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April 17
, 2011

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

“The wind is blowin'...”
Thank you for all who asked about Daughter #4. Judy is back home from the hospital, but she is making trips for examinations.
I’ve not been feeling very well, nothin’ much, but I’ll be glad when the wind quits blowin’ so hard.
When I go outside there goes my hat! My grandchildren like to be the ones who grabs it!
I hope it’s not one of my favorites, it might not look very good when they bring it back to me.
As I was saying, I don’t like the wind, maybe it will soon settle down.


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

Celebrating your differences...
It is hard to imagine in our very fast-paced world, that each of us has special gifts that are different from everybody else. This is why I celebrate the value of being different.
The world would be so much less successful, interesting, and joyful if we were all carbon copies of each other.
They say opposites attract like magnets. I think this is most likely true. I have found people who exhibit traits I do not hold, or have physical attributes differing from mine, or interests I have no knowledge of attractive.
When I was in school, those of us who were a bit different did not fit into the popular scene. As a part of dramatic studies and art, I found my own way to express myself. Our young people have extreme pressure coupled with drugs, alcohol and temptations not available in school to my generation or the ones preceding me, I feel great concern for our future generation. They have to navigate a very shark-infested world while still trying to make good grades, fit in with their peers and find their way in this maze of a life.
It is not all about the latest fashion statement, or the most expensive status vehicle, or living in the best of neighborhoods, but rather about realizing what special gifts you have to offer and being happy that you are not like everybody else. After all, I certainly do not want to be a follower as everybody jumps off a cliff. Do you?
I grew up working at a summer camp for challenged children. The heat did not bother me at this age, so I was up with the sun and stayed busy all day with special kids. They changed my life forever and altered my visual spectrum of beauty.
For a child spending a lifetime on leg braces, or sitting in a wheelchair, or fighting the battle of autism, Down’s Syndrome, or hundreds of mental and physical challenges, the world is even more difficult. But knowing these children at a young age myself gave me a very special insight into being different.
This weekend, Mabank celebrated with the Special Olympics, and what a wonderful time it was. I salute all the wonderful planners, volunteers, special kids and adults who did the best they could celebrating their strengths.
I was honored to offer my time to some of the most unique and gifted among us as a volunteer. There is nothing like watching a face light up with the reflection of a shiny new medal representing a job well done.


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

Table talk...
It was a defining moment. A group of women were enjoying munching and chatting. Naturally the subject evolved to cooking feats, failures and shortcuts to good dishes.
Two or three of these women, not me, are famous for specific dishes. Then came the pie topic. There were testimonies of what children can do to a slice of pie, eat everything but the crust. Eat the filling only. Slide off meringue. They don’t realize the delectable treat missed by not eating the whole thing. There are salads and casseroles at many dinners “to die for.”
One woman sitting near me this day makes a mean chocolate meringue pie. At church dinners, diners will get a slice of this pie along with the main meal, because no heavenly chocolate will be available long. Another cook makes angel-food cakes for individual’s birthdays or other special days. This is really a delivered treat.
Back we went to meringues, this time those inches thick. One cook present asked if one teaspoon of sugar should be added to the froth for each egg white. She looked my way. I said I didn’t know because I used Splenda. I added my expertise of adding a pinch of baking power with cream of tartar for a fluffier meringue. The serious cook asked me another question. “Did I measure the artificial sugar?” I smiled and grimaced simultaneously, using my hands to indicate shaking some unmeasured Splenda into the mix. That produced some laughter, but this was what my family has always accused me of when a failure at the table came through. “You didn’t measure anything, did you?” one would inevitably ask.
Then comes the retelling of one of my miscues of years ago. One son and his family were present on a potluck Sunday at our church. For some reason, this grown child went to the dessert table and chose one of the three offerings I had brought.
The night before, I added another food item to take the next day as many guests might be present. At the last, I was to pour milk into the batter but grabbed the wrong pitcher and used unsweetened tea.
After baking this concoction, I knew I had a mess. The next morning, before taking it, I poured inches of unfrozen whip all over the top.
The meal was wonderful. Then this son returned to the dessert table and came back with a slice of MY last-minute dish.
As son sat down, he had already taken a bite. He looked at me saying he couldn’t believe anyone would bring such a mess out in public.
Then he looked at my face, and almost screamed, “Mama, you did it!”
Never will I live this down. And why did he choose it when it didn’t look too delectable? On purpose?
I still go to potluck dinners. Dad usually has a hit with breakfast burritos or fried fish. Last Sunday, I had a wire cupcake tree and made muffins for each holder with spring-colored cupcake papers holding each. Only two were eaten. They were dry but had really good stuff inside. Much food is getting unreasonably high, but I think I’ll bake half and half. This means buy something already made and add a personal touch. Risky, but not a dead giveaway.
As I’ve written before, I would tell my family on the way to reunions to all get a bite of what I brought (they would recognize it) and I wouldn’t be too ashamed to get my dishes after the event. “And miss a chance to eat all those good dishes from Granny, Cookie, Dot and Dink?” This came from my husband, who does most all of the cooking around here now. I am not ashamed. He can cook all he wants. And the day he cleans up afterward will be another defining moment.



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