“Humor! Truth! Creativity! Great vocab words! Molly's blog has it all!”
Eileen Sweeney, Yahoo Media 

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HELLO AGAIN!

It has been such a long time, I know. I have an excuse. We have not had internet at our new apartment since we moved in. I could not blog. This was not a tragedy for any of you, probably. But wait, there’s more!  It was very hard on me, because I haven’t been able to watch TV for nearly a month.

This means I have missed all the good shows that everyone is talking about, like The Crown, PBS Newshour with Judy Woodruff (Judy is the person I wish lived next door), House Hunters International (I probably missed at least six Paris apartments), and on and on.

The evenings. I am busy all day, with the usual errands, housekeeping, microwaving, etc. But the evenings! I have read so many books, I can no longer stand the sight of my Kindle. All my Christmas shopping had to be done in a WiFi cafe, for pity’s sakes. Therefore, I have over-caffeinated for a month, and my nerves are jangling.

The guy set the whole shebang up yesterday. So last night, I binged on the Ellen Holiday Giveaway show, which I normally would not watch, but the Geek Squad haven’t come over yet to tell us how to get all the streaming things like Acorn TV, Netflix, and HBO. So I was stuck with network television last night. It was fine. Boy, Ellen has aged!

Anyway, I am back, and now that all the pictures are hung and the boxes unpacked, I will be blogging away again. I hope you missed me–all ten of you who subscribe to this blog.

Gotta go. Flip or Flop is on.

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WE SURVIVED!

The last time I moved into a new house was 27 years ago. It was February, the sidewalks were icy, and one of the moving men slipped and dropped our sofa on his legs. I remember it as being both traumatic and exhausting. Charlie, who at that time was working full-time as an outstanding member of the educational community, had a meeting in Washington, DC two days after our move. He was to be gone an entire week.

As a result, I pushed him and our two daughters like some sort of slave driver. My goal was to have the entire house unpacked, all pictures hung, and boxes gone before Charlie left town. It nearly killed us, but we did it.

This time around, our children are grown and gone. So we were minus two able bodied workers. We began the move on a Friday, just as we did 27 years ago. Luckily, the weather was good. However, my goal was the same: the apartment had to be totally done by the following Thursday, Thanksgiving, because we were having the one local daughter and her husband over for the day. I wanted them to be wowed by the place. This time, we did have two additional days to accomplish this, but keep in mind that we are also 27 years older than we were that other time.

It is one hundred steps from the elevator to our front door. We both put in thousands of steps during that time, many of them lugging heavy boxes. At one point, I said to myself, “How on earth do farmers do this? The bending. The pulling. And what about athletes? All of the lifting weights, the lunging, and the hefting!” By the end of the second day of this, my back was on fire, my knees ached, and I had bruises on my thighs from banging lamp bases and picture frames against them.

But we did it! And it was a cordial and joyous process. However, we both agree that we will never move again voluntarily. The next move will involve wheelchairs and white coats.

Here are a couple of pictures of the apartment. Airy, bright, modern, and beautiful. I have a walk-in closet, for heaven’s sakes. An eight foot kitchen island! All new furniture! I pinch myself every day and wonder how long the novelty will last. I still feel as if I am visiting someone else’s house.

If you live in Dayton, come to our estate sale. The first day is December 12. Sofas, oriental rugs, lamps, dishes, silver, and all sorts of goodies. 625 Oakwood Avenue in Oakwood. You will find something you love, I am sure!

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DO NOT THOW ANYTHING AWAY

There is a set of directions for anyone who is moving, getting rid of things, and having the rest of their belongings featured in an estate sale. I have been to estate sales, but I have never had one.

The folks who are handling our sale are experts. They have been doing these sales for over thirty years, and their list of clients is impressive. Therefore, they have a whole lot of credibility. They handed me a list of “dos and don’ts,” which I am following to the letter.

The main rule, which I unwittingly violated before I hired the estate sale people, is NEVER THROW ANYTHING AWAY OR DONATE IT. Apparently, people will buy anything. I got rid of a whole bunch of things I shouldn’t have, such as the Le Creuset roaster that weighed ten pounds, a bundt pan, fifteen mismatched place mats, and a boatload of Tupperware. That was before I hired the estate sale people. Now I know better.

So, as you can see in the photo above, I am counting on one estate sale attendee who has a craving for Cream of Celery Soup. I also have a small dish full of paperclips, my collection of purloined hotel soaps, an unopened container of Metamucil, six plastic rulers, my collection of vintage lint rollers, and of course, guest towels for every occasion.

