Monday, September 30, 2013


Maybe I don't need a life. Maybe I just need the one I have. Yep. I'm pretty sure that's true. I can barely keep up with this tiny, little life that I already have. The one where I get really excited when the ginger lilies bloom.
But seriously- did you SEE those ginger lilies?
I'll take another picture tomorrow, just in case you missed them. No really. I don't mind.

It was a good, full day. I did take my walk where I ran into The Sheik. He said, "You're late this morning. I've already walked two miles."
"Well, you win," I said. "You're the boss of me."
He laughed. It's sort of comforting to live in a village where people keep their eyes out for each other. I like to think that if I went into the woods for that part of my walk and didn't come out, someone might notice and go look for me although probably not. It's a nice thought, though.

After my walk I went to town and had lunch with Old Freddy and since he's turning 27 this week, he really is old now. I love having lunch with Freddy. We sit and talk for a long, long time. We hardly agree on anything. We're as different as night and day. But neither one of us takes it personally and we just laugh at each other and we laugh at ourselves, too, which may be the key. He's about to start filming his fifth feature-length film and as always, I am mind-boggled. He just does it. I'm not sure how, but he does. I think we both really respect each other. Another key.

I ran a few errands and then took Mr. Moon out to the airport to pick up his rental car to go to auction. I dashed into Costco for frozen berries and breakfast bars and AA batteries and sampled the Angus cheeseburger. Those things have crack in them. I swear to you- I don't eat a beef hamburger from one year to the next but when Costco has those things out I get so excited that I get a hot flash. You think I'm kidding but I'm not. I would NEVER buy a bag or a box or whatever massive container of them they sell at the Costco, never in this lifetime, but if they're out for samples, do not get in my way. I'll knock your ass over to get mine first. And THEN I had to go to Publix to get bananas and milk because I didn't want a bunch of bananas the size of a Volkswagen and I didn't want a flat of milk. Just a half gallon.

By the time I got home, got everything unloaded, got Mr. Moon's road snack bag ready as well as his coffee drink and made his laundry-basket-sized bowl of popcorn in the Whirley Pop (and if you eat popcorn and do not have a Whirley Pop, you need to remedy that situation immediately so google that shit) and got him on the road, I thought I might die of exhaustion. And all I'd done was run a few errands and have lunch and take a little walk! This is the reason I don't have a life. Because I'm too tired. I sometimes claim that I get so tired because I almost died from Mono when I was sixteen and sometimes I claim I'm so tired because Lily never let me sleep for more than two hours at a time for the first two years of her life, but for whatever reason, I do seem to need a lot of sleep.

It's raining gently now and I have clean sheets on my bed. I can't wait to go get in it. Tomorrow I will have the boys and then again on Thursday and Friday so it will end up being a pretty full week for me. I miss those boys bad. Lily sent me a picture of Owen today after he dressed himself.

I don't know if you can tell, but he's wearing his new Rolling Stones T-shirt and a new pair of jeans. Oh, that boy. He is growing so very, very fast. I did talk to Gibson on the phone the other day, briefly. I said, "Hey Gibson! It's MerMer!" and he said, "Boppa?"
I sighed and said, "I'll let you talk to him."

So okay. This is my life. It ain't bad. So maybe I'm not living up to my full potential, whatever that might be. But I'm doing the best I can. I'm never going to learn to play the violin and I'm never going to, uh, bring about world peace or crochet a bedspread or feel comfortable buying make-up at the mall from those ladies wearing lab coats but I'm old enough to be mostly okay with all of that.

Sleep sweet, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Mixed Messages

Good morning. It is Monday. I am thinking I need to Get A Life.
I have no idea what that might mean.
I'm pretty sure it doesn't specifically involve laundry.
Maybe it would involve making a dress. I used to make dresses. Also, clothes for my children. With cloth and pattens and a sewing machine. Know what I'm talking about?
Or a skirt. I could probably make a skirt. Except that I'd have to put a tape measure around my waist. I don't think I could handle that. The reality might kill me.

So the Republicans are still at it, huh? Fuck them. They're so full of shit. They should go home and do their laundry and let the government carry on. They should make a skirt. Bill O'Reilly says that God told him to write a book about Jesus. Remember when God told Michele Bachmann to run for president? God has some wacky ideas.

So I just put in a load of laundry. For some reason, this has left me feeling still somewhat unfulfilled. Maybe I should start taking some of those elder classes. I could learn how to use a computer or speak Etruscan. Is Etruscan a language? See, if I took one of those classes, I might know. Or I could use my computer to find out. Maybe I should open a Twitter account. Maybe I should start arguments on Facebook. That seems like a fairly common way to get a life. Last week I got a friend request from someone I thought I was related to and I accepted it. I have come to realize that I have NO IDEA ON EARTH WHO THIS PERSON IS.
Good Lord.

I need to get a life. Maybe God could tell me what to do. I just hope it doesn't involve writing a book about Jesus or running for president. If God tells me to do either of those things I'm going to have to respectfully decline.
I think right now God is telling me to take a walk in that He is not causing it to rain.
Elvis is telling me to let him out of the chicken coop. Elvis is far more straight-forward about his demands than God if you ask me.

Well, I'll let you know how it goes.

Happy Monday.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Bodhisattvas I Have Known

It's so funny. I'm making a supper that as I was cooking, I gave tribute as inspiration to Granny Matthews, a cookbook that I was raised on called Young America's Cook Book, and Anne Helene, my friend from Norway whom I met on my first trip to Cozumel.

I mean, Mr. Moon and I just had a long conversation about all of that as I made a white sauce to pour over sea bass he caught, along with potatoes we grew and peppers and onions.  Crowder peas are simmering on the back burner.

And I go to check my e-mail and I find this.

Bill Wharton, The Sauce Boss and my dear friend Lori from St. Augustine, known here as Lulumarie. 
Bill is another influence on how I cook and in fact, how I live my very life. 

One of those moments. 


