The Time Of Year When Winter And Spring Come Together In Lloyd

The Time Of Year When Winter And Spring Come Together In Lloyd

Friday, April 18, 2014

Thoughts At Dusk On Another Good Friday


It is raining still and I wonder at the ground's ability to hold tight to the roots of the great oaks even as I think of the aquifer, refilling, the underground lakes which lie beneath us here receiving the waters, filtered by clay and dirt, by the bones of animals and men and trees, by the limestone itself which holds that which we cannot live without.

It has rained a night and a day, Lloyd itself threatens to float away and yet, we will not. I should walk down to Lloyd Creek through that overgrown path in the woods to see the swollen breast of it as it runs and washes down and over the banks. Maybe tomorrow I will.

I went to town today and passed the churches with their black-fabric draped crosses, wondering, wondering why there is this need to celebrate the suffering of any one human. I grew up in a house where suffering was sanctified and vilified, all at the same time and even as a tiny child I somehow thought it was my duty to do something about that suffering. And to make myself worthy of the suffering which occurred daily and always. It wasn't until I was full grown that I realized the foolish cruelty of that belief.
No wonder I shun it even as it is elevated and made to be the main message of a religion.
He died for us and our sins that we may live life everlasting.
It didn't make sense in a sad and dysfunctional household and it doesn't make sense in this world in which we live, either.
Not to me.

The only suffering which for me has been proven to be of worth is the suffering of the pangs of childbirth and through that suffering, came life. Even then, I had to come to an understanding of why birth has to hurt so much and I have come up with a reason to satisfy myself, as a mother, as a person who believes there are evolutionary reasons for most things. And my theory has nothing to do with Eve and an apple, or a snake or punishment.
Only that with the appearance of the babe, the first sight and sound and touch and smell of it, comes the complete relief of pain, the release of its overwhelming bloody grip upon the loins and womb, and thus, the baby itself imprints unknowingly itself on the mother as a savior, one she will do anything to protect and nurture. And perhaps it is similar for the child as well. I would not be surprised to know that birth is powerfully painful for the baby and that pain is relieved and released at the first sight and sound and touch and smell of the mother and thus is born the beginnings of that bond.
Or something like that.
But this makes sense. This is observable.
The salvation of mankind through the suffering of a capital punishment (which is what crucifixion was) makes no sense to me, however, and I doubt it ever will.
And I no more believe the resurrection occurred than I believe in the possibility of a Rapture.

Ah-lah.

Easter does get me going, doesn't it?

But strangely, I am in a good enough mood. It's Friday night, spaghetti sauce is simmering, my man is just now home. I haven't gathered eggs today because when I went out to check the nest, Miss Sharon was sitting on it. It's so funny how all the hens want to lay in the same nest, even waiting impatiently for one hen to finish while there are so many other places to lay and how the desired spot changes so suddenly from one place to another. I am quite certain there is a reason for this, as well, but I do not know it unless it is a desire to throw off the predators which might steal their eggs although they seem completely unconcerned that I take their eggs.
I am a benevolent predator, I suppose.

Anyway, I am content and peaceful this evening as the rain continues to drip, the birds twitter sleepily, the drums from the Holy Ghost Revival Center next door beat out a heartbeat rhythm, even as my heart within me beats its own rhythm.

May the ground hold tightly to the roots of the trees, may the sweet water be filtered and held deep below and rest pure and cold to sustain us. May we celebrate not suffering but the joy which comes when the renewal and creation of life continues and occurs. May it continue, all, despite all of our best efforts to tame and use it for our own needs and desires.
May we someday learn not to celebrate or worship suffering but to learn to bear it as all lives will contain it. May we do more to help ease the suffering of others and do less to elevate it into something it is not.

That is my wish for tonight.

Love...Ms. Moon





No Energy, No Good

I feel this morning as if I've been beaten. A distinct feeling of age and fatigue in the joints and bones. And it's raining, raining, raining and it stormed last night, great cracks and rumbles, the window panes shaking in their frames. The old deaf and blind dog scratching at our door. He must feel the storms because I know he can't see or hear them.
I opened the door to the henhouse and even Elvis just looked at me as if to say, "Oh, no. Thank you but we'll be staying in today." The little chicks (and truly, they aren't that little any more) scrambled out of their tiny shelter but part of the coop is covered and so they can stay relatively dry as they eat, and eat they do. They are eating machines at this stage, growing by leaps and bounds daily.

