Bless Our Hearts

Saturday, December 10, 2016


There were Rolling Stones on the record player and power bars beyond counting and mixed nuts and chocolate and a tea party and bubble wrap popping and bottles and tumbles and hugs and tears and laughing and timed sessions on the iPad to play games and poops and pees and two books and playing outside and a card game and Gibson's and my version of Monopoly and hot cocoa and a visit from Jessie and August and...
Oh Lord. I don't even know.


Bubble wrap popping. Maggie was thrilled.

Tea party. Today's selection of tea was vinegar/salt/olive tea. That's what Gibson said, anyway. Maggie broke a tea cup. There is now one left.

Babies and a big boy.


There's just so much to do at Mer's. Hats to try on, trikes to ride, toys to play with, food to eat, towers to climb, swings to swing on, trees to climb, TV to watch, iPad games to play, and on and on and on. 

When Jason got here I had just put Maggie in her car seat with a bottle, hoping she'd fall asleep. She was so tired. Jessie and August had already hit the road for St. Pete where they're going to meet up with Vergil. Owen asked his dad who'd been working all day long if they could have Super Dudes night tonight. 
"Not tonight, son," he said. 
Bless his heart. He works so hard. 

And I just talked to Mr. Moon who is on his way back from Tennessee after getting up at four this morning to hunt. So now I have two beloveds on the road at night to worry about. 

And I just realized that since I ate my substantial breakfast at brunch-time, I haven't eaten a thing besides one Dr. Kracker cracker and a few nuts. And I'm not even hungry. 

It's been a day. But honestly, I feel pretty good and I've got the house mostly tidied up and my sweetheart is coming home and I managed to keep three children alive and well and fed and sort of entertained for five hours and tomorrow I shall rest. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Yep. It froze last night. Yesterday that was a pot of blooming impatiens. This morning it's a pot of mess.

Dearie showed back up. I saw her a little while ago but now she seems to have disappeared again. Where does that little hen go? And why aren't I getting any eggs at all?

And how is it that Russia hacked our election and yet we still have to live with the results? And why isn't anyone doing anything about the obviously illegal acts our president-elect is indulging in? And who is going to run this country because he obviously has no desire to do so?

Who knows? Not me.

Yours in wonder and wondering...Ms. Moon

Friday, December 9, 2016

Snuggling In

Because it's going to possibly freeze tonight I picked all of the red passion flowers and brought them into the house and set them in a vase because tomorrow they will all be mush. So there they are, looking quite Christmasy although that's not what I had in mind when I picked them.
Of course, for the first freeze, Mr. Moon and I should have spent hours breaking our backs bringing in the tender potted plants but he's not here and for some reason I just don't have the huge worry about it that I usually do. Perhaps it's because I have two newish grandbabies to nurture these days. I don't know. I did cover my Roseland mango and I had to stand on a chair to do it because it's grown so tall this year. And I covered my favorite plants on the front porch and brought a few inside. The ones I could carry, the ones I had room for without bringing in the huge table we keep out in the garage which is too heavy for me to lift on its own.
Anyway, there you have the passion flowers and here you have my babies.

Lily and Jessie took them to Bass Pro World to see Santa and I'm not sure where Santa is but that picture will more than do. August has his oh-dear-Maggie-is-here worried look and Maggie looks a bit concerned herself. I hear that Owen has trimmed his own bangs again, thus the hair gel. 
Lily and Maggie ended up taking a walk with Jessie and August this morning and they hung out at the house with me when Jessie went to the dentist and it was great fun. August cried piteously when his mother left for about 2.2 seconds and I gave him a graham cracker and he stopped crying and sat on my lap and ate his cracker and Maggie had one too and they even traded bites. They followed each other around the house and played with toys and Maggie conked August on the head with a wooden ball but later on they hugged and kissed. 
I am not kidding you. They really did. 
After Jessie got back and Lily went to pick up Gibson we met up again at a different restaurant because lunch out is what we do best and we got to sit outside in a garden and although it was chilly, it was lovely and August sat on my lap and helped me eat the ahi tuna on my salad as well as tomatoes and Maggie liked the cream of red pepper soup and french fries and Gibson had chicken tenders and french fries and of his own accord, gave me one of those with ketchup already applied which was very, very thoughtful of him. 
After lunch we strolled around back to see the chickens which the restaurant keeps and there were, according to Jessie, seventy-eight of them and they were fine and well-kept and when we walked back to the car Gibson held my hand and I said, "Gibson, I will be so sad when you're too old to hold my hand. Will you always hold my hand?"
"Yes," he said. "I will."
"Good," I said, "because when I am older and can't walk so well, you can help me."
"Okay," he said. "And we have a cane at our house." 
Such a helpful little man he is. 

