Bless Our Hearts

Because someone needs to

Thursday, June 23, 2016

In Three Hours

We should be arriving in Havana. The flight only takes an hour but we have the two hour wait before the flight. 
I don't even know what to say. Am I excited, nervous, disassociating, happy, wishing with all my heart I'd never agreed to this?
Yes, yes, yes, and so forth. 

All the feelings. 

But it's like that time I climbed to the top of the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan and that wasn't so bad but when I looked down from the top I thought I'd die and there was no way I was going to be able to make my way down those thousands of tiny steep steps but there was no alternative but to do it and I did and it'll be all right and probably amazing. 

Also? I found out that where we'll be staying has air conditioning. 
So. You know. 

This seems like a great group of people I'm with and I'm just overall grateful. 

Shit. I'm gonna miss y'all. 

I'll be in touch when I can. 

All love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Today's Agenda

Gator Bone to Miami. 
We are ready. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A Legend In Her Own Mind

Maurice kept me company all night and I slept late and now I mostly need to take things out of my suitcase and get on the road for Gator Bone.

You know, it will be amazing to be somewhere for four days where I won't have to think about things like Republicans who have refused to make even the most sane and basic changes in the gun laws of this country.

I will miss my family and my little world and my chickens and my garden but I won't miss the insanity of the constant barrage of news I allow myself to be exposed to.

It's incredibly hard to believe that a week ago today I had no idea I'd be packing up to leave on a journey which was going to have Havana, Cuba as its destination. Right now all I need to do is take a shower, pack up my every-day toiletries, pick out what little jewelry and make-up I am taking, and load it all in the car.

I've filled up the chicken waterers and will make Mr. Moon a list of what needs to be done around here. Not much. He mostly just needs to feed himself, the cats, the chickens. Maybe water the porch plants next weekend. Pick the beans that need picking.
Remember how much I love him. Take care of himself.
Until I get back to do that for him.

The other day when Owen was here, I told him that in Cuba, Lis was going to be playing in a club where Mick Jagger had been a few months ago and that I would be going with her there. A little while later I was telling him about something from my childhood. I don't even remember. And he said, "You know, Mer, you're almost legendary."
"Do you mean that in the way that I've had a really cool life or do you mean that in the way that I talk too much?"
"No. No. Really legendary."

This made me laugh so much.

I remember another conversation that Lily and I had with him a week or so ago about bravery. About how bravery isn't not being afraid. It's about being afraid of doing something but doing it anyway.

Believe it or not, those words helped me to decide to go to Cuba. Not that I need to prove to myself that I'm brave. I'm pretty sure I'm not. I mean, I'm hardly the first person ever to go to Cuba, or even the first old lady from the US to go to Cuba but I would like my grandson to think I am brave.
You know?
When he gets older, he certainly won't think of me as being legendary, but maybe he'll at least remember me as being interesting. Hell, I'll just be happy if he remembers me as someone who had chickens who laid eggs and who grew things in her garden that we could all eat.

Having been to Cuba is lagniappe and when he's a grown-up, perhaps people will be going to Mars and having a winter home in Cuba will be the norm.

I don't know. I'm rambling. Again.

I better eat some breakfast. And then begin my journey to a place I've wondered about my entire life.
It may be legendary.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, June 20, 2016

This Is Your Brain On Anxiety/Nervousness/Excitement

I should be packing. Am I packing? No. Not at this moment. I am not packing. I will be packing soon. It has been a full, full day. I had to go to town and pick up things. Things I need. Plus, take Mr. Moon to get his rental car. I keep thinking that packing is going to be a breeze. I am not taking much in the way of clothes. A few dresses. Two skirts. Maybe two shirts. Underwear. Etc.
Also (and here it gets a bit more silly): Imodium, sun screen, bug repellant (because ZIKA! which I probably already have), ear plugs, herbal sleep aid, Benadryl, band-aids, Neosporin, Ibuprofen, Alka-Seltzer.
Plus, some other stuff.
I will be the nurse. Haha!

