A Wake Up Call — Missing Weight Watchers Meetings…


Dearest Readers:

To those of you who follow my blog on a regular basis, I thank you. Most of you will know, I’ve been sick for over six weeks now with a severe case of bronchial asthma. The germs were germinated to me while I cared for my husband and his ‘bit of pneumonia,’ according to his doctor at Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center. When they diagnosed his illness, I wanted to ask: “Hey Doc. Is a ‘bit of pneumonia’ like a ‘little bit pregnant?'”

I do not think his doctors would’ve appreciated my humor so I remained quiet — for once.  Trust me. It was so difficult for me to remain quiet. One week later, my husband was well. I woke up with a sore throat on that Monday. By Tuesday morning, there was no question about it. I was definitely congested in my lungs, burning in my chest when I coughed and off to the doctor I went that afternoon. My doctor suspected I might have pneumonia. The chest x-ray revealed a normal chest. My chest normal? NEVER!

Now that I am feeling a bit better, I have chosen to do all I can to write in my blog on a regular basis. Maybe daily??? 

Today’s topic is Weight Watchers, and what I have experienced since I have missed six weekly meetings — IF I miss this week’s meeting on Thursday. Today is Tuesday, June 27, 2017. The last meeting I attended was Thursday, May 18, 2017.

Over those weeks, I have fought just to breathe. My husband is not domestic in any definition of the word. The only thing he does when I am ill is make certain I eat. When I’m ill, I usually lose weight, without trying. Simply because I cannot taste food. I have such difficulty breathing that I really do not want anything to get in the way of breathing.

Since my husband is not domesticated, I’ve actually vacuumed the house, almost on a weekly basis, while gasping for breath. He has reprimanded me big time, telling me I ‘should not be vacuuming.’ Once when he was critical of my struggles to vacuum, I attempted to scream at him, telling him he could learn to vacuum.

His reply: “I vacuum a lot.”

Are you kidding? You must be speaking of vacuuming at another place because you cannot even turn the vacuum on in this house. If there’s another woman, you can go to her…Right now!

“I’ve vacuumed a lot.”

Liar…Liar…pants on fire!

Let’s just say, since I’ve been ill, I’ve managed to overlook the lint on the carpets. Dust on the furniture. I’ve eaten sandwiches…potato chips…peanut butter…and ice cream. If you own Mayfield Ice Cream stock, maybe it’s increasing now since we’ve eaten SO MUCH ICE CREAM!

Have I tracked Weight Watchers? NOPE. I suppose one could say, I’ve probably broken the Smart Points tracking like crazy!

This Thursday will be an interesting day. How I pray I maintain and not gain. Yesterday was a wake up call for me. While I vacuumed the house I realized I was hungry. My stomach growled. I grabbed a piece of white bread. The only bread we had in the house. I coated this piece of bread with peanut butter. LOTS of peanut butter! Eating it, I realized I was still hungry. Famished. I wanted food. OK. I MUST be getting well.

I went back to the kitchen. Another piece of bread, lightly coated with Hellman’s Light Mayonnaise. I placed Boars Head London Broil on the bread. A piece of Boars Head turkey. One slice of provolone cheese, or was it two slices? I can’t remember. I’m still sick! I sat down, gobbled the food down and wanted more.

This is not me. This is not who I am. One thing I’ve learned at Weight Watchers is not to stuff my mouth full of food, all day long. 

Now, I actually recognize how addicts must feel when they crave their drug of choice. I do not do drugs, of any kind. I am not an addict. Nor am I a food addict. I rushed to my window, glanced up at the sky and I prayed for God to give me strength. I’m not an addict. Why am I doing this to myself???

After my talk with God, I felt better. Stronger. In control.

After my illness, remaining home and not being active, I’ve learned I really cannot do Weight Watchers alone. I must return to the meetings. Missing so many meetings has not kept me pro-active and accountable for what I’m eating. I must remind myself, today is a new day. I must track every bite I eat, and when I am a bit stronger, I must return to activities.

Today, like every day, I weighed. Looks like I’ve gained three pounds since this illness. I am furious with myself. I’ve been told I  have Type A personality. I want things perfect. Well, life isn’t perfect! I want things in control. Lately, I realize I’ve been OUT OF CONTROL!

Yesterday, after my discussion with God, I realized I have been sabotaging myself. As my husband once said to me while I was ill years ago, “You just give in to illness. You don’t fight it.”

Looks like people who’ve never had asthma just do not understand. Asthma can kill. I’ve stated many times that when my time comes, no doubt my death certificate will say: “Cause of Death — Asthma!” Scary, isn’t it!

Major attacks of asthma completely strip me of any energy. It takes energy to breathe. While fighting asthma, I cannot breathe. Nor am I a pretty site to see when I am ill.

I want my life back! I want to sleep all night. Haven’t done that since childhood! I want to be able to walk…to dance…and to sing. I haven’t tried to sing any song since my illness. Wednesday nights we have a date night at karaoke. Something tells me I still cannot sing, so either we will stay home, or if we go, I will listen to others sing. Gosh. I dare my friend to even attempt to sing any of my songs! Gee. That could start a cat fight. I’m not a cat. Nor do I fight with women, so it looks like another night of watching BLUE BLOODS!

Maybe glaring at Tom Selleck will heal me. Hey! A girl can dream!

I’m almost to the point I will do anything to feel better again.

Oops. Didn’t I say this would be a post about Weight Watchers?

What have I learned about myself since I’ve missed six meetings? Lots.

For example:

I’ve learned I cannot be successful with Weight Watchers alone. No. I do not do Weight Watchers Online. I must go to meetings. I’ve established friendships at my Thursday meetings. I’ve learned to say “NO” whenever I am tempted — that is, I did know how to say NO. Now, I’m not certain and if I go to the meeting this Thursday, I plan to share how emotionally weak I’ve been. I’ve eaten sandwiches. Yes, Weight Watchers can track sandwiches. I’ve fought with cabin fever since I’ve been sick. I’ve rested. I’ve craved foods that are not healthy foods. I’ve done everything wrong! I’ve practically beaten my head against a brick wall! Why? WHY?? OH WHY???????

Today is a new day. A new day for me to be responsible. Accountable. Supportive of myself. At the meeting this week, I will probably grumble a bit if I’ve gained, and I do believe I have. I will admit my faults and move on!

