Thursday, March 31, 2011

Joke Of The Day- Slightly Dirty

I am ripping off at least two people here but what the hell?

Elizabeth posted a joke of the day and May told me this particular joke when she called me from the mall to complain that all the bras these days have padding and we can't figure that out- is it a plot by the rubber foam industry and why are we hiding our nipples? So I'm ripping off Elizabeth and May because I have nothing else to say except that it's been an exceptionally lovely day for me, and that Mr. Moon and I just did an entire walk-around and I saw two things I'll be taking pictures of tomorrow out behind the old barn and we kicked some bamboo and were struck, once again, at how DAMN lucky we are and it was just so nice. So very nice.

And you've heard it all before. Hell, you could probably walk around my property yourself and name all the plants and the chickens too so I'll just stop there.

Here's the joke:

Two eggs were boiling in the pan and one said to the other:

"I apologize if it takes me a while to get hard. I've just been laid."

Which is an entirely appropriate joke for my blog and sort of silly and not too dirty and we're going to eat pinto beans for supper. With cornbread. And squash. This is the meal I'd probably ask for on my death bed except on my death bed, I'd request that the squash be fried and served with a bottle of Heinz Ketchup whereas we're eating ours tonight basically steamed with onions which is fine and lovely but not as good as fried. Let's face it.

Thanks, May. Thanks, Elizabeth. I love you.

Two Of My Favorite People: Mr. Rogers And Koko


My hips are singing a song about how nobody knows the trouble they've seen. "Nobody knows," they're whining, "but Jesus."

Well, well, I don't know about that. Jesus didn't carry a bunch of babies on his hips as far as I've read, starting out at age thirteen and if Jesus ever got a fever, it probably had something to do with the fever of chasing the money-changers out of the Temple.

Damn those money-changers!

Maybe they skipped the part in the Bible about Mary calling out to a thirteen-year old Jesus, "Son, come here and get your baby brother and take him to the well and bring back some water so that I can mix this wheat and honey in peace. And change his genital linen too! He stinks to high heaven!"
And Jesus said, "Grumble, grumble, grumble."


I'm cold too. Yep. Something alien has invaded my body for sure. But it's not too bad. And I have an entire day to myself to do whatever I want to do and so far, I have resisted going back to bed although I have library books and two magazines to read which sounds sort of like perfection, to be curled under my covers and reading.

Well, the idea of slowly doing stuff around here that needs doing sounds sort of like perfection too. May and I were talking about what a luxury it is to be able to do things slowly. To take one's time. Do you remember Mr. Rogers singing, "Oh, I like to take my time, I mean, whenever I want to do a thing, I always like to take my time"?
I remember when Hank and May were little and I was a hippie mama who suffered from untreated depression and lived way out in the country (about five miles from where I live right now, actually) and some days, the only thing that gave me comfort was Mr. Rogers saying, "I like you just the way you are."

Sigh. Mr. Rogers was a saint and I am wearing a sweater in his honor. And because I'm cold.

Lord. It's almost noon.

There's slow and then there's TOO slow. I think I may have crossed a line.

I wish I had something interesting to talk about. I bet you wish I did too.

Later, loves. Be well. Keep that genital linen clean. Take your time if you can.

I like you just the way you are.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ms. Moon May Be Ill-ish

Owen has gone home and Kathleen has come by and we had a nice tea-on-the-porch visit. She looks tremendously well. She is so amazing, that girl. She's planning a trip to Spain this summer with her father and I just keep looking at her like, "You can't be serious," because her father is barely mobile and he's not the easiest person to be around and well, okay, she has cancer.
BUT, to Spain they will go because he wants to so badly and I just have to say that this woman is a far, far better woman than I will ever be and there is no doubting that.

I don't feel well. This is unusual for me. You know, I've been taking care of Owen for at least a year now and not once, NOT ONCE, have I had to cancel taking care of him for illness. When Jason called this morning to tell me that he'd been called into work on his day off, I wasn't sure how it was going to go, knowing how I felt. But Owen was sort of low-key too. He's coughing a bit, sneezing a bit, and we played on the bed for awhile and read books and he was so sweet, giving lots of kisses and hugs and even saying, "Ah-lah, Meir-Meir," which means, "I love you, Grandmother," and we cuddled and joked and made tents of the covers and when he fell asleep with his head on my shoulder, I could have wept, the rain falling outside, two dogs snoozing on the foot of the bed, the house quiet and still.

It was that perfect and I was so glad he'd come.

It seems like everyone has been getting some sort of illness lately. Upper respiratory mostly but my postmistress told me she'd had that combined with the stomach thing AND the aches so bad her teeth hurt and when she finally woke up on the fourth day feeling a tiny bit better she felt she'd come through the valley and the shadow of something pretty bad.
I hope I don't have THAT!

