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February 6, 2011

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OpalToney7-24.jpg (37075 bytes)As I Was Saying
By Opal Toney

Lookin' back...
This week’s column was pulled from the As I was Saying archives collection.
I’m sittin’ here by my window dreadin’ the winter weather that has made it’s appearance it seems.
I can’t imagine what is would be like livin’ up north.
But, I can remember one time when it came a big snow, and we kids had a big time!
But, we liked to have run Mama wild goin’ in and out, but other kids always gathered at our home.
She made everybody feel welcome. I still have folks tell me how good she was to them.
When we felt like we were freezin’ we would run inside for a while.
We knew there was a big blazin’ fire, and after all, we needed a little warmth every once in a while – and then out we would go again!
Daddy and Uncle Mack spent a lot of time workin’ hard gathering the wood and bringin’ it home.
They cut it in the fall and stacked it out back of the two homes, includin’ a huge pile of stove wood for the kitchen.
I remember part of my time was spent bringin’ in stove wood, and puttin’ it in a wooden box behind the big cook stove.
And, I also remember the big hot biscuits Mama made, especially for breakfast.
Our cows gave us milk. Boy! I remember wonderful whipped cream and “sure enough” butter. The hens gave us eggs and some of the younger chickens gave their life – so we could have fried chicken once in a while.
But, the rooster just strutted around and woke everybody up early in the morning. Like the one here does now.
I wonder what the younger folks would have to say if they attended a “hog killin’ day?” Neighbors gathered and it was a full day of work. Some of it I didn’t want to watch, but I ate plenty of the meat when it was cooked!
As I was saying, I dread winter, but the memories have helped a lot.

honeyandflag.jpg (61206 bytes)The View From Here
By Katherine Veno

We all have seven days...
Each of us the exact same amount of hours in the day. We all have the exact number of days in our week. The difference is made when individually we decide how to spend each day.
It is easy in the ice cold gray of winter to hit a slump. The cold prevents us from doing much outdoors, and the windows fog up with moisture. Coats are heavy and bulky and gloves handicap our hands. If we are in a ski resort, it is probably all beautiful, but if we are trapped in our office, our home, and the steps are icy and treacherous, we can get a bit depressed from all the deprivation.
Hitting the refrigerator or snack cupboard gives a temporary lift, but later it just adds pounds that will be hard to shed come summer. Calling a friend is always good, and remember to share something promising. Set your inner map to a new dream and discuss what you will do when the weather clears. This would work good on Sunday, when we have free minutes on our cell phones.
Then comes day two. If it is still gray, I close my eyes and picture the sun glistening on water. I remember that loves does not make the world go around. Love is what makes the ride worth it all. Reach out to somebody you know and extend your friendship. Hug someone and both of you will be glad you did.
Here comes the third day. Listen to your heart. It knows you the best. If conditions are okay and you can drive, take somebody else to the grocery store who can’t drive anymore. Stop by the library and check out a good book for them if they like to read. Don’t forget the post office. One hour of running errands for somebody who can’t is worth it all to them, and you will feel better as well. Joy sparkles even brighter in times of strife and trials.
On day four, stop and think about all you have done. Sure there are lots of successes, but more than likely there are disappointments, mistakes and sad choices. Remember they are behind you. There is not one second you can change about the past. Imagine that only success lies ahead of you. Work some magic in your life. Get rid of clutter in your closet and give away a smile.
Day five is a good day to evaluate your good works. How long has it been since you looked inward and liked what you saw? In one week we have ample opportunity to do something good every single day, and it takes no longer to think a good thought than to dwell on negatives. Feeling sorry for yourself? When I find myself feeling less than grateful, I pick myself up and offer a smile to somebody who obviously could use one, and volunteer a simple service to a friend or neighbor. Even taking out trash for a neighbor who does not need to brave the cold is a start.
Day six is the day I think positively. Positive thinking is never a waste of time. I visualize what I really want for my life and see it clearly. In order to achieve anything, there must be actual belief that it can be realized. Remember you were meant to be loved, and you will triumph. Anytime is a good time for a fresh start.
When day seven rolls around, I take a nap, and when I wake up, I look in the mirror. Sure it is not the face of my youth, but it is a good face, and I like myself. There is no reason not to give yourself another chance. In order to like anybody else, we must first realize our own worth. Remember who you are. You are someone special.
We all have the same seven days in our week. Each day is a gift. You must take the time to unwrap it and make the effort to change your life for the better. Nowadays, everybody feels like they need to fix something about themselves. They think they need a makeover inside and out, or maybe even a major overhaul.
But there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. In fact, you are better than perfect. You are real and you are uniquely you.


