Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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Cockle Shells, Silver Bells, and Pretty Maids . . .

I’m not Mary, I’m rarely contrary, but I’ve got a garden this year. Of sorts. (LOL) I’m fresh out of shells, bells and maids. 😦

Strawberry Pot

Strawberry Pot

Years ago when G-Man and I were first married we planted a HUGE garden. (And I had a beautiful, blistering sunburn for my first anniversary. Oh, the memories. 🙂  )

This grew out of the strawberry pot and into the bricks.

This grew out of the strawberry pot and into the bricks.

We raised green beans, beets, tomatoes, onions, peppers, okra. And squash. Six hundred tons of squash. I fixed it every way possible, then we started freezing it.

Sweet potato vine, Vincas, Pintas and Angels' Wings. (Sometimes I make up my own names.)

Sweet potato vine, Vincas, Pintas and Angels’ Wings. (Sometimes I make up my own names.)

In case you didn’t know, if you have a yard in Okieland, you have to have a garden. (I think it’s a law.)

Big pots take a lot of soil!

Big pots take a lot of soil!

I’ve learned a thing or two in the years since that first garden. Now remember, most people know more about gardening than I do. 🙂 But I’m sharing what I know.

Here’s what I’ve picked up on.

  • Life began in a garden. (Called Eden.)
  • Plant flowers. Lots of them. And a few veggies.
  • Only plant three squash or zucchini plants for each family of 357.
  • Don’t plant okra. (It gives you stickers.)
  • Don’t plant watermelon or cantaloupe unless you have plenty of room. (160 acres or so.)
We bought new pots last summer. Now they match!!

We bought new pots last summer. Now they match!!

  • Water, water, water. And then water some more.
  • Stay ahead of the weeds or they’ll eat everything you grow. (Or hide it, which amounts to the same thing.)
  • Lock your car during squash season. Just sayin’.

empty potMore! Dirt! Please!!!

If you look in the background of the above pic, you can see the pots that used to be on my deck. They have herbs in them and I love my herbs, so I moved them to the pond area. Now if I only had a pond.

I have a thing for watering cans.

I have a thing for watering cans.

So here it is, nearly the middle of June, and I’m just getting my pots planted. But they’re pretty, aren’t they? I have a few more plans, and I’ll let you in on them if I can get them done. And find enough soil.

Hope I don't murder them.

Hope I don’t murder them.

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♥ Most Precious ♥

Want to see one of the coolest gifts, ever?

I’ve received lots of wonderful gifts in my life, and this ranks right up there at the very top.

1-tg-5Isn’t it beautiful?

It’s a gift I’ll always, always remember.

To be honest, I love every gift anyone has ever given me. I’m kinda like a little kid. You could give me a plastic squirt gun and I’d jump up and down with joy.

What’s so special about this simple white pitcher? (Besides the person who gave it to me.) It’s kind of like people. It’s what’s inside that makes it what it is.

1-tg-4Can you tell what’s on those pieces of paper? God’s word, written in the gifter’s hand.

 A lamp for my feet and a light for my path.

1-tg-3Proverbs 17:17–a hint to tell you who this was from.

1-tg-2BTW: I don’t leave the scriptures she wrote out for me lying around. I just wanted you to see them. 🙂

 A note also came with it. To me. Me, alone. (When you’re one of six kids, being the special “one” is unusual. And very welcome.) It tells me she loves me and that she prays for me each morning during her quiet time. And that the scriptures are ones that made her think of me or that God whispered to her about.

And she shared them with me.

I cry happy, thankful tears each time I look at my gift and think about (or read) the note, which lives in my Bible so I can read it and reread it.

I’ve thought about different ways I could use this idea for other people. I could make one of those memory boards with pretty ribbons to hold things in place, and put the scriptures under the ribbons. Or I could print them out and have them matted and framed at Hobby Lobby. There are tons of ways to share scriptures.

But nothing like that could ever mean what this has meant to me. A pitcher–not what The Woman at the Well used, but it holds the Living Water.