In the real news, I was reading an article about Edward Snowden in Vanity Fair yesterday and discovered something absolutely horrifying which is that the NSA can somehow use a cell phone, even if it is turned off, as a microphone. This is not paranoid science fiction bullshit. This is merely true.
What the hell is happening to us?

Also, it looks like it's taking an article in the New York Times about how Tallahassee Police and FSU shoved the possible rape of a nineteen year old under the rug because the accused perpetrator was FSU's star quarterback and a shoo-in for the Heisman trophy.
Supposedly the investigation was stopped because Winston refused to cooperate with questioning.
Excuse me? Is this how our justice system works?
What a stupid question. Of course it is, depending on who you are.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez has died at the age of 87 which I am sure everyone knows by now. He gave so much beauty and wonder to the world of literature that it seems ridiculous to mourn his death. To me it seems as if we should simply be celebrating his life although I do feel sorrow for his family, of course.

It's Good Friday and so is the day that Christians all over the world take time to honor Christ being nailed to a cross in some sort of God-Made sadistic plan to then use his death to save mankind from its sins.
Whatever.
I heard an excellent interview on Fresh Air a little over a week ago with an agnostic theologian named Bart Ehrman who has written several books on early Christianity and his newest book is entitled How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher From Galilee. 
Highlights HERE. 
Eye-opening, to say the least.

I need to go to town to get things for our own Paganish Easter Egg Hunt and Brunchy Thing which we are having Sunday. I am thinking of getting a ham and to be frank, when I think of Easter, there are two things which I consider to be worth celebrating. One is eggs and the other is ham.


(Sort of sums it all up, doesn't it?)

I always feel though that ham is too great a temptation for me. That if I bake a ham, people will find me in a closet with the ham and a knife and that if they open the closet door, I will thrust the knife in their face while clutching the ham to my bosom and threaten them in an Exorcist-style voice, "Leave me and my ham alone!"
This probably will not happen but it's a possibility.
Well, I may tempt fate anyway.

I need to stop. It's taken me approximately four hours just to write this horribly written drivel. Is "drivel" a word? Yes. Yes it is.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Statistics And Facts *

Number of times people or things fell down or over today:

Owen: 1
Gibson: 14
Mer: 1 (Overall cuffs caught on sticking-out thing on tricycle wheel. Luckily able to catch fall with arm on refrigerator. What? You don't keep tricycles in your kitchen?)
Chocolate Milk: 2 glasses
Box of 64 Crayolas: 1

Number of trees climbed:

Owen: 2. One Chinaberry, One Cherry Laurel

Number of times Owen begged Mer to lift him up into a giant oak tree:

58

Number of times Mer caved as to oak tree lifting:

1


Strength Of Mer:

Mighty

Number of times Owen begged Mer to let him play on the railroad tracks:

58

Number of times Mer caved:

0

Number of times the baby chickens were checked on:

4


Number of times Mer thought about leaving the boys in the coop and going to take a nap:

58
(Hey- there's food and water in there.)


Number of fishing trips in the pond to catch duck weed:

1

Number of duck weed fish caught:

58


Number of snacks provided and consumed:

58

Number of times Owen said, "Mer, watch this!"

158

Trips to post office:

1

Trips to feed the goats:

2

Games played:

Old Maid: 2
Roll The Dice Into A Cup: No idea. Owen made up the rules. When asked how we would know the game was over he said, "I"ll tell you."

Number of ants that bit Gibson:

58

Soda baths given:

1

Times Gibson wanted Mer to pick him up:

1,058

Number of times Mer picked up Gibson:

1,056

What we are having for supper:

Who the fuck cares?

How much I love those boys:

58 infinities times 58 infinities

How many beers Mer may consume tonight:

58



* All facts and figures may be approximate.









