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March 2019

Turning Loss into a Win Kelsey Johnson’s basketball success at Santa Fe High School

Pine Pantry

Aley Cristelli champions the metro’s Little Free Pantry movement

Local Eats:

Matty McMillen’s Family-friendly sports bar with an Irish twist

Swine Week Giving back to the community


Features

Have you ever met anyone famous? That topic of conversation came up the other night while having dinner with friends. I enjoy hearing stories from each person. Sports figures, a newscaster, a famous author - all good tales. When the focus came around to me, I started by asking, “Do you want to hear about Charles Schulz, Howard Stern, Brooke Shields or Sir Anthony Hopkins?” I now have their attention. We decide to go with Brooke. When I was 15 years old, Brooke Shields and her mom moved to my small, quiet northern New Jersey town of Haworth. To be more specific, they moved one house away from mine. Their home was like a minimansion - almost a castle. It was slightly out of place on a street populated with tidy modest homes. News of the famous, young actress and model moving in caused quite a stir in town. On moving day, like my other nosey neighbors, I just happen to be outside hoping to catch a glimpse of Brooke, but all I really see are moving vans and boxes. I’m about to give up when I see a neighbor and school friend, Lynn, walking toward my house - with Brooke Shields. Oh wow. Lynn lives on the other side of Brooke’s house and somehow she met her. As they approach, Lynn introduces me and tells me they are walking downtown so Brooke can get a few things from the pharmacy. Brooke invites me to come along. Oh wow again. And we all head downtown. I honestly don’t remember much about the conversation just the experience. I lived in that neighborhood another four years and never saw or spoke to Brooke again. What did Brooke need at the pharmacy? She bought a toothbrush and toothpaste. Thanks, Brooke, for a truly great ‘brush’ with fame story.

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ASK EDMOND

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HOME FEATURE: TURNER & SON

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Building custom homes on your own land LOCAL EATS: MATTY MCMILLEN’S

Family-friendly sports bar with an Irish twist

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Locals talk DIY disasters

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PINE PANTRY

Aley Cristelli champions the metro’s Little Free Pantry movement TURNING LOSS INTO A WIN

Kelsey Johnson’s basketball success at Santa Fe High School

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HALF PRAIRIE, HALF FOREST

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SWINE WEEK Q&A

Trees reveal Edmond’s storied history Giving back to the community

Business

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THE VERADEN

Premier Edmond Senior Living Community PINOT’S PALETTE EDMOND

New guided painting studio opens in Edmond

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LOUISE TUCKER JONES

Letter To My Son

Dave Miller Back40 Design President Cover photography by Marshall Hawkins

ADVERTISING l Laura Beam at 405-301-3926 l laura@edmondoutlook.com MAILED MONTHLY TO 50,000 HOMES IN EDMOND/NORTH OKC 80 East 5th Street, Suite 130, Edmond, OK 73034 l 405-341-5599 l edmondoutlook.com l info@edmondoutlook.com March 2019 Volume 15, Number 3

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Edmond Outlook is a publication of Back40 Design, Inc.

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© 2019 Back40 Design, Inc.

PUBLISHER Dave Miller l ADVERTISING MANAGER Laura Beam l GRAPHIC DESIGN Adrian Townsend l PRODUCTION Rachel Morse PHOTOGRAPHY Marshall Hawkins www.sundancephotographyokc.com l DISTRIBUTION Edmond Outlook is delivered FREE by direct-mail to 50,000 Edmond & North OKC homes. Articles and advertisements in the Outlook do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or Back40 Design. Back40 Design does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. The acceptance of advertising by the Outlook does not constitute endorsement of the products, services or information. We do not knowingly present any product or service that is fraudulent or misleading in nature. The Outlook assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials.


LOCALLOOK

Ask Edmond Mike Bosley Engineer/Owner at SeatbeltPlanet.com What DIY project did you take on that didn’t quite go as planned? Roofing my first house. At what point did you realize you were in over your head/in trouble? The minute I laid down the first shingle. One of my neighbors got so sick of seeing the bags of shingles on my roof he came over in cowboy boots to help. His boots had no traction and he kept sliding down the roof as he tried to help me. How did you resolve the problem and complete the project? I had to call in my wife’s uncle who used to build homes. What would you do differently next time? Ask for help sooner! But I’m cheap so no way I’m paying someone else to do it.

