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    In advance of a one dollar increase in the tax on cigarettes and little cigars on July 1, the…
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    The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy is pleased to be a key partner in “2018: Oklahoma…
  • Decorating Wisely: Vacation

    This past week has been spent on a much-needed vacation in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. It has been nice to get away and…
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  • Decorating Wisely: Sure-fire…

    By Grayson Wise

    Hello, hello! You may be wondering why my mom isn’t writing this week, and you may also be wondering…
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    Press release

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    1 (3-4 pounds) chuck roast

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    1 packet au jus gravy mix

    1/4 cup butter

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    Leilana McKindra, Communications Specialist- Agricultural Communications Services - Oklahoma State University
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    Join the staff at Riverside Autoplex of Poteau on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, from 2 PM - 6:15 PM as they team up with…
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Decorating Wisely
Friday, 15 June 2018 22:42

Decorating Wisely: Vacation

This past week has been spent on a much-needed vacation in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. It has been nice to get away and clear my head.


Our campsite was perfect because it was situated right on the Colorado River.


Funny story of how we ended up deciding on Glenwood Springs….I’ll take it from the beginning, every Wednesday night we have a family meeting (I’m talking agenda and all). During one of those meetings in March, we decided that each of us would throw a dart at the map and then prepare a presentation about the area within the given budget.


Donnie got West Virginia; I got South Carolina (I really wanted to go to Charleston and hopefully get a glimpse of the Southern Charm cast), Grayson landed on Tennessee/North Carolina and Ashton’s dart landed on Colorado. We spent the next week researching the area and preparing PowerPoints.


It was a great way to learn about the areas and determine what we could and could not do within the budget. At the next meeting, we presented our vacation and then voted on them based on the best presentation and the most things we could do for the money. It really got down to Ashton and Grayson’s presentations. It was a tough choice and we ended up drawing out of hat to make the final decision.


Glenwood Springs has been great because it is very laid back. The people are friendly and just genuinely enjoy living here. I will have to say that they have the best whitewater rafting I have ever experienced. On Wednesday, we decided we would make the drive over to Moab to experience Arches National Park. Wow! It was phenomenal, such beauty in the rock formations. I strongly recommend seeing it.


This column is not really about decorating, but it is about family. No matter if you’re taking a vacation an hour away or 20 hours away, this is a great way to involve kids in the decision-making process and a great way to teach them about how much things cost and what you can and can’t do within a given budget.


My kids are older now and I know family vacations like this will soon change, as that is just how life goes, but I am enjoying every second I can until that day comes.

By Grayson Wise

Hello, hello! You may be wondering why my mom isn’t writing this week, and you may also be wondering who I am. Good news for you, I am going to answer both of these questions.

I’m Grayson Wise, a writer for and the daughter of the most magnificent and wonderful Glenda Wise. She asked me to write about some super awesome packing tips on account I’m known as the packing princess, and we’re about to leave for vacation. Honestly, being a great packer should be a skill I can put on my resume, but sadly, I can’t. Oh well!

My biggest tip: always pack in a carry-on suitcase. Okay, okay, I see you looking at me like I’ve just lost my mind, but hear a girl out! If you’re flying somewhere, and you have this GIANT suitcase that you’re lugging around, that’s most likely over the weight limit, and is difficult to maneuver around a busy airport... you’ve just increased your stress level to an eight when it should be a three. That is so not okay. See? Now I’m starting to look a lot less crazy, am I not?

Another great thing about carry-ons, not only are they easier to keep up with, (for any type of travel) but they also restrict you from bringing so much! You seriously are not going to need four different jeans and six different shoes for a week-long trip. I suggest bringing really versatile clothes and shoes that you can make tons of outfits with throughout your trip. For a week of travel, try and only bring three shirts, a pair of jeans, shorts, two dresses, and two pairs of shoes. Even that is more than enough! Oh, and don’t forget the accessories! Even a simple necklace can absolutely transform an outfit.

With these two simple (but effective) tips, you are on your way to a better vacation and becoming a packing guru too! For more travel, fashion, decorating, and cooking advice, check out our blog We’ve got lots of new stuff coming in, and we cannot wait to write about it! Thanks for reading, and have a great summer. Ciao!

