PTSD, Lack of Medical Care, and Blue Water Navy Dioxin Exposure The Emotional Wars Necessary to Wake Up the VA


After my marriage to a soldier, I was blissful of our future life together. Kissing him goodbye at the Charleston, South Carolina Airport I was fearful of what he would be like when he returned, or what would happen to me, if he did not make it home. Young and excited, I believed the military practiced their belief of taking care of their own. When I arrived at R&R in Hawaii, nine months after he departed, I was informed I had to attend an orientation before his arrival. I was told that he might overreact over something as silly as leaving the toilet seat up, or forgetting to place the lid back on the toothpaste. I needed to know how to respond. After all, he was in a war zone, seeing things that most Americans did not see normally, and I needed to know how to care for him. One year and five days after he left for Vietnam, I was completely surprised when no one contacted me to see how I was adjusting with my soldier husband home. Unlike Army Wives, I did not receive any type of family support. Never did either of us get a phone call or a referral to his reentry into a normal life. Never did anyone ask me how he was doing after fighting in a war zone. Our life as husband and wife finally began in Fort Gordon, GA where I witnessed flashbacks, irritability, and night rages where he choked me while shouting in Vietnamese language. When I encouraged him to get some help, his reply was an angry, “It don’t mean nothing.” Little did I know my husband was suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, along with the side effects of Agent Orange.

Flash-forward to 2009.

The war in Vietnam ended April 30, 1975. I remember watching the stories on the local news, while feeding our child, now three years old. My husband never expressed his feelings over the war ending. He simply rose from the table and walked away. I heard, “It don’t mean nothing,” again. Never did I understand the chill of those words until I slipped into a deep depression over the wrongs of my marriage. Suddenly it seemed my husband was an angry man. He spat off into bitter rages, shouting at me, telling me I should be ‘seen and not heard.’ He wanted me to be the happy homemaker, not the actress, singer, or writer I desired to be. I shouted at him, unable to understand why our marriage was falling apart. He blamed me – for everything. Our fights were my fault. Our finances, and our tight budget, were my fault. The car breaking down – my fault. The lack of intimacy was my fault. Defeated, I crawled into a shell. Why couldn’t my husband understand, I needed more than wife or mommy, I needed a life that was fulfilling, not just domestic. Our fights continued as he demanded that I quit work and focus only on him and our son. Defeated, I granted his wishes while the anger was brewing inside of me. In early 1980, I read an article in a magazine, describing how many Vietnam Veterans had returned to America, only to become angry. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was the culprit and it was destroying the lives of the Vietnam Veteran. The marriages of the Vietnam era were falling apart, with only 1% surviving. We, my husband and I, were 1%, and we were crumbling.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD] became a household name in the early 1980’s. As the wife of a former military man and a veteran, I was compelled to learn all I could about it. On one occasion I told my husband I suspected he had PTSD. He denied it, telling me our problems were all because of me and my independence. Yes, I was a feminist, and the longer I lived with him, the more defiant I became to make my own way. Nevertheless, I did not have the courage to end our marriage and I stayed with him because I loved him and I was afraid he would not survive without me.

In early 2000, he met a Vietnam Veteran on the golf course. Together, they bonded as brothers. With the acceptance of their friendship, my husband has recognized the behaviors he battles daily are a reflection of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He met with a representative of Veterans Affairs in 2001 or 2002, and is still battling to get the benefits he was promised. PTSD is his daily battle and there are times he actually wants to run away from himself. If only the VA could live with him for one week they would understand how painful his emotional wounds are. If only the VA could hold him during the flashbacks. In many ways, my soldier husband is still in Vietnam, never to return. On one occasion my husband met with a VA rep only to be told, and I quote, “It doesn’t help your case that you are still with your first wife.” When my husband expressed his comment to me, I was outraged, wanting the name, phone number, and contact information. My husband did not share it with me, but I can certainly educate others into the scenarios I discover.

