Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Oh, How I Love My Owen

Last night Lily texted to tell us that Owen was to be in a choral production at his school tonight and that we were invited. Of course, Owen never actually participates in these things. Oh, I mean he'll walk in with the rest of the kids and he'll stand there but he doesn't even pretend to sing for the most part and as to the hand motions- nah.
Tonight there seemed to be a tiny increment of activity beyond the last two year's but you had to watch closely to catch them. He's ALWAYS been embarrassed to be around people singing. He just has. Even when he was practically still a baby. If we burst out into song around him he'd say, "No! No!" The most miserable I've ever seen him was when he was in preschool and they put on a princess ball or something to that effect and he had to dance with a little girl and then participate in the singing and I could tell that he seriously wanted to die.
Now Gibson? He's a born and joyful performer. He has no inhibitions about giving such things his all with such zest and happiness. We shall see what Maggie's like. They are all so different.
The concert tonight was a patriotic one, I think in celebration of Veteran's Day. I especially enjoyed the state-naming rap. In alphabetical order.
After the concert was over, Owen morphed back into his regular self and he hugged me and I hugged him so hard and told him that I was almost proud of his complete refusal to participate. And then I hugged him again and told him how handsome he was. And THEN I congratulated him on coming in second in a speech contest in his class. He's a complex kid, my Owen and I sure do love him.
Gibson was full of hugs and Maggie moved from lap to lap.

When we all said goodbye she made her mother kiss me. 
"Kiss your mommy," she commanded. And of course, Lily did. 

So that was a fun little thing on a Tuesday night. As we all know, I'm not a real big fan of patriotic displays but just being in a room full of parents and grandparents who have come together from very divergent communities and cultures to support their kids and grandkids makes me feel better about life in general so there was that. 

When I took my walk this morning I noticed that someone is actually doing some work on this old house which is right down the street from us. 

He's taken off the front and side porch so something's going on. I've wondered about that house so many times. It would be a beautiful thing to see it brought back to become a home. 

When I got down to the county line part of my walk I saw No Man Lord Guy hauling a washing machine on a handcart. A dolly. 
"Are you going to haul that thing all the way to your house?" I asked him.
"Yeah. I was supposed to get some help but I didn't so I'm just going to do it myself. I'll get it there," he said with resigned conviction. 
"I know you will," I said. And we both laughed. 
And he did. When I drove by later it was sitting in his front yard. I guess he sells these things he hauls home. Lately he's seemed to be focusing on lawn mowers but I suppose someone had a washing machine they wanted to get rid of and he took it off their hands. 

So that's what's been going on today in Lloyd. 
Oh! There was a small miracle. After Liberace instructed one of the hens to lay in that basket on the porch, she did actually get in there and eventually laid an egg. 

First egg I've gotten in a week. Those wily hens. I don't know what I'm going to do with them. 
The two days I kept them shut up in the coop didn't result in one egg in the nesting boxes. 

I listened to a lot of the impeachment testimony and I swear, Jesus H. Christ himself could appear before the Senate and point the finger of blame upon the Orange Pretender and those motherfucking Republicans would accuse Their Lord of being a Never-Trumper which would probably be true but far from the point. 

Let's keep surviving. Let's keep being outraged. Let's keep paying attention. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, November 18, 2019

Home Again

This morning right after Mr. Moon had called to let me know he'd arrived safely and would be home soon, I got a text from Jessie saying that she was going to take the boys out to the Jr. Museum. And then she said, "I was thinking about being cruel and surprising Dad with two sick boys. Hehe."
I replied, "I was thinking the same thing. Bring 'em out."
She was hesitant. She knew he was going to be exhausted but I told her that Dad would settle into his chair a lot quicker if August was sitting beside him watching TV.
And so she did. In fact, she got here before he did and so Mr. Moon got his first welcome home hug not from me but from his grandson August who sprinted on his long-and- getting-longer-everyday legs to be picked up Boppy.

And Boppy was exhausted but after he dragged everything into the house and went through the mail and ate a bowl of soup and some of the cheese toast I made for him and the boys, we all went outside. August wanted to see the garden. I told him that he'd have to look very carefully and close to see the carrots but when I showed him the row he said that no, he could see them fine. I said, "That's because you have great, young eyes."
"Yes," he said. "I do."
And he does.

