Thursday, December 31, 2009

And It Will Be Splendid

Well it's New Year's Eve day and I just have to say that I'm so ready for all this holiday celebrating to be done with. Hell, after the week I've just had, I'd have to add about fifty new things to my resolutions list if I had one, which I do not.

It's been pretty overwhelming for this old agoraphobic woman and I think I've done as best a job as I could but it's starting to really all get to me and this morning it was hard to get out of bed. Not that I felt bad but just that I couldn't imagine getting up and starting another day. I wondered what would happen if I just didn't do it. Just didn't get up and announced to anyone who cared to eventually check to see if I was still alive that no, getting up is not on the agenda today. Nope. Sorry.

But that's not an option. Although usually New Year's Eve for the Moons is spent right here in Lloyd within the safety and confines of our own house, we're going to go celebrate tonight with some very, very lovely folks in St. Augustine. What we're celebrating is the release of Lis Williamson's first CD of her very own songs which she's written and I wouldn't miss that for the world. Not for the very world, I tell you.

I've spent more than one night on this back porch with Lis, shaking my finger in her face saying, "When are you going to do your OWN album? It's time, Lis. It is time."
And her agreeing and saying she was going to when this and this and this were done and accomplished and finally, she has and I couldn't be prouder of her. And tonight is the night that so many friends and musicians will gather at the Creekside Restaurant in St. Augustine where Lis and Lon play on a stage outside under magnolia trees and twinkling lights and there will be music and food and drink and great, great joy. Lis will be shining like a star because she IS a star. As Pam would say, she is a child of light and her songs are a pure pouring out of light and when I think of tonight, that's what I'm thinking about- light in the darkness.

And how can I miss that?
Well, I can't.
So Mr. Moon and I will pack up the car and head over to the East Coast for one last good night of celebration. I will stuff my fat old body into some vaguely appropriate costume and try to find a pair of shoes in the closet that won't hurt my foot and won't look ridiculous with whatever I wear but really- it won't matter. It's all about my Lizzie tonight.

She was talking about the dress she'd gotten for tonight and she said she'd paid a bit more for it than she'd wanted to and I said, "No honey. This is YOUR night and a once in a lifetime event. It's not like a mother-of-the-bride dress. Kids can get married and divorced but you will NEVER have a first CD release album party again. Ever."

It's like having your first baby in a way. She's gestated this CD for years. Years and years and decades of years and tonight, it is born.

So I'm not going to write a New Year's post. No matter what's gone on in the world this year, good and bad, I got my first grandchild which makes it the most special year for me since I had my own babies. And that's what I have to say about THAT. The rest of it has had its ups and its downs and Lord knows I've talked about all of them here. Or most of them. We all keep things tucked away in our hearts.

But today my heart is just filled with thinking about Lis Williamson and her husband Lon who has supported her efforts to bring this album to fruition every step of the way. He is her husband of thirty years, her one and only lifetime sweetheart, her work-mate, her best friend, her man and her muse. So it's his night, too.

And we'll be there. Mr. Moon and I will be there amidst all the sweet people who love Lis and Lon and believe me- that number is legion. I always feel a bit shy when I'm in a situation like tonight's will be. I remember once I was following Lis around with her lipstick in my pocket and a guy asked me, "What are you? Her handmaiden?" And I wanted to slap him and I wanted to also say, "Fuck yes. And don't you wish you were, you jealous son of a bitch?"

So I hope she wants me to carry her lipstick around in my pocket tonight. That would make me very happy. And when she's onstage, I'll be there, my eyes closed and probably crying because the combination of her and her songs is too much for my heart to bear. And when she comes offstage, I'll be right there with her lipstick if she needs it.

I have no idea what 2010 is going to bring to any of us. None whatsoever.
But I'm pretty sure I'll be right here, telling you about what it is happening in Lloyd. That's a given.
Chickens and children, gardens and groceries and trees and skies and dreams and hopes and fears and all that stuff. All that stuff.

But tonight is about light and a voice in the night and songs newly birthed and all will be right. For a moment in time as the earth balances its checkbook in the account of the universe and time as we know it, we will celebrate and will kiss. I love you, I love you, I love you, we'll say.

Happy New Years and here's a warm kiss on a cold cheek in the night and hearts full of music and song and eyes full of light in the darkness and we'll glimmer and sparkle and shimmy our way into the New Year with Lis singing, her voice rising all the way up to the full blue moon and I hope your New Years is a good one, too.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Real Short. Like A Post-It Note.

Michelle over at Just Eat It wrote a post today about how she and her husband text each other throughout the day and how different their texts to each other are and how that represents the different sort of people they are.
This reminded me that I've been wanting to post a picture of a Post-It Note that Mr. Moon left me a few weeks ago. Here it is:

Now if that don't say it all, what does?

Here We Are

For the dead days, I sure am busy.
Last night we had a party here. You had another party you say?
And yes, I answer, we did.

Kathleen and her best friend since childhood, Vicki, who is visiting from Indiana, decided they wanted to have a champagne, caviar and Godiva chocolate party and since Kathleen knows how hard it is to get me out of my house and since she knew I don't drink and drive, she decided we should have the party here and we did and it was awesome.
They brought the caviar and chocolate and champagne and other ladies brought champagne and I made a Brazilian seafood stew and bread. A few neighbor ladies came over including the famous Ms. Petit Fleur, and also my brother, the token male, and also Jan, the director of the Opera House and my dear friend Liz of the West.

We feasted and some drank champagne and some of had beer and/or vodka and it was a cozy evening with eight of us around the old oak table that I've had since May was two and which was the very same table my nursing school buddies and I sat around and ate on and studied on in 1983, '84, and '85 and which I served Mr. Moon the first meal I ever served him (turkey flautas, by the way) and we stuffed our faces and we laughed and had a good time.
And then some of the ladies spent the night but now they're all gone and Jessie's asleep upstairs and I'm going to town to see OWEN because I haven't seen him for three days and I'm missing him like crazy.
And there's another party tonight, believe it or not! But not here.
And then tomorrow we go to St. Augustine for Lis's CD release party, the Blue Moon New Year's Eve and oh, honeys, that is going to be a big time. A huge, big, good time.