Today is a new Day! I will be thankful that I’m getting better and I will be acceptable that I am human!

Here’s to a New Day!

 

 

 

Wishing Much Success to Our 45th President — Donald J. Trump


Dearest Readers:

This will be a brief post. Today, like many Americans, I watched Donald J. Trump become the 45th President for the United States of America.

IF ONLY WE WERE UNITED!

Watching him and his classic, elegant (not to mention gorgeous) wife, dressed in baby blue, he and Melania make an elegant couple. I was so proud to watch this historical moment.

Later, I heard about the protesters. I am hopeful they meant the protest to be peaceful, but it wasn’t. Many of the angry rioters were dressed in black with hoodies. Their faces covered in black scarves or bandanas. They thrust their weight, and anything they could find into store windows. Bellowing out something about “Donald Trump has got to go…”

Is this the United States of America? Reportedly, at least 200 protesters were arrested. Many more should be in jail – they were destroying limousines, businesses, absolutely anything in their way. A few police officers were injured. And this is America???

Hardly. We are divided. I suppose we can thank the division to those who refused to give Donald Trump a chance. Alas, what about the 70 Democratic lawmakers who boycotted the inaugural address? Believe me, I would never vote for any of them ever again. Our lawmakers have the opportunities most of us in America are not privileged to have — being a part of the Presidential Inauguration. They should take a step forward to show us an example of what it is like to live in a country where we are free to elect our President. Instead, they make a negative statement. Perhaps they added friction to the rioters.

Speaking as a writer and a proud American, I am willing to give President Donald J. Trump a chance — just like I did when Barack Obama stepped in to those presidential shoes. We need to give our President a chance, and we need to stop having all of the riots. Sorry, when a protest turns to violence, I consider them riots.

To President Donald J. Trump, I say “Welcome, Mr. President. May you guide our country into the UNITED States of America.” We need to unite….not fight!

I have high hopes for you, and America. Let’s MAKE AMERICA GREAT!

 

 

Happy New Year, 2017


Dearest Readers:

Today is December 31, 2016. The last day of 2016. I would like to say Good Riddance to 2016. A year of much controversy in the USA, a dreadful year for politics, and a great year for a ‘shocking Presidential election.’ It appeared everyone was ‘shocked’ when Donald J. Trump was elected the new President. Hillary Clinton was devastated. Oh. Pooh!

Hillary Clinton lost. End of discussion! I admit, I was ready to vote for Hillary, or should I say “Billary” in 2008, until Obama was selected, and I did not vote for him. America has tolerated eight years of a close ‘dictatorship.’ Let us sweep the Obama’s out of the office and allow them to fade into the distance. After Hillary did so many illegal actions to jeopardize the USA via her e-mails…the lies she shouted and continued to feed about her actions as Secretary of State…etc…etc…ETC… I was almost ashamed that she was a woman in a powerful office. To say the least, she was an embarrassment.

But…today is the last day of 2016. Enough about politics! For this household, 2016 was a year of too much stress. After Phil had his surgery on his shoulder and recovered ever so slowly, I worried. My daily life consumed me. I went to my doctor for a check-up, only to be told my blood pressure was much too high. My doctor wanted to know exactly what I was doing to have such high blood pressure. After telling him how stressed I was, he told me IF I did not get my blood pressure under control, I could have a heart attack or a stroke.

I decided it was time to take back my life. Yes, I eat healthy, and I’m losing weight. I do Weight Watchers. Researching how to lower my blood pressure, and taking a daily medication for my blood pressure, I starting exercising again, eating healthier by including more fish, and I meditated. Three months later, my blood pressure is lower. Thank you, God.

Now, on New Years Eve, I am reflecting on 2016 and how I can tolerate the stress of 2017. Let’s just say, I am having numerous talks with God, just like Dolly Parton shared in her movie, “Circle of Love,” and “Coat of Many Colors.” Yes, I go to a window, looking up to the sky and I ask God to listen to me again – probably for the millionth time! My wonderful grandmother taught me how to pray, and I must say, praying soothes away the stress. At least for a time. This week, when my blood pressure rose again, I had another talk with God. This time, I prayed He would help me to be calmer, and not to scream when I feel life is about to knock me down again.

Last night while at karaoke, I certainly had my stress level tested and I’m happy to report, I passed with flying colors. Thank you, God.

Allow me to share the scenario. Our friends and I were sitting at our regular table before karaoke started. I was looking at the ‘only karaoke book’ to find a few new songs to sing. A few minutes later, I closed the book. An obnoxious female, a rather large woman who wears extremely short dresses, fish net stockings and heels, approached the table.

“Oh. It’s you who has the f—— book,” she said, slurring her words. The only word she could express well was the “f” bomb.

“Would you please not say that word?”

“What? F——? It’s in the f—— dictionary.”

“Only you would know that,” I smiled. “Please just take the book and leave!”

She sat down at the table, continuing to fire out the ‘f’ bomb.

“Please…just take the book and leave,” I said, motioning with my hands for her to leave our table.

She rose from the table, song book in her hand. Of course, when she left she continued saying the only word she knows in her vocabulary. Some women simply should not be considered a woman!

She struggled to walk back to her friends. A few minutes later, sitting at the bar, she knocked over several drinks. Before her friends left the bar, they gave our table four shots — one for each of us. I declined the shot since I never drink shots, and I do not accept drinks from people I do not know. By now, some people are leaving the bar, including her ‘friends.’ A couple who enjoyed hearing me sing left too, stating something about ‘too many drunks in here!’ Without a doubt, this was not a good night for some of us enjoying the evening.

The obese woman sang only one song, complete with a dialogue of ‘f’ bombs, instead of the real lyrics. I’m certain she was hoping I would approach her again about her vulgarity. I chose to kill her with kindness, by ignoring her. The disc jockey made a comment about the language, requesting singers NOT to use profanity. Ha. Ha. Sometimes it pays to be a ‘steel magnolia!’

Later, the bartenders helped her outside. I believe they called her a cab. It’s a good thing she didn’t drive. There was a safety check on the highway, stopping every car, checking to make certain people were not intoxicated. When they checked us, I was driving. I had only one drink the entire night, about two hours earlier, so I was certain I would not be asked to ‘get out of the car.’ The rest of my drinks consisted of several refills of arthur-ravenel-jr-bridgewater. The nice police officer checked my ID, license and registration and allowed us to go home. Just think — IF the rather obese woman with the short…much too short dress was driving, she would spend the night — not in her bed.