Ah, I probably don't have anything but some tiredness. I don't think I've stopped in weeks, not really, and I'm just weary. I took some Ibuprofen last night and I could almost feel it, tiny chemicals in my blood that went around checking each and every cell for inflammation, patting them all on their tiny cell-foreheads with cool, soothing Ibuprofen hands. Aren't we lucky for having Ibuprofen? I've never understood Tylenol. I call it the Placebo Drug. What the hell is it good for? It doesn't do a thing for inflammation and anything worth hurting is inflamed.
That's just my opinion, by the way.
Aspirin is a fine drug though. Good for pain and the prevention of heart attacks. Can't beat that.

Terrible segue:

It's been the most amazing spring for roses. Everyone I've talked to is reporting massive buds on their rose bushes and the same is true here.
If you click on this picture

you will see what I am talking about. The chickens were very obliging about posing in the background. It rained almost all day long but they didn't seem to mind at all, following their usual route around the yard to scratch, feathers bedraggled but spirits high. They laid me five eggs today, in the hen house! Five beautiful eggs.

Owen and I collected one this morning and instead of putting it in my pocket, which we usually do, we put it in his. He was so proud! Rain doesn't bother Owen, either, and oh, please don't think me a horrible grandmother for taking my sneezling boy out into the rain. It was only a drizzle and warm at that. He wanted to stay out longer than I did and we kicked a bit of bamboo. I just went out and kicked more. This plant is the stuff of nightmares, growing so fast that you could wake up in your bed, encaged in it and unable to fight your way out.

Yes. I need to pay some attention to my toenails which have not been painted since Truvy left.
Do you see the dogwood petals which have drifted from the trees?

I heard a crack and a thud a few minutes ago and when I went outside, I found the branch which had fallen. It was covered in resurrection fern which swells and fills from the rain and the extra heaviness brings down the branch and there you go.

During dry times, the fern curls back in on itself, brown and tiny and you'd never know what a glory it is, just waiting for rain. I have a lot of my beds bordered in fallen branches with this fern on it. It's a living, breathing thing which gives life to a piece of wood which has taken leave of the mother tree. A beautiful part of the life-to-death process.

As you can see, I am not feeling so bad that I couldn't go out and see what the yard is holding for me. The sun has come out and this time of year there are so many changes every day, so many surprises if you only know how to see them.

Some of the changes are dramatic, like the bamboo, and some are subtle, like the unfolding of the native azalea.

It's all too much to miss, not unlike a few days of not seeing a baby, an eighteen-month-old.

Well, there are enough red-winged black birds at the feeder again to bake into a pie but I think I think we shall not be having a blackbird pie tonight. That would be a crazy dish to set before the king. I do keep thinking about that squirrel pot pie that Anthony Bourdain was eating the other night. The squirrels here are getting so fat off bird food and chicken scratch that before long we're going to have to help them up the trees. (I didn't make that saying up. A park ranger told me that once at Wakulla Springs about all their tourist-fed-fat squirrels.) And there are certainly no shortage of them. If I can eat a pig or a cow or a deer or a chicken, I don't see why I shouldn't or couldn't eat a squirrel. Antibiotic free! Free range! Free protein!

Well, if times gets hard enough, as they say in the south.

This may be the most wandering, rambling, nonsensical post I've ever written. Perhaps I am a bit ill.

If so, forgive me for writing under the influence of a virus. I'll take some Ibuprofen later and wait for those little cool-handed chemicals to wash through my bloodstream. I doubt it will do much for my mind but you can only ask so much of even miracle drugs.

And as always, thank-you so much for coming on these rambling jaunts with me. Perhaps tomorrow I will speak of how Owen tried to microwave a fake hibiscus flower today. He almost did, too.

But he didn't. See? I AM a good grandmother. I stopped him before he could do it.

We do our best. I know you do and I do too and if some days that means we did not let a child microwave a plastic flower, well then, so be it.

You go save the world. I'll just save my microwave and kick some bamboo.
And sleep with a baby as the rain falls down.

We all have our standards and I am quite happy with mine. Thank-you very much.

Love...Ms. Moon

Short, Short, But Not A Film

Gray and rainy and Jason got called into work and so I am getting the boy here in a moment and maybe it'll clear enough so that we can go kick bamboo which is growing about a foot a day and no, that's not hyperbole, just the truth.

And so this is me, checking in, saying good morning to all on this drizzly day and I can feel the seeds in the garden swelling with life and wanting to break soil and I think we are all like that in some way- no matter our age, our position, our place in this life.

That's what I think.

Love....Ms. Moon

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Another Short Film!

Freddy and his lovely Finnish girlfriend have collaborated on a new short film. Check it out if you want. I'm in it. So is my bathroom! And porch!
(See if YOU can find Bill Murray!)

Love...Ms. Moon

Senior Discount Day At Goodwill, Plus...Lunch!

Thinking about taking your toddlers to Disney World?
Forget it!
Take them to Goodwill instead! It's free! And the fun is limitless!

Here's Owen on some heavy equipment. Are boys just born knowing how to run that shit? I think so.

