Friday, October 31, 2008

The Reason My Children Have Carved The Pumpkin Since They Were Old Enough To Hold The Knife

I'm Sorry. What???!!

Ms. Moon is not easily shocked. Oh, honey. The stories I could tell.

But I have to tell you, right this second I am reeling. Yes, reeling!

Have you ever seen a Vermont Country store catalog? They come every Christmas (or October, actually) and are just chock-a-block with good ol' American goods that are hard to find these days. Things like curtains that keep the cold out, wooden toys that your grandparents might have played with ("The Downhill Dasher! Made in the United States Since 1889! Still Delivers the Winter Ride of a Lifetime!"), thick, cozy flannel nightgowns that nuns might break out on a festive, chilly evening, old fashioned Christmas tree ornaments, and plenty of yummy food items, many featuring maple, and some great nostalgia-producing candies that you can't believe they still make.
Ribbon Candy, for example:

And here's a Bozo Bop bag (Wowie! Kawzowie! Releases excess energy and tension!)

Useful things, practical things, fun things, holiday things and things that make you go, "Hmmm..." like the lotion applicator which allows you to extend your reach and keep your hands clean while rubbing lotion on those hard-to-reach spots on your back.

All very good clean, American fun.
As far as I can remember, the raciest thing in the VCS catalog was something like this:

But wait, wait, WAIT! What is this?

Or THIS????

The Synergy PLEASURE System? Are you kidding me? In the Vermont Country Store Catalog??

Releasing Excess Energy and Tension for sure! Those Vermonters are gettin' frisky, folks!

And my personal favorite:

The Ergonomic Pillow. Read it and weep. For joy!

The ergonomic Pillow Reduces Pressure on the Tailbone and Pelvis for Greater Pleasure During Intimate Moments
  • Lifts, tilts, and cradles your hips to reduce pressure
  • Eliminates the need to uplift the pelvis
  • High-density foam is extremely cushiony
  • Designed by a gynecologist

This specially designed ergonomic pillow reduces pressure while increasing pleasure.

And don't forget, it's designed by a gynecologist! It must be great!

I just don't even know what to say. Should I place an order? Call them up and say, Yeah, I'd like some of that genuine Vermont cheddar along with a dozen Zagnut bars, a 100% Cotton chenille bedspread, some cute little 1950's bubble lights for the tree, perhaps a natural bristle toothbrush, and oh yeah, throw in a Synergy Pleasure System. That sounds good. Uh-huh. Put it all on my credit card. Thanks!

The holidays might end up being merry and bright if I shop the Vermont Country Store way!

Merry Christmas, Y'all! I hope I didn't shock you.

And oh yes, have a safe and Happy Halloween. Perhaps I will dress as Country Ms. Moon, which will involve wearing a flannel nightgown and holding a martini.

Remember people- combine your tricks with treats and everyone will be happy.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I went today to early-vote. I just couldn't stand it. Couldn't wait for next Tuesday because what if something happened? What if I got really sick and couldn't go? What if the Baptist church where my precinct votes got struck by lightening? What if the comet hit the earth and I hadn't cast my vote for Barack Obama and my vote against Proposition Two which states:

"This amendment protects marriage as the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife and provides that no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized."

Living here in Florida, I don't have a lot of faith that that one is going to get voted down. We're in the damn buckle of the Bible Belt here with crazy ass Christians who can't understand that Jesus never said one word about homosexuality and who are so repelled at the thought of two people of the same sex having sex that they want to amend our Constitution to make sure that even if two people ARE having sex when they're not the right sexes, they can't get married because then somehow that sex would be okay.

Or something.

Makes my blood boil. I wrote about gay marriage almost a year ago and you can read that if you want to right here.

So when I marked that circle next to the NO on that particular part of the ballot, I felt angry and at the same time, defeated, because like I said, unless the people of Florida are more advanced and open-minded than I think they are, this one is going down.

On the other hand, when I marked the circle for Obama/Biden, I had a different kind of feeling. It was one of those this-is-history-this-is-really-important feelings. Like for a second, time stood still and I realized I would remember that second forever.

Where were you when you voted for Obama?

I was in a little brick building in Monticello, Florida and the lady who gave me my ballot said, "Just fill this out and put it in the machine and we'll have you out of here in no time." But in a friendly way, like she figured I had somewhere important to be.

I wanted to say, "No, lady, I am going to take my time with this. I am going to savor the moment. I am doing the most important thing I could possibly be doing at this moment in time."

And I did. I took my time. I don't remember feeling that way about voting ever before in my life. I remember voting for Jimmy Carter when he was running against Ronald Reagan, and I remember hoping with all my heart that the California actor who obviously did not know reality from the made-up myths of Hollywood did not win this one and that the painfully honest and sometimes awkward man from Georgia would, but I had a sinking feeling (like the one I have about Prop 2) that it was all going to go to hell and the old smooth-talker would win.

I remember but it wasn't like the way I felt today, marking my ballot for Obama.

I had hope today. It wasn't marking a ballot for the candidate I hated the least. It was marking a ballot for a man whom I would joyfully see be our president. A smart man. A calm man. A man who has come up the hard way and offered to take on a responsibility that he owed no one.

And oh dear God, how I would love to see those beautiful children of his playing in the Rose Garden. And his gorgeous, strong, smart wife standing at his side, welcoming world leaders and representing our country all over the world. A woman whose elegance and beauty do not come from plastic surgery or make-up or designer clothes but from intelligence and humor and dedication.

It's time. It's such a cliche, but it's time for change. Not just a change, but for many, many changes. The kind that can help heal the earth, make peace possible and make things like Proposition Two relics of a long-gone past.

And I pray, in the way that I know and can pray, that my moment in the little brick building in Monticello today was part of that.

I hope millions of us do.

I would be so much prouder to be an American if Barack Obama gets elected. Can we make it happen? Can we elect this so-obviously more qualified man to be president, even though tens of thousands of "real" Americans are hiding behind bullshit reasons not to elect him ranging from he's the Anti-Christ to his middle name is Hussein when really, they are merely racist?

Can we?

Are we smart enough, are we evolved enough, are we decent and thoughtful and open enough?

I almost believe we are.

Five more days to find out for sure.

It feels like time is standing still and at the same time, it feels like we are rushing to a new part of our history. A part I can actually believe in.

I'm scared. I'm joyful.

I voted.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Things In My Kitchen (And if you click on the pictures you can see them better.)

This is a picture of my beloved started-from-a-special-seed mango tree which was taken from my kitchen which, as you can see, is a fairly cluttered mess of a kitchen but I love my stuff.

