Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cookies and Crap

Oh, it was a hard morning. Owen did not want to get up and get out of bed. He did not want to come to Mer's house and when he got here, he did not want to let his father go.
It was heart-rending.
The crying. The arms reaching out. Then- the worst- he knelt on the kitchen floor and cried at the door, "No leave, Daddy!"
Oh Lord. I thought I might die.
I did not. Nor did Owen.
He finally got interested in a smoothie and then he wanted some cheese cubes to eat with a toothpick. By the time I'd gotten out the cocktail glass monkeys and mermaids which have been languishing on a shelf for years, he was a happy boy again.
We had a pretty easy day of it, to tell you the truth. We hung out inside a lot because it's cold. We did make our pilgrimages out to feed the chickens and munch collards from the plants in the garden like animals and see the goats but we watched some Dinosaur Train too. Why do the dinosaurs ride on the train?
I do not know and if you do, don't even try to explain it to me. Frankly, I don't give a shit.

Anyway, Lily had asked me if I would make some chocolate chip cookies for them to take on their trip to Asheville as the heating element in their oven is broken and of course I said I would. I realized that I've never yet made cookies either with or for Owen that I can remember. And frankly, he was too interested in the cocktail glass monkeys and mermaids to want to help and when I offered him some cookie dough to sample, he turned up his nose at it. In fact, he refused to eat a cookie too. What kind of a child is this? He wanted a carrot. So I gave him a carrot. He'll eat raw collard greens but not a cookie?
Fine. See if this grandma ever makes that child any more cookies.

I asked him in the early afternoon if he wanted a nap.
"NO!" he said. Then he thought about it. "Maybe."
We took a nap. Three pages of the Cat In The Hat and he was ready for the Mr. Peep story.
He did have two cookies when he got up. He liked them. I think he may have shared them with Zeke, to tell you the truth. I know Zeke likes cookies.

And then his mama came and got him and took him home and left me sad. Why do I get so damn depressed every time one of my children leaves the North Florida/South Georgia area? Ah, it's just the way it is. I'm like Elvis- I want to know where every one of my flock is at all times and I want to keep them close enough so that I can come running if they need me.
That's ridiculous. But it's true.

Oh well.
Thank all of you for your book reader imput. I'm pretty sure I'm going to order a Kindle and not the Kindle Fire. If we do ever get iPhones, that would double what I already won't need. But I'm pretty excited about the prospect. And I sure do and really very much appreciate the fact that you took the time to tell me your experiences and give me your advice. I needed it.

It might freeze tonight. We are not totally unprepared this time. Whatever I really want which hasn't already frozen has been moved into the house or covered. I hate this process.

So I have nothing else to say except that I wish someone would just hand me about ten thousand dollars because I want my hair cut and colored and made lighter and I want that Kindle and I want the eye surgery to get rid of glasses.
See what happens when you buy a new appliance? You're never satisfied. Never.

That's what's happening in Lloyd tonight. It's not very amusing and it's not very funny and it's certainly not life-shaking but here it is for what it's worth.

God. I need to get my blogging shit together.
I'll try.

Your boring and faithful correspondent...Ms. Moon

Kindergarten Rhymes

Mr. Moon is in the woods and Owen's on his way
I have been up since before the break of day...

Everything I start to write in my head today rhymes. Sometimes that happens. I do not know why.
I'll try to nip it in the bud.

So let me ask y'all a question- how many of you have book readers? And do you like them? I am thinking that taking my usual load of books to Mexico is really sort of ridiculous considering weight limitations on luggage and so forth when I could take what amounts to an entire library on a tiny little thing that would fit in my purse. Advice? I've fought the idea for a long time because, well...books! Paper, ink! ETC!
You know. I KNOW you know. you use one? What kind? Does it give you a satisfactory reading experience?

All right. I have to get ready for that boy of my heart.

The cat she is fed and the chickens are in the coop.
The refrigerator is filled with a vat of turkey soup.

The sun's coming up and the boy will want to play
Time to get going on this chilly winter day.

I'm done.
Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Counting Miracles

Making soup and bread is rising but I am feeling the agitato. I'll get over it. I dumped out so much stuff today. A gallon of turkey broth probably. So what? I am not crowding my freezer with Goodwill Tupperware inadequately labeled "turkey broth, '11." I should but I am not. Also I threw out the gravy which was pretty good. I don't need any more gravy.

So turkey and celery and onions and the broth and carrots and half a big thing of "fresh" salsa and garlic, garlic, garlic. I'll add rice, brown and wild. It'll be good, especially when I add lime juice and cilantro and chop an avocado and maybe some fresh tomato into it before we eat it.
I'm hungry.

I really don't have much on my mind, just is it really going to freeze this week? and should I get my hair trimmed before I go to Cozumel? Simple, normal things.

It's a relief.

Tomorrow Owen's coming at eight. I forgot Lily's midwife appointment this morning. I forget everything. Lily called me after the midwife left and said it was okay, the midwife had been really early. All is well. Her blood pressure is behaving. Owen listened to the baby's heartbeat and kissed his mama. All is unfolding as our hearts are too, even as we are not quite aware of it as we wait for this baby.
Isn't it amazing, the way babies just grow inside of their mamas and we have no idea the multitude of exploding miracles happening in there? On the outside, the mother looks beautiful and glowing or tired and weary but really- besides that expanding belly, there is so little sign of what is going on inside of her dark ruby womb. I think that is one of the reasons I dislike the practice of women getting so many sonograms during pregnancy these days. I keep thinking that it's somehow all part of the miracle not to actually "see" what is so naturally hidden away.
Perhaps that is ridiculous but honestly- I don't think that the studies can prove at this point that all of this pre-birth-baby viewing is doing much in the way of creating better outcomes for babies. In fact, I believe it probably is doing the reverse.

Well. It will be nice if we don't see the face of this child until it is born. He or she will be beautiful like Owen is, no matter where the genes land this time. Of that I am sure. To have the features, the form, the sex of the child revealed at that perfect moment of birth seems like all part of the plan of everyone's falling in love with each other all over again and in the newness of that freshborn baby.

Lily and Jason and Owen are going to Asheville tomorrow night to go visit Jessie. I am so glad of that. When I asked Owen about it, he said, "Whoo-hoo!" and stuck his arms up into the air. He loves Jessie so. And it will be so good for Lily to be loved on by her little sister.
Since the theme here today at blessourhearts seems to be miracles, let me just say that the way my kids get along with each other, truly love to be with each other- well, that's a miracle to me. A damn joyous one, too.

That's enough of the miracle talk. I could go on for days, as you well know, and sometimes do.
But if you want to tell me about any miracles you've encountered, small to large, prosaic to astounding, I would love to hear about them.

Yours truly...Ms. Moon
Spanish Moss And Resurrection Fern 

The sun is shining and last night's rain is dripping and everything is clean and crisp, it is getting cooler. I can hear the pat-pat-patting of the beaded drops of water falling to the fallen leaves, the rooster, the heater with its comforting purr. 

No Owen today. No hugs and no kisses from that particular boy. He was full of them last night and he was just sweet. He played, he entertained us with stunning feats of horse-riding, he ate vast quantities of yogurt and an orange and a carrot and refused noodles and green beans and tomatoes. He gave all of us hats at dinner to wear, sunhats from my collection, and pronounced us all Towboys and it was hard to keep a straight face while telling Mr. Moon a story from the day while he was wearing a straw hat with a lovely ribbon-covered brim. Owen played in the bath, he hid in the covers, he helped me fold napkins, fresh from the new dryer. He threw himself against us with hugs. He pretended to shoot a tiger. He pretended to be a tiger. He showed me how to hold a fishing pole.
He is perfect.

Today is going to be a day of clearing out. The chickens have already received most of a box of Cheez Nips which I cannot have in the house simply because I will eat them. I am going to make soup from the turkey and then that is that. Done. The other night I said to Mr. Moon, "We have so much butter in this refrigerator!" and he said, "Thow it out!"
Maybe I'll freeze it.
My mother once brought an entire turkey carcass back from North Carolina in a cooler in order to make soup from it. No turkey carcass went to waste under her care! I am half her and half my old dead drunken daddy, crazy as a loon and ran off to be a cowboy when he was a kid. And really did. 
Not a good mix of genes, let me tell you. I do crazy things and then feel very, very guilty about them. 

That is the way of it.