Isn’t it a shame when people allow their drinks to reveal exactly what their personality is, and isn’t it a shame how some people cannot handle alcohol. I must say, I would hate to be walking in that female’s shoes. She must have one heck of a hangover now.

No doubt, she will return to karaoke. She’s been there many times, and each time when she walks into the bar, she stumbles around. Last night, she could not handle her drinks, knocking them over while the only word she knows pours like liquor from her lips. Such a pity that a female would behave in such a manner. Even worse, such a pity that she obviously infuriated her friends who left her alone at the bar.

Did she make it home? Who knows!

Here is my wish for all of us as New Year, 2017 approaches. May we all live with respect and dignity, and may we not allow our brains to only know one word in our vocabulary — the ‘f’ bomb. We certainly hear it enough while at the movies!

Happy New Year, 2017. I’m praying for a wonderful year of good health, happiness, and dignity!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social Media Regrets…


Dearest Readers:

Yesterday, after quickly surfing on Facebook, I made a decision to leave social media for a while.

‘Why?’ Friends and readers ask.

Simple. I’m so tired of the racism, bigotry, and hatred discovered while reading some of the posts. I discovered the hatred and racism during the Presidential campaign of 2016. I hoped the hatred would disappear once the election was over. It hasn’t. If anything — it has intensified.

As all of you in America know, Donald J. Trump is our President Elect. Yes, he is a hot head. Yes, he has a toxic mouth, spitting cruelties out before he realizes what he has said or implied. Did I vote for him?

I will not reveal who I voted for; however, I will say, I considered WHO was the lesser of the two evils. Hillary Clinton vs. Donald J. Trump, or is it — Donald J. Trump vs. Hillary Clinton?

I have not missed any election since I was allowed to vote at the age of 18. I am proud to vote. I take the election seriously. All elections. I review. I research and I make a pro and con list for every election. When I walk into the polls to vote, I have my homework done, and I vote. No, I do not allow others to influence me. My vote is MY decision. No one else can change my mind.

Years ago, my husband and I talked about politics. During one election [sorry, I cannot recall which one] we had a heated dispute in a restaurant. My husband did his best to intimidate me, to make me change my mind, but on Election Day, I voted – for the person of my choice, not the party. After that election, we decided it was not a good idea for a husband and wife to discuss politics. This year, we did not discuss who the best candidate was. Why? Simple. Neither candidate was ‘the best.’

I will go on record to say I think the time is now for a woman to be President; however, after all of the lies, and most especially, how Hillary Clinton broke the law by not keeping government e-mails “confidential” I lost complete respect for her. Years ago, during her husband’s presidency, women wanted her to divorce Bill Clinton. I remember saying “Hillary Clinton will not divorce Bill. She has a mission planned.”

And what a mission she planned, only to lose the election. Reportedly, on Facebook and other Internet sites, there are many reasons she lost the election. Other sites had her winning the election. In fact, there is so much material flying across the Internet; I will not even attempt to list any of these sites. To quote Hillary Clinton during the Benghazi hearings: “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

I listened to the Benghazi hearings. When I heard her infamous statement, I turned the television off, remembering how frightened I was during my husband’s Tour of Duty in Vietnam. If I were one of the family members, her cold, uncalculated statement meant a lot. Lives were lost. Had the USA reacted, those words, “What difference, at this point, does it make?” were some of the most profound words spoken. How would Hillary Clinton feel IF those words or a similar story affected her daughter? http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/09/11/what-benghazi-attack-taught-me-about-hillary-clinton.html

After this discovery, additional lies and deceptions continued, especially how Hillary did not follow through with keeping her confidential e-mails ‘confidential.’ I will assume those of us who do live and vote in America, know about these stories. There are just too many to discuss here in this post. Hillary Clinton would not take responsibility for her actions, and that is why I did not think she is strong enough to admit her mistakes, or to serve our country as the next President Elect.

“Well, what about Trump?” You are asking.

I am aware of those accusations happening over 20 or 30 years ago. My question to all of those women who came forward is this – “Why has it taken you so long to come forward?” Isn’t it strange how those accusations occurred during the election debates? Because I respect myself, if any man said those words to me, it would not take me 20 – 30 years to come forward.

I was so tempted to write in a candidate for President. Mickey Mouse was sounding better every day.

Undoubtedly, the Election of 2016 was one of the dirtiest smear campaigns ever. It is so sad that this election happened during the time when a woman candidate attempted to make history and break the ‘glass ceiling.’ Now, with the election over I read disgusting stories and that is why I’ve decided to be quiet on Facebook for a while.

The media still reports about the protests after the Election 2016. There are over 28,000,400 sites on the Internet discussing the election. If you would like to read them, simply type ‘protests after the election 2016’ on Google. Yes, the news media is having a field day reporting the information. Now, I must ask, just how true are these sites?

The anger is horrifying. Yesterday, while reading Facebook, I read comments from someone [I shall not reveal the name – after all, “What difference at this point does it make?”] The words were chilling. Yes, the person was a ‘friend’ on Facebook, not anymore. I’ve unfriended this person, and earlier, when I checked the site, the person’s name is not listed with Facebook now. I do not know why; however, it might be related to the post listing about children will get raped now with Donald Trump as president(???) and the hatred this person felt after the election. There were so many of these types of posts it made me ashamed to be on Facebook, and to be active on social media sites.

This is America. We are proud of our country, and we are grateful and protective of our children. It is my hope and prayer that Facebook and other social media sites will get their act together to screen some of the posts listed by members who join Facebook. Hatred does not need additional feeding sites on social media sites. We can step out in America to see hatred everywhere. America was not based on hatred, although now, it appears that hatred is the fuel these people have to promote more bigotry, racism and hatred.

Some might argue – if this is done it is censorship. I think not. Facebook is a social media site. Just because you might read destructive things on this site does not mean the posts are true. They are opinions. While I do not know for certain, I imagine some of the listings on Facebook and other social media sites could be to seduce someone to click on to read, only to have a hacker inside the computer. I want to protect myself and my computer, and that is why for a while, I might jump on to Facebook, but the only way you will see my actions are when I post on my blog. For me, I am taking a sabbatical from social media…to rest…regroup, and recognize I need to find inspiration and motivation to write again!