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DIY Disasters

As spring approaches, home improvement projects are in full swing, indoors and out. There’s nothing more satisfying than a job well done, but for some, things don’t go quite as planned. Meet some local DIY-ers who experienced a few project pitfalls.

Sabrina Sneden Student at the University of Central Oklahoma

Andrew Jech Realtor – Jech Real Estate Team at Keller Williams Central OK

Debbie Lowery Caterer/Owner at Running Wild Catering

What DIY project did you take on that didn’t quite go as planned? I had the idea to hang up 24 vintage vinyl records on my living room wall.

What DIY project did you take on that didn’t quite go as planned? I was remodeling a home and decided to demo a long brick fireplace hearth and re-face it with a stucco finish.

What DIY project did you take on that didn’t quite go as planned? When remodeling a half bathroom in my office, it took days to strip wallpaper off one small wall. I watched YouTube videos to learn how to texture it with a Southwest patina. It looked so easy...not so much! Products were expensive and it took five steps and three months to complete.

At what point did you realize you were in over your head/in trouble? I wanted to avoid framing the records because I still wanted to be able to listen to them. So I decided to hammer in two nails, about 6 inches apart and set the record on top of the nails. This worked for a few minutes, then most of the records kept falling. How did you resolve the problem and complete the project? After picking up fallen records 100 times too many, I gave in and purchased Scotch’s mounting squares. It took me 15 minutes to put them up and the records haven’t fallen since. What would you do differently next time? I would have immediately bought the mounting squares rather than battling falling records for 3 hours.

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At what point did you realize you were in over your head/in trouble? About two hours of pounding solid brick with a sledgehammer. I discovered (or rather, my wife informed me) that there was a fine settling of dust everywhere. As we examined the new red mars-like powdered surfaces of the home, we quickly realized that IT. WAS. EVERYWHERE. How did you resolve the problem and complete the project? I hung more plastic sheeting and continued hammering because the damage was done. I couldn’t leave that fireplace half-smashed! This was followed by the most intense scrubbing, vacuuming, and re-scrubbing routine I’ve ever had the misfortune to participate in. What would you do differently next time? I will never underestimate the enemy that is powdered masonry dust! Oh and plastic sheeting. Lots of it.

At what point did you realize you were in over your head/in trouble? When I started to install a new countertop and sink, I said, ‘I’m done.’ I’m not a plumber and this body is worn out. Being down on my hands and knees was no longer an option. How did you resolve the problem and complete the project? Money, of course. Found a young whippersnapper who was still agile and paid him to finish it for me. What would you do differently next time? Of course hire the work done. My brain says I can but the body says go to the beach till its done.


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HOMELOOK

Building on Your Own Land

Some families have unique circumstances or lifestyle needs that the typical neighborhood or subdivision can’t accommodate. Looking to build a custom home on their own land can be daunting. Home builder Tim Turner shares his expertise in guiding these homeowners through the process to achieve their dream home. You specialize in building custom homes on the owner’s land. How did that come about? We saw that there are quite a few people who are under-served by the homebuilding community, and I felt personally compelled to figure out a way to serve those people. Specifically, people who have a more independent mindset, who don’t want the usual house built in the usual neighborhood. There are a lot of people in our community who want to live on their own land and don’t want to be told what their home should look like, what should be included in it, etc. Not too many homebuilders take on these projects because it’s difficult work, and not much gets repeated - you’re building a unique design every time. For a builder, it’s easier to find a subdivision, pick a few plans, and start cranking them out. That’s not what our client is looking for. Are there any common traits you find with your type of customers? The biggest common trait is the independent mindset - the mindset that says, “I want to raise my family away from negative influences,” or “I don’t want the neighbors telling me what my house should look like,” or “I want to design my forever home without a builder telling me what’s ‘standard,’ or building whatever he’s used to building,” or “I might want to ride my 4-wheeler in the backyard or keep my horses where I live.” This shows up in various ways, like people who home-school their kids, or people who have unique family situations that need an extremely unique house design that you’re not going to find in your typical neighborhood. Any advice for someone thinking about building on their own land? My biggest advice is to find the home builder you can trust to coordinate all the pieces for you. It seems simple, but there are four things you need to build 10

