Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Loving And Letting Go

I am still so tired.

And now Jessie's gone and I'm doing that disassociation thing and I don't even know where my mind is.

I walked this morning in the rain and then she and I went to town so she could tell her boys and her sister good-bye one more time until the next time.
It was so hard.

As hard as it is for us to see her go, I know it is that hard and more for her to leave. Which makes it all worse, somehow and compounds it in all of our hearts.

Oh. How to make it all work out so that everyone is happy, everyone has every thing they need?

Impossible sometimes. And yet, we figure it out, we do, and it always works out and it will.

Meanwhile, we all go on. Lily and the boys and I went to Target and then to lunch. Being around my grandsons is tonic and is medicine and is a heart reparative.

And now I'm home.

Do laundry, cook beans. Rest. The older I get, the smaller are my stores of energy. The more I need time to just be.

Just be.

To just be grateful for the joy of the usual, be grateful for the joy of the busy, be grateful for the blessings which have been poured upon me from the heavens like manna, like pure sweet rain. Even to be grateful for exhaustion because that will slow me down and force me to attend to that which is most purely in need of attending. There is a slow and tender perfection in that purity. I am feeling it right this second and I am reminding myself that if I did not love my children as much as I do, if they did not love each other as much as they do, there would not be this pain when one of them leaves our arms for awhile and thus, as in all things, there is a balance.

It is a fact of this universe and there is no escaping it and I doubt I would, even if I could.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Tired Girls

Instead of the beach, Jessie and I ended up going down to Apalachicola and May came with us. It wasn't very sunny and so we just headed down to the coast and stopped for lunch in Panacea where we found a new restaurant called Angelo and Sons, not to be confused with the HUGE Angelo and Sons over the water at the bridge about a quarter of a mile away.
I guess it was Angelo and Sons Lite, maybe.

The interesting thing about the place was that it was in the same building that Bill Wharton and my ex used to play in when it was called The Brown Dog Saloon back in the mid seventies and of course, that room was filled with memories. I have quite a history in Panacea- another novel if I ever cared to sit down and write it so I sort of felt like ghosts were tapping on my shoulder the entire time we were eating lunch, even though the place looked quite different and a hell of a lot better.

Still, the bar was in the same place and what used to be the stage is still there. A continuation of last night, in a way. But with Greek salads with shrimp.

Which is good.

We traveled on down to Apalach and did a little shopping and got coffee. When I think about moving down there, I think about the coffee shop and I think it'll be all right. They don't only sell coffee there but also a few funky clothes items and hats and jewelry and there are tons of cool magazines and wireless, of course, and there's just a beautiful feeling to it.
I didn't even mention the guava pastries which I have never had but by god, one day I will!

Here's May, trying on an apron that was for sale:

Isn't she cute?

We hadn't gotten to spend an entire day with our darling May in so long so it was just a treat.
We went to our favorite store, River Lily, and became dizzy with the earrings, the clothes, the cards, the perfumes and mermaids and lotions and potions and just feminine joy of the whole bespangled place.

Right about the time we were ready to leave town to come home, a huge thunder storm came blowing into town and we took off to get over the bridge in front of it and we did and made it home safely.

Exhausted. All of us. May just finished her work week last night and we all went out both Saturday and Sunday nights and none of us has gotten enough sleep or even rest but it's all been a joy. And we'll get some sleep tonight.

And then Jessie will be driving home to Asheville.
It just feels so right to have her here.

We went out to eat last night with Lily and the boys and here's a picture from there:

We're so rich in family. We are just fabulously wealthy in love.
When we were at the restaurant, Owen saw a fellow of about thirteen and the boy looked sad and Owen announced that he needed to give the guy a hug and a kiss. I had to explain to him that we can't just hug and kiss people we don't know and I think it came as a shock to him. Everyone he knows hugs and kisses all the time and begs, quite literally, for Owen's kisses and hugs. He knows they have value and are restorative and healing and he was sad that he couldn't just go kiss that boy.

Ah. Well. In a perfect world, he could have but we don't live in a perfect world and there aren't too many teenaged boys who would welcome the hug and kiss of a strange little not-quite-three year old and that's just too damn bad, isn't it?

All right. Time to rest.

Hug and kiss each other. Do it for them and do it for yourselves. Keep on doing it. Don't stop.

Everything will be all right and we'll all be better off. If I have any wisdom for today, that would be it.

Just hug and kiss.

But maybe not random strangers in restaurants. Unless, you know, they look really sad. And then maybe...what the hell? Give it a try. We could start a movement.

Love...Ms. Moon

That's Bill Wharton and Pat Buchanan.
They played at the American Legion Hall last night in Tallahassee which is probably the best room in town to go hear music.
There is a disco ball.
That hat and horn belonged to Geoff Ridner, old friend, bandmate, sweet soul who died July 8.
He was fifty-eight.


Well, it sure was a good night at the Legion Hall. I haven't heard music like that since I don't even know when. We walked in and there was a lineup on stage doing Wharton's Let The Big Dog Eat
and it was about as deep funky as it gets, cooking, smoking, you had to dance and Jessie and I did. Walk in, start dancing. It was that kind of a night.

I could write an entire novel and maybe someday I will about the days when those men up there were boys and I was married to my ex and they all played music together and Geoff played too and it was so long ago and some of us were having babies and some of us were not and we were literally dealing in birth and in death, too, because some of us didn't even make into our thirties, tragedy and glory and there was always the music, there was always the deep, hot, wet Tallahassee air and last night a lot of us gathered, the survivors, if you will, and some of our kids too. Hank was born in the middle of all of that, May right on the outside edge of it and they were there last night. They sure were.

Last night brought back all of the memories and all of the stories and I laid in bed after it was all over, thinking about all those stories and wondering what I'd write today and I was wondering what it all meant and the immortal words of Mr. Natural came to me- Don't mean shit- and he was right and of course, it ALL means shit so none of it is special or unique or holding any great bowl of real meaning, and yet, at the same time, all of it is.

This path leads to this road, this road leads to that highway, some people make and play the music that sets us dancing along the path, opens doors to consciousness and people and then more consciousness and more people and last night a lot of it was right there. The people, and the consciousness of what it had all meant and not meant and I am not the one to say.
I only have my stories, my memories, and there sure were a lot of smiles.

I saw so many people there I know and have known. Some I adore, some I never cared for at all, but it was good to see them. It was good to dance with my kids and my husband and friends. It was something to hug folks from those old days. We shake our heads, say, "How you doin'?" we say, "It's so sad that it takes something like this to bring us together," and we hug again.

Well, it is fucking sad but that's the way it is and we're all gonna die, might as well get those boys back up on stage. They sure sounded fine. That's the thing about musicians. They're not like athletes, playing their best licks when they're young. They just get better.

There was tenderness there last night. Real tenderness. A death reminds us that we have to love one another, as corny as that sounds but it's true. Love each other with tenderness and dance with each other with abandonment, shake those titties, swing those hips, twirl that skirt, stomp that floor, yell out the words. That disco ball has some some things. Oh yeah.

We danced. We sure did.

And then we get up the next day and we go on because that's life.

Jessie and I might go to the beach today. We might even spend the night. We're not sure. We're just getting ourselves together here. I took my walk and I deserve a damn crown set with rubies for that. It's steamy hot, literally, yesterday's rain steaming up off the pavement and the leaves and the whole earth is breathing its hot breath, each step a special sort of torture but each one taken with the knowledge that I can take it, I'm alive. I'm here.

I feel like I've lived three months worth of activities in the last three days.