Adventure Land In Lloyd

The boys are coming and it's going to be a long day. Probably a good day but long.
I should probably take them somewhere. I ponder that thought and then think, "Nah."
Their other grandmother takes them places. The park, Lowe's, church. She always has. But hell, we have a playground right here, I don't want to go buy anything at Lowe's and I'm certainly not going to church. We've got trees and a bamboo jungle and farm animals and dogs and games and a library full of books and a TV for when Mer gets too tired to play and a kitchen where seemingly endless snacks are provided and toys and music for dancing and well...why would I want to go anywhere? I never want to go anywhere anyway.
And they don't seem to mind.
Maybe I'll get the stroller from Lily and we'll take a walk and go see Ms. Liola or something like that. Lots of adventures to be had in Lloyd.
Ah, the rationalizations of an agoraphobe.

Poor Mr. Moon. I made him kamut last night. "Not my favorite," he said after supper.
I made the five-grain oatmeal stuff for breakfast. "Not my favorite," he said again after he ate a bowl with maple syrup and raisins.
He's so sweet.
I also made him a delicious roasted organic chicken for supper and a fine salad and oat bran muffins so he didn't starve.
Eating this way isn't much of a sacrifice for me. And I am pretty sure that I'm continuing to lose weight. Of course I STILL haven't gotten on the scale. You'd think that thing was going to attack me should I step on it. I must have deep psychological scars from weighing myself. I am certain that my clothes are looser, my joints less painful. That's all I need to know, really.

Well, I better go make the bed and wash the dishes. I like to start out with a clean slate when the boys arrive. The chickens are out, the babies look more like miniature chickens than they do peeps now. They have been so strong and healthy and I am glad of that. Now if we can just resist the temptation to let them out of the coop too early so that when they do run free they are big enough that the hawks and owls can't so easily snatch them. I tell myself that they don't NEED to run the yard and that having been within the confines of the coop all this time, they know no better but I think they do.

Anyway, good morning. What are your adventures going to look like today? Are you going to go out into the big world or are you staying close to the coop?
Whatever it is that you do, I hope it's something that makes you happy and please, keep a wary eye out for the hawks and the owls. And scales which attack you and grains that are just way too hearty.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Boy Beneath Fig Tree


We played outside a lot today with the cooler weather which also meant fewer bugs. Yes, a small reprieve and we took it gladly.

We are trying to keep up with the bamboo kicking but sometimes it gets away from us. Here are the boys, playing with a larger sprout which can hardly be called a sprout.


Owen and I had a talk today about death. We were playing the Rolling Stones and he knows they're old because they are older than I AM and that is old. He said, "Mer, I wish the Rolling Stones didn't have to die."
"Me, too, baby," I said. "But we're all going to die some day."
"Even you," he said sadly. 
"I know. But it's okay."
He thought for awhile.
"Someday my wife will have babies," he said. "And then there will be more people!"
"That's right. That is how it works."
"Wow. People die but people have more and more babies and then there's more and more people."
"Yep. That's exactly right. 

And so it is. 

He also told me today that he wants a house just like mine. With the garage and everything. When he grows up. I told him that perhaps he could live in this very house someday when he has his wife and children. That maybe it could be his.
"But I'm going to live in Aplalachicola so that I can see you and Boppy every day!" 
"Well, then maybe you'll do that."
He put his chin in his hands and said, "I just can't know what I'm going to do."
"Well, that's how it is," I said. "You think you're going to do one thing and then things change and another idea seems better."
Four years old seems mighty young to be having these deep thoughts but as I recall, all of my own children had similar ones very early too. Soon, it will be Gibson's turn to ask the hard questions, to come up with the great concepts and to turn them over in his fertile little mind. It is a grand and splendid thing to be able to witness this again and again- this growth of mind and body in children whom I love. 
And to still be able to hold a sleeping child against my bosom having read him to sleep with Mother Goose.


Yes indeed. A very grand and very splendid thing. 
And they will be back tomorrow and we will continue this adventure, these conversations, two brothers and a grandmother, right here on this green planet where everything dies but new things keep being made and we will pay attention and we will learn. 

The Green, The Green

The sweet, cool green of this planet.



How it pleases my very soul.