Life is good. I think dinner will be too. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday Pictures

What in the world are the Republicans thinking? Do they really believe that Americans hate the idea of affordable health care so much that they're willing to have their government shut down in order to try (fruitlessly) to prevent it?
Do they not realize how insane and petty and ridiculous and dangerous they look?
Do they not realize how many lives they are impacting in such a negative way?

I've just about given up writing about anything political but this is ridiculous.

And scary. And if they think that this is going to win the hearts and minds of the people, I think they've completely lost it. 

Well, it's Sunday. The day I approach with caution and pancakes. Today's pancakes are oatbran, flax, peach, banana, pecan.

When I went to let the chickens out, a train sounded, coming from the East. Since that tree fell and they had to cut through the brush to get the equipment in to get it out, we have a new window to the tracks.

Will the trains still run if they shut down the government? I have no idea. 

The flowers will still bloom. They are immune to government intervention. I am grateful for that. 

The variegated ginger lily Kathleen gave me. It perfumes the air. 

The psychedelically fuschia four o'clock. It needs to check the accuracy of its timepiece. 

The prom queen of all the blossoms- the Confederate Rose. Each bloom is as big as a baby's head. 

There are more. But, if there can be death-fatigue, can there not be flower-fatigue? 
I don't know. It's Sunday. Mr. Moon replaced the bird seed in the feeder with a higher-line product and the cardinals and tit mouses (mice?) have returned. Elvis and the hens are scratching in my office yard. All of his beautiful butt-plumage has dropped off but he will be getting fresh and showy new tail feathers here shortly. 

I am going to clean out their nests today to see if that will help them to remember how to lay eggs because at this point, they are merely fertilizers, weeders and pets. Reason enough to keep them but I miss their pretty eggs. Perhaps they have been notified of the possible government shut-down. Perhaps the Koch Brothers are paying them not to lay. 
But I doubt it.

Did you know that Vergil ran his first marathon yesterday? 

He placed 19 in a field of over three hundred. That man. My goodness! We are all gob-smacked around here. We are all so proud of him. And Jessie rode over 24 miles on her bike, keeping track of him, up and down Asheville's hills. I love thinking of them there in the nestled-in-the-valley town of Asheville with its breweries, its charming downtown and old neighborhoods, its Flying Circus, its quirky dancing people.
But oh, how I miss them. It is becoming more and more a physical ache. Thankfully, they will be here in October. 

Well, Sundays. It is cool and beautiful. We have eaten our pancakes. The hens are making their sweet talk amongst each other as they rustle through the downed pecan leaves. This is an entire day to do with as we will. 

I believe we will keep it simple, I believe we shall keep it sweet. Let the Republicans froth at the mouth and wield their clumsy hammers and I will watch the birds and smell the sweet air and feed the chickens pancakes and hang the clothes on the line.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

I just woke up from a nap so deep I have not yet managed to really struggle to the surface.

I think I have death fatigue.

Every death brings back every death, or so they say. I just said that to Molly, Dottie's granddaughter when we met to sprinkle her grandmother's ashes last night, tears running down her face, her beautiful not-quite-year-old-son in her arms. And this year it's been this death and then that death and then another and today was the third church-funeral I've attended this year and we didn't even have a funeral for my mother which, if there is a god, may he/she forgive me but whatever.

Anyway, if there is a god, he/she smiled down on Dottie today for her going-away party and Mr. Moon cleaned up the Cutlass and we drove to town with the top down, the sky as blue as the car and people smiled and waved, that car's engine rumbles and throbs unlike cars' engines these days; you know you are in a big old American Automobile, it eats the road, chomp, chomp, it runs on dinosaur blood and the sky was wide above us and the smiles were all around us and we got to the church and it was filled.

Dottie attended the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Tallahassee and it's the whitest church I've ever seen. I am pretty sure there was nothing on the walls, none of those banners proclaiming Christ The King or anything like that, no stained glass, just two beautiful flower arrangements with sunflowers and purple flowers and red flowers, nothing funereal about it at all and Dottie would have loved it. She had planned out the whole thing and the minister said that the only problem was that if we had sung all the hymns she had asked for, we would have had to take a break for lunch and then come back to sing again so there were only about five or six hymns and we entered singing and we left singing and a man who had been Dottie's neighbor since 1965 did most of the talking and he was funny and he knew her and he was honest and so it was a good service.
And the minister spoke about all of the things Dottie did in that church and for the church and how she knew everyone in it and welcomed them all, personally, and wrote them all notes and she was like that. Just gregarious and outgoing and it's so funny, because despite all the life Dottie had in that church, I never once, not ONCE, heard her mention God or Christ or Jesus, not even when Lynn was dying. The man who talked about Dottie quoted Woodrow Wilson, I think, who said (and I am going to fucking remember this) that you can fake concern but you can't fake showing up and Dottie showed up.
And a whole lot of people showed up to tell her good-bye.

May and I shared a hymnal and she sang in her beautiful soprano and I growled along in my alto and the service ended, we left the building, with everyone singing "I'll Fly Away" and that was when I cried.

Afterwards there was food, of course, and Church Lady Punch (ginger-ale and juice, my favorite) and a slideshow of pictures of Dottie over the course of her life, the way people do now. She was a knock-out, that woman, redheaded and gorgeous, tall and thin and athletic and there were pictures of all her babies as babies and then kids and then adults and there were pictures of course, of her daughter, my friend Lynn from when she was a sassy towheaded blonde girl to when she was crippled and confused and muted by the horrible disease she died from.
And I couldn't stand it. It all hit me.

Fuck it. Fuck it.

Here's what I wrote about scattering Lynn's ashes. 

That was six and a half years ago. My god, my god. I can't believe it.

One of the things the minister said which slightly pissed me off was that only Christians could truly celebrate death and I disagree with that so much because I am not a Christian but I am quite aware that there are times when death is a beautiful and magnificent thing and it is, of course, the way of it and we will all die and I don't need to believe that anyone is with their redeemer or even with anything after they die to know about joyful release. Dottie died at the age of almost-eighty-nine after all of her children and grandchildren got together around her bed and told her they loved her and she told them to "get along."
That was what she needed to be released.
And they gave it to her.

