Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Branching Out

Ever notice that when you have something, that something ends up having you?

Get a car, and you’ll end up spending your time, taking care of upkeep and your dollars filling the tank. Or a dog–she’ll end up ruling the roost. (Happens that way at our house, anyway.)

What about your home? Whether you own your own house, rent one, live in an apartment, mobile home, cabin or a tent, you have to take care of it. (Unless you live under a bridge–in which case you probably won’t be reading this. LOL) Well, our yard decided to crack the whip recently.

 Not the best picture in the world, but that’s our front porch during a snow storm a couple of years ago.

 And this is the fall out from the trees in our yard. We’ve been collecting them for nearly a year, and our pile was looking really good. Seemed as if it grew even when we didn’t add to it. It was well on its way to taking over the neighborhood when it was decided that it couldn’t stay. Since it wouldn’t take off on its own (although the wind tried to blow it to the next yard . . . or county) we lended a hand. Well, G-Man did. 🙂 

He worked hard, loading branches and dead trees. I worked hard preserving the job for posterity.

This kid wandered past on his way home from work, so we talked him into helping. Not really! This is MS, who volunteered to help. Aren’t grown sons wonderful?

Of course, I saved everything for posterity. 🙂

Here’s the monster tree that laid down in a blustery storm last winter. He weighed about two tons, so G-Man dragged him off the trailer using a chain. Hey, my hands were full of camera! LOL.

After the branches were gone, we worked the rest of the day loading up and hauling away leaves. I’m not sure what was going on in that pile, but they multiplied faster than the trees could drop them. 

Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Oh, and I won the prize that day. I got a beautiful little seed tick on the back of my knee. And while I didn’t actually get to keep him, I did get a unending itch to scratch for what seemed like forever. 😉

Honestly, I’m so excited about getting to work in my gardens. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen out there in the next few weeks.

I’m hoping for a whole lot of this!



Our Nosediving Diva

Scooter Lady

Image by wblo via Flickr

The office where I’m LMOTP (low man on the totum pole) had a little excitement yesterday.

I was in the hallway when the phone rang. One of the secretaries answered on speaker phone. “Spess Companies.”

A secretary who often accompanies Sister Amy to help her because she’s in a motorized wheelchair identified herself. “This is Carrie Sue. We need help out the back door. This is an emergency.” Her voice was calm but extremely intense.

The secretary answering the phone called over the intercom, “Steve, can you help Carrie and Amy out the backdoor?”

Since I was standing nearby, I took a few steps and looked out.  Sister Amy (the Omega to my Alpha) who’s always strapped in her motorized wheelchair, was on her side on the ground on a concrete ramp across the street.

Never let it be said that I do well in an emergency. I don’t. My brain doesn’t function normally but my mouth and lungs go into overdrive. All I know is I have to get to the person who’s in trouble.

I’m not sure what I thought I could do yesterday except maybe lie down next to her on the sidewalk and keep her company.

So I see my baby sister on the ground and my heart turns into a runaway jack hammer and I start screeching, “Hurry, Steve! It’s an emergency! Amy’s on the ground.”

I ran out the door and across our brick street with my hair on fire. When I got to Amy, I saw her face was bleeding and her scraped glasses were lying nearby.

I grabbed her glasses and stuck them in my pocket, and immediately forgot what I’d done.

“Amy! Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” she answered, but I could barely hear her for the voices of the others who’d streamed out the door behind me. “Are you okay? Are you okay? Are you okay?” Everyone was frantic at the thought that she might be hurt.

Cousin Steve and a man applying for a job got her back on her wheels.

“Where are my glasses?” she asked.

Glasses? Glasses? What are glasses? I wanted to ask.

“I think Susan picked them up,” Carrie Sue told her.

“I did?” I checked my pockets and sure enough, there they were. (Go back and read the part about emergencies and me.)

 When she was sure her glasses weren’t lost, off Amy went , back to the office. As many of us as could crowded into the bathroom to help clean up her face.

To be honest, I didn’t want to cause her pain by touching the scrapes on her forehead, cheek and nose, but I couldn’t get more than a few feet from her. 

Someone else tweezered the rocks from under her skin and cleaned off the dirt. Amy never once complained about the pain. Her husband came to survey the damage, help her change her sweater and put antibiotic ointment on her abrasions and she didn’t even whine.

When things calmed down and everyone went back to their pre-appointed jobs, I hugged her for all I was worth, and came very near to crawling up on her lap and sobbing for a few hours. 

I didn’t, but I wanted to. We took her glasses over to get fixed instead. (And even though we went on level ground the entire way, I kept my hand on the back of her chair, Just. In. Case.

By the end of the day, Amy did have a little headache, but it might have been from the fuss everyone was making rather than the fall.

Thank you, Carrie Sue, for being there with Amy each time she needs you. If she’d been alone it might have been a while before we’d have known she kissed the sidewalk.

Thank you, Steve and the applicant, for being there to lift her.

Thank you, Les, for being able to clean up her face.

And thank you, Carollea, for finding the peroxide, even though it had lost its fizz. (I voted for alcohol and iodine, but Amy vetoed my suggestion.)

If I can, I’ll take a picture of her to post here so you can see what happened.

Now if I can just find a sneaky way to glue a football helmet on her head, I’ll be able to stop worrying. 


O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A . . . OK!

Flag-map of Oklahoma

Image via Wikipedia

I wanted to tell you about my small town, but while I looked for historic pictures on the Internet, I found this blog posted by Anthony Adams in April, 2009.