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When and If Hurricane Matthew Comes to the Lowcountry…


Dearest Readers:
Within 24-36 hours, we, in the low country, will know what our chance of meeting Hurricane Matthew is. Here’s what I predict. As most of you know, Charleston, SC is the ‘number one city in the world.’ No doubt, a Chamber of Commerce statement. Yes, it is a beautiful city. Antiquated!!! And I’m not certain IF the city has decided to get with the program and join the 21-first century!
If the hurricane is predicted to hit our coast, I imagine a ‘mandatory evacuation’ will finally be whispered. Remember — we have ’42 families moving into the low country daily.’ Well…we’ve had growth. Amazing, nightmarish growth…New construction is built almost everywhere – however, only roads leading into the subdivisions are made. Our dignitaries cannot make decisions about building additional roads. Their comments are “No money. And If we built new roads, where would we put them? Good question. Excellent observation…but why can’t they make a decision about I-526, or additional roads? Demolishing trees certainly isn’t hard since they completely destroy most of the trees in every new subdivision now. When I moved to Charleston, I was impressed how trees were saved. Not anymore!
If we use Highway 41 to evacuate — we will be parked right on the road when Matthew arrives. I’ve had that happen before in 1999. During that ‘mandatory evacuation’ we moved 57 miles in nine hours! Can you imagine holding your bladder for nine hours? I saw men walking into the woods of Highway 41. I wasn’t about to do that! And, I doubt if men could walk into the woods now – due to the area now filled with new subdivisions, shopping, and other suburban developments. Incidentally, I should mention when my husband was released from work to evacuate – so was every employee in Charleston. I suppose you’ve never read about these nightmares in infamous Charleston, SC — have you? Yes, a beautiful city – unable to handle the traffic hurricanes create when we are finally told ‘this is a mandatory evacuation.’ Yeah. Right. Charleston, what orbit are you on? Face reality! Mandatory evacuation is not possible!
If we have a ‘mandatory evacuation,’ we will not join that parking lot! We will gather our things. Our friends – the best four-legged kind – and we will stay in the hallway of our home. Reportedly, if it hits the coast of the low country, it will be only a category 2 storm. We’ve been here at home for those before. Remember last October?  We had the ‘hundred-year-storm,’ as the dignitaries called it.
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View of the Charleston Harbor and Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge
In reality, it was a tropical storm/mini-hurricane.’ Not my definition of it, but one of the appraisers when I filed a claim and was told “You are not covered!”
Yes, I cancelled that policy and all the policies I had with that insurance company. Never again…Lesson Learned – the expensive way!
So, I am here to let you know – IF Hurricane Matthew comes to town in the low country, we will remain here in our home. Yes. The power will probably be cut off, just like Hurricane Hugo. I will go to the grocery store to get a few non-perishable items we can eat, along with our precious family friends, and we will be fine.
I’m praying my home will be fine. It took us four months to get our beautiful roof replaced in February, 2016. Interior construction from the damage we had during that storm wasn’t completed until May 28, 2016. On May 31, Phil had reverse shoulder replacement – which created another storm I never want to experience again. A physical, emotional roller coaster ride for both of us.
I am staying tuned in to the Weather Channel, and local weather reports, praying this storm will die down for our world. I’m beginning to hate hurricanes. The lightning. Winds. Rain…RAIN…AND MORE RAIN…create only one thing – a time to appreciate life and be thankful for the little things in life.
Hurricane Matthew we do not want you to be another traveling companion or tourist in the low country. Why don’t you move out to sea and disappear! You are not welcome here!
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Cypress Gardens Still Closed Due to The ‘Hundred Year Storm.’

My Thoughts About The New Weight Watchers…


My thoughts regarding “Oprah” and the changes are simply this: Those of us who are overweight have had difficulty with belief in ourselves…We have the tendency to cater to ourselves via comfort foods, sweets…temptations…etc…when we should be caring about ourselves. Instead of negative thoughts and “I’m done with Weight Watchers” posts, what we should do is say this — “We are good…We are worthy…We are strong…and together…We Can Do This!” I have the tendency for depression, and when I am depressed, nothing will stop me from eating bad things. Thru Weight Watchers, I’ve seen changes — in myself…my faith…my belief…I am strong…I’ve made loyal friends with several members at our meetings. I am blessed! Maybe I am beautiful…Maybe I truly believe in ME — now! Thank you, Weight Watchers. I believe change is good. Without change, we cannot grow. If we do not grow, we do not find success, happiness and belief in ourselves. Just my two cents worth for today! BELIEVE!!!

I’ve been a member of Weight Watchers since 2011. Four years. During my four year journey, I’ve seen changes. I am one who believes in life we ALWAYS have changes. Weight Watchers has been around for 50 years now, through many changes – everyone of these changes is for the better! I’m one of the rare people who truly believe life is all about change. Without ‘change’ we cannot grow. If we do not grow, we are not successful. So, you ask — what is the BIG DEAL with the changes at Weight Watchers.

Honestly, I cannot answer those questions. My meeting is on Thursday of every week. It is my “Weight Watchers” day. I plan my schedules around this day. No doctor’s appointments…meetings, etc. on this date. After our meeting three of us go out to lunch – to do what most great friends do together — to talk…to get to know one another…to build friendships! To support!

At the moment, people who are members of Weight Watchers are FREAKING out! On social media sites, they are asking, “what are the changes?” And — “why are they changing things?”

I suppose they want someone to tell them ahead of time about the changes. News Flash – people — Weight Watchers, their leaders and those who work for Weight Watchers are FABULOUS about keeping secrets!

No, Weight Watchers is not a secret society. They are there to help us; nevertheless, there are many changes rolling out this week. ALL of these CHANGES are to build a better Weight Watchers for all of us to succeed. They DO want US TO SUCCEED! By now, you’ve probably heard millions of complaints about the new plan…”It isn’t working…I can’t log in…” And — “Why did they change something that isn’t broken?”

Correct me IF I’m mistaken, but Weight Watchers is interested in the self-worth of a person…not only is it a corporation established to help those who are struggling to lose weight…Weight Watchers is helping us to BELIEVE IN OURSELVES!