Lynn died after her disease had ravaged every damn bit of her that contributes to life, ravaged and robbed and made cruel fun of what had been a joyful, dancing life. And her going-away party was held here in this house and it was a cold, gray day but still, so many came to celebrate her life because like her mother, she was a gregarious, reaching-out sort of woman. I still have a few serving dishes and spoons from that day, left here by people who had brought food, probably some of those things were Dottie's and now they are just mine and that is that. And her death was as slow and as painful as any death could be and you can't imagine how much I celebrated her final passing. Her suffering was over and there could have been nothing better than that for her.

I am rambling. I have death fatigue. I am worn down with it. I feel the weight of all of it, even as I am able to celebrate the lives of those who have died, to know that all of those people were bright lights on this earth and that new bright lights are born every second to replace them.

It was the most beautiful day and it was a beautiful service in a very old church which was used as a shelter for people who worried about Indian attacks back in the 1800's when Tallahassee was a wild, forested place and where now the homeless can come to get a meal and even, I think, to take a shower, to find a sort of shelter against life-attacks. And maybe tomorrow I'll wake up and be able to just appreciate it all again for what it is that very second.

Which is how it should be.

Good-bye, Dottie. You lived so full and so bright. Good-bye again, Lynn. You lived as full as your mama. I am thinking of you both so tenderly tonight, both of you released and not here any more.
Which is a hard thing for a human to wrap her mind around.

I'll tell you one more thing- when I scatter ashes (and I've done it more than I wish I had) I always lick my fingers when I'm done. In this way, the body of the gone-on becomes a minuscule part of me and thus, they live on in my bones for as long as I shall live. I am not ashamed of that nor am I afraid to admit it. It feels like an honor and in doing so, I make a silent promise to live as fully as I can to honor those who no longer live.

That's all I have to say tonight. I'm very, very tired and it has been another beautiful day here on earth where we are born and where we die and leave behind those who mourn us, no matter how magnificent our life, our death may have been.

Friday, September 27, 2013

I got a call this afternoon inviting me to the scattering of ashes of Dottie, the woman who died this week. It was to be at Lichgate, in Tallahassee which is small piece of land with a beautiful old cottage on it and an oak tree which is a miracle of this universe and which Dottie loved.

The last time I'd been there was to film for Freddy and the time before that was for Lynn's last birthday. Lynn was my friend, Dottie's daughter, who died some years ago.

Mr. Moon and I went and I am glad we did.

We all stood in a circle and talked about Dottie and we laughed and cried and then we all took a handful of ashes and scattered them where we wanted. I put some of mine by the doorstep of the cottage because Dottie always welcomed everyone and I saw that as symbolic. I scattered some very carefully down the circular paths of the meditation mandala. A few tiny shards of bone, I put under a rosemary plant in the Shakespeare garden because rosemary is for remembrance.

Tomorrow is her funeral and we'll be going to that as well which will make two churches in one week that I have visited. This was my mother's church, too, where she sang in the choir for so many years.

What a year this has been. What a week this has been. What a life this has been.

All I can say is- love each other. I think that's all that matters.

Birth Day

When Mr. Moon and I got together, we got busy. By the time we'd been married for one year, we had a one-month old and a business.
Well, I had the child. He had the business.
We both knew we wanted a baby and he knew he needed to start a business in order to support us. He did his part in the baby-making and I did...uh, nothing, in the business.
This was because
(a) I had a nine-year old, a seven-year-old, and a new-born, and
(b) My business sense was in direct inverse proportion to my ability for procreation.

We were both, Mr. Moon and I, thirty-one years old when Lily was born. I thought I was a pretty experienced baby-haver and mama.

And the universe laughed and laughed.

Lily was my fastest birth. Only about fourteen hours of labor. But the child weighed over ten pounds and she had her little hand up by her head which I knew because I could feel it down there, punching my bladder for the last few weeks. It took me a very long time to push her out and when her head finally emerged, her shoulders got stuck. This is a very, very serious problem and can lead to all sorts of problems, including death. But the midwife was fast-thinking and had me flip over to hands and knees (the Gaskin maneuver) and Lily was born. She needed resuscitation. She was blue, she was still.
It was scary.
Outside the day was as beautiful as a day in late September can be. A day like today, in fact. Crystal clear of sky and air and there were lavender roses by the bed and a cradle, hand-made by her papa lay in wait.
Here's what Hank remembers about that day:

The day you were born, May and I stayed home from school. Mom was in labor, and we played out back all day. We pretended to have a traveling cart, with a team of horses, and we kept ourselves entertained while Mama did her job. Dad had made a screened porch into a master bedroom, and that's where you made your appearance. We didn't know your name until Mama used it to conjure you. 

And that's exactly what I did. While our midwife was giving my baby oxygen, she said, "Talk to her. She needs to hear her parents."
And so, even though we had not settled on a name, I called to her. I said, "Lily Rose. Breathe. We love you." And we touched her and she took a breath and she wailed and she wailed and turned rosy pink and the room became clearer and joyful and we all laughed and I took her to my breast and there she was. Perfect and fat and pink and gorgeous and sturdy and strong and given a name. 
Lillian Rose Moon. 
And Hank and May were called in from the backyard to come and greet their new baby sister and I was delirious with joy and determined NEVER GO THROUGH LABOR AGAIN and her father was so happy that when I told him we were never having sex again, he accepted that, and his parents came to see her and they were so pleased and even my mother was there and she took Hank and May to Wendy's and brought us back hamburgers and they were the best hamburgers ever eaten on this planet in the history of all hamburger-eating. That night Lily slept in the bed with us, and it was a miracle every time Lily moved and breathed and nursed and her father and I barely slept, too incredibly stoned on the sheer wonder of her being there between us. I had never loved him so much. 

