Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Fullamanure #4: Everyone needs to be in a multi-level marketing company at some time in their life

Just to back up a few years, Shouna and I moved to Chicago in 1976 as I was transferred by EDS to work on a facilities management contract with Central National Bank of Chicago which is about one block from the Sears Tower and one block west of the old First National Bank of Chicago and on the west side of the L-train.  I was on the 3rd floor which is eye level with the L which was always interesting but noisy.  I was an SE - systems engineer which means I wrote programs for EDS and ultimately banks.  Just for a little more background and historical record keeping for my children, I was a programmer who wrote computer programs in assembler language primarily and reports were written in COBOL.  I doubt anyone knows what those languages are but maybe COBOL as assembler language is right next to binary / hexadecimal which are combinations of zeros and 1's or more specifically on or off.  Does that help at all? My most famous adventure in EDS lore was that I was an expert on what we called WAAPDSUT or I-AM-a-SUPPER-ZAP.  Basically it was a method to change things in the computer by breaking ALL security and it was a "lose your job" for trying it thing to do.  The funny thing about it was that we had installed a new banking system DDA which meant demand deposit accounting and it had a lot of problems which created what we called dumps.  Basically that means it broke often and generally in the middle of the night.  Bob Scott was a super smart guy who headed the team out of Dallas and I was the local Chicago person supporting the system.  It was the middle of the night when we got what was called a data-exception or SOC7.  In English that means the system crashed and no one's account would be updated in the morning unless it was fixed.  Well, I solved the problem and called Bob in the middle of the night and he told me to use the I-AM-a-SUPPER-ZAP routine.  I told him NO and he yelled at me, cussed at me and then threatened to get me fired if I did not use it to fix the problem.  I explained that I was trained that it was grounds for being fired if I proceeded.  Finally after a lot of yelling I did the deed.  As it turned out I became a hero and became the go to guy around EDS for  I-AM-a-SUPPER-ZAP. 

I should add that Bob became a close friend and moved to Chicago where he was the team leader.  At one time he told me I would become an alcoholic before he became a Christian.  He lost that one.  Should I also mention that Bob and his wife had a few of us over for a very formal dinner where the salad had cherry tomatoes on it?  Well as a side story I tried to eat one of those tomatoes and squeezed it in my mouth to the point it exploded and went all the way across the table.  Not COOL!

Back to the subject, shortly after joining First Baptist Church of Hoffman Estates we met some folks who seemed to drip with money, Brian and Marg Hayes.  Shouna and I were sitting in church and they were sitting next to us but after church they were extremely nice and invited us to a musical downtown at the McCormick Place.  A week later they dropped by our apartment in their motor home and picked us up for the musical.  We were impressed.  When we got to the McCormick Place Brian parked at the front door (a little surprising) and we got out and walked in.  To our surprise everyone there seemed to know the  Hayes family.  After the musical we met Rich DeVoss, founder of Amway and what seemed like a hundred people.  Again we were impressed.  We had no idea who we were with or what Amway was or even who Rich DeVoss was.  A few days went by and of course they shared the multi-level marketing plan with us and Shouna and I were off on another Fullamanure adventure.  In less than 12 months and a lot of stories later we were making more money part time in Amway than I was at EDS working about 60 to 80 hours a week.  Over the next five years we found ourselves traveling a lot with folks in Amway including our first trip out of the continental US together to Puerto Rico.  We even became speakers at Amway rallies and they flew us around the country to speak to hundreds and thousands of people.  It was a great time and shortly after Wynter was born in Hoffman Estates, Illinois in 1979 we moved back to Oklahoma to raise our lovely girl where she would know her grandparents and cousins.  It was a great time with lots of great memories and yes our Amway income continued for years even though we were not active until we forgot to renew one year.  

Well, what do you learn in the Osage?
  • You can do anything you set your mind to
  • Life is like a box of chocolates, you don't know what you might get
  • Life is an adventure, keep your eyes on your goal and not on the effort
Thanks for listening,

Friday, September 15, 2017

Fullamaneur #3: Diversify but do it at the right time

In 1980 we moved back to Oklahoma from Elk Grove Village which is a suburb to Chicago where I worked for 5 years for EDS/Ross Perot.  I was still under 30 and lots of ambition flowed through my veins.  So about the end of 1980 I had found an acre of land in El Reno on Country Club Road close to Interstate 40 and where the town was growing.

