Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Oh, Children! Get Yourselves Together!

Last Friday Lily took Magnolia to an Urgent Care place because she had developed a very nasty looking infection on the tip of one of her precious little fingers. I mean, it looked gnarly. They gave her two different antibiotics, one for strep because Gibson had had it and one for MRSA because, well- here we are.
And by today, the poor little finger did not look much better so, erring on the side of caution as we must do when it comes to our children (although not ourselves, obviously, when we tattoo our arm with chicken wire), she took her back to her regular pediatrician. The only appointment she could get interfered with Owen's and Gibson's pick-up from the bus so I volunteered to do that. And I was just getting ready to leave the house when the phone rang.
It was Jessie. I could hear August crying in the background.
"What happened?" I asked.
"August cut his head on his toolbox," she said, and with those words I could hear August's cries winding up further.
"Oh no! Does he need stitches?"
"I think so."
Vergil is out of town and as anyone who has ever taken a child and a baby to the ER knows, it is preferable to have someone else with you. Jessie knew that I was going to be picking up the boys but fortunately, Boppy, who had offered to go to the doctor with Lily and Maggie because she is so upset about her finger, had just been relieved of that duty because Jason got off work and was going to meet them there.
So. I called Boppy while Jessie tried to figure out the best place to take August and he headed over to her house and they took August to a new children's section of one of the local hospital's emergency room facility. Jessie had said that the cut was not very big but quite deep, and clean. Mr. Moon sent me a picture and I was relieved to see that Jessie's description had been correct. It looked far less menacing than Maggie's finger, truthfully, but deep enough that you'd want to get stitches.


While I was waiting on the boys, Lily called. The NP at the pediatrician's office said that the finger was not as bad as it might appear and to continue with the antibiotics and they also prescribed some heavy duty antibiotic ointment.
In other words, stop freaking out.

When the boys got off the bus they were surprised to see me and I told them why I was there and then I told them that August was at the Emergency Room because he'd cut his head.  Gibson, in his own inimitable voice yelled, "Did he cut it off?"
"No!" I said. And then I laughed and laughed and laughed.
In fact, I probably laughed more on our ride back to their house than I've laughed in days.
Gibson told me that he was going to change his name to Brock.
"Why are you going to change your name to Brock?" I asked.
And then he said something about Brock being the name of a Mighty Morphin or something.
"You can't change your name!" I said. "You have my name." Gibson is my middle name.
"Oh yeah," he said. "That's right. Okay."
Brock. Seriously. Brock. 
Not that there's anything wrong with the name of Brock. But still...

So the boys and I hung out until Lily and Maggie got home and I got this picture from Jessie.

I have to tell you, I think that's my favorite picture of my husband, ever. 
How that boy loves his Boppy and how Boppy loves his boy. 
He's all sewed up now and the people at the kid ER were wonderful and he didn't cry a bit getting his stitches in. 

And when Maggie got home she was asleep but then she woke up and I got to cuddle her for a minute before she wanted to go back to her mama. 
Mama's arms are always best but it felt like a little piece of heaven to have her in mine even for such a short time. 

It's raining. It's going to get chilly again, down into the thirties later on this week. 
This is life. The unexpected, the worries, the rain, the goodness of family, the hilarity of small boys, the sweetness when the day is at an end and all is relatively well. 

Who could ask for more? 
Not me. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, November 12, 2018

Life In Lloyd, Part Ten Thousand

Man, it's been a day.
Well, you know- for me.
I got my tail into town at 9:30 to go with Jessie to the doctor for Levon's one-year check-up. There's a play house in the waiting room that the kids love. I personally think of it as Casa Virus or perhaps Chateau Bacteria but there it is and it's going to get played in.

Levon was awesome and let the doctor listen to his heart and his lungs and he is fine, of course. 
The nurse told us a funny story about her experiences with her own pediatrician when she was a child. She went to the same doctor I took my kids to so that allowed me to envision all of this even better. Her parents were both deaf and she was an only child and, according to her, spoiled rotten and when the doctor told her what to tell her parents she would sign things like, "I can eat all of the candy I want and I don't have to come back for a long, long time."
The doctor would observe all of this and then say, "I don't think you're telling them what I'm telling you."

