Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


We Missed ♥ Kevin ♥ but we saw Fort Hayes.

I mentioned that G-Man and I, #2 Son and DIL  went to South Dakota this summer, didn’t I? While we were there, we went to Fort Hayes. The movie wasn’t actually made where the “Fort” stands now, but they are the same buildings and furnishings! This is the room where the crazy guy in DANCES WITH WOLVES gave Kevin his orders.

002 We must have been a little late in the season because the rope maker was gone, but the man who makes pans was there and Nikki learned to make one.


Nikki and the teacher.

027 Learning!



They had great displays.


In case you’re wondering, this isn’t My Mother The Car. (Anyone remember that show?) I asked her and she didn’t answer.

Some I wanted to load up and take home with me.


And we got into a little trouble.


But Matt knew how to escape.


He played us a little tune to celebrate!

016Player piano being played.

I really wanted to take this home!

I really wanted to take this bench home! So pretty! But they wouldn’t let it go. 😦

I loved this wagon.

I loved this wagon, too, although I’m not sure what it was used for in the movie.  (Have you noticed? There wasn’t much I didn’t like.)

We had a great time at Fort Hayes! It would have been even better if Kevin Costner had shown up. I might have let him Dance with a Wolf. (Hey, Jazzy!)




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TBT–Yellowstone Pt 2 and the Gang

I started this blog Monday.

We finally made it to Yellowstone. I think we’d worn the sickness out by then. We rented one cabin, where we cooked and showered and a few us us slept, and the rest of us slept in the campers.

Of course, we saw everything there is to see at Yellowstone. Old Faithful, who really was faithful back then. I don’t know how is he now.


The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

grand canyon yellowstoneThis  is that Grand Canyon. Picture from Wikipedia. Gorgeous, isn’t it?

dt.common.streams.StreamServerAnother place, we hiked down a wonderful, smooth asphalt path to a lower waterfall. On the way down, I saw my first Newfoundland Dog. (At first, I thought it was a bear on a leash.) When we got there, we marveled and exclaimed and climbed rocks. I decided I wanted another angle in a picture, so I climbed a little way up the rock wall beside the falls.

Of course, there was a heavy mist coming from the waterfall and the sun was shining bright on us. When I turned around to take the picture, I wasn’t surprised to see rainbows. What surprised me was that I saw a complete circle rainbow!

If there’s not something to stop it (like the earth or a building or cloud) a rainbow will make a perfect circle! Who knew? (Probably anyone who paid attention in science class.) I didn’t!

Hot springs.

hot springs

Tons of hot springs and mud volcanoes in Yellowstone. TONS!

I don’t know the temperature of the springs, but I’ve seen Dante’s Peak. I don’t want to test it! LOL.

So as I mentioned, Phyllis and Melvin went with us. A couple of things I remember about Melvin that made him one of my favorite people in the world. (I should have a category–My Favorite People. 🙂 ) Melvin ate popcorn every night. I don’t know if he had it instead of dinner, as an after dinner snack or just before going to bed, but I know he had it. And when I smelled it popping, it made me hungry! (I love popcorn.)

And he was a great fisherman. If I remember right, he didn’t like to eat fish, he just liked to catch them. I’d say that was where The Great Fisherman Jeffrey got his fishing gene, but Melvin wasn’t related except by marriage. Maybe Jeffrey caught it by osmosis.

The guys all went fishing while we were at Yellowstone, and left us womenfolk behind.

They drove a ways, parked and hiked a couple of miles up the river through CLOUDS OF MOSQUITOES. (They don’t do anything to kill off critters in YS.) From the way I heard the story, the guys nearly couldn’t breathe without sucking in several of the little varmints. (They might have made it worse than it was in the telling so I’d quit griping because they wouldn’t let me go. Yes, I pouted.)

Anyway, they finally got to the spot someone told them about, and after an hour or two without catching a fish, they hiked back to the truck, again through clouds of mosquitoes. (No wonder the trout didn’t bite, they were full from eating blood suckers.) At least one of the guys (Brother Jeffrey?) ran most of the way back and locked himself in the truck to get away from the bugs.

Can’t say as I blame him. 🙂

I’ve been to Yellowstone two or three times, but guess what? I. Want. To. Go. Again. (It’s just too gorgeous for words.)

Have you been to Yellowstone and seen the Natural Wonders God put there? Think He was showing off or just giving us a taste of Heaven?

What was your favorite part?

Oh, wow. I didn’t even mention the animals!


Living the Wild Life

When I tell you we live the wild life in our office, I mean The. Wild. Life. Is this normal or do things like this happen everywhere?

I went in the storeroom at work the other day to get a container of cranberry juice. We’re big juice drinkers at my POE (place of employment) and we buy the stuff in big super-thirsty-giant-sized bottles. (About a gallon in each.)