Recently, I became involved with non-profit groups that desires to wake up Congress and fulfill the promises made to Veterans. In March 2008, my husband traveled to Columbia, SC to appeal a decision from the VA. Now, he is told his file is in Washington, still awaiting a decision. My concern is not just for my husband, but for all veterans. Just how long does it take for a veteran to get the physical, emotional, mental, and monetary care he or she needs so life can return to normalcy I recognize there is a multitude of complaints that must be addressed by Congress or the Veterans Affairs, especially in 2014 with all of the complaints finally coming to the surface. My mission is to write about these scenarios and to share with my readers. When called to duty, to service America and its freedom, our Veterans stood tall, fought the battles, and now when needing our service the most, the VA ignores, or procrastinates to service their needs. This is a disgrace to all serving in the military.

PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

VA Physicians are being instructed to deny or misdiagnose PTSD, or they are simply ignoring the signs, over medicating or improperly medicating, and simply not even looking into alternative ways of dealing with PTSD. Many Veterans are left to feel as if no one cares, or no one listens to their symptoms. Instead of listening, or asking probing questions, the medical practitioner prescribes a drug and it appears that the VA has a drug for every ailment. We as Americans must take a stand to service and understand our soldiers and Veterans, not simply remove their weapons, dust them off, and refer them to another source of treatment, or someone else at the VA. We must learn to listen and stop the habit of prescribing drugs for every ailment. Veterans are not pin cushions or guinea pigs. We promised our Veterans benefits, freedom, and a better life, not simply prescribed drugs by doctors who react by overwriting prescriptions, instead of listening to their emotional ailments. Is this the way the VA strives to help our Veterans? Just simply prescribing a drug in hopes the Veteran will feel better in the morning? Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD] is described as an ‘emotional illness’ and it was not recognized as PTSD until the 1980’s when the American Psychiatric Association recognized it as such, according to the website, http://www.psychiatric-disorders.com. PTSD leaves no visible scars, only the emotional scars that will remain forever inside the mind of the war veteran. PTSD leaves a stigma attached to it. To those who do not understand this ailment, the looks, discriminations, and lack of compassion leaves the Veteran with a lack of understanding of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the wounds of it. While it is true, the wounds are embedded within the mind, the wounds are so obvious to those of us who love the Veteran suffering with PTSD; and we strive to do all we can to make their life more productive and pleasant. We need the VA to do the same.

President Obama has said: “We have a sacred trust with those who wear the uniform of the United States of America, a commitment that begins with enlistment and must never end.”

You, as Americans, and politicians of a free society, do have a moral, ethical, and Patriotic obligation to provide benefits and care, regardless of the costs involved! Our government has a moral, ethical, and Patriotic obligation to care for those who did the job others failed to do, or the many millions of Americans who chose to escape the effects, physical ailments, illnesses, and emotional wounds of war. Freedom is not free; it comes with a price tag. Veterans paid a gigantic price, emotionally, physically, and mentally. Only a war veteran can comprehend how that price was paid for in full by our military and war veterans, along with their spouses and children! The price they paid for their devotion to their freedom does not have a monetary amount and it could be considered priceless since the effects of war leave so many emotional and physical scars that cannot be repaired. The price our war veterans paid was distributed in full with blood, sweat and many tears.

Isn’t it about time Congress, the President, and the Veterans Affairs actually stood tall and paid that bill? Isn’t it time to help our wounded warriors, including those who suffer with PTSD, lack of medical care and improperly cleaned or sterilized equipment, and Blue Water Navy Dioxin Exposure, along with the emotional scars, to be compensated? The actions of Congress and the actions and policies of the VA seem to express so loud and clear that it would have been far better had our men and women not served or died at war than to suffer the denials, the schemes, shenanigans, and the maltreatment provided by the government of the United States. Let us all make a bit of noise with our Congress and all lawmakers. Send a copy of this article to those in your community, along with those who represent your home front. Isn’t it time our Veterans were treated with respect and dignity? Isn’t it time we welcomed them home and gave them the benefits promised, without the emotional war they must battle now, just to get those benefits? The choice is yours. You must decide.

Barbie Perkins-Cooper is an awarding winning writer who loves the journey and exploration of travel, health, and hospitality. She is the proud wife of a Vietnam Veteran and works full-time as an editorial photojournalist. She has published numerous articles and photographs for regional, health and beauty and travel publications including the Travel Channel, New York Daily News and Buick Magazine.