So today I was getting out of my car at the Walgreens and a car went by and a guy yelled out the window, "Where's my crack?!"
And I was like, "Dude, I have no idea where your crack is. Whoa. Maybe I'm at the wrong Walgreens." While I was waiting on my prescription (for 10 Valiums) a man in a wheel chair came up to me, right in my personal space and demanded that I let him use my phone. I had just heard the pharmacist tell him that he could use their phone in a minute.
"The pharmacist just said you could use his phone," I told the guy.
Part of me was like, He's in a wheelchair. I should let him use my phone and part of me was like, I don't care if he's in a wheelchair. He's fucking rude.
Luckily, just then the pharmacist called out, "Miss Mary!" and then put the phone where the guy could use it.
Boy. I was grateful.
So. I was called "Miss Mary" three times today. Once by the much younger receptionist at the Nurse Practitioner's office. Once at the pharmacy where I get my hormones, by a woman about the same age as I am. The third time, yes, at the Walgreens by the pharmacist there and he was a younger Asian man with an accent. Asian accent. Don't ask me what kind. I'm an American. I don't know shit. I feel bad about that but I don't.
Lord. I must look so old these days. Here in the south, we often use the honorarium "Miss" in front of a woman's first name when she gets old. I do it myself.
Guess it's my time and my turn. I don't really mind it. It's sort of sweet. Better than being addressed as "Hey old lady!" I guess.
As in, "Hey old lady, WHERE'S MY CRACK?"
At least crack guy didn't say that. 

Okay. There's that story.

Mr. Moon has gone to auction. He did not seem nearly depressed enough about my leaving for a week if you ask me.
"Do you love me?" I asked him after I kissed him good-bye.
"Yes. I love you," he said. Not in an overly tender way, either.
"But do you REALLY love me?"
"Yes. I really, really love you." At this point, I could tell he did not want to be questioned further about the matter and was ready to get on the road to Orlando.
I'm pathetic. You'd think after thirty-three years of being with him, I'd be a little more sure of this sort of thing.

But I'm not.

Did you hear that interview on NPR with the guy who is an expert on fish sentience?
I give the fuck up.
Not only do fish feel pain (and did we really doubt that?) but farmed salmon often get so depressed that they "give up on life."
What does that mean? Do they drown themselves?
I don't mean to make a joke about this. It's not funny. And to be honest- meat eating is absolutely a deep moral issue. I know it. You know it.
I was discussing this with May a little while ago. She does eat some fish but hasn't eaten meat-meat since she was about twelve. We decided that the most guilt-free animal protein on the planet is the eggs my chickens lay. I do not ask them to lay eggs, I do not force them to lay eggs, I do not constrain or restrain them to lay eggs. They simply lay eggs and then get up and leave them. They don't seem to care a whit that I steal them. Not one bit.
Not a whit nor a bit.

The sun is going down. It's the Golden Hour.

It is the Summer Solstice. Is that right? And tonight is a full moon.

This is Calle Teniente Rey which is where the place is I'll be staying in Cuba. It is in "old Havana." I still have no idea what "the place" will be like. I'm not worried about that. Here's the main, main, MAIN thing I am worried about- that I will not be able to stay up until the early morning hours which seem to be required on this journey. As I have said, the musicians I am going with do not start their performances until 11:00 p.m. And I know musicians and I know clubs and I know that 11:00 p.m. could well mean 11:45 p.m. Or later. And that's just in the United States!
I talked to Lis this morning and we made a mutual vow not to allow each other to either eat or drink too much so that we will be alert and peppy and so forth.
I'll let you know how that goes. Of course Lis, being a musician, has no problem staying up until the wee hours. Her problem is going to sleep at a reasonable time.
"Reasonable," by my definition, being before midnight.
I, on the other hand, frequently take a two-hour nap in the afternoon so that I can stay awake until, oh, say 10:30.

Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration but not by much.

Laundry. Packing. Supper.

I should eat a damn salad for supper. Or leftover green beans and rice. Maybe an egg.

Does reading these posts cause anxiety in the reader?
I hope not. I have enough for all of us.
More than enough.

If I pack, I'm really going, right?

I better pack.

Love...Ms. Moon

Hello, Pen Pals!

Those are some hydrangea blossoms that Lily brought over last night for her daddy for Father's Day. They are growing in her yard and I think they are simply magnificent.

So. How are you? I am fine.
I just drank a smoothie and now I feel like I might puke. But hey- you know. So what?