EmilyLundy4-2.jpg (36194 bytes)Escapades of Emily
By Emily Gail Lundy

Crowning glory...
It’s been called a woman’s crowning glory. Probably more women call it their crowning worry. Hair. Mop. Tresses. Tendrils. Unmanageable.
To many women, the main concern of the female exhibit is the hair on the head. Crossword puzzles even have a clue for hair – unruly do.
When we look at old pictures, especially school photos of long ago classmates or even ourselves, we often sigh at our hairstyles. Some females are to be envied for hair in place, a soft look, lovely curls.
Then there are pictures of girls who tried to have enviable hair, but a picture reveals the “do” is dry, hard to comb, a fighter for any look the girl under it might desire.
When I was age 3, some tell me my mother cried about my hair. With three bobby pins, she could roll three flat curls to make my hair lie closer to my head, more feminine. Most of her life, my mother’s hair had a soft curl, short, easily managed and dark, maybe a few waves across the top. In pictures of her and her friends in the 1930s, the hair sets are not laughable. These woman wore well-coiffured hair they had to set themselves, a slightly curled look or cap of curls close to the head.
In the 1950s, home permanents and beauty-shop permanents became popular. We straight-haired girls in the family could roll our hair every night or get one of the curly permanents that took about all the moisture with it. An image of broom straw won’t fade from my past.
Later, the working girls had weekly beauty appointments – what a lift. Then the teasing or back-combing of hair to give it volume. For a week, we tried to keep this style intact, then have it redone.
I tried every change that came out to improve what I didn’t have, that “crowning glory.” Sometimes my hair grew past my neck. I began frosting it with blonde over my dark blonde, but as I became older, a mother, and the recipient of surgeries, my hair turned darker, or had a certain tint to it. I swear a few times that tint was greenish, but usually reddish.
One friend kept her dark locks so bleached, almost white, that one day at her beauty shop while her locks were being washed, much of her hair came out.
This could have been the time of the wig or wiglet phase. Yes, I indulged. When I see pictures of me like this, I pretend it is not I.
Another friend had a bald spot in the top of her head, from her young days on. I heard she had surgery and never removed the wiglet. It might be true – her husband never saw her without makeup. Wow.
Finally, I came to a decision. It made no difference in better or worse. Just go with what you were born with and do the best you can.
Some women have hair growing forward, others’ strands lie backward. Go with the flow. Of course, I went with my natural forward look, had a bowl-shaped cut all around, a style that made me look bigger in the face, and hated to be seen in public.
Also, I was blessed with straight hair. After almost 60 years of trying all styles, I’m going straight. I began taking fish oil eggs in pill form for my dry eyes, and I think it made my hair better.
Also, we wash our hair too much in this country. With all the ads on television about hair, no wonder.
My point is, our hair can drive us crazy. We have to learn a way to live with it or be obsessed by it. Some of us are losing hair, maybe because we overtreat it. Many turn grey or white, which is lovely if all the hair will do this.
Married women have husbands who may notice their wives’ hair. All my man has ever said is not to have it too short in the back, thus letting my hair in back balance my double chins in front. Then one day he had his cut in a burr! I cried, but received freedom to dye mine – navy, I think. Anyway, there is always a cute hat to wear somewhere. I’m getting quite a collection.



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