The Saga of Laundry Day at Sears…

Making certain I am posting this on my site, and not Sears. After I posted on their site, they responded — almost immediately — giving me a case number, saying someone would get back with me and they reprimanded me a bit. Oh well. I shall be nice! Yes, I received a phone call about 45 minutes ago while working out. Someone from Sears (and I am writing their names down now) is checking to see IF they can get someone out here earlier — before July 8. Now tell me, why does it take becoming a bit of a ‘nasty girl’ to get your point across in the USA to get decent customer service? Why must I activate my Julia Sugarbaker style just to get a bit of customer service? I ask you — WHATEVER HAPPENED TO CUSTOMER SERVICE IN AMERICA? I remember as a child, my grandparents only purchased appliances, tools, sewing machines and other items at Sears. When Papa’s Craftsman tools broke, he simply walked into the store and got a brand new one. No questions asked. No receipts necessary. Shouldn’t stores, such as Sears practice those habits now, or has Corporate America REALLY TAKEN OVER? It shall be interesting just to see how long it takes to get my washer repaired. I have a stack of laundry piling up — one weeks worth to be exact. By July 8, it will be three weeks of laundry. So unbelievable. Whatever happened to customer service in the country of the United States of America? — feeling determined.

Don’t Buy Appliances From Sears!!!!!!!

Dearest Readers:

Yes, I need to vent — BEFORE I EXPLODE! My washing machine is a Kenmore front loader. Today, it is not working at all. No power, cannot do diagnostic testing — like THEY suggested because — duh! There isn’t any power. When I phoned the service department I was told the earliest they could schedule service — because they are booked solid is Tuesday — July 8. I have spoken with three departments – getting no where — and to a supervisor — STILL GETTING NO WHERE.

So, the bottom line readers. When you are in the market for appliances STAY AWAY FROM SEARS!

Their service SUCKS!

Even my Julia Sugarbaker demeanor could not get anywhere with them.

Let’s see if the world wide web does.

Ooooooohhhhhh! I am so furious!

Reportedly, they will compensate me for laundry inconvenience with a $25.00 weekly voucher. I suppose none of them have ever gone to a laundromat in Charleston, SC. Let’s just say, you see interesting characters when you do laundry at them — at least the last time I had to use a laundromat — that was my experience. I left!

More details later, but I will never buy appliances from Sears again!

This Girl Is On Fire With Weight Watchers…

Dearest Readers:

If you are a regular ‘follower’ of my blog, you know today is Thursday – my Weight Watchers weigh-in day and meeting. Every week I do not permit other commitments to interrupt my weight watchers meetings. I am dedicated and determined to beat this weight loss battle and I am convinced with Weight Watchers, I can achieve this goal. Finally, the scale is moving down.

Why? I think I FINALLY have an answer! Last week at the meeting we discussed the subject matter of “B-L-T’s.” No, not a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, but the Bites, Licks and Tastes that can sabotage losing weight. I listened intensely to our leader Kathy. In fact, I was so ‘intense’ that she asked me why I was so quiet. Simple! The subject matter of BLT struck a nerve with me. Faithfully, I record my entire food intake – that is – with exception of bites, licks and tastes. Ah, they don’t matter, I told myself, so I’ll not count them. Wrong!!!

After Weight Watchers, a bunch of great friends I am slowly making at the meeting went to lunch. Afterwards, I recorded EVERY BITE, managing to convince myself that those nasty little bites I had poisoned myself with were dangerous. When I had the urge to nibble a bite of peanut butter, I told myself no. Instead, I worked out and I drank more water. I was proud of myself. No bites, licks or tastes!

I have a bathroom scale – just a bit too convenient to hop on every morning. It was suggested in a meeting for us not to weigh ourselves at home. I snickered. I don’t weigh myself at home – weekly – but daily. I suppose you could say I am addicted to weight loss and the dreaded bathroom scale. For weeks, I’ve watched my bathroom scale bouncing back and forth. During this week, I noticed a slow progression – DOWN! I think I’m losing. Could it be? Is it possible that bites, licks and tastes were destroying my goal?

This morning, like every morning, I got on the scales, noticing a small weight loss. Humph! Just a bit curious what the Weight Watchers scale will reveal.