I have talked to Lis this morning. Thank god she is so calm and collected. Tomorrow I'll be driving over to Gator Bone, spend the night there and then we'll drive to Miami, and on Thursday, we'll be flying to Havana.
Yes. I know. I've told you this before. I keep repeating it in a futile attempt to wrap my head around it.

One of the people going on this trip is a fellow musician and long-time friend of Lon and Lis's. His name is Jim Quine and he is also an amazing photographer and has been journeying to and photographing Cuba for many years.
Here's a link to his web site. His photos are stunning.
I'm so glad he's going.

So. I'm about to go to town to pick up my car because Mr. Moon took it in for an oil change, tire rotation, cleaning, etc. Mr. Moon IS the Car Guy, you know.
He takes such good care of me. It's very hard for me to believe I am leaving the country without him. Not to be all 50's housewife and shit, but he's my rock and my foundation and the one who always figures out the check when we're in Mexico.

Anyway, la-di-dah. I have a lot to do and need to get going.
I have been suffering from a lack of August (i.e. LOA) and here are two pictures that Jessie sent me this morning.

I think I speak for all of us when I say that he is growing up way too fast and that he is stinkin', darn cute. 
My heart yearns for him. I miss his mama and daddy too, to tell you the truth. 

So that's about it. 

Must run now. 

Yours truly...Ms. Moon

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day Celebration

I am at about the point of true hysteria due to massive chaos and love and noise and energy all racketing around my kitchen, my house, my life, my heart in the last few hours.

Here are some pictures. 

Garden food.

Brotherly love.

 Pretty much sums it all up.

Boppy's cards.

Daddy's cards.

May and Michael and the homemade vanilla ice cream. 

At one point as we were eating, Gibson insisted that we all hold hands and repeat after him these words:
"Abacabooy. Abacazahm. I love you forever."

We did. 
We will. 

And why was Owen wearing his Christmas pajamas? 
Because his father said he could. 

Of course. 

Sleep. Now. Thank you. 

Love...Ms. Moon

And Another Thing

I wanted to add something to what I wrote earlier today which was inspired by a picture posted on Facebook of a man whom I knew when I was young. He was the father of friends of mine and one of his daughters posted the picture.
I looked at it and burst into tears because that man was the epitome of what I would have wanted in a daddy when I was young. He was kind, he was nonjudgemental, he was incredibly intelligent, he was loving towards his wife and all of his children AND he accepted the friends of his children unconditionally and with respect. Once, when we were teenagers and many of us were from homes that were far from perfect and our behavior was beginning to reflect that, he and his wife gathered all of us together one evening and told us in no uncertain terms that they loved us and that if any of us needed help any where in any way at any time, we were to call them and they would be there for us. That we were all amazing people and not to forget that.

This man was a Christian and when I think of the "good" and "real" Christians I have ever known, I think of him and his wife and of Jimmy Carter.

I will never forget that man's kindness nor his honesty nor his true caring. His wife, Ann, was just like him. And I would like to point out that you do not have to be someone's father to show fatherly love and care and concern for them. A man who will treat a child who is not his own the way this man did will never know the influence he can have on a life.

Here's the picture. His name was Carroll Teeter. He was holding his twin daughters who, no surprise, grew up to become amazing, loving, talented humans beings who also influenced my life far more than they will ever know.

I guess the point is, is that it does indeed take a village and that showing kindness towards children is one of the best things that anyone can do for the human race and that love offered without thought of reward is a gift that anyone can give and which will reach out into the universe in a way that hate and mistreatment and cruelty never, ever will.

The last time I saw Mr. and Mrs. Teeter, I had gone by to visit them in Winter Haven. I was all grown up and a mother by then and had changed considerably by that time of course, but when Mrs. Teeter saw me she immediately said, "Is that our MARY?" and I will never forget that either and I was welcomed into their arms and home as if I had never left, as if I was truly one of theirs.

And I will never forget and I will always be eternally grateful that I knew them and was loved by them and my memories of them inspire me to try and be a better person myself, to be accepting, to be respectful, to be loving. That love is the strongest thing of all.


I wish I could be half the humans they were. I wish I could tell them how much I loved them, how they found a place in my heart which was empty and so very dark and made their way into that place and filled it with a light I did not know existed and in doing that, they helped me to become a better person, a better parent, and a woman who could recognize and fall in love with a good and light-filled man myself.