By Glenda Wise

Yesterday, Gracie and I were driving back from enrolling her at OU and we were listening to Chip Gaines’ book, Capital Gaines. It is exceptional; by the way, I highly recommend it. I have been wanting to read it for a while now, but never got around to it, so Gracie and I decided a three-hour car ride was the perfect time to listen to it. I knew it was the right time for me to hear his message when he opened with Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (New American Bible):

A Time for Everything
3 There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every [a]event under heaven—
2 A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
5 A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
6 A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.


You see, when I found out my mom had passed; this was the very first verse that came to mind. I do believe that is one way God speaks to us. We read Scripture; we kind of file it away and then when something happens in our lives a Scripture immediately comes to mind.

Anyway, I have digressed from my point. There was something he said about Joanna and her ability to help people fill their homes with meaning rather than things.


I couldn’t agree more and I feel that many of us in rural America are good at doing that. We don’t necessarily need the most expensive things to fill our homes, we want meaning, and we want the things that make our homes feel like home.


For me, it is all the art and things we have collected in our 26 years of marriage. They are not expensive and probably would not make a hill of beans difference to anyone else but me, but they remind me of all of our adventures and family memories and even remind me that there are more happy days to come.


I also love anything passed down to me. Those are the tangible things that help keep that person alive on a daily basis. For example, my grandma’s pineapple candy dish reminds me of going to her house as a kid and knowing without a doubt it would be full of candy. Every morning when I walk into the kitchen and I see it, it brings a smile to my face.

Find what meaningful things make you happy and place them somewhere prominent where you will see them every day. Don’t worry about if it matches or not, that is part of the charm.

Saturday, 26 May 2018 00:15

Decorating Wisely: Take the Time

By Glenda Wise

One moment your biggest concern is checking off your to-do list to get things perfect for a graduation party and suddenly your whole world is turned upside down and you’re planning your mom’s funeral.


As many of you are aware, my mom passed away suddenly on Wednesday, May 16.


I had just spoken with her on the phone an hour and a half before about the plans for the weekend graduation party.


It still seems a bit surreal and hard to process. Honestly, I am just taking it day-by-day, which is very out of character for me, because I’m a planner by nature. I like to make a to-do list and check things off. That is how I get things done. My mom was the same. I found her to-do list from that fateful day and she had managed to check off everything she had planned for that day. It doesn’t seem fair. Life is not fair. I know I have been blessed far more than many for having my mom 47 years, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

It doesn’t feel right to just go about my business, writing a decorating column. My heart is still hurting. I will just offer you some advice. Life is short. Call your mom or whomever else is important to you. Take the time to have coffee with someone. Send a simple card to let someone know how much he or she means to you. You see this past Mother’s Day I had sent my mom a special card with a very personal message of things I felt like I needed to say to her.


I had a feeling of urgency that I needed to do it, so I did. Looking back on it, I know that was God pushing me and telling me to do it. I am every so thankful that I listened. So, if there is something you feel in your heart you need to do or say to someone, do it. Do not wait for just the right time, do it now.

I want to thank everyone for their kind words and prayers during this difficult time. They really have been comforting to know there are so many that care. They are all appreciated and I am grateful for them.

Friday, 11 May 2018 00:06

Decorating Wisely: DIY Art

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the importance of art in the home and how we buy something when we travel somewhere new. We’ve lived a lot of life (26 years of marriage to be exact) to accumulate the things we have, but what if you are just starting out or maybe you’re not just starting out, but want some new pieces. How can you add a touch of art to match your personality without taking out a second mortgage? I scoured Pinterest and here are my favorite finds:

• I’ve really been into macramé lately. It has come a long way since my Girl Scout days! There are some absolutely breathtaking wall art patterns out there. This is a great way to have a one-of-a-kind piece at a minimal cost. Maybe I will tackle one of these when I am empty nesting.

• I love maps as wall art. There is something special and sort of mystical about them. I especially love them when they look a little vintage and worn. A good place to look for old maps is garage sales and Goodwill. You can either frame the whole map or decoupage pieces to shapes like your initial or arrows to signify your journeys.

• Stencil wall art with paper doilies. All you need is a blank canvas in desired size, paper doilies, paint, stencil brush and gold leaf. To hold your stencil in place use a piece of painter’s tape. Next, start dabbing your color on (less is more). Allow to dry and add a tiny bit of gold leaf to put this project over the top. You will proudly display anywhere in your home.