I love my funky rooster and the little hanging ristras of vegetables and fruit that I got from Mexico and the small green prism that hangs in front of them that I got at Lemoyne Art Gallery when Lynn was still alive, still able to go do our Ladies To Lemoyne and shop.

I love the Mexican mirror over the stove and the big crazy flowers on the cabinet over it. My son gave me those for Christmas one year. I love the potholder Billy made for me and I love my mermaid which you can't really see, which hangs on the wall going in to the laundry room on the left. Hold on. I'll post a picture:

Isn't she pretty? I got her at River Lily down in Apalachicola once, which is your favorite store although if you haven't ever been there, you don't realize it yet and I recommend you go immediately.

Unless you're a man.

I think River Lily may be deadly for men. They walk in and are hit with a blast of femininity that causes them to feel faint and reach for their wallets to push them farther down into their pockets while the women they are with stand as if paralyzed for a moment with eyes like saucers, hearing the voices of the angels singing hosannas, praising the goddesses of all-things-beautiful.

Luckily, there is a bar right next door. This works out well for both the men and the women with them because while the ladies shop, the fellows can have a few which means they are far more tolerant of the hit their debit cards have taken when the ladies come find them, their ears newly asparkle with earrings, their necks smelling of guava or rose or lavender or mysterious spices from the east.

I love my pots and pans. The skillets I have collected in my lifetime of cooking, starting in Girl Scouts where we used that biggest skillet to cook in over fires while camping. The Revere Ware belonged to my grandparents who probably bought it in the fifties. These are the tools of my trade and I feel quite certain they will last forever. Or at least until I die, which is good enough for me.

I love the aprons on the wall which are too lovely to hide away in a drawer. Some of them were gifts to me, some of them I found at Goodwill or thriftshops. There is nothing so fine as finding a lovely apron, especially one that someone made. I do wear aprons when I cook sometimes, but these are special.

I don't have a window over my sink (bad, bad design flaw) so I have this:

and I can't even start to tell you where everything came from, but they were all gifts and that' a picture of me and Maxine walking on the beach. It's labeled Carefree Florida and doesn't that just say it all?

Miss Maybelle makes art and gives it to me and here's a clock she made:

It doesn't keep time anymore but it still works for me. Isn't it lovely? She cut her poor fingers, cutting out the tin. We should all have to bleed for our art now and then.

And one more thing in my kitchen I love. A kitchen hutch that I bought while still in my first marriage which means it must be at least ten thousand years old. On top of it is a Christmas decoration but she sits up there and protects me 365 days a year. It's funny. I hate Christmas with all my heart but I have Christmas decorations around me all the time because some of those I do love and am loathe to put away at New Year's.

And those are just a few things in one room of my house that make me happy. None of them are worth squat, monetarily speaking but they make me feel rich with their colors and history and the tugs they give to my heart.

What are the things in your kitchen that make you happy? Tell me about them and I will know more about you.

And I would like that.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

They're So Clean And Pretty Now (But The Garden Is Still Neglected)




And really? It hasn't been a bad day. I've cooked some venison and some of the first collards from the garden (which were planted as plants and not seeds so they're doing okay) and got some plants moved in and others covered up and I am feeling quite cheerful about play practice which is, after all, play.
And it will be so much more pleasant to snuggle with Zeke tonight now that he's all freshly groomed and smells less like a dog and more like, well, a dog who is freshly groomed.

What Goes Up

Ah, lah.

Yesterday I was still so filled with the spirit of our little trip that when I went to the therapist I believe she wondered what in hell I was doing there.

I sort of wondered myself.

I felt like I could take on the world, that there were endless possibilities and that finally, I was back, I was whole, I was good. I was wearing a new dress that my Lizzie had given me and dark red lipstick.

I found, within minutes of shopping, a few things we need for the radio plays- an antique-looking fan, some clickers to make noises with, and I called my fellow-Foley and left a message saying I felt quite sassy.

It was just a good day.

And today?

Ah lah.

I look around and see that the house is dusty and cluttered. I look out at the garden which needs completely replanting because nothing came up but the arugula and weeds and I have no idea why. They say it's going to freeze tonight and I have exactly one million plants on the porches and scattered around the yard that could die if I don't do something to protect them, including my precious six-foot mango plant that I started from a seed in a pot that weighs approximately one half of a ton. The dogs need to go to the groomer's desperately because part of my mental illness has precluded me from using the phone to call for appointments although I finally did manage to do that last week and today's the day they need to go. My daughter needs me to take her shopping for some winter clothes. And we have play practice tonight.

And I am overwhelmed and I suppose I should get out there and walk for one hour and fifteen minutes to kick that serotonin level up and it's cold out there. Well, cold for me.

In other words, SNAFU.

Not really. It's all in my mind. I need to stop. Breathe. Go put my shoes on, collect the dogs' leashes, herd them into the car, take them to Miss Beverly, come home and take a walk.

Then see where I am and what I need to do.

Because right now I am spinning wheels and gaining no traction and not enjoying the view from the window as I spin.

Monday, October 27, 2008

No Thanks Necessary, Ms. Dooce

Okay. I'm sure Heather Armstrong's hit counter will go right straight through the roof because of this, but I have to say, if you want to ponder the "undecided voter" and if you want a good dose of healthy, healing laughter via David Sedaris, check out this post on Dooce. com.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Twenty-Four Years Of Marriage

We had more fun than the damn law allows.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hiding Away

Oh goodness. Here it is my anniversary and where is my husband?
He's fishing at the Sebastian Inlet with my blessing.

The difference between men and women:
Yesterday we were walking on the beach and a stiff wind was blowing against us and the sea was rough and the sky was gray and I was loving it! I was dancing with the wind, prancing with the day, skipping through the surf, holding my hands up into the air to feel all of the wind I could feel. I was thinking of Lynn and how she would have loved this and of all the times I'd walked this beach as a child and of my grandfather and how he would get up before dawn to walk on the beach and how he'd pay my brother and me to find him cat's eye shells and I was in a glorious, heavenly place.

All of a sudden, Mr. Moon opened his mouth and spoke:
"They say the pompano are biting in the surf."

He was thinking of fishing.
Of course.
I love that man.

Anyway, I'm about to go take a walk. I feel slovenly and lazy. I got up at six to watch the sunrise over the Atlantic and it was amazing. The clouds parted in the darkness and the silvery hook of a moon appeared, sharp and clear as anything I've ever seen and the sky eventually lightened and became pink and I watched a plane fly across the sky, blinking, blinking, blinking, as the surf rolled and hissed and pounded the shore.

Then I went back to bed and slept for two more hours.

