Walmart Strikes Again…


Dearest Readers:

With all that is happening within our communities, nation and the world, I had an experience with our local Walmart that really annoyed me!

My husband and I drove to Walmart to get sanitizing items. I stopped one of the managers, and I describe him as a sorry manager at that! I asked him if they had any sanitizing products. His reply, “No. We sold all we had last night when we got them.”

“Do you have any idea when you will get some more?”

He cast me a smug facial expression. “Well, it’s like this. When we get them, we sell out immediately.”

“I suppose you are not limiting the items?”

“Nope. First come first serve and customers can buy all they want.”

“In other words, you permit them to stockpile or hoard?”

“Lady, we can’t tell the customers they can only buy a few.”

I approached him closer. “Oh, yes you can. I worked in advertising and we limited products all the time.”

“Not at this Walmart.”

“Never did I say I worked at Walmart. And now, maybe I’ll shop elsewhere.”

Moral of this story – stay away from the West Ashley Circle of Walmart, Charleston, SC. They only care about the hoarders. NOT THEIR CUSTOMERS! Management only cares about how much they sell – not customers who need these products too!

Perhaps I’ll shop elsewhere! That manager needs to get another job!

Coronavirus – Let Us All Be Wise


Dearest Readers:

By now, I suppose you’ve heard about the Coronavirus? Believe me, it is a hot topic, especially on social media. Here’s a warning – please do not believe the information/news on social media, or the Internet. Just because a link pulls up for you to read doesn’t mean it is true. Have you heard the expression “Fake News?” Believe me, it does exist! Please check your sources! Visit only reputable sites such as: the Center for Disease Control – https://www.cdc.gov/ or the World Health Organization – https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 for the latest information regarding this virus. PLEASE – ALWAYS CHECK REPUTABLE SITES TO GET THE LATEST INFORMATION.

I live in the vicinity of Charleston County, SC. You are probably aware of how so many people are freaking out regarding this virus. Yes, I’ll admit it. I’m a bit concerned since I have asthma; nevertheless, I am following the guidelines from the CDC. I wash my hands constantly. I have toiletries available, including tissue, toilet tissue, and handwashing soaps. I’ve overheard people saying, well that information shouldn’t discourage us. We live in Charleston!

Yes. True. Nevertheless, travel, tourism, culinary, hospitality are all a major part of Charleston. SC! My concern is for those the media chooses to address as the “elderly” and for those who could not get the necessary supplies – in the event the virus arrives. No, I did not rush to stockpile any of these items. They are my basic stock items.

Last week, our Governor announced we had two reported cases of coronavirus in South Carolina. One in Charleston. Now, I discover after reading news alerts that Charleston, SC is allowing the cruise ship, Carnival Sunshine to release 3000 guests to our city. Keep in mind, Charleston is known for tourism and hospitality. This news disturbs me just a bit since we’ve had several people who have the virus within our communities. I suppose $$$$$$$ mean more to the City of Charleston, SC than the safety of our citizens. Isn’t this a shame! For more details, read the article below:https://www.live5news.com/…/thousands-arriving-charleston-…/

According to the State Newspaper, there are more cases in South Carolina now. Every morning there appears to be additional updates as the numbers increase. https://www.thestate.com/news/state/south-carolina/article241030266.html

While I am concerned, as a writer, I want to make certain I get the most informative information that isn’t embellished, or — FAKE! People do have the tendency to embellish stories, but not me. I go straight to the sources.

I’m still a bit discouraged that our Ports Authority is permitting the cruise ship to dock here. If I’m correct, Carnival Sunshine does have a home port established here; nevertheless, this contagious disease will decrease tourism and hospitality within our beautiful city. This will impact our economy.

What I found interesting and disappointing in this article is the following comment “City of Charleston officials say they have no say in cruise ship arrivals. The Port of Charleston is a state port and falls under state authority.”

What? The State has the authority? May I ask why?

I suppose I’ll continue following the stories regarding Coronavirus. Stay tuned. To date, I haven’t met anyone who has Coronavirus or an illness, but I’m cautious. As a woman born with asthma, I must be careful. I believe it’s only a matter of time before this outbreak in our beautiful city burns like a wildfire, and that is why I am staying inside. Whenever I get ill with a respiratory illness (acute bronchial asthma) or a severe case of asthma where my oxygen level drops, I stay inside my home using my nebulizer, washing my hands and resting.

I pray this Coronavirus fear will decrease soon, and those who are ill will remain where they should remain — either at a hospital or at home caring for their illness. I pray all of them will survive.

Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge – an Amazing Landmark, Charleston and Mount Pleasant, SC

Meanwhile, I pray. Let us all remain healthy!

Angel Oak located in Johns Island, SC

WW, WEIGHT WATCHERS AND CHOCOLATE APHRODISIACS


Totally forgot to take a photograph of Better Than Sex Cake. Chocolate is just so tempting!

Dearest Readers:

To those of you who do not know, Weight Watchers is now called “WW.” If you are a regular reader of my blog, you must know, I am a Weight Watcher, or “WW.” I’m proud to say that!

Today was my weekly weigh-in. Like everyone, I dreaded it. I knew it was time to face the music…to be accountable…responsible, …and so on!

My goal for this meeting was to lose one more pound. Yes. One. More. Pound. If I accomplished that, I would be able to say “I’ve lost forty pounds.” Ten pounds of sugar, since sugar comes in four-pound bags now, not five! Or, I could say, I’ve lost forty sticks of butter. Eight five-pound bags of potatoes!

