“All worries are less with wine.” 

Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

Oh, the worries have begun and I have poured a glass of wine.

Tomorrow I take little Abby to be spayed. Simple procedure, I know. I know it’s done thousands of times a day. The reality is just thinking about driving to the vet these days gives me palpitations.

My experiences being the care recipient rather than the care giver has certainly opened my eyes.

I understand on a whole new level the concern many of the patients and their families had when they came to the hospital or clinic. It was so routine for me I rarely, if ever,  stopped to think about it. In spite of their fear they trusted me with their care or the care of their family member.

I did not fully appreciate that dynamic until very recently.

It is and continues to be a very humbling realization.

Dear God,

I come to you today to ask you to guide those taking care of Abby tomorrow. She is oour young pup full energy, adventure, and the zest for life. She has brought such joy to our home. I am so honored and grateful she is part of our lives.

God, I ask you to bless all caregivers. May they find strength in seeing the good they do and understand how important they are in lives of all who are under their care. 

For myself and the other care recipients, I ask you send our angels and guides in close. May they help us understand what it is we need to do in order to care for our loved ones, each other, and ourselves. I ask You, Lord, to be with us as we each face our challenges of the day.  Amen.

~Barbara Jo Burton Hibdon, June 25, 2019~

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace be with you, my friends.~







“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.” 

David G. Allen

Life lessons come whether you’re ready or not–I’ve been reminded of that important fact this past month.

I’d become very comfortable with the status quo. I’d had this illusion of what my future held and I’d assumed things would follow that path.

I was pretty much 100% wrong.

I’ve been reminded life can change in a fraction of a second and in ways I’d never imagined. I’ve been reminded loss takes many forms, making it so important to love all those in your life without reserve. I’ve been reminded how one loss can change so many other things I’d never realized were intertwined. I’ve been reminded to pay attention to my word for the year–awareness–prompting me to stay mindful, slow down, and appreciate all aspects of my life. I’ve been reminded to stay in the present because those planned tomorrows are never promised. I’ve been reminded of the importance of my tight little cluster of friends as I’ve experienced the amazing kindness of strangers. Once again, I’ve been reminded of the depth and darkness of grief along with the renewed knowledge my faith is resilient and strong.

Most of all, I’ve been reminded to trust in myself, in my family and friends, and most of all–in God.

“No matter how close we are to another person, few human relationships are as free from strife, disagreement, and frustration as is the relationship you have with a good dog. Few human beings give of themselves to another as a dog gives of itself. I also suspect that we cherish dogs because their unblemished souls make us wish – consciously or unconsciously – that we were as innocent as they are, and make us yearn for a place where innocence is universal and where the meanness, the betrayals, and the cruelties of this world are unknown.” 

Dean Koontz, A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog

I am…

B…simply being.


“People leave imprints on our lives, shaping who we become in much the same way that a symbol is pressed into the page of a book to tell you who it comes from. Dogs, however, leave paw prints on our lives and our souls, which are as unique as fingerprints in every way.” 

Ashly LorenzanaIMG_1457


A Very Large Paw Print

“People leave imprints on our lives, shaping who we become in much the same way that a symbol is pressed into the page of a book to tell you who it comes from. Dogs, however, leave paw prints on our lives and our souls, which are as unique as fingerprints in every way.” 

Ashly Lorenzana

Every year when Halloween approaches, I think of my dog, Fanny.

I’ve written about Fanny before–I think it was Halloween last year when I shared the story about how she disappeared from our backyard.

Fanny was my first dog and the soul who comforted me after my Mom died. When my stepmother joined our family, Fanny was one of the first things to go.

Sadly, I never knew why she disappeared–I went in search of her for days and days–especially on Halloween when I knew people could be mean to animals. It was weeks later when the phone rang. I raced to answer the phone–being a teenager I was certain it had to be one of my friends. As I listened, I heard a very nice woman tell me she had just adopted our dog–my dog–from the Waterloo Humane Society. She needed to know if she was current with her shots?

My heart broke into so many pieces.

Part of me was happy because I knew Fanny would never leave me. But…I also learned, in a flash, people and things are not always as they seem.

On that Saturday afternoon, I lost my trust in most adults.

