Saturday, March 31, 2012

This Is What I Missed By Believing The Radar. Shit.

Hank. Had. A. Megaphone.
Are you kidding me?

Some Of You Have Seen These Things Before

What a different sort of day it's been and different at every turn than I thought it would be the moment before.

That weather? Hell, it never turned out to do a damn thing. But it was so threatening and the storm advisory so scary that we didn't go to the parade. Luckily, Owen didn't seem to care that much. Bop and I hung out with Lily and Gibson and Owen for awhile and then Bop went and sold a car and Owen had cheese sandwiches and I got to hold that baby and play with my big boy and I was filled with regret and ruefulness that I had believed the weather reports and the sky and the thunder, but it was all right. There will be another parade next year.

Grouper season starts tomorrow and so Mr. Moon made arrangements to go to the island tonight with a friend and thus be able to get up and go fish sincerely and whole-heartedly early in the morning and after we left Lily's we went to the grocery store so he could buy food for the trip including cookies! which we never buy unless we are going to the island and then we came home and he hurried like a demon and got the boat loaded up and the truck, too, and his friend got here and they took off and here I was. Alone.
Oh my.
The possibilities.

I tidied the house and washed the dishes and hung a few new bottles that Ms. Fleur gave me on the bottle tree and I took pictures of stuff. I was inspired by Yolie although she is an artist and has that artist eye and I most definitely do not. But sometimes, when I am here by myself, I find myself falling in love with my house in a way that is completely pure. I can enjoy it without having to defend it and the tacky way I "decorate" and so here are a few things I look at every day. A few things I love.

Under my stairway there is a tiny closet where I keep my yarn and my wrapping paper and which reveals the bare guts of how the house was built inside it. The raw wood, hand cut from trees over a hundred and fifty years ago, the plaster. I've hung a calender on the door of it which we got in Cozumel, of an extremely stylized Mexican family. This is one of the places in my house which makes me the happiest to look at. I have no idea why but it does.

Here's a Frida print that Kerry gave me, framed entirely inappropriately by a wooden frame my husband found at the trash place. I love it. The lights which bracket it were my grandfather's. They were always and forever until he died, on his dresser.

Ah. Tiny plastic baby. Probably the kind you'd find in a King's Cake, wrapped in a little square of flannel. This was a prop made by my friend Denise for Steel Magnolias. It hangs from the handle of a Goodwill silver-plated pitcher. You could live here for a year and never notice it, that little plastic baby Jesus.

This is a Goodwill picture framed in a frame which was one of my sister-in-law's, Dee Ann. The crocheted piece is probably from Goodwill as well. I'm not sure. But it's too pretty not to hang.

When Dee Ann died, she left behind a bag of vintage handkerchiefs. This is one of them. I have it pinned to the kitchen hutch.

A few of my spices in an old Coke crate, turned up on its side in the corner of my kitchen cabinet beside my stove. And potholders.

A bit of what is on top of my stove. A mermaid, a seashell. Another seashell.

A magnet on my refrigerator. I really want to give this to someone I love but I am afraid she might take it the wrong way. But...she probably wouldn't. She would probably love it. I should just gird my big-girl-panty-loins and send it to her.

Stuff on top of my kitchen hutch. A rooster-pitcher that May gave me. Bless Our Hearts magnets from Bethany. Dried oak leaf hydrangea in a vase that Lily gave me. Crazy vintage angel and canister from a junk store. Etc.

More Frida, some Diego, the reflection into the kitchen and the hallway.

So I took all of these pictures and I watered all of my porch plants and I sat down and wrote on a thing I've been working on a little bit. Maybe a book. Maybe just another good start with nowhere to go. Who knows? Not me. But it went so well, so easily that when Mr. Moon called to tell me he was safely on the island and already unloaded and catching bait, I was startled. I thought he'd just left a few moments ago.

I love that magic, when it happens. I wish I gave myself the joy of it more often. I know I'm never going to write the Great American Novel but perhaps, if I tried, I could write the Great Lloyd Novel. Maybe?

And now my rice is cooked and the broccoli is cut and in the steamer ready for the burner to be turned on beneath it and I have rock shrimp thawing. I think I will make a spicy mustard sauce to enfold those shrimps in. I have shut the big chickens up and checked on the baby ones. They are growing so fast. They stretch their little wings out and I can see the real feathers already forming. They peep in their tiny high voices and every time I kill a mosquito I take it to them and they gobble it up. I have already seen one of them catch and kill a moth.

Look: My life is not perfect and I am so far from perfect but I know with all of my heart and soul that within all of it, there are perfect moments and my heart's desire is to recognize and register them. The smell of the garden when I go out to turn off the sprinklers. The way my newest grandson looks when he yawns. The happiness on the face of my husband when he is headed to the coast to fish. My daughter when she gets a kiss from Owen. The way I feel when I sit down to write words that form a story that I didn't know I knew. To look up into the evening sky and see the first star.

This is what matters to me. To know that perfection does not require being perfect. To know that the smell of dirt is as ethereal and holy as any incense made. To recognize the miraculous in the simplest things. To love what I have and feel no need for more except...more. Of it all.

All right. That's enough.

I'm hungry.

Love...Ms. Moon

Chickens, Parades, Weather

Mr. Moon and I got up early today for a Saturday as we were supposed to go to town and get Lily and Owen and Gibson and head over to Hank's for the annual Springtime Tallahassee Parade Party he always throws.
Go HERE for the link to last year's party. It was awesome.

Anyway, when we got up it sounded like a battle was being fought with cannonballs to the south of us so we pulled up the RADAR and oh, honey's. It does not look good. Severe storm warnings, etc. They'll probably have the parade and Hank will DEFINITELY have the party but I'm just thinking that taking a small boy and an almost-newborn to it is not the best idea. Hank's house isn't big enough to sling a cat in (not that we'd actually sling a cat, especially Hank's cat who is the meanest cat in the known world and who would slice us to bloody ribbons if we even entertained the thought) so...
I guess we won't be going.

I made enough apple cake last night to feed a whole bunch of hungry party people but oh well.

So here we sit in the growing gloom of the approaching weather and sirens just went by and the birds are whistling what sound to me like warnings of possible doom.
What cha gone do?
Drink some more coffee. Almost always a good plan.

So how are the baby chickens? you might ask.
They are so good.
Little Bit, or Bruiser is in with the big guys now. He finally settled down and became a member of the flock, which is good because chickens are flock animals and need to be with their brethren.

There he is in the corner. Isn't he cute? Yes. He is cute. And he looks good and they all seem healthy and that's five for five and we're proud of that. Mr. Moon actually gave Bruiser a few drops of his magic peep restorative formula the other night (crushed up Centrum Silver plus sugar plus water) and whether or not it saved his life or not, we do not know, but he's alive and fine.

We haven't named these chicks and it's starting to bother me. Well, Curly Sue, yes, we have named her and Bruiser- is that really going to be that chick's name? What if she turns out to be a hen? We HOPE she turns out to be a hen. We'd like for them all to turn out to be hens because we are wimps and sentimental and we are certainly not going to be able to slaughter and cook up chicken and dumplings with any of these babies which we birthed ourselves in our very own incubator should they turn out to be roosters.
No, we'll probably just turn them into pets and feed their useless asses for the rest of their cushy lives.

I told Mr. Moon what Syd had said a vet told him once after he tried to raise a litter of pups: Some people are just better off raising vegetables.
We both laughed because we ARE those people.

So anyway, we're stuck with these five birds forever and that's that. If we have five roosters, they're just going to have to learn to get along with each other and with the other chicks we already have. Elvis, Mable, Miss Bob, Ozzie, Sharon, Trixie, Flopsy, and Dahlia.
No one but me can look at those hens and tell you their names. If I die, they are nameless! Except for Ozzie who has that long crazy neck and Miss Bob who is the only non-black hen we currently have in the hen house. Even Owen knows their names.

