Bless Our Hearts

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Snuggles For All!


What a morning! Jason and Vergil and Mr. Moon on the roof, eight at the breakfast table, two babies in arms, pancakes and pancakes and pancakes and bacon. Greta and Jack and Maurice and chickens.

Goodness and graciousness.

Here we are.

Friday, February 5, 2016

As The Bard, Jimmy Buffett Said, "If We Weren't All Crazy We Would All Go Insane"


What I needed today and needed badly was some baby love. And to get out of the house and to quit weeping and to have someone to talk to and etc.
So Lily invited me to come out with her and we went to the library. When the babies are little, I get to sit beside them in the back seat if I don't drive and so today I sat between that angel boy and this angel girl.


She got a full tummy before we left and slept for the entire two hours we were gone. 
And Gibson, sensing, I suppose, that old Mer wasn't at her best, was sweeter than sweet to me. He gave me kisses on my nose, on my forehead, on my chin, on my cheek, each one planted with serious intent. I wanted to take his picture and at first, he said, "No!" but then he said, "Just one." And then he said, "Cheese!" 
That cheeseball. 

And it was good. 

We picked up Owen from school after our Pitaria lunch and so I got to see him, as well. 
I didn't get to see August today but Jessie sent me this picture when he was at the doctor for his four-month well-baby check.


Vergil went with them today so I wasn't needed. That was before he got his shot. 
This is after. 


So he seems to have recovered. 
And I am doing better, as well. I am not sure what made me so sad today, so skin-flailed and vulnerable. Nothing. Everything. 

And I am making pizzas tonight and having a martini and tomorrow morning Jason and Vergil are coming over to work on the roof and all of the grands and their mamas are coming over for pancakes and bacon and so I better bake some sweet potatoes to go into the pancakes and I just heard that my friend's surgery went well, better than expected and I even cried about that a little. 

I'm just a raw piece of human meat today and that's all there is to it. 
Which is okay. It's how I am. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Intelligent Design? I Don't Think So

I have no idea what the origins of this are. It comes from a Tweet by someone called "your pal online @jon_snow_420" and it is the only thing that makes sense to me today. I believe Robin Williams may have said it. Sounds like something he would have said.

St. Robin. I miss him today. I feel turned inside out with everyone I am missing.
It's just one of those days.

god: I have made Mankind.
angels: You have fucked up a perfectly good monkey is what you did. Look at it. It's got anxiety.





Thursday, February 4, 2016

Just...Being. Part Whatever


It has been the weirdest day. I feel like I haven't done a damn thing which is not true and I've even spoken to several people, some via text, some on the phone, some on FB messenger, one in real actual life in my kitchen but it seems as if I've just been in a dream world all day long. I ironed. I watched TV and ironed. That is weird. I almost never iron and I never watch TV during the day but I've been doing a few of my husband's shirts and he's so sweetly appreciative that it kills me and I figured- what the hell? It's raining, it's chilly, plug in the iron and watch Top Chef. It was great! Hell! I even ironed the pillowcases!
And took some trash and cleaned out the hen house and moved a pile of wood and realized that my beloved, wonderful, so very much appreciated dishwasher was not draining and so I washed all the dishes by hand and made up the bed with clean sheets and those ironed pillowcases, picked greens for salad and I've made a sort of egg custard because we're ahead on eggs again.
But still- here I am and here I have been, pretending to be a domestic goddess, and I texted a friend and said, "So I'm ironing and watching TV. It's sort of really fun. Do I need to get a life?"
And she texted back, "Nope. You HAVE a life."
And I texted back to her, "Phew!"

Yesterday when I went with Lily and Magnolia June and Owen to the orthopedic clinic I went into the X-ray room with Owen because Maggie was nursing and he sat on my lap and they covered us both with the lead apron and arranged his arm on the place where it had to be arranged and I said something vaguely nursey and he said, "You're retired now, Mer. But now your job is taking care of people."
Which made me want to hug him so tightly that my bones would have been visible with his.
Instead, I just sat with him there, and kissed the top of his head (which is growing ever easier to do- my god, that child is growing tall!) and waited for the clicks.

Here are two pictures that Lily sent me last night that she took of Gibson and his sister.



