Monday, December 31, 2012


I got the closets cleaned out and the Christmas crap put away. Everything I had on my tree PLUS the nativity fit in the Whirly Pop Popcorn Maker box.
Then Mr. Moon and Hank and I drove down to the coast and had a bowl of gumbo on the St. Mark's River. It was beautiful. We watched the pelican and other-birds show.

I tell you what- it was a fine way to spend an hour on New Year's Eve day, even if the sky was cloudy.

We came home and I picked arugula and Liz stopped by and we had a porch martini and showed each other pictures of our grandkids. Now I'm going to boil some spaghetti and serve up the sauce that's been cooking all day long and make a salad with that arugula and an avocado. 

I couldn't have planned a better day if I'd tried.

Happy New Year, y'all. I'm grateful for you. Let's keep on with it. 

Yours so very truly...Ms. Moon

I Am Not Getting All Emotional About The New Year Thing

It's after ten in the morning and all I've done is make four breakfasts and help Mr. Moon take a splinter out of his finger and watch some Pawn Stars with Hank.
"What do you want to do today?" I ask him. "What do YOU want to do today?" he says.
Oh god.
I am trying to force myself to go up those stairs and open the closets and start hauling stuff out.
Stuff, stuff, shit and stuff.
Actual real shit because mice have made that their nesting place for quite some time and please don't judge me- this house is old and yes, we have mice and so what? I'd rather live in this old house with mice than in a hermetically sealed modern place where no wildlife ever intrudes. We've had bats and mice and rats and squirrels and on Christmas morning the chickens walked right into the kitchen door but that's not quite the same, is it? Jessie and Vergil live in downtown Asheville, North Carolina and a possum sometimes walks boldly through the cat door. And the cat doesn't mind one bit.

Anyway, la-di-dah.

Mr. Moon and Jason have been up since yonks for hunting and now they're cutting up Mr. Moon's doe from his last hunt in Georgia. For some reason, this makes me happy. I think it's a gene thing. The same gene most likely that makes me happy to find eggs in the nest and see greens growing in the garden.

But obviously I don't really have much to talk about and yes, it's the last day of 2012 and quite frankly that doesn't mean much to me as I am of the opinion that time is so ephemeral that trying to measure and chain it down into years and days and moments is a human frivolity and so I'm not giving that a whole lot of credence or importance. Yes, a lot of really cool stuff happened in 2012 around here, mainly that Gibson was born and Jessie and Vergil got engaged and yes, Obama got re-elected but mostly, I'm just glad to still be alive and living in this old house with the mice and rats and squirrels and bats and chickens in the yard and husband who cuts up deer and loves me.

I wonder how many deer heads are buried in my back yard.

Hard to say.

So good morning and happy new year and so forth and so on and get your new calendars out of their wrappers and go ahead and write in everyone's birthdays and anniversaries and we'll just see what happens to fill in the rest of those little squares. One never knows.

Do you have a plan for this evening? Do you put on a little black dress and go out and celebrate or do you, like us, think that New Year's Eve is amateur night and so tend to stay in and be safe and go to bed at a reasonable hour, convinced of the fact that time will pass and the ball will drop whether you are watching it or not?

I'm going to make spaghetti today. That's what I've got planned.
Spaghetti. Not pasta. Spaghetti. I have ground venison and mushrooms and peppers and onions and garlic and probably some cheat-ass spaghetti sauce that I bought buy-one-get-one-free. It'll be delicious.

And clean out the closets. Yes. Maybe. We'll see. Just like for the rest of the coming-up year.

We'll see.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Let Us All Be Well

I had a great time with the boys this afternoon. I am blown away by Owen and his pretending. His imagination is a beautiful thing and we went camping and each had our own tents but we visited each other and built fires and cooked hot dogs and eggs and made hot chocolate and tea and coffee and he went to the store and got us cookies and we slept and told each other our dreams. 
He told me that a Blob attacked him and I told him that I rode a dream-horse and then we both went back to sleep so that he, too, could dream about riding a horse.
We went to Wakulla Springs and put on sun screen and rode the jungle boat cruise and we remembered back when we really did do that. "It rained," he said. "Yes. And you played in the puddles with the children."
He remembers.
He asked me if I had found this baby on the desert and if he had been cold and shivery and I said that yes, I had, but that he would be our baby now. He allowed as to how this was a good thing and he made that baby laugh.

He makes me laugh and he hugs me and says, "You the best Mer Mer," and I tell him he's the best boy. And Gibson, Buddha Boy, smiles and beams and dances. He is a dancing one, that boy. When I got to the house, Lily was holding him and when he saw me, he began to rock in her arms and smiled like the sun.
Well. You know.
We love each other. Fiercely.

And now Hank is here and he's in my shower which has the new shower head in it that Mr. Moon got me for Christmas which makes being in there like standing in a rain forest and I stay in the shower too long now, it's almost ridiculous, it's so lovely. And hopefully, he's steaming some of this cold out of him and I've fed him chicken and dumplings which is mostly chicken stew and he's taking Mucinex or whatever that stuff is and hopefully with a little bit of tending, he'll get better.

Mr. Moon is grinding deer meat into hamburger and the dogs are almost beside themselves with the wanting of it. They go crazy when deer meat is being processed or cooked. They know the difference between it and what we buy at the store. There is no doubt about that. And someone, I can't remember who- oh, I think it was May, was telling me that her cat knows the difference between our eggs and store eggs. We swear that our old boxer, Pearl, lived longer than any other boxer in the history of the universe because Mr. Moon fed her deer liver and the same can be said for our old cat, Bob, too, who lived years past his time and he'd had strokes and god knows what all but then he ate pounds of deer liver and recovered and was a mean old bitchy cat for years and we loved him. That old blind boy. Our bitchy Bob.

It's cozy inside and I can't believe it's December 30th and I haven't taken down the Christmas crap but I plan on doing that tomorrow. And cleaning out the closets in the hallway upstairs. That is my one true goal this next week- to clean out those closets.

I talked to a woman we know at Kool Beanz last night and we discussed Christmas and it started out all regular and stuff, "Oh yeah, it was a good Christmas. And yours?" Etc. And then I said, "Really? I hate Christmas," and she said, "I do too!" and I said, "I think everyone does, really."
"We're not big on Jesus in our family," she said.
"Us either," I told her.
"Jesus is not the reason for our season," she said and we both cracked up and I'm still laughing at that.

But this year I haven't minded the decorations so much. It's been all right. There have been really beautiful moments and if nothing else, it created a space for us as a family to all get together as we do and break bread and be happy. That is enough reason to not hate it.

That's how Owen rearranged the Nativity on Friday which I think is so funny and precious and perfectly three-year-oldish. The animals are the ones being worshipped or, as Vergil pointed out, they are probably the most interesting parts of the whole thing to him. I sort of want to leave it up forever to let him move the figures about as he pleases but I won't. I'll put it back in its box and store it upstairs and maybe bring it down again next year and he'll be four and Gibson will be one and almost-two and what a team they'll be then. I can't even imagine and I don't want to. I just want to let it all happen as it happens and it will whether I want it to or not.

There. That's what I'm thinking tonight on the eve of the eve of the first day of the new year which I have no plans for except for cleaning out those closets. I'm still too busy with 2012 to worry about greeting 2013. I just want my boy to be better, my family safe and healthy.

