Friday, November 30, 2012

A Murder Of Crows

Apalachicola, Florida.

Friday Stuff

I just finished reading a book last night and it was one of the saddest, funniest, sweetest books I've ever read.
Here it is.

It's definitely written from the POV of a man and it's not terribly deep or heavy but in a way it is exactly those two things, even in its humor, its ridiculousness. I'm not a book reviewer and so I'm not going to try and review it but I'll just say that for anyone who has been divorced or anyone who feels they have made some really bad life choices or for anyone who thought, at one perfect moment of their lives that their lives were always going to be special and shiny and who then found out that no, not at'll ring true.
Yeah. I liked it. It caught me up and it carried me right along and it was easy to read. (I hate using the word "read" as a noun. You may possibly never catch me calling a book a "good read.")

So we're going to Apalachicola. The Gibson Inn is having some special in that if you eat dinner in their dining room one night, you get a night free. This sounds rather desperate but their dining room has been closed forever and they finally got a new chef so I guess they're trying for word-of-mouth. I'm happy. We love the Gibson Inn. I haven't begun to pack yet because that is the most stressful thing in the world for me. Okay. That's a lie. There are a million things which are at least as stressful as packing in my tortured little brain but packing is right up there. Mr. Moon is going to bring saws and trimming devices and I guess I'll bring my overalls so that I can help him although he claims I don't have to. But why not? I can haul palm fronds. I can do that. And who knows? Maybe I'll even do a little Christmas shopping.

I am feeling extremely blessed right now. I think that word is vastly overused. "Have a blessed day!" and so forth, but I am. Feeling that way. It's so odd how, when life presents me with the overwhelming evidence of the richness and just plain goodness of my life, I get so freaked out. I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop- the proof that I don't deserve such goodness. I doubt I will ever change in this regard. And that makes me very sad because as I have said so many times, there is nothing I believe more than the holy importance of recognizing that which is good and appreciating it deeply. I am sure this has to do with my childhood (and what doesn't?) and it's so deeply ingrained that although I can recognize that this is not a particularly valid response to that which is joyful, it is how I respond viscerally.

Well, I have my moments of sheer and unadulterated joy and by god, I hope to experience a few of them this weekend whether they come when I am sitting at a bar drinking a martini and wearing sparkly eye shadow and looking at the man with whom I share this rich life or whether I am working with him on the property we bought so many years ago and in which we have invested so many hopes and dreams of living together on, watching the dolphins play in our backyard as we drink our morning coffee.

Okay. I better go pack.

I'll be reporting in with pictures and everything.

Much love and happy Friday...Ms. Moon

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Sort Of Love Letter

It's time for bed and I'm thinking of folks I know through here, some of them going through really tough and really difficult and really stressful times and I'm thinking of how sometimes it's so hard to know what to say in the little comment boxes beyond I'm thinking of you, I'm sorry, I hope for things to be better soon, I hope for things to turn out okay....
But please, if you are one of these people (and if you think you may be, you are) then please know that your troubles do profoundly touch my heart and I carry you around with me there, in my heart, and I wish I could give you heart's ease.

I am thinking that tonight. I am going to bed with you on my mind. In my heart.

Be well, all. Be at peace.

I would wish that for you.


I Am Not Sure This Is What Steve Jobs Had In Mind

I am listening to Steve Jobs biography on disc as I walk right now and of course, I always take my iPhone with me as I walk in one of my many cargo pants pockets along with gum, the disc player, and, spare batteries. And the next disc in the sequence. One of these damn days I'll figure out how to download audio books on my phone and that will lighten the load considerably. I use the phone as a pedometer device and it tells me exactly how far I've walked, how many steps I've taken and how many calories I've burned.
Not enough on that last part, believe me.

Anyway, today I took a picture of a machine thing that seems to have been left behind at the old gas station from when they were redoing the highway. And so I took it's picture and well, here you go. More texts to Billy.

Okay. Sorry for the overlap.
I can only imagine how much Steve Jobs would appreciate my use of his incredible technology.
For the record, I don't think that Billy and I have ever gone and gotten shit-tanked together. Oh wait. Maybe once.
That was a long time ago.

It's been a slow day, y'all.

We're having chicken and spinach and roasted pepper sausages with sauerkraut and potatoes and Waldorf salad for supper.
Now you know.

Love...Ms. Moon

Options And Time Travel And Why I Hate B&B's

Mr. Moon and I may go over to Apalachicola this weekend. He was going to go up to the hunting camp in Georgia but circumstances have arisen which makes that less than an ideal prospect, one being the arising of the full moon. The deer don't move as much on the full moon or something and I don't really understand.
Maybe if I actually listened to what he said I would.
It's like with cars, which Mr. Moon has either had businesses working on or selling for our entire twenty-eight years of marriage and which I still manage to know nothing about whatsoever. Nothing. If someone's car doesn't start, I say, "Sounds like the starter to me."
Makes sense, right?
He can listen to Car Talk and know what's wrong with every car that gets called in about. I mean, the man is a FOUNT of auto-related information and you'd think I would have learned at least a few things about them over the years but no, I have not. He spoils me. He presents me with a vehicle and I drive it.
That's our arrangement.
They never seem to break down. Not in years.
I hope I'm not jinxing myself here.

Anyway, back to Apalachicola.
I think that Mr. Moon and I need to buy some sort of little shacky place down there to stay in while we're building our house. With a big lot so that when we move there, he can build another Garage Mahal because the lot which we're going to build our house on doesn't have room for a full-sized chicken coop, much less a garage. He keeps talking about needing a lot for a garden too but I'm saying no. All I need is some big pots to plant tomatoes in and that will do me. However, he, being a man, needs a place to work on all of his projects and store all the stuff required to work on his projects. And it would be perfect if there was a little shackette for guest purposes. It could be a charming shackette, right? Maybe.
Now where all the money for this is going to come from, I do not know.
I'm just talking ideal situations here.

I went online last night to look for a possible little place to stay for the weekend that wasn't a hotel or a B&B. Not that I have anything against hotels, I do not. But I don't know. I just like the idea of having a place to make coffee in the morning. Nothing wrong with that. Plus, Mr. Moon wants to do some trimming on the lot down there which means we'll end up really dirty and stinky and I don't especially want to walk through a hotel lobby in that condition although we have done it before.  I found a darling little cottage via the interenet and e-mailed the owners as to rates and she wrote me back directly with the information. Jesus Christ!
A few weekends there and we could just put a down payment on a shack.

I hate B&B's with a passion. We stayed at one in Monticello a long time ago and the owner had pictures of himself shaking hands with Ronald Reagan and also, he grabbed my ass. Then he and his wife went to church. But that's not why I hate B&B's. I hate them because you have to basically be a guest in someone's house and you may not like that someone and also, there's that breakfast thing. I don't want to have to chat with someone I do not know over breakfast. Fuck. No.
One time Mr. Moon and I were traveling back home from somewhere and found a darling little B&B in the middle of nowhere and we got a room in an outbuilding so we didn't have to cuddle up in the main house, which was fine but we were told that breakfast was served at eight and it was made abundantly clear that that's when we should show up to eat it.
We overslept (god- it was a vacation!) and they CALLED US and we got up and frantically got dressed and trotted over to the main house where ONE other couple was sitting at a table, waiting for us because the owners wouldn't serve breakfast until we got there too. And then we had to TALK TO THEM. I am not up to polite chit-chat under the best of circumstances and this was as far from the best circumstances as the planet Earth is from the sun.
Aw nah.

So no way on the B&B's. And why do B&B owners think that guests want a million knick-knacks all over? Lacy doilies and pillows which aren't good for anything and tons of little crappy stuff that someone has collected over the years and considers charming and sometimes there are themes, too.
Themes, I tell you. Here's a perfect example I just snatched off the internet.

This room is called "The Captain's Quarters." How fucking cute. And how fucking long do you think that ship model is going to last there on that antique trunk? You start getting a little thrashy with the pillows and blankets and that thing is going to be lying on the floor in toothpicks and you and your sweetie are going to be going, "Oh god. Oh Jesus. How much do you guess that thing was worth?"