Well I am still amazed she hung around me after all my idea, but we decided to build a day care center because everyone needed one these days and El Reno is where Shouna grew up and they needed a lot of services.  I got a bank to give me a loan and about $450,000 later I was in business and I had some wonderful folks in El Reno working and we were off to a great start.  BUT HOLD ON, I did not expect the state of Oklahoma to change the rules and reduce reimbursements for child services for folks on assistance by over 20% and then change the rules on how many children per student and raise taxes and add more paperwork.  I did not know the federal government was going to spend millions of dollars to open a single day care center much less several and each one that opened took a few more students.  I did not know that if you had a government daycare center like at the FAA which cost over $2 million and charged the same or less and paid the employees twice as much as me because they did not have a mortgage payment or property taxes.  Then the worst happened, Penn Square and First National Bank of Oklahoma City failed and about half the banks in Oklahoma were ultimately closed and as they use to say "the fat lady sang" in Oklahoma and about every company in Oklahoma was either broke or going broke and layoffs were everywhere.

Luckily I had a great job and as we started losing thousands of dollars a month then 5 and 10 thousand a month I figured out that other folks in the same business were broke and worse off than me.  In fact I went to the broke banks and found a few more daycare centers that were shuttered and I was able to purchase buildings that originally cost $500,000 for less than half and without any money down as long as I would make the payments on those buildings.  Well, suddenly I had a chain of daycare centers called "Country Club Children's Centers" and I was able to move from losing $10,000 per month to 5 then 3 then 2 then even make a little profit.  I did have to finally close the El Reno center because it was always losing money and if you remember "The Rainbow Bible" developed by Billy Huey of El Reno became the new owner.  My trash became their treasure and blessing.  Who says the Lord does not work in mysterious ways?

To end all this I would say I learned a lot about a lot of things.

So what do you learn in the Osage?

  • In every pile of manure is fertilizer for something to grow, just give it time
  • The lessons you learn make you ready for the next hill
  • After every hill you climb there will be another hill on the horizon and in the next valley is fertile soil for another dream to bloom, maybe growing right out of that old manure patty
Thanks for listening,
check out

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Fullamaneur story number 2: If you have a dream, make it happen!

Photo: pumpkin patch at clifford farms before clifford farms... olson family farms and before that for a short time green acres... shouna made me change it.
I am so blessed in that I have a wife and sometimes a reluctant family (when they were younger) who allowed my ideas to become real and I would have to admit that Mom and Dad did a lot to encourage me to follow those dreams.  So here we go on #2:

I am trying to figure out what year we started THE PUMPKIN PATCH as it was to become known.  It must have been about 24 years ago when I purchased a farm west of Edmond on 178th between May and Penn.  It was nothing but 80 acres of sunflowers and ragweed but I saw something much bigger, A FARM, but not just any farm.  I saw what I called Green Acres Farms.  Actually I got that name because my family and especially my wife made fun of me as I would go out after work in my dark suit, white shirt and tie and get on my tractor and start working.  Now if you are not old enough to remember the TV series Green Acres with Eva Gabor and Eddie Albert whom always dressed formal, like me, on his farm you should look it up and watch a few of the shows.

We really did not get started with the idea of a pumpkin patch but it was about June 1st when I took over the farm and the only crop I could get planted and harvest that first year was pumpkins.  So the entire family got to work including Mom and Dad who now lived in Perkins Oklahoma (long story on how and why they left the Osage for Perkins where Dad carried the mail and Mom opened a TV and appliance store).  We plowed and worked about 20 acres and planted it to pumpkins.  I researched and laid down drip pipe and used a water well to pump water 7 days a week 24 hours a day through miles and miles of lay flat pipe to reach the drip pipe with drippers every 12 inches.  Things went pretty well until around the middle of August when the pumpkin plants were getting pretty big and someone tossed a cigarette out the window placing the entire section on fire.  There were no houses within a couple of miles but the flames were extremely high and the fire was hot and fast as it moved south to north.  I was on my way back from Kingfisher when I saw a giant amount of smoke in the distance.  Naturally I thought it was close to the farm but not the farm.  As I got closer and closer I figured it was our place.  Fire trucks were everywhere and Wynter and Chase were there driving vehicles off the property (remember Chase was 9 and Wynter was 12).

Well the great thing was it burnt off all the dead grass but it burned down the barn and Ford tractor but the real blessing was the fire jumped right over the plastic pipes (I guess because there was cold water in the pipes) and the water never stopped flowing and NONE of the pumpkin plants were damaged.  Our farm made the front page of the Daily Oklahoman and we were famous, the hard way.