I wish the same for all of you. Be warm, be safe, be healthy. Happiness will fall where it may and let us catch it when it does.

Good dreams. And know that if a Blob attacks, Superman is at the ready to take care of business. "You're going down!" he told me he said to the Blob.

And Gibson will smile on us all throughout.

We are blessed. We are so very, very blessed.

Sparkly Times. Mostly

Jessie and Vergil just pulled out of the driveway and Mr. Moon and I stood there and waved them off and did the turkey call thing that Owen has somehow made a ritual which is where we all gobble like turkeys and I don't know why he wants us to do that but he does so we do it and we did it just now, maybe another way to keep the babies safe when they leave us. 

"Good job," I told Mr. Moon when they pulled onto the road which is what Owen tells us if we have done the gobbling correctly. "Good job."

I cried because of course I cry. The world is moving so fast, there is no stopping it. Jessie was three years old yesterday and my back-pocket baby, riding on my hip in a sling until she was just too heavy but that took a long time and then she followed me around for years and years and now she comes and she goes and that's the way it should be and she has a beautiful life and a wonderful fella and a great job and she's getting married in April and yesterday we went and found her dress.

It was such a wonderful day. We laughed so much. We are an earthy family, to say the least and phrases like "good boob presentation" abounded. I will show you a few pictures of Jessie in dresses but not THE dress because that wouldn't be right or fair and Vergil is not allowed to see THE dress until THE day and that's all there is to it.

We started off at a local little chi-chi shop and the ladies there were very nice and Jessie looked absolutely perfect in every dress

 but none of them were exactly right.  We did actually find a dress that we all agreed was so gorgeous, so beautiful

but the sample dress, which was the one they had, not only had stains on it but also missing buttons and stray threads and it could have worked, we could have gotten it all taken care of but it still cost a lot of money and yes, they could have ordered a new one but that would have been a lot more money and we didn't pull the trigger. If Mr. Moon had been there, he would have bargained that dress down to what it was really worth (and how DO you judge a wedding dress's worth?) but he wasn't and we girls are meek and agreeable and so we went on to lunch to think about it and we had another appointment later on in the afternoon at another place.

Lily and May. Sweet sisters.

Jessie and Melissa. Best friends since forever and ever. 

There was wine and there were salads and cake and we kept calling Jessie the Bridey (or maybe that was just me) and it was so much fun. After lunch we still had plenty of time and we went to a fancy shoppe next door and I blatantly asked if they had a sale rack and no they did not but I bought a dress anyway, and I can't remember the last time I bought a dress, either new or used. It is the opposite of a bride dress. Black and t-shirty and so forth and unadorned. "You look so cute in that dress," the lady said and I said, "To the extent to which I can be cute at this point in my life."

Then we had an entire other chapter of shopping at the hippie store and the Old Navy store and then on to David's Bridal which was hustling and bustling and we were giddy with it all by then, giddy on wine and coffee and cake and each other and the whipped cream froth of the dresses. 
We made Jessie try on a ballerina costume of a princess wedding gown just for fun.

It was so silly. 
And I made a joke about "boning" which the saleslady had mentioned in the context of, well, a bra but it made us all laugh so hard and I even blushed and then she brought out THE dress and we all sighed and moaned and it was wonderful. 
Yes. It was the one. We all agreed. You will too, when you see it in April. 
I can't even imagine what Vergil is going to think when he sees his bride walk down the aisle (or the path, in this case) in this dress. But I will tell you, it is perfect and there are going to be tears.

Melissa and May and Lily looked around at the bride's maids' dresses and they were unfortunate. Let me just say. Unfortunate. What is the deal with bride's maids' dresses? Disco, anyone? And the mother-of-the-bride dresses always come with those...coats? Jackets? Whatever. 
Lily did find a dress that she felt was perfect.

Hot pink, black and sparkly on top. May said she'd wear it if Lily wanted her to. 
I do not think they will choose that one, though. 
May showed us one that had cut-outs on the side and she said, "This is what you'd wear if you really did want to sleep with one of the groomsmen." 
Earthy. I tell you we are earthy. 

When it came time to pay for the dress the lady told us that she had enjoyed us and I'm sure she did. She put the dress carefully into a giant bag along with the Preservation Kit box which the dress will be stored in after the wedding, after it is cleaned and steamed and made beautiful again after all of the dancing and frivolity which is no doubt going to occur. They "sugar" the dress which will keep it pristine for thirty years. Or so they say. We all boggled at that- sugar, really?- but the lady assured us that no sugar is actually involved. Whatever. We paid the extra money and who knows? Maybe someday a daughter of Jessie's and Vergil's will want to be married in the dress. And if so, it will be ready.

After the shopping we just couldn't quite bear to part yet so we got coffee and then we went back to Lily's, at least Lily and Jessie and I did and the boys and men had been together all day, making beer and eating barbecue and playing. Owen delighted his grandfather beyond words by telling him, right out of the blue, "Boppy, I love you." I showed Owen my blue-stockinged legs and asked him what he thought about them. He rubbed my calf thoughtfully and said, "Kind of silly." Haha! He's right. Blue legs are silly. I got to meet Bubba and Creature or, Daddy and Owen, depending, and yes, they are darling little mice and no, I did not care to hold them. 

We came back to the house, Jessie and Vergil and Mr. Moon and I and got dressed up and went back to town and had supper at Kool Beanz but before we left, I made Jessie and Vergil dance so I could take a picture. They are thinking of taking lessons before the wedding, which I find charming. Here they are, practicing a dip.

They dance. They love. 
They are so beautiful and how can my baby be old enough to get married in a beautiful gown? 
I do not know, but she is. 

And they're on their way home and I'm going to go to town soon to stay with the little boys for awhile and then I'm going to go pick up Hank and bring him home because he's been sick for too long and he needs to get out of that tiny, cold apartment and come and stay with us so he can be warm and I can feed him leftover chicken and dumplings and get him well. He is my baby too.
And Buster the dog keeps throwing up and the laundry is running and life keeps on going and going and Mr. Moon is sneezing and it's clear and chilly outside and Jessie has a dress and she shall wear it in April.

That's it. That's all except for everything else and I am grateful for all of it except for the parts that I am not grateful for and I'm sorry, I'm not one of those people who says, "It's all good," because it ISN'T all good, not dog vomit and not being sick and not worry and not anxiety but a lot of it, oh yes. A lot of it is very, very good and there's so much of that. 

Happy Sunday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Just Keep Safe

I don't know. I think I've been sick for awhile now. I wake up every morning with my head stopped up and thick with bleariness and the weather isn't helping as it's the same dense wet gray as my brain and the branches of the trees reach out with witchy intent and the firespike is dead, brown, rotten, ugly, ugly, ugly.
I went to bed last night before nine o'clock. Yes. I did. I was completely bone tired, blood tired, exhausted, even though Mr. Moon helped me with the boys yesterday and thank god he did. I couldn't have done it without him. Gibson can do so big now, raising his hands up to grasp each other above his head and he is so happy with that. He loves the things he can do with his hands, wave hello and good-bye, clap them, eat popcorn, piece by piece. We played a game for a long time yesterday wherein put his hand in my mouth and grasped my lower jaw and made my head go up and down.
I was Gibson's puppet.

