Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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Sunday Giggling

The best thing happened to me after church yesterday. My dad gave me a watermelon at church. (No, it wasn’t a bribe to get me to go to church. I really love going! Honest!!!)

After that, I went to the grocery store and bought several bags of groceries.

So when I pulled into my driveway, I called G-Man and asked him to carry in the melon for me. After we disconnected, I stuck the phone in my shirt and started loading up bags of munchies.

In a few moments, I started hearing the most delightful voices. They were happy, chipper, sweet and full of giggles and laughter.

At first I thought I’d hit some cartoon video on my phone. But I kept hearing the same words again and again–“Hello? Aunt SueSue?” And lots of giggling.

Finally, I got where I could put down my packages and pulled out my phone. I’d accidentally FaceTimed my niece Ashley and her oldest daughter answered the phone.

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This is one of the gigglers, Ashley’s middle daughter. She’s a doll!

Okay, I FaceTimed, for them it was more of a  . . . well . . . chest time. Oy!

spess-crew-ashley

When I pulled out my phone, the girls all were still giggling and having a great time, so maybe they weren’t too traumatized by the experience.

ashley's daughter

Ashley’s oldest giggling daughter a few years ago at Thanksgiving.

The funny thing is, they couldn’t hear what I was saying, but I could hear them perfectly. I just hope they could read my lips when I said, “I love you, too!”

10400038_10203801718075639_4906752814064437375_nAshley and her youngest giggler.

So if you couldn’t read my lips, I do, too, guys!

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How I Spend My Downtime :)

siri

Have I mentioned I’m easily entertained? (The sign of a small mind? LOL!)

Well, I am. All I need is my iPhone. 🙂 I play Solitare, crossword puzzles and Dots. I Tweet (occasionally) Facebook (often) Vine (rarely) Pinterest (sometimes) and Instagram.  Love Instagram! I do more seeing than sharing, but I’m not creeping! (Honest!!!)

The other day I was chatting with Cousin Barbara and she pulled out her new phone.

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Her first iPhone, and guess what! I got to introduce her to SIRI! So! Much! Fun!

She’d never heard of SIRI. (Digital personal assistant.) If you don’t have an iPhone or own one but you haven’t used SIRI, she’s a gas!

She’s supposed to set up appointments for you, dial phone numbers, set reminders, tell you what movies are playing, give you directions, play your music and send text messages for you. (You have to tell her the punctuation.)

I have her do most of that. (I don’t play music, though.) Oh! I almost forgot the phone takes some pretty good pictures. 1-1-kay-county

iPhone pic taken while Brother Jeffrey drove.

And I just found out she’ll post to Twitter and Facebook for me. Who knew? (I know. EVERYONE who owns an iPhone, except me! LOL)

The most fun I have with SIRI, though, is pure entertainment.

If I ask her, “Where do you live, SIRI?” she says, “Here.”

If I tell her she works for me, and she answers, “You’re certainly entitled to that opinion.”

And when I tell her she’s fired (or call her a b**ch) she answers, “But . . . But . . .”

Here’s a list of 100 questions for Siri. Some she answers and some she just looks up on the web. My favorite of the bunch is “How much wood can a woodchuck chuck?”

Ask her,  “Do you like Hockey, SIRI?” Her answer, “Not since that run-in with the Zamboni. I still have nightmares.” LOL!!!

Ask SIRI to tell you a poem. Once she understands you (who, me, say the word “poem” funny? Naw.) she has a great one!

G-Man sat next to me, listening as I asked and re-asked SIRI questions (and made statements.) His response? “You’re gonna get a call from Apple telling you to lay off in a minute.” LOL.

Do you play on your cell phone as much as I do? What’s your favorite thing to do on it? (I need something else to make me laugh.)

I wonder how many people will tell me their favorite thing is, “Making calls!”?


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Friday–A Great Day

After a few stressful intense days at work (Tax Time. Whoda thought?) yesterday was a very welcome respite. Wanna know why?

Dad bought something to entertain the entire office.

A tricycle.

Yeah, it’ll be hard for all of us to use at once (Snort!) but we’ve learned to share.

Actually, Dad bought it for my little buddy to ride, and I think Dad was more excited about it than my buddy was. At least at first. The truth is, he didn’t know what to think. Wasn’t really sure what to do with it. At-first-sightBut he didn’t walk away. 🙂

We enticed him closer.

a-1-mama-rings-the-bellMama taught the kiddo how to ring the bell.(And in case you didn’t notice, his fans are watching. LOL.)