You Have Your Nightmares, I Have Mine

Ug.
My hips ache like hell (from all the rain we've had?) and I have a pimple on my chin and my dreams were so fucking crazy I can't clear my head from them and let me just say that when you're having a dream and you keep thinking, "Please, let this be a nightmare," and the dream is about a failure of a dinner party you're having, you really, really must not want to have dinner parties.
People sitting around, trying to be polite while you're trying to figure out how to feed them, walking around with a garlic press, attempting to focus enough to make a salad dressing, realizing at the last moment that the first seating for the dinner party you had/are having ate all of the main course except for a dried-up husk of a casserole that seems strangely heavy in edamame beans- well. Sure. It's not the car-flying-off-the-bridge nightmare or the oh-my-god-what-did-I-do-with-the-baby nightmare but it's bad enough.
And I had only gotten ONE bottle of wine and these people were wine drinkers.

No. I have no dinner parties planned.
I didn't plan to have a pimple on my chin either, but there you go.

On the bright side (quite literally) the sun is shining strong again and the sky is cloudless blue and it's chilly. I'm wearing two shirts, a cashmere sweater and a jacket. At least it didn't freeze. And at least I can take a walk. The boys are coming but not until later and ay-yi-yi, I can't get moving and I keep folding myself into myself and the breeze is chill-blowing the new leaves of the Bradford pear like gauzy ruffles and the light shimmershakes like a belly dancer and my mind is like an room emptied of everything but cobwebs and I don't know how to get to the doors and windows to open them up, to begin to clear them out but I'm going to try.

Good morning.




Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Another Sort Of Just Being


That should have been a picture of Owen and Gibson sitting on the Easter Bunny's lap but no, that picture didn't happen. And so I'm giving you one of me in the restroom of the mall, talking to Owen whom you cannot see.
Yeah, just about the time I was all set to cozy in and have a lazy day the opportunity arose to go to the mall with my grandkids to see the Easter Bunny. So I got dressed and drove to town which was fraught with danger in that I practically forded two rivers to get there, both times thinking, "What? Am I nuts? I'm going to short this car out."
The road I live on which is part of the back way to town is famous for flooding and why I hadn't remembered that is beyond me. But the good news is that on Lily's road, a turtle was making his way across the street and I stopped the car and got out and moved him to the side where he was headed. He did not say thank-you.

So we went to the mall and the Easter Bunny was there along with a most disgruntled-looking assistant who, in a matter of a moment or so, went from disgruntled to downright surly. The Easter Bunny waved at the kids and Gibson was enchanted but Owen was NOT.
"I don't want to talk to him. He's the old bunny. I want to see the new bunny."
The bunny was wearing wire-frame glasses which did sort of age him.
Gibson, being two and open to such nonsense, climbed up on the bunny's lap. Owen hung back.
"I think he's probably fake," he told me.
"Mmmm," I said, trying not to take any real side on the matter.
I stepped forward to snap a shot of Gibson on the bunny's lap.
"NO PRIVATE PHOTOGRAPHY!" the assistant yelled at me. I put my phone away.
She was not suited to this position. At all.
We left the Bunny Bin or whatever the fuck they call it and walked across the mall to the playground. I stopped at the Starbucks to get Lily and me a coffee. They were wearing shiny pink ties at the Starbucks. The employees, at least.
"Are those for Easter?" I asked the barista.
"No! These are for our new delicious bakery line!"
"Huh," I said.
"Yes! The CEO of the company went to a bakery in San Francisco and he loved their food so much he bought the place!"
"Yeah, that's what happens when you have all the money in the world," I said.
I was not impressed nor did I order any of their delicious croissants.

Lily came strolling back with the boys. "The playground's closed."
"What?"
"For cleaning."
To help the children with their despair over not being able to play at the rather hideous play place, Lily bought them chocolate milk. We strolled about for a little while and then decided to leave which was not part of Owen's plan. He cried and cried.
In the car he finally settled down a bit and in the smallest voice I've ever heard come out of him he said, "We could go to the mastodon museum."
Lily and I looked at each other like, "Who said that?"
We discussed the museum idea but it was way past lunch time and Lily still had to pay a bill and they had to be home to get ready for Tae Kwon Do before too long. So, no mastodon museum.
As would be expected, another fit occurred.

Sigh.

We finally ended up at a Mexican restaurant where I ate a luncheon special #24, having no idea what I was getting and not really caring by that time either. It was not something I would normally eat but of course it was tasty and I ate it. The boys by this time were being good and actually, Gibson had been fine all day. Good-kid/bad-kid is a strategy these children employee regularly. I think they draw straws to get to see who gets to be bad-kid.
We finished lunch and went back to Lily's and I came on home and made extremely healthy soup for our supper tonight to off-balance the whatever-it-was I ate at the restaurant. It is simmering in preparation for Mr. Moon's return.