Perhaps you get the picture now. Last night was another lack of sleep night for me. Awakening at 10 pm… Midnight 2 am. 4 am. 6 am. Ah to heck with it. I’m getting up I can’t sleep – AGAIN! I’ve watched so many Hallmark Christmas movies; lately I think I’m running out of the good ones!

So, this morning I’ve decided I needed to get to the meeting. No, I did not anticipate a loss. Not. After. Thanksgiving!

On that holiday, I cooked dinner for my husband, Phil. The pups got to eat a bit of turkey. As for me. Yes. I. Ate. TOO MUCH. That is – I ate too much chocolate!

I’m convinced – chocolate IS an aphrodisiac! This Thanksgiving, I served my infamous Better Than Sex Cake. A thin layer of crust. A layer of cream cheese mixed with Cool Whip Light. A beautiful, plump layer of sugar-free chocolate pudding, topped with a thick layer of Cool Whip Light. I will share my recipe below!

On Friday, my husband returned to work. I stayed home with the dogs. Since we are moving soon, I chose not to fight the Black Friday sales. I brewed a fresh pot of coffee, opened the fridge to get my Coffeemate French Vanilla creamer, only to cast my eyes at a dish covered with aluminum foil.

Better Than Sex Cake. Oops. Look Away! Close the fridge. Ah. Go. Ahead. Just one piece won’t kill you or make you gain weight.

I grabbed a bowl and a spoon. Quickly, I scooped up a BIG piece of this delicate. Delicious. Aphrodisiac. To say it was delicious is an understatement, especially for me. I LOVE chocolate!

Throughout the day, that dessert called for me. Each time, I listened and weakened. Before the evening was over, I ate almost all of it while wondering why am I doing this? I’m sabotaging Weight Watchers and my goal to lose one more pound.

Just before bedtime, I finished off the dessert. The next morning, angry with myself for not tracking and eating only what I should, I chewed myself out.

I started tracking again while imagining that dessert one more time. Sure wish I had one more piece of Better than Sex Cake. No…Nothing is better than ___!

This morning, I got on my scales at home, anticipating a significant weight gain.

Dressing to go to Weight Watchers, I decided to weigh all of my clothing. The black tights. My short gray skirt. My black turtleneck and my Christmas vest of high heels, and my black knee boots! I wanted to feel good about myself, even IF I gained a pound or two.

Yes, I LOVE HIGH HEELS. Anyone who knows me recognizes my walk. How I swag. One foot in front of the other. My heels were clicking against the pavement, as if to say, “Barbie’s here!”

Arriving at WW, there was a long line. Slowly we moved, and when I counted only three ladies ahead of me, I started to remove a bit of clothing and boots.

Unzipping the boots, I kicked them off, placing them near my handbag. I removed the Christmas vest, still anticipating a weight gain – all to the credit of my weakness for delectable aphrodisiacs of chocolate dancing in my brain. Still furious with myself while recognizing I had no one else to blame, I was convinced I had gained.

Moving slowly on the scales, I stretched over to see if I could read a loss. Since WW has “confidential weigh-ins,” I could not. Mindi calculated my weight.

Did I lose anything?

“You’ve lost 40.6 pounds now!”

I squealed. All the ladies at our Thursday morning meetings know I’m not shy. They heard me say: “I did it? I LOST 40 POUNDS?!”

So, for me, today was a celebration! When I joined Weight Watchers, I told only myself I wanted to lose 40 pounds. Now accomplishing that goal, I’ve decided to make another goal – lose another five pounds. And another. And another! This I can do for me. Only for me! After all, I am woman. I can eat something delectable and still convince myself I can lose. After all, This I Do For Me!

Here’s the recipe!

Bon Apetit!

BETTER THAN SEX CAKE (SO SIMILAR TO MISSISSIPPI MUD PIE, BUT SUGAR FREE!)

2 cups flour

2 sticks of margarine (room temp)

½ cup chopped pecans

8 ounces of whipped cream cheese (fat free) (room temp)

whipped topping (Cool Whip Lite)

2 large boxes of Sugar Free Instant Chocolate Pudding (Jello Sugar Free works well)

4 cups milk

Hershey Bar (rarely do I use this)

Chopped pecans for garnish

Make a crust from flour, butter and the chopped pecans. Mix well and press into a 9 x 12 inch pan or a baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow this to cool.

Mix cream cheese, 1 cup of the whipped topping.

When crust is cool to touch, spread the creamed cheese mixture lightly on the crust.

Prepare sugar free, instant pudding with 4 cups of milk, as directed on carton of box. Layer this on the dessert. Top with more whipped topping and decorate with chocolate curls from the candy bar (if used). I prefer to garnish with chopped pecans. Refrigerate at least two hours before serving.

Submitted by: Barbie Perkins-Cooper

Hurricane Dorian – Day Two


Dearest Readers:

Today is Day Two of Hurricane Dorian anticipation. Are we ready? Of course!

We’ve been on this roller coaster before, and I confess, I do not care for roller coasters! During Hurricane Hugo, I stayed with 60 students at the college where I was employed. Yes. 60 students! Most of them I knew. Believe me, during the hurricane, I got to know many of them! What I discovered is the stronger the students acted, the weaker they were, and the most horrified.

Today, I have the Weather Channel on, listening to when the prediction of Hurricane Dorian is predicted to arrive. Although I haven’t confirmed the news, I’ve been told that Charleston is basically a ghost town. No traffic to fight! Also, reportedly, a few of the Cracker Barrels are closed. It will be interesting to see if and when Waffle House closes. I’m certain you’ve probably seen the signs posted on highways previously saying “Waffle House is open,” on Christmas Day.

