Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


I Hope You Dance.

A friend of my newest DIL posted on Facebook a couple of pictures of #2 son and me, dancing at his wedding.

I LOVED dancing with my Matt. He’s a great kid (Okay, I know he’s not a kid anymore, but he’ll always be my baby. Sniff!) and someone I’d want to know even if I weren’t related to him.

He made me laugh as we danced. We chatted and had a great time. I don’t know how much fun it is to have daughters (my siblings have some great daughters) but boys are a blast to raise! (Being a natural-born tomboy didn’t hurt.)

Near the end of the song I told Matt what a pleasure it had been to be his Mama. One of the four best gifts in my entire life that God gave me was him.

I shouldn’t have said it. I knew better. But, hey! He needed to know.

Guess who I made cry. (Again.)


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?

Leave a comment

♫♪ There’s a Hole in the Middle ♫♪

Watermelon with yellow flesh

Image via Wikipedia

When I was a little girl just so high
Mama took a stick and made me cry
Now I’m a big girl and Mama can’t do it
But Daddy takes a stick and hops right to it.

Okay, I got that out of my system. (Mama used to say that little poem. I don’t remember why she said it or where it came from, but it always made me laugh.)

Grandad Ray was a fantastic gardener. He always had big gardens. (Yes, gardenS. He wasn’t one to put all his eggs in one basket–or tomatoes, as the case might be.)

One year when I was in grade school, Grandad Ray grew a bunch of watermelons–both red and yellow meated melons. One day he told Sister Debbie and me that we could sell them if we wanted to, and keep the money.

Naturally, we took him up on it!

Grandad and Grandmother lived right next door to us, and he stored his melons in the garage where it was a little cool. (They would have baked like potatoes if the weather had been as hot as it is now. Whew!)

Anyway, every morning Sister D and I would roll several watermelons up to our front yard, out next to the street and sit behind them. We charged twenty-five cents for red meated and thirty-five cents for yellow.

One day a young man pulled to a stop, rolled down his window and hollered, “How much for a yella watermelon?”

“Thirty-five cents!” I yelled back.

The price was right, so he climbed out of his car and picked one out. Before he left, he dropped a quarter and a dime into my palm, then he jumped into his car and screeched away.

When we looked at our money, Deb and I noticed the quarter had a hole in the middle. When Daddy got home that evening, we showed it to him. “Is a quarter with a hole in it still good?”

“Nope. You might spend it in a vending machine, though.”

I think we went out of the melon business after that. Even though we made 100% profit, getting money we couldn’t spend for sitting out in the sun wasn’t much fun. We decided we liked playing with friends much more than have a watermelon stand.

Today whenever someone mentions The Watermelon Stand, my dad sings,

♪♫ “Well, I walked around the corner and I walked around the block. I walked right in to a bakery shop. I picked up a donut right out of the grease and handed the lady a five cent piece.

“She looked at the nickel and she looked at me. She said this nickel ain’t no good to me. There’s a hole in the middle and it’s all the way through.”

“Says I, ‘There’s a hole in the middle of the donut, too.’ Shave and a hair cut, six bits.” ♫♪

I know my posts are kind of sporadic lately, and I’m sorry about that. Come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you what’s going on. Ü Or  maybe you can guess.


Wedding Horizons

Have I mentioned there’s a wedding coming in the Shay household? Two, actually, but one isn’t until next spring. One is this summer.


Did you hear that? It was my heart hurting.

This is what they should look like. They should still be little and playing, having a great time. That’s #2 in the back, lying down and yelling his head off. #3 is squinting at the camera, being very quiet. (Stayed out of trouble that way.)

Really, don’t you think kids should just stop aging when they get to such a cute age? If they did, I think this is the age I’d choose. They were so fun and innocent! I remember being kind of tired all the time, otherwise, it was a perfect life. (They say memory is the first thing to go. LOL.)

I swiped this pic from Matt’s facebook. I’m not sure of his age here, but the black and white makes him look so extremely young.

I love this boy!

In school he played the sax and piano, but rarely plays either these days. He loves to work, though. I used to keep him from going to work rather than grounding him back when he was in middle school.  One other thing he loves? Sports.

 OSU’s sports are the best. (Just ask him.) He tries to get season tickets to the OSU football games each year. He got caught by the camera at one of the OSU games.

And I love his sense of humor. (He’s wearing orange in the big fist here.) I love the way he teases me about his “other” mothers. I love that he’s there when I need him and doesn’t mind asking if he needs a hand. I love that he succeeds where other people are afraid to even try.

The Meet– Miracle of miracles, he met Nikki at a New Years Eve party he went to with a friend from college. (Isn’t she gorgeous?) She’s cute and funny and has an infectious laugh that makes you want to join in, even if you don’t know why.

And just like with the women in my other sons’ lives, we all fell in love.

Aren’t they sweet? My wish for them is that they have a marriage as perfect as the one my parents had. And as rambunctious as the one G-Man and I’ve had. (Never, ever boring!)