And today is a day like that one was. Cool and clear and I am thinking of that birth, thinking of that baby, all grown up and a mama times two herself.  I am thinking of the sheer wonder of it all again. The love that ignited the spark of life, the pain and work of labor, the glory of that day, the fear when she did not breathe, the joy when she did. 

Every time I've ever had a baby I felt with their births as if I had been reborn myself. If there is one thing on this earth I am proud of, it is that I know in my heart that I started my children off right, having them at home where the love that got them in there got them out and they were born in love and received in love and they have known love their entire lives and are able now to give and receive love knowing that it is their birthright. 

They were birthed right. 

Happy birthday, Lillian Rose Moon, daughter of my womb, mother of my grandchildren, friend of my heart, glory on this earth. 

It is a beautiful day. And it is Vergil's birthday too. Today is the anniversary of the day he was born and who knew that a little baby boy, born on a mountain in North Carolina in his own mama's bed would grow up and fall in love with my last baby (yes, I did have sex again) and make her so happy and I just sent his mother an e-mail thanking her for bringing him into the world and raising him so right. 

Well, I'm all teary again. 

I've had a walk. There is not one cloud in the sky. My only sorrow is that I had to take down the web of a Golden Orb weaver because it was right in the path of where we walk to get to the clothesline, the hen house. 

I waited until she was safely on that red bucket and I feel bad because I hated to undo her work but I really do not want to run into her when I go to shut the chickens up in the twilight. 

It seems cruel to be mean to a mama today but she can build another web.

I am thinking of all the women who are laboring right this second to bring their own babies into the world. I am sending them and their children love. I am astonished at the way this works, the miracle of it, every time. I would wish with all of my heart that every baby born, every day, is born into love.

What a beautiful day.

Happy Birth Day to us all, even as we are merely reborn into each new day, and especially to Lily and to Vergil.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Hulk Cake Is Pretty Tasty

I swear to you, I am as tired as I was the night he was born.
But it was worth it. He loved it all. He was sweet and he thanked everyone for everything and he was excited and happy about every gift.

He held his cousin Lenore on his lap. She adores him.

He blew out his candles. He tolerated the Happy Birthday song. He did not cry once. 

He is a big boy, well and truly four. 

I cried when he left. Not because he was leaving, but because I was just emotional. I feel shredded and worn and exposed to the sparks of this electric life. He and his brother have taken away any last bit of cool insulation I might ever have tried to preserve. 

When I kissed him good-bye in the car I told him that I loved him. I told him that I was going to keep his decorations up. He was so proud of his decorations. Everyone who came to the party was given a tour of all the decorations. 
"You keep them up forever," he said. 
I just might. Or at least, for a very long time. 

"I love him too much," I told May in the kitchen a little while ago.
"No you don't," she said. "You love him just right. 

Sometimes it all seems like too much. The love I have for him and his brother and for his mother and his aunts and his uncles and his father and my husband. I sometimes feel that the container (my heart) is not large enough to hold it all. 
Which, I suppose, is why I cry. It spills over. 

Well. I need to go finish cleaning up the kitchen. It is supposed to get down into the sixties tonight. 

The windows are wide open. 

So is my heart. So is my not-always-big-enough-to-hold-it-all heart. But hearts can grow. Trust me. 

Love...Ms. Moon

The Party Has Started

And The Time Has Flown So Quickly As To Be Unbelievable

Oh, it's a gloomy day and Mr. Moon and I are feeling every one of our years and everything just seems overwhelming BUT.

Today is Owen's birthday and just for fun, if you want, go back and read

this where you'll find Owen's birth announcement.

And then maybe


Where you'll find pictures of his first day on earth.

Like this one.

Which is just about my favorite picture on earth.

Well, except for this one.

Or, you know, you could go look 

here  where you'll find pictures like this one which, okay, maybe is my real favorite.

Oh hell. They're all my favorites. 

How can he have grown this much in four years? 

It is the way of it. In four short years he has grown to be such a big boy, is a loving big brother, can carry on a very real conversation, and along with Gibson, is the joy of my life. 

Lily just posted a picture of him on Facebook. Here it is.

Happy birthday, Owen The Strong, Owen The Funny, Owen The Beautiful.

You are loved. 


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I Don't Know Shit, Version Fifty-Eight Thousand

Holy crap! Did I just manage to post a video? If so, someone needs to alert Ripley's. Anyway, if I did manage to post a video, it's of Owen using an exercycle in a new and effective way. Also, it shows off his legs to great advantage. His long, skinny legs. The ones he inherited from his grandfather.
Which sort of makes it sound as if he had another pair or two around which of course he doesn't.

It is pouring rain here and the sky is bright as a new dime.

What's that all about? I have no idea. Man, I don't understand anything any more. Not. One. Damn. Thing.
I'd go into more of an explanation but I just don't have the heart. It's Death? Life and death? Like that.

I had a great time with the boys. Owen was excited about his birthday party decorations and he drew about twenty new humans on bright pink paper to tape up to the walls.

So we're ready, folks. We are ready for this party. Well, we have to blow up balloons, but beside that, we're pretty much all set. Owen did have a rather large meltdown with dramatic sobbing because I would not tell him what I got him for his birthday. Gibson and I were rather amused. We kept giving each other looks like, "Oh, that Owen! He's such a funny guy!"
"Owen," I said, when he was in the midst of the drama, "I usually do just about everything you want me to, don't I?"
"Yes!" he choked out.
"Well, I am not going to tell you what I got you for your birthday and that is that."
Histrionics ensued.
He got over it.

There was Chex Mix today. And Sponge Bob. Here's Gibson, laid up in his Boppa's chair, munching.

The boy has some new dance moves and they are swively. He's also started putting words together and- another sure sign of development- he now screams, "MINE!" when Owen tries to take away whatever he's holding. 