The rain has cleared and now it is getting cold. It's supposed to get in the thirties tonight.
This is a crazy spring and today turned out to be a crazy day but it was pretty much fun and I felt very trippy in the mall where I hadn't been in so long I'd forgotten what it was like.
I'll tell you what it's like: Trippy.
With lots and lots of stuff to buy.

Well, that pretty much sums it up. Didn't drown, didn't get any Easter Bunny pictures, didn't get to play, didn't die.

Not too bad.

Not All Beautiful Days Are Sunny

It's a gorgeous day in Lloyd, the sky massaged and electrified by last night's thunder and lightening, the ground's thirst completely slaked. It is still raining and the sky is gray but it is beautiful to me. I woke up last night to the house-shaking rumble of the thunder, the slash of the lightening as it lit my room through the cracks in the curtains and blinds, the sound of the rain as it poured.

If the moon did its magic trick of eclipse last night, I did not see it. I went out before I went to bed and it was rising behind the trees and clouds. I took a few pictures but they were not good and the clouds thickened and hid the light behind their lacy veils. I gave up and came inside and went to bed.

I took the opportunity a few moments ago when the rain took a break to run the trash down to the trash depot, to go to the Post Office. I got a new New Yorker and a Vanity Fair too. Ah...what a good day it may turn out to be. The floor of the Post Office was not just wet but awash and everyone picked their way carefully through it. There were quite a few people there and one guy, as he came in, said what we were all thinking which was, "Holy shit!" I had thought maybe the rain had abated but as soon as I got home, it came pouring down again. I need to take a walk but not in this weather.

Here's a rather amazing picture, in that I took it through the screen.


A male cardinal, a redheaded woodpecker and behind, if you look closely, the two open blossoms of the ash magnolia. 

I told you it was gorgeous here today. And the sky to the west looks like a bruise, painful and ominous, but I know it is filled with holy water and thus, I welcome it towards us. This is going to be a day of letting it be. Just letting it all be. 
For me, at least. 

Good morning. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Bathing Suits And The Extinction Of The Human Race, Etc.



Coming on warm here in North Florida today. I spent most of my day behind the wheel of my car which was odd. I went in this morning to go sign tax papers with my husband and then take him to get his rental car for his trip down south for business. But then another tax-signing-situation came up and I had to get dressed again and go back to town but I have been in such a good mood that it hasn't bothered me. I was content to just drive and go and enjoy the scenery as I went.

After the second signing, I was near TJ Maxx and went in to look at bathing suits. We are leaving for Cozumel a month from today.
Let me ask you a question- why must women's bathing suits be either bikinis or something like whalebone and fiberglass encased in hideous, shiny lycra?
With bras.
Padded, boney bras.
Please. There is no Miracle Suit which is going to make me look as if I should, in fact, be wearing one of the bikinis. Why in the world would I want to wear a bra and girdle to go swimming in, to go snorkeling? I wish I had the guts and gall to just wear one of the bikinis, let the world see my stretch marks, my stretched-out belly where my four babies nested all those months. The only time in my life I have ever felt comfortable in a bikini was, truthfully, when I was pregnant. Gloriously and fully pregnant, my full-moon belly brown and a force of life. I felt no shame at all about my stomach then and why should I now?
I don't know but of course, being a woman in the year 2014 in the country of the United States, I somehow do. Not really shame, but I seem to have the idea that the eyes of the innocent need to be protected from what a fifty-nine year-old female body looks like. How very bizarre we are about our bodies and I so wish we weren't. I am not, at the moment, extremely unhappy about my body. I can see muscles in it, beneath the skin which time and gravity have had their way with. There is strength here, bands of it underneath the less than firm flesh. Muscles built and kept through walking and yard work and the picking up of grandchildren, the hoisting of them onto my hip. No, I do not look like Madonna nor do I want to.
I look like me and dammit, I refuse to force myself into one of those lycra suits of armor.
Lycra suits of horror, to be even more specific.

Ah well.