 He is growing and learning at the speed of sound. He walked all over the house, balancing himself by pushing the little trike. He races after his brother on hands and knees and giggles like a toy when Owen licks him which we plead with Owen not to do because...ick.
"He likes it, "Owen says. "See? He laughing."
And Owen. Oh god, that boy.
He did his hiding thing yesterday while I was giving Gibson a bottle and Boppy was in another room for a minute, a second. I hate that. Hate it. I fly through the house, calling his name, pleading with him to come out. This house has miles of rooms and halls and the upstairs and a billion doors to the outside and there he was, behind the door in the library and I cried when he came out. "Oh Owen! I thought we'd lost you!" and I was sore afraid.

Lily bathed them after supper and she put Owen in his pajamas and whirled him around on her shoulders like a helicopter and I got the giggling boy into his pajamas and we bundled them into their car seats and off they went into the night to home and I collapsed and went to bed. Done. Gone. Asleep. Probably before they were.

My head, my brain, my old tired body, the gray. There is this.

And there is this.

And this morning we're off to the wedding dress places, the places of veils and silks and chiffons and taffeta and the mirrors and did you know I have written at least half a novel about a woman who makes wedding gowns? I have. It has a wonderful beginning and at least fourteen middles and no ending.


Vergil just gave Jessie another Christmas present. A necklace of moonstones and it is beautiful and she is beautiful, the bride-to-be, she giggles like Gibson and I need to shower and put on clothes I can wear to town and let the dead firespike be and the laundry, leave it, leave it, and we'll have lunch. We'll be ladies who lunch, May and Lily and Jessie and Melissa and me.

Owen was not really lost, but merely, as he said, "peek-a-booing" and has no idea why we were so upset he was right there, right THERE, and so clever, we came and went through the library and never saw him and I told him that he has no idea how much I love him, NO IDEA, and he doesn't but someday, he will. It makes no sense, our fear of a loved one just disappearing, it is perhaps one of our deepest fears, it resides in the bones next to the exhaustion, next to the heart by our love and our pumping blood. When you have a child the blood pumps out a new message, never before heard or felt,  which is keep the baby safe, keep the baby safe, keep the baby safe, and every breath we take after that is a whisper of that prayer, that command.

Don't let me lose anyone. Oh not today, not ever.

Good morning.

Good morning from Lloyd.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Color and Light and Speed

Life is whirling and zooming and yesterday I met Mr. Moon and now it's twenty-nine years later and there are kids and grandkids and how did this happen? I swear. I remember one karate class, one ballet class, one teacher conference, one outbreak of the hives, one night of story-reading, that's all, it's a blur, it's a whirl, it's a zoom down the highway did you see that cow? the purple phlox, the sign for Jesus, hamburgers, gas, ice, milk, beer?

Oh Lord. I feel old today.

The dining room table is getting a lot of use these days. Family dinners and breakfasts, too. I have to go to the grocery today to restock. I'm out of celery, carrots, milk, buttermilk, self-rising flour, lettuce, tomatoes. Everything.

A pink plastic flamingo hangs over the back of a chair in the kitchen. Last night Owen was riding him saying, "Yee-haw!" and that's where he parked the bird.There are clicky primary-colored plastic keys on the kitchen counter, a rolly toy in the corner of the bathroom, a tiny trike parked in the hallway. Gibson crawls everywhere now, I look up from the stove in the kitchen to see him come into the doorway and he sits up and grins at me like, "Hey! I made it!" and then he crawls over to me and climbs my legs and I reach down and pick him up and hold him to me, nuzzle him, give him a bite of something, anything, the boy does not care.
The other day I was asking Owen, "Do you like broccoli? Should I cook us some broccoli?" and he said, "No. I not grown-up yet." Almost sadly. Did I tell you this already? Memory. Mine is shot.
He also told me the other day that I should make chicken stew. I have no idea what he thinks chicken stew is but last night I made a version of it from my mind and he ate it with gusto. You do not have to be grown up to like chicken stew.
I used up the last of the buttermilk and self-rising flour and made dumplings and they had yogurt in them too and were light as tiny cloud-pillows, rising fat and warm and friendly in the steam. We ate the stew and dumplings in bowls with spoons along with the chicken, carrots, celery, onions, corn, green beans and also the simplest salad and it was good.

And then I finished the fruit cake.

Oh. The holidays. It's like every colored ribbon is being woven together all the time and there are tangles and knots and yet, there's a pattern, a beautiful thing is being made all the time, the dancing the laughing the eating the cooking the cleaning up the singing the joking the boy bites the baby the baby cries and then laughs the boys hides and is sorry and we all tell him it's okay, it's okay, you love your brother and oh, he does, he does and the brother loves him.

I don't really have anything to say. I am tired even after a good night's sleep and I have to go to the store and the boys are coming out this afternoon and the chickens need letting out and the plans for the day are being made and I look down at my sleeve and there's a smudge, a smear of dumpling dough and when did I last take a shower, change my clothes for real? Oh yes, yesterday. I did that yesterday. I will do it again today, speeding, zooming, whirling and the ribbon-cloth holds us to the planet so that we do not fly off and it covers us, it supports us, it prevents us from falling too far, it catches us in its silky light-shot tendrils of net, of lace, of knots and tangles, it snarls and smooths out, it lays across us like a sleeping baby's breath, it holds us in place as we gather, as we dance, as we crawl across the floor as we lift up our arms and other arms reach down and pull us up and we are nuzzled, we are kissed, we are fed.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Two grandchildren, two daughters, two sons-in-law, two friends possibly coming by, two dogs, two pots on the stove with chicken stew, bubbling away waiting for dumplings.
One husband. One house. One sun going down. One splendid life.
One love.
Again, yes, I said it again.
One love.

Mice And Wedding Dresses And Filthy Mouths And Bad Attitudes

It's cold this morning and dammit, I didn't wrap the plants last night and I hope I didn't lose any but I probably did.
I got a text from Lily last night with this picture.

The message said, "Meet Creature and Bubba, your grandmice!"

Oh Lord.

Really? Yes. I know that mice can make lovely pets. So can rats and no, I don't want one. I spend my life hoping that no more rats get into this house and make their home in the closet. But Keith Richards had a mouse for a pet when he was a child. He took the thing to school with him in his pocket. So I guess that Owen can have pet mice. You know, if Keith did it, it's okay.
Have a pet mouse.

It was a very cozy and nice evening here last night despite the fact that the electricity kept flickering on and off. We ate pinto beans cooked with some Christmas ham and collard greens from the garden and watched The Blues Brothers which always, always makes me laugh. When I went to see that movie in the theater back when dirt was a new invention, I laughed so hard that my then-husband was embarrassed and told me to tone it down. I can't help it. There's something about the absurdity in that movie that I find completely charming.

So we watched TV and laughed and ate our pinto beans and it was a very nice evening and today our baby girl and her man are coming and our little world will change again, the energy and joy of those two people in the house. Jessie and Vergil. Can you believe they're getting married in April?