And I carry all of that with me to this day and I just wanted to say that, to testify, to share a little of that light which still resides in my heart to this very moment so strongly that sometimes the mere thought of them and their kindness bursts out and I cry and that is the way it should be.

Father's Day Ambivalence, Weighted Heavily On The Side Of Gratefulness

Father's Day is tough for me and today is tough for me just on general principle. I mean, it's Sunday and I'm not ready in the least to leave on this trip and I basically leave on Tuesday to drive to Gator Bone and then to Miami the next day to fly to Havana which, no matter how many times I say it, doesn't make it real in my head but real enough that I'm a quaking mess right now and wish someone would talk me down. My husband is like Lis in that no matter what, they are optimistic and loving people who trust in the Universe in a way that I never can or will and I feel like saying to Lis right now, "This is a fine mess you've gotten me into," but of course I will end up thanking her a million times and I know that but logic and rationality have slipped away and may be hiding in a tiny child's coin purse that I lost about fifty-eight years ago.

Father's Day. Well, thanks, Dad, for being a hopeless drunk (not your fault, I'm sure) who disappeared from my life when I was five and really, thanks Mom for getting us the hell out of his life when he got that gun and almost set the house on fire.
I hear, Dad, that you tried to come and see us in Florida but when you were in Tallahassee on your way, you left the woman you were traveling with at a motel (just like you left my mother in a hotel on your honeymoon) to go on a binge and when you got back, that woman had hung herself, or something and you spent a few days in jail under suspicion of murder and this story may or may not be true.
Who knows?

One time you did get me a wallet with a cowboy wearing furry chaps on it.
Wonder where that went? Maybe that's where my optimism is, in that wallet, not a coin purse at all.

My grandfather became my father-figure and he was all the things that a boy scout should be but he wasn't exactly affectionate and he had no need to instill a sense of self-esteem in children and in fact, the very idea would have been completely mysterious to him but he was a good man and offered safety and read long books to me and played checkers with me and once, I remember him laughing at the Flintstones and honestly, he was a good, kind man and he never asked for the job of taking on two kids and their broken mother that late in his life and he handled it all with as much grace as he could and I am grateful for that.

I don't feel like talking about my stepfather.

So anyway, the best thing I've ever done was to provide my own children with a magnificent, splendid father who came with his own magnificent, splendid dad, and now my grandchildren have fathers who are the best, the Burrito Supremes, the Big Bens, the Pacific Oceans, the Holy Grails of daddies and so I rest easy on those thoughts.

It is a most beautiful day and the heat has been broken, at least for now, and I am going to make Mr. Moon some pancakes and then later on Lily and Jason and the kids are coming over for Father's Day supper and I'd just like to say to all of the good daddies out there that you have no idea whatsoever how important you are, not just in the lives of your own children, but in the lives of human beings who themselves will grow up as stellar humans, safe in the knowledge that they were loved and protected and provided for and a lifetime of therapy can't begin to replicate the results of that sort of love. Trust me. I know.

I did good. I married Mr. Moon. We had kids and he was and continues to be a wonderful father to them and to the ones I already had and those two had a daddy who was kind to them and still is and has given them a hell of a lot of good daddying and who also married a woman who was/is a wonderful step-mother whose own father was yet another amazing man who, like Mr. Moon's father, just loved and inspired all the children who came into his life.

There. Father's Day.

Gold rings on all the good ones.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Peace For Now

The rain pours down and twenty minutes ago I was in the garden with the chickens, pulling weeds as fast as I could because I knew the storm was coming. 

I didn't get a whole lot done but at least my bonsai okra is cleared out, the finished up cilantro pulled, and a few of the weeds pulled from around the cucumbers. I love to work with the chickens around me. They are so companionable, so busy scratching and bug snatching and pecking at whatever they can find. 

They neither ignore me nor pay attention to my presence unless I throw them a centipede. They know I'm there but I am of no more importance to them than the squirrels in the trees or the thunder beginning to rumble from the south. I wonder why I feel so soothed and comforted by this, by their mere uncaring company? Some people love the way dogs are so devoted to them, the way they listen to them, react to their every move, so obviously need them. Not me. I feel far more comfortable with the chickens and the cats who cannot be coaxed to do one damn thing they don't want to do but I will be honest with you- I feel honored when the cats do decide to keep company with me and like this morning when I woke up to find Maurice snuggled beside me in my bed, I am loathe to break that spell. 