Well, when October rolled around we had contacted a few schools and churches to see if they would like to have a field trip to the pumpkin patch where we would tell them how God made provision for us through farming and crops and seeds and hard work.  SURPRISE SURPRISE!  It went crazy and we had thousands of folks come out to pick pumpkins.  In fact we estimated over 25,000 people came the first year.  This could be an entire book of stories as we continued over the next 7 years opening our farm to as many as 75,000 folks the last year we were open.

Today the farm is known as Clifford Farms, named after my dad and one of the streets is named Opal Lane.  If you know much about me you know most of my companies are named Lane Legacy or Lane Financial or something similar.

In summary we really never made a lot of money but we made a lot of memories and gave a lot of memories as we plowed all the money back into barns and tractors and more farm equipment and trailers for hay rides and then animals and a lot of hired help.

So what do you learn from the Osage?

  • If you build it, they will come
  • It is not what you get in life but what you give
  • If you take a little manure and mix it with a dream you get a great memory
Thanks for your time,

take a look at

Home on the Range: What do you learn at 13,190 feet

Home on the Range: What do you learn at 13,190 feet

Monday, September 4, 2017

Home on the Range: The Osage created Entrepreneurs and Fullamaneurs, ...

Home on the Range: The Osage created Entrepreneurs and Fullamaneurs, ...: Being from the Osage is a big advantage in life for a lot of reasons.  Over the years folks have called me a lot of things and most of them...

The Osage created Entrepreneurs and Fullamaneurs, I am the latter.

Being from the Osage is a big advantage in life for a lot of reasons.  Over the years folks have called me a lot of things and most of them I probably don't want to know.  But, the most common thing I am called (to my face anyway) is Entrepreneur.  Now, I would have to take exception to that and tell you I am just a Fullamaneur (full of manure).  You can be assured a lot of what you have heard about me is true and probably a lot is not but I thought it might be fun to tell you of a few of my ventures and why living in the Osage, Shidler and Grainola were so extremely valuable to my life and I absolutely would not change it even with some of the pain I have had to go through.

My first story of a true Fullamaneur venture:  Brad Krieger (past president of Arvest Bank in Oklahoma), hope he does not mind me telling this story, and I started a company for our two sons, both named Chase and born about 2 weeks apart.  Now Brad is about the smartest person I have known and he is certainly one of my biggest fans.  Now that I think about it, the reason he is one of my biggest fans is he is about 6 ' 6" and 300 pounds.  He could probably take one hand and grab a person's head and squeeze it like a pimple until it pops but he is about as soft spoken and nice a person you can find.  OK, back to the story.  Brad filed the papers with the State of Oklahoma and named our company 2COK, meaning 2 Chases, Olson and Krieger.  Now you would think a guy as smart as he is and president of a bank would know better.  You see, our boys were about 16 years old at the time and good looking and their business cards would read 2COKs tree planting services.  Do I need to explain what is wrong with this?  If you don't get it just call me and I will explain.  I pointed this situation out to Brad and he thought it wise to change the name to C2OK.  And yes, Brad and I purchased the biggest tree spade you can find attached to the biggest truck you can find so our boys could dig and plant BIG trees.

Headache after headache to keep that thing going and we dug very few trees and thus planted very few.  In fact I think I did almost all the digging and planting for free.  So you see we purchased another story in our lives and have a many a laugh over it.

So what do you learn in the Osage?

  • Think BIG and do something, it is better to fail than to never try
  • If you want a good story be willing to spend some money on it
  • Smart folks don't always get it right the first time either
Thanks for reading

Friday, September 1, 2017

TV Antennas and what goes around comes around

Well I don't know about you but when I was living in the Osage on Beaver Creek (yes, beaver creek was a for real place) we had two TV channels to watch 2 and 6 but if you lived on a hill you might get 5 like Eddy Harris and Jon Tanny Olsen (yes, his real name is Tanny and his grandparents were Nanny and Tanny, for real).  Now Jon Tanny not only had 3 stations but his family had a color TV.  The only color we had  on our TV was the wood frame it was in.  Did I mention that the TV was about 25 inches square and about 30 inches deep in the back where there were about a hundred tubes ( a little exaggeration)?  It probably weighed at least 50 pounds.  Now back to the point.  Everyone had an antenna which we called rabbit ears because it had two telescoping metal rods attached which you spread out and pointed until the TV channel was at its clearest.  And yes, you did have to adjust it often especially if there was a cloud cover.  I do remember one of the most annoying parts to this was it seemed the TV picture was like a page in a book and kept flipping over and over again.  It drove me nuts at times but if you could tune things in just right the picture would not flip like pages in a book.  Thank goodness to Mr. Rash (Jerri and Jodi's dad and of course Gene)  he could fix any TV and if he did not Uncle Bill Heath could but he lived in Ponca (short for Ponca City).  Yes, he was Jim Heath's uncle as well but he was much cooler being my uncle, just kidding.  I love Uncle Bill and Aunt Peggy but that is another story or group of stories.  Just ask me about Aunt Peggy making strawberry daiquiris'.