It's been another good day and actually, I've felt better in the soul and spirit than I have in a very long time. Almost what you might call...normal? 
I suppose. 
After this morning almost all of my itching has either disappeared or dropped to a very manageable level in that I am neither bleeding anywhere nor bruised from scratching. This itching has been severe, y'all and the relief of not having it is vast. One can't take Benadryl all day long and expect to do anything besides sleep and that's just the bottom line so I've been suffering except for that one day and I'm just so grateful that it's been so much better today. 
I actually did what the doctor said to do last night and took a second Ativan before bed and maybe that's what's helped. I don't really feel the effects of the Ativan in any way that interferes with my day so I guess he knew what he was talking about. I don't even feel numb. I just feel...pretty okay. 
Bless that doctor's heart. 
And I mean that. 

I went to the library and picked out some books which were not written by Larry McMurtry and we'll see how that goes tonight when I get into my cozy bed. Dearie is again not on the roost and I wonder if this is a new thing. I have heard that Banties often choose to roost in trees but that seems so ridiculous- it's cold and she could be snuggled up to Violet in the nest. 
And in other animal news, Jack the Cat has taken over the bed from Maurice, claiming his big fat spot on the bed before the sun even goes down. 

Lord, that cat is getting big. He eats bowls and bowls of food here and then goes next door and eats the food set out for the neighbor's cat. He's known as "Hobo" over there. Poor Maurice. She's totally intimidated by him now and doesn't even get in fights with him because she always gets her face torn up and I suppose she's given up trying to retain or maintain any sort of dominance which makes me sad because she was my first cat baby here and although I have a fondness for Jack, it's Maurice I love. 

What a strange thing that we share our lives with these animal creatures who have, within the confines of our own houses and yards, their own very specific societies with their very own specific rules and regulations which we have nothing to do with and very little control over. 
Well, as long as they don't shit in the house or piss in the house I will tolerate them and even love them in my own way. 

I just got a call from Lily asking if I could possibly watch her three tomorrow while both she and Jason are at work and of course I said I would. So tomorrow will be full too, or at least the hours between 1 and 5 or however that works out. It will be exhausting and chaotic and probably wonderful, all together, and this is my life and it's pretty swell. 

I have absolutely nothing of the cosmic or profound to say tonight. I am a sixty-two year old woman who has a warm place to sleep, plenty to eat, lots of love, and quite possibly the correct medications. 

I really truly could not ask for more. 

Let's all sleep well tonight, okay?

Love...Ms. Moon

Tiny Miracle Of The Day

Last night when I went to put the chickens up, little Dearie was not on her roost with her sister Violet. My heart sank. I remembered that hawk hitting Violet the other day and how he dropped her when I ran into the yard and screamed at him and worried like crazy that he'd come back and gotten my sweet little black and white bird, named by Gibson.
But this morning there she was, running back and forth outside the coop, trying to figure out how to get in to be with the rest of the birds. She must have gotten scared by something and not made her way back to the hen house with the rest of the flock but came out of her hiding spot this morning and now she's pecking corn with the others, and my heart is so cheered to see that tiny little bird.

Also? Mick Jagger's 29-year old ballerina girlfriend has given birth to his eighth child- a son. He is 73 years old, a grandfather and a great-grandfather. The UK Daily Mail reports that he was "at bedside" when his son was born.
This is hardly what one would call a miracle but somehow, it makes me smile.
The old man is still capable, it would appear, of getting satisfaction.

