Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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Shellin’ Out

So . . . how do you like the new look in Small Town World? My house isn’t Christmas-ready, but the blog is! (And that’s the only thing about me that is.)

I’ve already received a gift, though. And I not only opened it, I ate some of it. Want to see?

Eggs! (Is that cool or what?)

They’re from my dad. He bought a bunch of baby chicks early last summer, and this is the result. And since Dad and a pro at sharing, he brought me and a couple of my sibs a dozen.

G-Man and I had them for breakfast.

This guy was about 1 1/2″ long. No, they aren’t from Bantams. They’re just the size young hens lay.

We had to eat several. 😉

The hardest part was keeping them in my fingers while I cracked them. (I usually buy extra large eggs. Or Jumbos.)

This one was kind of greenish-gray on the outside, but a beautiful blue on inside.

Cute little things, aren’t they?

It’s amazing how many people have their own backyard hen houses. Four or five people have given me eggs in the last few years. One time, the yolks were bright orangey-yellow and had a really strong flavor. I figured it was what the birds had been fed, so I ate them anyway. Other family members weren’t quite so sure. 😉

These eggs, though, were beautiful and delicious! (And they had normal colored yolks.)

Of course, Dad bought more than just hens. He bought Ginny fowl and roosters. But the Ginny fowl were mean to the hens, so he moved them out of the hen-house. And the roosters got, well, cocky, so they’re out, too.

Now the Ginnys and the roosters are free ranging. We’ll see how they get along. 😛

Good stuff and organic, too. How cool is that?

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Warning: Attack Bird on Duty

You’ve reached the home of Susan, G-Man, Molly and Kenny, the attack bird.

That’s what my answering machine should probably say. (It really doesn’t.)  Or maybe it should be  stronger–

You’ve reached the Shays. Warning–we have the world’s meanest bird.

Do they have warning signs for birds, like they do for dogs?

Attack bird on duty. Enter at your own risk!

This is Kenny. He LOOKS like a mild-mannered, unassuming cockatiel, doesn’t he? Don’t be fooled. He’s not!

 He’s mean. If you get too close, he’ll raise his wings and hiss at you. Then he’ll squawk and rush at you, teeth beak bared and ready to bite off a chunk.

We didn’t make him mean. He came to us, by way of our son who was doing some work on a woman’s computer. She said Danny could have the bird, but having too many critters in his house already, #1 passed him on to his dad.

His name was Penny when we got him. Penny? PENNY?

Anyone can tell he’s a male. He’s cheeks are bright and beautiful, much too pretty to be a girl bird. And I understand female birds lay eggs, whether there’s a male bird around or not. So G-Man changed his name to Kenny, after Kenny on South Park. Why?

Kenny McCormick

Kenny McCormick (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kenny McCormick (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You never saw SP Kenny’s entire face, he mumbled so you couldn’t understand him and he died every week. We figured that was perfect for this bird.

The original owner had kids who’d poked at and teased the poor bird until he had to learn to protect himself.

While I don’t call Kenny a pet (you really should be able to pat your pet, right?) we’ve been good to him. We give him delicious food, treats and we even found a way to keep his water clean. (At first, he thought the water bowl was a toilet bowl. We went through several watering systems before we found one he couldn’t foul.)

We buy him toys, and if there’s any way, he’ll eat them. Once we got him a swingset, and he chewed on the pieces until it fell apart and collapsed to the floor of his cage. He’s eaten through several perches.

And one time when Molly got hold of him, we pulled him from the jaws of death and rushed him, wet and sagging, back into his cage where he shivered for a day or two. Before long, though, he got his spirit back.

He’s smart, though. Even with the ceiling fan on, he’s never flown into it and never gone out the door, when I’ve left it open.

And he has a few good points.

He’s a great alarm. When G-man leaves the bedroom to come down for breakfast, Kenny starts squawking. (I imagine he’s yelling, “Pop! Pop!” in bird talk.)

And he’s a great whistler. He barks, meows and has a does a wolf whistle. 🙂 Danny can get him to show off any time he wants, and I figure that’s because he’s the rescuer. G-Man and I are just his caretakers.

Well, G-Man is.

I don’t like having that sharp beak snapping at me.


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Happy-Face ☺☺☺

I got the neatest present. And it was a complete surprise! I’m not sure who gave it to me. The birds. My man (when he fed the birds.) Or God.

I first noticed Sunny when she stood about knee high, so I pointed it out to G-Man. “Please mow around it.”

He was happy to go with me on that one. 🙂 Pretty soon, we noticed it was growing with leaps and bounds. “I think it grew at least a foot since last night.”

This morning, I glanced out the window. WHOA!

I didn’t plant it, I don’t water it. I haven’t fertilized it. God makes it grow.

He does a much better job than I do!

It’s covered with buds.

When I see a field of sunflowers growing, each only has one bloom at the top. Sunny (that’s what I named this one) has buds all the way down the stalk. Does someone pinch off those buds so the top bloom is larger on the “real” sunflowers?

But I can’t wait to see Sunny, covered with big yellow, happy-face blooms!

And today at the very top–

–a crown!


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What I Found

I know how beautiful manmade things can be.

Whether by someone famous, such as Michelangelo

or by someone not quite as famous as this quilt made by Deb Dixon.

But no matter how beautiful it is, nothing ever can quite compare with the beauty of nature.

Aren’t the colors magnificent? And the way the light shines through is fantastic. All I did was point and shoot. God did the rest, even the contrasting background colors.

Wow.

This is Bittersweet. Aren’t the delicate colors beautiful?

I don’t know what this leaf is, but I love the way the colors meld.

This bluebird house is made by man, but the setting is what takes it from nice to much, much better.

See what I mean?

No matter how man might try, he can never achieve the glory of the Almighty. At least it’s fun to try. 🙂


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God’s Grace

#4 shared this with me, so I’m passing it on. Thanks, Sister of mine!

God’s Grace

There once was a man named George Thomas, pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to the Church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit. Eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak….

“I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me swinging this bird cage.. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright.

I stopped the lad and asked, “What do you have there, son?”


“Just some old birds,” came the reply.


“What are you going to do with them?” I asked.


“Take ’em home and have fun with ’em,” he answered. “I’m gonna tease ’em and pull out their feathers to make ’em fight. I’m gonna have a real good time.”


“But you’ll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?”

“Oh, I got some cats,” said the little boy. “They like birds. I’ll take ’em to them.”

The pastor was silent for a moment. “How much do you want for those birds, son?”

“Huh?? !!! Why, you do want them birds, mister.

They’re just plain old field birds. They don’t sing. They ain’t even pretty!”


“How much?” the pastor asked again.


The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, “$10?”

The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill. He placed it in the boy’s hand. In a flash, the boy was gone. The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars persuaded the birds out, setting them free. Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story:

One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting. “Yes, sir, I just caught a world full of people down there. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn’t resist. Got ’em all!”


“What are you going to do with them?” Jesus asked.

Satan replied, “Oh, I’m gonna have fun! I’m gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse each other, how to drink and smoke and curse. I’m gonna teach them how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I’m really gonna have fun!”

“And what will you do when you are done with them?”

Jesus asked. “Oh, I’ll kill ’em,” Satan glared proudly.

“How much do you want for them?” Jesus asked.

“Oh, you don’t want those people. They ain’t no good. Why, you’ll take them and they’ll just hate you. They’ll spit on you, curse you and kill you. You don’t want those people!!”

“How much? He asked again.

Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, “All your blood, tears and your life.”


Jesus said, “DONE!” Then He paid the price.

The pastor picked up the cage and walked from the pulpit.