The new washer has been put to the test. Let me just say that the Whitest Whites function is amazing. We need sunglasses around here. Mr. Moon accused me of putting in new light bulbs when I showed him his clean undershirt. Ah, the joys of the middle class! Our appliances make us so happy! I am washing the sheets now, eying everything made of fabric in this house. Pillows! Yes! I will wash all of the throw pillows! I could wash everything in the coat closet! I will wash EVERYTHING and I will throw out what I cannot wash or care to eat and life will be simple and good. And clean. And Godly.


But. It's a goal. To clear, to clean, to take trash, to go to the library. I am returning TC Boyle's The Women. I am plodding through it, slogging through it and frankly, (no pun intended) I don't find the fire in it. Okay. That's two puns because the book is about Frank Lloyd Wright and his women and for some reason, their houses kept burning down. It's well-written but I just can't care about it or them. The women. Maybe if I finished it I would understand.
Well. Life should be filled with mystery and I believe this shall remain one of them along with the mystery of the evolutionary purpose of guilt, the mystery of why some children are just born good-natured, the mystery of why my husband only grows more handsome, the mystery of why my kitchen floor seems to grow dirt of its own accord, the mystery of The Huge Eggs, the mystery of why Mr. Peep, the turkey next door, is still alive and why Owen likes to hear his story to fall asleep to. 

And of course, the eternal mystery of Keith Richards.

Oh. So many mysteries to ponder as I go about my day. My lucky, light, Whitest Whites day.

Monday, November 28, 2011

All Is Well

Owen is holding a baby doll wrapped in a blanket.
We can wash the blanket, should it get dirty.

As Much As One Life Can Hold

Every time I woke up last night I was startled to hear rain outside. It's been so long that my brain actually had to do a bit of scrambling to identify the sound.
Rain? Really? Yes.
Soft rain. Patter rain. But still...real rain.
It is still raining this morning. I just looked at the radar and we may have seen the most of it and now it's going to get cold but that's fine. If the weather didn't change all the damn time, what would we have to talk about?
What DO they talk about in Hawaii?

Well. It's Monday. The Thanksgiving Holiday is behind us except for the turkey carcass and the soup I shall make for us which is in the future. We cleaned out some leftovers last night but of course, there is never really an end to them. I just take them and make more leftovers out of them in a different form. An alchemy of sorts.

The new washing machine is supposed to be here in two hours. I hope with all my heart it comes on time because I have to take my mother to the knee doctor and then pick up Owen and I will have him until late when his parents get off work. He and I shall learn how to use the new machine together. We shall wash all of the things which the old machine finally gave up on yesterday. I tried, it tried. But it's just so tired, that old machine. There are drippy towels in the shower of the bathroom off the kitchen and Owen and I shall start with those.

Rain. Water coming from the sky. Yesterday we sat outside and ate our pancakes and it was blue and soft and warm. Thanksgiving is over and for the first time in my life I am not concerned with the upcoming Christmas madness. I have finally said, "Enough." I am not doing one damn thing. If I am on your Christmas list, please mark me off. I am calmly thrilled. Black Friday meant nothing to me, not that it ever does. All of a sudden, it just seems so simple- not unlike the taking up of the poop rug. it.
Or don't do it, as in the case with Christmas.
Refuse to participate.
Baby Jesus was born when he was born. That's all I have to say about that. Here's what I think- I think that every day of my life is a fucking miracle and that every baby born is a fucking miracle and that since I love Christmas lights I keep them up all year 'round, or at least a string here and there. I love trees and so I live beside and beneath a whole bunch of them.
It is Christmas every day here. As much as I can hold, anyway. Every egg I get from the nest is a present. Every kiss I get is a present and every "I love you," and every cardinal at the feeder is a present wrapped in red. This rain is the best gift I could get today. The rest of it? All that stuff they talk about on TV?
Not this year, baby. Not this year.

Well. The wind blew the door shut into the hen house and when I went to open it in case one of my lovelies needs to lay an egg I saw the gate into the garden had blown open and all of the chickens are in there. I tried to herd them out and then tried to lure them out with stale bread. It worked, except for one, Miss Dahlia, who seems to prefer the tasty bugs and tender weed shoots of the garden.
What to do?
Oh you know what I did. I left them in there. They'll all come out sooner or later. They seem to be most interested in what lies under the mulch than in my greens, anyway.

And Lis just called and I HAD FORGOTTEN! that she and Lon are in Monticello visiting Lon's sister and that they would be coming over this morning.
Ah, the brain of the elderly.
But see? It's always new. Always a surprise.

It's like Christmas every day.
Without the mall and the crowds and the guilt.
Well, I'm working on the guilt part. I am finding it surprisingly easy.

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

Sunday, November 27, 2011

This And That

This and that is what I've done today. Washed the dogs and cleaned the tub. Watered the porch plants and the transplanted spirrhea and put the sprinkler on a few flower beds, more for the lizards and birds and squirrels than for the plants. I worry about those animals so much- where do they get their water now when it is so very dry? I do not know so I give them some.
I mopped the hallway, newly freed from its rug. I swept the porch. I planted some rooted plants into pots.
And then I came out to my office. This room which long ago was the kitchen of the house and which, since then, has been used as a studio and a writing room that I know of. The studio of a painter, the writing room of a...writer.
A real writer, you know, one who makes her living writing books which get published, which have made her money, which paid for the bathroom I take my showers in, my pretty, pretty bathroom.

I haven't done squat in this office for so very long. Oh, I come out here with Owen. It's another play room for him. He loves the little Hula Girl candles, the mermaids, the madonnas, the little wooden elephant. All of my totems although he does not yet know who Johnny Weismuller is or Frida Kahlo either, and the map of Cozumel means nothing to him, nor does the watercolor of Tulum.
When I come out here with him, I get depressed. The dirt, the neglect, the signs of animals being here to chew, to steal fabric to make nests.
So this afternoon, I cleaned it up. I moved out a few things which do not bring me happiness. I boxed up old Zip drives and an old printer that hasn't been used in years. I wiped surfaces clean and gave a polish to the old wooden file cabinet. I swept.
And then I brought my lap top out and sat down. To write.
But what I really did was to find the document of a novel I've written (Lord, how many novels HAVE I written?) and start to go through it again.
I finished it quite some time back, and mainly to prove to myself I could. I have never been happy with the ending. I was never very happy with the whole thing. I started writing it as a form of anger-therapy, truthfully, and never meant to go anywhere with it. Gave myself permission to write the worst novel ever written and just get out the petty anger I was feeling at the time.
And when I started rereading today, I realized that, well, I don't think it's that horrible. But here's the thing- it turns out that the book is about a woman who cannot think of herself as a writer. She is a mother, a wife. She writes in an office just like this one. She lives in this house. She is writing a book about lives which have been lived in this house. She is me, of course, and she is not me, of course.
She is confronted with a "real" writer who at one time lived in the house, who wants to know if she can come and visit it again because she, too, is writing about the house.
Which makes this woman, this would-be-can't-be a writer angry as hell.

And no, the real writer who used to live here never has come here to visit that I know of since I've lived here. But she did write me once to ask if I thought this house had spirits in it because she was writing a book about the house. Even though she had left it, she had a book to write about it. Which made me angry because it's not her house any more, even if she did live here. Even if she did write here, even if she did build that beautiful bathroom.

And she did. She wrote the book. It got published. I've written about it. Hell, I've written about this whole situation right here on the blog. I've written about writing and I've written about the anger and I've written about the book the writer wrote and it's all like a twisted knot of worms. This parallel universe rubbing up and intersecting with that one, this real life becoming twisted with another person's real life.
This house, this room, this space, these trees, this town, those roses, these words, my words, her words.

All of it. And I let so much anger out in the book I wrote. Anger about writing, about not writing. Anger about other things. Sadness, too. Those two pointed weights on the scale which balance each other out and in rereading this book (or a great deal of it) I feel it all again. The real writer's book about this house is filled with what we call magical realism which let's face it- some people can write and some people cannot.
Hank can write it. I'll tell you that.

I really do not have a point here. There is no point except to say that this is an issue I have not resolved one bit. This writing thing. This feeling of I will never be a writer even though I know better. I write here, every day. Sometimes it is not so great, but I put it down, I send it out. More than that, though, I view everything through my writer-eyes. Can this be written about? Can that? Can this be made into a story and if so, can I tell it properly?

When I cleaned up this room, I threw away three damn awards I'd gotten for writing. One year I decided to actually participate in a local writing contest. I submitted fiction, memoir, and poetry. I won first place for each. I was high as a kite.
Then. Nothing. I have submitted nothing at all anywhere since then and I do not feel that it was any sort of accomplishment. I think I am prouder of the night I sat out here and churned out a short story while a hurricane was approaching and the wind blew so hard that the trees bowed almost to the ground. I don't know that anyone's read that story.

