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On The Bricks Archives

Monthly Archives: March 2017

March 27, 2017

March is almost over and I’m so confused. I have to turn the air conditioner on when I go home because the house is so hot. Then in the morning it is so cold, I need to turn the heater on. How inconsistent. How wasteful. How irritating. Same thing in the car. Heater in the morning when driving to work. Air conditioner when driving home after work. No wonder we’re all confused.
Saw a red tulip of the neighbors had bloomed. Spring really is here. I guess it is. Can’t promise about tomorrow. Wasn’t it about 90 degrees plus the day after the official last day of winter? Made me laugh.

Read these words recently that are great to live by:

Live beneath your means.
Return everything you borrow.
Stop blaming other people (be a doer, not a blamer, and find out what is happening at the state capitol at the Chamber’s Eggs and Issues at 7 am on April 7 at the Ambassador. Free breakfast.)
Admit it when you make a mistake.
Give clothes you don’t wear to charity (drop them off at the Methodist Clothing Ministry).
Do something nice and try not to get caught.
Listen more – talk less (and dance on … at the Senior Citizen’s Dance on April 15 from 7 – 10 pm, 515 NE 15th).
Every day take a 30 minute walk (maybe you should sign up to walk in the April 1 Guymon High School Color Run … call Jennifer Reynolds for more information).
Strive for excellence, not perfection.
Be on time.
Don’t make excuses (get out and help with the community clean – up on April 22. Call 338-6246 for more information).
Don’t argue.
Get organized.
Be kind to people.
Let someone cut in ahead of you in line (at the Lifeway Indian Taco Dinner in the Methodist Enrichment Center on April 7 in the evening).
Take time to be alone.
Be humble.
Realize and accept that life isn’t fair.
Know when to keep your mouth shut.
Go an entire day without criticizing anyone.
Learn from the past (take part in the Dinosaur Skeletons and Fossils program at the First Christian Church on April 6, 7, and 8).
Plan for the future (attend the Chamber General Membership lunch meeting on April 3 at the Ambassador).
Live in the present.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
It’s all small stuff.

I love these words of wisdom. Let’s all try to get better at doing them!

See you on the bricks!

March 15, 2017

In our Career Focus classes, one of the teachers kept quoting the book “The Road Less Traveled” by M. Scott Peck. So, I ordered a used paperback version of the book and I’m finally getting around to reading on it. I’ve made it 29 pages and it’s interesting.

Self – help books are not my favorite to read. There are so many things that need to be changed in me that it is a little overwhelming. And, to be honest, I would so much rather be reading “The Sugar Cookie Murder,” a really fine book that keeps my attention very well.

But it is “The Road Less Traveled” for me today during some wait time at work. And it is interesting … not so much as the cookie murder mystery, but interesting, nonetheless.

Let me share some of it with you.

The first sentence is “Life is difficult.” Then it goes on to say, “Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.

“Most do not fully see this truth that life is difficult. Instead they moan, more or less incessantly, noisily or subtly, about the enormity of their problems, their burdens, and their difficulties as if life were generally easy, as if life should be easy.

“Life is a series of problems. Do we want to moan about them or solve them? Do we want to teach our children to solve them?

“Discipline is the basic set of tools we require to solve life’s problems. Without discipline, we can solve nothing.

“Wise people learn not to dread but actually to welcome problems and actually to welcome the pain of problems.

“Most of us are not so wise. Fearing the pain involved, almost all of us, to a greater or lesser degree, attempt to avoid problems. We procrastinate, hoping that they will go away. We ignore them, forget them, pretend they do not exist. We even take drugs to assist us in ignoring them, so that be deadening ourselves to the pain we can forget the problems that cause the pain. We attempt to skirt around problems rather than meet them head on. We attempt to get out of them rather than suffer through them.

“This tendency to avoid problems and the emotional suffering inherent in them is the primary basis of all human mental illness. Since most of us have this tendency to a greater or lesser degree, most of us are mentally ill to a greater or lesser degree, lacking complete mental health.

“Some of us will go to quite extraordinary lengths to avoid our problems and the suffering they cause, proceeding far afield from all that is clearly good and sensible in order to try to find an easy way out, building the most elaborate fantasies in which to live, sometimes to the total exclusion of reality.

“But the substitute itself ultimately becomes more painful than the legitimate suffering it was designed to avoid. The neurosis itself becomes the biggest problem. True to form, many will then attempt to avoid this pain and this problem in turn, building layer upon layer of neurosis.

“When we avoid the legitimate suffering that results from dealing with problems, we also avoid the growth that problems demand from us. It is for this reason that in chronic mental illness we stop growing, we become stuck. And without healing, the human spirit begins to shrivel.”

The “tools, techniques of suffering, the means of experiencing the pain of problems constructively” that are discipline are delaying of gratification, acceptance of responsibility, dedication to truth, and balancing. …they are simple tools and almost all children are adept in their use by the age of ten. The problem lies not in the complexity of these tools but in the will to use them.”

So, let’s confront some of our problems this week and work through them, living through the pain and growing. We can do this together.

See you on the bricks!

March 7, 2017

Interesting conversation last night with a young man. He’s one of my “orphans” as Paul Stavlo calls them, OPSU students that my family has befriended. Orphan Nate had seen the article in the Guymon Daily Herald about me and an award. He had also been to the award presentation in Amarillo last year.

