Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Goober Gala

I started to call this post “GOOBER WORLD” but if Dad saw it, he’d wonder what it had to do with peanuts. 🙂 I’m can be such a goober, though, I thought I’d share some of my goober-isms from the last week with you.

Can you see the baby in this picture?

Maybe not, but he’s there. How about the next one?

 I’ll bet you do. It’s a baby-ish bunny. One I rescued from the snake.

Yes, he’s cute. And he’s sweet. But Goober here (that would be me) rescued this little guy so he could eat my garden plants. How silly is that? But honestly, wouldn’t you think that since I saved him from the black jaws of the evil snake, he’d be at least a little grateful?

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We’re Gonna Celebrate!

When I was a kid, I loved family celebrations. I loved getting together with my cousins, who were also friends, aunts and uncles and grandparents and spending time, eating, playing, chatting and just having fun.

Of course, I was just a kid and didn’t know the kind of work it took to get ready.

When I was very young, we lived in Old Ford in a house with my dad’s parents, so most celebrations took place there.

All my dad’s family lived close-by, and the three brothers all worked together, so we saw them fairly often. Aunt Phyllis and her kids just lived a few streets over, so of course, they were always there.

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The Deceptive Month

I hope everyone whose birthday is this month will forgive me but . . .

Did you ever notice what a sneaky month May is? If you think about it, you’ll probably agree with me that it’s one of the most underhanded months on the calendar.

First the name–May. Three short letters intended, I’m sure, to make us believe it’s going to be a quick month. Ha! There are thirty-one days in this month. And as many weeks as a month can possibly crowd in.

There’s so much that goes on in May, creating so many emotions that hammer us. There’s Mother’s Day, when even rotten kids do something nice and bring sweet tears to their mama’s eye. Or their aunt’s, depending on the kiddo. 😉

Then there’s graduation–which can bring joy or sorrow, also depending on the kiddo– birthdays, anniversaries, the end of school, the beginning of summer, vacations, Memorial Day. Weddings, weddings, weddings and, of course, so many funerals.

May’s days are warmer and longer, intended to deceive us into thinking we’re going to be able to kick back, climb into a hammock and swing away summertime, ♫ when the living is easy♫.

But then grass jumps up and everything starts growing and creeping around and we have to work harder than ever, just to beat it back.

May gives us flowers as if she’s trying to be sweet and friendly and niiiiiice. But remember when the most destructive (in my memory) tornados happened. May 3, 1999 and May 22, 2011!

The year my second son was born, we slept under the stairs more nights in May than we slept in our beds. (Under the stairs is where we hid from tornados.)

We even saw on the news where a wedding in Kansas had a tornado for an uninvited guest. Only in May!

I think I’ll start a movement to change the name of May to Might. Think about it–Might says it all. It’s longer, so no deception there, and it tells you that all kinds of things could happen. Good and bad. Happy and very, very sad.

May MIGHT be a good month, then again, it MIGHT not, so why don’t we just get it over with and call it that from the get-go?

Might 23, 2012. Has a very nice ring to it. 🙂




Designer Chicken House


When was the last time you were in a chicken hen house? Unless you gathered eggs just this morning, I’ve got you beat! I was in one yesterday. 🙂

Technically, it’s not a chicken house yet since it hasn’t had any chickens in it. (Except me.) It’s a gonna-be CH. That’s G-Man up there, putting a vent in the roof so the chickens won’t melt in the hot weather.

And, no, it’s not a chicken mobile home so it won’t always have wheels. It’s on a trailer because it’s going to my dad’s house sometime in the near future so he and his wife (and kids, I’m hoping!) will have organic fresh, fresh, fresh eggs.

One of the things I like best about Dad’s wife is her healthy way of feeding my dad. She likes organic and fresh and healthy. Smart lady! So she’s thrilled to have fresh eggs in the near future. (I’m hoping to cash in on a few eggs myself.)

My man was hard at work (hence the serious look) but he stopped for a moment so I could take his picture.

These are the chicken boxes (nests) and roosts. If you were a chicken, wouldn’t you want to live here? I would!

I’m thinking I might campagne for a potting shed made out of one of these buildings. With G-Man’s carpenter skills, it could be perfect!

This is the front door. The one the humans will use.

The little hole at the bottom is the door for the chickens. And the picture window is so they can see the lake. 😉 Not really. It’s so they won’t smother in the summertime. (They’ve made sure it’s breathable in there.)

  It’s a good-sized picture window, isn’t it? I hope the chickens enjoy their designer house, because I plan to enjoy their eggs.

