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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!

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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!

 

 

 

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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.

Happy Father’s Day, 2019


Dearest Readers:

Today, Sunday, June 16, 2019, is Father’s Day. I will celebrate this glorious day with my husband, while spoiling him just a bit more.

Unfortunately, I lost my father, Walter W. Perkins, on Tuesday, July 6, 1999. Father’s Day hasn’t been the same without him.

Today is a day to show your love, appreciation and gratefulness for your father. Now that I am an orphan, I feel my father’s loss immensely. How I remember the day he left me.

Working a bit late on that date, I drove to the nursing home to check on him and visit with him a bit. He was battling esophageal cancer at that time. Terminally ill. It was just a matter of time before he would leave us. Daily, I visited, unless I was ill.

Walking into the nursing home, I noticed a nurse pushing an oxygen tank. Much to my surprise, she and I placed our hands on my father’s door at the same time. I screamed. I knew. This is it. My father is dying.

At 5:45pm, I heard nurses working on him. One came out, asking me to give permission to resuscitate him. “No.” I said, tears rushing down my face. “He’s a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate.)

After that night, I failed to sleep. The remainder of that week is a blob to me. I remember planning his funeral. I vaguely remember seeing family members.

Now, almost 20 years later, I still ache to be with him, speak with him, sing with him, and enjoy our time together.

For all of you who are blessed to still have your father in your life, please do not take him for granted. Do not assume he will always be with you. There will come a day when he will leave you never to return. You will be devastated. Life is too short, so please be kind to him and appreciate all that he is and will be in your life.

If he shares stories of his childhood and early adulthood, please write these stories down. How I wish I had. I told myself I could remember those times and I could jot them down at a later time.

Poof! Those stories are gone. I cannot sit down with him now.

How I miss Father’s Day with my dad. Please take the time TODAY, to share your love. Thank him for being in your life, and make time to jot down the stories he’s shared so you will remember them.

Happy Father’s Day, Walter W. Perkins, in Heaven. I shall love you, always! May everyone who is a father enjoy this precious Father’s Day, 2019.

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Golf Cart Safety


Dearest Readers:

Today is June 1, 2019. I admit it, I’ve been negligent about writing on a regular basis in my blog. Recently, actually, if I’m correct, I’ve been negligent since I upgraded to a better service with Word Press. So, now that it is officially summertime, the time of year where we start to be concerned about the weather and hurricanes, I thought I might create a new resolution — a bit late. Oops. So sorry. My resolution is: to write about topics of concern on a regular basis!

My subject today is golf cart safety. We have an amazing number of golf cart drivers in our area of the Old Village, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Earlier this afternoon, I saw a green golf cart turning onto my road. Would you believe the driver was a child – at the most six or seven years old. He was small for his age. An adult sat in the passenger side. The child was driving!

Since most golf cart drivers fail to give signals, I suspect golf carts do not have signal lights or safety belts! Just how are we, the residents and drivers, to know when a golf cart plans to turn? Good question. I don’t have an answer.

Doing a bit of research, I discovered this site:

http://www.golfcartsafety.com/safety-fundamentals

Listed below are the 16 Fundamentals to Be Safe In a Golf Cart:

“THE FUNDAMENTALS (16 WAYS TO BE SAFE)