Confident that today was a new day. A day for a loss, I arrived at the meeting, removing my scarf, shoes and anything else I could possibly remove, I gathered my membership card and weight loss record, prissing my hips to get in line! Yes, I was confident, so I decided to priss my way to the front!

Silly, I know, but I am slowly becoming proud of this woman I am seeing in that ‘magic’ mirror. You’ve seen it…the mirror that makes you look 10 pounds thinner! I smiled, moving forward in line, I approached the scales.


The scales said I dropped 1.4 pounds this week! I did a happy dance, slipped off the scales and prissed my hips all the way to my chair!

No more B-L-T’s for me. No more peanut butter – just for a little snack, and no more bites, licks, and tastes. Yes, there will be additional weeks where I will gain…stay the same…or simply have a bad week, but this woman is convinced – she can do this! Who cares how long it takes me? No one but me!

Yes, this girl is on fire – especially after this week!

Weight Watchers and “B-L-T’s” — NOT Exactly What You Are Thinking!

Dearest Readers:

Yesterday was my normal ‘Weight Watchers Weigh in Day’. The meeting I attend is held in South Carolina, and I feel it is the best meeting with a great group of weight watchers. Together, we compare and share our ups and downs. Our tragedies. Stresses. Triggers. Disappointments. Most of all, our accomplishments. Our group meeting consists of a rather sassy group of women. We laugh and make so much noise before the meeting, it is no wonder men do not stay. I suppose we make just a bit too much noise for them. Our leader has to shout a boisterous “Hell-LL-OOO” just to get us moving, quiet and motivated for her speech!

Working as a writer out of my home, I do not have many social activities, with exception of our karaoke night and the events we attend as a couple at the Elks Lodge. One thing I have learned is I do need more social contact and I need to remain active. And that is why Weight Watchers meetings work for me!

Dreading the meeting, I sauntered ever so slowly to the shopping center where the meeting is held. I had a deep conversation with myself, anticipating another weight gain. Arriving, I listened to the energy inside the meeting area. Stripping my jacket off, removing my sparkling rhinestone sandals and the I-phone in my pocket, I found my membership card and got in line. I glanced to the left, where the magic mirror is. This mirror is a full-length mirror that shows how losing 10 pounds makes your body look. I stared at the image in the mirror, still remembering how I looked when joining Weight Watchers. That was 35 pounds, and many, many inches ago! The woman I saw in the ‘magic mirror’ looked differently. Smaller, with a few curves. I inhaled, recognizing that the woman in the mirror was me!

Stepping on the scales, I glanced at the number the receptionist recorded. Our receptionist is extremely talented with keeping either a loss, or a gain, secretive. She smiled at me, handing my card back to me. Reluctantly, I opened it. Another gain. Only .06 of a pound, but still – a gain. I stumbled over to that magic mirror again, smiled and walked away. “Next week, I will lose,” I whispered – to myself. “I am so sick of these gains.”

Today, our subject to discuss was “B-L-T’s.” No, not what you are anticipating! “B-L-T” at Weight Watchers is an acronym for “Bites…Licks…and Tastes,” not a Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich!
That got me thinking…How many times this week have I sampled a Bite…Lick…or Taste and failed to count it???

My husband and I eat out every week. I manage to cook in the early week, and I NEVER cook on Friday’s. Would you like to know why? I confess…years ago when we moved to Charleston, my husband was a struggling contractor. Every Friday, after he got paid, he felt – shall I say – generous? On one Friday afternoon, after I was in the kitchen preparing a homemade-from-scratch pot roast, with all of the vegetables and delicious seasonings to make it delicious, he came home from a frustrating day, wanting to know what was for dinner.

When I replied “Pot roast,” his sharp, abrupt response was, “Oh no…I’m not eating that shit tonight!”
My temper wasn’t as controlled then as it is today and before Julia Sugarbaker existed on TV, I was definitely considered a Steel Magnolia, not a Southern Belle. I spun on my heel, glared at him, deciding it was best not to react, but to kill him with kindness. I walked over to the stove, turned the burner off and said, “You know…You are so right…Today after slaving away in the kitchen for the majority of the day…just to have the perfect dinner for you and our son, you are so correct…we deserve a hot meal, not made from my hands and recipes…but a nice HOT meal in a restaurant…so you are correct…we ARE NOT EATING this meal tonight…and effective today, I shall NEVER cook on a Friday again!”

