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On The Bricks Archives

Having daughters who are usually right and not afraid to give their opinion can be a bit of a pain. How often do I hear from mom, and daughters … there is only so much advice you can stomach gracefully. But daughter Lisa recently posted this on facebook and I think it is something we all need to hear. Often. So, I’m going to let you share the getting advise from Lisa moment.

“Yes, I do some photography and enjoy the fun and challenge it brings me,” said Lisa. “Capturing people in their element, with their loved ones or individual portrait looks; I love the test of each and every different situation. The reward of a happy client is the best because in a short time I get to capture moments that will be around for a lifetime.

“With that said, this post does not have to do with wanting to book more sessions but more to maybe make you stop and think.

“I want to concentrate on you whom want family pictures but ‘don’t like how you look’ or ‘need to lose 10 lbs’ or ‘can’t find the time’.

“I hear this all the time and it saddens me.

“In a world that is all about us, this may not be about you. This just might be about your kids. This just might be about leaving something behind that sparks memories. This just might be something your great grands will look at and know who you are/were and know that you are what your family is and was built on. This might not be about you feeling like your arms are too flabby or your waistline isn’t what it once was, but instead about the hands you will be holding and who those arms are wrapped around. It is about the smiles and the laughs and the moment in time that a simple shutter capsulates.

“Contrary to millennial belief, you don’t even have to put them all over social media, they can be yours and only yours although it is fun to show off your hard work, you did make this family.

“After all, we are our own worst critic. Our gaze goes to what we don’t like about ourselves while others go to the beauty, the smiles, the happiness. Please remember that.

“I read on social media yesterday, ‘you believed in Santa Clause for 8 years, why can you not believe in yourself for five minutes?’ I liked it, it made me stop and think. Ode to being a child that believes in fairy tales and can confidently run around in a swim suit all Summer long. Let’s go back to that, when judgement hasn’t even been developed.

“Moms, step out from behind the camera when you can. Hug your family and preserve it; there’s no excuse these days, there’s a camera in every back pocket, purse, or hand.

“I do urge you to stop and think; remember how beautiful life, family and you are. I am here to remind you that someday when you are gone, when pictures and memories remain, your children will never look at them and think, ‘mom should have lost 10 pounds before we took these.’ I urge you to have some professional photos taken; there’s just something fun about it, the process and the result. I also urge you to take more meaningful photos with your camera and then print them; it is a thing of the past and I fear all of these amazing moments of the 2000’s captured on a phone will in fact be lost someday.

“I will attach one of my not so favorite wedding photos because I assure you what I don’t like about me in it isn’t anything you even see. Funny how the brain works right? Thanks for listening.”

Can’t say it any better than Lisa Johnson Schulz has.

See you on the bricks … taking pics!!!!

August 11, 2018

All too often we have no clue the impact something we say or do has on other people. Our egos would get inflated if we knew about all the good things that happen. Because God really deserves the credit. So, we just rock along without a clue most of the time. I know that’s the truth for me.

A few days ago, my daughter wrote something and posted it that talked about how you should always go to the funeral. She had just been to a funeral in Gruver for a man she admired who was in his 90s in age. She usually does the right thing and once again she did, and she went to the funeral.

Her mama isn’t nearly as nice, nor as tough. I have selfishly missed funerals and weddings and showers for 58 years.

But I read Lisa’s words and on Saturday I attended a funeral for a little baby, the daughter of one of my favorite people. My favorite person is someone who is a good person, a kind person, and a responsible person. He helps people at work and after work. He deserves the good life. But Saturday he and his wife buried their very young daughter before they ever heard her say a word, before they ever saw her crawl.

I realize life isn’t fair. But sometimes it still surprises me. And it still can make me angry. Good people can have bad things happen to them.

But we learn that life goes on. In time it is easier to handle. Our body still makes us breathe. I don’t believe anyone can fully understand what they’re going through unless they’ve been there. But, as the priest said in the sermon, we can have compassion for them.

May there be someone in each and every one of your lives when you need to have someone “at the funeral” and may it be someone who has the compassion that your heart and soul needs. And go to the funeral. Because you may be one of the people needed.

Be silent for a moment and think of those who are going through difficult times. Take a deep breath and give thanks for all we have that is good. And work to be compassionate for those who are hurting.

See you on the bricks.

July 27, 2018

Going to meetings takes up an unbelievable amount of my work time. And, I admit, most of them are important to be at, whether supporting someone and what they’re accomplishing or trying, or being a part of something where you are trying to improve the community, and then sometimes the meeting is for fun (such as the Rotary Social or the Lunch Mob).

