Sunday September 23, 2018

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  • Decorating Wisely: Dorm…

    By Glenda Wise

    I cannot believe I forgot to tell you last week that Grayson and her roommate, Karsyn, won the OU…
  • HHS Awards $1 Billion in New…

    Press release

    MUSKOGEE—The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced over $1 billion in funding for a new…
  • Health Officials Remind…

    Press release

    While the season for West Nile virus (WNV) has been mild compared to previous years, the Oklahoma State…
  • Foster Parent Exclusive…

    Press release

    When families choose to become foster families, they provide for their foster children as if they were…
  • Members of the Poteau Chamber and friends join Jenny Carpenter for her Ribbon Cutting

    Nature Girl Health Coach…

    Poteau, OKLAHOMA - The Poteau Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Nature Girl Health Coach as a member of the…
  • Decorating Wisely: Love the…

    By Glenda Wise

    The other day I was at Hobby Lobby finally buying a big metal pumpkin for my flowerbed. I can’t tell…
  • OSDH Celebrates Falls…

    Press release

    One day every year across the country, thousands of educators, caregivers, health and aging…
  • Dramatic Decrease in Smoking…

    Press release

    The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), along with its statewide partners, is celebrating the…
  • FDA Takes New Steps to…

    Press release

    Efforts include a historic action against more than 1,300 retailers and five major manufacturers for…
  • Double Chocolate Coca Cola…

    Double Chocolate Coca Cola Cake

    1 cup Coca Cola (not diet) 1/2 cup oil 1 stick butter 3 Tablespoon cocoa 2 cups sugar 2…
  • Decorating Wisely: Prepping…

    By Glenda Wise

    Although this will be my first Halloween in 13 years that I don’t need to plan a party, I thought I…
  • Eastern to host documentary,…

    Press release

    WILBURTON, OK (Sept. 5, 2018) – Eastern Oklahoma State College will host a screening of “The S Word” at…
  • Slow Cooker Taco Spaghetti

    Slow Cooker Taco Spaghetti


    8 ounces spaghetti1-1/4 pounds lean ground beef or ground turkey1 (1-oz)…
  • For the Children: Raising…

    By Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy CEO Joe Dorman

    When I took the helm at the Oklahoma Institute for Child…
  • Decorating Wisely: Decorating…

    Well, it is officially time to decorate for fall! Football has started and I got an email from Starbucks telling me…
Decorating Wisely

By Glenda Wise 


I cannot believe I forgot to tell you last week that Grayson and her roommate, Karsyn, won the OU Admission and Recruitment’s competition for best dorm! To top it off one of the prizes was that they each receive a $1,000 scholarship. The best part is that we didn’t spend a fortune decorating it.

Last year she and her roommate met via OU’s roommate forum (it’s set up a lot like a combination of a social media and dating site).


She was able to search and narrow down possible roommates based on things they did or did not like to do and by how important schoolwork was to you, etcetera. She and Karsyn never officially met until last spring, but had everything worked out about decorating their dorm way before then. They sent one another pictures and decided on an overall theme while preserving the individuality of each girl. Grayson had a specific idea in mind for her side that blended well with Karsyn’s.


Grayson’s is a bit more muted, while Karsyn’s has a pop of a brighter color within the same color family. The best part is that we didn’t spend a fortune on decorating the dorm. Since Grayson had pictures and a general idea, we were able to really have fun shopping and buying a little along the way for several months before she needed it.

Once they each decorated their side of the dorm, they tied it all together with a beautiful layered rug. The rug really brought the whole look together and made it look and feel homey. Heck, you don’t even notice the off-whitish cinder block walls! Finally, they hung bistro lights on the ceiling to give a nice lighting effect rather than the harsh fluorescent lights.

You can apply this same method when decorating your home for everyday or even the fast-approaching holidays. Spend a little time doing the legwork and finding pictures of what you really want. Once you decide, and then start shopping. Allow yourself enough time to be able to shop and look in unexpected places like small shops, yard sales and Goodwill. Don’t automatically gravitate to the big box stores.


Grayson’s bedding came from a cute little local shop in downtown Ada when we there for the state science fair. It wasn’t exactly like the one from Anthropology, but very close and half the price! Moreover, I love supporting small, local businesses.