I will be selling things that will have more general appeal as well: antiques, oriental rugs, two sets of dishes, a dining table (antique) and eight chairs, sofas galore, my extensive collection of antique stoneware pottery, and much more.

Another rule for estate sales that has merit: DO NOT ATTEND YOUR OWN ESTATE SALE. This is to prevent the emotional trauma of watching complete strangers “pawing” through your things and perhaps making disparaging remarks. This is particularly pertinent for me, as I am certain that I would try to A: punch someone commenting that “Only old people would want any of this stuff,” or B: try to buy back my own things in a fit of remorse.

If you live in Dayton, come on over to the sale. It starts December 12 and ends December 15 at 625 Oakwood Avenue, Oakwood 45419. Get there on the first day, while the soup is still available…

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IN A PERFECT WORLD

In a perfect world:

  • My house would be sold.
  • I would be mistaken for Meryl Streep.
  • I would hate dessert.
  • My husband would be a harpist, not an accordionist.
  • Pancakes would be good for you.
  • I would fall asleep the moment my head hit the pillow.
  • Politics would be boring.
  • The climate would insist on staying the same.
  • Zantac would still be on the market.
  • Donald would be a great first name.
  • I would have fifteen best friends.
  • Aspirin would cure cancer.
  • We could all sing Baby Shark once and then stop.
  • All dogs would be friendly.
  • The day after Christmas would not be depressing.
  • My roots would grow in black.
  • We would all know how to operate our devices.
  • No one would need deodorant.
  • Eggnog would be outlawed.
  • I would love hiking.
  • Tums would come in chocolate flavor.
  • Nobody would misunderstand how to correctly use the apostrophe.
  • Grocery store tomatoes would be delicious.
  • My house would be sold.
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CALLOOH CALLAY!

A frabjous day indeed, when a book comes out! The official day is October 22, but my third novel is shipping already. The first few editions had a typesetting error, which has been corrected, but if you preordered a copy, your book may have some missing letter “d’s” in the opening sentences of each chapter. That will not affect your understanding. This has been corrected, and if your book has the glitch, I apologize.

This story is of misfits, bullying, grief, dogs, and friendship. Wounds that heal, and wrongs that get righted. I loved writing it. I loved the characters, and I was sad to see it end.

I am so hopeful that many of you will buy it, read it, and take the few minutes to post a review on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Reviews sell books, and I would love to sell a lot of these!

The next few weeks will be challenging as we sell our house and move into a beautiful apartment in Downtown Dayton. I will keep you posted on that front. I expect to be exhausted.

My next book will be my magnum opus. I am working on it, hoping to finish it before 2021. It is about family, sisters, mothers and daughters, and the devastation wrought when secrets are kept. I have high hopes for this one.

Wish me luck on my move! I will post some pictures of the finished apartment when we get there. In the meantime, posts may be spotty. But you will have The World Came to Us to keep you company!

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SMALLS

All of my life, I have loved tiny things. I wished I could find a fairy house in the trunk of a tree. I wanted to go inside a mouse hole to see all the little furniture that was in there. Beatrix Potter and the rabbits in their little blue coats. All of it.

As I grew up, I collected smalls. Every place in my house has them: little animals, vases that will fit just one little clover bloom. Tea sets for children. I have so many of these, and I love them all.

We are moving very soon, to a lovely, modern apartment way up high. It has huge windows, lots of light, and an open floor plan. I ordered all new furniture. There will be just one bookcase, in the living room, for books and the few accessories I will choose to put in the shelves. But tiny things will be lost in it.

This means that most of my tinies will have to be left behind, sold in the estate sale after we move. I will take just a few of them to set on my bureau, the one in the walk-in closet. The new, stylish chests I bought for the bedroom won’t readily accommodate little things. So this means I have to choose wisely. Can you believe it? I am losing sleep over this! I have taken to wandering around my house, speaking softly to my little things, apologizing to the ones I have to leave behind.

My mind changes every day. I worry about this all the time. No, I don’t want to get one of those typesetter boxes with all of the little openings. That is just not my style, and I think those went out of vogue in the eighties. Nope, I will just have to choose.

Neither of my children particularly likes small things, and so giving them to my girls isn’t an option. I suppose I can take a few more than I need, and rotate them on my bureau top. I will do that. But still, many of my favorites will have to be left.

It is a good problem to have. There are so many big terrible things in the world. So I straighten my shoulders, take a few more laps around my big, old house, and say my goodbyes.