And so forth.

I met a woman in Monticello once who owns a B&B there and she gave me a tour of the place and there was so much damn artwork and mahogany furniture and heavy draperies and little china things and patterned and bordered and stenciled wallpaper and fake flowers and fake trees and potpourri that I couldn't breathe. She was inordinately proud of the place though, especially of the fact that she'd done the decorating herself.

Anyway, I've been up for two hours already and haven't done one damn thing except look at stuff on the internet and start a load of clothes. I'm back to my normal self which means that I'm completely stressing out about what to make for supper seeing as how I have a rehearsal tonight and we've eaten soup for three days straight. I better go take a walk and I imagine we'll find a place to stay in Apalachicola and it'll be fine, whatever or wherever it is. We stay at the Gibson Inn a lot and it's very nice and we've stayed at the Rancho Motel and it's...decent and we've stayed across the bridge at the Sportsman's Lodge and it's strange but funky in a good way and we used to stay at this other place but they tore it down which is no big loss. They had signs posted everywhere warning you not to clean fish in the rooms.

We've stayed in a lot of different places, Mr. Moon and I, and my favorite ones have been in Mexico and not just the fancy places, either. The ones with bare terra-cotta colored tile floors and plain beds almost too hard to sleep on and no artwork on the walls at all and the bathroom with the plastic toilet seat that pinched your butt and the shower with hot water that came and went, but outside on the balcony there were hammocks and beyond that, the white beach and the blue-green-purple water and the silver path the moon made on it at night which led to the ruins of Tulum and...
Oh shit.
I'm doing it again.
I'm back in Mexico.


Phew. That was close. I almost time-traveled there for a second.

Good morning, y'all. Thanks for coming by. I'll keep you updated as to my almost-every-move and let you know what I end up cooking for dinner because really, I feel certain that's why you come here, wherever here is.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

And Maybe It's Because Of All Of You

Well, we did get some rain and it's not supposed to rain today but the sky is greasy-nickel again and yet, somehow, I have been in the best mood for at least twelve hours.
I know, right?
Twelve hours of contentment. Lord. Sure, yeah, I was asleep for eight of those hours but that still counts. And in the spirit of being grateful, I am reporting that and saying also that I have no idea why but it's true.
Maybe it's the Magic Of The Opera House.

Who knows? Not me.
We're coming along with the sound effects except for when I screw things up which is about forty times a rehearsal. I am the worst. I don't know why they let me do this.

Maybe it's the fact that Jessie and Vergil have set a wedding date which is April 13th of next year. They plan on getting married on a mountain near Asheville and so things are in motion. They chose that date due to availability circumstances for the place where they want to be married and get this- April 13 is Lily and Jason's anniversary which seems crazy but also funny. Lily doesn't care. She's just excited to think about a wedding, as are we all.
I got this e-mail from Jessie last night:

I sure am excited. I've told Melissa, May and Lil that next time I'm in town we will have to have a dress-trying-on party. May suggested lunch and I suggested sparkly, yummy drinks. I will dance for you in each dress I try on- that's a promise.

I hope your night is nice. I wish I could give you a big hug right now. I always need my mommy to hug me. 
Sleep well tonight. 

How could I not be in a good mood after reading that?

Or who knows? Maybe it could just be the soup I made yesterday. Sometimes when I am feeling overwhelmed, as I was yesterday, I make soup and it feels as if I am taking all of the niggling little details of worry of my life and combining them together, transforming them by the alchemy of heat and broth into something lovely and delicious and health-giving and the metaphor restores me just as the soup does.
The real soup, not the metaphor soup, has this in it:
Venison, onions, garlic, cabbage, tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, broccoli, corn, collards, edamame beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, black-eyed peas and brown rice.
I ate it twice yesterday and I will eat it again tonight. I think this soup could sustain life forever if you threw in a little fruit and yogurt.

Well, whatever the reason for my contentment is, I am grateful and thankful. A whole lot of both of those. Just thought I'd tell the universe about it, in case it wanted to throw more my way.

And one more thing, our beloved Beth Coyote told me to listen to some of Dina Martina's Christmas carols and so I went to Youtube and listened to this and it made me giggle and so I'm giving it to you in hopes that you might giggle too. Elizabeth, if you're going to do your annual Christmas Carol event, I strongly recommend you include this one.

Love from Lloyd...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

You Can't Make This Shit Up

Well, I still haven't figured out the car engine thing but I have figured out a few things and I made a soup that could feed all of the hungry in the South-Georgia, North-Florida area and I had a walk and it is raining a little bit. Patter, patter. It smells good, anyway.

But the funniest thing happened. I got two e-mail requests to possibly use images from my blog. Pictures that I had taken. The requests were nestled right next to each other in my in-box. Now, over the years I have had one other request to use a picture off my blog. One. So it was a bit odd to get two, just like that, right next to each other.
But the funny thing was the pictures they asked to use.
One of the requests was from Lis and she possibly wants it for a CD cover for an artist they've been recording. She sent me about a dozen possibilities and all of them, I think, were from Dog Island. They look like this:

I told her that of course she could use anything she wanted. And that it's possible that Jessie may have taken one of these or even Mr. Moon. But I would be pleased.

Now the other request- well, that was from a woman who works for a web site called THINKR which actually looks pretty cool and you can find it here if you want:

And the image she wanted to use?


I had to ask her where on my blog she found it because I couldn't remember and she sent me THAT link and it was for one of my favorite posts ever which, if you have the notion, you can find HERE.
It was a funny one. 

I told her that sure, she could use it, why not? 

My goodness. Life sure can be silly sometimes, can't it?

It Really Is A Wonderful Life. When It Doesn't Really Suck

It's supposed to rain today. This would be amazing in that I can't remember the last time it truly, really rained. A real, coming-down, pouring-down, soak-the-ground rain. It's been so long that it's as if I remember it from watching a movie about rain. Maybe a movie where you could smell the rain, too, because I do remember that.

I got a comment yesterday on my bitchy post and it made me feel as if I had fiberglass particles in my britches. Or maybe socks. I don't know. It was an odd comment I thought, and I couldn't quite figure out what it meant except for the part wherein I was instructed to take a breath and remember that Christmas is not about ME.
Well. We can be certain I am aware of THAT. Did I not call it an alien celebratory ritual? Alien being the key word there. I could go into thirty or forty thousand words about why Christmas is so disturbing to me but many of you have already read whatever it might be that I have to say about that and besides, this is my little forty acres and a mule here at blessourhearts and the thing I hate most about Christmas is that feeling of trying to fake it when every part of me hates it and I ain't gonna fake it here.

So la-di-dah. I think if you spoke to my kids, they'd tell you that when they were little, I did a bang-up job of it and they loved Christmas and by golly, I did it all from making cookies to decorate the tree with to the Christmas Eve rituals to the homemade gifts as well as the store bought. I did it! I sang freaking Christmas carols!

And now they can do it. Because, no, it is not about me. Thank-you very much.

Speaking of Christmas, I have gotten myself into doing sound effects for the Christmas radio theater at the Opera House again this year and I am stressing out over that. I, quite frankly, suck at doing the sound effects. I space out and don't do them and also, the performances are coming up real fast and I haven't figured out yet how to do all of them should I actually not space out and we try to keep them authentic as to the era in which the radio shows were originally performed and also, visually interesting and that's just asking a lot from this old woman. But truthfully, it is always a sort of blessing just to be in the Opera House, especially on that stage. There is something entirely magical about it. So in this case, I AM faking it and am going to do my best to make it, too, as best as I can. In fact, my entire job as a Foley artist is to fake it which is sort of funny when you think about it. It does get serious at times though. Kathleen and I have both injured ourselves doing sound effects but that's simply due to our own clumsiness or whatever and my foot, which I injured trying to create the sound of a car wreck by kicking a trashcan, hardly ever hurts me any more and it's only been three or four years.

