Bless Our Hearts

Friday, October 28, 2016

Who Dreams About Cabbage Salad? I Do, That's Who!

Just went to put on my walking clothes and then realized...I...just...can't.

I'm exhausted. Flat-out done, toasted, cooked and not up for it.

I dreamed this morning that I was sick and my mother walked into the house and said, "You're high! You've been smoking pot and you're high!"
And I was like, "No. I'm sick. I don't get high."
She wouldn't believe me. I was so mad.
Then I dreamed I was in a foreign land. Don't know which one but I was still sick and I had the rattiest dog you've ever seen or smelled. I had to catch that dog and hold it while I was eating at a restaurant which was in a former church and the table was outside, absolutely beautiful, and I was served the most delicious salad of chopped cabbage with a very simple dressing and the server was so nice and kept offering me more tea and water and soup and I kept thanking her over and over.

Maybe I need some nurturing.
Maybe I'm about to die.
I don't know but I do know that I don't need a dog. Of this I am certain.

I think I'll slowly, slowly make my way to Monticello to actually and truly early vote. I was going to do it yesterday but my damn bread-making interfered. Sometimes it seems like I spend half my life waiting on bread to rise. Oh well. There are worse things in the world.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Can't Complain

Good Lord but what a day starting with actually last night when I heard something flinging itself against the door of the hen house accompanied by chicken distress so I sent my husband out there (of course) and he reported that there was a possum in the hen house and Otis had been the one trying to escape out the closed door which is what I heard.
Now, for those of you who do not know, a possum can tear up some chickens, especially small ones and I have six of those so Mr. Moon took matters into his own hands and well, that possum won't be eating any of MY chickens, sorry Mr. Possum or Ms. Possum and life is tough out here on the range.
We don't know how the critter got in there although he was probably hiding out in the run/coop which he/she would have had access to all day long and then crept in after all the chickens were in their doze coma.

So this morning I had to make the decision on whether or not to go with my friend who just had surgery to an appointment which had become available very suddenly and I hemmed and hawed and then I went and I was so glad I did because the news we got was absolutely best case scenario for the situation and we were sort of stunned into relief and the doctor was wonderful. He pulled out the foot of the exam table (no one was ON the exam table) and used the paper on it to draw us diagrams and pictures and outlines about everything that has gone on and is going on and he spent at least thirty or forty minutes explaining everything in a way that made such sense and was so thorough that we barely had any questions. Hey! I learned a LOT!

Such was my relief that when I finally got home after going to the store and made my bread dough, I realized right as I went to set it to rise that I had forgotten to put the yeast in it and so back into the mixer it went and I kneaded it some after that and although it took longer to rise than it normally would have, it did indeed rise and I eventually delivered soup and bread to some happy people and we hugged and gave great thanks and now I am home and pretty much exhausted because I've been going at it all day long with one domestic chore or another, not to mention the two hours in a MEDICAL FACILITY where I had to pretend to be an intelligent adult, etc.

So it was an excellent day and I got a lovely package in the mail from a blog friend which included such love and charm that I felt loved and charmed to pieces and when I was talking to Mr. Moon in the Glen Den just a little while ago, Maurice darted into the fireplace after something and I got some pictures of her.

It's like Day Care Cat in the Fireplace.

And so it goes. A day that I had thought was going to deliver us news we did not want to hear but which delivered news which was sweet and there is nothing better than that.
Also? Clean sheets on the bed for when I finally get to lay my head down.

Here's what the sunset looked like over the garden.

Fire in the trees and peace in the heart and cat in the fireplace and crab legs about to go into the pot and a little loaf of bread and salad with micro-greens from the garden and a sweet man to sleep with and golly- who knows what tomorrow will bring?
I probably shouldn't say that, should I?

I wish everyone in the world could enjoy a day like this. At least now and then. I said, golly. 
Now if these fucking gnats would just go away and quit tormenting me and if the possums stay out of the henhouse, it would all be about perfect but life is rarely perfect and good enough is absolutely good enough.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Antidepressants You Don't Need A Prescription For

I was stuck in my darkness today until I went to town to stay with this big-eyed guy for a few hours. He was asleep again when I got there so I settled in on the couch with a New Yorker and read an article or two but before long he started peeping and so I went to his room and he held his arms out to me, seemingly not surprised at all to see me instead of his mama, and we went to the kitchen and he was as happy as a child can be to eat all of the crackers and some popcorn. I know how much he loves to put the lids on things so I brought him a recently emptied out Mentos gum container and he played with that thing for over an hour. I put popcorn in it and this delighted him. He'd eat and close the lid and then open it up and fish some more out.
We got popcorn and cracker crumbs everywhere. The child knows the sign for "more" and it was used frequently.