I look around this room and I want to make it mine again. To shine up my totems with my gaze. To wear out the floor under the chair where I sit my ass. To keep the floor swept. To come out here as a statement to the fact that there is a part of me which is not defined as wife or mother or grandmother, even as my grandson busies himself with collecting and arranging everything from paper clips to madonnas.
To write.

And I want to say this to each of you- to all of US- we only need to let ourselves. To let ourselves have the dream of what writing can mean to us all. Because I know you have it too. I know you do. If you are here, if you are reading this, you do. And some of you do not need to hear that. Some of you have written and been published and you never had so much as a damn chair to call your own.

But you did it anyway. You DO it anyway. You write out your anger and your joy and your fears and your loves and your sorrows and your recipes and your footprints in the snow.

The room is clean. It's a start. I've said this so many times but tonight I realize that I have written books. In that room and in others and on my lap on a yellow legal tablet.
I have done that.
I can do it again. Even though, EVEN THOUGH it brings me more pleasure than I think I deserve. In a room I don't really believe I deserve but to which I hold on to with fingers of grasping steel.

That's what I have to say tonight.
I have written it out. I am sending it to you. May we all slide the cover of dust off of our dreams.
They are ours and if we have dreamed them, we deserve them.
I swear. You too. Me too. I swear.

Sometimes You Get What You Want Only To Discover It Is What You Need

The air is so soft today. Like silk velvet, cool on the skin. The earth is breathing it out to touch us, leaves scatter in that breath, wind chimes tangle, jangle in it, old man moss beards sway in far-up branches.

I got no complaints.

Made the leftover sweet potatoes into pancakes and we ate them sitting outside at the table under the trees. I put his glass of milk in the freezer because he likes it so cold. I honor his boyhood when I do that. He drank his milk from the one-degree-above-freezing cooler his daddy stored it in on the dairy farm. He would dip his Bozo mug into that milk whenever he wanted.
Can you imagine?
I can. I can see it in my mind. I like the picture, I put his milk in the freezer.

We went out together to let the chickens out. Held hands on the small journey. We watched as the hens scattered, each to her favorite place, we went in the garden and agreed that yes, the weeds are taking over again.
Ah. Sigh.
The hens scratched around us, Mabel had her head in the fence, reaching through for the tender sprouts of watered weeds. She is a good looking hen now that her feathers have grown back. Who knew?
What is there which is so delightful about the simple watching of chickens on a Sunday morning? When they come out of the hen house, Elvis does his little courting dance around each one. I think he is saying, "I think you are pretty, my hen, I find you very attractive."
The hens dance away sideways and say, "Excuse me. I would like my breakfast now."
That's what I think they are saying. I really do although Mr. Moon is more of the opinion that Elvis is saying, "I am horny."

Okay- here's a complaint- I just pulled a damn tick off my head. I'm sure I got it yesterday, crouching under tall dry weeds to pick up trash. No good deed goes unpunished. My scalp, where I removed it, hurts like a son-of-a-bitch.
Oh well.
Not much of a complaint.

It's Sunday and the air is soft and the earth is breathing in and out and so are we and tomorrow will be crazy-busy but today is not. Today is for moving softly through this soft air. Today is for opening all of the doors and letting the earth's breath move through my house.
Today is for holding hands and watching chickens scratch in the dirt and gathering eggs, blue, green and brown. Today is for watering the porch plants, washing the dogs, for whatever it is we want to do.

A day for perhaps feeling saudade and wabi-sabi and Ya'aburnee. All at once.

A day to perhaps go search the YouTube for an old song which evokes any of these feelings. A day to walk down to the river, a day to sit in the sun, to let music play in your own head or in the trees above you. A day to play music if you are one of the blessed ones who can do that.

A day to be soft and feel softness and breathe it in and let it out and that's enough.

Here in Lloyd anyway. That is enough. For today.

And I need to give Jo credit for giving us a poem this morning which led my head into this direction for which I am grateful to her.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Poop And Trash, Sweetness And Light

It has been a good day. An antidote day to the craziness of the past week. A craziness which of course was wonderful in and of itself, but which was exhausting, nonetheless.
It was a day of small and simple tasks. Tidying up and putting away. Sweeping and cleaning out the roost-nests in the hen house.
Napping. I am a bit horrified at how much I can sleep these days. But I drink it in. I take it.
I took a walk this morning and the amount of trash on Main Street pissed me off to the point where after my nap I put on my overalls and drove down there in my car and pulled out black garbage bags and filled them up. I told the man who sits in his truck at the end of Main Street as a recreational activity what I was doing.
"People don't care," he said. And I thought to myself that no, they do not, him included although he certainly does keep the trash off of his part of Main Street. He works hard in his yard and it is a tidy yard and his bushes are trimmed and his leaves are raked and burned.
"County used to come and clean it up. They don't do that any more."
"Well," I said, "I guess the person it upsets the most had better clean it up then," and I proceeded to do so and for right this second, it looks good. Main Street looks good. The styrofoam plates and cups and candy bags and beer bottles and cans and water and soda bottles and Subway bags will return, but for now, this second, it looks fine.
I am not happy to do this chore. It seems to me that of course, "someone" else should do it although it would be far better if no one threw their trash out the window in the first place but they do and that is human nature. Trashy human nature.
Main Street in Lloyd is a great mixture of architecture and types of houses. There are a few of our old houses. Some are being lived in and taken care of, some are lying lonely. One old cabin is falling in completely, the old falling-down house as I call it, and one, owned by a local bastard according to lore, is just empty and not being taken care of. Supposedly this man has bought a lot of land here in Lloyd, hoping to parley it all into a Hardee's, taking advantage of the interstate exit. Who knows? It is a shame, though, to see that house falling prey to time and disregard.
Well. I don't care how small a place you live in, you will run across every sort of human, almost. Most of us are kind people and we do care and we do try to just, oh, you know, keep things tidy. No one is obsessive about it, just thoughtful. I try not to judge but of course I do. There is one modular home on Main Street which is lived in by the trashiest of the trashy and over a year ago, one of their dogs tore up a dog bed and the foam is still littering the yard and that is hardly the worst of it. They keep chickens and advertise Farm Fresh Eggs.
I would not buy anything to eat from those people. Who would?
On the other hand, the lowest-of-the-low of the old trailers is being rented by some people who obviously care. Their yard is litter-free and they have plants in pots and a basketball hoop and rabbits in cages which are always filled with clean hay and look sturdy.
One can live in a trailer and still take some sort of responsibility for one's immediate surroundings.

And I guess that's why I feel pretty okay today. I have taken responsibility for my own immediate surroundings. I did nothing to change the world but I cleaned up Main Street in Lloyd, Florida.

I also threw out the rug that has been in our front entry-way since we moved here. It was the sort of rug which cleverly disguised anything. Blood, puke, dog shit. Mostly dog shit in our situation. And I will never, ever step in dog shit again on that rug, not having seen it. I will never sweep that rug, only to realize I am sweeping dog shit.
You do not know how happy I am about that.
Such a simple thing. Take up the fucking rug. And if the dogs pee or poop there, I can clean it up properly, I will not step in it.

I feel lighter, even though my refrigerator is still packed and stacked with leftovers. I want very much to make turkey nachos tonight but I realize it would be more sensible to just have Thanksgiving Day Dinner all over again and see if we can't clear out some of that food.

We'll see. Mr. Moon and I will see what we feel like. We're going to play some Yahtzee now. We've spent all day here, together at some times and doing separate things at others. One of the things I love about my marriage is how sweet we almost always are to each other. We know the value of that. We do not take the other's feelings for granted.
We have been very sweet today.

Sweetness and light. In a, oh, you know, funky trash-cleaning, get-down-and-get-dirty sort of way.

Yes. A good day. Nothing wild, nothing crazy, except for the very fact of such holy prosaic-ness.

He wants to play Yahtzee now.
I'm ready.

If you love words, please go visit our beautiful Angella .here.
She has given us a list of them from other languages which our tongues may not know but which are hearts surely do.
Thank-you, Angella.
It's Saturday but Lord, don't it feel like Sunday? Everything is all screwed up, time-wise in my head. Mr. Moon is sort of wandering around wondering what it is he's supposed to do today.
Me? I'm just trying to figure out, as I do every morning, WHERE I am today.
Definitely not Minnesota.
Or Ohio.
Although I could, I suppose, be in Mexico. It's warm.
Oh wait. I'm in Florida. Land of the Loonies. Did you read about that doctor in Miami who was injecting women's butts with a mixture of cement, mineral oil and flat tire sealant?
And women were paying him? Her? She's possibly transgendered. The doctor. She did "plastic surgery" on herself.