I think they have a pretty good start. 😉


Candice Pics

Funny picture, isn’t it? It’s a bird house on my deck with dill blooms in front of  it. I’m really not a great photographer. (If it’s good, it’s usually an accident. LOL) But just about anyone can make a picture look decent.

I use Photoshop Elements to fix most of my shots. (Cheating? Probably.)

Here’s another “fixed” one I like.

 It’s one I supposedly texturized, but I don’t see the texture. And, to be honest, I don’t remember how I did it. It’s an Elements thing where you layer the texture over the picture or the picture over the layer or something. 

One of these days I’ll get out my notes and give it another go. Right now I’m trying to learn how to use my camera the way it should be used. How to set the camera on the Program mode and shoot. How to get the lighting right.

I’m not the best in the world at reading how to and doing it. I’m better at learning with someone else teaching me. That hands on kind of thing.

I have several friends who are fantastic photographers. Some of them do it without thinking. Candice Orcutt, a friend from my Small Town World, is one of those naturals, and she works hard at it. She also has great taste in fiction. 🙂

Here are a few of Candice’s pictures from Facebook. (Hope she doesn’t mind.) I’ve seen some of her other pictures I like as well if not better. She takes wonderful pictures of barbed wire! I know it sounds odd, but they’re beautiful.

  Don’t you love the lighting in this one?

I love her “view” of life. It’s just enough different to make me say, “Wow!”

Good lookin’ couple she sneaked up on, huh?

Anyone who can make this look this good has real talent!


Middle of April


This is not my backyard.

Just thought I’d clarify that so there wouldn’t be a misunderstanding.

This isn’t either. But I wouldn’t mind if it were. 🙂

Would you like to know where I took these pics?

Here’s a hint.

It’s called Coming Through the Rye. (I think.)

Can’t you just hear them shouting, “Yeehaw!” and shooting off their guns?

Isn’t he just full of personality? Old Fred Remington sure knew what he was doing when he sculpted this, didn’t he?

G-Man and I were at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame a few weeks back when I took these. Here’s another one of my favorites.

I don’t remember the name of the sculpture in the background, but it’s a Paint mare and her colt. And in the foreground? That’s a wild goose who decided NCHF was a great place to hang out on a beautiful spring day.

Smart goose.

When we first went inside, we had a real surprise. Ernest Borgnine was being interviewed in front of a gimongus statue of The End of the Trail. Mr. Borgnine is 94 years old and told stories like a young man.

He was there to serve as a presenter for the 50th Annual Western Heritage Awards. We didn’t get to hear much of the interview, but he sounded as if he could be so much fun!

Most of the displays inside the museum–paintings and authentic costumes–were off limits to photography. (Although I did see some people breaking the rules, I didn’t. No way I wanted to get the boot from that wonderful place.)

In one area, it was legal to take pictures. It was supposed to be an old west town.

 Saddle maker shop.

This is the blacksmith’s shop. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if they had people “living” in this old town? They could tell us about what went on, day to day. A true education in history.

This is the saloon. (Miss Kitty isn’t in.)

On the wall. (Marilyn, I took that shot for you. I know how much you love buffalo.)

The photographer.

The church.

I tried my hand at preaching. But no converts. 🙂 The “marshall” popped his head in after we left to see that we hadn’t left anything out of place.

We had to leave an hour earlier than normal because of the awards ceremony that night. On our way out, we saw several beautifully dressed people. I’m talking tuxedoes and seriously formal gowns. These people knew about black tie! 

Instead of hanging there for the formal dinner (ha!) can you guess where we went?

 If you guessed Brick Town, you’d be right. Talk about fun! Just a middle of April weekend, and the place was teeming with folks.

Isn’t this a great old building? I loved it and the paint at the top where it says, “Fox Vliet Wholesale Drug Company.” (Does that ring anyone’s chime?)

So we started home. There were still  some paintings along the way.


Beautiful, OKLAHOMA! (My hat’s off to Rodgers and Hammerstein for writing our fantastic state song!)

And from a distance, our beautiful capitol.

What could be a better way to end a fabulous day?

In the gift shop, I saw a familiar face. The Pioneer Woman’s Cookbook was right up front!

Have you been to the Cowboy Hall of Fame lately? If it’s been a while, you’ll want to go back. It’s better than ever!


Early Spring Blessings

Have you seen them? Showers of blessing are dropping around us. Well, okay, springing up around us.

They’re just there, all of a sudden, without any help from me. A miracle! (That they lived through the snow and ice is a miracle in my book.)

These aren’t mine. I grabbed this pic at Lowes. When I walk through someone else’s garden, I always get that “aaaah!” feeling. (Even if they’re for sale gardens.) Love the stroll!

A typical Lowe's storefront in Santa Clara, Ca...

Image via Wikipedia


Are you paying attention and taking note of your blessings? Or do you take them for granted?

I can only imagine the huge blessings you guys who have grandchildren enjoy. It’s got to be fantastic!