And on Saturday Lily and May and Jessie and I are going to go look at wedding dresses. Oh Lord. Why do girls want these frothy confections to be married in? Why didn't I? I guess is the more reasonable question. It just never occurred to me. Maybe because I was a hippie. I don't know. The first time I got married I was wearing a skirt I'd made from a pair of Levi's and a flannel shirt which was completely appropriate to wear to be married in a judge's chambers in Bainbridge, Georgia. The second time I did actually buy a lovely white Jessica McClintock dotted swiss dress with a sash so I guess I did want a frothy dress but it wasn't that frothy. Anyway, Lily wanted and got a beautiful dress and Jessie wants one too and so she shall have one. And then she'll dance in it and it'll be ruined and that'll be fine because really, wedding dresses are one-offs if you ask me.

God, I'm rambling.

I just spoke to Lily and apparently Owen has renamed the mice. They are now Daddy and Owen.
This makes perfect sense and will make things all the more pleasant when one of them dies. The mice, that is. One of the mice.

I should go take a walk. I'm getting fatter by the second although I'm sure that the half a cup of oatmeal I just ate will go a long ways in reversing that trend.
Yesterday I ate salad and fruitcake for breakfast. The salad had ham in it.

Lord, it's a beautiful day.

Christmas is over, my baby's coming home and it's a beautiful day.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

How We Amuse Ourselves

Mr. Moon and I are playing cards and discussing the menu for supper. I mention that we still have chicken soup left over from a few days ago but there are no more noodles in it because he ate them all.
"We could eat it over rice," he says, as if I had never thought about adding rice to chicken soup although as I said a few days ago, I almost always make my chicken soup with rice.
"I can't wait until I'm senile," I tell him, "And you have to cook for me. I can't even imagine what we're going to be eating."
"We're going to be eating frog legs and squirrel and rabbit," he says.
"You're not going to have time for that," I tell him. "You're going to have to be taking care of me."
"Oh, I'll pay someone," he says.
"What? To hunt?" I ask.

He laughs so hard I think that beer is going to come out his nose.

Fathers And Love And So Forth

I have tried and tried to write words between these pictures that will, would, might possibly explain or tell the story of a Christmas, of a family but I just can't.

It's all too much and really, Christmas is too much but now it's over and what we have left is each other and a hell of a lot of toys and some leftovers and more love than I could even imagine and some crazy stories to tell from here on out. 

And if I won the lottery, we'd all spend next Christmas together in Cozumel, and it would be like the Christmas of the family I observed at the hotel where we were staying last year, Mr. Moon and I, and which I wrote about here.

"I can't believe it's Tuesday," I told Mr. Moon this morning.
"Actually," he said, "It's Wednesday."
"I can't believe it's Wednesday," I said.

And tomorrow Jessie and Vergil will be here so I'm leaving the tree up, I'm going to go put the cookies that are left in smaller containers, I'm going to...oh, I don't know. Recover?

And I'm going to say one more thing- fathers are incredibly important and we have some of the finest fathers in the world right here in our family and today is the birthday of Mr. Moon's father, whom we miss so very, very much. 
If there is any sanity in my world at all, a huge part of it must be attributed to him and to his wife and to the way they raised my husband. 

Happy Birthday, Paw-Paw. You would be so proud of your son and the family he has now. So VERY proud.

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas, 2012

Last night was pretty wild but no one puked except the dogs.
We're about to head out to Lily's and Jason's for the Grand Christmas Morning Present Unwrapping and Festive Breakfast. I joked about having to take the trailer to haul all the presents but that may not turn out to be a joke at all.


Here's what I want to say- thank you. For all of you. For your time and your words. For your kindness and your love.

I am loving you back.

Merry Christmas.

Peace On Earth.

Goodwill To All Humankind.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, December 24, 2012

How The Day Is Proceeding (In Pictures)

(Thank you L7, Mwa, Pamela, and Misses Bob, Trixie, Sharon, Ozzie, Mabel, Baby, and Flopsy. Never have I seen such a beautiful eggnog. It is ripening in the refrigerator, as we speak.)

Christmas Eve Sermon From The Church Of The Batshit Crazy

It is Christmas Eve day and there is much to be done but none of it is of utmost importance with the exception of the preparation of the eggnog I suppose, which is taking on an almost totemic importance in my mind.

Mr. Moon seems fine today. That chicken soup settled on his belly just lovely and I made it with some Chinese noodles I had instead of brown rice, which is how I usually make it. He loves the noodles and it was for him, so I did it and now he is well so I am glad. He is already off to town and I really don't know why but he is and I think he's going to go see the boys because he misses them. My mother always asks me, "Does Glen like being a grandfather?" as if she was worried about that. As if she was afraid that he wouldn't settle happily into that role.
"He loves it," I tell her. "He is the best grandfather. He adores those boys."
And it's true.

It really is all about the children, isn't it? Whether you're talking about Christmas or, as President Obama said in his talk at that vigil in Newtown, that our number one job always is keeping the children safe, or whether you're talking about our species or any species for that matter.
Obama said something like, "When you are taking care of the children, you know you are doing right."
There is no wiggle room in that statement. It is just the damn truth.

The story of the baby Jesus being laid in the manger is such a heart-tugger, isn't it? You know what I think? I think that Mary didn't lay baby Jesus in a manger. I think that she and Joseph made a bed of the hay on the floor of the barn and they laid down together on it with their baby between them so that he could suckle and they could worship.
Every couple, if given the chance, worships their newborn baby, stunned in wonder that they have created this new life. And that is a holy moment in time. It is a moment that no parent forgets, that adoration of the baby after the storm and pain of labor has ended, as his eyes go from one parent to another the way new babies do, as if all of the knowledge and wisdom of the world is there behind those eyes and the baby is simply recognizing that which is already implanted there. And then the offering and the taking of the breast and the relaxation of mother and child as that particular and lovely connection is made and formed and begun.
A most holy moment and a moment of miracle, just as all of the newborn moments between mother and child are. After the miracle of life-being-created and the miracle of milk-from-the-breast, why in the world would we feel the need to attribute walking on water or turning water into wine to a man in order to ordain him with holiness?
These seem to me, compared to that moment of birth, to pale in comparison. To be cheap tricks.
Raise the dead?
I don't think so.

As dear Beth Coyote said last night in her post (and you should go and read it here) humans love to make shit up. We love stories. We thrive on them and embellish them and embroider them and repeat them and with each repeating there is more gold, more frankincense, more myrrh, and angels appear before shepherds and a star suddenly appears in the East even if none of it makes much sense. What newborn needs frankincense? I think that a few good women probably heard about the baby being born in a barn (if any of this story is true) and came with food and some old soft blankets and helped tidy up the place a bit and made sure everyone was fed and it wouldn't surprise me one bit to learn that a midwife had been summoned and had helped deliver the child.

Which would all be miraculous enough.

For me.

Good morning. It is the Day of the Eve of Christmas and somewhere right down the road I am sure that a woman is beginning the pangs of labor and tomorrow will deliver a child and that child will be as holy as any other child ever born on this earth. You too, me too, we were all born and were all holy and most likely still are, at least in my definition of the word. It's just that the world gets in the way of it all and we forget what we knew when we were born and looked at our parents with those eyes of knowing and knowledge.

There. That.


Take away all the supernatural and you are left with what is the miracle which is life, pure and simple, and we must take care of the babies and the children and when we do that, we are doing right.

You are one of the babies too. Remember that. And I will try too and no matter what your Christmas rituals are or include and even if you don't acknowledge the day at all just remember that- our holiness, our light. They are present simply because we are alive, today and tomorrow and yesterday and even in our darkest moments, even if we cannot feel them one iota, they are.

