Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Yeah. I feel better now.
It ain't perfect but it's a hell of a lot better. I have about eight bags to take to the trash place. Two entirely of plastic. Amazing how much plastic shit you can collect, even if you are trying not to.

I will probably be able to cook again.

Before (Or, No Wonder I Can't Cook)

I am being bold. I am posting these pictures and in doing so, I am admitting to my horror.


I had to go to town for a few things today and so just got home a while ago. I called Mr. Moon and strongly suggested he go play poker tonight so I can DO THIS THING without having to work around making supper.
He was fine with that, my sweet man.

And so, here's my shame and humiliation. Here's what happens when you, well, I don't KNOW how it happens. It just does. Chaos theory and a baby and summer and frankly, there is no excuse.

I've already got about three garbage bags filled with cans and containers of things which are expired or we're never going to use. The tea has been dealt with.
I haven't even thought about those junk drawers.
Well, hopefully, there will be AFTER pictures by the time the night is over.

I am determined.

(To continue the Seinfeld theme we have going on here today.)

Now- how many of you dare to follow me in this project? If we all do it together, it will be fun! Yes! So much fun! I swear!
And we'll all have tidier kitchens and more serene souls.

Get out your cameras, your garbage bags and your buckets of soapy water.
Let's go, people! We're on a mission. Should you choose to accept it, of course.
And if you're kitchen is already tidy- good for you!
And I don't want to hear about it.

Love...Ms. Moon


Remember when George Costana's father (played by the amazing Jerry Stiller) on Seinfeld, used to yell that?
That's how I feel this morning.

It was a lovely evening.
The Cicada Ladies' name was up in vinyl, if not lights.

We were all dressed up and ready to have some fun. And we did.
Owen was wearing the cutest outfit ever. The pair of linen pants I got him at the Baby Gap and a white Guayabera shirt that Mr. Moon and I got him last year in Cozumel before he was born. Hank said he looked like a beach groom, all ready to say his vows as the sun set on an island.

It's a good look for a man, don't you think?

So we ate, we listened, we had beverages. The lovely Cicada Ladies played for us.

Three girls, friends from before high school, all grown up and making music together. And gorgeous.

When the other musician for the night started in on a rousing rendition of Come On, Irene, a little spontaneous dancing even erupted.

The cake was dandy and I think Mr. Moon was pleased. I put the tiniest bit of orange peel in the icing and a few tablespoons of maple syrup. Yes!

The whole bar area of the restaurant sang to him.
Owen wanted cake. Badly. But Lily is standing firm that he doesn't get refined sugar until his own first birthday cake. I think this is wise.
The rest of us had no such restrictions. And after the cake and during the final set of the Ladies, Owen got tired and a bit cranky. His Auntie May gave him a bottle while Kathleen looked on in approval.

And then it was time to come home and so we did.

And this morning I am realizing that my kitchen is OUT OF CONTROL! Somewhere a line has been crossed. I think it all started when I took all the boxes of tea from the little shelves down by the floor because Owen was pulling them all down every time he was over. I couldn't really find a place for those boxes and so they went into a basket on the kitchen hutch and they're in my way and like a slowly spreading flu germ, my entire kitchen has been infected with disorder, disarray and pure-T chaos. It has, in short, become unmanageable.
I sound like I've entered a 12- step program for kitchens, don't I?
Hi. My name is Ms. Moon and I am a damn mess and so is my kitchen.
Because the kitchen is the heart and soul of the house, if it's not at least somewhat orderly, things just cannot function properly anywhere at all. Trust me on this.

So my task for today is to try to create some order in there. Go through all the plastic left-over containers. Throw out anything without a lid. Throw out lids without a vessel to cover. Sort and stack. Throw out the tea, most likely. It's old. We aren't drinking hot tea. It's fucking summer here, y'all. Cold water is the non-alcoholic drink of choice. I may even get up in the cabinets and go through old jars of pickles and preserves and throw out the questionable jars. Speaking of pickles, I need to figure out what to do with the bags of cucumbers, hastily picked and left in plastic bags on the kitchen island.
In short- make some damn room for cooking!
And create a tiny bit of serenity.
After a walk.

And then maybe tomorrow I'll make those blackberry preserves. No, I still haven't done it. One cannot can and preserve in a kitchen in such disarray. But the blackberries are fine in their Ziplock in the refrigerator which is still fairly organized and clean. They'll wait patiently until I find the time, the space, and the canning jars.

The birthdays are over for another month. My life may feel out of control sometimes but dammit, I can at least create order in the kitchen. And I intend to.

Serenity now. Or at least serenity soon.

Gotta go, y'all. It's gettin' hot.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Snake Spit Is Really Slick


So I went out to check for eggs. I have not been getting my full bounty and I know it. I suspected our snake but I haven't seen hide nor scale of her lately since I saw her in the front yard, headed across the street.
But when I checked a nest this afternoon, that picture above is what I saw.
Okay. I was PISSED OFF!

Mr. Moon of course was not at home and even more importantly the new camera's batteries had JUST been put in the charger.
What to do?
I grabbed the old camera and a small ice chest. I was just about to pick up the pitchfork when I heard the family whistle. Do you have a family whistle? We do. There are two notes to it and it means "I'm here. Where are you?" My granddaddy used to whistle those two notes to announce his arrival at our house when I was a kid.
Anyway, it was like some sort of miracle to hear that whistle because I knew it was my knight in shining armor, my husband, the birthday boy himself, Mr. Moon!

"Get out here right now!" I shouted and he came and saw and said, "That's not the same snake. That's a baby."
"You're right," I said. "What are we going to do?"
We being a completely false use of the word as I knew that really, there was no way in hell I was going to do anything with a pitchfork and a snake. I swear I was going to try though, until he got home.

To make a long story short, he picked up the snake and chopped its damn head off and I don't feel bad about that either. Damn snakes can't be eating our eggs.

As soon as he picked up the snake, the egg got dropped. That egg was really too large for that snake but he sure was giving it a try.