HIT THE ROAD — Beaumont to Port Arthur, Texas – Cajun Texas at Its Best


Texas is a proud, lone star state where Southern hospitality and opportunities abound. Beaumont and Port Arthur Texas are known for oil, The Neches River, Cajun cuisine, and Texas style fun. Surprising to many, the two cities serve as natural gems filled with history, Zydeco music, and culture galore. Located within a 24-mile driving range along US-287, there is so much to do at Beaumont and Port Arthur; you’ll have to juggle time to make your selections.

BEAUMONT

Described as “Texas with a little something extra,” Beaumont is a booming city where the economy is strong and the city has more to offer than oil, music, shopping, and Cajun cuisine. Interstate 10 serves as a major highway for the area, but if you exit, you will discover Beaumont is the proud home to many famous country music celebrities, including George Jones, Tracy Byrd, and Mark Chesnutt. Sports enthusiasts might catch a glimpse of Duriel L. Harris of the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys fame at Rao’s Bakery. Cajun culture and cuisine is everywhere. Start your morning off by stopping by one of the five locations of Rao’s Bakery where you are certain to meet locals and celebrities enjoying a great cup of coffee, fellowship, and fresh desserts. Established in 1941, Rao’s Bakery prides itself in cakes, especially the infamous King Cake. Cakes are baked on site, and shipped internationally. My favorite delicacy was the Red Velvet Crumb Cake. In the summer Rao’s Bakery offers a Kid’s Bakery Camp. This is the perfect opportunity for children to step into the kitchen to bake cookies or decorate a cake.

Downtown Beaumont provides city sidewalks where you can enjoy a variety of activities, including the Fire Museum of Texas, located on Walnut Street, where you can see (and photograph) the world’s largest Dalmatian spotted fire hydrant. Standing 24 feet tall, the hydrant leads to the entrance of the Fire Museum of Texas. The building was formerly the Beaumont Fire Department Headquarters and it has an amazing collection of fire engines and equipment.

If arts and history are something you love, visit the Jefferson Theatre while walking around the renovated downtown district. The Jefferson Theatre is located on Fannin Street and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It opened in 1927 and for decades served as the stunning showplace for entertainment in the community. Built with Old Spanish architecture with sculptures, rich fabrics and eloquence, the setting was romantic. The theatre included a stunning Robert Morton Wonder Organ, complete with 778 pipes, built on a platform that rose from the orchestra pit to stage level. In 1972, the theater closed. Today, the restored Jefferson Theatre serves as a cultural and performing arts center, providing opportunities for artists to perform on a graceful, preserved professional stage that surpasses modern concert halls.

When Spindletop gushes 120 feet into the air, it is a sight not to be missed. Spindletop contains authentic clapboard buildings and artifacts. Located at Highway 69 at University Drive, Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum and the Texas Energy Museum enlighten everyone to the amazing world of petroleum, energy, and science, and discoveries made in the beginning of the twentieth century. Texas Energy Museum is located on Main Street, 4.7 miles from Spindletop. Beaumont is known as “The Museum Capital of Texas,” including the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, State Fire Museum of Texas, The Edison Museum, and Texas Energy Museum.

The Art Museum of Southeast Texas has an interesting exhibit of the Voodoo Man of Beaumont. Felix Fox Harris created totem pole artwork, collecting junk and sculpting it into his expressions of art. An amazing man who communicated best by ‘making something out of nothing,’ he created inspirations from life, fashioned from the ideas in his mind. His sculptures speak volumes about the creativity of self-expression. Described as a ‘visionary’ Felix Fox Harris is considered a legend in Beaumont.

If gourmet or Cajun cuisine is more your style, Texas is famous for barbeque and Beaumont has Fat Mac’s Smokehouse. Located on Calder Avenue, this award winning barbecue is slow cooked and melts in your mouth. If fine dining is more your style, Suga’s is located downtown in a historic and renovated building with fine dining ambience, culinary cuisine at its finest, atmosphere galore, and a jazz bar. Suga’s is a great place to unwind after a busy day. If dancing and mouth watering Cajun cuisine tempts your taste buds, you’ve got to shake your booty at Larry’s French Market located on Atlantic Highway.

