On Golden Pond – My Golden Pond! Have You Missed Me?


Dearest Readers:

Yes. I understand. I’ve been silent for much too long. When I started my blog, I posted regularly. Thrilled to finally be writing again

Unfortunately, since at least 2015 my life has been unpredictable, stressed, and I lost my confidence in my abilities as a writer. Every time I attempted to write, life would interrupt me. Again. And again…!

Now, my goal for 2020 is to keep this blog busy. Last year, I had the same goal, but life knocked on my door endlessly. In late August, Phil and I decided to possibly place our home in Mount Pleasant on the market. After all, many in our neighborhood were doing it. They said the time is right. The market. You should consider doing the same.

My home is old. Built in 1954. We’ve done many renovations to it, but the bathrooms are still too small. We don’t have the popular “open concept” and I don’t want strangers coming into my home touring.

Long story short – we met a realtor who became a great friend we could trust. We staged what we could. Packed items – actually, pre-packing to move and started looking for a home. In the country. Away from the suburbs. Away from noise. Away from neighbors and congested traffic!

We found one such home in Hollywood, SC. Unfortunately, it sold before we could complete pre-packing. Our realtor assured us we would find another home. “A better home to meet your needs. I believe in making clients dreams come true.”

I suppose you could say I didn’t believe him. Immediately I responded — “I told you. No B-S with me!” I felt like Scrooge!

Five days passed. I searched on Zillow.com and Realtor.com. I found an interesting property. Complete with five acres and a pond. A nice yellow farm house. I clicked on to the site, only to have my computer bomb. I was so disappointed. Rebooting the computer, I researched Zillow.com and Realtor.com again only to realize I could not locate them. Later in the day, I received an email from another realtor. Deciding to click on the link of current homes for sale, I found the yellow house.

The doorbell rang. Our realtor was here to discuss more homes and opportunities. I rushed him over to see the yellow house.

He knew about the house but thought it was out of our price range.

“We’ve got an approved loan for the full amount,” I said. “Of course it’s contingent upon selling this house, so you’ve got homework to do!”

On Wednesday of that week we drove to see our yellow farm house. I remember as a child I said I would one day have a home on waterfront property! This beautiful home was that opportunity of a lifetime. Never did I believe my dream would come true. Why? Life! Disappointments and lack of confidence!

Now, readers, perhaps you can understand what has been happening within our former home and our new home. Now, we have waterfront property. A pond filled with big fish, including catfish, bream and big mouth bass. Yesterday I counted 10 large turtles in the pond too. Some were sun bathing. Others were swimming in my direction, only to bop their little heads under water!

Finally, one of my dreams has come true! Now, I must pursue another dream – the completion of CHATTAHOOCHEE CHILD!

Will I complete that story? You betcha! And now, I’m off to feed my fish and watch them jump in the water to eat their dinner while Phil and I eat my famous homemade chili.

Introducing – My Golden Pond. Yes, Virginia, some dreams do come true!

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!

Moving On — With Weight Watchers…


Dearest Readers:

I apologize for not posting much this month. Let’s just say, it’s been a most unusual month for me, starting with getting so frustrated with weight loss, the holidays and my lack of interest in losing weight, combined with a cruise we took on the Carnival Fantasy. I promised myself I would be good on the cruise…the reality is – I’m human and I blew it big time! Arriving home from the cruise I hopped on the scales and almost cried. A ten pound gain! Yes, I beat myself up — not physically, just mentally…and then, I decided it was time to return to Weight Watchers and face the music.

From January 8 – January 13, we were cruising from the Charleston, SC port to Freeport and the Bahamas. Every day, I ate breakfast, ever so careful of what I ate. Fruit. Cheese omelet. No toast. Coffee. When I tried to log in to e-tools of Weight Watchers, I could not — unless I wanted to pay the outrageous rates for “Cellular by the sea.” I got lazy. Never writing any of my food intake in my journal. Lazy…LAZY…just downright a Lazy Lion. After all, I was on vacation! At lunch, I treated myself to cheeseburgers and fruit and — the dreaded — french fries!

I said a prayer that God would motivate me. He replied it was time for me to find my motivation, and so I did. On the cruise, I took the stairs most of the time, clocking over 500 steps in five days. Yes, occasionally, I huffed and puffed on the stairs, but I refused to stop. Breathing a bit heavily (thanks to asthma) I refused to give up. I did the jogging track, walking 15 laps – daily, with exception of the day it rained. Back at home, I hopped on the treadmill, increasing the speed and incline. I huffed and puffed my way with a newfound determination. I was so angry and disappointed with myself.

Although Weight Watchers does not encourage it, I weighed daily, watching those dreaded pounds decreasing! “Eureka,” I shouted to myself. My four-legged friends popped their heads up to see why I was so excited. Those uninvited pounds were going away! I was so proud.

Today, I decided it was time to face the music completely, get on the scales at Weight Watchers and get rededicated to my new healthy eating weight loss style. “Hello, NordicTrack…You are now my best friend.”

Using the treadmill five days last week, I think I actually heard it moaning from overworking. I suppose that treadmill had a nice rest while I was out-of-town, and now, I am a workout queen!

Arriving at Weight Watchers this morning, I could not find my weekly pass booklet, so I opened e-tools to show I was a member. Believe me, everyone at Weight Watchers knows this ‘totally shy and reserved’ woman that I am not, so they were happy to see me returning to face the music. My weight gain that was over ten pounds? Now, according to Weight Watchers, it is only a 2.2 pound gain! Think I’ll do a happy dance, just to get a few more steps and movements going!

WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE HOLIDAYS AND WEIGHT LOSS/GAINS?

According to Weight Watchers, the average gain of a person during the holidays is only one pound. Okay…So, I’m not an average person – or normal! I am me. Determined. Stubborn, Opinionated and Gregarious. I simply LOVE being the center of attention. Anyone who knows me can attest to that statement!

This year, even though I told myself I would not gain — I would lose, and on the cruise, I would not gain — I sabotaged myself! Like most women who cook during the holidays, I found myself nibbling and not counting those infamous “B-L-T’s.” BITES…LICKS…and TASTES. I baked cookies and cakes. Some of you who read my blog regularly might remember two years ago when I went on a binge with “Christmas cookies.” I do not know what caused me to be so weak during the holidays of 2014, but something certainly sent me on a downward spin. I am so happy that I had a talk with myself, telling myself I could not afford to gain ten pounds, and I could not afford to quit Weight Watchers.

Today was a good day for me. Although at Weight Watchers it appears that I only gained 2.2 pounds. The reality is since last week I have lost eight pounds!

Yes, I am using that NordicTrack and I’m certain it is a bit tired from all the workout…and I do aerobics, so I am back on the move — ready to attack this year of 2015 with a force. I do plan to make my goal weight this year and become a Lifetime member of Weight Watchers. Will I accomplish this?

Don’t laugh! Of course I will. After all, I am a stubborn, opinionated, determined woman who does not believe in the word No! Think I’ve proven that over the holidays and at the cruise. No is not an option! This I WILL achieve!

You JUST WAIT!

DREAM…

BELIEVE…

ACHIEVE…

My bracelet reminds me of this daily. After all, today is a new day…and I AM BACK!

Free Writing 101…


Dearest Readers:

Today is a beautiful day in the Lowcountry of Charleston, SC. The welcomed sunshine is beaming brightly in my windows, especially in my breakfast room. Yesterday, May 4, 2014, I decided to work in the yard, cutting back the brittle branches of my Lantana, lace Hydrangea and other brittle branches needing attention. Normally, I do these gardening workouts in early February. February 2014 was bitterly cold and wet in Charleston. Every time I planned to go outside, either the weather did not permit, or my right eye was swollen and as red as a beet. My eye is not a vegetable! I do believe I have developed an allergy in my right eye. Of course my doctor disagrees, and I laugh. Silly doctor. She may have the medical degree, but I know my right eye fairly well! Like me, it is stubborn, opinionated and loves to do things on its terms – not mine!

I enjoyed working in my yard and I was thankful I had a pair of good gardening gloves – to protect my newly manicured nails. After all, a woman has got to look nice, even while gardening. Yes, my hair was styled. I wore shorts and a black top. It was a great day to be in the yard, bending, stooping, stretching, walking – working out!

If you are curious as to where this post is going – well, let’s just say – it is free writing, so I do not know where it’s going. According to Natalie Goldberg, the rules of free writing are:

1. Establish a time limit. I usually free write for five or ten minutes. Sometimes more, and sometimes less.
2. Do not edit, or correct your writing. Ooooh—h! That is a hard rule to follow, and those of you who know me recognize I always say, “Rules are made to be broken.” I taught that rule of life to my son when he was just a little guy, and later, I truly ate those words when we were in a discussion and I reminded him that he broke the rule. His reply to me, with his devilish little grin was, “Mom… You’ve always said rules were made to be broken.” I wanted to crawl through the floor because he remembered my words. Silly me. Sometimes being a mom to a small child can be a bit of a task. Those of you who are moms certainly understand.
3. Back to the rules of free writing – “If you get off topic…keep writing…” Didn’t I just do that in rule #2???
4. If you struggle to write when free writing just ask yourself if anything is bothering you while you free write. Anything bothering me? Not yet, but it is such a beautiful morning in Charleston just what could bother me today??? Stay tuned. You might find out!
5. When the time is up – stop. Excuse me. I am a writer. Sometimes the words just pour from my fingertips while my fingers dance across the keyboard!

Today, I have many things to do. For one, vacuuming! Last week was such a busy week I failed to do my household chores, so today is the day, and while I vacuum, I will turn on some Neil Diamond music and dance while cleaning. After all, cleaning is movement and according to my Fitbit One, movement is exercise. Yes, I will bend…and stoop…and stretch…just like I did yesterday…and when the vacuuming is done, I’ll do a bit of Zumba. Yes, today is a great day to workout. Tomorrow – I hear the beach calling my name.

So much for free writing. I must get busy with life. Next chore – styling my hair. Let’s just say, at the moment, my hair is ‘every which a-way but styled,’ looking more like I must’ve stuck my finger in an electrical outlet, if you can picture that. I hope you cannot! After that ritual is done, my makeup awaits, and I must find that silly vacuum cleaner. Yes, I know where it is, but I so hate to vacuum! There is too much life to enjoy!

More later, Readers. Enjoy this beautiful weather! And for those of you who are not having this glorious spring weather, just imagine taking a nice stroll along the beach. Your warm feet feel the soft sand underneath while the chilled ocean waters tease your feet. How I hope springtime will arrive for everyone soon, and all might enjoy the beauty of the welcoming, warm sunshine after such a bitterly cold winter.

Have a great week!