Anyway, after we left the pediatrician we went to a place called Southern Velvet Cafe and it's just the sweetest place. The most thoughtful place. They have coffee and a few egg dishes and pastries and hand pies. Things like that. They have an entire corner with a small table for children and toys and a pretend kitchen and costumes and hats and books. 
The boys were enchanted. 
There's a beautiful little room for baby-changing and both restrooms are non-gendered. There's also a tiny lending library. 
It's pretty perfect. 

And then we went back to Jessie's and I said good-bye to everyone and took two dresses that I bought off eBay to be altered because unbelievably they were too big. Just a brand-sizing thing. So I crossed that off my list and thank goodness. 
And then to Costco for gas and then to Publix where I ran into every person I've ever known throughout my entire life. 
Okay, okay. Not really. But just about. I saw two people I knew before I even got into the store! 
One of the women I saw in the store burst into tears when she saw me and I hugged her and she, "Oh my god! I so need a Mary Moon hug right now!" and I hugged her harder. We talked and talked and talked, standing right there in front of the BOGO bins. 
She never did tell me why she was upset but reassured me that it wasn't life or death. 
Bless all of us humans and how we try so hard to put things in perspective which are obviously extremely important to us, even if they aren't life or death, as if that were the only criteria for deserving to be upset. 

But the craziest thing that happened today was that the damn, damn dog from two doors down got out of his yard again and if Mr. Moon had not been home, there would have been a slaughter. 
For those of you who do not know, there's a neighbor family who owns a dog who, if he gets the chance to escape, runs straight to our house to kill as many chickens as he can. 
And he can kill a lot of chickens in a very, very short time. 
I won't go into all of the details but I will say that by the time my husband got out to the yard and yelled the dog away, he'd been right at the entrance to the hen house where Dearie and her chicks were cowering in a corner. 
Miraculously, there were no chickens killed today but the problem has not been solved. The owner refuses to take responsibility. It's his wife's dog. His wife let the dog out. Our neighbor between us has chickens which drive the dog into a murderous frenzy.
None of this, obviously, is HIS fault. 
He claims he's bought $300 worth of electric fencing to put up and he'll just throw the dog up against the wire a few times and that will teach him not to try and cross it. 
Yep. He said that. 
He also said that he'd pay for any chickens his dog killed and when Mr. Moon pointed out that these chickens are just as much our pets as his dogs are his (or his wife's, I guess), the man laughed. 
I haven't even mentioned the Rottweiler who also got out because she's in heat. I've never seen her. 
I'm not just concerned about my chickens in this situation. If that dog got out and one of the babies was in the yard, I have no guarantees that he wouldn't go for them. 
It's a bad situation and I am not sure what to do. 
Call the law? 
It's going to be our word against his. And this is an extremely rural county. However, if there is an ordinance about keeping dogs contained or leashed, we have a complaint. 
Despite what he said about throwing the dog up against the wire, I don't think that the animals are usually mistreated or neglected, especially in the context of this county. 
But at the end of the day (which it is), I'm just so very, very grateful that my husband was home and that all the chickens are well and alive. 
Things could have turned out so very, very differently. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, November 11, 2018

It Was Lovely

Levon's birthday party was sweet as can be. I have some pictures, some taken by me, some by Rachel, some by Lily. And I think I'll mostly just post them in lieu of saying much. I seem to have a case of the melancholy for no apparent reason but even as I admit that, I will say that I love my family so much and that they are everything.

Big and Little Boppies.

August adores Owen. Levon too. He gladly let Owen carry him around although I have no pictures of that. 

Rachel and Vergil and Birthday Boy.

Aunt May with Levon. 

Vergil's awesome fire.

Cooking. Everyone has their own technique. Can you see Hank rubbing my shoulders for me? 

Lily trading cuddles for a book. 


And a boy blew out his candle. 

