Sunday, October 31, 2010

That Boy Done Tore Up My House

It's ten after six p.m. and here I am, sitting in the center of a chaos. Owen's gone but he left his mark, and it's not unlike the morning after a hurricane when you go outside to clear skies, sweet balmy air and complete destruction.
And those eggplant are not going to jump in the panko crumbs and saute themselves now, are they?

God it was good to have him here. When we got to his house to pick him up, he was dressed in a monkey costume. Do I have a picture? Hell no. But it was cute. Take my word. Plus, he was carrying a little ghost around going, "Ooooh."
I gave him his baby and he hugged it to him. "Doll!" he said and then he hugged me to him and I hugged him to me and it was good, people. It was good.

We did all our stuff. We played hide-n-seek and that boy can hide. And then he laughs like hell when I find him. We fed grapes to the chickens. We ate pasta and yogurt and grapes and apples and crackers with peanut butter. We read books. We tore up the newspaper. Okay. He did. I didn't. I just laughed and then cleaned it up. He also tore apart a cabinet in the kitchen. I need to go clean that up.
And he learned how to feed the goats, sticking leaves through the fence and letting them nibble. He was frantic for me to pick more leaves. He likes to feed the goats. He tried the leaves himself. He was not impressed.

And now he's gone and it's quiet. Mr. Moon is out in the woods. I am still feeling weird. Kathleen and I talked about death for awhile on the phone this morning. I'm fine with that. We're all going to die. But still- damn. I fucking hate cancer. Who doesn't? Well, Kathleen, probably. She's still looking at this whole thing like a journey, another experience, another adventure.
I wish I was as awesome as Kathleen but I am not. Let's just face it. I am not.
I do not feel any sort of affection for that sort of adventure. None. At. All.
I have an awful big affection for Kathleen, though. So there you go.

Well. Life. I need to cook supper. I have no appetite for cooking. I wish someone would bring me a nice serving of Buddha's Delight in a clever white box. That is not going to happen. Maybe once I start chopping and panko-ing, all will be well.

I noticed this afternoon that Elvis has blood on his throat feathers. So something DID happen in that hen house last night. Fuck. I guess a coon is getting in. What else could have torn the lid off the garbage can? What else would have attacked my rooster? What else could have opened the door to the coop which allows entry into the hen house and then found its way out again? Nothing I can think of but a raccoon. Speaking of clever.
I'll shut the door up tonight that leads from coop to hen house. I'm proud of Elvis for fighting whatever it was. He's a fine rooster, that one.

All right. There's another picture of Owen, playing with boxes, his trusty dust mop by his side, his adoring Pearl watching over him.

I better go put that kitchen back together and cook some food. That's what life is all about. Trying to keep just this side of chaos, trying to keep our bellies fed.

The rest is gravy.
You can quote me on that.
Love...Ms. Moon

The Church Of The Batshit Crazy Is Back In Session

Happy Halloween for all of you who do that sort of thing. I did not even get a pumpkin yet. I guess it's getting a little late. Maybe they're really cheap today. I could check when we go in to get Owen.

So I did a quick walk around this morning, feeling crazy here and trying to bring myself back to some sort of sanity but it didn't really work.
I mean look- eggplants on October 31? And there are more on the bushes.

(Pack of cards to indicate size. Of course.)
And cucumbers are blooming?

And beans are making?

And tomatoes? Yes. Tomatoes.

I'm not complaining. It's all good. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with four eggplant. Mr. Moon doesn't even really like eggplant although he will eat it. Especially if there's cheese involved.

Something crazy happened in the hen house last night. I don't know what. But the garbage can where we keep the chicken scratch had its lid taken off and there were feathers everywhere. The chickens seemed fine. Here are four hens.

Shalayla is off wherever it is that she stays during the day but I saw her this morning and she has feathers growing back and looks fine.
Elvis's tail feathers are growing back.
I wonder when the ladies will start laying more regularly again.

The greens look good. Here are some collards:

And one of my sasanqua bushes is starting to bloom:

So that's normal.