He moved on to the pushing of a stuffed animal in a stroller. He was very intent about this.

I especially liked it when he backed up. But no, he did not go "beep-beep-beep." I thought he would but he didn't.
Oh! Did you notice his new haircut? He looks so old now! Like, he'll be growing a beard next week.

Jessie has a gift for finding great things to try on at the Goodwill. This was today's top choice of delight. What do you think?

Vergil- this one's for you. Don't you think she looks like some sort of super-hero? Maybe Beach Cover-Up Woman? Yeah!

And this is why Owen follows her around saying, "Butt, butt."
I'm not even kidding you.
(Sorry, Jessie. It had to be done.)

On to lunch.

Owen and Meir-Meir. I am now washing my hair with regular shampoo and letting the red go. It's been fun but...

Mommy, Jessie, and Owen.

Eating a grilled cheese with his Uncle Hank. I love how they're both rocking the plaid.

After lunch. Owen with his "You talkin' to ME?" face on. Or maybe it's a "What the hell are you TALKIN' 'bout?!" face. I don't know. But it's funny. It cracks us up.
Isn't his mama pretty?

Parting is such sweet sorrow.
May. We missed you so much. Next time! Now get well soon! We love you!

And that's what I did today and must now go lay down. This much fun is exhausting.

Considering The Alternatives, All Is Very Well

Okay, first I have to say that I think that picture of the froggie on my header is amazing. Seriously. I do. I love it. And after I tortured him with the camera I took him outside so no frogs were harmed in the taking of that picture. Except mentally.

Here he is, perched on the rim of a potted rose, a little dirty from his landing but fine, nevertheless.

So good morning and I just got off the phone with Lily and she added some more information to her rebel-years history and I said, "Oh, honey, I did some things too," and we both chuckled. Then I told her that I have a new foot injury which is causing me to limp around and so I was thinking about not coming to town to join her and Jessie and possibly May in some Goodwill shopping and then lunch with Hank but she reminded me that they need me because IT IS SENIOR DISCOUNT DAY and so, well....
I told her that I just need to go to a nursing home now, get it over with.
"Do you want us to put you to pasture?" she asked.
"I think that would be lovely as long as you give me a little tent and bring me foods."
"You don't want to eat grass?"
"I'm no good at grazing," I told her.

So hell, I'll probably hobble to town and go Goodwill shopping with my babies and then go to lunch with them and Hank who is tied to his state job today. I'd say something about our governor and how he's treating the state workers (like slaves) but I'm in a pretty good mood and would hate to wreck it but I will say that HE'S A CRIMINAL AND SHOULD BE IN JAIL, this governor of ours but he's not. He's the governor.

I will also say that the soup was delicious and will be even better today and I just heated some up and mixed in an egg and some dog food for Pearl's breakfast and that she's probably going to live forever now. I will also relate that when I was eating my soup last night I was watching Anthony Bourdain on the TV skin a squirrel and then get drunk in a dive Southern bar and arm wrestle a woman who had an arm about the size of a pencil and she whopped his ass and it was so entertaining that I had to call Ms. Sarcastic Bastard-Beloved to see if she was watching it too but she wasn't so we just chatted for awhile and that was so nice.

And then I had dreams you wouldn't believe but overall, I slept quite well and woke up to a house full of dog pee and poop. I tried like hell to get Pearl to go out and pee last night before I went to bed. I even CARRIED HER OUTSIDE in my very own arms but she turned back around and bolted into the house and then I lured her out with a piece of cheese but again, she just snapped up the cheese and came back inside and so there was Lake Pearl in the hallway this morning.
I tried. I truly tried.

Oh well. This house is one hundred and fifty one years old. Someone has to eventually destroy it. I guess it might as well be us.

And now I'm off to give my kids the senior discount and play with Owen while they shop. Maybe I could borrow my mother's new walker. We've gotten rain, yesterday's sticky humidity has abated and it is cooler again and the weather can't seem to make up its mind any more than a demented old lady who wears a tattered, ancient silk slip embroidered in lavender and salmon with a fur coat made of mink heads with beady eyes that never quit staring at you and well, at least it's interesting.

Good morning!

Monday, March 28, 2011

How To Make Soup

When your refrigerator gets to the point where you can't open it without the orange juice falling on you and your grandson, it is time to make soup.

Gather all of the leftovers. Search diligently in all of the corners and drawers for the containers of foods you have cooked and not finished and saved for the last week.
They may include many various and diverse items, depending on your menu for the week.
Such as:
Red cabbage, onions, apples, golden raisins, dried cherries and caraway seeds. With a tiny bit of bacon.
Venison cooked with the above.
Rotisserie chicken from the Publix Deli.
Green beans, carrots, and heirloom small potatoes.
Organic salad greens which have just gone one step too far in age to be presented as salad.

