Susan Marie Molloy

Life in the Oasis


The Cookbook Case (Part 2)

Woke up this morning to a chilly 33*F, and the sun is out to help warm up things.  This past weekend, I made lasagna from Pope’s book, and that helped to warm things up.  Daily life is getting busier since Christmas is a mere fourteen days away.  These are good days to catch up on reading.  Later this week, I’ll write an update to my Advent-Christmas Vacation Reading Gala 2017.

Today, here’s an update to the cookbook shelf we devised, as we make our home.

A little over three months ago, I realized I needed a way to contain all of my cookbooks. When an old bathroom shelf was not useful any more, I thought up a new application for it. The result was pretty and utilitarian, too, as I wrote about in, “The Cookbook Case (Part 1)”.

The shelf after my beau put it up. (c) 2017 Original photograph by Susan Marie Molloy.

Finally, I weeded through my recipe clippings and the duplicate (and triplicate!) copies, too.

The result is that there are no more clippings in disarray, no extra pieces of paper, the recipes I kept are organized neatly in binders, hardcover cookbooks and pamphlets are easy to find, and it’s all so organized.

The shelf today, fully useful.
(c)2017 Original photograph by Susan Marie Molloy.

This was a project I was meaning to do for so many years, and now I can go about other need-to-do projects guilt free.

Now, about those photo albums

©2017 Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.


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From Gold to Silver

There are some projects that work better at certain times of the year: Springtime for planting seeds in the garden, summertime for washing windows. Then there are those little projects that work best inside on a cooler day when you don’t feel like raking leaves.

For around four dollars, I got these four vintage framed plastic birds at an antique mall. They sat in our closet for a while. They needed updating, and badly. The gold edges just weren’t working with our décor, they were tired-looking, and dated. Even a good suds-and-sink hand washing didn’t brighten them.So, out came the bottle of “Shimmering Silver” acrylic paint and a good detailing paintbrush.It took two coats of the paint to cover the old gold frames. What resulted are four newer-looking wild bird wall art pieces that will make their new home in my beau’s office.

The silver looks a little blue in the photograph, but in person, the silver is stunning against the creamy white of the rest of the art!

Not too bad for ninety-nine cents’ worth of paint and about an hour’s worth of work. They look good in the office, too.


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Here Comes the Sun

Picking out the right tchotchkes and other cozy décor to make a home for us can be a little formidable, but also fun if looked at it as an adventure. No matter where I lived, it always took a while to get everything in its place, especially with the time spent unpacking boxes, and finding out that some things we thought would work in a new place, didn’t always work out. They’d be donated, and we’d be out hunting for treasures that would work.

Some of the most interesting, unique things we find are at estate sales. Sometimes these venues are better than a garage sale, since there will be vintage items and items in good to excellent condition. Of course, you might have to pay the price when it comes to paying for what treasure you find; estate sales garner higher asking dollars.

We were at such an estate sale recently. I spotted a piece of metal wall art that I call “the sun with leaves.” It’s sort of a butternut or burnt orange color – perfect for our home to offset the lilac color of the walls.  In its former life, it probably was hung outside on the house, since I found some superficial rust behind the metal leaves.  When we brought it home, I wiped it down to get rid of the dust.

“Dusted and Ready to Be Put Up”

Hanging it up was easy, thanks to my beau – a little measuring, a little nail-pounding, and voilà! It was up.

“Nailing It”

“Hanging It Up”

I think it looks pretty nice up there, filling up some of that dead wall space.

“Here Comes the Sun with Leaves”

©2017 Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.

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Jim Arrived

Several weeks ago, I wrote about a piece of outdoor wall art we ordered and planned to hang by the front door to give the dreary area some pizzazz. We christened the piece of art (a head of the Roman god of woodlands and wine) “Jim Bacchus,” and you can read about that HERE in my article, “Jim.”

Our front door area remained bare for weeks after we ordered him:

However, Jim was on back order all that time – until now.  He arrived yesterday. We were excited, and so was one of our dogs:We went outside, and my beau used a “no hole hanger” that attaches to vinyl siding.  There’s no hole-drilling into the siding, which keeps everything clean.

Now Jim hangs outside, greeting visitors.  It’s these little things that help make a cozy home.

©2017 Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.


Making a Home

There’s no secret that I enjoy housekeeping and making a home. Sure, there’s the budgeting, window washing, scheduling maintenance, grocery shopping, washing clothes, cleaning house, making the nest inviting and cozy – all those sorts of things. Yet, there’s more to it.

One of the aspects of homemaking I like is to make attractive table settings and meal presentations. Why save Aunt Sally’s good china or Grandma’s silverware for only Christmas and Easter? Every day should be special. That’s not to say that occasionally I don’t whip out the Dixie® paper plates, paper napkins, and plasticware. I do. But more times than not, table settings are non-disposable.

We were having Chinese sweet and sour chicken for lunch one day this past week. First, I made a pot of green tea in my earthenware teapot from Poland. For napkins, I took out the lipstick-red linen ones that I hand embroidered. They have an Oriental flair to them, including the stylized letter “M” and the pink cherry blossom. Since forks and knives wouldn’t do for this special lunch, I added our personal, fancy chopsticks:

And you know what? It made the Chinese carry-out my beau picked up all that more special.

©2017 Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.