• This next one just might be one of my favorites. It’s from This project uses branches from your yard. I can totally see Fixer Upper doing this. You will need (2) 1x2x6 pieces of wood, white spray paint, nails, hot glue gun and branches. Now for the fun stuff, cut both pieces of wood to 5 feet each, using the two 1-foot pieces for each end. Next, assemble the wood with nails to create a frame and paint. Now you just need to get the kiddos out there and collect your branches to fit the width of the frame. Attach the branches to the back of the frame with hot glue. This looks great hanging vertically or horizontally.


Just look around for art inspiration wherever you are.


You are bound to find something that would work as a fantastic, uniquely you piece of wall art.

Friday, 04 May 2018 22:21

Decorating Wisely: Brass is Back

By Glenda Wise


The April issue of Builder magazine’s cover featured this headline, “Brass Is Back”. It suddenly occurred to me that my mother-in-law has been right all these years! Everything comes back around! I guess I have been aware of it for a while now, but seeing this headline really solidified it. How many houses have we remodeled and ditched all the brass knobs and drawer pulls or painted them as Ashton did in the poolhouse. Granted, today’s brass is a bit more subtle and not so bright. I have to admit, I really like today’s brass. It feels warm and homey. It is toned down sort of like when brushed nickel came on the scene and replaced chrome finishes.

The article went on to say that the days of it being a no-no to mix metals are over. More and more people are mixing and experimenting. I am very thankful those days are nearing an end. I am certainly not a symmetrical-type person, I never have been. Do not get me wrong, I don’t like a hodge-podge; I like things to coordinate and feel good together.

StyleBlueprint stated that brass was the comeback of the year! They interviewed designer Lee Robinson of Lee W. Robinson Company and he said that today’s brass shows a hint of luxury. I would have to agree with that statement. There is something that feels luxurious and fabulous about today’s brass especially when it is paired with greys and painted cabinets. Robinson went on to say that when it is done in a tasteful manner, it never goes out of style. Today’s brass creates that timeless, classic look that never seems to age.

Here are a few tips for mixing metals offered by Builder from Lisa Keeter:
1. Choose a dominant metal
2. Blend warm and cool tones
3. Take the space’s color palette into consideration
4. Use lots of texture
5. Keep it understated

I think incorporating today’s brass into your décor is a lot like incorporating black as I mentioned last week. Try starting small. For example, the sofa table I am painting would look fabulous with brass knobs. Again, just like last week, have fun with it and don’t be afraid to step outside the box.

Friday, 27 April 2018 08:00

Decorating Wisely: Black and White

By Glenda Wise


Last week I had planned on writing about using black and white because of an exhibit I had seen at Crystal Bridges, but I ended up going in a completely different direction (it happens sometimes). This week I was thumbing through a magazine while waiting at the doctor’s office and came across an article about using black and white in the home. I thought to myself, “Hmm...I think it’s meant for me to write about using black and white this week.” So, here goes....

This is what got it all started, “The relationship between black and white can also draw attention to the characteristics of positive and negative space.” I decided to investigate this further. According to, negative space is sometimes referred to as white space. This concept has “been used in art, design, architecture, and sculpture for hundreds of year.” The site went on to say, “Put simply, negative space is the area which surrounds the main subject in your photo (the main subject is known as the ‘positive space’). Negative space defines and emphasizes the main subject of a photo, drawing your eye to it. It provides ‘breathing room’, giving your eyes somewhere to rest and preventing your image from appearing too cluttered with ‘stuff’.” That is fairly easy to comprehend when thinking about art, but what about in our homes.

If you think about it, that is part of what we all love about Joanna Gaines’ style. She typically uses white or something very light walls and something very dark like cabinets and interior doors black/dark grey. She then adds accent pieces to make it homey. Although there are pieces like vases, jars and so on it doesn’t feel or look cluttered.

So here’s the thing, many of us (me included) want to add black and white to our homes, but our existing color schemes don’t always lend to that style without gutting the whole place. I’m pretty sure I don’t have that in the budget at this point, so I have been working on ways I can add a touch of it here and there.

• Paint existing wall art white or black. For example, I have a set of three metal plates hanging in my living room. I plan to paint them white and sand a few detail areas to make them look aged.

• Paint an existing piece of furniture white, black or dark grey. I have a sofa table that could use a new paint job anyway, so I plan to paint it a dark grey.

• Paint plain photo frames black add a white mat to create a wall grouping of snapshots.

It is definitely doable to add touches of black and white to your home without spending a lot of money. Just have fun with it!

