When I was a little girl, thinking about what I wanted for Christmas was a big deal.
I usually asked for one big thing from Santa each year, like the Barbie doll house I got when I was seven or the electric hot rollers I got when I was 13. I remember also being surprised with a purple bean bag chair that year.
I still have the picture of me reclining in that purple bean bag, my hair in dog ears, and me in wire-rimmed glasses, bell-bottomed hip hugger blue jeans and a crocheted flower vest my older sister made me for Christmas.
I was so cool… I mean, really, it was far out, totally groovy.
After I grew up, I got very resourceful in coming up with Christmas gifts for the kids depending on our financial situation and whatever phase I was in that year. One time, I crocheted my daughter’s entire Christmas: a giant panda bear, vest, purse, and more. When my husband bought her a CD she’d been hoping for, I asked what he was doing.
“That kid’s going to have one thing that isn’t crocheted under the tree,” he said, snapping me out of my insanity.
Fortunately for our son, he was already in the Navy, living away from home, though I’m sure I probably crocheted and mailed him a scarf. I’m still wearing some of the scarfs I made that year.
These days, I don’t have time to make gifts. I’m a busy, career grandma, and it can be challenging to find appropriate gifts for the grandkids. Their parents used to text me their wish lists, but I quickly realized this was more complicated than the Skipper doll (age 8) or Archie’s album (age 13) I got from my grandma back in the day.
Clueless grandma that I am, I keep it simple.
Kiddoodles at Copelin’s, 425 W Main St., is my go-to place for quality, learning-oriented gifts for the grands. Best of all, they gift wrap purchases for free.
The World Wildlife Fund is also a great source for the grandson who loves all things animal. I can do a virtual adoption with photos, fact sheets and a cool stuffed animal while also helping a good cause. I call that a #WinWin
Until next week, I’ll be feeling groovy if we all #ShopLocal #RightON
Ed Noble Parkway
Denny’s will open soon in the former Applebee’s building on Ed Noble Parkway. With new, better access from the new Lindsey Street bridge and Highway 9, expect this retail center to blossom in the coming months.
Want a romantic evening out? Don’t forget Misal Bistro, with authentic Indian cuisine. Vegetarian and vegan food available. Then make it a complete date by popping over to Barnes and Noble for some good reads with coffee and dessert.
Lindsey Street merchants
Homeland on Lindsey is getting a face lift.
“We’re getting a total paint job inside and out,” said manager Val Schleuter. “We’re getting all new lights and new ceiling, just a nice facelift for the grand opening of Lindsey Street so when all of my customers come back they’ll come to a new, bright store.”
Schleuter said the Lindsey Street Merchants Associations is a tight-knit group that has supported each other.
“We see the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said. “It’s been a long two and a half years, but it’s going to be worth it.”
Scarf Factory’s Annual Holiday Pop Up Shop will be Sat. Dec. 9 at the International Pantry, 1618 W. Lindsey St.
El Bajio has replaced Tulios in Alameda Square at 1000 Alameda Street on the southwest corner of 12th Avenue and Alameda.
Norman’s Dairy Queen is owned by DLJ Foods Inc., family-owned franchises of Dairy Queen and Schlotzsky’s. DLJ owner David Jones expects to open a Schlotzsky’s in Norman this year in Alameda Square at the former site of Cookies and Cards and Rusty’s Custard. Rusty’s is now open on Main Street in downtown Norman.
Downtown and thereabouts
Whispering Willow Art Gallery celebrated its grand opening on Thursday, Lazy Circles Brewery opened Friday and Rusty’s Custard recently celebrated their grand opening on Main Street.
Coming soon to downtown Main Street will be Pinot’s Palette. The new location will allow for a wide variety of events from birthdays and anniversaries to bridal or balby showers, team building and more.
A new church is also coming to the downtown area. The building at 116 S. Crawford Ave., former home of Marquis Furniture in Norman, is currently undergoing renovations and will be a church.
The is coming soon at 422 E. Main St. just east of STASH. The locally-owned nano brewery will feature a number of artisan ales and is expected to open this month.
In other East Norman news
Recently, Norman City Council approved a change to the planned unit development at the northwest corner of 12th Ave. NE and Alameda Street that will allow for a new mixed-use building. Though the construction process has yet to begin, the applicant said the project already has Chick-fil-A lined up as a tenant. Del Taco recently opened up on that corner as well.
Coming soon to Crimson Creek on 12th Street south of Alameda: Freezing Cow which serves Thai-rolled ice cream.
Classen Crossing Retail Center, 2620 Classen Blvd., between Lindsey Street and Highway 9, will soon welcome a Qdoba, a Great Clips and Carol’s Kitchen with more to come.
Shops at Tecumseh
Flaunt Blow Dry Bar and Salon is now open. Owner Faith Mouse said she is excited to be open and ready to make you beautiful.