One more picture.

1-tg1

I hope you can read it.

Thank you, #4. Philippians 1:3-6 . . . Me, you, too!

For two years, having your note in my Bible and this pitcher of God’s words to you in my home has been a gift that kept on giving.

I’m looking forward to studying Gideon with you.

LY2.


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Movie Lovin’ Me

I love movies. I probably caught that bug from my parents. When they were middle school age, they’d sit together at the free movies shown out-of-doors in Old ‘Ford. 🙂 They enjoyed watching movies together until the day Mama passed.

I watch very little commercial TV because I hate commercials. Movies are my fave!

Some movies I like so much, I’ll watch every time they come on.

  • The Adventures of Robin Hood, starring Errol Flynn. (Did you know James Cagney was originally chosen to play Robin? Oy!)

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  • Giant, starring Elizabeth Taylor.

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  • ANYTHING starring Greer Garson, especially MRS. MINIVER! Oh, and Pride and Prejudice. And Blossoms in the Dust. (tears!) And I can’t leave out VALLEY OF DECISION with both Greer and Gregory Peck. (Y-U-M!!!)

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  • Lots and lots of John Wayne movies shine at the top of the list. Flying Tigers, Angel and the Bad Man, Shepherd of the Hills, The Cowboys, Stagecoach and HONDO! to name a few.

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  • Tomorrow is Forever, with Orson Welles, Claudette Colbert and Natalie Wood. (Love that one!)
  • Jane Eyre with Orson Welles, Joan Fontaine and Elizabeth Taylor (although her part was un-credited, you can’t help but notice her. She’s a beautiful little girl!)
  • Only Angels Have Wings with Cary Grant. (Another yum!)
  • A Season For Miracles (A GREAT Christmas movie written by MARILYN PAPPANO!)

If I’m feeling a little down or depressed (or sad) all I have to do is watch one of these movies and I’ll feel so much better!

Of course, there are some movies that once I’ve seen them (or a portion of them) I’ll run a mile to keep from watching again. (If I’m feeling good and have to watch one of these movies, my mood falls flat as three-day-old road kill on a busy highway!)

***SPOILER ALERTS!***

  • Das Boot (top of G-Man’s list, the BOTTOM of mine!) A movie about a submarine crew. Follows every nano-second of their voyage (zzzzz) and they die in the end. 😦
  • Helter Skelter– Charles Manson, his family and their murders. Makes my stomach hurt.
  • Sommersby–I love Richard Gere, but HATE this movie because he falls in love with Jodie Foster, but rather than admit he’s not who he says he is, he choses to die. (Yuck.)
  • Beavis and Butthead–Remind me of a pair of characters I knew growing up. They make my stomach hurt.

There are several movies I’ve never watched because my stomach hurts just thinking about them.

  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  • The Last House on the Left
  • The Hills Have Eyes
  • ANY of the HALLOWEEN movies.
  • Nightmare on Elm Street

So . . . looking back at what I like, what I hate and what I won’t even look at, I have a feeling I’m revealing a lot about myself. (I love HEA, happy, snappy, don’t-think-too-hard-just-enjoy-them film. Books, too.)

What movies do you like? Any idea what that says about you?


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Stormy Weather

The stormy weather we’ve been having in Okieland isn’t the same as Lena’s song, but it’s disturbing just the same.

Tornados have swept away parts of Moore and we’ve had tornado warning several days in a row. No! Fun! I even went to the cellar my folks had dug when I was a kid. (I usually plan to go under my stairs in case one hits.)

I don’t remember that kind of storm before we moved to C-Town when I was little. I have a slight memory of coming out of a basement once, but barely. I remember really well when Dad had some of the guys who worked on the cable tool rig dig the C-Town cellar.  By hand!

I watched the progress closely (of course.) I’d look down into that hole and thought it was huge! When it was finally finished and concreted, I even went down and tap danced a few steps. (The echo was great!)