Yesterday we went to the bar in the picture above down in Sebastian. As a child, Earl's Hideaway held more than a little mystery for me. "Hideaway" was where the bad cowboys went after they robbed the stagecoach. Why, I wondered, didn't the police just go there to catch the criminals? As I sat at a table yesterday, I was still wondering that because surely, at least a few of the folks there are wanted for something although the bikers I eavesdropped on were discussing their cholesterol levels and blood pressure medication so maybe not.

We drove down to Roseland yesterday, too, and my spirits dipped a bit when we left. I believe that in my heart I always thought I'd end up there, beside the river. We drove down the river road in Sebastian and everywhere I looked, there were memories. I realize that this place, this area, was filled with the most magic I ever experienced in my life, and I do love it. It wasn't necessarily the type of magic that is conjured or manipulated or surreal. It was the sort of magic made up of water and jungle and long days of kids playing. It was fishing for catfish off the dock and playing marbles in the dirt road and pretending Tarzan in the woods. It was wild mangoes, sticky and tasting of turpentine, tangerine trees in every yard, and always that slow-moving mucky river, flowing past like a dream of pirates, of treasure, of too many secrets to ever know.

I miss it but I am lucky to be able to come back and enter the mysterious again. Luckier than that, I lived it as a child.

Love from a Magical Place....Ms. Moon

Friday, October 24, 2008


Well, here we are in beautiful Vero Beach, Florida.

You can't quite tell from the above picture but the wind is gusting around forty mph (I'm guessing) and it's sort of raining and the ocean, she is angry, my friends.

But it's calmed down since last night when the wind was roaring like the raging spirits of all the
sailors drowned at sea. It whistled and blew and pushed everything out of its way. It whipped the surf and pounded it into the sand like a noisy dense lace of froth.

It was great!

It IS great!

The palm trees are dancing, the sea is rolling and roiling and I am a happy woman.

I'm so glad to be here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Why I Hate The Medical Profession

So yesterday, as I said, I was ANXIOUS. Back to crazy-levels. It was pretty bad.
It didn't get better when I got a phone message asking me to call the doctor's office about "test results."

The only test I'd had was a pap smear. For those of you who are not aware of this, a pap smear is a test for cervical cancer. If they don't get in touch with you after the test, that means you are OK. If they do call, something is probably wrong.

So. Steeling my courage, I called but the person who had the information for me had already gone home. She'd call tomorrow.

With my anxiety levels through the roof, I made dinner, I took an over-the-counter sleep aid and I went to bed around nine. I mean, really.

This morning I got up and as soon as possible, I called the doctor's office. No waiting around for news of doom for me. No sir.

The nurse who had the information actually answered the phone. She wanted to tell me that although my pap was normal, there were changes that suggested I was losing "muscle tone."

Is this TMI?

Sorry. This is my blog.

So yeah, a fifty-four year old woman who has had four children, one of them weighing over ten pounds is losing muscle tone in the baby-incubation area.

She said if I started having problems, perhaps I should consider hormone replacement therapy, which they seem to really want to push.

I wanted to tell her she should consider having human decency therapy.

Instead, I thanked her and hung up.

And now I am packing to go to Vero, feeling much more light-hearted knowing that I am simply aging and am not diseased and feeling even less inclined to ever go to a doctor again.

I'll report in from the road if at all possible.

Now get back to work.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Party On

It's a drippy, chilly morning. I'm going to go back to yoga for the first time in weeks here in a few moments and I'm mighty glad of that. Mostly because that means my teacher is better now and also because I need it.

This extra walking thing hasn't really done much for the old anxiety levels, I have to say, but then again, I did not walk yesterday except around Apalachicola with the darling girl, Miss Maybelle.

It's funny how tenuous the gains I've made in sanity are, how thin the membrane between feeling so much better and feeling not so well.

I woke up this morning around six and laid in bed worrying about each and every thing I could manage to think about. It was one of those internal conversations usually held around 2 a.m.
Yes, I was late to the party, but I made up for it like a sober guest who shows up after the dancing has already begun and slams a few shots to catch up to the level of merriment, to loosen the old bones and gristle so that dancing is possible.

My mind raced from this to that, from the radio play (HOW will we build Fibber McGee's closet? How WILL we make the sound of a ray gun? What will I wear onstage?) to a friend who's traveling solo in the west (Dammit, is he okay?) to this little trip Mr. Moon and I are taking for our anniversary (Shit. I don't have anything to wear. What if I'm depressed and morose the entire time? Will everyone and everything be okay while I'm gone?) to my diet (Why didn't I get the salad yesterday? Why did I eat so many grits?)

I mean, really.

And when I finally got up, the sense of dread and worry followed me out of the bed and obviously it's still tap-dancing on my head but... shit.

So what?

It's all just in my head where everything begins and ends.

I plan to breathe deeply in yoga. I plan to stretch through the pain and I plan to be incredibly grateful to have this wealth of silliness to worry about.

I swear.

And I'd like to say Happy Birthday to a dear friend who knows who she is and who has been a sort of rock for me in the past few months. She has a huge talent for showing up when I need not to be alone, for never advising or showing concern, only a shining cheer even though she's been going through things herself that would have me in the loony.

Thank-you, dear K.

Happy Birthday.

Monday, October 20, 2008

And We're Going To Apalachicola To Celebrate

Worst day of my life.
Best day of my life.
She did not die.

Hunting and Gathering

So. The new bow works. There is the body of a doe, skinned and gutted, on ice somewhere in the garage. Mr. Moon is very smart in that he does not ask me to participate in the deer hunting process AT ALL. He doesn't say, "Come look at my dead deer!" He doesn't ask me to hold the flashlight while he skins it. He does not ask me to bury the guts. In fact, he allows me to pretend that he came upon the deer meat, all wrapped in white paper and labeled "back strap" while in the woods.
He even washes his hunting clothes himself.

This is a good man.

And I try to reciprocate by cooking his deer meat in a respectful and delicious manner.

When I met Mr. Moon I had never dated a man who was anything like him at all. Seriously.

First off, his height. Six feet, ten inches. Honeychile, that's tall. I stand five feet, four and a half inches in a good day. This means that when I hold his jeans up to fold them, they come to my chestular area. Uh-huh. Really. He has a thirty-eight inseam. And I'm not going to even tell you how big his shoes are.

Secondly, he was a jock. He'd played basketball all through high school and college and he'd played some pro ball in Europe and when I met him, he played Ultimate Frisbee. All of the men I'd ever dated considered loading amps to be their main form of physical activity.
This meant that Mr. Moon was formed in a somewhat godlike fashion when it came to his physical being which was a novelty for me. Loading amps doesn't build muscle the way playing basketball or Ultimate Frisbee does. Funny, huh?

