Hurricane Florence


Dearest Readers:

While I sit here listening to news reports about Hurricane Florence and the evacuation I feel confident we will stay here, comfortable inside our home. We’ve done this for many years whenever a “hurricane is a-coming,” and I feel safe here. Our home is brick. We live less than ten miles from the beach, but I’m certain there is no place like home!

I’ve had several friends calling today seeing what our plans are, so rest assured, all of you, I will keep you all informed! I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow to find out what can be done about my wrist, with exception of surgery. Suppose I should call the office tomorrow morning just to make certain they will be opened.

Many of my friends suggested we leave. My reply is a funny, You’ve never been in a hurricane before, have you? Never fought traffic on Highway 41 for over ten hours (at that time Highway 41 was not a major road, and to make it worse, there were no service stations to stop at to find a ladies room) It took us ten hours to move 57 miles!

Two cars ahead of us was an RV. By now, people were getting out of their cars, knocking on the RV’s door, in hopes they could use their facilities. Several boys and men were walking into the woods. Not me, I prayed that soon traffic would move and we would find a place. 

Exhausted, we saw a motel.

Phil was still recovering from major heart surgery at that time. We were in two cars, anticipating cell service. News Flash! All the cell phone towers were jammed. We could not use our cell phones, so we tried walkie talkies. Phil wanted to stop at the motel to get a room since we were so exhausted! Not seeing the motel, I agreed.

Finally, in a room, I rushed to the ladies room to release a most painful bladder. Opening the door of the bathroom, I looked around this room. Oh my. This isn’t the style of motel I’m accustomed to staying at. Yes. I’m slightly spoiled. I enjoy really nice hotel rooms, and this one reminded me more of a ————–! Use your imagination!

The motel room smelled musty. The bedspreads felt sticky, and when I walked on the floor barefoot, my feet wanted to stick to the floor. Disgusting. Exhausted, I went to the car, got one of my pillows, uncovered the bed linens and fell asleep. The next morning, we chose to return home. We drove 57 miles in less than an hour. No traffic! Mt. Pleasant, SC was a ghost town. The storm had turned. All was fine!

After that experience, we decided evacuating just isn’t worth the time. Rest assured, I will keep all informed. Just stay tuned to my next post as we listen to the latest news. Maybe I’ll pop some popcorn. Oops. Didn’t buy any.

Oh well. Life goes on!

 

 

cropped-arthur-ravenel-bridge

Charleston, South Carolina and the Buick Enclave Graceful but Stately, the Enclave and Charleston Are a Class Act


 

IMG_5327.JPGDearest Readers:

Below, is a story I wrote for Buick Magazine in 2009. Discussing the beautiful, luxurious Buick Enclave, I wanted to share it. Hope you enjoy!

 

 

Embraced along the southeast coast of the Atlantic Ocean lies a historical, romantic city with a European flair and zest for style. Charleston, South Carolina has some of the oldest architecture in the United States, surviving the Civil War, earthquakes, and hurricanes. Charleston is a striking city filled with Southern hospitality, arts, culture, festivals, architecture, gourmet cuisine, and the luxury of the finer things in life.

The ambience of Charleston and the features, design and style of the Buick Enclave have much in common. Driving along East Bay Street in the luxurious Buick Enclave, this amazing vehicle is designed for anyone who enjoys comfort, luxury, and sophistication. Like the City of Charleston, the Buick Enclave has a classic design. The rich, comfortable interior of the leather seats adjust easily to a contented position with lumbar support. The dash is reminiscent of a jet with lapis blue gauges, and everything is placed conveniently within easy reach of the driver.

Graceful but stately, elegant and charming, like the City of Charleston, the Enclave and the city are in a class by themselves. Cruising along the bumpy roads of historical downtown Charleston, the ride is smooth, noise level virtually non-existent. The Buick Enclave is magical. The well-designed stature of the Enclave appears to drive itself. The Enclave has a turning ratio that allows ease in maneuvering the vehicle along the tight parking places and garages of the city. Buick Enclave is the car for dreamers, Generation X, the younger generation of today, baby boomers and the young-at-heart. Designed as a ‘crossover’ this sleek, sweet machine hugs the road, embracing the streets of Charleston, making driving a comfortable experience, not a chore or something to dread. Passengers riding in the car enjoy first-class seating, with Smart Slide second-row seats and cargo carrying convenience.