He loves the couch. It is his rock gym, his playground. I would take him and set him down on the floor with his toys but he'd go right back to the couch and climb on.

"You goof!" I'd tell him and he'd laugh and sign for more crackers. 
We started looking at some books and he backed himself into my lap so we could read them together better. He liked the sea creatures book the most and the turtle is his favorite in that. "Where's the turtle, August?" I would ask him and he would point that little ET finger at it. 
He was wearing a little owl sticker on his onesie and he would pat it and say, "Hoo-hoo!" 
Brilliant child. 

His Boppy came over for a little play time and snuggles too. 

He showed his grandfather the turtle, the owl, and made the sounds of it. He shared his cracker with the giant teddy bear and also sat on its back and rode him like a horse and hugged him, too. 
He drank water from a glass like a big boy and he was just in the best mood, never a tear or even a fuss. 
When his Boppy had to leave, he waited until he got into his truck to begin to wave and say, "Bye!" and to throw kisses. He even grabbed my hand and kissed it and tossed it into the air. I took him to change his diaper and he was well behaved and I ate all of his toes and tickled his tummy and he showed me where my nose was. 

Soon after that, his mommy came home and we watched her get out of the car and cross the yard to the door from the window and he shimmied and laughed and reached out for her and she took him and he settled in for some nursies because it had been HOURS! and he was happy. 

Such a precious boy and it makes me feel so good to know that he feels comfortable with me now and trusts me and does not worry about where his mother is when he's left in my care. I think I was deeply scarred in my childhood when my mother had to be away for one reason or another and I'm sure that it was because my childhood was so fraught with unhappiness and the threat of so much uncertainty due to the situation we were in at that time. One of my most piercing and lasting childhood memories is being left in a church nursery while my mother attended the services. I can remember the kindly (and I knew she was kind, I sensed it) attendant trying to get me to stop crying by offering me Play Dough and I didn't want to play with the Play Dough, I wanted my mother and finally after an eternity, all of the parents came to collect their children and it seems to me that I was the last and I can remember looking out the doorway, so afraid that my mother would never come and when at last she did, she was limping because one of the heels on her shoes, her fancy church shoes, had fallen off, and my relief was enormous. 
I do not even remember her coming into the nursery to get me, only that sight of her coming down the hallway, my mother, my savior, my comfort. This experience is burned into my brain, and I am very loathe to be the one left with a child who only wants his or her mother and so when August holds his arms out to me to be picked up, when he settles into my lap happily to be read to, when he laughs at me hiding popcorn in the Mentos container, I feel as if a great blessing has been bestowed upon me. 
He has not been in my care since infancy, the way Owen and Gibson and even Maggie, to a much lesser degree have been but it is obvious that he is old enough and accepting of me now for me to take care of him and that brings me much joy. Because he has been loved so well and so fully by his parents since birth, he knows he will be taken care of and seems to think of my tending to him as nothing more than a little adventure. 

When I left, he was outside, stealing spinach from his parent's raised bed garden.

And I was the one who was loathe to leave him. I kept ducking back for a kiss, for a sweet nuzzle but he was as happy for me to go as he had been to see me when he woke up and he waved and he blew kisses and he said his "Byes!" and I drove away, feeling as if I was the luckiest Mermer in the world, as indeed I am, and my spirit was restored and my heart was happy and I continue to be in a much better mood as I have made the biggest pot of venison and vegetable soup to share with my friend who had surgery and her family. 
I mean, seriously. Biggest. Huge. Trust me. It is the biggest and hugest. It will be the best biggest and hugest. And see? I can even make jokes about Trump again and let me say that I probably got more joy out of hanging out with my grandson and coming home and chopping meat and vegetables and putting them all together into this soup than Donald will ever experience in his incredibly successful life. 

