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On The Bricks

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October 16, 2017

The article “Teaching Generosity” that ran in the October 2017 Living Lutheran magazine was worth repeating parts.

Scott Seeke wrote, “My grandmother taught me the ’80 – 10 – 10’ method: live off 80 percent of your earnings, save 10 percent and give 10 percent to God. By following this method, I, too, have come to love being generous and giving to God. Teach your children about giving early and they’ll received the gift of giving, which will give them joy for their entire lives.

“The first step in teaching generosity to children is to give them their own money to manage – an allowance. For each paycheck I receive, each of my children gets a dollar for every birthday they’ve had. This may not work if you get paid weekly, but it works well if you get paid semimonthly or monthly. The amounts are small enough that they can’t make a big mistake, but big enough that they have decisions to make.

“Next, help your child make three piggy banks: a ‘spend bank,’ and ‘save bank,’ and a ‘God bank.’ For ours, we used glass jars wrapped in paper that my children had decorated. Then it’s time to explain to your child that every time they get an allowance, they are to put 10 percent in their God bank, 10 percent in their savings bank, and 80 percent in their spend bank.

“They can use their spend bank to buy whatever they like. Have them set a goal for a large item they want to buy with their save bank. They can take their God bank to worship whenever they like and put its contents in the offering plate.

“Through these practices my children have learned to love giving, and that’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever given them.”

Seems all good to me. What do you think?

I think there are a bunch of fun things coming up around here.

Breakfast and Business is on Wednesday morning at the Bank of the Panhandle board room from 8 to 9 in the morning.

OPSU Football game at home on Saturday, starting at 2 pm. And did you hear that OPSU is ranked #20! That is great news.

There is also a dance at the No Man’s Land Sr. Center on Saturday evening the 21st from 7 to 10.

And for those who are required to have a HIPAA training, Main Street is offering one on Oct. 24. Just call 338-6246 to get your seat reserved for the 9 am – noon class.

That evening on the 24th is the Chamber of Commerce banquet, with a 70s theme this year. That starts at 7 pm and you probably ought to buy a ticket.

It’s a great month and I hope to see you on the bricks!

October 11, 2017

Jennie TeBeest said, “Just do the right thing.” We were young girls sitting in a Bible study and the question came up on how you make good choices. Jennie was in her 70s and we all knew she had lived through some tough times. That was her advice. I’ve always thought it was probably the smartest advice I ever heard. Good chance I’ve been given lots of good advice, but I wasn’t always listening.

Last weekend Main Street partnered with OPSU Baseball players and Coach Keith and with Monica Ronne and the Oklahoma Family Network to put on the Special Game Day. Sponsors blessed us, volunteers helped us, families played with us, and spectators cheered us. It was truly a special day for a lot of special people. I was humbled. It was the right thing to do.
There were so many heroes on the field that day. Caregivers were heroes. Players were heroes. To be among that many caring and giving people brings all sorts of emotions to the front. Love is the main emotion.

And pride. I am so proud to be part of the group of people that was there that day.

Lately there have been so many things of which to be proud. Ami Torres Acuna, an OPSU student from Guymon, won the National Hispanic College Quiz. I got to go to the Premiere Party and watch her on television. I watched her just stomp on the other contestants. It was amazing and it was wonderful. What was almost as good was the fabulous party that her employers put on for her. And it was Ami’s party. Brown and Associates did a great job. And Ami is a champion. Wow.

The school bond issue passed. Some people stepped up and gave the issue some priority in town. They stepped out and they stepped up and people listened because they’re people we trust. Sally Hawkins and Mike Ray said we needed to invest in our youth and 71% of the voters heard them.

This makes me recall something someone in our Sept. 2017 Living Lutheran magazine said, “I try to change lives through education. Education is key to improving life, fostering understanding, and creating problem – solvers.” We need to all remember how important education is.