IMG_5329dsc_0005_edited

DSC_0013

Considered One of America’s Favorite Cities

Charleston is one of America’s favorite cities to visit and many residents have stated they moved here because they fell in love with the beauty, charm, and hospitality during honeymoons, reunions, and family vacations. Charleston offers an amazing selection of restaurants, museums, accommodations, shopping, festivals, entertainment, and lowcountry culture for all to enjoy and appreciate. Shag is the preferred dance at all festivals, and locals are happy to teach this easy beach dance to everyone.

Spoleto Festival 2009 is scheduled for May 22-June 7 featuring a variety of arts, music, and culture for all to enjoy. Considered one of the world’s major festivals, Spoleto began in 1977 and has become a tradition to Charleston and the world.

Described by many as “Little London,” the Holy City of Charleston contains an amazing assortment of architecture reminiscent of Europe. The church steeples of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church and St. Phillips Episcopal Church are landmarks that decorate the skyline, giving Charleston the well deserved term of endearment as the Holy City. In downtown Charleston, the architecture of Rainbow Row consists of 18th century Georgetown architecture with brick and stucco painted in a rainbow of pastels.

An impressive tribute for the Holy City is the recognition of Charleston as the number two top destination in America. The charming city has achieved this honor for sixteen years from readers of Condê Nast Traveler magazine. Seven percent of the top 100 hotels are in Charleston, including Charleston Place Hotel, Wentworth Mansion, Market Place Pavilion Hotel, John Rutledge House Inn, the French Quarter Inn, and Planters Inn.

Charleston is a City with a Cosmopolitan Sophistication for Gourmet Cuisine

While touring downtown Charleston, deciding where to stop for lunch or dinner might be a challenge. Charleston provides a cornucopia of restaurants to choose from, with a variety of seafood, specialties, fresh vegetables, sushi, and Lowcountry cuisine. While in Charleston, you must try She Crab Soup. Consisting of a crossover of bisque or chowder, She Crab soup was created in Charleston by William Deas, a Charleston slave and butler. She Crab Soup is such a popular dish that many restaurants offer it as the soup de jour. Locals prefer just a drop of sherry added when serving this Charleston lowcountry soup.

 Hominy Grill

Hominy Grill, located at 207 Rutledge Avenue, opened in 1996, serving lowcountry dishes that keep Charlestonians coming back for more. The atmosphere is simple, a three story building that was a barbershop, the ground floor of Hominy Grill has butcher paper covering the tables. Southern in cuisine and charisma, a local favorite is the shrimp and grits; and who can resist Chef Robert Stehling’s signature dessert, buttermilk pie. Enjoy dining on the outdoor patio and take your camera to capture artwork by local artist David Boatwright. His painting of the Grits Lady has become a popular site.

Charleston is the Place for Ultimate Desserts

Looking for a great place for dessert in downtown Charleston? Among the favorites of locals in Charleston are Kaminsky’s at 78 North Market Street and Peninsula Grill, 112 North Market Street. Kaminsky’s is rustic in charm, Southern in delicious desserts. Kaminsky’s prepares desserts fresh every day. The menu has specialty coffees and a variety of dessert martinis, including chocolate martinis. Order the local favorite, “Kamini’s,” a delicate sampling of homemade flavors, or order the carrot cake. If these just desserts do not tempt your taste buds, try the cheesecake. After shopping at the Market or on King Street, stop by Kaminsky’s to enjoy coffee and dessert while you watch the horse drawn carriages and pedestrians stroll along the popular Market area.

Peninsula Grill and the Ultimate Coconut Cake

Imagine a dream dessert of coconut cake complete with twelve layers of pure indulgence. Peninsula Grill’s specialty dessert the Ultimate Coconut Cake has been described as a ‘little piece of heaven,’ by the New York Times. Chef Robert Carter has made a name for himself and Peninsula Grill with his signature dish. Covered with coconut and vanilla, the Ultimate Coconut Cake has received accolades in several magazines. The cake consists of pound cake, laced with toasted coconut. The recipe for this award winning masterpiece dessert is one handed down from Executive Chef Robert Carter’s grandmother. Recognizing the cake was “one of the best layer cakes he ever tasted,” he refined the recipe, introduced it to the Peninsula Grill, and in 2003, offered it via Federal Express overnight delivery.