Well, we got trapped again in side stories.  Antennas,  I just read the other day that only about 20% of folks today know that you can still use antennas with your TV.  I am SHOCKED.  The fact is if you get an antenna (they look very different today and you need an HD antenna) you can get about 38 stations and get rid of cable or satellite TV saving close to $100 per month.  You see, the cost of an antenna is about $15 and the 38 channels are FREE.  You do not even need Internet service.

That brings me to the next point.  If you have Internet service you can get a ROKU device (about $30 and you don't need the flashy one which is about $100) which gives the TV access to the Internet and you can get about any channel you want for a small monthly fee and in many cases free.  If you are a movie freak you can get Netflix or better yet Amazon Prime which gives you movies and free delivery of items via Amazon.  Last month almost 1 million people unhooked cable TV or Satellite TV and saved over $100 per month.  Just FYI, don't get the Apple TV as it limits access to a lot of channel options over the internet (sorry folks who are Apple nuts but they are very proprietary).

Back to Antennas!  Who would have ever thought?  Cheap and easy, I like the sound of that.  It reminds me of sitting on the porch on Beaver Creek in the evening listening to the wind going through the trees and the coyotes howling and many times walking across the hill side outside the front porch of the house.  Those are great memories and I don't even need an antenna.

So what do you learn in the Osage?

  • Don't throw away your antenna
  • Listening to the wind and coyotes is better than CNBC or Fox and a lot less annoying
  • Peace of mind is found in your own heart
Thanks for listening,

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Cable TV

I sit here and laugh about CABLE.  When I was a kid in the Osage cable was something we used to build fence or hang a water gap.  I am sure you have seen cable fencing so I will not explain but you probably don't know what a I mean by a water gap.  We lived on Beaver Creek and where water or the creek ran from our land to Aunt Helen Conner's place or the McConaghy's or from the Harris family or the Kelly's place we had to build something across the creek that could withstand flooding and ultimately keep the cattle and other livestock on our place.  Well I remember hanging cable from one giant oak tree on one side of the creek to another oak on the other side.  We used the tractor and pickup both to pull the cable tight.  I bet that cable weighed 1000 pounds or more so there was not an option.  Then we hung old farm implements in the middle to block the crossing.  The way it worked was that trees that died up the creek would wash into the water gap we built and create a barrier to the animals from getting out of the pasture.  Hopefully that was a clear picture of a water-gap.

Alright, back to CABLE as you know it.  Basically there was NO cable TV or Internet but only a hard wire for telephone and it hung overhead attached to the same poles as the electric line.  We had a TV antenna we called rabbit ears to connect the non-HD TV stations (we had 2 channels)  we had available in Grainola.  Now those Shidler and city kids from Grainola got at least 3 stations with their rabbit ears.  Another cool thing was the TV itself.  It was about 100 pounds and at least 3 feet deep and the face was about 20 inches before it got to be 29.  Also the back was filled with tubes not chips and either Uncle Bill Lane or Uncle Bill Heath or Joe Rash (Shidler TV and Appliance) had to come out and replace a tube on occasion.  The one thing I can say is it was always fun because they would typically come in the evening and it was fun to visit with them and watch the repairs and testing of those tubes.

Somewhere or sometime after I started college we got something really fancy called coax cable.  It was one copper wire inside some kind of shielding material and wrapped in black plastic.  You might still have some today at your house typically installed by Cox or AT&T.  Now we have a satellite called dish which brings it into the house using some of the coax cable but that is now old technology and we are getting our TV channels on an antenna for local stations, about 38 stations and it is HD.  We are in the process of getting rid of the satellite on the roof as we have a ROKU and Apple TV and all kinds of options beyond that.  We were actually paying over $150 per month to watch about 1 hour of TV a week and that was for spring storms/weather.  Come to think of it when I was in college I was paying $60 a month for Shouna and my first apartment rent.  I think that included utilities.