Yeah. Florida. Gotta love us. Unless you live here and your governor is Rick Scott. Another family member of mine has been "let go" of her state job. She's going to be replaced with some woman whose daddy is a big campaign contributor.
Go figure.

Anyway, yeah, it's Saturday. I just went and let the chickens out and gave them some corn. Then I took a picture of one of the next-door banties who comes over daily to scratch in my yard. He's that gorgeous thing you see above. Now if that's not a pretty rooster. Jesus. You could wear him on your head as a hat. You could wear Elvis on your head as a hat but I think you'd have to be a member of British Royalty to get away with THAT fashion statement.

I think I'll go eat a bowl of cereal. The problem with this time of year is that there just isn't enough to eat. Haha! And then start working on the laundry again. As soon as the old washing machine heard we'd bought a new one, it started working again to a degree. It's back to handling two things at a time. Actually, I got CRAZY last night and tried washing a small rug in it.
Damn if it didn't handle it just fine.
I know, I'm pushing the envelope. I'm jumping the shark. I'm injecting my butt with cement.
No I'm not.
But I might take a walk.

Here in Lloyd, Florida. Where I am. I am pretty sure.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, November 25, 2011

I Think I Got Lost On The Space-Time Continuum Highway

 I tried to assuage (and that's one of those words I have no idea how to pronounce but which I can use the shit out of when I write) my guilt today by cleaning up some gnarly, hardened dog poops upstairs. I then cleaned some of the spindle things of the stairway. Not too many. I didn't kill anyone, I just didn't help with the clean-up last night.
Best not to get crazy.

Poor Owen is as holiday dazed as I am. The boy would not take a nap. He screamed at me. No want it! No want it! And when I tried to sooth him by rubbing his back he yelled, "Stop it!" I would have called the cops if I'd heard him. It sounded like I was removing his fingernails instead of gently rubbing his back.
I gave up. We watched some inane thing on public television for children. Syd the Science Kid. They were talking about shots. Not tequila shots. Vaccination shots. Owen didn't care. He just wanted to sit down and not move and NOT TAKE A NAP! I read Vanity Fair. That Scarlett Johansson! What a babe!

Now here's something in that magazine this month that really pissed me off: There was an article on the Amazonian drug, ayahuasca. Now I actually know a few people who have taken this powerful hallucinogen in the proper setting with the proper shaman and they claim that the experience changed their lives in very, very positive ways. I have seen the changes. And so I was excited to read the article but no, Ted Mann, the author of it, had to focus on some nutcase who went down to the Amazon and did a whole shitload of ayahuasca and ended up obsessed with building a floating pyramid and doing a bunch of other crazy crap.
Come on.
It reminded me of the fact that I have never in my life met anyone who tried to fly while doing acid, OR damaged their chromosomes doing acid OR had a fucking flashback.
I keep waiting for that last one.

Mr. Moon bought a washing machine today. He went out into the world and he braved the crowds and he took my mother her purse which she forgot last night and he picked up my prescription and he bought a washing machine while I stayed here and tortured Owen and scraped up petrified poop.
They'll be delivering the machine on Monday.
I tell you what- I have never taken having a washing machine for granted. Ever. Not when it was sitting by the side of the 10 by 50 foot trailer I was living in with two children and covered with a piece of tin precariously nailed to a tiny shed roof, and I surely won't be taking this new one for granted, either.

I realized today that although there are many, many things which create anxiety in me, doing the laundry is one of the few things which I actually find soothing. Laundry, chickens, weeding, cooking. Mostly cooking. Regular cooking. You know. These are things that calm my soul.
Obviously, I was not meant for this time period. I should have possibly been a Peruvian Amazonian woman who washed her family's clothes in the river and grew corn in a little plot and took care of the chickens and babies and cooked stews of corn and ground pig and drank a bit of ayahuasca now and then. Slept in a hammock with three or four grandchildren. And my man could have spent all of his time hunting and would not have to go to town on Black Friday to buy me a washing machine or pick up my prescription for anti-depressants because I wouldn't need either one.
I wouldn't need a damn bra, either. Hell, I wouldn't even need a shirt!

Well, this is not the way it turned out. I am neither a Peruvian Amazonian Woman or Scarlett Johansson. I wonder who washes Scarlett's clothes. Maybe she does.
She knows Bill Murray.

She probably even knows Keith Richards.

Double damn. And she's only twenty-six years old.
Or twenty-seven. Whatever. An unformed babe. With pouty, sexy lips.

Time to put the chickens to bed. The sun is going down silver in the west.
I ain't got no ayahuasca nor shaman either one.

Not too worried about that. I got chickens and I'll be getting a new washing machine on Monday and I got Mr. Moon, AKA, Zen Glen.

That'll do. That'll crazy-good do.


And Then

And then it got crazy.

This is what we had yesterday for Thanksgiving Dinner:

Turkey, with cornbread stuffing
Turkey, smoked
Oysters, raw
Pickles and olives and cheese and crackers guava paste and cream cheese and 
Deviled eggs
Green bean casserole
Spinach and artichoke heart casserole
Norwegian hot dish casserole
Broccoli casserole
Corn casserole
Sweet potato casserole 
German cabbage
Vegetarian stuffing
Cranberry relish
Cranberry sauce
Pecan pie
Chocolate pecan pie
Apple pie
Pumpkin pie
Real whipped cream

We were ten for supper, including Owen. Who took one bite of a turkey leg and pronounced it nasty.

Do you see the problem here?

By the time we sat down to eat, I had been on my feet since eight, mostly. May had been on her feet since the moment she got here. Everyone else had made and helped with things all day.

I went to bed before the cleaning up was done. DO YOU HEAR ME? I WENT TO BED BEFORE THE CLEANING UP WAS DONE!

Because I pretty much thought I was going to die and being in bed would be the appropriate place to do that. Take that whole day, add in the day and days before for the party and getting ready for the party and Owen-care and shopping and the broken washing machine and, and, and...

I just slept for eleven hours.

And the worst? I feel SO guilty that I went to bed before the cleaning up was done and everyone left. May and Matt were still in the kitchen and so was Mr. Moon when I went to bed.

They were cleaning up. They were figuring out how to put the leftovers away and washing dishes. I would have just thrown all the pots and pans and food in the yard. I would have let the wild animals come and eat all of it.

I washed my face. I brushed my teeth. I put on my nightgown. I tried to read for a little while. I couldn't. I turned out the light.

I slept for eleven hours. In a row. Waking up only to feel guilty and then go back to sleep.

Let me remember this next year. Let me put my foot down and say that if people want casseroles, they should make them and enjoy them in July.

I haven't gone to bed before the cleaning up was done since 1988 when I was pregnant with Jessie and went to bed before the EATING was done. I seem to recall that I just laid down under the table and fell asleep but I am pretty sure I didn't actually do it.
Pretty sure.

I am too old for all of this. Even if the children do more than half of it. I cannot deal with the guilt.
Which is stupid.
But it's the way it is.

The hell to you, you Pilgrims. Coming to this country and making up to the Indians so they'd take pity on your poor little white souls and teach you how to survive and than making a dinner and inviting a few Indians and then stealing all of their land and the hell to you with your Great Feast idea.

The hell to you with your little buckled shoes and your stupid hats and your religious freedom and your sucking up to Squanto and your Plymouth Rock and your Great Feast and your ideas of original sin and GUILT!

And the hell to whoever invented the casserole, too, if you want to know the truth.

Eleven hours of sleep. And Owen's coming soon and boy, do I hope he wants a nap today.

Your faithful correspondent...Ms. Moon

Thursday, November 24, 2011

This is the most laid- back Thanksgiving of my life that I can remember.
So far today, it is just Mr. Moon and Hank and Anna here. I swim/dance around the kitchen and my hands fall to this chopping, this peeling, this mixing, this crumbling, this boiling, this, this, this.
Quiet. It is so quiet today.
I have been out to the garden and picked collards, mustards, a few cabbage and broccoli leaves, some of that oriental green I do not know the name of. They are all in the pot with tomatoes and onions and are saying to each other, "My, don't you look fine? May I sip your flavor for awhile?"
Uh-huh, uh-huh.
I made the cornbread with sage and celery seed and now there is stuffing in the bird and and the bird is in the oven and there is vegetarian stuffing and two types of cranberries and peeled eggs ready to become bedeviled.
Mr. Moon is smoking a turkey. The sun is shining down. It is not too hot. We are only going to be nine for dinner.
I am just...happy.
May and Matt are here now.