At every meeting there are people who have different opinions. Some of us are bold about voicing them, others aren’t. Some of the opinions seem sensible to me, some don’t. But, all the opinions matter to somebody.

There are those who always have an opinion and, yet, they don’t do anything. They are busy telling you what to do. And there are people like Soila Medina who doesn’t say a lot, but when she does, you need to listen because she has thought it out and she has been getting stuff done for years.

My least favorite person is the one who believes their job is to criticize what you’re trying to do and how you’re doing it. And then they leave the room and you don’t see them until they have another negative comment they feel the need to share.

We need all these folks. And we need to listen to them all. And ponder what they’re saying, what they’re trying to say, and why they have this opinion. It doesn’t mean we have to act on it, but we need to be willing to do so.

Yet the most important people we have are those that are willing to do something, to try something new, without fear of offending someone, going forward even though there is a chance of failure and a chance of being misunderstood. And the ones who continue work towards making something happen, holding up a tradition and keeping it alive (such as Pioneer Days) are heroes. Whether you are an organizer, a worker, or a financial supporter, you’re helping make something happen.

Thank you to all the doers who are making things happen in your community, whether through your job, your church, or your community service. If we keep the correct and true and unselfish motives, then we will grow as a community in a positive manner. And we will always have friends.

My goal is to have at least enough friends (strong ones) to carry my casket to the graveyard at my funeral. I probably ought to work on being a little nicer. Whew, personal goals are important.

Let’s all be a little more active and do something this week. Personal goals for everyone.

Hope to see you at the Guymon Farmers Markets on Saturday mornings in front of the Courthouse. It’s a great place to be. The market starts at 8 in the morning and ends at noon or whenever the produce sells out.

See you on the bricks!

July 24, 2018

Each of us should be on a quest to improve ourselves. Who we are, what we say, and what we do does matter to more people than ourselves. Our children, our neighbors, our friends, our co-workers, those we attend church with all are influenced by us. Even making it a point to smile at people rather than giving them a snarl can make a difference.

At the same time, we need to be sure to stay true to who we are and not become the person someone wants else wants us to be. It is important to figure out who we are and who we want to become. And we are never too old to do this.

George Washington Carver supposedly lived by the following eight rules:

  1. Be clean both inside and out.
  2. Neither look up to the rich nor down to the poor.
  3. Lose, if need be, with squealing.
  4. Win without bragging.
  5. Always be considerate of women, children, and older people.
  6. Be too brave to lie.
  7. Be too generous to cheat.
  8. Take your share of the world and let others take theirs.

So much wisdom in these words. This man worked through many barriers and became someone to be admired and revered. Although I don’t think that was his goal, I think he just wanted to do what was right and he worked to make a difference. We can do the same.

How we act and treat people is always important. And Facebook is part of this. I have found that some of my “friends” need to have a sock stuffed in their mouth or maybe their typing fingers broken. They persist in speaking negatively, relishing a chance to speak badly about public officials, teachers, businesses, and basically calling out all sorts of people they feel have wronged them. And I’m guessing they don’t have the maturity to speak to those individuals first and try to work things out. They have a hobby … and it is making others look bad. Create drama and virtually lead a mob.

Does the world really end if a teacher hurts your kids feelings? It tightens my colon that you and your kid are so sensitive. So, let’s all complain about one another and accomplish nothing, except look bad. That’s they road they travel.

Does the world really care about your political beliefs? We were raised that it is not polite conversation to bring up controversial subjects in public settings. Duh.

So, I have started hiding all those “friends” who post their political statements. For me, Trump is the president and the office deserves our respect. No more. He is not the savior. He is not Satan. And we, as Americans, need to not let (or use) a politician divide us and keep us from working together. I love some Democrats and I love some Republicans and I don’t apologize because neither party is “the enemy” to me.

Then there are some who post things that make my day richer and happier. Brooke Tuttle loves baking and she has found that she loves learning about cake decorating and building. Being a creative cake maker is what makes her happy. She posts what she’s tried … the good and the bad. She is so excited and enthusiastic about what she is doing that it makes me smile. I don’t give one care about cakes, but I love reading Brooke’s facebook posts because she is happy and it makes me happy. She is never arrogant, never a know – it – all, but more of an adventurer moving down a new road and sharing her enjoyment along the way. What fun. I love Brooke and, honestly, we haven’t really had many face – to – face conversations.

There need to be more Brooke’s in the world. I need to be more like Brooke. Not making cakes. Lord knows, I don’t need more sweets!