So that's been my day. Life and death and poop and tears and birthday party decorations and remembering four years ago today when Lily had already been in labor for about thirty hours and still had about sixteen left to go. Maybe more than that. I will never get over being proud of her for the way she hung in there. She was a force of nature and I don't know why I was surprised. She always has been and she always will be. She is a strong, amazing, beautiful mama and her sons are proof of that. 
And I have to point out that Jason hung in with her, every moment, and I couldn't be more proud of him either. Not only for the way he was there for her in labor but for the father he's turned out to be. 

Four years of this adventure and every day is some new reason to be proud, to be amazed. 

To love. 

Of that I am certain.

Everything else? Hell, I do not know shit. And that is all right. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Walk Slowly, Love Deeply

I think I'm getting sick and this is not a good time for that at all and probably if I am, it's only a cold but I couldn't walk very far or long today and my body aches and oh, you know.
One of those days.
But. Yes. Well.

I've cleared most of the decks this morning, the usual, trash, post office, a good stab at a walk, shower, laundry going. Etc. The boys will be here around 1:30 and I am missing them like a pain in the heart so I'm glad they're coming. I might just be a terrible grandmother today and insist that we swing and lay on the bed to read books and even (gasp!) watch Spongebob Squarepants who rather amuses me with his strange life and I keep asking Owen, "Does Spongebob live underwater?"
I am still not clear on that. Obviously, I do not really pay much attention to the show. I remember my grandfather, who hardly ever laughed, laughing quite literally out loud to the Flintstones. I wonder why that show tickled him so? I wonder what he would think of Spongebob Squarepants?

I wonder what my grandsons will remember about me? Will they remember smelling all of the spices or learning to grate nutmeg or the smell of the henhouse when we check eggs or the sound an iron skillet makes when I set it on the burner or the giant spiders that live on the side porch or making bread or dancing to the Rolling Stones or will it be something as mundane as the Chex Mix which is their special treat here?
I don't know. But I hope that whatever it is that they remember about me, I hope that when they do remember me, they remember, no, not remember, that they know, how fiercely I loved them. How in one person's eyes, they could do no wrong, they were infinitely beautiful and brilliant and adored.

That's what I hope.

All of that and of course, to paraphrase Woody Allen, to also be remembered for being immortal, but I'm not counting on that one.

So all that other stuff will have to do.

And it will.

Let's take it easy today. Let's use all the energy we have to love.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

In Which I Settle On A Mood

Today is a neither-nor day. It has been neither horrible nor great. It has been neither stormy nor clear. It has been neither terribly hot nor cool. I have felt neither well or frankly ill. 
Just...some netherworld of gray in-between.

Mr. Moon is on his way slowly home from Orlando. It is raining on the road and when I last talked to him, he had pulled over to let it pass. Lily and Jason came out today, the boys with their other grandmother and relatives from out of town, to help clean up some and decorate for the party. This is what the dining room wall looks like.

The presents are wrapped and put away where hopefully he will not find them. He wanted to have his party here this year because, "MerMer really likes birthdays."
I have no idea how he came up with that conviction. It is certainly not true but I will be glad to have his party here. My house is big enough, Lily and Jason's barely is. It makes sense and Owen feels as if this is as much his house as the one he sleeps in every night. So why not? I do joyfully celebrate my grandsons' birthdays. 

I walked this morning in my new shoes. It was a completely different physical activity. My old shoes were worn down past the sole if that is indeed possible, and yes, it is. It felt fine and the wildflowers are out in force, the butterflies, as I have mentioned, taking sips everywhere. 

I have never seen the likes of this year's Beauty Berry bloom. The stalks the berries are on are incredibly long and full. 

Well, I just looked up the Beauty Berry and find that it is more generally written Beautyberry and that its leaves can make a powerful mosquito repellent and that the berry can be made into jelly. I am not surprised. There is such a vast universe of information I am blind to. Now- will I try to make a repellent cream from the leaves? Jelly from the berry? 
I seriously doubt it. 
But I could, if I had to. 
Many people think the Beautyberry is poisonous but it is not. It just doesn't taste very good eaten right off the branch. It's odd how we accept things that we hear without doubt, without bothering to do a little research. I've been thinking about this in regards to Facebook a lot recently. We tree-hugging liberals accuse Right Wingers of posting things which do not bear the slightest burden of truth but it seems to me that we are guilty of the same. I see so many things on Facebook that just really don't seem quite...right and if you do a little searching, you may find that no, the facts presented are not necessarily true. For some reason this has been pissing me off and I should just stay off Facebook entirely and the only reason I don't is because I have a masochist streak. Well, that and loving my kids' posts and Billy's and a few other people's. There are good articles I am directed to which I would not have seen otherwise and so I am grateful for that but honestly- we all know that a hell of a lot of Facebook is crap. 
God. Sometimes I really cannot believe the things I waste my time on. 
Or quilting or saving the planet or cleaning the grout in the showers. Something. But no, no. I'm having too much fun getting upset about Facebook posts. 

I have a feeling I'm not the only one and that only increases my sense of despair. 
Yeah. I think I'm feeling doomy today. That may be the word to describe it. 
Doom and Gloom. Which, by the way, is the name of a Rolling Stone song! Oh yeah, I've already told you that. Probably about forty-two times. 

Ah-lah. Oh well. Did you know that Mick Jagger is about to become a great-grandfather? 

Do you ever feel like you woke up in a world that you absolutely do not understand?
Get to be my age, look in the mirror. You'll know what I'm talking about.

Love...The Doomy Ms. Moon

Froggy Day

If you click on that picture you might be able to see my little porch pet. He eats the bugs that are drawn to the light and just now I watched him go down the spout of a pot which holds water in the bottom for his morning liquid refreshment. I knew he had to be getting water somewhere but I didn't realize he was doing a little cave diving every time he was thirsty.

I got so much done yesterday. I bought new walking shoes and a new blender because ours died and we need a blender for our smoothies. I bought birthday cards and ran into people I know and I was glad to see them and when they asked how I was doing I could honestly answer, "I'm doing great!" and I was and I bought groceries and chatted with Lily and Jessie and Lis and planted the garden and slept very well.