Today I am going to break the eggs that my beautiful hens have given me- life, again- and I am going to look at each lovely sun of a yolk and that, too, will be a reminder and we will drink those yolks with cream (holy milk!) and spirits, my babies around me, my miracles, my light, my joy and we will all share the light and the love which are unique to each of us and yet, somehow, the same within all of us, no matter who we are.

One love.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

I Believe I May Be Exhausted

Dogs washed, chicken salad and eggplant casserole made, presents wrapped.

Hen house de-poopified. Some laundry done and put away.

Husband home and he has some sort of gastric thing going on so chicken soup made. It'll either kill him or cure him. Or...neither. He looks a little peaked to me.
But he just did this:

He strung lights up out front.
I love that man.
He apologized for being so late with it this year. I told him I didn't care. We could leave 'em up all year for all I care. I'd like that. I do love a colorful display which looks not unlike a juke joint. I am not being sarcastic here. I really do.

And tomorrow the kids will come out and we'll have eggnog (and I really worry that this is a bad idea, being as how eggnog is so delicious and so lethal) and then we'll eat all sorts of holiday foods including ham which I normally do not allow myself to buy or cook because I love it so much that I will eat it and eat it and eat it and then there's the ten-thousand cookie assortment AND the Costco fruitcake.

Just please, god, don't let anyone puke. That is my true and sincere Christmas wish.

Hank and May will be spending the night and then on Christmas morning we'll drive to town and pick up my mother and go to Lily and Jason's house for breakfast and presents with the babies. We're going to have to take the damn trailer to haul all this shit there. I wrapped presents for three hours. And I did not take my time and do a good job, either. I was a Christmas-present-wrapping machine.

And then, and THEN, on Thursday, Jessie and Vergil will be coming. I miss them so much it hurts. I am so glad they're coming.

Christmas. I may have thrown myself into it this year but I will tell you one thing- I have not yet nor will I voluntarily listen (or is it listened?) to a damn Christmas carol.

And I mean it.

What Are Y'all Fixing To Do?

Good morning! How's it going? Me? I'm fine. Another beautiful cold winter day here in Lloyd, Florida although the chicken waterer was frozen this morning. I felt like a real pioneer woman out there trying to break the ice so the chickens could get a little sip although not really because I didn't need an axe or anything, just my fingers.
Which got cold!
Ooh. Winter in Florida.
I've got the little heater on in the bathroom because those dogs are fixing to get washed. I can't take the stench one more day.
Do y'all say that where you live? That you're fixing to do something? We say that here in Lloyd. Although it can come out sounding more like either fixin' or even fittin'. 
I am fixing to wash the dogs and also make the eggplant and tofu casserole for tomorrow.

I love the eggplant and tofu casserole. You would too.

When I was a little girl there was a woman who came into our family via The Asshole, The Evil One, The Stepfather From Hell. For some reason, this woman loved The Evil One, probably because she was old and he didn't sexually abuse her. She wasn't really related to him but had been his landlady when he was attending college. And if there was one good thing that man brought into the family, it was this lady whom we called Granny Matthews. I've discussed her before but it's been awhile. She's really the person who taught me how to cook because I'd just watch her work in the kitchen which was really something to see.
Work probably isn't the word to use. She didn't make what she did look like work at all. In fact, I don't have any real memory of her doing any actual real cooking although I know that's what she was doing. She loved to wear nylon negligees in either black or red but don't worry- she wore the little nylon robes over them so it wasn't too shocking. Okay, it was pretty shocking but so what? She had whiskers and way stretched-out earlobes from a life-time of wearing big and gaudy clip-on earrings and she'd sort of glide around with a cigarette in her mouth and she'd do this and do that and baddaBOOM! there was a delicious meal.
"Y'all come on and sit down." And we did.
Some of my best recipes come from her. My pecan pie. My chocolate pecan pie. And the one I'm going to be making today- my eggplant tofu casserole. Now of course Granny Matthews did not put tofu in her eggplant casserole. I can swear with confidence that Granny Matthews had no idea what tofu was because it hadn't been invented yet when she was alive. I mean, pizza was still sort of exotic at that time. Okay, of course tofu had been invented but it had not arrived yet on the shores of the USA or at least had not made its way to Central Florida which is where Granny Matthews lived in a sweet little brick house on a brick street in Lakeland, Florida. She lived there and she also died there and yes, I know I've spoken about how she died but it's a story which bears repeating.
She was about eighty-something and the day she died, she had gone out and bought a new dress and had her hair done and voted and was at home sitting in front of her TV with her little toddy and she just died. Her heart attacked her and she died and she got buried in that dress and her hair was already fixed.
She got it done!

So back to the eggplant casserole.

Her casserole contains eggplant and onions and butter and bread crumbs and it sort of tastes like stuffing and it's delicious. Back when I was a young hippie, I started making it with smushed up tofu in it to make it a protein-rich main dish and since our Christmas Eve supper is going to involve chicken salad and ham which May does not eat, I decided to resurrect the eggplant and tofu casserole. Okay, I got some smoked salmon, too.
We are certainly not going to suffer for lack of protein around here.

Well, I better get busy. I just got off the phone with our Beloved Ms. Bastard who called me from Ohio and we had a nice little chat. It's so fabulous when Blog friends become real friends. And Mr. Moon will be coming home soon with the big doe he shot yesterday so he'll be in a good mood. The bathroom is probably warm enough to safely wash the dogs in although why I don't just take them out and wash them in the hose is beyond me because that might actually kill them and, well, you know.

But it's Christmas and it would be wrong to kill my dogs during the Christmas season and Owen would probably cry and that would make me sad. He does love Buster although I have no idea why.

I feel cheerful and almost merry even though I have to wrap those damn presents. I can't believe I've fallen into the piney-scented abyss of Christmas this year, but I have. As I told Ms. Bastard, I think it's because I've abandoned all dietary and beverage-related restrictions although I have not, as yet, started drinking before the sun has set which, thank god, it's setting pretty early these days.
I made snickerdoodles last night.
And I am done with cookie baking. I swear on Granny Matthews' grave.

On to the eggplant! And the dog washing! And the present wrapping!

I'm fixing to have a real good day, I hope. I hope you're fixing to have one too.

Much Love From Lloyd...Ms. Moon

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Doesn't Get Much Better Than This

Lord, I didn't get half done what I thought I'd get done today but I'm fine with that. It was a good day and it's not really over yet. The sun is just going down and in a minute I'll go out and shut up the chickens. Owen helped me do that last night and he wore his grandfather's headlight and I kept saying, "Look here so I can count these chickens," and he would swing his head this way and that and all the hens and Elvis were there and we walked back to the house together in the cold dark.

I took him his soccer ball this morning and he kissed it. He was so happy. He and Lily and Gibson and I went to Costco together and he cried and cried because he wanted to get their cat a house. He got over it though, the crying. We ate samples of everything from meatballs to spinach dip and it was all good. Then we went to Publix and his mama let him pick out a toy for the cat and he was completely happy.

By the time I got home with all the groceries it was way past time for the party to have started. I decided I'd slice the loaf of bread and if it was good, I'd go to the party and if it wasn't, I'd stay home.

