Friday, July 19, 2019

Tell Us, Mary. Tell Us How You Really Feel

Today was sort of a one-step-back day and I knew I wasn't going anywhere. Not to Tallahassee, not to the river, not to Monticello, not even to the post office. It was a day to stay at home and continue to breathe, which I did.
So I did my pitiful amount of morning chores and then sat down to work on finishing up Maggie's newest dress and I think she will like it. I hope so. I told her yesterday that I was making her another dress and she asked what it had on it. She was wearing the dress made of the mermaid fabric I'd made her.
"It's just red and white," I told her.
"Oh," she said. "I'll be excited."
I love the way she can sound so sure of something. She's already wondering about losing her teeth. I'm not sure where she heard about that but she told me that she's going to lose her teeth.
"Yes," I said, "You will. When you start school, you will start to lose your teeth."
"At the dentist?" she asked.
"No. They'll just get loose and you'll be able to pull them out and then you'll get new ones."
"Yes," she said with certainty. And then, "Tonight." As if there was no question about it.

So I made the dress and covered up any messiness with cheerful red rick-rack. In my opinion, there is not nearly enough rick-rack in the world today. Just the words rick-rack are fun.

Lily texted me some short little videos of the kids playing with air toys at the mall. There's a big playground thing, I guess, and she told me it's where the Gap used to be.
I was dumbfounded.
"The Gap is gone?!" I asked her. "It was there the last time I was there."
"It's been gone for quite awhile."
Damn. For some reason this upsets me. Where is one supposed to get tank tops? And don't tell me Old Navy. They're not as good.
I guess I don't go to the mall very often.

And so yes, I made the dress and then I took on the chore of tidying up the dresser I use as a sewing cabinet. It's filled with leftover material and patterns and thread and needles and pins and seam rippers and snaps and zippers and every other sort of thing you might need to sew with. I ended up throwing out a whole bunch of pieces of fabric that were so small as to be unusable. Also, some other stuff. And then I mended a pair of Mr. Moon's shorts and patched a rip on a pair of his jeans. Stuff that had been sitting there waiting for me to do since Noah built the ark.

As the day progressed I felt better but not good enough to qualify as "good." One of those days. I really do think that the current occupant of the White House and his shit are affecting me more than I even realize. And of course, it's not just him. It's the way so many people seem to feel as if they've been given permission to voice their racist, ignorant bullshit anywhere and anytime. How can these people be so gullible to think that this man cares about them in the least? I think it's pretty obvious that he cares about:
1. His daughter Ivanka, and
2. Himself.
And not even necessarily in that order.
Actually, of course not in that order.
Is Barron even still alive?

Well, I could obviously go on for days and really, there is nothing at all in the world humorous about any of it. It's just so fucking infuriating how low the man sinks in his lies, his demented verbiage, his smirking big orange face with that dead animal on his head. Watching footage from his rallies is enough to make a person with an IQ over 75 weep with despair. Remember when Hillary called his followers "deplorables"? My god. And there are so many of them who eat this horse shit up and don't care at all that he's making things up as he goes, slandering people whom he has a grudge against, claiming victories that are completely false, and goes against everything that Jesus supposedly ever taught. All they see is a "winner" who comes right out and says what they have been too ashamed to say out loud, thus giving them permission to do the same.


My first little zinnia bouquet from the garden this year in my granny's copper vase that I've been putting zinnias in for over forty years. There's no slime-bellied, lying, idiotic, fascist, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, ignorant pig that can detract from the glory of those colors. 
I'm sure I missed about forty or a thousand adjectives I could have used but you get my point. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 
Let's see what tomorrow brings. Let us all continue to gird our loins because loin-girding is definitely necessary in these strange and horrifying times. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, July 18, 2019

My Babies

Because I really needed to get out of the house today I went with Lily and her children to town where we went to the library, to lunch, to Publix. I didn't need anything, really, except to be around people, to be be forced to talk, to interact, to hold little hands in my own.
When I got to Lily's house I was happy to see Sammy who appeared to be as cheerful and happy as an old small dog can be. He sniffed me and let me pet him and the children told me all about how he's doing. The only problem they're having is that the cats are upset and one of them is peeing and pooping in Owen's bed which, as all of us cat people know, is how they express their vast displeasure.