May all his wishes come true. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Put An Extra Quilt On The Bed Tonight, Babies. It's Going To Get Chilly

The moon is hanging pure silver, a crescent, a hooky grin hanging in the night above the pecan trees and the tea olive is blooming again which I only discovered when I smelled it this afternoon. Its molecules must be so very, very strong for such a tiny bloom to be capable of filling so much airy space with its apricot perfume.

It was a beautiful day outside, as blue as can be, and cool, too. I cleaned the hen house's poopy nests and weeded around two more roses and laid the hay I'd taken from the nests around them. I got a surprise visit from August when his daddy came by with him to get a dolly (handcart?) from the garage. They were on their way to go fill the feeder at a friend's house with deer corn but August decided to stay here with me and I was very glad to have his company for a short visit. We found an egg and looked at the baby chicks with Dearie. Not SO baby anymore. More like young chicks. And then we mostly sat on the love couch (as Owen named it) in the library and read books and I was so happy that I knew I was having one of those moments that I needed to remember forever.

Then his daddy came back and offered him a string cheese but I'd already told him I'd make him a peanut butter sandwich and that's what he wanted. So I made him his sandwich and he ate it. And then it was time for him to go home and I decided to mop the kitchen and little bathroom which hadn't been done in forever and I did that and no one in this world would ever be able to tell except for the lingering smell of Fabuloso and vinegar which, as we all know, is the smell of a clean soul as well as the smell of a clean floor.

Have you read Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City books?
I have read them all and reread some of them and saw the PBS series made from one of them when it came out starring Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney among others. I've loved those stories which gave me a window onto a world that otherwise I never would have known existed and have read Maupin's other books too and last night as I ate my supper, I scrolled through the Netflix documentaries to find one called The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin and I watched some of it and then some more this afternoon. It's pretty dang cool. Neil Gaiman is in it along with Dukakis and Linney, Sir Ian McKellen, and Amy Tan. It is, as one online description called it, disarmingly frank as it follows Maupin's life from his Southern raising to fighting in Viet Nam, to arriving in San Francisco and reveling in his gayness for the first time in his life to the AIDS crisis which changed absolutely everything.
Anyway, I was delighted to find it and it has been delightful to watch.

I am almost finished with Levon's monkey doll. I am now at the decorating point, doing a little embroidery and sewing on buttons. His party is tomorrow and I am looking forward to seeing everyone. As May said the other day, first birthday parties are the best and honestly, they are. They are so innocent. The babe has no concept of presents or years attained but is simply curious and entertained by all of the people giving him so much attention. Jessie has been working with him, teaching him to blow out a candle and say "Cheers!" which he can actually do. It will be sweet, for sure.

The chickens are shut up safely in the hen house and Dearie and her young'uns are cuddled up in the little coop in the big coop. She has her wings stretched out to enfold all of them on this night that promises to get chilly. They are at the stage now where they are getting their pinfeathers which stick out everywhere from their soft down. I wonder how long Dearie will continue to take such good care of them. Until it is time to stop, I guess, and that is a decision that she will make based on mysterious and intuitive knowledge.
I love watching this process. It is so real and so pure, somehow.

Well, that's enough nattering.

I hope that the silver moon manages to catch up all of your bad dreams with its sharp hook and leaves the good ones to find their way to you, sweet as the scent of the tea olive which blooms in my side yard, even as we speak.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, November 9, 2018

Taking A Breath To Ponder

Here he is. The man of the hour. The brother. The babiest of my grandbabies. The one-year old.
The Levon. And if you want to go back and relive his beautiful birth (as I certainly did), you can go HERE. 
Can you believe that one year ago he looked like this?

I got to have lunch with him and his mama and his brother and Lily and Magnolia and Hank and Rachel and our friend Lauren today. We went to the Indian buffet, Persis Grill, and it was one of the most fun lunches I've had in forever. We talked about some silly things. We talked about some profound things. I got feedback on an issue that I've been thinking about a great deal. We ate wonderful foods and the babies were well-behaved.

One of the reasons the babies were well-behaved is that Lily let August and Maggie use her phone to watch some kid program and they were instantly quiet and focused which is a little scary but it also gave us time to talk. Levon happily ate his lunch and had nursies (he is still very much a nursey baby) and it was just so pleasant. After lunch we all went down to Big Lots. Here are Maggie and August, and no one prompted them to hold hands.

