Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Another Pearl In This String Of Life

A very good day and somehow I can feel a change creeping up on me. I am not sure what it means if anything, but even with my normal crazy, I am thinking things out.

I had such a good visit with my May. She is too much like me, which scares me, which delights me. Which makes me wish I could pour all of my accumulated wisdom into her heart, but I realize that her wisdom outshines mine. She brought me a silver heart locket with an oyster-found pearl in it and a note, rolled up and tucked in.
I gave her eggs and peppers and soup.

I am realizing things. I am trying to pay attention.

The electricity went out and Mr. Moon took me to supper and it was lovely. It was so sweet to go out and sit across a table from him, to order food, to share, to laugh.

Still no rain here, despite ominous skies and thunder which sent the hens scurrying.

This life. This life.

My heart.

Sweetest Morning

He's here, he's here and it's been so long since he was here and he's been running around doing everything. Horse riding, chicken feeding, smoothie drinking, animal arranging, and he has new words and he chased the chickens as they ran towards the cat food saying, "Hey! Hey! Hey!"

This early morning, when he got here, he was sweet as pink silk and he grabbed me around the neck and he looked up and said, "Stars!" and sure enough, there were stars, and I took him back to bed and told him the story of the day he came to the beach to see Mer-Mer and all the things we did and especially about the baby turtles who were so little but who swam into the great, big ocean.

And he fell asleep and so did I and here we are, awake now and he's got the big purple chinese parasol and I am saying, "Be gentle with it," and he told me it was raining. He felt "drops."
And when I asked him if he needed help with the screen door he said, "Please."

Oh yes. He is here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I just don't know. It's ten o'clock and I only got home from second auditions less than an hour ago and we ate a late supper and I'm so tired and Owen's coming tomorrow at six and I just wonder how, how, HOW can I do another play now? They're so much work.

And this may be premature. I don't even know if I'll get offered a part. There were a lot of new people there tonight- some very fine talent. So, there is that.
But I just don't know that I have the joy I should have. The fire. It takes fire to do something that hard for love.

Yeah, well. I probably shouldn't be worrying about it right now while I'm so tired. It was a long, hot day. The sky got dark and there was thunder all afternoon but nothing happened except that heavy denseness which held the heat in place like a brick oven and after my walk and working outside it took me hours to get my body temperature back to a normal place.

The firespike is just beginning to send out its red blooms and the sasanquas and camellias are putting out buds, still tight and hard, but representing promise that summer will end.

Promise. Choices.

All I really know is that Owen will be here before light and hopefully, he'll get back in the bed with me and hold onto me and go to sleep. And then, like the turkeys and the goats and the chickens and the mule, we shall play and play all day. And May said she'd come out tomorrow afternoon and that will be wonderful, too. I need to get my arms around her. I need that.

Time for sleep. Oh yes, it truly is. Morning will come early and a boy will come and he will say, "Bop?" "Chickens?" "Smoothie?"

"Yes, love," I will say. "Here is your Bop and the chickens are asleep and we shall have smoothie when we get up. Come to bed now, come to bed."

Some Women Put On Make-Up, Some Women Gird Their Loins

So here I am sitting on the back porch, girding my loins for a walk. Do I use that phrase too often? "Girding my loins"? Hank- where did that phrase come from? The Bible?

Hold on a second. Be right there, just gotta gird my loins.

I believe we should all use that phrase more often. The word "loin" in and of itself is probably underused except at the meat counter.

Anyway, before that fascinating little segue, I was going to talk about the sound I just heard coming from the chicken coop. It was a yip, just like a really loud little puppy. Then it happened again. And again. The dogs and I all looked out to see what was making the sound. We are used to all the regular sounds and so when a new one comes about, we perk up our ears.
I went out to see what I could see but no one was 'fessing up to yipping. Is one of my newer hens a rooster and the yip is the beginning of a crow? Sure didn't sound like it, plus none of those birds is looking roostery.

Well, who knows? Not me.

I do know that Ballsy showed back up last night. Ballsy is a local gray cat who looks just like my gray cat except that he is bigger and has one bad eye and he also has balls, thus the name Mr. Moon christened him with. Hadn't seen that cat in months but when I went to feed our cat, there he was, whining like it was my damn fault he hadn't eaten from our food bowl in ages. Hello Ballsy! Welcome back! Remember when we found the dead gray cat and Mr. Moon buried him and we thought it was our cat and then we realized it wasn't and then thought it was maybe Ballsy but it wasn't?
So many mysteries in Lloyd.

And I guess I better get out and investigate them. My loins seem to be sufficiently girded. I plan on doing house-and-yard work today. Pick up branches which have fallen, water a few areas that are on their last thirsty gasps. Maybe even sweep a few floors and dust a few...
Wait. What am I thinking? Dust?
Oh hell no. I'd much rather clean out the hen house than dust and I believe I might just do that. Clean out the hen house, give my babies fresh straw.
Maybe even weed a little. Take a nap.

Let the day unfold as it will.

Yips and loins and balls and all.

Good morning, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, August 29, 2011

Stage Whore, Part 237

Oh dammit. I was right. Going to that audition WAS good for me. And hell, if the director offers me a part, I'll take it. It's another sex farce like the one we did...last year? Okay, a year and a half ago. Even the same playwright, Michael Parker. Kathleen directed that one and it was so much fun. Of course, our Colin was still with us then...
It seems so long ago. So much has happened since then. And yet, just a year and a half. Impossible to believe.

Everyone who came to read tonight was good. Real good. So I may not get offered a part. That could definitely happen. And you know what? If I don't, I'll be slightly crushed but I'll get over it. It's so much work to be in a production. The memorization alone is so hard for me. And Steel Magnolias almost killed me. Jesus, I was in every scene but one, I think. And the emotions we had to go through every damn night! Lord! And it's so time consuming. I mean, when you're in a play, that is your life. That's it. Everything else gets shoved off the stove entirely. And I hear that this director is a crack-the-whip type of woman. Her rehearsals do not end when everyone gets tired. Can I even DO that?

Well, I just have to say that to be quite honest, reading for parts is my favorite part of the entire process. Give me some words and let me slip into another character. Ah. If that were all there was to it. That's why I love being in Freddy's films so much. I slip into the character, the camera rolls, done. So much easier. No time to get nervous, no huge amounts of dialogue to memorize.
But, the stage is fun too. Let's face it. It is. Mostly.

Kathleen came and ended up reading. She's so great. She always says she doesn't want to be onstage but there must be some part of her which does. She has such a talent for it. Jan and Jack read and Marcy and her husband Fred were there. I've been in several plays with Marcy but Fred has just started acting and he's hysterical. Fred is just one fine fellow. They're one of those couples you just can't help but adore.

It's just so sweet to walk into a room and see all your play-mates. There were new people there whom I've never met and who were terrific. I did a scene with one of those ladies and I just fell in love with her right there. BAM! BOOM! It was pure joy.

Well. That was that.

And then I came home and talked to Jessie and she's just as happy as a girl can be, I think. She loves her job, she loves her fellow, they just went hiking for two days and she's so happy to be going home to her kitten and her house and her life. Man, you just can't beat that for joy.

And May's in Apalachicola with her fellow and when I talked to her today she sounded so good. They'd been to the beach and had a room on the river and were shopping and eating and drinking coffee and having fun.

I got to take care of Owen for a few unexpected hours today. His new favorite toy is one of those big Chock Full 'O Nuts Cans that he beats on upside down with drum sticks. Really? My grandson is going to be a drummer? I have mixed emotions about that.

(What do you call a drummer whose girlfriend broke up with him? Homeless.)

But hell, if he wants to be a drummer, I will support him with everything I have. Someone has to keep the beat.

And I got a message from Hank today who was in-between classes and it makes me so happy that he's started this journey. I am SO proud of him.

And Lily is beautiful and yes, radiant, and being strong in her pregnancy and Mr. Moon is down at auction trying to make us a living and so it goes.