But the chickens fled for shelter when I did when the rain began to pour down upon us. I came in to find shelter myself, stripping myself of my muddy clothes in the laundry room and I set the tomatoes and cucumbers I'd brought in on the towel beside the sink after I rinsed them off. We are not getting a great harvest of either but a few. A few. Enough to goad me gently on in my garden efforts. 

I did not do much today. I realized, a few hours after writing my earlier post, that my nervousness had bled into anxiety. I lived with it for quite a while and then took one of my precious hoarded Ativan and then got out my Old Navy dress and quite carefully and with unusual (for me) care, I measured and marked the hem where I wanted to cut it and did that and then got out the old, old Singer and hemmed it up. I am happy with it now, and even took in the seams a bit under my arms where it was a bit gappy. I will wear it with a sequined scarf that Lis gave me years ago when we go to the Fabrica de Arte Cuba which is where Lis and the other musicians will be playing which is supposedly the hottest place to be in Havana, where even Mick Jagger played and danced when he was there with the Stones. I found a video about it and watched it and I realized that it doesn't matter what I wear because like Asheville, it is way too cool for me and it doesn't matter, doesn't matter a bit.

And I tried on my incredibly glittery faux Birkenstocks and they pleased me with their golden hippie funk and I tried to imagine what it's going to be like to be there with Lis and with Sam Pacetti whom I've known forever, since he was eighteen and I gave him a shot of rum before he went onstage at the Gamble Rogers folk festival in St. Augustine and somehow I can't reconcile all of this but can you imagine what it's going to be like?
No. Nor can I.

I have been thinking about what my true role will be in this trip. Of course many, many Americans have visited Cuba already in the last few years and I have no music to offer, no charismatic musician glow or charm to shed. All I will have is my very own self. American, yes, but truthfully, I can be nothing more than a representative of what I am, which is a woman who is getting on in years, who has grandchildren and who grows things in the dirt and who cooks, loves, and keeps chickens.
Will this be of any value whatsoever?
Will I get to talk to anyone on a heart-to-heart basis?
I wish I could still dance the way I used to dance before I completely fucked up my hip (dancing). I wish I could speak Spanish beyond the merest tourist bullshit.
Por favor.
Muy rica. 
Buenos dias, buenos tardes, buenos noches. 
Gracious por tu hospitalidad.
Donde esta los banos? 
Perhaps all I need to know is this:
Mi nombre es Maria Luna. Como te llamas?Estoy tan feliz de estar en Cuba. Su pais es hermoso.
And perhaps, Si, uno mas Cuba Libre por favor. 
Or is that political?
I suppose I will find out.

The rain is still coming down. I swear, the very sky and air are green. Mr. Moon is off fishing for catfish. I am going to heat up last night's rice and green beans tangine.

Here is what I will supposedly be doing next Saturday:

Saturday June 25:
Morning: free
Afternoon: Walking tour of  turn-of-the-century Havana architecture ending with a guided tour of the National Museum of Cuban Art
Evening: dinner at private restaurant
9 pm watch the traditional canon shoot at Fort Cabaños  + F.A.C. with Cuban musicians

Canon shoot? Really? Okay. Okay. But old Havana!
Why do I feel as if I have been there before?
Once again, I'll let you know when I return.

Love...Ms. Moon

Mental Health Awareness Memo Along With Pictures

I believe I may have received a document via Dropbox yesterday concerning what I'm supposed to be taking to Cuba.
If I could figure out how to open the fucker, all might be revealed. As it is, I am clueless.

So. Saturday morning. Have I told you that I have weaned myself off my anti-depressant? This happened almost by accident and I have hesitated to mention this because (a) I do not want to jinx things and, (b) what works for me might not work for you, and also, (c) this is early days and it may have been a bad idea.

I had no idea I was about to travel to Cuba when this weaning occurred. None.
But so far, I am doing quite well and seem to have less muscle and joint pain as well as improved dreams AND when I wake up, I do not feel as if I want to slash my wrists every morning. This may be a by-product of the better dreams. I would not be surprised.

Also, I do not seem to be any more anxious or depressed than I have been and in fact, my anxiousness could be more accurately described as "nervousness" which I think is entirely appropriate in my present situation.