I didn't want to touch a snake-spat-upon egg so I got it into an old can and took it into the house to wash. It was Miss Betty's egg, by the way.
I discovered, upon washing it, that snake spit, as the title of this little piece indicates, is extremely slick and slippery which I am sure aids the process of getting the snake's head and throat down over that egg. As with so many things in life, patience, determination and the proper lubrication will get the job done.

All right. Here's the picture. Don't sue me. I warned you.

That is an actual egg in an actual snake's mouth. The egg is now in my refrigerator and the snake is in two pieces and flung over the fence into the woods.

Mr. Moon is taking a bit of a nap before we go out.
Yeah. He's the coolest.
You should have seen him pulling that snake by the tail when it was trying to escape. I kept yelling, "You're so brave! You're so brave!"

And he is.
My hero. Mr. Moon.

Now to get that big son-of-a-bitching snake.

Life in Lloyd. It's never boring.

What Not To Do (And...Happy Birthday, My Love)

Do NOT brag about how well you've been sleeping. Don't. Just don't do it.
I did yesterday and I couldn't sleep for shit last night. I woke up approximately every fifteen minutes. I had heartburn. Heartburn! And I have a cold. What? Yes. A cold.
I don't get colds.
I don't know anyone with a cold.
It's summer.
Really. WTF?

And Owen's coming today. And tonight we're all going to the Mockingbird Cafe to see Jessie and her girl group, the Cicada Ladies, play music and to celebrate Mr. Moon.

So don't brag about your sleeping proficiency, your fine and fancy dreams.

That's my word of advice to the world today.

P.S. Happy birthday, my love. Fifty-six years ago today your mama went to the hospital to have you and the nurse said to her, "You hardly look pregnant. Are you about to deliver a baby MOUSE?" It made your mother cry. She told me.

I wish your mama could see you now. She would be so proud of you. And so would your papa, best man I ever met besides you. They would look at you with eyes of such love that the world might stop spinning for an instant.
I see your mama's pretty eyes in Owen. I see your daddy's long legs in him too.
Owen looks at you with love and in that, your mama and daddy do too.
I believe that.
I believe you're the best thing that ever happened to me. I believe you know that.
You are loved. Happy Birthday.
I am so glad you were born.

Always...Your wife.

Monday, June 28, 2010

More Than You Need To Know. More Than You WANT To Know

The little man did not have a good time at the doctor's office. He was tired and cranky and he's getting a molar. And we had to wait a long time. And then he got poked and then he got a shot. He cried.
So did his grandmother.
"You've turned into a softie," said our old pediatrician. Okay. He's not old but he was Lily's pediatrician. You know what I mean.
"I've always been a softie," I said.
I remember crying my eyes out when May had to be poked repeatedly in the heel as a newborn for her bilirubin levels. When I worked at the birth center, I had to do that myself as a nurse, and it was hell. I'd warm the tiny heels with warm, wet towels and I'd try to push the blood into the feet and it never went well. Damn babies and their clotting ability. I felt like Cruella Deville or whatever that old mean bitch's name was. Every time.

Anyway, Owen is great, fantastic, excellent. He's in the 75th percentile for weight and 90th for head circumference and 90-95th for length. He has his Pop-Pop's genes for sure. That's apparent and easy to measure. Mine? Well, we shall see. So far he's nothing at all like me. He's generally a happy person, for one thing. Unless he's tired and cranky and he's getting a molar and the doctor makes him wait too long.

I didn't see him walk but I saw the video. He thinks of it as a trick that he can and will do if his mama sets him up to do it. He knows what he's supposed to do and he does it if he's in the mood, which he was not today. He doesn't yet think of it as a way to get from Point A to Point B. He is so expert at crawling that he doesn't see the need, I suppose.

The doctor gave us a pamphlet on babies and choking. "You have to keep an eye on them every moment," he said. Lily and I laughed.
That's a big duh.

But it all went fine and then Owen and Lily went home for a nap and some nursies and I Yeah. I know. Me? Shopping? Well, it's Mr. Moon's birthday tomorrow. It had to be done. I actually went to the mall and I was reminded of when I used to do that on a semi-regular basis. Shop at the mall. I fondled the purses at Dilliard's just for old time's sake. They had some nice ones. I didn't buy any. I tried on hats just for the hell of it. I didn't buy any. I looked at the sale racks at the Gap. I didn't buy anything.
That's a lie. I bought Owen a pair of linen pants and a muscle shirt.
It had to be done.
And I bought Mr. Moon a few things. What he really wants for his birthday is a bottom machine. Sounds naughty, doesn't it?
It's not.
It's equipment for his boat. He'll have to buy that himself because for one thing, I am NOT walking into a marine supply store and asking to see the bottom machines.
No way.

Then I went to Publix where I bought (and I am not kidding) white sugar in bulk, turbinado sugar, brown sugar and confectioner's sugar. I'm making a birthday cake and preserves.
These require lots of sugar.
And now I need to get busy and use that sugar. Make a cake (he wants carrot cake- can you believe that?) and maybe the preserves. Maybe not. Town whipped my ass. I'm tired. It's raining a gentle rain which seems to be saying, "Go take a nap."
NO! I tell it. I cannot and will not take a nap! I have things to do. Sweet things. Things which require sugar and lots of it.

I've been sleeping very well lately. I started taking an OTC sleep aid called Midnite. Google it. It's Melatonin and some herbs. Between that and the Lexapro I am sleeping and dreaming every night. My dreams are vastly interesting to me and as I said to Kathleen, wouldn't it be funny if the way the Lexapro worked for depression is to create such terrific dreams? Hard to wake up in a bad mood when you've been drifting about in colorful, 3-D, fascinating worlds all night.

Okay, okay. Time to stop procrastinating. I have carrots to grate and jars to sterilize. And supper to make, too. Sorry for the ramble. I just missed you.