For some reason Fanny has been on my mind. Maybe it’s because our oldest dog, Bud has been following me closely the past few days. His intense gaze reminds me of Fanny–maybe she is visiting?

That thought, my friends, is very comforting.

Thanks, Fanny. I love you always.

“The very best thing about dogs is how they just know when you need them most, and they’ll drop everything that they’re doing to sit with you awhile.” 

Steven Rowley

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.




Today’s Gift

I’ve been reading so much about worthiness lately I should not have been surprised when I found this prayer by Maria Shriver in the notes I made while reading her book, I’ve Been Thinking…:

Dear God, I trust that you will meet me right where I am. Help me to make choices that are good for me and those I love. Help me to become the person I’m meant to be. Help me to say and believe that today, I am enough and I am worthy. Help me to know that each day is a gift and I can begin anew.  


On this beautiful July day, I felt this would be the perfect thing to share.

May these words help us to trust our journey and remind us that we are enough and worthy.

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace be with you~






“When no one you know tells the truth, you learn to see under the surface.”
― Cassandra Clare, Lady Midnight  

It was a mixture of drizzling rain and sleet combined with a steady northerly wind, discouraging even the hardiest of trick or treaters. This Halloween I did not have to worry about the weather. I’d been grounded since I’d snuck out a couple of weeks earlier. Honestly, my punishment was tolerable. My homebound isolation was worth every minute it in exchange for the fun and freedom I’d had that exciting, if unwise, night.

I had another worry nagging at me as I stood looking out the back door. Fanny, my big goofy dog, had been missing for over a week. As I’d walked down the alley from school that afternoon, I did not see her waiting for me at the end of the driveway. Sometimes she fell asleep over to the side of the house–but her dog time clock had always been accurate. As I got closer to home, I could see her chain stretched across the drive–she was gone. My dog was gone.

I had begged for a dog forever. As a way of stopping this constant nag, Dad told me a friend of his had puppies she was giving away. If I still wanted a dog, he told me to go up and see if she had any puppies left. Well…I took off–running as fast as I could to her house. What I did not know was Dad had already talked to her and knew she had just given away the last puppy. What he did not know was in the time since he’d talked with her and I got to her house, the person who’d come to pick up that last puppy had changed their mind.

Needless to say, when I got home with that ball of black fur, he was speechless. What could he do? He’d already said I could have the dog. Not only that but by the size of her paws, she promised to be one very large dog. Because of that, she would have to be an outside dog. And–Dad said firmly, her name would be Fanny–named after the lady who chuckled as sent that promised puppy home with me.

The garage became the home of my most loving and loved best friend. I’d head out to talk to her when I was sad or happy or just needed a place to go. For years, she’d always been there for me–until now.

Every minute I was not at school I looked and called for her. Halloween made me very nervous thinking someone could do something mean to her. My searching and calling intensified that night. I finally gave up when the window in the back door began to frost up. Coming through the kitchen Dad and Irene had little encouragement for me–stating the obvious sad facts–if she had not come home by now, someone had probably found her or something had happened to her.

Time moved on. My search continued–until a week or so later.

It was noontime on a warm fall Saturday, our new family unit altogether for lunch when the phone rang. Since I was not grounded from the phone, I rushed off to grab it.

The female voice on the other end asked if this was the Burton residence. I said, yes. She then asked if we were the people who were the previous owners of the black poodle she found at the Waterloo Humane Society? She wanted to make sure that the dog was current with all of her shots.

I don’t remember saying much. I’m sure I was polite and answered her questions. There was so much I wanted to say and ask her–the words would not come–she thanked me and I slowly hung up the phone. I walked back to the kitchen table and told Dad and Irene who had been on the phone and why she had called. The needed to know. That would be all I’d say to anyone for a very long time.

I don’t remember even walking back to the table. I quietly told Dad and Irene who had been on the phone and why they had called. There was no response and Fanny was never discussed again.

Like so many things in my life, Fanny had simply disappeared.

I told myself I now knew Fanny was safe–she had a home–hopefully she had another kid to love and care for–I could stop searching and rest.

One phone call had turned what was left of my world totally upside down.

Yes, my friends, trust is hard-earned and easily, often forever, lost.

And then all of a sudden she changed. She came back a different person with a new mindset, a new outlook, a new soul. The girl that once cared way too much about everyone and everything no longer cared at all. 