So see? I AM doing my part for Christmas and I just took the trash down to the trash place and people are leaving all sorts of old Christmas decorations which the attendants are using to spruce up the place with holiday cheer and for some reason, that DOES cheer me up. Nothing says Christmas Joy like old abandoned plastic snowmen sitting around the trash depot between the recycle and household garbage. And if you know me, you may realize that no, I am not being sarcastic here.
It sort of did actually cheer me up.
And a man who had obviously just cleaned out his garage offered me a cat carrier he no longer has use for and I politely said, "Oh, god, no but thank-you!" and I meant that too.

I don't think it's going to rain. I think it's just going to be gray and heavy and the whole system is going to pass to the north of us.
Well, sigh and sigh again.

I'm going to go take a walk and try to figure out how to make the sound of a running car engine for our production of It's A Wonderful Life. We've got the bells thing down pat and yes, darling little Zuzu, every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.

Oh Lord help me.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, November 26, 2012

Bitch, Bitch, Bitch

It's freaking cold out, which for us here in North Florida means below freezing. I don't like cold weather and if I did, I'd live in Minnesota which I can't even spell without spellcheck. I can't spell for shit anymore.
I don't like getting older any more than I like cold weather.

Anyway, blah, blah, blah. Did we all sleep well?

So last year I did not do Christmas. Not one bit. Mr. Moon and I had our trip to Cozumel planned and I maybe bought Owen a few presents and Gibson wasn't even born yet. That was it. I totally ignored the entire holiday which was awesome and wonderful and sure, they were doing Christmas on the island but it was not MY Christmas and so I could just enjoy it from a distance as if it were some sort of strange and alien celebratory ritual which is how I view it anyway but since I was there instead of here, that made it okay. That made it, in fact, the first Christmas in many decades that I've actually enjoyed.

God. I was so happy.

But this year- shitfire. We're going to be here, I guess, and now I have to determine just how far with this crap I'm going to go. Am I going to buy gifts for people? Will I have the Traditional Christmas Eve dinner? I know that Lily is having Christmas morning at her house and hurray for that. This is all very worrisome to me. And stressful. I don't think you can just do a little bit of Christmas any more than you can just be a little bit pregnant. You buy one present for one person, you've got to buy presents for everyone. And next thing you know you're in the fucking mall and they're playing those fucking Christmas songs which make me physically ill and then you're buying wrapping paper and then you're drinking rum by the liter and crying, crying, crying.

Okay. Maybe that's just me.

So yeah, the madness has begun even though I haven't stepped foot into a retail establishment and please, please, PLEASE don't tell me to buy local and all that shit. That still requires walking into stores and making decisions and choices and falling into a heap of despair. And even if the Christmas songs they're playing are recordings of some sort of African World Music Version of Jingle Bells, it's still Jingle Bells. Or whatever.

It just occurred to me that the Rolling Stones never released a Christmas song. That I know of. One more reason to love their old scrawny asses. Can you imagine a Stones Christmas carol? The very idea makes me laugh.

Okay. I better go take a walk. It must be up in the forties by now which is practically tropical. I've got the sheets in the wash and I'm going to town to stay with the boys this afternoon for a little while and I've got a rehearsal tonight and so yes, life goes on and I suppose I can ignore Christmas for a few more days. At least.

As much as I don't believe in that whole Mayan end-of-the-world thing, I sort of wish it was real. At least we wouldn't have to do Christmas this year. Or ever again.
And I wouldn't age any more and spelling would really not matter one way or the other.

Keith Richards would probably survive. That would be awesome.

One Love, y'all....Ms. Moon

Sunday, November 25, 2012

There are some people with whom you are just not supposed to have casual relationships with.
Lisa-Lisa-Redheaded-Lisa-Whom-We-Adore is one of those people for me.

We met through a mutual friend who had been gunshot in a robbery and yes, that's the truth. I was taking care of the woman who had been shot and Lisa and her then-boyfriend had been with her right after the incident and so they came to my house when I was taking care of this woman and right away, there was this connection, even though she is sixteen years younger than I am and since then we have shared some things, Lisa-Lisa and I. As I said before, I was there when her first child was born and I also performed the marriage for her and her husband Jon on a beautiful beach at sunset. We don't get to see each other as often as we'd like but that doesn't matter. Not one damn bit.

When she and her husband and two friends came by today, Lisa and Michelle, one of the friends and a woman whom I also adore were walking around outside to see the chickens and the bamboo and we heard a screeching of tires and then a definite collision.
"That can't be good," I said, and we immediately started walking towards where we'd heard the sound and yes, there had been a wreck down at the intersection a half block from where I live and there were already people there on phones and my neighbors were walking out of their houses too to go and see what had happened and I went over to where a woman was still in one of the cars and there you go.
Another life-changing event, right there, and Lisa was with me.

The woman, I think is okay. The airbags had deployed and she was definitely in shock and I stroked her arm and talked to her and Michelle reassured her that all was well, everything was going to be fine and there was no blood at all and I kept talking to the woman and the people of Lloyd kept showing up and bringing fire extinguishers and a man was directing traffic around the accident and the man who had been in the other car seemed fine and was talking on his phone. The first responders from the Lloyd volunteer fire department arrived and I let them take over and Lisa and Michelle and I walked home and we finished our tour of the yard.

And when they left, we both cried.

There are people with whom you are not supposed to have casual relationships with. You have to pay attention. You have to be grateful.

Lisa is still redheaded and she is still beautiful and today we shared another thing and I am not surprised, not shocked at all.

And I still adore her.

Yours truly...Ms. Moon

Questions About Faith And So Forth

So I'm reading this Anne Lamott book and I just do not get this whole thing where everything, every thing in the world, is viewed through the lens of god. Or, okay, God.
Here's what I really don't get- if you don't follow a holy book exactly like some of the more evangelical branches of religions do, there is just so much room for interpretation. There is so much chewiness to the whole thing. What would God think about this situation? Where is God in this situation? What would God want me to DO about this? And Lamott does ask herself these questions.
Over and over and over again.
To the point of ridiculousness, it often seems to me. She not only asks herself these questions but she asks her many spiritual advisors the same questions. And thus, the interpretations become even more confusing to me. Why does Sister Veronica get to be the one who knows what God wants here and Father Tim get to be the one who knows what God wants there? Does she just instinctively know which person to go to for advice and discussion at the proper time? Is EVERYTHING a call from God?
She goes on for pages about the baptism of her grandson. She, of course, wants the child to be baptized in the church which she attends and loves with all of her heart. She raised her son in that church and the members of it have uplifted and lifted and sustained her for decades. But the child's mother wants the child to be baptized in the church her family attends or attended back in North Carolina and this is a disturbing situation for Anne. I find this all so petty. Why can't they just baptize the child in both churches? Wouldn't that be doubling the number of people who are charged with the spiritual guidance of him? What is the downside there?
I haven't gotten to the end so maybe that is what happens. I don't know.

It just seems to me that all of this questioning of what God wants or doesn't want or requires or asks of us or whatever is such a vast waste of time. Who can really know? And yet, the way Lamott talks about her god, it would appear that she DOES know, at least after a great deal of soul-searching and research in the matter. Sometimes. And what is the purpose of all of this? She herself admits that she can't even begin to understand a god who allows children to have horrible illnesses and be afraid and die. Not allowing that to happen is, as she says, the number one rule we should all be able to agree on. And yet, of course, her god does allow this to happen all of the time and so this realization and reality leads to much praying to that same god for understanding and if there can be no real understanding of such a circumstance, then that is only proof of the Great Mystery of God and His or Her Way.

As I said, chewy. And confusing.