There are also heroes on some of our Main Street banners now. Mayor Jim Norris and the American Legion Post 31 members have the Guymon Military Banner Program where for $150 you can purchase a banner to honor a friend or family member from Texas County who served our country in the military. You can go to to see what they look like.
One more hero that needs to be mentioned. Addison Helton is the cover of the Bountiful Blessings 2017 calendar put out by the Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma. A cover girl hero right here in Guymon, Oklahoma. Another proud moment for this community.

Time to stop bragging on ourselves and our neighbors and talk about what’s happening in town.

  • Harvest Fest is Sat., Oct. 14, from 4 – 10 pm and happens downtown. This is an event put on by the Guymon Cultural Downtown District Committee.
  • Breakfast and Business: Managing to Retire is a class on Wed., Oct. 18, and will be taught by Kyle Hawkins. The class series is sponsored by Main Street, Chamber, and PREDCI and hosted by Bank of the Panhandle.
  • The HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) class is Tues., Oct. 24, at the Guymon Fire Department classroom with the first class from 9 – 10 and the second class from 10:15 – 11:15. It is free to Main Street Guymon members and cost $5 for non – members. There is a limit of 25 per class, so call in your reservation to 338-6246.
  • Nov. 1 is the grand opening of Inspirations at 1102 N. Main. Fran Berry and Kay Herald are bringing this place to shop, to create, and to meet. You can shop for home décor, seasonal decorations, antiques, gift items, and they offer consignments. Hours are 9:00 to 6:00. Love when new shops open.
  • Just south of Inspirations and across the street is the great new shop, Whispering Bliss, which has clothing and gift items. It is at 1009 N. Main.
  • And just one house over from Whispering Bliss is By His Hands, a health food store where Todd Johnson’s chiropractic office used to be at 1001 N. Main. That block looks like a place to explore on November 1.

It’s a great time to be from Guymon and a great place to live.

See you on the bricks!

September 20, 2017

Read this article in the September 2017 Toastmaster magazine and thought it to be pretty funny. If you like words, and I figure someone reading a newspaper might well be someone who enjoys words, then you’ll find it humorous, too.

The article Malapropisms was written by John Cadley and under the headline it says, “These examples come free with your conscription to this magazine.” And it just gets better.

“I used to live across the street from a woman named Helen, who had a wonderful way with words. Noticing the ground cover surrounding my home she complimented me on my beautiful patch of ‘pachydandruff.’ Another time she asked if I had any ‘duck tape’ she could borrow. I briefly thought to correct here – the image of a duck wrapped in tape being slightly disconcerting – but I didn’t because I realized that here before me stood a source of entertainment far more creative than anything on television. And free!

“Mistaking pachydandruff for pachysandra and duck for duct are linguistic mash – ups known as malapropisms. Grammarians call it the ‘use of an incorrect word in place of a word with a similar sound.’ I call it fall – down – funny and I can’t get enough. I wish I had collected all of Helen’s malaprops, but there is no shortage to draw from. Look no further than the world champion of twisted syntax, Yogi Bera, to hear that, when it comes to American presidential elections, ‘the state of Texas has a lot of electrical votes.’ Or the former prime minister of Australia, Tony Abbott, who expressed, with all the gravitas of a respected head of state, that ‘no one, however smart, however well educated, however experienced, is the suppository of all wisdom.’ Suppositories have their use, of course – and a valuable one it is – but they are a far cry from the intended ‘repository,’ which holds things rather than loosens them.

“… The comic gold inherent in malaprops is not lost on the professionals. Stan Laurel of the famous American comedy team Laurel and Hardy worried that his partner was having a ‘nervous shakedown’ because he kept referring to the Exalted Leader of a group they belong to as their ‘exhausted’ leader (which may have been true; just not what was intended).

“… Back in the gold old USA, Richard J. Daley, the infamous late mayor of Chicago, was not one to mince words, except when he turned them into mincemeat. To Mayor Daley, a tandem bicycle was a ‘tantrum bicycle’ and no one could tell him otherwise. As for those with a weakness for strong drink, Alcoholics Unanimous was the mayor’s sage recommendation.