But what are we going to name the babies? They have very distinctive markings, especially the one who looks like a little chipmunk. You can't name a chicken Munk. Well, I guess you could.

Okay. Plans are changing and reforming as we speak. I guess we're going into town anyway. Owen is desperate to go to the parade.

Gotta go! Maybe the weather will clear! Maybe a miracle will occur!

Who knows? Not me.

Happy Saturday, y'all. Send any chicken-name suggestions you got.
Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, March 30, 2012

One More

Friday Night Martinis On The Porch

Papa's on the phone with Jessie and the chickens are hanging out with us.
All is well.


Well, I just answered everyone's comments on my last post and then Blogger lost them so screw that.
I'm freaking out because everyone is saying that they're being told they have to update their Blogger thing but I'm not getting that message.
I don't know what anything means and most certainly I don't know what that dream I had about Keith Richards meant. I had to remind him that it was almost time for him to go onstage and he said, "Thanks!" He played but I left before the concert had barely begun. I think they were at the Opera House. Mick Jagger couldn't make it so a guy who used to be the vocalist for a band I used to go listen to stepped in for him and I guess I was disappointed. Or maybe I just didn't want to share the Wonder Which Is Keith with the masses.
Who knows?
Not me.

Yep. I'm in one of those moods. That frame of mind. I think the Easter season does this to me. I start feeling myself get all heated up when I see those crosses with the purple cloth draped over them. What? Y'all don't have those where you live? Maybe you do.

I have often said (and even here) that the only thing that comes between me and Jesus is the cross which I consider to be creepy and weird. As Tom Robbins pointed out in one of his books before he became a screwy-louie creepy old man, if Christ had died in modern times, people would be wearing little gold and silver electric chairs around their necks. Or something like that. Gas chambers. Lethal injection syringes.

I think Jesus was just all right and fine and dandy (although he probably fasted too much in the desert to have a real straight mind about him) but then they went and crucified him and he became a huge folk hero and everyone pinned their hopes for eternal life on him, somehow bringing it all together and making out that he was God's Only Son and as I have said before (yes, I repeat myself frequently) why WAS that, that God only had one son? Jesus, he was God. He could have had a billion or so.
Jim Bob Duggar has nineteen kids and he's nowhere close to being God. Of course, some of those are girls but we don't count as much. Ask the Pope. Ask Rick Santorum.

Well, I better stop this before I piss off everyone. I'm sorry if I don't believe in your god. Please don't feel as if I have singled Christianity out for criticism. I don't believe in Zeus either. I may believe in SOMETHING, but I do not know because my brain isn't big enough to know things like that but I do know that my brain is big enough to conceive of a universe that doesn't reward people for getting crucified by making them the son of god. I just HATE how every year we have to kill poor Jesus again and then let him rise from the tomb again and everyone's like, "Whoa! Who are you? Oh...are you JESUS?" And he's like, "If you believed in me, you'd KNOW I'm Jesus," and so forth.
And thus, the season of rebirth and as far as I'm concerned, the planet has that one covered all by itself, surrounded as I am by the new green on the trees and the flowers and these baby chickens and my new grandson and it does nothing for my soul to bring crucifixion into it. The universe has suffering galore, I don't need to celebrate it and I refuse to sanctify it.

Okay. Really. I'm done. There will probably be more later. I wish I could blame this crazy so-called writing today on drink or drugs but nothing more than caffeine was involved. Probably way too much of that, though.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Seriously. You can't make this shit up.
I said to her, "Lady, you just picked the wrong house."
"Are you an atheist?" she asked me.
"No," I said. "I just don't believe in fairy tales."
Then she called me honey. Boy. Was THAT a mistake. She wasn't even Southern. She was from somewhere UP NORTH! She was wearing creepy sunglasses and I couldn't see her eyes.

She could see mine, though and she left pretty darn quick. She'll be talking about the crazy woman who lives in that house for the rest of her life.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Potty Training, Public Praying And Even More!

It was a splendid day for an outing with Lily and my grandson, Gibson. We went to Target and wandered around going, "What are we here for?" and it was a different Target than the one we usually go to so that compounded our confusion but we managed to find quite a few things that we really did need such as a new outfit for Owen of cargo shorts and a nice red polo-type shirt and some overalls which will fit him next winter which were marked down to eight bucks. We also got him some Toy Story big boy underwear in hopes that he will take an interest in wearing them and keeping them dry. At this point he is mostly interested in confounding all of our efforts to get him potty trained although I am quite certain that he is more than ready. If he is naked, he can pee outside at will, not unlike a dog marking his territory and when he poops, he gives us detailed instructions as to how far away from him we must stay while he does it.
He disdains all offers of any sorts of treats which could be given to him if he pees or poops in the potty as if he did not care for M&M's at all and no, thank-you, he would not like a cookie, either.
He did like the underwear we got him but whether or not he will wear it is another question.
We shall see.

We also went to a local "natural foods" type place where they sell the little device that allows Lily to give Gibson a bit of formula through a tube while he nurses. She had already bought one but Owen pulled it apart last night and it is unfixable.

Please do not think I am speaking ill of my grandson. He is two-and-a-half. His behavior is entirely appropriate for a boy of his age and especially one who has just been blessed with a baby brother to whom he is being extremely sweet. And he says, "Please," and "Thank-you," or, more frequently, "No thank-you," to the questions we ask him like, "Would you like to use the potty?"

Gibson was on his best behavior. He stayed asleep in his little seat in the cart for the entire Target jaunt. He did wake up while we were having lunch but you know that mothers have a button on their butts which alerts babies to the fact that their mothers are sitting down to eat and which causes them to want to eat as well. This is an anatomical fact.

Lily and I eavesdropped on two different conversations which were going on at the restaurant beside us but neither one was of any interest whatsoever. I told Lily that this was a shame. That they were not "blogworthy."
"Well, you could write about how boring they were," she said.
"Yes, but that's pretty subjective," I said. She agreed but we both knew that they WERE boring and so there.
She had noted while I was ordering our food at the counter that both tables had said grace before eating. This is something you see more frequently today. I don't know why. I guess that Christians are coming out of the closet although as I recall, Jesus himself instructed people to stay IN their closets to pray and not to do it out in public like the "Publicans," which...well. The more things change...
We discussed this more frequent public praying and I said that it did not seem to me that it has led to any better behavior on the part of society. At least not our part of society. But maybe someone could do a study.

So it was a nice time and when I got home I decided to do something to punish myself, I suppose, for having had such a nice time, so I thought long and hard and then determined that the best thing I could possibly do would be to clean out the closet where the Giant Rodent had been living before Mr. Moon caught it in a rat trap.


In doing so, I learned a few things such as: rats can carry dog food and stash it in closets. Rats also seem to want to poop in one place. The "toilet area" I suppose you might say. This leads me to believe that rats are pretty smart but I still don't want the fuckers in my closets. Or anywhere else in my house for that matter.
But what the hell? I cleaned it all up and threw away two trash bags worth of stuff that were of no use to anyone on this planet plus the poop and the dog food. They are now in the trash place and gone from my existence.
There- I am duly punished and yet strangely rewarded at the same time.

And now Mr. Moon is home and I'm going to go soak some cube steaks in milk in preparation for cooking them. I do not know why you are supposed to soak cube steaks in milk but you are and it is supposed to be specifically Pet milk and again, I don't know why and I don't have any anyway. These are cube steaks from that grass-fed beef that Mr. Moon brought home from Tennessee and I'm pretty sure they'll be good, no matter if I have Pet milk or not.

Here's another thing I'm pretty sure about:

That is one fine looking boy.

I believe he is pondering the mysteries of the universe, both large and small, which means he takes after me.

