Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


A Heart Thing

I think I mentioned a time or two (or twelve) that I’m memorizing Bible verses along with Beth Moore and some of the other members of the @Siestaville crew. We work on each verse for two weeks.

Hiding His word in my heart so I won’t sin against Him makes sense to me. 🙂

The last verse I memorized (June 15) was Deuteronomy 6:5: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your strength.”

Sometimes I plan ahead about what to put in my mind. This is one of those times. On July 1, I planned to memorize Ephesians 6:10–

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power!”

Great verse, huh? I thought I might go to verse 11 in another two weeks.

Then a health problem came to light. Not me, but the guy closest to me. G-Man has always taken care of me. Through babies, miscarriages, shoulder and nose surgeries and my hip replacement.

The problem has happened before to lots of other people. At least two other people in my life have had similar problems, but this time it shook the ground beneath my feet.

I needed to fix this thing! (Yeah, right.)

What’s the first thing you do when something like that happens and there’s really nothing you can do? I head for the Scripts!

Psalm 73:26– My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

I memorized that during the last round of SSMTs, so it was there in my heart, ready and waiting even though I was pretty shook up. (Thank you, Jesus.)

Next I started praying for a whole new heart in every way God could grant it. He led me to another verse.

Ezekiel 36:26–I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

Exactly what I was looking for! Isn’t it beautiful? A NEW heart and a NEW spirit. Yes! (Check both our hearts, Lord, and if you find any stony parts, Lord, fix them both!)

Now I have two verses to memorize this go-round and one refresher verse.

We’ll see how I get along.

One Last Thing: The anxiety I’m feeling is small in comparison to the loss friends have had recently. I just heard about the loss of two friends in a text this very moment. Does God have something for their loved ones?

Ab. So. Lute. Ly.

John 5:24– “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.

 What a deal.  ♥


HBD Leekabeth!

♪♫ Happy birthday to you . . .
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday, Number Four!!!
Happy birthday to you. ♫♪


Lisa is one of my four favorite sisters in the world, and today’s her birthday.

School age Lisa

School age Lisa

She’s one of those kids that people just enjoy being around. She’s fun and funny and a great friend.

She picked out three wonderful wives for her boys.

It's hard to tell which one is older, but Lisa is 2nd from the right.

It’s hard to tell which one is older, but Lisa is 2nd from the right.

And then she found some good looking grandsons. (I only have a picture of one, and it’s old. But the other two look kind of like him.)

Nicole, Lisa, Braden and Wayne

Lisa is probably single-handedly running all three of their stores today. She might not even have time for anyone to call and sing Happy Birthday to her.

But if you want, you can leave your happy birthday wishes for her here. I’ll send them to her later. 🙂




Unwanted Visitors in Life

Do you have bats in your life? No, I’m not asking if you are bats. (I don’t really want to know. Snicker.)

I’m wondering if you have things in your life you’d just as soon not have hanging around. Things you aren’t real proud of that scare, surprise or even shock you.

If you do, how do you respond to them?

This bat died of old age. We didn't hurt him.

This bat died of old age. We didn’t hurt him.

We have REAL bats at my office. You know, those little rats with wings? Yes, bats are good for the environment, they eat bugs, but they aren’t really great in the work place, if you get my drift.

Bat crawling in the hallway.

Bat crawling in the hallway.

We have some people at our office who panic when one crawls into their sight. If the little mammal is crawling up the hall (yes, that’s unnerving!) and these women are fifteen feet away at their desks, they’ll close their doors and block all the cracks and openings until the little bugger is gone. (I’m not sure if they’re covering their necks or not.)

If others of us pick up a paper towel or move a chair, and there’s a bat hiding there, we SHRIEK!  drop whatever we moved and run for the hills. (Notice, I’m not naming any names here–especially mine!)

Bat toes under a paper towel.

Bat toes under a paper towel.

Someone in the office (not me) will calmly get a paper towel, gently pick the little guys up and take them away.

We’ve tried several ways to get rid of them. A year or two ago, we had someone come and close up any tiny hole they might get into. (Last year we only had one bat that I can think of.) But with the heat and lack of rain, the hole filler must have shrunk and we’ve got unwanted visitors again.

We’ve talked to pest control people, but they aren’t the answer. We haven’t found live bat traps.

Bat hanging around.

Bat hanging around.

So yesterday I went to the feed store and bought something that G-Man and I used to get rid of squirrels in his dad’s attic. It smells really bad, so the critters are supposed to leave. (Worked on squirrels.)

I put the stuff out–but it really does smell. And since people work in the office and they don’t like the smell any better than bats do, it might not be a long term answer. But if we can get the bats to leave, we can close up those holes again. Maybe permanently.