Perhaps later today, I’ll hop in the car and drive around, just to see how Mount Pleasant is preparing for Dorian – a feisty female hurricane with a strong breath of wind.

We have water. Food. Fruit. Doggie treats. We’ve been on this roller coaster before. We will survive. Reportedly, Dorian will be a category two when she dances into Charleston. We have been home since Saturday. Today is Tuesday. I think I’m ready to get out of this house and tour Mount Pleasant without traffic.

Perhaps I do need a break. There’s much too MUCH stress in my life now. Perhaps I’ll share a bit of that news when the stress breaks and all decisions are finalized. As for now, I need another cup of coffee, in preparation of Dorian.

Have I said I detested “hurricane season?” Looks like additional storms are brewing in the Atlantic too. Hurricane Juliette is brewing somewhere.

Someone yesterday stated they always name hurricanes after women. I set him straight on Facebook rather quickly, letting him know that during the Feminist movement, which I was a part of, it was decided that hurricanes should rotate the names between men and women. Isn’t it about time? Men are just as unpredictable as women. Hugo is a male name and he pounded into the Charleston Harbor as a Category Four!

As for Dorian, I think she needs to simply fade away! More later, readers!

Weight Watchers…Or Is It “WW?”


Dearest Readers:

I suppose most of you are aware Weight Watchers is now called ‘W-W!” A new branding for a wonderful organization. Still, I refer to it as Weight Watchers, and “WW” since my friends and I have referred the lifestyle organization as WW since we joined.

I confess, I believe I joined in 2011. I still remember my first meeting. If I could’ve found a brown grocery bag, I am convinced I would’ve entered the meeting with it over my head. Why? Simple. I have a web presence as a writer, and I still wasn’t convinced the weigh-in meetings were confidential. Still, I remember the meetings I attended for only a short time years ago. A beige curtain covered the scales. These scales were the antiquated scales we still see occasionally in doctor’s offices. I was convinced that every time I weighed someone, probably the next person in line, would see my weight and tell others how much I weighed.

For those of you who’ve never had a weight problem – how blessed you are. For those of us who constantly dread weighing, we simply cannot understand how great it must be to never have to be concerned about weight.

The day I joined Weight Watchers — this time — was when Jennifer Hudson was the spokesperson. She claimed she lost 80 pounds with them, and I must say, she looked gorgeous. So, I checked the Weight Watchers website, hoping to learn new information. I read about “confidential weigh-ins, Confidential weigh-ins, I whispered, Just how confidential is a beige curtain?

I knew I needed to lose weight. After I lost my father, I was so devastated, I gained weight. I detested shopping for new clothes – in a larger size. I despised looking in the mirror. Let’s don’t even discuss posing for a photograph, or wearing a swimsuit. Disgusting! I kept telling myself I would lose weight, but the scales refused to move to a lower number.

Entering the meeting, I completed the necessary forms, staying after the meeting to discuss the program.

Carefully, I ate. The challenge was eating out with my husband and friends. I did not tell anyone I joined Weight Watchers. It was my secret! I was ashamed to share!

Silly, foolish me. The next week, I stepped on the scales, convinced I’d lost at least three pounds. Surprise! I looked at the card the receptionist returned to me, and I screamed — Six-tenths of a pound. Six-tenths of a pound?

On that date, I became the founder of the Six-tenths Club! Today, I lost eight-tenths! Guess what? I’ll take it!

I grabbed my handbag and headed towards the exit. Fortunately, the leader of the meeting came after me. “You know, any loss is a loss. Please don’t get discouraged. Give us a chance, and yourself a chance!”

Almost in tears, I strolled to a chair and sat down. I stayed for this meeting too and discussed what I might’ve done wrong.

I have to consider: 1) I was a Type 2 Diabetic. 2) I kept to myself, not letting my husband or anyone know I joined WW. 3) I failed to believe in myself. 4) As an asthmatic, there are times my doctors prescribe Prednisone – a steroid…Steroids do not like me! Each time I take them, I gain weight! Did you know, after taking steroids, it takes about eight weeks to get them out of your system! It’s no wonder I jump on a roller coaster at these times, and I do not like roller coasters!

Ever. So. Slowly. My weight is dropping. Even when I have gains, I tell myself to get back on the wagon and continue this journey. Don’t. Give. Up!

Now, a few years later, I am devoted to my Thursday morning meetings, and I attend every week, unless I have a doctor’s appointment, have a migraine headache, or simply do not want to face the music, or scales!

What have I learned?

*I’ve learned to like myself.

*I’ve learned to focus on the positive, not the negative. Years ago, I thrived on the negative and it came close to destroying me. I grew up in a family filled with hatred, fights and negative thoughts. I was told not to love myself. Fortunately, I broke away from the toxic family environment and chose to make myself a better person.

*I’ve learned food is not our enemy, but our friend. After all, we all have to eat food to live!

*Another important lesson I’ve learned is – we must be accountable for our actions and behaviors. Weight Watchers, aka ‘WW’ teaches us how to become stronger individuals and we focus on how we can become better people by working towards our goals in life. Whatever those goals might become. Also, we learn to treat ourselves well. Years ago, I would practically beat my head against a brick wall while telling myself what a horrible person I was. I focused on the negative from my childhood. Now, I’m proud to say, I’ve discovered I am a nice person and a great friend. Imagine that!

Just look how far I’ve come! All to the growth, (and the loss) I am living as I adventure into a wonderful life with Weight Watchers…the friends I’ve made, and the life I am living now.