One could actually mistake them for twins. It's so funny to me how very different they both look compared to everyone else in the family and yet at the same time, they look so much like each other in some ways. 
And they are beautiful. 
As of course all of my grandchildren are. 

I came home and have done a bit of this and a bit of that. Mr. Moon has gone to Georgia again and it is raining a little- a quiet, lovely drumming. It is getting cooler. It is hard for me to imagine a world out there where fires rage and eat up entire communities and forests, where people are grieving for their loved ones who were shot by another madman with a gun. It is hard to imagine anything right now but this peaceful, sweet evening. 
But because I am a human, I am aware that my experience at this moment is not at all what others are experiencing. I am quite aware that my perspective on things is entirely based on not just who I am but also the color of my skin, where I am sitting as I write this, my health, my bank account, my age, my gender, my stage in life, my sexuality, my history, my education, the books I've read, my marital status, the people I've known, the things I have experienced throughout my life and what the outcomes were. 
All of these things and thousands more are absolutely pertinent to what I am experiencing this very second and they are interwoven and tangled and tied in such a way that there is absolutely no way to tease this or that out of the mix. 
And all of this is part of what the issue was that I wanted to talk about today. 
A Facebook friend whom is not really a person whom I would call a friend although if I ran into her we would greet each other and probably share a hug, posted a link to an article yesterday with the headline, "Most White Women Are Very Happy With White Supremacy" and it struck a chord of anger in me. Not at the "white women" cited in the article (which I have not read) but at the poster. She is a woman of color and posts probably dozens of article links a week and generally, I agree with her politics, her outlook. But this just pissed me off. 
And why?
Because for once, I was possibly part of a hateful majority. 
That's why. 
And I recognized that immediately- that my anger came from being grouped in that way. 
I am most certainly NOT happy with white supremacy. I have spent my entire life making that as clear as possible. And I was being STEREOTYPED! BECAUSE OF THE COLOR OF MY SKIN AND MY GENDER!
We all discussed this and it was pointed out that whenever something makes us angry, we need to stop, take a breath, and consider it from all angles. 
Which I agreed with, of course, because that's just the truth. 

And then we started talking about shows we've seen on Netflix lately and the comedy special Nanette came up. 
"You need to watch it," said Hank and Rachel. "You'd really like it."
"Yeah," said Jessie. 
"It's not really comedy," said Hank and the others who'd seen it agreed. 
And then they told me a bit about it. The comedian is an Australian lesbian and in the show she gets very, very real about prejudice, mental illness, misogyny, homophobia, self-hatred, self-shame, and straight, white males. 
Whom she does not hold in great regard. 
Jessie said that while she and Vergil were watching it she asked him if it was making him, a straight, white, male, uncomfortable. 
"No," he said. "Because it doesn't pertain to me."
And if I know any straight, white males to whom it does not pertain to, Vergil would be right there with them. 
But still, we all laughed because there are some things which just seem indigenous to straight, white males in our society because of our culture and even the best of men are probably unaware of some of those things which may, in fact, pertain to them as well. 

So. Is there some part of me which is guilty of being unaware of my own part in the continuation of white supremacy in this country? 
Good Lord but I'd like to think ABSOLUTELY NOT!
But hell. I don't know.
But I probably am. 

Maybe I think too much. 

But one of the things I did when I got home today was to sit down and do a little work on Levon's monkey doll and I decided to watch Nanette.
Which I did. 
And which blew me the fuck away. 

Hannah Gadsby

Look. I'm not going to try and review this performance. I'm not going to try and explain or justify or defend or tell you why you should watch this. I'm just going to tell you that you should. 
And that it most likely will make you laugh and most definitely will make you cry and it will make you think about things you might not want to think about and it will make you think about things in a different way and it may, in fact, change the way you think about yourself and, yes, others. 

In other words, it may change your perspective. 
And I guarantee that you'll never think about Picasso or his work in the same way. 
Boy. Was THAT a relief. 