There's a lot more I could talk about but I believe that's enough for now.

Another Day In This Life

It got chilly last night and Mr. Moon turned the heater on in the room where the chicks are and they're still sort of thawing out. They have a light bulb over their cage but they still need to be very warm, somewhere in the 90's and it was probably a lot less than that this morning.
There's Curly Sue and two of the banties. The littlest one is still in the nursery box or what we are now calling, "isolation" after his untoward behavior last night.

It really was funny. It's like he learned after that first outing with the others that he was going to get picked on so while he was alone again, he thought about it and came up with a strategy which was the one of the best defense being a good offense. Is that possible? Because he was hopping around that cage kicking ass and taking names and the rest of the chicks were like, "Whoa now, dude, I'm just sitting here meditating, no need to peck me. Peace out, brother." And then little guy was all, "Nope! Gonna kick yer ass! There's a new sheriff in town and I'm the one wearing the badge!" and so forth until they'd all passed out from exhaustion and then Little Guy would jump up and start pecking at his sleeping cage-mates again while they were still asleep.


I doubt that chick weighs as much as the postage for an overseas letter.

I seem to have recovered some more of my good spirits and am about to prepare myself for a trip to town to go shopping with Lily and Gibson. I just talked to Lily and she said they were all in the bed and that Owen was trying to talk his daddy into getting up and fixing his breakfast. We were talking the other day about how Lily and Jason need another bedroom and Lily said, "What does it matter? No matter how many bedrooms we have, everyone's going to end up in our bed," which is true. For now.

All right. I better get my old ass ready and go to Tallahassee and who knows? Maybe I'll see some sort of bizarre human behavior I can report on while I'm there. There's plenty of bizarre human behavior right here in Lloyd but I haven't even been to the post office to see any of it in the last two days which is probably why I'm discussing bizarre chicken behavior.

The red Knock-Out roses on my kitchen porch are blooming and the potatoes are coming up in the garden like crazy and the bamboo is trying to lift the house off its foundations and so yes, it is spring and my daughter needs new shirts and I need to go hold Gibson and it looks to be a good day.

Be well, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

This Is Life

Here is my grandson Owen feeding his rooster Elvis a soy crisp. Chickens like soy crisps. So do mules, we discovered today. And goats. And turkeys.
Owen likes them okay, too. He took the rest of the bag home with him when his daddy came to get him. As they were leaving, Owen had the window down and he yelled, "Love you, Mer-Mer!"

Oh my. He is my heart. We had a lot of fun here today. We played with bamboo and he painted and we fed the animals and he held the baby chicks. He wasn't as thrilled about that as I thought he would be. I think they freaked him out a little. He mostly wanted to rearrange the water and food dispensers in the cage and we did have fun taking them a few tasty bugs which I think they are too young to eat yet but which they show interest in anyway. They peck at them.

When I went to get Owen, his baby brother was smushed up in his little seat, about to wake up to eat.

He's my heart, too. He just doesn't know it yet. Owen does. Oh yes. And Gibson will figure it out soon enough. I changed his diaper today. That makes two, I think, that I have changed. He doesn't enjoy the experience. Can't blame him. If he's awake, he wants to eat and that whole diaper changing thing is of no importance to him whatsoever.

I can dig it.

And in other baby news, the littlest chick is still alive and in the nursery box. I tried to take her out and put her in with the big guys but they have a tendency to peck at her and she's not big enough to defend herself although she tries.

Ah my.

I gotta tell you. I'm a little stressed out. It's all sort of...well, I think it's all caught up with me. And with Mr. Moon, too, to tell you the truth.

I'm trying real hard to remember what is important and what isn't. I am trying to do right, be right. I'm trying mostly to remember that I have been given so much and that it's okay to enjoy it, to be in love with all of it without having to fear every second that it is going to be taken away, to let each day be the adventure it is with all of the glory contained in it, just, you know, that plain old glory that seems like too much to believe.

And then go to bed and sleep.


Seems like a lot sometimes.

So. Update: Mr. Moon just put the tiny chick in with the others and damned if that little one isn't going after all the others. Mr. Moon's sitting in there saying,"Stop it. Stop being aggressive. Be nice."

It's hysterical. I am thinking the term "banty rooster" is yet another chicken-based term which has deep and true roots. When that chick was born last night I wouldn't have given a plugged nickel betting on his survival. He looked like the last dinosaur born on earth. He looked PATHETIC. And now he's trying to dominate all the other chicks, even the one twice as big as he is, Curly Sue.

It'll all be okay. It'll be great, and it is great and it's time to make supper.

Tomorrow I'm going to go with Lily and Gibson to shop for Lily some new shirts. I'll get to hold that baby. I'm pretty excited about at the prospect.

Maybe one of these days I'll start writing some words worth reading. I sure am looking forward to that. In the meantime, like everything else around here, it is what it is.

And like Popeye, I yam what I yam.


Ms. Bastard-Beloved Had To Tell Me It Was Wednesday

Well, we have five chicks and I think that is going to be that. Four are all doing very well, one...we shall see. I have taken him out of his incubator and put him in the nursery box so he can eat and drink before we put him in with the others. He still has bits of shell on him and he's stressed. Or she.
Doesn't matter.

I didn't see Gibson yesterday and I suffered from that. I intend to go see him today unless Lily wants to bring him out here. Owen would like to see the chicks, I am sure. I think that Curly Sue is old enough to be gently held. Poor Owen. So many babies right now and you have to be so careful around them. No hitting. No squeezing. No dropping.
It takes awhile for all critters to become sturdy. Some never really do. And some of the sturdiest-looking are actually the most fragile, some of the most fragile-looking are actually the sturdiest.

The other day when I went to town to buy my sheets, I saw a couple walking into Bed, Bath, and Beyond together. He was a middle-aged looking white-haired guy, she was a younger-looking Oriental woman. She held a parasol over her head as they walked across the parking lot. She held it in her left hand. Her right hand was holding the hand of the man she was with. Her long dark hair hung like a sheet of flowing dark water down her back.
They walked like that to the store, holding hands, the parasol protecting the woman from the sun, I suppose. She was tiny but I bet she's not as fragile as she looks. I have a feeling she has wrapped that man around her tiny finger.

I don't really know, of course.

I hope he treats her good.

I hope he holds her as gently and sweetly as we hold these tiny chicks.

We all need to be held like that sometimes. We all need to put up a parasol to protect us from whatever is above us, which may threaten some part of us. Even those of us who look like we could plow the lower forty before breakfast without a mule.

Maybe especially.

I don't really have much to say this morning.

I guess you figured that out by now.

Good morning.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Agony And The Ecstasy (Not To Be Dramatic Or Anything)

Those pictures are of Curly Sue, as we are calling her. She is Elvis's child. Chick. I have no idea who her mama is. One of my hens. She is the only one of our flock's eggs that we incubated which has hatched. There is one other egg from that bunch which started to hatch but there has been no progress in a very long time.

There are two other babies who are doing very well and they are part of the clutch of banty eggs that our neighbor's chicken laid in our garage and which are the whole reason Mr. Moon started this project. I'm sure there will be pictures of them eventually but getting good pictures of baby chicks is harder than you would think. They are dark-colored and feisty. All three of those chicks seem fine. They can walk and get to the feeder and the water and they are acting like baby birds should act.

One other banty egg hatched but that one does not seem to be doing very well. He had a very hard time freeing himself from his egg and either he is going to die or else he is just very, very tired and needs to rest. On his side. A lot.
We have no idea.
He's still in the incubator because we're afraid if we take him out and put in him with the other three they will peck him to death.

There are two other banty eggs which have pips in them and which we still have hopes for.

God. I can't take this. It's just too much emotion.