And I am even happier.

Thanksgiving Is Not A Joke! (Unless You're Lucky)

Damn, it's a beautiful morning. Hope it is where you are too.

Time to get Kraken in the kitchen!

Not a paid placement.
Just another pun.
There were a million of 'em last night. 
Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon


Smaller than usual.
Lots of children.
Moments of great laughter.

QOTD: People are just not going to stop having sex and having children.

You can quote me on that.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Almost-Miracles And A Recipe

The pies are gorgeous although underneath, the crust is patchworked. I tried a recipe I'd never used before and I was supposed to refrigerate that dough for an hour. Haha.
Well, as humid as it was and as lousy as my pie crust usually turns out, I am not upset.

I actually tried getting the washing machine to work one more time. And it did. I was so thrilled. I washed one entire load successfully and slick as could be. I thought that maybe a miracle had occurred. A Thanksgiving miracle! Tried another load.
No. Not at all.

Mr. Moon is already gone to fulfill his list and oh, maybe work. I don't even know. His list is like, "Oysters, beer, rum, vodka, dog food, washing machine."
My list, so far, is- flour, brown sugar, butter."

That's like one list saying, "Clean bathroom sink," and another list reading "Create world peace."

Well, I have other things to do, of course, besides buy those few things.

May called me from the grocery store yesterday.
"Wouldn't it be funny," I said, "if one Thanksgiving for the hors d'oeuvres part of the event we put out soda crackers and about five cans of spray cheese?"
"It's not too late!" she boomed.

Well. I better get to it. That bathroom isn't going to clean itself and that's the truth.

And it didn't really rain. Not really. Mist.
And I have sort of lost that feeling of This is going to be fun!
I really thought it was a real feeling. I wasn't even drinking when I wrote it.
Well, making those pies was fun. Doing that one load of wash was fun. Thinking it might rain was fun.

I don't have a real high bar when it comes to fun, do I?
Here's the way I make cranberry relish. You are supposed to make it a week ahead of time.
Oh well.

One bag of cranberries.
Two small-medium apples.
Two oranges.
1/2 cup pecans.
1 1/2 cups of sugar.
1/8 tsp. salt.

Wash all fruit well. Core and cut up apples into chunks. Cut up and seed oranges. Chunks. Don't peel.
Process in batches in the food processor all of the fruit until it is in small pieces but not pureed.
Chop pecans the same way.

Mix all the fruit and the nuts together in a bowl with the sugar and salt. Tuck away in the refrigerator until it's time to eat. Mix it all up occasionally.

It's fun to eat. I'm not kidding you.

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's been windy all day, the leaves falling like rain, tumbling as gracefully as ballerinas as they drift and fall and scatter. Several times today Owen and I just stood and watched them, mesmerized by the sight of them.
And now, I swear to you- I think it might rain. Could we really be that lucky?

And I am SO not freaking out. I am sort of freaking out that I am not freaking out.
I think I just realize that there is no point. What the damn hell? This shit is gonna happen no matter what and I ain't worrying about it. In fact, it might as well be fun.

Is that a fucking epiphany or what?
Obvious, much?

I got to hang with Owen today and take a great nap with him. I've talked to Jessie and May on the phone and I've seen Lily. I'll be seeing Hank tomorrow. That boy of mine.
I have no idea who will show up tomorrow.
I've done a poor job of inviting anyone. I did talk to my sister-wife today. Well, she's not really my sister-wife. She's the wife of my ex-husband which means she's Hank and May's other-mother and they're coming. So that's good. If they're coming and the kids are here, it's a party.

I just spoke to Mr. Moon and he's in the store right now looking at washing machines. The way they do it these days is if you buy the damn dryer, they give you a washer for free. Just about. This is ridiculous! I don't really need a new dryer! But, hell, if you can get a washer AND a dryer for what a washer would cost...

Problems of the 1%.

I think I'll go make some pies. Yep. That's what I want to do. Make pies. It's too humid to mop and besides, if they bring in a new washer (and dryer?) tomorrow, they're going to get that kitchen all messed up anyway.

Okay. One more thing:
When I went out to gather eggs this morning I found that teeny-tiny one.

It's like the size of Mr. Moon's thumb tip. And it looks, in color, exactly like the GIANT eggs that I get these days.
Does one of my hens have a messed-up woo-woo? Is her egg-size-calculator all discombobulated? Is she in the process of refining things?

How cute is that? I sort of want to fry it and give it to Owen. As a meal.

Which, speaking of. Here that boy is:

He's on an orange-eating kick. I shared one with him today and he told me, "No choking!"

Pies. Pecan pies. Flour, Crisco, water, pecans, eggs, Karo syrup, sugar, salt. And chocolate for one of them.

No choking, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Yeah. Feels Like Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving countdown is going just as it should, meaning I have made one side dish, the dogs appear to be sick, my knee hurts, the washing machine is still sitting in there, broken, and the laundry is piling up and Owen is coming today and tomorrow and the party is tomorrow. And then, you know, Thanksgiving is the next day.

I went to the Costco yesterday and bought stuff for the party. I bought a turkey. I went to Publix and bought more stuff for Thanksgiving. I brought Owen home and we played for many hours and Lily came over after work and we all had supper and the fence in the backyard is draped with wet things that were in the washing machine when it broke and also two rugs, and the rug in the entry way to the house is going to the trash and so are those other rugs but I don't have a damn truck, I have a Prius, and Mr. Moon is on his way to work and to possibly buy a washing machine and he is driving the truck.

Yes, yes. I know. We have the money to buy a washing machine and for that, I am eternally grateful. I feel like the fucking 1%. I probably am.

Also, we have the money to buy food for the party and also beer and so forth. And we have a truck.

This year I swore I was only going to do the turkey. And the stuffing. Yep. That's it. The kids can do the rest. They agreed. Then all of a sudden I was thinking, "Oh wait. Gotta do the greens. Uh-huh." Then I found sweet potatoes tumbling into my hands at the Publix. And apples. And raisins. Why did I forget brown sugar? I did buy butter. And of course there are the two types of cranberries, the cranberry/orange/apple/pecan relish which May and I love and also, the plain berries kind which I mostly make because they are so beautiful in the bowl. And what about pies? The pecan pies. I have to make the pecan pies. The regular and the chocolate.

My knee hurts. I asked Mr. Moon who studied things like hurt knees in college what does it mean if it hurts here but is not swollen there? If it feels icky when you press on the knee cap. If it pops when you walk. He said something about patellar tendinitis. 
"Ice it," he said.
Well of course. You always ice it. Who has time to ice a knee cap?

My hand hurts too. Did I mention that? I slammed it into a door on my way through it the other day. Completely just slammed my hand by accident as I passed through a doorway. No anger was involved. When I did it, I said, "Boy, that hurts." Then I tried to forget about it.
Forget THAT.

Oh well. This is the way it is. It's okay. It's always okay. It's just a gathering (two gatherings) of loved ones. No big deal. For the party I'll make a big bowl of pasta and set out chips and dips. I have paper plates. I have plastic forks. I suppose that beer will show up somehow. I think that Mr. Moon will get oysters. Oh Lord. I forgot crackers and horseradish.

Oh Lord.

If only the dogs weren't sick. If only I had a washing machine. If only the rugs weren't draped over the fence. If only...

I'll light candles. If the dogs die, the dogs die. We'll get a washing machine.
Bruce Springsteen is coming out with a new album next year. CD. Collection of songs you can download. Whatever. I am going to Cozumel for Christmas. We're getting a new grandbaby in March. I have hot and cold running water. I have the four most wonderful human beings in the entire universe as my very own personal children. I have a husband who, well, I want to die in his arms. Not any time soon, but eventually. I do not need embroidered samplers to remind myself to be grateful.
Hey. I'm grateful for THAT fact.
And it's not the kind of grateful where you have to huddle around a fire made of cow chips and eat gruel and say, "Thank god we have cow chips!" and everyone chimes in to say, "Bless us every one!" and I take up my crutches and hobble outside to wash the gruel pot in snow.

So yeah, the Thanksgiving countdown is going well and just as it should and just as it goes every Thanksgiving and there are still about fifty percocets or some sort of pain drug in the freezer leftover from three years ago when Jessie had her knee operated on and if I'm really, really lucky, I'll get a bottle of anejeo rum and won't screw up the gravy and the dogs will die.