So it goes. I shut up the chickens who gave me four eggs today. I took eggs to Lily and Jason. Perfect protein in a perfect shape of brown or green. Speckled or plain, according to each hen's genetic code, but each one perfect and fitting into your palm as if they were made for each other. Egg and palm and which came first? I am not getting into that argument.

Once again I am saved by this life. Once again, I am in awe of what I have. Once again, I will go to sleep in my own bed and probably dream of babies and maybe chickens and maybe lost costumes and unlearned scripts and once again, I will wake up and do it all again.

All I ask for at this point in my life is some rain. We're dry again but it will rain again, eventually. I know it will. All things must pass. Everything changes. Nothing changes and everything changes. All the time.

Let it be.

What-The-Fuck Monday

Instead of the surf this morning I hear my chickens. Let us out of the pen, they say. We have things to do.

The squirrels and their constant taste-testing of the pecans continues. They throw them down on the tin roof of the shed and I swear, it sounds like small bombs going off. I think they enjoy this. When they really get going and throw them down on the leaves, it sounds like the popping of a brush fire. Mr. Moon told me that although they are not so smart the squirrels do run when they see a gun.

I dreamed. I was in a play at the Opera House. Again. There was no script and we kept forgetting our instructions and it was ridiculous and my costume was ever-lost and I held a baby during my rat-ass performance. That baby was the only good thing about that play. Then I dreamed something else and I can't remember but it was anxiety-producing too. I may actually go to the Opera House tonight and audition for a play although the odds of me getting a part are nil. There is only one character that I might even qualify to play and I will not be the most talented woman to read for it. Oh well. It will be good for me to go, to read.
Good for me.
What is good for me?
I don't even know.
I have my head so far up my ass I can't see daylight. It's a wonder I can hear those pecan bombs going off. Just the thought of going to Monticello is enough to make me cringe. Talk to people? Act normal?
THAT will be the performance right there.

I need to go see my mother. She called last week and had seen the doctor who comes to the assisted living place and he thinks that she may be on too much unneeded medication and that may explain some of her dizziness, some of the other symptoms. She loves this new doctor. We had tried to talk her into seeing him when we first heard about him- he must have a good working knowledge in geriatric medicine- but she resisted, insisting that we were trying to take away her choice in the matter. What was wrong her own doctor who knew everything about her?
Well, maybe nothing. But who knows? Maybe a new one could actually figure out a few things.
Maybe he has. I hope so.
So I need to go see her.

I also need to go see Owen. I need to put my hands on his little face, I need to feel his perfect, smooth skin. I need to kiss him and hear him say, "Mer-Mer! Come!" as he leads me from one place to another to show me things.

Here is Ozzie, the chicken with the very long neck. You can't tell from this picture but her neck is almost snake-like, as if her parents had been a chicken and an Anhinga, also known as the snake bird.

I think she is self-conscious about her neck. The new hens are laying. We are rich in eggs again.

This is a rooster-tail lily. I think. I don't know shit. I do know that those are magnolia leaves behind it.

Here's me last night, taking a picture in the hallway. You can see the dead zinnias. I have since thrown them out. You can see me in overalls. You can see the Virgin of Guadalupe, Queen of Mexico, Our Lady, The Holy Mother, etc., etc.

I used to get such comfort from her.
I think I'm over that.

Isn't that sad? How do we lose our totems? Where do we then find our power, comfort, protection?

Well, even if she doesn't represent all those things to me so much any more, she still makes me smile, that one. Her sweet face, her chubby little hands folded in prayer.

Fuck it. Maybe I just need to watch some Wes Anderson movies and get on with life.


I just really don't know.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


At the beach I never had one good night's sleep and no one but me seemed to need sleep and I felt guilty and weird because of my sleep need and I took naps whenever I could and now I am home and I am going to go to sleep in my own bed which I mentioned previously.
When I was the ages from maybe eleven through high school I could see the light on from my room where my stepfather stayed up and watched the stock market unfolding before him and whatever else he was watching and I couldn't sleep if that light was on because that meant he was still awake and so he might come into my room and even if he didn't, that fear was as bad as the reality and so I can't stand for there to be a light on when I sleep.
Even the clock's red numerals drive me a little crazy and so tonight I am going to take a Benadryl and get into my own clean sheets and I know that no one who hasn't feared the light can understand what it's like and I know that some people fear the dark and I am so grateful that I am married to a man who does not fear either but will let me sleep in pitch-dark if that is what I need.
Sleep. I don't remember one dream from the beach.
I wonder where I will travel tonight.

Home. Boring, Beautiful Home.

Oh, sweet Jesus I am home.
I will tell you the truth which is that I have never been so glad to leave the beach in my life.
Not that I didn't have some excellent times there. Oh, I did. Saving the seagulls, the kids coming down, watching those baby turtles, that morning I had the perfect swim in the Gulf, us sitting around and telling Colin stories, the day I found the perfect dress for Kathleen and she tried it on and it was so beautiful that she wore it out of the store and it was on sale for $17.00, the night we all went around and told what we'd like to do if we won the lottery or maybe, just something we'd want to do before we died. Not quite like a bucket list, but sort of. The penis discussion. Laying in the hammock with Judy and Kathleen right there, watching the martins fly and dart, getting their dinner of mosquitoes. The top-down rides in Kathleen's toy with the joy of flying air and sky above.
Yes. There were some perfect and exquisite moments.
And there were also moments of high drama that I could have happily lived my life without ever experiencing and I don't know if it was Mercury or the solstice or WHAT, but let's just go with Mercury Poisoning and let it all go.
Let. It. Go.
Honestly, say what you will about a group of women and what they may tend to do, I have never personally experienced anything at all even vaguely like this. Nothing. Never. Ever.

It was all sort of like the evening I was taking a sunset dip in the Gulf, stretched back, arms out, eyes to the sky above when all of a sudden I felt something like thin string on both of my wrists and then the burning began. I'd been stung by tentacles of some sort. Probably Portuguese Man Of War. That's how the whole week went- just when everything felt like heaven, something lashed out and shocked the shit out of me.

But now I'm home. It's cooler today in Lloyd and glorious. The chickens greeted me first and then Mr. Moon and oh, the hugs and the kisses, his face bent down to mine. It was so good to get my arms around that big ol' man. I told him, "Thank-you for my life here. Thank-you." And I meant it.
I do mean it.
My life here with all the chicken shit and even the dog shit and the weeds in the garden and the mice or squirrels or whatever they are in the walls- yes, all of that too. Not just the birds and their songs and the huge trees and the quiet porches and the loving man and the children and the grandson. But all of it. Because the drama that occurs is usually mine and in my head and I am old enough to know that and old enough to know either how to deal with it or to wait it out. And that is enough drama for me.
More than enough.
God, I just want peace these days. Boring old peace. Boring, beautiful, lovely, excellent peace with boring old fixable problems.

The squirrels are up in the trees, picking one pecan at a time, trying them and throwing them down. Over and over again. The red bird is perched on the back of an outside chair, bright against all the green. The breeze picks up and rattles the leaves, I can hear my chickens.

I am home. And tonight I will sleep in my own bed and when I wake up there will be no beach to walk on, but that's okay. I imagine the Beauty Berry in the woods is about to come on with its fuchsia berries, the clitoria may be blooming, the passion flowers too. I can live with that. And I'll miss that beach but I know it's there and sometimes, just the knowing is enough.

Okay. I need to finish unpacking. I just stepped in dog shit. I need to start laundry. I need to catch up on the news and all y'all's blogs. I need to do exactly what it is I do every day of my life, almost, so grateful for the homely little mundane stuff and grateful for the opportunity I had to go away and experience things both profoundly wonderful and strangely bizarre. It's all fodder. Not just for writing, but for my life. Another thing to look back on in wonder, without judgment, just objective wonder.

Thank-you, Kathleen, for making it all happen. Even though it wasn't what we expected, there were some honestly incredible moments and you, my dear, have never looked better or stronger in your life and I love you and one day we'll look back and we'll laugh and laugh, and laugh...

