Author Archives: Susie (Q-Who)

About Susie (Q-Who)

I am a futures trader by day, a business owner by night, and in between, a director of Miss Kitty's Long Branch Ranch, a nonprofit organization that helps homeless cats. In my spare time, I blog about stuff that I do in my spare, spare time. I used to create websites when I had spare, spare, spare time, and I still have some of them here.

11.15.19

I wrote and recorded my poem yesterday, But before I sent it on its way, I decided there were things I should not say And so I shut down my computer and went to bed.

I started writing about staying in the “now,”  But majorly got off-track and I do not know how I did not see the big black cow Or so I mean a white elephant?

Well today it has been bugging me, I feel I let myself down, don’t you see, Those of you in my family tree, I’m sorry.

I am sorry if say something you’d rather I not, I am sorry if I embarrass or put you on the spot, I am sorry for other things that I have forgot

And I hope you can get over it.

I need to do this for me, Writing the poem in an under an hour, this is the key So it’s possible there will be things I do not see. This is my disclaimer.

Through this, I am becoming free To know who I am, and that, I shall be, And if you don’t want me to, I’ll quit for a fee, But until then, here I am, and I do hope you’ll watch.

I hope and I pray that you’ll let me be me And though we may not always agree, May we love each other without apology, And that I remember to let you be you, too.

11.13.19

I found myself feeling a little worried today And then a voice said inside my head HEY! Have you forgotten how you felt just the other day, You had a calm sense of peace and knew everything would be okay. Give no attention to the negative in your head, Turn that talk around, generate positive, it said, And if you’re having trouble putting circumstances to bed, Get on YouTube and listen to your favorite thought-leader instead!

(That would be Brendon Burchard by the way, Look him up whenever you need to brighten your day.)

So I started thanking God for Dave, he really is a dear, And I am thankful he knows all about responding in love or reacting in fear. For it has been such a blessing, his response to me staying here, He has been supportive and kind, even though he wants me near.

My thoughts then turned back to going to Ardmore, And the feeling crept in that it was some kind of chore. So I adjusted my perspective and prayed for my will no more, And I felt proud and humbled and thankful when I walked out the door.

If you know me, then you know I like to save the best for last, Which is the Thanksgiving Dinner we attended at noon – it was a blast! It was at the Hastings Senior Citizens Center, where we had quite a cast, There were so many I wanted to see but the time went by too fast.

I really love this town and so I am trying to figure it out – What we are going to do. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and so I start to doubt That this, I will get through. But then God somehow reminds me that in Him I can trust, And that I can only live one moment at a time, and adjust my thinking to this, I must.

I do not know what our futures hold, if I will remain bold or if I’ll even grow old, but God does and He will let me know when I need to. Needing to know before then, just makes me blue.

11.12.19

Today we mostly chilled, quite literally.

We dreaded the drive to Duncan in the 27 degree weather Then we realized that the car was the warmest spot altogether. Cleaned out the car from our 9 day trip, we did that too, And now the house looks like a zoo. The cats don’t want us to leave again and they pout, They won’t leave me alone, they were on my nerves and I wanted to shout. Instead, I phoned a friend.

I told her nothing of my feline frustrations Because I have no doubt That when I’m dealing with this type of mood, It’s not really what it’s about. The cat did not create my seeming lack of care, It was not what set me off, My mood was already there. So I searched deep within me For what it was I feared and nothing could I see. And because I believe whatever we fear Can be countered completely with love, In the end, I phoned a friend.

11.11.19

We made it back to Hastings fine Although I thought it would be about 7 And it was more like 9 (eastern time).

It was raining in Dallas And the wind was fierce And my nerves, Google did pierce.

My maps app kept rerouting us, With no ability to discuss. “Accidents,” the voice would say, “You better go this way!”

“No,” I screamed, “that doesn’t make sense!” Leaving my brother in suspense. “Which way do I go,” He wanted to know, “Do you know where we are?” “No, Guess we listen to Google.”