That was a fine loaf of bread. Very, very fine and big as the Baby Jesus. So I wrapped up the bread and put on some mascara and lipstick and a silver necklace of hearts and I went to the party and I'm glad I did. Sweet old hippie friends, some of whom I've known for almost forty years now. Kids that I remember being born, way grown up, getting gray hair now themselves. Just a comforting thing to hug people you've known for that long, grew up with, in a manner of speaking. My teachers, many of them, in the various ways of this world and I am grateful for them.
I probably spent more time talking to my ex-husband's wife than anyone else. She and I have a special bond and we're both grandmas now and when I left, she walked me to my car and we discussed the idea of her just leaving with me, coming back to my house to drink some rum. I told her I had spare overalls and a heavenly guest room bed but she's a conscientious grandmother and stayed at the party with the young'uns and their grandpa.
It would have been fun, though.

So it's been a good day. I have a load of laundry in the washing machine and the damn dogs still smell like death, only worse, and not one present is wrapped and I haven't made any more cookies but whatever. Who cares? I have two more days.

I just read May's blog and it made me cry. Made me happy, too.

Yeah. A good day. I feel like the blessings have rained down on my head and for once, I'm not fighting them.

See you tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon

Just The Word "Eggnog" Makes Me Happy

For a few days I've had what I've been referring to as a "cold lite."
The tiniest bit of congestion, a little acheyness (I can't spell that word for the life of me and the dictionary doesn't seem to recognize it so fuck them- I was achey) and that was about it. It didn't interfere with my days and not much with my nights.
Gibson and Lily had it, Owen may have had it, or at least a "cold very lite," and Hank has had it, although a more severe version.
Last night I was talking to Mr. Moon on the phone and he said, "You still have your cold, don't you?" and I said, "Oh, it's just drainage. I'm fine."
And then it seemed to change in just that moment from nothing at all to something and now I feel sick and the congestion is more severe and my eyes ache and so does my body and well, hell's bells.
Why? Now?
Why not? is more appropriately the question to be asked.

Ah well. It's a cold, not the plague. I'll probably survive.

It's cold this morning and it froze last night. I worry so about Baby, roosting up in a tree all by herself while the other chickens are safe in the hen house, cuddled up. I guess birds are warm-blooded. I don't really understand how this works. Yesterday Owen asked me to draw a penguin and I can't draw for shit so I sort of drew an oval with eyes and tiny flappy wings and a beak (do penguins have beaks? I don't even know) and he drew nipples on the bird. I tried to explain to him about mammals and we'd already had a discussion about monkeys versus apes and I think he was sort of burnt out on the zoology lessons. He listened as I explained how some animals called mammals have fur or hair and they nurse their babies so yes, they have nipples, but birds have feathers and they feed their babies food with their beaks and so they don't have nipples.
He didn't care. He insisted that this penguin had to have nipples which sure didn't make that drawling look any less like a penguin.

So where was I? Oh yeah, Baby. She seems to be fine, that spunky little chicken. But I do worry about her.

I've already baked a loaf of sourdough this morning. I've been invited to a party over at the house of the people who gave me the starter and I let that loaf rise all night long. I have no idea if it's even fit to eat although it does smell good. It's pretty dense with whole wheat and oat flour and oat bran. Let's just say that you're going to need a full set of teeth to eat a slice.
I don't know if I'll go to the party. Besides the obvious- my lack of social skills these days and the lack of desire to go out into the world to display them- there's this cold thing. And I have to go to the grocery today to buy the things to make the Christmas Eve feast and I was going to bake another kind of cookie (dear Lord, stop the madness!) and I suppose I need to start wrapping presents although I'd rather remove my fingernails, one by one with a pair of red-hot pliers. I need to take the garbage, go by the post office in hopes that some more Christmas presents have shown up, and wash my dogs because although they are still alive they smell like death.
That is not hyperbole. I am a nurse. They smell like death.

So I've got a full day ahead of me and oh yes, I promised that I'd take Owen's soccer ball to him although he's probably forgotten that by now. Or maybe he hasn't. You never know with kids.

I suppose I better get started. I might have some Sudafed stashed away somewhere. I hope so. It's more difficult to buy damn Sudafed these days than it is to buy a gun which is unfortunate in that it is one of the few over-the-counter drugs that actually does anything. I could take this moment to go off on the NRA and their statement yesterday but I won't. I don't have the energy so I'll just say- fuck them.

And I guess that about covers it. A Saturday morning ramble. It's cold and clear outside and cozy inside and Buster, who doesn't smell quite as much like death as his sister, Dolly, is lying on a chair beside me, snoring softly. I need to go see if I can find my old recipe for eggnog. Lily asked me last night what it tastes like. I considered the question. "Noggy," I said. "And nothing like that shit you buy at the store."
I won't even buy that crap.
"But that stuff tastes delicious," she said.
"No it doesn't. It tastes like melted crappy ice cream."

I need to show her what real eggnog tastes like. I sort of wish I had some right now. I could sip some and lay around and wrap presents and watch crap TV and just enjoy my cold.


I told you the world wasn't going to come to an end.

Happy Saturday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

P.S. Found it. I really used to have excellent handwriting, didn't I?

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Lady Dude Will Abide

Quarter to nine at night and I'm dogshit beat.
And so are a few other people I know. I just got a phone call from Owen whose heart is broken in half because he left his new soccer ball here.
He was sobbing inconsolably when he hung up the phone. Our neighbors gave him a small soccer ball and he loved it, loved it, loved it with all his heart and thus, his heart was broken to have left it here.

Poor Lily. She went out with her sibs last night for Karaoke, got home late and had a full day of work today.

I had her supper ready when she got here and we both sort of wandered around aimlessly, getting it on the table. Gibson sure enjoyed it. That child can eat like no child I've ever seen. Broccoli, rice, chicken. Bring it on. Don't stop.

It was such a full day. And now I'm going to tidy up, put toys away and wash dishes and then I am going to bed.
Dogshit beat.
But it's okay. It's good. I got to spend my day with my grandsons and Owen called me "Dude" and then apologized and said, "I sorry. I mean, Lady Dude." He also told me I was the best Mer Mer in the world AND he danced with me. We held hands and danced in the kitchen. "Watch, Mer Mer," he says and then he stands perfectly straight and puts one leg out and twitches a hip like Elvis, just getting warmed up.

He's just so damn pretty. 

He was wearing one of my Goodwill cashmeres there while his shirt was in the dryer. He got it wet, washing dishes and his baby. 

I wrapped his baby up in a towel after her bath and gave her to Owen. He said, "Don't worry baby. It going to be all right."

I swear y'all. It going to be all right. 

Now let's get some sleep. 

Solstice Memories

I read an article in the paper this morning that said it would appear that many people have depression over the holidays.

I wonder if they did a fucking study.

I have all of the symptoms of depression. All the time. You probably do too. I think that's completely appropriate, given the times we live in. I think this is the reason people got so excited about the idea of the world ending. The Big Run Away. The Big Letting Go And Letting God.

But. It doesn't happen like that.

The world keeps right on spinning and the garbage still piles up and the bed still needs to be made and the bills still need to be paid and the sky is so very blue today and it's cold and my husband has gone hunting in Georgia and my grandsons will be out this afternoon and today is the solstice and Lily is wondering if I could make homemade eggnog for the Christmas Eve supper and maybe.
Maybe I can.