What is the difference between anxiety and nervousness? Well, it's sort of hard to say. Nervousness seems uncomfortable but manageable and normal. Something you might feel before going onstage or before meeting someone for the first time whom you truly admire, or going to a job interview, or going on a first date. Your stomach may hurt. You may experience feelings of not being adequately prepared. There may even be a tinge of excitement coloring the feeling.
Anxiety, on the other hand, may have no basis whatsoever in logic. It is, by definition, irrational. It overtakes the mind and the body. It is the same feeling you would have if a large wild animal was threatening you with teeth and with claws. It is, in short, panic. Constant and unrelenting panic.
It is crippling for body and for mind. It is the constant coursing through of the body of all of the fight-or-flight hormones when there is no reason for them and nothing to do with them except to shake and fear and in my experience, there is no alternative but to seek help.

So yeah. I'm not feeling that way. Nervousness? Yes. Oh hell yes. Anxiety? Maybe a teeny bit but not so much.
I think my adrenals are perhaps working overtime. I find my focus is all over the place. My stomach is a mess. I can feel a flush of nerves rush from head to fingers and toes more than I would like. I become exhausted easily. My ability to cope with outside distraction is limited.
But I can live with this.
I can make lists. I can almost laugh at myself.

So I think I'm all right for the moment. But it's odd. I can feel my brain resetting itself into the new reality of being without the medication. This on top of everything else is somewhat unsettling but I am being patient with myself and recognizing it all for what it is.
But I tell you what- if the anxiety returns, OR the depression (which is a whole different monster), I will go back on the drugs.

Meanwhile, here are some pictures I took today of the beautiful kingdom where I am so fortunate to live.

The African violets entrusted into my care by Jessie. I have not yet killed them and in fact, they look pretty healthy. This is a first for me and African violets. My mother was a master at growing them. Hers grew to the size of dinner plates and bloomed constantly and profusely. She could start a new plant with a leaf and often did. Which of course is probably why I've killed every one I've ever tried to grow. I believe the success with these is probably due to the fact that I put them out on that new plant stand where they are almost completely ignored.

What is this plant? I'm sure someone has told me before but I can't remember. It's a beautiful bloom. You can get lost in it.

The figs are swelling. The branches are about to bend under their lovely weight.

The lady Golden Orb Weavers have selected their websites (haha!) and have begun to weave their strong strands to create their summer homes. They are still small but will grow to massive proportions as we all know. Their webs are already strong enough to make me bounce off of them if I inadvertently and inattentively run into one. 

The wild phlox which I transplanted here 12 years ago from my old yard is starting to bloom and in the places I've let it go untended, it is becoming jungle-like. 

I think I will do some inside work this afternoon and then later on, go out and do garden work. I crave it. This will require far more bug repellant than I'd like but it's either use the shit or don't go out. The mosquitoes are that bad. 
Mr. Moon is mowing the yard right now and later on he is going to a friend's house to help him with his dock in some way that I am unclear about and then do some catfish fishing. If he gets enough, perhaps we shall have a little catfish dinner tomorrow night for Father's Day.

I wish I could open that Dropbox and find out exactly what it is I need to know about this trip. It would sure make the list-making easier. 
But I am not freaking out about it. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, June 17, 2016


For supper we had a roasted chicken and jasmine rice and those green beans.
Mr. Moon says it was maybe the best supper I ever cooked. Because of the green beans.
Thank you, Rebecca.

Babies, Beans, And Indefensible Bargains

It has been quite a day here for me in my little world. First off- I got to spend some time with that girl. Is there a cuter baby in the world? I dare you to show me one you think can compare.
Well, unless it is your child or grandchild and then I am certain that that particular baby is just as cute (almost) as this one.
The little tongue. The rosebud mouth. The pink hair ribbon. The monkey-bunny. The eyes. Oh, those eyes, so big and thoughtful! At this point in my life you would think that I would be reasonably inured to such baby charms.
But oh, I am not. Nor will I ever be.
When I am on my deathbed, bring me a baby and plenty of morphine and I will go out the happiest woman who ever lived.