Normal. What the hell is normal?

I'm not even going to go into how completely insane I feel today. You've heard it before. It comes. It goes. I surely did enjoy sleeping in my own bed last night on my old, worn sheets. The air coming in through the window was nice and chilly and my pillows felt heavenly against me.

I'm thinking about how it's going to feel when Owen sees me and holds his arms out for me. I'm thinking about that. I'm thinking I need to put my shoes on and maybe go for a little walk. I'm trying real hard not to think about what that demon who lives in my heart keeps telling me- that I am a worthless human being who is destined to suffer.

I think that demon looks like a hickory horned devil caterpillar.

I wish I could crush him beneath my heel.
But then I remember that when it metamorphises, it looks like this:

So I suppose it's best to leave it be.

I wonder if Owen can say "Grandmother" yet. Probably not.

I wonder if he'll like the baby doll I bought him. I think he will.

And the chicken book. And the little blue thermal undershirt.
I'm thinking about how much I love my new linen napkins I bought. I washed them all last night and folded them up. A whole stack of white ones, some red, blue, and green ones.

I'm thinking about how everything is unpacked and almost back to normal.

Whatever normal is.

Happy Halloween from the Church of the Batshit Crazy. Our sermon has been canceled today due to a demon. If there HAD been a sermon, it probably would have been about the usual stuff. Light and love and water and dirt and chicken poop and the Holy Womb, the Holy Babies, the Miracle of Hands, etc.

You've heard it all before. The normal stuff.

No need to pat your pocket to see if you have money for the offering. We don't do that here.
But the pastor could use a hug if you see fit to give one on your way out.

Here I am. Arms open.
We're singing the Doxology now.

Praise Light from which all blessings flow. Praise Love all creatures here below. Praise Eggs above ye heavenly host. Praise Father Mother and buttered toast.


Saturday, October 30, 2010


We are home. I am literally dizzy with the shock of it. Am I here? Yes. Is part of me still in Roseland? Yes. And I read the rest of The Yearling out loud to Glen on the way home so part of me is on Baxter's Island, too.

But I am physically here in Lloyd, Florida and while there are no hibiscus, it's gaudy cousin, the Confederate Rose, is blooming with great abandon. There are no cranes or egrets or herons or osprey but the chickens are here and they rushed up to meet us when we got in.
I will see Owen tomorrow. My little man. I can only imagine how much he's grown in a week.

My heart feels funny. It feels as if I am on the dock for Roseland sunset and yet, I'm not. I'm here, partially unpacked and with laundry going and there are beans in the garden, really! beans in October! and the clothes I'm wearing were washed down in Roseland in the detergent there so I smell like Roseland and yet, again, here I am.

This morning, when I was drinking my coffee beside the pool I felt sad but also, so damn lucky to be able to go back to that place which will always, somehow, be home to me. And now, at this moment, I know for a fact how very fucking lucky I am to come home to THIS home where the old oaks shelter me and offer me a bit of what that beautiful river gives me- the sense that I am not so very significant in the grand scheme of things which is a relief. That it is the perfect moments whether here or there or perhaps even on a small island in the Mexican Caribbean which add up to a sense of a life which has been well-lived.
And of course, the man who lives here with me, who accompanies on these adventures, and the family of my children and their loves and my grandchild and my friends who make my life what it is.
And you. Thank-all of you who came with me on vacation.

If you ever want to really and literally go there, you can, you know.
Here's the link for the place we stayed, as well as a few other homes that the guys who rented to us own. They are all charming and would all make for a most pleasant trip to Florida.

This morning as we were packing up, I was talking to Glenn, one of the owners, who was out working in his yard and I thanked him for preserving that place which restores my soul. I started crying and he hugged me. These are such good men, the men who are living in Roseland, who love it the way they do.

All right. Blah, blah, blah. I'm being all emotional again. This is the way it is. This is who I am.

Home again. I live in Florida and I love to go on vacation in Florida. I feel very grateful to live here.
It's getting dark and the chickens need to be shut into their house and I need to tidy up around here, finish unpacking, make myself at home again.