Fill your large, favorite pot with water halfway up. Add a packet of Knorr vegetable soup mix.
Cut up the potatoes and carrots into bite-sized pieces. Add those.
Add the red cabbage, etc.
Cut up the venison and also the chicken, giving all the skin and tendons and other parts you don't want to your old, old boxer dog who is standing there with hungry eyes, waiting for such treats.
Throw in the mixed salad greens. Don't bother to cut them, they will wilt to small size. Let it come to a simmer.
Taste. Consider.
Soy sauce? Salt? Some tiny frozen peas that need to be eaten soon and I am not kidding?
Oh yes.
A bit of smoked paprika? Pepper?
Wait! There's a small container of salad in the refrigerator. You know there is. It was made with greens, of course, and tomatoes and basil and pickled carrots and cauliflower and grilled asparagus in olive oil. Toss that in too. You'd forgotten the mozzarella cheese in there. Oh well.
Taste again.
Oh yes.

Put the lid on and let it simmer for awhile. Join the dogs in licking your lips as the smell fills the house. Resist the idea of gettin' jiggy wid it. Don't add no cumin seed. Don't add no shallots. If you have some red wine, I suppose that would be okay. Take the ingredients you have as an ordained situation.

Consider making some oat bran muffins with carrots and apples and cinnamon as you go out to shut the chickens up in the hen house. Think to yourself how nicely this would tie it all together into a meal.

Think about how some people are feeling all gourmet tonight because they went to Boston Market instead of McDonald's.

Feel sorry for them.

Bake your muffins. Make sure to include walnuts.

Wonder what you would call this soup, if someone held a gun to your head (oh, please, NO!).

Decide on Hunter/Gatherer Love Soup.

Serve with butter and local honey.

To yourself.

Tomorrow, when your husband is back in town, serve the same meal to him. Kiss him and thank him for the deer meat.

Bow your head to the joyful task of eating.


My Baby Is The Best Mommy

I've been meaning to talk about something for awhile and that's what an incredible mother Lily is. It's obvious the boy has two fantastic parents when you meet him and hang out with him. He's so engaged and engaging, he's so confident and affectionate. He's so...perfect.

I'm not supposed to say that, but hell's bells. I will.

And the doctor confirmed that opinion today. I've mentioned before how Owen's pediatrician was the same one his mama had when she was a baby (which was about ten minutes ago) and actually, all of my kids were his patients.
I think all my kids liked him quite a bit but I suspect I'm the one who loves him the most. When we met, I was a young hippie mama and expecting my third baby and was planning on a home birth and he didn't approve of that but he didn't get up on any high horse about it, either. He knew I was a nurse, he respected me and my choice, and when I brought Lily in the day after she was born, he said,"I thought I'd be seeing you today. I heard there was a party at your house yesterday." And then he smiled and examined her and pronounced her to be perfect.

I have a lot of respect for this man and he's always treated me as an equal somehow which, believe me, doctors don't always do and certainly didn't always do (am I telling you something you don't know?) and as every mother knows, you need a pediatrician whom you not only trust as a medical provider for your child, but one who makes you feel comfortable with your mothering style and your choices and perhaps most importantly- makes you feel like your child is really very special.
And this doctor does that and it's such a joy for me to go with Lily to take Owen to his appointments because I think he does that for Lily, too.

He showed us Owen's growth statistics on the computer and he told us how very pleased he was with all of Owen's numbers. He's in the 95th-97th percentile in height, 90th percentile in weight, and 95th in head circumference. "Perfect! the doctor announced.

And then he asked questions about Owen's developmental behavior and his eating habits and drinking habits (only on weekends, we told him!- haha! that's a joke! we didn't say that at all) and he praised Lily for her choices and he kept asking, "Anything else? Anything else?" and we chatted for awhile and it was just lovely except for the part where Owen screamed like a banshee (what IS a banshee?) when the doctor was listening and examining.

Owen did like having his temperature taken in his ear, though. "More," he said, when it was over.

And of course he screamed when he got his shot but he recovered quickly and then we went out to eat and all was well.

When we were in the doctor's office, I told him that Lily is the best mama in the world and he said, "Well, look who HER mother is," which made me feel good, of course, but come on- she just is. I love to watch her and Owen together. He's like her little bear cub and she's infinitely patient with him and feeds him so well and healthfully and she just so plainly adores him.

She brushes his teeth twice a day which is something I didn't do for my toddlers. She reads him books, he's never had a diaper rash, he still gets his nursies, he knows that when she says no, she means it and she just has so much FUN with him.


Okay, of course no mother is perfect, just as no child really is either. Except for Owen.
But I have never honestly seen her do one thing with or for that boy that I didn't approve of. Not one. And she has such confidence in her mothering! Well-founded confidence, I might add.

And I have to tell you something- I am, quite frankly, astounded.

When Lily was growing up, she was stuck in the Terrible Twos from birth to age eighteen when she moved out of the house. I thought she hated me, even though I knew she loved me. She didn't talk to me hardly at all for a full year once and she told me later that it was because she'd had her tongue pierced and didn't want me to know.
Under-aged tongue-piercing was the least of it, too.