So, we went from paying nothing to almost $150 per month back to nothing.  We do pay $8.50 per month for Netflix and of course Amazon Prime which is $100 per year but includes tens of thousands of movies and other shows and FREE shipping for anything ordered on Amazon which is typically delivered in less than 2 days from anywhere in America.  WOW!!!!!!!  I love these wacky names but here is another which I have not done.  I am looking at SLING so I can get all of ESPN and FOX News for $20 per month.  I have not decided, yet.

I should also mention I still have a home phone number which 38% of Americans have discontinued.  I pay less than $4 per month and get it over the Internet using OOMA which includes all the cool features.

OK, that gets me to the real point of all of this.  Why if technology makes things better and cheaper am I paying $185 per month for two cell phones plus the new IPHONE is going to be $1000 or the Samsung which is about $750?  I think something is screwy when a commodity and a necessity like this is so pricey and it keeps going up.  I think we have a legalized monopoly and I thought that was against the law.  And why does the government GIVE 38,000,000 free phones to folks? At tax payers expense!  In case you did not know it the government does not pay for anything with its money but with yours if you pay your fair share or unfair share of taxes!

CABLE has come and gone just like the land line for telephone and 8 tracks and cassettes and desk top computers and floppy drives (who thought up that name?) and the list goes on and on.

So what do you learn in the Osage?
  • Life is full of change and we have to adapt
  • Spending can get out of control so you have to stay on top of it
  • Embrace the future and get over the past and enjoy life 
Love ya'll,

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Everybody has dreams, but HOPE?

A famous person once said, "dreams are not goals but when you turn dreams into goals you create HOPE".

 I have always been a dreamer or at least a visionary as my wife would say.  Actually I do not know what I would call myself but I do agree that I think of a lot of possibilities.  Perhaps I am a possibility thinker?  I like that.  One of my pet-peeves is talking about things and not doing anything about it.  Let me give you a few examples:

I don't dance and everyone from Grainola, Shidler and college can verify this is true especially my wife.  However, several years back I got tired of folks always (including Shouna) saying we should go ballroom dancing.  I guess the Dancing with the Stars is what started this but it seems like the comments started long before the show.  Anyway, I decided to start a ballroom dance club.  Boy was that stupid.  Well it went pretty well except that shortly after we started I had a motorcycle wreck and spent almost the entire year on crutches.  Shouna danced with Richard who was nearly a professional for that time.  I just set up each week and played the music.  It really was fun and we peaked out at around 65 folks.  Summers were devastating and after about a year or two we stopped plus the building got sold.

For years I talked about the stories my dad told plus the experiences I had in growing up in the Osage and of course the famous One Arm Bandit, pre-one arm, stories that I had collected in my desk.  Actually I wrote several stories about folks I grew up with and put in that folder including Julian Codding who was and is the smartest guy you will meet.  Well, it took the passing of Don Kelsey to get me started but that is when I started blogging.  The truth is I did not start this for you but for my children and grandchildren of which I have one so far.  She is Perfect!  I also started filming my parents telling stories and history about their past.  All of this is to tell you that a friend, Chris Johnson, and I have developed an APP for YOU to write your stories to pass to your children.  It should go live in two weeks 06-09-2017 assuming everything gets finished.  It is free.  Now I should assume you don't know what an APP is.  First it is NOT an appaloosa horse (spotted rear-end).  It is not a test like an aptitude test.  It is an application which you can load on these dad-gum cell phones.  So it is another one of those things I got tired of talking about and decided to do something.  I hope you get fed up with not doing something you know you need to do.  Anyway, search the APP-store for MyLifeLegacy in a couple of weeks or sign up on Facebook by looking up MyLifeLegacy or go to the web page .  Boy that was a mouthful.

Oh ya, that quote at the beginning was mine.  I just thought it funny to say it was someone famous.

So what do you learn in the Osage?
  • If you put off doing something it will never get done.
  • As my dad use to say, "let's do something, even if it is wrong"
  • If you try, try, and try again you will win.
  • Never, Never give up!
Thanks for listening,

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Take a look at yourself

Well, we all have to take a look at ourselves sometimes and what we see can be good and it can be bad but how we react is the most important.  For myself I think one of my biggest struggles in life is pride.  I am very proud of growing up in the Osage and Grainola and going to Shidler High School and graduating from SWOSU and working for EDS and then there is my family and my career and the jobs I have had and the companies I started or help start.  But and I do mean but or however, it is fun telling all the good side of what I have accomplished but (there goes that word again) it seems that about the time things are going really great and folks (including self) start putting you (me) on a pedestal I get WHACKED.  Now let me explain WHACKED.  That is also called humbled and I think it comes about more as we get older and realize that God has something to teach us(me).  Now if you are like me, I get tired of the lessons and just want to get some clarity on what God is doing my life.