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a forever home on your own land: land, house plans, money, and a builder. The problem is, there’s no built-in system to coordinate all the pieces. You can easily buy the wrong piece of land, fall in love with a house plan you can’t afford to build or get a construction loan from a banker who doesn’t know what he’s doing. The only entity with intimate knowledge of the whole process is the builder who builds on land. What do you enjoy most about your work? What I enjoy most is seeing the look on the faces of a wife and husband when they realize that the dream they’ve been visualizing for so long is becoming real. Are there any trends you see in the custom homes you design and build? Anything Chip and Joanna do seems to become a trend. Think Urban Farmhouse. Distressed beams, barn wood, shiplap, you name it. What’s the largest home you have built? The smallest? The largest home we’ve built was around 6,500 square feet, and the smallest around 1,000 square feet, but the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that it isn’t about the most or least expensive, or about the biggest or smallest. It’s about the people we’re serving - no matter how big or small the budget. To the family whose hard-won money, time, and energy is being invested, it’s the biggest, most important thing in their lives at that moment, and it’s up to us to honor that commitment no matter how many digits are in the price tag.

Tim Turner is the CEO of Turner & Son Homes, a home builder that specializes in building custom homes on owner’s land. www.turnerandsonhomes.com


FOODLOOK FEATURELOOK

Matty McMillen’s Family-friendly sports bar with an Irish twist By Laura Beam

Tanner Cargill, General Manager & Ross Crain, Managing Partner

There’s more to Irish cuisine than green beer once a year— though that does have its place of importance in the food chain! Hearty, comforting dishes served up in a lively pub atmosphere make any day a reason to celebrate. Now Edmond can enjoy a bit of that good cheer right in the neighborhood. Matty McMillen’s melds the fun-spirited feel of an Irish pub with the menu of a family-friendly restaurant and sports bar. It’s a good time and a great meal waiting to happen. The restaurant’s namesake, Matt McMillen, not only celebrates Irish roots but a strong Oklahoma connection as well, having served as Bob Stoops’ Director of Operations for 18 years at OU. When McMillen retired last year, he partnered with friend, Hal Smith, and the latest Hal Smith Restaurant Group eatery opened its doors. Not to worry, OSU fans, Matty’s may have Sooner ties, but here, Sooners and Cowboys share an easy camaraderie. Matty’s impressive bar area has a ‘Cheers’ familiarity where regulars hang out and everyone seems to know your name. “Matty’s is like a sports bar with an Irish twist,” says Managing Partner, Ross Crain. “Six or seven entrees on the menu are truly Irish, but items like the flatbread pizzas, ramen noodle salad, sirloin and grilled salmon offer diversity for all tastes.” The genius behind all these fantastic creations? McMillen, Crain and Executive Chef Brad Johnson. Before you decide on an entree, just try getting past the Shareables selection--large portion appetizers--without caving in and going for it. The plate-sized sourdough pretzel is a must-try and the beer cheese and spicy mustard dipping sauces are so good, you’ll want to mix them so you don’t have to choose one over the other! “You can put beer cheese on anything and

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it’s going to be good,” Crain says. Other favorites on the Shareables menu are Crispy Reuben Fritters, Avocado Toast and Fried Deviled Eggs. If you’re in the mood for traditional Irish fare, the corned beef brisket is a sure thing—tender, smoky, and especially delicious with a bite of colcannon mashed potatoes. That’s comfort food at its best. “We cook it all night,” Crain explains. “The stout braised brisket sandwich is another popular pick. Guinness is poured over the meat as it cooks and the sandwich is layered with bacon jam, BBQ, beer cheese and yellow mustard.” Matty’s also has an extensive selection of Irish and American whiskeys, scotches and beers, plus fun specialty drinks like Guinness Floats made with ice cream and Guinness. Where has this incredible treat been all our life? Enjoy daily specials like Monday’s build-your-own burger for $2.50, Sunday night’s kids under 12 eat free, and the Sat. and Sun. Kegs & Eggs build-yourown brunch plate and omelette bar. And don’t miss the two day St. Patty’s at Matty’s event starting Sat., March 16 at 10AM through Sun., March 17 with live music, fun people, drink specials, giveaways and, of course, green beer! Meet you at Matty’s! Visit at 2201 NW 150th St., OKC or www.mattymcmillens.com