Last night I felt like I was tripping through three decades of time, finding myself back at the beginning of something that hasn't ended yet. And isn't that something? I wish I had the words to tell it all but it would take a powerful lot of them and now it's time to get this day going because the past is back there, waiting for me any time but this day is ready to give me what it has to offer and that's a gift too and one I'd be a fool to refuse.

Good-bye, Geoff. Thanks for all the sweet music, the sweet smiles, the sweetness that was you. You had a real good send-off last night. Wish you could have been there but you were there when it was most important.

And thanks to Ruthie Wharton for the picture I stole off Facebook and for telling me I HAD to go and for being here all these years and for all the dancing we've done together.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

It Was A Party

 Dear god, what a night. It was as crowded and crazy as I figured it would be. The Miccosukee Root Cellar had no idea what hit it. We got there before seven and there was a line. We were standing behind the chef's mama. 
"I can't even get a table!" she announced gleefully.

Mr. Moon and I were having none of that. We went directly to the bar where we scored two seats next to a woman I know who, before greetings were even accomplished, said, "I'm seventeen weeks pregnant!"
I had always thought of this woman as sort of a contemporary. I mean, I knew she was younger but how much younger? Turns out she's forty-eight and yes, she's going to have a baby. She's in her first marriage and now she's going to have her first baby. And this was entirely nature's course.
I congratulated her. Then I told her that my only suggestion is that after the baby is born, she really has to sleep when the baby sleeps.
But honestly? I'm boggled.
One can't help but do the math. Ah well, she has good genes. It's going to be amazing!

So then that restaurant filled up and overflowed and people were waiting and it got hot and it got fuller and it got hotter and I think they had one server and you had to lasso someone to get a beer or a menu and then the Cicada Ladies showed up and they were darling, darling, darling. 

I think I am biting her there.

Before they took the stage, the principal for the high school which the girls attended was there, their beloved music teacher from that same school (SAIL high school), old friends of mine from way, way back in the olden days, former neighbors, current neighbors, Hank and his posse, May and Matt and Lily and Jason and Owen and Gibson. 

And about a hundred other people in a room that seats forty-two.

The sound was not great (Jessie informed me that it was her dad's and my fault because we were talking too much), the room was buzzing, it was hot (did I mention it was hot?) and at one point I realized that sweat was running down my back. 

Owen and Gibson did pretty well, considering the circumstances. Owen even danced with me a little bit. Grudgingly. Here he is in his Auntie May's arms. 

He wasn't really as upset as he looks there.

And Gibson in his grandfather's arms. In the past thirty-six hours, Gibson has discovered the pacifier and has decided that it is his new favorite thing in life.

Lord. It was an evening. People either got served and ate and left, or didn't get served and left, or got served and ate and didn't leave, or didn't get served and didn't leave and they put signs up on the door saying they were full, come back again another time but people were still coming in.

It was a good birthday. I got to see all my babies, I got to see my grandbabies. I got to see old friends and reconnect. People bought CD's. People enjoyed the music tremendously. Some people got to eat and everyone seemed to be able to wrangle beers. Well, almost everyone. (Sorry Hank and your posse.)
We even got supper, although by the time we got home, I was hungry as hell again. I threatened to cook a frozen pizza but by the time I'd cleaned up the mess which occurred after the dogs got into my birthday chocolate and espresso truffles, I'd lost my appetite. 


Once again, we have proved that chocolate will not kill dogs. Not even if it is combined with espresso. It will, however, cause gastric distress. 

And now I've made Extremely Healthful Pancakes and I feel disgustingly well and there's a memorial thing going on tonight for a musician who died at the beginning of the month who used to play with my ex when Hank was born and I was told by at least a half dozen people last night that I HAVE to go and May's going and Jessie says she wants to go and so does Lily. Believe it or not. 
I might. I just might. Two nights out in a row? What is this world coming to?

Well, as I said last night, I am still alive. And you know, not all of us are.

I sure do thank everyone for all the beautiful birthday wishes. I felt quite loved and cherished and I still do. 

Sunday morning and I am well and truly fifty-eight years old and it is Madame Radish King's birthday today and I am wishing her love from all the way across this continent. 

We get older, all of us, each and every day until the day we do not. I guess that until then, we might as well dance and let the sweat run down our backs and talk too much and kiss and hug and listen to music or play music as our gifts may dictate or not. 

What the hell else can we do?

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fifty Eight

And I'm still alive.


So did you watch the Olympic Opening Ceremonies last night?
We did.
Wasn't it exciting?
To continue in my cynical vein, I just kept making snarky remarks. I couldn't help it. Especially when the commercials came on. Have you noticed how a main theme in TV commercials these days is how whatever product (from chocolate to Chevys) serves to "bring people together"? Do we really need to be brought together so much? Are we all suffering from a huge lack of togetherness? Will Hershey's Chocolate and Chevrolets do the trick?
Maybe. I don't know.

Didn't the queen look amazingly proud and happy?
NO SHE DID NOT! Bless her old heart. Jesus. Let the poor woman go home and take her bra off and have a cup of tea and a snuggle with her corgis. She deserves that.

But it is heart-warming to see all those beautiful athletes from around the world, from countries I'VE NEVER EVEN HEARD OF (which means nothing, I know) coming together to compete in the spirit of...uh...competition? Yes. Yes it is. 

I thought almost all of the uniforms looked cheesy. And why did Ralph Lauren make our athletes wear berets? Did I miss a major beret fashion thing? I have no problem with the fact that our uniforms were made in China. I mean, that is the most American thing you can do- have the Chinese make our things- but the berets? Clearly I've been out of the fashion loop too long.
To me, berets say, "Girl Scouts!" they say, "French Person!" they say, "Australian Person!"
Somehow they just don't say "American Athlete!" to me but whatever. They were jaunty!

And what was the deal with David Beckham? Dude left the British Isles to come to America to make the big bucks and star in underwear ads.

Oh well.

Okay. Sir Paul. Bless his heart too. He needs to quit dying his hair. He never was my favorite Beatle but he was a Beatle. AND WHERE WAS RINGO? That's what I want to know. Where the fuck was Ringo?

Okay. I'm done talking about the Olympics now. Except for one thing- when did BADMINTON become an Olympic event?

So I opened the paper this morning and wouldn't you know there's an entire article about the power of prayer being miraculous in helping to heal a little local girl who had a head injury resulting from a fall off a horse? It was like a Divine Answer to my last night's post. They're claiming that it's a miracle that she's alive and all due to prayer.
Of course, there's been a little bit of medical intervention, too. But you know, it was the PRAYER that kept her alive.
Well, honestly, it's awesome that her family had prayer to lean on during such a horrible, frightening time. I get that. And who knows? Not me.

So it's my birthday. I just talked to Owen on the phone. "Happy Birthday!" he said. Then he told me I need a cake and candles and balloons. Hmmmmm....
Mr. Moon keeps asking me what kind of a cake I want. He has made me several birthday cakes over the years and they've all been fantastic. But it takes him like eight hours and seriously? I don't want a cake. I can actually tell that I've lost some weight in the past few weeks and I like that. As I told Lily, my Very Fat Clothes are fitting a lot better. I haven't been eating much sugar or refined flour and I'm not insane- I know that a piece of cake wouldn't undo all my good work. It's just...eh. Whatever. Cake.
Now quite frankly, if someone around here had some bacon and cooked it, I would eat that.
But there is no bacon. Which is fine.

