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On The Bricks Archives

Monthly Archives: August 2017

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.

August 17, 2017

This is always a fun time of the year. The harvest is approaching quickly. School is about to start. The mornings sun is getting lazy and not coming up until 7. Summer is soon to be over. The weather is great this year and I have to admit it’s never been a prettier August than it is this year.

Those with school aged kids are trying to get vacations over, buying school supplies, and rearranging their schedules. Those of us without kids at home forget what a chaotic time this can be. That’s how humans are. We don’t understand something until it happens to us.

Talking to a young mother this week and she’s one of those that is so happy she had baby … and, yet, she is exhausted. Seems like it is always a surprise to a first time mom. And then when we have grown kids, we forget about that exhaustion. She’ll have another surprise when she has child three or four.

And, yet, there is little sense in telling someone, because we tend to not listen. Have you noticed?

I said, HAVE YOU NOTICED? Pay attention. I’m talking to you.

There are so many things that it’s just easier to let a person find out for themselves. Tell little Johnny it’s hot once and then let him blister the end of his finger. He learns much quicker and you haven’t turned into a nag. Because some things are inevitable. Harsh? Maybe. Being a constant nag is harsh, too.

Don’t answer emails I send you? Then don’t be surprised when yours aren’t read. No, I didn’t call the Fire Department that your office was burning. I didn’t open your email. No fun being you.

Surprised when nobody shows up to your business open house? There were probably as many folks as social events of others that you have attended. Turn about is fair play.

We just seem to have to learn for ourselves.

I’m still learning that I need to keep my mouth shut sometimes. My opinion is not necessary in every single instance. I’m 57 years old and I am getting closer and closer to realizing this is a true statement. The truth can hurt.

I listen to my dad. He’s not a nag and he’s sensible. His emails even get read. This week Papa said this in his email, “Thing are not going well for me. Last Monday I injured my right index finger in a shop accident. As you know, this represents 99% of my typing skills. It is also the 100% of my ability to skillfully operate my TV remote. With football season starting, this is serious. To make things worse, when I read my horoscope this morning it said I was fussy and critical! I may have to quit relying on it to guide my if it is so wrong. What can I do?”

Now you see why I like to read his emails? Sometimes there is a jewel like this. Made me smile for ages.

Speaking of smiles, Strange de Jim, who is some San Francisco geek according to Wikipedia, said, “I don’t eat snails. I prefer fast food.” Now that’s humorous.

Fair started this week. Friday evening from 5 to 8 in the evening is the Oklahoma City Zoo presentations. That should be great. This is sponsored by Apollo MedFlight.

The Turtle Race is Saturday at 11 on the south side of the Activity Center. You could win $100 with your dryland box turtle! Brown and Associates brings this fun moment to us.

Tots ‘N’ Pets is open to kids, two to eight years old, with their pet (horses and cattle excluded) on Saturday at 2 pm for registration. This is a fun time for the kids. Go and watch. The cutest pet, most original pet, most originally named pet, and best presentation of pet (I think you need to put your pet in a tutu or something) is awarded. We used to have some rabbits named Easter and Fried. Those are pretty original names.

Also on Saturday is the Antique Tractor Pull and Machinery Show where the tractors are 1959 models or older. The Pull starts at 6 pm on Saturday there on the fairgrounds.

Saturday evening is the No Man’s Land Dance at the Center, 515 NE 15th Street, from 7 to 10 pm. Playing that evening is “Oklahoma Cowboy and Texas Lady.”

And don’t miss the carnival.

It’s all fun.

See you on the bricks!

August 10, 2017

Last evening the People magazine and Sports Illustrated magazines were read by myself and this morning because I was early to work, I started on the Lutheran Standard magazine. Doesn’t speak very well for my priorities, does it? My mother should have done a better job raising me, it seems. I believe it is always the parents fault these days if their children decide to do stupid things, right? Seems so.

Anyway, the Lutheran magazine had an article talking about church and state and towards the end of the article the lady says, “First, live out Luther’s explanation of the Eighth Commandment: ‘To come to the defense of our elected officials, speak well of them, and to interpret their actions in the best possible light.’ Second, find ways to help our elected officials succeed in their vocations as public servants.

“In my experience of city, state and federal government, there are lots of officeholders in both major parties trying to make a positive difference. Finding ways to help dedicated public servants succeed in their vocations is not about advancing a narrow partisan agenda, but about establishing responsive local, state and federal governments that effectively address the real needs and issues of the communities they serve.”