I left the bathing suits on their hangers and went to Lowe's and bought dirt in a bag and caladiums to plant in the hollow log where Buddha sits. I had thought to just buy impatiens as I usually do to put in that log but the caladiums called to me instead and so I bought those. I bought a few impatiens too, just white ones, and a small jade plant because my own magnificent jade plant died years ago and I miss it. I brought all of this home and planted the caladiums and then the white impatiens around the bird bath. I repotted the jade plant and I watered the porch plants and I was delighted to see that several of the plants which had looked dead after the winter's freezes are coming back although I am losing hope for my splendid and huge bird's nest fern which was the crowning glory of the porch. I am not tossing it yet. I am a woman of deep optimism and patience when it comes to certain things like porch plants while at the same time remaining darkly pessimistic when it comes to things like the fate of the human race.

Well. Whatever. While I am here I am going to do my best to create and nurture as much life as I can. My belly is testament to that, as is my porch. I use up fossil fuels like there was no tomorrow just as most of us do, no matter what our intentions are and today I listened to a doctor/scientist on Fresh Air talk about our microbiomes and how our over-use and misuse of antibiotics and the trend towards Caesarian births is contributing to what may, in fact, be the extinction of certain microbes that mammals have evolved to use and need for life and health for one hundred and fifty million years.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, said Alexander Pope in 1709 and boy, was he telling the truth.
We figure out something like antibiotics and how to cut a babe from its mother's womb or the internal combustion engine and we think we've discovered the secrets to life, meanwhile fucking up far more than we know.

All I know is that I don't know shit and that the closer to the dirt I live, the better for me and for everyone else.

And that I will not be wearing a bathing suit that squishes me and makes me hurt or have heartburn in this or any other lifetime.

Time to put the chickens up.

Love...Ms. Moon














Don't Need No Bloody Cross


One of my very favorite plants- the ash magnolia. She only blooms for a short while and the blossoms are short-lived and smell like heaven. I swear to you- I had lived in North Florida for thirty years before I even know this tree existed. The second I "discovered" it, I bought one for myself, brought it home and planted it and it is taller than I am now.

I wonder what else is living all around me which I do not notice, am not aware of. It boggles the mind.

So many things boggle my mind. Like- a family quits eating added sugar for a year (except for certain specified situations) and the mother's written a book about it and it's all over the media? Jesus. Do we not know by now that eating processed sugar is not really good for us? For fuck's sake.

But you know, it being almost Easter, the thing that I'm really contemplating that I can't wrap my head around is the whole celebration of the crucifixion and resurrection dealio. But you knew this was coming, right?

Well, I'm not going to go dig out my soapbox today. Instead I'll just celebrate the resurrection of my ash magnolia and wait for the hundreds of blooms on the rose bush planted in the little garden beside the kitchen to start to open which will be yet another resurrection (and one which involves thorns!) and maybe work in my garden today which is a constant reminder of life and growth and tonight I'll watch the full-bellied moon rise, another symbol of dying and rebirth, and all of that is wonder and magic enough for me.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Simple Goodness

I did some cleaning today. Like I told Lily though, if you could grade levels of cleaning from one to ten, ten being the deepest and best, I cleaned at about level 1.5. And that's just the areas I cleaned.
So. Don't be wearing your white gloves over here, okay?
But I glanced out the window when I was cleaning the library, Book of Thrones clasped to my ears, and I saw a guy in a white shirt and black jacket get out of a car.
"Oh Lord," I thought. Some church dude. Than I looked at the woman who got out of the car with him and she was so pretty and I knew her immediately.
It was Juancho and his bride, stopping by on their way back from an anniversary celebration in Monticello. I was just pleased as I could be to see them. Some people bring joy in the door with them and these two surely do. It's odd how some folks make me feel worried about how I'm dressed or how filthy my house is or how stinky my dogs are and some people- well, it's like they're family. The good kind.
I gave them the tour (Melissa looked around my kitchen and I could tell she wanted to ask me the very same thing Owen asked me the other day which was, "Where did you GET all this stuff?") and introduced them to the chickens and demonstrated how Elvis tid-bits for the ladies with grapes which is VERY hard for Elvis to do because he loves grapes more than anything on this earth. Tid-bitting, for those of you who may not know is what they call it when a rooster finds food and instead of eating it himself, he drops it to the ground and calls his hens with a deep, throaty call. The ladies love it.
I read in that article in Scientific American a few weeks ago about chickens that if there is an alpha rooster in the flock, other roosters, his "inferiors," shall we say, may tid-bit as well, but they do it on the sly. They do the food-dropping and the head toss that goes with it but they don't make the call which would alert the alpha rooster that someone is trying to make time with his hens. But that the hens remember and are more open to the beta males' advances.

