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Tag Archives: Tales from Daily Life

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 then went outside, and my beau used a “no hole hangar” 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.

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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.


Flower Delivery

When the weather was sultry, on a day where the sun was suspended high above and blistering the Earth, my beau and I spotted a lonely sign on an equally lonely road: “Shiloh.”  This was a spur-of-the-moment adventure.

We drove along a winding, curving, canopied asphalt road, searching for the cemetery, examining each fork in the road, turning this way and that, until the entrance appeared:

This was a small cemetery, not as old as I imagined it would be, but still peppered with graves as old as 1896 and as new as last year.

Walking alone, I stumbled on a bouquet of yellow silk roses, lifeless on the dusty earth, its jaundiced petals immobile, even in the slight breeze.

Looking left and right, I saw no close-by grave. To whom do these belong?

I picked them up, and at the first grave I spotted – a solitary, lonely headstone – I dropped the bouquet and said a prayer for someone’s mom.

©2017 Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.


Passport, Please.

I had just put down a few freshly washed russet potatoes on the cutting board and was stretching for the utility knife, when my beau yanked open the kitchen door.

“Well, that was quick.” I hadn’t expected him for a few more minutes, since he was out to get the mail.

“I didn’t go yet,” he said, practically breathless. “Come with me.”

And out the door I went:

The turtle was huge, bigger than my smaller dog. We guessed it weighed about 30 pounds.

✿●▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬●✿

As my beau was heading out for his walk, he found the turtle sitting in the middle of the street intersection, balled up inside its shell. Worried someone would run over the little guy, my beau bravely picked him up, and walked back in the hot sun to our cottage.

After a few phones calls to the veterinarian and then to the Wildlife people, we learned that it’s preferred that any found turtle be left as is, since it mostly likely is heading somewhere. Good. Now we know.

Yet the funniest part of this story is the conversation, or rather, the questions the Wildlife person asked:

Where was the turtle headed? Sorry, we don’t know. It was sitting in the middle of the intersection.

What was it doing? Just lying there, hiding in its shell.

Was it scared?  Maybe.  It was hard to tell since it was hiding in its shell.

Was it going anywhere? Well, we didn’t ask to see its passport, so we don’t know.

We put the turtle on the lawn. Quickly (yes, quickly), he scurried over to the other side of the street and headed back towards the intersection. We looked in that area about a half hour later, and he was nowhere to be found.

©Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within.


Morning Meditation: November Sun


If Custer Survived The Little Big Horn

Last night, I was cleaning out my phone’s Kindle app, deleting book samples, and determining which books will be on my Christmas vacation reading list. When I came across the following book titles (see screenshot below), I saw General George Armstrong Custer‘s book, “My Life in Pants.”

Really?

That’s what I get for scanning and glossing over something like this when I’m tired—

Then again, it could be the start of a twisted fantasy history tale of Custer in the tailoring or dry cleaning business after he left the Army.

 

©2017 Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.


Pushing It

I am just old enough to remember when Christmas decorations in the stores went up the day after Thanksgiving, which was the same day Christmas carols started playing on the radio, and families in the old neighborhood put up their outside decorations, come mild or bitter cold breezes off Lake Michigan. In fact, it was a treat to go Downtown to see what Marshall Field’s window themes were for any given year, but you couldn’t do that until after Thanksgiving.

Slowly, decorations and the not-so-subtle hinting at great store bargains began creeping up before Thanksgiving, and so much so that well, nowadays you can stick your head into any one of several ginormous arts-crafts-sewing stores, and yes, The Decorations are up and serenaded by Eartha Kitt belting out “Santa Baby.” In July. Or – gasp! – June.

My Ma told me that when she was growing up, nobody put up decorations – including at home – until Christmas Eve. If you watch old movies (like I do), you might see the same craziness in any given Holiday-themed movie. I could be mistaken, but Barbara Stanwyck didn’t put up her tree until Christmas Eve in the 1945 movie, “Christmas in Connecticut.” And if I remember my history right, it was Franklin Delano Roosevelt who got the ol’ ball rolling with asking stores to start their Christmas season right after Thanksgiving. It was to get the draggy Great Depression economy rolling again, you know.

