Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Pathetic Attempt To Talk About A Wedding

You know, I've been pondering for hours about how to write about this past weekend and I really don't know how to do it. 
It was just such a remarkable event. Yes, it was a wedding and the bride was beautiful and darling and as bursting with the juices of life as her young, handsome groom and there were people there from all over the globe to celebrate them and their beginning moments as a married couple and it was held in the most absolutely gorgeous of settings and there was love abounding and there was humor and laughter and food and drink and there were connections made and remade and there were bonfires of such epic proportions that I felt the blessings of every druid god imaginable

(Please click on this to get some scale of the size of that fire)

and, well, there was every element of a grand celebration of marriage you could possibly want, up to and including two roasted pigs, a pie table, and babies and kids shaking it on the dance floor. 
There were blooming azaleas and daffodils and iris and the grand, great live oaks spreading their branches over it all, bestowing blessings. There was music and there were a few perfect speeches but not too many and a bus to take us to and from the hotel and last night on the way home after the final event, almost everyone on the bus fell asleep and I watched the miles of not-yet leafed pecan trees flowing by as rain began to gently fall and I felt as if we were driving through the land of dreamy dreams, as Ellen Gilchrist said once in her own inimitable way, and a woman's voice split the quiet darkness of the bus and she said, "Have we been traveling for days? Seriously? Have we entered a parallel universe?"

So it was like that. 

But here's the thing that kept bumping up against me and making me cry- the history. 
Look- if you're going to love someone when you're a young girl just figuring shit out in the world, you couldn't do better than a man like the one I went to prom with in 1972 because he turned out to be one of the most incredibly loving people in the universe who married one of the most incredibly loving women in the universe and to be part of their tribe all of these years later is simply an astounding gift. 

That's all. That's all I can say about it. The whole weekend was an astounding gift to everyone who was there and I am completely cognizant of that, being one of them. I am completely grateful. I knew it was going to be something like that and that's why I went, as difficult as it was, and I had moments where I felt as if I was meeting family for the first time, moments where I felt as if I was seventeen again, moments where I felt as if I was the deserved honored crone, moments where I just felt happy. 

I truly think that in this life there is absolutely nothing more important than the ties that bind us. They make us feel secure as the planet hurtles through space and as we hurtle through this short lifetime. They make us feel secure and sometimes ecstatic and sometimes they allow us to see, at least a little bit, from a more definite and magnified perspective of these short lives we get. 

And that's how it was.

And when we got home, it was time to hunt Easter Eggs and my own grandchildren were happy to see me and I, with my new perspective, was even more happy than usual to see them. 

And Hank

 and Mark, our dear friend (one of the beloved ties who bind us, yes) and who always comes for Easter

came over and there was an egg hunt and breakfast burritos and deviled eggs and Mr. Moon left to go grouper fishing with a  very, very old friend of his and now I am here alone, at home. I've gone off, I've come back. I've tidied and am doing laundry and watered plants and swept porches and the dogwoods and Bradford pears are blooming and the cardinals are still coming to the feeder and I'm sitting on my back porch, all the doors and windows open in my house and I am wondering if I have been on this bus forever. I am wondering if I have entered a parallel universe. 

Obviously, a parallel universe which does not allow me to align my text on the left side after inserting those pictures. 

Well. One of the great mysteries of life. 

And in less than two weeks. we shall be at Jessie and Vergil's wedding. 

How may times do I get to say this? 
I am one of the luckiest women in the world.

Congratulations, Calder and Victoria. You're in the tribe and thus, will always have the arms of love to fall back on. 

So much love and call me if you ever need me...Ms. Moon

Easter Morning Breakfast Time

It's Easter morning and we are risen
And ready to leave for home
And the sky in Albany, Georgia
Over the revolving statue
Of Saint Ray Charles and
The river beside him
Is coming-on blue with
White puffy clouds like
Biscuits split and open and ready
To receive the holy blessing
Of butter.
Some part of me has been reborn
In a sort of love.
And the sun bursts through
Yellow as one of my hen's egg's yolks.
It's been a good weekend.