We hung out in the gorgeous sunshine for awhile and let the boys get some ya-ya's out although really, they wanted to go watch TV mostly. But they did a few fun things.

Jessie drew a rocket ship in the dirt and they blasted off and then they space walked. August put on his space suit and his helmet and went off to get closer to the sun and also to see some aliens. They also climbed on the tractor and on the trailer and then they climbed the mulberry tree.

I can't believe that tree is big enough to for kids to climb. Seems like I only planted it a year or so ago. Or maybe last week. 

Finally we went back in the house and August and Boppy snuggled up in the big chair and turned on the TV and Jessie made popcorn and every kernel was eaten. Boppy dozed and woke up to answer questions and Levon grew tired of watching and went and found the tricycle to ride in the hallway and before you know it, it was time for them to go. Levon had been awake almost the entire night and Jessie desperately wanted him to nap. Before they left I read a few books to August. He's in love with the Jolly Christmas Postman right now. I also gave an extremely dramatic reading of Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now? and Levon found a book that I had no idea I owned called Construction Zone which pushed all of his happy buttons. It's a board book and there were all sorts of exotic earth-moving and road-building equipment in it and at the very end, there are thumbnail pictures of each of the machines with a small description of them. I was about to close the book but he saw those and said, "Keep reading!" 
And so I did. 
Then it was truly time to go and the boys wanted their going-away treats which they do not get until they're buckled into their car seats. Lately I've been giving them one or two of these delicious chocolate and coconut covered almonds I got from Costco and they like them. August asked me today if I would spoil him more and give him three. 
I told him not today and he was happy with two. 
They kissed their Boppy good-bye and off they went, treaties consumed before they left the driveway, I'm sure. 

And so everything is back to normal. I have a very large man in his den drinking a cup of Peach Passion tea, doing something on his computer with sports on the TV. I'm doing a little laundry which is mostly made up of camo and cold-weather clothing. His lunch bag is on the counter waiting for me to pack it. August asked him today if he was happy to be home. 
"You know what, August?" he said. "It's so much fun to go away and do things but it's always wonderful when you get back home."
It's true. Unless, of course, where you went away to is Cozumel but that's an entirely different story and it's my story, not his. 
August also told me today that he wished they lived next door to us. He pointed out where they could build a house, about a hundred yards from our house. He even pointed out that they'd have to cut down a tree first. He's a very sensible young man. 
And Levon said, as we were walking up the steps to the kitchen that this was Boppy's house and Mer's house and Levon's house. 
"This is your house?" I asked him.
"Yes," he said in his beautiful Levon voice. 
"You're right," I told him. Whenever you want it, it is yours."
He already knew that though. 
Mer and Bop's house is a home. The home you would want to come back to. 
At least that's how I feel. And the man has come home. 

I better go feed him. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Saint Dolly And Other Things To Ponder

Today is my last day of aloneness. Mr. Moon will be home tomorrow. He sent me a shot of a beautiful Bloody Mary he'd ordered at an airport bistro and said that it was hard to travel without his Bloody Mary partner. I told him to have one for me and he answered, "I did! I got a double!"

The sun was back out today, glorious and warm. It dried up the humidity and dispelled the gloom. It made me want to go outside and I did. I decided to thin my greens and so I got down on my knees with a little glass bowl and it was easier to pull the tiny sproutlings, thinking of them as a sort of harvest, rather than just a slaughter. Maurice came out and helped me by laying directly on my rows as I worked. She put her snout in the bowl several times to take snorts of the tiny plants and even tasted them but after that, she lost interest in them and was content to just lay in the sun and drowse. It seems to me that she's been seeking more closeness lately. Here she was last night.

And this afternoon as I was leaning on my car and texting a friend she surprised me by rubbing her head on my shoulder. I didn't even know she'd jumped up on the car. 

You can see, though, that she is very wary. And you can also see her poor, scared face from her encounters with Big Mean Jack. 
She'll be mighty glad to have her man human back. She loves to sit on his lap when he's in his chair although she does get quite pissy if he tries to do something crazy like change positions. 
Blood is often drawn but he's patient with her. He knows she had a hard childhood. He is good with crazy.
Thank god. 