Sometime last night, I got to thinking about bats at the office and sins in our lives. Did you ever have anything that you thought you’d gotten rid of only to have it come crawling back up the hall of your mind again?

Or have you ever been rocking along, doing pretty well when you move something and (shriek!) there’s that sin! Again!!!

I’m not telling you how to fix it (Gotta take care of my beam before I can help with your splinter.) but I know the Man Who can get rid of them.

Give your bats (your sins) to Him (after all, He already paid for them) then close up the holes and stay close up to Him. It’s the only way to be batless. 🙂

So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet. — James 7-10 The Message


A Thing Confession

I have a thing. 😦 I know you’ll be disappointed in me, but it’s a real problem. It’s a thing for purses. (Handbags.) And it’s a weird one.

I blame it on my mother.

It’s a search for Purse Perfection

When I was a really little girl, Mom bought me a clear purse for Easter. She showed me I could keep my white gloves in it that day when I wasn’t wearing them. (If I’d worn them long, they wouldn’t have been white.)

I don’t remember a lot about it. Seems as if it was plastic and box shaped and didn’t have color on it anywhere. I just remember thinking it was kind of silly, because everybody could see what was in there–my Sunday School offering and my gloves.

I probably lost it before I was out of Sunday School. LOL. Or maybe I smacked somebody with it and got it taken away from me. I didn’t really care, because it was stupid.

Thus began my search for the perfect purse.

The first bag I remember  needing was a Choo-Choo purse. Anybody remember those?


I mean, I had to have one. HAD. TO.

If you Google it, you see a lot of Jimmy Choo purses, but those aren’t what I mean. This was a purse that looked like a miniature overnight bag. It wasn’t nearly as nice as the one above, which is a Gucci. Mine was square edged and hard.

Not something you could put on and go. (It actually made a good weapon.)

The next bag that caught my interest was called (at least in C-Town) a hatbox.

bag2I can’t imagine why it was called that. (LOL) I didn’t get one.

The next bag I had to have was a straw summer purse. I walked into Bayouth’s Department Store and stopped dead in my tracks. There it was! The purse of my dreams!!!

Actually, it was kind of like the purse worn by Haley Mills in The Parent Trap, a movie I’d seen a couple of years earlier. I didn’t remember the movie at that moment. (I watched it last night and put 2 and 2 together.)

I just had to have it!

It had a long strap and was shaped like the drum that Ricky Ricardo played on I Love Lucy. And it was nearly as big!

I grabbed it and hugged it. Mom said, “No!” so Emile Bayouth gave it to me. For free! (I love that guy!)

I don’t remember carrying it much, but it made for a little extra storage in my bedroom. 🙂

When I was in college, Mom gave me a hippy bag.

It was suede, smallish, flat and had long fringe on the flap, which made it a pain to deal with. But I LOVED it. I mean, was my mom cool or what?

But it wasn’t big enough, so my next bag was just that. A cloth bag with a long strap. Open at the top and had no structure whatever. I loved it, too. (Everyone had one in those days.)

I’m still looking for the perfect bag. I love the shape of a Hobo Purse,


but they usually sprout little nooks and crannies where the stuff I need goes to hide. Right when I need it.

I had a wonderful Coach purse. It had so much room, I had to have smaller bags inside to be able to find anything.

bag3I loved it! First time I noticed one, a friend was carrying it. Rather than wrestle her for it, I bought my own.

And I carried it right up until I had to have shoulder surgery. 😦

So the search goes on for the Perfect Purse. It’s not easy, hunting for perfection, but I will keep trying.

In case you’re wondering, the perfect purse would include room for everything AND my iPad, but be light as a feather. Items inside would be easy to find (a light would help) and easily organized without taking a lot of time, and be self cleaning. And it would need to be so comfortable that I could wear it all day long and forget I had it on.

What’s hard about that?

I’m accepting recommendations. 😉





The Longest Day

Of the year (not the movie) started this morning at 12:04.

I was on the deck this morning with Gideon when the sun came up. I noticed a cloud, bisecting Old Sol, and decided to snap a pic.

So I ran inside and grabbed my camera. Do you know how different the sun looks through the lens of a camera?

1sunJust the flick of a setting


and it’s a different world. Or sun. 🙂


Another flick and there’s more light.

1sun3The sun at night. (Not really.)

1sun4It’s closer, then it’s farther away.

Cameras are so much fun! They change the world, don’t they? (Temporarily, at least.)

1sunny4A few more shots around the longest day.

1sunnyday5Along the fence.

1sunnydayRusty the Rooster moved up on the deck in my washtub. 🙂


Lettuce hiding behind Rusty.

1sunnyday3Cucumbers blooming. (Pickles next?)

1sunnyday6And my favorite hydrangea.

The longest day of the year in our yard. Well, the morning at least. 😉