We had a good lunch, Hank, and Lily, and the boys and Maggie and I. Hank is planning on having Owen and Gibson over to spend the night next Friday and they were busy over lunch making plans, discussing what they would eat (pizza) and what they would watch on TV until late, late at night. Owen is beside himself with joy over the prospect and Gibson is highly intrigued.
After lunch I did some more shopping. Fuck that shit, I am done, done, done.
I went to Marshall's and got a shirt and some glittery, faux Birkenstocks. Then I finally bit the bullet and went to Old Navy where some sort of high-frequency sound was whistling and babies were crying and it was hell, Dante's hell, or at least some level of it, and I found the almost exact replica of that Sundance dress but in a fabric so cheap and weird that it may have had its origin as a plastic picnic table which had been made from recycled water bottles and another dress that was similar and I bought them despite their weirdness and the horrible, sure and certain knowledge that they were made by enslaved toddlers in a country I've never heard of and that I am personally destroying the planet and violating every human right known to humankind with my selfish, needless purchase.
I bought a T-shirt too and I'm not even going to discuss the linen overalls.
I am sure that the Cubans will be mightily impressed by my sartorial ways.
Or that, more likely, they will never even note my presence. I am, of course, an old woman and therefore, invisible.
Which is vaguely and yet truly reassuring.

Oh god. I finally got home and had a message from the guy in charge of the Havana trip and my e-mailed documents were unopenable and my real, for sure documents have not arrived in their envelope and so I've re-sent all of the e-mailed ones an assured him that the real ones would arrive tomorrow and then I went out and picked green beans which are apparently not nearly close to the death I had imagined them to be two weeks ago. A startling and miraculous recovery!

There are more there than it looks like and the mosquitoes swarmed me as I picked and I probably got one bite for every bean represented. Oh well.
Perhaps I will make this with them tonight.

which is to be found in this cookbook

which I received in the mail today from Rebecca and I swear to you- I want to make every recipe in that book.
Every. Recipe. In. That. Book.

So tonight I believe I will start out with the Green Bean Tagine (wouldn't that be a good band name?) with Manuka Raisins and Preserved Lemon.
I do not have any Manuka Raisins but I have some regular ones and I also have preserved Meyer lemons that Jessie and Vergil made last year and gave us for Christmas.

I wonder what I'll be eating for supper next Friday night?
Here is what the tentative itinerary says we'll be doing that specific night.

Friday June 24:
Morning: free
Afternoon: guided tour to the magnificent Cabaños Fort + sunset cocktail at the famed Hotel Nacional
Evening: dinner at private restaurant
F.A.C. with our musicians or any of the exciting clubs in Havana (optional)

I can't think about that right now or I'll pass out. No I won't. I've never passed out in my life.
I don't want to start now.

Good God, y'all! as James Brown might say were he still alive.
I'm glad I have a tiny life because I sure couldn't handle a big one.

Love...Ms. Moon

Stream Of Consciousness (Or, Writing Out The Anxiety)

The more I know, the less I know. This applies to going to Cuba as much as it does anything else on earth. The young chickens learned after three nights of us putting them to bed with the older chickens in the hen house that this is where they are to sleep. Three nights. Chickens are smarter than I am and you can pay the piper with that one.

I have goggle-imaged Casa Particular, Havana, because that is the sort of accommodation in which Lis and I will be staying. The range of such accommodations is huge. This could be awesome. I hear we need to take anything we might possibly need because we won't be buying it there unless it's a hat or wooden carvings. This does not sound quite accurate but whatever. Also? Toilet paper. Also? Wet wipes. I remember the toilet paper in Europe in the 70's. Sanicrepe. Crepe paper on a roll. Like you use to decorate for a birthday party when your child turns three, except not in colors. I was seventeen/eighteen then. What did I care?
I am almost 62 now.
I am almost 62 years old and what if Lis and I got to stay in a place with a courtyard?

This would be okay too.

There's a fan. Whoa! Also an AC. Wonder if it works?
I'll report back on all of this when I get back.
I'm going to lunch with Hank and Lily and the children. This is good. I need to get my head out of my ass in all senses of the word, including the need to take Wet Wipes.

I need to buy a sewing kit and perhaps some Pepto Bismal tablets. Or something like that.
I need to weed my garden and clean out the hen house. Seventeen chickens in one roost area creates a great deal of poop.

I seem to be writing about poop-related issues a lot here.

I'll stop now.

All love...Ms. Moon
P.S. Happy Friday, y'all.