Love...Ms. Moon


Kathleen, for giving us the lovely rooster door-knocker.
And Mr. Moon- for putting it up last night and letting me find it this morning.
It is lovely.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Mr. Moon and I did go pick blackberries today. We drove to a place a few miles away where I knew there were hundreds of feet of bushes but there wasn't one berry. All dried up, all gone. We drove back to the little place right down the road where we've been picking and we got out of the air-conditioned car with our sawed-off plastic milk jugs tied around our waists and we went to work.
And oh, honey's. What work it is.
We picked in silence. We stopped now and then to drink ice water. We went back to it. We eventually spoke and both of us agreed that we were about done. DONE! It was so hot. The thorns were so cruel. The long-sleeved shirt I use to pick in has bloodstains on it. I take a piece of an old diaper with me to wipe the sweat from my face. It's unbelievably hard work, this taking of "free" food.
I listened to This American Life on my Walkman, trying to go into that place of non-feeling.
Finally, when Mr. Moon was bent over, panting in the heat, I said, "We gotta go. This is enough."
And I think we are done with the blackberry picking this year. I have about three gallons of fruit now and I have made several cobblers and a pie too. I have scared deer while picking and I have not seen one snake.
In other words, it's been a fantastic year for blackberries.

When we were at the market downtown yesterday, there were a few vendors selling domestic blackberries. The fruit was huge and I know that there had been no thorns on those bushes. They sold for four dollars a pint. When I am picking the wild ones, I think that they look like the nipples of goddesses, these berries. Some of the nipples are large and some are small, but they are all dark and sweet and full of juice. When I bring them all home and wash them I think they look like caviar. The fruit/eggs of the bush.

And tonight, as I washed my berries and put them to drain and then into a Ziplock I admitted to myself that I need to make at least a few jars of preserves. They will be seedy as hell and the seeds will get stuck in our teeth but I am not straining this fruit through cheesecloth to make it more easily eaten. I want and need to preserve the fruit in a way in which it will keep. So what if it takes work and pounds of sugar? I don't care. I have a need to cook it down, to sterilize jars, to fill them and seal them and hear the sweet sound of canning-success- that pop as the lids suck down.

And next winter I will make biscuits or bread and I will bring out a jar of those preserves and I will open it (another pop) and we will smear the sweetened fruit onto the bread and summer will have been preserved. I will close my eyes and taste the preserves and remember our summer's picking. I will taste the sweat and I will taste the blood. But there were no tears. None at all.

Mr. Moon has been working all afternoon on a Miata which which he got in trade. He came in a few moments ago and said, "Come on, drive this thing for me." It's so tiny and he's so large that he can't depress the clutch to shift gears unless he opens the door.
I am not kidding you.
So I did. I took us down the road, going through all the gears and I told him I wished I could have the car for awhile to drive. It's a convertible. It's tight, it's fast, it's darling.
But I can't. A car seat has to go into the back seat. The Miata has no back seat. But I can see Owen and me driving down the roads, the wind rushing our faces and hair, big smiles on both of our faces, he in his big-boy car seat, me in the driver's seat, the radio on the Oldies, Mick Jagger singing about Satisfaction, the sky above us, the road below us.
But I can't. It's not legal and it wouldn't be right.

I have to say though that it sort of charms me that I am the type of grandmother who has a need to pick and preserve fruit and also the type of grandmother who would love to take her grandson out on the highway, get our motors running, looking for adventure.

I'll stick to the preserves. No pun intended. I'll buy sugar at the store tomorrow when I go into town to go with Lily and Owen for his nine-month check-up. And I'll tell him stories about how when he's older we'll go through the gears in a tiny convertible, the wind washing our faces. And I'll also tell him how much he's going to love to eat pancakes and biscuits with blackberry preserves on them next winter.

Ah. It's been a beautiful weekend.
The blackberry picking is over, I drove the Miata. It's time to heat up last night's incredibly delicious eggplant Parmesan and maybe watch another episode of Northern Exposure. I've slept long hours and dreamed of giving birth this early morning to another beautiful baby girl. I caught her myself and felt every bit of the stretching, release, love.

Maybe it's all been a dream, this good, hot full blackberry moon weekend. If so, it's been a good one.

A good dream from the Church of the Batshit/Chicken Shit Crazy.


It Is Such A Beautiful Day In Lloyd

No Sunday blues here, I feel as washed clean as the whites I have hanging on the line. Diapers and sheets, undershirts and underwear, kitchen towels and dishrags. The holy hot sun is bleaching and drying them. My soul, too.

The chickens let free and they flap and flock and follow Elvis, the man, they sit on the nest, they peck at the corn I scatter for them, making sweet throat-sounds, making me happy just watching them.

The prettiest little office in the world. At some point on this beautiful day, I will sit in there and spin something out of my mind, even if just one poem. This is a vow and a promise to myself and I am holding that promise in my heart like a romantic secret.

Part of my yard, my begonia with its giant leaves, the tiny white blossoms, the someday-done pond in the background. Everything is so green, so lush, so fecund here now. At night when I walk outside the smell of it all is overwhelming. I can smell the growth on top of the sweet decay underneath. Life and all of it in one slow inbreath.

I made him pancakes and we ate them with real maple syrup and then he cleaned the kitchen. No one can clean a stove top like Mr. Moon and that's the truth. My lover, my man, my friend, the guy I'm about to go pick blackberries with.

It's Sunday, it's so hot, it's so beautiful, and here I am in the world, this is my song like the mockingbird's as he tells us all that this, this, this, is his spot.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Let's Lighten The Fuck Up

So anyone who knows me knows that one of the high points of my week happens on Saturday night when I drink a martini or two and cook dinner and listen to Prairie Home Companion.
And so it is tonight.

I'm making eggplant Parmesan with eggplants from the garden and everything from fresh tomatoes, onions, peppers, mushrooms, to a lovely fresh chev (I love you, Billy!) to fat-free cottage cheese and one of Miss Betty's eggs. Here are the eggplant slices, dipped in milk and egg and then panko, baking in the oven.

Mr. Moon says he does not like eggplant. I think he's going to change his mind on that tonight.

I'm also making bread. Mr. Moon and I went to the Tallahassee Downtown Market Place this afternoon and a very serious looking guy was selling home-made bread. I was looking at his gorgeous loaves and he said to me, "You look like you need some fresh bread."
I said, "No. I make my own bread. Thank-you, though. These are beautiful loaves."
And then he said, "Do you use a bread machine?"
Lord, that pissed me off.