We’ve had discussions about Belief. Self Discovery…and How We Can Break the Plateaus. Activity…Mind Over Matter…How to Cope With The Holidays and Social Events…and so on. All of these weekly discussions are building us to truly find the person we want to be. None of this is related to Oprah Winfrey. These “changes” were in the works earlier this year, not when Oprah signed on.

Speaking only for myself, Weight Watchers has changed my life for the better. Yes, I am eating healthier. I am more active – able to walk the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge…able to dance and to sing. I have found a new and better person previously locked away, deep inside my soul. In March, 2011, Jennifer Hudson was the spokesperson. I was struggling to lose more weight, and I kept telling myself — “One day, I plan to walk that bridge.” For those of you who do not know, that bridge [Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge] opened in July 2005. Just WHEN would I walk it?

In 2011, my life changed for the better, and I feel confident that the New and Improved Weight Watchers 2016 will lead the way for me to embrace the change and get going with my weight loss. After all, I have goals (secret goals) I will not share – yet. Hopefully soon, I might share a few of those goals on my site.

Today, I will go on record to say – Hello, 2016 — it is ready, and it is time for me to move on with my writing and my story, “Chattahoochee Child,” and it is time for me to get moving more with Weight Watchers. Many members are throwing their hands in the air, as if to say — “I’m done.” The question they should answer is this — as a member of Weight Watchers — online, or a weekly member who attends meetings — are you really ready to give up on yourself? Think about it. Change is good. I embrace it!

 

 

 

19 Kids, and Counting…The Disgraceful Duggars!


Dearest Readers:

I confess…I WAS a recent semi-fan of the TLC program, 19 KIDS, AND COUNTING… Surfing on the TV one night, I discovered the program, 19 KIDS, AND COUNTING, so I watched it. I noticed how all of the girls wore long skirts with slightly below-the-knee hemlines. When I watched one of the programs where they went to the Georgia Aquarium, and they swam in Lake Lanier, GA, I was curious IF Mom and Pop Duggar would permit the girls to wear swimsuits or shorts. They did not.

Why I Started Watching 19 KIDS AND COUNTING

This program brought back my childhood, strict with all of the rules we had to live with. Attending church, which I enjoyed until I heard the ‘speaking in tongues’ ceremonies. I sang in the church choir. I practiced the golden rule; nevertheless, I still chose to wear my shorts – against my fundamentalist grandfather’s approval. Watching 19 KIDS AND COUNTING. I was curious IF any of these 19 children EVER disobeyed their parents. On the episodes I watched, never did I hear any child rebel, disobey, or mutter anything their parents would not approve. I realized, with cameras rolling, they obviously edited anything where the children did not follow the ‘holier than thou’ mentality of their parents.

This isn’t normal, I thought. Children on this program never dispute, shout, or fight with their siblings. Just what is wrong here? Obviously, I was on to something.

Many of the episodes of 19 KIDS AND COUNTING brought back memories to me. Memories of my childhood and how I dressed. As a little girl, my grandparents did not ‘approve’ when I wore shorts. Young girls were never to cut their hair, since it was a sign of glory and holiness, according to my grandfather…and young girls were NEVER to show their skin. He wanted us dressed in high necklines, preferably in white. Virginal and pure. At 13, when I had cleavage, I disgraced them by wearing a V-neck T-shirt and shorts. Disgraceful! I must say, I did not wear the Daisy Duke shorts and when I bent over, you could see absolutely nothing with the exception of tanned, firm, athletic legs. At 15, I wore shorts and T-shirts and my grandfather alluded that I was ‘cheap…’ Actually, he described me as a w—-. When I confronted him with ‘how can a virgin be a wh—;’ he refused to speak with me.

Attending high school, I wore clothes that revealed – NOTHING! Necklines were high, usually turtle neck. If I wore a blouse, it was buttoned all the way. No skin revealed. Skirts were long and cumbersome to wear. When I committed the most cardinal of sins by wearing makeup, my grandfather gave me a new name. The Scarlett Woman. The Tramp…and of course again – The Wh—! I continued wearing makeup! After all, if the pastor’s wife at the church could wear makeup, why couldn’t I?

Child Molestation Charges

Yesterday, May 22, 2015, the news was hot with a topic about 19 KIDS AND COUNTING. Apparently, Josh Duggar committed a dreadful sin as a 14-year-old – seems he molested five girls. http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/21/us/josh-duggar-child-molestation-allegations/index.html
When I read these reports, I was flabbergasted, to say the least. Now, Josh Duggar has apologized and he has resigned his impressive, political position in Washington D.C. with the Family Research Council. Reportedly, his wife, Anna, knew of his ‘sins’ before she married him and she was impressed that he confessed these behaviors before their marriage.

Josh and Anna have three children now. The oldest is a girl, Mackynzie. Two boys – Michael and Marcus and she is pregnant with their fourth child – a girl. Sometimes I cannot help being curious as to why this family reproduces like rabbits. What about the quality of time with children?

The reports are endless about the Duggar Family. I will not elaborate more, but I would suggest – IF you read these Internet postings, keep in mind, many are simply chat areas.

Duggar Disgrace

Yes, the recent news is a disgrace, and what makes it even more disgraceful is the fact that Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar chose to keep the molestation quiet. Their program, 19 Kids, and Counting did not air until 2008 after the molestation charges were swept under the Duggar Family rug. Disgraceful. Absolutely disgraceful!

I Was a Victim of Child Molestation

As a young girl and teenager, I was a victim of child molestation. One of my uncles touched me. We were riding in his delivery truck. He chose to turn onto a dirt road. No houses were around. He suggested we should ‘pick blackberries.’ I was 15-years-old at the time. Yes, I was wearing a T-shirt and shorts. Scandalous, aren’t I! I was 100% naïve. Trusting, especially of my elders.

My uncle moved closer to me – touching my legs, his hands probing and searching, rushing towards my chest. I grabbed his hands, pushing him away. I reached for the door handle, got the door open and jumped outside. I ran as fast as I could. On that date, I failed to bring my inhaler, so the dust on the dirt road reacted with my asthma and I had difficulty breathing. Wheezing and coughing, I stopped, hearing my uncle’s delivery truck moving close to me. I ran the other way. Laughing, he pulled ahead of me, demanding that I get in the truck.
I screamed. No one heard me.