“We are booking up really quickly for the holidays,” Faith said. “Schedule your appointments soon.”
The Shops at Tecumseh, 2596 W Tecumseh Rd. will also be home to a Land Run Grill and Wine. The owners are fourth generation Oklahomans who offer many dishes based on family recipes. Expect a large liquor store, a nail salon and a new branch of RCB Bank.
Shops at University North Park
On the southwest corner of west 24th and Tecumseh, this new shopping area is under construction. So far, a hair tenant is committed to that area.
University North Park
La Madeleine French Bakery & Cafe, 1954 24th Ave. NW is now open. The restaurant chain started as a regional favorite in the Texas area and now has hundreds of franchises opening throughout the U.S. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with wine, the cafe has an app so you can order ahead and earn rewards.
New college ministry proposed
The Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma is proposing a two story multi-use facility that will include a sanctuary, student ministry activity space, offices, a kitchen and dining facilities as well as two apartments south of Lindsey at Elmwood and Elm Street. City staff recommends approval of the zoning change request, but the Norman City Council will have to sign off on the proposal.
Coming soon: Frosty’s Rolled Ice will soon locate in the site of the former Melting Pot and will serve Thai-inspired ice cream. Traditional Thailand ice cream is served freshly made to order on the spot. Frosty’s Rolled Ice Cream brings the traditional Thai-Style ice cream mixed and blended, until creamy, with the freshest ingredients on an ice-cold skillet, then scrapped and rolled into individual rolls topped off from the large variety of fresh fruits, candy’s, syrups, and more.
Frosty’s is taking applications for employees now, but the opening date has not been announced.
The Porch, 311 West Boyd St., owned by Norman’s own Ryan and Mary Beth Broyles, along with Joey Bess and proprietor Ray Reyes, the local eatery is aiming to create a community feel. The restaurant will serve sandwiches, a signature line of flavored adult teas, wine and beer. Vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian options will be on the menu. Tailgate with them on game days.
Skinny Slim’s, 320 White St., will be a sports bar with a variety of domestic and imported beers and a small food menu.
Wealth management advisor honored
Zack Newby, Wealth Management Advisor, Senior Vice President, HNY Group; Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, was recently named to the inaugural Forbes/SHOOK “America’s Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors” List for 2017. The new Forbes listing is a select group of individuals who were born in 1980 or later and are viewed as leaders in their field. Merrill Lynch holds the No. 1 position with 119 advisors recognized on the published list.
5th Annual ‘Oklahoma Wine Walk & Brew Fest’ in Norman a success
Frontier Country Marketing Association’s 5th Oklahoma Wine Walk & Brew Fest at Brookhaven Village shopping district in Norman featured 12 wineries and four breweries from across the state.
During the event, patrons voted on their favorite Oklahoma wines in the categories of Best Red – Sweet, Best White – Sweet, Best Red – Dry and Best White – Dry and Oklahoma beers in the categories of Best Dark Beer and Best Light Beer. Winners of the categories included:
Best Red – Sweet: Sex in the Vineyard by Wakefield Winery in Gerty
Best Red – Dry: Malbec by Wild Horse Canyon Farms in Luther
Best White – Sweet: Parasol by Woods and Waters Winery in Anadarko
Best White – Dry: 24K Blush by Deep Branch Winery in Cookson
Best Dark Beer: Main and Porter by Lazy Circles Brewing in Norman
Best Light Beer: Liberty Call by Crossed Cannons Brewery in Norman
Wineries and breweries that participated in the Oklahoma Wine Walk and Brew Fest included: 405 Brewing Co. in Norman, Black Mesa Brewing Co., Brio Cellars in Kingfisher, Crossed Cannons Brewery in Norman, Deep Branch Winery in Cookson, Lazy Circles Brewing in Norman, Legends Vineyard & Winery in Norman, Put A Cork In It in Oklahoma City, StableRidge Vineyards &Winery in Stroud, Summerside Vineyards & Winery in Vinita, Turner Me On Wine in Hennessey, Vernost Wine Co. in Hennessey, Wakefield Winery in Gerty, Wildhorse Canyon in Luther, Vanessa House Beer Company in Oklahoma City and Woods and Waters Winery in Anadarko.
For more information on the Oklahoma Wine Walk & Brew Fest, visit oklahomawinewalk.com or call 405-232-6552.
Second physician offers care at Norman Regional’s newest clinic
Rohitha Inturi, MD, has recently joined Norman Regional Health System to help families maintain their health needs.
Dr. Inturi is the second doctor to begin working at the new Primary Care – Tacoma clinic, located at 3201 W. Tecumseh Rd., Suite 230. Christina Highley, MD, was the first doctor at the clinic.
