Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


On the Hunt

Can you believe we’ve started the final month in the first half of 2014 already? Oy!

Fun stuff going on this week in my part of OkieLand. One of my faves was when #1 son came to visit last weekend, looking for toys from his Childhood for MY GRANDSON WHO’LL BE MAKING HIS APPEARANCE NEXT OCTOBER! *grins!* Tonka Truck and John Deere Tractor are the toys he was looking for. For some reason, though, we can’t find them. 😦


Surprised? I’m not. Since I don’t have perfect recall (some days it seems as if I have no recall at all) and we’ve moved twice since anyone has played with either toy . . .


I think we got the truck one year for Christmas. To be honest, I don’t remember exactly. (#1–you have permission to correct me if I’m wrong.) But, boy! I remember the day the John Deere came to live with us.

My Man was working 24-hour call at that time. Yes, he is a pharmacist–SWOSU!–but at that time he was working in the oilfield as a logging and perforating engineer. Anyhoo, he came in one evening about eight or nine o’clock, which would have been LATE for a person who worked in a 9-5 office, but he worked in the oilfield and often came home in the wee hours.

An open-hole logging crew is usually on site, waiting for the moment the rotary gets to total depth, and it seemed to me they NEVER reached TD during the daylight.

Danny and I were excited when Gary came home while Danny was still awake, and (bigger surprise!) he came in with a big bag in his hands, which he handed to Danny.

Danny opened the bag and wow! A big green tractor! And the tractor had a trailer. (If I remember right.)

Danny loved that tractor and played with it for hours on end, plowing the carpet, towing toy cars and hauling imaginary monsters. As our other boys came along and got big enough, they enjoyed it, too.

They had the most fun when there was a pile of dirt to work on. My boys loved to build roads, dig ponds and move mounds of dirt with their toys.

Confession: If I had time, I liked to get out and move a little dirt with them. 🙂 Who cares if our jeans got a little (or a lot) dirty? We had fun!

What we didn’t know when Gary brought home that tractor was that in a few years, we would be moving to Pryor Creek. And when you live near PC, you often see entire families going to town in a trailer connected to a tractor. (Those Amish families have the best ideas!)

If we loaned you (or your kids) either toy, would you give it back? 😉 Please, send it least by October. Seriously, if you happen onto one or the other at a garage sale, antique store or flea market, call me!

Talking about dirt piles, I remember a great big one next door to Marsha Hagberg’s house when we were kids that Debbie, Marsha and I (and probably the rest of the neighborhood kids) had so much fun on! We didn’t play with trucks so much, but there was a lot of make believe (my favorite game, ever) played there.

I’m not sure this kid ever saw a pile of dirt she did like.

Was a pile of dirt a magnet to you? Did you jump your bike over it, move it with your trucks, play “Lost in Darkest Africa,” or stay far, far away from it?

Terminally Curious is dying to know!



Wise (?) Grandmotherly Advice

I might have mentioned all my kiddos are married with homes of their own. (And did I tell you I’m going to be a grandmommy? 🙂 If I didn’t, let me know. I’ll be happy to fill you in!)

With three grown sons, I have a little experience with kids. Yeah, a lot of it is the kind you point to and say, “Don’t do what I did.” LOL.

Are you waiting with bated (or is that baited?) breath to hear my Wise Grandmotherly Advice? Stop laughing. I might have learned something while I was rearing my kids. Then again, maybe not. *wink*

happy boys

First piece of WGA: I’ve always believed children should work! (The more they do, the less I have to do. Right?) I started #1 son off when he was about three. I gave him the chore of gathering the upstairs trash.

“Get all the trash and bring it right here,” I said, pointing at the upstairs landing. “Okay?”

He nodded and scampered off to get started with his work while I made beds. When I came back to the landing, I found he’d done exactly what I’d asked. He got every trashcan, carried it to the landing AND DUMPED IT RIGHT THERE! (There were crumpled papers and snotty tissues everywhere.)

Guess I should have been a little clearer with my explanation. 🙂

As they got older, I gave all my children jobs to do around the house. Clear the table, put away clean clothes, make their own bed, and when they got older, they had to mow the yard. With them doing all that work, I should have been sitting around, reading fabulous romances and eating bon-bons, right? (Snort!) I had to police their work, didn’t I? 😉

4 shays

Of course, everyone doesn’t agree children should help out. One friend who was divorced and had three children was adamant that her children shouldn’t have to help out, just because she was in school full time and supporting them. It was  her job, she told me, not theirs!