So I pulled a jug off the shelf, and out popped a huge, furry creature.


It hopped down and scurried across the floor, flashing his furry tail at me.

I was still yodeling so loud, my son, whose office is in the very opposite end of the building, heard me and came running. My heart raced faster than the squirrel’s furry little feet carried him, and it was half-an-hour before I could actually breathe again.

The squirrel disappeared among the boxes of files we have stored back there. (Thank you, Jesus!)

But he really liked the area where we keep the juice, because the next time I walked into the room (I forgot he was there) he jumped down, sending me into a screeching fit while I danced out of the room.

Squirrels don’t bother me when we’re outside where there’s lots of room (for me to escape) or I’m in the car and they’re playing kamikaze in the street, but when I’m in a small-ish room with the sharp toothed little devils, I’m a Pure-Dee Chicken.

Pure. Dee. (Not sure exactly what that means, but I was.)

So . . . Wonder Son, Wonder Niece and her three year old son closed themselves in with the furry-tailed tormentor and attempted to capture it.

I hear there’s a video of the squirrelly party, but I haven’t seen it. They tell me fur-boy circled the room again and again. He ran across toes, jumped over heads and terrorized more than just me.

All I could hear from the kitchen (where I hiding waiting) was thumping and shouting, but no painful shrieks, so I figured they hadn’t been nipped. Yet.

After another safari or two by employees, we gave up and begged Cousin Rick to bring his humane trap, which he did.

For scaring me so badly, I reserved the right to smack the critter after he was caught, but once he was in the cage,


he was smaller (I think he shrunk. I really do.) and not nearly as monster-like.


Besides, I didn’t want to get that close. (Wonder Niece took the close up. NOT ME!)

I’m just glad it wasn’t a skunk!

On the up side, we’ve only had one bat sighting this year, and I wasn’t there for it. 🙂

Does anyone else have these close encounters with Wild Life or is it just us?

From FBF and almost relative, Larry Lawrence. Thanks, Larry! Love it.


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Trapped in a Tube

MRI tube, that is. And I survived.

Okay, for all you who worried yesterday that I’d get stuck in the MRI machine (my hand’s in the air) it didn’t happen! Yay!

It was a smallish tube (breathe) and right in front of my face was the curve of the tube. I have to take a deep breath just remembering it.


But there were several perks. I got to wear a beautiful, side tying, designer formal hospital gown. (I should have taken my phone with me so I could take a selfie in it. Too cute!)


This is what it looked like.


This is what it felt like. 🙂

And I received a gorgeous, multi-colored pair of ear plugs.

I met some really nice people at the Imaging Center. Of course, one woman knew someone who lives in C-Town. (All roads lead to my home town.)

A man named Phil helped me out. Got me the gown, locked up my clothes (so I couldn’t run away?) and talked me through most of it. But when he had an emergency bathroom break, I chatted with Lori, too.

Big thanks to Sister Debbie who drove me over and kept me entertained so I didn’t dwell on the worries, such as, Will I get stuck? Will the machine break and keep me pinned inside? Will I run out of oxygen and not be able to take . . . another . . . breath . . . . eve . . . . . Will I give myself the screaming memes and run out of the room with my hospital gown flapping?

Even though I had a few niggling 🙂 worries, none of that happened.  🙂

When it was over and I was released, I offered to look at the results (LOL) but they didn’t have the films ready.

I had a swell lunch (sorry, I’m listening to an old movie with old terms being used) at Pei Wei. (First time for me.) THEN Sister Debbie took me to Peach Wave and forced me to eat frozen yogurt.


That frozen yogurt made it worth every second of the twenty minutes I was trapped in the tube. 🙂




MRI–Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Ever had an MRI? I did before I got my new hippy hippy coco puff four years ago. They have you take off all earrings and piercings and anything else metal.

So . . . if I were a cartoonist, I’d draw a cartoon of a woman stuck to the top of an MRI scanner by her belly button ring. She’d have to talk out of the side of her mouth (’cause she’s stuck so tight to the top.)

“Oops. I might have I forgotten one.”


Guess I better tell them about my hip, huh? I’d hate to forget about it and arc out the machine. (Oy!)

MRI at noon. See you later.


My Amazing Weekend

G-Man and I spent the weekend in OKC at the Embassy Suites on Meridian. We had a great time! 🙂 He went so he could complete his continuing education for 2013. (Yay, it’s over!)

I went so I could write without interruptions. (Yay! I finished my story!!!)

As usual, I saw some amazing things while we were there. (IOW: Here’s more proof I’m from a Small Town World.)

We met a couple. They were so nice and willing to help if we had a question. They told us where to order great pizzas and get them delivered, and always had a smile for us whenever we saw them.

