Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Oh, Wow! Oh, Wow! OOOOOOOH, WOW!!!!


Yes, I’m screaming! And I’m doing a lot of (virtual) jumping up and down and dancing on the ceiling! Because . . . I’M A GRANDMOMMY!

I haven’t shared before today because I needed permission (I do not want to get banned from baby adoring!)

And know what? He is gorgeous! Beautiful! And BRILLIANT!!!

♥ ♥ ♥

dannyThis isn’t our new grandbaby. This is our son, the baby’s daddy. Born on his due date, five pounds, thirteen ounces of perfect baby boy.

And our new little pumpkin looks a lot like this. 😀

Want to know what it feels like to be a brand new, first time, week old grandmommy? I can tell you.

It’s like . . .

  • Winning the Boston Marathon without running a step
  • as you win a jillion, million dollar lottery without buying a ticket
  • while winning the Irish Sweepstakes without even trying.
  • at the same time as you get the world best, biggest, sweetest, most coveted award for just being alive!!!

Funny thing is, being a grandmommy makes you (me, at least) kind of gah, gah. I find myself holding our little guy close to my heart and just gazing at the boy. Even his cry is music to my ears–except it usually means it’s time for him to eat. Again. 🙂

I’ve offered to go over in the night to hold him so his parents can sleep, but they haven’t taken me up on that yet. Probably a good thing, too. I think it takes young people to be what a kiddo needs.

Besides, my son and his wife have everything under control. Any question they have, they Google and find the answer. (And since my DIL’s sister is a OB-GYN with a nine-month-old of her own, anything they can’t find, Sister knows!)  Need an extra pair of arms? There’s a thing you can wrap all around you and the baby so he’s snugged right up to you and he’ll never slip. Need a place for him to sleep close by but where he won’t get squished? There’s a nest that’ll fit right in your bed where he’ll be safe.

They have all the answers!

And yes, the knitter in me has been busy, too. baby-hatBaby’s new hat! I made it a little big on purpose, so he can grow into it. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)

baby-bootiesAnd if you believe I made the hat large on purpose, maybe you’ll believe I made his high tops too big for that reason, too! 😀

At least they’ll be there when he’s ready for them.

baby-hand-1This is Granddaddy, holding a brand-new precious hand while Daddy holds his other hand.

baby-hand-2Doesn’t it make your heart melt to see grown men take such perfect care of a newborn? (Sniff)

One more picture of my first baby boy when he was just three months old.


New babies are God’s perfect gift. I couldn’t be more excited unless I was twins.

♥ ♥ ♥ 


TBT–Granddad’s Garden

Whenever I think about Grandmother and Granddad, there’s usually food involved. Delicious, wonderful, fantastic food.

Grandmother and Granddad

Grandmother and Granddad

One of my first memories is of Granddad Ray’s garden there in Old ‘Ford on the other side of the garage. For as long as I can remember, Granddad always had a garden. Or three. Once, I got in trouble for picking his green tomatoes.

“Honest. All I did was look at the thing and it came off in my hand.” (Not sure they believed it.)

Sometimes in the summertime, we’d get to go to the farm and work with Granddad, and that usually meant we’d go to his garden. That was the best job ever, because Granddad usually took sweet lemonade (actually, a sweet orangy-lemon drink) and we got to eat a watermelon or two if they were ripe. Fresh, warm tomatoes, right off the vine, made lunch delicious!

We lived next door to Grandmother and Granddad in C-Town (and in the same house with them in Old ‘Ford) and had lunch with Grandmother most days.

Grandmother and Granddad, a few years later

Grandmother and Granddad, a few years later

Granddad didn’t just raise lots of food, he shared the veggies with the whole family, and very lucky friends.

I loved it in the spring when he dug new potatoes. Grandmother would boil them, slip off the peels and then fry the whole boiled potatoes! She’d also cook new potatoes in with the green beans Granddad raised. Bacon drippings gave it the best flavor! Spring onions and a bowl of those green beans was a meal that would make your tongue lap your brains out! (That’s a Daddy/Granddad saying.)

Sometimes, Grandmother would fry the mountain of squash that Granddad brought in. She’d cut up a crookneck in thin slices, soak them in salt water, coat them in flour and fry. YUM-MY! Better than potato chips. (Grandma Reeves wouldn’t eat squash because she said it was “poor folks’ food.” Made me glad to be poor!)


Notice, there’s a theme here. Fry it or add bacon drippings to it (or fry it in bacon drippings) and no matter what you’re cooking, it’ll taste great! (And your grandchildren will have very happy memories about the time they spent with you.) Might not be the healthiest eats in the world, but it made me feel very loved.

Do you have foody memories of your grandparents? What’s your favorite?



♥ ♥ ♥ Here’s My Heart ♥ ♥ ♥

I’m so excited! I have something to tell you. (I think you’ll be thrilled about it, too.)

No, it’s not a seven figure book deal and I didn’t win the lottery. It’s better than that.


