|As I Was Saying
By Opal Toney
Well, I’m looking forward for spring, but when I woke up this morning and
opened the door to go feed the cats and give Son #2’s dog food, whose name
is “Bounce a Little,” but it takes quite a lot to feed him. I have to watch,
or the cats wouldn’t get a bite!
I enjoy fall and winter when Santa comes, but spring is my favorite.
The Last Word: I enjoy them all! – O.T.
View From Here
By Katherine Veno
First day of
We all awoke to claps of thunder and pouring rain on the first day of Spring
this year. Quite a contrast to the terrible drought we have experienced. I
suppose the flowers will be gorgeous if they do not drown. Just as in all
aspects of life, everything seems to come all at one time. I am not
complaining, I love rainy nights.
Spring cleaning again? I thought I just did this. But on every home
improvement television show, and on every magazine cover there is an article
to help de-junk your house or un-clutter your life.
It does not matter where you live, things pile up. We are creatures of
stuff, and it starts to mound up everywhere. If we have a big house we can
store more junk and not really see it. But wait till you downsize. Then you
see the real problem face to face, or I should say, face to clutter.
My mother used to tell me “when in doubt, throw it out.” It seemed to work
for her. By the time her life ended she had pretty much given away every
material item she had acquired. All that remained of any value was her
wedding ring, although she had been widowed 21 years. All other diamonds and
gold had long been given either to me, or friends, or sold. She would tell
me to wear fake stuff so I would not get hit in the head. When CZ’s came out
- she traded in all her cocktail rings and earrings for CZ’s. I told her the
thief could not tell. So she said, “well I will dress in a manner to not
stand out, and I won’t wear any jewelry”. I told her this sounded like not
much fun at all.
We all have things that are just lying about and taking up space. Clothes,
toys, knickknacks and shoes we just can’t find a place for. My goal is to
consider each item and say to myself, “Is this something I cannot live
without?” If I can’t make up my mind I put it in the donation box. This
makes a small space for something else. It gets to a point where you can’t
find anything because there are just too many things.
But the task seems so daunting I never know where to start. I formulated a
plan that is somewhat working. I take on one space or room at a time. I even
take on one cabinet or shelf at a time. I try not to get distracted and I
work on that little spot until it looks refreshed and new. Only when I can
see some space on my bookcase, do I know my shelf work is done for that
spot. When my basket of summer sandals is reduced by at least half, I can
see what I want to wear. It is liberating!
My kitchen is difficult. I don’t have loads of storage space, so some of
those gadgets I never use need to go. I have too many utensils. I read
someplace to put all the kitchenware in a box then take an item out of the
box when you need it. All things that are left in the box, and were
obviously not needed, are candidates for the donation group. And don’t save
them for someday. If a month went by and you did not need the yellow plastic
spoon, you won’t.
There was a time when I bought something I kept the box it came in.
Technology moves too quickly now, and nobody is going to want my old
computer monitor or electronic gadgets. So banish the boxes and original
packaging. Wrap the old electronics in bubble wrap and drop them at the
local women’s shelter. Problem solved. Wow! Where did all that space come
But then I am sometimes sentimental. I have a box on a high shelf that I
need a friend to reach for me where I put greeting cards that mean something
to me. I don’t need my high school report cards, or my mother’s clothes. I
don’t need my father’s war memorabilia and all the old newspapers about
WWII. I kept them when my mother tried to toss them. I have only used them
once is a display at the Van Zandt County Fair. Sure I won a ribbon for the
collection, so I donated the entire thing to a real collector and went home
with the shiny blue award instead.
I worry about sudden death - my own in fact. I am concerned about leaving a
big mess of junk for somebody else to try to dispose of. So every single day
I try to get rid of at least one thing that I have no use for anymore.
Sometimes taking them to a donation spot is lots easier than a trash can. I
grew up being taught not to waste anything, so I can’t really just throw
something away that somebody else could use. If it is not chipped, broken,
ripped or soiled, it goes in the donation box. It helps if I know somebody
else will get joy from a warm coat I no longer wear. I am simplifying how I
live right now.
And I will not show mercy to those high heels that hurt my feet, or clothes
I have not worn in two years. I am still struggling with getting rid of my
“good china” from the 60s. I may need some help with that.
By Emily Gail Lundy
from the side
When is a woman ever old enough to quit the dieting game? At my age I read
it’s better to be padded rather than bony because of falls and illnesses.
But no one reveals how much padding one needs. I’m shrinking in stature as I
write this, but my weight is the same. I still recall the image of my
husband saying one day I’d be a pancake.
I’ve read every new attempt at losing weight to be healthy until my
confusion is overlapping like my body. For over ten years, I’ve eaten brown
bread, not white. All I have to show for it is a wheat belly or two. That 2
percent milk I insist on drinking made an expert say this was almost a joke
as the actual difference among the milk sold as a certain percent is quite
minimal. And I am one hefty milk drinker. My family always was and is. Today
I’ve read the miracle foods that drain fat from the body. This is quite
exciting but few of the food items listed are really good all together or
one at a time.
A real solution could be the disconnection of taste buds in the mouth. In
the afternoon, I don’t have just a sweet tooth, but every part of my
digestive section seems to cry out for something sugary. Diet sugary even,
but is it really as effective as it should be. So I like peanut butter. But
I dip it into artificial brown sugar and sometime those prickles of nuts,
praline and anything tasting good.
I see my refection from the side, always checking it before I go out. I
could weep, and that makes me hungry. If possible, I grab a jacket, but more
and more I see women my age not daring to cover any body view, maybe pushing
one of the stomachs forward a bit. Are they at that age I need to know
about? I’m tired.
Almost everything that can be fat free fills my pantry and refrigerator. I’m
drinking more water and notice I’ll drink it more often from one those
bottled portions we are not suppose to use over and over. My daughter up the
road is my main adversary other than my spouse, but this middle child has
her own technique without actually saying “fat.” She asked me if I should be
dropping pounds because of my age. How would I know? Some older women do
lose weight; some stay approximately the same in scale readouts but change
shape; others get bigger. Then the two of us, my kid and I, alike in many
ways except for overeating, discuss television commercials about weight
loss. We both decided against any kind of surgery. We’re leaning toward
noon-time liposuction. This summer is our target date.
We’ll drive up to see a place and its people, then find out the cost, the
pay-out-system advertised, the recovery time, and go from there. We’re both
excited and afraid. Our husbands are against this, but mine is my daughter’s
dad, giving her an edge on understanding. I want to lose stomach material.
She wants cosmetic withdrawal from her upper legs. She is not overweight
yet, but she has more below than above whereas I am well-proportioned in
fat. She would like some fat of mine in another place higher up, but I think
the cost will be for one donation each. Besides, I obviously have hormonal
and non-control problems. Unless my daughter is cooking a three-course
dinner late in the night for herself only, she tells the truth, living on
salads, smaller portions, etc.
I hope I haven’t passed the weight gene down to my children. One son and I
resemble each other in many ways. We weigh the same or did. I may be over
the limit which will send me to bed with a sack of something to eat that
Big D - we’re on our way to drop off some fat. Oh, I bet this is supposed to
be a secret. Well, surely, no one will come to us and ask. Surely.