I seriously was not sure for eighteen years whether either one of us would make it.

And here she is, twenty-five years old which is really quite young, married to one of the finest, most loving fathers I've ever met, a good, good man and they own a house and they work so hard and I just never saw this coming. Never.

Lily planted a vegetable garden this spring. Do you hear that? Lily was the child I would have been least optimistic about the chances of being a gardener and she is. It's like...who IS this child?

Oh. She's my daughter. The one that I always said about, "If I can raise her up without killing that spirit of hers, she'll turn out to be anything she wants."

And I was right. But frankly, I think a great deal of that has to do with her daddy who had wonderful parents and a wonderful family and when I'd freak out and hide under the bed or cry about whatever it was that she had taken to doing most recently, whether it was throwing tantrums in the mall and screaming, "Help! Help!" as I carried her out, or threatening to call Child Protective Services on me because I told her she had to stay in her room until dinner time or getting tattooed in someone's kitchen, he'd be the one to step back and tell me not to worry so much, that she was going to be fine, that all would be well.

And I'd look at him like, "ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND???!!!"

Turns out he wasn't. Turns out he knew what he was talking about. Turns out she turned out to be the most focused, wonderful, loving, patient woman and mother I've ever met. And for every gray hair she gave me, she has made up for a thousand-fold by being the sort of mother she is to my grandson and for allowing me to be such a part of his life.

Yeah. I know that I am doing a loving mitzvah by taking care of that boy but come on- I'd fight you tooth and nail if you tried to take that away from me. TOOTH AND NAIL! Lily and Jason have given my husband and me the greatest opportunity and the greatest joy of our lives in entrusting us with their son's care so generously. For not freaking out when he comes home covered in Lloyd dirt and maybe a little bit of chicken poop, too. For being completely attentive and yet completely at ease with all things having to do with that boy. For sharing him with us.
For not minding that I taught Owen the word "boobie."

So all of you parents who are going through...whatever...with your young kids, don't despair. Just keep on loving them. Keep on knowing that no matter what you think, they are listening, they know you love them, they love you too. That sometimes the younger they are when they get their ya-ya's out, the better. That a child's soul and spirit can be fierce beyond belief and honestly- that's a good thing. This world needs fierce souls and spirits. Desperately.

Hang on. Love them, love them, love them. Try not to let them get away with crap but if they do, know it's not the end of the world. Tongue-piercings can grow back. Tattoos can be redone. Children can grow up and turn into people and parents who are quite honestly, incredibly well-adjusted and amazing people.
And unbelievable parents.
And even- perhaps most unbelievably- wonderful friends whom you respect and adore and just enjoy the hell out of being around.

I'm telling you the truth.

Look at those pictures of my beautiful daughter and her beautiful son. See the joy? See the love?
And she even asked me if I wanted to go to the doctor with her. She asked ME. Her mother.

When I tell Lily and Owen good-bye, I always kiss and hug Lily, of course, and I tell Owen, "Your mommy is MY baby. Did you know that?"

And he gives us that face which seems to say, "No way!" and really, I find it hard to believe myself but she is. His mommy is my baby and my baby is the best mommy. The very best mommy in the whole world that Owen could ever have had. I will always remember how beautifully Lily pushed that boy into the world when every damn doctor said there was no way. And she did it without complaint and with such grace and power that I knew right then that she was going to be an amazing mother.

Which she is.
And I love her so much and I am so proud of her.

And that's what I'm thinking about this afternoon and I wish I'd had a crystal ball back when Lily was young to know even a part of what the future held for that girl. I would have worried a lot less and maybe I'd have less gray hair but what the hell? I like gray hair. Gray hair screams GRANDMOTHER!

So it all works out. Mostly it does.

Another miracle in this miraculous life of mine and an opportunity to say once again- Who knew? Not me.

But I sure do now.

Not Much

Frankly I have nothing much to say this morning at all. The sun is shining beautifully through the ferns that I transplanted in the camellia bed six or seven years ago. They are as new-green as you can get on this planet. I weeded around them yesterday and the sight of them makes me happy. It must have rained last night but I missed it. The ground seems to have received it, though, and that makes me happy too.

I'm going to town to accompany Lily and Owen to his eighteen-month check-up. Boy-oh-boy! Big doin's!

Pearl is still alive and so am I.

I walked in on Miss Dolly The Chicken just as she laid a brown egg in the pump-shed yesterday. The egg was still drying- did you know that eggs come with a sticky coating that dries perfectly smooth and lovely? Eggs are amazing things and they come out of chicken's butts and if that's not a miracle, I don't know what is. They probably have to wash that coating off before they can sell eggs in the store. That makes me sad but it is what it is.

I better go take a shower. I have dirt under my fingernails which is not going to come out but I can at least look a little less beastly than I do.

It's Monday. Hopefully, things here at blessourhearts will improve as the week continues.