And off I go, more cheered than I was when I awoke, to babysit my August, to see what this cold day in December will bring.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, December 8, 2016

From Lunch To The Cosmos

Hank started texting last night about wanting to go out to lunch today and Lily had to work but Jessie was eager to get out and do something because Vergil's out of town and she's been with this great little guy twenty-four hours a day which is a joy but you know- sometimes the joy is better when shared.
So I picked her up and we met Hank and some friends for lunch at a newish place in a building which used to be an old pub and as always, it was fun. We ate and chatted and then Jessie and I took off for other errands. I took a string of pearls to be restrung and we went to Target which is always interesting. When we checked out, I said, "Jesus, Jessie, I didn't need one thing here and I've just spent fifty dollars!"
"That's the way it goes," she said. "If you need something it costs a hundred dollars."
This is a fact of life.
August had a great time flirting and waving and sitting in the basket and going through the things we were buying.
We also went to the New Leaf Market because I needed nutritional yeast and we GOT TO SEE BILLY which is always the best. August soberly watched as both his grandmother and his mother hugged up on this strange man with such obvious bliss. He wasn't sure about that but he tolerated it.

He's such an observer and a ponderer, that one. Those eyes! 

We also went to Michael's because I needed more colors of embroidery thread. Need a feather wreath or a gold-sequined pillow to make all of your holiday dreams come true? Michael's is the place to be. We only bought the thread though. The lady at the check-out gave me a discount even though I wasn't registered for that sort of thing just because she thought that August was so cute. Everyone thinks that August is so cute. When we were in Target, a young woman told her boyfriend, "I want one of those!" when she saw him. 
"Hmmph," he said. 

After I dropped Jessie and August off at their house I still had a few things I needed at Publix so I went by there and got to see my Lily who was working. So it was a good day in town and I'm going back tomorrow because Jessie has an appointment to get her teeth cleaned and I'm going to stay with ol' big eyes while she's gone. She's looking forward to getting her teeth cleaned because she'll be doing it without her baby in her lap. 
I remember those days. Oh, yes. I certainly do. 

Another day. Another Trump appointment. Another vast dis-appointment. John Glenn has died. I remember being a second-grade student at Sebastian Elementary School in 1962 when he was blasted into space and how the entire school was taken out to the playground to watch the whole thing- Cape Canaveral was just up the coast from Sebastian and it was the most thrilling thing imaginable. America was sending a man into space to orbit the earth and we got to watch. 
Oh, the days when our country believed in science and the astronauts (astronauts!) were our heroes, our gladiators against the Russians who had already sent a man into space. It was something, I tell you. 

You know, it's been an interesting time to be alive. I think of the way technology has exploded and I think of the music and I think of the Cold War and the assassination of JFK and I think of Civil Rights and women's rights and The Pill and LSD and the computer and The Age of Aquarius and the Viet Nam War and Woodstock and Gay Rights and I think of how the disabled and mentally ill were labeled and warehoused and I think of all the things which we got right in the changes and all of the things we most certainly did not and I see what's going on now and it's hard to imagine a time when sending a man into outer space to orbit the globe three times pulled everyone together in a sort of pride that we'll probably never experience again. 

But it happened. Trust me. There was a true and honest interest in the vast exploration of outer and inner space and it changed things. 

And goddammit, some things, once seen can not be unseen. Some things heard can not be unheard. Some things learned can not be unlearned. 
Not forever, anyway. 

We must have faith. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thirty-Six Years He Has Been Gone

And his presence is still with me, every day.
He blessed us.
Peace and Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

As Kathleen Used To Say, "I Am Carrying My Bucket Of Sand Around With Me."

I have had a very good quiet day at home. I had a lovely walk and ducked into the old graveyard by the horse farm for a quick peek-around. It looks tidy and well cared for.

The dead appeared to be at peace on this gray, damp, cool December day. 

I have been feeling strong on my walks lately and I am glad of that. I am sure the cooler weather has much to do with it. It's lovely to get home from my miles and not feel as if I am done for the day, exhausted and sore. When I stopped at the Post Office on my way home I found a dress I'd ordered from eBay for my trip and I brought it right home and tried it on and it makes me very happy. 

