Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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The Ultimate Artist!

One red leaf in the middle of the green leaves. Love it!

How long has it been since you’ve done something just for fun? Last weekend, G-Man and I did just that. We took the Talimena Drive. Even though it rained, even though it was chilly and wet and far from perfect, it’s one of those weekends I’ll never forget!

We went to McAlester and spent the night Friday, then drove on to Talihina Saturday morning, where they were having their 25th Fall Foliage Festival. We had a great time!

Then we left on the Talimena National Scenic Byway. All I could think on that drive is how lucky we are to have a loving God. He could have given us a world in shades of gray, but he gave us all this. He could have made only one tree or one type of plant to make oxygen, yet He excelled in variety.

Are we blessed or what?!?

Most of theses pictures were taken on that drive.

If you think about going, be sure to clean your windshield FIRST! And if there’s rain in the forecast, use Rain-X.

We found beautiful places along the drive that I never knew existed. We followed motorcycles (poor guys) that looked like tricycles with really long bars in the middle. Chopper Tricycles? I’m not sure what they were, but they were cool! (And great colors!)

But the most amazing part was the color God put on the trees. He is the ultimate artist! The colors are bright and beautiful without being garish.

I may have to blow a few of these up to frame for my walls. God, the ultimate artist!

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Hoop-La

Ever wonder if you confuse God?

Yesterday, C-Town had a big hoop-la. Big one. Sirens sounded up and down the street. People were evacuated from their homes.

What’s going on?

Naturally, Terminally Curious reared her little head, so Omega and I went to the C-Town American Newspaper to find out what was going on.

Because the sweet woman who runs the office isn’t one to spread unfounded rumors, she couldn’t tell us much . . . until the editor’s mom called. When she wanted to know what was going on, the office lady told what she’d heard (ie: spilled her guts) and, unashamed, we listened.

More rumors filtered in. What’s the first thing you do when you hear about something wild going on around you?

I prayed.

We heard that an ex-husband (or ex-boyfriend or ex-friend, depending on where you heard it) had kicked in a door and was holding a woman and their child hostage. Here’s where I might have confused the Lord. I prayed for this woman and her child and they didn’t even exist!

Since I doubt I’m capable of confusing the Lord, maybe I gave Him a chuckle. “There she goes again, praying for someone who isn’t.”

And I prayed for people who weren’t even involved. We heard a “possible” name about who the guy was (it wasn’t) so I prayed for that guy, his wife and kiddo. I don’t know them (at least he existed and had a wife and child) but I figured God did, and that’s what’s important. Right?

Then my Famous Author BIL came to the office to pick up Omega, and we heard a whole new story. Yup, more prayers for non-existent and non-involved people.

Famous Author BIL

Famous Author BIL

And some our local police were wearing pink t-shirts (for breast cancer awareness. I love our cops!) so I prayed for them when I spotted a pink shirt. At least those prayers were on target! 🙂

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So what do you think? When a person (clears throat) prays for someone who doesn’t exist or who isn’t really in the trouble being prayed about, do you think it confuses God or makes Him laugh?

At least no one was injured at all yesterday, and all the police-type people in the area got to put on their armor and get all their toys and practice for the next time a problem like that comes up.

BTW: The really-truly story of what happened was b-o-r-I-n-g. But the afternoon was exciting! 🙂

 

 

 

 


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Exciting Times

I don’t know about anyone else, but my weekends are about half as long as they used to be. I mean, instead of two twenty-four hour days, I’m only getting twelve hour babies.

Anybody else?

I don’t get it.

We had some great snuggling weather Friday night. Cold rain–I love it! The rain, the chilly weather, and I’m-warm-inside-eating-stew-and-listening-to-the-raindrops. It’s wonderful!

I hear the fam in Wichita even had a little snow.

And have you noticed the trees? They’re changing. 🙂 That’s one of my favorite things about fall, and since fall is my favorite season, I guess I really love ’em. LOL. Of course, I have seen much red yet, but gorgeous yellows are starting to be everywhere and I’ve even seen a few peachy ones.

more-leaves

C-Town is ramping up for a great time coming soon.