I’m just a little bit excited (can you tell?) and a little worried.

gotta light danny

#1 son and #1 DIL are preggers 🙂 and they’re absolutely beautiful. (SCREAMS!) They’ve been so good about sharing with us, it’s almost like being pregnant, but better! When you’re the grandmommy, you have no morning sickness and the only weight gain is from celebratory eating. 🙂

Nicole and China

#1 DIL on the right

They went for their first ultrasound on April 1st. They said Baby Shay was bouncing like a gymnast and kicking around like her/his mama used to do on the swim team. Healthy, active baby! (I thought #1 was going to be a tap dancer before he was born.)

No sex determination yet, but we should hear soon. And yes, I was very happy to hear it wasn’t an April Fool joke!

The due date is sometime in the Fall. (October is quickly becoming my FAVORITE month of the year!) I’ll tell you more when I hear it.

Like I mentioned, I’m a little worried. I want to be the very best grandmommy I can possibly be. So I’ve been trying to figure out just what a wonderful grandmother does.

To do that, I’ve been thinking about my grandmothers–Ruby and Eva. They were great! One took me fishing, taught me to garden and be an independent woman and the other lived next door and was a second mother, taught me to cook and bake and to be a patient person. (Okay, I’m not sure that lesson took, but she tried!) I knew both of them loved me even more than their shoes!

So, I need you to tell me what a truly great grandparent does. Think about your grandparents. What did they do that made them wonderful? Or if you are a grandmommy or granddaddy, what do you do?

I REALLY need to know!





Know What This Is?

Know what this is?


Here’s another view.


I’ll bet you know now. Right?

I’ve been going through pictures, because #3 is getting married in just a few weeks, and he wants them for the nuptial slide show.

I’ll share a few with you. They won’t be very good quality. Some because they never were, and the rest because I didn’t scan them. I took a picture with my iPhone. Faster. 🙂

ImageCan you imagine? This sweet baby is getting married in a matter of days?

I don’t know why I let him grow up in the first place. Or any of them. Sometimes I wish I could have stopped time and just lived with my babies at that young age forever. But then I realize all the wonderful times we’d have missed later.

Since there’s no way I could give those up, I relive the times in my head. Pictures help. (Even with my photography.)


Ignore the thumb. 🙂

This is #3 after fishing with his bigger brother in the Deer Creek pond. (Deer Creek is the neighborhood we lived in at Pryor Creek.) #3 caught two or three little fish that day because he couldn’t cast very far. The only fish biting were at the edge of the pond.

His older brother could cast his line out to the middle of the pond, where the fish weren’t biting. But bigger brother liked casting more than he wanted to catch anything. Brad made the big haul. But they were all too small to keep. 🙂

ImageDanny “holding” Baby Brother Bradley. Or, Baby Bradley trying to escape.

Brad never wanted to be a baby. He wanted to do everything his brothers did. He walked early, talked early and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t keep him in a diaper. The brat wanted big boy underwear, like his brothers, so I let him potty train himself.

He grew up so fast.


Two Year Old Brad fishng in the Illinois River.

This is one of my all time favorite pictures. I have it framed and hanging in my family room. What a happy time that was!

The first year we lived in Pryor Creek, Gary’s dad and his wife, Mattie, came to visit and we all went to the Illinois River (near Tahlequah) for the day. We canoed, picnicked and fished and had a fantastic time.


The same day in the Illinois River.

The boy couldn’t fish all the time, and his splashes didn’t get us very wet. That night we were exhausted. Good exhausted, but pooped!

As disorganized as I am, I still found lots of pictures of Brad all through his growing up years. School pictures, soccer pictures, his preschool Easter egg hunt when the entire class wore bunny ears made of construction paper.

The one picture I wanted but couldn’t find is of my mother, holding him when he was first born. We were at our home in C-Town. Mama is holding Brad and has the phone propped on her shoulder, talking to #4.

We need that picture. I’ll keep looking.


Oh, Happy Day!


Today is #1 son’s birthday.

When he was born, his daddy said he looked like a drowned rat. I nearly smacked him on the spot! LOL. But he got over the wet look fairly quickly and turned into a beautiful little boy, who kept his parents laughing (and on their toes) for a long time.

I know exactly what he’s saying in this picture. “Hurry up, Mom, so we can get good seats.” We were getting ready to ride a stage coach in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He probably figured he’d get to drive the stage.

After all, he got to drive for this guy. Why not the stage coach?Danny was always sweet and full of great ideas. Just ask his cousin, Kyle, who got in trouble several times when he followed my boy’s lead.

Such as the time I gave them orange popsicles and put them on the porch to eat them so they wouldn’t drip all over my house. They went for a walk in 53 acres of woods without letting me know they were leaving “Because you wouldn’t have let us go.”


Or the time they decided to spray paint my garage and everything in it.

Or the time they called the operator and said bad words. “Darn!” and “Shut up!”

Like I said, Danny could make all of us grin. And keep us grinning.

 Danny gave us a gift a few years ago–his wife. Yes, she wears a crown. She deserves one! She’s a joy and has made life in the Shay Clan so much fun. (Can you tell I like her?)

This is for you from Grandmommy, kiddo. She adored you.

Little Danny Donkey

I hate to talk about it cause it’s sad enough for tears,
but little Danny donkey doesn’t like to wash his ears.
At breadfast every morning Danny’s mother sent him back
to do his washing over for his ears were very black.
They say he’s doing better now and, oh, I hope it’s true.
I’d hate to be so careless and so lazy wouldn’t you?

I love you, baby!!!