Besides the row-thinnings I also trimmed up the damn horrible Canary Island Date Palms but did not get one puncture wound. That was a first. I also did a little Sago palm trimming and cut back a few of the Sabal palms too which made it possible to gain access to the front porch. Very, very light easy work. While I was going about this I was listening to a podcast called "Dolly Parton's America." I tell you what- Dolly is an incredibly intelligent woman, an amazing and prolific song-writer, a fine musician and one complex human being. 
She may also be a saint. Did you know that she started and sponsors a book club program that mails free books as gifts to children from birth to age five in under-served communities? Not just in America but all over the world. This site says that the program has mailed almost 128, 000,000 books to over a million registered kids. I don't know about you but anyone who mails books to kids who probably would never have access to them is a saint. In my book. 
But it's more than that. I have a friend who owns a recording studio in Nashville and he's worked with Dolly some. One time when she was at the studio she asked him how he was doing and asked about his family. At that time, one of his daughters had been diagnosed with a usually terminal illness and he ended up telling Dolly about that. When he saw her years later, Dolly asked specifically about that daughter who, tragically, had died since they'd last talked. My friend told me that she was as sincerely empathetic and caring as anyone in the world could have been. 
At one point in the podcast when the interviewer asked her about forgiving someone she said, "Forgiveness is everything!" And I have come away with the conviction that she truly believes that and truly lives her life in that light. 
But she's no pushover. According to some websites, she's worth $500,000,000 but I don't begrudge her a penny of it. She's worked for every dollar she has and I'm sure that anyone who underestimated her business sense or her talent is sorry they did. Porter Wagoner was probably the first man to learn that lesson. And yet, when he was dying, she was there, holding his hand. 
The thing that I took away from the podcast though, is how through her music and her theme park, Dollywood, she has expressed so much love and respect for her family and her home place. She's recreated the cabin she was born in and that she was raised in way up in the Smokey Mountains for Dollywood and she owns the real, actual cabin which has been restored and made livable where her family members gather to stay and celebrate events. 
And yet...and yet- she's also spent her entire life getting away from that place, even as she's somehow never left. Even as the part of her life she spent there has informed everything she's ever done. She hasn't just physically gotten away from it, she's also gotten far, far away from the simplicity and poverty of it. I can't imagine a life busier and more productive and complex than her's. When asked where she lives now she said something like, "Oh, I live everywhere. I'm like Santa Claus. I can be in so many places at the same time."
And although she literally wrote the theme song for an entire movement and union of women workers (Nine to Five) she refuses utterly to get involved with politics or even give her opinion about anything having to do with them.  
"Why should I?" she said. "I'm an entertainer."

Anyway, wow. 
I'm glad I listened to the podcast. There aren't that many episodes and if you're looking for something that'll entertain you, perhaps make you cry, and will absolutely make you think, this one is a good choice. 

So beyond that, I cut out Levon's dress and got the sewing started. It's odd to think of having my husband back at home. Nine days is a long time to be on my own and I fear that I've gotten lazy and selfish, rolling with my days doing whatever came to my mind and that I felt the urge to do, considering no one's needs but my own. But I do miss that man and it'll be very fine to have him back where he belongs which is next to me. 
Maurice isn't the only one who'll be glad he's back. 

And that's it. I'm going to go cook some chicken and greens and tomatoes, heat up some rice and peas. And I'll make a salad out of these delicate "microgreens." 

Another week is about to begin and we shall see how it goes. 

I hope it goes well for all of you. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Another Memory Post

My African basil (I think that's the variety) is still going strong in the garden and its blooms have made an entire summer's worth of bees and wasps happy. They love the tiny orchid-looking flowers of the blossom. I picked some a few weeks ago and gave it to Jessie and I told her, "If you stick this in water, it'll probably root."
And it did.
So I decided to do the same and it makes such a pretty vase full of leaves and flowers, doesn't it?
And yeah, I should probably wash that doily.

