Monday, November 30, 2009

Spending The Day In The O-Zone

Terrible picture but let me just say that being a caretaker is a lot busier than being merely a doting grandmother and there just wasn't time to grab a camera today. I'm serious! I held the boy almost all day long because...well, he likes to be held.

We had a bath and he loved that. We walked out to look at the chickens many times. We rocked. We had bottles. We went to Publix and he got to spend an hour with his mama and his daddy. We had more bottles. We changed lots of diapers. We played silly games. We had some grins. We hung out on every porch. We changed more diapers. We cried. We spit up. (You realize I am using the royal "we" here, right?) and we spent at least half an hour swinging in the porch swing on my little side-porch. He really liked that. I set him in my lap so he could look at the trees and we swung and swung. Mr. Moon came in while we were doing that and I said, "Here's what I have learned today. If you are doing something Owen likes, you need to keep doing it."
And that is the truth.

I didn't get the breakfast dishes washed until six o'clock tonight and I wouldn't have gotten ANYTHING done at all if Miss Petit Fleur hadn't come over with Harley and she held him and they sang him the ABC song until he fell asleep. Thanks, sweet neighbors!

But you know, it was wonderful. And he and I are going to learn each other and our ways and get our routine down and things will go easier. I feel so blessed to think that this little boy is going to know his grandmother and grandfather's house so well and will feel so comfortable with us.

So that's it. I'm just reporting in. He's coming back at eight tomorrow morning so I'm going to make a supper and maybe watch a movie and go to bed because I have another date with the boy and chickens to tend and, well, hell, that's about it if you want to get right down to it. I've mopped the kitchen floor tonight and so I feel like the world will be shiny and new tomorrow for our day together.

And I'll try to get a better picture tomorrow.

One more thing- all my chicken's names came back to me. Phew. That was weird.

This Boy Is Going To Be With Me Today

I am so nervous that I can't remember all my chickens' names. Seriously. Like- am I having a stroke?
I don't think so. I think I am merely shifting internally like the ground before a volcano, an earthquake. All my baby-substitutes- my chickens, my dogs, my plants- suddenly seem like vaporous apparitions to me because I am going to be taking care of my grandson today. A real baby. A nine-week old baby. A baby I love who is related to me who will look to me all day long for care and love and food and holding. I am not planning on getting one thing done beside holding him.
And suddenly, I have begun to doubt my abilities. After raising four children and partly raising two brothers, I am not so sure of my ability to keep a baby happy. I don't plan on getting anything at all done today. Not one thing. Because I am going to be holding him all day long.
I'm as nervous as a cat.
I've fed the chickens (what are their names?) and I've talked to my Lizzie on the phone. And I have sheets in the washing machine.
And everything else will have to just go on without me because I am going to be holding my grandson.
Owen. My baby boyfriend. That's what I call him. Because he is my heart's love and I want more than anything in the world to take such good care of him for his mother and his father and mostly, for him.
I'm nervous as a cat. You'd think I'd never done this before.
But I can. I know I can.

He's here.
Wish us luck.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Miracles, Healing, Wholeness and Light

My daughter May who posts over at Roll Up The Rugs is in a recovery program and last night Mr. Moon and I went to the meeting where she was celebrating two years of sobriety.
Now, if you read May's blog you know that she is quite open about this whole sobriety thing. And if you haven't read May's blog, get your ass over there RIGHT THIS SECOND AND DO IT! I am saying to you- DO IT! Her writing kicks my butt and kicks the butt of anyone I know who is writing on this whole damn internet and she's funny and she's honest and she's incredible.

But I digress. Sort of.

When we went to the celebration last year, I was nervous as a cat. What if there were people there I knew? Would May tell really personal stories about the times before she got sober? Would I be recruited in the the cult of sobriety?
Well, the answers were yes, no, and no.

But I learned a lot from that meeting and I wrote about what one man said which was that a feeling is just a feeling and I have remembered that for an entire year.

Last night I was not as nervous. Mr. Moon and I were a bit early so we swung by and picked up coffees for him and me and May and we went to where the meeting was and May came out to find us just as we walked up and led us to our seats in the dark-paneled room with the fluorescent lights and the place was packed. Black folks, white folks, gay folks, straight folks, old folks, young folks, young folks who looked old and old folks who had the merry dancing eyes of children. One woman came in crying, obviously hating "having" to be there and she was greeted and by the end of the meeting she had quit crying and had been hugged and held by another woman, and even if she wasn't happy, I could tell she was a little bit more at peace and I wondered about how all these people had felt, walking into this room the first time. Or another room like it somewhere else.

It was a birthday meeting and there were people celebrating one year of sobriety, two, four, thirteen, twenty-eight, and one, the man who had said the "feeling is just a feeling" thing last year was celebrating thirty years of sobriety. Thirty years! When he got up to speak, I was happy, thinking that I would get to see him again, wondering what he would give me this year to take home. And he talked about how he tries very, very hard to be "in the moment," which is very difficult for him. But then he said that really, you can't write the script, yesterday is done, and a few more things along that order, which are sort of cliches, albeit true. But then he said, "I start to worry and then I think, 'I have a roof over my head. I always have. And it's always been a nice roof. I've never lived in a dump and the only time I don't eat three meals a day is when I don't want to and really, what else is there?''