I'm already smiling. I hope you are too. And that your heuos (sic) rancheros did not upset your tummy and that you are holding your kids and happy, like me, to be home.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

And The Trees Sway In The Gulf Breeze

Ah lah.
Oh my.
Well, this is one of those days when I sit down to write and I wonder- how can I say this? How can I say what's going on without going into crazy life-long details and Freudian analysis and explanations and charts and Venn Diagrams and lines and lines of dialog and the History Of This And That and in this case Wiccan and friendship and oh, fucking hell, I do not know.
No reason, no reason.
Plus, one could write a novel about such things and I'm at the beach and do not have the energy to write a novel today. Between the sun and the saltwater and horseflies, most of the life force has been sucked out of me.
And oh yeah, The Situation.

First off, let me say that I am very concerned about all of you who are in the path of the hurricane. You know I know what you're going through but I will say that I've never in my life had to evacuate from New York City and probably no one else has had to either and I can't even imagine how that would work. Oh, bless you all, in NYC and in the Carolinas and everywhere else that Irene is affecting. I know. I know. Be safe. Be smart.

And in light of that, really, I have nothing to report. Okay, I pissed someone off. Not the person who was kerfluffled with me. That person is no longer kerfluffled. This is another person and I didn't mean to but I did piss her off and I own up to it and I tried to apologize and she wasn't having it and that's the way it goes sometimes. And sometimes you just have to realize that you are the most convenient person to unleash anger on and honestly, it has nothing at all to do with you and I think that's what happened but still, I feel bad.
For a myriad of reasons. But I don't feel especially guilty because honestly, I was just that person who was there, who said something that let the window of anger slide up enough for a lot of powerful stuff to begin to pour out of.

Well. And so it goes.

I see Brad Pitt saved a woman's life in Scotland. That Chas Bono might go on Dancing With The Stars. That Libyan rebels have taken control of borders. That great portions of the east coast are without power and if I know one thing, there will be many, many more outages as Irene dances her slow destructive dance up the coast.

Life goes on, doesn't it? And women are having babies and old people are dying, hopefully holding the hand of someone who loves them, and all the stuff in between, the good and the bad and the amusing and the baffling and the seemingly incomprehensible and I am thinking about all of that and so much more. I am thinking about what I believe. Sometimes you have to think about that. But me? I don't really do much more than think about it. I do not try to define it too much. I might change my mind tomorrow and then what?

I do believe that with love all things are possible. I do believe that I wish it weren't almost time for us to leave this place, this pretty beach house where Kathleen who is as brown as a nut relaxes so valiantly wearing blue glass earrings which look like pieces of the sky or the sea, cut and frozen into adornment. Where we go to the beach in the morning and we swim in the ocean with fish leaping around us and osprey floating overhead and the great V's of pelicans using the wind to allow them to glide silently. Where we are going to make pizza tonight to celebrate Denise's birthday and where we have had adventures beyond telling.

But you know, I miss my husband and that's the truth. And so I believe it is almost time to go home to Lloyd where he lives, where my chickens live, where the great trees grow, where my true home and bed and heart are.

But this has been a fine place, here near the beach and even with the troubles, the hurt feelings, there have been such sweet moments between us that we will all think back on them and smile.

And that's me, reporting in from St. George Island, Florida and the sky is perfectly blue and there is a slight breeze, nothing more, and the water is calm and now, we are too and if there is one thing, one thing I believe, it it what I always come back to- that it all has something to do with light and with love (as much as we can understand that, really) and with water. All the rest? I have no clue.

Yours truly...Ms. Moon

Friday, August 26, 2011

Days Of Wonder

I do not think that I have ever had a more perfect experience being in any sea, anywhere, than I did this morning. I actually got up and off of my ass and went down to the beach fairly early, although the sun certainly rose without my help which I find that it does on a regular basis (I know- really?) feeling perhaps that I am more in charge of sunset-appreciation than in sunrise support.
Still, it wasn't too hot yet and the water was clear blue and green with gentle rollers and I walked and walked and walked and then turned around and came back and got in that water and I stretched out in it like a bed and closed my eyes and I think I could have fallen asleep and woken up somewhere...
I do not know. But somewhere else.

Here's what the sun's early light (not dawn now, y'all, I ain't lying to you) looked like on the water when I got there this morning:

I took scores of pictures, most of which I couldn't begin to tell what I was shooting. And as we all know, sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't.

It is so hard for me to take pictures of birds in flight. Turn the camera on, try to frame them, snap, can't really see in the bright light...
But here are some pelicans, my favorite coastal birds, small pterodactyls, but still huge with wingspans of I don't even know how long. The are noble despite their ungainly shape and if they call, I have never heard them.
Here's one shot I got:

But then, the next shot, through a trick of the light, turned them into origami pelicans flying over glittered water.

I think I like that one better.

A ghost crab, running in the surf:

"I can see you," he says. "My eyes are on stalks!"

And then I tried so hard to get a good shot of the way the water looks when it curls up into a wave before it breaks, the translucence, the pure pristine miracle of salt water.

And this was the best I could do there.


Yesterday soon after I posted, Hank and Lily and Owen got here. I opened the door to find Owen in his pajamas and he looked up at me and said, "Mer-Mer!" and he reached up for me and I hugged him to me and we absolutely squished each other with our love. He hugged me so hard and so long and patted my back and when he got down he said, "Happy." Oh my heart.

That boy.

We took him down to the beach after struggling him into a bathing suit and sunscreen and with buckets and shovels and juice boxes and grapes and at first he only wanted to play in the sand with his buckets and shovels, stirring sand into a bucket of water and saying, "Done," when he considered it to be so. We tasted his sand soup and declared it quite fine.
But then his mama bear took him out into the waves,

which were pretty choppy yesterday, where Hank was already waiting and he got over his timidity about it all and laughed and chortled and got salt water in his eyes and up his nose and he only laughed more. We jumped waves and floated and he did the Choo-Choo dance in the water and that was my first time at the beach with a grandchild of mine and I will never forget it. We didn't stay down at the water too long- the sun was so hot and strong, but came up and had lunch and then Owen and Lily and I took a nap and then we got up and went back to the beach for more swimming and jumping and playing in the sand and feeding the seagulls and he used his bucket as a drum and his shovels as drumsticks and he beat, beat, beat, his baby-heart-rhythm and he ran around and there was a tidal pool and we played in that, too. Our own personal, placid body of water.

When we got back to the house the second time and were washing off, Vicki came running up to the house. Two baby sea turtles were making their lone way down to the water which is something I have never seen and barely heard of ever happening during the day. We ran back down and sure enough, two tiny perfect turtles were finding the water and as they swam away, I broke down and cried. "Oh Mama," Hank said, and he put his arm around me. "They're just so tiny and fierce," I said. And no, I didn't take my camera. No time. But I will never forget that, two turtles in that big body of water and I know the odds of them making it to adulthood are so slim but you know? It does happen. Some of them make it and the seagulls didn't get these and neither did the crabs or the coons and who knows? Who knows? Not me but oh, I hope.

Finally Lily and Hank packed up but before they headed out, Owen made fast friends with Judy. Here he is, showing her his elephant.

He insists the tusks are horns. Judy had two plastic bugs that are made to slowly crawl down windows and Owen had fallen in love with them and when he was all buckled into his car seat, she said, "Wait! You need to take those bugs with you." Owen was holding a shell in one hand and his elephant in the other and when she said that, he threw his shell and elephant down and said, "Present!" which I guess he understands the concept of and now he shall love Judy forever. I hope with all of my heart that he remembers the baby sea turtles but if I know children, it may well be the bugs he remembers. But we adults will remember what it was like, showing a boy the tiny turtles making their brave and enduring way into the water which is nothing more to them than everything, their entire genetic encoding instructing them how to find the water, how to swim into it, how to swim straight out past waves and currents and tides.
We will remember that for Owen and we will tell him the story so often that he will think he remembers it, which is almost as good. As Hank says, our family has a strong heritage of oral history.