What I have mostly learned from observing chickens is that they have far more in common with human beings than you would imagine.

Anyway, it was a sweet visit from sweet people and I've gotten a lot of stuff done, none of it important, and Mr. Moon has worked his ass off, mowing and now he's weed-whacking. God, that man. Where does he find the energy? I'm sitting here yawning myself and I slept with Owen and that child doesn't move all night whereas Gibson kicks and tosses all night and he slept with Mr. Moon so I know who did and did not get a good night's sleep.

I'm going to make something with leftover steak. Out of the four steaks the fellows grilled last night, the four of us didn't finish two of them. Oh well. If you're going to grill, you might as well grill, or as Mr. Moon says they say in Tennessee, "If you're gonna come on, then COME ON!"
I think that may refer more to fighting than to grilling but whatever. It's all manly.

And my heart is light and the house is a little tidier in a few select areas and some of the pine pollen has been swept and dusted away and the yard is pretty and I got some good hugs from some of the very best people and I repotted a rose bush and the cardinals are cracking seeds in their yellow beaks and it's just been a damn good day. I've washed and put away sweaters and now I'm doing the same with jackets. I feel certain that warm weather is here upon us surely and truly and the pecan leaves are coming out, bright green and feathery and I'm just one incredibly grateful lady, surprised and amazed to be at this place in my life.





And Then The Peace

I woke up just a few minutes before Owen and he wanted to immediately go feed the cat and let the chickens out and he is big enough now to do those things so I got the paper and kept an eye on him while he did the morning chores. When we let out the baby chicks together, Nicey, as always, was the first one out and he picked her up and discovered she had poop on her feet and so he had poop on his fingers but he didn't fuss about it, just came into the house and washed his hands.
The other day we were watching a Tom and Jerry cartoon and it was a silly story, as they all are, but it was set in a hen house and every part of the chicken behavior and the hay and the egg-laying were all completely familiar to my boys. For some reason, that made me feel good. Yes, Owen knows more about Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles than I ever will but he also knows about chickens and where eggs come from and how to feed the chickens and hold them if they will let you and how not to freak out if you get a little chicken poop on your hand.
He also knows what a cardinal is and will stop on the porch and point and whisper, "Look Mer! Look at the cardinal in that tree!" He will not always care about such things and I know that but he does now and I know enough to cherish it all as it happens. When he grows older, he will once again care about cardinals. Maybe even chickens. Who knows?

I sat and cuddled Gibson for awhile this morning. We did baby-lap games. This Little Piggy and Whoops, Johnny. "More," he says, sticking his little toes up. He talks and he talks and he talks. He loves his people and he loves to eat and he loves the chickens and the old stinky dogs, too.
"Chichens!" he calls to the little flock. "Chichens!" and then he feeds them crackers and grapes and greedy Miss Ozzie and Elvis eat from his hands.

Sunday morning in Lloyd with the grands. There have been pancakes and bacon and orange juice. There has been playing on the swing set and pretending. Owen calls his horse. He pretends to whistle and calls out, "Maximus!" and Maximus trots up to him and I pretend to pet him and then they climb the tower together. Maximus is a very, very smart horse and nimble, too.

"Today is Sunday," said Owen as I made the pancakes. "Do you know what that means?"
"No, honey. What does that mean?"
"It means I have to go home," he said. He sounded sad.
"True," I said. "But you will come back."

I love that the boys know this house as well as I do. The other day Gibson wanted a pen and Owen knew where a pen was two feet away from where we were. I didn't know it was there. But he did. He knows where on the porch he can catch lizards and put them outside. He can measure his growth by how easy it is now to open up the hen house. "I'm not even standing on my tippy toes!" he said to me in wonder this morning as he reached up to undo the latch. Gibson likes to stand on the step ladder now and smell the spices, just as his brother did when he was younger. He knows Cinnamon and nutmeg by name. He takes a sniff and goes, "Mmmmmm, Cinmon," and "Mmmmmmm, Nu-egg."
I changed that child's diaper this morning and he said, "Tinkoo."
That may be a first in my life.

