Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


The Happy Scarecrow

Like my new header? The happy scarecrow was a guest at our church’s Harvest Hoedown one year (Last year, I think. LOL) and I couldn’t keep from snapping his pic.

I had four pics to choose from.


I love old wagons. The rustier the better!


And I love, love, love old barns. I thought this was so cool!


I almost chose this one. Do you like it? I do!

But The Happy Scare Crow won out. Why?


Because his arms are spread wide in welcome,

header-threehe has a happy grin on his face

header-threeand he makes me feel good!

That’s what I want for visitors here at STW. Be happy, feel good and know you’re very welcome!

header-threeSo which pic do you like? I’ll use the others later.

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Where’s My Camera?

Back in the day, before we had children, G-Man and I lived on a family place we called Silver Creek. (So called because Silver Creek ran through it. Brilliant, right?)

It was school land (part of Oklahoma’s School Land Trust) so we didn’t “own” the place. We just treated it as if we did.


This is the house we lived in.

That’s not my car and those aren’t my boys. The picture belongs to James Clifton Paula Lindon. (That’s Cliff and his shirtless brother/deputy, John.) They had the place before we did. I swiped the pic off Facebook. 🙂

I have a few pictures of the place. Somewhere, there’s a picture of the copperhead that got stuck in the bottom groove of the garage door and whacked G-Man on the arm when he opened it.

G-Man said he grabbed a camera when he went inside for a gun because he was afraid no one would believe the story without it. 🙂

And I have some pictures of #1 son’s first Christmas. That’s where we lived when our first baby boy was born.


But I have tons of pictures locked inside my head that I can’t show you.

Such as a picture of the skunk family who lived under our house. I called them watch-skunks. (They only sprayed when strangers came.) When G-Man had to go under the house to unfreeze pipes once, the skunk fam didn’t spray. They just moved over so he could work. 🙂

I don’t have pictures of the wasps that chased me the first night we lived there. (They lived in the ceiling of the front porch and came out at night if the light was on to warm their little bodies.)

I don’t have a picture of the first scorpion I annihilated. (How do you kill a scorpion? I grabbed the biggest encyclopedia in the house and slammed it into the poor critter. If that wall is still there, he’s probably still embedded in it.)

And I don’t have a picture of Eegore the tarantula who wandered onto my screened in patio (where my plants were) and when I went after him with a broom, jumped over the broom and chased me back into the house. (I told Gary he wrestled the broom away from me, then chased me into the house with it, but he didn’t really.)


This isn’t Eegore. This is his grandson. (Or great-grandson.)

G-Man “rescued” Eegore later that day, and since he had a “hunched” back, he got that name. He came back every so often just to say hi.

When he did, I waved from inside the house. (With the broom hidden.)

I got chased a lot when we lived there.

I don’t have a picture of the many times I got my car stuck in the sticky mud and had to walk home. (I did learn how to drive in mud without getting stuck, though.)

The one picture I’m so very, very sorry I missed is of the wild turkey cock that walked through our yard with his tail on display one day.

He was a thing of beauty!


Where’s your camera when you need one?

I’m very thankful for smart phones theses days!

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Welcome to the SideBar

Did you notice I swopped out the pictures in the sidebar? (On the right.) Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t. I had to go back and look for them myself, and I did the work! (Rolls eyes.)

With all the cold weather and snowy days we’ve had this year, I thought I’d add a little more to the flakiness. I love the memories the pictures bring back, so I kind of tried to tell a non-verbal story. See if you get it.

The first picture is Mom and Dad on one of our ski trips.


The ‘Rents had gone skiing with the church the year I had my first baby. (For some reason–either being extremely prego or having a new nursing baby–G-Man and I didn’t go.)

So when #1 son was almost a year old, they decided to take the entire fam on our first y’all come ski trip.

When they decided to take the trip, Mom called Gaye, a wonderful friend I’d grown up with, who lived at Crested Butte, Colorado. (And she skied every day! Lucky girl.)

Miracle of miracles, Gaye found us a place to stay. (Thanks, Gaye!) It was an entire house, and since we had a few extras (one husband-to-be and several friends) it was perfect.

Gaye even found us a sweet woman for #1 son to stay with while we were there. (Thanks, again, Gaye!)

Mom bought us some of our ski gear for Christmas. Silly me, I asked for gloves, not mittens. Wow! Big mistake.

Mittens might make you look like a little kid, but they keep your fingers much, much warmer! I bought down-filled mittens there on the slopes and I was WARM! Broke, but warm. (Anything you buy on the ski slopes is expensive.)

Dad decided we didn’t need to pay to take ski lessons. He taught us everything we needed to know the morning of the first day. How to stop (make a piece of pie with your skis and sit down on it!) How to turn (Bubbletail, cut some pie and lean into it.)

I was climbing on a very easy-to-navigate ski lift (and getting in better skiers’ way) that afternoon.