Originally from India, Dr. Inturi first began her education at Sri Chaitanya Mahila Kalasala in Vijayawada, India to study biological sciences, physical sciences and chemistry. She then attended medical school at Kamineni Institute of Medical Sciences in Narketpally, India. After coming to the U.S., Dr. Inturi pursued her masters of Science in clinical investigation at the University of Texas Health Science Center. She completed her family medicine residency at the University of Oklahoma, School of Community Medicine, and is board certified in family medicine.
Inturi chose to become a healthcare provider as it was her father’s dream, but eventually got absorbed into the role and said she’s “excited about helping others maintain their health needs.” She said she chose Family Medicine to live up to its name taking care of family without age or gender limits.
“My passion is helping others. This is one of the best ways to help them. The best achievement is when I see satisfaction or thankful expressions from my patients,” she said.
Inturi is striving to offer same-day and next-day appointments. She offers wellness visits and physicals, sick care, and management of chronic conditions. To make an appointment with Dr. Inturi, call the Primary Care – Tacoma clinic at 405-515-0800.
Best Western Hotels & Resorts in Norman honored
Three of Hospitality Management LLC’s Best Western-branded properties have earned the hotel chain’s coveted M.K. Guertin Award for 2017. Named in honor of the chain’s founder, the awards went to the Best Western Plus Patterson Park Inn (Arkansas City, Kansas); Best Western Plus Norman (Norman, Oklahoma); and Best Western Blackwell Inn (Blackwell, Oklahoma). Only 39 hotels across North America were so honored by Best Western this year.
OSU Rural Economic Outlook Conference
State Banking Department Senior Examiners Kendall McDaniel, Randy Willard, and Gwen Wright attended the OSU Rural Economic Outlook Conference held on October 20. Below is a synopsis of the topics discussed.
Economic Outlook for the 10th District
• 10th District has the most agriculture dependent counties in the nation.
• The U.S. economy continues to grow at a moderate pace.
• Low commodity prices weighed on the Oklahoma economy in 2015 and 2016, but the economy has stabilized in 2017.
• Farm income is expected to remain low in the nation, the District, and Oklahoma, but has shown recent signs of stabilizing.
• Agricultural credit conditions remain a concern, and have continued to weaken. But the pace of deterioration has slowed.
U.S. Farm Policy
• If farm bill is extended, estimates are that 77 percent of spending will be in nutrition programs (primarily SNAP) over the next 10 years.
• U.S. cropland rental rates have spiked since 2007 peaked in 2015, declining slightly in 2016, with estimates showing a gradual increase through 2022. Oklahoma cropland rental rates have largely been stable and way lower than the national average.
• National farm real estate values are significantly higher than in Oklahoma and exhibit a sharp increase through 2016; however, a slight decline has occurred nationally in 2017 while Oklahoma’s farm real estate values have been increasing steadily through 2016, with a slight pull-back in certain areas in 2017.
• The farm debt/asset ratios have been increasing from about 2011 through current and projected to continue increasing through 2022.
•Oklahoma’s wheat crop as a whole was considered of below average quality in weight and protein content in 2016 and 2017 compared to the national benchmark, thus having a negative effect on our state economy.
• Basically, there is a global surplus of good quality wheat and beef which hurts the Oklahoma economy, particularly during the energy downturn.
• Additionally, foreign competitors who used to be at a disadvantage to the U.S. in agriculture are now benefitting from increased technology and farming methods and are changing the world import/export environment.
• Primarily Russia has acted to flood the world market with the highest volume and quality of wheat.
• U.S. farmers/ranchers by in large are being squeezed by an unfavorable commodity and beef situation. Most farm debt at banks is being propped up by low interest rates, real estate collateral values, and government subsidies, while debt terms are being extended so farmers can pay. If interest rates increase very much more, it appears we will see foreclosures pick up significantly.
Current Ag Finance Situation
• Forecasts for 2017 show some optimism with both net cash income and net farm income up.
• Many farmers have to decide to sell equipment or land and keep only the base of what they need in order to make payments.
• 10th District conditions are weakening somewhat, but not dramatically.
• 27 percent sampled are having minor repayment issues and 2.2% having major repayment issues.
• Farm real estate values showing modest declines to very minimal in Oklahoma.
How Increased Dependence on Trade Impacts the Farm Economy
• U.S. continues to be the largest Ag exporter in the world, but our share has shrunk in certain crops as other nations have improved their agriculture methods.
• U.S. consumers spend the least on food relative to income of any country in the world, but also by far spend the most in terms of dollars.
• There is an argument that NAFTA has worked, as U.S. exports increased by 192% from 1994 to 2016 and exports to Canada and Mexico increased by 288% during the same period.
• Our imports from Canada and Mexico have also increased which has helped those countries.
• Recent negotiations with China appear to have China purchasing more beef from the U.S. within the next few years which should help relieve the current surplus and help the U.S. and Oklahoma economies. However, the optimism is cautious since China is notorious for not following through on trade deals or operating outside agreements.