FC3 is getting ready for the Harvest Hoedown next Sunday night, October 27th. I look forward to it every year, even though I’m too old to play the games. 🙂 I usually get to pass out food or drinks, so I see most of the adults and some of the kids at least once if not several times.

It’s so much fun!

Harvest Hoedown stars

The kids are sweet and funny and have a ball! And the adults even have a lot of fun.

The Baptist Church is getting ready for Trunk of Treat the same night. Not only the kids dress up for it but the cars do, too! 🙂

Trick or Treat on Broadway is nearly here and with it, hordes of masked children and adults. I heard about one pregnant woman who dressed up and got candy, “for the baby,” but I can’t really be sure about that.

Wonder if she let her belly show and painted it like a basket ball for the baby’s costume? 😉

And our nursing home has trick or treating for kids as well as The Baptist Village. How cool is that?

Exciting times, they are a comin’!

 

 


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Breaking Fall

Know what’s going on in C-Town?

FALL BREAK!!! (Kids and teachers are thrilled.) When I was a kid, we got out for State Teachers’ Meetings, but it was really fall break. Now they don’t even pretend. It’s just time to get away. 🙂

Who cares which it is?

I love fall, don’t you?

Last year at this time, I left town. Grist MillRecognize that? I’ll give you another hint–

The wheel that turns the millGive up? It’s Wareagle! The coolest arts and crafts festival (biggest I know of) anywhere.

I love going. I love shopping. I love seeing what’s hot in the A & C world.

made from orange horseshoes. Now I just need to find an orange horse.

Wareagle is where I found Matilda.

Matilda

She still has the same sweet personality as the day I found her. (Her cat doesn’t make a mess, either.) 🙂

But Wareagle isn’t the only reason I love autumn. I love the cooler temperatures. And pumpkins.

frost on the pumpkin

And gorgeous leavesLove the colorAnd Thanksgiving and family and caramel corn and apples. Lots and lots of apples.

Is Autumn your favorite season, too? What’s the best part for you?


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Amazed–Again

Once upon a time in the beautiful village of C-Town, there was a shop called Janyce’s Paintin’ Parlor. Janyce Brown was the painting teacher and I was one of her (less talented) students.  (And after I’d leave the lesson, she’d “help” my picture a little bit.) 🙂

Janyce was one of those people who made you feel as if she was thrilled to see you. No matter what your age, if she knew you, she was your friend.

And that laugh! Janyce had a laugh that could bring a grin to the crankiest face.  (And she often did!)

There were so many things I appreciated about Janyce. She was an extremely talented singer. She was never in a bad mood. Always willing to lend a hand. Never tiptoed around a subject but very gently told things like they were. (Don’t you love that?)

And she never ever forgot my name. (I mentioned before that someone who could tell which sis is which and not mix up names is tops with me!)

Sisters

SistersNot that we look alike. 🙂 Or ever looked alike.

wedding-sisters

For some reason, though, people sometimes confuse us.

But never Janyce. Don’t you love that?

Last February, Janyce went to be with the Lord and her husband, John, a hard working man who passed the previous November. That was a huge loss for C-Town.

So this past weekend, J & J’s children had an estate sale. I went by a few times to lend a hand and for the sheer enjoyment of seeing the children of this beautiful couple.

They are all younger than me, but Cheryl was one of my sister’s best friends, Julie worked for me at the dress shop and I taught Mike in Bible School. He still lives here and goes to church with us.

What amazed me, though, was how much Janyce and I were alike in taste.

She adored her children, their spouses and her grandchildren. I do, too. (Well, I WILL adore my grandchildren as soon as I get the chance.)

The books she read were the same books I read, and like me, she had dozens and dozens of them. (And her daughter said she would have loved my werewolf book.)