It's been an odd day, to say the least. I never did feel like I woke up entirely and so the day has had a dreamlike quality about it. I have merely drifted about, and still am drifting. I made bread which will go into the oven soon and I am making soup of already-made soup and other leftovers, doing what I do best which is to take leftovers and make MORE leftovers.

Sometimes I wish I would wake up one morning and be a more decisive person. A person who can go through clothes and toss them aside to give away or throw away. A person who can throw away leftovers and a person who can do any damn thing at all without weighing and measuring all of the moral, ethical, emotional, spiritual, and practical ramifications.

Just DO shit and get over it.

I've never once danced naked in a fountain. Not in Paris or anywhere else.


I suppose that is the least of it.

I need to go check those chicks again. I need to go stir the soup pot. I need to go caress the loaves of bread with olive oil before I put them in the oven.


Babies. Chicken And Otherwise.

Well, there's Curly Sue and Unamed Banty. We've got another banty in the incubator, hatched and drying and there's like three more cracked and workin' on it. Mr. Moon is planted firmly in front of Central Operations. He's enthralled. He is the chicken mama, far more than I.

Curly Sue is so named due to the little curl on her head. Or his head. Chicken sexing is something I don't even attempt. If they grow up and start crowing- it's a boy. If it grows up and starts laying eggs, it's a girl. An even more advanced form of determining the sexes is to watch who mates with whom.

Meanwhile, I'm exhausted. We stayed up way too late and then got up periodically to check the birth progress. And then I woke up at three-something with hay fever and had to take an antihistamine and so I'm still groggy from that. I keep drinking coffee and walking back and forth across the house aimlessly and texting my kids.

It's going to be one of those days. I have a feeling that if I found any dog poop on the floor, I'd fall down and weep. I don't do well with tired. This is seriously the main reason I decided not to go into midwifery. If three baby chick hatchings can do this to me, you can only imagine how smart and peppy I am after an all-night, all-day, into-the-night-again birth.
Not someone you want making life-or-death decisions.
It is good to know your innate limitations. Too bad more politicians don't.
Just because they tell you that you can grow up to be ANYTHING YOU WANT don't make it true.

Lily says that Gibson is doing well this morning. She went to a lactation consultant yesterday, worried that Gibson wasn't getting enough milk and that he was losing weight. She never did make quite enough milk for Owen and had to supplement but we were hoping that the second time around would be different. Sadly, it does not appear to be. But she knows that she's not doing anything "wrong" and she also knows that you can nurse and supplement with formula and have a thriving child who loves to nurse. She's giving him the extra feedings with those little tube things that the baby actually gets while nursing. I am so proud of her for working so hard at it instead of just giving up and giving her babies the bottle. Owen nursed until he was almost two and he still loved it. Long after the need for formula is gone, babies still need the breast occasionally. Or often, depending on the child. So she's my hero, that Lily girl.

Well, baby chicks are born knowing how to eat and drink and have funny huge feet to get them around from feeder to waterer and thank god for that.

I swear. I don't even have the energy to figure out how to end this thing so I'll just say, "Happy One Week Birthday, Gibson Monroe!" and "Happy Birthday, Curly Sue and Others!" May you all thrive and grow up to be big strong whatever-you-are's and let's all have a happy life.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Oh My.

It has been a splendid day with boys galore. Okay, mostly Owen but Gibson came over for his first visit and even had supper with us.
Okay, okay, he didn't eat but he slept while we ate.

Of course I only let him stay in that little seat for a few minutes before my body took control of me and I reached down and scooped him up and ate with him cradled in my left arm. It made no difference to him but it gave me great joy and contentment.

Owen was such a good young'un today.

He seems so big now that Gibson is here. We sat on the kitchen steps and fed the chickens some biscuits from yesterday's breakfast and when it came time to eat our lunch he wanted to eat out there too. I said, "But Owen, let's eat on the back porch where we have a table."
"'Tend table!" he said.
"You want to pretend we have a table?"
"All right."

And so we did. He ate watermelon and pizza and we fed Miss Ozzie a few bites of fruit too, which she enjoyed tremendously and we discussed Mutant Ninja Turtles and their love of pizza and I tried to be hip and remember their names but all I could come up with was Michelangelo and Leonardo and I wasn't really sure of those two.

He took a nap with me on my new sheets which he proclaimed to be cozy and when I'd gotten him down with the Mr. Peep story, I discovered that one of the incubator eggs was actually doing something. Rocking a bit and there was a tiny hole in it and I could see a beak working at the shell. It was pretty darn exciting and I had to call Mr. Moon and the process is still going on now, hours and hours later and Mr. Moon is sitting in front of the incubator, watching the baby try to peck its way out. Another egg has a cracked shell and is moving a bit and yet another one is rocking. So...
We shall see.
If we get one real live peep, I'll be so happy although I would hope that there would be more. We'll just have to see. All of the instructions say to leave them alone and let them peck their way out- that if you don't, the muscles will not have developed enough for the babies to stand up.
Survival of the fittest and so forth and it seems cruel but so is nature and that is just the truth. It has its own system and it's best not to fuck with it. You can already hear the little guy in that shell chirping away. We chirp back, hoping to encourage the chick to continue with his or her struggle for freedom, release, life.

So it's been a very good day with lots of playing and painting and coloring and bathing and sleeping and pecking and chirping and cooking and laundry and laughing and Mr. Moon got home in time to play too and then were were puzzles and bamboo kicking and the hitting of trees with bamboo and then there was supper and baby-cuddling and now the little family has gone home and here we are. The kitchen is cleaned up and I am tired, tired, but a good tired.
A deserved tired.

Now I have to decide whether or not to stay up and watch this baby come out of its shell. I need to do a little studying to determine whether or not it can stay in the incubator. The information on the internet is so conflicting. And the information I have in my chicken book has yet a different opinion.

Ah-lah. I know far more about the birthin' of human babies than I do of chicken babies.
I suppose this is a good thing.

Well, I'll report in tomorrow. You can count on that.

Tomorrow. Gibson will be one week old. Bless his little heart. And he's already been out to Mer-Mer and Bop's house which his big brother knows better than anyone. When I bring Owen here I always ask him who lives here and he always says that Mer-Mer lives here and Bop lives here and Owen lives here.

I like that. And before we know it, Gibson will be considering it his house, too.

This sweet old house where chickens are born and there are hiding places for boys, and goats next door and a garden to help in and trees to climb and bamboo to kick and porches to play on and beds to nap on and where life just keeps on happening.

Night from Lloyd, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

UPDATE: The chick is out of his shell. Early moments and we shall see if he survives.

Unorganized And Okay With That

Well, another beautiful day here in Lloyd and it's cooled down some again which is mighty fine because I was already thinking about putting on the "air" as we say and dammit, it's just way too early.

Doesn't look like our eggs are going to hatch and that's disappointing. What the hell do we know about egg incubation? Obviously, not enough. We'll let them sit another day or two past their due date but I'm not holding out big hope.

My anger seems to have passed and has been replaced by a vague sense of anxiety. Again, I have no idea why. I think that Mr. Moon and I need to take a little trip somewhere. We haven't been away since we got back from Mexico in January, right after New Years.
Oh. Mexico.
Did we really do that? I think about it and still feel the calm I felt there.
I just went back and read a few posts from that trip. I am a little bit weepy right now.
Excuse me.

Okay. I'm back.

Anyway, Mr. Moon and I have been talking about taking a little trip while Lily is still home with her boys. Have I already discussed this here? Forgive me. I can't remember shit these days. Anyway, Mr. Moon has been working on his Cutlass. It looks like this, only blue and a convertible:

We keep talking about taking a road trip in it but I don't know if it's anywhere near ready. Wouldn't that be fun, though? It's a big old honker thing and it uses a lot of gas.
I wonder when all the dinosaur-based fuel is going to be used up. We're doing our part in making that happen.