Just kidding about that last part!

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Moment Darkness Falls

Owen is crunch-crunch-crunching some Chex Mix in the third course of his mid-afternoon lunch. Or whatever meal this is. The first course was two containers of yogurt, the second a carrot and now two (so far) servings of Chex Mix.
And I forgot about that chomping of the collards in the garden he did. I don't know that he actually eats any of the collards he chomps like a mule but he does chew them up a bit before he spits them out.
Of course by supper he won't want a drop of soup but whatever.
I do not care.

And now the sun is setting and the sky and light are orange, that sad last-ditch-effort orange and it's funny how sunset can be my favorite time of day or my least-favorite, depending.

Sirens go by, splitting the air with shrill hurry-hurry-hurry and I wonder who is hurt and wonder whose life just changed in the last few minutes whether by accident or some attack of the body and even though Owen is here and we just picked salad and he keeps hugging me and also his horse, it is very hard to not feel unsettled in this light, this letting-go-of-day, this moment when children used to stand at the door, waiting for their fathers to come home.


I'm trying the new blogger interface again.
The old one was doing funky things to me this morning. Weird though, how you get so used to putting your thoughts into a certain format, a certain little box, and trying to write in a different one is so disconcerting.

So I wanted to let you all know that Ms. Sarcastic Bastard Beloved is alive and working her tail off. New policies at her place of business have precluded her from reading or writing blogs at work and she refuses (and rightfully so) to open a computer while at home.
She is not happy.
As you can imagine.
But that explains her silence.
I asked her if I could make this announcement and she is in such a work-related tizzy that she said whatever. Basically. But I know I would worry.
So there you have it.

My son sent me a link to a story he's written and I am just reverberating with it. First I asked him if I could link it but then I read what he had to say here and what he basically said was, oh hell, go to the link and read what he had to say himself.

When I read the story it showed me beyond doubt that it is not just the evil which pervades a family for generations. It can be the good stuff too. The magic.
That was about the best gift, that knowledge, I've ever received.

Plus. That was about the best story I've ever read.

Damn. My son can write.

Last night ended so sweetly. That soup was fine and the focaccia was some of the best food I ever put in my mouth. My brother and I came to some sort of terms of peace via e-mail.
Mr. Moon and I blessed each other with love and kisses.
I don't know. I feel like I'm maybe going through some sort of process wherein I am...hell. I don't even know. But I do know that as the dreams continue of violence and fear, I am finding myself in real life feeling more fully in my own body. I would not wish this sort of nightmare therapy on anyone, but we can't always choose our paths of healing.
That's what I am thinking, maybe.

The chickens are out, the sun's light is pouring down. The little yellow butterflies are dancing around the Firespike blossoms which are allowing themselves to be drunk from freely and with passionate color. I have much to do before Owen gets here.

It is Monday morning, a strange time, perhaps, to be so filled with thoughts of magic and wonder, but there it is anyway. One can only take note, one can only be grateful. One can only be cheered at the thought of all that is possible even at this time of life.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


It's been a fine day and one in which I realized I have no idea how to shop for a washing machine. I do not need a machine which has a "casual" setting. Is that the setting you use to NOT wash an evening dress, a tuxedo?
I kept trying to explain to the salesman who was so obviously desperate to make a sale that I do not want all of those crazy features. He insisted that he could teach me how to use the machine. Really, it is simple! English is not his first language and he just could not get it into his head that I am not afraid I won't be able to figure it out- I just don't want or need them.
Bless his heart.

I got elected to the Stage Company board. Sweet. It was so good to see my buds. Pat and Jan and Jack and Kathleen and Denise and Judy and two newish guys who have been acting at the Opera House lately but whom I have not had the pleasure of working with. Yet.

There is one darkness here on this day. Again, my brother wrote me and corrected something I'd written in my blog. He pointed out that our mother did indeed do community service and yes, oh yes she did. She worked with Hospice for over twenty-five years. She did. And so again, I feel I must set the record straight. In my defense, she did not do this when I was living at home.

He asked me what my trip/agenda was in portraying our mother as being so depressed.
He does not remember her that way.
I wrote him back, told him that I wished he would comment here, on the blog, so that people could get a more balanced view of the situation. Or better yet- that he should start his own blog and write his own truth.

I mean it.

And I am filled with words right now, none of which I shall write. Because I know how hurtful it is to be told that your perceptions, your memories are incorrect.
That you are, in fact, a liar. And my brother is not a liar. He simply had a different mother than I did, or at least, he remembers her differently.

I am filled with words I will not write, I am filled with jagged bits of nightmare remnants and I am also filled with gratefulness of the fullness and complete richness of my life.

And I am going to go make some damn good soup and some foccacia with tomatoes and mozzarella and tomorrow I will buy a turkey and Owen will be here and yes, I have anger but not at my brother. No. Not really. As I write, I realize that sometimes anger is just sadness. Just pure old sadness at the story which never really ends.

But which does not have to end me.
No. It does not.
Nor will it.


Dishwasher's beautiful and talented life-wife blogs in two different places. At least. Click on the picture above to go to her blog Planting Along The Verge and HERE
to visit her at Yobobe.

They are, as Tearful might say, a wonder.

Breathe A Sigh Of Relief

Our beloved Tearful is back.

I Should Start Smoking Pot

Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh my fucking dear.
I broke my washing machine.
It's sort of a miracle the poor thing hung in this long. I think it's the same one that was in this house when we moved here, seven and a half years ago.
It was probably that last rug and dog bed that did it.


So it's four days before Thanksgiving, I have a bum knee, two clean rooms, a lot of pork in the refrigerator and a broken washing machine.

We ate pork last night. I made a...pig...of myself. I kept saying, Why does it have to taste so damn good? I "fried" up those green tomatoes which had been on the vines when it froze, meaning I pan cooked them in a tiny bit of oil after I'd dipped them in buttermilk and then flour and corn meal and they were delicious and I also cooked a sweet potato with a giant apple and then mashed them up together with some brown sugar and cinnamon and the juice of an orange.

It was sort of the perfect supper, taste-wise.

We are having oatmeal for breakfast. Possibly for lunch and dinner as well.

Back to the washing machine.

Oh hell.

Mr. Moon doesn't even want to mess with it. He wants to buy a new one. Fine with me. That one in my tiny closet of a laundry room has washed a million, billion garments and a whole lot of other stuff too.
RIP, dear old appliance.

I'm supposed to go to the Opera House this afternoon. There is a movement afoot to elect me to the board of the Stage Company. I keep saying, "But what will I have to DO?" Okay, I keep whining, "But what will I have to DO?"
"Oh, hardly anything," they tell me.
Somehow I do not really believe them. I am not like Kathleen who was raised to be a good servant of the community. Her mother and father were community LEADERS! They got out there and did things. In the community.
My mother was pretty busy weeping behind a closed door when she wasn't working or cooking or cleaning.
Hey! We all have our place and our function.

But I guess I'll go. I actually did almost get elected to the board once but another woman really, really wanted that job and so I ceded to her. "I'm going to CHANGE things," she whispered in my ear with great and enthusiastic conspiratory breathiness, which was alarming. Then she never came back.

Ooh boy.

All right. Mr. Moon is about to hand me some paper-work I need to fill out for the lawyer we're about to hire to take Mother's case to force the insurance company to pay the benefits she deserves. Then he's talking about going into town and shopping for a washing machine and stopping at Mother's on the way.

I need about forty-two Ativans.

Happy Sunday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

P.S. That picture of Keith? Well, it's Sunday. There you go.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sometimes You Clean

So you can remember what it is you have.

Meaningless, Time-Wasting Drivel

I am having the hardest time focusing today. I flit from one task to another like the little yellow butterflies which stand out in fine relief against the firespike blossom but almost disappear when resting on a leaf.

One of the things I did today was take my camera outside. There was nothing at all that stood up and raised its hand and shouted, "Take me! Take MY picture!" so I just walked around and snapped this, snapped that.
The chickens are always good for a shot. Nothing makes me happier than a portrait of Elvis, The World's Finest Rooster.

His head feathers are growing back in after the moult and look a bit quilly but damn, look at that eye! Look at that beak! A Rooster On Duty. Dude never takes a break. I hope he lives forever. That's probably not possible, is it?

Anyway, so yeah, I took some pictures and of course I hung Mr. Moon's hunting stuff on the line. It not only didn't rain today, it cleared up, mostly.