Laura Beam is a writer and advertising manager with 25 years in radio, newspaper and magazines. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Facebook or laura@outlookoklahoma.com.


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FEATURELOOK

Nourishing Neighbors By Amy Dee Stephens

Aley Cristelli is not comfortable with public speaking, but her passion for helping hungry people overrides this discomfort. In an unplanned way, she has become spokesperson for the Little Free Pantry movement in the metro. You may have seen these small wooden boxes, filled with groceries, by the side of the road. The concept is a spin-off of the Little Free Library concept. The goal is to “nourish neighbors.” “I moved to Oklahoma City, and I was looking for an outlet to get involved,” Aley said. “I read about the pantry movement in Texas, and I kept thinking, I should do that.” Because of Grandma Aley’s grandma was the inspiration behind opening her first food pantry. “You couldn’t leave my grandma’s house without a bag of groceries. Food was her love language, and I inherited that. I’m always feeding people. Why should people go without food when we have so much?” After research, Aley built her first pantry, which she branded as the Pine Pantry. The name came, not from the wood used to build the pantry, but from a deeper meaning. “To pine means ‘to long for.’ I felt like nobody should be longing for food.” Constant Flow of Food Aley knew that location was important: a place of need, easy to access and safe. She sought a community partner to keep an eye on the pantry and help her make sure food was available. She placed her first pantry at Bad Granny’s in the Plaza District in 2017, and she now has more partnered pantries at three Sunnyside Diner locations, Bradford Village of Edmond, and Andrew Johnson Elementary.

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Twice a week, Aley goes by her pantries to add food and do maintenance. “There’s an organic flow to it all. Once I fill it, it is often empty within a few hours. Someone else fills it at lunch, and then someone else may go after work. Partners and community volunteers I don’t even know add food.” Aley says it’s gratifying to hear people say thank you when she’s refilling the pantries, but regardless, she can tell need for food is great based on the sheer volume circulating through each site. “I once had a couple share that they were both laid off at the same time. They relied on the pantry until they got new jobs. Now, they regularly stock the pantry.” Volunteers Needed The school children at Andrew Johnson and the residents at Bradford Village keep food donation boxes at their facilities. Non-perishable food items can be donated by anyone. Easy-fix items like Spaghetti-Os, granola bars and pudding cups go first, but Aley also sees high circulation of toiletries and baby diapers. Other pantries are popping up, modeled after Aley’s Pine Pantry. Some look just like her design, but she hopes people will design and brand their own styles. At this point, managing her sites is all she can handle, while also working full-time, but she’s glad to offer advice to others hoping to build a pantry. “This was my quiet way to serve others. I never planned to be a spokesperson or be on the news all the time, but the need is great. These pantries are well-trafficked,” Aley said. “We aren’t curing the problem of hunger, but it’s helping our own neighbors.” To learn more, www.littlefreepantry.org or follow Pine Pantry on Facebook.