And Owen is one step closer to being a beach baby, a beach boy, a child who will grow up loving the water, the sand, the sun on this amazing planet of ours with its many wonders, many everyday miracles, a planet where he, like you and me and every damn one of us, are miracles and wonders too.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I am the slack-ass lazy-ass of the group. Imagine that!
Everyone's up and out and Judy's making a crock-pot of food and there's been Gram Parsons and Jimmy Buffett playing and I suppose my babies are on their way to the beach.

Lord, Lord.

Yesterday we went into Apalachicola and I took some pictures and here they are. I'll actually do some writing at some point. Kathleen is just back from her morning walk and god knows she might want to do some yoga. We shall see.

The weather is changing this morning, big black-bottomed clouds, but island weather- it comes and it goes. It's all beautiful.

And yes, I do seem to be fascinated with life-size or larger fiberglass replicas of pirates and mermaids.

Because I am.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Stretch, Breathe, Giggle, Eat, Save Seagulls

Good morning! Yes, there is wireless here, due to the fact that Kathleen has a Smarter-Than-We-Are Phone with a magical Hot Spot app and so yes, here I am, taking a moment between waking up and doing yoga with Kathleen and Judy. Kathleen has made a promise to herself and her trainer to walk two hours daily and do yoga every morning.
This is how Kathleen relaxes.
Which of course shames me into doing yoga. I would walk anyway, but probably not for two hours.

What I should really take pictures of is how much food we have here. I guess this is what happens when Mee-Maws go to the beach. Jesus Christ. The refrigerator is stuffed, the cabinets are filled, one entire counter is taken up with bread products, the kitchen table is filled with fruit. We could stay for a month and not run out of food.
Well, that's not a bad thing, I suppose.

I loved my drive down here. I did indeed listen to Jimmy Buffett. I remembered how much I love this song:

I sang my way along the coast, all by myself, driving below the speed limit because honestly, I was perfectly happy being in my own world with music and the water beside me and the road ahead of me, the sky above. When I crossed the bridge over to the island, I put the windows down and just breathed it all in.

I got here and was manic, of course, blah-blah-blahing while everyone else was mellow and beach-doped, tanned and tolerant of me and my mouth, my profane mouth.

After I got everything unloaded, I found a hammock underneath the house and Judy came and sat beside me and a storm came in and I had a beer and slowed down and rocked myself almost to sleep and the thunder crashed and it was beautiful. Then Kathleen came down too and before you knew it, we were all giggling and being silly and then Vicki came down and announced that she and Nancy had dinner ready which cracked me up. It was five thirty.

I got up from the hammock, reluctantly and made coffee and finally, at last, headed down to the beach. I did not especially want to walk but I knew I should and as always, when I set my feet in a direction, I just go. I walked for a long while to the east the way I always do at sunset time so that when I return I can see the colors the sun is making, the silver light on the blue water and I was lost in my steps and in the book I was listening to when I saw several seagulls throwing a fuss and realized that two of them were entangled in fishing line.
They were tangling themselves up more and more by the second so I grabbed them both up and discovered that if I let them clamp their long black beaks on my thumb, they would stay still and yet, there I was, a bird in each hand, no way to untangle them. I called to a young guy in the water and he came out and tried to help but we needed a knife. He ran up to where he was staying and got one and while he was gone, a couple came walking by and they helped me too. "Bless your brave heart," the woman said, "you must be from around here."
"Well, sort of," I said. "Plus, I have chickens."
The boy came back with the knife and between us, we got them all untangled and set them free. One was definitely fine, the other...well, I think she was okay. I don't think anything was broken. But it felt so good. I felt like I had done something, you know?

I walked on and when I got to where my stuff was stashed, shoes and towel, I saw Judy out in the flat silver blue water and I joined her where we floated and paddled and watched the sun take its sweet slow time going down. It was magical and I love the time of day at the island, where the water and the sky slowly take on the same colors and it's hard to tell where one begins and the other ends.

We came up to the house and made drinks and sat on the porch and it grew dark and the cicadas sang and the stars came out, one by one and Kathleen came out for awhile and we started talking about Colin, telling Colin stories and it began to thunder again and then Kathleen came in to go to bed and Judy and I stayed outside and the wind began to whip and when there were gusts that were probably about forty mph I said, "Hey Judy, have you noticed that it's getting really windy?" and we about fell out of our seats laughing.

We finally came in and raided the refrigerator and tried to find something on TV that was worth watching- a fool's errand, and then she went up to her little crow's nest to sleep and I settled down on the couch bed and went to sleep and yes, I had one dream but it was not too disturbing.

I woke this morning when people started getting up to go to the bathroom and get ready for the beach. We are a diverse group here, some of us wanting to go to bed at nine, some of us wanting to stay up and giggle into the night but I feel fine and was ready to get up and so I did and here I am, writing it down, the beach out there for me whenever I want it, about to eat some yogurt and do some yoga and then I think we're all heading to Apalachicola and tonight, I will take another long walk and who knows what adventures will ensue?

Ah, lah. It's beautiful. I'm having a lovely time. We Mee-Maws are at the beach, Judy has eighties rock on her antique and very fine Bose machine, and outside the pelicans are floating by on great, prehistoric wings and the martins are out, darting with the dragonflies, catching their breakfasts and the beach is waking up, waking up, to this perfect morning.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mee-Maw Trots Off To The Beach

It's my day to leave for the beach and here I sit, on my own back porch, letting the laundry run through its cycle. I have to get the ice chest out of the garage and fill it with all my Greek-food-related treasures and the milk and the half-and-half and so forth, eggs from my hens, the yogurt which is Greek, of course.

I just read Kathleen's report of the first day at the beach and it sounds so lovely. I should be racing down there, but am not. I am taking my time. As Mr. Moon always says, "I am not rushing to enjoy myself on vacation." Or something like that.

I have checked the latest forecast for Irene and it looks as if we need to focus our concern on Syd.
If that storm does hit the Carolina coast as a Category Four, there is going to be some real danger. I know he's keeping a wary eye out. But again- who knows what these storms will do with their angry, swirling skirts? Not me and not anyone else, to tell you the truth.

But it is peaceful here now, last night's storm but a memory. Everything looking greener and happier.

I should be moving. I should be packing. I should be...

I will be. I will be. Right now it is so lovely here, and peaceful. As much as I love the beach (and oh, I do love the beach), it is hard to pull myself away from this honey-coated morning in Lloyd. I am thinking of Owen and how he looked yesterday when he got up from his nap, that long, lean body of his no longer the body of a baby but of a boy. How when something falls or unexpected happens he says, "Ha-Pen?" even if he knows what happened because he likes his new word. How Lily told me that he uses the little toy jai-alai ball catchers as something to put toads in. How much he loves to drum. How he wants "one more" kiss.

Well. He and his mama and Hank, too, will be coming down to the beach on Thursday for a visit and that will be so nice. A whole band of Mee-Maws to be amused by him, our tanned old arms, reaching out to hug him. Not all of the women who are at the beach are actual grandmothers but we are all old enough and we do love the littles. They are as bright and shiny as newly minted pennies, as amusing as puppies. And then he'll go home, sleepy and full of what someday may become vague memories. I remember things from when I was his age. None of them good, believe me. I am so happy that Owen's earliest memories will be of ocean and loving arms and sleepy stories and toads who live in the garden and a tractor to pretend to drive.
That, above all, is what makes me feel as if my life might have been worth living.

And now, to go and live it. The Mee-Maw life at the beach. The clothes are in the dryer.

I'll write if I can. You know that. But I'm going to live it, for awhile, with less emphasis on writing it.

Take care of yourselves with love and gentleness. I'll be missing you.

Ms. Moon

Monday, August 22, 2011

Stormy Weather

Holy Shit, BatThor! It is storming here like the devil's doing meth and beating on his kettle drum. The rain is pouring, it's almost black as night and when the lightening strikes, the ground shakes.
And of course I'm alone.
The odds of getting this written and online before the electricity goes out is slim to nothing, baby.