Charleston Place Hotel and Charleston Grill

Charleston Place Hotel is located in the heart of historic Charleston at 205 Meeting Street, within walking distance of Market and King Street shopping, art galleries and restaurants. Charleston Place was ranked one of the “Top 10 Hotels in North America.” Charleston Place has the architectural style of a 17th-century residence and the conveniences of modern life. The Italian marble lobby has a signature Georgian Open Arm staircase and a 12-foot crystal chandelier as the focal point.

Located in Charleston Place is Charleston Grill, recipient of many accolades including Mobil Four-Star, AAA Four-Diamond and Distinguished Restaurants of North America. Chef Bob Waggoner joined the Charleston Grill in 1997. Nominated by the James Beard Foundation for Best Chef in the Southeast, he received an Emmy for his show, “Off the Menu.” His professional expertise and passion for food have contributed much to the success of Charleston Grill.

The Buick Enclave and Charleston Stand Out

Cruising in downtown Charleston, the Buick Enclave has sleek designs similar to the solid architectural design of Charleston. Architecture around the town is classic Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival, Italian, and Victorian. Gardens and courtyards compliment the stately homes South of Broad, the Battery and Rainbow Row. Driving the Enclave along Church and Meeting Street reveals the Colonial era. Many of the wrought iron gates in the city were designed by Philip Simmons, the ‘Charleston Gatekeeper,’ a world-renowned blacksmith and a Charlestonian.

A daytime excursion in the quiet tuned cabin of the Buick Enclave should include a visit to America’s first museum, the Charleston Museum. Located at 360 Meeting Street, the museum preserves the history and culture of Charleston.

Plan a day excursion to downtown Charleston in the Buick Enclave and visit the Aquarium, or take a ride to Fort Sumter. The South Carolina Aquarium is located at 100 Aquarium Wharf on the Charleston Harbor and a great place to learn about sharks, river otters, and the Sea Turtle Rescue Program. The Aquarium is a perfect site to take photographs of the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge and Patriots Point. The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge towers above the Charleston skyline with a pedestrian and bicycle lane. Additional daytime excursions could include a visit to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charlestowne Landing, Middleton Place, Boone Hall, Irvin House Vineyards, the Charleston Tea Plantation and so much more.

Like Charleston, the Buick Enclave stands up to the challenge of a luxurious crossover. Delivering a ride that is poised and polished, it exemplifies an elegant, classic car. The Buick Enclave is one sweet automobile to drive. It could easily become a new form of hospitality for Charleston, the new breed of Southern Belles and everyone who appreciates the finer things in life.

-30-

Barbie Perkins-Cooper is a freelance writer who loves the journey and exploration of travel and health. She works full-time as an editorial photojournalist and has published numerous articles and photographs for regional, health and beauty and travel publications including the Travel Channel. Barbie resides in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, Phil and three precious pups. She is the author of Condition of Limbo and Career Diary of a Photographer. Visit her website www.barbieperkinscooper.com

IF YOU GO:

Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau, http://www.charlestoncvb.com/

Charleston Grill, http://www.charlestongrill.com

Charleston Museum, http://www.charlestonmuseum.org

Charleston Place Hotel, http://www.charlestonplace.com

Charlestowne Landing, http://www.charlestowne.org/

French Quarter Inn, http://www.fqicharleston.com/

Hominy Grill, http://hominygrill.com

John Rutledge House Inn, http://www.johnrutledgehouseinn.com/

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, http://www.magnoliaplantation.com/

Market Pavilion Hotel, http://www.marketpavilion.com/

Peninsula Grill, http://www.peninsulagrill.com or http://www.coconutcakes.com

Planters Inn, http://www.plantersinn.com/

South Carolina Aquarium, http://www.scaquarium.org/

Spoleto Festival USA, http://www.spoletousa.org

cropped-arthur-ravenel-bridgeWentworth Mansion, http://www.wentworthmansion.com/

Merry Christmas, 2017


Dearest Readers:

Today, December 24, 2017 is Christmas Eve. Today is also the anniversary of two of our dearest Friends, Joan and Jim Adams. May your anniversary be as special to them as they are to us.