God knows I try to give good blog here. Sadly, this isn't it but it will have to do for now.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Bridal Wreath Spirea blossoms.

Elvis's chest markings.

Dogwood blooming against one of the largest live oaks I have ever seen. Which is in my backyard.

Ashe Magnolia's beginning blossom.

Sweet pansy faces.

Coming-up potatoes.

Collard blossoms with mirror and beautiful tin-art from Mexico that Michelle sent me. I taught Owen the word "boobies" using this two days ago.

Wild azalea blossom. The one. The only. It is beautiful, I think, even in its soon-to-be form.

Stiff and Sore But Moving On

Mr. Moon and I weeded for about five hours yesterday which leads me to the understanding that we are not smart gardeners because if we were, we'd be doing raised beds but we're not and both of us walked around last night groaning and stretching and rubbing our backs and groaning some more and I'm doing the same thing today.

You wouldn't think that weeding is such hard work but dammit, it is. I was talking to May about it this morning and she said, "It's like cleaning your bathtub for five hours."
Yes. That's it.
Only a lot dirtier.

As we worked in the garden, the sky would bruise up to the north and the wind would blow stiff and strong and we'd both smile and sigh and say, "Nie," quoting Owen, you know, as it cooled our sweaty skin and it even thundered a few times and but nothing happened beyond the popping and dropping of random rotten branches and still, no rain.

After we were done we planted the eggplant and peppers and a few tomatoes but neither one of us had the strength or energy to go ahead and get the bean and cuke and zinnia seeds in. No way. Mr. Moon took a shower and I decided to take the garden cart around and very, very slowly pick up dead branches and kick a little bamboo to try and limber up my weeding muscles and then I took my shower and we played a little cards on the back porch and then we got silly and fooled around some and then I cooked dinner which was leftover pasta with another loaf of home made bread and damn, it was better than the night before. I didn't even mess with a salad.

After that it was all sort of a dream of wandering around, the bed pulling us with great gravity and finally, we quit resisting and the lights were out before ten-thirty and that's how it goes.

None of this has been about complaint, let me tell you. I am completely and fully aware today of how precious it is that both of us still have the strength to do our gardening, to work in the yard, to live the way we live. That point has been driven home this weekend, watching as both my own mother and Billy's grandparents are at a place where they're going to have to have help and no two ways around it.

One day you're fully independent and can get around fine and take out your trash and remember how to write checks and pay bills and drive to the store or even to Kentucky and the next day you're not sure how to do anything and your body doesn't remember how to walk right.

I don't care who you are, it happens.

The day comes when you have to admit that you cannot do it any more and it'll happen to me and Mr. Moon, too, unless a truck hits us before then or we decide to take up heroin and overdose together watching the sunset which we have discussed doing but probably won't. When we were in our thirties, that seemed like a fairly sensible way to end our days and not be a burden on our children but how in hell does an elderly person score junk?

So. I'm sore.
Big deal.
That's why they make Ibuprofen.
I can still swing Owen up on my hip with one arm and I can weed for five hours in a row and then pick up branches and then fool around and then make supper.

And I'm going to work in the yard today. All day if I can. I told Mr. Moon he can plant the seeds because he likes those rows STRAIGHT and I never get 'em straight enough and that'll drive him crazy all summer long so it will just be for the best if he plants them.

My potatoes are coming up. The rows aren't straight but the plants come up rather randomly anyway so that's okay. If the ants don't eat them all, we'll have some potatoes this year. And maybe peas if they'll hurry up. I remember being a young hippie-mama-gardener and cooking new potatoes and sugar snap peas with a cream sauce and I still think that's about the best thing ever.

How many more years will we be able to plant potatoes and peas? How many more years will I be able to cook them?

I don't know. But I tell you what- I'm going to do both for as long as I can.

And I probably won't buy heroin but I already buy Ibuprofen by the case-load.

Time to go put on the overalls. I did a load of laundry last night and so they're clean and ready to go and that's another thing I'm grateful for- I can still do laundry.
I'll probably never not be able to do laundry. Unless someone cuts my arms off.

So I guess my point here is this- when you're young, all these chores and daily tasks seem so damn endless, pointless and burdensome at times but honestly? They're the very stuff of life and if we're lucky, we'll always be able to do them and the older we get, the more we know that.

And if you're smart, you'll get in shape while you're young and work at staying that way because there's nothing in this world that you'll need to be stronger for than aging.

Happy Sunday, y'all.

Love...Ms. (Aged, Aching) Moon

Saturday, March 26, 2011

For Bethany

Here she is.
Love you, dear...
Ms. Moon

My Religion

It is just the most lovely evening you can imagine in Lloyd.
The temperature is perfect and the sky has a tint which says maybe, maybe, maybe...rain tomorrow.
There is almost a dye to it- this light. It makes the colors more intense, the whites like a Hollywood version of angel's wings, and the oak trees are...well, there is no other word for it- majestic.

