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Tag Archives: Color

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.

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Royal Ball

One afternoon, while out running errands, my beau and I stopped by an antique store, just for fun. It was on the way to one of our destinations, so why not?

Oh, yes, there were the usual things: old dishes, toys, knickknacks, crystal, books, and whatnot. Then, around a corner, appeared these beauties:

“Queen of the Ball”

“King of the Ball”

These were costumes made with satin, beads, sequins, faux fur, and feathers. They were listed as “Mardis Gras King and Queen Costumes.” The white satin gown glittered with silver and golden sequins and beads under the store’s lights, while the feathers softly swayed in the breeze from the ceiling fan. The white, gold, and silver king’s cape, trimmed in faux ermine, looked heavy and sumptuous draped across a railing.

The gown was listed at a couple bucks under a thousand; the king’s cape somewhere around nine hundred.

Ah, if money was no object, and we had a castle.  Or a parade float—

©2017 Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.


Morning Meditation: Streaked Sunrise

Original photograph (c)2017 Susan Marie Molloy, all rights reserved.


The Light of Day

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Old Neighborhood Zinnias

Back in the old neighborhood, enjoying the last of summer’s zinnias.


August Dawn

My morning view.


Pink Avian

Roseate spoonbill. Original photograph by ©Susan Marie Molloy.

Roseate spoonbill. Original photograph by ©Susan Marie Molloy.

Some years ago, while we travelled along the gulf coast of Florida, we stopped at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary in Indian Shores, Florida. This was a spur-of-the-moment stop when we saw the sign leading to the sanctuary.

The sanctuary was filled with a variety of birds, both familiar and unusual. One type that caught my eye was the roseate spoonbill.

I first saw these pink birds on a kayak trip with friends a few years ago, when I spied a small flock of them fly from a heavily-wooded shore to the water. I never knew they existed, and they are not flamingos!

Roseate spoonbills are related to the ibis and spoonbill families. They are found east of the Andes Mountains in South America, and in the Caribbean, Mexico, and along the United States’ Gulf Coast.

They are quite large, with a wingspan as much as 52 inches. Their color is diet-resultant, just like American Flamingos, and their pink feathers can range from magenta to pale pink. Age also plays a part in their coloring. The roseate spoonbill diet consists of aquatic insects, crustaceans, small fish, and frogs.

These are quite unusual and interesting birds.  I was glad a couple of them allowed me to get close and take their photograph!

©Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within.


On the Path to Zen

Japanese Gardens, Chicago Botanic Garden (c) Original Photograph by Susan Marie Molloy

Japanese Gardens, Chicago Botanic Garden (c) Original Photograph by Susan Marie Molloy


Blue and Grey Sunrise

 

"Stormy Sunrise" Original photograph ©SusanMarieMolloy

“Stormy Sunrise”
Original photograph ©SusanMarieMolloy

On the edge of a growing February morning storm, the sun peeks above thick clouds, tentatively considering at the start of the day – a blue sky mixed with serene white clouds and the approaching grey tempest.

©SusanMarieMolloy, and all works within.


BOOK REVIEW: Twilight’s Indian Princess: Book I

I'm a member of Rosie's Book Review Team.

I’m a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team.

If you have an empty block on your kitchen wall calendar this summer, “Twilight’s Indian Princess” by Margaret Jean Langstaff might just be the thing to fill in that space. This is fifth in my series of book reviews; I hope that my recommendations inspire you to read these books.
……….

Ever have “that kind of day” where nothing goes as intended? Ever have one of “those” days that actually spread across years—maybe across a lifetime? Ever realize everyone around you is perpetually demanding, needing, pulling, provoking, and commanding even more from you while your see your life go unendingly neglected and suitably unfulfilled? Ever feel like dumping all it back on their heads like a hot mess and taking your life back for yourself?

Margaret Jean Langstaff brings this all together in “Twilight’s Indian Princes” through her protagonist, Sarah Sloan McCorkle, and frames the scenes into delightful, and at times, hilarious vignettes. This is a novelette short enough (40 pages) to read on the train to the office or during the lunch hour.

The story is framed around Sarah Sloan McCorkle and how her family treats her: from her nagging mother; to her sweet, yet ever-wanting, children; to her husband who, despite supposedly being below her station in life, she loves and appreciates and married anyway.

We see Sarah look at herself one day, and feeling “mired in her dark wintery responsibilities of daily life,” she looks to begin “to focus on focusing.” And so, one day, she focuses on the blank squares on the kitchen wall calendar. She sees them as representing unscheduled family activities, yet she sees them—perhaps subconsciously—akin to the empty spaces in her life, where others convinced her to follow a safe, traditional path rather than the “risky, dangerous” avant-garde profession of which she dreamed and was gifted to do. She wanted to fill those spaces, and if she couldn’t fill them post haste with her own dreams, she at least wanted to fill them with time for herself, even if it happened to be “up to her neck in fragrant froth” in the bathtub. Indeed, she “was beginning to enjoy her time off from Time.”

Yet, as the Scottish poet Robert Burns once wrote, “The best laid schemes of mice and men oft go awry,” and that is how Sarah’s day continued. We watch as she deals with an incident that finally snaps her, and thereafter, we follow her to more serene and introspective moments.

Margaret Jean Langstaff has a writing style that keeps the reader’s attention, and the reader must reciprocate by paying close attention. There are well-written long sentences, like streams of consciousness. Humor pervades throughout the pages. I laughed at a scene where “a hush puppy whizzed across the table and hit [Sarah] on the nose.” The author made the scene even more powerful when “Sarah set aside her fork, dabbed her lips, folded her napkin, lay it down next to her plate and stood up.” We know by now something is afoot, something quite unexpected.

The author gives several characters perfect southern accents with questionable grammatical structures that you can fairly hear amplifying from the pages yet not think twice about. It’s natural. The letters that Sarah’s children write to her are convincingly children’s voices. To Sarah, Wesley, her husband, is a “cave man” and “gorilla,” yet he is likeable with an unforgettable regional voice, peppered with out-of-date words, particularly one.

Margaret Jean Langstaff writes lovely descriptive scenes, most particularly:

“Her mind went all loose and bubbly and took off on its own, unmoored and rudderless, and sailing here, there, everywhere, like a drunken butterfly floating through the warm moist air, darting off, alighting, tasting, returning, then fluttering off to something else.”

Sarah saw her life the same way: rudderless, darting off, fluttering off to something else, and she was looking for what she wanted, not what everyone else wanted. She wanted to be free, unrestricted as a horse running in the open plains.

“Twilight’s Indian Princess” is quirky, yet fun, and stimulates familiarity and reflection. Initially, I wasn’t sure of where the story was headed, but as I kept reading, I found some ways to identify with Sarah and the people around her.

I recommend “Twilight’s Indian Princess” for a fun, quick read. Indeed, you may find things in common with some, or all, of the characters.

You can find it HERE on Amazon.

© Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and any works here on this site without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


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