A more thoughtful person, G-Man found a hill and practiced all by himself.

ski-pair (2)

This is G-Man and me. I borrowed my ski suit from a friend, who told me to keep it. She had a new one. I loved it! (Thank you, Lana!!!)

Brother Jeffrey and his buddy didn’t bother to learn to traverse the slopes.  They just turned their tips downhill and flew! And they had a great time doing it.

I took some spectacular spills, even though Gary and I stayed on Green (Easy) slopes with an occasional Blue (Medium) thrown in.

The last day of the trip, Dad thought G-Man and I were good enough to go to the backside of the mountain . . . where we found there were only Black (double diamond-HARD!) trails.
Have you ever prayed for a helicopter to come and rescue you? I did that day. 🙂 I think I ended up just sliding down the slope on my backside–which I only thought was cold before I started the slide.
On the way home, we ran into a blizzard. We were in Oklahoma, and experiencing worse weather than Colorado had! The baby didn’t feel good, so it was a long, long trip.
How about that? I just realized this memory is another gift for my list.
I’m oh! So! Very! Grateful!



When you’re on vaca, what do you like to do?

As an uber amateur photographer, I like to snap shots of the fam.

eureka-kissand friends


(Okay, I didn’t meet her, but I have a feeling we would have been friends if we’d had a chance. 🙂 )

I like to take pictures of old barns

cool-old-barnnot so old barns

barn,-barnand things in between.



And old homes.

eureka-buildingCool old place, isn’t it?

It’s even cooler like this–

eureka-building-2I like cabins,

eureka-cabinand teepees,

eureka-teepeewith their very own bear standing out front. (How cool is that?)

eureka-homeThis house is one of my very favorites. Know why?

Because, I’m practically positive, it has a story to tell. 😉

Besides fam, what’s your favorite picture topic?


We Had a Party!

Happy Birthday

So we had Dad’s party on Wednesday, and Murphy came. Uninvited.

Which Murphy, you ask? The guy who made up “the law”, so everything that could go wrong, did. LOL!

After a summer where we counted the drops to see how much rain we got, we finally got a good soaking . . . the early morning of the party. So the party had to be moved indoors.

No problem. We’ll have it in the church fellowship hall. That part was great. But the ice maker didn’t work, so we had to buy ice. And while I waited at the office with the pop for the ice to come, the ice went to the church.

I finally caught up and conned  my nephew volunteered to put the pop in to cool.

After lots of hauling and dragging and grabbing and toting, we got there and set  everything up.

Then my camera died. (Who knew one short week-long vaca could drain a battery?)

So, my apologies. Every picture I have is with my cell phone. And while I know there are people who can take fantastic pictures with their cell phones, I am not one of them.

The truth is, if there were a contest for the world’s worst picture (like there is for the worst sentence)I’d take top prize.

But the food was great! The kind your grandma used to make. I can’t even begin to tell you how good it all was.

Baked beans to die for. (Brother Jeffrey’s recipe, made by Jane, the blonde in the picture above.) Super delicious charcoaled chicken, sweated over by Brother Jeffrey. (The man knows his way around a kitchen–or a back yard, as the case may be.)

Two kinds of slaw, potato casserole, bbq from Dari Diner (thanks David!) potato salad, pasta salad, carrot cake, dump cake, brownies, ice cream, coconut cake (the Baptists call that cake Better Than Sex) and a chocolate cake.


We got everyone to sign Dad’s card, then forgot to give it to him. But when he got it, he loved it! Here’s how I can tell. When he gets something he doesn’t like, he says things like, “What’d you get me that for?” or “You know I don’t like things I have to pull over my head.”

Sometimes he doesn’t say anything. He just starts looking around for someone to give his present away to.

This time, though, when he saw his gift, his eyes lit up. “Now THAT’S something I can use.” It was a gift certificate to a nursery. No raised eyebrows, no handing off. The man loves raising things, and we all love the results.

When they’d eaten, the guys went back to work. And the ones who’d brought the food started the clean up. Ever notice how that happens? 🙂

Then Mr. Cranky Pants showed up. Our little buddy got there from preschool and was just a little unhappy, the way he is when someone wakes him up from a nap. And when he wanted “Woo-Woo” (I kind of like the name he’s given me) I took him.

Following his directions (pointed finger) we found

a place he wanted to be. When he saw this little playhouse, he yelled, “Mine!”

Funny how those frowns can turn upside down

until it’s time to leave.

I kind of felt sad, too. Little Deeger-Boy is a lot of fun. The only trouble is, he’s about to get too fast for me. Hopefully, by the time that happens, he’ll be better at understanding that what I want is best. 😉

After the party, someone said something about him being a year older, and I answered, “Not until Sunday.”

The guy didn’t quite understand that. “I thought your birthday was the day you were born.”

“It is,” I answered while I thought, “Duh.”

“Why did you have it on Wednesday if it wasn’t his birthday?”

“‘Cause we wanted to live dangerously.” LOL.

Many thanks to Sister Debbie and Brother Jeffrey. The party just wouldn’t have happened without you guys.