I slipped pot holders on my hands, grabbed the pot roast and threw it in the trash.

I stormed out of the kitchen, ignoring my husband.

With exception of Christmas, I have not cooked on any Friday since that day, and I never will, so dining in Charleston restaurants is something we do every week. And, when dining in these restaurants, it is difficult to count the points with Weight Watchers easily because most of the local restaurants are not listed on the e-tools in my cell phone. Also, sometimes, I have the tendency to nibble – just a BITE, LICK OR TASTE.

I haven’t been counting these B-L-T’s. My mistake!

After having lunch with two of my Weight Watcher buddies, I came home to record my points and to read my weekly reader. I have decided, I must count everything that goes in my mouth this week, and since the meeting, I have. Recognizing that these BLT’s could be sabotaging my success, I am determined next week will be a loss. After all, my new treadmill is working me hard and I am an active, determined and feisty woman.

I suppose I learned a valuable lesson yesterday at the meeting. Those scoops of peanut butter I have been sampling have not been counted. Yesterday, I found myself wanting just a bite of peanut butter. When I considered it would be a bite I would need to count, I turned away from the pantry!

Proud of myself, I recognized how damaging those ‘B-L-T’s’ are for me…and now, I will post a little note on the pantry door, and on the fridge. “CAUTION – B-L-T’s ARE SABOTAGERS!”

Thank you Weight Watchers and my Weight Watcher buddies! Next week, I will share my results. Let us hope I will have success!

And now, Nordy, my NordicTrack awaits!

Father’s Day 2014

Dearest Readers:

This Sunday, June 15, 2014 is Father’s Day. I am sharing a post below about Father’s Day. I hope you will enjoy and take the time to appreciate your father or husband or loved one.

Today is a beautiful day in Charleston, SC. Blue skies, a slight breeze, and gorgeous bright sunshine. Today is truly a day of appreciation — for life, love, family and all that we in America are blessed with, especially on Father’s Day.

To all the fathers, and the fathers-to-be, I would like to extend a blessed and loving Happy Father’s Day. My wish for you is that all of your children and wives will appreciate all that you are and will spoil you just a bit today. Let us all make the time to say, “Happy Father’s Day,” and to make the time to do something special for Dad. Even if it is only a short phone call to say, “Happy Father’s Day,” please make the time to express your love and appreciation.

Father’s come in all shapes and sizes, all temperaments and there are times when father’s may not have the patience they need. Becoming a parent doesn’t come with a guide book of instructions, nor do we take classes for parenting. We simply become a parent, hoping we will make the right decisions.

I lost my father on Tuesday, July 6, 1999. For two years I watched him fighting the debilitating disease of esophageal cancer. I watched his body slowly melting away from him. At first, he was robbed of health, then his strength and independence. Gone was the ability to eat food. His body was attached to a feeding tube, he commonly referred to it as his umbilical cord. He detested it! After his body refused to allow his independence to return, we admitted him to a convalescent center. He coped with his new residency, but was never happy there. Daily, I visited him. At first, he welcomed me with open arms. A few months before he died, he became angry, shouting at me…telling me to leave, and not to come back. His roommate said he was mean to me. “No,”I defended. “He isn’t mean. He just wants me to leave.”

On July 4, 1999, I saw my dad for the last time. Walking into his room, he was sitting in a chair, reading his Bible. His head lifted to look at me, but he did not welcome me. He continued to recite Bible verses, telling me to ‘go on… get out of here. I don’t want you here.’

Exhausted, I left in tears. On July 5, I returned to work. Working a bit late, I drove home, completely exhausted. Early in the morning of July 6, I awoke from a frightening nightmare. I suppose you could say, I have the gift (or wickedness) of visions. In this dream my dad was dying. I looked at the clock. It was 3:45 am. I reached for the phone. Dialed a portion of the phone number to the nursing home, stopped dialing, and hung up the phone. I did not go back to sleep.