I don't know. I just feel like I need a time away. I need a time with just him. I need to let go of all the things I clutch so tightly to me. Too tightly, probably.

Well, in the meantime, it is lovely here in Lloyd. It surely is.

Here's my ash magnolia blossom. It's a cup now but will unfold as the day goes by. Magnolia blossoms are short-lived. That only adds to their value in my mind. You gotta pay attention or you will miss them. A good lesson.

I swear to you, I did not plant that violet there. It just planted itself.
Another good lesson, I suppose.

I went out and kicked some bamboo and some of it was about three feet tall. We haven't been paying proper attention to it which is a reminder that some things you can not pay attention to and all you'll miss is a flower, while if you ignore other things they can get totally out of hand.

I'm going to go into town and pick up my Owen boy and bring him out here to play for awhile. He needs to be the only boy every now and then. He needs his Mer-Mer and she needs him too.

I think about that and about the bamboo which needs kicking regularly right now and about the garden and how if I don't stay on top of it, the weeds are going to take it over and engulf my baby peppers, my tomatoes, my beans. I think of Lily and how she might need me and I feel guilty for even thinking about taking a trip. Even a very short one.

Well. Mer-Mer has needs too and so does Bop and what I really need to remember is that our relationship is the ground from which all of this grows. We need to cultivate it just as surely as we need to cultivate the garden. Sometimes we need to allow ourselves the time and space to be kids again, to get out on the road, leave all our cares behind and to remember what a sense of adventure is. To stay sane and laugh, to depend on each other for our joy for a few days. We always do pretty well, he and I, when traveling.

Yeah. I sort of crave that.

Okay. I'm off. My boy is waiting for me and when I pick him up, I can see my other boy. I can kiss his pretty little lips. He still lets me, having no choice in the matter.

Happy Monday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Who Knows? Not Me

I don't know what's wrong with me. I did outside things today. I worked in the garden and I hung all the clothes on the line and still, I spent all day being furious.

Poor Mr. Moon because he caught it all. I turned my back to him all day. And he did nothing but be sweet to me. It's like if he brought me diamonds I would scream at him. I would say, "I'm sick of diamonds. Why don't you ever bring me rubies?"

I know this is illogical. I know I am angry at something else and that he is safe for me to be angry at and yet, it makes me sore afraid to be angry.

I wasn't allowed to be angry as a child and so I bit my hand and no one noticed and I screamed into washcloths in the bathroom until my throat was bloody and I didn't allow myself to eat over 800 calories a day and, and, and...

But now I am a grown woman and I have to figure out why I am angry.

We went over to Lily and Jason's and I wasn't one bit angry there. I was perfectly content to sit on the couch and watch Lily nurse Gibson and watch Owen play with his toys and cuddle with his mama and play loud and boisterous catch-me-games with his daddy and watch some completely stupid TV show about crazy insane people catching rattlesnakes, including a 95-year old woman who looked damn good and who has been catching rattlesnakes since she was nine years old and who is still going out to the Texas desert to catch them.
I have no idea why these people catch rattlesnakes. I really don't.


Maybe I should find me a rattlesnake and wrestle it into submission. Maybe I should handle snakes and pray to God to protect me and also to show me why I am angry.

I don't know. Sundays can be tricky.

I hope I get a do-over tomorrow. I'm going to do my best to ensure that possibility.

Maybe I need more yogurt. Tough shit. I'm going to eat meat tonight and a salad out of the garden. We shall see where that leads.

God, Jamie. I Hope That Shit Is Making You Rich

Of all the stuff going on in my life and in the world the thing I really have to (really, I HAVE to) talk about today is Jamie Lee Curtis and her newest commercial running on the TV about Activia, which is a brand of yogurt that has a whole lot of probiotics or something like that in it and is supposedly good for your digestive system.
Now, okay, Jamie Lee Curtis has always seemed to me to be a sensible, beautiful woman who has tackled the aging process with grace and dignity and honesty rather than with plastic surgery and Botox but my opinion of her just fell through the basement after watching this commercial for about the first, second, third time last night.

Here's the set-up for the ad: Jamie is sitting at a table in a restaurant with three EXTREMELY normal-looking older women. Older as in probably approximately Jamie Lee's age but without the benefit of excellent make-up skills, access to designer clothes, and Pilates instructors. Jamie Lee smiles big for the camera and announces...oh hell, y'all, just watch it. It's only 31 seconds long.

I have so many problems with this ad that I'm having a hard time organizing my thoughts.
The first and main one, I suppose is very idea that four women would go out for a girl's night out TO DISCUSS A FUCKING YOGURT PRODUCT THAT MAKES YOU POOP!

Really? Who came up with this concept? Is this supposed to make us women over fifty want to go out and buy Activia? Because we can relate so much? One of the women in the group says, "Just because we're over fifty what does that mean? That we're DONE?"

And what the fuck does THAT mean? That we over-fifty women are done pooping? Because if it's supposed to mean that being over fifty means that we're done having fun and living life, I think this commercial would point to just that- if we're on the TV it's because we're talking about yogurt that makes you POOP! That if we over-fifty women go out on the town it's not to drink martinis and have what would actually be a good time, but to discuss the merits of a poop-inducing product?

I sort of want to shoot whoever wrote that ad. I sort of want to get up in Jamie Lee's face and say, "Really? How much are they PAYING you because this is crap. Crap that makes me not want to ever buy the product you're shilling because this crap is demeaning to women."

Yes. I said it. It's demeaning to women and it makes us older women look like we have nothing better to talk about on a night out on the town with other older women than our digestive systems and that we would go to all the trouble to put on make-up and BRAS and go to a fancy restaurant and order a giant bowl of some pasta-looking product and then sit there with Jamie Lee Curtis and drink our water (either it's water or giant glasses of vodka and it would take more than one of those to make ME talk about my pooping on a nationally-aired TV commercial) and discuss the merits of regular digestion and then eat that stuff for the camera.

Good god. As if women over fifty don't have enough trouble with our self-images.

You know, I read a little piece the other day about how Bruce Springsteen's writing about women is sadly short of complexity. How his women are either girls who need rescuing or the eternal "Mary" and I came away from that thinking, "Shit. It's Bruce Springsteen. How politically correct does he have to be? His songs, his words, his take on the world."
And so I would never have thought to be offended by Springsteen's lyrics. In fact, I love them. I also feel that his songs are humanly representational- neither male nor female. We can all relate to the longings and the pain and the fear and the joys he expresses in his songs. So I was a bit put-off by the author of that little essay and wondering why she'd bothered.

But this ad was written and targeted directly at ME, at women my age. It stars a woman who has posed nude-ish and un-airbrushed un-photoshopped on the cover of magazines to prove the point that real women not only have curves but cellulite and bulges and wrinkles and gray hair, which, for a woman in Hollywood, is a brave thing to do and which I admired her for.

And now this. This piece of film (and oh yes- you can go online and see the thrilling backstory of how they got these three women- real life best friends! to fly to LA and make this commercial with the amazing star JAMIE LEE CURTIS!), this thirty seconds of complete and utter disrespectful dreck is airing every five minutes and all I can think of is how much it insults me and how much I hate it and maybe I'm making way too much of it but fuck it. That's me.

I went out for a night on the town the other night. I put on make-up. I wore a bra. I had drinks. I had dinner and it was fabulous. I also had some creme brulee and coffee. I listened to music. I visited with my husband and two of my daughters and other people who were there to eat and listen to music and visit. I even danced. But not ONCE did I think about my digestive system. Not ONCE did I consider eating a fucking yogurt out of a fucking plastic cup and making a face while doing so resembling that of a woman in joyous passion.

I was told that I was beautiful. I felt for a few moments as if maybe, even though I am in that over-fifty category, I wasn't completely done. With any of it. Not of fun nor of life. It was lovely.

