Friday, September 21, 2018

Staying Close To Home

In a perfect world I would make cornbread every day because my chickens like it so much. I just sat on the back steps and tried to get them to come eat a few leftover pieces of it out of my hand and the jungle fowl did but the rest would not. This is my fault- I did not hand feed them enough when they were peeps. It makes me sad. But maybe I'll start trying more seriously and frequently now. I love the way their beaks feel as they peck, peck, peck away at the crumbs of the cornbread. Back when this house was built, cornbread was probably the only bread they made and ate. Or maybe not but that would not have been unusual. Corn was such an important staple. Grits and corn meal showed up every day, I am sure, in one form or another. Wheat flour was not nearly as readily available and probably far more expensive although I'm sure biscuits were made too. 

That's little Darla. She's so plain and yet, so precious. She lays me the one really big egg I get. I got that picture this morning as she was leaving the hen house. I thanked her. I wonder how many chickens have been raised on this piece of property. Thousands and thousands, I would assume. It feels so right to keep a little flock myself. 

I laid low today. Low energy, low motivation, low spirits. But I finished up August's dress and I love it and I hope he does too. Once again- it's soft. 

A cotton knit and I thought I was not going to be able to figure out how to do the buttonholes but by golly I did. The parts that the buttonholes went in were backed by interfacing and so that area was sturdy enough to take the beating of the always-dependable Greist Buttonholer Attachment. In fact, I think they may be the nicest buttonholes I've ever made. 

Tidy as can be. 

I love buttons. I'm like a child with a granny's button box. I will buy old buttons at any thrift store. Here's my main source of buttons. 

And here's an especially beautiful button I found in a mason jar holding someone's collection that I bought at Wag the Dog recently. 

Isn't that a little work of art? There was only one which makes it all the more special. 

The buttons I sewed on the fox dress are nothing special but they needed to be big enough and those get the job done. I sewed a pocket on the dress because one should always have a pocket. August has now found two marbles and he brought them to show me yesterday when we had lunch. I think that a boy who finds marbles should especially have pockets. 

So I've been soothing myself today with chicken feeding and sewing and button sorting. I'm seething inside at what Trump said about Christine Blasey Ford. That if the sexual attack of Kavanaugh had been that bad, she should have filed a police report. 
I want to file a police report against Trump every day of my life. His presence in the White House and on Twitter and in social media and on the news makes me feel violated and terrified and threatened and triggered. I have discovered that it's not so much a description of sexual abuse or molestation or attack that triggers me. It is the fact that the women who suffer these things are so often not believed. Or are ignored. Or denigrated. 
Or sent death threats. 
Jesus Christ. 
And Trump is a walking, talking example of how little society cares when women are treated like chattel for the taking. Like asking-for-it sluts. Like If you're famous you can get away with grabbing them by the pussy. 
And Kavanaugh can blithely sit there and insist that he certainly doesn't remember any incident like the one Ms. Ford has reported but let me tell you this- she not only remembers, she's paid good money for therapy because of the pain it caused her. Because of how it changed her life. And not in a good way. And all of the therapy in the world isn't going to bring back the girl she was before it happened. 

So. Sewing. Letting chickens peck cornbread from my hand. Hanging sheets on the line. Watering my porch plants. Noting the growth of the succulents I pulled up in Roseland from the dirt beside the road and brought home to plant in a blue pot as well as the two mango seeds which have sprouted from Roseland mangoes that I stuck in dirt and watered. 
Things that require my concentration and make me feel grounded in good and decent reality. 
Things I do which require putting one foot in front of the other. 

Maybe when (if?) it gets a bit cooler, I will feel better. I think all of us who live around here will. 

Despite all, I wish you a happy Friday. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Friends Don't Let Friends Eat Zoodles

Today for lunch we went to a nice little Mediterranean place. I guess that's what you'd call it. August's grilled cheese was made on pita bread. So, yeah. Right? Mr. Moon joined us as the credit union he's got an office in now is right across the road and of course August wanted him to draw pictures. This is now a ritual, a routine, but not a rut. I am quite surprised at how well Boppy can draw. I had no idea! Today he drew a tractor with a harrow and a farmer and a barn. I wish I'd kept the index card with the artwork on it. I've taken to putting index cards in my purse to make sure that there is always something to draw on in restaurants. Whenever I see or use an index card, I always think of my grandfather who would put a few index cards into his breast pocket every morning along with a mechanical pencil and he would make notes all day long. Now people use their phones for note-making but I still think that pen and paper are best for notes and for lists, too.
And speaking of lists- I had a short one with me when I went to Publix after lunch. I kept it out, as I do now, and crossed things off, as I also do now, and as I went I actually added things to it after I'd determined what I was going to cook tonight because trust me- no, I will not remember that I need dry roasted unsalted peanuts which are on aisle ten or something when I am in the produce section. That is a lot of store to walk through which takes a lot of time which is all it takes for me to completely forget shit.
I can literally forget to turn the porch ceiling fan off in the space of about five steps after reminding myself to do it. 
Swear to god.
Things are getting dire.
So there I was, walking around Publix and checking things off my list and forgetting to check things off my list and adding things to my list and re-making a recipe in my head which required me to go back to the same place in the store I'd just been to five minutes before to return one thing and pick up another and if someone was watching me on the surveillance camera they must have been scratching their chin and wondering if they should call security to see if I was okay.

Which reminds me that August asked me today if I had a beard.


One would think that he might notice that I do not but then again, I don't look in the mirror very often.

But this led to a discussion about beards and why mostly men have them and women don't. This is not always true, trust me, thus the use of the word "mostly". This discussion involved hormones but it did not involve the use of the pronoun "they" but you can also trust me when I say that August will indeed meet people who do not identify as "he" or "she" and probably sooner rather than later in this family.
Anyway, I asked August if he was going to have a beard when he grows up and he said that yes, he was going to have one. I have no doubt that he will if he still wants one then but it sort of caught my heart a little, looking at that gorgeous child's beautiful little hairless, smooth, perfect-skinned chin and cheeks, thinking about some day a beard being there. About him being a man. Will he still have those incredible eyelashes?
Another question I asked him was, "Can I have your eyelashes?"
"No," he said. "They are tied on."
"You're right," I said. "And they look beautiful on you."

Levon is not yet concerned with things like beards or eyelashes or drawings on index cards. He is far more interested in where he can climb and how he can escape the clutches of his mama or his Mer. That boy wants to go. Up, mostly. He is not his brother. He is himself. At the age he is now, August would sit and listen to books for a long time but Levon is done completely after one page at which point he wants to climb over the back of the couch. He is like his brother, however, in his complete disinterest in being kissed. He gets a look on his face when I kiss him like, "Really? Why? Please respect my personal space."

Well, I suppose I better go in and cook that supper that it took me three hours to shop for. I'm making a Publix recipe called something like "Spicy Peanut Chicken With Zoodles" but I'm not using any zoodles. Or chicken. Tofu and broccoli. The spicy peanut sauce will be in evidence, though. A recipe with peanut butter and chili sauce? 
Oh hell yes! 
So. Time to go grate some ginger and mush up some garlic and all of that stuff. 
I will also be cooking some real goddam noodles. The day I start spiralizing is the day I start bedazzling my lady parts which is to say- cold day in hell, honey. Pigs will be flying. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

It Is The Season Of Purple And Yellow Flowers

I made myself take a rather short, slow walk this morning and I am glad I did. I saw so many beautiful things. This wild turkey hen being one of them.

Not a great shot but I love how the sun shines through her wattle. She was seemingly not scared of me at all and stood stock-still in the middle of the road until I got quite close at which point she slowly made her way to the other side. I sent this picture to Mr. Moon and the following text thread occurred:

This is all a joke based on how I may have, at one point or another, pointed out a soaring bird and said, "Look! A hawk!" when in fact, the bird in question was a buzzard. My identification abilities are sometimes lacking but Mr. Moon has indeed assured me that yes, I took a picture of a female wild turkey today. And by the way- the Ivory Billed Woodpecker is most likely extinct which is also part of the joke. 
But not for the Ivory Billed Woodpecker. 

I also saw a doe and her fawn, leaping across the road as silent as a prayer. 

The wildflowers and butterflies are just wonderful this year. Here are few of the flowers I stopped to take pictures of. 

Does this look like a fairy bouquet of orchids?

The only one I know the name of is the last one and I have posted pictures of its kinfolk before. It is bee balm, or horsemint, depending on who you ask. Both names are charming. From a distance of ten feet, you would never know how incredibly complex and gorgeous that flower is. 

The baking heat continues. It rained for just a few minutes this afternoon which only led to a sauna-like feeling when it had quit. Steamy, sultry, and actually quite unbearable. The WTF Forecast app on my phone says it is "Swamp Ass Level 10." 
I cannot disagree. 

Which leads me to a comment that Peace Thyme left on yesterday's post about me wanting to go on vacation where it's even hotter and more humid than it is here. 
I can only offer this as explanation.

Can you see all of the colors of that water? From the lightest aquamarine to actual purple. And that picture was taken from the hotel where we are booked now and will be staying. It was hard to go ahead and pull that trigger but I just could not find a place I'd rather stay, not to mention that most places on the water are already booked for December. There are some places available in a huge resort/condo area which is gated and has many pools and you can rent a jet ski and the condos themselves look just like any condo you could rent in Panama City Beach and that is not what I want. Not at all. 
I would gladly pay extra for no jet skis which I consider to be the devil's own aqua transportation device. 

I started on August's dress today. Just saying that makes me giggle. I should be able to finish it up tomorrow if something does not arise which requires my attention. Here's what the fabric looks like. 

Quite masculine, don't you think? 
Foxes on bikes. And trees. Or fancy arrows. Who knows? 
Foxes are hot right now and I know that August likes them. 

One more picture.

Liberace's tail feathers. 
Isn't their symmetry lovely? He is a big rooster, y'all. I saw him today chasing tiny Miss Violet and she ran like the wind. He appeared not to have enough interest to chase after her. It's odd how neither he nor Ringo seemed to have the overwhelming lust that Elvis and Mick had. 
Maybe it's just too hot for them to really give a damn.

Yeah. That's probably it. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

From Grandchildren To Blood Sacrifice. Yeah. That Makes Sense

When Maggie got here this morning she went straight for her baby dolls. This is just who the child is. And she loves pretending to be a mommy. She has never been "encouraged" in this sort of play but seems to come by it completely naturally and loves to pretend to put the babies to bed and to wake them up and she gives them lots and lots of kisses so of course she is patterning herself on what she sees around her and how her mommy takes care of her and I think it's beautiful. Owen did the same thing with his stuffed animals although he often pretended they were his wives.
One at a time.
He wasn't a Mormon.
She asked me for some pancakes and eggs when she got here and I told her I wasn't making pancakes this morning but would happily cook her an egg, which I did. She fed some to her baby and ate some herself and I think mostly she was just happy to have me do her bidding. Her hair was especially curly today, with pretty little ringlets and wildness abounding. I decided to text Jessie with an invitation to come out and play with us and she said that sounded like a good idea. I told Maggie that August was coming and she was very, very excited.
"And Levon?"
"Yes. And Levon."
"And Aunt Jessie?"
"Yes. And Aunt Jessie?"
"And Uncle Hank?"
"No, Uncle Hank isn't coming today."
"And Rachel?"
"No, Rachel isn't coming either. But you'll have fun with August and Levon."

And so she did. I think all of the children had fun.

Maggie loves Levon so much. She wants to squish him with her love the way she used to squish August in big hugs. She is a bit more polite about that sort of thing now but she will never not be a hugger. Today she asked August for a hug and she held her arms out to him. He did not answer her but crammed half a banana into his mouth and stared into space, chewing, acting for all the world as if he did not hear her. Jessie and I cracked up. But Levon is a real live baby doll and she can hug him and she does and if I am holding him, she wants me to hold her too and I have no problem with that at all. 

Here are some more pictures. 

Levon, like all of my grandchildren, love that rocking horse. It makes him laugh and he can bounce it himself, always with a protecting hand right behind him. I am so glad that we bought that horse when Owen was a little guy.

Maggie and August playing with the cocktail mermaids and animals that yes, I DID finally buy off Amazon. Monkeys and donkeys and giraffes and so many mermaids. They make a gorgeous bowl of shiny fun.

Lunch. Oh, my beautiful babies! August's hair was quite curly today too and I am not sure I will ever get over the shock of having two grandchildren so close in age with such blond, curly hair. 

When Lily finished with her massage and came to get the girl, she did not want to go. Who could blame her? We had had so much fun. But all good things must come to an end eventually and so she kissed us all good-bye and went home and August got to stay a little longer and I read him some books and answered the question "why" about fifty times. I love it when he asks "why" at the end of a page and the next page answers the question for him. That helps a great deal. 

And that was how it was and he left with his mother and his brother I kissed him good-bye and told him what I'd told Maggie which was something along the lines of "Thank you for coming to see me and letting me play with you," and I kissed the top of his head before he could complain. Same with Levon. And off they went and there I was, alone again and not unhappy about that either. I slowly made my way through the house, tidying up this and that. Books and the puzzle we'd done and toys and mermaids and animals which can cleverly be hooked to the side of a rum drink glass if one uses them for that purpose and tricycles and snacks and all of the detritus of what taking care of little ones requires. 
At one point today I asked Jessie, "Why would anyone in the world want to open a day-care?" 
Neither of us could figure that one out. 
But a little bit of a Mer Mer daycare is quite all right and soon the house was set to rights and I laid down for a little while and read and had a tiny nap and then got up and started what is going to hopefully be something like a venison pozole or posole, depending on what recipe you're looking at. I pressure cooked the stew meat which is by definition tough and now it is simmering in a sauce made of onions and garlic and tomatoes and salsa verde and chilies and chili powder and cumin and oh yes, one strip of bacon. It has no tripe in it and I am going to put both hominy and fresh corn in it so it is no more traditional than Taco Bell but hopefully, it will be good with some chopped cabbage and avocado and lots of cilantro and lime. It's too hot for soups or stews but at this point, sweating is our default setting so maybe we'll just get rid of more toxins although I have no faith in that toxin-ridding school of thought. If it were true, I'd be as clean and as free of them as a new-born babe and I'm pretty sure that is not the case. 
So far, however, sweating has not killed me. 

I think we have our rooms for Cozumel. We might have to leave for one night that they are already booked for but Mr. Moon has suggested that we take the ferry over to the mainland that day and rent a car and drive to Chichen Itza to stay at the Mayaland Hotel and Bungalows Resort where we stayed one night before, many years ago and which was absolutely one of the most magical and amazing places you can imagine. The hotel is built among and in sight of the ruins themselves as well as beautiful gardens and flat-out jungle and staying there was the closest I've ever come to time travel in my life. I love my husband so for thinking of this, for making this suggestion. 

It is a place where you could encounter Indiana Jones in a pith helmet or a Mayan ballplayer wearing a jaguar skin or a Mayan priest placing the bloody heart of an enemy in the receiving basin of Chac Mool.  

I wrote a poem once about this particular statue of this particular god. I did not hate the poem. Perhaps I shall try to find it. 

All right. That's enough of me tonight. I will be interested to see where my dreams lead. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, September 17, 2018

Just A Day

I really don't have much to say today. I didn't walk because I wasn't in the mood to die on the side of a road. I did go into town and met Jessie and Levon at Costco. August stayed at home with his daddy because there was a crew there taking down a pine tree and that was just too exciting to miss. It wasn't a very exciting Costco trip. The only sample was of smoked salmon and it was good but pitifully small. Oh wait. They had some packaged Indian food too but Levon ate all of mine. I don't think that Jessie appreciated the fact that I let him eat it with his fingers and he got potatoes and lentils all over himself but she was too kind to say, "WHAT THE HELL, MOM?"

Then they went home and I went to Publix and when I was checking out it was thundering so loud that it was echoing in the store and I could hear the drumming of the rain on the roof and sure enough, when I got outside it was pouring rain and the lightening was cracking right there and the thunder was just tremendously loud and so I stood under the overhang and ate the grocery store sushi I'd bought and watched the wind blow the rain sideways and the umbrellas of the brave being turned inside out. It was an extremely fierce storm. By the time I finished my sushi, I decided to just go for it and got as soaked as I would have gotten jumping into a river. I'm serious- when I got home I discovered that the boxes which held the pasta I'd bought were so wet that I had to transfer the noodles into jars and baggies. The temperature also dropped about ten degrees and that was beautiful.
When I got to Lloyd I found that we hadn't had a drop of rain although it did shower a bit just a little while ago and it's cooler here too.

Looks like Kavanaugh might have his goose cooked by a very, very brave woman but hell, I thought for sure that after Trump said what he said about grabbing women by the pussy that he was done, over, and dead but of course, his base just said, "Who cares?" and we all know how that turned out. I have no delusions that even if he does get voted down, the next nominee won't be just as horrid. Those in power want what they want which is total world domination by right-wing rich people and they aren't going to nominate anyone who might have one ounce of moral decency.
Still. I'd be glad not to see his tiny-eyed, helmet-hair-topped, white squinchy face in the media for the rest of my life.

Tomorrow morning Ms. Magnolia is coming over for a visit while her mama collects her Mother's Day gift of a massage and I'm all in for that. Maybe we can have a tea-party and then go out and hunt snakes. With that girl the full spectrum of activity is possible.
Actually, please know that we will not be hunting snakes.

Spirits are a bit low here this evening. My husband is the depressed one right now which is, as far as I'm concerned, a true upending of the natural order of things and I don't handle this well. I'm the one who's supposed to be depressed. I've trotted out my entire skimpy bag of tricks to cheer him up but nothing is working. I suppose I need to realize that he needs to be able to feel what he's feeling and not take it personally although I can't help but do so.
Perhaps this would be a good time to try the Saran Wrap thing. At the very least he would have to laugh.
But then again, as Maggie would say, ""
Instead I'll make some pineapple chicken and know that life will go on.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Can't Complain/Pretty Good

Last night while I was dreaming it would appear that someone came and injected me with a drug perhaps called "NeverWake" or at least that's how I felt this morning when I did, in fact wake but I could not shake myself into the realm of actual wakefulness even though I pretended I was awake and I guess that's good enough.

I slogged through the morning while Mr. Moon went over to Lily's to do some target-shooting with the bow with Owen and got myself ready to go into town for yet another awesome family luncheon, this one with every one of us except for Jason who had to work and we missed him.

May and Michael have Michael's beautiful mother Chris visiting them and May suggested that we all go out together so that we could hang out with Chris and no one would have to cook and that was an excellent idea and of course we went to El Patron because not only do we like the food but they know us and they do most of their business at night so our ten adults and five children or whatever we were did not overstrain the staff.

We looked something like this. 
And this. 

Levon was overwhelmed. So was his grandmother. 

Gibson sat next to Chris and engaged her in conversation, as he does, and at one point announced that he and she would be Christmas friends FOREVER! I am not sure how this statement came about but it was reported to me by two reliable witnesses, one of them Chris herself. Gibson is just about the most social person I've ever met. The word "stranger" is not in his vocabulary. 

Oh, my family! I would look around and listen and catch the flying bits of so many different conversations, 

(Pretty sure this one was about the best methods of cooking and eating hotdogs.)

serious and non-, laughter, catching-up, helping children, sharing food, passing hot sauce, ordering of drinks, and on and on and on. Levon was passed about, Maggie visited first one of us and then the other and by the time it was all over, she and August were running around and had to be corralled and taken outside to the empty deck where Vergil played freeze-tag with all of the kids who can run which is everyone but Levon, of course. There's an old cash register on that deck and the children love to play restaurant there. At one point, Gibson was the bartender and cashier and Owen was the chef. The prices were a bit high- I believe that Vergil was told that his Pina Colada would be sixty-thousand dollars, but the food and drinks were delicious. 
Even Maggie and August got into the act and I got this little video which I adore and cherish because once again, here we are watching those two cousins interact and this time, make-believe is being tossed into the mix which is the very foundation for intelligent thinking and a lifetime of original thought to my way of thinking. My favorite part is the last ten seconds or so where August tries to tell Maggie how to do her job and she stares off into the distance and says, "" 

That's my girl!
Do it the way you want to, Magnolia June!
Of course later on she got mad because Gibson wouldn't let her run the cash register and tried to bite him on the back but that's another story. Plus- no blood, no foul so all was well and Gibson remained cheerful in his task.

Eventually, we all kissed and hugged and kissed and hugged and said good-bye and I spent about half the rest of the afternoon on the bed, reading and dozing.
"It is a resting day," I announced and pronounced.
And so it was. My husband even joined me for awhile which was very sweet.

Sundays can generally bite my ass but this one was not so bad and getting that video was priceless for me. El Patron was as kind and tolerant of us as they always are and I have a feeling that when these children grow up, they are going to remember eating there with deep fondness.

It's still crazy hot. I got four eggs today. I am going to make a casserole with the leftover snapper from last night and it will involve noodles.

I asked August yesterday how his marble was doing.
"Pretty good," he said.
And that's an accurate description of this Sunday in September in North Florida, 2018.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Mysterious Waters

Jessie sent out a group text this morning apologizing for it being last-minute but inviting everyone to join her and Vergil and the kids down at Wakulla Springs. I told Mr. Moon about it and he reckoned that that might be fun and I thought so too so we packed up some sandwiches and put on our bathing costumes and grabbed some towels and hit the road for one of my very favorite places in Florida. Or, anywhere, for that matter. I've written about Wakulla Springs many times and how much I love it. I always take visitors there because it's just so dang Florida. The spring itself is the world's largest and deepest freshwater spring in the world, according to this webpage. Wikipedia has a very decent entry on the springs as well. It discusses the biology, the flow rate, the history, and the very serious problems the springs face right now due to humans.
Of course.

We had a perfectly wonderful time at the springs today. Mr. Moon and I were the only ones to join the Weatherfords as everyone else had previous plans made. Jessie and Vergil got there before we did and had set up camp in a lovely shaded spot right by the water near the diving tower.

And no, I have never jumped off it and never will. Vergil jumped several times today though, to the great and vast delight of his son. As scary as that tower looks (and it's even more impressive when you're up there at the top), this is what the old tower looked like.

Oh hell no. 
It was right beneath the tower where they found an entire mastodon skeleton back when the icy waters were far clearer than they are now. 

Just magic in all regards. There are manatee and fish, and gators lounge on the opposite bank and there are the jungle boat rides which take you down the river and back. They show you where Creature From The Black Lagoon was filmed and also, some of Johnny Weissmuller's Tarzan movies. 
(My first real crush. I still am very much in love with Johnny's Tarzan as many of you know.) 
And then you float over the springhead from which millions of gallons of water pour forth daily. 

It is dizzying. It is magnificent. It is a miracle on this earth and when we get a year of good rain, part of my joy in it is knowing that the aquifer upon which we depend here is filling and then spilling from that deep, deep spring which has engendered and nurtured so much life for eons. 

There's my sweet family, smiling and waving from the floating dock. 
Every sort of person ends up at Wakulla Springs. Grannies like me and Grandpas like Mr. Moon and tattooed hipsters and tattooed rednecks (I felt very tattoo-deficient there today) and tourists from other countries and lots of young teenagers there to show off their bodies and blow-off some steam and talk some trash and young families with children and today there seemed to be a choir of some sort who stood in the water and sang under the bright blue sky as the holy water washed them clean. 

We all swam and got cool and sat in the shade and ate our sandwiches and boiled peanuts and pretzels and grapes and tangerines and Levon showed off his new skills of hand-clapping and standing on his own. He doesn't realize he's doing this yet, but he is. After awhile August wanted ice cream and his parents told him that if he would poop in the potty, he could have some and he did and so everyone but me went up to the lodge and visited the snack bar there and got ice-cream cones. I stayed behind to watch our stuff and also, ice cream is not one of my vices. 

So it was just a beautiful day and I'm grateful we got to go and hang out with the kids and watch the people and swim in the cold waters and relax in the shade of the cypress trees. 

Okay. I admit. I made those two pose for that picture. But they were seriously interested in something in my New Yorker. I swear. 

When we got home I cleaned out the hen house and Liberace got in one of the nest boxes in the clean straw and wallowed out a new nest. I wonder if the hens will pay attention and start laying there. I hope so. I only found two eggs today and I despair at the thought of all of the lovely eggs being laid somewhere secret and hidden. 

I can wonder and marvel at some things which are secret and hidden such as the bones of ancient creatures at the bottom of the very deep and mysterious Wakulla Springs but some things deserve to be brought to light. 
Like eggs, dammit!
Maybe if I promise them ice cream...

Be well, y'all. I'll be back tomorrow. 

Love...Ms. Moon