And for dessert? A blackberry and mango buckle. Buckle? Crisp? Cobbler? Whatever. Blackberries that Mr. Moon and I have picked by hand and mangoes bought at Publix, three for $1.29.

AND, Hank called me earlier to say that he'd watched some of the World Cup on TV and that two of my favorite men had been together in the stands. He made me guess as to who they were.
"B.B. King and Brad Pitt?" I asked.
I was at a loss. And so he told me.
"Bill Clinton and Mick Jagger!"
I squealed with delight. He said they were joking, talking, taking pictures with their phones and were in a very obviously good mood.
Now that sort of shit just makes me happy.

To add to the sweetness of the evening, Lily just called to tell me that Owen, on this, his 9 month birthday, walked alone across the living room. My boy! He is a walking person! I told Lily that I remembered so well the night she learned she could walk. It was in Key West and we were the last people eating at a restaurant so we let her down on the floor and she took off. All of the people from the kitchen and all of the wait-staff came out and cheered her on. "Lily!" they cried. "You're walking!"
That was like five minutes ago. And now her son is walking at nine months. Just as she was.
Be still my heart.

And Garrison? Well, he talked about how there's a new Lutheran pastor in Lake Woebegone. Pastor Liz and she's something like they've never seen before- a HAPPY Lutheran. And she held a service in the woods and eighty-five people showed up. And she's working at the Side-Track Tap while the church reviews her resume.
I hope Pastor Liz gets hired. The world needs some damn happy Lutherans.

Obviously, the martinis are doing their job. I apologize to no one for that.

Conversation About My Mother

I see that I got a few comments on that last post.
I think that many of us have uh, difficulties, with our mothers. Over at Michelle's, Michele Rene had asked, "Is this a safe place to talk about our mothers?
And I have always wondered- is there such a place? Is there?

Michelle and Adrienne's mother just died and in her dying, it would seem there had been a resolution of sorts, a realization, an opening to hearts which had, up until the final illness, been as iron-bound shut as mine is when it comes to my mother.

I write that and I tremble- how can I shut my heart against my mother? When she is my mother. What do I not honor if it is not motherhood? My god. I am going to hell. And why? Why do I do this? Even though in that ten-minute conversation I was taken by the scruff of the neck, metaphorically, at least, and shaken like a bulldog shakes a kitten, and as in the cartoon mentioned by Elizabeth, turned back into a bad little girl (even as we were discussing my grandmotherhood), I am the one who feels lost and guilty and angry when I get off the phone with her. This is not honoring motherhood.

I know that if I called her more often, if the situation was more "normalized" by calls and visits, a silly little ten minute conversation wouldn't have done that to me. Right? When I heard her voice on the phone when she realized it was me, I was overcome because for that second, she sounded truly glad I had called and I thought to myself, "Oh, this won't be bad. This is my mother. We love each other."

And then. And then...

Where is that safe place we can talk about our mothers? Because obviously, from the number of comments I got so quickly, talking about our mothers is something we need to do and yearn to do.

Ellen, over at A Walk Into Oblivion, writes about her mother's descent into dementia. She is talking about it. And her words clang into my soul because her relationship with her mother was troubled and now she is having to deal with her on this new level, an even more uncomfortable one, with all of the baggage, all of the unresolved issues, all of the guilt brought on by all of the years behind them. I love Ellen for writing about these things truthfully. She isn't skirting or skating around any issues. She is telling the truth. She is talking about how hard it is for her to take care of a mother who was never easy with her. I think that if it I were in her place, I would be feeling many of the things she feels. It would be a rip of pain in my heart of scar tissue already in place.

When did I start feeling this way about my mother and why? I know but none of it is easily discussed and frankly, I don't feel as safe talking about it here as I used to. I wrote more about it earlier (see my posts on childhood sexual abuse) but now I know that a family member of mine reads my blog and he has a close relationship with my mother and he has been chastising me for as long as I can remember about how I have "missed the boat" with her. "Why can't you love her?" he has actually screamed at me.
And all I could do was look at him and think, "Don't you think I wish I could?"

Don't we ALL want to love and be loved by our mothers?
But you know what? This is my blog, which is my home and if this place isn't safe, where is?

And I know my mother has gone through horrible things in her life which have made her the way she is. Nightmare things. Things no one should have to go through. And now I feel certain that the way I treat her has become another one of those things and how does that make me feel?


And as a mother, I know how easy it is to let circumstances, one's own life's experiences, mental illness and just general LIFE cause one to act in a way as a mother that one does not look back on with pride. If there was any things I have done or not done in my life I could take back, do over, they would all involve my children.

But. But.
I do not think that any of my children will ever be afraid to call me. They know I love them from the marrow of my bones to the utmost reaches of space. I tremble with all of the love I have in my heart for those four people. And my children know that. And here is a grandchild and I get to start all over again, loving him in that way which I had thought I could only love one of my children, but now find that I can love him that way too. It's like a new gift, a new blessing, one that I had no idea lay in wait for me!

I cannot love anyone, even my children or my grandchildren, perfectly. But my love for them IS perfect and I look at each of them and think that all of them are perfect in their own selves. They are who they are, whom they have been since birth, and I am the lucky one who gets to know them as they are and love them as they are without restraint. There is no part of myself I have to hold back in my loving of them. And I don't think they feel the need to hold back any part of themselves in their love for me. I hope not.
This just seems as simple and as self-evident as breathing to me and has since they were born.

Which is why I do not understand why I feel the way I do about my mother or why she so obviously feels the way she feels about me.

Well, I am looking at it this way- on this earth, in this short lifetime, there are people in my life, some born to me, some not, with whom I have relationships that are good. And that those relationships are, as Lis said last week, with people I can trust my heart. THOSE are the relationships I need to feed and to nurture, to worry about doing the best I can in.
And there are people with whom I cannot trust my heart and those relationships are not ones that I can necessarily mend or fix no matter how much I might wish I could.