Speaking of local businesses, have you checked out Poteau’s very own Deep Roots Nursery? It might just be one of the cutest places I have ever shopped. The owner has done an incredible job by fixing the little shop up and offering some really unique items. I fell in love with two metal pumpkins for my flowerbed. They make me happy every time I come home! Her prices are great too! Go check it out and support a small, local business.


Saturday, 15 September 2018 00:10

Decorating Wisely: Love the Look of Cotton

By Glenda Wise 


The other day I was at Hobby Lobby finally buying a big metal pumpkin for my flowerbed. I can’t tell you how long I have waited to get one of those! I would look at them everywhere I went, but couldn’t bring myself to pay nearly $100 for one. This year it finally happened! Hobby Lobby had them and you know you don’t pay full price for anything there; I waited until they were 40% off and got it for $24! Yeeeesss! It’s the little things.


Anyway, while I was there, I spotted the stems of cotton (you know that’s how Hobby Lobby operates, they suck you in with a great deal, then you get in, and you lose all ability to think rationally because everything in there is so fantastic!)

Back to the cotton, I have been wanting to incorporate cotton into my fall décor (I know, Joanna Gaines uses it in every day decorating and makes it look fabulous). I bought a couple of stems, so now my $16 savings on the pumpkin has dwindled down to $9, because I spent $7 on the cotton, but, hey, I’m still a winner! Ever since, the cotton is still in the bag just waiting for me to do something with it.

The nice thing about cotton is that it looks simple and elegant all on its own and you don’t have to do a lot with it. A few sprigs in a white pitcher paired with a couple of pumpkins looks inviting and comfortable, yet simple and elegant. Careful though, cotton is just like anything else, just plopping a couple of stems into a vase can give the look of, “Oh, she bought some cotton and has no idea what to do with it” look. Now, if you can afford to fill a vase full of cotton, do it, because that would look phenomenal (at $3.50 a stem, on sale, that is probably not happening for me). I can just see it now, beautiful cotton stems spilling out of the top of a metal milk container! Simply beautiful! If you can only do a couple of stems like me, cotton is like a nice accent to pull an entire look together.


Here are few ideas:

• Fill a wicker basket with white pumpkins and accent with the cotton stems.
• Perch a clear vase on a wooden pedestal accented by fabric pumpkins. Finish by placing your stems of cotton in the vase.
• I love mixing textures together. In a wicker container mix dried green hydrangea, cotton and curly willow stems. The best part about decorating with these items is that it doesn’t need to look fixed.


The more natural it looks, the better it is.

Now, go get you a few stems of cotton and have fun with it! Happy fall decorating!

Saturday, 08 September 2018 01:13

Decorating Wisely: Prepping for Parties

By Glenda Wise



Although this will be my first Halloween in 13 years that I don’t need to plan a party, I thought I would give my readers some pointers from my past experiences.

1) First and foremost. Enjoy the experience. I know you are tired. You’ve worked all down, you’re trying to get your kid to soccer or dance or wherever else they need to go, homework needs to get done and don’t forget about that nightly thing....dinner. Everything seems like another thing to check off your to-do list, but trust me, you will cherish these moments, so enjoy them while you are in them. Don’t just think about getting from point A to point B, think about enjoying the present moment.

2) Set your date and send out the invitations. This not only forces you to commit to an exact date and time, but it makes it real to your child and you.

3) Make your menu. This will help you to know what you need to buy and when. It will also help you with step 4.

4) Do your prep work. I know you are tired, but just plan to do at least one thing a day until the party. This can be as simple as cutting ribbon for the balloons or folding napkins. Just plan a strategy from today to the date of the event. Plus, as I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m a small victories kind of girl. I need to make a list and check it off. I’m sort of like Santa...makin’ a list and checkin’ it twice.

5) Cook anything last minute that can’t be prepared ahead of time. Check your serving platters and utensils. If you don’t have adequate of either, plan to purchase or borrow what you need.

6) By the time the day of the party rolls around you should have most everything completed. Of course, you will have the last minute things to get done like vacuuming the cat hair out of the chair and in my case, low and behold some animal will throw-up somewhere. The point to this step, is that most everything is done and you can handle little life emergencies without losing it on your family.

7) Enjoy the party with your little one and take lots of pictures.