And today...well. It's so gray. It's muggy. And when I was reading Dottie's obituary in the paper, I noticed the one next to it which is for a man I used to know back in the olden days and I haven't thought of him in years and now he's dead and well, damn.

I need to fire up that new blender and make my breakfast and I need to put on those new shoes and go walk. I need to do a lot of things. And here I sit, watching the frog and just a moment ago I saw a hummingbird taking off from the firespike. I am contemplating life and death. I am feeling completely enervated and unmotivated.

BUT! I'm going to get ON IT! I SWEAR! In a minute. Really.

And in the meantime, if you, too, are having a morning where you don't really feel like actually moving, here's a little video that I found via a post from Hank to May on Facebook. His comment about it was, "I'm not okay with any of this."
Hank is famous for his dislike of the frog. And watching this video will not make any of us feel warm and fuzzy about them. But...hey! It's great! And once again, I am reminded of how aliens live among us and how horrified we would be if we actually knew what was going on all the time.
Trust me.

And if that wasn't enough to fuck your dreams up for months, try this one.

You are welcome.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, September 23, 2013

Meet Me At Mary's Place

Bruce turned sixty-four today. I don't even have to say his last name. You know who I'm talking about. Bruce. The Boss. That man.
And what in hell can I say about Bruce Springsteen that hasn't been said? What can I say about Bruce Springsteen that I myself haven't said?
Not a damn thing.

But I tell you something and I'm probably repeating myself- there are few people on this planet who are able to bring the joy that Bruce Springsteen has brought to others. I have a theory that there's only a handful of those people alive at one time. Or maybe I'm wrong. I don't know. I just know that he's surely brought me my share of joy. And he's given me something with his music, his words, to hold on to when very little else did. I am but one of so very many who can probably say that.  I call that a Holy Man doing Holy Work. And you know why I think he's able to give so much joy? Because he is just flat-out fucking filled with it.
And despair. He knows about that. But he knows about how joy can lift you up and carry you through it, just as crowds lift him up and carry him over their heads and return him gently and joyfully to the stage. How can you trust someone who promises you joy if they don't know anything about despair? I don't think you can. I can't, anyway.

Ah hell. It's been a good day and I feel like it's been one of those blessed days. I don't even need to go into it because it's all been the tiny, little things that make a day better than usual. Just...good.
And it's Bruce's birthday.
Sixty-four years old, huh, Bruce? And looking fine. Looking extremely and very fine. Not for a sixty-four year old but for an anything-year old. Jesus.

Yeah, he's the guy on the right.

I love the name Mary, which is my own name, and Bruce has given me another reason to love it over the years because he's used that name for so many of the women in his songs. I think he probably does that because he was raised Catholic and Mary may represent the Universal Woman to him but I can choose, if I want to, to think that he's singing to me.
The screen door slams, Mary your dress waves....

I remember listening to his album, The Rising, which was released in 2002 and which I think is one of his most powerful. He wrote it after 9/11 and I wondered how it was going to be. How was this poet, this man, going to write about the horrendous events of that most nightmarish day?
Beautifully. Powerfully. That's how. And I listened to it the first time and then played it again and again and I cried and I cried and I cried.
But there's one song on it which is joyful. And it's about Mary's place and a party and Buddhas and letting it rain and love and a porch with furniture on it and a favorite song.
Yeah. I felt like he wrote for me.
So let me share it with you. This is from a concert he did in Germany last May. And it shows a little of how he interacts with his audience. How he somehow, magically, makes every person there feel as if he was singing to them. About them. Somehow. Some way. Even if their names are not Mary.

I got my garden partially planted tonight. And it is raining a tiny bit, which is like a gardener's direct gift from the universe, of course, to have a gentle rain falling on freshly planted seeds.
"Let it rain!" sings Bruce.
"Let it rain!" I say.

I live in a world at the same time that Bruce Springsteen lives in it. I consider myself lucky.

Here you go. Happy Birthday, Bruce. Thanks for everything.


I got seven pictures of Buddha
The prophet's on my tongue
Eleven angels of mercy
Sighin' over that black hole in the sun
My heart's dark but it's risin'
I'm pullin' all the faith I can see
From that black hole on the horizon
I hear your voice calling me

Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain
Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain, let it rain
Meet me at Mary's place, we're gonna have a party
Meet me at Mary's place, we're gonna have a party
Tell me how do we get this thing started
Meet me at Mary's place

Familiar faces around me
Laughter fills the air
Your loving grace surrounds me
Everybody's here
Furniture's out on the front porch
Music's up loud
I dream of you in my arms
I lose myself in the crowd

Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain
Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain, let it rain
Meet me at Mary's place, we're gonna have a party
Meet me at Mary's place, we're gonna have a party
Tell me how do you live broken-hearted
Meet me at Mary's place

I got a picture of you in my locket
I keep it close to my heart
A light shining in my breast
Leading me through the dark
Seven days, seven candles
In my window light your way
Your favorite record's on the turntable
I drop the needle and pray
Band's countin' out midnight
Floor's rumblin' loud
Singer's callin' up daylight
And waitin' for that shout from the crowd
Waitin' for that shout from the crowd
Waitin' for that shout from the crowd
Waitin' for that shout from the crowd
Waitin' for that shout from the crowd
Waitin' for that shout from the crowd

Turn it up, turn it up, turn it up
Turn it up, turn it up, turn it up, turn it up

Meet me at Mary's place, we're gonna have a party
Meet me at Mary's place, we're gonna have a party
Tell me how do we get this thing started
Meet me at Mary's place

Meet me at Mary's place
Meet me at Mary's place


Got an e-mail this morning that Dottie, one of the people I went to see at the hospital on Saturday, died last night. All her surviving kids were with her yesterday afternoon, talking about old family stories (and with five kids in a family, you KNOW there were some good stories) and just loving on their mother.
I'm glad that she went on peacefully. As I always want to say in situations like this- she got 'er done- which may not be appropriate but it's true. Dying is so much like labor. It's a process, getting life from one plane to another and just as with labor, some dyings are slow and some are fast. Sounds to me like Dottie's was just about right. Time enough for everyone to tell her they loved her, not so long that she was suffering for days and weeks on end although she did have her share of suffering. She was mostly silent about it, she didn't really complain, ever, that I heard her, but it never took her facilities from her. She was there, all the way, up until she died.