We're all going to go to the local restaurant tonight where the Cicada Ladies are having their CD release party and it's going to be insane. I hear that the restaurant is about as big as a postage stamp and the paper just did a huge, big review of it and Darling Kati has been writing in the paper about our beloved Cicada Ladies and this party and I just hope we can find a seat, much less a meal. You have no idea how many people love these Ladies.

And I've gotten about five thousand Facebook birthday messages, many of them from people I actually KNOW! and Lon and Lis called and sang Happy Birthday to me and you know that made me smile and cry at the same time. Lily and the boys might come out and May's called me and it's looking to be a nice day. I've had way too much coffee but I feel okay. A little manic, but okay.
Perhaps when the caffeine wears off, I'll go back to bed and take a nap because I am not entirely well. Maybe I'll paint my toenails.


Let's all have a good day.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, July 27, 2012

Am I the most cynical person ever to have lived?
Well, I doubt it but I sure am one cynical old bitch.

There's a video going around of a Lutheran pastor named Nadia Bolz-Weber speaking to a group of Lutheran youth in New Orleans and I watched it and it did nothing for me. Nothing at all. And two people whom I really adore and love both posted about this video, one on her blog and one on Facebook and so I thought that once again, ONCE AGAIN, I would check out the message that people I care about think is important and yet, once again, I came away feeling like, Really? 

You can watch the video HERE if you want. Nadia is charismatic, she is beautiful in a striking good-looking-human-being way with tattoos that she rocks in a tight tank top and painted-on jeans and she has short, very stylish black hair and Clark Kent Cool glasses and yes, she used to be a drunk and she used to be a drug addict and then God's grace saved her ass and now she's a pastor and has a church in Denver called House For All Sinners And Saints.
She's got the street cred, all right.

I don't know. I visited her web site. She's available for speaking engagements. She collects belt buckles. She's very proud of the fact (and I gleaned this from the video) that she's grown her church from eight members in 2008 to one hundred and eighty members now. Also, how inclusive her church is. There are black and white and ex-convicts and soccer moms and elected officials and transgendered kids and...oh, probably about one hundred and sixty tattooed hipsters, I'm guessing.
I can just see her when someone else walks in the door...oh boy! a transgendered kid! WOWZER! I'm so inclusive!!!!

See how cynical I am?


I just do not.

I wrote to a friend the other day that there are times when I wish I believed in a god that listens to prayers. It would be so comforting.
I mean that too.
But I just can't.

It freaks me out when people go on Facebook and ask their "friends" to pray for random people we don't know. As if...oh, there's magic. Why do people keep believing in the power of prayer when there is absolutely no evidence that it has ever changed the course of any human or natural event? See- I think it's this universal religious belief that may rip it for me.
Do mothers who pray for their children's lives and who then lose those children to disease or accident or whatever pray the wrong way? Or not have the true faith in their hearts? Or...what?

I can see the benefit of focusing our thoughts on a particular outcome. Like meditation.
But I don't understand how anyone believes that there is any supernatural power going on there. I just don't.

I'm cynical. I want studies. Which they have done and which are, to say the least, extremely inconclusive and one such study showed:

Prayers offered by strangers had no effect on the recovery of people who were undergoing heart surgery, a large and long-awaited study has found.
And patients who knew they were being prayed for had a higher rate of post-operative complications like abnormal heart rhythms, perhaps because of the expectations the prayers created, the researchers suggested.

And yet, people believe. It's like when I asked that very intelligent Catholic woman why she believed that when she took communion the bread and the wine turned into the actual flesh and blood of Jesus in her body when it was scientifically proven not to be so and she said, "Well, I know that, but I just believe it does. I have faith."

I don't understand it. And whether the person telling me that there is such a thing is wearing robes or tattoos, it still doesn't make me understand it or believe it either.

Listen- I used to have a damn Weight Watchers class in Thomasville, Georgia that grew from almost nothing to a hundred and something members in two years and yes, there were black and white and old and young and hip and definitely not-hip and gay and straight and I didn't for one second think that it was because I was offering up God's message of grace. It was because people wanted to lose weight and Weight Watchers has a really good program to help people do that. But I couldn't do it for them. I could give them the tools and then they had to use the tools and do it themselves. There was no magic involved whatsoever and I didn't ever once make the promise that there was.

And I cracked a lot of jokes and I tried to make people believe in themselves and I tried very hard to make it an enjoyable hour and I didn't shame anyone and I tried very hard to make each person there feel comfortable and welcome and I tried to help each person with their unique and different needs make the program work for them. And when they succeeded in meeting their goals, I gave THEM the credit. They'd done the work and changed their diets and exercise habits and if some of them prayed about it (and I'm sure they did) we didn't need to talk about it. I did not find the overly religious to be any more successful than those who were as cynical as I.

Hey-I'm available for speaking engagements. On almost any subject you'd like. I do not collect belt buckles. I am inclusive although I probably have some suspicion about ex-cons but I'd like to think that once I get to know you I'll judge you on your heart instead of your record. I am a saint and I am a sinner. I know glory and I know despair. I remember what it was like to be a child and I know what it is like to be older. 
I have been showered with grace in my life but it came from human beings who were grace-filled. I have no tattoos but again- I don't think I have the tattoo gene. I love many tattooed individuals. 
I am cynical as shit.
If I had a church, Keith Richards would be a saint in it because he gave us the guitar riffs for a whole lot of songs that make me dance. I may be cynical, but not when I'm dancing and okay, yes, I admit it- I believe the Beatles may have been supernatural.

In short, I don't have the religion gene and sometimes I wish I did but I don't and as such, I am just making my way through this life the best I can. A cynical old bitch who believes in love and light and fire and water and the course of the stars and planets through space and the great fishes who live in the sea and the tiny microbes which sustain us. 

It is all a holy mystery to me. But that's because I'm not smart enough to figure it all out. Not because I don't have enough faith or haven't found the right religion.

And that's all I have to say at this moment.

Love...Ms. Moon

It's My Pity Party, I'll Cry If I Want To

Last night Jessie went out to eat with Lily and Jason and the boys. Here they are, having a fine time. I asked Jessie this morning if the boys had been good. She paused and said, "Well, you know Owen."

It's just impossible for an almost-three year old to sit still at a restaurant. She said that he put a bunch of mustard on his sandwich and then he didn't like it. So his mother licked off the excess mustard.
I have said it before and I will say it again- Lily is the BEST mother.

While they were eating out, I was at home with Mr. Moon in the biggest funk you can imagine. It started in the afternoon, that funk, and it hasn't dissipated yet. I just feel completely useless. I feel as if I don't exist until someone needs me. I feel as if the stuckedness I've been feeling has set like concrete, finally drying and is now hard as a parking lot.

Watching hours of Bravo TV yesterday did not help matters. I didn't even feel like reading. I'm reading a good book but it's depressing. It's depressing because it's about people who get stuck and it's depressing because it is beautifully written and it's a first novel and I didn't write it and there you go. It's depressing because it's just depressing. (For the NYT review of the novel, go HERE.) At one point while watching Bravo TV I decided that even if I didn't feel very well, I could go upstairs and pull out those boxes of unsorted pictures from the past thirty-six years of my life. I could start going through them, at least try to file them in some sort of order.
I reached into the closet to pull out one of the boxes and just the sight of those drug-store photo envelopes holding images of people from three decades ago, some of them now dead, made me want to weep.
Just go ahead and stick a gun barrel in my mouth, I thought. I shoved the box back into the closet and shut the door and went back downstairs and the mice can continue to shred those pictures into nests.