Sunday, 02 September 2018 23:02

Decorating Wisely: Decorating for Fall

Well, it is officially time to decorate for fall! Football has started and I got an email from Starbucks telling me that Pumpkin Spice was back.


It’s fall y’all! Although this year will be a lot different for us, because Gracie is in college, so for the first time in 13 years, I do not have a Halloween party to plan and Thanksgiving will never be the same since this is our first Thanksgiving without my mom. Thanksgiving was her thing to host at the farm.


I guess those are all facts of life everyone has to deal with at some point in their life, but it sure doesn’t feel good. All that aside, I know my mom would want us to carry on with all the festivities, so that is what we shall do.

I don’t know about you, but I love pulling out old decorations from storage. It is sort of, as if an old friend has come for a visit. As much as I love all the old traditional decorations, I don’t mind giving my fall look something unique each year.

Something that has been popular for the last few years and I’ve never really done anything with them are the battery-operated, mini LED string lights. They give a nice warm glow in a mason jar filled with acorns and Sphagnum moss. You get the same feel of a lit candle, without the worry of an open flame and dried materials. Not a good combination!

Make a table tray from a wood frame and burlap. Simply cut a piece of burlap to fit inside the picture frame, place the glass back in the frame and sit on your table.


This is a nice way to create something big out of a lot of small things. For example, place two or three LED lit jars from above on top, then place a few loose acorns and pumpkins on top.

Welcome guests with a chalkboard instead of the traditional wreath. There are all sorts of small, decorative chalkboards on the market, so grab one and write something welcoming and festive on it, hang on your door and jazz it up with a few sprigs of faux fall leaves and bittersweet.

Don’t be afraid to deviate from the standard oranges and reds. Try to go with a monochrome table setting like whites and creams.


Fill a vase with cotton stems and mix white pumpkins for a stunning tablescape.

The main thing to remember about fall decorating is to have fun with it. Explore natural elements outside to bring inside your home.

Now, go get your Pumpkin Spice Latte!

Saturday, 25 August 2018 07:53

Decorating Wisely: Fall Check list

By Glenda Wise

Next weekend the holiday season begins with a home football game in Norman. Next weekend includes tailgating and then spending the last bit of summer. Then, it will officially be the holiday season and I am all clear to begin the fall decorating and pumpkin bread making.

Unfortunately, before all the fun can begin, I will need to do a bit of fall housekeeping. I’m spending this weekend cleaning and getting things in order for the upcoming fall decorating. I like to take the opportunity to do deep cleaning a few times a year—before I decorate for fall, after I put away all the Christmas and New Year’s decorations and at the beginning of summer.


This is my fall cleaning checklist:
 Dust fans
 Wash windows (get it done before it gets too cold outside)
 Same goes for the porches—hose them down and thoroughly clean
 Clean blinds
 Vacuum and spot clean furniture (that’s actually a weekly thing for me because of our dogs)
 Clean on top of/under the fridge
 Clean baseboards
 Clean the corners of the ceiling, i.e., cobwebs
 Clean and rotate mattresses
 Clean out pantry and fridge (to make room for all that fabulous fall baking)
 Inventory spices (there is nothing worse than to start a baking project only to find you are out of a spice, so avoid it by inventorying early)
 Clean gutters and downspouts
 Clean coffee pot and change filters
 Move furniture so you can clean all those pesky spots dog hair tends to accumulate
 Organize paperwork you’ve been putting off (ugh...this one I really do not like)
 Make any necessary repairs to your fall decorations, so there will be no hold ups when decorating.

Now you are ready to decorate for fall and enjoy for the rest of the season.

Friday, 10 August 2018 23:34

Decorating Wisely: All about Details

By Glenda Wise


I hope you have enjoyed Grayson’s columns the last few weeks. By the time you are reading this, she will be moved into her dorm at OU. I sure am going to miss that girl.


She has kept us busy getting her from here to there for dance and whatever else she was doing. For the first time in 24 years, I won’t have a child at home that is solely dependent on me. I know I am not the first person to ever go through this and I certainly won’t be the last, but these past few months have been nothing but a major shift in family dynamics. First my mom’s unexpected passing and now Grayson moving to college. I know these things are all part of life’s ups and downs and I have been blessed more than I deserve, but dang they sure are hard to handle at the time.

