Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

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Fried Chicken 4th

It’s nearly Independence Day, already! They’re even doing 4th of July weather reports, so we know it’ll be here in a matter of days. How’d that happen?

That means it’s time to buy a few chickens and haul out the cast iron skillets. Why? you ask. Because, in the Shay household, 4th of July means FRIED CHICKEN!

mom's chicken pan


I put flour, salt, pepper and a little garlic powder in a bag (paper or plastic) and shake my chicken up in it (a few pieces at a time) then fry the pieces in canola oil. With the heat on about medium, I cook the chicken with a lid on for a few minutes on each side, then take the lid off and turn the heat up a little to give the chicken a good color and great crunch. I’m not the best chicken fryer in the world (can’t be, since I only practice my magic one time a year) but nobody complains while they’re chowing down. LOL.

I’m not sure when it started, but sometime in the distant past, I started frying chicken one day a year. Only on the 4th of July. One of the first Fried Chicken Fourths I remember, the kids were all fairly small. (grade school/middle school age.) I fried up a few chickens and we loaded up and went to Oklahoma City. We found Thunderbird Park, which had old military equipment (tanks, jeeps, helicopters, planes) for the kids to play on, and some picnic tables, and had our lunch.

okc imagesO1XZL3TY

There was a military museum nearby, the 45th Infantry Museum, and since our family never saw a museum we didn’t love–at least that’s what our kids thought– we had to check it out!


Since G-Man’s dad was in WWII, our boys had a great time.

okc imagesYW0MT0Z9This is not a picture of Gary’s dad. LOL.

Finally, after our fried chicken and a stroll through history lesson, we all went to the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden.


Since we had three little boys in tow, you can probably guess how much time we spent in the Botanical Gardens. LOL. But we had a great time at the zoo. Especially when we found the Tiger Cage. (C-Town and Pryor Creek Tigers! Yay!!!)


I have some great memories tangled up with our fried chicken. Times when Mom and Dad came up for chicken, and afterward we parked on the Salina Bridge to see the fireworks, and times when we took our Party Barge out on the lake for tubing and chicken. I’m SO looking forward to grandchildren and the fun time we’ll have with them eating my fried chicken on the 4th! (And possibly any time they want it.)

Loving the Fried Chicken 4th!

Do you have any traditions you practice on the 4th that you can share? We might want to add them to our chicken. 😀





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How Do You Spell God?

Cover of "Believing God (Walker Large Pri...

Cover via Amazon

Ever hear that children spell God M-O-T-H-E-R?

That came from an old movie I watched a few years ago, but I’m surprised at how true it is. (If I told you the movie, you’d probably be surprised there was anything worth remembering in it at all.)

Why did that ring so true with me? Probably because my mother introduced me to God. When I was a small child, she was the main Christian influence in my life. (My dad and I were baptized together, my paternal grandmother a few years later and my paternal grandfather several years after that.) Mama took us church every Sunday. (Dad went quite a bit, but mostly because she wanted him to be there.) She taught us what it means to walk with God. She gave us a love for the Father.

Now here’s the thing that made that ring statement about ring so true. We lost Mama when I was grown and had half-grown kids of my own. But for several days after she was gone, I couldn’t feel God.

That’s a horrible thing to admit, isn’t it? A woman who’d been a Christian for years whose mother was her conduit to God? To be very honest, I’m not sure that was really the problem. I might have just been in so much pain I couldn’t feel anything. Kind of like when a person is burned so badly, their nerve endings are gone and they’ve lost the pain sensation.

The sudden deaths of five members of your family can do that, I guess, so I’m not sure which was my situation.

But I did what Mama had taught me. I ran to the Lord. (Where else is there to go?) I grabbed my Bible and took it with us for the drive from Pryor Creek to T-Town where Omega (my nick-name for my youngest sister) was in Intensive Care.

I dug out verses I’d heard and loved all my life.

2 Cor 4:18–So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Cor 5:8–We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

Phillipians 1:21 & 23–For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far

And the one that gave me the most comfort? Isaiah 57:1– The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.

If I haven’t lost you by now, I’ll tell you where am I going with this.

When I drive–T-Town, work, taking my nieces to have our nails done–I don’t listen to music. I like to listen to people talk. Talk radio or speeches people make. (Only on topics I’m really interested in, of course.)

Right now, I’m listening to Beth Moore’s “Believing God” Bible study. Again.

A while back I downloaded them, one week at a time (audio–$2.99 each). I’ve already listened to the entire series–most of them several times. So get this. Monday, I heard something else new. A couple of things, actually. (I’ll save one of them for another day.)

That was another stupid admission, wasn’t it? Honestly, I don’t know how I do that. Do I simply stop listening or do I get to thinking about one thing and miss the next? Anyway, parts of this study is brand new to me.

Here’s what I heard. Beth said that if you think you can explain who God is, you’re aiming too low. Wow. Kind of like trying to spell God, M-O-T-H-E-R.

Or thinking that going to church once a week (or a year or whatever) is enough to get you to Heaven. Or like thinking going to church at all will get you to Heaven. (It won’t, but it’ll help point the way.)

So . . . can you tell me Who God is? YHWH. Yahweh. Elohim. Jehovah.

I can’t tell you. He’s not only your mama (but He was a big part of mine.)

He was the beginning, He’ll be the end.

He. Is.

So . . . any guesses what that movie I mentioned was? 🙂 (No fair guessing if I already told you the answer.)

(Sometimes I talk too much.)

(A lot of the time I talk too much.)



What Is It?

Anybody know what this is?

I’ve had it for quite awhile. So long that I’m not sure where I got it. Either at The Little House in Pryor Creek (one of my two absolute fav places at that time for cool old stuff) or at Grandmother’s house when I lived there.

I don’t know what it is. It looks like a picture to hang on the wall with a really thick frame. But (gasp/wink) it opens!

On the inside of the lid is a mirror.

The bottom of the box is divided. The back is covered with cardboard. That old gray-colored card stuff. I know that probably means it’s not old or was inexpensive to start with, but I don’t care. I love it.

Does anybody know?

Is it a picture box? Glove or handkerchief  box?  A place to hide jewelry? Money?

Can somebody tell me?


What’s Up With That?

Adapted from Wikipedia's OK county maps by Set...

Image via Wikipedia

Terminally Curious posting today.

Back when Baby Boy was just a year-and-a-half old (or so) we bought a pharmacy in Pryor Creek (don’t you love that name?) and moved our family seventy miles away to that town on the other side of the Big City. 

We loved the people in PC, and especially loved our church there. The people we were friends with were very loving, kind, and good to us. I still count many of them as dear friends. As much as I adore C-Town, it was hard to leave PC and come home.  

But we joined two of my sisters 

(In the picture–One of my sisters and various nieces and a nephew.)

and my brother in C-Town after many years of everyone (eventually parents AND kids) working at the store. #1 son had started college by then, so he stayed in Pryor Creek. 😦

We moved into Grandmother’s house, next door to Dad.  Two or three years later, Sister Cindy and her crew moved in with Dad. (He had four bedrooms–plenty of room for Sister C, her DH and her brood!)

A year or so after that, Pops moved to The Ford.

So check this out. Dad has six kids. Five are living near him, and he moves away? 

Terminally Curious is wondering, What’s up with that???

Okay, yes, he moved back to the town where he was born and grew up. 

Yes, he remarried and moved in with his wife.

And yes, he only moved twenty or so miles away. And he still comes to work (where most of us spend our time) nearly every day.

And comes back every week for church.

But I’m still wondering why he moved.

What’s up with that?     

Looks like he’s keeping a secret, doesn’t he?