  1. Never drive recklessly or joy ride. Drive courteously. Obey all vehicle traffic laws and rules of the road. THE MAJORITY OF GOLF CART DRIVERS IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD DO NOT FOLLOW THIS RULE!
  2. Never drive intoxicated or under the influence of any drug or narcotic. THE MAJORITY OF GOLF CART DRIVERS IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD DO NOT FOLLOW THIS RULE!
  3. Avoid distractions while operating the golf cart just as you would in an automobile. Be safe and attentive — avoid talking, texting, or reading while driving, reaching for objects, applying makeup or eating. THE MAJORITY OF GOLF CART DRIVERS IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD DO NOT FOLLOW THIS RULE! I’ve observed much texting and playing with phones!
  4. Golf carts should be equipped with seat belts for driver and all passengers. The driver and all occupants should utilize available seatbelts anytime the vehicle is in use. THE MAJORITY OF GOLF CART DRIVERS IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD DO NOT FOLLOW THIS RULE!
  5. Only carry the number of passengers for which there are seats. THE MAJORITY OF GOLF CART DRIVERS IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD DO NOT FOLLOW THIS RULE! Many times children are hanging on the back of the golf cart!
  6. Drivers and all passengers should keep all body parts (arms, legs, feet) inside cart while vehicle is in motion, except when signaling a turn.
  7. Do not allow anyone to ride standing in the vehicle or on the back platform of the vehicle. Do not put vehicle in motion until all passengers are safely seated inside vehicle. THE MAJORITY OF GOLF CART DRIVERS IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD DO NOT FOLLOW THIS RULE!
  8. Operate the vehicle from the driver’s side only.
  9. Always use hand signals to indicate your intent to turn due to the small size and limited visibility of the turn signals on a golf cart. THE MAJORITY OF GOLF CART DRIVERS IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD DO NOT FOLLOW THIS RULE!
  10. Check blind spots before turning. When making a left hand turn, yield to the thru traffic lane and merge into that lane before turning left. Never make a left hand turn from the golf cart lane.
  11. Carefully turn and look behind golf cart before backing up.
  12. Avoid sharp turns at maximum speed, and drive straight up and down slopes to reduce the risk of passenger ejections and/or rollover. Avoid excessive speed, sudden starts, stops and fast turns.
  13. Reduce speed due to driving conditions, especially hills or other inclines or declines, blind corners, intersections, pedestrians and inclement weather.
  14. Do not leave keys in golf cart while unattended and make sure the parking brake is set. THE MAJORITY OF GOLF CART DRIVERS IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD DO NOT FOLLOW THIS RULE! Let’s just say, several neighbors have had their golf carts stolen.
  15. Always yield to pedestrians and be cognizant of motor vehicles. THE MAJORITY OF GOLF CART DRIVERS IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD DO NOT FOLLOW THIS RULE!
  16. Use extreme caution in inclement weather. Although a golf cart may shield you from the rain, it may not protect you from a lightning strike.”

I’m astonished how many children are driving WITHOUT SUPERVISION in my neighborhood. It’s my observation they believe golf carts are simply adult toys they can plan with, and if they approach a car, they will turn in front of it and laugh, or some of these precious children use finger art to make a point. No respect to other drivers, after all, they are allowed to play on the golf carts!

I confess, I do not have a golf cart. I’ve though about purchasing one, deciding we really do not need one. After all, if we want to drive somewhere, there are two vehicles parked in our driveway.

According to an article in the Post & Courier, October 17, 2018, golf carts are supposed to adhere to the following rules. Maybe Mount Pleasant, SC is exempt? Perhaps not, after all – we are in Charleston County!

“To drive a golf cart in South Carolina, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Have a valid driver’s license
  • Have the cart registered with the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Have proof of liability insurance
  • Display a state permit decal
  • Only drive during daylight hours
  • Only drive within 4 miles of the address on the registration certificate
  • Only drive on roadways with a speed limit of 35 mph or less
  • Not drive on a bike path.”

Although golf carts are not supposed to be driven at night, I’ve seen many of them driving on the roads at night – without headlights! Also, children, including infants should not be held by the driver, and since there isn’t a place to safely buckle a child they should not be included in the golf cart.

Golf cart safety is really about common sense and SAFETY! While I imagine it might be fun to ride around the neighborhood in a golf cart with your children standing on the rear of the cart, and little children held in the arms of the driver, a little bit of common sense might be utilized.

I would hate to think a child was either seriously injured or killed while riding in a golf cart, or an older child – not a teenager – driving the golf cart! Freak accidents can, and will happen.

Safety first! Let’s protect our children and neighbors, please!

Happy Memorial Day


To remind everyone why we celebrate Memorial Day!

Barbie Perkins-Cooper

The weekend is here — Memorial Day Weekend, to some it is the beginning of the hot summer season. To others, Memorial Day Weekend is a time to reflect, to remember those who fought for our freedom, gave their lives and to remember them and what they believed in.