That day at work, I phoned the nursing home several times. I was told my dad was doing well, or ‘as well as to be expected.’ Before arriving for my visit, my dad took a fall. He was eating dinner when I arrived. Placing my hand on the door of his room, I met up with a nurse, with an oxygen tank by her side. She motioned for me to move away and not to come inside. I knew what was going on. I screamed.I looked at my watch. It was 5:45pm. Again, a vision I had was coming true!

Standing next to my dad’s doorway, I listened to the actions of the nurses. They encouraged me to tell them to bring him back. I declined. “No,” I cried. “Just let him go with dignity.”

The death certificate recorded his death at 6pm. In all reality, he died at 5:45, when I was about to enter his room. This year will be the 15th anniversary of his death. I no longer have a Father to wish “Happy Father’s Day.” Today, I will think of him, as I do every day. I will pray that he will enjoy today with his identical twin brother, his parents and other siblings and relatives. Yes, I miss him, but I know that he is in a better place…no longer attached to an umbilical cord, and now he can take his daily strolls and he can sing again.

Happy Father’s Day to all of the special men I have been blessed to know in my lifetime. Many of you know who you are! As for me and my husband, I intend to take him to dinner and to spend the day with him. How I wish I could spend the day with my dad, and I wish I could spoil him a bit on Father’s Day. Let us all appreciate the fathers of the world. Let us share kindness and love to them. After all, we never know what tomorrow may bring. Happy Father’s Day with my thoughts, love and kindness! I am blessed to know many of you!

Weight Watchers Continues For Me…It’s a Lifestyle Change!

Dearest Readers:

It is 2pm on the Eastern coast of the United States of America. My body lacks all forms of energy today from a lack of sleep last night. All Hell broke loose last night in the wee hours of the morning. Hearing thunder, I awoke, rolled over and struggled to drift back to sleep, but it didn’t happen. The blinds were closed. The room was dark, until the lightning flash danced along the skyline. Sandy Bear snuggled closer to me. I heard Shadow whining. He was asleep on his pillow, guarding the house, so I decided to slumber to where he was to comfort him and bring him back to the bedroom. Normally, he would rush towards the back door, but when I opened the gate, he rushed to the bedroom. Opening the door to the bedroom, Shadow leaped to the bed and was snuggled on the pillows before I could slide inside the sheets. He whined again. I moved closer to him. “Sh-h-h, boy. It’s OK. You’re safe. Just go back to sleep.”

I rubbed his ears and stroked his back. His tight body grew limp. I heard and felt his breath. All was safe and sound, with exception of me. I turned the TV on, listening to early morning news. The weather forecaster said the storms started at about 5am. I corrected him. “It was earlier than 4am, you fruitcake.”

Never did I fall back to sleep. Dragging my body to meet the day, I slid out of bed. All was quiet along the home front now. The storms were gone, but sleep — something I need desperately, didn’t happen.

At 9am, I rushed to my Weight Watchers meeting. Of course, today is like many of the weigh in weeks lately. Up one pound. Down the next. Up .02…and down again. Today, up one pound. “Rats,” I said, taking my booklet back. I stopped to glance at the mirror. You’ve seen the type, the one that makes you look 10 pounds lighter. I was wearing a navy pair of shorts, a ruffled aqua blue top that hugged my waistline, and I smiled, while smoothing the shirt along my newly formed curves. “OK,” I said. “At least all of the exercise is working. My waistline actually has curves now.” I smiled into the mirror, hoping no one was noticing me.

Sitting down, I found myself in deep thoughts. I get this way whenever I am exhausted. “Yes,” I said. “You’ve gained a pound. Accept it, but never accept that you have curves again. Finally!”

It’s been a three-year struggle for me to achieve my goal weight. Never did I believe I would actually buy clothing that hugged my waistline as I do now. Nor did I believe I would buy shorter dresses with a waistline, but I am!

I have discovered on this Weight Watchers journey that losing weight is more than a number. Now I wear clothes in much smaller sizes, and much to my surprise, my shoe size is smaller! Whenever I focus on the number that I weigh, Yes, I get discouraged, and when I do, I remind myself that this is a lifestyle journey for me. Who cares how long it takes me to achieve my goal. I intend to do it, and I will!