Thirdly, while I was, and am to this day, an avid reader, Mr. Moon did not ever even consider once in his life picking up a book to read recreationally. This was beyond understanding to me. I reading? Oh, he could pick a contract apart like a lawyer but when it came to reading for pleasure, it was not part of his reality.

Fourthly (is that a word?), he hunted. With a gun. Wearing hunting clothes.
I was practically a vegetarian. The culture clash of an almost-vegetarian and a hunter was huge. I remember looking at the man pulling the feathers from some sort of small bird he'd bagged IN MY KITCHEN and thinking, "Holy shit, what have I gotten myself into?"

We're about to celebrate our 24th anniversary though so I suppose it's all worked out. He eats tofu on occasion now and I cook a mean venison chili. It makes me feel secure to have a freezer full of white packages labeled "back strap" and "loin" and "roast," not to mention "grouper," "snapper," and "flounder."

We both love to work in the garden and eat what comes out of that, too.

I still read voraciously and he now listens to books on tape that I get him from the library.

And most importantly, I think, our family is the most important thing in the world to both of us.

And he makes me laugh and he makes me feel safe and he's the hardest working man I've ever met. And despite the fact that he sells used cars, he's the most honest man I've ever met as well.

And thank God he's a Democrat. Phew. That would have been a deal-breaker for sure.

We take care of each other, Mr. Moon and I, in the best ways we know how. We've learned to live with our differences and we've come to respect the very things in each other that are the most different.

I don't know how you can get much better than that.

Except, oh yeah, the fact that we love each other tremendously.

On Thursday we're going to head down to Vero Beach to stay for a few days to celebrate our anniversary and I'm looking forward to that. He can take his fishing poles and fish the Sebastian Inlet and I can walk on the beach. And we can spend a lot of time together doing not a lot of much and I think we're going to have a lovely time. We'll eat our anniversary dinner at the Ocean Grill which is where that picture of us was taken about a million years ago.

I still have that dress.

I still have that man.

And a deer on ice.

Ain't I lucky?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Magic And Houses And Being Home

Mr. Moon wanted to buy a new bow to shoot deer with yesterday and so we drove up to Cairo, Georgia where he'd located one big enough for a man almost seven feet tall. We made an excursion of it, taking the Cutlass down country roads and it was lovely.

You've heard of the "magic hour"? That hour right before dusk when the light is perfect? Well, this time of year every second seems like the magic hour and as we drove through pine forests with wire grass and blooming golden rod and big oaks bearded with Spanish moss tossing in the wind, everything looked like something from a movie, or a coffee table book, perhaps entitled, Scenes From The South, A Glorious Day.

We stopped in Thomasville and ate lunch at that farmer's market restaurant, I forget what it's called, but at one point, sitting there with a plate of three kinds of beans, two kinds of greens, okra and tomatoes, a piece of baked chicken, and carrot salad before me I said something like "I could just sit here for the rest of my life."

Bring me some more tea, please, Honey, and pass that Crystal hot sauce, if you don't mind.

The bow-purchasing took, quite literally, a few hours but I had two New Yorker magazines to read so I didn't mind. I sat in the shade and read my magazines and occasionally went inside to use the restroom or check on the progress of the transaction which took so long because they have to do all sorts of stuff TO the bow before you can use it.

While I was waiting, I talked to a little boy who got inside a camo tent set up on the porch of the store next to where I was reading.

"Hey!" he said to me. "I'm a bat! I like the darkness!"

"Really?" I asked, looking up from my magazine. "Are you upside down in there?"

"I am!" he said. "But now I'm going to turn back into a human," and he shook the tent and made it tremble and when he popped out, he was indeed a real human little boy with brown hair and brown eyes and a very wide smile and his parents called to him and he got in the car with them and drove away and they all waved to me and I waved back.

Besides all the trees and fields we passed on our way there and back, we passed a lot of beautiful old houses, some large and handsome and some small and more cabin-like and one of the cabins was the prettiest color blue. I said a silent thanks to my grandfather who had moved from his native Pennsylvania to Tennessee long before I was born because I believe it may be against the law in the farming country of PA to paint your house blue and I'd hate to live in a place where there are no blue houses. Or pink ones, for that matter.

I'm one of those people who has always seen houses and thought, "There. That should be my house. I could go in there and find the kitchen and make biscuits and I could lie down in a bed in a room in that house and sleep peacefully and I would be happy there."

All my life I have done that. I remember doing it when I was a child, passing shotgun shacks with geraniums blooming from tomato cans on the front porch and and I remember doing it in high school, craving to live in a tiny stucco house in the middle of Winter Haven that had a tile roof.

The one thing that all these fantasy houses had in common was that they were old. Those old houses with character and personality developed from housing generations of people are the ones I have always craved to move into. Slip out of my own skin and into another.

But I don't do that anymore. I have the house now that I used to drive by and think, "Oh, I should live there." And I do. I live here. It's unbelievable to me still, after four years.

Sometimes when I'm outside, people will slow down as they drive by and they ask me questions about the house. I'm always happy to talk to them. "It's a beautiful home," they say wistfully as they drive away and I nod in agreement. It is a beautiful home. It's not especially fancy and it's not especially huge and it's not especially ancient, but it's graceful and it looks almost as if it grew here, like the oaks, the way it rambles on with its additions and porches.

It's not everyone's idea of a dream home. But it's mine. And the fact of that matter is, for the first time in my life, I feel as if I really am home. When we were in the process of buying this house, I was in a big Dixie Chicks phase and their song, A Home, constantly went through my head. I almost feel as if they had something to do with the magic of us finding the place, (and so did the Beatles, but that's another story), selling the house we were living in, and buying this one. Their song spoke so fiercely and eloquently of the regret of not living in a home that might have been. And I knew somehow, that if I didn't live in this house, I would live with that regret for the rest of my life.

Tonight I went out front and did something I've never done before. I stuck a political candidate's sign in front of my house. In front of my home. It says, "Change." It's a sign for Barack Obama, the man who I am fairly certain will be the first president of our country whose skin is not lily white. His sign sits in front of my white house, built for white people by the labor of black men, most likely, in a time when those same black men probably couldn't even dream of a time when they could cast a vote for president, much less run for president.

Times change. History moves on. And here in this house, my home, I feel part of it.

I love the south. I love my home. I love my community which is made of white people and black and where the golden rod blooms and people live their lives and live in all sorts of houses.

This is our home.

Mr. Moon is out in the woods with his new bow and it is the magic hour as the last of the day's light pours itself onto my trees, my flowers, my house.