Amen. Hallelujah. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Pink Against Gray, Against Green

It is the season of the sasanqua, it's deep pink petals fragile as tissue paper, the flower does not hold its shape very long but drops itself upon the ground so that even if you do not lift your eyes, you will still be aware of the blooming.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Donald Trump Is Fucking Up My Life

It's my anniversary today, thirty-two years married to that man.
Over half my life, at this point. The best half, without a doubt.
We met for lunch at El Patron with Jessie and August and Hank and Lily and Maggie and Gibson.
"Happy anniversary!" said Lily. "If you hadn't gotten married, there wouldn't be all of this."
And she gestured to take in the babies, the sweetness of it all.
"I want the cheese sticks!" said Gibson. To the hostess as she sat us at the table with our menus. Because really, that's what matters and the sooner he can order them, the better.

I take it in and I am so grateful for it and still, I am having a rough time of it. I just can't seem to cope with anything right now. I realized a little while ago that I should have planned at least a special dessert but did not and I could cry about that but I could cry about anything right now.

Trump is speaking in Tallahassee tonight and his minions have been lined up all day, waiting to bask in the reflected Cheeto-lit glory of his face. I hear the traffic is fierce and poor Lily has to be at work and her Publix is literally right across the road from the venue- an antique car museum owned by Tallahassee's most ardent supporter of anything that doesn't restrict his ability to make money. People keep saying that they hope he got his money from Trump up front but I'm thinking that he's the one who paid to have him here. That's the only thing that makes sense to me but fuck if any of this shit makes any sense.
I just read that the traffic on I-10 is backed up for miles and see? This is what is still scaring the living shit out of me. I don't care what the polls say- if he has a chance in hell then I'm scared.
My next door neighbors have put a Trump-Pence sign out front of their house. I knew this was coming. And the damn thing is- I like these people as neighbors. You could not ask for better.

It's all so fucking fucked up.

I'm going to cook some pork chops. What the hell else is there to do?
Apologize to the world, take care of your babies, sweep the floors, love and kiss the ones you love as much as you possibly can.

Be grateful that you married a man who voted early so that he could be sure that his vote for Hillary counts.
I swear to god- even after thirty-two years, as much as I love him, as darling as he is, if he voted for Trump, I might have to leave him and that would make me sadder than I can say.

And Lily reports that she still hasn't been able to get to work due to traffic and sheriffs and blocked roads.

I'm just going to stay drunk for the next two weeks.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, October 24, 2016

Having Visited The Church Of Pain

I got up in the early dark morning, having barely slept for the proceeding two hours and got dressed in the chill and drove to town, to the hospital, where I finally found where I was supposed to be and got to see my friend in pre-op. She was in the room with her brother and cousin and I just went in and kissed her, told her I loved her. There is a two-person visitor limit in pre-op and I did not want to take a space which rightfully belonged to a kinsperson.

And then, for the next three or so hours, we waited. I cannot give details because my friend is very private and has told no one but a few family members about what's going on and that is her pure and simple right. But it was a lengthy surgery, and some of it came out better than we had feared and some just as we had thought and the path before her is not going to be easy or pain-free.
I was a bit surprised to see that the surgeon was the same one who did Mr. Moon's surgery a few years ago and had done another one on him many years ago and indeed, on May when she was but a bit of a little dancing girl, and so it comforted me to know that he had been the one welding the scalpel.

After he spoke with us in the surgical waiting room, I left and came home and ate some leftovers and laid down on my bed and read for awhile until the words were making no sense and I closed my eyes and slept and then woke up and felt as if I could not move. My bones were so cold, the bed felt as safe and protecting as any mother's arms might have felt and I laid under the heavy covers in a position such that I felt no pain at all and anyone who had observed me would have thought me deep, deep in sleep, my breath regular, my eyes closed, but I was awake, and not even near that line where dream and reality blend, that dozy drugged-like place, but simply still.

Here is what I was thinking of- cake.
I desperately wanted a piece of cake. Spice cake, heavy and dense with nuts and raisins and a white frosting.
Perhaps it was the old A&P Spanish bar cake I was wanting and I kept thinking I could get up and get out of that bed, that state of near catatonia and make a cake. Not the Spanish bar cake from my childhood, but a good cake, nonetheless and I could almost see the fork, cutting into a slice, the moist crumb of it, and could almost taste the cinnamon, the nutmeg, the spices, the dark sweetness of it, the ridiculously sweet and silly frosting.