PORT ARTHUR

Described as a city where ‘oil and water mix beautifully,’ Port Arthur is filled with family attractions and festivals galore. Museum of the Gulf Coast is located on Procter Street and offers something for everyone. If you are interested in learning about Zydeco music, sports, and the culture of the Gulf Coast, you might spend the entire day. A great way to get a taste of the flavors in Port Arthur is to visit Golden Triangle Veterans Memorial Park, Queen of Peace Shrine, Buu Mon Buddhist Temple, Pleasure Island, Gator Country. Port Arthur has an abundance of restaurants including Cajun, Mexican, Vietnamese, Chinese, family and home style cafeterias. Regardless what you are looking for, Beaumont and Port Arthur Texas define Cajun Texas, at its best.

No One to Blame But Me — At Weight Watchers


Dearest Readers:

I confess, today is my weigh in day at Weight Watchers, only I am not going today. I’ve decided it is in my best interest to remain at home today — moping…groaning…arguing with myself…I’m certain you get the picture, especially IF you are working hard to lose weight. This week hasn’t been a user-friendly week for me, and I’ve managed to eat foods I shouldn’t have, along with birthday cake. Yes, I know, I have no one to blame but myself! I am the one who lifted the fork into my mouth and ate those foods, and I am truly (almost physically except it hurts to do this) beating my head against a brick wall for being such a weakling! According to my scales, I’ve gained four pounds this week — since Tuesday of this week.

Allow me to explain…This week, combined with the latter part of last week, have been the weeks from Hell for me. Too much stress…too many disappointments… If you recall from my postings in June and earlier this month, I posted the details of the lack of appropriate customer service from the scheduling department of Sears. The week of June 26 was an extremely demanding and busy week for me and when I finally found the time to do laundry, I loaded the colored clothing, placed the detergents and fabric softeners in the appropriate slots, only to discover my front loading Kenmore washer would not power up. I checked the fuse box, other areas that I knew to check, and phoned Sears. To make a long, pressurized story short, the earliest they could get a technician out was July 8. I was furious! I was told, and I quote, “we are overbooked due to the holidays.” Duh???!!!??? Did I HEAR the voice correctly? I ask you, just WHO plans for the scheduling of a repair due to the holidays? The first party I spoke with had one of those accents from India, or somewhere similar. Seems she offered to ‘walk me through some diagnostic testing?”

Are you not listening, India? The washer will not power up. I do have common sense and my common sense tells me that IF the machine is not powering up, a diagnostic test cannot be completed! Do I need an engineering degree just to operate a Kenmore front loading washer? ‘I don’t think so!’

Sears must think I’m stupid! I’m not. Julia Sugarbaker reborn? Perhaps!

After the incident with Sears I went online, finding the Blue Team at Sears where I could send an e-mail. Ha. Ha! Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!

Yes, I sent an e-mail. I am not certain of the contents, but let us just say, my Julia Sugarbaker style kicked in — BIG TIME. A customer service rep from Sears phoned me, assuring me that when an earlier opening arrived, a service technician would phone me, and he did. I think he came to the house on July 1. I recognized him since he was the technician that repaired this same washer a few years back. Apparently the problem is the computer panel. As you all must know — EVERYTHING is computerized now so what once was a simple repair job is now a complete rehaul of the repair. A new computer panel was ordered. It arrived this Monday, July 7. The technician is scheduled to repair the washer tomorrow, July 11. It has been three weeks since I’ve been blessed to do laundry at home. I’m getting into the groove of going to the laundromat now. Fortunately, the laundromats in my neighborhood have been upgraded, so the characters I saw the last time I had the joy of visiting a laundromat no longer exist. Thank you, God!

Last week simply wasn’t my week. After Weight Watchers, I had lunch with friends and decided to complete birthday shopping for my husband. We were having storms and one thing retail outlets can count on is when it is raining like it does in Charleston, SC, people LOVE TO SHOP! Customers were coming out of the woodwork! After leaving Towne Centre, I started home, noticing a car so close behind me I could not see the headlights of the vehicle. Of course you can imagine what happened. When I stopped, so did she — right into my bumper. Fortunately, it was a minor fender bender; however, my bumper has a few deep scratches, so we called the police. I reported the accident to the insurance company and now I await their phone calls. I suppose I could continue listing the events of this week too, but it isn’t necessary. Just know, I need a break, and so today, after fighting with myself and shedding a tear or two, I decided to miss my meeting.

