Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


We Had a Party!

Happy Birthday

So we had Dad’s party on Wednesday, and Murphy came. Uninvited.

Which Murphy, you ask? The guy who made up “the law”, so everything that could go wrong, did. LOL!

After a summer where we counted the drops to see how much rain we got, we finally got a good soaking . . . the early morning of the party. So the party had to be moved indoors.

No problem. We’ll have it in the church fellowship hall. That part was great. But the ice maker didn’t work, so we had to buy ice. And while I waited at the office with the pop for the ice to come, the ice went to the church.

I finally caught up and conned  my nephew volunteered to put the pop in to cool.

After lots of hauling and dragging and grabbing and toting, we got there and set  everything up.

Then my camera died. (Who knew one short week-long vaca could drain a battery?)

So, my apologies. Every picture I have is with my cell phone. And while I know there are people who can take fantastic pictures with their cell phones, I am not one of them.

The truth is, if there were a contest for the world’s worst picture (like there is for the worst sentence)I’d take top prize.

But the food was great! The kind your grandma used to make. I can’t even begin to tell you how good it all was.

Baked beans to die for. (Brother Jeffrey’s recipe, made by Jane, the blonde in the picture above.) Super delicious charcoaled chicken, sweated over by Brother Jeffrey. (The man knows his way around a kitchen–or a back yard, as the case may be.)

Two kinds of slaw, potato casserole, bbq from Dari Diner (thanks David!) potato salad, pasta salad, carrot cake, dump cake, brownies, ice cream, coconut cake (the Baptists call that cake Better Than Sex) and a chocolate cake.


We got everyone to sign Dad’s card, then forgot to give it to him. But when he got it, he loved it! Here’s how I can tell. When he gets something he doesn’t like, he says things like, “What’d you get me that for?” or “You know I don’t like things I have to pull over my head.”

Sometimes he doesn’t say anything. He just starts looking around for someone to give his present away to.

This time, though, when he saw his gift, his eyes lit up. “Now THAT’S something I can use.” It was a gift certificate to a nursery. No raised eyebrows, no handing off. The man loves raising things, and we all love the results.

When they’d eaten, the guys went back to work. And the ones who’d brought the food started the clean up. Ever notice how that happens? 🙂

Then Mr. Cranky Pants showed up. Our little buddy got there from preschool and was just a little unhappy, the way he is when someone wakes him up from a nap. And when he wanted “Woo-Woo” (I kind of like the name he’s given me) I took him.

Following his directions (pointed finger) we found

a place he wanted to be. When he saw this little playhouse, he yelled, “Mine!”

Funny how those frowns can turn upside down

until it’s time to leave.

I kind of felt sad, too. Little Deeger-Boy is a lot of fun. The only trouble is, he’s about to get too fast for me. Hopefully, by the time that happens, he’ll be better at understanding that what I want is best. 😉

After the party, someone said something about him being a year older, and I answered, “Not until Sunday.”

The guy didn’t quite understand that. “I thought your birthday was the day you were born.”

“It is,” I answered while I thought, “Duh.”

“Why did you have it on Wednesday if it wasn’t his birthday?”

“‘Cause we wanted to live dangerously.” LOL.

Many thanks to Sister Debbie and Brother Jeffrey. The party just wouldn’t have happened without you guys.


Big Deal

Today’s the boss’s birthday party. I’m not sure about any other small town companies, but when ours celebrates, ours really cooks. 😛


Since it’s the office crew’s idea, we’ll be doing the cooking. (At least most of it.) Like last year, we’ve invited the guys in the field to join us. Our office staff is a group of great cooks–including the men.

To be very honest, the men may be better at it than us women. That’s because the men in the office are Ray Spess’s male descendants, and they were born to cook.

Most of his female descendants do okay, too. 🙂

So Brother Jeffrey (he’s the one on the right)

is charcoaling chicken for the crew. (Y!U!M!) And rather than ordering a birthday cake this year,

everyone in the office is making a dessert and a side dish. I’m making Mama’s Coleslaw and Sigrid’s Carrot Cake from Pioneer Woman.

And I got up at 3:11 am to do it. LOL.

I don’t know if there’s anyone like me, but I have way more energy in the morning than I do in the evenings, especially after work. And when there’s something going on, like this party, I can’t sleep.

I finally learned to put the two things together and cook the morning of any Big Deal. My mind and body are awake, and I’m ready to go, go, go–except for my eyes. They feel raw and salt filled.

So while my cake is baking, I’m watching an old movie, drinking coffee and trying to think of a protective coating for my eyeballs.



Inside Signs

Was this past weekend not the most beautiful two days you’ve ever seen in your life? Okay, if not THE most beautiful, they were among the top five, weren’t they?

The temps were perfect, what leaves are left after this drought are just starting to change, the grass isn’t growing quite as fast (although it might if we had a little rain) and I think I’ve come alive again. Or maybe I just woke up after a long summer’s nap.

How do I know? The signs. No, not outside signs like air temp and grass color. The inside me signs, such as–

  • I finally got the total revamp of my office good and started. No kidding. After all this time of piddling, I’ve got Gimme Bags stacked as high as an elephant’s eye. (Need one?) And a few books I’m never going to read stacked up to give away. AND I’m clearing a path to move the thingy behind my desk to the west wall of my office where the bed used to be. I’ll dig out the desk and move it next.
  • I watched a cooking show and actually had the energy to want to make what the woman there was whipping up. No, I didn’t make it. (Duh.) I just had the energy to want to. 🙂

(Isn’t it funny how TV chefs never need recipes? Or to measure/chop or work hard? Or have trouble thinking of something for supper? Or have something flop? Must be magic in the camera. But I digress.)

  • I saw a picture of bread someone else had baked, and I wanted to make it, too. (The energy to want to. See?)
  • Ordered a book on baking bread. (More energy resurge. Get ready world. I don’t work in front of cameras.)
  • I started looking for and finding a few trees that were changing colors as we drove to Stillwater. (One of my favorite fall things is autumn foliage.)
  • I had the urge to start exercising–walking, riding my bike, something. NO. I didn’t exercise. I just had the–stop asking that. Okay?
  • I’m knitting. (Yep. Really knitting. Not just thinking about it.) Okay, I’m only knitting a bunny for now (I’m planning to make her one of those cute gathered net skirts all the babies are wearing in pictures) but hey. Keeps me out of trouble in the evenings. 🙂

Front half of the bunny and the legs of the back half. Imagine the ears, nose and mouth. Oh, and tail pom-pom. 🙂

Looks like she’s shopping, doesn’t she? “Hm. I kind of like these pants. Wonder if there’s enough tail room.”

That might be another sign of fall–my weird sense of humor.

How about you? What are your inside signs that the seasons are a-changin’?

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Let’s Play a Game

A Smart Woman Can Get What She Wants for Mothe...

How about, “Where’s Susan?” 😉

Since it’s Saturday, I must be blogging over at the Smart Women Blog. I’m talking about the rules of writing.

Here’s a snippet–

When I think about the rules in writing, a little voice inside me goes, “Rules? We don’t need no stinkin’ rules!”  And to a degree, that’s true. There are very few hard and fast rules.

I’ll share the ones I’ve gathered along the way with you.

Want to read more? Check it out.

And please, let me know if that link doesn’t work. 🙂