I would, as I have said before, rather just cut out the middleman. I can't begin to believe from my own observation that there is any plan to any of it. This is not to say that I think we are all lost and doomed. Maybe we are, but if we are to live a halfway decent life, we have to believe that if we just keep on putting one foot in front of the other and doing what we know in our hearts is the right thing to do, we will at least have a few incredible moments. I believe that the people in Anne Lamott's church have indeed saved her from a life of alcoholism and addiction and despair but note what I said- the PEOPLE in her church have done that. The people who enfolded her and took her in, as imperfect as she says she was because they too are imperfect and yet know that we are all deserving of love and second (and third and fourth and who knows how many?) chances. It seems to me that the things Lamott attaches the most holy and grace-full meanings to are those which are the most humanly basic. I will never forget how much she loved and appreciated the man who scrubbed her toilet when she was a brand new mother. Did God tell the man to scrub her toilet or did he just know, as a human being, that toilets do indeed need scrubbing and that an exhausted new mother perhaps needed a clean toilet more than she needed a bouquet of flowers? Would it have been any less of a holy act if I had scrubbed her toilet, knowing that I do not give all glory to God? In a way, it seems to me, it is more of a genuine act of love and caring if a human tends to another's needs out of simply that- love and caring- rather than in a belief that such tending is done because that is what a god would want. And of course, in some beliefs, another ticket to heaven and eternal life.

I am not disdaining religion here, or even faith. I am quite frankly completely confused by the whole situation. So much of it seems to me to be counting the number of angels who can dance on the head of a pin. Why even bother to ask? There is never going to be a definitive answer to that question or to most of the other questions which are asked in relation to religion and yet so much time and so many human resources are wasted on them.

And right now, I should be cleaning out my henhouse and doing something to salvage my winter garden. I can and probably will think about these things, even as I am dealing with chickenshit and dirt. I think that Anne Lamott is a beloved writer and many love the fact that she is a self-proclaimed Christian whose faith is extremely important to her but who is also a firm believer in a woman's right to abortion and who helped a man who was dying to cross over in very specific and concrete ways. She is a sort of new-age believer, I guess, who struggles, as we all do, with the big questions and always ends up with the answer that if she just keeps believing and stays out of the way, her god will take care of it.

I don't know. I do know that all situations resolve themselves eventually either with or without our help. Not, perhaps, in the way in which WE think they should be resolved but just in the way they get resolved. Anne Lamott would say that this is God's way and that her prayer would be for understanding. I say that in some cases there is no understanding and fuck it, some resolutions just suck and people die and/or suffer mightily and that this may or may not be holy but whatever it is, I can't change that.

I can, however, clean out the henhouse and I can love my grandchildren with a power that goes way beyond my understanding, just as Lamott loves her grandson. Frankly, I think that has a lot more to do with evolution and the survival of the species than anything else but that's just me. That belief does not in the least lessen my love but it does amuse me. I am Mother Nature's bitch!

Not that I think there is an entity to whom I can pin the title Mother Nature but you know what I mean. Hopefully.

Maybe it's all just being able to ask others for help which is one of the hardest things for most of us and that in a community which is about faith and love, it is just easier to ask for and receive help, believing that the people there are there specifically because that is what they believe is the right thing to do and ultimately, they are all there to ask their god for help or at least understanding in this life which can be so very difficult that we all need assistance at one point or another and that it is only right for us to help others. We take turns giving and receiving, as hard as that is. And maybe inserting god in there makes it all more tolerable.

I don't know.

I do know it's an incredibly beautiful day and I am glad to be here in it and that writing about it and going out and working in it are things that bring me joy. I'm sure that Anne Lamott and I could agree on that among many other things and I doubt she would fault me for being a non-believer and I cannot fault her for believing. We are humans, we are the same, we are different.
That is just all right with me.

But. That doesn't mean I understand. And I sincerely doubt I ever will.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Getting Cold, Baby But We're Warm Inside

Well, it is that night of the year.

The night when the temperature is going to dip down below freezing for the first time and so the plants must come in that absolutely cannot take the cold and which I cannot bear to lose.

This is a process in that some of these plants in their pots weigh more than a full grown pony.
But there are not as many as there used to be. I have become far less invested in my plants than I used to be. I think having grandchildren has something to do with this.
Those who have been coming here for a long time remember my passionate affair with begonias, perhaps. I went NUTS for begonias a few years back and went out of my way to find and cultivate the most beautiful and unusual ones I could locate. I have only a few left at this point but I will NOT allow my giant begonias to die in the frost as I grew them from two or three leaves which I rooted in a pot over the course of months of patient watchful waiting, making sure to keep the soil moist but not wet, to not give up when nothing and then nothing and then nothing appeared to happen until tiny little green leaves broke through the dirt and voila! LIFE!

Here is one of them in its winter home. I have two of these and the other one is so big we are having to wait until after the game ends so that Mr. Moon can go get his dolly to bring it in.

Those leaves are far bigger than my hand and those begonias are my pride and my joy. I mean, they aren't as dear to me as Gibson and Owen but I do love them.

My bread is out of the oven.

It did indeed rise although not to the lofty heights I would have hoped. But still, it is half whole wheat and so what did I expect? This is going to take some learning and some figuring out. After the game and when the fellows go home, I am going to make a little oyster stew for me and the husband and that and the bread shall be our supper. Not that we need any supper. We have grazed throughout the day. I didn't even bother to make guacamole. In fact, I took a nap after the boys left this afternoon. I have been useless today.
Which has been wonderful.

I got Anne Lamott's book, Some Assembly Required out of the library today and I have already started reading it. It is about her grandson's first year just as her wonderful and beloved book Operating Instructions was about her son's first year. I think that was the book that put Anne Lamott on the map. I adored it, despite her penchant for calling Jesus "Uncle Jesus." She is one of the people who, to me, proves that there is indeed a religion gene and by god, she has it!
I don't but I recognize that for some, religion is something which sustains and saves them the way love and books and trees and water sustain and save me and I can respect that. I have only read a bit of Some Assembly Required and it is partially written by her son, the father of this grandchild, and so far I am not thinking it is nearly as fine a book as Operating Instructions but I will give it an entire reading and see. For someone who is as certain as Ms. Lamott claims to be that God is in charge and that he does indeed have a plan, she surely seems to have a need to micromanage things. And then she reminds herself that God is in charge and has a plan and she backs off and this is a big theme of hers- the worry and anxiety and then the remembrance of her belief and then prayer and then off we are to the next thing to worry about.

Hey! There is plenty to worry and pray about when it comes to children and grandchildren, especially if the child in question is only nineteen when the grandchild is born. I am not doubting that. But I know from experience that one of the best things a parent can do is to step back and just BE THERE (like God only with the ability to actually oh, change diapers?) if help is needed and try not to interfere too much. Of course, in my case, my daughter and her son have proven to be such fine and loving parents that there's not a whole lot of interference I feel I need to do. If any. Which means, once again, that I am one of the luckiest women alive.

That picture was taken at a gathering for Lily's midwife and although Gibson for once is not smiling, it is still a beautiful picture. We had a good time with those boys and their mother today. We ate pizza and played lion and cheetah and camping and bear and snuggled and cuddled and kissed and THERE WAS POOP ON THE POTTY and well, it's just been an A #1 day in my life in that I have been loved and have loved and I found good books at the library and the bread rose and the plants are going to be safe. The game is over and I hear that FSU lost which does not disturb me in the least and Mr. Moon has gone to get the dolly to get that plant and tomorrow Lisa-Lisa-Beautiful-Red-Headed-Lisa who is in town for the game and her husband are coming by and it is always a soul-deep satisfying experience to see them. I have known Lisa for quite a number of years, since she was practically a child and was with her when one of her babies was born and she lives in Tampa now so I don't get to see her as often as I'd like so that is going to be tremendous. She has two beautiful children now and is a yogini. She is one of those people whom you can not see for years but it doesn't matter because when you do see her, it is as if no time whatsoever had passed and you simply dip your cup into the river of your mutual love and are refreshed.
So. Yes. I am looking forward to that.

It is cozy in the house and it smells of sourdough bread made from the starter that friends brought me and all is well.
All is very, very well in Lloyd.

I wish the same for you.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday Morning

I have just done my dietary duty by eating a bowl of oatmeal with grated apples and raisins cooked in it.
Okay. That's done. I can get on with my day now.

