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July 31
, 2011

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

Our annual campout...
Well, our annual Family Campout of 2011 is history. I believe most everybody has recovered from the experience.
I’m sure all of us have memories to add to the earlier ones we often recall.
The idea for the first one was suggested by Daughter #2. She has always enjoyed visitin’ different State Parks and likes campin’.
So, eighteen years or so ago she decided it would be more fun to have other folks enjoy it with her.
Word got around and plans were made. My children, my grand and great-grandchildren, other kinfolks, includin’ me, and kin-like friends responded.
And the crowd continues to grow. This year’s last count was 66 humans and one dog.
For various reasons some who had planned to be present were unable to make it. And amidst all the activities we missed ‘em.
We’ve been to a number of the parks, but several years ago the decision was made for Tyler to be our official gatherin’ spot.
So, I’m takin’ this opportunity to ask anyone (who so desires) to join us – or just drop by and say “hello” if you happened to be in the neighborhood – just check with me on next year’s date.
But I will warn you, there’s usually very little sound sleepin’ time.
But nappin’ sometimes takes place in the middle of the talkin’ and story-tellin’ sessions. The addition of air conditioning to all the sleepin’ and eatin’ places has made day-time nappin’ a lot more pleasant for those folks who like such things. (I must admit, tho’, the air conditioning made it a little too cold for me to stay the whole weekend!)
Almost non-stop games of forty-two are played. Not sure if the big trophy was awarded, but I’m sure braggin’ will be heard for the next year.
Of course, there’s swimmin’, hikin’, and pound-sheddin’ walks.
And games of all kinds are being played by both young and old – as well as picture takin’.
And I mustn’t forget to mention there seems to be a continual flow of food being made and consumed – this year included briskets smoked by my sons-in-law. Used to cook them all night at the camp ground, but with the current burn-ban, they were smoked at home and brought for all to enjoy. Daughter #2 directed various grands and great-grands and friends in making mounds of potato salad and lip-smackin’ banana pudding.
It reminds me of the community reunions we used to have at Prairieville years ago.
Back then a prize was always given to the oldest and the youngest – and to the one who traveled the furthest to attend.
Chloe, my newest great-grand, was no doubt the youngest, and I’ll let you guess who was the oldest.
Even though she didn’t travel all the way from Chen-Shanghai for the campout, Nancy and Phil Purdy’s daughter, Callie Jin, will not doubt hold the “furthest” title for years to come.
Yes, we went camping, even if I did give ‘em a hard time about “roughin” it. There were electric fans sittin’ around outside, and all the cabins and the dining hall were air conditioned.
Wonder what Grandpa would say about that?
As I was saying, one more time, our annual campout is history.

The Last Word:
Y’all come – family, food, and fun is a great way to celebrate in this Texas summer.
– O.T.


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

Being positive...
A word I learned early in life was “stick-to-itiveness.” It means unwavering, never giving up, tenacity and perseverance. It means that if I keep on keeping on, I will at least have a chance to succeed. If I do nothing at all I will get nowhere at all.
Perseverance is more than maintaining. It is preparing. Preparing while you persevere will help you cultivate confidence and set a steady pace as you try to achieve your goals. By incorporating patience, planning and perseverance with planning, you get a reward, in satisfaction of knowing you stayed on course.
Everybody who has achieved anything in life started out with a dream. Believing that within ourselves lies unlimited power to create, is a mighty wealth of knowledge. The universe has boundless ideas running through it, and if we have an open mind and heart, ideas will flow through us as well.
We create our own opportunities. The trick is to seize upon each moment. Make intelligent use of each chance. Some attempts will pay off. Some will be a jackpot.
Remember that yesterday is a word, not a place you can return to. Living in the past prevents you from taking advantage of the many opportunities present in your life right now.
Attitude is the most important tool in thinking positively. Just as what you believe creates your reality, how you believe determines your degree of success and happiness quotient. A consistently positive attitude is one of the main ingredients needed to help create a positive reality.
The antidote to worry is action. Do something. As you begin to focus on doing, you will see results and gain a new perspective on your personal situation.
No problem is too large to be broken down into manageable pieces. Take it on as pieces or a puzzle, and one by one.
Believing that life is a positive experience produces that reality. It really is up to you.


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

Pondering life's issues...
With enough problems of their own, some are still said to “borrow trouble.” I think I qualify.
McDonald’s fast food business has a problem about serving fattening, non-nutricious food to children as “Happy Meals.” This sounds to me like grandparents are rearing the child who wants this sacked meal because had I been the parent, I could or would have said “No” to a Happy Meal unless it was the youngest who would have cried and whined all the way home. But one grandson loves chicken nuggets; he’s picky about eating (Chinese food, hamburgers, corn on he cob and chicken nuggets). We’re happy he’ll eat chicken nuggets, and we could order simply chicken nuggets because the potatoes go to someone else, he gets his drink, and a toy he likes to look at for two minutes. Most kids eat funny for a few years, live, grow and then eat everything in the refrigerator.
It would be nice if McDonald’s solved this complaint itself, but I don’t think they should be told what to do or ordered to change. Don’t buy this food, and the supply and demand theory will eventually kick in. Yes, I’m afraid of my grandson’s tantrums, too. He might not stay with us anymore. By the way some faster food places serve everything fried; I don’t eat there. We still have freedom to eat where we choose.
Then there is this problem in our liberated days where feeble women must put gasoline in their own cars. I consider this an insult I don’t need. Some young boy could be close, offer to do this for the woman, and most likely get a smile and a dollar or two.
O.K. I’ve heard some traffic cops who stop women mostly at night are not always the real thing, and drivers should get to lighted stations on the road, outrunning and disobeying the flashing lights behind that mean “pull over.” Lighted stations can’t be found every thirty feet. What if the car behind is legitimate? I think there is something to be done with a cell-phone if the female driver can get correct information. But don’t policemen, real or not, have guns. I don’t load up to go anywhere.
This problem may not be bad, but I’ve heard of it.
Then television advertisement is slowly taking more time from an hour of entertainment than the program being watched. More than ten companies may run their ads through, some more than once. My uncle told us when televisions first debuted, to close our eyes during commercials. But some commercials are better than the program. What are we going to do with that female utility receptionist who acts dumb and never fixes any complaint. Yes, I know it’s exaggerated and fake, but we’ve all been near that woman at some point. I’d slap the television screen if it would help.
Sometimes in my mind, a long-ago time of a woman upstate who let her car roll into water and drown her two boys in it in carseats, and one was crying “Mama,” makes me want to cry. At the time I was haunted by that scene for weeks when I went to bed. Imagine the person you love the most killing you. The mother lied, but I think her new boyfriend didn’t want children. No man exists who deserves this sacrifice.
And, of course, this brings to mind the Casey Anthony case, so complicated I can’t wrap around it. Word was that when she was released from prison, she could be in danger of being killed and would have to be hidden and change her appearance.
This made me say to my husband, “You know, our experiences in rearing kids has been bountiful, straightened out many things, (not knowing about others), then had a harder life with the grandchildren, like a baby with a cancerous liver, a four-year old who broke his hip at our house, teenagers borrowing our cars, teenagers not keeping jobs, and so much more. Why don’t we take in the Anthony girl and give her sanctuary. No one would ever know.”
My husband, just about asleep, rolled over without a word. He knew I didn’t mean this. Maybe I was talking in my sleep again.
I wonder if there is any way I can convince people ITS’ with that ending apostrophe is not right, not a word, meaningless, etc.


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