Anyway, we all got into Lily's van and drove to the library where books and movies were checked out. And then we got into quite the debate about where to eat for lunch. Lily and Owen wanted to go to Persis, the Indian buffet. Gibson did not. He wanted to go to Jason's Deli because they have all-you-can-eat ice cream and also, there's a guy who works there who jokes with Gibson and Gibson adores him. I didn't care. When I'm in the anxiety phase of life eating is not my top priority. We did end up at Persis, Gibson having been bribed by the promise of being able to watch his movie first when they got home. He had picked out "The Brave Little Toaster" which he claimed to be his favorite movie. Persis which was good, as always. After Owen finished his three plates of butter chicken and rice he laid down on the settee by the door and listened to the audio book he'd checked out at the library. "The Little Prince."

He was a happy boy. 

Then on to Publix where Lily and the boys went in and Maggie and I stayed in the car. Every now and then Maggie would say, "I like you, Mer." 
"I like you, Maggie," I would answer. "And I love you."
She was watching some duckie thing on her mother's phone that she loves. She also told me, out of the blue, that she used to be a grandmother when she was big. 
Interesting. I tried to get more information about this but that was all she seemed to have to say about the matter. 

And then we drove back to Lily's house where Sammy greeted us with more fancy and athletic prancing and dancing than one would expect from a ten year old dog. Dang but he's cute. I like him because although he is friendly and enthusiastic he does not appear to be clingy and needy. And by the way- yes, they are keeping him. The trial period is over. 

And then I came home and here I am and oh- by the way- one of the five young chickens got slaughtered in the night by some predator. Probably a raccoon or a possum. So very sad but as we all know by now, it happens. Quite frankly, I'm surprised that it's taken this long for one to be killed. None of the other chickens seem to be much perturbed but I have not gotten one egg today and that, I believe is the telling sign. 

And so I've gotten through another day and I'm okay. 
I'm okay, I'm okay, I'm okay. As okay as anyone can expect to be in these strange and awful times. 
I'm holding on to love. 

Truly...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Relief In Several Regards

I have had almost no anxiety today. Occasionally a little flash goes through me, almost like a cat's tongue, coming out of nowhere, a bit of a rough little swipe but then gone.
I am so grateful.
Here's another thing I am grateful for- I had a massage.
For about the past thirty-something years I've had hip and lower back pain and for some years I tried to figure out the source and an antidote. I went to a regular doctor (actually, several) and got chiropractic care and did prescribed stretches and did yoga for years and nothing ever came close to dealing with it. I've learned to live with it. It gets worse after exercise to the point where I often wonder why I do it but one cannot simply stop moving.
Jessie went to a massage therapist a few months ago and came away with high praise. The woman who had done it was quite skilled and gave her some good relief for various problems. She encouraged me to go see her myself and I swore I would and then never did but I did "friend" the woman's FB business page and on Sunday, I think, I just impulsively dared myself to instant message her and made an appointment.
And today was the day.
I had a feeling we were going to be a good fit when after meeting her and talking for ten minutes, we had both teared up. In case you haven't figured this out- I do like to make profound connections with people. I suppose this is how I establish trust. Who knows? Anyway, I gave myself over to her completely and for ninety minutes she worked on my back and my hips and found the places that are so very tight and which, over the years, have become a real problem.
I actually feel better tonight. And I am going to go back to her.
I keep saying, jokingly, that "self-care is all the rage," and it is but what that really means is a somewhat dubious thing. Does it mean buying oneself a new lipstick? Taking aromatherapy bubble baths? Getting pedicures? Signing up for Zumba?
I am not sure but I think that going to see this woman regularly and letting her very skilled hands work on my old body to relieve pain qualifies.
It was interesting. Despite the fact that she found and manipulated my most painful points, it was at the same time relaxing. She checked with me frequently to ask if the level of her pressure was enough, just right,  or too much. And I felt that she really wanted to know and I told her and sometimes it verged on the uncomfortable but it was okay. It felt right.
So. We shall see. I am not looking for a complete healing of a body that has developed its own musculoskeletal problems over the course of a lifetime but perhaps there can be an easing of pain and that has to be a good thing.