All right. That's all I have to say about that. But seriously- what do YOU think? Am I making too big a deal out of this? Yes. I know I am. But does this commercial push your buttons the way it pushed mine?

I'd like your take on it.

Meanwhile, happy Sunday from the Church of the Batshit Crazy. I just ate eggs and grits and sausage and biscuits and I ain't worried about my poop one bit.
Of course no one is paying me to worry about or talk about it either one.

Which makes me pretty darn happy to be just a regular older woman in this world who has better things to worry about, better things to do and better things to eat than a cup of friendly flora wrapped in non-fat yogurt and then to talk about it as if it were the Fountain of Youth, the Holy Grail, and the Answers To All My Prayers wrapped up in a cup.

Yours truly...Ms. Moon

Saturday, March 24, 2012

So Much. I Have Been Given So Much

It is the most beautiful evening in Lloyd. The sun is making everything golden and the new green everywhere is full-to-bursting with life and the dogwood is still in bloom and the Japanese Maple is red as it can be. The Ash Magnolia that I planted about six years ago and which was about as tall as a cat is taller than me now and about to flower, it's big floppy leaves spread wide like something Dr. Doolittle would have recognized in Africa.
I have the sprinkler on the garden and the potatoes are coming up in my crooked rows, my beans are looking good, the zinnias coming on and the rest of it all is waiting for the sun to really warm the dirt to optimum temperature.

There is a peace.

I planted my hollow log with impatiens today and also a mulberry tree in the back yard and I watered the porch plants and cleaned out the nests in the chicken house and oh, there is so much more to do but it's slow work, never really done, and there is no point in trying to make it so. Mr. Moon and our neighbor started ripping out the rotten decking between my office and the house this afternoon- a job that has needed to be done for some time now, finally begun, and again, what's the hurry?
We can make ourselves crazy or we can just take our time.

This reminds me of my favorite joke which goes like this:
There are two bulls at the top of a hill. One of them is an old, wise bull, the other, a young and most eager bull. They stand there at the top of that hill and they look down into the pasture below them where a herd of lovely cows are grazing.
"Let's run down there and fuck one of them cows!" says the young, eager bull.
The old bull muses for a moment and then says, "Let's walk down there and fuck 'em all."

Take your time, you'll get it done and enjoy it all a hell of a lot more.

I went into town and picked up my mother at the assisted living place. Two days before Gibson was born, her next-door neighbor in the home died. She was Miss Mabel, the woman who did the little garden on the porch at the east side of the floor. Miss Mabel was over a hundred years old and sharp as a tack up until the moment she died. My mother misses her. She admired her. She had been my mother's neighbor and her friend.
She talked about her some on the way over to Lily's, mostly about what a blessing her death had been- so easy, she hadn't been sick at all. She just...died.
Mother was so excited to see Gibson. She does love a baby. She got to hold him for a few minutes before he started wanting his mama again and she admired him tremendously.

Gibson nursed some and then he fell asleep and Lily's milk must be coming in fine because he was really asleep and let Jessie hold him and me too.

I know it looks like I've been nursing him myself, but I swear I did not. He's such a squishy little bundle of a baby right now. I could have held him for hours but after awhile, Lily missed him and wanted him back. I remember that. I handed him over. He's hers. He's all of ours, but mostly he is her boy.

It was a good visit. Mother got to talk about her babies and her births and she had a huge piece of the cake I'd made for Lily, and Jessie was there and it was nice for us all to be together. When Mother is funny, she is really funny and we had some good laughs.

Jessie had to come on home for a photo shoot she had planned with her bandmates- The Cicada Ladies- and Mother and I left shortly after she did. We went to the Walmart and she got her watch battery changed and she got a few things she needed and I got my impatiens. I took her home and then went on to Bed, Bath and Beyond where I realized that there sure a lot of things that I don't need. I wish I'd taken a picture of the "Performance Sheets." They guarantee that with those sheets, you can sleep like a pro. Is there really such a thing as a professional sleeper? If there is, I want to send in my resume.
I did not buy Performance Sheets. I bought some other ones and they cost more than some beds I've bought but hey- sleep is important. I did not buy anything but sheets and some extra pillowcases, not even any As Seen On TV stuff but I have to admit that I was a bit tempted. Mostly by the chocolate at the check-out but I didn't even buy any of that.
Going to town and shopping is such an amusement to me. If I'm in a good enough mood, it mostly cracks me up. If I'm in a bad mood, all I can think about is all the CRAP out there, most of it made in China and then shipped over here and which will end up in a landfill within a year at the most.

When I got home the men were ripping out that deck and the Cicada Ladies were getting their pictures made and I put everything away and changed into my overalls and got out in the yard. It was a good balance to As Seen On TV.

After the girls and the photographer left, Jessie got all her stuff packed up quick-quick and loaded it into her car. She misses her boy, her Vergil, and she wants to get home tonight and she knew I was about to get all drama-queen on her so she said, "Tell me good-bye like I'm just going over to Melissa's," and so I kissed her and said, "Have a good time at Melissa's," and then she said, "Hey! I'm not really going to Melissa's," and I kissed her better and hugged her tight to me. My god. What a week it's been!

We got that baby here. Oh sure, Lily helped, but Jessie and May and I did all the hard work.

And her daddy hugged and kissed her and checked out her car and she's gone now.
She's on the road to North Carolina, us at this end, Vergil at the other. She wants to get in her own yard, plant some flowers, some vegetables.

It's beautiful in Lloyd tonight. It's real quiet. It's been a hell of a week. One of the best of my entire life. Things are settled down and the baby's here and safe and healthy and it's Saturday night and our neighbor brought over some chicken and dumplings and I'm going to make a salad and take those new sheets out of the dryer and put them on our bed.

I hope we sleep like professionals tonight. The eggs in the incubator are due to hatch tomorrow or at least soon. I hope some of them do. We have no idea if any of them will, but we're ready with chick feed and a clean waterer and a place in which to put them. Every time I walk past them I stop and look at them, those eggs so neat and tidy and wonder if there are mysteries and magic contained within them.

Life, I mean.

Ain't it something?

Have a good evening, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

I Just Had To Share

I cropped this picture because I didn't want Owen to grow up and be mad at me for showing all his privates online which is sad because if I hadn't cropped it you could see his feet are not touching the ground.
That's Owen, swinging from his mama's arm while she's holding Gibson in the other arm, nursing him.

That's my daughter. Those are my grandsons.

Really? I can't even believe it.

All right. I have to run. Gonna take my mother to go see her youngest great-grand and then take her to get the battery in her watch changed and then I have to buy new sheets because there's a hole in the only fitted sheet I have and well, for me, that's an entire and full day.

I hope you're having a good Saturday. Mine looks to be mighty fine.

Love from Lloyd where we grow 'em big and strong and beautiful....Ms. Moon

Friday, March 23, 2012

At The Mockingbird Cafe

Mr. Moon and Jessie.
Lon and Lis are playing.
It's lovely.

Still Crazy After All These Years

Can a grandmother have postpartum depression?
Or at least, postpartum unsettledness?
I think I do.

Last night I could feel a switch turn in me, just like the old days when I had hormonal switches, those fast, lightening-like jolts from one stage of my cycle to the next, leaving me panting and breathless and angry and sorrowful and wondering what in hell I was doing here on earth.

But I can't blame hormones now and I am not sure what's going on but it'll pass and knowing that is at least one good thing about aging which honestly, doesn't have a hell of a lot to offer as far as I'm concerned. Sure, you know a lot of shit but no one cares to hear about it and everyone on this earth has to learn the hard way- by experience- so what the hell good is it?

