Bless Our Hearts

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Feasts And Fiestas

Melissa and Jessie and August and I went to El Jalisco, American Breakfast, Mexican Dinner for our breakfast this morning. It's in Eastpoint which is right across the bridge from the island and also right across another bridge from Apalach and it's a very popular place for breakfast and extremely reasonable, to say the least and we had a fine breakfast with everything from hash browns and biscuits to hueveos rancheros and tortillas. Then we drove on over to Apalach and did a little shopping. We stopped in at the local brewery and Lily and Jessie got the sampler platter and we sat under the blooming Confederate Jasmine, the very air as intoxicating as anyone could hope for.
It was cooler today and lovely and after an embarrassingly short time we were ready for lunch.
We went to the Owl and August sat in his high chair and it was like eating with Brad Pitt or a Kardashian or something. EVERYONE had to stop and talk to him and ask his name and remark on his pretty eyes. He got a little fussy and I took him for a walk outside where a French lady (I could tell not only from her accent but her French-Women-Don't-Get-Fat figure and her simple, elegantly chic appearance) said, "Oh, he is the most beautiful baby!"

We got salads and they were delicious and we dined rather than merely eating and then we came on back to the beach because Melissa had to get home to Tallahassee.
Jessie and August and I all took naps and then we got up and did our sunset walk.
Here's what August looked like before we left.

I like this picture because it looks like he took a selfie.

The beach at sunset time:


So it's just the three of us tonight but tomorrow Lily and Maggie and Gibson are coming and my sweetheart too and I will be so glad to see all of them. I miss that man of mine and I miss my other grands too and I think on Friday Jason will be bringing Owen down. It will be a full house and busy and noisy and lively and fun. 
I've enjoyed these quieter times too, though, sleeping on my big bed, half of it completely unused, the pillows all piled up, my books and magazines stashed there for my reading pleasure but I'm ready for some snuggling and hand-holding. I've watched August make such strides in the last few days, inching his way across the floor and then sitting up all on his own. He makes the funniest noises and the biggest smiles and giggles and he's all the entertainment we've needed. He chewed a lemon slice and two cucumber slices at lunch and he's brown as a little peanut. I can't wait to see him with Maggie and to hear Gibson's and Owen's pronouncements on this beach house, to see them play in the water and on the beach. I wonder if Gibson will still roll around in the sand like a little puppy the way he did the last time we were at the beach together, turning into something resembling a sugar doughnut.

Well, that's it from the beach tonight. 

All love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

St. George Report, Day Three

How to have morning coffee at the beach. 

Ah, lah. Another beach day and today I actually went to the beach. Before we left Tallahassee I bought this.

Best fifty dollars I ever spent.
Okay. Sort of.
But seriously- I hauled a tent thing, an umbrella, two chairs, a baby pool, a float, a sand bucket and shovel, and other assorted items down to the beach in ONE TRIP! God. How wonderful. I wish I'd had one of these when I was a young mama.

This was my view for much of the day.

I stayed under the umbrella and wore a linen shirt over my bathing suit and still got too much sun on my back. And I'm no virgin-white-skinned tourist, either. I got in the water and paddled about and Jessie and I put a little Sun-In on our hair and August had a good time splashing in his little pool under the canopy tent. 

He looked extremely cool in his sunglasses but he pulled them off in about five seconds.

Today was May and Michael's last day here. We had so much fun with them and May got to spend time with her sweet nephew August. 

I think that August may think we're the same person. 

I took a paparazzi shot of May and Michael, walking in the surf before they left. 

Michael is such a loving husband. Anything May wants to do, he wants to do with her.
"I'm going to take a little walk," she might say. "Do you want to go? You don't have to."
"I'll go," he says, and they are so beautiful together. I was holding August under the umbrella and we were spying on them as they kissed in the surf. 
"Auntie May and Uncle Michael are kissing," I told him. I kissed his little sun-screened head and said, "I am kissing you. But it's not the same."

