Susan Marie Molloy

Life in the Oasis


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Pool Boy, or Old Time Photographer?

We have two dogs who love to be around people in general, and they very much like to be around us. There are times they are our tiny shadows, following us here and there at our cottage.

Last week, my beau wasn’t feeling well; he was probably fighting the onset of the flu. He soaked in a tub of hot water, closing the shower curtain to not only keep in some of the heat, but also to shield himself from one of our dogs who likes to be pesty and “peep-peep-peep” while we are trying to relax.

I heard my beau laugh for a hot second, and I continued doing whatever I was doing at the time. A couple minutes later, I walked past the bathroom, and saw this:

From my angle, he looked like he was an old-time photographer taking a picture with the cloth over his head.

Now I know why my beau was laughing.

Happy Monday, and here’s to seeing the humor in the littlest things!

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.

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Morning Meditation: Pink Rose of Winter

Today, a freshly bloomed pink camellia brightens up an otherwise grey and cold January morning.


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BOOK REVIEW: “Gift from the Sea”

This past Sunday, I shared one of my “Morning Meditation” photographs with you, a simple one of a trio of brown pine cones laying hither and yon on a forest floor in Bushnell, Florida. Cynthia Reyes, author of “Myrtle the Purple Turtle,” commented how it reminded her of a quote from one of her favorite books, “Gift from the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindberg: “. . . they are more beautiful if they are few”.

That made me want to re-visit Lindberg’s works, so I borrowed a copy of “Gift from Sea” (1955) from archive.org. It took me all of one small portion of my evening to read and relish the 142 pages or so.

It’s been a long time since I read anything by Lindbergh (I believe what I read of hers once was a reprint of her writing in a magazine in the 1970s; it was something like that), and I was happily surprised (again) at the clarity and power in her words, so succinctly put, yet saying a lot.

The book focuses on women mostly, and the changes that go with every phase of adult life: marriage, children, homemaking, children leaving home, wondering who is sitting across the breakfast table once the kids are out of the nest. She also explores the most-sought after: peace, solitude, contentment, youth and age; love and marriage.

She lamented how people were drifting apart, and more-so as the world was becoming more connected and modernized. Sounds like today, doesn’t it? —

Here in “Gift,” she placed correlations between sea shells she found on a beach, and roles in society. Moreover, how she understood and believed how men’s and women’s traditional roles were crucial to a healthy society and strong families, were well thought out and logical. Additionally, her thoughts on having less material possessions and focusing on relationships, introspection, peace, and balance in life makes sense.

One of my most favorite parts is where she speaks to time and tranquility: “. . . time to be quiet . . . time to think . . . time to watch the heron . . . Time to even, not to talk” and how some people feel there is a need to always fill silence with chatter. There is something very true to what she wrote; there is nothing wrong with being quiet at times.

Lindberg’s writings in nascent thinking is worth exploring, and I recommend picking up and reading this surprisingly sensible book.

Thank you, Cynthia, for reminding me of Lindberg’s works. I really enjoyed “Gift from the Sea.”

For more of my book reviews, I’m on Goodreads.  Thank you for stopping by.

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.


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Chili con Carne, Life in the Oasis, and Writing

A little bit about me, my blog, and outlook on life:

You, probably like me, have been hearing ad infinitum how blasted cold it’s been lately. And if you live in that cold weather, I feel for you. I grew up in Chicago, where wintry winds off the lake fuel the bitterly cold air temperatures. Oh, yeah, and then there was the short time when I lived about 50 miles from the Manitoba, Canada border, where it seemed winter lasts 48 weeks out of the year. So, I know cold.

It’s been cool here, too, in Florida. The air temperature actually got into the 20s*F the past couple nights. Who would’ve thought? Well, so much for escaping the Midwest’s cold winters! To warm us up, I made a large pot of homemade chili con carne, and used chunks of beef instead of ground beef, for a change of dining pace.

As we were eating, I was thinking about when I started blogging, which was about 6 years ago. How it started was when my beau suggested it. His own blogging began when he retired from his long public service career and became a real estate broker, which led to him moving into the property management business, which, after that flamed out (rather, he burned out), led him to writing about beading art and wire work. Now, his occasional blog explores and comments upon the twisted side of life in It’s a Twisted Life According to Gene.