Happy Easter
We live.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Right Here In Albany, Georgia

You want to know what I liked best about tonight? The fact that there were people there from all over the world. From Peru to Norway. And lots of places in-between.
It was a gracious good time.

All is well. I hope for you too.

Love...Ms. Moon

If Only I Were Still A Spry Young Fifty-Six Year Old

No. I did not get that picture from Southern Living Magazine. That is where the wedding is going to be held. Mr. Moon and I have actually spent the night in that house. It was almost three years ago and I wrote about it here. 

That was a great trip. I look back on it and I wonder who in the hell that was, that woman who was just turning fifty-six. I was so YOUNG then. Haha. No. Really. Also, reading back in those old posts, I think I was a better writer then. I think I was a better human being then. To tell you the truth. Here's another link to a different post from that trip which describes Helen, Georgia, which was quite seriously the weirdest place I've ever been. It's a pretty funny post because of the condom wrapper we found on the Bible. And the pork leg. Okay, just go read it if you want to.

Anyway, I'm not feeling quite as crazy this morning. I think I used up a lot of my crazy last night when I was supposed to be sleeping. I laid there and made plans to do things before we left today like clean out my closet and try on the heavily sequined dress I bought as a costume a few years ago. Look- any thoughts you may have between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. are, by very definition, insane.

I better go. That closet isn't going to clean itself.

I'll be posting from the road most likely, although there is that thing going on where my Blogger app tells me I can't post anymore pictures. Anyone have a fix for that? What the hell good are posts-from-the-road if you can't post pictures?

Oh. I should point out that it's Good Friday, the Day They Crucified Our Lord. Someone on Facebook just posted the lyrics to one of the traditional Good Friday Church songs.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord, 
were you there when they nailed Him to a tree, 
were you there when they laid Him in the tomb, 
Oh....sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble....

I had to laugh because I have a memory of that very song being sung at church by a massively bosomed soprano when I was a little girl and my brother, who was maybe five years old, was so taken by her quivering voice and her quivering bosom that he made his way to the front of the church and just stared up at her, open-mouthed. Meanwhile, I, being two years older, couldn't get the image of poor Jesus being nailed to a tree out of my head. I have always been strange. 

Good God. 

Good Friday.

I hope.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, March 28, 2013

If I Were The Pope, I Would Wash My Own Feet

Sometimes the name of this blog means more to me than you can know.

Sometimes I need to remember to bless my own heart. Tonight is one of those times. Nothing going on. Nothing bad or weird except for inside this crazy head of mine, this crazy heart of mine and I beat myself up the way I do, chastising myself for making so much out of so much nothing, for being, actually, who I am, and I have to stop and pull back and remember- bless my heart.
Yes. Mine too.

I am having a hard time and it's so strange because I am having to face the fact that after all of my joking about agoraphobia and not wanting to leave Lloyd, I am truly that crazy old batshit woman and if I don't leave town tomorrow, if I don't pack a bag and go up to this wedding of the youngest son of one of my oldest friends, I am truly done for. That is it.

Bless my heart.

I refuse (I think) to become a prisoner of my own insanity. And I know everyone out there is so tired of hearing about my bullshit craziness. Because it is. Bullshit. But it is also real.

So look- if I do get out of this house tomorrow with a bag packed with inappropriate wedding garments and my toothbrush and pillows, it is going to be a major victory and I wish that were not so but fuck it- it is.

Bless my heart. My crazy old heart.

I am doing the best I can and I am trying real hard to not make it all worse than it is and I'm having a very difficult time even writing about it because this is not how a 58-year old woman is supposed to be and not how a 58-year old woman thought she'd be when she turned eighteen in Paris, France, determined to be be back in Europe within a year, a back-pack on her back, a Eurail pass in her pocket.

The sun is setting and the soup is ready and I am wishing that I were not the woman I am and I am realizing that there is no other woman I could be, given the circumstances.

Bless my heart.


