, What Fun!

Oh, What Fun!

It’s the time of year when songs, movies, sales ads, and deals inundate us with hope of magic and miracles. We’re to believe that a prince on a horse will make everything perfect or a mythical being disguised as one of us will ring a bell and all our dreams come true.  However, this season… View more

Grateful

Grateful

I like to think I’m a thankful person. When walking Mabel, I often silently list things I’m grateful for in that moment. Or, as I enjoy my coffee every morning and watch my sweet girl snore easily, trustingly against my leg, I’m beholden to her and all the joy, laughter, and absolute shenanigans she’s brought to… View more

Closed Doors

Closed Doors

We all know the saying, “When one door closes, another opens.” But, how often when we lose someone we love, don’t get that amazing opportunity we were sure was ours, or we peacefully part ways with someone because we’re finally brave enough to accept they’ll never love us back, do we put the car in… View more

Better

Better

We spend a lot of time and energy on better. We educate ourselves and train our dogs to behave better on walks or when guests arrive. We research games and places to take them so they’re living their best lives. Or, we add veggies to our diet and workout more so our clothes fit better. But… View more

Love Is

Love Is

After reading about violence, hate, and suffering in the news every morning, I can usually re-group with Mabel’s help making the bed. My sweet girl stands with her squeaky toy against the edge of the bed, longing, waiting for me to toss or tug in between me, arranging pillows and straightening the duvet. Mabel brings joy… View more

Blessings & Curses

Blessings & Curses

We’ve been blessed here in Ohio with unbelievably beautiful weather. Hot, cold, warm, cold, on repeat, but nothing a few layers won’t fix. And, Mabel and I’ve been going to one of our favorite walk spots long enough that I know sidepaths and alternate routes to give her the space she needs even when everyone else… View more

The Pits

The Pits

I didn’t set out to rescue a pitbull-looking dog when I met Gavin or Mabel. I just happened to connect with their souls in a way that I didn’t with other dogs I met. And I was fortunate. Only twice did random people negatively judge Gavin based on his looks. Most of the time, Gavin and… View more

Careful

Careful

A Course In Miracles says we’re most afraid of getting what we want. We fear the pain of losing our deepest desires will far outweigh not having what our heart yearns for. Or, we still need to accept that we’re (all) worthy of a beautiful, loving, and abundant life. I’ve yearned not to be on… View more

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