Here's the trailer.

I'm not sure what my entire point is here. I guess it's that we all need to examine our souls as deeply as we possibly can. To watch it with our own, beloved "straight, white males" too. Not to make them uncomfortable, but to make them think, as we all should.
And to know that my story is your story and that your story is my story.
And that there are some brave, honest motherfucking women on this planet.
People. On this planet.

Levon turned one. My grandchildren are all being raised by parents who believe that all of us are here to be respected in our differences. That we may be born into bodies which do not represent our true genders and that we are allowed to make that determination. That love is love. That no gender, no race, no nationality is superior to all others and that none are inferior to any other.

Well. That's all I have for you tonight.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love you truly...Ms. Moon

Thursday, November 8, 2018

And So It Goes, Once Again

Gosh. What a boring day for me. I had my teeth cleaned. And they're fine. Perfectly fine.

So. Okay.

Love...Ms. Moon


Haha! Fooled you.

Not really. It was about that boring but I didn't care. I went by an appliance place. Mr. Moon keeps telling me to pick out a refrigerator but I don't know where to begin. I think they're all crap these days. The appliance place was getting ready for some event tonight. An event at an appliance place? Yes. I also noted as I drove into town that there was an event happening at the waste management facility.
I am not kidding.
There were big flashing signs directing people where to enter and where the buses should go.
I have NO idea what that was about.
But they were expecting buses. 

So I let the chicks and Dearie out of the coop today. The littles just kept escaping and then they couldn't get back in and I couldn't figure out where they were getting out. As fast as I find places they've dug under the wire to squeeze their little bodies through and patched them up, they do it somewhere else. Dearie was frantic as they peeped and scratched their way around the coop. I mean, they've actually worn a little path around the coop. And Dearie couldn't protect the ones outside because she couldn't get out through the little spaces that the babies could escape through so I finally just opened the doors and said, "Y'all be careful."
And when I just went to shut them up, there were ten little chicks nestled up and under and around Mama.
Now I know I'm going to lose some. That's all there is to it. I haven't seen any of the feral cats lately but that doesn't mean they aren't around. And hawks are always around. And owls.
I'm between a rock and a hard place here. Mr. Moon could, I suppose, dig down and sink wire farther into the ground because the chicks just keep digging it out but he doesn't have time to do that.
But knock wood, they all survived today and whenever I'd go out to check on them they'd run like little cartoon chicks with their stretched-out dinosaur legs for the hen house, peeping as loud as they could. They have smarts but they sure don't have much in the way of of self-protection.

So guess what tomorrow is?
How can this be? That child was born twenty-five minutes ago. The midwife is still in the driveway!
His party is on Sunday but I hope to see him tomorrow. He's such a precious little guy and he's starting to know how much I love him, I think. I haven't finished his monkey but I will.

I can't talk about the California shooting right now. What is there to say? Nothing's going to change unless gun laws change and then it's going to take some time after that. I did engage with some NRA supporter on FB and I don't even know why although I have to say that she was incredibly polite, even if she has drunk the Kool Aid.
We are a nation drunk on guns and violence.
What are we so damn afraid of?

Personally, I'm afraid of young white men with guns. And of course, our so-called president.
And about ten thousand other things including doctors, dentists, lab tests, telephone calls, people wearing faux lab coats behind cosmetic counters, crowds, parties, and disappointing anyone I love.
But guns would not help me with any of those.

Guess what? I think there IS going to be a recount of the ballots for our governor's race.

I need to go make supper.

Let's talk tomorrow, okay?

Love (for real)...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

And Now The Rest Of The Story

Katydid exploring my MacBook. 

I'm feeling a little better this evening. For one thing, there's a possibility that they'll have to do a recount in our governor's race as supposedly there are many uncounted provisional and absentee ballots uncounted as of now. It's tricky and of course I remember the damn Bush/Gore debacle and how that played out.
Let's just say I ain't getting my hopes up but the fat lady hasn't sung just quite yet.
Same thing is going on with the Florida senate race between Bill Nelson (Democrat) and (P)rick Scott (Republican) and you can only imagine how I feel about that. Scott has screwed Florida every which way he could already and now he's hoping to continue, playing with the big boys in Washington.