It is soft, it is embroidered, it has a slip, it has pockets. It may in fact be the perfect dress. I now have about five short dresses and a few long dresses to wear in Mexico and that may be about all I'll need. A few sweater things, a pair of shorts, a couple of shirts, a bathing suit. I'd love to find a few skirts to wear as well and maybe I'll spend some time at the Goodwill. I am not, at this moment at least, too concerned about it all. 
I think about the woman I was when I first went to that little island which stole my heart. It was almost thirty years ago and I was thirty-two years old, still only the mother of three! and considered myself just about middle-aged already and the thing I remember buying for my trip was some water-proof eyeshadow in mermaid shades and I will be taking some more of that this trip. Mary Moon does not wear make-up for the most part but Maria Luna has been known to do so. 
Oh! How I wish I had known how beautiful I was then. How very, very young. 

Well. What an amazing thing to be able to go back all these years later. I hear that there have been changes in the Zocalo and I am interested to see them. I hope with all of my heart that Plaza Leza is still there- the place where we always go for our first meal. I just looked it up and it appears to be there, although under new ownership which sort of breaks my heart because it was the owner who always told us, "Welcome home." I wonder if they still make the tiny lethal margaritas there, the delicious chiles rellenos which I always order. So much has changed in Cozumel since we first started visiting. In 1987 the only vegetables we ever saw were either in the Xnipec (the Mayan version of Pico de Gallo) or were carrots and a type of squash I've never really identified along with a serving of the ubiquitous frijoles negroes refritos. Of course the fruit has always been wonderful and varied. Now there are Italian restaurants and I hear there's a German restaurant and restaurants which serve fancy sorts of fusion-indigenous cuisine but I know that some of our old favorites are still there with the delicious local seafood and sopa de lima and Mayan pork dishes which I never have once grown tired of. 

So anyway, besides dreaming of Cozumel, taking my walk and trying on my new dress, I have taken trash and picked salad greens for my neighbors and done a little tiny bit of laundry and the usual tidying and making up of the bed. And embroidering. Somehow this has filled up my entire day.  
My entire day. 
And I am happy with that. 
Yes, I've looked at the news and yes, I am still in shock and horrorfication and I think I've just reached a point where I can't deal with it. 
I am one woman and I will do whatever I can on a day-to-day/person-to-person basis to ensure that justice is done but quite frankly, I will just be incredibly happy if there is no nuclear warfare in the next four years. 
That is where I am with expectations about the coming administration. The bar has been set so low for expectation that the lowliest earthworm could cross it and there is not much more to be said about that at this moment. 

Yes, I paid too much for a previously-owned dress on eBay but it is going to bring me pleasure and comfort and when I think about the long, long line of the history of this planet and realize how incredibly small my place is in that, I take comfort. Here I am. I have done what I could and done what I shouldn't have and will do both until the day I die. 

Yours truly and much love...Ms. Moon

Events Both Historical And Not

The red passion flower is having its year, finally, after growing on the fence for at least four years. I think. Who knows? Not me.

I was woken sweetly this morning early by a man kissing me good-bye. He is off again, this time to Tennessee to hang out with old high school buddies although he is taking a southern detour to go over to the coast to buy seafood to take with him. Feasting is involved in these gatherings and he is the Florida guy. I asked him what all they're going to be doing up in Tennessee and as one might expect, hunting will be involved as well as the feasting.

So. It's me and the chickens and the cats once again and I'm itching like crazy but hey! No problem! I've taken that Ativan and expect things to mellow out here in a few minutes. I suppose I'll take a walk. I have quite a few things that I should do in town but I just...ugh.

And speaking of ugh, breakfast.
I can't seem to figure out what to eat any more. I feel like I can't eat and then all of a sudden I'm starving and yet I still can't figure out what I want to eat and if I could get away with it, I'd probably subsist on one Publix Cuban sandwich a day but that would hardly provide the necessary nutrients for healthy living. So I guess I might as well go make a bowl of oat bran cereal which I don't especially like but who cares? I'll feel as if I've at least tried and god knows I have enough lemon baked chicken to last me through the weekend. Do you realize I don't even go to the library anymore? Since I've learned to download books to listen to from my phone and have been reading nothing with my eyes but Larry McMurtry novels which I had a goodly stash of, there's no need. I started my fourth one last night since the election. Or is it the fifth?
Again- who knows? Not me.