I dreamed I was going to run away but I didn't run away. I am not wild, even in my dreams. I dreamed that my chickens were laying so many eggs that I didn't know what to do.

The days will now begin to grow longer. If we lived in olden times, we would put on our velvet and our silken wool and we would light a fire so big and so hot that it would shore us up, our spirits, and keep us going until the sun becomes a warm thing again and we would roast meat and eat it with our fingers and we would drink spirits to further shore up our spirits and we would not say our babies' names out loud until the spring for fear that the gods would take them from us if they knew we had them, and wheat would not be evil but something to sacrifice beasts for, to ensure its successful growth and we would store it and bake great loaves from it and it would nurture our bodies and mothers' milk would flow like honey, sweet and good and fortified from the flesh of the animals, from the grain of the wheat, from the distilled juice of the grapes and the fire would spark and reach up, up, up to the dark sky and the children would huddle against their parents, awed and the fire would reflect in their eyes and the men and women would find each other in the darker corners and would do that which men and women do to ensure more life and can you imagine?

I can.

And I plug in the Christmas lights and plan a feast and take out the garbage and make up the bed and come back to this world, this world which has not ended, not yet and so we go on, depressed or not, the world doesn't care and the wood is hungry for lighting, the babies are hungry for sweet honey milk, the men and women are hungry for each other, the days are hungry for more light, our souls are too.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Gifts

Today's shopping went so much better than I thought it would that it's almost ridiculous. 
I actually...wait for this...had a pretty darned good time.

I started out at the New Leaf where Billy works because I just needed a Billy hug. Which I got and also, some soybeans. Hugs and Soybeans. Good name for a hippie band?
I think so.

Then I went to Ross, simply because it was right next door. And that was awesome! Not only were there hardly any people there, but everything I picked up to admire cost like six bucks. Yay! Or five bucks! Better yet! And the best part was that the Muzak was all some sort of Soul Christmas and it was the most groovy Christmas music I ever in my life heard.
So. Excellent.

After Ross I went to Kohl's. I know, this doesn't sound too local. But there was something there that I had been told might make a nice present for someone and so I went and found it and wandered around and looked at some more shit and then I checked out, DONE with that.

Drove next to Gaines Street which is about the closest Tallahassee comes to a funkadelic shopping area. Specifically Rail Road Square Art Park. Hit up a nice little local book store and then spent about an hour happily wandering around a vintage place where I picked up a few more tiny treasures. I had lunch in the same area because it was already after two by this point.

Now on across town but not TOO far to the groovalicious Quarter Moon shop. I walked in and damn! It was all differently arranged. "How long since y'all redid everything?" I asked.
"About a year and a half," someone said.
Oh my. I really HAVEN'T been shopping in awhile.
I immediately found a few things I wanted and then I spied an old friend whom I hadn't talked to in forever. Not the kind of friend that you're thinking inside, "Oh god. No. Don't let him see me." But, in fact, the kind of friend that you're thrilled to see! It was Juancho! 
And right then and there I got another great hug. It was like...Christmas! or something!

Finished up there and drove back across town but headed in the home direction to a big box store but NOT Walmart so it was okay. There I scored a few more things, then one stop at a liquor store to get two more presents and I was done. DONE BABIES! DO YOU HEAR ME?????

By this time it was storming to beat the band so I drove home like the cautious old woman I am and the roads were about flooded but I did not care. I had finished my Christmas shopping. I felt like I could have flown home.

I hope everyone likes the presents I've gotten them. Mostly because, well, you know, I love them and also I've probably lost the receipts. But even if everyone loves what I got them, no present I will give this year is as awesome as the one Kathleen brought me last night.

Here's one.

That's a free rag she picked up down at the coast last week. Now let me give you another picture of the article on the front page.

Do you see that? I know the author did not intend this to be the case but dammit, isn't that practically a Guide To How To Kill Your Dog With Chocolate?

But you know Kathleen would never do anything halfway. So with the newspaper, she also brought me this.

Now- does that woman know me or what?
She is so thoughtful. 
I love her. 

So there you go. Christmas is definitely looking up. 

Just thought I'd let you know. Here's hoping that yours is too.

Love...Ms. Moon

Holiday Hints

No worries on Christmas shopping. I think that you can actually order things online and they will get to you the day before you ordered them. I'm pretty sure they've figured out how to do that. In which case, we have plenty of time to get it all done.

Be sure to pay extra for the requisite time-travel fee AND gift-wrapping.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I Didn't Even Buy A Cup Of Coffee

I used to sort of love the mall. I took my kids there when they were little and bought them ice cream or pizza to sit and eat by the fountain while I chatted with other mamas and I'd buy them little toys and treats for a well-behaved week and it was fun. I went there to buy shoes and soft sweaters that slid off my shoulders and fancy eye shadows and sometimes, once in a grand, great while, maybe a necklace or something.

I used to.

What happened to that woman?

I went to the mall today and although the fellow who was working in the Large and Tall Man section of Dillard's was as sweet and kind and attentive as he could be, I was hyperventilating within seconds. I got something although not what I'd thought I'd be getting and thus, my shopping virginity breached, I ventured into the mall itself and in about fifteen minutes, I realized I just could not do it and I looked down at the fountain where my kids used to throw pennies and thought, "What happened?"

I just can't shop any more.

I think it all started when I moved into this house. It was like my wildest, fondest dreams had been realized. I wanted nothing more than what I had and even what I had was a bit too much. Or maybe it was simply a product of aging. One realizes, after a certain point, that the eye shadow one bought in 1995 is still barely used and thus, there will never be need for more in this lifetime. And even shopping for others- GOD! I just can't do it! These gloves or these? This pair of tights or those? There are so many of everything. I just look at it all and I think of the factories where it was all made and the raw materials that go into it all and the packaging and the many, many people who have had something to do with each and every product and who have TOUCHED each and every product and I just can't get it out of my head that really, we could all be living far more productive lives somehow but maybe I'm wrong.
I don't know.

All I know is that I am not nearly as cheerful as I was when I was baking cookies.

Tomorrow I'll go out and do the "shop local" thing. And whatever I get is what I'll get and that is all I am doing.

I played with my boys and I got Gibson to sleep for a nap. I am good at that. Owen and I played camping out on his parent's bed and we made tents under the sheet and built fires and cooked hot dogs and ate them with relish and ketchup. He was a puppy and I had to pour his juice into a bowl for him to lap and his cheerios onto a plate so he could eat them from the floor. When he's a puppy, he is far more apt to allow me to cuddle him. I do not know why. He brought me a baby reindeer and told me take care of it and I did. It was invisible but I could see it.

And now I'm waiting for Mr. Moon to come home from the office party where they're serving hors'dourves and drinks. He's getting some brown rice here and some crab legs that I bought three days ago and which are not getting one bit younger. There will be a salad. I am craving salad again. There are presents shoved into closets and I've probably already forgotten where most of them are and what most of them are and today Lily told me that she's so glad that I'm getting into Christmas this year, that it made her sad last year when we went away for Christmas and I looked at her like, "Are you kidding me?" but she was serious and she does have the gift gene, that girl. She finds good presents, the right presents and she loves to give them and where she got that is beyond me. From her father's side of the family, I guess.
I have the boys' presents.
It's so easy for babies and children. They love whatever they get. It's all magic and glory for them. If I could, I would give the Baby Jesus a soft piece of cloth to lay on because hay can be prickly. I'd give Mary a big glass of pineapple juice and a steak salad and a prune cake and I'd give Joseph a piece of my mind for making his pregnant childbride ride all the damn way to Bethlehem on the back of a damn donkey.
But I can't.