And that was what I did today. And went to Publix. Because every time I go to town I need to go to Publix. I know I've said this before but I swear to god- I am slap out of ideas for cooking. I've been doing this for forty-five years or more- coming up with ideas for supper- and although of course I haven't really come to a brick wall with it, it sure feels like I'm close. Which is ridiculous. I've got a freezer full of venison and fish from the wild. I have vegetables in the garden. I have eggs galore. I have cookbooks by the score.
I think I need to peruse a few of them.
The fact of the matter is- I do love to cook and I take pride in it. And even more important- I love to eat and I want what I eat to be good.
Anyway, tonight we are having stewed tomatoes, eggplant, and green beans from the garden. Also, snow crab legs which were on sale at Publix. And leftover delicious focaccia.
Gosh. Has there ever been a more First World discussion than this?
I think not.
And I feel as if I should bow my head in shame.

Instead I think I'll go start sauteing onions and garlic. And pick some oregano.

Two hens laid their eggs in the basket with a flap on it on the back porch today. Funny girls.
Oh! And it rained and the temperature dropped from ninety-five to a far more tolerable eighty-six.

But Donald Trump is still the biggest ass in the known universe. And his followers are legion.
Thank god for anti-depressants.

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

A Sweet, Good Day

Steve Reed in Lloyd!
I had such a good time with him. When he got here it felt like we'd seen each other last week instead of a few years ago. I guess that's partly because of our blogs but also I feel a kinship with him because we both survived living in the central Florida area during formative years of our lives. We share similar experiences and it turns out we even know a few of the same people. Or did. But whatever it is that makes him seem so familiar to me, it's mighty sweet. I felt like we could talk without ceasing for about eight years.
As soon as he got here we hopped into my car and drove into Tallahassee to meet Hank and Lily and the kids and our friend Lauren and Mr. Moon at Tan's where we all dined on Asian Fusion which is what they call their menu. Everything from curries to sushi and it's all good. Every bit of it.
Owen and Gibson were very pleased to see Steve and Owen remembered him and Gibson soon got to know him.
"SteveReed" is what he calls him. One word. He asked him lots of questions as Gibson does. The children mostly wanted to talk about Sammy and how much they are enjoying having him around. He continues to be a fine, chill dog, making few demands and happily accepting walks and belly rubs.
Hank and Steve talked about trivia and places they knew in common because Hank used to live in Tampa and St. Pete for awhile. I asked Steve later if Hank had been anything like he'd imagined him to be and he said that yes, just about exactly.
When lunch was over there were the usual hugs and Steve got his share.
The other restaurant customers looked on with amusement. We are a huggy group.
After lunch Steve and I went to Goodwill where we had a good time and then we went to the Bad Girls Get Saved By Jesus thrift store and Steve scored a very fine and formerly expensive shirt that's pretty dang cool and fit him like it was custom made for him. And I found yet another vintage Revere Ware pan to add to my collection. So that was fun.
And then we drove back to Lloyd where we walked around the yard and Steve took some pictures and then he had to get on the road to Tampa. I was sad to see him go. I know we had a lot more to talk about.
He's such a kind, good man.
It's odd how some people just seem like family so immediately. Like a little room in our hearts has just been waiting for them to show up and move in.