So why don’t we all write a note or visit with one from our city council, church board, a non – profit board, or other elected official and tell them that we appreciate their work. We don’t have to agree with everything they do and we don’t have to even talk about issues. Just appreciate their willingness to serve and all the time they put in doing so.

In all likelihood, they’re doing more than we are. So, we need to be nice.

Man, that being nice is not easy. It’s so much easier to give our opinion and tell people what we think they should be doing. Bah, I see myself doing it all the time. Not pretty. Not pretty. Blame mama.

We have some great classes coming up through Main Street Guymon. The Breakfast and Business classes are held on Wednesday mornings from 8 – 9 at the Bank of the Panhandle Board Room at 12th and Main. BOP will be providing the breakfast. Yeah!

“So You Want to Own a Business?” is the class on Sept. 6. If you have considered starting a business (even home – based) or have one and would like to make sure you didn’t miss something, come to the class. Topics may be a business model, SWOT, pro – forma, budget, etc. And if you don’t know what any of those are, you’re the perfect one for the class! I know I’m going to be learning lots.

“Capital and Cash Flow” is on Sept. 13. Lisa Phillips and Colter Headrick from BOP will be talking about sources of capital and cashflow.

“Am I Making Money?” is Sept. 20. Find out how to set your mark – up and be able to cover all your expenses. You should be having a reserve for that emergency, too. The bank and Main Street wants you to be able to survive the bad times so that you can relish in the good ones. This class is being taught by Lisa Phillips from BOP.

“Make Banking Work for You” is the last class in September on the 27th. Paul Montgomery from BOP is teaching this class. Your bank may be able to help you in ways that cut down your expenses and time. Come and learn if there are!

You do not need to be a customer of BOP nor a Main Street Guymon member to attend these classes. There is no charge.

The classes will continue in October and include Shop Local Coalition Discussion and Round Table, Hiring and Retaining Employees What Insurance Do You Need? And Managing to Retire.

If you have any questions, please call Melyn at 580-338-6246.

It’s a great time to be in business in the Panhandle! Keep learning. Keep improving. Keep making a good living.

See you on the bricks!

August 4, 2017

You know there are those days that you really know you should be laying low. Staying out of the presence of people. Being kind to humanity means going home early from work and hibernating. It’s that day when your best friend is a cup of coffee and a puzzle is your best bet for who to converse with.

That’s today.

Looking at the calendar, it’s obvious the world is lucky. There is only one appointment that I can’t get out of and they probably expect a bad attitude, so I’m ok.

What brings these days on? Sometimes it just seems that expectations from others exceed your abilities or your available time and that in turn brings about a sense of disappointment in yourself. Then it spirals. Or maybe you’re just feeling lonely and the fact of the matter is you just want to see your mom or your dad and you can’t. It’s lonely for a specific person … or maybe your dog. Who knows. But the fact is it probably can’t be and that’s what might bring on the funk.

Or sometimes we just seem to put on a pity party and, if our friends are lucky, we don’t invite them.

What brings a person out of a funk? That’s something we all have to answer for ourselves. And if you don’t know the answer, then you’re way too serious about your pity parties and they’re apt to become part of who you are. That’s a sad state.

For me, I can go to the store and buy some funny cards. Some of those cards are just hilarious and make me laugh and laugh. Before I know it, I’m happy again. Those cards serve another purpose, too, because you can send a card to someone who has a legit reason to be needing some cheering. Some folks are sick, fighting for their lives, literally. Some have lost a loved one. They need a card and being nice to someone in worse shape than you can bring your mind back to reality.

Another sure avenue to bringing the world back into focus is to go get a pedicure. They’re better than therapy. They are therapy. I love them.

My friend exercises to get back to his happy self and it works really well for him.

I also find that looking on the internet at humorous quotes brings me a smile. That’s why I share them so often here … to give you a smile, too.

“I was going to buy a copy of The Power of Positive Thinking,” and then I thought, ‘What good would that do?” ~Ronnie Shakes

Here’s a saying worth keeping close to your heart, “Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”

There are those who want to be a part of positive change in Guymon who are gathering “For the love of Guymon” on Monday, Aug. 7, at 7 pm in the Public Library. All ages and all kinds of people are encouraged to come and be a part.

See you on the bricks!