Susan Marie Molloy

Life in the Oasis


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Changes Are Constantly Afoot This Year

To say that the past several months were busy for me is an understatement. When last November rolled around, I consciously thought about making 2017 a Year of Change. January came, I turned the page in my calendar to begin 2017, and so it has been. I took on more worthwhile and enhancing activities, and worked on closing some tasks and projects that were dogging me for months – and in some cases, years.

I also:

  • will be published this month in a grand publication, which will include both my poetry and photographs (stayed tuned for when that happens!);
  • published several poetry chapbooks and a poetry anthology;
  • returned to reading books (almost) every day, and writing reviews;
  • am writing letters to family and friends more habitually;
  • ate more wisely, which leads towards me feeling better;
  • cleaned out my family recipe clippings, including duplicates and triplicates;
  • found just the right photograph albums to prepare organizing my pictures and memorabilia;
  • pared down possessions that either reminded me of people or events that are best left in history’s garbage can;
  • stayed off most social media, except where it benefits my writing and business;

“Optimism”
Original photography by (c)Susan Marie Molloy, 2017.

There is much more, many events beyond my control or even within my radar, but nonetheless made this a memorable year.  A friend with whom I needed to stay away from (remember the 2016 elections?) recently contacted me with hat in hand to apologize for contributing to fake news and hyperbole.  I’ll let bygones be bygones; I believe she’s sincere.

I am trying hard to let go of the aggravation of people not thanking. It’s beyond my understanding how there seems to be more and more people who just don’t thank, or even acknowledge, anymore. Letting go and understanding that it’s a matter of different upbringing – or something – has been difficult for me. I can’t change them, but I need to change my level of disappointment with them.

And now, here we are with a little more than eighty days left in 2017. Whether I get done all I set out to do or not, this was a productive and life-changing year for me. I don’t know what next year will bring; heck, who knows about what the next hour will bring?

All in all, I maintain that no matter what, changes will always be afoot.

©Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within.

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My Collection of Poetic Epicurean Delights

susan-marie-molloy-grapes-suzetteOne day, while writing notes upon notes about my observations of the world, I realized I possessed a baker’s dozen of poems in my repertoire that spoke about eating and drinking. What the heck — I covered coffee, candy, fruit, meals, and more, in various forms of poetry.

I decided that it was high time I put these little poems in a collection and published them on Amazon Kindle.

As you read each poem and delight in these courses, you will read about each poem’s style and the background which inspired me to put pen to paper. Bon apétit!

This, my latest book of poetry is, “Grapes Suzette: A Collection of Poetic Epicurean Delights” is now available on Amazon Kindle.

(c)Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within.

 

 

 


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Reading Marathon

“Susan! How’s that self-imposed reading marathon going for ya?”

Glad you asked.

I set a goal to read fifty-two books this year. So far, I’ve completed sixteen.

My 2017 reading endeavor started off with a quick reading of K. Collins’ “Declutter Your Home Effectively . . .” I didn’t learn anything new, really, so this was just a refresher and a boost to begin this Year of Change for me.  Less is more, keep your stuff in order.  OK.  Got it.

One of the strangest books I read was Jean Webster’s “Daddy Long Legs.” Young orphan college girl blossoms into a woman, while her much older benefactor provides for her and never really answers her letters to him. She addresses many letters to him as “Daddy-Long-Legs” or “Daddy.” Then they fall in love and marry. The storyline was psychologically strange to me. I never liked the 1955 Fred Astaire-Leslie Caron movie, either. However, the 1919 Mary Pickford-Mahlon Hamilton silent version was a lot more palatable (you can find it for free on the Internet).

“The Beautiful and Damned” by F. Scott Fitzgerald reminded me that broken people exist, and have since the beginning of time, and not much changes but names and dates. “Only Yesterday” and “Since Yesterday” by Frederick Lewis Allen – books I last read in high school – helped to flesh out that era between the two world wars.

My favorite book so far this month is “Anthem” by Ayn Rand. It’s one of the best Dystopian books I’ve come across. Her writing style drew me in, and I couldn’t put it down ‘til the last page. It’s a little like “Nineteen Eighty-Four” and some scenes remind me of “Logan’s Run.” Since “Anthem” is a novella, you can read it in an evening.

There are other books I read, from sociology (“The Indian as Slaveholder and Secessionist” by Annie Heloise Abel) to a children’s book (“Are You My Mother?” by P. D. Eastman). One fiction-romance book turned me off – vulgarities, I don’t need – so I never really finished it, and I deleted it from my Kindle. For me, vulgarities take away from a story and it’s not a part of my real world life, either.

What’s up for February?

Some writing, and definitely more reading. So far I’ve put “Old Creole Days” by George W. Cable and “Every Soul Hath Its Song” by Fanny Hurst on my list. Cable is a new author to me; Hurst grabbed my attention years ago with “Imitation of Life.”

To see what I’m up to, stop by my Goodreads page by clicking HERE.

