Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Thank-ank-ank! You-ou-ou!!!

Is my title the way you write it when you’re shouting and it’s echoing from the mountains? I hope so!

Dad’s great!

The surgery was quick (two hours, but that’s pretty fast) and he had no pain when it was over. Dad was back in his room by 10:00 a.m. or so and feeling good.

The family crew was in and out of the hospital until about 9 last night and he still wasn’t hurting. (much)

They’ve come a long way in the four years since I became a hippy. I’m amazed. (And grateful!!!)

Don’t tell Dad, but we had a great time yesterday. I got to spend time with my brother and all my sisters (except the one who lives out of state) a niece, a brother-in-law, Dad’s wife, her son for an hour or so, and my preach!

Those are some of my favorite people in the world.

I got to thinking yesterday how very lucky I am. My siblings are people sharp, funny, likeable people. I’d LOVE them even if I weren’t related to them.

That’s a little bit rare, you know? Some people don’t even speak to their sibs.

Boy, those people miss a lot of fun. 🙂

We love telling stories. The best part is telling a story about someone else and then hearing it from their POV.


Everyone who kept Daddy in your prayers, thank you! God hears his children and he certainly heard our prayers. I appreciate you guys!

God is great! All the time!!!

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Family Road Trip

Time: 5:00

I’ve been up since 4:30 so I could have my Jesus Time before I get ready to go to the hospital for Dad’s hip surgery. I’m looking forward to seeing him out of pain.

This hip stuff is the pits! 😦

Going together to the place: Debbie, Amy, Hope and me. Hope is driving. (I think.) Or Deb. I’m a little light headed these days, but I have an excuse. Medication for a slight prob. (Argh.)

And no, it’s not a ploy to get some attention when all the attention is focused on someone else.

I hope. (Wow, how selfish would that be???)

Anyway, keep the entire crew in your prayers. I’ll keep y’all updated!




Meeting a Brand New Hippy

Almost four years ago, my sister Cindy had her first grandson, and on the same day, I got my new hip.

Tomorrow, my dad is getting a new hip.

mom, dad and lindy

Think I can blame him for passing me the bad hippy gene? Or maybe I passed it to him. Who knows?


Actually, mine came from accidentally doing the Chinese splits in my pond one day. (I put one foot in my pond, it took off for Tulsa and my other one stayed planted firmly on the ground near Keystone Lake.)

Dad’s is simple wear-and-tear arthritis.

Three SpessDad’s the one without a crutch in this picture.


I’m not sure Dad would have had his replaced, but the silly joint is slowing him down. Although he’s 21 years my senior (well, 20 1/2 years) he’s still much more active than I am.

We both work every day, but when he works, he WORKS! He works at the office, overseeing the workings of our company. He oversees our farms. He gardens, studies, travels (a lot!) and he has chickens. dad's-mower

Since he won’t be shuffling off to Buffalo for a few days after he gets his new hip, I asked if he’d like me to help out with his chickens. “You bet!” he answered, and went on to explain how to care for the hens.

And he mentioned his tomatoes and okra would need continued harvesting.


I love learning from Dad day after day. Until Mom died and he remarried, he was an elder in our church. I still depend on him as a spiritual leader, even though we came to the Lord on the same day.

Sister Debbie will be staying at Dad’s house, helping out all she can after the surgery “until they throw me out,” she told me. I’m a little envious, but I’ll be making frequent trips to see him, take him the mail he needs to see and helping out in his yard and visiting his chickens. (I haven’t robbed hens’ nests since Grandma Reeves lived on the Meade place. Her chickens pecked me when I tried. We’ll see what these do.)

So if you would, keep my daddy, his wife, his surgeon and his kids in your prayers for a successful hip replacement and recovery.

Dad and the kids

God is good.

All the time.


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The song  below was our special worship song Sunday morning.

I don’t know about anyone else, but for me, the best part of Sunday Morning church is the song/communion/prayer time. Don’t get me wrong. Preacher Dave is the best minister I’ve had the pleasure of learning from. I really enjoy hearing him.

While I learn from PD, during the song/communion/prayer time I’m part of worship. For me, corporate worship means more than just those two words put together.

It’s our hearts joining together in adoration of the King, (AKA the Creator of the Universe and everything in it.)

It’s beautiful!

This past Sunday, just before we heard from the preach, a trio from the worship team sang while we watched the video. (Dad asked if they were the Andrews Sisters because of the beauty of their song.)

Take a few moments to listen and watch. You’ll be blessed.




Climbing the Family Tree

Just in case I didn’t have enough to keep me busy (House work? What’s that?) I’ve started working on our family tree.

FTs have always fascinated me.  (No, I’m not Mormon.) I don’t know if it’s because of the stories we heard about family when we were kids or the stories we didn’t hear.

Once Grandma told me her granddad (or her gr-granddad) was the younger son of a German count. I haven’t found any evidence of it, though. Maybe she was just wishful thinking.

BTW: I have one branch of the tree I can’t follow back very far. I call it the family stump. 😦

anna-e-dickerson-@18This is my maternal great grandma. It’s a picture of a tintype Grandma gave me a long time ago. Wasn’t she pretty?

Here’s the whole tintype.


Those are a couple of friends with Gr-grandma on the right. Tula and Betty. They don’t look like they’re having much fun.

Virgil,-Grandma-Dickerson,-This is another grandmother. Not sure which one. She doesn’t look very happy. The kids don’t either. They really look as if they’re expecting to be shot rather than remembered.

Why is that?

Quitman,-Bella,-Betty-WallaI love this picture. Looks like they’re having so much fun . . . except they left their smiles at home.

A couple of things I’ve really enjoyed about Family Treeing is the names of my family. A couple of my uncles had really different names.

One was Quitman.