“… For instance, there’s the man who saving one wife is called monotony.’ He meant monogamy. Or did he? And the woman who remarked, ‘I have a very photogenic memory.’ Photographic is the correct word, of course, but perhaps she was looking for a modeling job.

“… My all – time winner came when I took my then six – year – old son to Starbucks for breakfast. As he drank his chocolate milk he asked me if I was drinking decapitated coffee. Beat that. I dare you.”

And here is wishing you some entertaining conversation this week!

See you on the bricks.

September 11, 2017

“Food is nourishment. Food creates bonds. Food offers moments to start conversations. Food is a connection to our past, present, and future. Food doesn’t define us, but invites us to cherish and share our unique identity in community.” This thought comes from Jennifer Younker in our church magazine. She is so right.

When you sit and break bread with another person, you are starting to build a relationship. Food, part of our culture, is a way to share who we are. It is not threatening to most people.

Many Guymon Hispanics are inviting everyone to the Guymon Fiesta on Sunday, Sept. 17. On Fifth and Main there is entertainment and kids games and lots and lots of food. This is the 21st year and what Fiesta has become is a delicious celebration of our Hispanic population, but it is most known for the food vendors. Many church groups come in and cook for the visitors.

Vendors are selling enchiladas and gorditos and fruit cups and oh, so much more. It’s fun and it’s tasty.

The event starts at 3 pm and goes until 8. Don’t make supper plans, just make plans to come to the Fiesta and partake in this celebration of the Taste of Sharing. And give your kids plenty of time to take part in the games and fun and enjoy being at the table with your friends and family.

This year’s Fiesta is a Main Street Guymon event and is sponsored by Bank of the Panhandle, CRI Feeders, Cargil Animal Nutrition, Charles White Insurance, City Bank and Trust, David Petty, Golden Crown, Hitch Enterprises, Guymon Tire, Guymon Convention and Tourism, MidFirst Bank, PCHC, PTCI, Phipps Dental Practice, TCEC, Trunchbull Services, and Vyve Broadband. It is important to notice who supports our community events and community activities. They deserve to be supported by us in return.

When was the last time you thanked a sponsor for something that you enjoyed? Maybe it’s your child or grandchild playing Kids Inc. basketball. Did you write a note or send a thank you gift to the business that sponsored that team? Maybe a bit of food.

You know, when we don’t know what to say, in our Midwestern culture we tend to send food. Like after a death or accident. We also send food or flowers when there is something great. Like a wedding reception, a baby shower, a retirement dinner. Sponsors deserve some of this same respect.

The Panhandle Partners fund raiser is being held early in October. They are a group that helps a lot of people who are in a personal fight against cancer. They have probably helped someone who is important to you. If they have, it would be a good thing to go and support them in return.
We know how to be good neighbors. Now let’s do it. It isn’t what we know, it is what we do. Knowledge is only as helpful as your actions with it.

This week I get the chance to spend time with some folks who are taking action. On Wednesday morning is the Breakfast and Business meeting at the Bank of the Panhandle where people who really want to learn more about making their business better come to share. The one – hour class this week is about money. That meeting starts at 8 am and it’s a great way to start the day!

Then on Friday we have our first Career Focus class, made up of 16 people who want to improve their professional skill level.

I love being around people who want to improve, who want to grow, who want to learn.

It’s a great week and on Sunday we have the Fiesta. Such a fun time.

See you on the bricks!

September 8, 2017

There are an abundance of activities coming up that could enrich your life. Or make your conversation more interesting. Or make you smile. Or make you smarter. So, your choice. You want to pay attention and be more enriched, more interesting, prettier, and smarter? Get your calendar out to mark some of these down. And I’ll throw in some great quotes just to keep things interesting as you read.