So lets set this up in an example so you can see what I learned.

In fact let's do it with a little time line of life:

For whatever reason I always wanted to be great at something and early in life it was baseball and I was probably about 10 or 11.  I felt like I was one of the best on our Grainola team which was coached by Jim Olsen, Jack Heath and my dad (Cliff Olson) and I think Cack Harrington but not sure.  What I thought was really great was somewhat of a disaster.  We had to play those Shidler teams where Steve Chrisco threw blazing fast balls which I literally never hit and AJ and about everyone on their team got a hit every time they got up to bat.  All that means we lost every game with maybe one win per year.  Humility is my summary.

In high school and college I wanted to be the smartest in my classes since as it turned out I was not particularly athletic even though I got to play every sport and literally almost every minute and every inning of each sport.  But then I spent my time and effort comparing myself to everyone else rather than just trying to be the best me.  Again I was humbled by the brilliance of those in my classes to find myself still wondering what was I going to be great at.  Humbled again by brilliant folks or at least I hoped they were brilliant because that would at least say I was average.

I was always in awe of those who were so spiritually mature and especially those who could articulate the Bible.  I was challenged to figure out why I was a Methodist and why I thought I was a Christian.  The reality was I knew lots of stories and lived a good moral life but I really did not know why I believed what I believed about Christ and the Bible.  I spent a year studying and I would admit I was pretty poor at those studies but I did get the basics.  Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose on the third day and there were plenty of witnesses and lots of documentation of the life of Christ outside of the Bible (read: Evidence that demands a verdict and Archeology of the Bible).  I finally realized that I knew Christ but I had never trusted Him so I did the thing I thought Becky Sharp (another story)  was so ridiculous about and I trusted Jesus without reservation.  I again was humbled to know that I was just a sinner and no better than anyone else.  I just had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and that was the difference maker.  Humbled again.

Then there comes about 42 years of business and I have had some winners and some losers but overall I came out OK.  Recently one of my most prideful endeavors was making me so proud only to find that someone, somehow and someway screwed up and now I feel like a prideful idiot.  I just scratch my head and wonder how in the world can something doing so well get so messed up?  Well, I am here to tell you it is a function of PRIDE.  I think when we get to the point we are thinking, "look at what we have accomplished" and don't give credit to the blessings of God and how other folks contributed to the success we have missed the mark.  Now I am not saying that folks cannot be highly successful but I am saying that we all have to recognize that it is not because of our personal brilliance or vision or hard work but that it takes a lot of talents from a lot of folks to make something successful.  YEP, I am humbled again and boy am I tired Lord of learning these lessons.  So Lord if you don't mind just give me the answers and not make me go through any more humbling experiences.

So what do you learn in the Osage?
  • Pride is the wrecking ball of success
  • Humble ourselves and ask for God's direction
  • Don't compare yourself to others as you will always find someone better than you
  • Life is like a box of chocolates, you just don't know what you are gonna get
thanks for blessing me with your reading,

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Easter Egg Hunt in the Osage

Obviously Easter is not about bunnies and hunting eggs but it was a heck of a lot of fun growing up hunting and coloring Easter Eggs.  What was your favorite part ?  Here is a side note:  go to and start writing your story.  Well I have to say I loved coloring Easter eggs and my sister was the gasoline that ignited that fire.  Another way of saying that is she was the energy behind the coming of Easter and all its trimmings.  She taught me to love coloring those eggs and I especially remember the WAX pencil that allowed you to write on an egg and after coloring it your name or message would pop out.  Now for me, I am the guy who always wonders who thought of that.  It was such a great idea.  I also remember folks like Joy Frank who was particularly talented and artsie ( that is a derogative word from a jealous or less talented person like me) who brought her colored eggs to school and they were really cool. 