Of course we need it so badly that I can't say a thing except thank-you, thank-you, thank-you to whatever gods that be but Honeys? Could we do without a little of the thunder and lightening? Save the drama for your mama, Sky Gods!

Mr. Moon is off to auction. Yay! People want to buy some cars! I hate to talk business here but the car biz has been bad. Everyone wants a reliable, gas-saving, no frills car for $4,000. Guess what? Buy your grandma's car. Mr. Moon refuses to sell cars that are going to cause problems. He truly wants his customers to be happy. That way, they come back. Sell them shit and they don't. Simple business sense plus- ethical. Which Mr. Moon is, despite the fact that he sells cars.
He does not own either a white belt or white shoes. I promise you.

Oh Jesus. I can't believe I'm writing about the car business in a storm like this. Maybe I'm just trying to distract myself from imminent frying.

Okay. I went to town. I went to the liquor store and the Big Lots and the Dollar Tree. I went to the New Leaf and I saw Billy. Every time I see Billy I cry. They probably make jokes about me at the New Leaf. "Hey Billy! That crazy woman who cries is here again. What the hell's up with her?" I can't help it. I love him that much. I went to the library. I went to take care of my boy. He was asleep when I got there and when he woke up, he was NOT happy about his mama not being there. "No, no, no!" he said. Then he showed me all of his toys. He very politely asked if he could dump out his toy basket. "Sure, go ahead," I said. And he did. His Bop came by to see him on his way out of town. Owen showed him all his toys. Owen has a lot of toys.
After his papa came home and I got all of the kisses I could get out of him, I went to the Costco. I bought a bunch of stuff. I saw some people I did not want to talk to and I reverse-stalked them. Do you ever do that? Reverse-stalk? I do. Then I went to Publix and bought more stuff. I have a lot of stuff to take to the beach including a new beach umbrella. I'm pretty excited about that. I BLEW TWENTY DOLLARS ON A BEACH UMBRELLA! Fuck yah.
I want to sit on the beach and not fry. Like I'm about to do in this storm. No, really, the storm is passing.
Then I went to Publix where I bought more stuff. MORE STUFF! We shall not die for lack of greek olives, stuffed grape leaves, orange and pineapple juice, avocados, cilantro, pizza cheese and whole grain cereal. Or coffee. Or coffee filters. I think last year I made coffee using paper towels as filters. We shall not die for lack of yogurt or beer or tonic water. We shall not die for lack of limes and rum. We shall not die for lack of bacon, onions, or garlic. Or red, orange and yellow peppers. Or tomatoes.
We shall not die.

Unless we're struck by lightening. Hey! It happens!

I came home with all my stuff and I discovered that the new hens were hanging with Elvis by the garden and the old hens were under the kitchen porch stoop. What's up with that? Huh. I checked the eggs. Two old hen-eggs and one new. I feel so bad because I haven't named the new chickens. Not really. I am calling the all-black-hen-with-a-comb-whom-Elvis-fucks-and-who-is-laying, Sharon. I am calling the one with the really long neck, Ozzie. As for the rest? They look so damn much alike and stopping and figuring out who is who based on subtle feather patterns is just not on the agenda these days. Does this make me a bad chicken-mama? I hope not.

Okay. The storm has passed. I still have life and electricity. I am taking neither of those things lightly or as my due. I am very grateful for both. I am grateful for many, many things, including a husband who took the time to go out and fill up the chicken water-er before he left. Including a grandson who shows me all his toys. Including a car that is reliable and gets good gas mileage. Including a new beach umbrella. Including friends whom I love so much that when I see them, I cry. Including a bunch of ladies at the beach with whom I am going to have such a good time. Including that fact that I live so close to the Gulf of Mexico that I can drive there in a few hours.

You get the picture. I'm grateful.
And once again, a storm has passed. Elvis crows. Come together, my hens, my loves!

And I do not know if I will have any wireless at the beach at all. I will do what I can. I will cook and float and read and sleep and play games and get out of the water if lightening threatens. I will walk and talk and drink rum and tonic. I will possibly write. Who knows? Not me.

Clueless As Ever...Ms. Moon


Monday morning and up, up, up, Ms. Moon, get up and get to town and get your prescription and go buy fish oil and a bottle of rum (yo-ho-ho!) and all of the things you need for the beach. Get up, get out, go to the library, find a nice yummy book, no, you cannot take a chicken to the beach.
Well, you can take a chicken but only cut up in a package. Where is the ice chest?
Don't forget limes and coffee. Don't forget sunscreen and lots of it. Don't forget the pizza pans and don't forget the recipe and don't forget the flour, yeast and there will be water at the beach.
Wait. Olive oil.

Get up and out, Ms. Moon. Move, move, move!

Oh god. I hate packing. I hate getting ready for traveling. I want to take a bathing suit, a dress, a pair of shorts, a pair of overalls, a dress.
Two towels. A book.


What is it with us humans? We gotta take all our shit with us everywhere we go. Cameras and journals and pens and underwear and horseradish and umbrellas and cover-ups and flip-flops and rafts to float on if we want to float and our Own Special Brand of Coffee and our sleep-aids and all our other pills and games and is there a good knife in that kitchen? Should I bring my knife? Oh god. My pillows. Must have my pillows.

And the damn thing is, none of it is going to matter. They have all this shit down there at the beach. Okay, maybe not my prescription or pillows. Those I need to remember. But they even have things we do not have here- really fresh shrimp, for instance. Flip-flops with jewels on them. I don't know. Fuck it. It's the BEACH!

I don't need make-up or jewelry or hair products except maybe shampoo and conditioner. I don't need...

You know what I don't need?
This fucking anxiety about a simple trip to the beach.

I DO need to take the trash and recycle. I DO need to go to town. I DO need to stay with Owen for a few hours. Not because his parents need me to babysit but because I NEED my little boy time. I do need to chill out and quit checking the damn projected path of Hurricane (!) Irene.

I wonder if I'll have such crazy dreams at the beach. Last night I had one good one and one bad one. In the good one, my friend Liz had adopted a beautiful baby girl and arranged a barge trip with friends and family to celebrate and it was glorious. In the bad one, I ended up somehow the sister-wife of a crazy polygamist but not one of those that lives in squalor. No, this family was rich and there were sister-wives everywhere and the husband and his brothers were the roosters, the mean roosters, and "my" husband tried to rape me, okay? Yeah. What's up with THAT? How can the same brain come up with two such diverse story-lines in one night?

Monday morning. Get up, Ms. Moon. Get up. Shrug off the dreams, go feed the chickens, go to town. Drive tomorrow and maybe listen to Jimmy Buffett as I go over the bridge singing "Apocalypso.

Say what you will about Mr. Buffett (and I've heard it all) that man brought me out of the biggest, deepest funk of my life and delivered me unto the beach where he sang to me as the waves sang to me as the stars sang to me as I danced myself back to a place where I could breathe again.

All right. To town. To get ready. So that I can be dancing as I go.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Deep Thoughts And Belly Kisses

I am singularly out of thoughts today. Now don't get me wrong- I can always write something about something. I still haven't done that bosom post yet. But I just don't feel inspired.

Mr. Moon and I did some good work in the garden although it's nowhere near entirely weeded out and dammit, you have go back and pull up new weeds where you've already weeded and so it's sort of a fruitless effort but it just feels so sanctified to get down in that dirt and get so sweaty that you soak through not only your underwear and your shirt but your overalls too. Right now I have a load of laundry going that's made up entirely of our work clothes and you better believe I'm using hot water AND detergent AND Oxy-Clean. Please don't tell me how much you hate that dead guy who used to do the Oxy-Clean commercials. We all hated him but that stuff works pretty good. Plus- he's dead.