And I am about to go make soup in the kitchen of my house and there is no house I'd rather make soup in and there is no place I'd rather be but here, in my community, where I belong.

My home. My beautiful home.

Where I have no regrets; none at all.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sleepy Dancing Frog And How I Pray

Last night I went to turn out the light on the porch before I went to bed and there, on my lovely Rooster lamp, was a small green frog. He was blinky and sleepy-looking, his little red eyes slitted shut. I think he was perched up there to grab bugs attracted to the light but it seemed to me that he'd fallen asleep before the main course was served. Or perhaps he'd already eaten and had fallen asleep at the table, the way a child or a drunk might do.

Either way, I had to grab the camera and take his picture. The fact that Hula Girl was right there playing the ukulele was an added bonus.

I feel a great affection for the small creatures I share my home with, the frogs and the lizards. I don't especially want to touch a frog or lizard but I like to watch them. I have become aware of the fact that these animals are extremely territorial. This guy lives on the back porch near where I sit and of course I've mentioned the green lizard who lives on my screen door in the kitchen.

The other night I got home from play practice and Mr. Moon held the door open for me when I got in and let it slam behind me. I saw Mr. Lizard go flying through the air and I moaned, "Oh God. We've killed him."

I didn't see him for a day or two and in fact, another small lizard had taken his place but then yesterday, I saw him there again and I can't tell you how vast my relief was.


Such a small world I inhabit and yet, for now anyway, it suits me perfectly and makes me happy.

I just got back from my walk and I was actually gone for more like an hour and a half than for the hour and fifteen minutes the therapist prescribed but I must admit I cheated. I stopped to pee by a little pond in the woods and I also stopped to pick flowers and ferns and wild elephant ear and once to look at the creek. Because of the increase in the time of my walk, I chose to take a road down into the woods where I usually don't go. It dead ends at the banks of Lloyd Creek or at least an arm of it and today it was just a clear, tannin-stained trickle of water, flowing over white sand, the banks rising above it, ghostly and set with the old trunks of dead trees. All around me though, was the evidence of the recent flood we had. Bushes and trees twenty feet or more from the banks were brown, four feet off the ground and how I wish I had made the trek to see it, when it was swollen from the rain and had burst forth from its banks. But you know, I never did and it's not such a huge regret.

Yesterday, walking the extra miles, I felt a bit resentful, as if this therapist was forcing me to take something I love, my walk, and turn it into a chore, something I dread.

But today I felt better about it, more grateful for the push I needed to make me walk that path through the woods to see the creek. How can that be a bad thing, to go further, to go far enough to see the creek? To stand silently beside it for a few seconds, to feel blessed to be there, alone, and witnessing the slow-moving water? To know that I am strong enough to easily walk those extra miles? To think that perhaps I will become stronger, even as I grow older.

I am always amazed at this time of year to see all the blooming flowers. Our spring here is amazing with the dogwoods and azaleas and I love the winter bloom of camellias but it's in the fall that plants which appear to be nothing but weeds all through the dry, hot summer months, suddenly burst into flower. We may not have the gorgeous turning of the leaves here, but we have the purples and yellows of blossoms and we have the oranges and yellows and blacks of the butterflies which float about the flowers, taking what they need and what they want.

It is something to see and appreciate- this late-year unexpected burst of glory, this unearned (by me, at least) flash of beauty.

And I remember once again why I walk where I walk, why I take my exercise out of doors instead of in a gym in front of a televison flashing nothing but the same old bad news, over and over again.

I would rather watch the water flowing, the flowers blooming, the sudden, always surprising show of life, whether animal or plant, so different from my own, but somehow tied to me, somehow part of who I am and what I think and how I feel as I go about my day or even when I sleep at night, the world dancing and drowsing around me as I walk through my dreams.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Well. What More Is There To Say? Click It So You Can Read It

Answers To Everything

So the lady therapist was quite beautiful and her office was warm and inviting.

Check, check.

I shoveled out my shit and she, being a different sort of therapist, I believe, offered her opinion that there were at least seventeen reasons why I got to where I did but for now, let's just go from where we are.

And that I should walk for an hour and fifteen minutes daily (instead of the fast forty-five I do now) to "kick up the serotonin." And cut down on coffee.

Because she can tell that I still have anxiety.

Perhaps me telling her that I have a hard time leaving the house clued her in there.

Anyway, here I go, to walk for one hour and fifteen minutes. And then I HAVE to come back here and do yoga because I haven't done any in a week because my poor yoga teacher is IN THE HOSPITAL and that's a long story but I can feel my joints freezing up and my hip hurts. Which means I need to do yoga.

God. Who would have thought that getting this old would be this much WORK?

Now. Speaking of old, did you see McCain last night? His facial expressions shall I put this?

Painful. Strange. Bizarre. I feel certain that if a chimp had been sitting across the table from him, he would have jumped up on the table and pummeled the crap out of the old man, rightly thinking that those weird grimaces meant either (a) he was about to attack, (b) he was dying and needed to be put out of his misery, or (c) he'd been constipated for several years and needed a good shaking up to get things moving.

Personally, f I have to look at that face for the next four years there won't be enough walking in the world to sooth my anxieties.

That's all I have to say about THAT.

But here's what I'm thinking: In a month, I'll be trimmer, fitter and less anxious, Obama will be the president-elect and the financial world will settle down on the good news of that and we'll all have world peace, forty acres and a mule, and a chicken in every pot (unless you're a vegetarian in which case there will be tofu in yours) and see? It'll all be fine.

Breathe with me now.

We can do this.

One step at a time.

And one more thing. Do they make sports Depends? Because there's no way I can walk for one hour and fifteen minutes without having to pee, even with less coffee.

I should have discussed that with the therapist.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Let Me Compare Thee To A Fall Day When The Butterfly Ginger Blooms

I woke up this morning feeling as if the hole I've been living in had somehow gotten lighter and far less dank. As if a sharp ray of sunlight had pierced all the way through to my heart.


It's cooler again. And it's such an incredibly beautiful day. I've had some good days lately. The weekend with my kids and my dear friends. Yesterday Miss Maybelle and I did some Goodwill shopping and she made me laugh so hard I told her to stop talking because I was driving in traffic and I couldn't laugh that much and drive at the same time. I'd tell you what she said to make me laugh but it was an idea for character names for some book she HAS to write now and by golly, if she doesn't use them I'm going to steal them and I don't want anyone else to.

Nothing makes me happier than being struck once again, over and over, with the realization of how funny and smart and wonderful my grown kids are. Lucky for me they do it a lot.