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FEATURELOOK

Turning Loss into a Win By Amy Dee Stephens

Kelsey Johnson has severe hearing loss. But don’t call her disabled. Don’t call her impaired. “Don’t feel bad for me,” Kelsey said. “I’m a normal person with bad hearing.” Like other high school students, she attends school and plays basketball. Maybe “normal person” is an understatement, however, because these seemingly simple activities actually prove Kelsey’s ability to navigate some tough challenges. She spent her elementary years in Kansas at a school for the deaf, becoming fluent in sign language. Crossing over into traditional school at a late age was a choice to leave her comfort zone and enter the world of hearing. The reason? Basketball. In 5th grade, she joined a community-center sports program and tried basketball. She wasn’t great at it. Because she couldn’t hear well, she wasn’t clear on the rules of the game or what the coach was saying--but something about basketball was calling to her, loud and clear. “She wanted to get serious about basketball, but she didn’t have the language skills to transfer straight into a traditional school,” said her mother, Nalani Anderson. “When I moved to the Oklahoma City area, Kelsey went to live with her grandma in the Tulsa school district, because they have a good deafeducation program. Kelsey had the opportunity to be around both deaf and hearing kids, so her speech and communication improved greatly.” The summer before her 10th grade year, Kelsey’s mom convinced her that she had the athleticism and physicality to be a good basketball player. To get the training she needed, she had to face the fear of going to an all-hearing school. So, Kelsey enrolled at Santa Fe High School in Edmond. The school provides her a sign-language interpreter. Kelsey also reads lips, but lunchtime conversation is a struggle and the noise on the basketball court is a blur in her hearing aids. Fortunately, Coach Paul Bass, was already using hand signals for plays. When Kelsey enrolled, he simply increased hand signal usage with Kelsey and her teammates. “At first, my teammates were nervous about me, because they’d never played with a hard-of-hearing person before,” Kelsey said. “The longer we played, they realized they could treat me like anyone else.” “I remember when she messed up during a game, the crowd in the bleachers went silent, because they were scared of hurting her feelings,” Nalani said. “That’s not what she wanted.” “I don’t care if they yell at me,” Kelsey said. “I can take it. If I mess up, don’t hide it from me. I want to improve.” For two years, Kelsey worked hard to close her basketball learning gap. “A large gap,” added Nalini. “She started very late. We hired a trainer to get her up to speed on the rules and ball basics, but she could barely run and dribble when she started 10th grade.” “I was a late bloomer,” Kelsey admitted. Now, as a senior forward for the Santa Fe Lady Wolves, Kelsey recently earned a place on the starting line-up, and she is catching the attention of some college scouts. “That’s such a big leap for where she’s come from,” said Kelsey’s mom, proudly. “She broke into the hearing community, and she’s inspiring other deaf people that you can be hard-of-hearing and still get the education you need to be successful. She’s not disabled. She’s a blessing.” “I’m blessed by my hearing loss,” Kelsey said. “Don’t feel sorry for me.”

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FEATURELOOK “It was daunting. Here’s a forest that would tear at your clothing, scratch at your skin, and snag everything. You can’t bend these trees over or break them. It was really difficult for pioneers to get through with an ax,” said Garrison. Ironically, few early photographs of the Cross Timbers exist, because this forest was seen as troublesome, not beautiful. Its predominate species, blackjacks and post oaks, have twisted, spooky-looking branches. At only 30 feet tall, these short trees wind their branches together to form an impenetrable canopy. Add vine growth, and the forest becomes a tangled darkness. Even archeological evidence suggests that native American tribes only traveled through, but didn’t live, in the Cross Timbers.

Half Prairie, Half Forest By Amy Dee Stephens

When 1889 homesteaders arrived in the area presently known as Oklahoma City and Edmond, the landscape looked quite different. The western portion was a stark, flat grassland. The eastern part was a belt of ancient deciduous forest. Several geological features caused this “prairie by the forest.” First, a dry ancient riverbed left behind sandstone ridges that only certain trees and prairie grasses can tolerate. Second, central Oklahoma is in the “rain shadow” of the Rocky Mountains. Dry air travels across the plains, but by the time it reaches eastern Oklahoma, the air has gathered moisture again and is ready to rain—which explains why eastern Oklahoma has more lakes and trees. Pioneers on the Prairie The severe contrast between the plains and forest was more evident back before folks planted trees to shade the prairie and prevent future dust bowls. “Early pioneers trekking west viewed the Great Plains as the ‘American Desert,’ because it was flat and lacked trees,” explained Neil Garrison, naturalist. “It’s actually part of the mixed-grass prairie.” The mixed-grass prairie is a specific ecosystem; one that used to sustain bison and one that still provides important pollinator insects. It’s a shame more people don’t embrace native plants that have always grown here,” said Garrison. “There’s new research that native switch grass is potentially a vehicle fuel. With perennial roots, farmers just harvest the top growth each year, and it doesn’t need a lot of attention.” Timber! To the east of I-35, there runs a thick belt of gnarled trees that cut a line through Oklahoma, It’s called the Cross Timbers. To understand the name Cross Timbers, imagine early settlers trying to cross through a thick barrier of trees in a covered wagon. 20