This week let’s work to be more like Brooke Tuttle and George Washington Carver. Won’t be easy, but it will certainly be worth it.

See you on the bricks!

July 18, 2018

As an employee, there are always things that we dislike about our boss. Because our boss is human and they don’t think exactly like we do. There is another aspect to this situation. Most people have no idea what it is like to be a boss. The responsibility. The demands. The questions and situations that do not have happy answers. They are real.

We need to be employees that consider what our boss has to do. And we need to be nice about it. And as a boss, there are ways to get the best out of people. The best bosses are not necessarily the smartest bosses. The best bosses are not necessarily the hardest working bosses. They are the ones who know how to get the most from their employees. And that has never been a whip that does that.

I read in the April 2018 Toastmaster magazine about the I.N.S.P.I.R.E. feedback model. Because all fantastic bosses listen to feedback from their peers, their bosses, and their employees. This method is supposed to help draw attention to performance issues, encourage mutual discussion, and confirm commitment to new behavior with short, specific conversations.

INITIATE. Initiate the conversation respectfully. Feedback is best received when you’ve been welcomed to provide it. Initiate conversations as close to the moment of concern as possible. Example: “I need to talk with you today. Is this a convenient time or would you prefer this afternoon?”

NOTICE. Share an observation about a behavior. “In listening to your calls, I’ve noticed you struggle to connect with the customer.”

SPECIFIC SUPPORT: Provide specific, supporting evidence you can actually see, such as, “When the customer told you he was calling to disconnect his line because his spouse had died, you said only that you would be happy to disconnect the line. You did not show empathy.”

PROBE: After you present the situation, the other person needs a chance to talk. As a question in a neutral, curious tone to allow them to share any relevant information. “What happened?” works and allows the person to share information or to own the situation.

INVITE: Once they had a chance to share their thoughts, invite the employee to solve the problem. Start with a review of the expectations and then, “What are your thoughts on how we can resolve this?”

REVIEW: As one or two open – ended questions to check for understanding, and then one close – ended question to secure commitment. Like “How would your results be better if you did that every time?” and “Is this your commitment going forward?” Ask the employee to review their specific commitment, “Let’s recap what you’ll do next time, when you’re faced with a similar situation.”

ENFORCE: Enforce the behavior and why it’s important while reinforcing your confidence that the employee can do this. “I appreciate you taking the time to make this happen” or “Thank you for your work and commitment.”

Seems like good advice for all of us. In work. And with our family.

Hope to see you at the Fajita (chicken), Margarita (virgin), Loteria (bingo) night on July 22. It’s $10 a plate with the proceeds going to Main Street Guymon and the Loteria cards are $1 a game, with ½ going to the winner and ½ to Main Street Guymon. The fun starts at 4 and ends at 7 pm. It takes place at the RC Party Room, 5th and Main.

And Friday evening is our Summer Aggie Family Pot Luck and Game Night with the OPSU Football players who are here this summer. If you would like to join, bring some food and your favorite game. We meet at 6 pm at the OPSU ballroom. For more information call Melyn at 338-6246.

See you on the bricks!

July 11, 2018

This morning feels like a ramble on type of day. My mind is flitting and not really focused. It’s always interesting in my head on these days. Like a cornucopia of thoughts.

Read this recently and it made sense. “If you want to be included, get involved.” If you’re wanting to be someplace that doesn’t want to be inclusive, find another place. Find a kinder, nicer group of folks with which to work and / or play. Don’t worry about people who are not worrying about you. Just do it. It’s like me wanting to lose weight, but I don’t have a sensible diet nor do I exercise. That means I don’t want to lose weight enough to do what I should be doing. Be honest. And if you really want to get involved and you don’t know where to start, come by my office sometime and let’s visit. My office is at 116 NE 5th Street. And, no, it isn’t open all the time. If I have to do errands, go to a meeting, eat lunch, or visit Main Street members, the office is empty. So, a smart person will call ahead. The number is 580-338-6246.

If you’re a movie goer, here’s a little Oklahoma Trivia. The new Pitch Perfect 3 movie has Muskogee native Ester Dean playing Cynthia Rose in the movie. It’s a wonder you’ve been functioning well without knowing that. But it’s better now that you know.

Here’s a blurb with a great photo of a little kid holding a plate with a piece of apple pie. “Baking is a valuable life skill that helps kids learn math, create delicious food, and even possibly earn an income one day. At the Bethany (Okla.) Library’s free Apple Pie Time class, chefs ages nine and up can practice following instructions, measuring ingredients, and putting together a treat to take home and bake under their parent’s supervision.” Good job to the library for doing this. But, really, as a parent this is something you need to be doing with your kids. And even better, when they get fairly proficient, then they can just cook supper and you won’t have to worry about it. Worked for me.