And then...the new year. I am not going to talk about resolutions or even resolve.
But I will say that the New Year is a good place to put a bookmark in a life.

Mostly, I want to keep living here with the people I love and my chickens and this old oak table where I have spent so many hours. Mostly I want everything the same, only for me to be better. Better at a lot of things.

And that's vague but isn't that what we all want in the end? To be the best one of us we can?

Well, this isn't much of a post. I am itching to go see that boy. But I just wanted to say good-morning, how's it with you? I'm thinking of so many of you who are going through big changes and small ones that add to big ones. Moves and babies and a divorce (give her her two dollars!) and maybe you have resolutions and maybe you are just resolved to hold on to what you have and be happy with it.

Which, as Garrison Keillor said, is enough.
This life. Mine is enough for me.

I'm thinking about you and I'm hoping we all get through these last two days of 2009 healthy and well, looking forward to the next chapter of this book of life we're all writing daily, moment by moment, choice by choice, word by word, sunrise to sunrise, breath to breath.

Good morning. It sure is here. I hope it is there, too, wherever you are, however you got here, whatever sort of table you sit at.

Now go eat some fruit. Or chocolate.

Love....Ms. Moon

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Yeah, Yeah. I'm Over-Blogging. Again.

Just wanted to say that I put in that Feedjit gadget that allows you to see who's on the blog in real time and how they got there.
Now don't freak out. I don't plan to sit here and watch it, unlike Ms. Sarcastic Bastard. Haha! I know she doesn't really do that. She was just joking.
I merely like the concept of seeing who stops by from where. You know?
And here's what I've discovered in the last few minutes:
People are still hitting my blog from doing a google search on Jennifer Lopez's ass.
Like- a lot.
So I thought my blog was getting read by people who, oh, I don't know- liked to read my blog- BUT IN FACT, it is just being hit by people who want to know how to get an ass like the one on Jennifer Lopez.
Shit. They must be so disappointed when they find out you have to fall on it. Your ass, that is.

Well, really, that's all I wanted to say about that. And if the live feed thing makes you uncomfortable, just let me know. I'll scrap it. As we all know, I aim to please.

And don't make me post that picture again. You know the one I'm talking about.
This one.

And now. Seriously. I AM OUTTA HERE!

Until I come back.


I KNEW I wasn't spelling icicles right.
But really? That's how you spell that word?
Obviously I have so little experience with them.
But still. That's weird.

The Pipes Didn't Freeze And The Chickens Are Alive

It occurs to me that I have posted pictures of every damn thing in this house and yard. I mean really. Are y'all bored with it all yet? I'm not but I live here because I love it and I'm old and it's all new to me every day. And each of my chickens is unique and pretty to me whereas I'm fairly sure that a chicken is a chicken to most of you.

Well, it's not like I'm going to be cruising to Greece and sending back fabulous shots of hillsides of white buildings against a backdrop of the Mediterranean anytime soon so this is what you get.

Lloyd. Where it froze last night. Seriously! Stop laughing all you people up north. It's a big deal when it freezes here. We are not prepared! I didn't remember until eleven o'clock last night that I needed to go out and turn on all the faucets so they wouldn't freeze and burst. And of course Mr. Moon was out of town. So I put on my coat and got my little blue flashlight and went out and set ten faucets and garden sprinklers to drip and boy, was I glad to get back in the house and get in bed with my toasty little doggie! Yes! I was!
Here's where the water froze (it froze!) on the garden fence, making what we would call ice sickles.

Stop laughing!

I had to break up the chicken's water this morning. But they didn't seem too bothered by the cold. I suppose that's because they are all wearing down coats. Fluffy down coats. I spread some corn scratch over by the GarageMahal for Carol the Feral Chicken. She came running over and began to eat quite industriously. I took her picture:

Now see. I am sure to you see looks just like any of my red chickens but no, she doesn't. She looks completely different to me and I have to tell you that I have a great respect for this bird. She gives me a giant brown egg every other day. Biggest eggs I get. Huge. So I figured she deserved some corn. Next thing you know, I'll be cutting up grapes for her too.
I'm a fool for chickens.
Ms. Pam liked my chickens yesterday and I offered to help her set up some of her own but she said she lives in a neighborhood with a homeowners' association. I sighed and felt great sorrow for her but actually, I doubt she really wants chickens. She doesn't even really eat eggs. Eggs are just about beside the point with me and my chickens. But isn't it odd that we live in a world where it's okay for there to be giant evil chicken farms to supply us with our eggs but that it's against neighborhood regulations to have a few sweet hens in our back yards?
Man. We have some strange priorities in this world of ours.

So anyway, I took a few more pictures.
Here's the loquat blossoms:

They smell like baby powder. Really.

And an aloe vera blossom, standing up bravely in the morning sunshine:

And some narcissus lilies which are darling but I do not pick to bring inside because they smell like cat pee. I have enough pee odor problems in my house already. I do not need to add to it.

And so there you go. Pictures from Lloyd on a cold morning at the end of December, 2009.

And here I'll give you a little lagniappe, as they say in New Orleans.

It's the Caribbean at sunset. Remember when I went to Mexico last summer? Do you? I hardly do. It's all a dream to me now. But a sweet one.

Ah yah. Let's get on with it.

Stay warm and quit laughing at us Florida people and our clearly inferior ice sickles. We're proud of our frozen water, our chickens, our flowers that smell like cat pee.
We are aware that we do not have the fortitude to live where snow falls in great piles and drifts and mountains. We like our frozen water in cubes in our iced tea.
And at least none of us are going to be killed trying to get out of our driveway to get to the store to buy gruel and eggs or from having a giant, clearly superior ice sickle fall on us and pierce our skulls.

Uh-huh. Not us.

For which we are eternally grateful.

Monday, December 28, 2009

When Women Sing, When Camellias Bloom

If there is one thing about winter here in North Florida which is most amazing, it is the camellia. Look at that- is that perfection or what?

I picked that one today in preparation for Ms. Pam's visit. She had told me how her mama used to pick camellias and float them in crystal bowls. I have no crystal bowls but that's a bowl my Lynn gave me and it was made in France and it is simple and doesn't distract one bit from the pure construct of the flower within it.