Am I whining again? I'm sorry. I don't mean to. To be honest, I'm quite happy with my chickens and cats and Larry McMurtry novels and I have my embroidery and when I'm done with that I'll find something else to do with my hands and yesterday I even cleaned the fancy newel post on the stairway although I'm not sure why. No one in this world would ever notice that.

I've been sitting here so long writing/not-writing that the Ativan has kicked in and the itching is going away and I guess that right now at this time in my life my main objective is simply to deal with this very, very simple life of mine with as much wellness as I can. To be still if I need to be still, to be busy if I need to be busy, to read whatever it is I need to read with my eyes and with my ears, to be available to my children if they need me, to take care of what is right in front of me, to be grateful for comfort and for ease, to notice the red passion flowers until Friday's frost nips them all, to pick greens for my neighbors, to try and remember to eat some fruit now and then.

And, you know- watch things like this on Youtube.

Say what you will about 2016, it was the year that an American president went to Cuba, the Rolling Stones went to Cuba, and I went to Cuba with my Lis.
And then Castro died.
Yeah, probably.

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Oh yes.

Recipe here. 

If you have access to Meyer's lemons, all the better.

Serve with rice and broccoli. Or whatever makes your heart happy.

Love...Ms. Moon

Blame The Beatles Why Don't You?

That has nothing to do with anything but I just like it. I found it here on the Messy Nessy Chic blog where amazing and funny and unusual things can frequently be found.

So. Today I woke up and was...anxious...and itching as I have been doing for days now and it was horrible and I took a damn Ativan and I've been non-itchy all day which just goes to show that I certainly AM allergic to anxiety and god damn! I've also been relaxed and didn't do much besides take a walk, do a pile of laundry and some tidying and some embroidering on Gibson's name blanket and I've enjoyed the hell out of being relaxed and not freaking out about shit. And not scratching myself bloody.

What a relief!

I let the world go by as it will and as far as I know the earth is still turning.

I'm about to make a recipe for chicken with lemons and onions that I found on the internet and have been wanting to try. Jessie and Vergil have a tree full of Meyer's lemons and so we've been trying to come up with recipes to use some of them and it's like I said to Jessie, you can't just bake lemons and make them a side dish or something. You know? Of course the best thing to do with them is to make a lemon pie with the age-old Key Lime pie recipe substituting the lemon juice for the lime juice but how many lemon pies can you eat?
I suppose that's a rhetorical question.
Anyway, I'll share the chicken recipe if it turns out decent.

And honestly and truly, that's all I have today. Mr. Moon has purchased our airplane tickets for Cozumel and he even rented a car and although I'll miss our moped rides like crazy, I will feel safer in an actual automobile and he says that maybe one day we can rent a Harley and drive around the island which would be so much fun. The number of tourists and local people who get in wrecks driving mopeds is daunting and I guess we've pushed our luck to the limit in the 30 years we've been visiting. Plus, we won't have to spend half a day dealing with the moped rental place although that's certainly an entertaining thing to do. Yesterday I bought a new suitcase in the Costco and was demonstrating how easily I could dance around with it (it's lightweight and has multiple wheels) in the aisle and I saw Lily look around surreptitiously to see if anyone could see me as I pirouetted holding on to the handle and it made me feel happy that I could still embarrass her although I probably shouldn't feel that way. My old suitcase is busted and heavy besides and there is part of me which just wants to take a mostly empty suitcase and buy everything I need at Chadraui, the grocery/goods store on the island but those Mayan women are so much smaller than I am that it might be difficult to find proper clothing although I'm not even sure what "proper clothing" is for Cozumel but I feel it should at least cover some of my body.

So that's the story for today.

Not itching, relaxed, need to make supper.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, December 5, 2016

A Love Story

Almost seven years ago I wrote a post about a couple I called The Lovers.
It's pretty long, but you can read it here, if you want.

Basically it's the story of a love affair which came about when two people were in middle age and how they fell in love and how they spent a long time trying not to be in love and how they finally gave in to that love and let the chips fall where they may and all of this was back in 2010. Or at least, it was 2010 when they decided that it was time to simply be together, no matter what, and so they did.