The sun is pouring light onto the part of the planet where I am this morning. It's so strong that I wonder if there's any light left for where you live. I'm sure there are many, many people around here who are thrilled with the weather due to the fact that today is the FSU/UF football game which is like the Biggest Day Of The Year here in Football World and of course, I would have no idea of that whole thing except that people keep talking about it. I could not possibly care less about football. Seriously. I'm trying to think of another way I could care less and I simply cannot.
I'd rather polish silver than watch football. I'd rather clean the grout in the shower. I'd rather dig a ditch. I would find it infinitely more fascinating to pick the fleas off a dog than to watch football.
I don't have anything against it and yes, I do know the rules, mostly, and I'm happy if those guys down on the field are having a good time but it has nothing to do with me. Nothing whatsoever.
But that's just me. I do not have that gene.
Plus- there's that whole crowd thing. Yuck. Crowds. Two people shot each other in the Walmart parking lot a few miles from here yesterday. I think they were arguing over a parking space.
They did not die. I guess I'm glad of that. I'm also really glad I wasn't there.
Guess those people didn't end up getting their holiday shopping done, seeing as how they were in the hospital. I mean...when you pull a gun on someone it's just pretty obvious that your next step is not going to be purchasing the flat screen of your dreams. Am I right?
I think so.

Anyway, la-di-dah and I do have to go to town again because the library is now open and also, we are almost out of cat food and I'm a little afraid of Ballsy, that giant feral cat who hangs out here and eats. He might attack me and take a leg off if I don't fill up the food bowl. I guess that Mr. Moon is going to watch the game and he still has some oysters left and I bought two avocados yesterday to make guacamole to go with the forty-five pounds of organic blue tortilla chips we have left from the party. That should do it, right? I feel we may have people here to watch the game seeing as how we have satellite and some of our neighbor/friends do not. Do you know that you can't get cable in Lloyd? Or pizza delivery? Oh well.
I am very grateful for the fact that we do have satellite because how else would I watch The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, not to mention things like Crossfire Hurricane? I was fairly astounded watching that film last night. They got one hell of a lot of culture in there in the one hour and forty minutes it ran. Lots and lots of never-before-seen (at least by me!) film of very early Stones. Despite the fact that I've read Keith's autobiography at least three times I had never really gotten the incredible risk those boys put themselves in every time they played. They absolutely incited riots. Or, people WANTED to riot and the Stones gave them opportunity. It was a riotous time and I don't mean funny-riotous, I mean people-out-in-the-streets-trying-to-kill-cops riotous. It was just an insane time.
But I thought the film maker did an excellent job and it was truly something, watching it, being reminded of what it was like to be young back then, watching the world just absolutely turn itself inside out and set on fire. And my god! The fear and anger that the older generation projected upon those skinny little long-haired, lipsticked boys whose only power lay in the music they played. MUSIC!
There was very, very little about the Stones and their women. That was just not discussed. Plenty of discussion of the drug use. Brian Jone's death. Yep.
And then...the very last bit was footage of Mick and Keith and Ron and Charlie (god bless Charlie- what an amazing gentle-man!) playing their new song Gloom and Doom and it was so obvious that it always was and still is, at the very, very basic bottom, about the music and the joy of doing what they have been doing so uniquely and well for fifty years. Mick looks great and he can still wiggle that bum of his and at one point Keith knelt down on the front of the stage to play for the folks and I said, "Ah- but will he be able to get back up?" and he did, quite gracefully.
That's as astounding as anything, if you ask me. I think that despite all the drug use and hard wear those bodies have gone through, they've never been overweight and nothing will tear your knees up like being overweight and so at least they've got that going for them.
And a lesson to us all.
I can't wait to watch it again. There was just way too much in there to absorb at one sitting.
I did not move off the couch once the entire time it was on. I NEVER sit still that long. But I didn't want to miss a lick.

Well, good morning. I can hear the drone of the plane shooting radar over the section of the interstate between here and Tallahassee. The highway patrol cars will be lined up like people waiting to get into Target under the overpass, just waiting to pull out and go arrest speeders. It's not just the retail establishments that make big book on the weekend after Thanksgiving around here. It's time to let the chickens out and get to town and get back before the true insanity begins. I'm sure they're already tail-gaitin' wherever it is they tailgate and beers, as we speak, are being cracked and bloody mary's are being mixed and meat is grilling and, oh hell. I have no idea. None whatsoever. People do just love to congregate wearing their gladiators' colors to drink and eat and make merry. Some people do it at Jimmy Buffett concerts and some people do it at football games.
And some people don't do it at all.

Lily's going to bring the boys out in awhile and we'll make merry right here, playing fun pretend stuff and eating fun snacks. And hopefully, my sourdough will rise.

Have a beautiful day, y'all, whatever it is you're doing.

I'm in a good mood. Keith Richards is still alive and I am not going to drive on the interstate OR go to Walmart and it's lovely sunny.

I guess that about sums it up.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, November 23, 2012

Ooh. This Is A Happy Little Hippie Girl

Somebody had to wear the black hat.

Yeah. It was good.

Food And Love And So Forth

It has been a good, slow day. I finally got my ass in gear and took a smallish but fine walk and one of my neighbors was sitting in Ms. Liola's yard and as I passed, he said, "You're late today. Too much partying?" "No," I said. "I am just lazy."
I find it hysterical that people in my community take note of when I walk and when I am late in doing that and also think that it's a possibility that I would over-party.
Okay. Well. So maybe that does happen occasionally. But still. I am a GRANDMOTHER!

I went to town only to discover that all of the libraries were closed. Lord. Oh well. I went to Publix and bought fruit, which is the only thing I did not have in this house in huge abundance. And the mister and I had a restorative nap when I got home and now I am in the process of making sourdough bread.

When my friends Bill and Ruthie came to the party on Wednesday night, they brought me some of their  delicious hot sauce 

as well as about six ounces of sourdough starter from San Francisco.
They know me well.

I let the starter rest for a day and then fed it this morning and it got satisfactorily bubbly and grew in its little glass bowl and although I have worked with sourdough starter before and quite frequently, in fact, it has not been recently. And so I did a little research online (of course) and (of course) you can find every sort of suggestion and hint and command in the world concerning how best to maintain and use your sourdough starter and I am going to take some of those suggestions and hints and commands and then do what I want with them, intuitively, and see what happens. I have made a dough now and am letting it rest for a bit before I add the salt and then I'm going to put it in a bowl and cover it with a napkin and tuck it away in the refrigerator for the night and then go from there tomorrow.

I am very excited about this.

When I first met Bill and Ruthie, I was a young, budding hippie and I made lots of bread and here I am, forty years later almost and am an old hippie and still make lots of bread. I have no business whatsoever baking or cooking anything at this point when my refrigerator is so packed with party-leftovers and a few leftovers from last night (not to mention all of the cheese) but I could not wait. I had to try out my new starter. I am going to be patient with it and I am going to learn to begin my bread a day before I want to bake it and I am going to learn to make really, really good sourdough bread and I am going to keep this starter going for the rest of my life and I am going to pass it down to my children.

That, in fact, may be my New Year's Resolution. If so, it will be a more formal resolution than any I have made in many years except for the one I made a few years back to include the word "cocksucker" in my vocabulary more often.
I didn't even succeed at that.
BUT, I am serious about this sourdough starter.

I would go into a long narrative about Bill and Ruthie and their nurturing of so many people in Tallahassee in so many ways for so many years and me being one of them and that could and probably would lead to a whole entire thing about those days back in the seventies and what it was like and what the media has completely neglected and probably never knew about those times but I don't think I have the soul-energy tonight.
I will just say that these are two people whom I love with all of my heart and to whom I owe much.
And that if Bill Wharton, the Sauce Boss, ever comes to your town, go and see him play. He is one of the most unique and fine talents on this planet and I do not say that lightly or because I love him. It is the simple truth. Also, he will make you some awesome gumbo.

In the meantime, buy some of his hot sauce if you hanker after hot sauce because it is fucking awesome. There is a Sauce Boss blog which you can find here.  In it, Bill talks about his travels and his charity, Planet Gumbo, and recipes and other downhome topics.
Here's a picture I stole from there.