And now I've picked the garden and am about to make our supper. Mr. Moon helped in the garden and knelt down to pick something and got ant bites all over one knee. Lord, y'all. This summer is a hard one. It got up to a hundred today, I think, and I've read that two people have gotten flesh-eating bacteria in a local lake. We don't dare go swimming in the Gulf because of that and toxic algae. It's scary as shit when you can't even swim in the ocean. When I was growing up, the ocean was considered the most healing thing in the world. It's always been my peace and my salvation.
And now, it's killing people.

Well. Today was a good day. I got to visit with a good friend and with my family. My hens are laying like crazy despite the heat. The young chickens are at the stage where they look just like miniature real chickens which is sort of funny and before I know it, they'll be laying too.
At least the female ones will be. Darla has started letting the kids go off by themselves and she and her sister Dottie have renewed their relationship. Darla is laying again and therefore, she has done her job raising them babies. The young'uns are their own little flockette but they'll eventually become part of the pecking order of the bigger flock.

We go on, we go on and if we are lucky, we have loved ones to share the ride. Or the walk. Or the dream. Or the continuing conversation wherein we try to figure it all out, try to accept that which is, learn to accept that we can be liked for exactly who we are. And we can laugh about it all.


Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, July 15, 2019

Possible New Family Member And Other News

In the mornings I go out and open the door to the hen house and the chickens all come spilling out. They have a nice coop they can access from the hen house where there's water and food and there's really more room in the coop than many chickens have to stay in all day but I love to see my hens and the rooster make their way around the yard every day. They are birds of habit and routine and would be incensed if I did not let them out to roam and scratch and take their dirt baths. Liberace crows until I make my appearance. They hang around for a few minutes to eat the scratch I throw for them outside the coop before they begin their daily explorations. Every single morning when I throw that feed to them I think of the mom on Lassie and how she used to throw scratch for her chickens on that show. Her chickens were in black and white but mine come in colors as do the zinnias which are starting to bloom.
After I finish with the chickens I go to the garden to see what's going on there, perhaps to pick a handful of beans or tomatoes and I also generally check the nests to see if the hens have laid any eggs early. Today I found seven eggs in my early search which is unusual but maybe I missed some from yesterday.
It's a good way to start the day, this little time outside, before the heat gets to the broiling point. The light is generally so lovely and the spiders' webs catch that light and it is apparent why they are  known as Golden Orb Weavers as their webs do shine with a golden hue. I have one right beside the porch and I almost feel as if she is my familiar by now as I have watched her grow from a small little mama to a much larger girl, seen her web increase in size and in complexity, have watched her carefully handle and eat her victims. She is a tidy web keeper and I hope she is able to live there all summer, or at least as long as she is alive.

So yesterday when Mr. Moon got back from the river with the boys, Lily came to pick them up and she had with her...a dog.
Her children have been begging and pleading for a dog for a long time now and Lily, whose mother's heart is huge has wanted one too. She and Maggie go to the shelter just for fun sometimes although she hasn't told Maggie that you can actually take home a dog from the shelter. She thinks you just go there to look at all the doggies and that's been for the best, most likely. But a co-worker of Lily's had a little dog whom he had fostered who was older, ten years, and he couldn't keep him anymore because according to their apartment neighbors, the little guy barked a lot. And so Lily has him now for a trial period but I have a feeling that the trial was over the second the children saw him.
His name is Sammy.
Owen brought him into the house and the dog was perfectly charming. He just walked about as if interested in what he might see and smell, calmly and cheerfully. Not anxious or wiggly, just dignified and curious. He made friends with Mr. Moon who assured him that he could come and visit us.
Hoo-boy. I guess I have a new granddog.
Supposedly he is very good about not peeing or pooping in the house and although Lily had not really thought she wanted an older dog, he may end up being perfect for their family. Here's a picture she sent this morning.

A dog that Maggie can walk! With big brother right beside her to step in if a problem arises. I can only imagine that she is over the moon- her own real baby to take care of! 

Of course the newness will wear off eventually but for now, those are three enchanted children. When they left yesterday Owen was asking if they could please give him a bath. He is a little goobery looking but he reminds me somewhat of the best dog we ever had who was named Queenie and like Sammy, Queenie was part Yorkie but not the annoying part. Lily and Jessie and I spent some time this morning reminiscing about Queenie via text and what a fine and funny little dog she was. Honestly, I still miss that dog and that's saying a lot. 