A little over a year after that, when the dust had all settled, they got married in my back yard. The link to that story is here. 

Here's a picture from that day.

That beautiful, joyful day. 

Even before they got married, Jan began to have health problems. One thing after another. She got so tiny. She was tiny before but soon, she was like the slip of a slip of a girl. She looked so fragile and she had to have surgery and she had to get chemo and every time I saw her I wondered how in the world such a teensie woman could still be living but I'll tell you how- because her flame burned bright as the brightest star in the night sky and because Jack loved her so truly. 

They got to go to England and do river boat cruises twice. They were in more plays and productions at the Opera House. They pressed on, as Jack always told us to do when he was directing plays. He'd give notes and then he'd say, "Press on!" 
Those days in the Opera House before our beloved Colin got sick and before Kathleen got sick and before Jan got sick were some of the best times of my life. My god. We had such fun. 
Remember the parties I used to throw with those good people with pizza and martinis? Remember the radio plays, the silly murder mysteries, the Jezebels? 

And then Colin died and then Kathleen died and with them, my joy at being in the Opera House disappeared and I haven't been in a play or production for forever and ever and I haven't seen Jack or Jan in quite a while but I do see Judy and Denise who came to be part of our little family there and occasionally I'd run into another friend from there and we'd always say, "Have you seen Jack and Jan?" and for awhile it seemed that Jan was doing better and we'd all be so glad but then a few days ago we all got an e-mail from Jack that Jan was in hospice care and today we got another e-mail that told us that she'd died in his arms yesterday around 2:00 PM and that although he is heartbroken, he is so blessed to have known Jan, to have loved her, to have married her. 

It's raining tonight. I am thinking of Jack and of Jan so very, very tenderly. Of their love and how very obvious it was to me from the first moment that I met them that they were meant to be together. Of how right it felt when they finally said, "Enough is enough and life is short and we are meant to love each other." 

I am thinking of them like this. 

I am hoping peace for Jack, even as I know that his heart truly is broken. He and Jan shared faith in their church and I know that they believed in life everlasting and I hope that that faith cradles him as he presses on in this life wherein his love has gone on before him. 

I have no more words. The rain falls and I can hear the cars swish by on the highway and I am thinking about times past and how in the end, it truly is only love that matters and how that love can come out of the blue and how the only response is to accept it with great joy and grace. 

Jan and Jack did that. My god, but they did. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, December 4, 2016


A little bit of pulling and trimming outside and babies and roosters and big boys and Owen helping me pick salad greens from the garden and discovering that he likes raw collards ("You grow the best food, Mer!") and reading Maggie a book and watching August do his new things like almost run across the yard and watching Maggie toddle towards a chicken and then a cat to try and catch them to no avail and cooking greens with tomatoes and onions and watching Jessie give the babies a tour in the garden cart.

"And on your right you see Mick the rooster..."

And Boppy and Owen shooting cans with the BB gun and then Jessie and Lily doing the same and Owen saying, "Next time, you get to shoot, Mer!" 
Babies reaching out their arms for me and Gibson crying because he hurt his hand, his head in his mama's lap and Maggie reaching down to hug him hard. 

All of these things. 

This is how we do it, how I get through it, how I can feel the anxiety leak a little. I grow so quiet but it's okay. I'm in here. I'm watching, I'm listening. I am loving the hugs and the little hands in mine and the arms around the neck and all of it. I do. 

Quietly and gratefully, I do. 

The Sunday Miracle Of Keith At The Church Of The Batshit Crazy

So if all that I wrote last night is true, where is the evolutionary need for anxiety, for depression? Are they genes gone bad like so many often do?
I wish I could think of one positive way to look at these evil twins, to think that there is some reason if not a cause because as it stands, the suffering feels at once of horrible importance and completely illogical and I have learned long ago that one cannot fight one's own mind with one's own mind as they are the same.

I am having a very rough day and am hoping that working outside will at least pacify the adrenalin, will at least calm the most ragged edges of hopelessness and of panic. Because this is no way to live.

I just watched this and say what you will, it helped.

What would I do without my spirit totem animal? To be reminded to be humbled and realize great blessings. To try, no matter what, to save space for those.