I and everyone else I know keep making the same mistakes over and over and over again and today that seems ragingly obvious to me and it also seems outrageously obvious that I will never be the person I wish I was and never get accomplished the things I would wish I had and yes, yes, okay, yes, that's all okay and fine and so what? but hey- feelings are feelings and these are mine today.

Maybe it's all just knowing that I have done my job, DNA and RNA-wise, done it and done it and yea, even unto the next generation and now I just feel like a vestigial tail or, as they say, tits on a boarhog.

Everything is pissing me off and mostly myself.

But, as I said, this will pass and maybe it's natural. I've come to discover that there isn't a whole lot of groundbreaking information on being a grandparent although now that Anne Lamott has written a book about her first grandchild and the whole experience, I am sure that the subject will be busted wide open and it'll be the new cool thing and I should read that book but I'm too bitter right this second and too pissed off and if anyone in this world would be able to admit that, it would be Anne Lamott and she can do it a whole lot better than I can so there you go.

Go read the book. I'm sure it's fantastic. It's called Some Assembly Required: A Journal Of My Son's First Son.

Then get back to me and tell me if there is such a thing as grandmotherly postpartum depression, okay?

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

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sorrow In Joy

I feel quite certain that all of you have heard of the Trayvon Martin tragedy. I have been reading about it and hearing about it on NPR for days now and I haven't said anything because this space has mostly been about our new grandchild and family things and that is valid but I have to admit that it has been at the back of my mind this whole time.

If there are any of you who do NOT know about this case, it's the story of a seventeen year old boy in Sanford, Florida who was on his way back to his daddy's house with some Skittles and iced tea which he'd just bought and who was murdered by a self-proclaimed neighborhood watch guy. And the most shocking thing about the case is that the murderer was not arrested because he claimed self-defense.
Trayvon was black, his killer was what they are calling a "white Hispanic."
Well. The whole world is now watching and the police chief has "stepped aside."

And I have nothing to say, really, because what can I add to what has already been said? You know what I think- the same thing all of you think, which is that times have changed but not nearly enough. That it is still dangerous for a black youth to walk down the street, even in broad daylight. Even armed with nothing but a pack of candy and a can of tea.

Owen came over today. It was so lovely. He fell asleep on his way over and I carried him in the house and took off his shoes and he laid down on the bed and he slept for hours. I am sure that this new brother of his has shaken his world to its core, or at least, as he perceives it, and here he was at Mer-Mer's house where he takes such good naps, and he slept and it was beautiful. He got up and we went out to the front porch because the chickens were out there and he hasn't seen his chickens for awhile and he was so happy to see Elvis and the hens and we fed them some bread and while we were out there, a young black guy walked by the house. Lloyd, where I live, is a very mixed community. We are black, we are white, we are a multi-colored flock and there are college professors and there are changers-of-the-oil and tillers-of-the-soil and here we all are and we mostly get along fine but when something like the murder of Trayvon Martin happens, I can feel all of us open our eyes a bit wider.
It all affects all of us, whether it is the election of our first black president or yet another example of how racism is still alive and well in our country. In our STATE!
And this guy walked by and I said, as I usually do, "Hey, how you doin'?" and he looked me carefully in the eye and he said, "Fine. And you?" Polite as I'm sure his mama taught him. And then he said, "Hey," to Owen but Owen is shy and wouldn't look up and I said, "He's shy," and the guy smiled and went on but it got me in my heart.
I felt as if I should apologize to him but of course, that's ridiculous. There's no part of me which would shoot anybody for any reason I can imagine but still.
We ain't right yet. And it's not a joke and it leads to the murder of some one's child and it means that a young black male can't walk down the street where he lives on a beautiful spring day without having to wonder if someone (an old white lady in overalls with a little boy and chickens on the porch?) is a threat.

Okay. I've said my piece for now. Sort of.

Owen was a joy. Here he is on the tractor, showing me how he can steer with this entire body.

Here he is, playing with a "big boy" hammer on the floor of the kitchen with his Bop.

And here's a picture of Gibson, our newest boy, with his beautiful, proud Papa.

These are MY boys and Trayvon was someone's boy and my heart breaks to think that babies are still growing up in a world, in a country where the color of your skin makes you guilty before proven innocent. Where the very act of walking down the street can be perceived as a threat and you can be shot and your killer not arrested.

But here's the good news, if there is such a thing in a situation like this: The whole world is watching and you can't get away with shit like this any damn more. There WILL be an arrest and there WILL be a trial. You can count on that. And then...well, we'll see if justice is served or not but at least the process will be honored.
Eventually. I hope.

And I hope that the world my grandsons grow up in is a better one. At least when it comes to blind violent hatred. And dammit, that EVERY ONE'S grandsons grow up in a better one. And grand daughters, too! It seems like in so many areas we take one step forward and then one step back but slowly, slowly, progress HAS to be made so that everyone can be seen as a human being whether they are male or female, black or white or Hispanic or whatever. Gay or straight or bisexual or transgendered. Differently abled, rich and poor and in between. All of us, dammit. We are all part of the human race and we each deserve what anyone else deserves. Which is love and the ability to just be able to walk down the damn road without fear of being shot and killed.

Yours in peace and hope...Ms. Moon

Blah, blah, blah, blah, BLAH. Plus, Bamboo

Here's what I want to know:
Why did someone come into my bed last night and strike me repeatedly with small, evil sticks?
Okay. That probably didn't happen but I feel like maybe it did.

Well, good morning world.

I just went outside to take a picture of another spring ejaculation.
(That's for you, Elizabeth. Go ahead and post that anti-spring poem.)

What you're looking at is a really bad picture of a blooming dogwood with a fig tree in front of it and an ancient live oak behind it.

Now here's another spring picture and I would advise you to click on it so that you can get the real-deal image.

Those pointy things are all bamboo sprouts. Which were NOT there last night because I went out and kicked all the ones that were up before the sun went down.
Why aren't we using bamboo for EVERYTHING? I know they use it to make sheets these days and paper and flooring but why aren't we using it to make energy? Somehow?

Ah, I just feel overwhelmed today. The bamboo is a good metaphor for it all. You can put on your bamboo-kicking boots and go out and blast all the shoots into eternity but you're going to get up the next day and there will be more to taunt you.
My house, my yard, my garden.
They all need attention. Okay. Let's be honest- they could all use a crew of professionals to deal with them and I'm just one old, sore woman with a pair of overalls. To be quite honest, I don't even have any bamboo-kicking boots. I just kick the bamboo wearing the most minimalist Crocs available.

And I want to go see my grandsons. This seems to be the most important thing in my world these days. Of course.

All right. I'll stop bitching. But I wanted to give you a link to an article that our Jo posted on Facebook. Here it is:

It's about birth and technology and it ain't no crunchy hippie shit either. Not that I have anything against crunchy hippie shit, being the queen of that way of life. Sort of. Not really. But you know what I mean. It's written by a real-life medical person and professor and was printed in the Atlantic Monthly and it just makes so much sense.

I guess I better go eat some granola.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One Day Old

This is Gibson and his mama and his daddy. He is having his first outdoor-outing. He liked it okay.
What he mostly likes...what he really ONLY his mother and her breasts. I don't think I've ever met a child who was so preternaturally aware from the get-go who his mother is. He can be asleep and she'll pass him over and he'll wake right up and start gnawing his little hands and then when that proves fruitless, he'll start rooting around all over whoever is holding him and then when that doesn't work, he starts to mewl and fuss and refuses to be comforted until he is handed back to his mother and then he immediately quits crying and she gives him what he wants and he is happy again.
He is a tit-man, for sure.
I mean, they all are but he KNOWS where the tit comes from and that is the only place he wants to be. Which is fine with Lily. She is as natural at this part of the whole deal as she is at being pregnant and then giving birth. I swear. They should give her a grant to be a mother. Maybe something under the auspices of the National Park system. She's that grounded in it, that much a force of nature.