And now their parents have come and collected them. Here's a beautiful thing- those boys are completely happy here with us but when their mommy and daddy come, they are completely happy to see them too. The boys crawled all over their mommy and she hugged them and twirled them and held them upside down. Gibson buries himself in her, so happy. But then he runs and grabs me too. Owen wants Boppy and his daddy to play a Wii game together. He cheers them both on.

It's very quiet now in Lloyd.  The constant, "Mer! Watch this!" "MerMer, uppy-uppy,"gone with the boys.
No tricycle wheels, no horse calling, no demands for snacks or juice. Just birds and the click, click of these keys and the roosters calling, yard to yard.

Mr. Moon just asked if it was too early for a nap. I told him that no, it was not but it's really too sweet and too nice right now to go to sleep and there's so much I could do, possibly should do. The list is endless and yet, so what? I think I'll drift from task to task, taking my time, as Mr. Rogers used to like to do. It feels like luxury to contemplate this.

Softness and quiet and I am thinking of how Owen asked for the Mr. Peep story last night and if I forgot a detail, he would sleepily murmur a reminder.
He hasn't forgotten.
He is growing bigger every day in his mind and his body and so perhaps there is more room to keep memories, even as we make more.

Happy Sunday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon






Saturday, April 12, 2014

Perspective

The boys have been wonderful today and Boppy took them off for a little fishing and a picnic I packed for them. Gibson caught ALL the fish. His first fish.


Okay. Perspective can do a lot. Here's another picture.


Same boy, same fish. 

Here's a picture from the picnic. 


While they were gone, I made up some bread dough and set it to rise and then...laid down to read. Then fell asleep. Woke up to find a very big man carrying a sleeping little man in the room with me. He laid Gibson down beside me and we slept for an hour while Boppy took Owen to the horse farm down the road to pet the ponies.
Do I feel guilty?
Well, sure, a little bit. Not too much. I was allowing them to have quality time together. Right?
When they got back, Gibson and I had just woken up and Mr. Moon said, "Your turn," and so it was. He tried to catch a little nap in his chair but that was sort of fruitless. 
He's a saint. 

Now the bread's in the oven and the men folk are making a fire to cook steaks on. 


Yes, steaks. Once when the boys came over, Mr. Moon cooked steaks and Owen pronounced himself a Steak Monster!
We shall see if the Steak Monster reappears tonight. 
I'll cook some sweet potatoes and corn and make a salad and slice the bread and we shall have a feast. 

And I have a feeling that after the boys take their bath tonight, someone is going to have clean out the tub. Is it ridiculous to say that I sort of feel as if my whole entire life has been leading up to just this?

Probably not. Because, quite amazingly, it has. 




Saturday Morning


Mmmmmm....
I've been drinking coffee for forty-five minutes, trying to wake up. Mr. Moon, who is already on the lawn mower said to me when I got up, "Excited to get ready for our boys!"
And I said, "I'm not quite there yet."

I'm still not.

Lily told me yesterday that Owen had said a prayer the night before. It went like this, "Please god, make time go faster so it will be time to go to Mer and Boppy's house."
His other grandmother takes him to church. They do have a swell nursery there.
If I said a prayer today it would be something like, "Please god, do not let me have used up every bit of my allotted energy for the next two days by yesterday's manic activity."


There's Mr. Moon from last night with Nicey on his shoulder. I'm pretty sure that Nicey's sibling, Catniss, is a rooster. The comb and tail feathers are distinctly more pronounced than Nicey's. But experience teaches me that I won't know until he or she actually crows or lays eggs. I don't care to get all up in a chick's privates and besides that, even if you do it's hard to tell. 

Night before last, Mr. Moon went to shut up the chickens and found a young possum in the hen house. Bad news. Anyway, he got that possum out of there with a pitchfork which was the only implement to hand. He did not stab the possum. That would have been gross and probably wrong. He does wish he'd thumped him though, to tell him that he's not allowed in the hen house. I'm not sure the possum would have taken the lesson to heart even if he had. 

All right. That's all the news from Lloyd so far this morning. 

More coffee.

Love...Ms. Moon