What a week.
What a life.

Thank-you for sharing.

Love...Ms. Moon

Last Morning

Well. Today we leave.
I am completely overwhelmed.

If you could see this place, you would be too. Mr. Moon and I have just made ourselves at home here. As in- it's going to be more like MOVING than packing. I think we're going to need a U-Haul to get all this stuff home, mostly kitchen stuff. Like, food.
Over the course of a week I have collected oils and vinegars and spices and peanut butter and oh yes, there are the brownies I made. Three apples sitting forlornly, never touched. I had good intentions. Honey and sugar and coffee and a bag of grits. Mustard and chili sauce and hot sauce and oh....
You get the picture.

I suppose I should get started.

Didn't I promise someone an omelet for breakfast in the throes of happiness last night?
Maybe he's forgotten.

I think I just don't want to leave and all of this stuff is just one more anchor holding me here.

As if I needed one.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Just Pictures

God it's been a good day.
Love...Ms. Moon

I Have Found The Family Compound And It Is Sweet

All right. First go


Watch the little slide show.

Now. Let me tell you a story.
When I was a little girl and lived in Roseland, there was a couple that my grandparents knew who lived in the house at the very end of the road we lived on. They were named Frank and Kay Baisden. He was an artist and art professor. She was his wife and wore long colorful skirts and silver bangles because they spent part of the year in Mexico City where Frank taught art at the university there sometimes. They were sort of Bohemian, I guess, looking back now, and I adored Kay and was fascinated and a bit frightened by Frank.
They took tea every afternoon and sometimes we were invited. I remember the tea pot and the cream and sugar cubes and lemon, if you'd rather have lemon, and Kay would read our tea leaves and they lived in one of the most awesome houses in the world (or so it seemed to me).
I have always been as fascinated by that house as I have been of this little cottage with the pool and oh yes, by the way, they're practically adjoining properties.

So. Mr. Moon and I were taking the back road to the beach this morning and we passed this sign:

"Turn around! Go back!" I said and Mr. Moon did and we pulled up into the driveway and this is where it ended:

The other side of the Baisden House.

For a moment I could not speak. Then I could only whisper.
I called the number. Mr. Jamar answered. I recovered my voice and asked about the property.
"Oh, that's a very special property," he said.
"I know. What are they asking?"
And if I thought Garnet Hanshaw's house was out of my league, well...
"How many acres?"
"About five."
And that was really all I needed to know so I thanked him and hung up.

Mr. Moon said we should go look at it just for fun. So I called back and we met him at four and oh Lord. Well. The original small house is still there. Here's the living room fireplace. The whole thing is old pine. It looked exactly as it had when I took tea there with Frank (who did not like children) and Kay, who had always wanted children.

And the little front porch where a dog bit me. He didn't mean to. It was okay.

But they've added a whole other part to the house, made of an old store that was down the road in Wabasso and it is beautiful too. Florida, Florida, Florida.
I took pictures but they suck.

I would be perfectly content to own that house with its two bedrooms and funky kitchen and front porch. But no. There's more. An old train depot has been moved onto the property and that's where the current owners actually live. It's nice but not nearly as nice as the old house. I love the way it's all been decorated though.


And there are two other buildings on the property, one set up as an apartment, one barebones but darling on the outside.
And...there's a boardwalk through the jungle to the river. Palms, bamboo, ferns, you name it.
Florida, Florida, Florida.


So kids- hey! If you ALL moved to Roseland with us, we could do this thing. There's a place for everyone to live. The family compound. You know you've always wanted to do that! There's a medical complex right down the road where Jessie could work and there's a Publix right down the road where Lily and Jason could work and May and Hank- y'all could find something! We'll start a business! Yes! We will! And we'll all live on the Baisden property in the compound and we'll fish and canoe and eat citrus and mangoes and avocados and plant a big ass garden and flowers everywhere and build a giant cement pool with mermaids at the corners and turn old outbuildings into studios and tool sheds and potting sheds and work rooms and GOD DAMN! IT'LL BE AWESOME! There's an elementary school nearby for Owen when he's ready.
And, and, and...
A girl can dream, right?
Are you with me kids? Are you playing the lottery?