It's been another flat, chilly, gray day and although I did force myself to go to town to the library and to Publix (the only green vegetable I had in the house was about five stalks of limp asparagus), that's really not much to brag about or discuss.
Mr. Moon will be getting on a plane tomorrow around noon and after what I'm sure will be a delightful 22 hours or so, he'll be arriving in Tallahassee at ten-something Monday morning.
I think I'd rather walk to Tallahassee but that's not an option for him or for, well, anyone who doesn't have a year or so in which to do it. So I guess compared to that, twenty-two hours of flights and airports isn't THAT bad.

I suppose I could write about my ex and I moving into the Jim Walters house. I'm not sure how we discovered it. Probably word-of-mouth which is how knowledge used to be transmitted before we all kept up on social media. There was a trend at that time for moving "back to the country" and we were all for it. Lots of our friends were trying to figure that out. I had one friend who, with her husband, had actually bought a few acres in the woods and they were living there in a sort of temporary house while they built their "real" house around that. I was enchanted by that house and by the fact that they were building it themselves with a lot of found materials that were being thrown away. I think they had electricity and running water but definitely not a bathroom at that point. And they had a baby with more to follow. They were sort of everyone's mentors in the hippie-land movement.
And side note- they still live there.
I haven't visited in years so I don't know what the house eventually morphed into but I'm sure it's pretty amazing. And I feel certain that they've had a bathroom for a long time now.

But I knew that my ex and I would never be able to accomplish anything like that. And even if we could, it sure wasn't going to happen any time soon. He was a guitar player, not a carpenter. And I didn't know one end of the hammer from another.
But we found this little house way out of town on the same road that Smitty's Club was on. I've written about Smitty's before. If you'd like to read one of those posts, you can find it HERE.
And I've written about this house before. It was green and white on the outside and the ex painted the inside before we moved in because our landlady, in a pique having something to do with either her ex or dead husband, had painted around the furniture and that really was just a bit too funky for me. She lived next door in a double-wide trailer which was a step up from the Jim Walter's house and her son lived across the street in a real brick house. It was an African American community and was considered to be way out in the boonies at that time. Honestly, there weren't many people living out there and hardly any of them were white people. Two doors over was Mabel's Club. Mabel was Smitty's sister and had her own little jook where there was a juke box and a kitchen where she cooked fried chicken sandwiches which she sold along with sodas and beer.
The house was very small. Two tiny bedrooms, a basic bathroom, a simple kitchen, a living room. I doubt the whole thing was six hundred square feet.
It was not an easy time for me. My boyfriend and Bill were getting some gigs and when they weren't playing they were rehearsing and I was working at a different restaurant by this time. I was only serving, not cooking or cashiering and it was a local place and even had a liquor license.
And a salad bar!
Jump back, Jack. High cotton.
Anyway, it was a very unsettled time.
The house had no heat or air conditioning and we lived there mostly during the summer. It was almost unbearable. Jim Walters hadn't discovered insulation when that house was built. But I tell you what there WAS- miles and miles of cow pasture behind the house.
And you know what you can find in cow pastures?
Psilocybin mushrooms.
Now psilocybin was the first drug I'd ever done. This was in the last days of me living in Winter Haven and somehow, some way, my friends had discovered these trippy fungi and it was a big deal. I had resisted doing them and had not so much as smoked a joint, either. I'd only gotten buzzed a few times on Boone's Farm apple wine and was pretty darn pure when a friend of mine dosed my chili one day when I got off work from McDonald's (yes, I worked at McDonald's) and although I don't believe in doing that to someone, I am eternally grateful that he put those mushrooms in my chili.
I had the best afternoon of my life.
So mushrooms were something I was quite familiar with and we did so many mushrooms that summer that if they really were dangerous, I'd be dead.
I ain't dead.
It was truly one of the most instructive summers of my life. I learned so much about the Black community and came to respect my neighbors intensely. I learned so much. And for some reason we were accepted in that community. The closest store was at the far end of the road and it was run by a white family and they never would take my checks. Hippies were NOT acceptable people. But at the end of the road where we lived, it was live-and-let-live and I was offered nothing but kindness. Our landlady's son would often invite the ex and I over after he got off work for a drink. I didn't drink anything in those days but he kept his vodka in the freezer and I would accept his offer of a shot of that. He told me that he loved coming home and smelling what I was cooking.
"You cook like a black woman!" he told me. And I guess I mostly did. Beans and rice and greens and cornbread were our staples. We really didn't have much money. Sometimes we had none.
And sometimes we had roommates. The boy I moved to Tallahassee because of moved in for awhile with his girlfriend (now wife) and for a short time an old friend of the ex's lived with us and that's fodder for an entire novel. He planted a pot patch out a way behind the house in the cow pasture and everyone in the neighborhood knew about it but of course no one called the police. One morning though, we woke up and the owner of the field had bushhogged the whole pasture and there went the budding-up weed. Not to be completely defeated, our roommate went out and picked through the leavings for every scrap of his resinous crop he could find and put it all in paper bags as the whole neighborhood knew what was happening, shaking their heads and laughing.