My uncle forced me inside the truck. I slapped his face – HARD. I screamed and I cried.
Hysterical and horrified that I would be raped, my uncle said he would drive me home.

“I don’t believe you. All you want to do is to touch me. I want to go home.”
I opened the door again. Still wheezing, I walked as fast as I could. My uncle said he would take me home.
“I can walk.”

“We are at least 10 miles away and you’re going to walk? That’s a long way.”

“I walk home from school – a 10-mile journey. I can walk home.”

My uncle was shaking. I suppose he was fearful I would tell someone what he did. In my childhood I knew no one would listen or care.

“If you tell any body I touched you, no one will believe you. I’m a deacon in the church. Who’d believe you? You’re a teenager. You’re wearing shorts. You tempted me by how pretty you are. I’m a deacon, “ he repeated. “ You’ve got beautiful legs I wanted to touch…”

Recognizing he was afraid, along with the fact that absolutely no one in my family would believe me, I slid into the passenger seat of the truck.

“If you move one hand off of that steering wheel, I will get out and I will tell somebody,” I said. “You are not raping me or touching me again.”

Later, after arriving home, I rushed to take a shower. Scrubbing my body hard with the hottest water we had, I cried in the shower. As hard as I scrubbed, I could not get the feeling of his probing hands off of my body.

Years later, when my uncle died, my mother phoned me. “You need to come home,” she said. “Your uncle just died.”

Inhaling and exhaling, I bit my lip, and then I spoke, more of an enraged shout than my normal voice.
“May he rot in Hell,” I said, tears stinging my face, as I relived his probing hands.

My mother was annoyed. “Why do you feel that way about him?”

“Because the bastard tried to rape me!”

Our discussion continued while she confessed that he had been charged with rape twice, but never convicted. She wasn’t surprised by my confessions.

Now that I read the reports about Josh Duggar, I feel compassion for him – just a bit. Apparently, he received a bit of ‘help’ when his parents sent him away to a ‘retreat, to work on construction jobs.’ [???]
I am hopeful he did make amends and ask God for His forgiveness; nevertheless, reportedly there are five young girls who will never forget his probing hands touching their bodies in private places. Unforgiveable!
Yes, I am hopeful the five girls who have not been revealed were able to move forward after these events. Child molestation is something a victim never forgets. After my experience, I prayed, but never confessed what happened to anyone within my family. Never did I speak to my uncle again, and when I saw him in church, I turned away, never giving him a chance to speak to me. As for blackberries – for me – they are truly the ‘forbidden fruit.’

For the Duggar Family, I pray that the entire family learned a valuable lesson from this experience, and I pray that they will finally realize that no family is perfect; nevertheless, I suppose I was a bit wiser just by watching them. I recognized how hypocritical they are. Jim Bob always comes across as Mr. Lovey Dovey, especially with his wife, Michelle; however, if you watched her closely, you recognized she was a bit reserved. Sometimes pulling her head away when he kissed her in front of the children, after preaching to all of them that the girls must ‘court with a purpose.’ A courtship that leads to engagement and then – marriage. No kisses and only side hugs – until marriage. In one of the last episodes I watched, Jim Bob confesses that he and Michelle kissed LOTS before marriage??? Hypocrites’!

I hope and pray the five girls involved with the incidents with Josh Duggar are able to move forward like I did. Never did I share the child molestation incident with anyone, with the exception of my husband in 1982. On that night, my husband was able to understand exactly why and how I responded to certain touches. After therapy, I am happy to say, I no longer fear probing hands. Yes, as my father taught me, I was able to move forward with life, and not look back.

I hope the five girls involved with this Duggar Disgrace will be able to do the same. As for Josh Duggar, I hope he and his immediate family will remain close, and I pray he does not repeat his previous history with his children.

Will I continue to watch a reality show? I doubt it. After all, those reality shows are edited, revealing only the good times, — not the reality of bad times. At least the Duggars were not bleeped like a lot of those idiotic reality shows! I pray Jim Bob, Josh and Michelle are praying for forgiveness, and I pray the five girls will learn that not all men are monsters on the prowl. Shame on you, 19 Kids and Counting! You are a disgrace to religious families! You allowed this dirt to be swept under the rug and remain there while you pretended to be a close, almost perfect family. Shame on you, TLC! Shame On You…19 Kids and Counting!

Sears vs. Black Friday – A Comedy of Errors


Dearest Readers:

Yesterday was Black Friday, normally a day I will shop for Christmas gifts in the afternoon. Never do I fight the early lines, simply because years ago, when I worked in the retail industry, I saw people losing their dignity and integrity over an item on sale. Originally on Black Friday, I do shop at Kohl’s, or other places where sales are really a bargain; however, this year, it is unfortunate that Sears repair, or I should say, Sears Blue Service Crew dictated my Black Friday.

Allow me to explain. If you read my blog on a regular basis, you’ve probably read my recent post, https://barbieperkinscooper.wordpress.com/2014/11/22/definitely-not-a-friday-reflection-sears-kenmore-and-here-we-go-again/

This morning, I feel I must share the ‘latest’ about our issues with Sears…the Sears Blue Service Crew program…and customer service with the Sears toll-free number. To say I am disappointed is an understatement. Here’s the scenario from yesterday:

Our scheduled appointment for the ‘repair of my Kenmore front loader washer was scheduled between the hours of 3 – 7:00 pm yesterday, November 28, 2014 — Black Friday. All day long I was fearful to go shopping because there was a possibility the service tech would arrive on time, or earlier. He arrived about 5:15 pm. Upon arrival, we noticed only ONE technician, not the required two to repair the machine. The unit is a stacked unit. The washer is the bottom unit. To repair it, the entire unit must be disassembled so the washer can be repaired.

‘How do you know that?’ Yes, I heard you mumble that question, and the answer is simple. I’ve been down this road with Sears before, on June 26, 2014 the washer broke – when the technician arrived he determined it was the computer board. I should mention it took over two weeks, if not longer, to get a technician to arrive to check the unit. He determined it did need a computer board, since all electronics are computer generated now and he would order the part. It would take seven to ten days to get the part and it would be sent to our home. He scheduled the tentative repair for July 11 — PROVIDED the part arrived beforehand. July 11, the repair was completed. While the technician was here, he mentioned to my husband that this washer has had lots of problems with it, and we might consider replacing the machine. Little did I know that he was suggesting that our machine needed to be replaced at Sears expense since we had the ‘extended warranty.’ All I heard was the suggestion that we needed to replace the machine…meaning we needed to BUY another washer. I should mention I was just a bit annoyed with Sears at the time since the washer is only four-years-old!