As the proud wife of a Vietnam Veteran, Memorial Day weekend is bitter-sweet. We were one of the fortunate couples of the Vietnam conflict. Why? Simple. My husband came home — a totally different man — fearful, easy to lose his temper and to be defensive. For me, the man I married is still over there — his innocent, trusting ways never returned. So, we celebrate Memorial Day  weekend – remembering the young, carefree soldier who returned as a soldier ready to forget Vietnam because, “It don’t mean nothing, man…”

As the wife, I cannot imagine what goes on in a…

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Finding Your Happy Place


Dearest Readers:

Yesterday, I walked over 14,000+ steps. Most of these steps were in the early morning while walking along the pier. How I enjoy walking, especially when a soft, coastal breeze kisses my face. I watched seagulls and pelicans gliding across the harbor waters. I saw men, and a few women, fishing. I noticed my silly right knee stopped popping. Normally, my right knee awakens me with a “snap…crackle…pop!” What a glorious morning to walk.

That discovery got me to thinking. Last week, while reading a book one of the characters asked another character: “Where is your happy place? That’s where you need to go, to put the past behind you. To help with your grief, and to find peace and happiness again.”

Humph. That really hit home with me. Where is my happy place? The character in the story said her happy place was the beach, when her family would travel as a family to the beach during the summer.

All week long I kept thinking Where is my happy place?

I could not answer. Childhood was a rough and sad time for me. My parents moved us constantly, thanks to my mother not paying the rent. Many times we were evicted, managing to move just before the eviction notice was posted. Needless to say, my father was furious with my mother. Who wouldn’t be!

My mother could not handle the finances of our family. Every year there were arguments, building into rage and fist fights. Shouting. Cursing. Pushing. The looks on their faces said it all. Many times, I served as the referee to my family, Just to keep peace. Once, I suggested one of them needs to leave before someone gets killed. My father moved out of the house the next day. Arriving home from school, my mother pushed me and shouted, “I hope to Hell you’re happy now. Your Daddy is divorcing me. You can consider that bastard dead. Do you hear me? Your Daddy is dead now!”

Never did I consider my father dead!

My happy place?

My happy place failed to exist until I moved with my husband to Charleston, South Carolina. We are only four miles from the beach now. How I cherish it; however, I haven’t been to the beach in three years.

While thinking about this, I realized when I’m at the beach, I feel calmness. Peace. The roar of the ocean sings to me. Walking along the beach, the warm ocean waters tickle my feet. Peace and happiness, all at the beach!

My husband asked me why I wasn’t going to the beach anymore. I failed to have an answer.

This summer, I plan to go back to the beach – my all time happy place. I planned to go this Friday, but my precious Prince Midnight Shadow – my giant schnauzer – has a surgical procedure tomorrow, so I will take care of him and maybe next week, I’ll find my happy place once again.

How about you, readers? Where is your happy place? Why not share it with me in the comments. I’d love to know — Where do you find your happy place?

Happy Easter 2019


Dearest Readers:

While I know I’ve been quiet for a bit, it wasn’t my intention. Let’s just say, sometimes life does require extra attention.

So many demands of life have truly left me overwhelmed; nevertheless, I had a serious talk with God and now, things are moving along.

I would like to take a moment of your time to wish you a Happy Springtime and a most special Happy Easter. Easter is a special time for me, remembering the times we spent with our grandparents at their small mill home, celebrating Easter by going to church. Grandma always made certain we had beautiful Easter dresses and shoes. Of course, my shoes were French heels, and when I became a teenager, I was allowed to wear nylons and heels. How special I felt.

At church, we celebrated the resurrection of Christ. Afterwards, there was a fellowship dinner with all types of homemade goodies, desserts and food. Then, the children had an Easter egg hunt. How special.

Now, older and wiser, I still celebrate Easter. This year, our neighbors invited us to an Easter meal at their house. I plan to bring a dessert. It will be so nice to sit around the dinner table, eating delicious foods and talking with our neighbors and friends.

I hope all of you will celebrate Easter with your family and friends. Let us all remember Easter is the resurrection of Christ.

Little children will open Easter baskets from the Easter bunny. Yes, no doubt, they will overeat sugar goodies, chocolate and I cannot forget those delicious Cadbury eggs and bunny rabbits. I confess, I haven’t eaten any Easter candy in years. Too rich and too sweet for my taste.

I look forward to visiting with neighbors and friends with my husband, Phil. Yes. It will be Easter Sunday soon. A time to reflect and rejoice about the resurrection of Christ.