He Said It Better Than I Could

One of the things that I love about Blogworld is that often the writing is so damn good that it's just about ruint me (as we say around here) for other journalistic expressions, many of which I pay for. I get blown away regularly by the quality of what I find for free at some blogs and sometimes when you combine the quality of the writing with the story of the message the result is a knock-me-to-my-knees event and yesterday I read a perfect example of that.
I am feeling spectacularly undeserving of white-space or your time in my own writing today and so I'm just going to point you to the blog post that inspired that first paragraph. It was written by a friend of mine whom I met through the Blogworld but who lives in Tallahassee so I also know him and also his wife, a little bit, at least, in the real world. Our worlds, as they might say, have collided a time or two.

This friend writes under the name of Juancho and his blog is BigRingCircus and he mostly writes about bikes and biking but that's just the handle he uses to open the door into a lot of other worlds.
Yesterday he put forth some words that I've gone back and read and reread several times and I'm going to advise you to do the same.

You won't be sorry.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dear God, I Am One Tired Old Mer-Mer

It's been a really good day. Here are three pictures. They say enough but Lord, there was so much more.

I think I might have a shot of tequila and watch the newest episode of Duck Dynasty. Proust is gonna have to wait for another night. Bless his heart.

Love y'all...Ms. Moon
Argggh. Cold, cold, cold. I haven't even gone out to the garden to see if we lost all the tomatoes and peppers. I surely hope not. What were we thinking, planting those things before the pecans began to leaf? Don't we know anything? Haven't I learned a thing in the past thirty-five years of gardening?
No. I have not.

I can't write. I don't know what's wrong with me. This day is half gone and I haven't even let out the chickens. I've been on the phone and I've googled gut bacteria and depression. According to Esquire Magazine, there may be a link. I'm not depressed today or overly anxious either. I'm swirling, though, thoughts and the dreams I had and the sleep which was so deep. We've taken to sleeping in the guest room, abandoned our bed for the magical one in the Panther Room and I'm sleeping now in a corner under an open window and it's wonderful, it's the best. I'm cozy and cool at the same time. I have a tiny table with my fan, my water, my phone. Not even a clock. No neighbor's light beaming in like an alien space-ship ready to come and take us or the TV's glow where my stepfather watched in a room where the light could shine into my room (he's still up, he's still up, there's no lock on my door) and I literally have cloth diapers covering up all the LCD lights in the room and it's so dark in there and I can sleep.

Am I crazy? Who cares?

I can't write. I want to write about it all. About marriage and Jesus and dogs and weddings and social anxieties and fears and families and gardens and childbirth and nursing and sex and the tiny wren on the back porch, looking for a place to nest. I want to write about the first time I ever made fig preserves and the way I had to stand so still when my mother or grandmother pinned a dress on me they were making. I was too fat as a child to wear regular clothes and those pins were like the pricks of shame.
The pricks of shame. Good name for a band, good title for a book.
I want to write about Billy and Shayla being married for eight years yesterday and how love is all it is and also how when I took my dress to the alteration place yesterday to get it hemmed, there was a girl there getting her teeny-tiny jeans taken in and I felt like an orca, but the also-tiny girl who pinned up the hem did not prick me at all with her pins and it was fine, it was okay, she barely spoke English and when I walked into the shop, the first thing she said was, "Try it on," before I'd even told her what I wanted. She knew. "Try it on." She squatted on the floor and pinned that hem, she didn't shame me she kept the pins to the cloth.
I want to write about how fast life is spinning by, my god, you have no idea. You birth your baby, you give it a breast, you blink, you nap, you blink again, it is thirty years later. You still don't know how to garden.