I did make enough noise with the Sears Blue Service Crew online and one of the department heads attempted to reach out to the service department to get the service changed to an earlier date. Reportedly, we were placed on the list of cancellations — in the event someone cancelled an appointment. Nevertheless, from June 26 – July 11, I did not have access to my washer and went to the laundromat several times. No doubt today I will return to that laundromat. Supposedly, Sears has me on the laundry vending list, or whatever they call it, and I will have to let them know I need compensation at $25.00 weekly for the lack of my washer. When this incident happened in July, I received a check for $75.00. Now, history is repeating itself – so I still say, Hello Sears…HERE WE GO AGAIN!

What is so annoying with Sears and the toll-free number you must phone for service is the customer is placed on hold repeatedly. While on hold, the customer waits…and WAITS…AND WAITS. If on hold for a bit of time, your call is transferred to another customer service agent…and then — YOU — the customer — must share your information over…and over…and over AGAIN! Of course, by this time even the Pope would be a bit annoyed!

When the repair was scheduled for Black Friday — the EARLIEST appointment we could get — my phone conversation was transferred to THREE different people. I will admit, I started the conversation nice and diplomatic…by the third person conversation, my patience was thin!

Bryan, the first customer service agent mentioned that I might consider ‘replacing the machine…since I’ve had so many issues with it and it was an ‘old’ machine.’ I reminded him it was only four-years-old. Again, he suggested replacement since I had the extended warranty and it would replace the machine! Based on the history with this four-year-old, undependable Kenmore washer, I might consider replacement.

Bryan transferred me to another department. After holding the line, I spoke with three additional departments. I mentioned I needed to inquire about replacement for this machine since it was unreliable and ‘four-years-old’ with a history of breaking down. Again, I was placed on HOLD!

Paula was the next agent to service me, telling me that the technician would need to come to the house and determine what was wrong with this machine. I inhaled…exhaled and said, the computer board is out — AGAIN! The machine is doing the same thing it did in July. No power. Nothing!!!

She listened, told me she understood the frustration, but this was the procedure. She could not order the computer board until the technician determined it was indeed the computer board! I suggested a replacement, she mentioned that ‘she could not do this. All resources have been used.’

Whatever that means!

We were trapped in a debate going no where. She did mention that according to the guidelines of the extended warranty, I would need three more appointments to determine this machine had a history of needing repair and would need to be replaced. Yes, you read this correctly, to get a replacement, I would need three more incidents –within a 30-day time frame!

RIDICULOUS!

Tuesday afternoon while away from the house, I received an e-mail about a package delivered from UPS. Arriving home, I got the package — from the parts and service dept., College Park, GA. Opening the package I found parts — not a computer board — but something that resembles the front panel of my Kenmore washer — ??? The question is WHO ordered this part? Odds are — it is the wrong part!

Yesterday when Kevin, the Sears Blue Crew Service Technician arrived, I showed him this box. He responded that since the unit was a ‘stackable unit’ he could do nothing since the repair needed two techs to do the repair. He made a phone call to another tech. No answer! Truly my Black Friday was a wasted day! Nothing was done. No service. No repair. Nothing! Never did he check the machine!

Before he left, Kevin suggested I needed to phone the Sears Blue Service Crew hotline. He booked ‘the earliest available date to repair the unit — December 11, 2014! He suggested asking about a replacement and he said, if they do not assist you, just hang up and call back! Reluctantly, I agree to this date — what choice did I have? This is the way Sears schedules appointments. On December 11, my washer will be broken for 21 days — THREE WEEKS!

I phoned the Sears Blue Service Crew hotline, speaking with Laura. Now, this is where this comedy of horrors really gets interesting!

Laura was kind. Compassionate. I was kind. Frustrated, but still patient and kind. Laura was the first agent I spoke to that shared that a ‘case number for customer solutions was assigned.’ That was news to me! No one even mentioned a case number of customer solutions previously. She placed me on hold – what I call as voice jail. I listened to the music and waited…and waited…to see if Laura could establish a way to get this machine replaced.

After waiting a bit of time, you’ll never guess what happened! Yes, the phone is transferred back to the hotline. Now, I am speaking with Edna. She wants to inquire about my call. Reluctantly, I start the entire story over again…and then I ask Edna if I could speak with Laura. Oops. She doesn’t know who Laura is! No surprise there!

Was I speaking to a ghost previously?

And so, here I go again — sharing all of the incidents. Edna tells me I sound frustrated. “Duh. Wouldn’t you be too?” I ask her. Edna proceeds to lecture me. She also mentioned I should’ve requested two techs since I have a stackable unit. Really? I should mention that Sears has all of those records since I purchased the washer and dryer as a stackable unit — and Sears is the party that stacked it in the beginning upon delivery! Edna could not determine if the scheduled appointment on December 11 was scheduled since it wasn’t on the computer. By now, I am about to explode, so — I hang up.

I do not know what or how this comedy of errors will end, but I do know I have contacted searshomeservices.com and I plan to post this blog on their site too. I’m hopeful that this comedy of horrors and comedy of errors will end on a positive note. Personally, I am sick of Sears. Once I had total confidence in Sears. After all, Sears was the only place my grandfather would purchase his tools. He reminded me “Craftsmen tools are the best and Sears takes care of their customers.”

My grandfather would never believe the incidents I have tolerated at Sears Home Services.

Be advised — my growing number of readers — I will keep you abreast about what happens. Hopefully, I’ll have clean clothes soon!

Thank you Sears for making my Black Friday a nightmare. A comedy of horrors and a comedy of errors!

Sears Continues To Call — Renewal of Warranty???


Dearest Readers:

Those of you who read my posts on a regular basis will recall the saga of my Sears issues…remember the issues I had with getting my washing machine repaired. It took over three weeks — almost two weeks JUST to get a technician out to check it to determine I needed a computer board….and then, it took over one week to get the part sent to us for the repair. What a joyous three weeks that was!