Before they left, Jessie's best friend from forever showed up to stay with us. Melissa and Jessie have known each other since they were children and have grown up together and played music together and now Jessie is a mama and Melissa just got her Master's Degree in Media and Communication, specializing in Environmental Communication. We are so proud of her. It is so nice to have her here. 

 We've walked to the new Piggly Wiggly store on the island which is AMAZING. It had more offerings of Bob's Red Mill products than I've ever seen in one store as well as all of the more affordable Piggly Wiggly brands and nice produce and a beautiful meat case and a beer selection that impressed Melissa who just got back from Germany and whose boyfriend is a beer aficionado. A perfect sort of combintion of affordable and gourmet right there in one blue building. 

Gratuitous August picture. 

Beautiful mama on our sunset walk. 

I'm going to go make some shrimp quesadillas now. 

I am missing this. 

Jessie and Melissa are playing peek-a-boo with August on the couch and watching a Harry Potter movie on the TV. 
August is shrieking in his dinosaur language with joy and excitement. 

It's been a very fine day. 

Night, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, May 2, 2016

August At The Beach

We've had a good day here at the Sangria Sunrise on St. George Island. We had an extremely leisurely morning and then we finally pulled it together and did a little walking to various retail places and May bought a gorgeous dress and Jessie bought some cool sandals and we went to lunch and bought shrimp from Doug's although Doug was not our shrimp vendor. Unless Doug has gotten a lot younger and lost a ton of weight.
Which I doubt.

We've spent a lot of time just being entertained by August who is one of the most delightful children on the planet. And funny. And smart.
I was told by Sweet Jo that I needed to post more pictures of the boy and so I going to do just that.

He wasn't quite sure about the sand at first. Especially after he stuck his sandy hand in his mouth and tasted it. 
But then he started thinking it was sort of all right. 

Next thing you knew, he became the Boss of the Beach. 

This is how he is trying to crawl. Frankly, I think he just wants to stand up and walk. But he can cover some ground. 

After a good, sandy time at the beach, there is nothing better than a nice, warm bath. 

So there you go and here you are. 

I've had a little beach walk, a dip in the gulf, a hundred laughs, tens and tens of kisses and snorgles, done some reading, taken a nap, been so happy to be here in one of the skinny houses on St. George with some of my children and one of my grands.

Love...Ms. Moon, aka Mermer

How To Decorate At The Beach

So. Beach house decor:

These are but a few of the oh-so-charming themed reminders here at the Sangria Sunrise that we are, in fact, at the beach. If, you know, you forget to look out the windows to see the actual beach. 

Such is rental beach house tradition. 

Here's a lizard.

Look at that tail!


The old apartments are still here, now painted purple. One half of the "complex" is now a henna tattoo place but the other side where we always stayed? 
Still apartments. 

The yard actually looks better than it used to. 

Ah. The memories. 

Love from St. George...Ms. Moon

Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Beach. Holy Place.

We are directly across the street from the then-abandoned building where I used to climb up to the roof to listen to the cicadas every night. These skinny houses are something and have three floors of skinny steps and after hauling all of our stuff upstairs every one of my delusions about being in shape at all were shattered.
But I didn't die and here we are and it is most comfortable although I do sort of miss the funky charm of the old Simmons place we've usually stayed in. I feel very guilty because I am staying in the master bedroom all by myself with the huge bed and the bathroom with the jets in the tub and the dresser and the bedside tables with lights and the balcony out onto the beach but there is a part of me which says that this is what I need. By god I am the old mama, the matriarch.
Still. I feel guilty.
I'm going to try and get over it.
May and Michael are here and May is making us a huge salad and chicken enchiladas from Costco are in the oven. August is happy and asleep for the moment.

We made drinks and took a walk down on the beach at sunset time.

It was beautiful. 

Skinny houses.

My computer is acting a little wonky which is scary but we go on. 

See you tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon


I would be totally remiss did I not quote my darling Lynn today as is my ritual.