Clear glass, clear water, perfect flower of white with two green leaves.

Sometimes that is all we need in life.
In fact, I don't think that we need much more than that to answer our heart's need for beauty.

Today I sat for hours, watching my friend's face as we talked. Her skin is perfect and her eyes show every bit of whatever it is that her heart is leaking. She is beautiful and she smells so good. I can still smell the scent of her on myself from hugging her as I type this. I remember this scent from years ago when we knew each other before. I don't know what all it is made up of and it doesn't matter because no matter how hard I tried to replicate it, it wouldn't work. It is made up of the molecules of Pam and whatever it is that she washes in, puts on her face, her hair, her clothes. But mostly, it is made up of the molecules of Pam.

Right now I am listening to one of the CD's she brought me. It's called Let It Shine. Look- I'm over not naming this woman. Her gift is meant for the world. Her name is Pam Laws. Look her up and order something she's done. She has sung all over the world and with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. And hell- you know me- Mormons? And yet, somehow when Pam sings, it all makes sense. Her vision of God is so personal and it all adds up to this: God Is Love.

We here at the Church of the Batshit Crazy can believe in that. In fact, that is exactly what we do believe in.

She sings worship, she sings prayer, she sings perfection.

Right now she is singing in my hallway via the magic of modern recording. She is singing Amazing Grace. I remember when Joan Baez came to Tallahassee and sang that song and I'm not taking anything away from Joan but I remember thinking as Joan announced the words of each verse to the audience before she sang it, "Honey, you're in the south. We know the damn words."

Amazing grace.

Thank-you, Pam.

I am so grateful to live in a place where I can walk outside on a winter day and find amazing grace on a camellia bush. Where I can put my hands on the sides of the face of a woman who can sing like an angel and say, "Do you think that the knowledge you get might come from here?" and then place my hand on her breast over her heart and she lets me.

Yes, her voice is amazing and a gift but it is all of her which makes that true.
I hope she knows that. That she is a child of light.

What am I saying? Of course she does. Otherwise she couldn't sing the way she does.

God is Love. I may not know shit but I know that. And Pam makes that audible. And visible. And tactile. My hands are still remembering the way her face felt as I put my hands on them.

Take my hand, precious love, lead me home she sings.

Okay. I can do that.

This little love of mine, let it shine, she sings now.

Oh honey. You do.

Thank you for letting it shine on me today.

A Little More About Light

Monday morning and here we are. The light is just damn ethereal this morning. It's the week between Christmas and New Years and we need all the light we can get. Didn't the Mayans have a few days every so many years which were the dead days, needed in order to set the calender they used perfectly accurate? Those Mayans. They had three calenders, every damn one of them more accurate than the one we use. One of them was based on the cycles of Venus and who knows why except that they were curious and observant and brilliant and oh yes, maybe had been visited by aliens.
Who knows?
Mr. Moon took that picture of the observatory at Chichen Itza in 2003 from the lobby of the hotel we were staying in.
I can barely type those words for the disbelief that still rings in my soul- we saw that! That we saw those old stones, gathered and crafted so carefully to watch the stars from, the planets as they whooped and whirled in the cosmos from the Yucatan Peninsula.
I have always found the present day Mayans to be the most humorous and kind people I've ever met. Is it because their ancient priests settled the matters of the heavens so long ago that they can feel comfortable here on earth?
I do not know.

Here's what I do know:
A very old friend is coming out today. She and I have not visited in each other's homes for at least a decade. She is driving all the way out here to see me and she said if I start cleaning, she's not coming. Well, how would she know? I look around and see with the eyes of someone just entering my yard, my house, and it looks like post-Christmas meltdown chaos. I spent all day Saturday joyfully in the yard, trimming and hauling and tidying although it still looks like winter's brown finger has pointed everywhere. I spent yesterday holding and playing with my grandson. Again, joyfully.

But my house. My shabby, dusty house.
As Petit Fleur so accurately points out- it photographs better than it looks in reality. That's not exactly what she said but it's the truth. I can choose the shots. The pretty stairway, the aprons on the kitchen wall. I can avoid that corners of chaos, the places on the furniture the dogs have peed upon so many times they've taken the finish off.


Pam swears she won't care. And I know, at heart, she won't. I'm going to make some split-pea soup and a loaf of bread and I'll put a clean tablecloth on the table.
But what is it that makes us want to show our homes in the best light possible? After all these years of women's liberation and knowing that dust will not kill us, why do we still yearn to have those perfectly clean corners, those shining porcelain bathroom fixtures, those stretched-tight bedspreads, those dust-free pianos?

Were the Mayan women house-proud? Did the native-American women who lived here (yes! right here! long before this house was built) despair of every keeping the sandy dirt out of whatever shelter they lived in? Or was it built directly upon the dirt? May told me that in the part of Africa where she stayed once, everyone just threw their trash onto the dirt but that every morning, the women swept their yards and gathered the trash and burned it. People laugh when I talk about sweeping the yard but honey- people here still do that. If we don't have grass, we sweep the yard.

Women and our genes. Why is it that the men were the priests and felt free to study the stars while women, I suspect, always worried about the house and the food and the children?
And thus it still is, as loathe as we are to admit it.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas, the woman who brought attention to the Everglades and their importance and who wrote about them passionately her entire life said in her autobiography that she had sex once and it was not that great and that because she spent her life without a man or without having children, she had been free to pursue her passion.

Well, good for Marjory and good for our planet that she was free because she did more for our planet than most.

But here I am, a woman with a man and children and dogs and chickens and it's the dead week between Christmas and New Years and my friend is coming out and I am going to tidy a bit and make soup. I hope Pam sees my house with light in her heart and I hope the soup is good and that two old friends can reconnect and let the dust lie where it lies.
I will show her my camellias and the ancient oak trees and my pretty hens who lay me warm eggs of brown and green and blue that nestle in my palm as I carry them from the hen house to the kitchen.

I hope we see each other's eyes and the light coming from our hearts, leaked and channeled from the universe and we, each of us, are priests and priestesses, observing that light from our own vantage point, dust flying up everywhere, but not so much it obscures the starshine, the holy golden and silver molecules which our eyes register but which are hearts understand, take in, give back.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

While This Boy Was Sleeping...

I updated my blog list on the site. Now please- for the love of God- if I have missed you, point that out to me.
Please? Please? Please?

(And can you believe that big boy? CAN YOU?!)


I just want to say that I had no idea how people would respond to that little post I wrote last night but I am honored and amazed at how each of you has written about the things you do not generally discuss. You took that question seriously and you let a little of your heart out here.

Thank-you. And bless all our hearts. As always.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

So Let Me Ask You A Question

How do you censor yourself? Are there things that you really, really REALLY wish you could blog about but don't dare?
What holds you back? Your children? Your mama? Your in-laws? Your out-laws? Your conscience?
And what is it that you would love to blog about but can't bring yourself to put out there? Sex? Your doubts, your beliefs, your corniest loves? Do you really want to talk about romance novels? Your breasts?
Your vagina?
Your penis?
What you really think about God? Obama? Arugula? The raw foods movement? (It sucks. Why are people disrespecting our fire-discovering ancestors?) Bob Dylan's Christmas album? Bruce Springsteen's hair? The way your children can make you crazy?
The way your mama makes you insane by always wanting to know everything you have going on in your life, your soul, your heart and who tells you to be careful with that knife and to drive carefully?
Your secret crushes?
The mildew between the tiles of your bathroom?
Your eyebrows, teeth, cellulite? How much you love your lips, your hips, Gladys Knight and the Pipps?
Tell me, babies.
What do you wish you could blog about but can't?
What stops you?
And no. This does not mean I'll be blogging about my secrets. No way.
Because there are my children. My husband. My relatives. My husband's relatives. My mother who sent me this e-mail today:
hello isn't this fun? you can now e mail me. ruth
Ah yah. What fun.
What? Tell me.
I want to know.

Just Pictures

Owen in his new Erin hat. Not great pictures (phone camera) technically but darn cute. Just darn cute. I might have to order Mr. Moon a hat with ears.

Thanks again, Erin. You are one major sweetie pie!


Harley and Red. Old friends.

Miss Betty. Still alive and one precious little hen.

My two roosters, Sam and Elvis with Mable and Miss Bob. Two roosters is one too many but they are beautiful.

I slept for eleven and a half hours last night. I am not kidding you. And then woke up from a dream where I was trying like hell to get back to my house from Monticello but I was lost and no one knew where Lloyd was, to give me directions.
And I couldn't get any coffee.
Oh, it was a crazy dream.

Christmas is over and the first thing I did yesterday when all the presents had been opened and the people had dispersed was to go clean out the hen house which was as nasty as I've ever let it get, although the chickens never complain. They just roost higher on the poop, I suppose. Doesn't bother them. But it bothers me and it made me feel a bit high and holy to pitchfork out all the poopy straw and replace it with clean and fresh for their nesting and resting comfort. I put the old straw around the collard plants but not too close. Chicken shit is hot, as we say in the manure biz. It needs to compost a bit, dry a bit, before it's safe to put on plants.

The chickens aren't laying in the cold the way they lay in the more temperate days. I get a few eggs here and there, plenty for us, but not nearly as many as I was getting last fall. Mr. Moon, who got up before me this morning, said that when he let Betty out, several other hens AND Sam rushed the door and went out too. It took him a while to coax Sam back into the coop. And then when he scattered scratch outside, Carol ran up and began to eat, as if she'd done that every day when in reality, she stays way over near the garage, nearer her old flock, but today she made her move to perhaps blend in with our flock. They chased her off.

Chickens are odd, although not to themselves, I feel certain. Although who knows? They may sit around and discuss the frailties and characteristics of each other like old ladies at the quilting frame. They certainly sound as if they are gossiping, my chickens.

When I went out to feed them their grapes and give them fresh water this morning, Harley and his dad showed up. Harley knows the chickens quite well and loves to feed them. He was expounding on the different ways to feed the chickens and one part of his advice included, "And you can put the food right up next to their beak." Yes. It's true. You can.

He looked so darling in his new hat that Santa brought him via Erin over at Blogging Is For Dorks.
And get this- Erin sent a hat for Owen too, and how sweet and kind is that? Thank-you so much, Erin. You are one cute doll who makes the best hats with ears ever.

But anyway, I let Harley give the chickens more scratch and he handed it out carefully. I was freezing and encouraged him to just toss it to them but he had his own way.

I look around at my yard, frost bit and brown and I yearn to get out in it and weed and cut back and make it all tidy. I will do some of that today. Mr. Moon got me new headphones for my Walkman and I'll have a perfect time, listening to Saturday NPR and wandering around the yard. And maybe I'll even take a walk. My foot feels so much better and it's time. It's time to resume that activity and it's time to start eating better again. I want to give all the leftovers of holiday goodness to the chickens, in fact. The pastries and the cookies, the candies and the white breads. It's all been wonderful but to everything there is a season and the season has come to start being sane again. My body doesn't feel right. It feels wired, as if it's not being used for its intended purpose. It's tight with the stress of the holidays and the only answer to that sort of tightness is to take it out and work it. I know this and I know what I need to do.

It's time to take care again, of my yard, of my chickens, of me.
It's time to quit thinking that I don't have time.

Today I do.
No one needs me for anything as far as I know and it's time.

There are lots of ways to feed a chicken. Harley will tell you. There are lots of ways to feed ourselves. I will tell you.
And the sun is shining and the air is clear and I need to make the most of this day.

The chickens are fed, Mr. Moon and I have had our oatmeal. And I am off to try and get these kinks out of my body, make some order out of the chaos of the yard.

The day after Christmas and I have time.

I hope you have some time too, to take care of yourself after this crazy madness of Christmas which fed us in some mighty good ways and in others not so good. Take the time if it is not handed to you. Put it right up there next to your beak and snap it up.

Here I go. Here I go.
Snap, snap, snap.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Love's Light Reflected

Christmas night and every one has gone home and Mr. Moon is in the woods hunting and it's very quiet except for some frogs in the back yard who sound like birds, singing duets and trios, trilling and thrilling the night peace.

And for whatever reason, for whatever miracle, the Christmas demons which have haunted me for so many years have not made their appearance today. At all. Do you know what that means to me?
Some of you do.

Everyone opened their pillowcases and there were beautiful gifts and silly gifts and sweet gifts but the gift we all loved the most was this one, of course:

Here's a picture of that boy with his great-grandmother on my side of the family, my own mother:

Even that, having my mother here, was okay and not so bad. She is trying. And so shall I. And she loves that boy. She's always loved babies. I'll say that for the woman. And she still does. And I know that she never had the opportunity to be with her grandchildren the way I have with Owen. She hasn't had a tenth of the joy in her life that I've had. I know that.
She brought over a picture she'd recently found of her and my father when they were a very young couple. I wish I'd taken a picture of it. She really doesn't look that different now, sixty years later, except her hair was very dark and longer and she was younger, of course. I looked into her face in that picture and my father's, too, and tried to find my own face there and I couldn't. Not in either one. But it was something, to see those young, smiling faces, standing up tall to life. And maybe, finally, that was my father coming to see me on Christmas. Who knows? Who the hell knows?
He was sort of cute, that father of mine. Had a forelock of dark hair. But his face was too mysterious for me to really judge it. Black and white photo, crinkled edges, they were at the beach, Mama's baggy jeans rolled up, she was wearing what looked like my daddy's big white shirt. Who were they then? What did they give to me? What have I taken from them?
I don't know. The sacred mysteries of the DNA.
I am glad I saw the picture. I am glad my mother brought it out.

And speaking of pictures- you see that one at the top? That was Jessie's gift to me. She drew that from my blog picture. Now, Jessie is not an artist. So she says. But do you see that? When I unwrapped it, I thought she'd scanned that photo and colored it. I did. But no. She drew it. She wrote on the back of it that she'd stared at my picture for hours. This is what she said:

I can't say I was successful in my attempts, but I sure do know your smile in my heart, and it was fun trying to put it on paper.

Ah shit. Ah shit, ah shit.

She said more, too, but I am too bashful to write it down here.
But look- my child sees me. She knows me. My face is not a mystery to her nor is her daddy's. She drew me and she surrounded me with all the things I love.

Yes. Merry Christmas.
I have been gifted above anything I could ever have imagined.
And the demons have been put to rest for this year, at least, and I am here, in this house, with my love, and all of my children are like- oh hell. I have no words. I can't even try to write what I feel because my eyes begin to sting and it's just too much. Jessie gave me wings in that picture. My children have given me my wings. Whatever flying it is that I can do, it is because of them and because of my husband who has always said to me, "I just wanted to look into the eyes of someone who saw me the way I wanted to be."

And thus- I am the luckiest woman in the world.

Mr. Moon is home from the woods. The frogs are still trilling. It is not cold here, it is not hot. I am sitting the porch of my dream house. I had a good Christmas. My children know my face and they love me. I know their souls and I love them.

This has been the best Christmas. There has been love of every kind. And I am going to go to bed on Christmas night without having one wish, all day, that I could be, well, elsewhere. Not one.

I changed my grandson's shitty diaper today. And you can say I'm crazy but that was a joy I can't describe. I have looked into my children's faces. I have looked into my mother's face. I have looked into my husband's face. I have looked into my grandson's face and I have seen reflected the person I want to be.

Ah yah. It's been good. It's been very, very good.

I hope yours has too. I hope there was love because honestly, that's all that matters. And there has to be love for yourself. Do you know that? Do you honestly know that? If there has been one person who looked into your face and loved it for what it is, then you, too, have had a good Christmas.
Because you are worth loving. You have your own light. The light you were born with and sometimes it takes someone else to look at you with love and reflect it back for you to remember.

I have and that has made it the best Christmas of all.

Peace to you all.

Merry Christmas.

Love...Ms. Moon

Christmas Morning

On my way out to the chicken house this morning, I thought to myself, "Why can't the children make Christmas breakfast?"
And so they are.
It's lovely.

We're waiting on my mother to get here to eat and the open pillowcases, uh, I mean presents.
Everyone is happy and passing our baby boy around, dancing around to Ella Fitzgerald singing, swinging Christmas songs.

The washing machine is chugging a load of diapers clean.
The sausage and eggs are ready.

It's a gray day in Lloyd but we don't mind.
We have our own light.

Merry Christmas to all of you. You have no idea how much I cherish each and every one of you. You are all part of my light.

Love....Ms. Moon

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Owen and Mean Aunt Jessie.


More supper.

And more supper.

The fire.

May talking to Ms. Bastard on the phone.

This year's chicken salad.

And the party continues.
Hope all of you are having a lovely evening too.

What I Choose To Celebrate

It's a quiet morning in Lloyd if you discount the crowing roosters in my yard and in the next one. Owen has been here for an hour and is sleeping on my kitchen counter in his car seat, his soft blanket pulled up around him. His mama dropped him off when it was still dark and I could tell that it tore her heart to kiss him good-bye and go back down that road to work but she did it and I know this is so hard on her and I tell her how brave she is. What a good and strong mother she is. I tell her all the time how grateful I am that she has had this baby, that she allows me to help her take care of him.

Our baby boy. The one we hadn't even dreamed of a year ago. He snoozes on the kitchen and the dogs who were so excited to see him at six thirty have settled back into their various sleeping places and are snoring gently.

It's so strange how everything has changed since Owen has gotten here. Nothing in the world can change your life like a baby. And that's what Christmas is all about I suppose. We humans have made it into something else entirely- something crazy and weird and stressful. But really, it's just about a baby and the hope that each baby carries with it into this world of ours. Baby Jesus, your baby, our baby, the one being born right this second in a hospital room, in a hut, in a bedroom lit with candles.

Each baby delivered to a mother whose hands and arms reach out and she has been changed forever as she sees for the first time the life she has created within her and carried all these months.

That's it. A baby.

We celebrate the baby and the baby of a new year about to be upon us and the changing of the light and the lightening of the days and the lightening of our hearts as a it does.

So stop today. Stop tomorrow if you can. Not to go into a church to see the bloody crucifixion but to simply ponder the miracle of a baby, the miracle of the whirling and spinning and the cycles and the circles of the life of it all, from galaxies to the newest baby.

We were all that newest baby at one time. No matter what has happened since we took that first breath, we arrived with everything that anyone has ever arrived with which is hope in a new life. That is still inside us all. Take a moment to ponder that. To ponder the significance of the hope that you still carry inside of you.
It's there. I promise you and no matter how irreligious and blasphemous I may be, do not doubt that I never for one second disregard the sacredness of the mother and the baby and the hope they represent. Never.

Good morning. Good Christmas Eve morning.
Remember the baby.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Oh Holy Fuck

Well, here it is. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I woke up this morning and I thought these very words:

Fuck-a-fuck-a-roni. I'm fucked just like a pony.

Is it okay to say that?
Fuck yes. It's my blog.

What have I been doing the last few weeks? Huh? Can you tell me? Sashaying around and making fucking soup and going to Goodwill and acting like the fucking holy wise men are going to show up at my door with their frankincense, their myrrh, some good ol' Traditional Mr. Moon's mother's Christmas Eve Chicken Salad and maybe a ham and a Jello cake and a relish tray and a pot of black-eyed peas and clean sheets that they'll put on all the spare beds and oh yes, maybe they'll also fix the electricity under the house so that the guest room will have ELECTRICITY and they'll figure out all this present stuff and tidy up the house and make everything SHINY AND BRIGHT AND HOLY AND LOVELY AND FIT FOR A FINE FUCKING FAMILY CELEBRATION????!!!!

I must have thought that because surely, there is no other option at this point and I AM FREAKING OUT BECAUSE THERE ARE NO MAGICAL WISE MEN, NO THERE ARE NOT AND I AM FUCKED!

What? I'm sorry. Was I yelling?


Mary trudged all the way to Bethlehem and had a baby and put it in a manger and that was that. Done. Unless she got up from her pile of hay, the birth juices still upon her and built an oven, slaughtered a goat and roasted it for the Christmas dinner. Which she did not. Did she have any idea when she had that baby and put it in a manger (Come on- why would anyone put their baby in a manger?) that she had just created the most stressful time of the year for millions and millions of people throughout the rest of known eternity? Did she?

I'm sorry.

Poor Mary. Having to receive visitors there in the barn. Stable. Whatever. Funky-smelling shepherds who stood there and goggled at the baby, their crooks in the hands, their sheep wandering the hillsides without them, baahing and bleating, all alone.

"What? You've never seen a baby before?" she probably asked, trying not to show her titties to the intrusive shepherds as she nursed the Holy Infant. "Joseph, will you please get these damn shepherds out of here? I'm trying to feed the baby and deal with the afterbirth. And could you find me some Ibuprofen? I just gave birth to a baby through a virgin vagina and let me tell you something- THAT WAS NOT EASY!"

What was the point of the angel of the Lord appearing to shepherds, abiding in the fields? What was the fucking point of that? I'm sure a talented preacher or priest could come up with some great story but I don't get it. Just like that article I read in the paper this morning where the Christian guy talked about how we certainly CAN shop and eat and do all the crazy Christmas crap as long as we do it in a spirit of reverence. Or something like that.
He also recommended that you go into a church by yourself and check out the Giant Jesus hanging on the cross and study the pain in his face to remember the spirit of compassion.
And then go on to Walmart, I guess, and buy some more junk from China but it'll be okay because you have the spirit of compassion. And reverence.

Sure. Let's celebrate the birth of the baby by studying the bloody crucifixion of the grown man.

This all makes as much sense to me as some dudes from the east bringing frankincense and myrrh to a newborn. Diapers would have made more sense. A block of fucking cheese would have made more sense. A fruitcake, a Jello cake. A ham.
Oh wait. The Holy Family was Jewish. They didn't eat the pig.

Well, whatever. I am rambling. I have to get off my ass and scramble and scratch and make a Christmas. Or at least try.

Well, here we go. I've drunk a half a pot of coffee, my shoulders feel like they're going to break off from the rest of my body, and it's the day before Christmas Eve.

And that picture up there? It has nothing to do with Christmas. But I like it and it's far more festive than a picture of the stalagmites of chicken guano I have going on out there in the coop which is what I could have posted.

Consider yourself lucky.
I do.
I didn't just give birth to a baby through a virgin vagina with no more midwife than a man who believed his teen-aged wife was giving birth to a baby through a virgin vagina.

And I guess I'll just carry this right on out to its logical and completely blasphemous conclusion:

THAT was a holy fuck.

Amen and Merry Christmas from the Church of the Batshit Crazy where we do not believe in hell, thank God, because if we did, we'd have to go there.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Here I Am Tonight, Just Trying To Make The Kitchen Smell Good

I am waiting for Mr. Moon to get home and am making supper. I made a soup because that's what I do. When the refrigerator is full of this and that I make soup. This soup has so many ingredients in it I don't know if I can list them all.
Here are some:
Leftover pinto beans and rice
Mustard greens and arugula from the garden
Leftover green beans and potatoes and the liquid they cooked in
Liquid I cooked greens in last week (some call this pot liquor)
Stewed tomatoes.
A little bit of deer sausage

I can always tell when I have added enough ingredients to my soup which is when the pot is too full for one more ingredient. Okay. Sometimes I switch to an even bigger pot and keep adding but that's insane. Only two people live here, you know. Technically.

I also have bread rising.

I use the term "rising" a bit inaccurately. Although it does have yeast in it, even an experienced rabbi would have a hard time determining that once it's baked. This is because I am making what I like to call "hearty bread." It has flax and wheat germ and oatmeal and all that other good stuff in it. Also, an egg from Carol. I did the float-test which Miss Maybelle recommended and all but two of the dozen eggs we'd found sank right to the bottom and laid on their sides as they were supposed to if they were fresh. And indeed, when I broke the egg it seemed completely lovely.