The past few weeks we have tried to take in as much as we could before the big move. First, we went to the Philbrook Museum in Tulsa to see the Degas exhibit, then Magnolia Market and Table (totally worth the two hour wait) and then last weekend we went to Crystal Bridges to see the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit. One commonality I noticed between all three is that it’s all about the details. The Philbrook provided magnifying glasses to view the details in the Degas exhibit. The work itself was beautiful, but when viewed through a magnifying glass you were able to really see the detail and thought behind the overall piece.


At Magnolia, the detail involved in every square inch of that place was mind blowing. Everything really reflects Chip and Joanna’s personality and you could see that they hand a hand in all of it. Finally, the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit is all about finding the beauty in the simplest of things by focusing on a particular tiny portion of the subject. There was a hands-on area that provided a viewing object with a tiny hole and several different objects. The purpose was to view the object through the tiny hole and focus on all the details in that small area rather than look at the whole object. O’Keefe painted items that she selected and magnified specific details.

We have the ability to focus on details in our homes. Rather than obsessing over the look of the entire room, focus on a small area of the room. Pay attention to the details that are required to make it special. For example, focus on the sofa table in the living room.


Maybe that involves repainting the table all together to make it special, changing hardware, etc. Now focus on the top, what are details important to you and your family? I like to display special family photographs framed in beautiful frames on mine with a few special tattered books, an old copy of a Mark Twain, and then I soften the hard lines with a potted orchid (faux..I should add, but, hey, if you can grow a real one go for it!). At Christmas, I change it to a very special vintage manger set.

Focus on the details, enjoy your life and take time for the flowers like Georgia O’Keefe did.

Sunday, 05 August 2018 23:53

Decorating Wisely : Movin on Up

By Grayson Wise

Hello, my dear readers, it’s Grayson! We are talking about my dorm again since I have less than a week to move in. Needless to say, it has been the only thing on my mind. Just imagine me doing a little happy dance while I’m writing this because oh my goody goodness this is a thrilling feeling! Now, it’s still shocking to me that I am at this point in my life where I’m actually going tobe fully responsible for, well, basically everything, but I think I can handle it (high-fives selawkwardly).

Anyhow... the dorm! I want to talk about my final dorm shopping trip that happened this weekend! It was the highly anticipated Ikea trip of the summer. That store is literally Heaven on Earth. If you are currently thinking that you wouldn’t find anything in that store that you wouldlike, let me tell you, buddy, you are dead wrong. Ikea is this alternate universe where you see something completely unnecessary and obsolete to your life, and you immediately have this overwhelming desire to buy it. Maybe even more than one of said object. The store is a blessing and a curse.

The really, really good part about Ikea though, are the prices. Deals are everywhere! It’s so incredibly affordable, and that, my friends, is a very good thing for a college student. In case you have yet to hear, college is expensive and so is dorm shopping. So, fair warning when you or your kid goes off to the grand ‘ol university, and things get a little pricey.

Anyways, these prices. They make it so easy (along with the wide selection of products Ikea offers) to curate some really good pieces for your dorm, storage and decorating wise. I bought the prettiest white linen duvet cover for way under $100! That’s cheaper than any dorm bedding at Target, and way cheaper than any linen bedding I’ve priced. They also offer the handiest storage solutions. Example, I needed somewhere to store my blender, mini rice cooker, and plates... BAM. Ikea gives me a three-tiered rolling cart that is super space saving for a dorm!

Hellooo mini kitchen!! I’ll be whipping up the greatest dorm room meals anyone has ever seen! That’s all for today, so if you aren’t just totally convinced you need to go to Ikea... go ask another person how they feel about it. I’m willing to bet money they’ll rave about it to! I’m sure my mom will post pictures of my dorm when everything is set up, so next week, keep your eyes open!

Saturday, 28 July 2018 15:30

Decorating Wisely: PASTA

By Grayson Wise 


Bonjour... again! I’m becoming quite the frequent guest writer, aren’t I? This week I wanted to change it up a little bit and talk about food! What could be better than an article about cooking? Nothing! The only thing that could make it more wonderful and spectacular is if it is about pasta. Oh wait, it IS about pasta! Little fun fact about me, I love pasta more than anything. Well, except maybe a warm chocolate chip cookie... or pizza...