When I was a little kid in Old Ford, we had chickens that lived in a house out behind our yard, but it wasn’t nearly as nice a chicken house as this one. There were several little brown hens and one big, mean rooster that lived there.

I stayed far away from that rooster because he liked to flog humans if he could.

Once the bad boy just smacked me on the knee with his wing and it felt like I’d skinned it on the sidewalk. It hurt!

Then one day, Grandmother was outside hanging out clothes on the line and the silly rooster snuck up on her and started the flapping-kicking-pecking-attack-thing he liked to do.

The next day we had chicken and noodles for dinner–courtesy of Mr. White Rooster. 🙂 Grandmother made the best noodles in the world! (Click on best noodles and it’ll take you to her recipe.) And Whitey wasn’t so bad himself.

Have you ever been in a chicken house? Did you ever chase your grandma’s chickens to see if they’d lay square eggs?

Want to compare notes?



Happy Birthday, Rozena!

My forever friend, Cathy, was in town this weekend for her mother’s birthday. I was so thrilled, because that meant I got to spend a little bit of time with her, too.

I wanted to share my first memory of Cathy. I remember going to their house once and riding their horse. I think her name was Roxanne. She was a very gentle horse.

But the reason I remember that day was that even though we were fairly young, and both Cathy and her sister, Linda, took turns riding with me, they both insisted that I stay in the saddle the entire time. They’d take turns riding “in the rumble seat” as my dad used to call it, but insisted I stay on the entire time.

Even though we couldn’t have been more than five or six at most, I was amazed by their unselfishness. No one had to tell them to do it, at least while I was there, and no one had to stand by to make sure they did.

I’m not sure how they became so unselfish at such a young age, but both of these girls grew into women who still make each person they meet feel as if they’re genuinely glad to see them.

This is Cathy, chatting with one of her relatives. Isn’t she beautiful? My camera didn’t come close to picking up her beautiful hair color.

When I was little, I saw a girl who’d bleached her hair to get it that color, and Cathy has it naturally. She wore her hair in braids until we went into junior high. Maybe this color is the reward for her diligence. 🙂

This is Rozena on the left (happy birthday!) Linda in the middle, and Cathy on the right.

They lived several miles out of town, and didn’t come to town everyday in the summer like most kids. Instead, they learned things like knitting, crocheting and embroidery. By the time we were in high school, Cathy had a hope chest to envy! I have a feeling her sister did, too.

Makes me wonder if she still has anything that she made during those years. I’ll have to ask her sometime.

Like most people, many of Rozena’s friends wishing her happy birthday are also relatives. Here she has her arm around her brother. Happily, being from the same Small Town World, I know some of those relatives and friends, although we didn’t grow up in the same church.

BTW: I loved the outfit Cathy’s mom had on. To be 85 years old, hat woman knows how to dress!!!

Cathy married right after she graduated from college with a degree in education. She lived in the south, then moved to Colorado and taught in Denver for a while. Sometime during all that, she got more education and had a couple of children.

They all moved out to the western part of Colorado and Cathy started teaching in the college there.

I’m going to tell you about our wondful Small World. I wasn’t there and I might get the particulars wrong, but bear with me.

One day at the beginning of a semester, Cathy introduced herself to one of her new classes. “My name is Mrs. Barkley, and this class is —-. I’m from Cleveland, Oklahoma . . . ”

A pretty blond girl, whose mother was secretary for the math department so she already knew Cathy, spoke up. “Are you really from Cleveland, Oklahoma?”

I imagine Cathy chuckled. “Yes. It’s near Tulsa.”

“Do you know any Spesses in Cleveland?” the blonde persisted.

“I sure do. Growing up, my best friend was Susan Spess.” Cathy answered. “Do you know them?”

“Yeah, I do. Susan’s my first cousin.”

I have to tell you–when I count my blessings, Cathy is one of the people I thank God for putting in my life. She’s a forever friend, a gift from God and a joy forever.


We’re Blooming

After my full day yesterday, I’m needing a little deck time this morning. Just me, my coffee and my Lord.

So . . . in honor of the Third Day (when God created plants and stuff) I’m sharing mine with you.

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My crew is celebrating Mother’s Day tonight. I’m so excited! Eeeeee!



Today is our anniversary–G-Man’s and mine. My favorite wedding pic–after the ceremony before any of the guests came out of the auditorium. The photographer caught us! LOL.

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Gotta run. If you have a quick moment, ask God to bless our anniversary!

Thanks for coming by. 🙂