Which brings me back to my blog. I went from one leitmotif to another, and I didn’t seem to find my comfort level. Right now, if you flip through my blog, you will only find blogs as early as 2014, and those are just book reviews. Unfortunately, I wiped out a lot of articles I wrote because, in a fit of non-confidence one day, I got rid of blogs I thought were goofy. Or stupid. Or boring.

How silly.

Yes, it took me awhile, but I found what’s comfortable for me. My blog is subtitled, “Life in the Oasis”. What it means is, that my life – my world – is rich, lush, productive, and a sanctuary, while the world outside might be a foreboding wasteland at times. Moreover, my beau – my husband – is my own oasis, where he is, and always was, the one person I could always find refuge in, comfort, and happiness when the world outside was demanding, cruel, and inhospitable.

So – life in the oasis is a place – tangible and intangible – where harmony, fertility, cheerfulness, and optimistic thinking reign.

My blog focuses on the positive aspects of life, and the things I like. I write about my mundane daily life, movie and book reviews, how my beau and I keep love flaming hot, my discoveries and adventures, our travels, tips on homemaking, and other whacky subjects. I share my poems and photographs and share your blogs that grab me. And there are a variety of topics that can’t be particularly categorized, but they make it to this blog.

Since I left my glamorous 9 to 5 job (sarcasm) this past summer, I’m working at home now doing things I love (writing, reading, creating art, homemaking, travelling, being a wife, waiting on His Lordship and Her Ladyship – our two dogs, Toby and Trixie).  My blog has gently become an oasis where I hope you will find a few minutes to stop by and discover pacific, nurturing, and hilarious topics that somehow enrich your life, as your blogs do for me.

Welcome to Life in the Oasis.
Thank you for stopping by.
Sharing is cool.
Your logical, well-thought out comments here are what I live for.

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.


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Films: Dark Intruder (1965) and The White Rose (1923)

For as long as I can remember, old movies interest me, including the bizarre and the silent. I introduced my beau to Ye Olde Tyme Flickers, and now watching them is a part of our relaxation time.

A couple of weeks ago, we watched “The Intruder” (1962) with William Shatner, a story of a scallywag (Shatner) who floats into the fictional southern town of Caxton to “do a little social work”. It’s based on a 1959 book by Charles Beaumont who also starred. I reviewed it here, and one of my favorite bloggers, Jan Olandese recommended a similarly bizarre film, “Dark Intruder” (1965) with Leslie Nielson. I found the trailer – it is hilarious, so check it out here – yet, I couldn’t find the movie in its entirety, but I do have it on my Must Get List, so when I can find it and watch it, I’ll review it here.

In the meantime, I found a curiously interesting, yet bizarre, D. W. Griffith film made in 1923 called, “The White Rose.” It was particularly intriguing since Neil Hamilton played in it. He was 24 years old. Sounds familiar to you? You probably know him best as Commissioner James Gordon on the television series, “Batman.”

Neil Hamilton, Actor Through the Decades

“The White Rose” is basically about two Louisiana couples – John and Marie, and Joseph and Bessie, a.k.a. “Teazie” – and how they wove their way through life and romance.

The version we watched (via YouTube) of “The White Rose” had no accompanying music, so my beau and I found that easier to comment as the story unfolded.

The story was good – Teazie has a baby out of wedlock, Joseph has a career and moral crisis, John is working on breaking out of the family tradition of laziness, and rich Marie comes to a crossroads of the heart.

Yet, what made this a bizarre film is Griffith’s use of black characters. Granted, he employed black actors to play the black characters, but insofar as the main black characters, well, he used white actors and an actress in blackface.

Strange, unsettling, phony, creepy in every way imaginable, and we just couldn’t help laughing at the absurdity. Yet, those were the times, and makes for thought-provoking analysis and conversations.

Mainly, we were interested in seeing Neil Hamilton in another role apart from his more famous Commissioner Gordon character. Leslie Neilson is another actor, where, when we hear his name, we think of those “Police Squad” and “Airplane!” movies. Yet, before them, he made a lot of movies and guest starred in television programs such as “Bonanza,” and he wasn’t always the funny man.

Leslie Neilsen, Actor Through the Decades

There are so many actors and actresses that we, today, know only in more recent media. And that’s part of the intrigue of tracing actors’ and actresses’ careers to their almost obscure career beginnings.

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.