And that is that story and it's been an okay day. Really better in a lot of ways but I was most gentle with myself and really didn't do much although I stayed busy. I started another dress for Maggie but I really wasn't feeling it and when I made a mistake and it was time to get the seam ripper out I just put it all down and turned off the sewing machine light and took a nap. I find that I'm exhausted which is normal and I am not going to fight it. 

I am very, very excited because tomorrow Steve Reed is coming to visit! He has visited Lloyd before, years ago, and in a delightful circumstance of synchronicity we were able to see him in Cozumel a few years back. He was on a cruise that docked there while we were staying on the island and we had a beautiful day with him. Owen still talks about Steve Reed from when he visited Lloyd before. I am not sure why Steve made such an impression on him but he did. Owen was just a little guy then but he remembers and he's so excited too. Gibson, upon hearing that Steve lives in London was almost beside himself. He wants to talk to Steve about London and Big Ben and also, his job. 
What a kid. 
Steve is traveling from Jacksonville to Tampa and I am so glad that he's taking the time to stop by Lloyd. We plan on going to lunch and Lily and her children and Hank will be there and then Steve and I might go to the Bad Girls Get Saved By Jesus Thrift Store. We were going to go to Japanica! for lunch but it would appear that they've been having health code violations so we're going to go to Tan's, the Asian "fusion" buffet that we love so much. I think he will like it. And it's funny- I don't feel the least bit anxious about Steve coming to visit. From the first second I met him he just felt like family. 
The good kind of family. 
Not that other kind...
He's not going to believe how grown-up Owen and Gibson are and of course he's never even met Maggie because she was but a gleam in her father's eye the last time he was here. So this is going to be very cool. And it will get me out of the house, out of Lloyd, and into the world a bit in a very enjoyable way. 
And I am grateful for that because that is exactly what I need. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Doing My Best

Last night during supper, the anxiety came back upon me full force and it was all I could do to tell my husband that I needed to take some medication and get in the bed and that's what I did. He hates that there's nothing he can do for me but honestly, there's just not.
I had forgotten how powerful this thing is. It is truly overwhelming. When I'm in the midst of it I think of things like meditation or trying to be mindful or anchoring myself in the present but all of that seems like spitting into a forest fire and the best thing to do is to take the medication and wait it out.
I slept deeply but it was still with me this morning although as the day has passed, it has loosened its grip. I haven't done much and it's all been mindless because I simply cannot really think or process things well when I'm in this state. I did laundry and rearranged and tidied two cabinets and then I ironed and that was all I was capable of doing.

Mr. Moon has taken Owen and Gibson and our friend Tom out on the St. Mark's river in the boat that he's had work done on. I hope all is going well. I was invited but may as well have been invited to scale Mr. Everest. I have had no desire to go outside at all, not even to check eggs or go look at my garden. And so I haven't.
And now I feel as if I'm in sort of a limbo world of being neither here nor anywhere else. A bit of dissociation, I suppose. The brain will definitely crawl away from whatever brings it such misery if it is allowed to.

I am wondering how much of what is going on in this country of ours right now is contributing to this whole thing. I am sure that the Epstein trial and talk have been triggering but the idea of people in cages, especially children, and of ICE agents beating on doors like the Gestapo is more than I can bear. In all honesty, even the most pathological of anxieties is probably an appropriate response to all of this. I can't stop thinking about how all of this evil is being promulgated by a president who has no legitimacy. Who is, as we speak, breaking who-knows how many laws. Who is not being restrained in any way that I can see by those who are sworn to uphold the constitution.
Like a mantra I keep thinking, "How is this happening, how is this happening, how is this happening?"
Those words have been a constant refrain for so many of us since the night of the election and it is only growing louder and louder in my head.
Probably yours too.