Today, while at the meeting two ladies thanked me for all of the experiences in my life that I share. I am more open-minded now, not dwelling in the clouds of darkness I lived for much of my youth and early adulthood. These two lovely ladies said I inspire them!

Now, when my friends ask me If I am STILL DOING WEIGHT WATCHERS, I correct them, saying: Actually, I am still doing WW, and I will never quit! WW is a part of me. A proud part of me!

I still need to lose about 30 pounds. At least, that is the goal I’ve chosen for myself. Will I achieve it? Of course I will! Since April, I’ve lost six pounds! And so, the story goes, along with my journey. Weight Watchers, aka “WW” — This I do for me!

Here’s to the “Good Ole Boys!”


Sunset Party Key WestIt’s All About the “Good Ole Boys”

Dearest Readers:

Today, I am writing to you to share a few isolated, heartbreaking experiences I’ve endured while standing up for my rights and the rights of all women.

While I will not name the organization specifically I’ve fought with and lost, I will say, this organization is nothing but a group of “Good Ole Boys,” who will do nothing but stand tall for the “good of the order…” Whatever that means! The phrase “for the good of the order,” relates to parliamentary procedures, or “Robert’s Rule of Order.” Even the women who have been ‘allowed’ or should I say, “permitted to join” these organizations as a member do believe in the “good of the order.” In the beginning, these women had to make a lot of noise, including a lawsuit, just to join these organizations. Yes, for the “good of the order!”

But? What is a good ole boy? Simple. Perhaps some of you have never heard the expression, “Oh, he’s a good ole boy!” We hear it lots in the South! When I was a child, I didn’t understand the terminology, until we moved in with our grandparents and I could see, my grandfather was most definitely a “good ole boy!” Papa, as we called him, was extremely protective and supportive of his male friends and relatives. After all, “good ole boys” are birds of a feather, and they flock together. Women aren’t appreciated or respected by the “good ole boys!”

Good ole boys believe that women are ‘second-class.’ Women belong in the home. Having them babies and taking care of the house. We were supposed to cook and clean and be quiet!

Although Papa tried to train me in the belief of the “Good Ole Boys,” I chose to be my own woman! I had big dreams. After all, I’m a feminist and so proud of it! Lots of Southerners still believe in the terminology of “Good Ole Boys.” As for this household, we do not practice “Good Ole Boy” terminology.

I should share, I’ve dealt with “good ole boys” all of my life. When I was 15, a “good ole boy” a maternal Uncle, wanted to get a bit friendly with me. He was a Deacon in the Pentecostal Church. He thought it would be fun to go down a dirt road with me and pick blackberries. This road was deserted. No houses. No farms. No one around. How convenient for my uncle. He stopped his truck, moving his hands all over me. I screamed. I cried. No one heard me. Then, I hit him hard right between his legs. He screamed. Cussed. Is this the behavior of a “good ole boy” or a deacon in the church?”

Suddenly his strength was gone. He grabbed himself and moaned. He was hurting.

Good. If you touch me again. I’ll hurt you again!

I jumped out of his truck and ran down the red clay roads. My asthma got the best of me due to the dust flying in my face as I ran. My uncle caught up with me and pushed me into the truck.

“If you touch me again, I’ll hit you harder, exactly where I did before.”

He kept his hands on the steering wheel.

That day, I suppose you can say, a 15-year-old, innocent girl won! My uncle agreed to drive me home, and he said he would not touch me again.

Before I jumped out of his truck to run into the apartment, he said: “If you tell anybody I touched you, they won’t believe you. After all – I’m a deacon in the church!”

If you ever try to touch me again, I’ll hurt you. I wear high heels to church now and I’ll kick you with my high heels! No one’s ever gonna touch me like that again! One day you’ll be gone. I hope you burn in Hell!

Those were the last words I ever spoke to that uncle. Never did I share with my family what he did to me until the day he died. When he died, my mother phoned me, letting me know he was dead and I should come home.

“Home? I’m already at home. I’m not coming to his funeral. I hope he burns in Hell,” I said to her, “And if you are asking me to send flowers, I’ll send black roses!”

I must say, when a woman is touched or groped in a certain way, she never forgets it.

I’ve remained on guard. Never wanting to make a scene.

 

GOOD. OLE. BOYS?

I must say, these organizations organized and managed by a bunch of men, or shall I say, “good ole Southern boys,” probably know I am a writer, well-seasoned and professional. I speak my mind, and I research passionately to know what I communicate. On three occasions I’ve been asked if I would consider writing and editing their newsletters. I laughed. Shook my head and said: “I will not consider doing it as a volunteer, nor will I join “the good of the order,” to be “permitted to write your newsletter. I will only consider it for $600 — monthly, payable in advance.”

Of course, those “good ole boys” laughed. They’d never pay anyone $600 just to write a newsletter! Such are the actions of these antiquated, good ole boys organizations. A woman writing a newsletter? Scandalous isn’t it!

For eight years I’d written newsletters for “good ole boys” organizations. Those newsletters won many awards. I never received anything, with exception of knowing those publications shared important information, keeping the non-profit ‘good ole boys’ clubs well informed. After one decided to censor my newsletter, I resigned. I saw one of their newsletters recently and I laughed. Only two pages, filled with too many typos and grammatical errors. Yes, they needed me to write for them, but I refused to share my talents for free.

I should mention I am a freelance writer and editor, but the “free” in freelance does not mean I am free! While I guarantee I can improve newsletters, especially grammatically, I would not consider ever writing for free again. Not even as a volunteer.