I do know how to love and be loved. Despite a lot of issues with trust and with fear, I think I have a capacity for loving which is huge and because of those issues, I know when my heart has found safe harbor and I appreciate and respect that all the more.

Thank all of you who commented. I don't know that I am going to answer each comment. I think I am answering them here. But I tell you this- I give my heart here in these words and I trust the people who read them with it. And I know they trust me with their hearts which they give through their writing.

And this is another gift I never dreamed of.

Thank-you all. And if you want to talk about your mothers here, do. If you have great relationships with your mothers, that gives me hope that history won't necessarily repeat itself. And with your grandparents, too. I know that people can love each other truly and deeply for a lifetime. We need to remember that. We need to be reminded of that. And if you, like me, have problems with that most primal of relationships- that of a daughter and her mother- you can talk about them here. I will understand. I will listen and I will acknowledge.
I promise.

Yours truly....Ms. Moon.

Conversation With My Mother

I haven't talked to my mother since last month. I am the world's worst daughter and I know it. So I call her this morning and she says, "I haven't heard from you since my birthday," which is untrue, I spoke to her on Mother's Day. But anyway, I say, "And I haven't heard from YOU since your birthday."

Getting off to a good start, right?

So she asked me what was new and I said nothing much, I've just been staying busy taking care of Owen. I started talking about him- safe topic, one would think. He's her great-grandson. She said, "I know you must love him."
"Oh, I do. And he loves his grandmother."
"Well, that'll change."


"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Oh, things change. You'll have to learn not to be so attached to him."
"Things just change."


In the space of a ten minute conversation she made me feel like a complete and utter dumb shit. And guilty. About I don't even know what. For taking care of my grandson. For loving him too much or something. For not doing something about her ill health. For being alive, most likely.

And you know? I let her do this. I absolutely allow it to happen.

My niece and nephew were there with her, which was good because the conversation had to be necessarily short. They wanted to go swimming and there's a pool where my mother lives. If the conversation had gone on any longer I would have had to go hunt up some razor blades. As it was, I just went to the cabinet and took my anti-depressant.

Happy Saturday, y'all.
Love...Ms. Moon (who feels about one inch tall and six years old)

Friday, June 25, 2010

One Million Years Ago

Friday night used to be dress up and go out. Paint my face and maybe dance. Wear shoes that might pinch, eat food someone else cooked.
Not so much anymore.
What happened? We moved farther from town, we got old, bras became more uncomfortable, it was cheaper to drink and eat at home, la-la-la.
And so it's Friday night and I have stuffed peppers in the oven and oh yes, we are exhausted from our week and it's just rained and as beautiful here as it is anywhere in the world and I put on a dress (a dress!) and he didn't say a thing. He's as loving as he ever is, even when I am wearing UGLY-ass overalls and this brings me to the reality that no, I am not cute any more but what the hell- I am the woman, I am the wife.
Ah yah. Time to cut up some salad. Time to take the peppers out of the oven.

Friday night. It just rained and is as beautiful here as it is anywhere on earth. And I am not wearing a bra.

After The Afternoon Pool Party

For Rebecca

Ixchel pours water
Crone-goddess balm for my heart
Parched, I long for her.

Rebecca, over at the beautiful Recuerda mi Corazon, is inspiring us to do a Haiku My Heart Fridays. I don't usually participate in things like this but
1. Rebecca
2. Haiku
3. Love everything about it.

Here's my first sleepy Friday morning attempt. I have been thinking (dreaming) of Cozumel, the island sacred to the Mayan goddess of the moon and the sea and childbirth and all the things I honor the most, feeling her pull me back to the home of my heart and so this is what came out of that heart this morning.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Owen Day

Owen came around one thirty this afternoon and it's been a busy day. From the moment I take him into my arms until he goes to his mama or daddy, my life revolves around him. That's just all there is to it. Lily and I discussed the fact today that it may be time to stop jumping to get whatever he wants the second he wants it now. That we should try to encourage him to ask for things instead of just pointing and hoo-hoo'ing like a chimp.
Yeah. We should do that.
I don't know. Something comes over me when I see him. It's like a physical reaction and all I want to do is make him happy. Is that wrong? I hope not. It's probably natural but it's one thing when a grandparent acts like this around grandchildren once or twice a month, something else entirely when it's three or four times a week.
Well. He's still a baby although when I look at him, I realize he's growing to be more boy than baby and that's all there is to that.

I keep calling him my "little man" and I don't think that if he were a girl I'd be calling him my "little woman" although I could be wrong about that too. He's just SUCH a boy. But he's a sweet one. He lets me give him tiny kisses on his neck and when I'm done and after we smile at each other, he turns his head so I can do it again. He holds so still when I'm kissing him. But then he grows weary of that game and wants to get up and DO SOMETHING.

We took endless trips down the hallway with his little walky thing. As he pushes it, it plays music which is sort of annoying. I can turn it off if I want but I leave it on. He seems to like it. We go down the hallway from one end to the other, turn around, go back. He loves it.

Today his Pop-Pop brought him a pool home and blew it up with the compressor and we put a few inches of water in it and got in it with him. It's a long pool so that Pop-Pop can stretch out with his long legs at one end, Grandmother with her shorter ones in the other and Owen in the middle. He feels compelled to share his duckies with us and wants us to chew on them too, so of course we do. He loved the pool and at one point there he was in the water with his grandparents while his beloved chickens and his own beloved rooster were all standing there watching him and I had to get out and take a picture. Chicken spa? Ah, the glamor. Lily called while we were outside and when I called her back I said, "We were in the pool," as airily as one of the ladies in a 1940's movie would have said. Joan Crawford, perhaps, or Bette Davis. "Oh, dahling, sorry I missed your call. We were in the pool."

Mr. Moon told Owen that he wasn't allowed to swim unless one of us was with him and I told him firmly that there would be no running on the cement. I'm sure he'll follow the rules.