I'm struggling. I am really struggling.
I think that sometimes when you are prone to depression and you fall physically ill, it feels like depression and then, depression does follow. Does this make sense?
No. Why should it? There is nothing logical about depression.

Well. I am going to take a shower, I am going to go to town to run a few errands. I don't have to but I can't simply sit here today, beating myself up for all of the things I am not doing, all of the places I am not being, all of the ways I am not succeeding, all of the dreams I have not allowed myself to have.

Birthdays. Aren't they great?

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Maybe I'm Feverish

She is home.
Since she's been working nights and has her days and nights all mixed up anyway, she got up at 1 a.m. and drove though the night and got home just before I got back from my walk.
Poor thing. Her daddy had already gone to work and her mama was somewhere unknown.
The dogs were excited.
"Where are my parents?" she asked them.
They looked at her like the deaf and dumb animals they are. They really are deaf these days and they've always been dumb. Buster took his own bandage off and his ear is swollen up again. It sort of looks like it's been puffy-quilted.

Anyway, yes, I have a cold. Did I get it at the movie theater? Who knows? Not me. But I went and walked anyway. Fuck it. I actually had a moment of small ecstasy on the trail. I had transcended pain and heat and sickness. It was awesome! Then I sort of wanted to die but for a moment there, it was good.

So get this- after defending AOL they've gone and changed up their e-mail and now I'm having trouble viewing it. Ain't that life? Ain't that just the way life works? Oh well. No big deal.

So I'm going to rest today. I took a shower and did not put on my overalls. I put on a sort of night-dress thing which I've had forever and it's linen and I wear it in Mexico after I take my evening shower and go sit on the balcony to dry my hair and write in my journal. I have been thinking about Mexico a lot lately. One year we were there for my birthday. Last year I was in Asheville with Hank and Liz and we were visiting Jessie and Vergil. Liz and I were staying in this incredibly fancy condo that belonged to a friend of hers. It had artwork and a hot tub and there was a kava bar downstairs. I'd never had kava before, not in that form, and every afternoon I'd go down there and drink a bowl of tasty-dirt tea and feel my tongue get numb and I'd be all relaxed and shit. It really wasn't great, as highs go, but it made me feel like I was getting away with something, it being legal and all. Plus, the woman who worked at the kava bar was beautiful and I may be a straight woman but I have never been immune to the glory of a beautiful woman. I wonder how she's doing.

Well, that was then, this is now. It's almost my birthday and I have a cold and my baby girl is home and the mosquitoes aren't quite as bad and I have four children and two grandchildren and a husband I love and I remember I turned eighteen in Paris, France, and it's been a real good life. I've been the luckiest woman on earth.

I still am. Even with the dogs and the mosquitoes and the chigger bites and the cold and the heat. Sometimes there is ecstasy and even when there is not, there is just plain old goodness. You know what I think? I think that's a miracle. I think when life works out even half decently, it's a miracle. I think that when you find love and are surrounded by love and are able to give and receive love freely, that's a miracle and I think that noticing and being grateful for those miracles is a holy ritual and it's my job to practice it.
I don't need a church, I don't need a magical god up in the heavens listening to my prayers, I don't need images of poor old Jesus on my grilled cheese sandwich. I don't need a priest or a preacher or a pastor or a rulebook. 

I've got all of this and my baby girl made it home safely and today I am quite aware of the miracle of all of it.


Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Winner Is Announced

I was sleeping, I was so far down in it when thunder woke me up, rolling thunder, that kind that starts in god's belly and comes up like a laugh, rumbling towards you.

It was a long day. Up at 4:30, in to town to find that both boys were awake, boy boys were happy and up and ready to play at six, and so we did. I held Gibson all day, I think. Or almost. He does love to lie on his back on a blanket on the floor to kick and chortle when Owen tickles him. Owen is the best sort of big brother. I can't understand how we got so lucky like that.
Boppy came over to eat his lunch and he and Owen ate together at the table and Owen wanted me to come and sit with them too. He wanted us both to come and play in his room with him too. And so we did. At one point, Boppy, Owen, Gibson, I, and Bogart the very large cat, were all on Owen's single bed at once.

I felt so guilty when Lily got home because although her children were still alive so technically, I had done my job, the house was a wreck. I told her that a band of rowdies had come through and destroyed her house. And then I told her that Boppy had done it but Owen spoke up and said that no, he had made the house messy. Owen had done it.
At least he is truthful.

Anyway, that is why I fell asleep so deeply until that thunder grumbled in and now it's raining a tiny bit, not enough to really matter. Just drops off god's beard flung when he laughed that thunder from his belly.

I almost feel as if I am coming down with a cold. My throat is tender, my center feels raw. I ache. I hope not. I think of the countless kisses I gave Gibson. He loves kisses which is good because he's going to get them, no matter what, and he holds his mouth open and shoves it right up against our mouths, that tiny cave of baby-mouth, two teeth sharp as razors that he gnaws my knuckles with.
Oh, I hope I am not getting a cold which I could have passed on to him. Where would I have gotten a cold germ?

Buster is home, his ear bandaged tightly to his head. He seems none the worse for wear. Jessie will be home tomorrow in time to help me take the bandage off. Her picture was in the paper today in a preview section for this weekend's events. I showed it to Owen. That's Jessie, I told him.
He looked at it and then said, "I LOVE Jessie!"
And he does.

Okay. I've just written out all of the names in the drawing for the CD on tiny slips of paper and put them into the beautiful Talavara bowl that Kathleen gave me for my birthday.

You know what? It felt like I was making prayer slips. Each of your names so dear and familiar to me.

All right. I am going to pick one now. Hold on.

Bethany, darling, you won! I used to have your address but I am not at all sure I do and if I do, I don't know where it is so could you e-mail me and tell me what it is again?
mmerluna at aol dot com
(And don't none of y'all laugh at my aol address. It's a HERITAGE address.)

And thank all of you who ordered it online.

I love you all so much through fair skies and cloudy.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Kids And Dogs And Soybean Patties

I am making approximately one million soybean, brown rice and vegetable patties. This is my gift in life: To take leftovers and create even more leftovers. It is like magic. I am uniquely talented in this regard.
Some people are fabulously talented at dance, some at painting or horticulture or diplomacy.
Me? I just take old food and make new-old food.
You work with what you have, right?

You'd think I'd lived through the Depression or the Irish Potato Famine the way I can't stand to throw food away. Not that anything really gets thrown away here. I do have chickens and dogs, you know. I did throw away most of a loaf of bread today. It was commercial bread and had to have been two weeks old and showed no signs of deterioration which to me says, "UNNATURAL!" despite the fact that the label proclaimed it to be, in fact, "NATURAL!"

The bread I make starts to mold in a couple of days. What in hell do they put in that store-stuff? Whatever it was, the chickens got it. My chickens may be free-range but their diet ain't organic. Or, even all-natural, I guess. Like, yesterday they ate a bunch of Spider Man cereal that Owen brought over. It was a color not found in nature with tiny marshmallows in it. Owen did not like it.
The chickens did.

Buster's in the dog hospital resting from his surgery. I assume. They never called to tell me how the surgery went but if he'd died or something, I suppose they would have called me. I'll go get him tomorrow after I babysit for Owen and Gibson. Lily and Jason are both opening tomorrow which means I have to be at their house at 5:45 a.m.
It'll be okay. Hopefully, both boys will stay asleep for awhile at least and I'll go back to sleep myself. Then we can play all day. Gibson and I got to cuddle a lot today. I think he was enchanted with his Mer-Mer for some reason. I hope he's enchanted with me again tomorrow.