You can't see anything except for the orange safety jacket, can you? That's because it's all CAMO! Tricky hunters.
Well, of course you can see the downed flamingo. Flamingos would only be camouflaged in Divine's bedroom. Or in a bubblegum factory. Or flying against a sunset.
I need to go set that damn bird up again or else give him a decent burial. See? I can't even focus long enough to deal with a plastic flamingo.

I did all the other laundry too. Whoo-hoo. I do laundry every day.

I was going to boil some beans for some soup but despite the fact that it seems like I buy beans every time I go to the store, I can never find any in my cabinets. I have pasta and salad dressing and coffee out the yin/yang-wing/wang (sorry, I've been wanting to say that all day- I think there's something wrong with my brain) but as to beans- two sorry almost-empty packets, one of black beans, one of garbanzos. And they were filled with the dreaded weevils.
Time to burn down the kitchen!

Cleaning. You know, I keep having dreams about moving into houses which need cleaning OUT! I mean, they are filled with crap and there is something just so satisfying about the idea of doing this in my dreams. I look at crap-filled rooms and see them in my mind (my dream mind) all cleared out and set up as new rooms and it makes me happy!
In real life?
But. I did go into the dining room and take up the rug in there which has been so peed upon by certain dogs that it is nasty and smells nasty and took it outside and put it on the fence next to another rug which used to be in the library and which is draped over the fence for the very same reason.
I don't know if we think that after several decades of fence-hanging in all sorts of weather that the rugs will be restored to usability or what. Obviously, we should just throw the motherfuckers away. It's sort of like putting that last one-eighth of a cup of cole slaw back in the refrigerator, knowing you're never going to eat it but letting it rest there in the cold until it is well and truly NO GOOD AT ALL any more at which point you can throw it away with a clean conscience.
And then I dusted and swept and mopped that room and you know- that feels pretty awesome.
Almost awesome enough to motivate me to head towards the library and start in cleaning there.
Actually, I'm lying. I do not feel motivated at all.
Not one damn bit. I had to interrupt my dining room cleaning at least eight times to check e-mail and watch videos about squid and octopi changing pigment and also about dinosaur feathers which they have found preserved in amber and also one about a drunk guy being attacked by monkeys who did not want him on their own Monkey Island (who would?) and also, oh you know, eat some stuff. Leftover stuff.

Which is what we'll probably eat for supper but I am really trying to motivate myself to make a blueberry pie or maybe even a blueberry and blackberry pie because I have the frozen berries to do it and I've sort of been thinking about pie lately. Yeah, making a pie five days before Thanksgiving makes a LOT OF SENSE!

No it doesn't.

Okay. Wait. I cleaned out the hen house. REALLY WELL! (Not really. Just sort of well.)

And then I thought about working in the garden. For three or four minutes. And I did trim a few more plants. For about three or four minutes.

And here I am, back at the computer, wondering if it's cheating to start drinking beer early if it's used as a motivational tool to clean. Because if I made a shot of espresso and then drank a beer (I call this the Housewife's Speedball) I would clean like a crazy woman.
Oh. I think I just pointed out the flaw in that argument.

I don't know. It's just one of those days wherein you have a vague itch and there just doesn't seem to be any way to scratch it and you aren't even sure where it is.
I would gladly give myself permission to do almost anything I wanted...if I just knew what the hell that was. So I go from one mindless task to another, not finishing anything, wiping up little dirt-spots on the kitchen floor with a paper towel instead of actually cleaning it and taking pictures and opening the refrigerator to see if there's anything new in there and there never is, dammit, and that's what I'm doing today.


Here's a few more pictures. La-la-la-la.

Iron plant and old piece of wisteria vine.

Tiny little flowers I do not know the name of.

Oxalis or as my kids call it, Sour Flower, and which Owen eats like candy. It's actually quite tasty. And pretty in a salad.

I'm done now. Mr. Moon just called. He's still hours away from coming home. He called to tell me that our neighbors bought some Boston Butt pork roasts from their church which is selling them as a fund raiser (Excuse me?) and they are cooking one for us.

Great. More meat. Just what I need.
But really, that's mighty sweet of them. I have wonderful neighbors.

Thanks for helping me procrastinate, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

P.S. Do not ask me why the font is all messed up here. I have tried to fix it and there is just no way. For me. You could probably do it. But I can't. So what? It's just font size.

There Is Stillness Here Today

Last night's post really struck some nerves, didn't it? I haven't gone back to answer comments individually yet, but I will. I just want to say right here and now that it is unbelievable to me to realize that people read my words and are influenced by them in any way and, well, I am rather speechless.

Anyway, here it is Saturday morning. I am wearing my old man jeans, of course, and a holey (holy?) old cashmere cardigan and I walked out into my kitchen not only to find my husband cooking eggs and sausage but to realize that our across-the-street neighbor was sitting at the kitchen counter.
Disconcerting. At least I was dressed.

Mr. Moon and our neighbor are going to go do some carpentry work on a building we own in town and so they were drinking coffee and making lists of materials they need and yes, Mr. Moon was making breakfast sandwiches of the eggs and sausage and cheese and some of the buns I made last night. He offered me one but I was nowhere near ready for such outlandish protein at that early hour. He kindly left me a sausage patty though. It sits on the stove on a paper towel, waiting for whenever I may be ready.

Bless that good man's heart.

I had a tiny breakdown last night but it turned into something so sweet that it was well worth it. There were no angry words, there was just turning-towards and reassurance and softness and renewal.
One of those tiny miracles of marriage, or at least long-term relationships and even after all these years, it is something to know that we are capable of such awareness of each other.

I have been having trouble sleeping. Not getting to sleep but staying there. We all know these times. I wake up at least once an hour and so of course, I am sleeping too, but it seems to take an inordinate amount of time to get back there, fully, but my mind isn't racing, I am just still. It's okay.

The men have left to go to town, Jason has come in from hunting and gone again too, taking Zeke with him so I have this house to myself again and am doing laundry, still from the hunting trip. It takes a lot of laundry for a man to shoot a buck, y'all. I'm telling you the truth. But I don't mind. I let the washing machine do its work and then I hang the leaf-patterned clothes on the line. It's gray but I doubt it's going to rain. I could clean today, in preparation for next week's gatherings. I did, in fact, finally dust that piano and it gleams with orange oil, the pictures upon it set back in their places. I know I must clean out the hen house. This is a fact.

I dreamed last night, in one of my short naps between awakenings, of a hummingbird, tiny and teal-jeweled in color, feeding among red flowers.
I am grateful for that image, grateful I remembered it.

This may be a day of small things under a very still gray sky. Pewter overhead, the orange and red and yellow leaves of the Bradford Pears look merely bedraggled when they do not dance in a breeze, lit by sun. But still. There is beauty in stillness.

We do not always have to dance to prove our presence.

We do not, in fact have to prove our presence at all. We are here.

I am glad of that. Thank you for coming by, for being here. Thank-you.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Another Aging Post

It is twilight and a while ago the power went out for about an hour and so I set aside all of my plans which of course required electricity and went and laid down on the bed and read for awhile and just as I was falling asleep, the lights came on and I was jolted awake and got up and continued on with the life of electric lights, washing machine, food processor, hot water heater.

I can't tell you how old I feel today. Ancient and yes, crone-like. Bent to a task like any old peasant woman, although when I went to town to run errands and have lunch with Hank, I painted my eyelids and even lined my eyes and put on mascara and lipstick.
Still. Old.

The skin. What can you do about the skin? There is no elixir or pearl-like nutriment which will return it to its elasticity. And if there were, what would we do? Buy it by the barrel, dip our entire bodies in it every night and every morning? Ha!

It's funny how some days I am at peace with this aging process and able to make fun of it and remember that it was never my beauty I was known for, even if I was much prettier than I knew. Youth- there is no substitute. Wisdom is a fine enough trade-off and so is, some days, the vanity which must be let go if one is to remain sane, shaken off with a rueful laugh, an arm-full of bracelets making do where once there was smooth skin.

And then other days the mirror can not, will not lie. You catch yourself not posing, as you do when you face it. You see the way others must see you and there- there- who is that old woman? How does my face look when I screw it up to listen to my choices of bread at the sandwich place? When I am slowly backing up my car, when I am relaxed in sleep, when I am scowling over this computer, trying so hard to recover the words that I know are in this mind but which seem to have been lost in slack pockets of brain which surely by now is as un-elastic as the skin is, no matter how much they talk about the amazing plasticity of that organ.
Sure. Up to a point.