Missy was nine years old when she made the first family supper all by herself. It wasn’t fancy. Spaghetti and green beans. But she was proud. I was proud. And the hungry family was fed. Now she’s a math teacher. It all made sense after I read that blurb.

Our library has a lot of great programs going this summer. Be sure to go to their facebook page and check out their events. They are things for all ages and most of them have little or no cost. They have a free movie on the 17th that looks really interesting. “Dancing in Jaffa” is shown at 4 pm. Bring your own popcorn, I’m thinking. Bring me some, too.

The Y has a teen night for just $5 on the July 13 and 20. Call them or go to their facebook to find out more about these evenings of fun.
Good places to get included.

Let’s go back to the parenting ideas. Make it a point each evening before bed or at the dinner table to tell an interesting fact about someone in your family. Help your children know their roots. We know things and we forget to share them. Introduce your kids or grands to their family.
When my preschool kids were starting to learn their numbers, I took them several times to play bingo in Goodwell. Back then the firemen, I think, had bingo night. The kids each got a card and they had fun. And they learned their numbers faster. Cool, huh? Who would have thought you could justify bingo night so easily?

On July 22 is a Mexican Bingo night. The cards don’t have numbers, but pictures. It’s called Loteria. And it is happening from 4 – 7 pm at RC Party Room at 5th and Main. You can eat chicken fajitas for $10 a plate and drink virgin Margaritas. We thought it sounded so good “Fajitas, Margaritas, Loteria” but we wanted it to be a family event and we don’t have a liquor license. So, no booze in the margaritas. It works. Join us! We would love to include you in this fun family night, a fund raiser for Main Street Guymon. You can work on your vocabulary … Spanish or English or both because the caller will be calling in both languages. Loteria cards are $1 each that goes to the pot and the winners of each game split ½ of the pot, with the rest going to Main Street Guymon.

Did you hear that Main Street Guymon was named the Best of the Best Service Group? Wow. Thank you to all who voted for our Main Street volunteers. They work hard and they deserve recognition! Join us. We would love to include you.

See you on the bricks.

July 3, 2018

Sometimes people who are ignorant just irritate me so much.

Sometimes I’m one of those ignorant people.

Maybe more than sometimes.

The phone rang this morning and one of my board members was here helping me do some things and I was rude to the person on the phone because I believed they were another one of those persistent sales calls. Then as I was hanging up, they said something that makes me now think they were actually trying to tell me something to help me out. But too late, the finger hung up on the caller. How stupid can I be? Obviously, I have proven in many, many ways.

It hurts to be truthful about yourself. But it sure is easier to be less judgmental if you are first honest about who you are and your failings … and your good attributes, too.

There is one comment that makes me put someone in the “not to spend time with” category faster than anything. When a person says, “There isn’t anything to do around here,” it makes my skin crawl. Generally, that is someone who hasn’t worked at putting anything on … the best they do is tell doers what they wish they were doing while the whiner continues to just sit and whine. Generally, they aren’t helping plan and implement new activities. And, generally, they still sit on their butt when there is something to do, not getting up enough gumption to attend.

So, my conclusion is they prefer to do nothing and whine. Not having anything to do is just one of their favorite whines.

Sound harsh? Maybe. But, I find there are way more things that I would like to attend than I have time for. My energy level can’t keep up with my “wish list” to attend things happening around town. And if I’m wanting some fun, or company, and don’t see anything going on … I invite people over and we DO SOMETHING. And that something does not include whining.

Wow, I’ve been whining for about three paragraphs now, haven’t I? Bad.

The YMCA has a co-ed flag football league, a women’s volleyball league, and teen nights going on. All fun and you don’t have to be good to join. Just be enjoyable. Check out the Y, give them a call or drop by and check out what’s going on at the Y.

Jennifer Reynolds has taken ahold of the Kindness Project, which involves painting rocks and hiding them in plain sight for people to find. These rocks make you smile. I know because they left some near my flowers here at the Main Street Guymon office. Jennifer has a painting class on Sunday, July 8, at my office from 2 – 4 pm for those who would like to join in the fun. Jennifer brings all the goods and there is no cost. Now that’s cool. To learn more, contact Jennifer at

The Guymon Library has several free teen movies (but I think I would enjoy them, too … and plan to go). “A Wrinkle in Time” is on July 9 at 6 pm. “Dancing with Jaffa” is on July 17 from 4 – 6 pm. Both are free, and both are good shows.