Is that a beautiful face or what?

So yeah, that's what I'm doing. I'm very, very excited about watching this Stones documentary tonight and if it takes coffee to keep me up for it, then coffee I will drink. I have no cocaine. Hahahahahahahahaha! Plus, I wouldn't do it if we had it and plus, why would we have it because we wouldn't do it if we did, so there you are. One does learn a few things as one ages. We are going to eat leftovers for supper including salad because for god's sake, man and woman do not live on casseroles alone. The leftover in the refrigerator which excites me the most, to be truthful, is a big ol' bowl of cranberry/orange relish which I made because I love it and no one else but May cares a thing about it and she ate with Matt's family for Thanksgiving so there's enough for weeks. Months, perhaps. I know I frequently end up making muffins with the stuff and they're pretty good too. Besides cranberries and oranges, there are also apples and pecans in it so you know it's good and why everyone doesn't love it is a mystery to me. But each to his or her own.

And now I suppose I better go add the salt to that bread. Wish me luck. If it turns out nicely, I will put some pictures of it here which I know excites you more than words can say.

I feel very lucky tonight. Very blessed. And twenty-nine years ago on the Friday night after Thanksgiving, a very, VERY tall man in a bar asked me to dance and I did dance with him although it seemed absurd, given his height compared to mine and the next thing I knew he was trying to get me to invite him back to my place for a turkey sandwich which I did not do but three days later I seem to recall that I did have him over for turkey flautas and well...
one thing will lead to another.

Ah, nostalgia.

Enjoy your evening.

Much love...Ms. Moon

Done In By Pecan Pie, Saved By Muddy Waters And Keith Richards

Oh, god. The HANGOVER!
Not alcohol-induced. No. Food. Food hangover.
I was doing fine. Just fine. Until that piece of pecan pie.
What in god's name was I thinking?
As I ate that piece of pecan pie I said, "This is probably the nail in the coffin of my Thanksgiving."
And it was.
I had survived the whole day of the party and the babysitting and the getting ready and then the party itself and I was fine, fine, fine. I got up yesterday morning absolutely enchanted with the idea that I did not have to get a turkey in the oven or coordinate the dinner and it felt as luxurious as floating down the Nile on a barge, reclining in silk.

I made a lovely breakfast with eggs and the remains of the veggie tray and a small amount of the vast amount of cheese I had purchased at the Costco for some reason, having lost my mind in there, obviously, buying bricks and cement blocks of cheese for the party and for the Thanksgiving Day celebration and I have enough cheese left here for the rest of the year and beyond, oh, maybe until my birthday which is at the end of July.

Costco is evil.

Not evil like Walmart, although they may be that too, I don't know but evil in that they trick you into buying cartloads of vast quantities of things you really do not need or even want.

So where was I? Oh yeah, breakfast yesterday which turned into lunch, actually, and then next thing you knew it was time to go to Lily's and I finally got my mother on the phone after having left her messages which she never got, of course, and she was hurt and angry and no, she did not want to come to Lily's for Thanksgiving, she didn't want to have anything to do with any of us and I don't blame her because she thought we'd all forgotten her entirely and left her to the devices of the facility and she was going to take a nap, that was it.


Lily and Jason had everything so under control that I wondered why it was always so hard for me. There were maybe forty-five casseroles and rolls and Jason was smoking the turkey and we sat outside and Owen entertained us while dinner finished cooking and then Hank called his grandma and she grudgingly accepted his offer to come and get her and so he did and I think she was pretty happy about that when she got there and stuff like this started happening.

Thank god for babies, right?

Lily's dinner was perfect and I ate a reasonable amount until that piece of pie pushed me over the edge of and off the cliff of reasonableness although Mother managed to eat an entire other Thanksgiving Dinner including the CHOCOLATE pecan pie with no seeming ill effects. We cleaned up some and then Mr. Moon and I took Mother home and then we came home and I was cranky and went to bed at about eight-fifteen and slept from about eight-forty-five until seven this morning which is almost a personal record.

I still feel stuffed and Mr. Moon and Jason are already back home from hunting this morning and yes, they got two deer, meat for the freezer and they're out there with knives and whatever it is they use to clean deer and I AM NOT GOING OUT THERE, no way.

I don't want to move today or cook or do one damn thing. Is there a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills marathon on because that would be about perfect.


I should go take a walk. There is no reasonable excuse not to. I did take a tiny walk last night with Owen and his other grandmother after supper. We were hunting for owls and Owen carried the flashlight and delighted in the shadows we cast and when we saw a man walking a labrador he opined that it was not a dog, but a coyote and that it was a baby and it had lost it's family and was very sad.
We didn't see any owls, but it was a very sweet walk and really, yes, I should go take a real one now in the daylight but that pecan pie seems to have paralyzed my legs or maybe it's not the pecan pie at all, it's just the overwhelming muchness of it all, the past three days.
I need to go to the library too. Everyone should be at the mall, right? And Walmart? If I go the backroads, perhaps I can avoid some of that crazed traffic.
May was talking about Christmas on Wednesday night while we were getting ready for the party and I said, "I am in complete denial about Christmas and I would really like not to discuss that now."

So yes, while everyone else has lost their mind and is in the Walmart and Target and mall knocking over other patrons to get to the microfiber fleece jackets on sale for $12.99 or the DVD players or whatever the HELL it is they feel compelled to buy, I might manage to go to the library.
God knows I never need to eat again.

Ever. In this lifetime.

Do you realize we still have oysters?
And of course...cheese.

But wait. Oh god. Wait.
Thank god for the internet because since I started writing this I have discovered and WHY DIDN'T I KNOW THIS? SOMEONE IS NOT DOING THEIR JOB!!! there is a documentary of the Rolling Stones which has been playing on HBO (which I fucking have) for a week now, a WEEK! and it's going to be on today and also tonight and so yes, I have reason to live and I also discovered a video of some old footage from the eighties which is of the Stones playing with Muddy Waters and it's so cool that if humans decided to send a definition of cool into outer space so that aliens would know what cool is, this would be what they would send.

Maybe. Well, if I was in charge.

Yeah. It's long. You probably won't watch it. I don't care. I might watch it again.

And so, once again, I have been saved by the power and the glory of music and one of the best things about this video is that it was filmed at the Checkerboard Lounge in Chicago and although I've never been there, I've been to plenty of other places enough like it that I know that vibe, I know that woman carrying glasses around that Keith hugs before he goes on stage. I know what she sounds like when she says, "Baby," and it's as cool and as music as Muddy when he sings, "Baby, let me be your dog," and of course more so than when Mick sings it which is still cooler than anything I'll ever say or sing.

All right. I swear to god, I have written this sober even though it surely doesn't sound like it.
If you are new here and have no idea what my obsession with Keith Richards is about that is okay. I don't know what it's about either.

Happy Day After Thanksgiving, y'all.
Step away from the pie.

Love...Ms. Moon Who Would Be Your Dog

Thursday, November 22, 2012


I may still be drunk, I don't know.
No, I don't think I am. But I'm still pretty glorified.
Yesterday was one of the longest and best days of my life. I played with those boys for hours. Gibson has learned to climb stairs. He can't even walk and he just started crawling last week and already, he's mastering the stairs. He wanted to get up there to where his brother was. And his brother was up there throwing his clothes over the bannisters and finding two old suitcases which he insisted I bring down so we could pretend going on a trip. Which, of course, I did and we went to Marco's Pizza which is Owen's go-to pretend place and then Owen set up a pizza kitchen on the bed with the suitcases and he made me a cabbage and pepperoni pizza.

And then the naked pizza chef told me that a witch had come and stolen his machine and broken everything so there would be no more pizzas.

That was one tiny part of what we did yesterday before anything else even got started. There was all the usual other stuff too like goat-feeding and chicken wrangling and pretend camping and snack-eating and, and, and....