Me and My Bro, Road Trippin, Yoe!

My brother and I went on a road trip to go our nephew’s wedding (our other brother’s son). We went from Oklahoma to North Carolina and back. I put videos on YouTube along the way for our friends and family to follow, and so Dave wouldn’t feel left out. Here they are. The audio could be better, among other things, I’m definitely not a pro. In fact, this was my first time doing any sort of video like this.

Pre-Road Trip Video
Our first stop is one of my favorite places, so we stayed a couple of days.

11.10.19

A year ago today…

A year ago today we had A memorial service for our dad It is strange how quickly things can change (or not) Depending on how our thoughts, we arrange. Grateful to my friends, am I, Who have helped me to see as the time went by, That the choice is mine, how I feel, I can either accept it or say, “This can’t be real.”

Acceptance is the key And between you and me, Sometimes it sucks. But far worse is wishing it weren’t so And not letting go.

Letting go does not mean I have forgotten.

And sure, I would rather my dad be alive And that my mom, eleven months later, did not die, But he’s not and she did, and for me to truly live, I cannot wish that it weren’t so, in a “woe is me,” way, No, No, No!

Instead, I choose to focus on love And be grateful to God in heaven above For the parents He gave me for 48 years And for my brothers, whom I have come to hold very dear. And for the wonderful conclusion He gave us of this past year.

Annual Asparagus Festival

Every year for many years, we could count on my parents to stock our pantry with cases of home-grown pickled asparagus due to their abundant asparagus field and their talents in the kitchen. Even if we told them we still had plenty, my dad would say something like, “It will keep for years, and you never know when you’ll need it.” That was my dad. My mom, too, but mostly my dad.

The asparagus crop of 2019 did not care that my dad died, it did not care that the crop would produce much more than we could use. My mom tried to keep up, and she did pickle some, but being only six months after my dad had passed, she was still a mess.

The fridge was full, the pressure cooker was cooking, piles of asparagus covered the counters, and pounds a day kept getting cut.

My brother had given so much to the neighbors, that when he tried to give them more, they sighed and said, “I still have plenty from the last time you came over!”

“What are we going to do with all this asparagus,” I exclaimed, sometime after I had arrived on April 19th, 2019.

“We can have an asparagus festival,” my brother said jokingly, at which I heartily laughed.

We had recently and frequently discussed how the small towns of Hastings and Waurika have so many festivals. It took us by surprise, I guess you could say, to hear about a different festival every other day. The fire department’s fish fry, the Sorosis Club’s fundraiser, the high school band’s breakfast, and that was just in one week. Every week last spring, it seemed , was like that. The all-day long and into the night event, “Meet Me Downtown,” was my favorite. I won $100 MasterCard gift card playing bingo that night, courtesy of FFNB.

So when my brother said, “Have a festival,” it was really for the chuckle. But I was like, “Yeah, let’s do!” My mom was like, “No, I do not want to do that.”

Once I convinced her that it wasn’t going to be an actual festival, it was just going to be me handing out bundles of asparagus after the Wednesday lunch at the Senior Citizens Center, she consented as much as I could expect her to. Oh, and I threw in a promise to do my best not to embarrass her.

So we, my brother and me, with our mom’s consent and our dad’s blessing from heaven, held “The First Annual Asparagus Festival” on May 1, 2019, and it was a hit!

Thirty bundles, almost a half-pound each, I gave away in less than a half-hour. “You know,” my brother (the idea-man) said, “saying it is a ‘First Annual’ denotes there will be a second.”

“Yep,” I concurred, “I guess we’ll just have to make it an annual thing!”

Trippin in Transylvania

Trippin in Transylvania

Susie (Arnold) RaffeyAdventuresExpeditions October 20, 2018

Transylvania County in Brevard, North Carolina, is where Dave and I went to celebrate our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary in October of 2018. Our anniversary is actually in September; we took the trip in October because I wanted to see the leaves change and Dave was busy with work until then.