So I planted a few more tomatoes and some more yard-long beans and a cucumber plant and two squashes. Also some collards. And we're watering the crap out of it all. It's looked like rain all afternoon and it's been grumbling in the sky but it hasn't amounted to anything and if we don't get some water on the garden we will not get a hill of beans, haha!

We worked for about two hours at which point I realized I was feeling a bit disoriented as to place so I said, "STOP! TIME TO STOP!" and Mr. Moon agreed and so we did not kill ourselves. It's good not to kill yourself with gardening. Sort of negates the entire wholesome purpose of the activity, you know?

But I guess I wanted to talk a little bit about what I spent hours happily doing yesterday which was crafty stuff.
Now I am NOT a crafter. I don't even like the word "crafter." But I had some beads that I love and wanted to rebead into bracelets and I spent hours doing that and they look like shit. I don't have the right stuff to do a good job and and so that was hours wasted and then I decided to draw a picture and maybe do some fun stuff with it, a little like Ms. Photocat, but I am not Ms. Photocat. I drew lots of pictures and then got one I sort of liked a little and so I got out my Mexican Images books I got at the Old Navy a long time ago and my Lotteria pictures and I started cutting and gluing and then I got out the glitter and oh, boy. What a fucking mess! It's still sitting there, looking like a mess but you know what? I had fun. I might even finish it, whatever the definition of "finishing" would be. Mostly likely when I run out of room on the page to glue shit onto. I can't draw and I can't even cut properly and my glittering and gluing look like you gave a four-year-old the glue and glitter and left the room.

Oh well. It's all the process, isn't it? Maybe my inner four-year-old just likes to come out and play sometimes.

Also, I think it's good for the soul to sit down and do things with your hands, to cut and glue and draw and let the hands have some fun of their own for once. We use our hands for so much and misuse them too, trying to get the tops off of things and pull out weeds that are rooted all the way down in a suburb of Beijing and stuff like that. Sometimes when I go through a period of hurting my hands one way or another I just stop and pay attention and (I know this sounds cray-ZEE!) I kiss my hands, both of them, and tell them how much I love them and appreciate them because I do. I really do.

Mr. Moon just came through and kissed my foot which is propped up on the table as I write this and I smiled and said, "That made me happy," and it did. I think we should all probably pay more attention to the body parts which are not usually viewed as sexy like bosoms or butts or even faces but hands and feet too, and also the shoulders. Oh yes, the shoulders and backs and all the places the power comes from and the doing comes from. And the forehead and the eyes and the neck and the insides of the elbows but mostly just because that feels so nice to have kissed.

And this- if I had one piece of advice for people who love a woman and live with her intimately- kiss her belly every day. At least once. Most women do not love their bellies and we all wish they were flatter and more six-packier, which is ridiculous, and many of us have created life deep within those bellies and they have stretch marks and navels we may not think are attractive but I think maybe we secretly wish that our bellies were worshipped or at least given tribute as a sort of cathedral of life. If you kiss a woman's belly, she will feel loved. I guarantee you this.

Although maybe no one else feels this way. I don't know. I don't know much to tell you the truth.

I think I come here and prove that point day after day after day.

But here's another secret- most people don't know that much either. Oh, sure, some people do know a lot and I respect them. But do they know about kissing bellies? Maybe. Maybe not.

I have to finish the laundry. I sure do know how to do laundry. And I'll probably write an entire post about laundry and the deep hidden philosophical meanings behind it someday but right now, I need to quit talking about it and just do it.

As Always...Ms. Moon

Hurricanes And Heat

I am having a very hard time posting today because every time I try to write something I am viewing it backwards and forwards and sideways to make sure that it is not taken as a metaphor for anything else because someone I love is a bit kerfluffled with me right now.
No. Not Mr. Moon.
Just one of life's very fancy dances, you know?
So it is Sunday, we are working outside, it is hot and I keep coming in and wringing a cloth out and wiping my face, over and over just like that old mama orangutan in the video I put up last night and I am smiling at that, feeling like she is a cousin and not a very distant one and the beans I planted this week are up and leafing and my hens are cruising around the yard and I am looking forward to the beach and hoping that Tropical Storm Irene doesn't cause us to have to evacuate but going to the beach during hurricane season is always iffy and it is always wise to keep a full tank of gas and an ear towards the weather situation.

The path of a hurricane is never completely predictable or even at all predictable and those of us who have lived through them never, ever take them lightly.

For the best description I've ever read of what it's like to be in a bad one, see what Kathleen had to say here.

Now. Back to the weeds. I will wring my cloth and wipe my face once more before I put my gloves back on and think of my cousins, my sister-apes and then I will go back to work.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Nah, We Ain't Related.

Lloyd, August 20, 2011

Elvis keeping watch over his flock by day.

Setting sun through dogwood leaves.

Lizard on screen.

Mr. Moon on tractor he got running today.

He called me FROM THE GARAGE and said, "Got anything you need bush-hogged?"
"Uh. No. Do you think I have anything that needs bush-hogging?"
"What? Your bush doesn't need hogging?"
"Honey, no. My bush is fine."
"Well I'm going to bush-hog that place where you dump the weeds."
"But sweetie, all those nice flowering weeds are there. They're blooming. They hold the dirt in. They don't need bush-hogging."
"Well I'm going to bush-hog something."
"Okay, darling. You bush-hog whatever you want."

Men. And their toys.

God love 'em.

Scatter Shot Of Love

The heat is back up to roaring, stunning levels and the thought of working outside today makes me shudder. I had a quick sensory memory the other day of how it feels when all of the doors and windows can be flung open and in my mind, it seemed as if that were a sort of going braless- no constraints. I am looking forward to that. It is a completely different way of living than having the house shut up for the air conditioning. To think of the cool breezes sweeping my walls and floors is something good to look forward to.

Something else to look forward to: I am truly and really going to the beach next week. Kathleen has rented a house on St. George for a week and I thought I wasn't going to be able to get away until Thursday but it looks like I can go on Tuesday instead.


I can't even imagine that many days in a row on St. George.

So Kathleen is going and Judy is going and Kathleen's childhood friend, Vicki, and a friend of hers who has never seen an ocean. And Denise will be down on the weekend when she gets off work.

A no-man, no-bra week at the beach. Can you imagine? (Although, to be honest, as much as I love a girl's only island trip, right now I am sort of wishing I could have a no-bra, all-man weekend, with the man being my man but you can't always get what you want but if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need, etc. and what I need is probably an all-woman trip but who knows? Not me. Owen and Lily are coming down on Thursday for some beach time so there will be THAT man of mine- the little one, but most assuredly a man for all of that.)

I have no idea what it's going to be like and I am not making any plans other than a plan to make pizza one night for Denise's birthday dinner because that is what she wants. Which makes me happy and feeling honored.

So. The beach is coming up and I am thinking of how for me, that means complete and utter letting-go. To have yogurt for breakfast and to have lime-flavored tortilla chips and salsa and cold Coronas with lime when it's time for the day to come to an end. Long walks, dolphin sightings, sitting on the beach under an umbrella with a book and a thermos of tea, perhaps, always lots of ice, the smell of salt and and sunscreen, the deep, deep sleep born of sun and swimming, floating on the water, the sound of the tide as it scrapes back across the shelly, sandy beach, the hiss of the foam, the moon rising over the water, skies that look like this:

All of that and trips to Apalachicola to buy supplies at what used to be the Red Rabbit grocery store but is called something else now. Perhaps also we'll stop in at the fantastic bookstore and River Lily,

of course, the best shop in the tri-state area, whatever that is, where we can buy or not buy mermaids and sparkly earrings and beautiful skirts and perfumes and candles and whatever a girl's heart desires. Perhaps lunch at restaurants, shrimp and oysters and grouper sandwiches. Ah-yah.

Oh, Ah-yah.