It wasn’t long before the little guy was riding the trike like he was born riding one. (His mama’s probably happy he wasn’t. Ouch.)

a-riding-wildman

Pretty soon, he was hanging off it and riding like a pro. Even offered to take me for a ride on the back step plate. 🙂

That would have been a great day all by itself, but there was more.

I walked down the street to Celebrations, my favorite flower shop in the world! As I walked, someone beeped a horn at me. I jumped and looked to see a sweet blond headed girl grinning at me. Naturally, I had to tell her that beeping at old ladies like that could make us fall down dead on the sidewalk.

That made her laugh.

It’s a real thrill to hear this child laugh. In fact, I’m privileged to know this girl.

In her young life, she’s been through brain tumors and surgeries and check ups and pain and the loss of an infant brother. She practically a baby herself, but she’s a spiritual heavy weight. She knows Jesus, walks with Him, and helps people around her get to know Him. One Sunday, I watched her baptize one of her friends into Christ.

If this girl started a parade, I’d beat the bass drum!

Oh, and she hugged me. 🙂 That made my day!

I toddled on to Celebrations. Not only do they create gorgeous arrangements, sometimes it seems as if it’s a kind of gathering place for women here in C-Town. This week, the women working there have been busy, busy, busy getting ready for the prom. They rent tuxedos there (the only place in town) and most of the kiddos order their corsages there.

Since the C-Town prom is tomorrow, most of the ‘Bration crew was on hand, making wrist corsages and handing out tuxes. Kids were going in and out, getting ready for the big night. I had so much fun, I wanted to just stay and watch and enjoy.

Ever notice how much fun something is when you aren’t directly involved?

AND I also got a new app for my iPhone. Snapchat. Like I mentioned on Twitter, I’m not sure what it’s about, not sure how to use it and I only have one friend on there, but I had a great time with it today. The niece with Snapchat and another niece and their friend all went to get mani/pedis. (I was invited, but I had to work. 😦 ) I sent my senior niece pics of her car, getting new windshield wipers. (And me wearing her sunglasses. And the guy replacing her wipers.)

She sent me a pic of the girls. And her NEW sunglasses. LOL.

So! Much! Fun!

In case I didn’t mention it, yesterday was great in our Small Town World!

 

 


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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.


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Old Small Town World

Watermelons

Image via Wikipedia

Uncle Frank was at the office the other day, and I finally had the chance to catch a few of his memories. (Recorded on my iPhone so I won’t forget them.) Mike, one of my aunt’s sons, was hearing the stories for the first time.

At one point, UF kind of paused in his storytelling, so I said, “Tell Mike the story about Granddad Mitchell stealing watermelons.”

“I don’t know that story.” I was disappointed, but my suggestion sparked another memory for Frank.

“A man leased Granddad Mitchell’s place in the Basin after Granddad moved to town. The man planted several acres of watermelons, along-side the ditch.”

The area has changed a lot since Keystone was built, but if I remember right, there was a  road that went right beside Granddad’s house, and I think the ditch was next to the road. I should have asked, but I didn’t want to interrupt his story.

“I was working on the farm close by and kept an eye on that patch of melons. You know, you can smell a patch of watermelons before you can see them. I passed that patch day after day, until I thought they ought to be about ripe.

“Finally, I couldn’t stand it any longer. One day when I’d finished working, I went to that patch and picked me a melon. I pulled out my knife and cut it right there. It wasn’t ripe, so I threw it in the ditch and picked another. It wasn’t ripe either, so I threw it in the ditch. Finally, I found one that was ripe.

“Boy, oh Boy! You know, a sweet melon is really good on a blazing hot summer day. I looked up, and there was that farmer, just awatchin’ me eat that melon.”

“He never said a word. Just turned around and went back to the house.”

♥ ♥ ♥

Here’s the story Uncle Frank said he didn’t recall. Learning that Granddad had leased his place to someone who farmed melons makes me think at least part of this story is true. I heard it from my dad, who probably heard it from his dad.

Knowing that, be warned: Part of it could be embellished.

When Granddad Mitchell was a young(ish) man, he loved to play practical jokes.

He and a friend decided to steal watermelons from a farmer one day. They sneaked up to the patch and, after checking to see that no one was around, they started pulling melons.

All of a sudden, the farmer ran into the field with a shotgun.”I’m sick and tired of you hooligans stealing my melons! Well, you won’t steal any more of them.” The farmer raised his gun and fired right at them.

Granddad Mitchell slumped to the ground. His poor friend  was so frightened, he didn’t know what to do. He couldn’t just leave his buddy to die in the watermelon patch, so he slung Granddad over his shoulder and ran with him. The sandy soil slowed him and watermelons and vines tripped him, but he struggled on.