I am quiet in wonder.

I am trembling in worship.

The Mind At Play

So I've been taking these bio-identical hormones for what? Three weeks now? Something like that and I'm not sure but I think I feel better and am having fewer hot flashes. I think I sleep better.
But I know my dreams have changed.

And not for the better.

My lovely, mysterious house dreams have slipped away from me and last night was just the worst. Well, not the worst. I had a dream that was so bad last week that I told Ms. Bastard-Beloved that I wouldn't tell that dream to a DEAD psychiatrist, no way, no how.
But the one that woke me up this morning was bad enough. I'd applied to law school and gotten accepted and then of course I had no idea where classes met or when or anything and besides that, I kept saying, "I don't want to be a lawyer!" and so I stayed at the Opera House and was trying to do some Herculean task straightening up and organizing the costume and prop room so that the law school could put their books in that room, feeling guilty all the while because I wasn't ever going to make anything of myself.
Calling Dr. Freud. Oh wait, we can figure that out for ourselves.

What I want to know is- why, at the age of fifty-six, I feel the need to worry that I'll never make anything of myself.

And yes, there was a whole other part of the dream that involved my home situation in which my mother and my stepfather had moved in with me and, well, let me just say that I DID NOT WANT TO GO HOME even though I was sick as a dog in my dream.

Now the pontoon boat? Okay. I don't know where that came from.

Anyway, it was so bad that I laid in bed for quite some time, too depressed to get up and when I did get up I actually and literally shook my head to try and shake myself back into some semblance of sanity but of course that does not work.

But Mr. Moon is back from the turkey hunting woods and I've given the chickens fresh water and drunk some coffee and that helps. We are looking up at the sky hopefully. It is cloudy and Lord, we need rain. The dirt roads are like chalk, the ground is parched. I don't think my azaleas are ever going to bloom except for a purple fringe here and there. I think the squirrels or something have been drinking the chicken water because it needs refilling so often.

Well. I think I might make some breakfast and then put on the old overalls and decide where to start- garden or yard? I suppose garden. Pearl is up and has eaten her special breakfast and Mr. Moon just gave me a bouquet of azalea and dogwood that he picked this morning at our friend, Tom's.

I don't want to be a lawyer. I just want to be who I am, no matter what I dream. And even in my dream I knew none of it was real and told myself that it was all fake-believe and that feelings are only feelings.
I did.
So I suppose that even if I am insane while I sleep, I have wisdom to offer to myself, some comfort.

Progress of a sort, I guess.

Time to go dig in the dirt, which is not fake-believe, and which always makes me feel good.
And maybe it will rain and if that happens, all will be better than well.

I hope it is where you are too.

Friday, March 25, 2011

In Which We Find The Eggs

So Mr. Moon and I were sitting on the porch with our Friday night martinis and the chickens were visiting with us and Elvis was eating the flowers off my newly-planted impatiens as he has been doing all day long, that son-0f-a-bitch,

and we shooed him away from that and then all of the chickens gathered on the end of the porch

and I said, "Mr. Moon, we need to figure out where these hens are laying their eggs."
And Elvis chased Mabel off the porch and fucked her sincerely with great vigor and we yelled, "Elvis, stop that!" and a big truck went by and Elvis got off Mable who was as flat as a pancake, which is what a sister-wife does after she has been made loved to.

And Mr. Moon and I went out with flashlights to see where the hens might be laying because I am getting like one egg a day and I know that it's spring and all of those hens are laying.

I checked the bushes and Mr. Moon looked under the photo lab and all of a sudden I heard, "Here they are."

They have been laying in the old water pump shed.

Look at that.

Fourteen eggs, right on the ground and why? They have beautiful nests and I guess I'm going to have to keep them in the coop so that they remember that they have a rightful and holy place to lay eggs.

We gathered the eggs and some roses and honeysuckle and put them all in a basket.

And I put the roses and honeysuckle in a vase and did the float test on the eggs and they all passed so I put them in the refrigerator and made us a supper of venison meat and tomato sauce pasta with some berry cobbler and salad and we ate all of that while watching the Royal Tenenbaums

which is one of my favorite movies of all times and not the least of reasons because my love, Bill Murray is in it but also because my idol, Angelica Houston is in it

and it occurred to me that the only real sin you can commit as a mother is to deny your children's right to be who they are and what they want to be and that the only real sin you can commit against yourself is to deny who you truly are and prevent yourself from being who that is.

And then, as we finished our supper, it occurred to me again that I would like to get in touch with Wes Anderson and ask him if he needs someone to wash and fold his underwear or whatever, and Mr. Moon cleared the table and now some basketball game is on and tomorrow I shall work in the yard.

Pearl is doing great.

Thank all of you so much. I can't imagine my life without you.

Love...Ms. Moon

Future Botonist?

When Mean Aunt Jessie and Owen and I were taking our walk this morning, we passed a clump of bamboo on the side of the road.

"Boo," said Owen, pointing at it.