I sort of wish I could take my chickens with me. Just a few minutes ago one of the new hens who'd been on the nest came out of the hen house and made her bold and proud call of "I have just laid an egg!" and Elvis came running over to her and pretended that he wanted to fuck her but I think it was just a token love thing like when your sweetie comes up behind you when you're making biscuits and grabs you from behind, and then they ate some corn together and she rejoined the flock. I mean, who could get tired of watching this sort of activity?
Not me, baby. Not me.
Can you imagine though, hens on the beach eating periwinkles and sand fleas and pecking through the beach morning glory? Oh my. Well, that's a dream for another time.

It's good here in Lloyd this morning. I have spoken to both Kathleen and Judy. Judy and I planned the games we're bringing and the liquor we're bringing. Judy and I know what's important.

Mr. Moon is off to town to pick up some parts for a truck. He is in a very good mood today, as well he should be. We are feeling especially lovey and giddy and what could be better? I got an e-mail this morning from a woman who has recently found my blog and she told me that she and her husband, who have been married for 48 years are still very much in love and still love to make love and then she apologized for TMI and yet isn't that just what we all need to hear? Isn't that the best thing ever? What a gift she gave me in telling me that.

I am feeling especially lucky today, but even more importantly, I am able to accept that into my heart.

Okay. That's all. Chickens, the beach, sexy love.

Be well, my sweeties. Be well.

P.S. Yes, I am fooling around with the blog again, changing its look. Who cares? But that header picture? That is actually a shoe that dearest Lizzie gave me a long time ago. Well, she gave me two of them. They are the awesomest shoes I will ever own, each with its own village in the platforms. Maybe I will take them to the beach.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thoughts On A Luau

The luau was extremely successful in that my mother had the most family members there. As far as I could tell, anyway. Not only were Mr. Moon, Jason, Owen and I there but also my brother Chuck and his son Kian and daughter Riley.
Owen fell in love with Riley.
She was slightly embarrassed because it was so obvious. She is about to go into the second grade and such displays of overt affection are a little much for a young sophisticate such as herself.

Okay. Whatever.

Look- I don't want to live long enough to have to go into assisted living, even if it's the best assisted living in town. I really don't. It really does not look like fun, even with luaus being thrown occasionally, even if the employees put on grass skirts and dance the hula, even if there is coconut cream pie.

Most of the residents looked slightly abashed, as if they knew they were being treated like preschoolers but did not have the energy or wherewithal to do a damn thing about it and so they bent their heads to their barbecued pork sandwiches, potato chips, cole slaw and Hawaiian punch. There was both green AND red punch but I stuck to the iced tea. The program director was chirpy and and a bit manic and tried very hard to get a good trivia program about Hawaii going but after about three questions it became very obvious that no one cared and that her "fun" facts weren't that fun, not to anyone, including herself.
"Well!" she said. "I guess we'll just turn the music back on!"
At which point the dancing began.
Oh Jesus.

Somewhere in Tallahassee right now there is a man sitting at a bar, holding a menthol in one hand and a Cosmo in the other saying, "Girl, you have no idea."

But hell's bells, I think Mother was pleased to have so many of her babies around and she laughed at Owen's antics and agreed that he was indeed the cutest boy in the world (okay, I kept saying that, yes, I did, I can't help it) and Owen had a very good time pretending to drive the stretch golf cart and playing with his cousins and his dad and his Bop and his Mer-Mer. He and I took a walk around the tennis courts (of course they have tennis courts!) and we found a tennis ball and how a tennis ball escaped the notice of a community wherein tennis balls seem to be very important as walker accessories, I do not know but we did and he was thrilled. We had a rousing game of throw-the-ball and every time Owen got the ball he dipped a shoulder, handed it to Riley and blushed.

And we were the last people to leave so we did our part for Mother which was the important thing. Now Mr. Moon and I are home and are having our Friday night martinis and have played cards and he beat me for like the ten thousandth time in a row.
I don't care. I got to keep score with my beautiful fountain pen.

Friday night in Lloyd and my extracurricular weekend responsibilities have been fulfilled.


Fruit juicy, Hawaiian punch.

God, the flies are bad.

I hope my mother feels loved. And hey- I didn't have to cook supper!

Life is good. And Mr. Moon and I have renewed our vow to become junkies before we get to the assisted living phase and to OD together when we run out of money and health. Because even if fourteen children/grandchildren/great-grandchildren show up at the assisted living for a luau, it's not going to be that much fun. We know this.

Sweet dreams, y'all!

Love...Ms. Moon

Fun, Both Formal And In-

Oh boy!
I'm going to a Luau tonight where informal fun is promised.
What in god's name would "formal fun" be? I get the image of a Marx Brother's comedy with people wearing evening dress and being smacked in the face with pies.
Would THAT be formal fun?
"Your" invited?
Oh come on.
We can do better than this. Right?

Yep. That's my plan for the weekend. A luau at an assisted living facility.
The good news is that Owen is coming. Now there is nothing in this world that the elderly love more than a baby. Well, maybe they'd like a Metamucil and Vodka cocktail but I seriously doubt that anyone is offering those out at Happy Hour, although they SHOULD! Damn.
But back to the elderly and babies.
Yesterday when we took Owen to lunch we sat at a round corner table where we could keep him corralled. Sort of. And because is a wiggly almost-two-year old, he was a bit boisterous. There was a two-top next to us where two women sat, your quintessential Ladies Who Lunch. They were both highly toned with bicepy skinny arms (the kind I wish I had- let's be honest) and tanned skin and one of them had amazingly large bosoms for someone so damn skinny and they wore Serious Jewelry and so forth. One of the ladies kept looking at Owen disapprovingly, especially when he used the bottom of his booster chair as a drum. Owen drums on everything. If there is nothing else available, he will use his own belly. Boy loves to drum.
Anyway, I could tell that Skinny Lady With Possibly Enhanced Bosoms was NOT happy to be seated next to us.
Now one table away from her two women sat who were older. One pretty darn old. And she kept looking at Owen too, but with that look in her eyes that I recognize as one I wear myself when I'm around a child. The one that says, "Oh. I want to get my HANDS on that baybee!"

And when we left, that woman said to me, "What a darling child! And so well-behaved!"

Now THAT'S a grandmother.
I'll bet you anything that SWWPEB is NOT or if she is, her grandchildren live in Martha's Vineyard or perhaps even out in Sunny California and that she is quite happy to live a continent away from them.

But at the luau tonight there will probably be a roomful of grandparents and great-grandparents who would love nothing more than to get their hands on that baybee and I'll feel like the queen of the universe because he is MY grandson. Haha! Mine!

I will be honest and truthful here. I did not RSVP to that invitation. I put it off all week, thinking that perhaps that comet would hit the earth and all life forms, as we know them would be destroyed, thus eliminating any need to RSVP.
However, once again, it did not and so Mr. Moon is responding because I hate to make calls like that and as he said, he is wearing a headset and also, HE IS THE MAN!
He is my hero.

Last night he asked me to help him do something in the garage. A tool was involved. No, that kind of tool. One that looked like this:

I am not even kidding you.

He went under the van he was working on and held a regular wrench to the bottom of a bolt and said, "Now," and I pushed the trigger on the tool you see above and it made a very satisfying and powerful noise and the bolt came right out and boy, oh boy, did I feel successful! I did that four times!

"That was fun!" Mr. Moon said as he crawled out from underneath the van.
"I've had worse times," I admitted.

Then I came in the house and finished the dishes and went to bed.

Well, that's how we have fun in Lloyd. One of the many ways, anyway. We also sit in chairs outside and look at the chickens. We also spend a lot of time looking for shit we've lost because we're old and we lose shit all the time. That's fun. Sometimes for fun I just go in my bathroom and watch my sink faucet NOT DRIP!
Okay. That's a lie. I don't do that.
But it does make me happy that it doesn't drip any more since Mr. Moon fixed it.
He's my hero.
Oh. I already said that.

Because I love him so much I might iron one of his favorite Hawaiian shirts for a more sartorial luau look. That would be fun. If I liked to iron, which I don't.