I forgot to mention yesterday. I went to a friend’s house to rehearse our songs for our show this weekend. After our fun rehearsal, we went to the pool and swam and soaked up a few rays. I was wearing my Fitbit One. It isn’t waterproof! I slipped (by accident) into the pool and ruined my Fitbit One. I have it drying out in a bowl of rice, but so far — nothing. Dead. What a week!

Repeatedly I have reminded myself that no one placed the food in my mouth. No one force fed me at all. My husband wanted to have his birthday dinner at P. F. Chang’s — one of my favorite places to dine. After looking up their entrees on Weight Watchers etools, I realized I should not eat one bite, but I did. Add to that, the birthday cake, and I recognize I am headed for self-destruction.

Nevertheless, today is a new day. Yes, the scale tipped upward of four pounds, but my new treadmill (Nordic Track) is laughing at me as I write this, so I must gather my thoughts to close this, turn on “Designing Women” and get moving!

I am so hopeful next week will be the beginning of a new and better, happier, less stressful week. And now, I am hopping on Nordy! Have a great week!

The Top 10 Workout Songs for July 2014


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Fort Wayne, IN – July 7, 2014 – This month’s top 10 list plays host to an eclectic bunch of established and upstart musical acts. On the international front, you’ll find a reggae hit from the Canadian band Magic and a platinum single from Norwegian duo Nico & Vinz. Elsewhere country artists Jarrod Niemann and Lady Antebellum document their nights on the town. Finally,you can check out the latest from newcomers Tune-Yards and Charli XCX alongside chart regulars Katy Perry and Shakira.
No matter where your interests lie on the musical spectrum, there should be something for you below. So, if you’re looking for a few new tunes to liven up your summer workouts, this month’s playlist will give you 10 great places to start.
Here’s the full list, according to votes placed at Run Hundred–the web’s most popular workout music blog.
Nico & Vinz – Am I Wrong – 121 BPM

Katy Perry – Birthday – 124 BPM

Charli XCX – Boom Clap – 93 BPM

Jarrod Niemann & Pitbull – Drink to That All Night (Remix) – 120 BPM

Magic – Rude – 72 BPM

Lady GaGa – G.U.Y. – 100 BPM

Shakira – The One Thing – 84 BPM

Tune-Yards – Water Fountain – 111 BPM

Far East Movement & Riff Raff – The Illest (Rell the Soundbender Remix) – 80 BPM

Lady Antebellum – Bartender – 101 BPM

To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at RunHundred.com. Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo, and era—to find the music that best fits with their particular workout routine.

Contact:
Chris Lawhorn
Run Hundred
Email: mail@runhundred.com
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Reminiscing on July 6 of Each Year…


Dearest Readers:

July 6 is always a day to remember for me. Why? Allow me to explain. During the stressful days of my dad’s terminal illness with esophageal cancer during December 1997 until his death on July 6, 1999, I have felt such a loss.

I’ve had people tell me I need to move on. “Get over it. Life goes on…” Etc. ETC! It isn’t easy! Tomorrow is July 6, 2014 – exactly 15 years since the death of my dad. I remember the day, as if it was yesterday. After a demanding day at work, I rushed to visit him, like I did every day. I spoke to the nursing home earlier in the day. “Dad was doing fine,” they replied. “Fine!?!” If he’s in a nursing home he isn’t fine. Yes, he was as well as could be expected; nevertheless, over the last six months of his life, I watched his body slowly shutting down. First it was the weakness from esophageal cancer. His inability to retain his food. His legs grew weaker and he fell – LOTS. Each time the nursing home reported the falls to me, like they are required. And each time, I prayed a sigh of relief. Just one more day. Please God, give us one more day.

In March, his heart grew weaker, and I realized the end was near. I stopped praying for a miracle. In my nightly prayers I prayed for God to find a special place for my dad, to use his talents, his voice, and yes – even his temper. Dad could be a tenacious man when he wanted to be!

