Happy Birthday to The Perkins Twins


Dearest Readers:

As I strive to push some energy into my body on the first day of packing to move, I must acknowledge The Perkins Twins. Yesterday was the 105th birthday of Walter W. and Lewis Eugene Perkins, aka “The Perkins Twins.” I thought of their birthday all day, never finding a free moment to share with my readers. Now, as I await the moving truck, I want to wish my beloved father and his identical twin brother a belated birthday in Heaven.

I lost my father on July 6, 1999. Twenty years ago. He lost his identical twin brother at the young age of 26. I wasn’t born then. Not even a thought or wish of my father, at the time of Uncle Lewis’s death.

While I do not wish to focus on the dreadful family life our family lived when my mother and father were married, I do want to contemplate The Perkins Twins on their birthday.

My father taught me not to focus on the negative hatred our family lived in. He always said, and I quote: “Don’t look back on life. Move forward. Be thankful for who you are, and what you achieve in life.”

Our family kept secrets inside the walls of the many houses we lived in. We had a history of moving about every three months. Never able to place roots anywhere. Today, our roots will change. We are moving to Ravenel, SC. A place with a pond and five acres. I’ll find peace. Quiet. I’ll see wildlife and nature. Stay tuned later after I’m able to move everything in and make it presentable for many pictures of our new home.

Yes, we’re leaving the only home where I was able to establish HOME, roots and life, after living within this home I am moving from today.

I’m apprehensive, but hopeful our new home will bring us much happiness. Today I step into a new adventure. Moving.

We will spend our first night in our new home on December 23, 2019. Merry Christmas everyone. Please remember the reason for the season. The birth of Christ. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Much Too Busy at Christmas


Dearest Readers:

Today is Tuesday, December 16, 2019. Christmas is only nine days away. For our home this year, there isn’t the traditional Christmas tree decorated. All I have is a Norfolk Island Pine my husband surprised me with about a week ago when I mentioned I missed our traditional Christmas tree.

This year, everything is different. Why don’t I have Christmas spirit you ask? I do. Always! I believe in the spirit of Christmas, not Christmas magic. I believe in miracles at Christmas, especially this year while praying God would help us to sell this home and find another. Happy to report, God, along with an amazing realtor, are the reasons we are moving on! The reason things are different this year at Christmas time is we are selling our home where we’ve lived for over 42 years and we are moving to a new home in Ravenel, SC.

Our Christmas gift to each other is a new home! A home built on five acres of land and a pond. I’ve always said I wanted to live on waterfront property. I definitely consider this pond waterfront. As we walked around the property last week we noticed the marsh lands too. So, I am excited.

Do I have reservations about moving from the only home I’ve ever built roots on? Of course I do. Our son was only six years old when we moved here. I watched him play T-ball and baseball in our neighborhood. We walked to school together. When I raked the yard, he and his neighborhood friends jumped into the pile, making leaf angels. Laughing so hard I decided kids playing in the stack of leaves was funnier than my challenge to rake and clean the lawn. I took photographs of the children while they played. Last week, I found some of those photographs while packing.

Memories. I have footprints, hand prints and memories here in this house. Just how many times have we remodeled? Let’s just say, I’ve lost count! At least three times for the kitchen. Now, it shines with granite counter tops and custom built cabinets from the ceiling to the floor. My husband designed the tile floor in a diamond shape. Yes, I’ll miss my kitchen; however, the new home has a nice kitchen I’m certain I will enjoy. The only caution I have is cooking on a gas stove.

Looking around the house now while typing, I see boxes. Small. Medium. Wardrobe. Boxes. BOXES. BOXES – EVERYWHERE.

i’ve given several black construction bags filled with clothing I either forgot I had or no longer wanted to several charities. I hope the women who get them will appreciate them. Some of them still have price tags on them.

Here it is Christmas, 2019 and I keep thinking about packing stuff. How much stuff? LOTS! I’ve discarded old finger nail polish I forgot I had. Magazines. Books. Women reading this can only imagine how much STUFF I’ve trashed and donated.

I suppose I should get another cup of coffee and get this day started. After all, like Santa Claus and his elves, I have too much to do. I must pack. Sort. Discard. Donate. Tis the season, only this season I’m donating home items, clothing, children’s toys I found tucked away in a closet, and much more.

This morning is a gray day. No wind blowing. Just quiet until now. In the distance, along the Charleston Harbor, I hear fog horns. Oh. How. I. Will. Miss. The. Relaxing hummmmmm-mm of fog horns. Then, I remember, I’ll be able to sit on a porch with a fresh pot of coffee while watching birds, deer and other wildlife. I’ll be able to fish in my pond. I confess, I’ll use a cane pole!

My precious dogs are sleeping while I look at things I still need to pack. Next year at Christmas we plan to get a tall tree since we have cathedral ceilings in the new home. While I don’t want to wish the years away, I’m looking forward to Christmas at our new home. Boxes will be everywhere this year. Furniture will probably be moved lots. While imagining all I will need to do to decorate the new home I feel a bit overwhelmed. Pinching myself I say This too shall pass!

I’m moving to a new home. A new journey. A new adventure. I’m so ready for the adventures of wildlife and serenity!

Merry Christmas!

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