I'm going to be okay, though. I know I will be. And I honestly think that our country will be okay too. It might take a lot of time and it's going to take a lot of hard work and it's going to take so many people doing the right thing, the hard thing, but I believe we can do that. I believe that there are many, many people already doing it.

At least that's what I'm telling myself.

I have no tidy ending. Tidy endings are rare if not unknown in real life.
Let's just keep on doing the best we can, okay?

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, July 13, 2019

What's It All Mean, Mr. Natural, Part 4017

Today was better. The redlining anxiety dropped to amber level and I busted my ass outside, working in the heat to trim and pull and cut and drag. After a few hours I put my shovel and my pruners down and said, "That's all I can do," and my husband finished up the part I'd been working on by the front sidewalk where the rice plants and crocosmia had taken over.
He'd spent most of the day mowing and I'm sure we were both overheated by the time we'd finished doing what we'd been doing.
So. So. So.
I've taken a shower and rested and shelled field peas and have them simmering and focaccia dough rising. I'll bake the focaccia with cherry tomatoes and basil and some mozzarella and parmesan, not too much- not enough to make it a pizza but enough to make it supper.

The garden is still going and I have eggplants ripening and that corn will be ripe one day, maybe, and my new row of arugula has come up (oh ye brave and bitter green! how I love you!) and the tomatoes are still coming and the field peas continue to yield and the green beans and cucumbers are offering enough for meals.
It's okay. All is okay.
I'm not in a detention camp and I do not fear ICE coming to my door. I am not in Louisiana or Mississippi where a storm is flooding the denuded wetlands. I talked to a friend of mine the other day who lives in New Orleans. She is very, very recently widowed and now this. Life goes on, doesn't it, even when it has ended for someone we love. So it will be when we die- the earth will not stop its turning, the sun will rise and it will set. Storms will form and rain will fall and the people we love, the people we leave behind will have to deal with all of it, no time out for death, no special dispensation for grief. We may care. We may overwhelmingly care but the universe, it does not.

Sometimes that fact is comforting to me. That the universe just doesn't care. We, of course matter in the sense that energy is neither created nor destroyed but it is so far beyond nursery school mythology to believe that our own personal "me-ness" means a damn thing in the huge scheme of things but sometimes I wish that the universe DID care and that I believed that there was some sort of force for good which is constantly, albeit imperceptibly, moving towards the good.
But no. I don't.
And yet, I still do think that whatever we do in the name of good is positive if for no other reason than because the more good there is...the more good there is. And there is no denying that relieving suffering wherever possible is a holy thing.
At least in the church I belong to.

I talked to Jessie today. They are having good times up in North Carolina and the boys are happy and healthy and that is everything to a grandmother. I sent August a copy of Keith Richards' children's book, "Gus and Me" and he got on the phone to thank me.
"Did you send me my book?"
"Yes. I sent you your book. Do you like it?"
"I do."
It's about Keith's grandfather and the influence that he had on Keith's life and it's a beautiful story.
August told me that he missed me and he wondered what the house that Boppy and I are going to stay in when we visit looks like. He is so pragmatic, that child.
Here is a picture that Jessie sent of Levon.

As you can see, the collection of fa-fa's is growing and Jessie says he now carries around a little truck, too. He looks more boy than baby to me. I'll see him and his brother in a little over two weeks. 

Oh life. From the microscopic to the unfathomable vastness. What are all religions but a way to soothe us into believing that there truly is rhyme and reason to it all? And that if we follow certain rules we shall be saved from the obvious chaos. 
And what is science but a way to understand that which seems so chaotic? 


I feel tired and I feel confused and every day I feel I know less and less. 

But I swear, I honestly do think that love is a force as true as gravity. We do not know the equation for its power yet but probably some day we will. And that will not do a thing to detract from its power, it's mystery, its beauty. 

Of course I could be wrong. And the fact is, it makes no difference what I think. 
Or believe. Or hope. 

Still. I wish you love. 

Ms. Moon