If you are out and about in the middle of the insane Christmas rush, please DO NOT TAILGATE. I had too many careless drivers almost attached to the bumper of my car this week. So close, I could not see their headlights. Of course, if I had to stop suddenly all of you know what would happen. I simply do not understand drivers who love to drive that close.

Please, if you are driving, do not text and drive. Do not mess with your phone if you are driving. One never knows what can happen in the blink of an eye, or taking your eyes off of your driving.

May all of you have a safe and happy Christmas season. Yes, I say Christmas because Christmas is the holiday. The birth of the Christ child.  The ONLY reason for the season.

Enjoy your time with family and friends and please make every day special. We never know how long we will be here, so please do not take careless and foolish chances with your life or someone else’s life. Life is too short to rush it away.

May all of you have a wonderful Happy Christmas. I am hopeful 2018 will be a calmer, happier year for this household. Less drama. The years of 2015, 2016, and 2017 have been so stressful to me I have to remind myself to INHALE…EXHALE…BREATHE. INHALE…HOLD FOR EIGHT SECONDS…EXHALE…HOLD FOR EIGHT SECONDS…BREATHE.

At times, practicing the art of relaxation works. Other times, I want to scream. I simply must learn to relax again. After all, life is too short.

Merry Christmas to all of you, and Happy 2018. Another year is quickly ticking away.

Merry Christmas!

In Memory of Chef Shane Whiddon


Good morning to all. If you follow my posts on Facebook and my blog, you will know yesterday was another tragic day in the Holy City of Charleston, SC.

Yesterday, a disgruntled, former employee walked into Virginia’s on King Restaurant with a sick mission on his mind. He reportedly has mental health issues.

Holding a weapon, he told everyone inside the restaurant to get on the floor and exit the building. One woman stated he pointed the weapon on her stomach. He did not shoot her.

Since I write about food and hospitality, I know quite a few chefs within the Lowcountry of Charleston, I researched Virginia’s on King Street Restaurant. At that time, I was able to click on to the website and read. I did not research the chef at that time.

Later, after reports of one person killed and the shooter in critical condition, I rushed back to the website, hoping to discover who the chef was. When I clicked on the site, I discovered it was temporarily unavailable. I realized there was probably only one reason the site was down. Perhaps the chef was the victim killed. Listening to the news reports, the interviews with Sheriff Al Cannon, and the Mayor of Charleston, John Tecklenburg, no one would share the name of the deceased victim or the name of the shooter.

While reports continued, a reputable friend sent me the name of Chef Shane Whiddon. Although he looked familiar to me, I do not recall ever having the privilege to interview him for a story. It is unfortunate that I’ve never eaten at Virginia’s on King Street.

Chef Anthony Shane Whiddon was 37-years-old, leaving a wife and two children.

http://abcnews4.com/news/crime-news/shane-whiddon-chef-at-virginias-on-king-dies-after-shooting-at-charleston-restaurant

I have no details about the shooter with exception that he was a ‘disgruntled former employee’ and he is in critical condition now.

My heart breaks for the family of Chef Shane Whiddon, Shannon, his wife, and their two lovely children. A neighbor of the family has established a Go Fund Me page, hopeful to raise $10,000 to go to the family.

https://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/Eat/archives/2017/08/25/gofundme-campaign-created-to-support-the-family-of-chef-shane-whiddon-virginias-restaurant-homicide-victim

I’ve lived in the Holy City of Charleston for many years. I recall working as an intern at one of the local TV stations when I was in college. One of my responsibilities was to contact all police departments to see if anything was happening so we could be first with the “if it bleeds it leads,” stories. During my internship, the only report I discovered was a fire. No shootings. Killings. Rapes. Robberies. Drug busts…Nothing newsworthy.

I’ve had the honor and pleasure to know many successful chefs as students when I worked at Johnson & Wales University. Many of them are internationally famous, earning many awards for the amazing and tantalizing foods created by their talents, and many of these chefs chose to remain in Charleston. I suppose you could say, I have been blessed. Yes, indeed!