I am so glad I went to see her on Saturday. I only spent a few minutes with her. When I got to her room she was getting an NG tube re-inserted and so I visited with the family for awhile and when she did get back from the procedure, she was exhausted and I knew it, but we spoke for a few moments. I held her hand and kissed it and told her I loved her. It's precious to me that I have the very tangible image in my head of her hand in mine, cool and still strong, smooth and soft. A visceral image, in fact.

So. This has been, as Hank has said, The Year Of Death And Weddings. I can't even tote all the deaths up in my head anymore. No need to. Take them as they come, their weight is there and this is life.

Dottie was a redhead. She was gregarious and social and accepting and smart and strong. She was an athlete in her younger years. When her daughter was dying, she did all that she could to take care of her. She had to go through that, even in her old age, going almost every day to a nursing home where Lynn was living, a place where most of the residents were no older than Dottie herself was. She bore the pain of it, the work of it, with stoicism and with grace.

Her granddaughter Molly, my own daughter Jessie's best childhood friend, made her a great grandmother, not quite a year ago. The genes of Dottie are quite and firmly apparent in that child.

She lived a good, long life. She was generous.

When I saw her on Saturday, she mentioned my mother, she mentioned Jessie's wedding. She was a reaching-out sort of woman.
I admired her. I loved her. I got to tell her that before she died.

I'm grateful. I'm so very grateful.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Not So Bad

For some reason, I think I look cute tonight. Maybe it's because I have on my funereal make-up. Or is funereal make-up what they put on a corpse? Whatever. 
Obviously, I did not wear that outfit to the funeral. No, I was appropriate. I swear. 
I spent most of the service in the nursery with Owen and Gibson. Phew. Because I was having a hard time with the hymns (they sing every verse- Every. Verse) and the scripture and basically all of it so when the boys needed to be removed from the scene, I happily accompanied them and it was a fine nursery with lots and lots of toys and books. So we had a good time. 
I'm sure it was a good service. 

Isn't that a nice apron? Judy and Denise gave it to me. They're such lovies.  

I'm making pizza. The dough is rising right now. Life seems pretty sweet at this moment. Mr. Moon got the garden weeded AND tilled and now the old woman (me) can get in there and plant some seeds and plants. I'm pretty excited about that. The planting is always the best. It's like a sort of cosmic impregnating, isn't it? You impregnate the dirt with the possibility of life. Possibilities allow for a sort of perfection which reality never fulfills. As we all know, in about a month I'll be bitching about how something stole all my seeds out of the dirt and how nothing is coming up except for weeds and blah, blah, blah. 
This is the way I garden. 
I start with great hopes and end with frustration and ant bites but for now, it is an important part of my life and so I continue. 

All right. That's the report. I went to a funeral and got to play with Owen and Gibson. And the meatballs and cookies were excellent. 

Gotta go chop the vegetables. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Oh Lord.

This weekend is the weekend of having to enter my non-comfort zones.
Yesterday, the hospital. Today, a church.

There's going to be a memorial service for Jason's grandmother this afternoon and of course we're going. I was not close to her but she was, after all, Jason's grandmother and had a lot to do with the raising of him and she was my grandsons' great-grandmother and to not go would be disrespectful.
I went to this same church for Owen's baptism but when it was time for Gibson to be baptized, I just couldn't do it. I don't believe in baptism in that way and it takes a huge force of effort me for me to keep quiet during sermons and as Ray Bradbury (and if I had a religion, Ray Bradbury would be one of the main saints in it) said about a woman in his beautiful short story Power House, my body was not made to sit on church pews. Or something like that. It's not that I'm an atheist. I admit fully that I don't know enough to know for sure if there's anything resembling a god, but I do know for a fact that I don't believe in the Christian god any more than I believe in any of the Greek gods or the Roman gods or the Native American gods or the African gods or the Mayan gods.
Well, I do sort of believe in Ixchel, the Mayan goddess. But I don't really believe, believe. You know what I mean? All these arbitrary rules and holy trinities and prayers and rituals make me feel like an anthropologist. Interesting, but not necessarily relevant to my life in any practical or spiritual way.
And to tell you the truth, some religions are not even that interesting, especially if they've been force fed to you your entire life through culture and the well-meaning intent of people who "care" about you. It makes me furious when Christians spout off about how their religion is under attack because some people have the temerity to say, "Happy Holidays!" rather than "Merry Christmas!" Under attack? Oh yeah. Because there's not enough Christmas in our society.
Costco started putting their Christmas decorations out last month.
Well. You know me.

Anyway, I'll go to the service. Owen can show me around. He goes to that church with his other grandmother, or at least to the nursery. Remember when I told him that Jesus has been dead for over 2,000 years? I'm terrible. I'm really not the person you want in church.

There was an article in the paper last week about a coming-together of atheists and Christians to debate, uh, I guess whether there's a god or not. And the writer of the piece, a Presbyterian, couldn't really refute the arguments of the main spokesman for the nonbelievers' side. And so what he did was to end the piece by saying that he supposed that if one doesn't believe in God, one doesn't have an entity to be grateful to for all the things in life worth being grateful for. And how sad that would be.
And that really pissed me off because I believe that I'm one of the most grateful people on the planet when it comes to the things that matter in my life. Things that range from family to love, to the lunar cycles and the tides and chickens to hot and cold running water and enough food to eat. I am GRATEFUL every day of my life and yet, I don't feel the need to thank a deity for all of those blessings any more than I feel as if I could curse a deity when things go fuck-up. This placating way of relating to god is one of the things that I don't buy. When things go well, it's important to let your god know how much you appreciate his blessings upon you but when things don't go well, you aren't supposed to question or curse, you're just supposed to realize that this is what god has offered to you as a test or a strengthening exercise of your faith or something.
Seems sort of twisted to me.

