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June 5
, 2011

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

Lookin' back...
This morning when I opened my eyes and looked out the window by my bed, I saw the tree limbs swaying Ďround and Ďround.
Since my stomach was feeling kinda like that, I closed the curtains and went back to bed. Iím sure many of you now about such things. So letís change the subject.
Iím looking forward to seeing flowers blooming everywhere. Especially the wild ones, like bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes. Thatís two of my favorites. A few are around and I hope to see more.
Son #2 has planted morning glories everywhere, and a garden.
Thinking way back, brings memories of how much Mama liked canning the food that was raised in the garden every year. And Daddy was busy raising cattle, corn, cotton, hay and going fox hunting.
There were no wolves back then. And I donít have to tell you as I was raised a country girl, and still am just a little.
As I was saying, I donít have to tell you more, but I will if I have a chance.


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

Peaceful places...
In our hurried world it is sometimes difficult to find a place to rest, reflect and renew. We live in a noisy world with crowded schedules and busy, sometimes frantic activities. It seems non-stop.
It is up to us to say enough. I have learned some new lessons lately from my neighbors. I call them my super garden angels. They have a way of taking part dirt, part plant, part decorative item and creating a space of solace.
There is a fish pond with splashing water, and shiny finned slivers darting here and there. Lush foliage surrounds it but it does not protect it from the curious eyes of the cats who frequent the place. I see them staring patiently into the reflecting pool waiting and watching in the silence of twilight.
One of my favorite spots has a fountain containing three huge pieces of pottery. The surrounding pool that water splashes into is the perfect place to toss a penny, watch it slowly sink to the bottom, and make a wish or say a prayer. One large pitcher pours into another and then into another, finally spilling into the sparkling pool and spreading out in the glimmers of sunlight.
Trellises sway under royal blue morning glories as squirrels scurry up the oak trees to corn filled feeders. Cardinals dressed in fiery hues of red trimmed in black, dart among royal feathered blue jays competing for fat sunflower seeds swaying in colorful displays among the trees. Black Capped Chickadees sing on the morning air as doves move softly along the ground by the birdbath topped with a rain shower of sparkling water.
Stone walkways protect your feet from rocks as you make your way through the colorful summer flowers spilling out of crockery as the sounds of wind chimes play upon the breezes. It is a peaceful place, and a sign invites any and all who are weary to sit in the swing or take a seat on a cool cement meditation bench and reflect or rest.
The white ropes of a hammock beckon me to lie down and stare up through the heavy green oak leaves, and the sweet smell of jasmine, honeysuckle mixes with lilies and bougainvillea blossoms. Concrete angels painted with flowers and vines, stand among shady places, while deer rest in the shade.
Slow moving ceiling fans move the air on covered porches surrounded by greenery and soft rugs invite your sore feet to sit back in a wicker chair or swing. Amber glass candle jars adorn a wicker table and whimsical birdhouses sit on weathered railings. A special birdhouse of verdigris metal and sparkling glass always catches the morning sun. One birdhouse painted in primary colors and having three little colorful apartments with turreted rooftops, is my special favorite. To gaze upon the multiple shades of gleeful color always makes a smile curl the corners of my lips. If it were my size, I would move right in and hang gossamer sheers at the windows. I am grateful to have such talented, artistic friends who share their solace with me.
All of the gardens filled with babbling rock fountains, birdhouses, and places of beauty, just run one into another in a labyrinth of serenity. If I am experiencing a stressful hour, or do not feel so well, I can just walk about and take it all into my sensory spiritual self and come away strengthened with the knowledge that God created a masterpiece, and there are those who are blessed with talents to make his work look even more beautiful. For a writer and a dreamer such as myself, it is a gift most rare and appreciated.
So, even in spaces or places you do not always expect, look to others in your immediate world who share a joy of living, loving, peaceful places, and just breathe.
As summer heat encroaches upon us all, and spring is merely a memory, I say thank goodness for women like them and the men who love them and toil in heavy labor in the soil to make such beautiful places come to life. Everyone should have neighbors like Judy, Darlene and Linda, and if we take the time to look, we probably do.


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

Aging gracefully...
Last week a friend said one of her grown sons had asked her when she was going to accept her age. Wow. I suppose I accept mine by how I feel. This friend is somewhat younger but on her way. Perhaps the son meant actions, behavior, but all I can control is my clothing. Anything else would have to be staying at home behind closed doors, as by now Iím happy to have any working parts. (This in no way applies to women who realized they would age and took perfect care of themselves, still have waistlines, and weigh ideally and are not in some form of denial.)
Few rules exist for how to dress past 70 years. We simply do the best we can with what we have. But the universal rule is clothing that is not too tight or has cutsies written on the back side of that wide or bumpy part or whatever.
Too many in my sisterhood know a rule we must follow: cover up. My uniform is a sleeveless tank top with a sleeved item over it, unbuttoned to prevent heat strokes. My health malady causes arms especially to have those purple bruises from a dead give-away of blood-thinning medicine for problem veins.And why did I mention that four-letter word beginning with a D. Hatred of exercise and love of food doesnít help my condition in any way.
One expert has said that cleaveage in any woman over 70 is repulsive. But to get a blouse or top to fit around the body means the neck will be lower and dip, especially if a short neck sits above that.
I rejoiced the year I kicked off the hosiery which had taken so much of my money needlessly in my working days. Then I could have shown my legs. Now there are too many growths and spots of undetermined causes except normal aging. Hose would help the appearance of these appendages we want to keep walking on as long as possible. But I have a another health flaw, probably connnected to hormones, also to excessive medicine, which makes hot weather, heavy work or any type of activity, produce sweat that begins in my hair. I wear longer skirts. They make me look plumper? Maturity calls for choices, and Iíve never liked my makeup sliding down my face from being too warm.
Speaking of hair, what should the older woman do. Personally, I donít like long hair past my shoulders. Permanents donít last, and as many other women have, Iíve gone natural - straight, that is. Weíre all mostly watching our hair have wider parts from loss locks. We are in a battle to wear a style to accent what hair we have, curled or straight. I had a friend, now gone, who wore a small hairpiece in the top of her head, and had it removed only at her beauty shop apppointmens. She said she had surgery in it and slept in it.
Too, if we stick to a natural style our hair came with, those pictures in the sixties and seventies, or other times, wonít embarrass us or make us burst into hysterics. The family photo where my hairstyle resembles a football helmet had to go into the oval file. Then I found a family photo, made professionally, when the children were about 3, 5, and 7, and Dad sat proudly with us. My hair style was almost bigger than all bodies in the picture. Iíve heard Texas is synonymous with big hair. All I want now is for my hair to look a bit larger than my face.
Shorts for me are a no-no. Nobody had to tell me not to wear them. None of my stomachs show. If Iím wearing a knit shirt that accidentally goes up a bit, family and non-family members run to cover me up as though vulgar tatoos are in view. Donít you need smooth places for tattoes?
Finally, I never tuck in anything into jeans, slacks, or skirts. I remember clearly that day twenty years ago when I awoke to a rib cage resting on hip bones. Gone was my waist and a few inches in height.
My grandmothers wore dresses, aprons, and cotton stockings every day. Skirts can be cooler, but they are not as much in style as pants or slacks. Older women can look nice in slacks, too, as well as they would in a dress. I make sure some shirt or blouse covers my mid-section. Then I can make myself feel almost normal, even younger.
If ever I come upon a cover-up outfit that can be cool along with it, it will probably be a see-through. Help.



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