While we were a bit early to see the leaves change, we still had the best view.

The couple of times I intended to write about our trip, emotion overtook me and rendered me mute. It has been an especially difficult thing to do due to my dad dying just a week after we got back. Particularly, I defiantly said, “No,” when Dave mentioned inviting them on the trip. This has required me to muster up some forgiveness for myself and discipline to refrain from beating myself up.

Now, more than a year later, I am ready to write about the fabulous time Dave and I had at Indian Camp Mountain. I will date this post during the time we were on our trip so it serves as a reminder to me of the dates. And today, I can truly say, that if it was meant to be that my parent’s were there, they would have been. My faith in God has to supersede my faith in me in order for me to be truly happy, as I know from experience.

The log cabin was a three-story house and Dave was right, there would have been plenty of room.

And the hikes, well, I doubt my parents could have handled the hikes. Most likely they would have stayed at the cabin and cooked. We hiked. And we hiked. And then hiked some more.

One time, we suddenly and unexpectedly came across a waterfall.

I tripped on a rock.

Then we found a gazebo next to a quaint pond.

And then we discovered a road and made our way back to the house via pavement.

And then we rested.

The Rock Star Tour of 2018

I was somewhat shocked to see the figure, after counting the states that Dave and I have driven through in the last nine months – nineteen. Nineteen states in nine months we have seen. “Pretty impressive,” I’d say. “Like a rock star!” Eleven states had us overnight and seven of the eleven for more than one night. This, I would like to remember. What a blast it has been.

Packing for this last trip went much more smoothly than our prior trip. Still, I brought too much stuff. But like I told Dave, “At least I’m getting better. At least this time, I only brought four bins of stuff we didn’t need!” Trying to be sarcastic and obviously exaggerate, this only made us laugh harder, as we both knew that I wasn’t exaggerating much. “Okay,” I conceded, and then added, “at least they were small bins.”

Because I wish to do different than I do, and not feel the need to lug around with me every little thing I think we might need on a trip, I am writing about it with the hope that it will help me continue to get better, for future trips. I am doing it for Dave, so that he won’t have to make as many unnecessary trips to the truck, hauling stuff. I am doing it for anyone who wishes they could pack lighter, including me. So while it is fresh on my mind, I will write of those things next. First, something I must get off my mind – saying, “I’m sorry,” to some of our Indy friends.

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You see, we were in town last week and did not let most of our friends know. In fact, we told very few of us being around, as our goal was to simply spend time with our daughter and celebrate her passing nursing school. Yes, Amanda is going to be a registered nurse! And we are so very proud of her.

As per the plan, we had no plans for the three days we were there, and we stayed quite busy spending time together. We walked all around downtown, which is also where we stayed, and when we got tired of walking, we rented bikes. We saw lots and lots of sites. We also did “Escape Room Indy” one night and had a blast. The few friends we did see, we have known since Amanda she was four. Two of them had her in their childcare program until she started kindergarten.

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My point is – some of you reading this might feel left out upon discovering that we were in Indy and did not at least say hi. And if you know me, then you know that feeling left out is something I do not like – for myself or others. So at the risk of sounding defensive, well, yeah, I am.

It was our “Rock Star Tour.”

That being said, I can now share the many fun photos of our trip without worrying about a beloved friend feeling left out. If you still do, please know that we are sincerely sorry. We hope to return to Indy soon and when we do, we hope to see you!

Our first stop on our “Rock Star Tour” was in Tennessee to visit friends. Little did we know nine months ago when we made them our first stop on our “Wonderfully Wacky Road Trip” as well, that the next time we’d see them, Stan would be doing chemo and radiation. A real trooper he has been through it all, both of them, indeed! After enduring a dose of radiation, he insisted on taking us to their friend’s place along the river – a place and a person we have heard much about throughout the last three years they have lived there.

A real treat it was for sure. Thanks guys! I will be sure to write more about it soon!

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