Now, almost daily there is a shooting. Drug busts and robberies. I ask myself: What has happened to the Holy City of Charleston?

Yes. This beautiful city has grown. Reportedly, we have lots of hopeful new residents moving into the lowcountry daily. I suppose with growth comes crimes. Now, we have crimes on a daily basis. I have been told by a number of people about how easy it is to get a weapon in South Carolina. I suppose I’m from the old school and don’t believe in weapons, but — this is South Carolina and in the Holy City, apparently it is rather easy to get a weapon. So sad. And now, another innocent victim is gone, all because a ‘disgruntled former employee walked into a restaurant and killed the chef.’

Since I am active within the hospitality industry, knowing many of the leaders of food and beverage and hospitality, I pray everyone will come together to assist the family of Chef Shane Whiddon. Now, his wife will be a single mom, raising two children who probably will never understand why their daddy was taken away by someone shooting and killing him. Just how do you explain that to a child? Yesterday morning, Chef left his family to go to work, creating delicious Southern foods for the guests at Virginia’s on King Street. He never came home.

Just what do you say when the children ask: “Where’s my daddy? Why can’t he come home to me? I miss my daddy.”

Chef Shane Whiddon was a family man. He had a generous heart and soul. I checked the Go Fund Me site only a moment ago. Contributions raised in only nine hours: $5,280.

No doubt the Holy City of Charleston feels the pain and loss, and so do I.

Such a sad day today. We are expecting more storms this afternoon probably like the torrential storms pouring down while the police officers rushed around to protect our city.  I must say, they did an amazing job yesterday. Makes me proud of our Holy City.

To the family and friends of Chef Shane Whiddon, I am so sorry for your loss. I pray God will guide all of you and give you strength during this traumatic time of grief.

If you would like to contribute to the Go Fund Me page for Chef Shane Whiddon, visit:

https://www.gofundme.com/helping-the-whiddon-family

cropped-arthur-ravenel-bridge

 

Here’s To Beautiful Mornings and Sunshine…


dsc_0010

Dearest Readers:

At the moment, it is a beautiful morning in Charleston, SC. Believe me, the weather can change in this historical, holy city in only the blink of an eye. Take last night, for example. The roaring thunders and the flashing, horrific lightning frightened me all night long. Reportedly, forecasters predict more storms for today. How I pray the storms arrive during the day and not in the heat of the night.

Why? If you read my blog on a regular basis, you will recognize how the lightning and thunder horrifies me. I give my mother the credit for those fears.

Last nights storms were no different, except they arrive in the middle of the night. My husband tells me I should wake him up when I am so frightened, but I do not. I keep telling myself this is only a storm – in the middle of the night. The lightning is not coming for you, like my mother said. It is just a storm. The rain will water the yard, my flowers and the grass. This is only a storm. This too shall pass.

I toss and turn during the storms. Last night we had three storms. I heard one, and I saw the flashing lightning at about 1:30am. The next round of lightning I heard crashing, lighting up my dark bedroom after 3:00am. The final round was about 5:15am, or so. With each storm, I tried to cover my eyes with a sleeping mask. I placed another sleeping mask over the first one. When I close my eyes, I can still see light, so I must wear these masks; nevertheless, last night, with two masks covering my eyes, I could still see the lightning. My body jumped. I gasped with fear, and then I whispered to myself: This is only a storm. Just close your eyes, turn away from the windows and go back to sleep. Throwing the covers back, I got up, walked around the house, checked on my precious pups, and saw another flash of lightning. I jumped. Never did sleep happen. According to my Fitbit, my body got four hours of sleep last night. It’s no wonder why I feel so exhausted.

When I say my nightly prayers, I suppose I should pray for God to give me strength so I can release my fear of lightning.  Yes, I pray nightly, although I still have difficulty knowing how to pray. I do not pray like I’ve heard other people pray. I call my prayers my intimate conversations with God. I feel cleansed whenever I pray…like God hears my prayers and He eases my pain. How I wish He could ease the pain of my fears of lightning. Maybe I’ll add that comment to my prayer list!