Happy Easter, 2019!cropped-cropped-arthur-ravenel-bridge1.jpg

Beaumont, Texas – A Great Lone Star City with a Little Something Extra


HIT THE ROAD
Beaumont
Here in Southeast Texas, Cajun meets country, and celebrities abound

Beaumont likes to describe itself as “Texas with a little something extra.” West of the Louisiana border, Beaumont has absorbed zydeco music, with its unique washboard and accordion flourishes, and Cajun food. But just off Interstate 10, there’s no shortage of barbecue or country music—or its stars, such as singers Tracy Byrd and Mark Chesnutt, who live here.

The city also claims country singer George Jones, who was born in 1931 in nearby Saratoga. As a kid, Jones sang for tips on the streets of Beaumont.

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Before you tour the city, start your morning off right at one of Rao’s Bakery’s three Beaumont locations where you are certain to meet locals—and maybe some more celebrities, such as former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Duriel Harris who likes to drop in—enjoying a great cup of coffee, fellowship and fresh desserts. Established in 1941, this popular bakery, which also has stores in Spring and Nederland, takes pride in its cakes, especially the round, colorful king cakes associated with the celebration of Fat Tuesday prior to Lent. Cakes are baked on-site and shipped internationally. My favorite delicacy here is the Red Velvet Crumb Cake. Rao’s Bakery also keeps youngsters in mind and in the summer offers a Kids Bake Camp. This is the perfect opportunity for children to step into the kitchen to bake cookies or decorate a cake.

Downtown Beaumont features some great museums, including the Fire Museum of Texas, where you can see what museum officials claim is the world’s tallest working fire hydrant painted with Dalmatian spots. The 24-foot-tall hydrant leads to the museum’s entrance. The museum, which has an amazing collection of fire engines and equipment dating to 1856, is housed in the 1927 two-story Central Firee Station and shares space with the Beaumont Fire and Rescue Services administrative offices. The building is a Texas Historic Landmark.

The Art Museum of Southeast Texas features an exhibit made by the Voodoo Man of Beaumont. Felix “Fox” Harris created totem-pole artwork, collecting and sculpting junk with a ball-peen hammer, butter knife and other common utensils to create a spooky forest in his front yard. The museum rescued and preserved a portion of his artworks in its permanent collection.

 

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While strolling the renovated downtown district, take time to visit the Jefferson Theatre, listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The theater opened in 1927 and for decades served as a stunning showplace for entertainment in the community. The building’s Old Spanish architecture, complemented by sculptures and rich fabrics, creates a romantic setting. One of the theater’s biggest attractions was, and is, a Robert Morton pipe organ—the “Wonder Organ.” Complete with 778 pipes, the organ was built on a platform rising from the orchestra pit to stage level.

Operating primarily as a movie theater, the Jefferson Theatre closed in 1972. But today, after reopening as a fully restored theater in 2003, it serves as a cultural and performing arts center, providing opportunities for artists to perform on a preserved and professional stage. And the rich sounds of the pipe organ still mesmerize audiences.

Of course, any fan of Beaumont knows that the Spindletop oil field was discovered in a salt dome formation south of town, ushering in a new energy era in January 1901. The Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum, at U.S. Highway 69 and University Drive on the campus of Lamar University, and the downtown Texas Energy Museum, which is 7 miles from the Spindletop oil field, educate visitors about the amazing world of petroleum, energy and science.

If you’re hungry after all that learning, try the barbecued crabs at Sartin’s West. Or check out Fat Mac’s Smokehouse, which serves up slow-cooked, award-winning barbecue that melts in your mouth.

Rao’s Bakery, 1-800-831-3098, www.raosbakery.com

Fire Museum of Texas, (409) 880-3927, www.firemuseumoftexas.org

Art Museum of Southeast Texas, (409) 832-3432, www.amset.org

Jefferson Theatre, 1-800-782-3081, www.beaumont-tx-complex.com/jeffersontheatre.html

Spindletop–Gladys City Boomtown Museum, (409) 835-0823, www.spindletop.org

Texas Energy Museum, (409) 833-5100, www.texasenergymuseum.org

Sartin’s West, (409) 861-3474

Fat Mac’s Smokehouse, (409) 892-8600, www.dangbbq.com

Beaumont Convention and Visitors Bureau, 1-800-392-4401, www.beaumontcvb.com

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Barbie Perkins-Cooper is a freelance writer who lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

August 2009