Mr. Moon and I are both yearning for a vacation right now. Together. Out of town. Out of the country. We need it. That poor man especially. He buys cars, he sells cars. He details them and fixes the boo-boos on them. He does the title work. He does everything. EVERYTHING! And he also takes care of my mother's finances and he's the one she calls for anything and EVERYTHING.
That poor man. The world depends on him. I swear.

And me? Well, I just want to have some fun. With him. Because we always have the most fun together. Throw us in Cozumel and leave us alone and we have FUN! We laugh so much. We love so much. We are like honeymooners who feel like we're getting away with something.
Which we are, which we do.

Well, it's not happening right now. We're going to have to have our fun right here.
We'll start tonight at the luau where we will have informal fun with our grandson.

It ain't Cozumel. But it will be what it will be.

And then maybe we can come home and have a martini and use some tools.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Midwife Is Not A Jr. Doctor

I love Diana, the midwife. Love, love, love her. I love that she comes to Lily's house for everything. She brings her bag and pulls whatever she needs from it, like a blessed Mary Poppins and it all just feels so right. She is so calming. She has four children. She has delivered many babies and has a crazy-low transfer rate. When Lily was going to the Birth Cottage in her pregnancy with Owen before her blood pressure became an issue, Diana was working there and both Jason and Lily felt the most comfortable around her. She was reassuring and Lily's blood pressure was fine when she was the one taking it.
And now, right in time, she is on her own with what she calls her "little home birth practice." And very happy doing so. She said that she delivered four babies last weekend. That doesn't sound too "little" to me.
"Full moon dregs?" I asked her.
"Must have been," she said.

I mostly played with Owen so that Lily and Jason could sit and chat with Diana, go through Lily's history, concentrate. Focus. We played inside, we played outside. I was his personal slave. Okay. I am always his personal slave. But I was able to come in when Diana was looking for the baby's heartbeat. She found it, too, and tears sprang to my eyes, to hear that loud, strong, rhythmic proof of life. Second pregnancies are so different from first ones. It's always been so ironic with me that during the second pregnancy, when you really do need the most help because there is generally already a crazy toddler around, so much less help is offered. It's almost as if everything thinks, "Oh yeah. She knows what she's doing by now."
Which is true, but the body is as tired and the tasks are so much more.
And it is so good to be reminded that there really IS a baby in there which is every bit as magical and amazing and miraculous as it was the first time.
Which it is.
So. I heard my second grandchild's heartbeat today. Or, heartbeep, as we like to call it. Owen said it was "loud." He was a bit overwhelmed by the whole situation but by the time Diana left, he wanted to give her a hug.
"I'll be back soon to see you," Diana said.
"Bag," he said.
"Yes, I'll bring my bag."

I am just so overwhelmingly grateful that Lily may be able to experience what I was able to experience in giving birth. The comfort of getting the sort of personal care which can only happen when the midwife comes to your house. It sets the completely right tone to me- the midwife is an honored trusted guest in your home, not a semi-stranger in a white coat or scrubs to whom you are required to go see. No signing in, no "may we have your insurance card?" every damn time. No sitting on a paper-covered table with weird pictures on the wall while waiting that interminable wait for the care-giver to come in. There is a million times less anxiety which the body will thank you for by being able to give birth more easily. As Ina May points out, we don't like to poop in front of strangers in strange places. Why would we want to give birth in that situation?
No, it's not the same but there is no getting around the fact that there is no medication or drug in the entire western medical arsenal which can relax a birthing woman as much as being in her own home, surrounded by only the people she chooses to be there.
It gives the mother a sense of control which she cannot possibly have anywhere else. And it empowers her in a way that nothing else can. To know that she can trust her body to do what women's bodies have done for so long. That the midwife in her practice is proof of that fact. Yes, she has her bag but mostly what she has is faith in the mother and the process. And her hands. Her strong, midwife hands.

I feel so at peace with this situation and I think that Lily does too. And Jason, as well, and that is as important as anything- that support from the partner. I saw the way they worked together getting Owen born and I know it will be that way again. But hopefully, this time, in their own home, by their own time frame.

I heard my new grandchild's heartbeat today and of course, my heart leaped in response. This is the way of it. A new one coming.

And then we took Owen to lunch at the Mockingbird and saw our darling May-May and Owen cried out to her for the entire lunch, "May-May! May-May!" and every time she came to the table his eyes shown and he showed off for her and he loves her desperately as she loves him and two years ago, he wasn't even here and then he was and the world shoved over and made room and our hearts opened up and made room and now we get to do it all again.

Thank-you, Lily and Jason for bringing all this love into the world. And thank-you, New One Coming, for letting us hear your heartbeep. We are so looking forward to meeting you. You can't even imagine. But we are.
And thank-you, Diana, for walking the hard path of the midwife. It's one I thought I wanted to walk, but realized I did not have the strength for. But I tell you this- if there is one thing that I know, it's that if there are goddesses on this earth, they are the midwives.

L Is For Loser

I can't do it. I can't even begin to feel positive about myself for more than oh, two or three seconds at a time.
Yesterday was such a fine day. And Mr. Moon and I ended up by having snuggly chat in bed and we laughed and we talked about things and after he fell asleep I thought about doing a post on breasts and how much we all love breasts and how complex our relationship with breasts is, whether we have them or not and then I spent a good long time giving myself positive messages about myself (I am a loving person, I am a tending person, I have talents, etc.) and then I fell asleep.
I woke up this morning stressed as hell from dreaming over and over that I had missed my flight to Paris AGAIN and even if I did get to the airport on time I had forgotten my purse, my phone, my ticket.
I tried on clothes to wear on the plane. Everything I tried on looked like shit or else was pinned up the back with safety pins and you can't wear a safety-pinned dress to Paris unless you are a Punk Grrrl which I am not.
And then I would miss my flight again.

WTF with the missing-the-flight dreams? I never fly anywhere and I've never missed a flight in my life. Okay, that's a lie, but it was because of missed connections and not my fault.

So like I said, I woke up feeling stressed and anxious and filled with self-doubt and a bit of panic and where, where, WHERE did all my good thoughts from yesterday and last night go?

I wish I had a bottle of Atavan. Or is it Ativan? I do not know.

See? I am anxious because I do not know how to spell the name of an anti-anxiety drug. Okay, I goggled it. It's Ativan.

Anyway, good morning. My butt is big.
No, really, I don't even have a butt.

I'm going to town this morning to Lily's house. Her midwife is coming to do a check-up and I'm going to go be there and take care of Owen if necessary. It will probably be necessary. I'll be glad to see that crazy boy. Also to meet the midwife. It's so funny with Lily how when she was a kid she just disbelieved anything I ever told her, acted like she could not wait to get out of the house (it wasn't an act) and basically and literally from the age of two told me that I was not cool and that was that.
And now here she is, the perfect mother who wants a home birth just like her mama had and who works so hard and is so responsible and seems to love and need me so much and boy, do I wish I could go back and reassure myself ten years ago that everything was going to be all right because it did not look like it was going to be for quite awhile there.

I talked last night to my friend Mary Lane whose birthday it was. Mary Lane and I have been friends since the seventh grade, okay, maybe sixth grade. And here we are, both fifty-seven years old and grandmothers. WHOA! Child. How did THAT happen?
It was good to talk to her. It was so good. But it sure did underscore that life is speeding away, mine at least, because I still remember making campfire stew with Mary Lane in the Girl Scouts and that was yesterday.

And here's today and I am not doing a post on breasts because it would have to be a four-parter, at least, and I need to get ready to go town to meet the midwife, to take care of Owen, to deal with my vastly imperfect self.
My goal for the day is to clean out my hen house. Mr. Moon brought me a whole new bale of straw for that purpose today and I shall do it.

I am not going to Paris, no planes are taking off without me that I need to be on, I am a nurturer, a tender, I have talents.
My butt is not big.

Still. I am vastly imperfect.

And I have no idea what to make for supper. Last night's soup was good but I have frozen the rest of it in small containers for Mr. Moon when I am gone to the beach.

My butt is not big and I am a good cook.

This ain't working.

Love...Ms. Moon