Well, of course there is more but basically, he's right. And he also said that this moment is perfect. Everyone who was supposed to be there was and I'm sure he was right and I thought about the crying lady. I thought about myself and how I needed to hear these words of serenity.
I was grateful to him for sharing his gratefulness, his experience of living thirty years meaningfully, thoughtfully, soberly, trying to be in the moment.

When May spoke, she was like a shining beacon and when she came back to her seat we held each other and I could not have been more proud of her if she'd hung the moon her very own self or gotten a job as the head of Green Peace or found a cure for cancer. I have watched the way she's changed in the last few years, facing problems head-on and dealing with them quietly and sensibly, not borrowing trouble, not going all drama-queen with them, but figuring things out.

Mr. Moon put his arm around me and her both, and I thought about this, too- how incredibly fortunate I am to have found and married this man who loves my children so much that there is nothing he would not do for them. I had thought perhaps to beg off going to that meeting last night. I had had a horrible day and was so low, so down. But he'd been the one to say, "We're going to support our girl," and he did and he wore a white shirt and jeans and his boots and I wore my silver and we all sat right there together, this girl who didn't become his girl until she was four or five and she calls him Daddy and he calls her our girl.

After the meeting quite a few people came up to tell us how wonderful our daughter is and we agreed. We've always known that. It was heartbreaking when we could see her losing her light, traveling down paths that were so dark they leached that light almost out of her, but never really could because that's how filled with it she is.
And here she is back again, glowing and luminous and she wanted us to be there and thank god (God?) we were.

There is much talk of God in that room where people go to get sober and stay that way and as we all know, I have such a problem with that God concept and in my heart, it is each and every one of those people's own powers, own strengths that they draw upon for what they need but they can call it whatever they want and besides that, they have the group and the powers and strengths and arms and smiles of each and every person there, which is God to me, if anything is.

What May said was that the people in the group had told her from the very beginning that they would love her until she learned to love herself. And that they had.

And I suppose in a perfect world, I, as her mother, could have done that but don't we all doubt the love of those of us who HAVE to love us? Our mothers, our fathers, our siblings, our spouses? I mean we don't doubt that love, exactly, but we think it's just there because of that family bond. And so sometimes we have to find a group of strangers who will love us only and exactly for who we are, as fucked up and imperfect as we may be because we all are. Each and every one of us and that's just the facts.

And I wanted to kiss and hold each one of those people in that room and say a thank-you to everyone of them who has loved May into loving herself. I guess that's what happens at the end when everyone circles up and holds hands. They say the Lord's Prayer but I was saying a different prayer, giving thanks for the people praying.
Giving thanks for them loving my May, which is not a hard job to do at all, believe me.
I wonder if by the time we go back for her fifth, tenth, whatever celebration of her sobriety, she will know how easy it to love her. For each moment in time that she lives, she is worthy of love and that she gives love by her very presence. A light-filled love that she gives to the entire planet as she merely walks from her house to the New Leaf, as she walks across the restaurant where she works to serve a table, where she sits on my porch on her birthday or on any day of her life.

Her one precious wonderful life which she is making full use of, every day.

Each day is a sort of anniversary of our lives. Each moment.

Some moments have so much meaning that they must be recognized and celebrated.
Last night was one of those and it was one of the best celebrations I've ever attended.

Happy Birthday, May. Two years of sober life. What an accomplishment! I am so grateful you are here with us, shining your light on us, that strong, holy light that comes from your eyes, your soul, your heart. That shoots off your fingertips and into our hearts when you hug us.

I love you, baby.
Thank-you for asking us to come celebrate again last night. Thank-you for giving us reason.
Thank-you for teaching me, being a conduit to knowledge.

The guy who introduced May last night to speak said that he first noticed her because she was "a pretty white girl who was friendly and who, when she walked into a room, everyone's eyes went to her."

Yep. He's right. And she's ours to love. And she is learning to love herself. And as all of this happens, she grows more beautiful, more light-filled.

And that was how my day ended yesterday. The one that started out so poorly. And again I understand that a feeling is just a feeling and that really, it is best to live in the moment, to try and accept the light and love that is always present, even when we can't see it, can't feel it.

That's what I went to sleep with last night, knowing that and holding it close to my heart, that man who loves my girl beside me.

And I woke today in light and the doors are open again, my heart is open again.

Thank-you, May. I love you. And I thank and love all those people in that room last night because they are the village that is helping to raise my child, not because they have to, but because they want to.
They have no idea but they are part of my blessings, my many, many blessings on this light-filled day in Lloyd, Florida, November 29th, 2009, which for so many reasons is a day of celebration, not the least of which is that I know it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

We Let Them Be Yard Chickens Today

Dolly is trying to figure this situation out.

Stare-down with Daffodil.

I'm watching my chickens. Favorite pastime. Yes. My life is full and balanced and oh-so-exciting. Why do you ask?

See? Excitement. Sam is heading for Betty and I am leaping to the rescue. Those are my earbuds dangling there, just in case you're wondering. I had been listening to...hold you can guess!
It's Saturday and time for Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me.

Chickens and NPR. Cheaper than therapy. Probably almost as effective. I also went down to the creek and it was beautiful. Dug up a fern and a tiny palmetto to bring home. I suppose that was my Black Friday shopping event.

And the world continues to turn.

Some Days

I made Mr. Moon bring in the giant begonia last night. It was supposed to get down in the low thirties and that is the one plant I could not bear to lose if we got a frost. It's sitting now in the hallway by the front door, it's huge leaves each as big as a child's head and I started it from one leaf not two years ago. It takes so much patience to start things from cuttings, from seeds, from scratch. When you do it, it seems important to protect the result.