I'm going to go talk to "someone" today. I do not especially want to do this because as Miss Maybelle and I were discussing while looking at dresses in the Goodwill, the things you least want to discuss are the very things you HAVE to discuss in order to get better.


I tend to spend the first months of therapy (okay, I've only done this once or twice before) convincing my therapist that I am the most intelligent, funniest and most well-adjusted person they'll ever have the good fortune to meet.


I don't want to spend months in therapy. Really. So I need to get in there and just shovel all the dirt out and spread it around and let her study it like some shaman studying the entrails of a chicken and let her tell me what to do.

As if.

It's a beautiful morning. I'm going to go for a walk. Then I'll shower and get dressed and pack my shovel and go see this person, this shaman, this so-called sanity expert.

And then I'm going to go to Publix and then I'm going to come home which is where I live and where these beautiful butterfly ginger lilies are blooming. And I'm going to remember to go smell them at least five times today because ginger lilies?


And today?


And the good days?

Precious and rare. Like the butterfly ginger.

Yes. Oh yes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Let Us Praise Great Endings

I love to read. No, no. That's wrong. I live to read.
And that's been true ever since I realized that C.A.T. spells cat.
Reading has been the key to the magical doorway of ten million other worlds that I can visit just by opening a book. Or reading a web page, for that matter. I don't know what I would have done as a child if I hadn't had books to take me away from the decidedly non-magical world I inhabited. I went from Alice and Jerry to Little Women and Kidnapped in about two weeks.

My main problem in life as a child (as I saw it then) was that there were never enough books to read. The tiny community I lived in had a library, sure, but what it actually was, was one room with about four book cases in it, and only one of those was for children's books and by the time I was in second grade I'd read every one of them. I remember distinctly reading Mary Poppins from there and a book entitled Marooned On Mars, and I'm not really sure which one was the more otherworldly. Both were fantastic!

My elementary school was so poor that it didn't have a library. Each teacher was expected to bring in and keep a few shelves of books, which they did, but there were never enough to keep me going past the first two weeks of school. I remember reading one book over and over in the second grade which was about a girl who had to go to the hospital to get her appendix removed. In the more realistic manner of writing children's books that was accepted back then, it even talked about the little girl having to get an enema. I had no idea what an enema was, so of course I asked my teacher.

"What's this?" I asked Mrs. Hendry, pointing to the word with my chubby little finger.

"Uh, hmm. You should ask you mother about that," she said.

However, I did not. Even at the age of seven I somehow knew that discussing certain things with my mother was not an option. So I spent the next few years of my life looking up the word "enema" in dictionaries.

This is quite possibly why I so fear all things medical.

Books have had an astounding and profound influence on my life and that's just all there is to it. They continue to do so but I find that as I grow older, it has become harder and harder to find books that make me sit up and pay attention. Now I must admit that I have become somewhat of a lazy reader. I haven't stooped to Danielle Steel yet, but I'm not exactly reading Proust if you know what I mean.

I get most of my books from the library (which to me, is the highest temple of civilization) and I choose my books with some sort of subconscious selection system which is probably based on cover art (yes, I do judge a book by its cover), title, author's photo, back blurbs and possibly a random sampling of a sentence or two inside.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

I was talking to Miss Maybelle yesterday and she said she'd read four books in one day. None of them, she said, was great. We discussed the endings of books and we agreed that a book's ending can make or break it. I think this is very true. Last night I had a touch of the insomnia and found myself reading the end of a book I'd been enjoying immensely for the last several days.

However, the ending was just...predictable, flat, and not worthy of all the pages which had come before it and I was more than disappointed.

Ending a book (or even a story or a blog post) well is a rare talent. I think some of the best book endings I've ever read come from Larry McMurtry. His writing is plain but not simple and he's a natural born story teller whose characters swagger and sweat and dance and cry and make huge mistakes and take on great things and dwell on the past and frequently act without thinking.

Just like all of us.

I especially love the ending of his novel The Evening Star. I'm not sure why, but to me, it was practically perfect. I wrote Mr. McMurtry and told him that. So far, he hasn't written me back, but I didn't expect him to. He doesn't owe me a response. He wrote that book with the perfect ending and I'd be a selfish little self-absorbed reader to expect more than that.

And you can't have a great ending unless it's been a pretty great book. To my mind, for an ending to really matter, the story and the characters have to been so engaging that when you come to the end of the story, you don't want it to end. And yet, it must, and I want to be left with a feeling of satisfaction and melancholy when I put that book down.

When I put my book down last night and turned off the light, I just wasn't satisfied. The ending didn't live up to what came before it. It was like a dirty hem on a beautiful dress. Like someone serving you a terrific meal of fresh, well-cooked ingredients and ending it with a bowl of sugar-free Jello for dessert. It made me think twice recommending the book. It made me doubt the author's skill which before I finished the book, I had been quite sure of.

Some book endings just leave you panting for more. They aren't horrible endings but there's no resolution at all. The melancholy is there but not the satisfaction. I'm thinking of Gone With The Wind here. I remember reading that entire book in one huge gulp, getting to the end and reading, "I'll think about this tomorrow, when I'm stronger," or whatever the last words were and thinking, "WHAT?"

Give me a break.

Give me an ending!

And speaking of endings, this blog post requires one too so I'm going to ask you about your favorite book endings. Which ones left you thinking, YES, YES, YES! (sob)?

Are there any that come to mind?

Because if there are, there's a pretty good chance the book was fine enough for you not only to have cared how it ended but to remember it too and maybe I'd like to read it.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Oh Sarah Palin

Big Lou and Maxine suggested I might want to post this.
They are right.
It's sort of sweet and sort of wicked at the same time which is my favorite sort of sorts.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Big Wide World And My Little Place In It