Looking out my window while writing this, I see darkness ahead. Rain is supposed to return at about 11:10am today, according to the Weather Channel app alert. How I pray we have our storms today while I vacuum and clean the house. At least during the day it is easier to cope with these torrential thunder storms.

How about you, readers? Do you have a fear about lightning? Looks like the rain is here now, at 11:03am. I hear thunder. Think I’ll turn the vacuum cleaner on and get busy, after I shut this computer down.

Below, I am posting a photograph of beautiful Angel Oaks, Johns Island, SC. When my husband left for Vietnam, I visited this tree several times before I moved back to Columbus, GA. I remember sitting on the grass, having some deep thoughts and prayers that God would bring my husband home safely to me from Vietnam. Funny thing about it, my husband returned from Vietnam, but the soldier I married is still over there. I suppose I was a bit silly to think someone could go to war and come home as the same person. That did not happen. Vietnam changed things…but that is a subject I will wait to write later, in my freewriting challenge. Looks like a storm is brewing outside, so I must shut this computer down, while praying if we have lightning I can cope better today while working in the house.

 

Angel Oaks, a historical and breathtaking tree located on Johns Island, SC. A place for inspiration and the appreciation of nature with all of her beauty!DSC_0013

Returning to Weight Watchers — Now — Just Watch Me Roar!


Dearest Readers:IMG_0620_edited.JPG

After almost six weeks of missing my regular Weight Watchers meetings, I returned yesterday. As most of you might know, I’ve been sick. Very sick and weak. Normally, I do not have spells of asthma related illnesses during the summer; however, this summer, my husband had, and I quote the doctor’s diagnosis, ‘a bit of pneumonia.’ I cared for him, washing my hands daily for what seemed like a thousand times. I told him to cover his mouth when coughing or sneezing. I did not wish to get his germs. At times, my husband appears to become a child again. I call him a ‘two-year-old’ and when he is sick, he definitely is like a child. Heck, I would not even give him a morning and evening kiss! After he got well, I awoke with a sore throat. The next morning, I awoke with major congestion in my chest and when I coughed, my chest burned inside. I phoned my doctor, seeing him that afternoon.

After chest x-rays, I was diagnosed with bronchial asthma. Great. And so, I was sick for six weeks!

My doctor prescribed a Z-pack and a steroid. Not prednisone, but another steroid. I’ve forgotten the name of it, but I do know it started with the letter “D.” Steroids do strange things to me, especially regarding my cognitive abilities. I took the meds, hoping within five days I would feel better. I did not. The doctor’s office followed up to see how I was doing. When they heard my voice, they decided to get another prescription for me. With the first steroid, I did not have any side effects. Certainly wish I could say the same about the refill of that steroid.

On the third week of my illness, I weighed, losing three pounds. I was ecstatic! When I am sick, I lose my appetite. After starting the additional steroid (same steroid, just a refill of it) I noticed I was hungry — ALL THE TIME! I would eat my breakfast of yogurt with fruit, or oatmeal with fruit, and I was still hungry. I made a sandwich. Still hungry! No doubt I appeared to be a bottomless pit where food was concerned.

I phoned my husband at work, asking him to bring home potato chips and ice cream. I want Ice Cream, I said. Ice cream. Ice cream — I-SCREAM for ice cream. I had no idea why I wanted ice cream and chips. I certainly wasn’t pregnant!

My cravings for food continued. It seemed no matter what I ate — I wanted to continue to eat. And eat…and EAT!

Craving something crunchy, I opened the pantry. All we had in the pantry was a box of Ritz Crackers. I opened them — eating way too many. The serving size on the package said five crackers. Trust me, I ate more than five.

At Weight Watchers we learn to look at the serving size, along with the ingredients. Big deal. I don’t care what the serving size says. I’m hungry!

Since I was so weak and ill, I decided not to track my foods on Weight Watchers. Monday of this week, I took the final steroid. I was feeling better, but had no idea why I was eating like an elephant, or so it seemed. I got on the scales. Gaining seven pounds, I burst into tears.

What is wrong with me? I’m doing Weight Watchers. I’m sick and I don’t understand why I am craving foods I no longer eat. I’m not eating fruit every day, nor am I eating vegetables. My daily intake of food is Boars Head London Broil, Boars Head turkey, and potato chips. No fruit. No vegetable, and of course – ice cream. Did I mention peanut butter??  Just why am I doing this. Why am I sabotaging my weight loss? If I keep eating like this, I will gain all of my weight back. I made a promise to myself. A promise to NEVER gain it back and I haven’t, until now.