We sat him up in the high chair for dinner and he ate potatoes and field peas, cucumbers and tomatoes and corn bread. He wanted deer sausage desperately. I did not give him any. Then he got down and played peek-a-boo from behind the high chair with his grandfather and me and in between laughing and peek-a-booing, he pooped.

I cleaned him up and now he's in the tub with his Pop-Pop. The two most beautiful boys I've ever seen. It's something, this grandparent thing. I didn't expect my heart to be so taken over. I really didn't. But there you have it. It's happened.

Lily and Jason are spending the night tonight because they both close and will get off late and so that boy will be here in the morning, too. I can't believe I'm saying this but I am looking forward to that. There will be more endless trips down the hallway, more playing in the pool, perhaps, more chicken-feeding and rooster imitating, more diapers and snacks and holding him close while I give him his bottle.
I'm in love. I'm just flat-out in love.
With this boy. This little man. My grandson.


I changed my comment settings this morning because I like to be able, when I am commenting on other blogs, to see the post I am commenting on in its entirety. So, I changed mine to be that way too.
I also took off word verification but have already been spambotted. I will not put up with that shit. So sorry. The WV is back and I hate it too.

The Early Bird May Take A Pre-Lunch Nap

So I got up this morning BEFORE SEVEN A.M. because I wanted to walk before yoga. Yeah, I know. I deserve a medal. I do!
And I walked before eight for once and still, my hair is soaking wet but at least I'm not the color of George Bush's scarlet soul. Or is his soul black? Whatever. I'm just a bit ruddy.
And then I called the yoga teacher to make sure we're having class because our class consists of two people and I know that one of them is out of town. I got her answering machine and I'm not driving down the road unless I hear back from her and she has two minutes and then I'm going to get on with my day.
I should have called her last night but I got busy with blackberries and snapper and trying to watch The D-List which hey! Is not on Wednesday nights but on Tuesdays and so I missed the redheaded bitch's show but since it's on Bravo they'll be rerunning it constantly anyway.

Time's up! No yoga today. This means I should get to the myriad of things which I should get done before Owen gets here at one-thirty. I mean MYRIAD! I won't bore you with the details but suffice it to say that some of them require PHONE CALLS. And some of them are easy, like taking the trash and doing laundry.
I just went out to find something lovely to take a picture of but I have taken a picture of everything in this yard about a thousand times so all you get is that picture of the phlox. My yard is pretty much taken up in phlox right now which is not a bad thing. I wish I'd had my camera on my walk because all the spiders' webs in the grass had spangly dew on them which shone in the morning light like diamond necklaces. Big webs and small. It was a marvel. You'll have to take my word for that.

I could take a picture of the two mama banana spiders which have built webs on my side porch but I think I'll save that for another day.

And I could talk about the fact that oil is washing up on the sweet sugar sands of Pensacola Beach but I just can't do that. It's happening. It's real. There is nothing in this world I can do about it except hang my head in shame at being part of the human race.

And on that cheerful note, I believe I'll go take the trash. And recycle. And feel as if I am on a futile and stupid errand when I throw the paper and cardboard and aluminum and glass and plastic in their proper containers. The new guy who works at the trash depot is very good at his job and keeps the place tidy and is polite as hell. He does have a sticker on his truck that says, "Marriage equals One Man, One Woman," but he doesn't discuss politics with me and I respect him for doing a hot, stinky, poorly paid job in a way which demonstrates that he takes his work seriously and goes above and beyond what is required and let it go at that.

And there you have it- another day in Lloyd, Florida. It's hot, it's hip, it's happenin'.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wednesday Whatevers

Okay. So Mr. Moon came home early this afternoon so he could play with Owen which was a real treat. I was a terrible grandmother today and let Owen bust his lip. I do not know how it happened. He was crawling, which he is an expert at and I was standing right over him, talking on the phone and he crawled over a wooden lamp base and I guess he did a face plant and well...there was blood and there were tears and I felt like I'd let him cut his arm off. It was terrible.
I think he forgave me.
When he left with his daddy he screamed again but this time because he'd been watching the chickens who'd come out to see him. When they see Owen they think treats might be forthcoming due to the fact that Owen and I always give treats to the chickens. Today Mr. Moon joined us and we fed them grapes. And so when he was leaving, they all raced up and Owen was pointing at Elvis and he was crowing and was so very happy and then his dad put him in his car seat and he was heart broken. And pissed. Very, very pissed. And he let us know it. Again, I felt terrible but at least this time it wasn't specifically my fault and there was no blood.
This pointing thing has added a whole new level of communication with that boy. He points and goes, "Uh!" and that means he wants it. Basically he wants everything. Especially if it can go into the mouth and resembles food. Oh boy. That child can eat. And whenever he points and I don't give him what he wants he looks at me as if to say, "Excuse me- what have you done with my real grandmother? Bring her back, please."


All right. I want to talk about Costco. I was never, ever, EVER going to go to the one in Tallahassee because it was built right next to a Walmart and a sporting goods place (which is already out of business) and they tore down some of the most beautiful woods and trees and burned up some old cracker houses to build the monstrous big-boxers and it pissed me the hell off. The sign for the whole thing has a beautiful oak tree on it and yes, they left ONE FUCKING OAK TREE on the entire property. It was nothing short of rape.
So. I didn't want to go to Costco.
But Mr. Moon bought a business membership there because he is practical above all. And I went in and okay, whatever, like Sam's club, blah, blah, blah.
And I barely ever used the place until lately but shit.
Shit, shit, shit.
Now I love it.
Their tabouli. Their stuffed grape leaves. Their tzatziki sauce. Their olive-rosemary bread. (Two loaves for $2.99.) Those take-and-bake pizzas with fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. (Giant-sized for $7.99.) Their organic coffee. (When they have it.) The frozen organic berries. The Greek yogurt. That room you walk in which is cold where all the produce lives. The organic baby greens. The big bag of bell peppers.
Oh dear. Need I go on? I have even started looking at their jewelry, some of which I would happily wear.
I am addicted now. I hate them for making me love them. DO YOU HEAR ME?
I am such a fucking hypocrite.
But I still avoid Walmart like the plague.