On one occasion I had an experience where one of the men at this “Good ole boys” fraternity wanted to get just a little too close. He spoke to me while running his hand down my right side, just a little too close for comfort. How I regret not making a scene on that night. What I should’ve done is to push him away from my body, and I should’ve screamed so everyone in attendance could see and hear what he was doing. Regretfully, I did not. I conducted myself as a lady. May I never do this again. The next time some drunken man approaches me to get a little close, I plan to hit him exactly where it hurts! This action will no doubt drop him to the floor! And then, he will never attempt to touch me again.

While I’ve had these incidents happen before, my husband has always jumped up and knocked the guy to the ground. While he might be short, when he is angry and sees me threatened, he becomes The Incredible Hulk. He’s knocked many guys down. After this incident, I asked Phil to let me handle it. How I wish I hadn’t! Deciding to file a grievance – a sexual harassment complaint. The good ole boys were not exactly happy with this complaint. Oh well! What I really regret not doing is calling 911 for the police to arrest the culprit on sexual assault! Then, I could file a lawsuit! Sometimes, it just doesn’t pay to conduct myself like Julia Sugarbaker! If this scenario ever happens again – WARNING – I will hit him exactly where it hurts!

Meanwhile, when I was in attendance for different events, each time with my husband, suddenly everyone wanted to know who I was. I smiled, introduced myself to all of those gossipy women and, dare I say it again – “good ole boys,” and I exchanged pleasantries with them. Yes, I noticed people whispering into each other’s ears, and I saw fingers pointed at me. I simply smiled and waved. It was obvious I would get nowhere with my complaint. After all, the “good ole boys” seem to laugh it off and cover their butts. I had nothing to be ashamed of, and I was determined to stand my ground.

Unfortunately, no one would come forward as a witness to what happened. No one wanted to get involved. You probably know the type. My philosophy is – if You see something, you say something, but there are many women who allow their husbands to make those decisions for them. Thank God I am a woman who stands her ground, refusing to allow my husband to make my decisions! My husband supported my complaints 100%, BUT – in the “good ole boys” world, since there were no OTHER witnesses, it is just a He said…She said…and in the ‘good ole boys’ antiquated world, I was treated as second-class!

On another occasion, the same ‘good ole boy’ – drunker and nastier, not to mention obnoxiously LOUD, attempted to humiliate me and a few of my friends. Yes, I filed another complaint!

I was told he would be suspended for a year. He wasn’t. I was told I had to meet with him personally to ‘hash this out.’ I did. All he did was deny. DENY…AND DENY AGAIN! He called me a crybaby.  And he screamed at me so much, verbally abusing me. I crumbled. Yes, I cried. How I wish I hadn’t. I lived with verbal abuse as a child. Anytime someone verbally abuses me, I crumble.

I was told if we did not settle the matter on that night, then I would have to file another complaint with the same committee I filed the ORIGINAL complaint. A vicious cycle! Regretfully, I agreed to disagree.

If I heard it once, I probably heard it about a million times. You are not a member. You do not have the right to file a complaint!

Gee! I was under the impression this was the United States of America.

Not where the “Good ole boys” reside. Yes, the “Good ole boys,” won, only because they are an archaic fraternity who will not step into the 21-First Century. After all, they’re “good ole boys!”

Perhaps I’ll share more about these incidents later, in my blog, or maybe I’ll pitch a few ideas to national women’s magazines! Now, that’s an idea I should consider!

While it is true, I agreed to move forward, I did not agree to stay quiet or to shut my mouth. That is not my style! I shall continue standing up to share my story with others. After all, I am a feminist and a proud woman who will always voice her opinions.

As for the “good ole boys?” Let’s just say; they’re still stuck in the 19th Century!

 

 

 

LEARN TO CONTROL YOUR DIABETES, BEFORE IT CONTROLS YOU


Late one evening while watching TV with my husband Phil, I reminded him to check his glucose level. His reply was the usual, ‘I’ll do it later.’ Knowing him as I do, I was frustrated. He has the tendency to procrastinate, so I chose a different approach. “Why don’t you check mine and let’s compare.”

Never did I expect my little psychological game to backfire. Pricking my finger, I waited in anticipation. When the meter flashed 468 on the screen, I laughed. “Something’s wrong with your machine. I do not have Diabetes. I do not have any symptoms. I’m fine.”

“You’re always tired,” my husband said.

“Isn’t everyone? If someone else walked in my shoes, they would be tired too.”

While it was true I was always tired, I suffered from insomnia and never felt rested. I worked ten-hour days at work and at home, working as a professional and moonlighting at night pursuing my writing career. My fingers were not numb, I didn’t suffer from increased thirst, and I certainly did not have unexplained weight loss. My mother had Diabetes so it does run in the family. Unexplained weight gain? Could that be a symptom?

The next morning I visited the doctor’s office, confirming the diagnosis of Type II Diabetes. My glucose level at Dr. Knepper’s office was 362. When he opened the door to discuss my condition, I was in tears. How could this happen to me? I ate properly, at least I thought I did. I did not exercise, and fast food was a part of my weekly meals, due to my crazy work schedule. Dr. Knepper reassured me I could recover and he encouraged me to learn all I could about Diabetes.

“I’m a writer,” I said. “I can become an advocate, if needed.”

Soft spoken and kind, Dr. Knepper nodded. “Let’s take it slow for now. We can get this under control. I want you to focus on your food intake, and what you are eating. Watch carbohydrates, increase your water intake and exercise. Check your glucose level at least three times daily and keep a record of it. I want to see you in three months. We’ll do blood work to see what your A1C level is.”

I had a lot to learn about Type II Diabetes. Leaving his office armed with a handful of prescriptions, a meter, booklets, and a fearful look on my face, I chose to learn all I could about Type II Diabetes.