I looked at the empty prescription bottle. I rushed to my computer to look up ‘side effects of oral steroids.’ Among the side effects were:

blurred vision

increased appetite

A variety of side effects were listed, but those two I definitely experienced, especially the increased appetite.

Maybe I should stop beating myself up. Maybe this time, the cravings and eating are truly not my fault. EXCEPT – I am the one opening my mouth and eating these foods. Just maybe the steroid is telling my brain I need food. How I wish this would end. Why can’t I be strong enough to fight this battle?

Sitting at my desk, reading more about this steroid teaches me I have to be strong and I must stop eating the ice cream. Potato chips. (After I started Weight Watchers, I grew to hate the taste of potato chips.) Not this week.

On Tuesday of this week, I decided it was time for me to be accountable and responsible. I grabbed my cell phone and went to the Weight Watchers E-tools site. I tracked my intake. Probably the first time in maybe three to six weeks. Sabotage. SABOTAGE. Today is the day I STOP SABOTAGING MYSELF! I’m not an elephant, or a whale. It’s time to stop this insanity!

And so, yesterday, I walked into my Weight Watchers meeting, ready to admit to myself and my friends at Weight Watchers that I’ve gained weight while sick. Yes, I’m disappointed. I really thought I was stronger than that. How could I allow a drug to influence me? Just how?

Approaching the area where we have our ‘confidential weigh-ins’ I spoke softly to the receptionist. “I’ve missed six weeks due to illness. I do not want to weigh in today. I’ve been on steroids.” 

Lots of members of Weight Watchers are under the impression they MUST weigh in every week. A few years ago, Weight Watchers gave us a ‘No Weigh In’ card. I’ve used mine a few times, but I knew deep inside my heart if I weighed in, seeing about a five-pound-gain, I would be so depressed, I wasn’t certain I could fight, or find strength, or return.

During the meeting, I shared a challenge I experienced just last week. The cravings. Non-stop eating. My illness. How devastated I was when I discovered no matter what I tried, I could not stop stuffing my mouth. Since joining Weight Watchers, I’ve been extremely proud of how strong I’ve been while eating. I no longer eat until I’m full. I stop when I am satisfied, with exception of this illness and those d— steroids!

I actually look in a full-length mirror after dressing now. There is NO WAY I am allowing steroids to dictate my eating habits. No more cravings. No more stuffing my mouth with foods I actually do not like to eat!

This morning, I told myself today is a new day. I must be strong. I must not weaken. If I have a craving, undoubtedly caused due to those steroids still in my system, I will eat fruit, or I will find something else to do! I will lose the three pounds I gained (according to my scales at home), and I pray I will lose them before next weeks weigh-in.

This I do for me. This too shall pass, after all, it’s when things seem worse, you mustn’t quit!

I’ve found my anchor. WEIGHT WATCHERS!!! Now, just watch me roar!

Living With Hurricanes – Hurricane Matthew


DSC_0115

 

Dearest Readers:

Today is an early morning day. A day to make certain we are prepared for Hurricane Matthew.

Living in the low country of Charleston, SC, exactly four miles from the beach, I have been in several hurricanes. The first was Hurricane Hugo in 1989. During that strong hurricane, my husband was in the SC National Guard. He reported for duty so I decided since I worked at a culinary college, I would stay and assist the students. Hugo arrived during late night. About midnight. I listened to the winds outside, thankful we were on the fourth floor of a historical building, in an area without windows. While the students slept, I remained awake. No doubt, I will be awake when Matthew arrives.

Yesterday, the Governor of South Carolina, Governor Haley, suggested it was time for all residents affected to make an evacuation plan. Our evacuation plan is an easy one. We are staying. Why? Simple. We have five furry animal friends. I will not leave them home alone like so many people do, and I do not want to fight those roads, just to get out of Charleston. Late yesterday evening, traffic was dreadful. I can only imagine how the traffic will be today.