Owen got a Power Ranger costume today. We were at the Costco and he saw them and that was that. He is eat up with love for the Power Rangers. We told him no but his plaintive weeping melted our stony hearts and we caved.

The costume comes, as you can see, with gloves and a helmet. 
Also, muscles. 
I don't think he's going to wear anything else for the next three months although it has to be like a sauna in that thing. Not only is it made of something which is also definitely not found in nature, it has all those muscles in it. He doesn't care. He'll pass out from heat stroke before he'll admit that it's too hot. It's like when you take kids swimming and their lips turn blue and they're shivering like little dogs and yet, they refuse to come out of the water because they are NOT COLD. No, they are not.
Children are stubborn little critters, aren't they? 

Well, that's about it. Mr. Moon is on his way home from Orlando, I have approximately one million soy bean, brown rice and vegetables patties and Buster is in the hospital. You should have seen the way he followed that lady at the vet's office down the hall. He has no concept of "his" humans. He was as happy as a dog can be. 
Maybe she'd like to keep him. 

No. I still haven't done the drawing for the CD. I will. I WILL! I'm thinking about it a lot. I've just been busy, you know, making soybean patties and playing with my grandsons and taking Buster to the vet and feeding unnatural foods to my chickens. I won't get my hands on the CD's until Thursday anyway, so it's a moot point right now. Except for the fact that I know everyone is on the edge of their seat with anticipation. 

Give-aways are stressful for us all. I don't know how Pioneer Woman does it.
And yet, she does. 

Well, we all have our gifts. 

Love...Ms. Moon

I think the chiggers which have buried themselves into my panty line may indeed be the straw that breaks the camel's back. They itched all night long. They will itch for days. There ain't one damn thing you can do to hasten the process and there's not much you can to relieve the itching.

It's one more torment.

Anyway, I thought I'd just throw that out there. I'm sitting here, soaking wet with sweat, probably re-infested with more chiggers, picked up on today's walk while mosquitoes, even here on the porch, are hovering around, and I need to wash Buster and take him in. Today's the day.

Yeah, the trash needs taking too.

And hey! I just discovered a river of dog piss in the hallway.


God, I hope so.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Evening Wrap-Up Of Events

I renewed my nursing license today which means that I have now completed all of the incredibly (for me) anxiety-producing tasks which faced me this month.
I renewed my driver's license.
I did my continuing education units and renewed my nursing license.
I went to the nurse practitioner and got my lab work done to get my natural (haha!) hormone prescription renewed and have a new script ordered.

I felt as if I had just built the Taj Mahal when the pharmacist told me that yes, my prescription had been renewed and would be ready for pick-up on Thursday.

And then I realized something- I am depressed.
Not horrible depressed, just sort of regular old depressed and it's hardly worth mentioning but you know me. I mention almost everything.

So. Instead of facing an empty afternoon of beating myself up because I wasn't doing something constructive with my life I went and got Owen and brought him home with me. ENOUGH! IT WAS TIME!

And it was good and it was wise and we had a great time.
We played and we played and then we played some more. "What play now, Mer-Mer?" he asks me. We played with toys and he's getting so imaginative. Little games come about and he makes up stories for whatever he's playing with. He lined up all of his little farm animals and he told them, "Be patient." I am not sure what he was telling them to be patient about, but it appeared to me that they were, in fact, being very patient, the goat, the pig, the cow, the sheep, the horse. We did some puzzles and he rode his trike and told me he was going to get the mail. He wanted a smoothie and he wanted to help me make it and he did. He pretended to call his Aunt Jessie a lot because I told him she was going to be here soon. "Come now!" he told her on the pretend phone calls. "Okay, bye!" He rode his horse and we watched some kid videos and we watched something called Top Ten Funniest Baby Videos and he laughed and laughed at the chortling babies. He played with my old antique Zippy Chimp and told Zippy that he would take him to the store but he had to be a good boy and sit in the cart. He wanted to give Buster a treat and so we did. He saw Boppy getting ready to "fix" Buster's ear wearing gloves and he demanded gloves of his own and I found him some purple rubber ones and while Boppy was doing the dog operation, Owen insisted I lay down on a blanket on the floor and he rubbed my ear with his gloved hand and pronounced it fixed. He looked closely into my eyes with a flashlight and said that I had monster eyes. We hid from tigers, we read books, we ran around outside in the rain for a little bit until the mosquitoes drove us back in. He got so dizzy, twirling in circles that he fell over in the dirt and thought it was the funniest thing ever. Until he went into the bathroom to wash up and kept dropping the soap and then THAT was the funniest thing ever. While I was sitting on the floor he lunged for me and I pretended that he'd knocked me down and I held him to me and told him that he'd knocked me over with his love and then THAT was the funniest thing ever and he did that over and over and over again and he helped me sit back up every time and I probably have a bruised back but what the hell? Who cares?

He's my boy. He's my joy. He's my grandson full of the devil and sweet as pie.

Here he is in the fig tree. "I so tall!" he crowed.
Yes. He is so tall.

His daddy came and got him and brought Gibson in and here's what that boy looks like today:

And for Gibson, that's about a one-quarter smile.

And you know what? I don't feel nearly as depressed now. Yes, I have the melancholia but it's not the eat-your-soul kind. It's the aw-honey-go-tidy-up-and-eat-some-leftovers-and-go-to-bed-and-read-a-book-and-it's-gonna-be-all-right kind.

I also have chiggers, I think, and yes, probably a bruised back but these too shall pass. I've had my kisses, my hugs, my laughs, my smiles. And, my ear has been fixed by a young doctor wearing giant purple rubber gloves.

And now, if you haven't already, go over to Elizabeth's and read what she wrote today because it is amazing and heart-felt and she said what I feel about being an American.

Here's the link. 

Elizabeth is a jewel on this earth and I am so glad I have met her through this magical way of communication.

I'm glad I've met you too. I swear I am.

Love...Ms. Moon

Morning In Lloyd

It did rain last night, not too much, but lovely all the same and this morning is a bit cooler so my walk was a bit easier and I did go four miles but it took me a long time because I had to stop twice to chat.
Once to a woman who lives very nearby who found four abandoned puppies early this morning and who wanted to know if I had any information about that which of course I did not but she wanted to talk and I try not to be rude.

I also stopped to talk to Miss Liola because she was outside and as I said the other day, I haven't spoken to her in awhile. The man I call The Sheik was there as well and I showed them pictures of my grandchildren on my phone. Miss Liola and I always talk about our grands.

Then when I went into the post office, our Post Mistress was about to go outside to lower the flag to half mast. She's just gotten an e-mail, instructing her to do so and so we had to talk for a moment about the tragedy and she started to talk about why in the world people would take children to a midnight showing of a Batman movie but I told her I wasn't going there. I hate it that people are saying these things because it's insinuating that it's the parents' fault that their children were injured or in harm's way and I'm sorry, I've taken a sleeping baby to a midnight movie before and even if poor judgement is involved, it is certainly not the worst thing in the world to do with your kids, to take them to a movie at midnight, even a violent one. One can hardly expect a gunman to start firing off hundreds (thousands?) of rounds of ammunition.
I think we believe that we can, by some miracle, protect ourselves and our loved ones from random horrific events and we can't. Not always.
We did both agree though, that it's far too fucking easy to buy guns in this country. The guns that man used have no purpose on this earth except to slaughter human beings and why we think we have the right to purchase such things is a mystery to me although I blame the NRA.