Almost immediately, it started leaking water (our part of Okieland has a high water table) so from then on, there about a foot of water standing there. The fact that Dad didn’t get around to putting a door on it (until years and years later) didn’t help any. LOL. We had a great time “walking the tight rope” along the edge of that opening.

Once Granddad caught some catfish and put them down in the cellar. I had visions of nests of snakes living there, and even a few nightmares that centered around it.

Finally though, Sister Debbie moved into Grandmother’s house and decided it was time to make the cellar usable. She had the open window closed up, added a vent and a sump pump. Now the cellar is clean with no critters (except a few spiders) and Deb always makes sure there are plenty of snacks and games to entertain the kiddies who go down.

969748_666217840062234_602725260_n     Pretending we’re monkeys.

The weird thing about that cellar is, I think all the water over the years caused it to shrink! I didn’t know cement could shrink like that, but it’s not nearly as big as it was back in the beginning.

Where do you go during a tornado? Bathtub? Cellar? Or are you like so many of the men I know who go out to the porch and watch?


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Secret Prayer Sister

I have this thing God started putting on my heart many, many years ago. It’s a prayer thing.praying hands at oral roberts  3

Kind of hard to explain.

When I went to college, we had Secret Sisters. One person you bought gifts for, sent notes to, left little treats for, that kind of thing. I loved knowing that one person kept me in mind. (The best SS did special things all the time, not just on holidays.)

And sometimes you found that, during the time that person was your SS, she’d come to be your really good friend. (The best gift she could give . . . her friendship.)

Another thing that shines in my life have been my Prayer Partners. With four sisters and a brother who are all very strong Christians, I have built in prayer partners. These great people of God just love to pray for others. And, yes! He answers prayers. 🙂

Sisters

But when we moved to Pryor Creek, my sibs were an hour and a half away and since it was before cell phones and free long distance (kind of) I didn’t talk to them all the time.

When we moved into that town of strangers (well, I knew the preacher and his wife, but that was it) I started asking God for PPs.

Like I said, God answers prayers, and He answered that prayer in a Big Way. He sent me a pair of prayers you wouldn’t believe. Becki and Judy are Wonderful Women of God. The kind that you would have read about in the scriptures if they’d been around in Jesus’s time.

Bible Study 1

Anyway, those two things came together–Secret Sisters and Prayer Partners became Secret Prayer Sisters (or Sibling, as the case may be.) God put a person in my path and somehow, He impressed on me (’cause He doesn’t speak to me out loud. No burning bushes thus far in my life.) that I needed to pray for that person. Not just once, and not just for a little while. I needed to pray for them for a year.

The first couple of women I felt led to pray for, I sent a card to and told them I would be lifting them up for the next year. I intended to do other special little things for her like a SS, but . . .  I didn’t. 😦 And I intended to send a note at the end of the year and tell them who I was.

I didn’t do that, either.

I did pray, though. Funny thing is, when I start praying for a person like that, I usually forget to quit. I’ve had several SPS over the years. Some I’ve prayed for shorter seasons. And some I’ve prayed for, for years.

And there are times when I don’t feel led to have a Secret Prayer Sister.

Yesterday, I felt as if God was leading me to pray for a new person–but this time, it different. This person doesn’t have big problems in her life. (Some of the women I’ve prayed for have had huge, Goliath sized problems.) This young woman is beautiful and talented and well off. (Those are often things I pray about.)

If you met her and just saw what is visible to the world, you’d think she had life by the tail. But she doesn’t. Far from it, in fact.

Something happened this week, and I inadvertently got a glimpse. She didn’t mean for it to happen, I’m sure. Just a short sentence she tossed out, but it grabbed me by the heart.

So I have a new SPS. (This one could be a Secret Prayer Granddaughter, but we won’t go there.) As usual, I’m not sure how long I’ll be praying for her, but I have a feeling it’ll be for a long time.

Now I have a question for you–Does God put special people on your heart? Do you tell them? Do you send a note and tell them you’re praying or do you keep it a secret, just between you and God?