My Tussy deodorant arrived in the mail. I am so happy. So are those who must be close to me.


Mr. Moon and I just went down and picked blackberries for about an hour or so and came back with almost two gallons. This is the best year for blackberries I have ever seen. Our dialogue in the field went something like this:
"Shit. Ouch. Goddam. You okay?" Etc.
Picking blackberries is just miserable but they're so damn good.
It occurred to me that picking wild berries is one activity that hasn't changed one iota in the entire course of human history. Whether you dress in skins or denim, whether you put your berries in a sawed off milk jug or a homemade basket, the act itself is exactly the same. Reach and pluck, reach and pluck. Watch for snakes and bears.
Now I can bring mine home and freeze them whereas if I were an earlier human I suppose I would have dried my berries or made wine of them. Something which would keep. I SHOULD make preserves and maybe I will but that requires so much sugar and the jars AND the work. Honestly, I believe I might just freeze them all and use them in smoothies or desserts and muffins later on. Of course, if we have a hurricane and lose our power for a week (which is not outside the realm of possibility), we'll have to eat blackberries like a frenzied raccoon for a few days.
We shall see.


Lisa Page Rosenberg, who writes over at Smacksy linked a site in one of her Sunday posts which I am loving. It's called Advanced Style and if you are older or younger or whatever, go there and be inspired to be who it is you really want to be, even if you don't live in New York City. Go there and learn not to be afraid to wear a whole lot of jewelry at once if you want to and to paint your fingernails green with hand painted black designs on them. Go there and behold the glory of style in older age!
And go visit Smacksy, too, because she's funny as hell and has a son who cracks me up and makes me want to cover his face with smacksy kisses.


I think it's funny that not one person mentioned my horribly heretical statement that I believe that chickens have done more for mankind than Jesus did on a practical level. I thought I'd lose at least ten followers. Instead, I picked one up. There's still time, though, to unfollow me. I'm thinking that the Catholic church, at least, is going to put my blog on that list of things which if you participate in will get you sent straight to hell. But then again, the Catholic church just came out and said that the Blues Brothers movie is a classic Catholic movie so maybe they're cooler than I thought they were.


We finally watched Crazy Heart. I thought it was pretty good and I thought that Jeff Bridges was tremendous but I have to tell you something- they changed the ending. The book's ending is terribly sad and not at all upbeat so I guess they had to Hollywood it up and that disappointed me greatly. I can't say I was surprised but I sure was disappointed.


Well, I guess that's about it. I need to wash the dishes and go watch The D-List. Ms. Bastard-Beloved? You hate that show, right? Is it you that hates that show? Well, I can't help it. I love it.
But I'll never try to make you watch it. I promise.


Okay, okay. One more thing. No. Two more.
My son Hank has an image blog and I love that thing. He finds the most interesting pictures you can possibly imagine and then captions them with great charm. Go visit that here if you haven't. He covers the sacred, the profane and the simply hysterical. It's a very fun site.

And my daughter May just wrote a post about walking which I think everyone in the damn country should read because it makes so much sense and says everything about walking I've ever thought but never was able to express. That would be here.


And that's it. That's the end. Except for this:

Well, that's an end too. A mighty cute little hind end. Or as Mr. Moon's mother might have said, a tee-tiny tee-hiney.

She had a way with words.

I'd gotten tired of changing Owen's diaper today. I had him in cloth and it seemed like he was peeing about every fifteen minutes so I just took his diaper off for awhile and let him go commando. I don't think he even noticed. But I got some good pictures.

See you tomorrow. Sleep well. Sweet dreams. Etc.

Love Letter

Mr. Moon worked so hard last night and so did Kathleen. She got home from work and cooked shrimp and made crab cakes and probably vacuumed before we got there if I know her. And Mr. Moon got to work and arranged his tools and the pot of boiling water and told us all to "go away now," and we did and he took care of business. Caught those roosters and turned them into meat and then started digging on the grave.
Meanwhile, we ladies sat in the house and drank beverages and ate food and then went out and did a ceremonial shoveling of one or two spadesfull of dirt. Kathleen convinced Mr. Moon to let Rich finish the grave. He couldn't be there last night but will go to Kathleen's tonight.
It was, in its way, a beautiful evening.
And Lily, the old dog, came out and laid on the floor and we all petted her and told her that the next time we see her she'll be running through fields of daisies and rabbits. Or something.
Bob, Kathleen's young Lab, who is The Center Of The Universe, had to be where all the attention was.

That's the way Bob is. He is going to be there for Kathleen when Lily has to go and they will tell each other stories about Lily and what a great dog she was. Kathleen will say, "When Lily was your age..."
And Bob will say, "You've already told me that story. Can I have a treat now?"

I was so proud of my husband. I've said it a million times and I'll say it again- I have the best husband in the world. I never would have thought I'd ever marry a man who sold cars or even fixed cars or who would know how to kill chickens and turn them into meat. Or hunted! My god, that was just NOT on the agenda. Nor was marrying a man who is a foot and a half taller than I am. And yet, I did. And it was the best thing I've ever done.

When I was very young, still a teenager, I had a dream that was so strong that I've never forgotten it. One of those dreams where you wake up and think, "This is true."
It was just a glimpse-dream. A mere rag of a whole. And it was an image of a man holding out his arms to me.
It comforted me so. And to this day, I believe I was dreaming of the man I am married to now, the man I've been married to for almost twenty-six years.
The man who can build the chicken coop, make the garden, fix the car, bring home the income, the bacon, the venison and the grouper. The man who brings me roses. The man who cuddles the grandson. The man who loves my women friends. The man who, when my friend Sue was dying, followed her instructions to "hold me like a mother holds her baby."