I'm low today. I feel dry. I don't think I have words but for some reason I feel I have to send some out anyway. Why is that? What do people come here for? I would like to think they come here for some sort of relief from the world and its problems. Some days. Some days maybe they come here to get their righteous anger up. Some days they come to see pictures of sky and oak trees, to hear stories of a family that loves each other. Maybe just to hear that chickens can lay blue eggs.

Some days they get "I am crazy, I am crazy, I am crazy."

Today is one of those days.

The Church of the Batshit Crazy has its doors closed today, its font of holy water is dried up because the Church of the Batshit Crazy is in my heart.

Lily had to go back to work today. She's been crying for days. And I think I am so sorrowful for her that I can't bear it. I would have lost my mind if I had had to go back to work when one of my babies was only eight weeks old. I made Mr. Moon bring that plant in because I grew it from one leaf and I can't bear to lose it.
Lily can hardly bear to leave Owen in another room and today she had to get in a car and drive to work and leave him with his daddy. I am going to take care of him for a few days next week. And Owen will be fine. It's Lily that I am worried about.

So this is in my heart and other things too and I am either completely empty or else I am too full of the crazy to feel anything else. I don't know. Hard to say. Impossible to tell.

This is one of those days.

I can't tie it together, the begonia and the baby. I can't make it all be all right in the end.

I haven't forgotten my blessings. I am just too full of the crazy to feel I deserve them.

I think I need to walk down to the creek, see if the sweet running water of the holy woods can dilute a little of the crazy. See if I can get a few drops back into the font, cross myself, pray for sustenance, go on.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Home Place

Last night after all the dishes were done and the food put away (and Jessie- I owe you a million dollars- remind me on payday) we sat down and watched a movie she'd brought with her. It was called Away We Go and starred that fatally cute but completely dorked-out John Krasinski and the ethereally beautiful Maya Rudolph.

If you've never seen the movie, it's about a couple who, finding themselves about to have a baby, decide to travel around and figure out where it is they need to live to make their own home with their child. They are not a typical couple. She is of mixed race, calm and deadly humorous, he is, well, as dorky as a man can be and she loves him for that and for his sweet, sweet soul.
And they travel and visit people they know who live in places they think they might like to live from Montreal to Phoenix and they end up in an old house she grew up in on a lake in Central Florida.
It's a delicious movie for people like me who can live without car crashes and unexpected violence and love good dialogue and the way an actor's face can tell a story in one silent second. There are heartbreaking moments and there are hilarious moments and there are moments that are sweet and there are moments that are ridiculous- sort of like life, you know. It's an actor's movie.
A small movie. One that is just big enough to find a nook in the heart.
And like most movies of this sort, it colors the thoughts for awhile. I know this one did mine.

What really ripped it in a good way for me was the house they ended up in. I had been told by my kids that the hallway in that house looked so much like ours that it was bizarre. And they were right.

And here's the funny thing- the house they used for that movie was in Leesburg, Florida which is not so far from where I grew up and when I saw the exteriors for the house, I knew it was an old grove house. And when I was a child and then a teenager, I always had a yearning to live in one of those old grove houses. They were solid built, not fancy, but looked more like something that had grown out of the orange groves and the oaks than had been built there.

But I moved away from that part of Florida and I moved up here to the north part of the state and I've lived in so many houses here I can't begin to count them all up and I feel like every one of those houses was a stepping stone to where I live now and there, in that movie, was my hallway in that grove house in Leesburg, Florida.

I swear to you- I can't come up with any explanation of how my hallway got into that movie, right down to the little spring bolts you have to step on to unlatch at the bottom of the doors, to the windows beside the doors and the shapes of the glass and then yes, the stairway, which is so very like ours.

I don't know. Maybe they were all built like that a hundred and fifty years ago. Maybe the same guy built the two houses.

But it was strange and a little wonderful to see those two darling people in the movie open their front door and come into the hallway that looked just like mine and to realize they were home. They walked to the end of the hallway and went out the matching double doors, the twins (quadruplets?) to mine and out back and sat down and well, okay, they had a lake where I have a chicken coop and a railroad track, but still.

Home. They were home.

And we re home, here. It's such a beautiful house to live in, this home of mine and when I moved here, I knew I was someplace I'd been looking for a long, long time. It's a house that holds more stories than I will ever know and here we are, my family and me, giving it more stories. A wedding, a wake, babies, countless family get-togethers, music, hurricanes, food grown, chickens raised, tears and anxieties and joys. Quiet sittings on the porch and raucous good-times.

This is my home for now and I am eternally grateful for it and when I watched that movie last night, I was happy for the characters that they had found their home, too.

And that's all. I just wanted to write about my house with its wide pine board floors and it's soaring staircase and its front and back doors with the arched glass windows. There's no stained glass, there is no carpet or heavy mahogany furniture, just comfortable stuff and aprons on the wall and food cooking in the kitchen and chickens laying eggs out back. We eat here, we sleep here, we dream here. The kids come here to celebrate and laugh together.

My dream house, my home. I did grow up and find an old grove house to live in. No grove, but the house is the same. My Florida home. I've planted the palm trees out of a yearning for them and the camellias, too. But the oak trees- oh yes, they were here already.

And when that movie crew packed up and went away, I'll bet that a few of the people, the actors and the crew, wished they could stay on to live in Leesburg in that house by the lake but they couldn't. They had to go home to their own houses.