Watermelons
Image via Wikipedia

I’m sure he sobbed, “Don’t die. Please don’t die,” as he scrambled to get out of there.

The man did his best to get my only-pretending-to-be-shot Gread Grandfather to help when he felt a warm liquid soaking the back of his shirt. “Oh, my God! Oh, my God! He’s bleeding to death!”

The guy probably wanted to make granddad bleed when he found out Granddad had peed down his back. It was only a joke.


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Choosing Joy

The iOS home screen.

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday I showed you pictures of the snow out my backdoor. I tried to get shots of the ice coating the trees, but poor little iPhone couldn’t do it.

Complaints could have been voiced about the tons of snow, low temps and being caught inside. We could have had crabbing about all the trouble, mess and missing work, etc. but who wants to hear that? No fun!

Why not choose joy whenever possible? (My mama did that so much of the time!) And I’m not the only blogger who looks for beauty in situations. Marilyn Pappano posted her beautiful pics of flowers on her blog today. (Friday.)

Larry Lawrence, a friend on FB, chose joy by sharing snowy pic of an eagle basking in the sun and a banana plant, freezing his nanners off. He took us on a great tour of the Ford!

I also noticed Beth Moore posted a blog on Monday  (I didn’t read it until today, but it’s another good one. Of course!) where she gave her readers a challenge–to not complain about anything all day long. 

First she talks about being cranky because of missed sleep. Then she says–

“I made up my mind to choose joy in the power of Jesus’ Name. While turning those pedals on my exercise bike, I told the Lord out loud that I wanted to make it all day long without voicing one single complaint. I could not believe how quickly my mood improved and I feel as happy as one who’s had 10 solid hours of sleep.Now, let me quickly say this. I’m not a fan of living in denial. Some complaints are legitimate and NEED VOICING! I already had one of those this morning on a good friend’s behalf who is in rough situation. So, what do you do then? Voice it to God! Lord have mercy, don’t think I’m posing as some huge example here this morning. I’m just asking you if you want to join me in being very deliberate about our mouths and our attitudes today. If you have a valid complaint, take it to God and, if possible, say it to Him out loud. It increases the sense that you really did get it off your chest. Sometimes a silent prayer doesn’t carry the same power as one spoken with passion and holy intent. Make some declarations today so even your enemy knows you mean business.”

Choosing not to complain to other people about the less than perfect parts of life is not lying. Taking trouble only to the Lord isn’t denial.

There’s no rule that says anyone has to share her troubles with anyone but God. (Although having a sister you trust is a real blessing!:)  ) 

God alone can repair hurts–past, present and future. He will bear our burdens and save our backs a lot of pain! 

Here’s how Beth finished her post (I just saw this)

Think up, Siestas! Let’s choose joy!      

I can only answer, “Amen, Siesta Beth! So be it!!!”


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Snow World

Taken in Megeve, France

Image via Wikipedia

You’ll never guess what happened at my house!

It snowed! To be very honest, I kind of like the snow. (Don’t start throwing thing. Please!)

Being a skier since my oldest was a baby, I really don’t mind the snow. (I haven’t skied since I got my new hip, but I’m planning to go back before too long. Maybe.)

This morning, though, the snow-world was extra special. Out my back door is a lot filled with trees. All those trees’ branches and stems were encased in ice. When I opened the door to let Queen Molly out just as the sun was beginning to come up, the world *sparkled!* (It was -2 degrees outside, so she’s lobbying for an indoor potty. I don’t blame her.)

I took these pics with my iPhone. Sorry, I couldn’t get the bling on the trees to show up for you, but just try to imagine it. The sun shining through the clear ice, highlighting each and every twig.  

Cookout, anyone?

Yes, it’s very cold out–below freezing. (In the Pioneer Woman’s hometown, it was nearly 30 below this morning. THIRTY BELOW!)

But this happens so seldom, why not just enjoy it? Take a picture so you won’t forget the beauty, write down the scary low temperature so you won’t forget what year it was that we had that low down temp and celebrate?

You might want to stop and thank God–For that spouse you can snuggle with and stay warm. For that house that needs painting and fixing, but keeps you out of the elements. For friends who care about you and check in on you and pray for you.

Oh! G-Man just looked out. The sun is shining and it’s snowing again. Tiny, tiny flakes, sparkling like glitter as it swirls down.

What a fantastic, gorgeous and amazing world you’ve given us, Lord. I’m just wild about You!