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“It’s no accident that I-35 is where it is,” said Garrison. “No one wanted to plow through the middle of the Cross Timbers, so the thoroughfare was built along the western edge.” The Oldest Trees It is along I-35 that researchers find evidence of the oldest trees. Biology professor, Chad King, has studied Edmond trees for five years. “I’ve yet to find a good, old photo evidencing the Cross Timbers of Edmond. The photos are almost entirely of grasslands, without a tree in sight--but tree dating proves these trees existed and when they’ve been planted since,” King said. “We’ve aged over 500 trees, and so far, the oldest ones are around Lake Arcadia. The oldest is a post oak from the early 1800s, but Hafer Park and Mitch Park also have old-growth trees dating to the mid-1800s.” Further south, forestry officials recently identified a bur oak at the Oklahoma City Zoo to be 150-200 years old. The zoo, also situated along the Cross Timbers, recently planted 1,000 oak seedlings on property so that oaks would remain part of the landscape for hundreds more years. Today’s Landscape In the last 130 years, the natural features of the prairie and Cross Timbers have changed due to urbanization. Professionals who study the local landscape are researching plant heritage in order to help landowners make sustainable choices to keep the ecoregion healthy in the future. Leigh Martin, a tree expert with Edmond Urban Forestry, raises awareness about how to best care for Oklahoma trees. “Undisturbed trees in the Cross Timbers are resilient, because they are adapted to dry soils. In the urban landscape, fescue lawns and frequent irrigation can stress the trees. Some oaks are hard to transplant or difficult to find at nurseries because they are sensitive to root disturbance.” According to Martin, homeowners are not always aware of historically important trees on their property. Currently, Edmond business owners are incentivized to preserve the Cross Timbers ecosystem, although this isn’t in place for single-family residences, yet. Although it is unknown how differently the prairie and forest will look in another hundred years, experts are assuring that native plant species still exist in these precious ecosystems. “I wish more people would plant native trees and grasses. They are well adapted to drought and sandy conditions, so when it rains, they quickly drink water and retain it. They don’t whimper, they just wait for the next rain,” said Garrison. “They’ve always grown here, they’re easy on water use, and they cooperate well with other wildlife. But for me, native plants have their own kind of beauty; one that is distinctly Oklahoman.” Visit Trees In Our Town on exhibit at the Edmond Historical Society and Museum from March 16 to April 27. www.edmondhistory.org


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BIZLOOK

The Veraden By Maria Veres

Danna Johnson appreciates just how special The Veraden is. She spent 25 years working with seniors before she became Executive Director of The Veraden in 2017. “I’ve never seen such a tightknit community of residents,” she says. “They are real neighbors who help each other. They do many activities together in groups and individually.” The premiere Edmond senior-living community offers three types of housing—independent living, assisted living, and memory care. Life at The Veraden is all about choices. Residents can select several different floor plans, from studios to twobedroom apartments. Pets are welcome. Meals are served restaurant style and ordered from a menu. The seniors help plan those menus themselves at monthly culinary meetings. Activity choices abound, and they go far beyond the usual bingo. How about a brownie bake-off, an

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ugly sweater contest, or a meet-and-greet with a visiting llama? The community has its own theater and pub. Outings include volunteer days at the Regional Food Bank, museum visits, and more. There’s even a Veraden choir that performs at local schools. “I’ve never worked at a place before where people complained about having too much to do!” says Johnson. The senior living community is elegantly designed both outside and inside. “The most common remark I hear about The Veraden is how beautiful it is,” says James Brown, Marketing Director of Sagora Senior Living. “It’s one of the jewels of the Sagora communities.” Sagora is one of the nation’s top 50 senior housing operators. The privately-owned company operates three other senior living communities in Oklahoma, as well as communities in several other states. Johnson and Brown take special pride in The Veraden’s memory care area. “Our approach is honed in on providing choices, dignity, respect, and the highest level of care possible,” says Brown. Residents in this area can engage in familiar activities at several “life stations”—cooking, woodworking with realistic tool replicas, dressing up, and more. Like other Veraden residents, seniors