I am…

B…simply being…

Love you and wish us all peace.





“That is the curse of lying, Sister. Once you place that crown of the liar upon your head, you can take it off again, but it leaves a stain for all time.”
― Terry Goodkind, Soul of the Fire

Retirement has given me time to think back to parts of my life sequestered away in different little nooks and crannies. The sound of falling leaves and the smell of bonfires burning in the distance transported me to a place in time I had not visited in a long time. In one quick sweep, I saw myself standing in front of my old house in Traer, shuffling my feet through a widening pile of leaves, waiting for my friends to come by so we could all walk together to our music teacher’s house for chorus practice.

Now, this memory is a very serious one–not one that I am very proud of and one that probably set the course of my life for years to come. First of all, we were not going to have chorus practice. It’d been canceled earlier in the day because our teacher, Mrs. Wilson, was sick. Some of my friends had decided to go out anyway. Not so easy for me since I had just told my Dad and his new wife, Irene, we did not have practice that night. No way they would let me go out when there was no real plan for the night. I mean, teens out roaming around at night in a small town….nope. No way. Nadda. Not going to happen.

Well, someone suggested after multiple phone calls back and forth, I just needed to tell them I was going to practice. Odds are that they weren’t really paying attention and won’t remember me telling them. It’d be an early night so it won’t be a big deal. Just come on–they’d be walking by in ten minutes.

They pleaded. They really, really, really wanted me to come along. I really, really, really wanted to go. For the first time in my life, I felt like I belonged. This was a very new and a very heady experience for me.

With all my inner voices screaming at me that this was NOT a smart move, I decided to act fast, grabbed my coat, and rushed out the front door, yelling, “Bye, Dad, I’m going to practice.”

As predicted, my Dad did not remember. What I could not have predicted and was about to discover, Irene never ever forgot anything.

I was with my friends and it was wonderful. We walked up and down the streets, imitating the line walk we had all seen on the new TV show, The Monkees. We pushed, shoved, and laughed. We told each other our scariest ghost stories and made plans for Halloween. The wind gusted harder as we walked. The once clear evening had become overcast and cold. One of the guys said his parents weren’t home, why not head over to his house and warm up.

Meanwhile, at my house, Irene was looking up Mrs. Wilson’s phone number as my Dad dialed. Within a matter of minutes, my great escape was about to become one of my biggest nightmares.

Even now, I don’t know how he knew where to find me. We were crowded in Bruce’s kitchen, checking out what was in the ‘frig, when the knock at the front door came. We all tried to be quiet, but the giggles persisted as someone went to see who was there. What I heard next put pure fear into my heart.

“Barb, it’s your Dad.”

I was pretty sure my Dad was not there to join our little impromptu party.

The silence was deafening as I walked out the door, across the porch, and down the steps to where my Dad stood.

He did not speak to me–just pointed the way home.

If you took the route my friends and I’d just taken, we weren’t far from home. It’s only been a few minutes earlier when we’d raced each other through backyards and down alleys. Dad was not directing me that way–he marched us home by way of the sidewalks. I was a full block ahead of him, hearing his every word. Those words were sparse, repeated over and over, ensuring I got his message.

I got it. Loud and clear.

“I am so disappointed in you. You are no longer the good example you once were for your sisters. Your sisters are embarrassed by you. I am disappointed in you.”

It was one of the lowest times of my life.

My nightmare was not over–it continued when I got to school the next day. Mrs. Wilson told us all about a phone call made to her house the night before. She did not mention my name–there was no need. She was not happy one of her students used her as a way to get out of the house. That was not alright with her. She was very disappointed in that student. It would not–could not–happen again or she would end our special choral group.

This was one of my biggest lessons about trust. In a matter of minutes, I learned trust is earned through hard work. It is lost easily with just one reckless decision.

Over the years, I’ve been haunted by questions. Would things have been different in how our very new family developed if I had made a different choice? Had I set a certain ball in motion that night, creating a momentum I did not understand or know how to stop?

I found a quote earlier that helped me as I wrote and shared this story today.

In my life, I’ve lived, I’ve loved, I’ve lost, I’ve missed, I’ve hurt, I’ve trusted, I’ve made mistakes, but most of all, I’ve learned. 

I am…

B…simply being…

Love Y’all.







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