Owen is handling it all pretty well. He kisses his brother now and seems resigned to the fact that yes, he is there but he realizes that his needs are still going to be met and that his mother still loves him and cuddles him and that his father is also there and that, too, is a comfort and a good thing. He seems to have absolutely no love left for his Mer Mer but I understand. I know he does still love me. He just...well, has other priorities right now. Being charming to me is not one of them. "Go away," he will tell me if he has Aunt Jessie where he wants her. "Go back inside."
He'll be my boy again when he comes out here. If his grandfather isn't here. Or his aunt.

Speaking of his aunt, I brought Jessie home with me. I think she is tireder than anyone at this point. She took care of that new little family all day and all night and all day today and believe me- taking care of Owen takes a lot of energy. She's such a good auntie and I'm going to make her some soup and let her relax. I told her not to lift a finger. I think she can handle that.

And all I've done today is make the food for Lily and Jason

(The Official Post-Partum Meal Recipes)

and take it over there and try to hold Gibson and frustrate him and try to get Owen to love on me and frustrate myself. I did take a small ramble into the garden to see that the potatoes are coming up and all of the beans are up and that I need to replant some cucumbers.
So much to do. Always so much to do and none of it of earth-shaking importance, thank god, and yet, all of it god's work, if one looks at it like that and it was lovely today, being alone in my kitchen and making bread and cooking meat and a cake with spices and prunes in it and opening the screen door to throw scraps to the chickens, noting the amaryllis blooming so dramatically. I cut it later and took it to Lily in a blue bottle.

There are more about to bloom so it wasn't a huge sacrifice.

All right. Here's one more picture of the newest boy, happily asleep. In his mother's arms. Of course.

He is still wearing the shirt they put on him after his birth, which was one of his mother's I think. I know I dyed it. It was either hers or Jessie's. I told him, "Gibson, you haven't changed your clothes in your whole life."

He didn't care.

Not one bit. And we don't either. We know that clothes don't make the man. Titty milk does.


A Middle Name And What Grandmothers Do

Well, Spring continues to rush its way through our world, catching us up in it and here we are, here we are.
They have given Gibson the middle name of Monroe and if he does not grow up to be a poet as Madame Radish King suggests he will, he will surely grow up to be a grand bluegrass musician. Or something fine.
Gibson Monroe.
And now old Mer is going to make some food to take over and the flowers are blooming and the birds are singing and I hear that Gibson slept well last night and nursed well and that Owen is being a monkey boy and we are all still amazed, still grateful, and I am going to cook.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

May Finally Writes Something She Shares.

Make Way, World. Gibson Is Here

What a day. What a beautiful first-day-of-spring day and what a day.
We all just keep saying, "I don't believe it."

I went to bed last night fully expecting to be woken up in the middle of the night but no, the phone didn't ring until a little after seven this morning and Lily was crying. "I just can't do this anymore," she said.
"What's going on?" I asked her.
"Just the same thing. I can't sleep but they only last a minute and I have to get out of bed and this could go on for days and I can't do it!"
And so forth.
She was so afraid she hadn't made any progress. She'd slept some until about three- thirty when she could sleep no longer and she'd done all of her contractions by herself and honestly, I thought she was probably still prodroming and I asked if she'd called the midwife and she said that no, she was coming at 10:30 anyway and I said, okay, we're coming.
I woke up Jessie and I packed up clothes and a toothbrush and books and crocheting stuff and food and well, I was just prepared for a long, long day. Hell, I packed a pillow!
We got to Lily's and she was outside, and yes, crying, and yes, she'd called Diana and I tried to comfort her and from the looks of things, I had no idea where she was at, despite all of my experience. Yes, she was crying but Lily cries. She was saying, "I can't do this anymore," but her contractions were short and she was still doing things. She wasn't in that far-away place that women in transition usually are. We went in the house and Owen was eating his breakfast and Lily didn't want to let him go anywhere but she knew she had to. She hated upsetting him when she had a contraction. He wanted her, he wanted to comfort her. He didn't seem too upset, but still. He just wanted his mama.

We made the decision to call Bop to come and get him and then Diana got there and Lily said, "I feel all this pressure!" and Diana got her on the bed and checked her and said, "Well, honey, you're feeling so much pressure because you're nine and a half centimeters dilated!"
Oh boy.
Oh boy.
We called May to hurry. We got things set up. Diana's assistant was far away. May got there. Bop came just in time because one of us was having to be outside with Owen and no one wanted to miss the birth. This is how selfish I am: As Diana was setting up she said, "I think I'd like Jessie to help me and I said, "Actually, I did birth assisting for years. Jessie is a mama-baby nurse in post-partum."
HOW MEAN IS THAT? But true, although Jessie always attends the deliveries at her hospital too. But it was all okay because Bop got there and grabbed the boy and took him off. Lily was already pushing and so Jessie was there and Jason and May and me and in about ten minutes, so was Gibson.
Yep. That's his name.
Gibson. Which is my middle name. My great grandmother was Mary Gibson. And I also gave that name to Jessie as a middle name. It's a fine name. It's also the name of a company which makes very nice guitars which pleases Jason. They're not sure about the middle name yet but they're honing in on it.
Anyway, Gibson was born with a minimum of fuss or blood although the cord was wrapped around his body but Diana just unwrapped him and let Jason finish the delivery of the body and then he was handed off to Lily and well...there you go.
A perfect, fast, beautiful home birth.

Here's Jessie doing her nurse thing:

Oh god. It was just so perfect.

He hardly cried at all, that boy but turned spring-rose-pink in a few minutes. His breathing was fine, his heart rate was fine, his reflexes, all good. He latched on right away like he knew what he was doing and he was just so chill. Just

My goodness.

After the midwife's assistant got there and Gibson had nursed well and we'd all talked to him and loved him, Diana helped Jason to cut the cord and they did the newborn check and Lily took a shower and then we called Bop to bring Owen home.

Oh my. That boy is in for some changes but it's going to be good.

He wanted his mama to put the baby in the baby's bed but he did hold him and Bop got some great video of all of that on his phone.

And that was it- the baby was born at 9:03 this morning and I left the house around three-thirty. Uncle Hank had come over to meet him and it was just so lovely, everyone at home and no one coming to take the baby to "clean him up" (he was perfectly and beautifully gorgeous and needed no cleaning whatsoever and most babies don't, despite what they tell you) and when I left, Jason was holding Gibson who was sleeping and Lily and Owen were cuddled on the bed together, getting some Mommy-Owen time and Jessie's spending the night with them.

Oh. He weighed 9 lb., 2 oz. and he is 20 inches long. He has a lot of black hair and perfect little bow-lips. He has peed and he has pooped. I think he is also talking. I am sure I heard him say, "Ma," and also, "nurse."

I hope Lily gets some rest. She's going to need it. I hope that Gibson (it feels so weird to call him that) continues to be a good nurser. I hope that Owen falls in love with the baby and goes to sleep sweetly tonight.

After it was all over, Lily said, "Some of those contractions really hurt."
I about cracked up. I told the midwife that and she laughed, too.
Lily was born to have babies, obviously.

I feel so incredibly grateful and blessed. It was such a perfect birth.
I told Diana after it was over that when I met her, I knew that everything was going to be wonderful and she said that when she met Lily, she knew the same.
I can't say enough about the joy of having a home birth. Of the bliss of a baby being born at home with his mama and his daddy and his aunties around him and a good, good midwife.

I asked Jason if he liked the home birth. He said he did. That it was awesome to be able to catch the baby himself instead of having to sit up by Lily's shoulder and having to wait until some doctor told him he could touch his son.

It's that and it's so much more.

My baby had a baby today on the first day of spring and it was as prosaic and as miraculous as anything you have ever imagined.

Welcome, Gibson. You are loved.