Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

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Mad Dashes and Sign Language

Eifle Tower in Las Vegas

Eifle Tower in Las Vegas (Photo credit: Jeff Hill Photo)

So how organized are you when you go on vacation?

I think I missed the organized gene. Being a girl who loves surprises (well, good ones) I’ve always enjoyed just flying by the seat of my pants.

G-Man is just the opposite. He makes lists, lays out what he’s taking and packs very methodically. He’s so thorough, we always have everything except his recliner in our bags. He never has a reason to make a mad dash to a pharmacy or Wally World.

Might as well stay home.

More and more lately, though, I find I don’t remember some things and have to make too many dashes to the oops store for oopsers who don’t make packing lists. (Or even oopsier oopsers who make lists and lose them before they pack.)

I don’t believe oldtimers is setting in (I could have forgotten if it is, right?) I have to believe it’s because I’m expecting my brain to store more and more lists these days. I just neglect going to check my lists. 🙂

So this morning, I thought I’d see what there is on the web in the way of packing lists–and I found a ton. They can be as specific as you want, depending on where you’re vacationing. If you’re going to a beach, put it in your search engine. Moutains? Yes, they have that, too.

They even have packing lists that’ll have you covered if you’re leaving the country. There’s nothing worse than being in a foreign land and not being able to say, “Ibuprofen” in that language because you forgot your English-Foreign Language Book. (I know you can find it on your i-Phone, but do you know what it costs to use an i-Phone in a foreign country?)

Unless you’re good at sign language. 🙂 I’m really good at SL.

When I was a kid, I went to Europe with my Fashion Merchandising school. A couple of my friends went along, and one told me over and over, “When we get to France, I’ll interpret for us. I’ve had four years of French, so we’re covered.”

We got there, and everyone wanted to send home postcards of the Eifel Tower, so we went to Le Drugstore. (Yep, that was the name.) My friend was in front of me, so I watched while in what I assume was perfect high school French, she asked for air mail stamps.

The woman working at Le Drugstore just looked puzzled and shook her head. My friend struggled for five minutes to make her understand, but the woman couldn’t. (Or wouldn’t.) Finally my friend gave up and moved over a step.

I stepped up to the clerk and said, “I want two.” (I held up two fingers.) “Airmail.” (I held my arms out like an airplane and made flying noises.) “Stamps.” (I held out my left hand, palm up, made a fist of my right hand, licked my right thumb and smacked it in the center of my left palm.)

The clerk handed me the stamps. 🙂 I wasn’t smooth, but I got my stamps. LOL.

How about it? Are you an organized traveler or not? Or maybe I should ask, do you enjoy an occasional mad dashes and sign language.


11♥11♥11 (and a recipe)

Today is Veterans’ Day! *Salute*

Did you remember that Veterans’ Day is set on November 11th because it is also Armistice Day? That’s the day they signed the peace treaty after World War I.

Granddad Reeves was in World War I. (He only got as far as Austin, Texas, but he went!) Grandma Reeves brothers (twins) were in that war, too. There was a great picture of one of the uncles in uniform. One of those huge, old, oval pictures. Cousin Christy has that picture, I imagine. 🙂

Anyway, Grandma’s brothers were twins. I keep forgetting the one brother’s name, but the other was Louie. Louie came home from the war. The other brother (I’m sorry, Uncle!!) didn’t. He’s buried in Flanders Field in France.

And today is Faith Noelle Nation’s birthday! (Happy birthday, kiddo!) She’s the cutest, most talented, and smartest middle school cheerleader C-Town has. And I am just saying that because she’s my niece.


How about a GREAT recipe?  This one is from my sweet MIL. (That’s mother-in-law for the uninitiated.) Emily was one of the nicest MILs in the history of the world. And she was a heck of a cook!

Here’s a cheese roll she made for special occasions. Yummers!

Emily’s Spicy Cheese Roll 

 2 pounds Velveda Cheese–room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese–room temperature
1 jalepino pepper, finely chopped
2 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tsp garlic powder

Blend ingredients and roll into a log. Roll log in chili powder to cover. Serve with crackers.

I’m telling you, this is good stuff! I haven’t made it recently and can’t remember if you have to chill it before you serve it or not. I think it’ll be good chilled or room temperature.

Think I’ll make it for Thanksgiving and find out. 🙂