Nate asked if the awards were important to me.

That is a pretty loaded question. After thinking on it, my answer is this … it is nice to be appreciated for something you’ve done. But nothing that I get done is done by myself, so realistically all those who help deserve the recognition with me. What is important to me is having friends and family there to help you celebrate when something good happens. Those are the same people that are there to visit with when you’re lonesome, the same ones that are there to help when you’re needing assistance, the same ones to laugh with you when something great happens.

Then I wondered if I was there for my friends when they needed me. I’m not very good at that and it’s a shame because I have friends and family that are great with it. I usually partake of celebrations (well, not showers and weddings), but you need friends who are there for the bad and the good, don’t you?

Guess I need to improve.

We all need to improve. All great changes begin within us.

Read a story in the Rotarian magazine about a guy who loves birds. He says, “I have bird feeders in my backyard, and every morning is a miracle. … I don’t know what it is about them that makes me so happy, gives me such peace, and fills me with such wonder.” This guy, Tony Fitzpatrick, draws pictures with the birds.

Talking about his art, Fitzpatrick says, “Often there is a silhouette of a woman in my drawings. That woman is my grandmother Mae, who, every morning, would toast a couple of pieces of bread and put jelly on them. She would then dice them up and toss them out the back door for the birds. When I asked her why she was giving our bread to the birds, she would hold a finger to her lips and tell me, ‘Listen.’

“When I did, I heard blackbirds, mourning doves, warblers, finches, and sparrows. My grandmother would look down at me and tell me, ‘For a piece of bread, you can hear God sing.’”

May this week find you with friends and family there for you, and find you listening to God sing.

See you on the bricks!

March 3, 2017

Last weekend my youngest daughter had the wedding dress shopping adventure. It went very well and she found a beautiful dress. Myself, the bride, the bride’s sister, the bride’s sister-in-law, the bride’s granny (my mom), and the bride’s nieces (my granddaughters) all took part. Pretty sure the brothers would have been there, had they been invited.

What fun.

The big day is Sept. 23. And there is a reception with the groom’s family in Baton Rouge, La. That’s a big day, too, as far as I’m concerned.

There are so many reasons that this is perfect. The bride and groom aren’t babies, they’re like 30 or so. They don’t fight, they make one another laugh. I think they’re exceptional people. They are not rushing the planning or picking things that cost a lot. They know that the marriage, the ceremony itself, the commitment and the people are what matters, not impressing with fancy clothes or over the top decorations and such. This is their first marriage for both of them and they have no children. It’s like in proper order, you know?

It’s family at its best.

Marriage advice is probably not something I have earned the right to give, so I looked some up on the internet. Yes, really. I’ll share with you.

“Always strive to give your spouse the very best of yourself; not what’s left over after you have given your best to everyone else.” ~Dave Willis

“Marry someone who has a different favorite cereal than you so they won’t eat all of yours.” No idea who first said this.

“Marriage is … Finding the person who puts up with your crap, admires your weird little ways, and still says they love you at the end of the day.”

There were some other opinions and statements there with the advice that I thought bear mentioning as thoughts by a bride.

“He stole my heart so I am planning revenge … I am going to take his last name.”

“I love you today more than yesterday. Yesterday you got on my nerves.”

And then the final one, as stated by the pastor, “I now pronounce you man and wife, you may now change your Facebook status.”

Ah, what fun. And a full six months to pray for them before they become man and wife. Life is good.

And I read somewhere that newlyweds should save an item from their wedding ceremony to use as a treasured Christmas ornament. Neat idea.

While you’re being attentive, there are a few happenings coming up that should be shared.

The Toastmasters are hosting a workshop that will help you get over the heebie geebies when you have to speak up in front of people. This workshop will help you conduct and participate in a business meeting, motivate people, interview for a job, sell ideas or products, and solve problems. That’s what the flier says. It should say that it will help you to not break out in a rash on your neck, sweat profusely, or stutter while having to do any public speaking.

Anyway, the Toastmasters workshop goes Mar. 7, 14 21, 28, and Apr. 4 at 7 pm. The cost is $15 a person. Call Barbara at 338-7570 or Velma at 651-2474 for more information.

Maybe Lisa and Keith should enroll so they can say “I do” with confidence.

Brayden Lehew is giving a public presentation on Alopecia Areata, which is an autoimmune disease resulting in the loss of hair, on Tues., Mar. 7 from 7 – 8 pm at the Guymon Public Library, 1718 N. Oklahoma. You should go just to meet this fabulous young man who has some health issues that are good to learn about. What is really good about his presentation is that he and his family are kind and caring and make the best of what has been given to them. You are blessed when you get the chance to meet them.

Family, again. A very special family.

And Panhandle Services for Children has a great opportunity for mothers and sons on Sat., Mar. 11. That evening is a date night where you come and go, having dinner together and just having fun. Relish in your relationship with your son. The cost is $30 per couple and $10 for extra son tickets … or mom tickets? This Dinner with a Prince takes place at the Methodist Enrichment Center, 6th and Quinn.

That morning of Mar. 11 is also the Livin’ Green 5K / 10K. You can walk or run with your friends or family. Go to to get your registration forms and see the route maps. There is even a half marathon run with it!

Now, go enjoy your family.

I’ll catch you on the bricks!