See you here with some of my life’s updates (not all about reading!) and my musings in the days to come.

©Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within.


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A Loss, But Yet A Gain

I lost a good friend today.

The end was unhurried and painful, and it was something completely avoidable.

We knew one another since our days working in the Personnel Department, as far back as 1980. We briefly lost touch with one another when I temporarily left my job to return to college, and we struck up again when I returned to work.

We had tons of fun visiting one another on breaks, going out to lunch, and we even took a few business trips to Washington, DC. Then, when the time was right for her, she retired. I stayed on since I had a couple more years to go before I could take my early retirement.

We texted quite a bit, wherein the topics were the news of our lives, trips, recipes, a few jokes, mourning the deaths of colleagues.

Last summer, her texting increased. “Do you like watching the Presidential debates as much as I do?”

“Yes,” I texted back.  It was as innocent as that.

And we would share nothing more than, “I watched last night,” and our opinions on the speakers’ clothing fashion.  It was as innocent as that.

Then the final two candidates were announced, and her texts became even more frequent. They were off the deep end, and going deeper into the abyss.

In a nutshell, my friend began a daily spam-texting spree with obvious misinformation about “the other candidate.” I support free speech and opinions, but passing along unmistakable lies and grotesque spins is not responsible, and therefore, not conducive to intelligent conversation. Anyone who was inclined to fact-check would see it was all twisted and full of lies.

She went into a meltdown, fomenting an unrelenting negative obsession with whom she didn’t like.

Though I asked her repeatedly, nicely, then boldly to please stop sending me such texts, she nevertheless continued.

Today, I removed her number from my cell phone, but not without first to cheer, then mourn, the friendship we once had. She didn’t respect me. (In all of our long friendship, never did I berate who she liked in anything, nor did I ever discuss politics with her, and neither did she until this go ‘round.)

I wish her internal peace and acceptance.

There are reasons for setting boundaries and for etiquette. They are there to govern how we act in consideration of others and to protect what we deem acceptable to ourselves.

No one should be force-fed crap. No one deserves that. No one.

©Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within.


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What a Year: 2016

2016 was a strange, busy, and very different kind of year. Pick a subject, any subject, whether public or personal, and I’ll bet you’ll find a lot of oddities and uniqueness. 2016 couldn’t have been boring, right? Right. It wasn’t in the cards.

Personally, my year blossomed into a pretty positive and profitable chapter in Life’s Book, though there were strange things here and there.

Writing. Two of my short poetry books made it to publication. My little novel is progressing. Blogging was hit-and-miss. Ugh. What was terribly lacking was me writing more letters and postcards to friends and family. Oops.

Reading. I met my Goodreads goal of forty-two books read. The genres were all over the place since my interests are wide. Nice going.

Teaching. It was fun successfully teaching beadwork classes, particularly a wire and beaded spider ornament and various pieces of jewelry. I even taught several classes at a weekend bead retreat.

Relationships. I let go of being aggravated with a friend’s incessant text messages about her not being able handle our President-elect’s win. Since we interact in more productive subjects, all is good, and I let the quirkiness roll off my back. I enjoy all my friends, and all of us — you, me — are bit quirky anyway. Probably. I’m looking forward to seeing my other long-time, out-of-town friends, too, but I don’t know exactly when.

Love and Marriage. We celebrated four years of blissful marriage. We celebrated our birthdays on a vacation this year. It’s nice, since our birthdays are close together.

Hurricanes. Speaking of vacations, twice we were on the cusp of hurricanes: Hermine and Matthew. Lots of wind, lots of rain, and lots of hype. We saw a few trees down near Apalachicola, Florida, but nothing that needed extensive cleanup.

Domesticity. I am thrilled to find the vintage copy of Francois and Antoinette Pope’s cookbook. It’s my cooking bible. Bon appetite! I’ve been on a focused mission to clean out and downsize our life and belongings. Our “unneededs” are others people’s gold.

Arts and Fun. Springtime brought us to Bellingrath Gardens and Home in Alabama, and to the Azalea Trail Maids. During the year, we attended several operas, plays, and music venues. We watched the entire runs of television’s “The Office” and “The Golden Girls” — enjoyable and funny. I’m still trying to understand “24,” though. Hmmmm……

Current Events. We have a President-elect that isn’t a politician, and that’s in line with our Our Founding Fathers’ ideas. “Everyman” can be President. It seems that so many famous people are passing away. Sure, it seems like it, but I’m thinking Baby Boom. There’s a lot in that generation, so deaths will seem more than usual. R. I. P.

What’s in store for 2017? I’m already entering activities and goals into my personal desk planner. Sure, it’ll be more of the same day-to-day things, but with a lot more new roads to explore.

Tonight is a New Year’s Eve party, and I’m looking forward to turning the calendar.

Be happy you’re alive. Be happy you have today. Look forward to tomorrow.

Happy 2017 to you!

As ever,

Susan

 

 

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.