|As I Was Saying
By Opal Toney
I’m feelin’ sicker, with a kidney stone, than I was when I had cancer,
I’m thinkin’. But, I’m still happy to be out and about.
This past week, my oldest grandson’s oldest son, Garrett, had his 15th
birthday and we all went to “the ranch” to eat cake. It got me to thinkin’
about when my oldest grandson was born, back when I was “doing” the Mabank
I celebrated being a brand new Grandma in the only way the Editor and pretty
much sole employee of the town newspaper could, by putting Toney on the
front page, of course!
I called the column “Extra Special,” because that’s the way all of us
Grandmas think of our grandbabies.
Then, I invited other proud Grandparents to brag a little, too, by bringing
in “extra special” photographs of the newest members of their families. And
boy, they sure did! I was soon flooded with baby pictures. I ran one picture
in the paper each week for a long time.
I’m often asked how many grandchildren I have, that I am always talkin’
about. My answer is, “I don’t know, I get mixed up!” Daughter #5 even made
me a chart.
But right now, my heart and prayers are with the newest “extra special”
great-grandbaby, Chloe. She is in the hospital sufferin’ with breathin’
difficulties. I had just been down to Daughter #1’s house to hold Chloe,
great-grandbaby #21, the day before. Sickness can come on fast with little
The other day, when I was out and about, I met a man at the doctor’s office.
He told me that he bought the paper to read my “story.” I figured he was
After I had been to the doctor, Daughter #3 suggested we go to the Tea Room
to see the new spring decor and maybe I could eat a bite of soup, since I
couldn’t eat before the X-rays were taken. Soon along came two lady friends
and the first thing out of their mouths after “Hello,” was how much they
enjoyed reading what I had to say!
A bunch of folks weren’t around to read the “older ones,” (my stories), but
I know, for a few of you “older ones,” (my friends), you’ve heard it all
before. So, maybe I’ll get back on the job! I do enjoy writing.
As I was saying, I’m still happy to be out and about, I just don’t do it as
The Last Word:
I may even mention something about the grand ole Mabank Banner. There are
not a lot of us left who used to read it.
View From Here
By Katherine Veno
home with good fortune, part 1...
I have always heard that positive energy attracts more positive things and
that negativity will get you zip. They call it feng shui. A few years ago it
was the “it” word in decorating. I never did understand what all the hoopla
was about, so I decided to look into it now that the fanfare has died down a
Basically, it is a theory that how you arrange your furniture, and what you
put in a room a certain angles will bring more prosperity, health, success,
love and help you lead a better life. That really sounds like a lot to do
for a big word or two.
Breaking it down to simple is my theory, so here goes. I love water, and so
do feng shui devotees. Give me a big bowl, an aquarium, a Beta fish bowl, a
fountain, and water puts me in a mellow mood.
In feng shui, water represents prosperity and forward momentum. Boost yours
by placing a fountain or bowl of water filled with flowers and candles near
the entrance to your home.
If you want to feel better you will feel more optimistic with citrus fruit.
Fruit is the symbol of success. Put out a bowl of lemons, limes or oranges,
and it looks pretty and attracts a brighter future.
Arranging items in sets of two throughout your home produces a calming
effect and brings you closer to people. If you want more money, running
water that bubbles like a brook will encourage cash to flow according to
feng shui experts.
While you are setting up your fountain put in rocks and pebbles. These
symbolize earth and keep us in tune with our environment.
Red is the color of fire and that revs up luck and happiness. You can use it
on an entire wall or as an accent. Red infuses space with chi, or good
energy. A red frame on a picture is a good accent.
Glass, crystals and shiny objects magnify light and circulate positive
energy, increasing motivation. Hang crystals near a window to double the
effect. Crystals behind a candle reflect light throughout the room.
Placing even one flower in a vase or jar will bring tranquility to your
surroundings and inspire you to make your dreams come true. Just looking at
flowers revs up motivation. A faux bouquet will give you a boost as well.
A home office. needs an active, vibrant energy of success, while a bedroom
will need a soft, sensual energy. You can achieve the desired energies by
following basic feng shui principles in your decorating efforts.
Feng shui can be used in decorating your house with the goal of creating a
loving, supportive, fun and happy home. Decorating tips used in feng shui
are slightly different than the traditional decorating, but once you start
using feng shui, a harmoniously decorated home is yours to enjoy!