The theme of something being legal but not necessarily right seems to keep popping up. Buying those guns, putting fortunes in offshore accounts in order to avoid paying taxes. It occurred to me that when someone says he wants to serve our country in its highest office he probably shouldn't be doing that last one. Mitt has proudly stated that he pays his taxes-every dollar he is legally obligated to pay and not one dollar more.
And he's legally obligated to pay at the rate of about fifteen percent while we pay at the rate of thirty percent because we're not fabulously wealthy and thus, not elegible for tax breaks and we certainly don't have enough money to put into tax sheltered offshore accounts. Seems to me though, that if someone is really interested in the wellbeing of their country they'd pay taxes on everything but I'm naive and probably stupid.

Well, it's a beautiful day here in Lloyd and I think I'm going to have to take Buster to the vet. That ear is showing no signs of slowing down in the accumulation of fluid so whatever is causing the problem is not getting better. Poor old Buster. When we do the fluid-extraction process on his ear, he lies so still. He doesn't seem to mind getting his ear poked with a needle one bit. I can't do it, by the way. Mr. Moon has to. I just hold the dog which isn't even really necessary. I'd rather stick that needle into my own self and that's not happening either.

I'll try to get that drawing done for the CD giveaway today. If my busy schedule permits. Haha.

Later, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, July 22, 2012


When cucumbers go rogue.

Oh my god. I just realized I've haven't posted my SECOND post of the day.
Say what you will about me, I am fucking prolific.

Mr. Moon is home. He's happy and covered with chigger bites and we've had martinis and played cards and now I'm going to go create magic in the kitchen.

Leeks will be involved. So will eggplant, portobellos, venison cube steak and potatoes.

I weeded in the garden today and I did not die.

Owen did not come out but he might spend the night on Wednesday. Buster is still alive and Mr. Moon and I performed another drawing-out of the serosanguinous fluid operation from his ear. I got three nice eggs from the chickens today and it looked and sounded like rain but so far...nope.

Yep. Sunday night.

Love...Ms. Moon

Why I Married A Hunter

It's Sunday morning. Mr. Moon is still up in the wilds of Georgia but will be heading home today. It's still very odd to me that I am married to a hunter. When we met, he and I, I couldn't imagine a man more unlike any possible future mate I'd ever met. First off, he was (is) about a foot and half taller than me. No exaggeration. So of course that meant he'd been a basketball player- a jock. I was more the girl-who-dated-guitar players. I had even married one. And divorced him. And then, there was that hunting thing. 

I'd been a vegetarian on and off my entire adult life. You know, a hippie girl. Southern hippie girl. We ate a lot of beans and rice and cornbread and even in my little suburban house, painted pink with gray shutters, I had a garden in the back yard. Guns were an anathema to me. And here came this too-tall man who had played basketball and who had guns and hunted with them. At least he, too, was from the south. Tennessee, to be exact, which is where my mother was raised although he came from the Nashville part of the state, she from the Lookout Mountain/Chattanooga part.

I guess he was just enough of a novelty to me to get me interested. Also, he was just about the sweetest darn guy I'd ever met. And happiest. I mean, the guy was just happy to be alive. And he showed it. No neuroses were apparent. Enjoyed a drink but didn't overdo. Showed up when he said he would. Hell, he didn't so much show up as just be there all the time. Since I'd been single I'd dated a string of complicated, just-this-side-of-completely-nuts men which was how I thought all men were and they maybe showed up and maybe didn't and they couldn't be counted on and I was in a constant state of love-sickness which was really getting old, plus I was still dealing with my ex who was the King of Inconsistency in those days and we were having our letting-go issues and I was in nursing school and raising two kids. All at the same time. So yes, I was fucking nuts too.

So here was this guy. This big guy. Tallest guy I'd ever personally met and he was just so damn sweet and he brought me flowers and I knew from day one that he had set his cap for me, he was pitching woo, he was showing me pictures of his PARENTS for god's sake, saying things like, "I can't wait for you to meet my family."
Freaked me the FUCK out.

I was still getting some ya-ya's out. Oh yes I was. And before I knew it, this guy, this TALL GUY, had taken over a closet in my bedroom, had moved his own bed in because mine was obviously too small as it was designed for normal-sized people, and when I came home one night and found him WASHING AND PUTTING AWAY THE DISHES HE'D GOTTEN IN THE DIVORCE FROM HIS FIRST WIFE, I freaked out and said, "Out, out, out!"
The dishes were ugly.

He packed his things and moved into a room in a friend's house and we spent one night apart and then I went and got him and brought him back home.
It was just a test, I guess. Just a test. He passed.

He continued to court me. He took me to New Orleans where we had the most profound shared-telepathic experience you've ever heard of. I'll write about it some day. He told me he loved me. He bought my kids Christmas presents and was good to them and around them. He took them fishing. He did indeed introduce me to his family. He built a ten-foot-tall privacy fence around my back yard and asked my permission to repaint the house in a color other than pink. He moved his dog in, parked his pick-up truck in my yard, found a place in the side yard for his jon boat. HE COULD CARRY THE JON BOAT AROUND WITH NOTHING BUT HIS SHEER STRENGTH!

He helped me with the garden. Everything I cooked for him, he praised to high heaven. He told me I was beautiful. He gave me reason to trust him.

He shot some quail and plucked them in my kitchen and marinated them in my refrigerator. 

Still. I let him stay. It seemed...inevitable. Even if I'd wanted to slow things down, it wasn't even possible. He was like a force of nature. And the more I learned about him, the more I really liked him. He was the unimaginable- a really truly good guy.

Plus, he had a few hippie ways. And to be honest, the body of a god. Also, he'd lived in Europe for awhile, playing pro ball over there, and that experience had given him insights he never would have gotten otherwise. He may have been an ex-jock and he was definitely a hunter but he wasn't a redneck.

And his family just took me in and enfolded me in their love and treated my kids like they were their own and his daddy told me that they loved me because I was making their son happy and he hadn't really been happy in a long time. He wouldn't say anything derogatory about that first wife of Mr. Moon's, but he made it clear that she really hadn't been the woman for Glen. And made it even clearer that he and Glen's mama thought I was. The woman for him.


What's a girl gonna do?

He gave me a ring on my thirtieth birthday. I still wasn't really up to speed if you want to know the truth but there was that element of inevitability. There was my good sense (who knew I had any?) telling me, don't let this one get away. There was my womb telling me yes, yes, yes.

What the hell? I married the guy. This October it will have been twenty-eight years.

And in those twenty-eight years we had two more kids, he started and ran several businesses, supported us through thick and thin times, introduced me to Mexico, worked his ass off, put up with my insanities, supported me in my beliefs, kept praising my cooking to high heaven, and went fishing and hunting whenever he could.

We've seen friends into death with each other, survived the loss of both of his parents and his sister. We own property and a house on Dog Island with a friend and a beautiful little lot down in Apalachicola where we plan to build a house with a long dock out over the bay. He bought me my dream house- this one we live in- even though he didn't really want to. He tells me now he loves it.
He tells me he loves me all the time.

He's been the best daddy to all of our kids I can even imagine. He's supported them through things that would have brought other men to their knees. They all know that if they need ANYTHING IN THIS WORLD, he'll be there. One phone call. He's there.

I think about the time (and I can barely write about this, even now, decades later) when May got hit by a car and he got to the hospital before I did and I was only three blocks away, and he was there when they opened the ambulance doors and I had to stand back because they hadn't told me how badly she'd been hurt (bad) and I was so fucking scared, more scared than I'd ever been in my life and more scared than I've ever been since and more scared than I ever want to be again, but he was there, he talked to her, I heard them, I knew it was going to be all right. Some how, it was going to be all right and it was.

Yes. He hunts. And I have learned to respect that and I'm human and I still sometimes get a little bit jealous of the time he spends on that endeavor but just when I've reached my limit, he swoops me away to Mexico and drives me around on a scooter and makes me sunset drinks and takes me out to eat for three meals a day and holds my hand when we snorkel.

And I cook his venison for him and he praises it to high heaven.

And now we're grandparents and that's another kind of bond I'd never really imagined. I watch him play with Owen. They pretend-fish and they really do fish and he gets down on the floor and does puzzles with him and now he nuzzles and loves the new boy, too.  You've seen this picture before but it does bear repeating.

Listen- if I listed every good thing about that man, we'd be here for days.

And no, he's not perfect. Neither am I and neither are you.

We've had our ups and our downs. We've had our scary times. But here we are and he'll be home today and I've got some venison cube steak thawed out in the refrigerator and tonight I'll cook it like a good Southern woman and mash up some potatoes we grew in our garden and maybe make a salad with some grilled vegetables and spinach and we'll watch another episode of Deadwood and sit on the couch and hold hands and he'll praise my cooking to high heaven and he might even wash the dishes.

He drives me crazy and he brings me back again and he'll be home this afternoon with a load of laundry because two pairs of his pants and a shirt is a full load, even in the High Capacity Washer.
He's tall, y'all. And he has to be because his heart is so big that it takes a body that big to fit it in. A heart that he's not stingy with but gives away easy and with grace.

Every day.

Well, it's Sunday morning. I need to eat something. I'm going to go get Owen to come out and play today. The cicadas are singing and the sun is shining and the chickens are scratching and although Sunday is my crazy day, I feel all right. My hunter will be home and next fall he'll be bringing more deer meat home. I married a hunter, a man who loves the woods and the sea and who loves to bring home meat from both.

I never thought it'd be this way. I'm just so grateful it is.

That's my love story.

To be continued.

If I'm very, very lucky. Which I have been, ever since the day I met him, that man, that hunter, this man I love so very much.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cicada Ladies

Some of you know that my baby-baby, Jessie, plays mandolin and she's in a group with some gals that she's been playing with, mostly, since high school. She attended an alternative high school in Tallahassee where the school band was a bluegrass band and since she'd grown up listening to and adoring her fairy-godparents, Lon and Lis Williamson

it was a match made in heaven when Jessie picked up the mandolin. 

She now plays a mandolin which Lon made by his own hands and the Cicada Ladies have made a CD. They recorded it at the Award-Winning, World-Class Gatorbone Studios which is the home-based business Lon and Lis run when they're not performing, making mandolins, creating ribbon flower art (okay, that's just Lis) or being grandparents, gardeners, and Most Gracious Loving People In The Universe.

Golly. Where was I going here?
Oh yeah! The Cicada Ladies' CD is out! It's called Under The Clay. 

You can order it.


And I think it would be only fittin' for me to give one of these CD's away. Quite frankly, I'd love to give one to every one of you. I should. I really should. God, I owe all of you. You have no idea how much I owe all of you. (My sanity or what passes for my sanity.) I should really just give you all a vial of my blood to wear around your necks but no, that would be weird.

So in lieu of all of that, I'm going to give away a CD and I feel all Pioneer-Womany and shit, just saying that but shitfire, why not? So. How do you win?

Oh golly. I guess just leave a comment and I'll write all your names down and put them in a hat and pick one out and I SWEAR ON MY OLD DEAD DRUNK DADDY'S GRAVE THAT I WON'T CHEAT!
How's that?

And as a bonus, I'll draw another name out of the hat and the winner of THAT gets a dog! Yes! And a year's worth of dogfood!

All right. That last part is a lie. Unless you want a dog. In which case, IT'S NOT A LIE! I really will send you a dog. I'll even send you the one who doesn't have a sopapilla ear. (Indeed, the saga continues.)

And if you're going to be in Tallahassee next weekend, The Cicada Ladies will be playing a week from tonight at the Miccosukee Root Cellar.  That's July 28th and it's also my birthday so, well...I guess that's going to be my party because I quite frankly hate birthday parties when they're mine. I don't mind having birthdays, I just don't like parties which result from them.

Is this post really spacey? I feel like it is. I think today has been one of those days where I'm sort of just underwater, looking at all the pretty fish and doing my best not to be bashed up against the coral wall by the current, fluttering my fins and trying to keep my mask cleared.

(One of the Cicada Ladies, underwater in Cozumel, Mexico)

Or something.

Anyway, just leave me a comment and eventually I'll draw a name out of a hat and then eventually sometime after that (like when I get some CD's) I'll send the winner one if he or she deigns to send me his or her address.
It's safe to send me your address, being as how I'm agoraphobic and shit and would never, ever drive to your house with evil on my mind. Or even sweetness on my mind.
Trust me.

God. I'm sorry. I'll shut up now.

Love...Ms. Moon

Self-Induced Misery And Entrapment

My younger chickens seem to be somewhat mentally challenged. They can't figure out how to get out of the coop and through the run into the hen house and outside. It's not that hard, guys. 
Every day I have to open the door to the coop in order to let them out to scratch. If I don't, they just stay in that coop all day long with the exception of Maizey, whom we should rename Copper or something because he's a boy for sure and has a creaky voice-breaking crow.

So today I'm not opening the damn coop door but have sprinkled their scratch in a path into the hen house and outside but so far- they haven't figured it out.

All they have to do is step through the door and walk through the hen house and go outside. 
It wouldn't be such a big deal except for the fact that every night when we go out to shut them up to protect them from predators, at least two of them have perched on top of the screen door which needs to be shut and then we have to remove them to the perch and they don't like that and it's a fuss and COME ON BIRDS! JUST WALK THROUGH THE DOOR!

Well. If that isn't a metaphor for most of us, I don't know what the hell is. For me, for sure.
There's the door. It is open. Walk through it to where it is you want to be. 

I feel so stuck. And I know without a doubt that there is no one on this earth to blame except for myself. Unlike my chickens, however, I don't even know where it is I want to be or what I want to be doing when I get there. 

And so I've put on my overalls and I guess I'll spray myself with the stupid mosquito spray because just going out to take pictures was a horrifying event with mosquitoes covering my arms and swarming my face and I'll do something to try and create some sort of order in this chaos of a yard even though I know that's not the damn answer. 

Do you realize that I could get in my car and drive to a beautiful beach in two hours or less? 
I could do that. 
Nothing is stopping me except for myself and my stupid thinking which goes like this: 
Too many people, too hot, I'm already too over-exposed in the skin cancer realm, a bathing suit would be involved.


And please don't call me up and say, "Hey! Let's go do something!"
Don't you understand? I am stuck. I can't leave. 
I am enjoying my misery. Obviously. 

I got my graded test sheets back from the nursing continuing education units I took. Out of 194 overall questions, I got 192 right. I'm not stupid. I'm just stuck.

I see that the chickens have figured it out. 
They're smarter than I am.
And braver. 

And I can't stop thinking about those people in that movie theater and I can't stop wishing this world wasn't so fucked up and I can't stop wondering why we are so stuck in our blood lust and I think that some days I just give up and let myself be a brute who murders weeds and mosquitoes and lets the sweat pour off of her and thinks quite falsely that that's enough.

Friday, July 20, 2012


The Dark Knight was showing at the same theater where we went to see Moonrise Kingdom and sure enough, people were buying tickets for it.

I can't read the reports of the massacre which occurred in Denver last night. I just can't.
What good does it do?
Young man has a gun, uses it on people.
Death. Blood. Mayhem.

I can't. I just can't.

I can talk about Moonrise Kingdom.
It was a precious movie. And I don't mean precious in that way that means twee or overly sweet or any of that shit. It was just precious.
It was about love. It was about how love can save you. I think.
I cried at the end and I'm not sure it was a crying-at-the-end sort of movie. But I couldn't help it.
I'm going to go see it again. I feel like I missed about two-thirds of it at least. There were so many levels to study and mostly I was just enjoying it on the level of enjoying it. I was enjoying the visual gorgeousness of it and the music and the faces of the actors, especially the little boy who played Sam. I think that Wes Anderson must love faces as much as I do.

Well. If you haven't seen it, I would say go.

After we watched the movie, Liz and I went and had coffee and talked.
Oh god, it was so good.
I met this Liz at the Birth Center when I started working there in about 1987. I fell in love IMMEDIATELY and probably sooner. We've been through a lot together. She was with me when I had Jessie. She's enlightened. I told her that today. I doubt she believed me but she is.
You know how some people just say YES to life? Well, that's Liz.
Let me tell you this: If Liz were here right now and she heard the rhythms coming forth from the church next door that I am hearing now, she'd walk right out the door, across the yard, and into that church.
I should too.
I'm not Liz.
But just knowing her is a saying of yes to life. I swear it is.
We met over a birth. Now we talk a lot about death. But we are still in the in-between. We are both grandmothers. We know some stuff. We know we don't know it all by any means.
I know I love her.

I stopped by to see my boys on my way home. Owen. Owen. He's going to be three soon. Do you realize that? Three years old. He bade me come into his cardboard castle with him. The cat came in too and we hung out, the three of us. You know what he told me today? He said, "I like you." My grandson likes me. I guess that's about as good as it can be. For me, at least. 

Gibson is four months old today. One third of a year. I got to give him a bottle and the way he held my finger in his hand is something I hope I remember on my death bed. Speaking of death. And birth. And in-between. He is starting to eat some food and he loves it. So far he has had bananas.
And tonight, Lily steamed some organic carrots and mushed them up and this is what he looked like when he had some:

Lily said he liked them. I think he must have been trying to figure out whether or not he did when she took this picture which doesn't even really look like Gibson because he usually looks like this:

 He is the smilingest baby I ever did see. He's like the Buddha of Babies. 

And now I'm home and I can hear the drums from next door winding in and out of the air like snakes; da-DUH-DA, da-da-DUH-DA. 

I have to cook my supper and eat it and go to bed because I am so damn tired. Sometimes I think I just get exhausted from all the stuff that goes on in this world that shows that there is not nearly enough love. Which can save you. Love can. Sometimes I think that the older I get, the less energy or interest I have in anything which isn't about love becomes more and more profound.

And sometimes, I think that's okay and natural. I think we're all desperate for it. Love.

I know I have been for my entire life. And been blessed to have a lot of it. And old enough to admit I need it bad and to know that you do too.

All right. That's all. Maybe, if you want to, go see Moonrise Kingdom with someone you love. Then, if you want, go see it again with someone else you love. I sort of want to see it with every person I love. Just thinking of that makes me feel really tender.

Until tomorrow.

Ms. Moon


I am decidedly unwordy today. I've had my walk which makes fifteen walks in fifteen week days and I'm glad of that. I know I am feeling better (except for the fact that I am crippled, you know) and sleeping better and between the walks and the EAHAS I've lost a few pounds.

I did actually stop and break privacy and speak to the man in the red truck today. I hadn't seen his across-the-street-neighbor whom I think is his sister, Ms. Liola, in a long time. I asked him if she was out of town. No, he told me. She just has her ups and downs and she's been staying in lately.
This makes me sad. She's a sweet lady and we always talk about our grandkids when we have our little chats.
Anyway, the man in the red truck and I talked about exercise and how much we hate it but that we must do it and he gets out and walks some. We discussed the mosquitoes and how horrible they've been and how we can't get out and work in our yards because of them and he said his cats are tormented by them too. It was a friendly chat and I moved on down the road for my last few hundred yards.

Speaking of cats, a Siamese cat whom I have never seen before was on my back steps this morning. As soon as I saw her, she darted off under the house. I told Mr. Moon about her. "Siamese," I kept saying. "Unless I'm hallucinating," which reminded me of my mother.

Well. Really, that's about it here in Lloyd. Mr. Moon is slowly making his way to depart for Georgia to his hunting camp to set up stands although he doesn't seem too excited about it. The weather doesn't look too good but he wants to get started getting ready for this fall. This means that I'll be eating salmon for dinner tonight which is one of my favorites but definitely not his.

And truly, that is it.

I'm going into town soon to go see Moonrise Kingdom. I'll believe it when I see it. So to speak.

It's Friday. I hope y'all are having a good one. I really do.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mission Accomplished At The DMV

So I drove all the way to Monticello which is about fifteen miles or so down the road east of here and I found the place where you get your driver's license and damn if there wasn't a sign on the door that said, "Closed Tuesday, July 17 and Thursday, July 19."

And they were right. It was closed.

Then I drove to Tallahassee which is about twenty-five miles or so west of Monticello because I was ready to get my license, dammit! I had my documents and I was wearing lipstick! Hey-hey! So I went to the office, thinking I'd be there for hours and damn if they didn't call my number in less than five minutes and from there it went quick and easy. I almost had a panic attack because one of the documents I had with my address and name on it had my PO box address rather than my physical address but then I found my new voter registration card and it DID have my physical address on it and that worked and the picture on my new license doesn't even suck. I just look like a little old round-faced woman but I don't look like a sociopath so I'm happy.

I love how they ask you all these questions like: Are you addicted to any drugs or intoxicants? Are you mentally ill? Do you suffer dizzy or fainting spells?

What person in their right mind is going to answer YES to any of those questions?

I just kept saying, "No m'am," "No m'am," "No m'am," until we got to the organ donor question to which I answered a resounding "YES!" but I have my doubts that anyone would want any of my organs and that includes my skin which is not looking good at all these days. But hell, if they want anything after I'm dead, they can have it. Although isn't there some report out about what they do to the remains of organ donors? I don't even want to know.
Frankly, whatever happens to my body after I'm dead is hardly a big concern of mine at the moment.

I felt like I'd won the lottery when I had that new driver's license in my hand and I don't have to get it renewed until 2020 or something ridiculous like that. 2020 doesn't sound like real year to me. It sounds like a Science Fiction year.

So then I went to the store for about the fiftieth time this week and got some squash and spinach and soy sauce and I looked for a Vogue Magazine because Keith Richards and his family are in it this month and you know I must have that.

But there was no Vogue Magazine at the Publix.

Oh well. Yet one more thing to look forward to.

And now I have two clean-ish bathrooms and rugs are going in the laundry and soy beans are simmering and whole-wheat/oatmeal bread is actually rising and the chicken waterer is filled up and I just think it's been a real good day although I did not see my grandsons so it wasn't perfect but it was pretty fine. I am giving all the credit to that pork chop and a good night's sleep. In fact, the entire secret to a happy and productive life may well be pork chops and a good night's sleep.

And tomorrow I'm going to go see Moonrise Kingdom. I swear to god I am. I don't care if I have to sit on the damn floor, I'm going to see that movie. 

Love...Ms. Moon