I guess that what I mostly learned from living there was that while we, as hippies, were treated as second-class citizens out of the choices we'd made, our neighbors had been born into and were living in a system where they were second-class citizens because of their skin color. I understood this theoretically before I moved into that neighborhood but living there made it all very obviously real. I will be eternally grateful for that experience. And to be honest, all of the tripping I did was more beneficial to me than years of bad therapy would have been.

So. That's the story of my life on Bannerman Road which is now a totally upscale place with planned communities and lots of commerce and churches and restaurants and blah, blah, blah.

How we left it and where we moved to next is another story.
Perhaps I'll tell that one someday too.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking now about Ms. Mabel who I'm certain must be dead. I'm thinking about fried chicken sandwiches and finding mushrooms in cow shit and eating them right there, fresh out of the poop. I'm thinking of the bulldog we had whose name was Beck who would sit on a chair like a human to look out of the window at the goings-on of the neighborhood and I'm thinking of the pot-growing roommate who's been in jail for decades for crimes having nothing to do with growing reefer. I'm thinking of how I've lived so many different lives in so many different places. And how here I am now. Still alive, still grateful to live in a diverse community, even if it is a different one. Still cooking beans and greens (which I now grow myself) and cornbread.

Thinking that maybe I've distilled the best of what I've come to love in my life and am living that here in Lloyd.

Yeah. Well.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, November 15, 2019

Things My Life Is Made Of

Last night I decided to reorganize the counter area to the left of my stove. No. That is not the before picture. That is the after picture. Trust me. It's a lot tidier than it was. I just have many spices and oils and vinegars and cooking wine. I have more spices in the cabinet above the stove and the mostly baking spices are on some funky built-in shelves nearby.
Also some in the freezer but we needn't dwell on this.
This story is leading to Maurice being a happier cat. I'd been keeping all of those oils and vinegars and cooking wine in a rectangular basket to keep them organized but it wasn't pleasing me anymore so I set it on the kitchen island while I was lining up bottles and when I turned around, this had happened.

And then this.

Trying it on for fit, I believe. 
Finally, the inevitable. 

She was in there when I went to bed and she was in there when I got up this morning. 
She is in there now. 
I believe she feels safe in that basket. We all know how cats love to snuggle into small enclosed places and spaces and so Maurice has done that. I've put a cozy blanket in the bottom of the basket now to make her more comfortable. Of course. Because she is my baby, albeit a scratchy baby. A bitey, scratchy baby. 
Whom I love.

Speaking of babies- this morning Jessie texted Lily and me to see what we were doing. Levon and August have had colds all week and are snorty and snotty and August has a cough. They've been stuck in the house all week long for the most part and Jessie was desperate to get out of the house. Lily had errands to run but I told Jess to bring the boys out here and Maggie, too, if she wanted. Jason is out of town this week for work training and so Lily's been holding down the fort by herself. Plus, it's just so fun to have the three littles together. 

