Happy Independence Day!


Dearest Readers:

This will be a short post. Since it is July the Fourth in the USA, I wanted to wish all Americans a Happy Fourth of July, Independence Day, 2019.

Please celebrate our freedom in America and give thanks to our soldiers who are still fighting for freedom in harm’s way.

Please, if you love fireworks and are planning to shoot them into the skies today and tonight, Please consider the animals who will hear them. The Veterans with PTSD who will almost jump out of their skin when they hear them. If you plan to have a celebration with fireworks, go to a safe area to do this, not the neighbors lawns, or near animals.

I plan to keep my pups inside tonight since some of the residents in our neighborhood love to stand in the middle of the road and ignite fireworks — in my yard. Along my windows. No consideration for my husband who has PTSD. Last year, the children igniting fireworks thought it was funny to aim them near my windows. I went outside, asking them most diplomatically if they could ignite them somewhere else, and I asked Where are your parents? You’re supposed to have adult supervision.

They laughed. I considered calling the police, but I imagine they were busy since so many people consume way too many ‘adult beverages’ and drive and text while driving.

If only our neighborhood and community made the fireworks illegal here. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Finished with my complaint. Now I wish everyone Happy Independence Day. Please stay safe. If you drink, please do not drive.

Happy Fourth of July.

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Fitbit Charge 2 — SUCKS!


Dearest Readers:

Today is a day for me to vent. Why? Simple – I’m aggravated with my Fitbit Charge 2 activity tracker. Earlier, I walked on the pier from 9:20 am until 10:54 am. While walking, I occasionally sit down to rest since I do have Asthma. At times, my breathing gets a bit shallow, so I rest and check my activity points. At first, it noted 4284 steps. Then, it drops to under 2000 steps, with zero activity minutes???

After walking another lap on the pier, I check the infamous Fitbit Charge 2 again. Today, it was doing the same as yesterday. Dropping activity steps and activity minutes.

After completing three laps, a bit winded and much too hot, I chose to head towards the car. Glittery pieces of glitter (since some women do not sweat, we secrete glitter) were falling from my forehead, my hair was a bit ‘glittery’ too and I was just a bit tired. Sliding into the car, I checked Fitbit to see what it was calculating this time. 6487 steps. Arriving home, I checked it again. Approximately 3480 steps???

How can that be? I had the same issue with the Charge 2 yesterday. I reset the Fitbit. I fussed. Maybe I said one or two not so nice words, and then I phoned Fitbit. Inhale. Exhale. Breathe. Just don’t lose your cool. Be nice! After all, you have glitter on your arms and you need to relax.

I spoke with a nice customer service rep. She attempted to walk me through the process. Following her instructions, my Fitbit had the upper hand, losing more steps.

Why is it my Garmin says I have over 8400 steps and my Fitbit says 3480?

She didn’t know. This Fitbit is possessed. I’m sick of Fitbit. I hate Fitbit, and I’m not one who hates, normally!

She placed me on hold for a moment. Returning to speak with me, she mentioned I will be getting a new Fitbit Charge 2.

I just checked my Fitbit, now it reads 3372 steps? When did America start reducing numbers to be the greatest??? At golf, but not in life!

Until I receive the new Fitbit Charge 2 I think I’ll stick with my Garmin. At least it calculates steps correctly!

Moral of this story — please do your shopping and research to see which activity tracker will work for you. I’m beginning to think my Fitbit is a possessed antique. I’ve only had it maybe a year or two? I’ve forgotten when I bought it! Yes, it is true, technology changes daily. Heck. Maybe now it changes hourly and cannot calculate your activity points correctly.

Now, I must get to work. I’ve got more writing (and primping) to do!

Have a ‘glittery’ day!

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.

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!

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?