The Chamber General Membership meeting is at noon in the Ambassador (try their club sandwich, it’s great) on Mon., Sept. 11. The presentation is by David Clapsaddle from IBTS / City of Guymon. If you have been making negative comments about our city anytime in the past year, maybe you should come and hear the presentation instead of putting stock in the coffee shop gossip? Hmmmm?

“I had plastic surgery last week. I cut up my credit cards.” ~Henny Youngman … and speaking of money …

Ah, and those who have a business and are moaning about how business isn’t good this month … come to the Breakfast and Business. It’s time to start looking at things a fresh way. Get a better handle on things we can do to make business better. The class on Wed., Sept. 13, is about Capital and Cash Flow. I’m pretty ignorant on money and numbers, so I know that whomever comes to the class, they won’t be the one with the most to learn. That will be me. And I’m okay with that. The first class was great. This series of business classes takes place at the Bank of the Panhandle Board Room from 8 to 9 in the morning. You don’t need to be a BOP customer to be a participant in these free classes.

“Why is there so much month left at the end of the money?” Let this class help you figure out so that doesn’t happen.

A Christian Transformation Women’s Conference is happening on Sat., Sept. 16 from 9 am to 2 pm at the Guymon enrichment Center, 523 N. Roosevelt. Special guests are Christian recording artist Melinda McGlasson and Pastor Ashley Wymore. The cost is $15 per person, which includes lunch. Please call 338-3904 to RSVP before Sept. 13.

It never hurts to get our lives in a better place, a better balance.

“At the end of life, what really matters is not what we bought, but what we built; not what we got, but what we shared; not our competence, but our character; and not our success, but our significance. Life a life that matters. Live a life of Love.”

That same Saturday, the 16th, is the Firefighters Ball and the Senior Citizen’s Dance in the evening. And the Dinner on the Lake. So, you have your choice of several options for a great evening!

Take someone you enjoy being around. Remember to not waste your time trying to get people to love you. Spend your time with people who already do.

The Fiesta is on Sun., Sept. 17, on the street at Fifth and Main. There are wonderful fun activities for the kids to participate in and some entertainment, but the best part are all the food vendors. Make time from 3 to 8 pm to come here for supper. You’ll love the atmosphere, even though it’s pretty noisy, but people are happy and having fun. Join us!

“In America, you can always find a party. In Russia, the party always finds you.” ~Yakov Smirnoff

The Wednesday following, Sept. 20, the Breakfast and Business topic is “Am I Making Money?” Sometimes we haven’t figured out all the ins and outs and whether what we’re doing is actually working. Come and learn at this free class brought to you by Main Street Guymon, Guymon Chamber of Commerce, and PREDCI. It takes place at the Bank of the Panhandle.

“Never mistake motion for action.” ~Ernest Hemingway

The 23rd, another Saturday, has the Lori Underwood Benefit 5K, an OPSU Alumni Baseball game, and an OPSU home football game. Another day filled with fun.

“My grandmother is over eighty and still doesn’t need glasses. Drinks right out of the bottle.” ~Henny Youngman

Later, you need to have these on your calendar; YMCA Sip N Fit on Sept. 29; Duck Dash on Sept. 30; Elder Fair and Pumpkins at the Park on Oc.t 3; Harvest Fest and Archaeology Lecture on Oct. 14; and HIPAA Training on Oct. 24.

It’s all happening here in Guymon and there are activities listed that you probably need to be at!

Have fun … and I’ll see you on the bricks!

September 5, 2017

Read this and the truth is resounding ….

These seven home truths may be hard to hear, but they are guaranteed to help you sort your crap out and get your life together.

1) It’s not anyone else’s job to fix you, so fix yourself. Have something missing? Find it. Feeling miserable? Get out there and find something that makes you happy. Stop waiting for that lottery win or that knight in shining armor to come and rescue you. You are not in distress, figure out what you want and then get out in the world and grab it with both hands.