During my daily visits after March, I noticed Dad no longer walked me to the door, to kiss me goodbye. He simply waved his hand as he closed his Holy Bible. No longer were the visits welcoming or fun. He appeared to be angry at me, always waving me away after about 10 minutes of our time together. His roommate told me Dad was mean to me. “You deserve better,” Dudley said. “He is so mean. He should appreciate you.”

I smiled at Dudley. “Don’t you understand,” I cried. “Dad is dying. He’s angry at life.”
Dad and Dudley were the odd couple of Sandpiper Convalescent Center. They teased and complained, always trying to compete with each other. For a while, Dad had the upper hand since Dudley’s body no longer moved and he remained in the bed, or a special wheelchair. Dudley had difficulty with speech too, but after visiting Dad so often, Dudley and I were able to communicate without a problem. After March, Dudley had the upper hand as we watched Dad sit on his bed, or remain in his bed most of the time. Gone were his daily strolls with his walker.

I suppose I was counting the days down, knowing my dad and I would not share another holiday together. No more birthday parties. No more Christmas trees, Thanksgiving and holiday dinners together. Tick. Tock…How I wish I could make this clock stop and save my dad.

On the moment of his death, I was walking in the corridor of Sandpiper Convalescent Center. A nurse I recognized approached, pushing an oxygen tank. I remember speaking with her, saying Uh, oh. That isn’t a welcoming sign for someone. She nodded, never saying a word to me.

I placed my hand on the door of Dudley and Dad’s room and so did the nurse. Quickly, she nodded, telling me not to come inside.

I screamed.

“Oh, Dear God, No. Please…please….Please God, NO!” I cried.

Someone grabbed me, walking me to a chair and I sat down. I knew. The clock was stopping. My dad way dying.

I heard a voice say, Barbie. We can bring him back.

“No,” I cried. “He’s a DNR. I must honor his wishes.”

Moments seemed like hours. At 6:15 a nurse approached me. “I’m so sorry. Do you want to say goodbye?”
Yes, I nodded.

I waited a few minutes for my husband to arrive and together, we walked in to Dad’s room. Dudley was eating dinner. I could not speak to him. I touched my Dad – his body as cold as ice. His skin clammy. His eyes closed. I kissed him. Told him I loved him and I would never forget him. “You’re still here, inside my heart,” I cried.

I have no idea what happened next. I was numb. Dumbfounded. How would I live without my Dad?
After his funeral, I joined a grief therapy session and learned to move forward. Still, as the day of July 6 of each year approaches, I feel an incredible emptiness. Grief. Heartache. I ask myself, will this pain ever leave?

I think not. July 6, 2014 is only hours away. I must keep myself busy, remembering my Dad, Walter W. Perkins, and the goodness inside of him. Yes, he had moments of temperamental ups and downs, but he was my dad. As a child, I always looked up to him. I held his hand. We sang. He taught me how to harmonize and he always reminded me to “Make this a good day.”

I ask you how? How do I make each day a good day without my dad?

When do we stop grieving over those we’ve loved and lost? When does the heartache end?

After my dad died, I felt like an orphan. I have learned to move on and to recognize that each day is a gift. I plan to have a serious heart-to-heart discussion with my dad in the morning while drinking my morning coffee. I will lift my head high, looking into the Heavens and speak softly to my Dad. Yes, I will probably cry, but now, the tears are good, cleansing tears because I have learned to move forward. To make the most of every day. July 6, 2014 is another day without my dad, but I am so thankful that I was there for him daily while he battled cancer. Yes, I miss you, Dad. I was blessed to share one more day.

Thank you, God for giving us one more day!

Happy Fourth of July 2014


Dearest Readers:

Today is one of the busiest party, barbecue and fireworks events for the United States of America. I would like to take a moment from our busy lives to thank those who have fought so bravely to keep America free so that we, the citizens, may enjoy our Independence Day.

Many in America complain about our politicians and our leadership, and I have certainly been guilty of complaining that America needs LEADERSHIP. Unfortunately, we do not appear to have strong leadership now. It is sad — so sad.

Nevertheless, today is the day to stand up, wave our flags, wear our red, white and blue, and appreciate our freedoms.