So. Out they came. I was ready for some sweet company. 
The first thing I did was to show Maggie her dress and ask her if she would try it on for me. She did not want to try it on. She wanted to hold it up in front of her to check to see if I'd gotten the correct size. 
"It fits!" she said when she got it all straightened out and properly aligned. 
"Do you want to put it on?" I asked. 
"No," she said. 
Well, okay. 
I asked August if he would like to try his dress on. I still had some pocket decorating to do but I wanted to see if his fit him. Instead of answering at all, he merely walked out of the room to go find out where Magnolia had gone. Levon, however, was standing there. 
"I try," he said. 
"You want to put on the dress?" I asked. 
"Yes," he said. And he wore it the entire time they were here. 

It's rather large on him but fit doesn't really matter with a dress like that and he likes it so much that instead of making matching pants to go with Maggie and August's dresses, I think I'll just use the rest of the fabric to make Levon a dress in a size smaller than the one he's wearing there. It's such a simple pattern. 

The kids got along great. Mostly they loved playing hide-n-seek which is pretty fun in this old rambly house. They use Boppy's flashlight and for once, I didn't hear one bit of arguing about whose turn it was to use the flashlight. We also had another tea party. 

There were cucumber slices, small thin peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cut up tomatoes and a nice Florida tangerine. There was SO much stirring of honey and milk. 

There was a little bead necklace making going on for awhile. And finally, after bringing it up about twenty times, August was allowed to watch some TV. Jessie made popcorn and they so happily munched and watched a kid show. 

Just as it as time to go, the children decided it was toy time and Jessie and I sighed and let them play with some little play houses and rabbits and mice. They set up the houses and I heard August say to Maggie while holding up one of the rabbits, "Hi! I'm your neighbor." 
Which was so beautiful in some way that I can't define. 
I also heard Maggie say, "Quit decorating my house!" Which I totally can define and also understand. 
Then out came the front-end loader that Kathleen got for Owen about nine years ago and they played with it in the hallway, making it go through their legs. 

Sorry for the blurry picture. 

Hilarity ensued. 

Finally, finally, Jessie got everything packed up and everyone got their shoes back on (Maggie had worn hers the entire time she was here but for some unknown reason took them off right before it was time to go) and we got them all buckled into their seats and I gave them each their going-away treat and off they went. 
I almost needed a nap. But instead, I tidied up and swept popcorn off the floor and finished some laundry and took the trash and went to the post office. And then I sat down to do a little embroidery on August's pocket and watched a documentary on Netflix about Clarence Clemons (Who Do I Think I Am?) which I've been looking forward to. I have loved Clarence Clemons since my first Bruce Springsteen concert which was in 1979, I believe, or thereabouts. He was (and oh god, this is so pathetic) the fucking SOUL of the E-Street Band. He was a god on that stage and the affection and respect between him and Bruce was impossible not to see. He was the Big Man. 
I wrote a post about Clarence and his place in the band ten years ago. You can read it HERE.
The picture I posted with it is this one. 

And that's what Bruce and Clarence did onstage for decades. Bruce would slide down the length of the stage, end up right beside Clarence, and offer his face up to that Big Man and Clarence would take him into a one-armed embrace and baby, they kissed. 

I believe I may be having the vapors. 

When Clarence died, I wrote this:
"Last night when I found out that Clarance had died, Glen was already in bed and I told him and I cried and I cried and I cried and he held me and I tried to explain what was in my heart about how Clarance had been the human, wailing voice of the E-Street Band, how he'd worn those crazy polyester suits onstage with a big ol' hat sometimes, how he could wear anything he wanted to because he was Clarance Clemons, the Big Man, and Glen just held me and said, "I know, I know."

I see I misspelled Clarence every time there. Oh well. 
So anyway, I wanted to see this doc. And it was fine. I cried. But I felt like it only portrayed a sliver of who Clarence Clemmons really was. There were moments of deep beauty in it- mostly the ones where the camera was on his face as he listened to music. He had one of those faces like Maya Angelou's. A face that was the absolute portrait of everything a human can go through as well as his or her ancestor's histories as well. All right there. 
One of the people interviewed in the film said that Clarence always added "Love Lives" to the end of everything he signed. 
And although the documentary wasn't everything I hoped it would be, that fact alone made it worth watching. 

Love lives. 

I hear he was also fond of the saying, "Order the good wine."

I raise my martini glass to that.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Don't Give Up

That was the biggest sweet potato I found today. It and its root vegetable relatives that I pulled up and dug out of the garden are curing on a sheet of newspaper on the porch.