Leaving the meeting, I drove home, played with the pups for a few minutes and scuffed my bare feet back to the bedroom. I needed sleep.

For two hours, I watched TV. Never did I sleep. I suppose tonight I will slumber to bed in hopes I will sleep, and I hope and pray that if we must have storms, they will arrive before the middle of the night.

Next week I hope I will share good news that I have lost a pound or two; nevertheless, the inches are falling off of me and I am thankful. Think I’ll take an extra moment next week to stand by that mirror again — just to see what losing ten more pounds will look like. Yes, I have a smile on my face now. I’m truly beginning to like what I see!

Who knows. Maybe one day I’ll actually get gutsy enough to take a selfie and share it. Oops. I said maybe! I still have difficulty taking pictures as a ‘selfie.’ I suppose I’m just not willing to share selfies with the world!

Have a great week. Now if only — I COULD SLEEP!

Character…What It Is, According to Me…

Dearest Readers:

While taking another break from housework, I visited Facebook where people were discussing the cruelty of some of their acquaintances. Yes, acquaintances…not friends.

Reading a few of the comments got me thinking…and if you know me…thinking can be dangerous! I create my best characters while — thinking!

Like all of you, I’ve met many characters in life. Some nice. Some judgmental… Others cruel. Destructive…and then, on a few occasions, I’ve met interesting characters that have influenced my life. One of the most influential characters I’ve ever known was someone I met years ago. She and I kept in contact until her death in 2010. How I miss our conversations, along with her encouragement. She is a character I have preserved and have not shared in any of my stories. Why? Simple. She was the epitome of what a mother was to me. Her arms embraced me when we met. Her voice and encouraging words gave me strength. She is and will always be — a refined and cherished character.

Looking up the definition of character — the word character is defined as:
“the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual”

Yes, I have met many individuals and I hesitate to describe many of them as ‘characters.’ Why? Watching their actions, listening to their back-stabbing whispers, seeing the look in their eyes, especially when I walk near them teaches me so much, just by watching the actions of these individuals. You’ve met the type. The type who embrace you with a hug and a cheeky kiss, only to glance over your shoulder to watch their whispers and snide remarks and looks. Actions say so much! Yes, I suppose those types of individuals are considered characters, but only of a cruel, demeaning, and belligerent personality. The type who thrive on building themselves up while knocking you down.

In high school, I knew many characters, only to recognize years later that their cruel remarks were made because they do not know better. After all, they lost the best friend they will ever have by ridiculing me. High school was the most difficult time of my life. I learned to keep all of my secrets to myself, sharing none of them to anyone I knew in school.

I know I am different. I am not the judgmental, cruel type of person. My grandmother taught me to be ‘nice’ and to live by the Golden Rule. After all, She would say, “God don’t love ugly! You must pray over those who hurt you.” When I lost my grandmother, I truly lost my first inspirational character.

If I have a problem with someone, I approach that person and speak with them. If we cannot come to a peaceful understanding, I simply do not socialize or acknowledge them. After all, I deserve better!

It took years for me to realize that. As a child, I lived with cruel, cold, calculated, toxic words. I never knew the love of a mother, nor did I feel her warm embrace. There are many things I felt under her care, but character was not a description I would use to describe what her values were. She appeared to detest me, telling me I would never EVER find anyone to love me. I listened to her. Little did I know that some mothers simply do not know how to care for children.

I broke away from her web of destruction while searching for the character of myself. I was cautious. When people made snide remarks about me, showing jealousy, envy and other cruelties that cut into the heart of who I am, I cut them off. I wanted to walk with my head held high. I wanted to smile while knowing that I had character. A character it has taken me years to build. Most of all, I wanted to love myself. Every morning, I glance in the mirror and say, “Today, you are the best that you can be. Move forward with your life. Don’t look back!”

Two years of therapy taught me much, and now, I still watch people — carefully! I sit back. Observing while watching their body language and when AND IF I feel comfortable, I might approach someone to become a friend. However, if I see that friend using a loose tongue, or back stabbing, I will approach once. If the trust is damaged, so is the character.

Characters are every where, but I am cautious. I make mental notes, and ever so slowly, I continue to build — MY character! Life is much too short to be unhappy.