Well, whatever.

Let's all get some sleep tonight, okay? And know that very, very soon the days will start being longer and Christmas will be yet another day which we have lived through and we shall know that we have done the best we could do and that no, we are never in our lifetime going to use all the make-up we have.

Mary is pondering these things in her heart.

Love...Ms. Moon

The Kitchen Is My Holy Heart. I Guess.

Instead of doing anything actually productive about Christmas such as sending cards or buying presents or wrapping presents, I've been baking cookies.
More and more cookies.
Which goes against every grain of my soul. I don't know anyone with the exception of possibly two people in my life who actually need any of the sugar and fat in cookies. Cookies are...well...just little sugar and fat bombs. That's all they are.
So yesterday I made pecan puffs and peanut butter blossoms and the day before that I made mint chocolate chip cookies and then there was last week's sugar-cookie fiesta wherein I rolled out and baked and decorated an acre of the little things. Trees, angels, gingerbread men and women, candy canes, stars.
I don't even know what I'm going to do with these cookies. I have a vague plan about giving them to friends and neighbors or, well, I don't know. This would be fine except that would mean I have to take them to people and taking cookies to people involves putting on a bra and putting the cookies on a plate with maybe a bow or something and, oh god. I might as well just go to the mall.

But. I have been fairly cheerful!

And today I have to go to town. No two ways around it. I am babysitting for the boys for a few hours this afternoon and there are a few things I must go to the mall for because there is nowhere else in town I can get these things and oh boy. I just can't wait.
Why do we DO this?
Mr. Moon is stressing out like nobody's business about the one gift he has to find and purchase which is for me and why can't I just tell him, "Oh honey, here, order me this..."?
I'll tell you why- I don't need or want anything.

It's been such a comfort in the kitchen. Creaming butter and sugar together, adding vanilla (and I'm almost out of my Mexican vanilla and dammit! I hate that), cracking the beautiful eggs my hens have been so lovingly giving me, measuring the flour, mixing it all up and rolling up little balls of fat and sugar bombs and baking them in straight little rows on cookie sheets and rolling the baked little fat and sugar bombs in more and more sugar and lining THOSE up in straight little rows on wax paper and I realize- I've reverted back to my nine-year old self who baked because it was comforting and a neat little hat trick (you made these yourself?) but dammit, it's not amazing when a fifty-eight year old woman makes cookies. I mean, it's just not.
It's sort of pathetic.

Well, Christmas brings out the best in all of us, doesn't it?
No. It does not. Not for me, anyway, and so I comfort myself with the oldest kitchen ritual I know while the news gets weirder and the funerals continue and the speculation as to how and why reaches a frantic pitch and the religious among us try to rationalize what god was doing when babies were being slaughtered and preach to us that we've kicked god out so why should we expect him to be there when we need him and the NRA finds itself in a cold, dark place where their arguments freeze and fall and crack on the floor and Facebook is full of "Let's all pray for the children and brave teachers" and meanwhile, the people of Newtown are pleading with reporters to leave us alone, just please, back off and give us some space here, and the stores are filled with crappy crap that even I find myself reaching for because, well, I don't know what to buy and the Muzak (oh god, oh god, oh god! the Muzak) is telling us that it's the MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR! and the days tick down and all I want to do is to be in the kitchen, rolling out dough and planning a Christmas Eve dinner and I keep holding on to that image- the Christmas Eve dinner.
I want all my babies to be here and I want to make the foods that make them happy and I want to see their smiles and pass Gibson around and I want to see Owen beside himself with excitement and I just want to love on my family and see their eyes shining, to feel what is true and what is real without the lacquered layer of artificial gloss applied.

No wonder I don't want to leave the kitchen where the miracles of butter and sugar and flour and heat are real and tangible, where attention must be paid but where nothing I do can truly end in disaster.

Good morning, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I Declare This To Be A Holiday

I had one of the oddest nights of my life last night.
I have a little cold and so am a bit achy but I went to bed thinking that I would just sleep lovely and since Mr. Moon is out of town, I chose to sleep on the Magically Delicious guest room bed and the sheets were clean and I read for a little while and then drowsiness overtook me and I put my book down and turned off the light and slept like the dead for about three hours and then woke up.

My legs and hips and back were aching.
I had heartburn.
My left hand was somehow both numb and paining me. A lot. More than usual.

I struggled and struggled to get comfortable and finally got up and found my wrist brace and took some Alka Seltzer. I went back to bed.
No good.
I got up again. I took a Pepcid and read for awhile in the kitchen and then moved back to the bed which by this point, had become more a bed of nails than anything remotely Magically Delicious. I read some more. Turned out the light and finally went back to sleep and then, and THEN, I dreamed I was in hospice and dying!
This was a new one for me. It was very much like the dreams I have wherein I'm in labor, or trying to be in labor and nothing's happening.
I was in hospice and there were all these people there, just sitting around and waiting for me to die and I needed them to go away and where in god's name was the hospice nurse with the damn MORPHINE?!

Well, anyway, I didn't really die and my wrist still hurts and my hand is still a little bit numb and I'm still a bit achy but I have to say it's a beautiful day here in Lloyd. At least it is now that I've cleaned up four dog shits and a dog pee.

But that's not what I wanted to talk about. No. What I wanted to talk about is that it is Keith Richards' birthday and the old man turns sixty-nine years old today and bless his heart!

That picture is two years old but it's a nice one. 

I wish I'd dreamed about him last night instead of being in hospice but I didn't. I did have another dream with a lot of musicians in it but they were actual musicians that I know in real life and I find that interesting. When I woke up from that one I tried to figure out what all of those different people from my life were doing in one dream and then I realized their common thread- all musicians, every one. 

Music, as I have said repeatedly, has saved my life on more than one occasion. And I will always be in awe and be grateful for those who make it. Some of them play guitar, some of them play fiddles, some of them play piano, some of them sing. Some of them do it all. Whether they have played blues or bluegrass, Beethoven or the Beatles, I am grateful for all of them. 

So. Happy birthday to Keith Richards who continues to do what he does. He does it like no one but himself and he is still alive and I hope he wakes up this morning, completely happy to be so. According to Wikipedia, today is also the twenty-ninth anniversary of his marriage to the beautiful Patti Hansen. 
That alone, in the world of rock and roll, has to be some sort of record. 

What a life.

I hope he keeps on living it.

And I wish for all of us that when our time does finally come, that nurse shows up with the morphine.

Good morning from Lloyd and thank you for allowing me to indulge my obsession with Keith Richards, my Totem Spirit Animal and where I have so much to do that I am paralyzed with it all. It is one week before Christmas, 2012, and here we all are. 
Isn't that amazing?

I think so.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, December 17, 2012

He Can Turn The World On With His Smile

Here's the short story, the one which is the important one for me today:

I spent the day with those two people.

It was lovely.

I am so goddamn lucky.

Anything else I could say would simply be ridiculous.