And here's a picture that Jessie sent me that both Mr. Moon and I posted on Facebook of a shopping trip she took with August to the Target.


When Mr. Moon posted it, he commented thusly:
"My grandson was caught today trying to knock off a drugstore. He was almost successful but his face mask fell down while facing the security camera."

He was going to add, "All he was trying to do was to get Depends for his old grandpa," but he did not. I think he should have. 

I do not have a new picture of Owen but I have tried to give you one with words. That big, brave boy who is so funny. 
Here's another story- the orthopedic clinic, for some lovely reason, has a little fresh produce stand outside the entrance a few days a week and yesterday, before we went in, I bought some things. I wanted sweet potatoes which Owen approved of because they go into the pancakes he loves and as I was looking around and ruminating about what else to buy, he said slyly, "But no pickled eggplant," which is a running joke in the book we love called The Little Red Hen Makes A Pizza.


My heart cracked open as I cracked up. The boy has a sense of humor. And we have shared jokes. 

Yes. I do my best to take care and here's a picture of the man I take care of, who takes care of me, with our youngest grandchild. 


So it's been an odd day but a good one and those pillows are going to feel so good tonight. 
It's okay, I suppose, to take a day to do little stuff, to just be. To remember that taking care of my own tiny piece of the world is enough. 
How often have I said this? 
I have no idea but eventually, I may believe it. 
Or not. 

Whatever.

Love...Ms. Moon

The Very Best Of Banal

Haha! I just noticed the typo in last night's post. God! I wasn't even drinking!
I think I'll let it pass as it works that way too.
Pain And It Is Passing.
Why not?

It's raining here today and getting cold again. I see we might have snow flurries next week. Nothing would surprise me at this point. It was almost eighty degrees yesterday.

I am being so lazy and so what? I've been watching Youtubes of the Stones in Santiago last night. Let me say this- they can still fill a stadium, they can get everyone on their feet, and everyone seems to know all the words to all the songs.
And Mick Jagger's ass has got to be registered as one of the Eight Great Wonders of the World.
It is tiny, but it is mighty. You can quote me on that.

So I have nothing else to report. My brain seems to be on vacation and I don't really want to talk about me and I don't really want to talk about the world but if you want to tell me something, I'll be very happy to hear about it.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Pain And It's Passing

I don't know this for sure but I think that if an adult goes in to get pins removed from an arm they probably provide at least some pain relief beforehand.
Poor Owen. It seemed like it hurt like hell but it didn't take long and he survived and by the time his new cast was on, he had mostly recovered. He will only have to wear the cast for another week and then he's done.
After the procedure and the new cast, we went to the grocery store and Owen shopped with me which I enjoyed so much. I showed him how to tell the difference between cilantro and Italian parsley and we discussed all of my selections and yes, yes, yes. I got him some Fruit By The Foot, which for some reason, he and his brother think is the most marvelous treat on earth and I also got him a little toy (and one for Gibson) and some of his favorite yogurt.
He knows I'm a big pushover.
Lily said at check-out, "Mama never bought those things but Mer does."
It's true.
And quite frankly, I love being a grandmother and buying the treats that Mamas have to put their feet down about because when my children were little, I would have loved to have said, "Yes," to everything they wanted and now I can do a little of that and it's okay and the world doesn't come to an end. And besides that, I just love them so much. When I saw Owen running up to me at the clinic, I got a huge stab of joy in my heart that I can't even describe to you.
It's...well, just indescribable. Something I never realized could happen.

And now it's raining a little and the wind is blowing and I've got chicken enchiladas in the oven, and avocados and tomatoes and cilantro chopped with lime juice over all on the table and the Stones are just about to hit the stage in Santiago-It's Only Rock and Roll (But Me Gusto)- and I'm thinking about an old friend who's getting surgery on Friday for cancer and the thunder and lightening just rumbled and lit and soon it will be time to crawl into the bed and let this day go by.

May all be well, may all be well, may we all be at peace and not in pain.

Love...Ms. Moon




Color As Distraction


Black and white make everything look so gloom-and-doomy, don't they?

Well, just as some days the world conspires to pull me up and out, there are other days in which it does not even try.