Looking out my windows, the winds are blowing softly outside.  We are still under a hurricane watch. Dorchester County was upgraded to Opcon 2, ‘in preparation for Hurricane Matthew.’

What is Opcon? Defined, Opcon = operational control. A few days ago, we were Opcon 5. Last night, changed to Opcon 3. I haven’t a clue if Opcon is now a 2 or Opcon 1. The lower the Opcon number, the more dangerous the storm. Governor Haley has a press conference scheduled for 9:00 am today, only moments away.

Some of my friends do not understand why we are staying. “Just get in the car and drive,” they say. If we left, we will travel with five dogs. Yes, we have crates and we could use them, although I’m not comfortable doing that.

Last night, much to my surprise, our son called, inquiring what we would be doing. When I said we will stay here, he said: “Mom. That’s not a good idea.”

It’s nice to know he cares. I suppose I am writing in my blog today, hopeful there will be more posts in future weeks. Hopeful we really will be fine, along with our home. We finally got all of the repairs from last year’s ‘thousand year rains.’ I have a beautiful new micro suede sofa in the living room. I’m happy with how my home looks now. So now, I pray that God will keep His healing hands here on our home. I pray He will protect it, and us.

Reportedly, the roads of Charleston — I-26, and other roads http://www.thestate.com/news/state/article105986547.html  will be reversed beginning at 3:00pm today.

Should be an interesting day to be in Charleston, SC – reportedly the ‘number one city in the world.’ I pray Hurricane Matthew will decrease in power. I pray lives will not be lost, and I pray we will not see the war zones we had after Hurricane Hugo.

While researching Hurricane Matthew, it is predicted Matthew will be along the coast of Charleston, SC as a category 2 hurricane.  https://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/atlantic/2016/Hurricane-Matthew

If it is only a category 2 storm, it will not be as intense as Hurricane Hugo was. Hugo hit in the dark of night, strengthening to a Category Four storm.

According to the website, http://www.wyff4.com/weather/How-does-Matthew-compare-to-other-U-S-hurricanes/41951076

“Many South Carolina residents remember Hugo in September 1989, the most intense hurricane to hit the East Coast north of Florida since 1900.  Hugo strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane before it made landfall about midnight on Sullivan’s  Island, just north of Charleston.

Hugo caused $7 billion in damage in the U.S. mainland, making it the costliest hurricane in the country’s history at the time.”

Hurricane Hugo devastated the low country of Charleston. Trees looked like toothpicks. Boats on the harbor were tossed around like a child’s toy boat. Homes were swept away from their foundations, either landing in the ocean, or left on a road bed. The bridge to Sullivan’s Island dipped into the ocean waters. Residents had to use ferries just to get back on the island. Driving back to my home the morning after Hugo, I passed my road three times before I realized I was home. Trees were lying on the roads. Houses were missing roofs. Entering my home, I found damage to the ceilings and roof of the living room, dining room, den and the game room. My home was still livable. Across the street, the home was almost demolished. Later, they determined a tornado hit that home. It was bulldozed and rebuilt. I pray we will be safe and survive without much damage, and I pray I do not have to fight just to get repairs done. Incidentally, I changed insurance companies in 2016. Let’s just say, that insurance company provided nothing for us. I pray I will not experience those issues again.  Reporters have encouraged people to update their insurance now. Guess what. You can’t! When a hurricane is underway, insurance agents cannot quote policies.

What Do I Expect With Hurricane Matthew?

  • Loss of power
  • Heavy rains and winds
  • Hunkering down in the hallway, closing all the doors nearby where we will cuddle with our precious friends – our animals
  • Eating food I normally do not eat since the power will be out, I’ll have to be creative – using a camp stove.
  • Quality time with my husband

Periodically, I will post something on Facebook, so you, my readers, may check how we are doing on Facebook.  https://www.facebook.com/barbie.perkinscooper?ref=bookmarks

Meanwhile, if you’ve never been in a hurricane, please count your blessings. It is a true statement that the winds of a hurricane do sound like a train. Hurricanes will spin off into tornadoes. The winds will be violent.

Let us all pray Hurricane Matthew will weaken and only be a tropical storm when it hits the coast of Charleston, SC.

May God bless us, everyone!arthur-ravenel-jr-bridge