Let us remember all of our soldiers — from all of the wars. Without their sacrifices, we would not be able to wear our colors, or fly our flags, or voice our opinions.

So, I say THANK YOU! May we all enjoy this beautiful day. Originally, Hurricane Arthur threatened the coast of Charleston, SC; however, like the tides, the weather changed and today the sun shines brightly, beating down with warmth while we eat hamburgers, hot dogs, watermelons and other items we should be cautious about.

I hope all of you will enjoy the Fourth of July. Please take a moment to say thank you to God, and to thank our military. May we always be blessed to enjoy the red, white and blue!

Happy Independence Day!

Undoubtedly, the Week From Hell…


Dearest Readers:

Undoubtedly, this has been the week from Hell for me, starting with my washing machine breaking last week, unable to get customer service from Sears in a timely manner – that is, until the ‘two B’s in my name’ were revealed. Isn’t it shameful that in the United State of America customer service is outsourced to India, China – and who knows where else! When I phoned Sears to request service, I was transferred four times. Yes, I said FOUR TIMES! Each time, I had to re-communicate EVERYTHING all over again, and again. Finally, I asked IF they needed a blood sample! If I appear a bit frustrated, well – you get the picture. I am not described as a Steel Magnolia for being a sweet little Southern Belle. No, not me!

So, this week from Hell continued. At least Sears got word of my frustrations – I suppose after I posted on a social media site that appears to have a bit of clout attached to it – Yes, Facebook, and I posted on my Blog, and I managed to send an e-mail to Sears Blue Team. Well, let’s just say, a kind, soft-spoken man named John assisted me – even providing a case number. To make the epistle with Sears a bit of a short story, John managed to get a service technician out on Tuesday. The next chapter of my washing machine repair is – my washer needs a new computer panel, mother board, or whatever the description for it is – regardless, the blessed machine does not work and it will probably be until the 11th of July, or later before the new board arrives. Such is my life! I suppose in my neighborhood I could be described as the Drama Queen, or the neighborhood B—-! I’ll allow my neighbors to describe me!

Moving on this week, I managed to get some laundry done, after my husband volunteered to assist me. Bless his heart! This nice consideration from someone who is not domesticated at all. Heck, he still cannot turn on the oven or the burners, and the last time I asked him to check the laundry to see if the load washing was finished, he returned to tell me it was still washing. I have a stackable unit with the dryer on top. I asked him where did you check. His reply – ‘the light on top was still on. Isn’t that the washer?’ Sometimes men just don’t get it – do they? At least yesterday he helped load the dirty laundry – now two weeks’ worth, and he helped me get it done! Silly guy!

Today, I thought was a new day. Today is my Weight Watchers weigh-in day. Unfortunately, this chick has gained .06 of a pound – for the millionth time. I seem to behave like a rubber ball. Bouncy…bouncy…back and forth! Inches, well, they are falling off, but the scales all but laugh at me. After our meeting I had lunch with two friends from Weight Watchers. Today is a hurricane day in Charleston. Hurricane Arthur keeps blowing in the wind, so since I was at the Towne Centre, I decided to shop for my husband’s birthday gift. Rushing from store to store, and from rain band to rain band, I completed my shopping thrilled that I had my husband’s birthday all taken care of. Hopping in the car, I noticed a line of traffic. If you’ve ever been to Charleston, you will know, when it rains, people come from out of the woodwork – to shop. And the majority of the drivers stuck in the traffic are in a hurry, so they choose to all but attach to your bumper. The girl driving behind my car for blocks was all but attached. I could not even see her head lights! As traffic crawled along, cars ahead of me were stopping, so I tapped my break to stop. After I stopped, I heard breaks squealing and a crash! Yep, the little lady behind me chose to finally attach to my bumper!

After phoning the police and filing the police reports, I am finally home – and I think I will just find a good book and go take a nap. After all, I am safe at home. Incidentally, the only damage on my car is the bumper, and the contributor to the collision was the little lady – not me.

Maybe I’ll remain home the rest of the day. I think it is safer. What a day…what a hellacious week! And now, I have a headache!

I hope next week at Weight Watchers I will have a good week.

Happy Independence Day, USA!