I’m not blaming anyone for the whole moving-Christmas-up-and-up-and-up. It’s just that it would be so nice to have that spirit, that goodwill feeling, that feeling of brotherhood and love all year ‘round, or at least during the six months’ time those decorations are up and Der Bingle starts dreaming of his ”White Christmas.”  People have become so numb and zombie-like with every holiday, in fact.

I read a tract somewhere wherein a priest wrote that in the anticipation of a baby’s birth, the joy of it coming didn’t end on the day it was born. In fact, the greater joy came on its birth day, and continued well past that day, throughout the years. Conversely, with Christmas, people have all this joy and merry-making for Jesus’ birth (if that’s how they observe the holy day), but it fizzles out the day after Christmas. I found that interesting, and it makes sense.  But it doesn’t.   What has Christmas become? You and I know that answer.

Still, I’d like that total societal feeling of consideration, love, and cordialness year ‘round, but maybe that’s too “Pollyanna,” and I’ve become jaded.

But it is worth a try. Isn’t it?

What I saw this past week:

“From the newspaper and around town.”

©2017 Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.

 


Heaven on the Shelves (Part 2)

My beau and I explored a new territory for us of late – a used book store. We recognized that as soon as we stepped across the threshold, we were in a paradise of sorts. Hundreds – thousands? – of dog-eared paperbacks and slightly moldy, fragrant hardcovers sat stiffly straight or lazily askew on shelves that touched the ceiling. Giggling as our eyes bounced from topic to topic, we wandered up some aisles and meandered down others.

Yes, indeed there was that book I’ve been meaning to get, sitting at the top of one shelf, the one that’s been on my Goodreads list for well over three years. It would have to wait for now, I thought.  Maybe there’s something else here I want more.

As I negotiated a stepladder and turned the corner, a double stack of Perry Mason paperbacks revealed themselves. I picked up a couple titles in that sudden discovery.

Then – around another corner and down yet another aisle, there it was: a small, five-by-seven-inch soft, brown leather covered book with gold lettering. My heart leapt when I saw the author, and I carefully opened the cover:


The next page was even more revealing, more exciting, more mysterious:

Phil gave Mimi this Ben Hecht book for Christmas in 1925. And Christmas that year was on a Friday. This is all I know, besides all the questions: Who were they to one another? What were their surnames? How old were they? Where did they live? How did Phil present this gift? How did Mimi react? Did she read the book in its entirely? How in Heaven’s name did this gem wind up in a used book store ninety-two years later?

It’s now on the end table next to my reading chair, ready to be savored.

©2017 Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.


The Flying Lips, or What the—?

It’s true that one can find some of the most interesting things in our world without actually looking for them. When these oddities show up, they become even more remarkable and fascinating and joy-bringing, like a surprise gift on a day that’s not your birthday or Christmas.

Early one morning, when my beau took the dogs outside for their morning business, he popped his head back into the house and called to me.

“I just saw the craziest thing. That moth out there— it has lips.”

I put down my dish towel. “Really? That moth on the back porch screen?”

“Yes. It has, like, avant garde lips. Avant garde. They’re not pink, just dead-looking lips. And avant garde.”

So, taking my camera outside in the foggy air, I walked up to the Moth with Avant Garde Lips.

Here’s the view, looking at its underside:

Fascinating, don’t you think?

©2017 Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.


T-Rex and the Floating Orbs

In my travels, some of the most unusual sights pop up when I least expect them. Mostly, as I go on my merry way, I’m looking for something else, or nothing at all, and wham! there it is.

On a tranquil country road, in the late morning one day, ol’ Tyrannosaurs Rex appeared. Well, it was more like his bleached white skeleton standing frozen in a front yard.

“T-Rex and the Floating Orbs”
(c)2017 Susan Marie Molloy Original Photograph

What become more intriguing were the two floating bluish orbs behind the skeleton when I looked at the photograph later that day. Cretaceous Period meets Preternatural Phantasms.

Logic tells me the orbs are reflections of moisture from the car window.

Or are they?—

©2017 Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.


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