That afternoon, I performed a Google search, typing in the key word of Diabetes. The wealth of information was informative, especially the web site of the American Diabetes Association, http://www.diabetes.org/home.jsp. I was able to click on information about Type II Diabetes, condition and treatment, a listing of resources, and so much more. Recognizing it was time for me to make a lifestyle change; I started building a plan of attack.

My New Years resolution for 2005 was to join a gym and lose weight. After the diagnosis of Diabetes, I was motivated and determined to change my life. I stopped visiting fast food joints for lunch, choosing to eat fresh vegetables and healthy snacks, instead of chocolate, or desserts. After work, I drove to the gym, worked out, and learned more about proper nutrition. I attended a nutrition class with a Diabetes nutritionist, asked lots of questions, and changed my diet, discovering the art of portion control.

Much to my surprise, I learned that sugar was not necessarily the enemy for people with Diabetes. Portion control, monitoring glucose levels, and limiting carbohydrates were the keys to success for Diabetes management.

Checking my glucose levels three times daily encouraged my husband to monitor his levels. He was diagnosed with Diabetes in 1992 and he rarely monitored or practiced portion control. My determination to get my Diabetes under control encouraged him; however, when his levels were higher than mine were, he was defiant.

“I don’t understand. You had the same thing for dinner that I did, and your levels are lower. It’s not fair,” he said, shaking his hands.

“Portion control,” I teased. “You had seconds. I never clean my plate. You go back for seconds, and you always snack late at night.”

“Whatever,” he grumbled.

Our competitive game of Diabetes management was underway and this time, I was the winner!

Three months later, my doctor was amazed how quickly my A1C level had dropped from 8.5 to 5.4. His goal was ‘6.5, but that could take a year,’ he said to me in February 2005. ‘Now, you’re my new poster child for Diabetes.’

Pleased with how quickly my eating and Diabetes management habits changed, I was still a bit annoyed that I was not losing weight. Inches were falling off of me. In three months I dropped two inches from my chest, four inches from my waistline, and two inches from my hips. My weight failed to drop at all.

“It’s hard for a Diabetic to lose weight, especially if you have insulin resistance,” Dr. Knepper said. “Don’t get discouraged. Your A1C level is great. I’m amazed how quickly you got it under control.”

“Insulin resistance,” I moaned. “Is that why my glucose level is so much higher in the morning?”

“Probably. Keep doing what you are doing, and don’t get discouraged. I’ll see you in three months.”

In June 2005 my position at the university ended when the campus relocated. With the closing of that door, I chose to open a window to my writing career. Now I had a bit of freedom to do what I wanted to do. I walked my dogs every day, worked out three to five times a week, and my weight decreased. By August 2006, I had lost a total of 26 pounds, and many inches. A1C levels were averaging 5.9, cholesterol levels were decreased to a healthier level, and I had more energy and self-confidence. Dr. Knepper was amazed and so proud of me. He had no idea how proud I was. Meanwhile, Phil’s A1C levels continued on a dangerous roller coaster ride. His doctors prescribed additional prescriptions and insulin injections. His reluctance to change his eating habits with portion control inspired me to continue monitoring my eating habits and glucose levels. Horrified of needles, I was determined not to join him. Each time he reached for his injection, I left the room.

Controlling Diabetes is now a lifetime commitment for me. My daily routine is a personal allegiance to educate myself and the public about the proper steps to Control Diabetes. My doctor is pleased with how quickly I was able to get my Diabetes under control. As for myself, I am proud of my new willpower. Before Diabetes, I procrastinated about life, my health, and my writing career. I made excuses for everything. Now, as a Diabetic, I want to do all I can to educate others, while educating myself. Diabetes is not a death sentence, but a way of life. A condition that can be monitored and managed through exercise, proper eating habits, portion control, and modern medicine. I plan to live my life as a healthy diabetic. So can you.

Daily Rituals to Monitor Type 2 Diabetes

  1. Seek professional care. Follow your doctor’s advice and learn all that you can about Type 2 Diabetes.
  2. Monitor glucose levels. I check my levels every morning, afternoon and evening.
  3. Exercise. Take daily walks. You will learn to appreciate the little things in life again – like hearing a chirping bird, saying hello to neighbors, and enjoying the freshness of morning air.
  4. Change your eating habits. Instead of going back for seconds, do not. Learn to eat slower, while enjoying the taste of food.
  5. Get regular physicalGulf Shores, AL 2008 082s. I confess, I did not, until Type 2 Diabetes knocked on my door. Now, I follow the advice of my doctor, and myself.
  6. Do not get discouraged if you have difficulty losing weight. Keep active and have a daily exercise routine.
  7. Visit the web site http://www.diabetes.org/home.jsp and learn all that you can about Diabetes. Knowledge is power.
  8. Diabetes is a lifestyle change, not a restriction of distasteful meals and social restraint.
  9. Think of portion control. Working as a professional photojournalist, there are times when my willpower is put to the test, especially during luncheons or special dinners. When dessert is placed before me, I eat one or two bites and leave the rest. Portion control is the key, not a constraint.
  10. Monitor. Your food intake. Your glucose levels, and your weight. Even a small reduction in weight is better than an increase.

My Thoughts For Today


Dearest Readers:

I’ve heard enough of FoxNews for the day.

The world is sick in a horrifying way.

I think I’ll keep on the telly for background noise, while today, I shall find the pups toys.

There’s lots to do inside this new home, but I must bow to a deadly throne of Corona Virus while praying for all who have it, and for me not to get it.