That is my front gate. It opens up to Old Lloyd Road, otherwise known as Highway 158. From this road, and thus, from my gate, you can get almost anywhere in the American continent.
Isn't that an amazing thing?
I could drive out of my driveway and get on that road and depending on the roads I took and which direction I took them, I could end up in Arizona or Wyoming or even somewhere way, way up in Alaska or way, way down in South American. Peru? I have no sense of geography but I know there are very few places you can't get to from here.
And when I say "you" I am speaking euphemistically because after years of joking about being agoraphobic, I am finding that really, I think I am.
It's getting harder and harder to leave the house, even for my walk and that is severely wrong. The thought of going to Publix, my safe, safe place where I am surrounded by people I know, foods I love to cook and eat, and the great Muzak which plays Joni Mitchell and John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen, makes me feel a little tense and finds me going through the cabinets to see what I can throw together for a meal without a trip to the store.
Mental illness is just the weirdest thing in the world. I mean, I completely understand and admit that I can't control much in this world. Not the economy or the election, surely, but doggone it, doesn't it seem like I should be able to control my own mind?
What I'm finding out is that the illness is also part of my mind, of course! and as strong as I think "I" am, that's how strong the part of my mind is that is...what? I'm struggling for the right words here. Trying to take over? I'm battling? I'm being mystified and confused by? That is ill?
Yeah. All of that.
Anyway, this has been a perfectly lovely weekend. I thought I was going to be alone for much of it but it turns out that I have been alone for very little of it. I don't know if my friends and family got together and decided to tag-team babysitting me or if they really wanted to come, but come they did and I, at least, had a wonderful time with Hank and Lily and Jason and Billy and Shayla. We had fun meals and fun drinks and played fun games and I had overnight company two nights, which is such a treat.
And in a few minutes I'm going to leave the house and go to Monticello for a script run-through for a radio play I'm going to be involved with and I know I will have such a good time there. I went last Sunday for auditions and after about an hour, being in that beautiful old building with those beautiful people, I felt better than I'd felt in weeks, so this is something I know I truly want and need to do.
And yet. I can't kid you. I'm stressed out at the idea of leaving the house and going there and I can't put my finger on why. It's just a vague sense of oh, do I HAVE to go?
And I do, dammit. I have to go. That is all there is to it. For my own sanity, I must.
I will get in my car and drive down Highway 158 towards Highway 90, I will take a right, I will end up in front of the Monticello courthouse and I will park by the Opera House. I will walk in and it will be wonderful and it will be fun.
And when it's over, I'll get back in my car and head home and end up, right here where I started, the better for it.
And Mr. Moon will be here with fish and dirty clothes and kisses and tales of adventures on the sea.
All roads lead somewhere. All the oceans do too. It's good to go out on them sometimes, have adventures, both great and small, and then return.
I know that.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Talking About Breasts Today

It would appear that the next issue of W magazine is going to feature a cover shot by Brad Pitt of Angelina Jolie breastfeeding one of their twins. It is, as you can see, a gorgeous picture of a tired but radiant-looking new mother. I remember that feeling of being completely overwhelmed and exhausted (and I had my babes one at a time) and yet at the same time, feeling as if I was doing the exact one thing I had been put on earth to do, which was to nurture the baby with the same body which had produced it.

We are, after all, mammals, which means we have mammary glands to produce milk for our young. We don't have to go out and catch bugs to feed them or regurgitate partly digested fish into their beaks. We simply put them to our breasts and with a little instinct on both the part of the mother and the baby and a little learned-skill and some initial pain, milk flows, the baby drinks, all is well.

You can even read while you breastfeed, which for me meant the best of all possible worlds, and probably why I nursed my children for eons.

When a woman nurses, her body produces a hormone called oxytocin, which is a sort of natural bliss-producing drug. You can see its effects on Angelina's face. It was more than brilliant of Mother Nature to develop this system because if there's anything harder than being a new mother I don't know what it is. Especially if you have other children to tend to.

Of course there are a myriad of other reasons to breastfeed our young. And yet, even today, when we know all of the benefits of breastfeeding it's something that many women do as surreptitiously as possible because they never know, no matter how discrete they are trying to be, if some ignorant flight attendant or restaurant server is going to ask her to cover up.

I myself was once told by a mall security guard that nursing my baby in public was indecent exposure. Since my daughter's entire body was under my voluminous shirt at the time I have no idea how he made this deduction but it was completely disconcerting and disturbing and I'll never forget it.

So I love seeing pictures of celebrities breastfeeding their babies. It may be a ridiculous notion on my part but I believe that these images give credence to the fundamental right of mothers and babies to nurse when and wherever babies need to nurse. These pictures say that even famous, extremely busy women know the value and beauty of nursing their babies.

One of my favorite celebrity mother and nursing child images is an Annie Leibovitz portrait of Jerry Hall, former supermodel, former wife of Mick Jagger, nursing her son, Gabriel.

It's a stunning image and strikes me as being, well, ridiculously humorous and at the same time, incredibly powerful.
It shows a beautiful woman, a completely gorgeous woman, dressed to the nines, holding her naked fine, fat cherub of a son to her breast, studying the camera with a powerful, almost cruel gaze. It would appear that in this woman there is at least as much testosterone coursing its way through her veins as oxytocin.
What was she thinking when this picture was taken? Was she thinking about her dinner reservations? Her husband's latest peccadillo? It would not appear that she is worrying overmuch about her child or the damage he may be doing to her fabulous breasts. He is simply there, doing what breastfeeding children do, amusing himself by playing with the neckline of his mother's shirt, nestled into her lap with his foot in her hand. He doesn't know that his father is one of the world's most famous rock stars or that his mother has some of the longest, most celebrated legs in the universe. He doesn't care. He is simply a son, nursing his mother's breast. And she is, along with everything else she is, simply a woman doing what women do, which is to nurse her child.


The image of madonna and child is one of the most rendered works in art and yet, somehow in our culture, the sight of a woman with a baby at her breast is considered a great deal less than sacred and it has taken actual laws to ensure that women can nurse their babies whenever and wherever they deem fit.

I was actually told to go nurse my baby in the mall restroom if I needed to nurse at the mall which just points to the fact that to this young security guard, my nursing was more of an excrement issue than a nutritional one. Let's leave the sacred out of it entirely. And I was the mother of a very young child and I wasn't dressed to the nines but in a very baggy t-shirt and skirt, and I wasn't famous and I was no doubt sleep-deprived and despite the fact that I had already nursed three children and believed to my bones in my right to do so, I was not only taken aback by this stupid guard but I was shamed.

My initial reaction was to feel shame.

And that's so ridiculous.

How I wish I had seen that picture of Jerry Hall before that day. I might have knocked that uniformed and badged yokel to his knees with my powerful, disdainful gaze. I might have whipped out the other breast and squirted him in the eye with a shot of breastmilk.

Or, perhaps, if I had seen that picture of Angelina, I would merely have smiled at him with a blissed-out gaze and told him that surely, he was mistaken and now please, little man, run away because he was disturbing a very sacred moment and was harshing my oxytocin mellow.

I hope that young nursing mothers see these images of celebrities breastfeeding and take them to heart. Give them the courage and spunk to do what they know is right. To not feel shame if some ignorant fool tells them to cover up and go to a stinky public bathroom to nurse her baby.
Because dammit, breastfeeding is our right as mammals, it is our right as mothers, it is as sacred to nurse any infant in the world as it was for Jesus' mother to nurse him.