So okay. It's a Wednesday morning and I've worked myself up to tears here. Owen is coming soon and I can't wait to see what he's learned in the past three days. Have I told you that he imitates Elvis? That's Elvis The Rooster, not Elvis the singer. He sucks his breath in and makes a crowing sound. He won't imitate us saying words but he'll imitate Elvis the rooster. I find this hysterical. He's pointing his fat little finger at everything and going, "Ooooh." There is an awful lot to point at here at Grandmother's house. It's as if I've spent the last six years putting things up on the walls and hanging things from the ceiling just so that my grandson can notice them all, point and go, "Ooooh."
Who knew?
Not me.
Of things like that I never had a portending dream. But perhaps that tiny little snap of a picture of a man holding his arms out to me contained that too. The children, the grandchildren, the chickens and the roses and the everything, the every bit of love which has happened since in real life that man held his arms out to me and I slipped into them. I remember that moment, that real life moment.
Long arms. Long, long, long arms. Opened up to me in my kitchen a long time ago.
And I slipped into them. And here we are.

So this is me, pointing my finger at that man saying, "Oooh."
Saying, "Thank-you for coming to me in my dreams when I was so filled with pain as a child. Thank-you for coming to see me in my kitchen that long-ago day. Thank-you for the babies and the grandbaby and the gardens and the taking-care of all of us. And the roses. Thank-you for those too.

Mostly thank-you for those arms which you still reach out to wrap me in.

And for killing roosters and for digging graves. And for loving my women friends.
For loving.
Thanks for all the loving. Don't ever doubt that I am paying attention and noticing it all. Because I am. Every dish you wash, every kiss you give me. Every thing you do for us all.
I am noticing, I am grateful, I am loving you.

Always....Your wife.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Yeah. Yeah. Here's My Solstice Post

Of all the pictures I deleted, there were as many of chickens as of anything else. If there is a theme to my photography, it is sunsets and chickens. I shit you not. I have a million sunset pictures. Dog Island, Cozumel, Roseland, Florida.
And chickens- well. Up until Owen they were the main focus of my lens.
Of course now that Owen is here, the chickens do not get as much photo-time as they once did but I still like to take their pictures. They still delight my heart, these fine, fat domestic birds of mine. This morning as Mr. Moon was leaving they were in the flower bed beside the kitchen, scratching away with great industry. Mr. Moon said, "You haven't had to weed that bed all year, have you?"
"Nope," I said. "And they fertilize, too."
They're like miracles to me, those crazy hens and that crazy rooster Elvis. Organic bug and weed control, organic fertilizer, all in one delightful package of comedic seriousness. And they lay eggs for us to eat!
I swear, whoever invented the chicken should be hailed as one of the major saviors of mankind.
Or, perhaps it is just the chickens themselves who should be hailed as such. Let me ask you this- who has done more, in practical terms, for the human race? Jesus or chickens?
No contest there, babies. Not in my mind.
Jesus may have fed the masses. ONCE! Chickens have been providing us with protein for hundreds of thousands of years, good perfect protein and they can do that with nothing more than the bugs and weeds in a yard.
Maybe this should be the Church of the Chicken Shit Crazy.
I'll think about that.

Yesterday was the summer solstice and I didn't say one damn thing about it. It's been so hot here for so long that the solstice had no meaning to me. So the earth was tipped a bit more this way, the day was the longest of the year? My legs did not register the tipping and I fell asleep on the couch at nine o'clock. I'd spent an hour or so weeding in the garden, forgotten my afternoon shot of espresso and ate a nice meal.
I slept right through that extra one fifth of a second or whatever it is.
I'm not a very good Druid, am I?

Tonight, though, there will be a bit of a ceremony over at Kathleen's. She is having to help one of her dear dog children into the light on Thursday due to old age. The precious dog is blind and confused and as much as Kathleen hates to do it, she knows that if the situation were reversed, she would want to be held and let go. Wouldn't we all ask for that when the time comes? And Kathleen is the most responsible animal owner I know of. Her animals are adored and better cared for than most children. This is going to be very hard for her and of course, there is the matter of the grave. A Lab is a big dog so Mr. Moon and Rich and another friend are going over to help get that ready tonight. And on top of that, Kathleen has three roosters which are making life hell for her sweet hens and so Mr. Moon is going to turn them into meat for her. Two other friends are coming over and there will be food and beer and champagne and a celebration of life and a liberation of the hens through rooster-death.
Kathleen will freeze that meat and when we have our Jezebel party, she plans on making a dinner of cock to serve. Kathleen is like that- the tenderest of hearts and a streak within her as mean as Jessie's. You can just look at both of them and know how mean they are, Jessie and Kathleen. Both as pragmatic as accountants, both as ethereal as moonbeams, both as tenderhearted as...well- you know what? I can't think of any thing or any one as tenderhearted as those two.
So this is going to be a hard week for my friend, Kathleen but tonight we will try and help her in whatever way we can, a few of her friends. Second day of summer and we'll be gathering to kill roosters, dig a grave, eat some food, comfort our friend as she is about to lose one of her best friends. One of her kids as she calls her dogs. Kids without opposable thumbs.
Her kids have never let her down. Not once. And she has never let them down either. And on Thursday she will do what has to be done in order to do the best for her kid that can be done.

Life can be cruel and so can summer. One of the most beautiful passages in the Bible tells us that to everything there is a season. I take great comfort in this.

It is the season of the heat and the dark breathing green. It is the season of the afternoon thunderstorms and the season of the harvest of too many cucumbers. It is the blackberry season and it is the season for the chickens to rest long hours under the shed in the cool, sandy dirt of Lloyd after their work of scratching.

Death has no season. It is with us at all times. But so is life. And tonight we'll gather and celebrate that while Kathleen's dear kid is still with us and we'll prepare for her death.
Her release.

As death and life have no particular season, neither does love.

We will celebrate all of that in this season of summer tonight and it will be hot and the people digging the grave and slaughtering the roosters will sweat. We will all sweat, in fact. There is no way around sweating here in Florida one day after the solstice.
Part of life like tears and blood.

And we will put our sweaty arms around Kathleen and her still-living old kid and my friend's heart will hopefully be comforted, even as it pumps the blood around her body, even as she cries, which I imagine she will.

And her hens will be happy and will scratch around their yard with their one good rooster to watch over them as mine do here and there will be meat in the freezer, cleaned and ready to cook to sustain us in the future and well, to everything there is a season and we should all be comforted in that.