She collected antiques, and surprise! I enjoy antiques. (Wish I’d followed her when she went antiquing!) 🙂

I bought a table at the sale that my husband says she probably bought in a “hippy” shop. I bought a table in a shop like that right after we were married.

I bought her grinding stone knife/ax sharpener.

Don't you love it?

Just like Uncle Henry’s

And a great dresser. (I’ll try to take pictures to share soon.) The dresser needs a little work, but that’s what antiques are about. Right? (I think G-Man can fix it.)

It’s not the “stuff” that thrills me so much as the connection through them to Janyce and John. When I see the table or dresser, I’ll think of that family and the joy they’ve given everyone who knew them.

And every time I see the sharpener, I’ll remember my mom’s Uncle Henry. He had one just like it that we played on as kids.

I wonder if the greatest gift God gave us (after Jesus/eternal life/Heaven, family and friends) is our ability to remember happy times together.

The things that matter most–painting lessons, trips, good times working and worshiping together and Janyce’s fantastic laugh–can’t be given away or even sold.

They can only be shared and relived in our hearts. What a gift!

Janyce's daughter and granddaughter  I swiped this picture off Kelsey’s Facebook page. 😛


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Arm Chair Book Tour

Yikes! I just realized it’s been a week since I was here.

It’s not as if I haven’t done anything in that week, though. Honest. 🙂

I’ve been on a blog tour, which has been a ton of fun! I can say that now that I have all the blogs written and out the door. In case you don’t know what a blog tour is–it’s sort of like a book tour, but instead of traveling from venue to venue and signing books as they sell, I’m popping from blog to blog, talking about MAKE ME HOWL.

I probably should have mentioned them here each time. After all, there’s a give away. Not MAKE ME HOWL, but my other books and great books by some friends of mine! You might find a new author whose books you just love. (No X rated ones. I promise.)

Today I’m at Dawn’s Reading Nook. You have to scroll down a little bit to find the interview. You’ll recognize it when you see this

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and you might learn something about me that you didn’t know. (I’m not sure there’s anything I haven’t told the world, but if there is, it might be there.)

Oh, and don’t let the orange CONTENT WARNING stop you. (Please!) I promise there are no (ahem) unmentionables popping up. No naughty pictures. No questionable content. (At least in my blog or anything I saw when I was there.)

So come on by and say hi! I love seeing a familiar face!!!


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Pioneer Day

I didn’t make it to Pioneer Day this year. But it was discussed on Facebook and I followed the thread.

Interesting the way people perceive anything that goes on in their Small Town World, isn’t it? And you know what? All of them just want C-Town to shine! (I think it already does!!!)

Back in the Day

Real Pioneer Days

In order to take advantage of the folks coming to town, Homecoming and Pioneer Day have been combined. Makes sense, doesn’t it? I mean, peeps are coming home, so lets use it!

Originally, Pioneer Day was established to celebrate the day the Cherokee Strip was opened. The most land ever in a Land Run. (I think.)

Free!

September 16, 1893

If I remember right, Pioneer Day changed to Jolly Roger’s Day back in the late ’60’s. (I don’t remember the exact year, but I’m thinking about 1967 or so. (Wasn’t Viva Lee Rayborn Miss Keystone Lake about that year?)

But Port DX closed, and JRD reverted back to Pioneer Day.

One thought thread on FB was like Oliver Twist’s request. “MORE.”

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Invite surrounding towns. Mix up the culture a bit. Invite Indian dancers from nearby towns. Request the girls in local dance/tumbling classes to entertain. Have more than one kind of singers

And floats in the parade!

Not bad ideas. Not the only ideas, but not bad ones.

If it were up to me, I’d get The Mayberry Foundation involved. That group is full of energy and fantastic ideas! (And they follow up!)

They’re what I want to be that when I grow up! 🙂

So, those of you who have ideas for PIONEER DAY . . . what do you suggest? Even if you aren’t from The Capitol of Keystone Lake (aka C-Town) what are some things in your town to bring in people and fun?

Suggestions?