2) Nothing is perfect. It’s not the right time to have children. It’s too risky to start my own business. I can’t start dating until I’ve lost more weight. Suck it up buttercup! If you keep waiting for the right time, the right place or the right situation, all you’ll find is yourself waiting on your deathbed with a list of regrets about things you never did. The right time is now, so get out there and get what you want.

3) You are probably definitely going to fail. “The only way to avoid criticism is to do nothing, say nothing and be nothing.” (Aristotle) Aristotle may be some old dude that’s been dead longer than you’ve been alive, but that doesn’t mean he’s not right about this. Failure is normal, it’s natural and everyone does it. You will make a fool of yourself. You will make terrible decisions. You’ll kiss the wrong person. You’ll make mistakes and regret them. That’s fine, but when you fall off that horse (or kiss that frog), dust yourself off and get straight back up again. Don’t stop living just because you didn’t get it right the first time.

4) You can’t change the past. No matter how hard you try the past can never be re-written. Don’t spend your time wallowing in your regrets and your mistakes, instead focus on your plans for the future and start taking positive steps to achieve your goals.

5) Tomorrow doesn’t come for everyone. The polo-necked king of the iPhone said it best: “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.” (Steve Jobs) People get hit by buses, they crash their cars and they have heart attacks. Don’t put off until tomorrow what can be done today, because for some people, tomorrow never comes.

6) Being busy doesn’t mean you are being productive. Some people live to shout from the rooftops about how busy they are, but if you assess their actions closely you quickly realize that if they focused on completing the task as much as they focused on stressing out about how much they have to do, they wouldn’t be so busy in the first place. Work smarter, not harder. List everything you have to do, putting urgent and important tasks at the top and get cracking. Turn off all social media notifications and anything else that might distract you and get it done. No excuses.

7) You do have the time, stop telling everyone that you don’t. “I just haven’t got the time” is spoken so often that it has become a meaningless statement. How many hours a day do you spend on social media? Watching TV? Looking through pictures on your phone? Chatting to colleagues about their sisters, cousins, dog? We fill our days with distractions, identify yours, limit your time on them and you’ll suddenly find there are more productive hours in the day than you originally thought.

Now you’ve had the un-sugar-coated truth, what will you do today to start getting it together?

Wow, let’s start together …

See you on the bricks!

August 29, 2017

Not too long ago I was in conversation with one of my orphans, a former OPSU football player that has become part of the family. We were talking about trust and friends. He finds it much harder to trust people than I do. His expectations are much higher than mine. And when you disappoint him, it is hard to get back up on that friendship ladder with him.

He’s also pretty hard on himself. He is slow to commit to anything, even something as simple as going out to eat, because once he has committed, he does it. He is not about to let someone down.

What’s the difference in his outlook and mine?

Part of the fact is that I’m 35 years older and been disappointed far more times than he, so maybe I consider more of a norm to have someone not follow through. Part of the fact could be that my life has been easier, so getting let down hasn’t had near the complications and heartache as his has. Maybe some of us are just a little lower on expectations because it’s easier.

I do know that he is one of my fast friends. And always will be, if I have anything to say about it. I know, without a doubt, that if he can do what I need, he will do it. I have the same faith in my kids, which makes me proud.
But the real question is … what sort of friend are you? Am I?

There are those that email and say, “Can I come and see you Friday afternoon?” I answer, but I know that there is going to be something else come up by Friday and they won’t be there … so I don’t even put it on the calendar. No sense in even giving it a thought. And, yet, if they do show up, then it’s easy to be happy they are there because you never really expected them to step in the door.

You can look at it as there is always something more important than you … or you can just think, they’re doing the best they can. Seems it all means the same, only one is more positive and forgiving than the other.

Read this quote this morning and this is why my mind has gone here … “Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.” A former professional baseball player, Sam Ewing, said those words.