But me? I watched the movie last night and I went to bed in this house and I woke up here too and I've gathered the eggs and fed the chickens and I'm about to feed the husband and we're here in this house, this home.

And it is good.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

At Our House

Camellias and friends and babies (would you look at that dimple?) and food and music and coffee and sunshine and deer liver for Pearl and happy chickens and collards out of the garden and kids laughing and Alice's Restaurant and cooking and cooking and cooking and oh, another mess to clean up and here, hug me because I love you, over and over again.

Happy Thanksgiving.

And happy birthday, Anna.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

We'll Get There

Gray and drizzly here today and I feel like perhaps I am coming down with a cold and so does Mr. Moon. This would not surprise me. We did everything but lick little Payton's face in Dothan when we were babysitting her. You just can't let rivers of snot deter you from kissing such a cute round face. Know what I mean? Seriously.

And today's the day of the party and no, I'm nowhere near ready. Yesterday I got the bathrooms done as done as they're going to get. And I've washed all the rugs and made one pie

and the best thing of all is the dogs found the dead stinky mouse in the guest room and I threw it out so that is that for the stink in there. I am so glad I was wrong and that it wasn't in the walls or under the house. Please don't judge me but there ARE critters living happily in my walls and they run and play games with nuts (I'm supposing) and I can hear their babies squeaking.
Look- I live in the country.

And I've got laundry going and Miss Maybelle just showed up in her cleaning clothes and Jessie has called and is coming out soon and Lily is going to come out at some point with Owen and Hank? Well, no doubt he's still in bed.
But they'll be out here at some point. I know they will.
Mr. Moon is off buying oysters and beer and rum and dog food. And ice. And charcoal.

The turkeys are thawing, I've made the cranberry orange relish and some cookies that look really weird but taste really good and the angel biscuit dough. That's all for tomorrow.

Oh. I have so much to do. Sheets to wash and floors to mop and candles to set out and flowers to pick and make arrangements with. Pecan pies to bake and bean salad, too. And I need to clean up the back yard where there is hopefully going to be a fire if the rain goes away.

It's okay. It'll all happen.

I was thinking yesterday that the perfect party for me would be if I got everything ready and set all the food out and then when people started coming I would put on some gorgeous silk nightgown and my diamond necklace and get in my bed and everyone could come and see me and sit on the bed and we'd chat and have rum drinks and I could hear the music but I would be in my bed and then somehow, magically, when the party was over it would all be cleaned up and I could just go to sleep.

Well, that sounds a little too much as if I were an invalid so I won't wish for that.

I wish you could all be here tonight. I do.

I'll be thinking of you, I really will. And there will be love in my heart.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blue, Blue, This Egg Is Blue

Up until today, my chickens have given me eggs of dark brown, light brown, gray-green and green.
Today, though, one of them gave me a blue egg.

And Now, Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Reality

I came home from the store after having bought and unloaded this:

And this:

To follow my nose to this:

Those are not peanuts on the rug, folks.

Help me, Jesus. Just help me.


Notice anything strange about that egg?
Yes. It is sort of pointed at both ends. One of my chickens, and I do not know which one, is laying these giant suppository-shaped eggs. When I got the first one, I thought that it was an early attempt at egg-laying, a learning experience, which sometimes happens when the hen first begins to lay. But no, I have gotten several in the past few days so I suppose this is just the shape of egg this hen lays.

Interesting. But hardly earth-shaking.

And that's my life today, only without the interesting part.

Okay. There is one thing going on which is a bit out of the ordinary. I am going to take part in a small production at the Opera House on December 4th and 5th which is not quite like anything I've ever done or quite like anything the Opera House has ever done, as far as I know.
There is a writer who lives in Jefferson County who teaches at FSU who has won a Pulitzer Pulitzer Prize for one of his books. Robert Olen Butler is his name. And he also has a theater background and he does readings at the Opera House every year for charity.
Jan, the director of the Opera House, fell especially in love with one of his books, specifically one of the characters. The book is Mr. Spaceman and it's about yes, a spaceman, an alien, who hovers over the earth, bringing people up to his space ship to interview them. They tell him their stories. And Jan wanted to bring this to the stage in the form of narration and she talked to Mr. Butler about it and he liked the idea and we go.

There are only two female characters who will be telling their stories in this production and I am reading one of those parts. This all just came about in the last few weeks and we have only had one read through and it was not complete because not everyone was there and Mr. Butler wasn't there and he's doing the narration- the Spaceman part.

But. In a week and a half, I am going to get up on stage and read six pages of the story of a woman named Viola Stackhouse and yes, I am nervous as hell. So add that to the whole holiday madness and perhaps you can see why I feel completely frozen in time, not unlike one of the Spaceman's humans, and here I sit, telling you my story while the world whirls on without me and I have only bought a part of my Thanksgiving Day needs and I have not cleaned and there are two turkeys as hard as bowling balls theoretically thawing in the refrigerator in the garage.
Let me just say that turkeys WILL NOT EVER, IN THIS LIFETIME, THAW IN A REFRIGERATOR and so I need to go get them out and find counter space somewhere so that on Thursday morning after the party while everyone else is still in bed, I will not frantically be trying to run hot water up a turkey's ass or down its gullet in order to free the giblets in their bloody white paper bag.

