Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Small World Chickens Vs. The Coyotes


The Spess Gang and most of my Small Town World is in mourning this week.

Remember when I told you about Dad’s chickens? He loves those babies! He’s had a ton of fun, raising them and figuring out the best way to keep them.

He shared a ton of eggs. He shared with his kids (yay!) his employees and friends.

shell-tiny And we all adored him for it.

At first, the eggs were itty-bitty, but they got bigger. Much bigger.


Dad and his wife discovered if the chickens got to range a little in their yard, they’d eat some green growing things and make the eggs even better and more nutritious.

So the other morning he turned his hens out to forage–all twenty-nine of them–and went inside to eat breakfast and get ready for work. A while later, he went out to put them back inside as he left for work when he saw something that didn’t belong.

A four legged critter with a furry tail. Coyote! She had chicken dinner for breakfast.


When he got to the scene, he found one dead hen, a pile of feathers and 12 hens sitting in the trees and other hard to reach places. Since one scrawny coyote probably couldn’t eat that many chickens, Dad figures there was a whole gang of them. (I’ve been told coyotes run in packs, not gangs, but I think street terminology fits here.)

One hen did limp home the next day, but that’s it. Only thirteen hens, and somewhere, not far away, a pack/gang/gaggle of really fat coyotes.

shell-2 We’re hoping to relocate a few wild dogs.



Getting Loaded at the Red Barn

I promised to tell you how Sister Debbie and I got loaded the other night. 🙂

Thursday night, Sister Debbie, her daughter, granddaughter and I went to the Red Barn Boutique. The Red Barn is only open twice a year, and even though I’d never heard of it before, I didn’t want to miss that sale.

Now I know why! For years, I’ve been wanting a wheelbarrow. Two, actually. I wanted an antique, wooden one with a wooden wheel. G-Man promised to build me a look alike a long, long time ago. So long ago, the boys looked like this–

and this at the time.

Somehow, my man never got around to building it. 😉 I don’t know how he could have forgotten. LOL.

I also wanted one to cart stuff to my garden. It’s a loooong way from my car to the flower bed, especially toting mulch by the bag, so I really needed it. Really!

And while there, I found an adorable flock of chickens. Well, all I’d need if I were going to start of flock of chickens–a rooster and a hen. I’m not sure what the eggs will taste like, though.

Aren’t they cute?

 Did you notice? The hen is really wild about the rooster.

She lost her head over him! (No extra charge for the can.)

I started to take only the rooster, but the hen was a real bargain. And Sister Debbie warned me I’d probably regret it if I didn’t take them both. I’d probably be running around looking for her like a chicken with my head cut off.

And who am I to argue with my shopping guru?

 This is my adorable wheelbarrow. Don’t you love it?

Okay, it needs a new tire (right now it’s more of a drag-barrow than a wheel-barrow) but that’s no biggie. Right? Right?

Sister Debbie found a washtub on a stand, something like this.

but different. This one’s mine.

We stood in line

to pay for everything. The vendors were so nice! They even told us we could drive out the In gate, so we could pick up our heavy-duty purchases.

Of course, we had to park right in the way of everybody while we unloaded and reloaded. And unloaded and pushed and shoved and tugged and lifted. Finally, we ended up looking like this–

with Sister Debbie holding her washtub stand in the front passenger seat while we drove away. (I was in the backseat with the sweetie.)

For some reason, our driver thought that might be at least illegal and at most dangerous.

She was probably afraid she’d end up like my chicken, having to go around with a can where her head used to be. So she pulled into the school where she student taught.

(That doesn’t sound right, does it? Student taught? It couldn’t be student teached, could it? Hm. Well, it was where she was a student teacher.)

I was between two baby car seats in the back, so Sister Debbie got out and they completely revamped that car. Those two can organize! Especially if I stay out of the way.

They got everything fitted into Mel’s car, thank goodness. For a while, I was afraid I’d have to stay at that school while they took everything home, then came back to get me.

Not that I wouldn’t trust them to remember where they left me. Maybe. 🙂 But I was thrilled to get to go home with everything else.

We all kept our heads and drove home, after a quick stop to munch tortillas at the Vaqueros (yum) where we drank nothing but water with lemon and DIDN’T get loaded. I promise.

Have you ever gotten a little over-enthusiastic when shopping and not had room for all your treasures? Surely the Spess girls aren’t the only women in the world who over-splurge?