Finally, I opened my eyes and tentatively moved a leg, an arm. I closed my eyes again and went back to that cake place but finally, I got up and went to the kitchen but I did not have what I needed for the frosting and so I gave up on the idea and went about my chores, my laundry, my dishes, my floors. My husband came home. He had gone to Monticello to vote and we talked about that a little bit, and I wanted him to put his arms around me and comfort me but I did not know how to ask him and he is in the garage now, doing something with machines and hammers.
I swept the porches and their steps.
I am heating up soup for our supper.

I am still thinking about cake and what I am thinking is that the cake has taken the place of sorrow in my soul but of course, not really. And even if I made that cake, even if it was as good as the one in my mind, it would not, could not fill that place where sorrow lies.

I think yesterday was Kathleen's birthday. There is no celebration this year, of course.
I think of the friends whom I have lost over the years and this sorrow encompasses their absences from my life. I think of all the time I've spent in that hospital and today as I walked the hallways, waited in the waiting rooms, I realized, as always, that except for the maternity/newborn unit, there really is no joy in hospitals. Everyone has a sadness about them, everyone is there waiting to hear news good or bad, waiting to hold the hand, kiss the face of someone they love as they face something they would rather not.

Well. So it goes. And hopefully, my friend will come back from this particular surgery in less pain and with a clearer picture of what is ahead, with hope instead of the fearful dread she has lived with for too long now.

We're all just doing what we can to keep on, aren't we? Sometimes we need surgery and sometimes we need poetry and sometimes we need to lay in the bed, still and quiet as a newborn whose mother checks them for breathing because they are so deep in their slumber.

Love each other, y'all. That's all we really have.
And cake. Or at least the idea of it.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Life Is What Happens...Part 247

So I was getting ready to go over to the coast this morning when I got a call from Lily. Owen had cut his hand on some broken glass he'd found outside and she thought he might need stitches. He was screaming in the background as only a child whose blood is leaking from his own personal body can scream.
Ooh boy. Really? ANOTHER trip to the doctor?
I'm not a person who rushes to get stitches every time someone gets cut. I mean, I'll do just about anything to avoid the situation myself (that super glue they call Liquid Bandage is pretty awesome stuff) but when Lily sent me a picture of the cut I said, "I'll come stay with Maggie and Gibson and you can take him in."
I got to the house and Owen had calmed down some. He was able to show me the cut and sure enough, I thought he should go get it all sewed up.
So I played with Maggie and Gibson while his mama took him to the Urgent Care where a very nice doctor did a beautiful job in my opinion and said that if it had gone any deeper, they would have had to do surgery on the tendon.

Lily reported that when they gave him the numbing shot, everyone in the building heard Owen's reaction. I felt so bad for him. He's gone through so much in his short life when it comes to things like this. 

Maggie and Gibson were good and I have to admit I let Gibson watch way too much Sponge Bob but whatever. We did go outside a little bit. It was such a beautiful day.

So. That's what happened on this particular Sunday. Among other things. 

May and Michael stopped by the Urgent Care while Lily and Owen were waiting, to give a little moral support to the boy and May gave Lily something she bought for me at Goodwill last week. She'd texted me and told me that she'd scored THE VERY BEST THING FOR ME EVER but she wasn't going to tell me what it was. So when Lily and Owen got back to the house, Owen's hand all neatly bandaged, he handed over a pretty blue bag and I reached in to find this dress.

An absolutely beautiful and flawless Johnny Was dress that if I'd seen it in a real store, I would have cursed Johnny Was himself for making such beautiful shit that I can't afford but it's MINE! I believe I will wear it every night when we are in Mexico. I mean, EVERY NIGHT! 
Can't you just see me on the back of a moped wearing that piece of confection? Oh yeah. 
Best Goodwill find ever. It was on the "boutique" rack but it was still less than twenty bucks and I feel as if fortune has fallen upon me and I am so grateful to my daughter for finding it and buying it for her old mother who never feels beautiful but might just feel a little beautiful, wearing that. 