Now the second best part of Easter (when I was a child assuming I have grown up) was the HUNT.  I was always bigger and faster (due to my size not quickness) and I would always be very competitive at getting the most eggs.  Now most of you youngens (yes, that is a word because I learned it as a child in Grainola) eggs were not always plastic and broke into two parts and were filled with candy and money.  NOPE, ours were real eggs, chicken eggs for the most part.  At the end of each Easter we had the best deviled eggs you can imagine and I have no why you take an Easter egg which represents the beginning of life and Christ and call it a deviled egg, strange?   However I do remember Eddie Harris on occasion would bring a goose egg that was about 3 or 4 times bigger than a chicken egg.  I don't remember how old I was when someone brought in those plastic eggs but it was late in my childhood experience.  The best part of our egg hunts was that literally every child in and around Grainola (yes, Oklahoma) came for the hunts.  We had them in school and after school and at church and it did not matter who you were or what color your skin or what your economic status or even your church affiliation and even if you did not have a church affiliation you came with an Easter basket  and fire in your eye to compete.  Sure there were winners and losers but pretty much everyone got at least a few eggs.  I don't know how the parents made sure but they did.  For us Fabulous Four (Jimmy, Hugh Allen, Jon Tanny and me) we always had a great time.  We competed with all ages and of course as we got older we did better but I consider those as learning experiences.  I remember competing against my brother Larry who was four years older and my cousin Bill Snyder (son of Gladys) and Billy Don Head (Head country BBQ family) and Joe Conner (smart and Eagle Scout) and Jay Olsen (not a bad guy but a smart elic sometimes) Glen McConaghy, Dee Johnson and the list goes on and on.  Oh ya, there were girls in the race.

And then of course there was Sunday Church.  Generally the girls would have new dresses and the guys would have new Levis or maybe a pair of slacks or a new set of shoes.  We never did it very many times but a few times we would have sunrise church services and they were good and bad.  The bad was we had to get up in the dark and be out on a hill top in the Osage before daylight.  The good and I can say great is we watched the sun come up and there were typically three crosses on the hillside with the sun coming up and symbolically THE SON came up as well.  Those were GREAT moments and impactful for my entire life.

Wow, great memories and here is a final thought:


Happy Easter 2017,


Friday, April 7, 2017

Expectations -

I don't know about you but I have always been a pleaser (not an official word) and I cannot say that is a great thing.  My dad and mom and my Aunt Gladys and my Aunt Peggy were always folks I looked up to and NEVER wanted to disappoint.  Dad never said much but he just expected the best and I wanted to please him.  But those sisters, Opal, Gladys Snyder and Peggy Heath, were another story.  Those three girls were smart, very smart but they kind of had a critical nature to them and they were all strongly opinionated.  I think I just never wanted them mad at me so it was easier to be a pleaser.  All kidding aside, Mom had a passion for me to do my best, Aunt Gladys bragged on me so much I never wanted to disappoint her and Aunt Peggy was the funest (not a word that you can find in the dictionary) Aunt a guy could ever have so I just wanted to be around her and Uncle Bill and of course Joe, Cathy and Marie.  The problem with all of this is if you don't know what their expectations are you never know if you succeed.  Luckily mom and dad always let me know I had arrived somehow and met their expectations.  I will have to say over the years there were many time I was not sure.

Aunt Peggy and Aunt Gladys (Mrs. Snyder for those Shidler folks) were hard to figure as I never did know if I had met their expectations which I sincerely  wanted to   The funny side is both would ask me if they were my favorite aunt and of course I told them both YES.  I had good reason.  Aunt Peggy made the best cinnamon rolls and Aunt Gladys was my encourager and invested a lot of time and effort in me over my life.  I never wanted to disappoint them.

All that brings me to the real point of this topic.  Over the years I have found that folks make decisions about you without ever talking to you and or knowing what you think and a lot of times they are emotionally charged for no reason.  How about a good old time example:  I remember when my first cousin Bill Snyder cornered me at a family reunion about the politics of "right to work" legislation.  There were a bunch of family there who were die hard democrats that assumed because I was a business man that I was against the unions and for "right to work" legislation.  Quit frankly I had not given it a thought at the time but about four of my favorite relatives jumped on the band-wagon and I felt attacked.  I want you to know I love every one of them regardless of that event but I have never forgotten it.  I did not have a dog in that fight but they had EXPECTATIONS that I was against unions.  Another time I made the comment that Bill Clinton was not that bad of a president and in fact did some good things in spite of his moral compass.  You would of thought I was looking for a fight.  I was trying to point out that there is good in all presidents regardless of being a democrat or republican.  I failed the expectations test again. 

My point in all of this is lets look for the good in ALL people regardless of our differences.  Yes it is true I am a conservative republican but I will tell you some wonderful folks are die hard democrats.  Mark Hammons is the head of the democratic party in Oklahoma and a fine person married to a wonderful wife, Lourie and they are long time friends.  My neighbors Brad and Kim Henry are so nice they make me want to be a democrat (Brad is the past governor of Oklahoma), just kidding on becoming a democrat.  Sure, I am dropping names but do you get the point?  STOP having expectations that everyone see your point of view and just try to understand theirs and you might learn something.