Can't you just see it?

We could have chickens!

Breathe, Mary. Just breathe.

But still- can't you just see it?

I can.

Think about it, kids. Get back to me.

Love...Your mama who wants us all to live in Roseland by the river in the old Baisden house.

P.S. There is room for more than just the immediate family. Kathleen? Williamsons? Lunsfords? You in?

Suck It, Disney World

I can't believe it's Friday. It IS Friday, right? Mr. Moon offered to go get me a paper this morning and I said, "Nah. The world is going along just fine with me."
And so it is.

I am not ready to leave. No. I am not. I haven't done a post on the cool stuff in this house. You know, you too could come on vacation in Roseland and rent this cottage. I'll do links and stuff later. But you should consider it, the vacation idea. THIS is Florida, honeys. Not that Disney crap. Nothing craptascious about Roseland. Funky? Yes. Crap? No.

Mr. Moon and I were having our smoothie outside and the ospreys were circling overhead, whistling and calling. That heron was down by the river. The lions were spitting their fountains into the pool. The bamboo was clacking and squeaking in the breeze beside us. The hibiscus were glowing and showing their doubly-ruffled hot-yellow selves on the wall.
The smoothie was pineapple and banana.

And then we came inside and I snuggled up to him.


Good morning. Time for adventures. Maybe the beach again. It IS right there, you know.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Treasure Hunting

It has been the most laid back of laid back days.
We went for breakfast and while we were there, Kathleen called. She and Judy had been to the new doctor in Thomasville and from the report she gave me, he was wonderful. She said, "You'll want to have his babies." I said, "Well, it's a bit late for that but..."
He wasn't exactly derogatory about Dr. B but he did seem to think that everything he'd done wasn't quite...right.
And he wants more tests and he wants to figure this out and he wants answers.
Yes. And so do we.
So that was good news.

After breakfast Mr. Moon and I went thrifting. Ya-ya. It was okay. I probably should have bought that vintage-in-perfect-condition Singer sewing machine but I didn't. Thirty-five dollars. Who knows? Maybe we'll go back.
And then we went to the Mel Fisher museum. Do you know who Mel Fisher is? Okay, was. He was a treasure hunter. And a crazy man. Check out his web site here. At the museum we watched a little movie about Mel and his beautiful wife, Deo, and their adventures. I remember when I was a kid here and they started finding silver coins on the local beach and our doctor, a man named Kip Kelso, was involved in the whole thing and well...
I've always felt I had a small link to Mel and his discoveries.
So that was fun although it would have been more fun if they'd given me some of the jewelry in the museum. God, I love emeralds. And gold.

After that we went to an antique store which sells original art by The Highway Men. Have you ever heard about them? If not, check THIS out.
Yeah. Another thing I should have bought when I was young. Who knew?
But of course the paintings are now very expensive, as well they should be, and the antique store they were in was one of those places with so much stuff in it that it would have taken fourteen years to see it all and we didn't buy one damn thing.
Not one.
There was a little planter made of a chalkstone cardinal that I sort of wanted to buy and the tag said, "Chipped and dirty, Two dollars," but I didn't even buy that. I was completely overwhelmed.

So we went to lunch.

It was that sort of day.

We tried to kayak but neither one of us has a clue about how to paddle a kayak. I was taught once but that was about ten years ago so forget it. It was lovely, though, out on the water. We drifted for awhile and watched the birds and the fishes and got soaking wet and then came on in.
It was sunset time anyway.

Now Mr. Moon is grilling chicken and I'm going to heat up the okra and tomatoes from last night.

I think tomorrow after I watch a few youtube videos on how to paddle a kayak, we might try it again. I would like that. And I want to walk around Roseland and pull up a few of the succulents which grow here like weeds to take home with me.