Did you see or hear Trump at that press conference today?
Think maybe he's scared?
He should be.
And that made me feel a little better too.
Not that I especially like seeing the president of my country act like a petulant bully in need of a good time-out and a nap, but I sure do enjoy hearing desperation in his voice.
He told Jim Acosta, "You are a rude, terrible person!"
Projection much?

I met Jessie and Levon and August at the library today and that was good. I walked around holding Levon and showing him books and telling him how wonderful libraries are, pointing out how delicious they smell.
"Libraries are the best places," I told him.
I do not think he disagreed.

And then of course we went to Costco.

Samples were eaten, the coldy-room was survived, the two-hundred dollar box of huge crab legs was exclaimed about once again, and fun was had. 
I bought the things I usually buy at Costco. Cheese and cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and pecans. Tito's vodka. 
I also bought this. 

I'm not even sure why except that possibly I'm tired of saying I don't know shit and for $13.99 I will have the opportunity to learn at least a little of the shit. Even the Big Shit!

Plus, it's short and the print is big and I am a typical American and want to know the secrets of the universe in the quickest, easiest way possible. 

So. I'll let you know if I learn anything and if I don't, there's something very wrong with me. I mean, I didn't even know that time travel was an option. It may actually not be but it was nice of Hawking to clear that up. I've already received the spoiler alert that no, there is no god, but I can't wait to read his take on it. 

Mr. Moon is home from work and he told me about his day which involved so much Real Stuff that it would have taken me months to accomplish what he did and that would imply that I could, in this lifetime, do what he does. I suppose theoretically this is a possibility but in reality, not so much. I went to Costco and called to make an appointment with my gynecologist in order to get my hormone prescription filled and that just wore me the fuck out. I had to take a nap. 

It's November the 7th, 2018 and I have my air conditioner on and the toenail that I partially ripped when I almost fell out of my bathtub because my overall strap hardware had gotten caught on my toe a few months ago finally fell off today when August stepped on it while we were in Costco and I made Levon laugh a lot. 

I'm still here. 

I'm glad you are too. 

Love...Ms. Moon

What To Do

And so it goes and so it went and although I am vastly aware that strides were made yesterday and am most grateful for Democrats taking control of the House, it is still quite a blow to see my state fall once again to a Republican who has no one's interests at heart unless they are wealthy and white and have connections to other powerful Republicans. Who is in the pocket of god-knows-who and who is, as Gillum said, a man whom even racists call a racist.


Last night I was texting with a friend and I told her that I was so tired. So, so tired.
And I am.
And what is there to do with these feelings of such disappointment and frustration and anger and bewilderment?

I guess that all I can do is to continue to live my life in the best way I can. With love and with kindness, with awareness and with the aim to address whatever is in front of me in the most caring way possible.
I am not a demonstrator or a marcher. I simply am not. I never have been. I would no more run for an office than I would run a marathon. Given the choice between those two, I would start training for the marathon.
But I am so grateful for those whose hearts are in the right place who do run for office and this election has proven, if nothing else, that women can win elections, that out gay people can win elections, that people of color can win elections, that people who look different, sound different, dress differently can win elections.

I said last night that my hope was crammed deep in my pocket. I said a few days ago that if Gillum lost, I would lose all hope.
And last night I felt as if I had.
Today I am fighting that feeling because that's no way to live. It is the bedrock and hallmark of depression and although I do very much feel as if I am experiencing some sort of PTSD from 2016, I am going to try not to let myself fall into that deep and rocky and hard abyss again because goddammit! No one has the right to steal the joy I have in the love of my family, in the life that I am so fortunate to have.

So today I'm crying. I am. And that's okay. That's appropriate.
But I'm going to try and find that small nugget of hope I hid and unwrap it from its tiny tinfoil hat where I placed it for protection and I am going to wear it next to my heart.

I'm going to try.

You too? Okay?

Let's keep loving at the very least and keeping hope as best we can.

Here's to another day.

Love...Ms. Moon