So what do you learn in the Osage?
  • Expectations are a great way to be disappointed in someone else and in the end you will be disappointed with You having unrealistic expectations
  • Expectations can be the most encouraging thing you can do for someone if you just let them know (like Aunt Gladys expecting me to be great at math)
  • Treating someone bad because You have expectations for them to act like you want is unreasonable and unfair
  • The best expectations are those you have a chance at succeeding at if you know what they are.
Thanks for listening,


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Home on the Range: I just assumed every family was like mine

Home on the Range: I just assumed every family was like mine

I just assumed every family was like mine

I guess I am like everyone else in that I assumed that every family was just like mine growing up, but I was wrong.

I watched and learned when I did not even know I was learning a thing.  When I was really small I watched Mom, Opal Wanetta Olson (Lane)), iron every shirt and every pair of pants and even the sheets on the bed and she did it with Niagara Spray Starch in the green can when things got a little more modern.  Before that she would mix her own starch and somehow shake it out of a bottle.  She cooked every meal from scratch and not because there were mixes or shortcuts but because that is the only choice she had.  Every house had a giant flour bin because every decent cook bought flour in huge sacks, not small small paper bags.  In fact those flower sacks were about 20 pounds and the sacks were saved to make clothes.

So what did I learn from watching Mom do all that cooking and ironing, she loved her family.  She was dedicated to doing the right thing and she loved my dad.  She must have because he wore those ironed clothes out to feed the cattle and in about 20 minutes those clothes were getting dirty and no one was there to judge how he looked.  Kind of interesting, wouldn't you say?

She cooked a big breakfast everyday unless you just told her you wanted cereal.  She made home made bread every week and served it at every meal.  Again, what was I learning as I watched these actions?  Family was important, be dependable, be organized, clean up afterwords, help without asking and the list goes on and on with what you can learn without saying a word.

I don't recall if Mom every said "I love you" to my dad with her voice but she said it every day with her actions.  Now I want to make it real clear that it is important to tell people you love with your voice and your actions but Mom seemed to do it rather well with her actions.

I never knew I was learning my values and views of the world through them when I was growing up but later it was pretty obvious and of course for those reading my blogs you should have picked up on this.

Mom was more social than Dad and therefore we played a lot of card games and board games as a family and with friends and neighbors.  It was very competitive around our house.  Dad was not as competitive but would always support and laugh.  His laugh was a genuine laugh of observation.  He hardly ever tried to be funny but he was in that he came up with witty statements often.  One of my favorites was he would say, "I saved your life.  I killed a shit eating mouse.".  I do hope you got the joke there.

So what do you learn in the Osage?

  • Normal is what you grow up with, cause there ain't no normal
  • Good or bad, we all learn every day and every hour about others but most importantly about ourselves.
  • Remember someone is learning every day from you so be your best
Thanks for listening,
join us on and write your stories

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Can't get enough of those Sugar Crisp

Now there is one for the ages.  How many folks remember Sugar Crisp?  I sure do and I usually got Post Toasties and sometimes Cheerios (some things never change).  So here is the big question:

What makes Sugar Crisp taste sooooo very good?  I know the answer, Post Toasties and Cheerios.  You probably think I am crazy but think about it!  If all you had to eat was Sugar Crisp you would get tired of them just like the Jewish folks held up in the desert for 40 years got tired of manna.  You would think folks would be happy to just not go hungry.  Heck NO!  We are people, humans to be precise and we get tired of the same old things.  So if you think about it, am I right or not? 

Now here is another reason to back up my thoughts.  Sugar Crisp cost about twice as much per volume as Post Toasties making them a more sought after commodity.  If you don't think that works consider how much you would like a BMW if it cost the same as a VW Bug.  You know I am right so give it up. 

Now one last reason that Sugar Crisp taste better because of Post Toasties.  I bet you love cashews and think that they taste better than peanuts because you just like them better.  NOT one bit, it is only because cashews are more expensive and when you mix them there are fewer in the can of peanuts.  And yes, peanuts make cashews taste better because there are more peanuts than cashews. 

Now if you are not buying my argument listen to one last bit of wisdom (that might be an opinion of mine rather than really wisdom but it makes me feel good).  I have the best wife and 3 kids and one granddaughter in the world.  I fell in love with my wife, Shouna, not because she was like all the peanuts or Post toasties but because she is Sugar Crisp and a Cashew.  Now, do you get it?

So what do you learn in the Osage?
  • Special is really just different
  • Variety is the spice of life
  • What you see is important may be hiding behind something obvious (think about it)
Thanks for listening,

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