The other was Okla Homer.

(No, I’m not kidding.)

The other thing I’ve noticed about names is the repetitiveness. There are several Josephs. And Lewises. And Bettys. Mary seems to be a very popular name in my linage. (Mama’s name was Mary.)

Joseph-Dickerson I wish I knew more about them.

I do know that my grandma’s daddy died when she was less than a year old, so Grandma’s mama took the kids to live with her fam.

grandma's daddy

So why do I bother? Why do I want to know where Grandma Reeves moved to Oklahoma from? Why do I care where Grandma Nycum came from?

I don’t know. I met a woman once who grew up in the town my Grandmother’s family moved to Oklahoma from. I told her my ancestors had lived there by the name of Mitchell.

She got very excited. Her brother’s best friend’s name was Mitchell and, oh, my gosh! I looked just like them.

Knowing my family history kind of makes me feel as if I have a base. Roots. You know? Now, maybe I know who I have in heaven, praising Jesus and praying for me.

And if I run into anyone who looks just like me, I’ll know we’re related. 🙂

Is your family tree finished? Do you have it proudly framed and displayed on the wall or tucked away in a drawer somewhere?

If it’s finished, how do you know where to stop? 🙂



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Did you ever see the movie, “Splendor in the Grass” staring Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty?

It’s a movie I heard of when I was a kid, but my mama wouldn’t let me see. (I think she heard it was naughty. She didn’t actually see it.)

As an adult, I’ve seen it several times. Not because Mama told me not to. (Well, that’s not the only reason. 🙂  )

I watched it again today. (Sunday.)

Over the years, I’ve learned some great truths from watching it.

  1. The movie is not really dirty.
  2. The characters are way too real–and down deep most aren’t very nice. (Maybe that’s why Mama didn’t want me to see it.)
  3. Parents don’t always know what’s best for their children, even though they want what’s best.
  4. Love can drive you crazy. (It made Deanie a raving lunatic in the movie.)

Whenever I think of movies my mama didn’t want me to watch, I remember Peyton Place. Just saying the title out loud makes me duck and wait to be smacked.

I learned some truths there, too.

  1. The movies really isn’t dirty. (The book is worse. Yep, I read it, too.)
  2. The characters are way too real. Some are nice and some aren’t.
  3. Parents don’t always know what’s best for the kiddos. Sometimes, they don’t even always want what’s best. (That’s kind of true to life sometimes, too.)
  4. Love doesn’t drive anyone crazy, but it drives them away before they can come back home again.

Maybe I read things into movies that aren’t there or that other people don’t see. But I’m a romance writer. We have a legal right to do that.



Imagination Station

Have I ever mentioned what a weird imagination I have? It’s s-t-r-a-n-g-e.

To start at the beginning of what I’m talking about, I’ll have to rewind a ways. A few years ago, I decided to write a book about a werewolf. (It’s called MAKE ME HOWL.) But I didn’t want a normal, doom and gloom, dark and terrible werewolf. I wanted a fun, cute, funny werewolf.


So I did what every fiction writer has to do, no matter what genre she’s writing. I created my own world.

For a while I called it ChickWolf-Lit. Jazzy (my heroine) is a fashion consultant who also happens to be a werewolf. She has the gene, so she was born that way. (Her maternal grandmother was a werewolf, too.)

And since the time she was potty trained, she’s been able to keep from going “animal” most of the time. Even a full moon doesn’t bother her.

The only time she accidently goes “wild” is when she’s out of control. She can shift whenever she wants to, though.

She has a twin sister. The two of them have their own “twin speak” which is telepathic, but it gives Jazzy a grinding headache when they use it.

Here’s a little problem I have. My characters in my books are real to me. (I spend so much time with them, they’re like family.)

There’s one thing I discovered in my world: the gene that causes people to be shape shifters turns them into wolves.

♥ ♥ ♥

A few days ago I joined a paranormal group on Facebook. Most of them are writers, and let me tell you, every one has an imagination to match (or outshine) mine.

So I got to thinking . . . what if several shape shifting writers were in a room together. There would be women in pjs and furry slippers (those who don’t have day jobs) women in business suits (they have high powered jobs and write on the side) women dressed in filmy scarves in wild colors with pink hair (who think big-name authors should look like that) and the rest in jeans and t-shirts. (My uniform of choice.)

Can you see us on couches, in chairs, sitting on the floor and leaning against the wall? And drinks? Yeah, we’d have them. Coffee, Diet Dr. Pepper, wine . . . everyone would bring their own poison. 🙂 (Jazzy and I are DDP girls.)

So all of us are sitting there together, and we get to talking about the shapes our characters change into. The Jazzy in me laughs hysterically.

“You guys must be writing cartoon shape shifters,” she says between gasps and giggles. “Because REAL shape shifters change into werewolves.”


“Your kind of shape shifters come from a virus that results in a bite from an out-of-control werewolf who’s born with the gene. (My apologies to other shape shifting authors. Once my world is twirling, there’s no stopping it.) “So they have to be werewolves!”

“NO WAY!!!” The bejeweled, bangled, pajama-ed, scarved t-shirted, blue jeaned and pink haired women jump on me.

“I didn’t say that. Jazzy did!” I squeak, trying to be heard.

“Well, give her this from us!” Smack in my eye.

And the battle is on.

♥ ♥ ♥

LOL! This post has gone on much longer and gotten even weirder than I intended.

Does your mind ever get away from you like that? Mine does it all the time because I get to thinking how everyone imagines everything differently. The animals shifters change into, where they come from, how much control they have, everything.

That’s what makes reading so much fun!

BTW: After the battle? Do I imagine myself standing on the heap, hands joined over my head in triumph?

No. Way. (And it’s not pretty.)

Jazzy had a good time, though.