And that's me today.

Looking at treasure, trying to paddle a kayak, heating up okra and tomatoes.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

I'm Boring Today

No. I did not fall into the inlet.
I have just been busy all day long. Doing...not much.
Forgive me.
I'll report in when I have something to report. Or something worth talking about, at least. Maybe.
Love...Ms. Moon Who Is Still Alive

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Went Down To The River To Pray

Mr. Moon and I paddled down the river today after we ate our bacon and French Toast and then we paddled up the river a little way too. I have to say that for someone who only canoes about once every two or three years, I am a fine paddler. On the right side. Not the left so much but I can get where I'm going, slow and steady and thoughts of Sacajawea fill my mind, and also that song about going down to the river to pray and I felt like I was in church on that river today, even if I am not an Indian maiden, getting Lewis and Clark safely across the country with a baby strapped to my back.
Here are a few things we saw:

A few houses which do not suck. No. They do not suck. They are on the river and in the jungle and that would do for me.

An osprey. There are so many ospreys here that after awhile you almost want to say, "Y'all! Shut up with your melodious whistle! I get it! You're magnificent birds of prey. Okay!"
No. Not really. You don't realize how big they are until they take wing.

I took this picture when we beached at a park and got out to stretch our legs. I just wanted to see if the blue of the sky would show up as it really looked.
Almost. Almost.

One of my favorite birds- a pelican- floating on the water by the old railroad bridge. When I was a child, the DDT had practically wiped them out and I am always thrilled to see them, those pterodactyl-like birds, so clumsy-looking, so brilliant in flight.

A view of the bridge from underneath it.

And beside it.

The trains still run over it, several times a day. When he was alive and lived in Roseland, my grandfather would actually stop what he was doing when one went by to count the cars. Retirement is fun!

We probably canoed for a couple of hours and when we got back we were hot and so we jumped in the pool. Which was...perfect. In fact, I was floating around on a big inner tube thing and I said, "Glen, this is one of the best days of my life."
And I was serious as I could be.

We got dressed and went to lunch in Sebastian at a place over the river. I have abandoned all dietary rules and let me just say- it's a lot of fun. Screw it. I'm on vacation.
There were signs up at the restaurant asking us not to throw food to the birds from the windows. This guy

landed right next to us and complained loudly about that rule. "Fuck that shit!" he screamed. "Feed me! I see those potato chips! Your fat ass doesn't need them and I DO!"
I followed the rules. I did not feed him. Now I feel sort of bad.

Of all the kids I went to elementary school with in Sebastian there is exactly ONE whom I know how to get in touch with. His name is Bobby Judah and here's his place of employment:

We stopped by there today to see if he was there and to see if they had any crab for us to eat but no, there was no Bobby and no crab. Last time I was in town I went to see him and every person I asked about that I could remember he would scratch his head and say, "Oh, he died." Or, "Oh, she died." I swear. I think Bobby and I might be the two last people out of our class left. And I hear that Bobby was in a terrible accident about ten months ago and is just now back to work. Too bad he wasn't there today. I really wanted to show him to Glen. I hate to say this and I should not, but Bobby was the least attractive child I had ever seen. He had a rather unpleasant face and on top of that, he had warts EVERYWHERE! Bless his heart.
The last time I saw him, he had not changed much at all, only gotten stouter and thankfully, had somehow gotten rid of the warts.
I hope he doesn't read this. If he does- Hey Bobby! Didn't mean it! Love you!

Almost directly across the road from the Judah fish house is one of my favorite houses in the entire world. A teacher who worked with my mother lived there and her name was Garnet Hanshaw. She and her husband lived in this house and I have held it as a standard against every other house I've ever seen. It was built in 1911 by an engineer on the Flagler Railroad.
It has held up well.

And hey! It's for sale! Got $1,599,000.00?
It could be yours.
Sigh. I am resigned to the fact that it will never be mine in this lifetime. But oh- isn't it a beauty?

When we got back from Sebastian, I took the camera out for a photo tour of Roseland.
Isn't this fascinating?
I know it is.