So I came on home and cleaned out the hen house and watered the porch plants. 
Here's a picture of one of the confederate rose blooms. I post at least one every year but have not gotten a good one this year. 

Still not a great shot but they're so fine and fancy. Speaking of confection. 

I got out in the garden and got enough thinnings of my little baby seedlings to be part of our salad tonight and I did a little weeding and Maurice came out to help me. 

I was so pleased for her company until the bitch attacked my hand. Twice. Why, Maurice? Why? She gave me two good puncture wounds and I let her know that I was not happy with her. Not at all. And I'd just given her some tuna juice not an hour before! Dang that cat. Why do I even put up with her, much less love her?
No idea. She's just crazy. 
I guess maybe I can relate to that. 

Mr. Moon is home again and did not shoot a deer but had a good time in the woods and hanging out with the dude friends. I am so very, very glad to have him home and I think that he's always happy to get back to his wife and our animals and funky old house after a few days away although I have to say that he certainly isn't unhappy when it's time to leave again. 
Well, on Tuesday we will have been married for 32 years so I guess it works for us, whatever it is. 

I won't be doing a morning post tomorrow as I am going to be at the hospital with my friend who is having surgery. I am hoping so hard that all goes well. But I'll probably report in tomorrow night. 

Life just keeps throwing us curve balls, doesn't it? I remember when Hank was just a very little guy and he said to me, "I don't know why people even make plans, Mama. They never seem to work out."

Of course, he is now one of the biggest planners I know but he had a point. 

Let's all stay well for awhile, okay? No more diseases or viruses or cuts or broken bones. Or any other damn thing that I don't even want to possibly invoke by saying the names out loud. 
Come on, people. We can do this. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Just A Day

I didn't work hard today but I worked steady, using my clippers on the twisted and braided vines of the confederate jasmine, the sturdier twined almost-limbs of it. I hauled the cut vines and did it all again, cut it all back hard but still didn't get to part of it.
I listened to my book, I took phone calls that raised my anxiety higher.
A friend in need, a friend who is getting surgery Monday morning.
I am covered in the dried sticky milky sap of the vines from my head to my feet, quite literally. I feel as if I may never get clean but eventually, what soap and water cannot take off, time will peel away.

I'm cold. I am a Floridian and although it's what most of you would probably think of as a balmy and tropical 65 degrees in my house, I'm still cold but not stupid enough to turn on the heat. I have on some Goodwill cashmere over my sap-stiffened clothes and am even wearing my slippers but I feel freezing in my bones. I've made a big pot of chicken soup so maybe that will help and last night I pulled my duck, the down comforter, out of its summer coma in the plastic bag it's been stuffed in since last winter and I will be fine and cozy once I go to bed after a good hot shower.

It's just one of those days and we're planning on going down to the coast tomorrow to visit the touch tanks in Panacea and have lunch and that will be delightful but right now I can't really imagine doing it although it will be the best thing for me. Even May says she's coming and I haven't gotten to spend any time with her for awhile so that's good.
And it will be good and everything will be okay and that's my mantra tonight-everything will be okay- but the dogs in the neighborhood are barking and howling and moaning and I hope I've worked hard enough at least to sleep well tonight and I usually do and all twelve chickens are huddled up in the hen house wearing and sharing their own down and feather clothing and everything will be okay.
And everything will be okay.
And everything will be okay.
And I can't come up with a line with which to end this mess to save my life but that, too, will be okay.

I'm sure.

Chop Wood, Haul Water, Try Not To Think Too Much

The Firespike is coming into its own right now, shining in the morning sunlight as if it were lit from within.

It's absolutely a beautiful morning and I am planning a day of being outside and trimming the confederate jasmine and maybe thinning the seedings which have come up in the garden and I don't know what but all good stuff and my anxiety is thrumming through me like a taut string stretched too tight in the wind. It is singing a constant note which hurts my ears and roils my gut.

It's okay. It's just a feeling.

I sure wish this feeling would fuck off. My life is too beautiful to be messed with like this. I get so angry at myself for this sort of ridiculousness. Or at least the part of me that won't let me enjoy the incredibly simple miraculous gifts of my existence.

It's so odd. It's so hard. It's so wrong.
I think, however, it may be best to just live with it when I can and it would seem that I always can, one way or another and for that, too, I am grateful.