Another close friend also had sons. I put mine to work at the pharmacy as soon as they were old enough to use the register and count back change. When #1 got his driver’s license, he helped with deliveries and picking up the kids after school.

But my friend’s husband didn’t allow their children to work at all while they were in school. “They’ll have to work for the rest of their lives. They shouldn’t have to start that early.

My dad always said a job wasn’t work; it’s pure entertainment. Guess her husband missed that memo. 😛

So tell me what you think so I can share it with my gonna-be-parents offspring–do you think kids should help out and work or do you think they shouldn’t start until they have to?

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Big Deal

Today’s the boss’s birthday party. I’m not sure about any other small town companies, but when ours celebrates, ours really cooks. 😛


Since it’s the office crew’s idea, we’ll be doing the cooking. (At least most of it.) Like last year, we’ve invited the guys in the field to join us. Our office staff is a group of great cooks–including the men.

To be very honest, the men may be better at it than us women. That’s because the men in the office are Ray Spess’s male descendants, and they were born to cook.

Most of his female descendants do okay, too. 🙂

So Brother Jeffrey (he’s the one on the right)

is charcoaling chicken for the crew. (Y!U!M!) And rather than ordering a birthday cake this year,

everyone in the office is making a dessert and a side dish. I’m making Mama’s Coleslaw and Sigrid’s Carrot Cake from Pioneer Woman.

And I got up at 3:11 am to do it. LOL.

I don’t know if there’s anyone like me, but I have way more energy in the morning than I do in the evenings, especially after work. And when there’s something going on, like this party, I can’t sleep.

I finally learned to put the two things together and cook the morning of any Big Deal. My mind and body are awake, and I’m ready to go, go, go–except for my eyes. They feel raw and salt filled.

So while my cake is baking, I’m watching an old movie, drinking coffee and trying to think of a protective coating for my eyeballs.



Fun Times

My office mate is convinced that I’m confused about what’s fun and what’s not. Why? Well, I love my job. I think it’s fun to go to work (most of the time) and look forward to being there.

She really thought I was in backward world when I told her about my Labor Day weekend fun.

G-Man was asked to go out and check a piece of equipment. Naturally, he was told he could take me along. 🙂 I jumped at the chance, and we had a great time.

I got to go on a nice long drive with my man through country I don’t get to see every day. I asked all the questions I wanted and he patiently answered them.

And I saw something that reminded me of being a kid again.

 Know what this is?

If it doesn’t make your legs itch and sting just to look at that picture, you don’t recognize this plant.

They’re bull nettles. Get into a patch of those when you’re out playing (okay, some people call it work) and you won’t stop dancing for hours.

The picture isn’t so good because the light was just too bright. We were not in danger of freezing on our little road trip! (That’s a good thing.)

Later, we left by a different way than we went in and I saw this.

It’s a sweet little cemetery in the middle of a wheat field. There are maybe twenty tombstones there, if that. G-Man didn’t pull in and let me take pictures of individual stones (he has a thing about respect) but he did stop so I could get a few good shots.

Here’s another view. I guess that’s wheat that’s been harvested. It might be something I don’t recognize. My man wasn’t sure, either.

I’d love to know the story behind that cemetery. Is it a family resting ground? Was there a church close by at some time that started that little grave yard?

Naturally, we went out to eat on the way home. And since we were over that way, sort of, we went to Drumright. I’ll give you a hint about where we ate dinner.

Hummus, tabouly, cabbage rolls. 🙂

If you guessed Joseph’s, you’d be right. Those wonderful, delicious steaks and so many side dishes you nearly founder, made the trip worthwhile, even if I hadn’t had fun.

They even gave us a bumper sticker. The one we liked best says, “Tabouly! Get in my Belly!!!”

This picture is from their website. And they’re on Facebook. (Who knew?)

Just imagine. They’ve been around since 1914. I guess it’s true what they say.

Practice really does make perfect.

So, what do you think? Was that fun or not?


Kisses, Sweeter than Wine

Most people think my dad is the boss at the office where I work.



Okay, maybe Dad signs the checks, but this little guy owns our hearts.

Wearing this hardhat, he might look like your average roughneck, but this guy’s special.

He has the ability to capture the heart of every adult in his range.

No one is immune to his charm.

Everyone who meets him is his.

When he sleeps, we tiptoe. 

When he’s cranky, we dance. Sometimes he’s joins us. 😉

And when he says your name (or you imagine what he babbles is your name) you melt.

One of his kisses is sweeter than wine candy. (Especially when we slip him tootsie rolls to munch.)