This world’s gone crazy now. We must stay six-feet-away. Can’t hug or shake hands, even with our friends.

No beach. No dining. We are told to stay inside

Just how much Cabin Fever does it take to stay alive?

Meanwhile, nurses and doctors and let’s not forget the CNA’s, wear PPE clothing, masks and gloves as patients strive just to breathe.

This Corona Virus is a deadly one, although the younger generation believes they are immune.

Why? Because they’re so young.

I pray for our country, the US of A

For our world to win this deadly battle of a virus running wild just to end our days.

Listen to your doctors. Nurses, and don’t forget the CNA’s.

Wash your hands. Practice good hygiene. Most important, don’t forget to pray.

Let’s win this battle, our newest war – Corona Virus, please just fade away.

Corona Virus vs. Cabin Fever


Dearest Readers:

Like you I have cabin fever. Sitting at home, unable to see friends, have luncheons, and just fun ‘girlfriend time,’ leaves me depressed and about ready to scream. However, after our move to the country, I don’t think anyone would hear a scream. I’m not missing suburbia at all. When I feel at my breaking point, I go outside and sit on a bench by the pond.

After we moved, I didn’t know we had turtles. Now, I do. So far, I’ve counted at least ten turtles. On sunny days, I see them sunbathing. Other times, I watch their little heads pop up and down in the water. Much to my surprise, I’ve discovered they like when I sing to them. I’ve named one Myrtle the Turtle and when I sing “Myrtle the turtle – where are you,” I am able to see them swimming towards me. This give me such pleasure at a time in our lives when Corona Virus is captivating the world.

The turtles are trusting me and they enjoy hearing me song. Yes. People, for those of you who’ve never heard me singing, I’ve been told I have a great voice. I think the turtles agree!

Since I live in the Charleston, SC community where travel tourism and hospitality are truly suffering after the stay-at-home order and before, my heart breaks to learn how our economy is suffering. According to the Post and Courier newspaper this morning, tourism is about a $24 billion industry for the State, including Charleston.

Funny, I haven’t heard about traffic congestion lately although when Phil and I go to the grocery store, we still have lots of traffic on the roads. For those who are wondering IF Charleston is allowing tourism now, I would say, you will be restricted. All parks are closed. Hotels and restaurants closed. Some hotels are open, and if you want to come to Charleston to enjoy our amazing culinary cuisine and hotels, or to party — well, you might consider visiting at another time. Take out orders only! No dining inside and forget meeting others. The City is closed!

Downtown is not permitting the carriage tours. I haven’t driven downtown to see exactly what is going on. Some people compare this to a hurricane. I disagree. With hurricanes, Charleston becomes a ghost town. The city goes dark. No traffic, especially if we are told we must leave. After Hurricane Floyd, I promised myself I would never fight the traffic again just to get out of Charleston! So, I say, there is no comparison for hurricanes and Corona Virus.

Yesterday, my husband and I were snapping at each other. I told him I need space! Later, we had a small discussion, agreeing that we are on each other’s nerves. I had another talk with God, apologizing and telling Him I would stop. Breathe. Inhale. Breathe again, and thank God for our health.

I think I’m hearing another press conference from our President, Donald Trump now, so perhaps I will close this free writing episode and listen to the latest. It is so depressing!

Please pray for us, our Nation and the World. We need this Corona Virus to fade away. Never to return. I pray for all who are sick around the world. I am considered a high-risk due to asthma, so I cope by staying inside. Washing my hands repeatedly and when I go to the grocery store, I pray I find Lysol, hand sanitizers and other necessary products. I haven’t found any of them. I’m careful using my last bottle of Lysol. I’ll be so happy when this crisis is over. Easter is just around the corner. We need miracles, please dear God. Give the world a miracle!

Cypress Gardens. A beautiful location to photograph and to have family fun, except when Corona Virus is sickening the entire world.

Our First Wildlife Loss On Golden Serenity Oasis Pond


Dearest Readers:

Earlier, I walked down my long winding road to the mailbox. As I walk, I always stroll a bit by the pond, then take my time headed to the mailbox. I saw something in the pond. Something I’ve never seen before. Its head looked the shape of an alligator. I threw a stick, to see if it would move to realize that if it was a gator, he might chase me and I can’t run now. Not with the back fracture! The “gator” didn’t come after me! After collecting the mail, I returned to the animal in my pond. Phil was taking a nap, so I waited until he woke up, telling him I think we might have an alligator in the pond.


We walked towards the pond. Phil, as always, directing me not to get too close. I laughed. “Heck, you’re late. I threw a stick by it when walking.”


He grabbed a stick and tapped the “gator.” It didn’t move, so he chose to move it.
No. It wasn’t an alligator. We’ve had our first wildlife loss. At first, we thought it was a cat. Of course, the soft-hearted Barbie found tears slipping down her face. “We must bury it and have a service for it.”


We found a spot underneath a tree. Phil gathered the “gator/cat” and we buried it recognizing it was not a cat, but a raccoon. A male raccoon. You don’t want to know how I know it was a male. Ladies, just use your imagination! Maybe I was a bit too curious!


At least he will rest underneath a tree. I suspect he drowned in the pond. So sad.
Rest in peace, little Racy Raccoon.

Coronavirus Updates


Dearest Readers:

Do you find yourself constantly watching social media for the latest information regarding the Coronavirus?

If so, maybe you should train your brain to think of something else. Although I am a participant on social media (Facebook) I do not participate on Twitter or other devices. Understand, I am not criticizing any of these sites; nevertheless, I have spoken to acquaintances who were convinced, and I quote: “I read it on Facebook, so it’s got to be true.”