And then Hank and May and Anna got here and they took over the kids for awhile and I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off forgetting from one room to the next what I was doing, fretting and freaking and tidying and sweeping and then Mr. Moon got home with beer and ice and oysters and rum and then Lis got here, thank GOD, and took over the food thing and then people started coming and I took a shower and I was still freaking and Liz And Katie got here with VELVEETA AND ROTELLE TOMATO DIP in a crock pot and I pretty much stopped freaking. 
So many people were here. 
And Lily and Jason brought the boys back (yes, they left at one point) and then my ex- and his wife brought over their grands and then Billy and Shayla brought over Waylon and there was a pack of ferral children running around and occasionally an adult would say, "I wonder if the children are okay?" and they always were and oh yes, Buster peed on my foot for no apparent reason and the kitchen looked like this.

I would tell you the backstory on those people but it would take a novel but Lizzie there, I've known her for about twenty years I guess and Tom on the left- oh, thirty-eight years? and Bill next to him- second person I met in Tallahassee and that was almost thirty-nine years ago now and that guy on the end- well, I went to high school with him and married him at one point had two kids with him so that's the short story.

And a lot of my Opera House loves came and my brother, Chuck, and my neighbors and friends-through-my-kids and Mr. Moon shucked oysters and roasted some and the food kept coming and the people kept coming and if I'd roasted an entire deer it would have all gotten eaten and we had to put some of the food in the dining room and then someone, NOT ME, got folks to open up their instrument cases and suddenly there was music outside by the fire and let me tell you something- that thing that happens- it's the most spiritual experience of my year and I sat by Hank and I whispered, "There's the direct line of why you're here," and it was and Bill played his song Paco's Garden about when our friend Paco died and Hank was at the funeral when he was a little kid and he remembers it and the part about when Floyd almost fell in the hole, we all laugh at and folks said, "Yeah, yeah, I remember that," and David played Somewhere Over The Rainbow and there were two violins and guitars and Lizzie sang like an angel and the fire sparked up and Gibson wanted to dance and he danced in our arms and and the wild children ran around the house and up and down and through all the rooms and there was kissing and hugging and the oysters were sweet and salty and the Rotelle dip was spicy and there were candles burning everywhere and twinkle lights and the sacred music and the sacred ritual of the rum shots and saying Whoop-Ai-Ay! for Lynn, and I want to keep it in my heart and mind forever. 

So happy Thanksgiving and I'm not cooking a turkey and we're just drinking coffee and the sun is pouring in and the house is pretty much tidy and the magnolia branches I threaded through the bannisters will be green and glossy until Christmas and people are waking up and getting up and I guess I'll make some breakfast and we'll be going over to Lily's in awhile and I feel cleansed and purified and I feel grateful and I'm glad and I can't wait to see my grandsons again because listen- there are never enough kisses and there is never too much joy and sometimes, now and then, these moments happen when it's all just fucking right and you can see it backwards and forwards, the reasons and the rightness and there. That. This.

Good morning. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Probably The Best Party Of My Life


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Trying Not To Forget Joy

The boys will be here in an hour. I think there is nothing I need more in this world right now than to hold Gibson's sturdy body and kiss him which delights him and to let him bounce in my lap and to talk to Owen about things such as whatever in this world he wants to discuss which may be anything, anything at all. The other day he pointed to what was originally the kitchen of this house, a separate little building, and he said, "Where you get that?" and I told him that it came with the house and then he pointed to the trees and said, "Where you get those?" and I told him that someone else had planted them and he thought about that and said, "Nice."

Hank and Anna and May are coming over in the early afternoon to help me get this party together and help with the boys and I haven't even cleaned the bathroom which most people will use because Owen uses it and he's still not perfect when it comes to peeing in the toilet although he gets very, very close mostly but why clean until he's gone?

Oh my.

I remember when I was younger, we used to have parties all the time. People would come over, a spontaneous thing would occur and there we'd be and we lived in a house that was mostly windows in the back so you could go out into the backyard and it was like looking into a dollhouse with the front cut away and see into all the rooms and I loved that about that house, having grown up in a house where secrets were happening in every room and there were never parties. Never.
I would specifically go out back and look into that house and see the candles and the twinkle lights inside and the people I loved and I would stand there in my garden and I would think, "I have this. This is nothing like where I grew up, this is beautiful," and it was a joy to me.

I think about that now and I feel calmer. This is a different house, one I love so much, and there is no where to stand outside and see into all of the rooms but that's okay, people I love will be here and there will be twinkle lights and candles and hopefully music and children will be running about and there will be a fire in the backyard and oysters will be shucked and roasted and there will be coolers with ice and beer and the coffee pot will be ready for those who do not drink and no matter how many people come, most of them will gather in the kitchen which is not really that big and I just want people to have a good time.

I want people to have a good time.

I want the people, these people, that I love and have loved from so many different times in my life to come together and maybe have a conversation with someone unlike anyone they would ever meet in their daily lives which might, in fact, change their own lives or their own perspective and I know that has happened many times and I have been thinking a lot about how lately I have been dealing with life by being angry or mean or judgemental or thoughtless when really, that isn't how I want to be.
I think mostly I get scared. And it's okay to be scared or shy or anxious but it's not okay to turn that into a garment of prickles and knives, an armor of hurtful protection.

That's not what I believe in. That's not how compassion works or love and if I believe in anything, it is compassion and love.
And so that's what I am going to try to keep in the forefront of my mind today and tonight, too, instead of letting the ridiculous stress of it all overwhelm me, but to remember that grace can fall even into the messiest corners and the most anxious of hearts. That a heart can be like a house in that it must be open to the outside so that the light can go both ways and truly be felt and seen from within and without.
There is light in everyone. I know this. I want to see and recognize that.

Okay. Let this day begin. Come on boys. Time to play. Come on family. Time to hug and kiss and maybe swab the bathroom floor. Come on friends. Time to share it all.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

As The Mold Grows

It's a nightmare- I have two library books and both of them suck. I mean, suckarooni. Can't-read-them degree of suckiness. Last night at 3:30 a.m. in a spell of insomnia, I had to search out Mark Twain's autobiography which had been given to me awhile back and which weighs approximately 72 pounds. I'm going to read that book. I swear I am. I don't care if I have to use a device to read it in bed.

At least it's well-written.

The gray is back. The sky looks like a greasy nickel. Some bird which I cannot identify is making a horrible eerie cry, over and over again. The house lies around me like an animal begging for attention. There are baby things laying around which Gibson has already outgrown which need to be taken upstairs. I have to get at least one room upstairs ready for a possible overnighter. When my friend Liz sent me an e-mail saying she was coming to the party, she included this: "I'm going to pack my toothbrush in case some fool brings tequila."

Last night we discovered that Buster had a big blood blister on his recently operated-on ear. Then, suddenly, he shook his head and blood went flying everywhere. It was disgusting and disturbing and Mr. Moon held him with a towel clamped to his ear for a long time while he shivered and shook. I know I bitch about these dogs all the time but when that dog dies it's going to make me feel awful. Mr. Moon is going to grieve him. Owen is going to miss him. Dolly is going to wonder where her brother is.
Why do we have pets?
It's not that I want them to die. I just want someone to come and take them while I'm gone. Leave a note that says, "I have your dogs. They will be loved."

No, no. That would make me feel horribly guilty.

Oh, it's just one of those days. One of those greasy-skied days where you can't imagine that it ever looked like anything but this and you can't imagine even one egg getting laid and where you know you have things to do and you can't imagine doing them. Where the paint on the ceiling falls in big peeled-off swatches and the mold on the walls grows darker and you worry that a party guest will go into anaphylactic shock. Jessie used to have a boyfriend who was allergic to everything in this house from mold to dogs. Poor guy. He tried to grin and bear it but it was so obviously painful. I am hoping that every time Owen and Gibson are here, the exposure to such allergians will provide a lifetime of an allergy-free life. It's a theory.

I have a lot of theories. And two dogs. And two crappy library books. And a 72-pound autobiography of Mark Twain. And rehearsal tonight. And a party tomorrow night.