And mark on your calendar for the Fajitas, Margaritas, and Loteria, a Main Street Guymon fund raiser. The fajitas are chicken, the margaritas are virgin, and the loteria is like bingo. It’s $10 for a plate of fajitas, $1 a loteria card (with half going back in for the winner’s pot) and it takes place on July 22 from 4 – 7 pm at RC Party Room, 5th and Main.

It’s July. What goals do you have for this month?

See you on the bricks!

June 25, 2018

My father is 79 years old and can out work most people I know. So, I wouldn’t call him old. And if you were talking to him, I doubt that you would have the nerve to call him that either. He’s a big man. Literally.

When he was in the workforce, he had a pretty important job. People from several attended his retirement party. My kids used to watch him on TV. He never made a big deal out of it, it was just what he did. He didn’t pass around the magazine articles written about him in the trade journals or anything. It was no big deal to him, but he worked hard to be good at his job. All of his life he worked hard.

Then he retired.

And he did some things he loved like volunteering at the Museum of Natural History. He earned his certification in paleontology and was always talking about stones and bones.

Recently he purchased a home in Gruver and he’s about to close on the house and moved from Denver to be nearer to family. It makes me happy. For 10 years I have been trying to get him to see the sense in doing such. But what I want and what he wants don’t always happen to be the same, or at the same time. That’s true of so many things with our parents.

As we visited last time he was here, I told him how happy it made me. He said it made him happy, too. He was glad that he would be living around family and would have the great grandkids games to go to, family BBQs and whatever other reasons we find (almost weekly) to get together.

“You don’t know how bad it is to not feel relevant anymore,” Papa said.

Pondering this statement for many weeks now, I think it is important that I listen to Papa.

If you make your job your definition of yourself, what happens when you retire? You don’t just disappear. Or do you?

If you have not gotten to know your children and grandchildren and built a relationship, what happens when you retire? You may feel like you missed your chance at a relationship. Or can you build one now?

If you have only cultivated friends through work, who do you do things with when stop working?

If your job gives you a feeling of importance, when you retire do you become unimportant?

My conclusion for today because we all know that it might be a different conclusion in a month or two, is that it is important to do a good job. There is self – respect in knowing that you have given value to your employers, to your community. But there is family that needs an equal or more amount of your respect and energy. Know them, work together so that you are a team and friends.

Treasure and treat your life long friends as you would gold. If you don’t have any friends outside of family and work, find some. Join a bridge club. Become a Scout Master. Join the church. Invite a friend to go to a play with you. Or better yet, be in one of the plays.

Find your worth in several places. At work, at home with the family, with your friends, and out in the community.

And while doing this, I think we become more interesting. More fun. More versatile.

It’s never too late to improve ourselves or our lives. Let’s get on it.

See you on the bricks!

June 22, 2018

There are so many people in Texas County who have served our country in the military, whether it be the Navy or the Army or the Air Force or whatever. And whether they were shot at or not, they were willing to serve and they took that chance. They were willing. They were there. They were ready.

The veterans banners on Main Street are wonderful. They make me proud. I don’t know all those folks and if you consider the one who fought for the Confederacy, we don’t all have the same political beliefs. But it doesn’t matter. I honor them. Every one of them.

Speaking to one friend who served, he said that he was never in danger and didn’t feel like he deserved to be on a banner. In my opinion, he’s wrong. He deserves one. His children deserve to look up as they are driving down our Main Street and seeing their fathers photo up there on a banner.

Jim Norris and the American Legion are offering something very important here. They are giving us a chance to build pride in our community, to honor those who have earned the right to be honored for their service … whether you like them personally or not.

So, if you belong to a church or to an organization or if you have a group of friends. If there is a veteran amongst you (living or dead, doesn’t matter), make a point of getting their banner up. The cost is $150 and it is a pretty simple process.

The veterans need to have lived in Texas County at some point in their lives. Call Jim Norris and let’s see more of our veterans hanging on those light poles. Let’s line the entire Main Street. We have people who deserve this.

The Guymon Daily Newspaper ran a list of veterans for Veterans Day … take a look at those many pages of names and help get them all honored.

We have a strong tradition of patriotism in the Panhandle. Let’s pass that on to our youngsters. The veterans banner program is one way to do so.

Thanks, Jim Norris, for giving our community this chance. We appreciate it.

And if you want to see a map of the banners, who is hanging where, the City of Guymon made one and it is posted on the front window at the Main Street Guymon office, 116 NE 5th Street.

See you on the bricks!

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