Moving on…Sears phoned me moments ago. This is at least the third time someone has called to remind me I need to purchase a new warranty for my refrigerator.

DUH!?! I asked the kind telemarketer on the phone what type of IDIOT would I be to purchase a new warranty when it takes Sears over three weeks to repair something? My Julia Sugarbaker demeanor kicked in… I reminded her that IF my refrigerator died, I would probably be told it will be ‘three weeks before we can schedule a technician to check your appliance…– due to the holidays????” That seems to be the apparently scripted response when I call the toll-free number to schedule repairs. I’ve had this history with Sears from the beginning – I’m thinking it could be about two years ago when I first used the Sears appliance repair center.

I thanked the kind lady for calling but I told her I would be a complete and total idiot to agree to buy another warranty from Sears.

Can’t help being curious WHEN they will phone me again.

“Yes…this is Julia Sugarbaker styled “Barbie” and I am so not interested in any warranties from Sears. I’ll take my chances. Besides, I can’t help being a bit curious — IF it takes three weeks to get service on a washing machine, TWICE — just HOW long would it take to get service for a refrigerator. I imagine the entire fridge would smell oh so delightful by the time they arrived. Now I ask you, Sears — why would I be so stupid as to spend my hard-earned money to waste it on Sears Warranties!”

To quote Julia Sugarbaker — I DON’T THINK SO!

Domestic Violence in South Carolina…Will It EVER END???


Dearest Readers:

Yesterday, I posted a story related to the book I am working on: “Chattahoochee Child.” The post I published yesterday was written months ago, revised a bit yesterday and published. I suppose the articles I am reading lately, a series from the Post and Courier newspaper titled, “Till Death Do Us Part,” http://www.postandcourier.com/tilldeath/ has really hit home with me. Why? Simple. My mother was a victim, along with my father. For years, I watched both of them brutalizing each other…sometimes with their fists, slaps, and most especially, with their toxic tongues. As the second born child, I stood up to them…unafraid of another slap. I said to myself, “So what if Mommy or Daddy slaps me…it isn’t the first time.”

Yes, it is true….I grew up in a household where slaps, angry words, and volatile tempers ruled the nest. Instead of praise, we learned at an early age that violence makes a statement. For me, the violence left me cold and alone. There were many times I hovered inside my closet. I covered myself with clothing so no one could find me. When thunder roared from the heavens, I screamed. When lightning flashed, I curled my body tightly into a fetal position, comforting myself because I was so afraid. Never did I share my fears with anyone. After all, the domestic violence brewing inside our home was a ‘family matter.’ No one else wanted to get involved, and so, I remained in the closet. Alone. Afraid. Horrified, especially when I listened to the shouting voices of my mother and father.

When I started dating, I apologized to my boyfriends…if I was late…if I was too quiet…If I didn’t please the boyfriend. I suppose I had stars in my eyes, wanting to please everyone. I am happy to say, I no longer behave in such a manner. Years later, married for fourteen years, I learned to stand up for myself during a fight with my husband. After he used abusive language, calling me disrespectful names I shall not repeat, I turned towards him…tears dancing inside my eyes, I said, “If you really loved me, you would not disrespect me in such a way. I’m tired of you belittling me. Stop it now!”

Dumbfounded, my husband glared at me, then he did something totally out of character. He apologized?!?

I suppose our marriage took a turn for the better on that date, after I finally found the strength to stand tall and not take his verbal abuse any longer. For years, I was blind-sighted to his verbal abuse. After all, when a child grows up with criticism and abuse, that is the only behaviors she expects as an adult.

Today, our marriage is better…stronger…and when the fits of PTSD escape from my husband’s body language and lips, I find myself speaking a little softer…and much wiser, telling him he needs to apologize to me because I am a worthy, decent and special person. I deserve better. I surprise myself at times — by the courage I have now to stand up and become an advocate for domestic violence…domestic abuse…and verbal abuse. I am so proud that I chose to turn my back on domestic violence and child abuse and not repeat that vicious cycle.

If you are a victim of domestic abuse or verbal abuse, please — PLEASE find a way to escape. Read the articles on the website, http://www.postandcourier.com/tilldeath/, a series of seven articles worthy of your time. If you are dating someone who is cruel to you, contact – http://www.loveisrespect.org/is-this-abuse/dating-violence-statistics?gclid=CjwKEAjw4PCfBRCz966N9pvJ4GASJAAEdM_KXkD41t_tfyDkHDeVmXwIwmILULyyF6nBN0_atjBskhoCDFXw_wcB or call 1-866-331-9474, text – “loveis” to 22522.

For women, I found this site — http://www.whbw.org/education/the-stages-of-breaking-away/ — call 1-800-abuse95. Hopefully, if you are a victim, you will have family or friends to turn to. That isn’t always the case. As an advocate against domestic abuse of any type, there have been several times I came to the rescue of a victim. On one occasion, the abuser threatened to hit me, if I didn’t shut my mouth. I moved closer to him, daring him to hit me! Much to my surprise “Brutus” turned away, stopping the abuse. Later, this couple divorced.

I suppose these articles touched me in ways I never anticipated. Perhaps bringing back the memories of how I stood between my parents — serving as their referee from the age of five-years-old until I was fifteen. Yes, it is easier to lock those memories away, but I cannot. I have too much passion to do what I can to stop domestic violence…domestic abuse…or whatever titles the ‘good ole boys’ call it. I do not believe that a woman belongs in the home, or two steps behind a man, and I do not believe that a woman is a man’s property. I detest those types of comments and when I hear them — let’s just say — my Julia Sugarbaker charisma kicks in. Just the other evening someone said something demeaning about women and when I heard it — I stood my ground and let him have it! He called me a feminist. I replied, “Yes…thank you for the compliment. I am a feminist and I am proud to stand tall as a feminist. Any questions?”

Please, if you know someone who is dying inside from domestic violence…do not turn away. Encourage them to get help. If you live in South Carolina — well, let’s just say — our state is still behind the times…antiquated. Let us make some noise to get our legislators to awaken — to end domestic violence…Welcome to the State of South Carolina — Number One in Domestic Violence. My…ain’t we proud?!?

Please love yourself by remembering — to love — you must first love yourself!

1 Corinthians 13:4–8a
(New King James Version)
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.