I want to be Bob Dylan and write A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall and get it all said in one big blow, and then live another million years and write it all again and again but from this corner of the life, from this mile-marker down the path. I want to write about how everything changes, EVERYTHING except it doesn't. It does and it doesn't. Both. I want to write about the way eggs feel in the palm of the hand, especially if still warm from the hen and how even though I love living in the middle of a nowhere village so much that I can barely stand to leave, sometimes I still do dream of living in an apartment over a store in big city where the breath of it all is dense and charged with the very electrons of life and I am thrust into it over and over again just by stepping out of my door but oh, no, I'd rather be in a cement-and-rebar shack on the beach in Mexico, who wouldn't? What a cliche, that glorious color of water and sky, every night the sunset a gift of gods still worshipped in the jungle where the snakes and iguanas sun on the ruins of civilizations come and gone but still there somehow, their blood the blood of ancestors spilt for those gods, their faces the same ones painted on the walls of the rooms not lit but in darkness for centuries untold.

Aw, hell. It's an hour later. The chickens are out, the beans are on the boil, the boys are coming over this afternoon, good morning, good morning. I want to talk about all of it but some I'm too shy to talk about, some I'm too old, some I'm too young, some I'm too ignorant, some I can only see in the tiniest drawer in my mind, shut away like a jewel or a glittery rock hidden in a velvet box and have I told you? No. I have not. Here is how I think of my mother these days- like she was the mother I wanted, like she was the mother I think she could have been if this or that hadn't broken her somewhere.

"You understand," I say to her in my mind and she says, "I do, honey. I do. I love you."

Good morning. Barely.

More later.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Moon Struck

Useless Updates

Y'all are so precious, giving me so many ideas about what to cook for supper. I have decided, however, on a Salade Nicoise or at least a bastardized version of it. I don't have any anchovies and I probably would not use them if I did which is why I don't have any.
If you follow my logic.
I texted Mr. Moon at work. "What do you want for supper?"
He texted back, "Nothing."
They had brought in barbecue for some reason at the bank where he works and he claims he overate it.
"Maybe a salad," he said.
Fine. I can do that.

Lily and I had a good time shopping today despite my complete negativity about every dress she picked out. I either refused to wear such a garment or pointed out that I would look terrible in it. So. Forget it. I'm wearing the not-quite-wedding-apparel and that is that. They'll just have to deal. Not that anyone will care and even if they do, I won't. So.
Turns out you CAN'T dress me up and take me out. You can take me out but you can't dress me up.

I'll wear a bra. I promise.

Okay. Speaking of wedding apparel- check this out:

These are the outfits Gibson and Owen will be wearing to Jessie's wedding. Could you die? Okay, don't die. Jason made Owen pose like that, like a little model dude. The pocket square in Gibson's vest is sewn in. Of course. Otherwise he'd eat it. 

In World News, it would appear that the Supreme Court has made a decision not to make a decision at this moment. Fucking wimps. Hey guys- which side of history do you want to be on? Huh? HUH?!
I leave it at that. For the moment. But I keep thinking about what my friend Togi said about how Queers (his word and he's allowed to use it) shouldn't even have to be asking for their human rights. It's just ridiculous. Sure would be nice if they did just go ahead and make reality legal though. 

Well, I guess you've heard enough from me today. I wish I was sager, funnier, more poetic. But I'm not. At least not today. I will tell you that after some hours at the mall I don't have a lot positive to say about the fashion trends right now. I know you needed to know that, right? 
Oh! Lily and I saw the ugliest garment we've ever seen and we've seen some pukers. This one was in the high-end section of Dilliards and it looked like someone had sewn a blouse onto a pair of pants and it was a really ugly blouse and a really ugly pair of suit pants and hot pink and polyester were involved. 
They would have laughed that shit right off the runway on Project Runway. People would have been crying. And packing their things and going home. Tim Gunn would have been appalled. 
Oh well.

Have a good evening.

Love...Ms. Moon

Completely Random And Meaningless

I no more know what to write about this morning than I know what to cook for supper and every day I go through this thing about what to cook for supper. Do you do that?
Is this the very definition of a First World problem?
I think it probably is.

