Greetings and welcome to the Portal to Hell Edition of You are What You Read.
As I have stated before, I have a serious real estate obsession. Steph! shares this with me and stumbled across a listing in Texas on the outskirts of Houston that is truly something. For $1.275 you could be the proud owner of this 5 bedroom 5 ½ bath on 2 acres overlooking bucolic fields with a creek and cows grazing in the distance.
Sure. This all sounds amazing doesn’t it? Shall we take a quick tour?
The first thing you notice is that there seems to be a sentry at the electric gate. Ok, that’s fine. Security is a good thing. During these troubling times, can you ever have enough?
Let’s walk up to the front door and step into the Foyer. You look up the grand staircase and you are mildly alarmed to see that there are clown paintings mixed in with what has to be whole lotta dead relative portraits which are festooned with bits of lace and ribbon. That’s okay; you tell yourself, decorating is temporary. I can see past that.
Let’s go on to the Formal Living Room, where the Christmas tree seems to be a permanent fixture. You make a conscious decision to ignore the lurking giant doll partially hidden by its boughs. Doll? What doll? Not seeing the doll.
In the Family Room, your heart is lifted and soothed by salve of taxidermy, and again you decide to ignore another doll lounging on the sofa. There’s Taxidermy! We love taxidermy! Bring on some more of that.
In the Kitchen you get excited by the 6 burner Viking. Who wouldn’t? For you bakers, there’s a warming drawer! A triple sink! Thanksgiving will be a snap in such a kitchen. But wait. Is that yet another doll sitting at the breakfast bar? Your sense of ill ease is mounting. Your heart is beginning to gallop. You can’t deny there’s something terribly amiss here.
And then you look at the Library. And there is a doll on the ceiling. And a doll in the corner and a clown doll in another corner. There are, in fact, dolls everywhere. The joint is lousy with dolls of all forms and figures, And yes. Some appear to have teeth.
And that’s when you realize just what this is.
The Portal to Hell is in Texas and it is for sale.
The realtor tries to put a positive spin on this. The owner is an ‘artist’. Look at the lighted cove ceiling of the Master bedroom. So much natural light! Happily, the house is built on a slab so you don’t need to worry about unearthing any basement burials!
Sorry, but that creek out back? I firmly believe that creek could possibly be the River Styx, and that sentry at the gate? Just Charon waiting for you to get on that raft.
Don’t be fooled People! Step away from the raft! But if you must, take a look here is the listing. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Thanks to Steph! for sharing. I think?
This week we have a tragedy, some Ireland, and friends. You gotta have friends.
Let us begin!
Sweet Ann is taking some reading advice this week with Small Mercies by Eddie Joyce. “I loved this family saga that takes place ten years after 9/11. This is an older book that I was not familiar with but it was May's New York Times Book Club selection, so I thought I would give it a try. The story takes place over one week as the family is still struggling to move on after the loss of Bobby, a firefighter killed on 9/11. Bobby was the star of the Amendola family, a fun loving Irish Italian family with great love for one another. The novel delves into the past and explores how the family members ended up where they are physically and emotionally. The story is told by different characters but at is center is Gail, the mother of Bobby. If you are looking for a beautifully written novel with strong characters I highly recommend Small Mercies.”
Spunky Jill McG has just finished one of my favorites Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan. “Author J. Courtney Sullivan provides an engaging story about an Irish Catholic family from Boston and the durability of a family’s fabric through the years. Nora and Theresa Flynn leave their small village in Ireland and travel to America in the late 1950s. Sullivan pulls the reader into the lives of the Rafferty clan as each member navigates their life’s journey while dealing with fallout from past choices. A wonderful summer read that I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend!”
Pat T. Listening. “I have been listening to **You're the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women's Friendships **by Deborah Tannen. The author gives us an illuminating look at women’s friendship. Women celebrate their friendships with other women throughout their lives, offering a support system in everyday life, as well as difficult times. Tannen explores the power of women friends who show empathy, give advice or listen; how women connect to friends and compete; how the fear of being left out or kicked out can be damaging and scarring. The author, a linguistics professor, offers many examples of why women friendships work or fail, help or hurt, and how we can always make them better.”