That is a pretty pathetic harvest and some of them are tiny but they'll be good in soups. I have a feeling that I missed a whole bunch of them because I really don't know what I'm doing when it comes to digging sweet potatoes. But considering that these were all volunteers, I'm not too disappointed. It gave me an excuse to get in the garden which was a pleasant endeavor despite the fact that it's been chilly and overcast all day long. Better that than burning up under an unforgiving sun.
It's raining now, slow and steady, making the cold seem even colder. I am so grateful for my warm house. I've been keeping the thermostat set in the mid-sixties because I don't want to overtax this heat pump and because with enough clothes on that's not bad. 

I feel so cruel. I kept the chickens shut in the hen house and coop all day long. I've just had it with feeding eleven chickens and getting perhaps four eggs a week. I mean- that's ridiculous. So I didn't let them out this morning and I may keep them shut in tomorrow too. Their moulting is over and all of the hens are certainly old enough to lay and I would really like it if they began laying in the designated laying boxes again. But I have to tell you that I really do not like keeping them cooped up. No pun intended- that phrase comes directly from what I did to them today. 

I finished the kids' dresses and have been working this afternoon on decorating the pocket on Maggie's dress. A fine thing to do on a cold, gloomy day. I've also made soup. Another good thing to do on a day like today. 

So. We've had another school shooting. Two dead, others wounded, shooter in the hospital after shooting himself in the head. I'd call him the gunman but he just turned sixteen today. 
Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. 
I hear that Trump hasn't made any comments about the incident yet. I guess he's too busy worrying about getting the Supreme Court to back him on not making his tax returns public. What in hell are in those tax returns? Whatever it is, he sure doesn't want anyone to see it. 

I'm so tired of this shit. The school shootings, the illegitimate president who is draining our nation of any greatness it may have ever had, the refusal of Republicans to try and do anything about either guns or this giant wad of nastiness they call president. 

Still, I do believe that there are so very many good people. People who will absolutely go out of their way to help a stranger. People who love their children, who truly care about the plight of children all over the world, who try their hardest to be gracious and kind. People who believe that love is love and who, even if they weren't raised to be comfortable with that, have come to know and respect differently gendered people and who have opened their hearts to them. People brave enough to question the things they may have been taught as children about religion and morality and race and who have had the courage not only to question but challenge and break away from what may have been the very foundation of their beliefs, their lives. People who read and people who think. People who don't believe that science is a giant hoax. People who recognize the weaknesses and inadequacies in their own lives and who are more sympathetic and empathetic to those around them as a result. People who celebrate joy and art and color and diversity and knowledge and forests and trees and oceans and seas and rivers and plains and mountains. 
People who love. 

There are no fewer of those people now than there were before Trump got elected, before guns were made so readily available to anyone. Perhaps there are even more of the good people now than before. 
I don't know. 
I don't know shit. 
But as a mother, as a grandmother, as an older woman I refuse to give up on the human race entirely. It sure would be easy to do that but it's not really a luxury that I can afford. 
I have to believe there is hope. For the sake of Owen and Gibson and August and Maggie and Levon. 

Meanwhile, I hold on to things like digging potatoes out of the dirt and acknowledging things like walls and floors and heat and blankets and hot running water and being able to afford the things we need and some of the things we want, and for soup and bread on a cold, wet night. And for a family whose first instinct is always to embrace and accept. 
And for whom laughter comes easily. 

Well. These are the things I'm pondering on this cold, wet night. 
Stay warm,  y'all. Be safe. I can't afford to lose a one of you. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

A Pretty Day Indeed

That's what the sky looked like today. I took that picture at Jessie's house where that giant shrub is in bloom and I can't for the life of me remember what its name is but isn't that a fine contrast?
Even Levon who was working outside with a shovel said, "Pretty day."

You have to love a two-year old who notices how gorgeous it is and remarks on it. 