Time to get moving.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, November 19, 2012

What Billy And I Talk About Via Text

Really? A Party?

The gorgeous weather continues and I hope it keeps on continuing because I guess we're having a party on Wednesday night. That would be, uh, day after tomorrow. Right?
I don't even know how this party got started. I swear. I can't remember. I suppose it was to get together with people coming back to town on the night before Thanksgiving and so one year I just cooked a big bowl of pasta and next thing you knew, it was a real party and people were bringing their guitars and fiddles and more food and then rum got involved and then oysters and kids and grandkids and next thing you know, people are calling me up and asking if there's going to be a party this year and well, yeah, I guess so.

And you know why I allow this to continue? Because there is always some magic involved.
People magic, mostly, and music magic for sure.
There is absolutely nothing in this world that makes me as happy as watching my kids listen to the same musicians playing together that they grew up listening to a billion, million years ago and that includes my first husband and his wife and by god, I love those two people and I know that's a crazy blessing and if I have to do some cleaning up around here and a little cooking and stressing out to make it happen, then so be it.
Add in the newer friends from only a million years back, and friends of the kids' and it's a pretty awesome party usually. When we looked at this house to buy almost ten years ago, one of the things I immediately knew about it was how incredible music would sound in it. I was right about that, too. Another great thing about it is that there are rooms which are so far away from the main part of the house and also hidden porches, that I can go and hide if things get overwhelming, which they sometimes do. I mean...come on. I get overwhelmed going to the Big Library. So there's always that safety net for me and frankly, by the time the party is really going strong, no one in the world would even notice if I disappeared.
So there's that.

But. I have two days to get things in order and so of course I woke up about fourteen times last night to worry about shit and fret and this is normal for me and today I need to get to town to buy stuff to make food and also food for Thanksgiving. Lily's hosting this year but I'm still doing some cooking. And I'm babysitting for the boys on Wednesday itself so that day won't be good for shit when it comes to party preparation. And Jessie won't be able to come this year (sigh and cry and moan and gnash teeth) so she won't be helping me. I remember one year she actually BORROWED A VACUUM CLEANER from a neighbor before the party because I don't own one. I find this hysterical. After the first ten people get here, who's going to notice that I don't vacuum? Plus...candles. And twinkle lights. Which actually have spider webs all over them. They'll probably still have spider webs all over them on Wednesday night and so what? I did do a little cleaning yesterday. I took everything off that vanity you see above and dusted and picked flowers although they'll probably be dead in two days and I'll have to pick  more.
We also moved Owen's giant cardboard house out and put it on the burn pile. So, see? I've started.

Jesus. The work involved! The agony!

So I better get off my ass and get going here. This old house isn't going to clean itself up and Costco can't cook everything. Well, they could but I haven't quite sunk to those depths yet. Almost.

God, it's a beautiful day and I feel better and every time I start to stress out I just remind myself that parties have a life of their own and this one always seems to work out and make people happy and that really, all I need to do is light the candles, plug in the twinkle lights and make a big bowl of pasta. Everything else will take care of itself.
Okay. That's not entirely true, but close. There has to be beer.
And maybe rum.

Happy Monday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Plane Was On Time

The man got home and the sun came out.
Do we create our own reality?
Or perhaps sometimes a coincidence is merely a coincidence.

Whatever. I sure am glad he's back.

Sunday morning, pancakes for breakfast, laundry running, dogs lying around drowsing in the sun, let-the-chickens-out, a brown and a blue egg in the nest. Light puddling everywhere and things get sorted out, set right, hearts let light in again, glimmer of hope that all will be right again, chase that black dog off into the night, scoot, dog, out of my sight.

I feel like I can open my eyes again.

I'm so glad to have him back. I think he's happy to be home.

It works out.

Good morning, y'all.

Good morning.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Two More Hours If The Plane's On Time

In approximately one hour and a little more I am going to drive (through the dark, through the night, through the town) to pick up Mr. Moon at the airport and such a simple thing- I mean holy moly, really? go pick up your man at the airport, the teeny tiny Tallahassee airport and I've been so anxious all day long. Just completely inappropriately so.
I even took one of my hoarded few remaining Ativan and it didn't do squat, well, I'm still alive so maybe it did. And it made me sleepy and Lily brought the boys out and we ate lunch and then I got to take a little napette with my Gibson and then he woke up and I gave him to his mama and I went back and slept some more, more, more.
I got up and it was so wonderful, having them still here, Gibson to smile at me, Owen to tell me to come and play with him, Lily to hug me.

Mr. Moon called earlier today when he was back in the states and he's worried about me and I hate that. I am hoping that when he bends down to kiss me it all comes out all right, like a happily-ever-after story and that he holds me tightly. I think he will.

I think maybe we'll stop in town for a bite to eat and maybe a drink and then come home to this house where we live and everything will quit being so weird and scary. I haven't been scared of being alone like someone is coming to get me or anything like that. Just scary like there's no one's head here but mine.

It'll be good to have another head here. I'm going to make him hold me tight, maybe all night. Who knows? Not me. I don't know shit anymore, despite what I said yesterday.

Don't know shit.

But I am going to wear a little make-up. Yes.

I'll see you tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon The Scaredy Cat

Friday, November 16, 2012

This I Know

Well. My last night at home alone for this particular hunting cycle although there will be more. Canada was just one aspect of this season. There is also the camp in Georgia and that's fine. That's okay. But I am ready for this man of mine to get home.

I just went out to shut the chickens up in the hen house and took that picture of Elvis with my phone which I had with me as I was using the flashlight app to find my way. I have a very nice headlamp thingee but Owen was wearing it a few days ago and I have no idea where it is now. If you have an iPhone and don't have the flashlight app, I recommend you get it. I wouldn't want to use it to hike the Appalachian Trail at night but to get from the house to the chicken coop, it's a beautiful thing.

Anyway, I sent the picture to Mr. Moon with the message that Elvis is tucked up with Miss Mabel and that I sure am looking forward to being tucked up with him.

I'm at that point in solitude where it's a little bit difficult to remember that I do indeed have a husband. I'm like a dog in that aspect. You know how if you leave the house for even twenty minutes and then come back, the dog will act as if he or she was completely astounded and amazed and surprised and delighted and absolutely gob-smacked that you returned?
Well, maybe your dog. My dogs just look at me with those cataracted old eyes as if to say, "Oh. You again?"

But still. I imagine you know what I mean.

It hasn't been the easiest week even though I have taken it easier than I can recall taking it when it comes to actually DOING anything. I've been reading Cheryl Strayed's book Wild the past few days (hey- it isn't ALL Bravo TV, okay?) and even though hiking the Pacific Coast Trail solo with a pack on your back which weighs over half what you weigh for months at a time isn't anything like what I've been doing for the last eight days, I still find similarities.
The solo part for one.
Also, her feet really hurt her and my hips really hurt me, for another.
Okay. I'm grasping.
But, like Ms. Strayed on her epic and torturous journey, I have been pondering The Big Questions.
Unlike Ms. Strayed, I haven't figured out shit, though.

Still. She went on a journey of self-discovery and I've been on a journey of self-discovery.
Here are a few things I've learned:

1. I am far more capable of saying, "I can't do it today, maybe tomorrow," than I ever imagined.
2. Two chicken breasts can make way more chicken pot pie than one person can eat in a week, even if she shares it with other people.
3. Tempur-Pedic beds are awesome.
4. The Real Housewives of Miami are definitely the most insane housewives of any of the reality TV housewives.
5. Joan Rivers, say what you will, demands respect, and in my next lifetime I totally want to be a comedian who GETS PAID FOR TELLING PEOPLE TO FUCK OFF. This is not a joke. This is my dream.
6. And seriously- I have issues. After all of these years of life, I have many and plenty. I am as imperfect and flawed and as lazy and unmotivated as any person on this earth.

And one more thing:

7. No one and every one deserves love.

Because mostly (as Billy would say) love has nothing to do with what we think it does. It's like comparing a flashlight app to the Milky Way.

Yours truly...Ms. Moon