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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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.


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Date Night: At the Movies – “Darkest Hour” and Canned Cheese Spray

When it was time to take a break from the week’s routine, my beau and I headed out for lunch the other day. Though the weather was grey and lightly drizzling, we opted to sit outside on the veranda:

We watched a few golfers get those last couple of balls on the course right before the deluge.

Our meals were good and not so good – my beau’s sausage-pepper-and-onion sandwich on Italian bread was very enjoyable, he told me. I had a cup of mushroom-beef soup, which was outstandingly good (I want the recipe!), but my plate of nachos was something to be desired. It was the canned chili and canned cheese spray that, well, overwhelmed the chips and jalapenos, and it was dreadful.

Afterwards, we went to the show and caught the matinee of “Darkest Hour,” which is a re-telling of the first few weeks of Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s tenure. While Hitler was ramming his way through Europe and getting closer to England, Churchill had his battles with members of Parliament and his poor reputation from the Gallipoli Campaign (1915-16). In a nutshell, many people at the time thought of him as delusional and crazy for seeing that the Allies were losing (at that point), and his refusal to negotiate for peace. However, after a little stumbling and forthright determination, plus much-needed cheerleading, he was confident the public would see that the Allies could win the war.

This was a pretty good movie, and the actor (Gary Oldman) who played Churchill did a great job (although the makeup department made him to look older than what I remember Churchill looking like on film during the early days of World War II). Clementine Hozier Churchill, his wife (played by Kristin Scott), looked so much like Wallis Simpson, that I could see her playing that part if there was a movie made about Edward VIII’s abdication in 1936.

In “Darkest Hour,” there are a couple of events that are what I call “Hollywood’s Artistic License,” such as when Elizabeth Layton Nel began her job as Churchill’s secretary, and his little jaunt through the subway to meet-and-greet the public. Otherwise, the movie did an excellent job showing that Churchill had a rough road to hoe with little cooperation (at first) with Parliament and his past reputation. Yet, as all great leaders learn to do, he did what was right for Great Britain and the ultimately the Allies, and he eventually won over most.

I recommend this film for its close historical accuracy, period costumes, and grand film set.

I don’t recommend the plate of nachos at the restaurant where my beau and I ate, though.

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.


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Dade Battlefield State Park: Going Home

The afternoon was ending and getting chilly again. We spent the day at the Dade Battlefield State Park to watch the annual Dade Battle reenactment. We took a leisurely walk in the forest, ate lunch in a gazebo, and met some of the Seminole and soldier reenactors.

It was time to leave and return home.

We found the area where the actual battle occurred and walked down King’s Road (which is the road the soldiers used when the battle began).

King’s Road

King’s Road

The state park is keeping this area as it looked in 1835 as best as possible.

I spotted a bridge:

An encampment of soldiers along the way:

Monuments denoting where the officers fell:

We took the back roads to see new country. People raise cattle in this part of Florida:

When we got home, I was thirsty, so I dug into my purse for the ginger ale I saved from lunch. It was a little cold and the carbonation tasted good.

Not a product endorsement.

This is last in the series of my articles, “Dade Battlefield State Park.” I hope you enjoyed this.  To read more about this important battle that led to the Second Seminole Wars in Florida, visit the Dade Battlefield Society website.

Morning Meditation: Fan Palm
Dade Battlefield State Park: Nature
Dade Battlefield State Park: Dade’s Battle!
Dade Battlefield State Park: Up Close with the Seminoles, Soldiers, and Trappers
Dade Battlefield State Park: Outtakes and Updates
Dade Battlefield State Park: Going Home
Morning Meditation: A Trio of Florida Pines

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.