Anyway, here are some pictures from that:

This is the UGLY ASS HOUSE that was built on my grandfather's riverfront property. After Granddaddy died, I actually had some inheritance money and I begged my mother to let me know before she sold the house and property. To give me a chance to buy it.
She did not take me seriously.
I am not sure I'll ever get over this. Especially with that UGLY ASS HOUSE on that beautiful lot. It's for sale too. I ain't even callin' the number.

Now if that's not insult enough to my grandfather's memory, this is:

What? What? WHAT????!!!!

Yeah. In there somewhere is my grandparent's humble little cottage which was their retirement home. It wasn't luxurious in any way, shape or form but it was lovely in its simplicity. There was a Chinaberry tree out front and a front porch that Granny and Granddaddy would sit on at sunset with their tiny coca-cola's wrapped in a paper towel and after the sun went down, Granddaddy would call to the owl who perched in the tree and whistled back to him.
(I'm sobbing here. Can you tell?)
But to be honest- if I lived in that house now and that UGLY ASS HOUSE was across the street, I'd close in the front porch and plant palms in front of it too.
But "Cat House"?
Don't ask me.
Oh well. Granddaddy is dead and not apt to come back and worry about it.

Now actually, this is my favorite house on the river in Roseland. Okay. One of them. If this one was for sale, I'd call the number.

Now this picture isn't even worth showing you but here it is.

That was the house that Granddaddy built for my mother, my brother and me on the back of his property. You can't see the house now and that's a good thing because it is the ugliest brown you ever did see. The giant old cedar trees are gone and someone's put in a fireplace and I can't even imagine what it looks like inside. And frankly, I have no interest in knowing.

This was Joy and Ralph Holtzclaw's store. They lived behind it. You could buy cheese, Lebanon bologna, pop-sickles and canned soup there. Joy had long, long white hair which she wore twisted up on a bun on top of her head. She cut the meat and cheese with the same knife she'd use to cut your pop-sickle in half if you and your best friend could only come up with three cents apiece to buy a six-cent pop-sickle.
I was not overly fond of the banana flavor.
I guarantee you that if you opened those wooden doors, there would be the Sunbeam Girl painted on the screen.

Here's the hardware on that door. I had no idea:

The road from my house to Lucille Ferger's house.

It was paved then and it's paved now. Lucille and I would do that thing where we'd say, "I'll walk you home," and then at the end of the road the other one would say, "I'll walk you home." This could go on for hours. I have no idea why I was such a fat kid. But I was.

Lucille's house. She lived here with her mother, father, twin sister Helen and brothers Mickey, Dickey, and Paul. I am not kidding you.
There was a giant Canary Island date palm in front of the house then and once, I accidently kicked a downed frond and the spine went ALL THE WAY THROUGH MY TOE! After my grandmother tortured me by trying to pull it out, Granddaddy had to drive me all the way to Vero to the nearest emergency room so that someone there could do it successfully. On the drive to the hospital, while I had a palm frond spine sticking all the way THROUGH MY TOE, he instructed me on what to do should I ever be in the car with him when he suddenly DIED! (Turn the wheel to the side of the road and press on the brake pedal.)
No. This had nothing to do with my belief that something bad is going to happen at any moment. Nothing at all.

And well, that's it. The end of the pictures of one of the very best days of my life.
Except for this one:

Yeah. Mr. Honey (Moon) fishing on the dock at sunset.

What a day. What a practically-perfect day. And now I'm going to cook okra and tomatoes and heat up some crab legs that we'll eat with melted butter and Crystal hot sauce.

I can't begin to tell you how healed I feel, how sweet this life of mine is right this second.
I can't believe I have two full more days here.

I can't believe how insanely lucky I am- not just to be here- but to finally be open to it, to accept it all from the love to the light.

Why me?
I have no idea.

The train is whistling. I wonder how many cars this one has. I will not count them. But I am thinking of my grandfather who would have.

Night-night, y'all.
Love...Ms. Moon