Or maybe it's just me because even this



Feels like this


on this heavy, gray day where even the birds and the chickens go about their serious business of eating silently. 

And the rain has begun. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Time To Put The Hot Sauce On The Table

I am so tired but it was a lovely day. Being in a room with at least a dozen gorgeous babies and their pretty mamas was about the nicest thing I could imagine. Little Magpie got weighed and ate and got weighed again.



And then she fell asleep. 
Jessie and August came in from Mama-Baby yoga and joined in the fun. 


Little guy wasn't really hungry but since it was breastfeeding class and he was offered the option, he took it and then he spit up. A lot. 
As one mother said, laughing, "He looks like a frat boy who can't hold his beer."
It didn't bother August but Jessie had to go home and change her clothes. 

We went for lunch and of course this happened:


We decided that there should be an entire Facebook page of nothing but Hank Holding Babies. 
We'll work on that.

We went to Costco and I shot around the store frantically, trying to figure out what to make for supper. Did I want a huge chunk of salmon? Four pounds of chicken breasts? A Vat O' Ravioli? Thirty-six dollars worth of sea scallops? 
What? What? What?
I couldn't figure it out but somehow I still managed to spend a hundred dollars. 
We won't need beer for awhile, I can tell you that. Or canned black olives. Or frozen blueberries. 
Yeah, I guess it all adds up. 
I did NOT buy the dark-chocolate covered coconut although I wanted to. That shit is crack. 
"Mama, it's health food!" said Jessie. 
I rolled my eyes and walked on. 

Tomorrow I'm going to meet up with Lily and Owen at the orthopedic clinic to get the pins taken out of his arm. He's still going to have to be in a cast for awhile. He's looking forward to being cast-free although he doesn't really complain about it much. He wants to ride his bike up and down his road with his daddy. And be able to hold his sister better. Gibson wanted to hold her today and I helped him and after about two seconds he said, "Okay, you take her." 
They are both excellent brothers. 

And now I'm waiting for my husband to come home and oh- here he is- his truck just pulled into the driveway. He's going to be getting garbanzo bean soup and bread for his supper. 

I better get off this chair I am sharing with this beast.


He's been making furtive forays into the house, daring to cross the threshold to see if The Lurking House Monster kills him before he dashes back out. He's been hanging around for days now, those balls still intact. Maurice accepts him as does Luna. They're all pretty chill around each other. And he doesn't chase the chickens so he's welcome to eat here and share my chair. 

Another good day and all is well, night has fallen, the chickens are up, and there's a bird calling I've never heard before in my life. 

Peace. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Foggy Day Plan

Going to see this girl today.


Her Mermer misses her. 


Monday, February 1, 2016

But...But...The Flowers Are So Beautiful!

Today got up to eighty here and it felt so much like spring that I felt all the feelings that come rushing in when spring arrives, knowing all the while that it is not actually spring but before I could remember this, my skin and eyes would tell me that it is spring, believe it or not. 

As global climate changes become more profound, what is going to happen to our innate and internal clocks, set to the days before these changes became so widespread? Is anyone asking this question besides me? Is this going to have implications that we who are sensitive to such things (and I think that most of us are, whether we know it or not) will have difficulties with? Will this trigger anxiety or depression in some of us? The vast and far-reaching effects of these changes are almost beyond our ken unless we are climate scientists, I think. The Zika virus scare, the so-called tropical diseases which will begin to surely and definitely affect us, the way we shall have to change our planting and harvesting schedules, the foods that we cannot grow that we formerly could, the things that we can now grow, that we formerly could not, the location of fishes and whales in the ocean, the use of energy and fossil fuels, the confusion and disruption of the migration of birds and insects and other animals- all of these things are not insignificant and in fact, add up to what we all know is possible devastation for all life on the planet.
I say "possible."
I hope that the word which would more accurately be used is not "certain".

I already know that our properties on both Dog Island and the Apalachicola Bay are not going to be here for my grandchildren's children. I have no doubt about that.

I do not dwell on these things. I am not obsessed with worrying about them and yet, there is no way to deny they are happening. A mosquito is hovering around me as I write this. Is it infected with Zika or malaria or Chikunganya or Dengue? Probably not but next year, it's offspring may be. How can the CDC keep up with these things? The insect repellent market?
Our minds?
Last fall the mosquitoes were so bad that I could not, would not, work in my garden. I have lived in Florida all of my life and I had never seen mosquitoes like that.
Even the lack of hurricanes in the last few years is slightly disturbing. As much as I hate them, hurricanes are a part of our lives, or least, always have been. They fill the aquifers, they nourish the swamps which a necessary part of the ecosystem here.

And right now, our legislature in Florida is passing one bill after another, making fracking a possibility here.

I am so appalled that I can't even tell you. I honestly had more faith in human intelligence than I should have.

I have no answers. Not one. I have only despair.
We have fouled our nest which is something that even my chickens do not do. They only poop in the nests in which they do not lay eggs.

I'm confused, y'all.
And scared to death.

Love...Ms. Moon

P.S. I just pulled a tick off my leg. A tick. The first day of February. Throw that little fact into the mix.






Swear Words Ahead

I woke up this morning in a mood that can best be described as "why am I still alive?"
I know. Right?
God. I'm just pissy. If I were still having periods, which I MOST CERTAINLY AM NOT! I would call myself PMS'ing. As it is, I am just crazy.
No reason. None at all. Beautiful day. Beautiful fucking day and it's like 73 degrees and although my CD player which is in my pocket all the time, broke, which rendered me completely useless because I am incapable of doing anything around here without a book in my ear, I found another old one stashed in the closet that by some miracle of GOD and all the angels and possibly Tesla, works, and so I can't even blame that and I took a walk and that went fine, all the blue sky and warm breezes absolutely pissing me off because hey! I'm in a bad mood. Stop being so fucking gorgeous, north Florida.
And obviously, my sentence writing abilities have disappeared somewhere in the blackhole night where I had horrible dreams that I'm not even going to grace with reporting as to details because they were appalling and maybe that's why I'm in such a bad mood.
Damn. Stupid camellias blooming their hearts out, got this picture from Lily this morning


and the Rolling Stones may be recording a new album and the only real thing I have to really bitch about are the hog dogs which are barking, barking, barking mad and honestly- well. That's it.

Hell. I might as well just get over myself and go with the beauty of the day, the sweetness of the boy and the baby, the miracle of finding an operable CD player, and even the fact that someone went out and yelled at those stupid dogs and they are no longer barking.
Make the bed, clean up the kitchen, fill up the chicken-waterer, trim some more dead plants, water the plants in the house and on the porch, go to the store, remember that I am but one human being in the eternal list of human beings dead or alive, eat some leftovers, celebrate Rebecca's retirement, the submission of Elizabeth's work in progress to a publisher, even the successful catch of a lizard by Jack, the ballswingin' cat.

And now there's a freaking cardinal, red as Satan's soul, atop the bird feeder. Prettiest thing you ever saw.

I give up.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Love Story, Retold Again


When I first met Mr. Moon in 1983, I couldn't imagine even dating him. We were as different as cheese and chalk. He was what I called a "jock" and I was what I still call a "hippy." He was 6'10" and I was 5'4". I loved to read then as much as I do now and reading was not on his agenda. He hunted; I was the next best thing to a vegetarian. He was extremely close to his loving family. I kept my distance from my dysfunctional family and couldn't understand anyone loving his parents so much. He was eternally cheerful, happy, and optimistic and I was struggling out of the second or third clinical depression of my life.
He and I were both recently divorced but he had a dog and a truck and I had two kids and a house and was in nursing school. I think he'd been loving his single-man status and me? Well, honey, I had kissed so many toads.
Some of them admittedly darling toads, some even beautiful, but still- toads.

And yet- we did date, or rather, we met and he wooed me and the next thing I knew, he was living with me and had built a fence around my back yard to keep his dog in.
Supposedly.
I knew. I knew in my heart that he was the mythical good man and that he would treat me so well and my children too and so I accepted him into my life and he took on responsibility like nobody's business and next thing I knew, I was truly in love with him and he had to woo my women friends and I had to meet his family and they took me in as if I was their own. My kids, too, whom they embraced as sweetly and profoundly as if they'd been blood.
And my women friends, they too, fell in love with him eventually, over time.