Your first step in decorating your home with feng shui starts before the
actual decorating process.
The first feng shui requirement is to clear the old energy residues and take
away the clutter. Too many things and excess crowd out positive thoughts and
take away from our own desire to create harmony and peace.
Early in the morning when you see a newly opened flower in your garden, your
heart is filled with joy and happiness. A white lily touches your soul for
its serenity. A red rose, with its vibrant energy, elicits a feeling of love
and passion. Why are these feelings evoked? Because each flower reflects a
different quality of light, causing it to have a unique hue that affects you
in different ways. Feng shui uses this natural magic of colors to transform
Editor’s Note: Katherine Veno will continue exploring this topic in next
Sunday’s issue of The Monitor, May 1.
|Escapades of Emily
By Emily Gail Lundy
Antiques have not always been a hot point in my life. Most wives who married
in my era began collecting furniture as a necessity. We may have rented one
house or two with furniture, then slowly began getting what we wanted or
could afford, hoping it would last around 20 years. Of course, the more we
moved, the shorter the life of the prettier purchases.
But the first year of employment for both of us, we saved $500, went to the
City and bought living room and dining furniture, paying it out in a year
too. Wow. That six-foot couch had six movable cushions. We bought two chairs
to complement the earth tones, some tables, and a blocked rug with all
colors in it to pull the hues together. Then we chose a Danish walnut hutch
for my wedding china plus a round walnut table with upholstered chairs.
Eventually the stain of everything we ate showed on those light
wheat-colored chair seats. We took in family castoffs also.
I don’t know what went first. The couch was recovered three times; the
chairs probably went out; I remember wicker and going green in color, soon
to be a lifetime favorite. For our first bed, we went queen-size in a
“posture-peter” style as I told the sales clerk, beginning my lifetime habit
of mispronunciation. I kind of demanded a washer and dryer before we started
Moving forward through life, now with only two of us grandparents keeping
house, I believe all is gone from the beginning furniture but the hutch that
now is scarred, leaning to the back, missing a drawer, but still useful. I
painted it hunter green and fondly moved it around the house, my decor
beginning to be family antique and early marriage with replacements.
Women in this time of life usually keep filling the house, replacing the
old; others decide to reduce clutter or downsize even in the same home. I
became the latter. One day with help, I placed all pieces of furniture on my
large porch, hoping to sell some of them, as the house seemed to be closing
in on us. I never enjoyed dusting.
When not much sold, I called someone who bought and sold antiques in a store
near me. Two or three women came, and several items went away, including the
hutch, with both drawer fronts gone. Yes, selling this made me somewhat sad,
but I was in rare determined mood. One daughter and granddaughter helping
out really thought the green hutch should not go. I heard the granddaughter
say she would one day find this particular piece and buy it back for me.
With retirement came antique appreciation. The granddaughter can relax. Last
weekend I accompanied a friend to garage sales and antique stores near us.
In one of the stores, I entered a back room that pulled me in with interest.
As I turned to leave, there facing me, was my hunter green hutch, no
mistaking it. Only I could love it. When the salesman came back to answer my
question about price, he didn’t know it, and had to call the owner. He hung
up, told me, and I said, “I’ll take it.”
“Wait,” he said. “I have to explain some things about it to you.” He began
with the propped up back legs, and I interrupted him with “You don’t need to
tell me anything.” The man continued to point our problems, but I
interrupted. “That’s all right. I know all about it. This once was mine. I
want it back.”
What I did must be unusual because the other shoppers and helpers began
laughing. The salesman said he was calling the owner because this had never
happened. And I don’t know where it will fit in the house. My husband
doesn’t know it is coming. He seems to shake his head more and more
For months I’ve been trying to get a family member to take a “closet” in my
bedroom. It’s massive, six feet high, two glass doors, a big drawer at the
bottom, a decorative top. It belonged to my brother and his first wife. His
second wife wouldn’t place it in “her” house. Brother drove from Beaumont
with this wooden “hold all” in a pickup. My mother wanted it. When she died,
I took it. It’s probably worth lots of money, USA-made with wooden pegs, not
nails, and comes apart to pack up as it went into covered wagons going west.
We just learned this which could have saved some heavy lifting from house to
If it sells, I won’t be buying it back.