Okay, we are SERIOUSLY getting off track here. Let’s get back to the pasta. Today, I am going to be giving you my recipe to the most delicious ravioli dough. Yes, that is correct. I am teaching you how to make ravioli, and it is way easier than what people let on. To the ingredients!


Here is everything you need: 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oils, ½ cup of water, and 2 pinches salt.


That’s all folks! Now, I must say you might have to add a little flour or water here and there to get the dough right, but that’s going to happen no matter what, so don’t be afraid!


So, you’re gonna start by mixing the flour and salt together. Then, add the olive oil and half the water. I suggest mixing by hand to control the consistency (You’ve got to get messy to get delicious; wise words from Gesine Prado). So, now you keep folding the batter and adding water along the way until you form a nice dough ball.


Once the ball is made (not to dry and not to wet), split it in half and set one half aside. This way, it is easier to control the rolling. Keep your rolling pin and surface well-floured and roll away!

Flipping the dough a few times as you roll, you will eventually get a nice thin(ish) dough. Now we can assemble the ravioli!


Using a mason jar lid as a cutter, stamp out as many circles as you can. Once you have gotten all the use out of your dough and cut all the ravioli your heart desires, start filling! I always scoop a generous spoonful of my filling on the bottom half of my circle. On the top half, gently brush with water, then fold to the bottom half. Once you have this half-circle shape, use a fork to seal the edges (not unlike empanada making). Repeat until all the ravioli is filled and sealed!


Now, gently place all the raviolis into a pot of boiling water. They will be done cooking once they float to the top. This generally takes 3-4 minutes. Drain the pasta into a colander and top with all the sauce you want! Serve warm and immediately rejoice “Mamma Mía!’ while doing so. It will make you smile.


See? That wasn’t too hard. I hope this week is filled with pasta dreams and yummy ravioli! I’m outta here!


Ciao, Grayson.


Friday, 20 July 2018 21:41

Dorm Sweet Dorm

By Grayson Wise

Bonjour, it’s me, Grayson! I’ve been given the honor of writing my mom’s article again, so let’s hope I don’t disappoint her loyal readers!

As some of you probably know, I am going to be starting my freshman year at the University of Oklahoma this August. It’s been a very exciting summer, with the dorm planning, class scheduling, and all the other college preparation happening every day. With that said, you can see this summer has gone by extremely quickly to me. It’s already near the end of July, and I move to Norman in less than three weeks.


Did your jaw just drop? I know mine did because I still have trouble believing I’m actually an adult and am going to college (I’d be lying if I didn’t say I am ecstatic for it though).

Anyways... I think the most fun about preparing for college is the dorm room!

Yes, it is quite the small space, but if I’m living there for a year, you’re darn right it’s going to be extremely cute. I’ve honestly been planning it since my freshman year of high school, so let’s just accept the fact I over-plan for everything in my life. What can I say? I like to have a fairly clear vision.


It does tend to change A LOT, but hey, that’s life! Lucky for me, my roommate does the same thing! Although we’ve only met each other a couple of times, we’ve texted nonstop about what our perfect dorm would look like. I’m happy to say we have very similar decorating styles, so our flow is going to be unreal!

Our dorm room has very deep, rich colors and textures, which I love with all my heart. A room can’t be very interesting without some good texture, am I right? The easiest way to add some pizazz is with throw pillows and rugs, and we have lots of both! My roommate bought the prettiest cranberry red area rug that has lots of other jewel-tone colored flourishes embedded throughout the design.


It has a very Turkish feel to it, and that just adds tons of character in my book! We also plan on covering our bland walls with unique art and textiles we’ve found at various thrift stores, garage sales, online stores, and local shops. One of my favorite finds has to be these vintage18th-century style mini portraits.


They totally give me a Marie Antoinette vibe. Hanging objects and photos on the walls allow us to add our personality into the room without actually using up any of the valuable floor space. We need all the room we can get if you know what I mean!


If I used three words to describe our dorm, they would be: eclectic, cozy, and fresh. I can’t wait to show all of you the photos of the finished product, so, mark your calendars for August 8th! Now I’ve got to go... I still have a few things to buy!

Au revoir,

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