And so that's all happening in the kitchen and I have been trying like crazy to get my blog list back up and I'm having a devil of a time because it won't transfer my entire google reader since the domain change and so I've been trying to enter things by their URL's and then every time I'm almost done (and this takes a long damn time), I accidentally click the box out into cyber deep space and it's gone and all my work with it.
So shit fire. I have a call into my Tech guy (Hank) and I'm also hoping that it will all just magically reappear at some point.
Who knows?
It is Christmas, the season of fucking miracles.
Also, I am putting back the dreaded word verification. I am getting spam out the yang and for some reason (transition?) I can't delete it and that sucks. I know it sucks for you to have to do the stupid CWI (commenting while intoxicated) test word, but I refuse to have spam for Cialis on my posts.

And now I'm going to go see if I can get my old Singer working because I want to make a stuffed animal chicken for Owen out of an old cashmere sweater which I have washed and accidentally dried into elf-like proportions. It's just an idea. But I'd sure like to do it. I have been inspired by Ms. Adrienne and if you've never been to her site, please go visit and be boggled with what she does with recycled materials. She makes MAGIC! My chicken will not in any way, shape or form be magic but I'd just like to do it.

So that's me tonight. What are you doing? I hope you had a good day. I did. I went out to lunch with Jessie and we ate at the restaurant where May works. The woman sitting next to us said to her dining companion, "That waitress is so nice!" She didn't know she was sitting right next to that waitress's mother. I beamed. May is nice.

And so was lunch and so was going to see Owen for just a moment because I can't spend a day without him and I'll be getting him tomorrow afternoon and then on Thursday at six-thirty a.m.! Yes! A!M!
Well, that's okay because I love him and I will gladly get up to be with that boy. And oh! I forgot to tell you that he rolled over today! Lily called me and told me. He rolled from his tummy to his back. Twelve and a half weeks old! What can I say? The kid's a damn genius! He'll be on roller skates by Valentine's Day!

Oh yeah. Whatever.

Perhaps we shall eat soup. It's going to happen no matter what and those pillowcases are going to have something in them, even if it's not much or very impressive. But there you go- at least I'm not stressing out. I hope you aren't either.

I Have A Rhyming Disorder Today

Well, the reason we've had several weeks of gray is so that we could wake up to a new world here in Lloyd. Do you see the way the light shines down through those trees, each leaf, each strand of moss holding a tiny drop of water so that the light makes jewels of it all?
It about took my breath away.

I stopped and I noticed. I looked and I saw.

There it is. I wish I could have done better with the camera. I wish you could BE here, I wish you could see it.

It's Tuesday. Christmas is Friday. Owen will be here every day but today this week.
I gotta get to town. I gotta get my cards out. I gotta get organized, sanitized, deodorized, mesmerized, hypnotized, and tranquilized.

I gotta get my shit together.

Or not.

And did you see the new mast head? Ms. Petit Fleur and her son Harley made that wreath for me out of the beauty growing in their yard. I came home yesterday from taking Owen to his mama and papa and there it was. Gorgeous! Makes my heart happy just to see it.

Onward! Out to feed the chickens! Out to hunt for eggs. And oh yes- Feral Chicken laid an egg in her new nest yesterday. I suggested we name her Carol because it rhymes with Feral. A chicken named Carol. She could be our Christmas Carol.

See? I really am trying to get into the Christmas spirit. Florida cracker style. My own style. It takes a while, honey chile.

And obviously, it is making me insane.

Oh well.

Love to everyone. I mean it.

Ms. Moon

Monday, December 21, 2009

Whoop Ai Ay!

So when you're planning a Winter Solstice tribute to your dear friend at a certain venue, remember to check the days they're open.

I got all dressed up. Red petticoats (yes! really!) and red cowgirl boots (not kidding you) and make-up and everything and then I decided to check the hours the museum would be open. The website said they were closed on Mondays and I thought, wearing my red petticoats and cowgirl boots, that surely that could not be true during the holiday season so I called and well, yes, NO! they are not open on Mondays. Not even to women looking to re-establish a Holy Rite Of The Church Of The Batshit Crazy, not even women wearing the Sacred Glitter Pin of The Red Shoes of Dorothy.

So I took off my cowgirl boots and my red petticoats and I had wonderful conversations with two of my daughters on the phone and that is that.

It is the Winter Solstice. The shortest day of the year. And starting tomorrow, the days will begin to grow longer and this is how life is on this planet. The planet we live on and the planet where life begins and adventures are to be had, and then life ends. I still have a hard time believing that Lynn's life has ended. Honestly, there have been few people in my life whose lives seemed so BIG, so very-well-lived as hers.

I could write an entire book about her. She was the poster child for growing up in the sixties and being affected by the Viet Nam War and being the daughter of a father who believed sincerely that his happiness eclipsed the well-being of his family of a wife and five children. Oh my god- she went through it all, that girl did. From being married to a drug dealer to being the girlfriend of a married Mafia Guy. And her heart- Oh. Her heart.

I could go on for days but I won't. I'll just say that Lynn was something. She never, no matter how hard her life was, stopped seeing the best in everything. She believed in everything. She loved James Taylor and the Beatles and Bob Dylan. She gave birth to a son. She raised him the best she could.

She was a Cadillac of a Woman.

She was my friend and my children's Aunt Lynn.

This is how she looked, the last time we went to Lemoyne:

We knew it was her last time.

And she went downhill from there.

Here she is in her bed when she was in the nursing home.

The nursing home. My friend Lynn, that beautiful soul, was in a nursing home. And they loved her there. When she died, (she died, she did) two of the people who worked there came here the night of her wake and made music and the woman and I danced in my hallway to Somewhere Over The Rainbow because Lynn loved the Wizard of Oz more than anyone I ever knew. Shayla danced with us and let me tell you something- if I ever had a religious experience, that was it. We shuffled slowly and held out our hands to each other to grasp onto as Israel Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole sang us into peace over Lynn's death. We danced. And we cried.

And a few weeks later, we threw Lynn's ashes into the sky and I told her, "Go, honey. Go on. Be free and released."

And I have no doubt she is. Hell- if anyone could dance on to glory, it was that girl.

I'm missing her tonight. I miss her every day. But I am missing her tonight. And I've thought of her all day.