In my opinion, all nursing mothers are madonna and child, whether they're hanging on the wall of an art museum or sitting at McDonald's and we need to grow up and realize that. That breasts are here for a reason which has nothing to do with titillation. Great word, huh?

And if someone notices a woman nursing her baby in public, he or she has every right to avert his or her eyes if they don't want to see it. In fact, that would be the polite thing to do. Or, they could fall to their knees and worship at her feet.

I think Jerry Hall would have liked that. I think she would have liked it a lot. And Jesus? He would appreciate it too.

Friday, October 10, 2008

All Blog, No Philosophy

One of the things I love about having a MacBook is the Photo Booth utility. I have always hated having my picture taken. The camera, she does not love me.

I'm serious.

But with Photo Booth you can take like a million pictures and then just delete every one of them that doesn't make you look glamorous and beautiful.

See that picture above? That's me. Glamorous AND beautiful, right?
Well, compared to the ten thousand I just deleted, anyway.

So it's Friday morning. I've just talked to EVERY ONE of my four children. Plus, Mr. Moon called. He's on his way across the bay to get the boat fixed because something is bad wrong with it and despite the fact that he's a fine amateur mechanic, he can't figure it out and is having to bring the boat BACK to Tallahasse to take it to the expert.

Bless his heart. The man can't catch a break and without the boat, he won't catch a fish, either.

But he's handling it in his usual Zen Glen way and that's part of the reason I love him so much. He doesn't get all upset about things he can't change, he just figures out the best way to deal with whatever he needs to deal with and then he does it.

Quite the opposite of me.

So I had a bit of an adventure yesterday afternoon. I went out to the side yard over by the neighbor's goat pen and started pulling up the nasty potato vine that wants to take over the world. This is a never-ending task and one that is always there if one wants to do something outside. The vine goes straight up into the trees and I was pulling some of it down and by darn but I obviously pulled something else that when it brushed my neck, face, legs and arms, left stinging, itching welts that demanded my immediate attention. I'm getting the shivers just thinking about it.

I came in the house, popped a Benedryl, tore off my clothes and got in the shower. The pain and itching subsided but for a while my shoulder was the color of raw hamburger. It was all quite dramatic, but I am fine today. The next time I pull potato vine, I will be wearing more substantial and protective clothing.

I believe my eldest is coming out tonight to watch TV and eat some supper and hang out with his mama. I have the option of going into town tonight to go to a concert with Lon and Lis but I don't think I'm quite up to that sort of fun times, although being with Lon and Lis is like my favorite thing in the world and I'll have to live with the regret of not going for THE REST OF MY LIFE. What can I say? I'm a wuss. Who has a hard time leaving the house.

Tomorrow night it looks like we might have a good old-fashioned game night with Billy and Shayla and perhaps some of my other kids. And that's always a good time. Our favorite game is called Apples To Apples. I see by the Wikipedia article on the game that they make a Apples To Apples: Bible version.

We will not be playing that one.

And so goes my weekend. All is well on my end. I wish it were better on Mr. Moon's.

I hope all is well with you. I really do.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Happy Birthday, John. I Miss You So

Sometimes When I Have The Most To Say It's The Hardest Thing In The World To Say It

It's a perfect fall day with the all the trees fresh-washed from the beautiful rain we got yesterday and last night. The sun itself seems happier, more kindly disposed to its task of lighting and warming and less inclined to burn us all up with its hot poisonous super-beams, making their way through our reduced ozone layer.

No, plenty of sweet air for us today here in North Florida and I picked a bouquet of wildflowers and berries on my walk and left the trash for tomorrow.

(Financial note: buy stock in Steel Reserve Malt Liquor.)

Everywhere I go outside I see tiny, tiny froglettes, the fruit of the spawning orgy that occurred during Tropical Storm Fay's amazing rains. They are smaller than bugs, these baby frogs, and the birds are happily dining on as many as they can scoop up. When I was sweeping the kitchen the other day, a dust ball quite shockingly became animated, hopping itself across the floor. I realized it contained a small frog and swept him gently outside to the back steps where he disappeared into the border grass.

They are not a pestilence, these frogs. Not only do they make the birds happy, the ones that grow up will eat mosquitoes and I am all for that.

Mr. Moon has taken off for four days of fishing with men and I sent him on his way with a huge batch of chili, a loaf of bread and several dozen chocolate chip and pecan cookies. Also, all my love and best wishes.

The man needs to get away and get out on the water and hang out with other uncomplicated men to fish and pee over the side of the boat and drink beer and grill steaks and do whatever it is that men do on fishing trips.

Bless his heart, he deserves to get away from a wife who's been so crazy she doesn't even recognize herself, who cries at the drop of a hat and who has turned in on herself like one of the roly-poly bugs the kids used to play with in the dry summer dirt. Honestly, I'm not sure how he's tolerated me the last few months and it's the least I can do to send him off with a smile and just hope he thinks of me fondly while he's gone and doesn't decide to abandon me to my despair and insanity. I don't think he will, but hopefully if he does have thoughts like that, the cookies will remind him that I do have my uses.

I'm not quite sure how I'll do, being alone for four days. Even six months ago just the prospect of that would have sent me into shivers of anticipation but since the black beast has come upon me, being alone is not always the best thing for me although, contrary-wise, at the same time it has become almost impossible for me to be around folks, even the ones I love, for very long. Except for Mr. Moon. After almost twenty-four years of marriage, being around him is my comfort and my joy and I can be quiet if I want or talk if I want and just having him there beside me at the supper table or in the bed makes me feel safe and more stable.

But I will gladly give that up for a few days to let him take his Viking-blooded self out to the water where he is happiest, to renew his spirit and restore his soul.

We all have something that washes us clean of our worries and our cares, just as the rain washes this dusty old planet with its cool, clean waters. Something that heals us, something bigger than ourselves and more important.

For Mr. Moon, that's fishing.

For me, right now, it's Mr. Moon.

But I feel okay.

I have a pile of good library books, an embroidery project I'm working on, a short story I want to get back to writing and four dogs. I also have plants to trim and plants to root, friends and kids that might come out, and this blog. If, out of self-therapy, I write about four posts a day, please be understanding.

There's just so much going on in my life to write about- dust balls that hop, teen-aged cardinals fighting at the feeder, how I feel from one moment to the next, and of course there's always the weather.

No end to the topics I could discuss.

Stay tuned.
And send Mr. Moon some good fishing vibes. I hear the grouper and snapper are biting and it sure would make him happy to catch some.

Which in turn, will make me happy and all will be good. And all will be well. And all will be as it should- warm sun, cool breezes, sane woman, tiny frogs, and the prospect of saner, sweeter days ahead.