Danna Johnson, Executive Director

in memory care have a choice of meal options and activities. To handle the storms that come our way in Oklahoma, The Veraden houses a large tornadosafe zone in the basement theater area. “It’s another beautiful part of our community that we use on a daily basis,” says Johnson. “I joke with residents that they can watch a movie while we shelter in place for storms.” The close-knit community and staff at The Veraden is always pleased to make new residents welcome. “Our goal is to make our seniors as happy as possible,” says Brown. “We want to give them the best experience they can have at their time at The Veraden.” The Veraden is located at 2709 East Danforth Road in Edmond. To learn more or schedule a tour, visit www.veradenlife.com.


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BIZLOOK

Pinot’s Palette Edmond By Maria Veres

When Nancy Hubbard first visited Pinot’s Palette, she didn’t expect it to change her life. She just wanted to unwind from her high-stress job. “I had so much fun!” she recalls. “It was the first time in a long time I stopped thinking about work.” Nancy soon returned with her husband, Andy Allen. Soon the couple decided to open their own Pinot’s Palette franchise in Edmond. “It’s such a relaxing atmosphere,” says Andy. Guests enjoy drinks, snacks, and upbeat background music while they create a painting with step-by-step guidance from trained artists. “The goal is to help people have a good time,” says Nancy. She loves watching guests from different walks of life come together as they paint. “It breaks down social barriers in very positive ways,” she says.

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Nancy is an experienced artist who designs natural gas plants at her day job. Andy loved drawing as a child. But they both emphasize that you don’t need talent to create delightful art at Pinot’s Palette. “Even if you’re the worst artist in the world, you’re going to end up with something you feel good about,” Nancy says. The studio is easy to access, located in The Shoppes at Quail Springs on May and Memorial. There’s ample parking, with several restaurants nearby. Inside, Pinot’s Palette is lovingly furnished with granite countertops and Italian marble in the bathrooms. Guests sip their drinks from real glasses, not plastic cups, and there are plenty of drink options to choose from. The Edmond Pinot’s Palette is the only OKC location with a full bar. Pinot’s Palette is a great spot for a girls’ night out, but it’s also surprisingly popular with men. “They can come in and paint their truck or Harley during Pop Art Selfie Day,” says Andy. He recently completed a guided painting of Clint Eastwood. The studio is family friendly, and children are welcome at any event. Both Nancy and Andy are veterans, and so are most of the artists on their staff. “We didn’t plan

that,” says Nancy. “It just worked out that way.” Pinot’s Palette offers discounts to veterans, first responders, and teachers. “We want to make it affordable to everyone, especially people who give back to the community,” says Nancy. Nancy and Andy pay it forward by holding benefit events, like a recent fundraiser for Hearts for Hearing. Pinot’s Palette is also a go-to place for corporate team-building events, parties, and more. Although they’ve only been open for a few months, the Edmond Pinot’s Palette is already drawing repeat customers. “It gives people such confidence,” Nancy says. “It’s great to see the happiness in people’s faces as they keep getting better and better.” Visit Pinot’s Palette at 3000 West Memorial, Suite 124-125, OKC (405) 241-5115 or online at www.pinotspalette.com/edmond


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ALOOKBACK Even with a half-century gone by, I love you as much as the day you were born. It seems only yesterday that I held you in my arms for the first time, your angel soft hair brushing against my cheek as you snuggled into my embrace. You mesmerized me with your first smile. First steps. First words. First giggle. So many firsts locked into my heart.

Letter To My Son

By Louise Tucker Jones

Dearest Aaron, This month, on your St. Patrick’s Day birthday, I wish I could explain just how much I love you. Impossible, as any parent knows. The only way you can relate is your love for your own children. Know that I love you just as much.