When I had to check out of the room two hours before G-Man’s classes were over, I told him I’d be waiting in a certain nook to meet him. Guess who was there. That’s right! This nice lady. (Her husband was the pharmacist.) We chatted the entire two hours away, so the wait was over in no time!

I’m always amazed when I meet nice people like that when I’m away from home. (Naturally, they were from a Small Town World, too!)

The second thing wasn’t so cool. In fact, it was really, really sad. We got gas before we left town and while G-Man pumped it, I waited in the car. I saw a woman and man walking across the gas station lot.

This woman was dressed in hip hugging shorts and a sleeveless top and boots. Kind of strange, because it was chilly at that time of day. I don’t remember what the man had on, but he had his hand under her shirt as if he’d been scratching her back.

They went inside the station, then she came out by herself with a pack of cigarettes and lit one up. As she stood outside, smoking, I saw her legs. They had tiny circular brown scars on them. (The kind users get from injecting with unclean needles.)

I went inside to get us drinks, and she came in (I guess she was mingling) then went back outside to stand near a man who’d driven up in a huge black Ram truck, using the phone. (I was surprised to see anyone on a pay phone. What, no cell?)

Anyway, I must have had a “look” on my face, because the cashier laughed at it. I apologized because I really didn’t mean to let anyone see what was going on inside my head.

“Don’t worry about it,” she answered. “I have that look every day. We have them (hookers) in Florida where I’m from, too, but we don’t have as many as there are here.”

She verified what I was afraid of. The shorts wearing woman was a hooker. (Yes, I gasped inside.)

She was first one I’ve ever seen up close and known for sure what she was. And while she smiled and looked at people as they walked by, the smile never reached her eyes.

She certainly wasn’t Sara from Two Mules for Sister Sara. She didn’t look happy or playful or like she enjoyed her life. She didn’t look like she was having any fun at all.

I know I’m weird, but my heart hurt for her.

Naturally, I’m hoping she’s an undercover policeman, looking to make arrests. They can make those leg scars with make up, can’t they?

According to the cashier, that’s not likely. I’ve named her Sara. God knows who I’m talking about, so I’m going to pray that someone will reach out to her and tell her about Him.

And just maybe, she’ll listen.

The other amazing thing was beautiful.

We were on I-35 on the way home, just before we exited at Stillwater.

The sun was down and the sky almost dark when I saw the strangest shooting star of my life. It streaked on forever and went from bright to dim to bright to dim to bright before it disappeared completely.

It was so beautiful, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. I told G. He said the European Space Station was due to fall (he enjoys reading the news, I only enjoy it if there are people involved) so maybe that was what I saw.

Whatever it was, it was fantastic! Bright and shiny and beautiful. So gorgeous, I didn’t remember to make a wish.

So that’s my amazing weekend. How was yours?



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Fun in the Son


What’s better than a Halloween Carnival?


A fall festival! But what has critters to pet, bouncy slides, bouncy houses, mechanical bulls, ropin’ cowboys and games, games, games?


A Harvest Hoedown at C-Town’s FC3!!!

The picture above is Walking Buddy, aka Kool-Aid Queen! (She’s the b-e-s-t Kool-Aid maker around!)

At a Harvest Hoedown we have (can you guess?) food!

hotdog chefs

hotdog chefs

 And not just dry hotdogs. We had real, homemade chili!


This is one of my favorite guys in the world (keeps me laughing!) and he made 50 pounds of chili just for this night of nights. 🙂

It was much-o good-o, too! (Didn’t know I spoke Spanish, did you?)

And the thing that made the HH night of nights best of all? It’s Christian serving others. (Kinda like the Good Book says.)


I was one of the Women at the Well. (Watering Hole) That’s the best job ever! I got to see just about everyone who came to the Hoedown.

MomsI love this lady!


Naturally, I gave them a choice. “We have every flavor of Kool-Aid you want . . . as long as it’s Pink Lemonade.”


“We have pink, pink and pink! What’ll you have?”

When one man asked if we had sugar free, we answered, “Sure do! Water!”

It’s so much fun to watch people’s faces while they’re figuring out what I said. 🙂


One of my favorite things? WE HAVE CLOWNS!

Cute ClownBrenna

Not just one clown, either. We have multiple clowns!!!


Anybody know them?

In case you can’t tell, the best part of the HH is seeing all the great kiddos. They’re adorable!


You should hear this one say, “Sue-Sue.” Too cute!

sweet-girlieChecking out the rubber duckies.

sweet-facesI didn’t know this little one, but she gave me permission to take her picture.

deanna-and-sullyEven babies get involved. (We need someone to sweeten up the place.)


Wanna see my favorite picture I took all night long? This one.

The Joy of the Lord!That’s the joy of the Lord shining right there on her face.

Don’t you love it?