Well, anyway, la-di-dah. They probably won't go into any deep theological issues today at the memorial service. Hopefully, they'll just talk about Jason's grandmother and her life and what she meant to her family and friends. And I will be glad to be there for Jason and for his mother and for my grandsons.
I am grateful for what this woman brought to my family with her life, with her work, with her genes. I believe she suffered a lot at the end of her life and I am glad her suffering is over. We are bound, she and I, in the very blood and bones of my grandchildren and some of her influence has to be one of the reasons that Jason is the fine man and loving, patient father that he is. And so I am grateful for her and to her.

And so yes, I will go to church to make formal my sense of gratefulness for her life.

Which makes me sound like some sort of martyr and I don't mean it to. I know that it's really not a big deal.

It's Sunday. It's still drizzling. Mr. Moon is out in the garden, finishing up the weeding and I'm about to clean up the dishes from breakfast.
Believe it or not, I will enter a church today.

And there will be pie when I get home.

I'm grateful.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Chess Pie. Oh My

I don't even want to cut it, it's so pretty. Butter, sugar, eggs, flour, corn meal, vinegar, salt, vanilla.
Essence of dessert.
Sweet, sweet sin.

And The Rain Did Come

It's pouring rain, water has come back to fall on us and I am grateful. I am also grateful that I survived going to the hospital and I know what a complete ass and wussy I am about that. The last time I was in the hospital was when my mother died and I didn't even have to go any farther than the emergency room and isn't it ridiculous that I am grateful for that?
Yes, my mother died but I didn't actually have to go up to the floors!
Jesus. Something's wrong with me.
The chickens are huddled on the kitchen porch taking cover and also hoping that I'll just pop out there with some food. The treats have been in short supply today. All I've given them is some bread from a sandwich I got in town. It was a huge sandwich and I gave them about one quarter of the bread so it's not like I actually saved a whole bunch of calories there. Maybe twelve. Twelve calories.
At least I'm not fooling myself.
So yes. I visited my friends. One of them is the mother of a friend, now deceased. Funny, I mentioned her yesterday on my blog. I've been thinking about her mother. She's not doing well. She is very old, older than my mother was, but she's always been such a force. A strong, intelligent, engaged woman. I've known her since I was pregnant with Hank which is a good long while. I used to sometimes use her dryer for my diapers. She'd raised five kids herself and was always welcoming to me and to mine. Always.
I'm talking about her like she's already dead. Well, she's not. But I'm remembering good things about her. Funny things, too. Ah, times were different then you know, back thirty-something years ago. I remember being at her house for parties- the birthday parties were always at her house- and suddenly, everyone at the party would have disappeared, leaving me and my baby and this dear woman alone and we'd pretend nothing at all was going on but just chat about this and that until people started reappearing, eyes red, ready for more potato chips, maybe another hotdog. And hey- any of that cake left?
Good times.
She's always loved Scotch. Claims she drank Scotch because that was the only thing none of her kids would drink.
She was a good friend to me and a good friend to my mother, too.
Well, she is still a good friend to me and I need to see her as much as I can, as much as she'd like, before, well, whatever happens, happens.
That which will happen to us all.

The rain is gentling off. When I went to get seeds I talked to the lady in the nursery and we agreed it had been a terrible year for growing vegetables. Too much rain. Everything rotted and the bugs finished off what the rot didn't. As she said, "You can add water if you need to but you can't take it away."
Too true. Well, gardeners are born-in-the-blood optimists, I guess. This year sucked, maybe next year will be better. But I wouldn't trade all the rain we've gotten for more tomatoes. I am thinking that our aquifers are fuller than they've been in a long time. That thought makes me happy. It's like this part of the planet is a little healthier now than it was a year ago. My camellias and ferns and palms and firespike and phlox are definitely happier. There is lushness and butterflies and there is that rain-brought coolness which is better than anything. Almost anything at all.

It's Saturday night. Chris Thile is going to be on Prairie Home Companion. We're having leftover soup so I don't have any cooking to do while the show's on so I'm thinking I might make a pie. I haven't made a pie in a very long time. I'd have to use frozen berries, but I can do that. Or maybe I could make banana cream or chocolate cream.
Oh hell, we don't need a pie.
Who ever NEEDS pie?
Chess pie? Haven't made one of those in forever. Yeah. Maybe.
Or maybe not.

I went to town, I came back. My husband and I are being loving. It's Saturday night. The rain poured down and we might get more. Garrison Keillor is talking in his soothing voice. I might or might not make a pie. I'm figuring out stuff in the new operating system on my phone.
It's this man's birthday.

 I'm just so glad he's alive.
Guess I'm glad I am too.

Be well, y'all.
Be well.


Well, I downloaded the new iPhone operating system last night. I don't know if Steve Jobs would like the graphics. Seems a little candy-colored to me but then again, he did come up with the iMac so maybe. As to how it works and so forth, I'll let you know. The good news is that I seem to have all of my contacts and stuff which is always a plus.

Also, a voice mail left last night telling me that someone I know and love is in the hospital which makes two people I know and love in the hospital and I may have to go there although I would rather have a few bamboo shoots stuck under my fingernails.
I need to go to town anyway. I'm almost out of books to read with my eyes and the book I'm reading with my ears sucks and I can't concentrate on it and that will not do.
And seeds. I need to buy seeds. Collards and mustards and lettuces.

Oh god. Town. Errands. It'll be all right. I'll go and come back.

I don't even know what it is I want to do these days. I seem to just concentrate on what I should do which is pretty meaningless as a guide if you ask me because I'm the one defining should. 

Maybe I should fly to Mexico.

Probably not.

Who knows? Not me.

As Always...Ms. Moon