 

 

 

 

 

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NEW YORK DIARY, or IF YOU CAN BREAK IT THERE, YOU CAN BREAK IT ANYWHERE

The Big Apple. I went there. So many things to share.

The best thing about New York is its maneuverability. Cars are unnecessary. Not like in Los Angeles, where a person has to get on some sort of highway (they call them by the numbers, like “take the 405,” which is completely confusing, because they aren’t in any sort of order to begin with) and fight gridlock for hours in order to go somewhere. In NYC, the streets are numbered (well, most of them, anyway), and they make sense. For instance, if you are going to 34th Street, and the street you come to is 35th, you know you are walking in the wrong direction.

I walked to the Main Library. You know, the one with the lions. Unfortunately, the lions were enclosed by huge wooden boxes, but I knew they were in there. I walked back home. 40 blocks. No sweat.

I walked to meet my friend for dinner. Just followed the numbered streets. Actually, Google maps provides walking directions, so that helped immensely. We ate delicious New York food, and then I walked back to my apartment. Easy peasy.

I saw New York dogs, who all looked slightly neurotic to me, New York brownstones, one of which I stayed in. The one above is a prime example. However, it was not the one I stayed in. The one I was in was a bit more low budget, but you get my drift. Brownstones are the bomb. The New York deli: some are dumps, but if you hit it right, the matzo ball soup is so good it is beyond describing.

There was the 911 museum, which made me very emotional. No one visiting there made a sound. It was eerie–but a beautiful remembrance to the victims and the responders. The Chelsea Market was so much fun; I wished I hadn’t had a cheese sandwich in the apartment before I went there, because the food in all the little restaurants looked delish. Fishs Eddy. My favorite store. I got New York tea towels. One can’t have enough New York tea towels. Even if you don’t like tea that much.

Then, it happened. I like a neat abode, even when it is owned by an anonymous Airbnb host. So I made my bed every day. On Monday, five days before I was due to leave town, I stubbed my toes resoundingly on the leg of the bed, which was obscured by the bedskirt. I heard an actual CRACK as it happened.

I looked down, and sure enough, the swelling had commenced. The pain searing through my foot, up my calf, and turning my stomach confirmed that I had most certainly broken a toe.

I had a writers’ luncheon to attend. Fiona Davis, Wendy Walker, Elyssa Friedland, and other famous authors were going to be there. Damn it, I had to go. So I limped into a cab and went. However, I had forgotten that this was the very day that Greta Thunberg was addressing the UN and shaming Donald Trump. After an hour in the cab, it was evident that I wouldn’t make the luncheon. So I got out and walked the rest of the way. To put it mildly, it was pure agony.

I went straight from the luncheon to an emergency clinic, spent four hours in the waiting room and five actual minutes with a doctor, who determined that I had broken not one, but two toes. The word “acute” was the only one he used that I understood.

I had to leave NYC early, because standing and walking had become nearly impossible, even in the stylish ten pound boot that the doctor’s office provided. The saga of getting through security at the airport is for another blog post. But I am home again in Dayton, where icing and propping are the order of the day.

But, damn it,  I got my bite out of the Big Apple.

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THE BIG APPLE

My bag is packed.

A writer’s retreat, New York City. Two weeks. One person, one apartment, one computer, two pairs of walking shoes, and six completed chapters. What do I hope to accomplish?

I need to focus on what I am writing. Here at home, we are selling our house, packing up, and planning to move in late October. It is so hard to think about writing when getting ready for open houses and prioritizing tchochkes looms so large.

So, starting next Sunday, I arrive in the Apple, get myself situated, and begin to concentrate on my magnum opus. This one is a serious undertaking, with the expectations of my publisher for “something to rival Anna Quindlen” on the line. I will keep a New York diary, and post some of my experiences here, so you can “go along” to the big city with me.

Wish me luck. I’ll eat a slice of NY pizza for you!

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BOOK NEWS

This is the back cover of my newest novel, THE WORLD CAME TO US. I am so excited, because it is now available for preorder on Kindle. The physical book releases October 22! This was two years in the making, and I am thrilled that it is coming out so soon. If you are a Kindle reader, please place you order now. That is so helpful in boosting the book’s profile on Amazon. And of course, after you read it, I would so appreciate an Amazon review.

I am working on novel four. I leave for New York on September 15, to spend two weeks writing and living alone in Chelsea. I am so involved here in Dayton with trying to sell my house, clearing out attic, cupboards, and closets, that I can’t focus on writing. This trip will be a Godsend.

Wish me luck with the new book, and please read this one. If I could, I would hug every single one of you!

Thank you!

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