Last week I confessed to missing my daughter’s bridal shower that was 40 miles away. There’s not much secret as to what sort of friend I lean towards being. This is not something I am proud to admit.

Well, then there’s always something to work on. Something to get better at. Always room for improvement!

Speaking of improving, you might admit and consider attending the Business and Breakfast meetings that begin on the morning of Sept. 6 at the Bank of the Panhandle. You can be a better business owner and manager. There are ways that you and your staff can improve, and make a better bottom line, make a better mark in your community. The free class runs for one hour from 8 to 9 am in the BOP board room. It’s free and you need not be a BOP customer to attend. Call and make your reservation to 338-6246, please.

Let’s all improve together!

See you on the bricks.

August 25, 2017

If you are thinking it might be time for you to make that business idea a reality, it’s time to come to Breakfast and Business.

The first session is on Sept. 6 at 7 am and ends after an hour. The talk is about questions to answer and questions to ask to get you to the next step. Help is there in the room, in addition to breakfast.

“We know it’s early,” says Sally Hawkins of Bank of the Panhandle, “but if you’re going to change the world, or your life, or Guymon, sometimes you have to get up early. We’ll have coffee, breakfast, and at least one lame joke.”

The class is at the Bank of the Panhandle board room and it is free. They do ask for a count of heads, so please call 338-6246 or email You do not need to be a BOP customer to attend. This is a class put on by Main Street Guymon, the Guymon Chamber of Commerce, and PREDCI.

This is the first of eight classes that include Capital and Cashflow, Am I Making Money, Make Banking Work for You, Shop Local Roundtable, Hire and Retain Talent, Retirement, and Insurance. This is a chance to make some new, better decisions for your business or time to step out and start the one you’ve been dreaming about.

August 23, 2017

My youngest daughter got engaged at Christmas. The wedding date set for Sept. 23 and all the additional things like showers and bachelor parties and such got put on the calendar with plenty of time to get ready and keep the day clear. But it seems to be too much for me. Last Saturday was her bridal shower, something that has been on the calendar since January.

At 10:40 in the morning I get a text from said daughter, “Are you coming?”

“You bet,” I answer enthusiastically. “It’s at 4, right?”

“No, it’s going now. Started at 10.”

In Gruver.

I am still in my pajamas.

Oh my.

My arrival coincided with the packing of the many wonderful gifts. So glad I got to see the Denver Bronco crock pot because that was something to be treasured in my family!

My maternal skills are sadly lacking. And yet my kids all turned out to be exceptional adults. It certainly wasn’t from any coddling.

One of the things that is important in my family is public service. Because, as a parent, you want your children to be as content as possible. Learning to be content and feeling happy is easiest when you’re helping others, we believe.

In some way. In a way that you are comfortable doing. If you can’t find a way, then you aren’t being observant. You aren’t being aware. You are too focused on yourself. And being focused on yourself is the fastest way to unhappiness and discontent.

Martin Luther King, Jr., said “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” He was a very wise man.

My children learned that lesson well. They are great helpers and they far outdo their mother. Makes me proud.

But they probably would prefer I remember those special dates and times. Lisa and Missy weren’t mad when I missed the shower. Lisa’s only comment was, “Wedding is at 4, Mom, not the shower.” I have a month to get that right.

Business classes start on Sept. 6. Our hope is that anyone who is considering a business, whether an at – home business or a shop or office, will come. We also want those who have a business to come and see if they can learn some things that will help them do a better job, make more money, and be a wonderful asset to our community and people.

Then we have the Career Focus workshop starting the second week of September. This is for those who want to gain more professional skills and knowledge. The class is full and I love working with this program each year. To be in a room of people who want to be better people. It’s like heaven to me. They’re always good people to get to know.

If you want to know more about these, give me a call at the Main Street Guymon office, 338-6246.

Oh, and don’t forget to mark the Fiesta down on your calendar … it is Sun., Sept. 17. What a great day to be on the bricks!

See you there, I hope.

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