If you check, you’ll find that Oklahoma has two Big Cities–Tulsa and Oklahoma City. The rest of our Great State is made up of small towns. (So are Tulsa and OKC, but don’t tell them. They probably enjoy thinking they’re biggies.)

In case you missed Anthony’s article. Read on:

 Here Are Some Little Known But Very Interesting Facts About Oklahoma .

1. The bread twist tie was invented in Maysville.

2. The shopping cart was invented in Oklahoma City by Sylvan Goldman in 1927.

3. The nation’s first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City in 1935.

4. The first Girl Scout Cookie was sold in Muskogee in 1917.

5. Cimarron County , located in the Oklahoma Panhandle, is the only county in the U.S. bordered by 4 separate states – Texas , New Mexico , Colorado & Kansas .

6. The Oklahoma State Capital is the only capital in the U.S. with working oil wells on its grounds.

Click here to learn more. Picture by Galen Fry Singer.

7. Boise City , Oklahoma was the only city in the United States to be bombed during World War II. On Monday night, July 5, 1943, at 12:30 a.m., a B-17 Bomber based at Dalhart Army Air Base, Texas , dropped six practice bombs on the sleeping town, mistaking the city lights as target lights.

8. WKY Radio in Oklahoma City was the first radio station transmitting west of the Mississippi River .

9. The nation’s first ‘Tornado Warning’ was issued on March 25, 1948 in Oklahoma City minutes before a devastating tornado. Because of the warning, no lives were lost.

10. Oklahoma has the largest Native American population of any state in the U.S.

11. The name ‘ Oklahoma ‘ comes from two Choctaw words… okla meaning ‘people’ and humma meaning ‘red’. So the name means, ‘Red People.’ The name was approved in 1890.

12. Oklahoma produced more astronauts than any other state.

13. Oklahoma has more man made lakes than any other state.

14. During the ‘Land Rush’, Oklahoma City went from a vast, open prairie to a city of over 10,000 in a single day.

15. The nation’s first traffic ‘Yield’ sign, invented by Clinton Riggs, was erected in Tulsa on a trial basis.

16. Pensacola Dam is the longest multi-arched dam in the world at 6,565 feet.

17. The ‘ Port of Catoosa ‘ (just north of Tulsa ) is the largest inland port in America .

18. The aerosol can was invented in Bartlesville .

19. Per square mile, Oklahoma has more tornadoes than any other place in the world.
20. The highest wind speed ever recorded on earth was in Moore , Oklahoma on May 3rd, 1999 during the Oklahoma City F-5 tornado. Wind speed was clocked at 318 mph.

21. The ‘ Will Rogers World Airport ‘ and the ‘ Wiley Post Airport ‘ are both named after two famous Okies….

both killed in an airplane crash!!!

An update from Oklahoma.
Love The Summer?

Poolville, Oklahoma
Sunray, Oklahoma

Want Something To Eat?
Corn, Oklahoma
Grainola, Oklahoma
Hominy, Oklahoma
Olive, Oklahoma
South Coffeeville, Oklahoma
Sweetwater, Oklahoma
Cookietown, Oklahoma

Why Travel To Other Cities? Oklahoma Has Them All!
Cleveland, Oklahoma
Orlando, Oklahoma
Miami, Oklahoma
Pittsburgh, Oklahoma
Santa Fe, Oklahoma
St. Louis, Oklahoma
Chattanooga, Oklahoma
Peoria, Oklahoma
Burbank, Oklahoma
Fargo, Oklahoma

Don’t Forget The Wildlife!
Wolfe, Oklahoma
Eagle, Oklahoma
Buffalo, Oklahoma
Fox, Oklahoma
Bison, Oklahoma
Deer Creek, Oklahoma
Elk City, Oklahoma

We Have A Town Named After A Number…Forty-One, Oklahoma

And A Town Who’s Letter’s Don’t Spell Anything…IXL, Oklahoma

And For The Sportsman Who Wants To Get Away From It All…Fisherman’s Paradise, Oklahoma

We Even Have A City Named After Earth’s Only Satellite! Moon, Oklahoma

And A City Named After Our State! Oklahoma City , Oklahoma

Feeling A Bit Chilly?
Snow, Oklahoma
Slick, Oklahoma
Cold Springs, Oklahoma

Oklahoma Is Full Of Love!
Lovedale , Oklahoma
Loveland , Oklahoma
Lovell , Oklahoma
Bigheart , Oklahoma
Loyal, Oklahoma

Like To Read About The Presidents?
Adams, Oklahoma
Taylor, Oklahoma
Fillmore, Oklahoma
Grant, Oklahoma
Taft, Oklahoma
Johnson, Oklahoma
Lincoln, Oklahoma
Jefferson, Oklahoma
Reagan, Oklahoma
Wilson, Oklahoma
Roosevelt, Oklahoma
Carter, Oklahoma
Clinton, Oklahoma
Washington, Oklahoma

Other City Names In Oklahoma To Make You Smile…..
Frogville, Oklahoma
Loco, Oklahoma
Bushyhead, Oklahoma
Bugtussle, Oklahoma
Hooker, Oklahoma
Slaughterville, Oklahoma
Bowlegs, Oklahoma
Slapout, Oklahoma

And Regardless What Side Of The Fence You’re On…
Gay, Oklahoma
Straight, Oklahoma