Wrong answer!

Do yourselves a favor. Focus your attention on the best sites regarding Coronavirus. For example, the CDC, Center for Disease Control at https://www.cdc.gov/

or

WHO, the World Health Organization — https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Other sites I am familiar with and research their links are:

Mayo Clinic — https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/symptoms-causes/syc-20479963

WebMD — https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200310/know-the-symptoms-of-covid19

President Trump is conducting daily press conferences regarding the Coronavirus. Perhaps you should listen to his information too.

Nevertheless, we all should stay informed – not freaking out to the point we rush to the grocery store, WalMart, Target, or other retail stores – just to stockpile toilet tissue, paper towels, tissues, handwipes, antiseptic wipes — and on and on.

I understand some people may have several people (or families) living within their home, and some might be older or fragile. They could use these items. Some of us, including our family, do not need to stockpile. The only item we are missing within this household is antiseptic wipes. I confess, Saturday night at WalMart, antiseptic handwipes were out of stock, so I marched over to the baby aisles. There, I found Huggies handwipes. I bought one for each of our three bathrooms, leaving the remainder for other people to purchase. None of us had babies. Yes, I asked, please, if any of you have little infants, you need these handwipes more than we do.

“No, we decided to follow you over and get whatever we could find. No babies within our homes.”

These are frightening times, and the news media is really jumping on the bandwagon, after all, they believe “If it bleeds, it leads!”

I want to stay abreast of the latest facts and information due to the fact that Coronavirus appears to be a virus that includes the respiratory system. I have asthma. A couple of weeks ago, I stayed inside my home due to a slight wheezing. I used my nebulizer. Now, I’m fine. I did not have a temp, nor did I feel ill, I simply did not want to share my coughing germs with others. I try to be considerate!

As a writer, I prefer to check my research, resources, and confirm all of the information before I publish. I’m definitely NOT a fake journalist or media!

Please, during this Coronavirus epidemic, if you are sick, stay at home. If you have fever, you might consider contacting your doctor. If you have a cough or sneeze, PLEASE cover your mouth, nose, etc. and stay home. Yes, germs are everywhere, so we must be proactive!

Maybe we should all visit an online bookstore, or watch TV, after all, DirecTV has movies available 24/7. Entertain yourselves and your family by remaining isolated if you are sick. Meanwhile, enjoy your life. Get to know your family members and let us all remain healthy!

Remember:

Wash your hands frequently!

If coughing – cough into your elbow. If you sneeze, use a tissue. Discard!

If you have a temp – stay home and call your doctor.

May we all remain healthy. We have the methods to practice to keep us healthy. God bless us, Everyone!

On Golden Pond – My Golden Pond! Have You Missed Me?


Dearest Readers:

Yes. I understand. I’ve been silent for much too long. When I started my blog, I posted regularly. Thrilled to finally be writing again

Unfortunately, since at least 2015 my life has been unpredictable, stressed, and I lost my confidence in my abilities as a writer. Every time I attempted to write, life would interrupt me. Again. And again…!

Now, my goal for 2020 is to keep this blog busy. Last year, I had the same goal, but life knocked on my door endlessly. In late August, Phil and I decided to possibly place our home in Mount Pleasant on the market. After all, many in our neighborhood were doing it. They said the time is right. The market. You should consider doing the same.

My home is old. Built in 1954. We’ve done many renovations to it, but the bathrooms are still too small. We don’t have the popular “open concept” and I don’t want strangers coming into my home touring.

Long story short – we met a realtor who became a great friend we could trust. We staged what we could. Packed items – actually, pre-packing to move and started looking for a home. In the country. Away from the suburbs. Away from noise. Away from neighbors and congested traffic!

We found one such home in Hollywood, SC. Unfortunately, it sold before we could complete pre-packing. Our realtor assured us we would find another home. “A better home to meet your needs. I believe in making clients dreams come true.”

I suppose you could say I didn’t believe him. Immediately I responded — “I told you. No B-S with me!” I felt like Scrooge!

Five days passed. I searched on Zillow.com and Realtor.com. I found an interesting property. Complete with five acres and a pond. A nice yellow farm house. I clicked on to the site, only to have my computer bomb. I was so disappointed. Rebooting the computer, I researched Zillow.com and Realtor.com again only to realize I could not locate them. Later in the day, I received an email from another realtor. Deciding to click on the link of current homes for sale, I found the yellow house.

The doorbell rang. Our realtor was here to discuss more homes and opportunities. I rushed him over to see the yellow house.

He knew about the house but thought it was out of our price range.

“We’ve got an approved loan for the full amount,” I said. “Of course it’s contingent upon selling this house, so you’ve got homework to do!”

On Wednesday of that week we drove to see our yellow farm house. I remember as a child I said I would one day have a home on waterfront property! This beautiful home was that opportunity of a lifetime. Never did I believe my dream would come true. Why? Life! Disappointments and lack of confidence!

Now, readers, perhaps you can understand what has been happening within our former home and our new home. Now, we have waterfront property. A pond filled with big fish, including catfish, bream and big mouth bass. Yesterday I counted 10 large turtles in the pond too. Some were sun bathing. Others were swimming in my direction, only to bop their little heads under water!

Finally, one of my dreams has come true! Now, I must pursue another dream – the completion of CHATTAHOOCHEE CHILD!

Will I complete that story? You betcha! And now, I’m off to feed my fish and watch them jump in the water to eat their dinner while Phil and I eat my famous homemade chili.

Introducing – My Golden Pond. Yes, Virginia, some dreams do come true!