Saturday, 21 April 2018 15:02

Decorating Wisely with Glenda Wise

By Glenda Wise


This past weekend we ran The Hogeye Half Marathon. After the half, we went to Crystal Bridges Museum to see the Soul of a Nation; Art in the Age of Black Power exhibit. It was fantastic! It will be there until April 23. If you don’t have the opportunity to go see it in person, you should at least read about it. It is such an important part of our history as a nation. This exhibit includes paintings, street photography, murals, sculptures and many more items. These works were often the only way feelings about what was going on in our country could be expressed. These works are described as “era-defining”. I would have to agree with that. It was quite powerful to see and hard to imagine the things that these people experienced in this country that claimed to be “home of the free.”

Towards the end of the exhibit I came across a large sculpture by Martin Puryear simply entitled Self. When one first glances at this sculpture, it looks like a large black mass. It kind of resembled a whale halfway out of the water to me, but after really studying it, there was so much more to it than that. It was quite intriguing. The description stated the artist “created Self from horizontal and vertical sheets and mahogany and red cedar, stained black. The sculpture appears solid, but is hollow. It has no image or declared identity, and its shape is ambiguous – resisting any specific meaning. ‘It’s meant to be a visual notion of the self, rather than any particular self,’ Puryear said. ‘The self as a secret entity, as a secret, hidden place.’” Wow! Let that sink in for a minute. That is one of the reasons I love art, because the interpretation can be different for everyone.

Art is such an important way to identify and tell a historical story. Just think about Michelangelo, for example. What a shame it would be for this world to not have his art. Being Catholic, art and relics are very important to our church. Every time I enter our church, I am in awe of the stained glass which was donated by parishioners in the 1800s. What a gift they gave and it keeps giving even over a century later.

Of course, most of us can’t afford to have a Picasso hanging in our homes, but we can display our own art and items we’ve collected from memorable occasions. I’ve mentioned in the past, that we always buy something while traveling. Some of my favorite items in my home are things we’ve obtained on various trips. These items never cost much money, but to us they are priceless.

Art is everywhere around us and it’s different for everyone. Maybe you love music or an old hymn reminds you of a loved one. Why not frame the sheet music? Art is what you interpret as art. Teach your kids to appreciate art and all that it has to offer.

Saturday, 07 April 2018 23:46

Decorating Wisely: Tis the Season

By Glenda Wise


Tis the season...the season for baby showers, graduation parties and weddings. Last weekend we attended Megan and Cole Forsberg’s baby shower. Let me tell you, those Stout women really know how to throw a shower. The shower was so beautiful and special. They had it all covered right down to the tiniest of details from decorations to welcoming every guest into their home.

The next party I will be hosting is Grayson’s graduation party...YIKES! I’m so not ready for this. I know, I know it’s a natural part of raising kids and many of you have been through it already, but I’m still sad and not sure what I’m going to do without my life revolving around her activities. I am sure I will get through it like you, but it is hard to imagine right now.

Ok, now that I’ve had my pity party, let’s get on the celebration portion. My niece is graduating this year as well from Mulberry, Arkansas. Her graduation is May 17, so I’m planning to have a party for both before Grayson’s baccalaureate. Graduation is a special time, so the party needs to be equally as special. How can I personalize a joint graduation party for two very different girls? Grayson has danced for 12 years and Sarah has played basketball and softball practically since she could walk.

First, I’m making a list of things special to each girl. For example, as I mentioned Grayson is a dancer and Sarah is a basketball player; therefore, there will be elements representing their love for each of these.
Next, the menu and cake selection. Each girl will have a favorite dish as well as their favorite cake. Sarah loves the raspberry-lemon cake and Grayson loves a cookie cake, so we will have both. See I told you very different girls!

The theme will be, of course, graduation, but will feature each girls’ high school mascots and chosen colleges.

Finally, my favorite part that I am most excited about, the picture collage. A friend of mine did this for her daughter and I just loved it. She bought a large, empty wooden frame from Hobby Lobby and mounted all kinds of pictures from her daughter’s first day of school through her high school graduation. I loved this so much and have kept it in the back of my mind for a couple of years. This will also be a perfect addition to each girl’s dorm.

To recap, each girl’s interests and tastes will be showcased and the graduation theme will tie it all together. Some people don’t like the idea of “sharing” parties like this, but I think they can be more special when there are unique aspects and you are able to combine the celebration with family.


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