We married a year later and a year after that we had our first child together and that was Lily and then three and a half years later we had Jessie and we were all a family and he'd started a business with his father's hands-on help and we worked so hard, keeping it all together and raising this family and he supported us and kept us going and I began to know what love really is.
We went through a lot together in those early years. Way too much, really. The business, the babies, the healing I've had to so painfully do from childhood trauma, the deaths of his parents, the death of one of those women friends of mine he'd had to woo. We were with her when she died and the day she died, she, for some reason known only to her, had to move house and when her bed was set up in her new place, she asked my husband to hold her like a baby, to carry her to the car to take her there, and he did and he carried her in his arms and set her in her bed and she died a few hours later and we were right there with two other friends, holding her and stroking her and it was one of the most profound experiences I've ever had in my life.

That's just a little bit of the things we've gone through together. We've raised all these children, we've danced at their weddings, we've been at the births of their children. We've moved and moved again. He's started more businesses and is still working hard and we are as involved in the lives of our children as ever.

And sometimes (today) I look at him and hold him and am held by him and I think of what I might have passed up because he seemed so very different and not at all like someone I'd ever imagined being married to.
And I cry a little at the wonder of the gift of him in my life.
He is so beautiful to me, this man.
His kindness, his strength, his heart are huge.

We're still chalk and cheese in so many ways. We always will be.
So what?
Frankly, I don't want to be married to someone who is exactly like me. Where's the fun in that? It still makes me laugh to see my hand in his giant one. To see my shoes lined up next to his. To know that while I still love to read, he still loves to do. 
And in the ways that really matter- in values, in heart, in love of home and family, we are so very much alike.

All right. I'm going to go make that man's supper now.
I am and always will be stupefied and astonished at how lucky I am.
And he still makes me laugh. Which may be the best thing of all.

One time, when things grew so very difficult between us, I told him that of all the women in the world who could have loved him and would have loved him, no one could love him for being exactly who he is the way I could.
I still think that is true. And I think he feels that way about me.

Love...Ms. Moon

A Sort Of Grace

You know- I'm going to be honest with you here- I have said to Jessie more than once, "If Dad had only paid a roofer to do this job, this would have all been done so long ago."
And it would have. My yard wouldn't be filled with tools and roofing materials and scraps of metal and Vergil could have been working on his own projects and my man might not be as wiped-out exhausted as he is every night that he's spent the day working on this project.
What are we? Pioneers? The Amish?

But this morning, as I faced another kitchen full of dishes to be washed after the working-man breakfast, it occurred to me that I have this all wrong. It's not just a matter of saving money, although that part is important. It's also a matter of family. And of time spent with family. Of sitting across the table from August being held by one of his parents. Of laughing over meals, of having my daughter and her baby in my house, snuggling under the covers with Maurice watching over protectively.



It's having a sweet, tipsy talk with my daughter before bed. It's the men learning together as they work.
What else would I rather be doing than making working-man breakfasts and dinners? Than having my grandson close at hand for cuddles and smiles? Than sharing jokes and memories and anxieties and joys with Jessie?

We live in a funny world where we mostly do pay other people to do the hard jobs that we don't have time for. That we don't know how to do. Everything from growing and cooking our food to putting roofs on our houses. And so many of us are certainly are not suited to those sorts of work and so we do other kinds of work to pay those who are so that their families can be supported.

It's really all about family, isn't it? The very, very best thing about this roof situation is the way that Vergil has cheerfully given up so much of his own time to help us with this. He has given up time and he has given us use of his fine engineering brain and his muscles and his experience to work with my husband who grew up doing things like this with his own father.

There is a certain satisfaction in all of it it we would never have gotten if we'd hired roofers. I'm not saying that when it comes time to do the steep part of the roof that I will not be advising that we do just that. But for now, for this part, despite how long it's taken, it's been good.

Well, that's all I have to say today and besides that, this other cat, Jack, doesn't want me to type any more and is putting his big furry purring body between me and the keyboard.

And look who's up.


Time for more play.
 Love...Ms. Moon