"First of May, First of May. Outdoor fucking begins today."

May ye gather many flowers, may ye watch for chiggers.

Scatter Shot Plus Happy Birthday, Jessie Girl!

Fears about leaving for a week:

1. My husband won't be able to take care of himself.
2. My husband will take care of himself so well he'll realize he doesn't need me.

No one ever said I wasn't crazy.

Quivering with anxiety as I pack but this is so normal that it's just the way it is, who cares, and so forth.

Shaved my legs and cut myself. Attractive factor through the roof.

Have packed my clothes. Yet to pack:

Mostly though-


I texted her this morning to wish her a happy birthday and she replied by thanking me and her daddy for raising her up the way we did.
I replied that I didn't raise her up so much as just hang out with her. Which was awesome and still is.

This is the truth.

Here is one of my favorite pictures of that girl.

We were in Cozumel. Of course. You can tell from the dreamy expression on everyone's faces.

I hope we get some dreamy-looking faces this week.

All right. I better go attend to gathering the rest of my stuff and etc.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Memories Of Snake's Stores Island

Owen hit his first home run today and then we all went and got pizza and even though it's hard for me right now, I am quite able to recognize these moments of glory that I have in my life, daily, no matter what.
When Gibson wants to snuggle up to me and wraps my arms around him with his arms. When Maggie smiles at me and my kisses. When I watch the way my Lily is with her children. When Owen wants to sit next to me at lunch. When Boppy makes us all laugh. When Jason coaches his team and the children are boys and are girls and are tiny and are precious and everyone claps for everything, even when the "other" team does anything worth clapping for which is almost anything.
These moments cut through the disassociation and lowness of my soul like bright beams of light cutting through cave-dark and will lead me to the light again and I know it.

Tomorrow Jessie and I are heading for the beach and I think that May and Michael are coming for a few days too. I have packed: Christmas lights, a fancy-schmancy coloring book with many colored pencils, the baby-walker, and...that's all.
Oh well. Jessie says all I need is a beach towel, my chair, a good mug and my bathing suit. She's pretty much correct.
We are going to meet at Costco tomorrow to buy pimento cheese and booze and bread and chips and fruit and possibly some vegetables. Salsa, I am sure, which is a fine vegetable and avocados and limes by the bag. I have plenty of cilantro from the garden and we'll be bringing that too and there will be guacamole which is an even finer serving of vegetables. We will buy seafood on the island from Doug, whom we bought shrimp from back when Jessie was a tiny girl and we spent the summers on St. George in a tiny two-room apartment, cement block, yard of sandspurs, now a tattoo parlor, I believe. Oh, those summers. Long, long days of just me and the little girls, mostly, Hank and May already grown up and going on with their lives, Daddy joining us on weekends. Hunting for periwinkles for me to make soup of, watching dolphins, them having the grand privilege of walking the block to the little store to buy candy. The ice-cream store, the Jimmy Buffet dancing, the Bingo at the fire station on Tuesday nights where one night, Jessie won the jackpot and wanted a pair of Panacea Nikes which are rubber boots the sort that the fishermen wear. She got them, too. Me forcing them to take the sunset walks to see the dolphins returning to the east side of the island even though we'd watched them in the morning heading west to the cut to feed. The sand castles, the floating in the water, cool and warm at the same time. The millions and billions of stars in the night time sky, the giant moon rising up and making a golden path over the water.
Nighttime bedtime reading. Me sleeping on a futon with my feet right next to the canned goods. The twinkle lights around the room, the guy next door who sat on the sidewalk and drank beer and was a good soul and his name was Wayne. The year we had adopted a horrible dog who tore up the apartment, breaking blinds and lamps and shit everywhere. Me trying to grow a little garden in the sand and rocks which Wayne would water for me when I was gone.
Jessie thinking the name of the place was Snake's Stores Island until we corrected her- St. George Island- and I wish I never had. The time Liz Sparks came down and made me supper and a birthday cake. The few and far between evenings we'd go down to the little beach bar and I'd have a beer and a shot of tequila and the girls would get Shirley Temples and play on the sand, the setting sun making crazy magic light everywhere. The sound of the cicadas, deafening as they'd begin in one place on the bay and then, as if conducted by a god, the rest of them on the island chorusing in until the air was filled with the sound, alive and buzzing and electric and I'd go next door to a building which was abandoned but you could climb up on the roof and watch the sunset and listen and I would shiver in the summer heat, it all being too much to bear for one human person.
The times we had to evacuate for hurricanes.
The storms that came and went.
The reruns on TV that the children begged to watch. Old, ancient sit-coms they loved.
I remember the week my oldest friend from childhood came and stayed with me, just the two of us, and one night we got drunk enough to go down to the water in the middle of the night and float in the gulf with the stars above us, completely and utterly naked, talking about all of the things in our hearts.