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Memories of you singing, dancing, or laughing while slobbering toddler kisses on my face. I knew those times would not last forever, yet how quickly came your first day of school, first bicycle, first car, first date and so much more. High school and college graduation. Mother/Son dance at your wedding. Then suddenly, you were a parent. How swiftly time passed. You were my first child. First one to call me “Mommy,” the only title I coveted. I never knew love could be so new, so deep, so mysterious, and paint such a perfect picture of the love between your dad and me. You were the child of my heart, the longing of my soul. And in truth, nothing has really changed. Today, I love you a thousand times over, seeing the grown, godly man you have become. Successful in your

career. Hero to your kids. Adored by your wife. Loved by your brother. Respected by your friends and colleagues. I see your father’s strength and character and know how proud he always was of you and still is from his place in heaven. My son, never forget that you are blessed and have always been a blessing to me. Nothing parallels my love for you. Though I was young at your birth, I knew great love, and thankfully, you survived my mistakes. My sweet son, I thank God for you! Every day! Every moment of your life! Happy Birthday! Love, Mom ABOUT THE AUTHOR Louise Tucker Jones is an award-winning author, inspirational speaker & founder of Wives With Heavenly Husbands, a support group for widows. LouiseTJ@cox.net or LouiseTuckerJones.com.


FEATURELOOK

Edmond Memorial Swine Week Giving back to the community

It’s the time of the year when Edmond high schools gather to give back to their community. Edmond North’s Balto Week, Edmond Santa Fe’s Double Wolf Dare Week and Edmond Memorial’s Swine Week are focused on fun activities and raising money for a good cause. Outlook visited with Edmond Memorial teacher Jeff Lovett to learn more about Swine Week. How did Swine Week come about? Edmond Memorial’s annual community service project, Swine Week, began in 1986 when a small group of students decided to raise money for a friend in need. The students approached the principal with a goal of raising $3,000. The principal supported the endeavor and agreed to kiss a pig in front of the student body if the goal was achieved. The students raised $3,000, the principal kissed a pig, and Swine Week was born. Thirty-three years later, students at Edmond Memorial have raised nearly $6.5 million for various non-profit organizations. Last year, $479,801 was raised for the organization Make Promises Happen. Who coordinates Swine Week? Swine Week activities are all student led. The 35 members of Edmond Memorial’s Student Council plan, organize, and run each event. The student body can also be directly involved in raising money by signing up to be a royalty member. Each royalty member has an individual goal of raising $2,000 through selling homemade snacks, designing and selling t-shirts, and talking to local families and businesses about contributing to the cause. Although Swine Week is student led, the success of Swine Week hinges on the generosity of our alumni and our local community. Without the generosity of countless individuals, Swine Week wouldn’t be possible.

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What organizations are benefitted this year? After spending weeks narrowing down the list of potential applicants who submitted over 60 proposals, Boys and Girls Club of Oklahoma County was selected by our Student Council. The Club has empowered youth to make the right decisions since 1995, and now serves 800 kids every day through their after school programs. The funds raised this year through Swine Week will go towards helping BGCOKC fund their new teen center for high school students that will offer tutoring, specialized classes, job training skills, personal finance skills, and much more. In addition to raising money for BGCOKC, all three Edmond schools will be donating a portion of their proceeds directly to Pivot, Inc, an organization dedicated to eliminating homelessness among young people in the Oklahoma City Metro area. How can people get involved? We have a wide range of events designed to involve as many people in our community as possible. We are also offering an opportunity for our alumni to be part of history by purchasing a personalized, engraved brick which will be featured in a section of our brand new football stadium. What’s the best part of Swine Week? What makes Swine Week special is that everything is student led. Swine Week is a time when our entire student body and faculty stop to recognize the importance of giving back to our community. It’s pretty special when over 2,000 high school students spend an entire week looking outward and focusing on those who are not as fortunate and who need a helping hand from the community. For more information on Swine Week or how to get involved visit www.swineweek.org


80 East 5th St., Ste. 130 Edmond, OK 73034

Profile for Outlook Magazine

Edmond Outlook - March 2019  

Edmond Outlook - March 2019  

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