This morning, when Owen was here and Jessie was holding him and he was entranced by her breasts, I thought about how she would have laughed.

She was with me when I had Jessie in my own home, making egg salad and decorating the house with paper-cut-outs and cheering me on as I gave birth to my last baby.

Look: There was never a moment of Lynn's life when she didn't see the best in what was in front of her. Never. Not once. Even though her life was hard as hell.

And if she were still here, my Lynn, she would asked all of us to dance a dance, to light a candle, to drink the last bit of rum from bottle and close our eyes and say, "Yum. Rum."

She would have cuddled the babies and she would have stepped on the sail boat to travel into the sunrise and she would have said, I love you.

Because she was not stingy in any way. Not with her words, her dances, her dreams, her hugs, her wishes.

I'm thinking of her tonight and I'm sharing her with you.

My Lynn. Who never let the last dregs of anything pass unappreciated.

I am not standing in a gazebo but I am toasting her. And I am dancing in my hallway, all alone but she is with me.

Oh Lynn. Rest in peace and thank you for everything.
Your Friend,


For Christmas, Hank, DTG, gave me my own domain name. So you can now find me by just typing in blessourhearts. net. He says this makes me more professional.
Well, I guess!
Isn't that a beautiful Christmas present?
I love that boy.
Anyway, things seem to be a bit out of order. Be patient. I have lost my blog list there on the side but will get it back. I promise. Don't worry. I love to list the blogs I love to read.
But right now?
Nope. I got a date with my friend Liz. We're going to reactivate a very beloved tradition tonight. We're going, just the two of us, with Jessie as designated driver. Hey! Gotta toast in the gazebo, babies! Next year we'll bust it open again and have all the women we love and who knew Lynn and loved her because it was HER idea, and it is her we will be celebrating tonight.
There will be tears. There already have been. All day I've been thinking about how fucking amazingly delighted Lynn would be with Owen. And it makes me sad she'll never get to kiss his fat little cheeks and that he'll never get to dance with her.
BUT, life goes on.
And I must go find a bra. And take a shower. And get ready.

All right. Life is one big transition after another. Until it's not.
And I suppose blessourhearts is in one although not really. A rose is a rose, etc.

Thank-you, Hank. I love you. You are one fine son.

Love...Your mama

Who's Gettin' Fat?

We Aim To Please

All right. Back to the pop-up. Carry on.


Yesterday was busy, busy, busy as hell. I finally got my ass to town and you can't believe how many people are NOT at the Goodwill five days before Christmas. Are you kidding me? There were about five people there, all of us walking around going, "Why're these prices so high?"
It's ridiculous. This is GOODWILL, people.
But, I did score a few little treasures including the softest green cashmere sweater for me. Merry Christmas, Ms. Moon. I am wearing it under my overalls today and I am toasty on this cold morning in Lloyd.

I went to a bunch of places, including the mall, baby! although I only went to one store and didn't even have to enter the mall itself, thank-you, baby Jesus, and I went to Target, too. You'd think that people would be frantic by this time of the shopping week but no, people seemed resigned. I saw far more people who looked like they were on the verge of tears than angry people. Which is worse? I don't know. But all was calm, anyway, even the people on the verge of tears, their faces set in serious despair.

When I got home Mr. Moon came out and said, "Look, look what I found in the garage!" and he offered to give my aching bones a piggy-back ride out there (the garage is about a block away from the house, I swear) but I declined and we walked out there so he could show me what he'd found when he did some cleaning up.
It was this:

Well, those dozen beautiful brown eggs were actually on the cement floor of the garage but there they were, like a dozen little treasures. The feral chicken who has been living in my yard has obviously been laying and we felt so sad for her, having to lay on the cement. So we collected the eggs and I don't know if I'm going to crack 'em or not- some of them have to be pretty old, and Mr. Moon set her up a real nest with an orange crate and hay. Bless her little heart, that scrawny, racing hen. Anyone who gives me such pretty eggs can nibble my collards, I suppose.
But it was like a sweet little treasure, finding those eggs and I love that I'm married to a man who was so excited about finding it. Who made the hen a nest so she doesn't have to lay her eggs on the cold cement floor.

It did get very cold here last night and I covered up all the outside plants to protect them from freezing and I made a most delicious venison meatloaf and green beans and potatoes. Jessie and her friend Melissa were here for a spend-the-night party and it did my heart so good to have them here. We feasted like kings and after supper I made them all hot cocoa with whipped cream and put out the nut cookies I'd made the night before and I think they were happy. Melissa and Jessie have been friends for a long, long time and Melissa's about to go down to Gainesville where she got into journalism school and it makes them sad to think they won't be able to get together for supper, for a gig. They've been playing music together since high school and they're the most darling things. Melissa's barely five feet tall and Jessie is almost six feet tall and they're both beautiful and I remember driving them to their first day of high school and how shy they were, how sweet.

I have a feeling they'll be friends forever, no matter the distance that keeps them apart. And last night they laughed and ate and told me stories about their friends and we talked about love and boyfriends and finding true love. They're not little girls anymore. They are women and we talk as women, sitting in my kitchen on a cold night.

Owen's coming in just a few minutes. He'll be mine today. I am so excited. I'll keep him toasty warm and we'll play baby-games and he'll fall asleep in my arms. And Jessie and Melissa are still here so they can play with him too when they get up.

It's a Monday. It's cold outside but it's warm in here. I am wearing cashmere. I am going to have my grandson all day long. I found treasures at the Goodwill, Mr. Moon found treasures in the garage. Jessie and Melissa found treasure in each other when they became friends.

It is a day, four days before Christmas, of treasures everywhere I look. No. I am nowhere near ready for Christmas. But I am not angry and I am not on the verge of tears. I neither resigned nor resentful.

It will be what it will be and hopefully, there will be treasures to remember from this year's celebration, no matter how funky it may end up being. One never knows.
Just- well, keep your eyes out. You may end up finding something that nests in your heart or keeps you warm or dazzles your eye in the most unexpected place.

That's what I wish for you today.

That's what I would wish for us all.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Comment Form

I've changed mine again. If you hate it, let me know.
Love....Ms. Moon