And now those little girls will be putting the sunscreen on their children and sharing with them what is in their very bone marrow from those summers although the house we are staying in has actual bedrooms and a kitchen and so forth. Which is lovely. We watched the house we are going to be staying in be built on one of the summers we stayed there. Everyone on the island hated those houses, built right on the beach, blocking the view, but I always thought they were pretty damn charming, although I felt sorry for the people who rented them, only getting a week there while we, who had to walk between them to get to the water, had an entire summer in our little cement block apartment.

And tomorrow is Jessie's birthday. She will be turning 27 and how that happened is a complete mystery to me. We are talking about buying her one of Costco's giant cakes and I think we may do that. She was just born yesterday on a rainy day and after she was born, a rainbow appeared in the sky. A perfect home birth, my friends and family all there, such labor, such work, then peace and joy.

On these days when things are hard, when my soul is so low, it is good to remember all of these things, to have this week to look forward to, to make new memories, this time with grandchildren and by god I hope I see and hear and feel the ghosts of those summers past. Those little girls, so golden and young, dancing across the sand as the waves come and go, and maybe I'll see the ghost of me too, a woman whom I thought then was getting so old in her just-turning-forties, sitting outside at the plastic table in the sandspur yard scribbling on paper with a pen by the light of the citronella candles, the smear of the Milky Way above me, my babies in bed on the other side of the wall, safe and clean as saltwater and freshwater and soap could make them, sleeping and dreaming.

That little beach bar is still there. I bet you that at one point, we will go down for a sunset and have a shot of tequila and a beer and Owen and Gibson will play on the sand and maybe even get a Shirley Temple. Oh. There will be pictures. You just wait.

Love...Ms. Moon

A Saturday Morning

Friday, April 29, 2016

That Which Heals Us

The blessing of the drool.

I am so grateful that Hank called us forth again to go to the river.
This time I did submerge myself and it was good.
Gibson is a fish, Owen makes friends wherever he goes, August is making the funniest new faces and is trying to learn to walk by standing up on all fours and Maggie is our squishy-love-rose.

The river was beautiful and I feel much soothed and comforted. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Who Cares What We Eat For Breakfast?

I remember my mother
(I remember my mother)
screaming that she was going to kill herself.
(I'm just going to kill myself!)
It seemed as if that happened a lot but maybe only once.
(Who knows?)
I think a lot, plus a much younger brother remembers her doing it as well.

My closest-to-me-in-age brother says
He said, he says, he screams these words at me.
Not any more. We have parted and he lives as far away from me as he can
Which he has done for all the years of his adult life

Here's the thing of which I am sure
Mother was so angry at all which had befallen her
And she had every reason to be.
God knows she did

It's just that a child whose mother is angry
(so, so angry)
in her heart that the anger is hers, earned in some mysterious way.