My foot hurts, I am overwhelmed to the point of paralysis, I wonder why when I call my mother to talk to her about Thanksgiving she says, "Am I invited?" when she has attended Thanksgiving at my house for approximately twenty-something years, I wish I could quit dreaming about trying to kill my stepfather, and I know why those rooms in my dream remain dream-rooms, waiting for me to enter them.

And yet, I know that in some ways, I have entered them many times. And for that I am grateful. Thankful.

I am thankful that I do not hate Thanksgiving the way I hate Christmas. I am thankful that I have such a beautiful house to clean and welcome friends and family to. I am thankful that there will be music ringing within it tomorrow night. Music played by people I have known and loved with all my heart and soul for over thirty years. I am grateful that it will be chilly and that people will go outside by the fire and eat oysters and drink beer and laugh.

I am grateful that we are so rich in so many ways that I don't even know how many people will be here tomorrow night or on Thursday, either one, but that there will be enough for all, no matter the numbers.

I am thankful that the Opera House lets me come sit on its stage and I am thankful that I have something inside of me that despite my fear, allows me (forces me?) to go onstage and open my mouth and let words come out and in this case, words that are literature and beautifully written.

I am grateful, I am thankful, of course- what a cliche!- that I have this family. We are all so different, so disparate, and yet so close. We love and accept each other as we are in all our shining ways, our faults, our needs, our gifts, our strengths, our weaknesses. We know that together we are something.
And we are beautiful.
I swear we are.

And I am so very thankful that we will all be together for the next few days, here in this house, and that the people we love the most, who are, if not blood-born kin, then love-born kin, will be here too.

And of course, there is this:

Owen. The fine, fat boy who has showered us all with such glitter and glue that we will never, ever be able to separate. None of us because he has knit our hearts together even tighter with stiches of finest silken love.

Look- you can think that all eggs are egg-shaped and are either white or brown. You can think that you know all the rooms in your house. You can think you can't do this or you don't have the courage to do that. You may think that there is no magic left on this blue and green planet. You may think that the turkeys will never thaw.

But you might be wrong.

You might look around and see there is magic everywhere if you let yourself see with your heart.

I'm talking to myself here. You realize that, right?
Because I don't think I'm shaped exactly right, not in any way. I feel my imperfections too much sometimes, I don't see them as what makes me special, what brings me my magic.

But if I let myself, I know I am wrong.
And for this, for ALL of this, I am so thankful.

And for you, too. Don't forget how thankful I am for you. I am so thankful because we, too, have become a sort of family here, sending words off to find their heart-targets on this planet. We may not sit down to eat together, but we sit down together, to pray, to laugh, to sing, to cry. We get nourishment from each other. We do.

So go on now, thaw your turkey. Make magic. Be in wonder. Open your mouth, let words out. Open your heart, let love out. Remember to be thankful for yourself and what it is you offer which no one else can.

I am.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Dreams of Riches That I Already Own

Michelle wrote about a dream this morning and I've been having the strangest dreams myself.
I am pretty sure that part of this comes from my antidepressants, which is scary when you think about it. That little pill fucks with my brain in ways which are both bad and good but it is fucking with it. Which is the point, I suppose.

But lately I've been having a version of the same dream over and over and over. Almost every night. And in it, I am living in a house which is very old, like this one, yet much bigger. I don't know much about the half we live in- I suppose it's just like any house you live in with a kitchen and furniture and so forth. But there's a complete other half and there are stairs that go up to other floors and this part of the house has not been touched for years. I have been in it but I have not explored it all and I keep thinking I want to so badly.

This half of the dream house remains, as I said, untouched, with furniture and beds and bed linens and all of the belongings of whoever lived in that part when it was abandoned. And I know that since I own the house, these things are mine to use as I want. The rooms are mine to use as I want. But something always stops me from really getting in there and checking things out- usually, my duties as a hostess, the more immediate needs of the people in my house. I know there is jewelry in those rooms and fine curtains and linens and fixtures and gleaming wood and lamps and deep, red rugs and many, many beautiful things and I believe, in my dream, that I know that this part of the house was abandoned suddenly with good reason and has been considered haunted- why else would it remain as it was? Unopened, unused, left completely as it was. But it's not spider-webbed or dirty or dusty. It looks fresh with lots of light coming in through the big windows. And there are so many rooms and one of them, the last room, somehow, perhaps the one highest up, is like a giant sun room.
And I have seen these rooms, or some of them, but have not taken/had the time to really go and touch, to see what all is there.

And usually, in these dreams, there are many, many people in my home and I know I should open those rooms and use them, let people stay in them, find things I could use myself. I know there are treasures there. Beautiful, sparkling treasures.

So- like Michelle- I am asking. What does this mean?

I have theories and my favorite is that although my life is so rich as it is, there are within me, more treasures which, if I just learned to access them, figured out how to get past whatever is stopping me from getting to them, I could use for a richer, happier life. I don't know whether these treasures are talents or spiritual insights or what- but I feel that even as the things in my dreaming house are mine to use if I will but use them, these things are too. Whatever they are. And however it is that I can get to them.
And that they will benefit the ones I love, the ones I already have in my home, my heart.

I don't know. But I can't help but think that if one has a dream over and over, it is carrying a message and that one needs to pay attention. I am not stressing out over this- just as in my dream where I do not feel an immediate compulsion to go explore what it is I have OR do I have any sort of fear when I think of doing it. It is more of an excited calmness. I enjoy these dreams. I look forward to them.
The treasures are there. They are mine.
But how do I get the time, how do I find the key? Where does that stairway lead? Why were the treasures abandoned? Why is it now time to explore them?

What do you think? I'd like to know if you have any ideas from your perspective. This is utterly and completely a selfish post and I admit that.
But I know that some of you are very wise in the ways of dreams and minds and life and treasures and duties and daring.
Which is why I love you.

Ms. Moon

Not Quite Freakin' Time

So Mr. Moon went out and bought a new camera before he went to Canada. He took a lot of pictures there of dead deer. I won't be posting those.

But I spent some time this morning with the new toy, just walking around and trying out different settings. It's a fancy camera. One I never would have bought. I would have bought one of those cameras about as big as a credit card, you know. But Mr. Moon is a MAN and men like their toys to be impressive and have lots of features and so forth. So this new camera does. I really don't know shit about it. I read the "Getting started" booklet but to really learn about it, you have to watch a CD.

Right. I can't even watch an entire episode of Project Runway these days.

Well, anyway, it's three days before Thanksgiving and you know damn well I have plenty to do besides walking around taking pictures of things you've seen a million times. Besides the dinner, which I don't even know how many are attending, there is the Thanksgiving Eve gathering which seems to grow bigger every year and I don't know how many are attending that one either.
You know me. I stress out if the guy is coming to cut the grass so why aren't I in a straight jacket by now?

Oh well. I have no idea.
Not enough coffee, I guess.
And because it's just too overwhelming to really freak out about.

My house is filthy and that dead thing under the guest room is taking its own sweet time in returning to dust.
The library, where the dogs live, stinks to high heaven of dogs.
There is, speaking of dust, plenty of it. All three bathrooms need a good cleaning. To tell the truth, the entire house needs a good cleaning and this alone can take three days. Even if I clean the hell out of it, it's not going to do a thing for the smell.

And we haven't even mentioned the food.
Nor will we right this second. I might have a heart attack.

So I've got cleaning, shopping, cooking and whatever all else to do. Call Mr. Moon and remind him to buy chicken feed and oysters and beer.

And I have not seen Owen since Friday! FRIDAY! Here's what he looked like then:

I see that picture and all thoughts fly out of my head and are replaced with the need to fly to him immediately and hold him.

I better get busy, I suppose.
Here's some of the pictures I took this morning:

The latch on the chicken house door.

My stairway using the "indoors with life-like color tone" feature. Yeah. Sort of.


Guard flamingos.

Library. Which stinks to high heaven of dog.

Collards which will be in a pot by Thursday.

"Art." Haha. Shut up. I love that picture.

Elvis. The rooster-in-training. Boy, he is getting so big and his voice is so deep. He may turn out to the the manliest, macho-est, roostersaureous in the neighborhood. I'm keeping him on my good side. "Grape, Elvis? Here are you."

And I guess that's it for now. I need to have one more cup of coffee so that I can truly appreciate the impossible tasks I have before me.

And yeah, I've got to take the date thing off the camera's setting. This is not working for me.

I hope everyone is planning a lovely Thanksgiving. I know I would be if I could think about it. Luckily, I could probably cook an entire Thanksgiving dinner in my sleep and this year, unlike last, I have an oven that works! It will all unfold as it should.
Or as it will, at least.

Now I MUST go kiss my grandson who I have no doubt misses me with a yearning the size of the Himalayas. And then I guess I'll drop by the grocery store and pick up a few thousand dollars worth of food and cleaning supplies.

I love the holidays. Don't you?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

When Tribes Combine

Well, we are home.

I am the lame and the halt but I am home. It would appear that dancing like nobody is watching is good as a philosophy but not so good if you have a tendon problem that has almost but not entirely healed up. Usually it's my knee I wreck when I dance these days I guess my knee must be healthier than my foot because I am back limping and in pain again but what can you do? Dancing must be done at weddings and especially if martinis are involved and a good band (I was told that the lady-singer was one of Jimi Hendrix's back-up singers and I believe it) and your daughter and husband both dance and well, okay, that's that story. Also I slammed two of my fingers in the car door when we got home although they seem fine, just a little weird looking.
Here's a picture which Jessie will hate of us dancing with the groom who is just about the cutest fellow in the western hemisphere:

You can see that by this time my hair was DOWN. All those pins in it were sticking my head. What you can't see is that by that time my shoes were off.
Hair down, shoes off. Hmmmm....

This was definitely the most, uh, well, how do I put this? Overwhelming wedding reception I've ever attended. God it was beautiful. It was a bit rainy so there were huge giant tents and the first tent was the BAR TENT and it had clear plastic and was about the size of a cathedral. Here's a picture of Mr. Moon and me in it front of some of the drape decorations which had to have been made from silk. You could of made fifty gorgeous wedding dresses from those things.

I kept sidling up to them and just feeling them.
You can see that my hair was still UP at that point. My shoes were still on too.

There was so much food. And wait staff everywhere. And bars in every tent. And the porta potties were far more luxurious than most bathrooms. There were flowers and sinks and rugs in those things. I took pictures with my phone but you will be spared those today.

But you know, when it all comes down to it, it's all about family. So here's some family pictures:

Mr. Moon and his sister, the mother of the groom. She not only looks like Lily, she acts just like her too. Very methodical, calm, and serene about everything. I am in awe of her. Her husband died a few years ago and she is carrying on with a strength and acceptance I would never be able to manage. Ever.

Here's a beautiful picture of her and Jessie. Aren't they beautiful?

And this one, my favorite, of her and her son, the groom, dancing.

Yes, they're crying. Grant cries at the drop of the hat. He couldn't even give his little speech at the rehearsal dinner. He tried twice, but neither time was he able to pull it off. When he had to give the toast at his brother's wedding a few years ago, he cried so hard I thought he was going to simply melt and fall over. And he's like six-foot-eight. I mean, how cute is THAT? Pretty darn cute. And precious.

And the bride? Well, let's just say that I can't even THINK the word "cocksucker" in her presence. Could you? I feel sort of guilty just typing it out. She is so sweet and she works with the families of dying children in a hospital. Please. So no, I said nothing at all inappropriate around her. I'm pretty sure.

It was a late night. I hear the bride and groom got one hour of sleep this morning before having to be at the airport to head off for their honeymoon. It's going to take them the entire six days to get over the wedding, I feel fairly certain. I sure do wish them the best. They're so beautiful.

We got up early this morning to visit with Brenda as she was packing up and then Payton and her mommy and daddy came in and Jessie gave Payton her bottle and Payton gave us her smiles. Here's a picture of Payton, her daddy, and her great-uncle Mr. Moon. Mr. Moon is upset because he looks so much shorter than the daddy and I'm sure he would like you to know that he is not wearing shoes, while Greg is. Also, he is in his pajama bottoms and he's probably going to hate me for not cropping those out.
Too bad.

Plus, May made Mr. Moon those pants. And he loves them.

Here's one last picture of some of the beautiful family I married into:

Beautiful AND tall. My goodness. I am such a midget around them. I sort of get lost beneath them, like a scrub palmetto in a pine forest. But they are kind to me and let me hang there, beneath their mighty height and they cast me smiles and do not not forget to invite me to gatherings and they seem to appreciate how I take care of Mr. Moon and have created two very tall daughters who are obviously of their tribe.

And they are a grand and loving family and this girl who has just married into it, this obviously beloved daughter of an obviously well-off southern family, doesn't know it but that is probably the best stroke of luck of her life- becoming one of them too.

I know it was for me.

And here I am, home in Lloyd where it's November 22nd and it's seventy-something degrees and Mr. Moon is already out in the woods, hoping for a deer because he wants to put meat in the freezer and I'm going to make some venison spaghetti tonight and we're home. We survived. I never did feel as if I belonged in that setting of the society of Dothan but I did feel at home when we were watching Payton and when we were hanging out with the relatives.

I'm tired, but I feel far better than I probably should, having just yes, survived those social events. My foot may be painful but it's that way because I danced and there are worse ways to injure a foot. There are also worse ways to spend a weekend than in Dothan, Alabama with people whom you may feel shy around, but who are kind to you even if you are small, dance with too much abandon, talk about chickens and her grandchild endlessly, drink too many martinis and wear the wrong shoes.

When you actually have them on.

Bless their hearts. I love them so.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Not Attending The Wedding.

Here are Mr. and Ms. Moon and our great-niece, Payton. Mr. Moon and I are not attending the wedding because we have volunteered to stay at the hotel with this darling girl so that her mother and father can be in the wedding. Yes, it makes us sad not to see The Nephew say his vows but we assume that taking care of the baby is more important, plus, it gives me another four hours sans bra.
She's a happy baby although I am sure that her mother is going to come back and say, "What have you done with my baby? I left a healthy child and in four hours she has acquired a snotty nose, a cough, watery eyes and pink cheeks." Well, let me just say it's not our fault. You can't give a child a cold in that amount of time. I'm a nurse. I know these things.
Payton loves Mr. Moon. She is enchanted with him. She likes me okay too. All of the aunts were considered for the baby-sitting honor and Payton like the Mr./Ms. Moon team best of all. So there you go.
She is six and a half months old and it's funny how quickly you remember what a baby of that age likes. Patty-cake, peek-a-boo, silver bracelets. Mr. Moon's lap with her blanket.
Okay. I need to go get ready to go to the wedding reception which we will attend when the wedding's over and Payton has gone back to her beautiful mama. I can't even imagine what that's going to be like- this reception. The jazz brunch this morning was about the most overwhelming thing I've ever attended and certainly the only one I've ever attended where a crowd of well over two-hundred people were all drinking alcohol.
But hey! It's a party.
And we're having a fine one here with a six month old child. Which says a lot about us.
Signing off. More tales to come.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Memory. The Regular Kind and The Foam Kind

Here we are before the first event of the wedding we attended which was the rehearsal dinner. It was just lovely.

And let me say that the reason I hate social occasions is because I can't remember people. NOT AT ALL. There were people here tonight whom we met three years ago in California and they remember me and I have no clue in the universe who they are. I actually think this is a neurological disorder called prosopagnosia and I wrote about it some time ago here.

I'm already stressed because tomorrow the woman I sat next to at supper tonight will be wearing something other than the red dress she had on tonight and I won't have any idea who she is. She will think I was a drunken fool and I will completely embarrassed.

On the other hand, men kept coming up to Mr. Moon at the table and asking him if he played basketball at Auburn because they recognized him. This was thirty something years ago. Perhaps I married Mr. Moon because no matter what he is wearing, it is easy to pick out the tallest man in the room. Although actually, one of his nephews, the brother of the groom, is actually taller than Mr. Moon by an inch or two. I'm going to try and get a picture of the groom, his brother, and Mr. Moon because they are so damn cute together. I'll have to put a normal sized person in the picture though, to give it all perspective.

And now I'm sleepy as can be and the bed here at the Marriott Courtyard has MEMORY FOAM and I am really, really looking forward to this sleeping experience. Memory foam is the best invention since mixed nuts.

Maybe I could get some for my brain.

All right. Signing off until tomorrow.
Ms. Moon Who Is In Dothan, Alabama

Headin' Out Of Town

No. I am not all packed and ready to go to Alabama. Why do you ask?

I think I'm bringing the laptop. This doesn't ensure that I will be posting from the great state of Alabama but it might mean that. We shall see what the wireless connection is like there at the designated hotel.

This might be fun. You never know.

I just have to figure out my foundation garmentage. My shoes? A complete disaster. We're talking shoes that have been in style, gone out, come back and gone out again since I bought them. Oh well. Who cares? The last big out-of-town wedding I attended with Mr. Moon set a bar of inappropriateness which shall be hard to beat. It was in California, afternoon, I wore a floral dress while everyone else, including the wedding party, wore black. Also, Mr. Moon's shoes fell apart while we were sitting in the pew. Fell apart. Deconstructed. The soles crumbled and left chunks of black petroleum product on the carpet.

After that? It's gonna be gravy.

Speaking of which, I bet the food is going to be good.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, November 19, 2009

And One More Thing (For Now, Anyway)

If you love Christmas that is fine with me. I have no problem with that. I will respect your feelings and you will respect mine. And that is how it is at the Church Of The Batshit Crazy where some of us celebrate Christmas and some of us go into major depression and do our best to stay in bed 23 hours a day.

Love....Ms. Moon

P.S. I got that image off a blog called Madness Mom and Me. Thanks, Ms.Madness.

Checkin' The List

So I was in Marshall's today- yeah, I know, I'm really overdoing this shopping thing- to buy panty hose which I hardly ever wear but we're going to a wedding in Alabama and it's going to be cold and I don't think I could get away with thermal underwear under my dress. Okay? Do you think I LIKE it?

Sound a little cranky, don't I?
Here's why:

1. The stores already have all that Christmas shit out and people are BUYING IT! Gift baskets that you KNOW are going to be re-gifted. Who wants jonquil body wash? Who wants cookies probably baked in a factory in China and labeled, "Yankee Farms Best Ole Fashioned Homemade Gingerbread cookies"? Who wants sparkly cheap stupid-looking angels? Oh yeah. That old lady behind me in line when I was buying the panty hose. She kept saying to her companion, "But I just love her little face!" Since the face was one of those rather blank ones with no nose, I was confused. The other lady kept saying, "Well I like it too!"
I think she might get it for Christmas and boy, won't she be happy?

2. The candy is also out. All that "special" Christmas candy you can't possibly get except for oh, all year 'round. But this candy- it's wrapped in Christmas foil and green and red and silver and gold! It's special.
Yeah. It's special because it's going to cause a huge seasonal jump in the national obesity and diabetes problems.

3. The bell ringers are already out. Give me a break. My middle NAME is guilt. Do I need to be reminded of what a non-charitable person I am every time I have to go buy bananas? I guess I do.

4. Boxed sweet potato casserole mixes. Do I need to say any more about THAT?

5. The catalogs are coming thick and fast. They are filled with people wearing shiny holiday attire, holding glasses of champagne, smiling and looking completely calm and happy. And thin. What planet do they live on? I have to admit I was intrigued to see that I can send a loved one a bacon sampler from the Wolferman's Catalog and why I got a Wolferman's catalog will remain a mystery to me. But if you want to order a bacon sampler for someone you care about and want to help with their passage into heart-attack land, go ahead and do it. No payments until March 2010! Which leads me to:

6. People buying SHIT to give to other people who don't need that shit and the people who are buying it can't afford it and yet this whole process is supposed to bring about Christmas Cheer and has something to do with the baby Jesus, lying in a manger.

7. Reindeer, Christmas Tree and Santa Claus sweaters and vests. If you are an elementary school teacher, you are allowed to wear these garments. If not- forget it! Okay? Really.

8. The damn smell of the dead animal under my house. Yeah. I know. That has nothing to do with Christmas. Just checking to see if you're paying attention.

9. Every Kiss begins with K(ay). SHUT UP!

And finally, the thing that really got me in this mood today:

10. Christmas carols on the Muzak. On November the 19th. In Marshall's where I was just shopping for stupid discount panty hose. I hate Christmas carols. I truly do. They used to be okay when you only heard or sang them about one week out of the year. But those days are long gone. LONG gone, baby.

Okay. The yearly gauntlet has been thrown down. You have not, I am sure, heard the last of my I-hate-Christmas-rantings. If you don't want to hear them, that's fine with me. Don't read them.

I will admit that there are a few things I like about Christmas. One of them is my scary santa. Stay tuned for him. He'll show up here somewhere.

And I think when Owen is big enough to appreciate Christmas I might like it a little bit more. We'll just have to see.

Meanwhile, please don't send me any bacon samplers, cookies or Reindeer sweaters. Don't tell me about the magic of Christmas. And for God's sake, don't bring up the baby Jesus. This madness we're about to descend into has nothing to do with baby Jesus and we all know it.

Beyond that, seasons greetings and hofuckingho.

And oh yes. I have lost my address book (I made the huge mistake of taking it with me to the hospital when Lily was in labor and I'm sure it's been incinerated) and there goes thirty years of addresses so if you don't get a Christmas card from me- that's why.

Love you anyway. Really. I do.