And perhaps today it is just the aching knee. I got up from the table at lunch and it took me a time and I grimaced and Hank, dear son, asked, "Are you okay?"
"Fine, once I get started," I said, and I am. Frisky as a little horse, but oh, the getting started.

Well. What can one do? Become one of those women who from the back look like teenagers with long, glossy hair and tiny hips who walk on pointy-toed shoes, and who, when you see their faces, you realize are grandmothers, starved to death and wending off old-age with every weapon in the arsenal including make up, plastic surgery, dieting, exercise and hot-bod togs but in fact, are fooling no one except perhaps themselves?
It's an option.
Not for me.

So why complain? Why not just be grateful for the fact that there is still enough strength here to walk my miles, to pick up my grandson when he holds his arms up, to heft the chicken food, to be alive at all?

I am not, really. I am just saying that I am not a perfect person and even I, here in my tiny dream world of chickens and grandson and loving husband and dirt and overalls see pictures of goddesses like Lauren Hutton and Helen Mirren and even though I KNOW I am not either one of those beautiful women and cannot, should not compare myself to them, it's so hard in this culture not to. I have been thinking a lot about this. How when I put on my old dead round man's Levi's I hitch 'em up and button and zip them like my husband does his and how, at the end of the day, they are so stretched out I can take them off without undoing them and how comfortable and comforting this is and who gives a shit how they look? And how women are wearing these spandex suck-'em-in jeans and oh yes, our bras which corral our bosoms and place them where they "should" be and it all just makes me wonder how far women have come since the age of corsets and passing out and girdles and garter belts and sanitary napkins which felt like wearing a two-by-four between our legs and, and, and...

When do we get to be who we are?

When we accept that ourselves. I think that is the answer.

Do we? Do we have a chance at accepting ourselves?
Do you? Do you accept yourself?

Just asking.

It's Friday night and I am asking.

Interplanetary News, Plus Other Stuff

So. There are massive oceans on Jupiter's moon, and Demi and Ashton are getting a divorce, and Herman Cain says "We need a leader, not a reader."

As to the oceans- awesome!
As to Ashton and Demi- men are fools.
As to Herman Cain- fuck you.

It's chilly here, and yet as bright as the sun can make it.

The Bradford Pears are giving up their leaves with great jolts of celebratory color.

Miss Bob, one of my older hens, laid her first egg in forever yesterday. Green. She is my only green-egg-laying chicken these days.

One of the flamingos is DOWN.

Poor thing.

The days until Thanksgiving are creeping close. Actually, speeding close. I talked to Billy yesterday and he said that a guy he works with was like, "Are you going to Ms. Moon's party the night before Thanksgiving?" and Billy was like, "What? Why are you going?" but that other guy is a friend of Hank's and for some reason, Hank insists that I have this party which started out as a tiny thing and now it's gotten so big that Thanksgiving itself is like an afterthought.

I think we may have reached the tipping point last year. That was the year that dancing did my knee in and I got up the next day and it was swollen like nobody's business and I couldn't even walk and my kids, my blessed kids! said, "Don't worry, Mommy! We'll make Thanksgiving!" and they did. I sat on the big chair in the Glen Den with ice on my elevated knee and took pain pills and was blissed-out and then a meal appeared.
Best Thanksgiving of my life.
And last night while chasing Owen around the house I slipped in a puddle of DOG PEE and fell and now that same knee is swollen. Or it could be the other knee. I forget, truthfully. this a sign?

Here I am. Swollen knee and all. Doing laundry. I found Owen's plastic giraffe in the laundry basket and that made me smile. That giraffe shows up everywhere. He's back on the window sill munching the rooting scented geranium again. He is happy. I think that Owen has been watching some TV show with karate or something like that. He runs and then stops and strikes a martial-arts-type pose and then sometimes he runs straight at me and tackles me around the legs and he also chased the chickens yesterday with that flamingo.

And then the child does something like tell the mule, "Missed you." Then he does something like grab my neck and squeeze me and say, "Hey there!"

You know, it's so hard to believe that this is my life. Whatever I thought it was going to be like, this is not it.
It's so much better.

Mr. Moon not only brought home a buck (I know there is a deer head out in that garage somewhere but I am not going to go look for it) but he also brought home some home-grown beef that a friend of a friend gave him because Mr. Moon took vast quantities of shrimp and oysters up to those Tennessee guys and tonight we're going to have hamburgers for supper.
I don't think I've eaten a real hamburger since Jessie's friend Darrah (hey, Darrah!) brought some organic home-grown beef out to Dog Island a long, long time ago.

In honor of the event, I believe I will MAKE hamburger buns. And buy the best tomatoes I can find. And make oven fries.

Herman Cain can bite my ass. Ashton Kutcher can drown in inferior pussy for all I care. And Europa can hide its oceans beneath ice and just knowing it's there is something to think about.

I have green eggs and blue, brown and pale ivory. I have the sweetest family in the world. I have collard greens in the garden to cook for Thanksgiving and they have been frost-bit which is what makes them sweet. Yesterday Owen leaned over and chomped a collard right there in the garden. Just chomped it like an animal.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Oh My Lord

Home, home, Mr. Moon is home and Owen was here and then his mama came for supper and Zeke is back for a few days and oh. my. lord.

My sweet lord.

After complete quiet and no-one-but-me, here we are again.

Cooking, cleaning, tending. Laundry. After I take it out and hose it off to get the topsoil off.

Mer! Are you?

Right here, baby. Right here.

Mer is right here.

One more. One more kiss. Love you. Bye-bye. See you soon.

Come on, Bop. Time for bed.

Time for bed. Mer is tired. So are you.

One more. Time for bed. One more.

Some Thoughts On Emptying Nests

Soft air this morning. The rain broke that heaviness, left everything a little more bearable. Getting a little cooler too.

I don't really have much on my mind today. Things I should do before Owen gets here. Make up a casserole for supper because he'll be here until eight tonight and how in hell I used to manage cooking with babies and kids to tend at the same time escapes me now.
How did I do it?
HOW did I do it?
I don't know but I did. Got some sort of supper together every night with every age child around me.

Jessie called me on her way home from a long night's shift. It had been her first night being independent- not being mentored. She is learning so much. I am so amazed to see that child all grown up, helping women with their babies now. Some of the things she is learning are so sad- that not all babies make it. That not all women are going to be great mothers. That not all babies get here being wanted. But she sees the other side too- happy, loving families welcoming fine, healthy babies.
She is living her life, as are all my children and I am still part of those lives, but not nearly on the same level that I was, of course, when they were young. When they were constantly underfoot, taking all of the pots out of the cabinets when I was in the kitchen, cooking. When they needed diaper changes and nursing and then ballet lessons and karate lessons and, and, and...

If I had one thing to say to any of you who have a nest which is becoming emptier all of the time it is this- you will not die when they all leave. You will not die and you will be okay and so will the children. You will both be living your lives. And they will still need you and you will be there, even if it's just on the phone, to say, "I am so proud of you."

It's not going to be easy. That space where there was so much energy and color and whirling light will seem so empty for awhile. Yes. It will. You may even go a little bit crazy.
But you'll survive. You'll figure it out, how to fill (or maybe not!) that space. You may find that your life in and of itself swells to fill the space. You may just be getting used to that gift (yes, it is a gift) of having your own space and time when grandchildren start arriving and then everything will shift again.

That is how it has been for me.

Your babies grow up but they never will not need you. Not in the same way- no- and that is good. Would you, as the mother of a toddler, wish to keep them in diapers forever? It is the same when they are trembling on the verge of adulthood. It will be time to let them go and you will do it.

We never quit learning and growing and changing. Never. One stage of our lives bleeds into the next and we must, perforce, adapt. We can fight it, we can grieve in advance, we can even tentatively look forward to it but we will never be quite ready and that's okay.
We shall learn by doing. Just as Jessie is right now. The hard parts, the good and amazing and miraculous parts.

And we shall look back and say, "How did I DO that?" and we can look forward knowing that we can do this next part too.

That's where my mind is leading me this morning as I sit here on my porch in Lloyd as the sun comes out, as the air is soft, as the boy is coming, as the man is on his way home, as the chickens scratch in the yard, as the dogs nap in the sun, as the yellowing leaves flutter and rustle in the breeze.

If you have raised them right (and I feel certain you did), they will always want to come home and lift the lids of the pots on Mama's stove because no matter what- Mama's cooking is always the best.

Happy Week Before Thanksgiving, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon