Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


20 Comments

Who’s St. Patrick?

Ever wonder who St. Patrick was and why we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? I thought he was the saint who drove all the snakes out of Ireland with a shamrock.

 

Saint Patrick's Festival in Dublin. Saint Patr...

Saint Patrick’s Festival in Dublin. Saint Patrick is getting younger every year … or is it that I am getting older? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was wrong. (Imagine that! LOL.)

Patrick was born a Roman Citizen in Britain 1600 years ago (give or take.) He was kidnapped and taken to Ireland where he was a slave for six years. He turned to Christ during that time, escaped and later went back to Ireland as a missionary. (Now that’s Christian love!)

Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which is the reason why shamrocks are part of St. Paddy’s Day.

St. Patrick DID NOT drive all the snakes from Ireland. (Gasp!) There are no fossil records of there ever being snakes in Ireland. (Sounds like a great place, doesn’t it?) He did, however, drive paganism from her beautiful green shores.

So why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s day on March 17th? Because it was his birthday? The day he was kidnapped? The day he escaped? The day he became a Christian?

Nope.

It’s the day he died. We’re celebrating his death day. (Who knew?)

I’ve never celebrated St. Paddy’s day in a big way. I wore green if I had it and pinched anyone who didn’t, but that’s about it. I’ve found, though, that I have a few very distant relatives who came from Ireland. One, apparently, by way of Scotland.

And with a name like Shay (at one time in the distant past, it was O’Shea) G-Man and our kiddos have a wee bit of Irish blood in them. At least one of my children makes a big deal of the holiday and has learned to cook corned beef and cabbage and a delicious soda bread.

I gave you a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa for CB and Cabbage on St. Paddy’s Day last year.

I doubt if I’ll be making any Irish meals today, unless Susan/Reuben Sandwiches are Irish. After all, most have corned beef on them, so they could be considered Irish, couldn’t they? (Truthfully, the only thing my sammies have in common with a Reuben Sandwich is the rye bread, sauerkraut and the fact that it’s a hot sandwich. But they’re good and not gristly.

Here’s how I make them–

  • rye bread
  • sauerkraut
  • hot pepper cheese
  • butter
  • peppered turkey pastrami

I make the sandwiches by layering in this order–bread, cheese, pastrami, kraut, pastrami, cheese, bread. Lightly butter the outside of the sandwich and toast in a hot cast iron skillet until the cheese is melted and the bread crisp.

I tried making it in my new Panini maker, but it just melted the cheese from here to T-Town and the bread barely toasted, so it’s back to the old black skillet. 🙂

So, back to Paddy’s Day–will you celebrate?

 

 

Advertisements


4 Comments

It’s In The Air!

Can you feel it? It’s in the air! It’s EVERYWHERE!!! (Or it will be.)

LOOK AT THIS!

Friday, March 15, 2013, in C-Town, Oklahoma

  • Lo: 46° F
  • Hi: 83° F

Almost a record high! Woohoo!

As you know, I’m a fair-weather gardener. I like the temperature to be not too hot and not too cold when I’m out in the world of dirt and blooms. (And sticks and dead things.) I’m thinking today is The Day to get out and get my hands dirty!

spring-columbines

Don’t you love flowers and gardens and things that make our lives more beautiful? (These are Columbine.) Don’t you hate weeds and grass and everything that grows where it’s not supposed to?

blue flowers_edited-1I’m getting excited. Do I work in the garden or head for the poor, neglected, abused pond?

white-flowers

I bought new pots last summer so at least some of my deck containers will match this year. And they aren’t plastic!

wild-blue-flowersAnd the new containers are blue!

pentas and blue flowers

I like blue. (Could you tell?)

eureka!-flowers!!!So . . . I think I might play hooky from work this afternoon and see how warm it really does get. (And how dirty I can get.)

How about you?


2 Comments

Intention Living

601499_10151485682169183_181482359_n

Don’t you love this? Wouldn’t it make a wonderful blog header?

It was posted by Intentional Living on Facebook. (Intentional Living is my FAVORITE talk radio!)

 This is what was written under it:

It is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16 NIV

Check out today’s eDevo at http://archive.aweber.com/edevo/MzMgA/h/Finding_power_for_life.htm


2 Comments

The New Look

Small Town World has a new look. Did you notice?

A long time ago, Mom told me about life during World War II. Food was rationed, coffee scarce, chocolate practically nonexistent because it went to the guys fighting the war. She said fashions of the time reflected the scarcity of fabric.

Long gathered skirts were out. Slimmer skirts were in.

lens13721781_1285792043vintagesuitsvogue

I know people planted Victory Gardens back then. I remember wondering when Mom told me about living with those clothes, which she said she got really tired of, if they called them Victory Skirts.

Probably not. 🙂

When the war was over, Christian Dior came out with The New Look.

107_3Lg

From Design Museum , 1947.

SMT’s new look isn’t as different or beautiful as Christian’s, but it probably didn’t take him nearly as long as it took me, either.

Here are a couple of my attempts. (Yes, there were others.) spring collage  Too busy. And just doesn’t quite fit.

marchie collage

Close, but no cigar. 😉

Even though after the 17th, I’ll need to lose St. Paddy and play with my look some more, I like the header I ended up with.

That said, I don’t think Christian has to worry about losing his title of The New Look King.

  • 1940-1947 (fashionthroughtime.wordpress.com)


5 Comments

Daylight Saving What?

time-clockDaylight Savings time, again. Don’t you love it?

I don’t!

I don’t mind it, really, once I get used to it–after about a month or so. But for that month . . .

I remember when I first ran smack into DST when I was a kid. Missouri started instating it before Okieland did. And while I normally didn’t know or care what was happening in Missouri, for one week of the year I did. That was the week we went to church camp.

Cyokamo. (♪♫ The finest Christian Camp I know is Old Cyokamo . . . ♫♪)

About the time I was in 6th or 7th grade, the Missouri legislature decided they would save energy by changing time. The only energy I noticed changing was the energy it took for me to drag myself out of bed an hour early for that week. We didn’t have air conditioning at Cyokamo, and our electric fans blew 24/7, so nothing changed.

trailer clock1

The next time I ran into DST was during the energy crisis. Seems to me we had at least one year when we stayed on DST all year round, so we could save lots and lots of energy. (Am I remembering that right?)

Do we really save any energy at all?

When we smack into DST each year, for me it’s still hard (and harder every year) to drag out of the sack at my getting up time, and then I’m sleepy all day long for a while.

serindipity-sunrise

I started wondering a couple of things–

  1. Is it worth all the pain and anguish it causes?
  2. Can I get used to it all over again? (That was during the first, whiny hours.)

And, no surprise, God had an answer for me.

“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:27.

All I have to do is abide in Him (and stop whining) and I can get ‘er done.

So how do you really feel about Daylight Savings Time? Love it? Hate it? Is it easy for you to switch time or does it take a week or so to get used to it?

And do we really save any energy or is that just an excuse to make us get out of bed?


2 Comments

Writers Write, But Do They Conference

Terminally Curious is taking over the blog post today. (Sorry about that, but she insisted.)

Okay, everyone knows the definition of a writer–one who writes. Right? BUT do real writers, biggie writers, the ones who make their entire living by putting words on paper, go to conferences?

I.

Don’t.

Know.

The answer is probably, “Depends on that writer.” *sigh* Don’t you hate answers like that?

I’m not a writer who makes her entire living by putting fingers to keyboard (I have too much fun going to my day job) but I LOVE conferences. I love meeting the people face-to-face instead of just online. I enjoy learning, plumping my brain cells by adding more stuff to them, and I’m crazy about getting someone else’s take on how to do something. (Plotting, anyone? Please???) And I enjoy getting to know new people.

What’s not to love about a conference?

I’ve been to lots of conferences in the past. Romance Writers of America’s yearly hoopla is amazing! (And expensive!!!) I went to a regional conference in Texas, once, I’ve been to a few sort-of-conference-things in T-Town and Claremore, Oklahoma.

My writers group even presented one a few times. (That experience nearly put me off conferences forever.)

This year, I’m going back to Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc’s conference, again. I’ve been a few times in the past, and always really enjoyed it. The conference is taking place in a few weeks, and I’m stoked!

While I’m there, if nothing changes, I’m going to get to meet my first ever editor, Rhonda Penders. I know she’s a sweetie because she edited my first book, TO SCHOOL A COWBOY,

TO SCHOOL A COWBOY

and didn’t once threaten to come to Oklahoma and shake me. In fact, she asked if I’d be interested in a job as editor for The Wild Rose Press. (I had to explain I had a really good critique group. LOL)

I’m going to hear people speak I haven’t been around in years.

And I’m going to learn a ton. (Hope to, at least!)

Terminally Curious is still wondering, though, if real earn-your-living-by-writing writers go to that kind of thing or if they think it’s a waste of time (unless they’re getting paid to be there.)

Anyone know?

BTW: Look at all the great articles I found about writing and conferences! Now I’m going to go read them. 🙂

Related articles


6 Comments

Aw, Shoot! (Guns and Cameras)

It’s weird the way I remember things. Some days, I can’t remember my sister’s grandbaby’s name, but I can remember the first picture I ever took . . . when I was about three years old.

I’ve always been amazed by things that shoot–both guns and cameras. 😛 Mom and Dad had a box camera when I was little. It looked a little bit like this–

Box_CameraFor some reason, I was amazed by it. On the Fourth of July, Dad’s family got together and went to the Sand Springs Lake. There were concrete picnic tables, and we (naturally) piled all the food and anything else we wanted to set where it couldn’t easily be kicked.

So when no one was paying attention, I scraped my knees on the rough bench and reached for the camera.

I didn’t pick it up or move it. All I did was reach over and push the little lever, and I heard a great sound.

Kha-lick!

Later, when they had the film developed, Mom showed me the picture I’d taken. It focused on a six-pack of Pepsis in a metal carton. (Anyone remember these?)

2527_1LThat’s all it took. I was hooked! I even learned how to use that box camera. You looked through that little glass square and couldn’t have any dark showing in the picture. And you had to keep your finger out of the way. (I’ve had a lot of finger close ups in my life.)

For my ninth birthday, I asked for a camera of my own and got a red plastic one from Sears. The pictures it took were small and square and for some reason, rarely clear. What I didn’t realize when I asked for that gift is that film cost $$ and developing cost $$. I didn’t have a lot of $$ and I didn’t know I could have charged it at the drug store. (Smart parents didn’t share that bit of info with me.)

😦 I didn’t take a lot of pictures.

The next year, I asked for a BB gun for my birthday. BBs were much cheaper than film and developing. And, to be very honest, I’m naturally a pretty good shot with a gun.

Cameras, I found, are a little harder.

001 I’m still learning.