Alright, he may not be able to put the "bam" in front of the "boo" yet but he can by GOD identify it.

Friday Morning, Part II

Owen eats oatmeal in the kitchen.

Bop instructs Owen in how to eat oatmeal in the kitchen.

Owen instructs Aunt Jessie (whom he is totally entranced and in love with) on how to do her homework on Bop's computer.

I am instructing no one. I am just sitting back and enjoying it all.

Friday Morning

Owen's coming, Owen's coming, Owen's coming. Yes, really, today he is.
The rooster's crowing, the rooster's crowing, the rooster's crowing. Every day he does.

Good morning!
So last night I went out to close up the chickens in their little Coop Mahal and dang if a ugly-ass possum wasn't about to enter the hen house. I ran towards the door that slides up and down on a clever pulley-rope and slammed it shut and as soon as I got that done, the possum was nowhere to be found. I need to do a perimeter check of the fencing today, see how that sucker got in and got out. Kerry had just told us a story of a young possum that got into their bedroom in Winter Haven twice before he toted it across a lake and let it go over there to terrorize some other suburban Havenite.


They are prehistoric looking beasts.
When they "play possum" and keel over in feigned death they could fool a mortician. They have gross liquid that comes out of their mouths and I am not kidding. They do everything but eject blood from their ani so you leave it there on the deck where you heard it eating your petunias to come back and bury it the next day but it's never there when you get up in the morning.
No, it's all cozy and back in its nest in the insulation under your house, chuckling over how it fooled the higher life forms again.

But, a possum is a living creature and Kathleen thinks they're cute although she doesn't like them in her hen house either, not after finding one with one of her chicken's head in its mouth. And I will tell you this- if it weren't for cars, we wouldn't be able to walk on the ground because there'd be so many possums. We'd have to walk on possums to get where we were going but cars are a possum's natural enemy and mostly those dead ones you see on the side of the road really ARE dead and not just faking it and you do know why the chicken crossed the road, right?
To show the possum it CAN be done.

Okay. Where am I going with this?
Obviously nowhere.

Owen's coming, the rooster's crowing, the sun is coming up and I will leave you with this bit of completely unrelated wisdom:
Sometimes you do not need 25% more, even if it is free.

Who needs 25% more Triscuits for free and why don't they ever give you an extra beer and a half for free when you buy a six-pack?

Who knows? Not me.

Happy Friday, y'all.
Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, March 24, 2011

No Funeral Tonight

I thought for sure we'd be having a funeral tonight but no, Pearl is walking around and I gave her some canned (!) dog food and okay, it was the Publix brand but hell- what does she know? and she ate it up and she could go on for another month, I suppose.

Lily brought Owen out to say good-bye when we thought that Pearl was approaching the Pearly Gates (haha!) and although Pearl lay on the chair for awhile and Lily hugged her up, she soon got up and began to follow Owen around as she usually does. She's a tough old thing, this boxer dog of ours. Owen hugged her and played and fed chickens and his Bop was here so he was getting hugs and kisses from all sides and Lily and I laid down with him and I read him books and he covered up and drank a bottle but then he wanted to get up and play some more and so he did.

Lily and Owen and Jessie took my mother out for lunch after her doctor's appointment and I'm sure that pleased her beyond all measure. I went to town and ran errands for hours, sitting impatiently at red lights, but being so happy at the nursery where everything was blooming and the breeze was blowing and the giant, deep wind chimes sounded like Buddha voices and I hated to leave but I had to, you know, after I'd picked out my flowers, my herbs, my eggplants and peppers.

And when I got home, Jessie came out and she helped her daddy in the garden and she's staying for supper, maybe the night.

And then it's TOMORROW that Owen is coming out at eight and so it'll be another full day and I am going to be so glad to get to bed tonight. I am weary to the bone.

But I swear to you- I can't even begin to say how precious it has been today to talk to all of my children, to see some of them and Owen too, for us all to draw together for this old dog so lovingly. I wonder if all the attention she got pulled her back away from death and gave her whatever it was that she needed to get up and eat and go on with life. Perhaps she, like me, feels needed in some way. She shares Owen responsibility with me in her doggy way and she's always loved babies and children more than anything in this world. I surely do not want her to go on living if she's in pain or too confused or unable to enjoy her life but for right now, she seems fine and so she has my full approval.

What a blessing it would be if she just went in her sleep, peacefully, curled up and not even aware of the transition.

And for all of us. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

Well, it will be what it is, for Pearl, for me, for you. We can't control how we die, mostly. Oh, I suppose we can to some small degree but for the most part, it will happen as it will and I suppose the important thing is not the way we die but the way we live, and if we are lucky enough to be needed, to be part of a group of people, whether blood-family or friend-family, whom we love and who love us, who come together for births and deaths and sometimes just to dye Easter Eggs or to sit on the porch, well, we're lucky.

And you know me. I am.

Unbelievably and sometimes almost unfathomably... lucky.