I went over to Jessie's this morning to help her with the boys while she cleared out her raised beds and planted her own greens and things. August has a residual cough from his last cold and Levon is snotty so she didn't want to take them anywhere and she has really been needing to get things planted. Knowing that if I went to her house and her house only I wouldn't have to change into "town" clothes but could stay in my overalls and Goodwill cashmere, I volunteered to go hang out with the boys while she got things done. 
I had a great time with those boys. I love being silly with them. We read a lot of books. Levon likes to sit beside me with a blanket tucked around him. He loves his blankets. He doesn't have just one favorite, he seems to like to having a collection to choose from. August will sometimes put his  hand on mine or rub my arm while I'm reading and that makes me so happy. 
Before Jessie went outside, she made some noodles for the boys with bone broth and then, to try and alleviate August's cough a little bit, she made tea and served it in the boys' tea set with honey and milk and a muffin. Levon was down for a short nap at that point but August and I sipped our tea and stirred our honey. 

When Levon woke up he had some tea as well and then we all went outside and helped Jessie. The beds were full of very healthy looking zinnia volunteers so first we pulled all of those and Jessie got in the dirt with a pitchfork to break up old roots and fluff it all up. 

While she planted, the boys I went back inside and read some more books. 
She got it all done and watered in and I kissed everyone good-bye and came home. 

Last night one of the young roosters almost lost his mind, realizing after dark that it was getting very, very cold and that sleeping up in a tree was not a good idea. He actually came onto the porch which is quite unusual for him because he's skittish around me. 

He even jumped up and tried to get into the house through a window. That, of course, only works if the window is open which it was not. 
"Ya damn rooster!" I said to him. "This is why you sleep in the hen house!" I half-heartedly tried to throw a towel over him to grab him up and carry him out to the roost but he wasn't having that. 
He spent the night on the porch, I do believe, but tonight he's roosting with the rest of the chickens. He may be smarter than I thought he was. 
He certainly has an extraordinarily long neck, doesn't he? 

And so it has gone. I did a little more work on August's dress and next I'll move on to the pants and to the finishing on both dresses. I need to disguise my crappy sewing on the pockets with some embroidery. I didn't get to listen to much of the testimony from Washington today but if I'd been at home I would have listened to all of it. I know it would have made me angry, hearing the Republicans trying to come up with any reason whatsoever to challenge and disparage the witnesses. These people can't possibly believe that Trump is innocent of trying to use quid pro quo to serve his political interests. I mean- come on. They keep saying, "It's just hearsay," but every bit of testimony supports the whistleblower's claim, not to mention the fact that the funds allocated to the Ukraine were finally delivered within forty-eight hours of the White House getting the news about the whistleblower's report. 
What the hell is in it for the Republicans to be so stubbornly supportive of this serial liar and completely incompetent president? Fear of not being re-elected? Seriously? 
Have they no moral compass at all? No conscience? No love for their country? NO BALLS? 

I don't know. And I really don't believe that the Senate is going to vote to impeach and I really don't think that Trump's supporters are going to change their minds about the idiot one iota because they are truly living in an alternative universe where Donald Trump is the best president the US has ever had and his wife is the classiest First Lady ever to have lived in the White House. 

Classy! Every freaking comment about her on pro-Trump sites uses that adjective. "So glad to finally have a beautiful and classy First Lady!" they say. 
You know what they mean though, right? 
"Okay, so she may not have gone to Princeton and Harvard but she sure is white!" 

Well. That was a bit of a tangent. 

I have the absolute most beautiful loaf of sourdough in the oven right now. I am still experimenting and I think I may have learned a thing or two with this one. We shall see. 

Tomorrow I'd like to dig sweet potatoes. It may rain but then again, it may not. They say it's best to harvest them after come cold weather, that it sweetens them up. That may or may not be true. I just hope they're fat enough to make the effort worth it although if they're tasty enough, size won't matter that much. 
Take that as you will. 

I was going to post a video of Keith Richards talking about snorting a tiny line of his dad's ashes but y'all probably aren't as weird as I am. In it he talks about "ingesting his ancestor" and I can relate to that, having not snorted but having licked my fingers after scattering the ashes of some of my beloveds. If you're truly interested go HERE. 

And now you're probably all thinking, "Jesus. When is Mr. Moon coming back?"

Soon,  y'all. Soon. But I'll still be crazy. 

Love...Ms. Moon