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March 25, 2012

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As I Was Saying
By Opal Toney

OpalToney7-24.jpg (37075 bytes)Seasons...
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.


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

First day of spring...
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 from?
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.
Happy Spring.


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

Reflection 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 doesn’t crumble.
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.


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