This morning I poached an egg, still warm from the chicken.
I watched it in the water.
It looked exactly like a jellyfish at first
It's translucent edges around that golden eye gracefully ruffling
given life in the bubbles
of the small sea in the pan
and then it turned the ruffling edges and jellyfish skin

I toasted two tiny rounds of sourdough bread and buttered them
And placed the perfect egg atop one of them
Cut it all up into bites, fork and knife flashing
I ate it all slowly and it was good
(So good), then
set the bowl in the sink with water to soak

I am sorry you were so angry
(I am)
but I wish I had not thought your anger was mine
to bear.

It had no more to do with me than the simmering water has to do with the egg
(the perfect egg, still warm from the hen)
And yet, that simmering water changed it as surely as that anger changed me.

Simmering, simmering, brought to a boil
The sacrifice of the egg
Still warm from the mother's body
(I ate it up)
But to no good purpose
(not one good purpose)
at all.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Not My Best Day

I did go to the Goodwill but all I got was icky-feeling fingers. The internet has ruined Goodwill, as far as I'm concerned. The treasures are few and far between now. Did you know that in fact you can shop at Goodwill online?
You can. Here. 
I didn't hear any decent conversations either. Mostly just "Oh, look at this! I just love these little cherries. Isn't that cute? Don't you love those little cherries?" The younger woman who was with the cherry woman did not seem to be as charmed by the cherries but she was being patient.
And truthfully, I wasn't in the mood to buy anything. There was a darling little wicker rocker for 25 bucks that I could have easily put in my car and also, a pair of silk and linen pillow shams which were lovely that I didn't buy. Now I wish I'd bought those things but I didn't and there you go. Someone else can make themselves happy with them.

And so I went to Publix where a great crack of thunder made all of us shoppers look up in brief alarm and got a few things and came home, the sky bruise-dark, the rain coming and going.

I put a new bandage on Baby Chick this morning but then decided that it just wasn't offering enough support so when Mr. Moon came home he helped me to fashion this contraption.

It is made from a piece of an index card and that breathable medical tape which I love because you can stick and unstick it over and over again like a nervous twitch. I swear to you- that tape was about my favorite thing I discovered in nursing school.
Well, that tape and my friends.
Anyway, even if that chick's foot never fully develops properly, I think s/he'll make it. She is truly the feistiest one of the bunch and even with her duck-foot splint can outrun the other two and is definitely getting her share of the food and treats which so far are greens and grapes.

I am heavy in soul and body tonight but tomorrow we are again going to the "pool with the tunnel" as Gibson calls the Wacissa. There is a small bit of the road to the river which is canopied by great oaks and he and Owen love that. And a pool is anywhere you can swim.
I hope to actually fully submerge myself in the clear, cold water and also hold Magnolia a lot. I have not seen her in days and I miss her sorely. I will also get to see Owen's new summer hair cut. He trimmed his own hair this week and as this is the fourth time he has done this (we think it's a plot to go see Melissa), his dad buzzed it off.

He is growing up too fast. I can't stand it.
And yet, I suppose I have to.

Love...Ms. Moon

My Brain Holds But A Tiny Fragment Of Knowledge

The walk was so hard today. It's feeling more like summer with the heat and the humidity. My eyes itch with whatever is blooming right now that I'm allergic to, my brain is itching with what I dreamed last night, dreams not so opaque in meaning that I am not fully aware of their messages and meaning. They represent things I am worried about but which I push down during the day, feeling inadequate to the task of actually dealing with them.

Then again, there was that one dream about being caught up in international terrorism that I'm a little hazy on.

Baby chick's toes seem to be curling again and I do not know whether to reapply the bandage I took off last night or give it a chance to bear weight on the foot. As in all things, experience comes hard and just when you think you know a bit about something, you find you really don't. Child-raising, chicken-raising, gardening, relationships, cooking...there is no end to the learning.

I am feeling particularly ignorant today about all things and I believe I may go to a Goodwill and just get lost in the meditative state of going through racks, one thing after another and eavesdrop on conversations which in no way involve me and yet, are somehow, sometimes fascinating.

It takes so little to amuse me.

Love...Ms. Moon