Okay. In a completely unrelated subject, this picture just made me feel a lot better about myself:

Huffpost teased us with just the head part on the main page and the headline: Barely Recognizable (Oh, Huffpost! How bizarre you are and what would I do without you?) and I didn't know if it was a man or a woman. Actually, I thought maybe it was Boy George. 
But...TADA! It's Madonna! 
I am a complete sucker for those "Stars Without Make-Up" shots. Except for the eighteen year olds who look just as good or better without make-up as they do with but I don't know who those people are anyway, so what the fuck? 
I wonder if Madonna goes through the same angst as the rest of us about aging. I can't imagine that she doesn't. According to Huffpost this picture was shot as she was on her way to the Kabbalah Center so perhaps she is trying to deal with aging issues by becoming more spiritual and shit. 
Well, good for her.

It must be nice to be all spiritual and shit. I wouldn't know. I do know that Madonna's bod is still slammin' and that she looks cute in a Cub Scout outfit. 

Okay. She was trying to make a point here. And I commend her for her slammin' bod and for the point she was making which is that the Boy Scouts need to jump on rocket ship and give up their stance on gay folks. 

Linda Ronstadt rocked the Cub Scout uniform a long, long time ago.

Okay. That's hot. 
Real hot.

Do I have a point here today? No. I do not. And I still don't know what to cook for supper. Meanwhile, I have EXECUTOR duties to do and they are going to be the last EXECUTOR duties I will have to perform and I have to go to town to do them. Also, I am meeting Lily. And taking Mr. Moon his phone which he left at home and which keeps ringing and is driving me crazy. Not a long drive, as Mr. Moon would say. He is right. 

I better get busy. It's going to freeze tonight. 

I'm taking suggestions as to what to cook for supper. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, March 25, 2013

Bitch, Bitch, Bitch

I went shopping. It was a little bit of hell. I lost my car in the TJ Maxx parking lot. I'm not even kidding you. So I walked over to the Starbucks and got a cup of coffee and wandered around until I found it. I should be ashamed to admit that there are only about four aisles of parking in that lot. They're building a Trader Joe's there and I do not know how that's going to work with such limited parking but whatever. It's on the rich side of town and all of the women, even the old ones, are skinny over there. I sort of hated all of them.
I didn't find my dream dress at TJ Maxx or even my dream anything but I did get a coffee cup because I broke my favorite one yesterday. It's pretty. Blue and white.

I stopped by this other place that has a very limited amount of clothing and I like that because you can get in and get out, any decisions are short and sweet.
I got a dress there.
It's not actually wedding apparel but I think I can make it work.
And it's really comfortable. So. Done. Sort of.

I also stopped by the Goodwill and went through five thousand (approximately) pairs of jeans. I bought a pair for $2.77. Hey. They fit. Sort of. Mondays at our Goodwills are half-off-clothing day. That place was packed.

Somehow this all took me five hours. I went to a few other places too. I returned a pair of shoes to Shoe Station. The girl said, "Is there a problem with them?" I said, "No. I just realized that when I bought them I'd lost my mind. This happens frequently to me these days."
I did not lose my car there.

I'm feeling lowdown. Don't know why exactly. But it happens. It's supposed to get cold again here. Down in the thirties. Maybe another freeze. I shouldn't complain. I know that some of you live in places where spring is nothing but a faint, faint hope. But as I always point out, I live in Florida for a reason. Okay, a lot of reasons but one of the main ones is that I don't like cold weather.

Well, eventually the cold weather will pass and we'll be dying of the heat. I'll complain about that, too. You can bet on it.

Yours truly...Ms. Moon

There Is Crazy And Then There Is Crazy

It's Monday and that means it's only four days before Friday which is when we're supposed to head up to Albany, Georgia to the wedding of the son of one of my oldest friends. I have been in complete denial about this situation for months now, making only the vaguest of plans to lose weight and get together some sort of costumage for such an event (there is a dinner on Friday night, the wedding and reception on Saturday and a brunch on Sunday) and become a more sane and normal individual who can actually attend and enjoy such a fine social gathering as this one certainly promises to be.
I did make us a room reservation. I did that. Otherwise...bupkis.
I'm still fat, have nothing to wear, and am now in the redline zone of freakage.

Look. I know I'm a self-absorbed, overly-blessed woman of unbelievable entitlement who can't seem to pull her head out of her ass. I know that. So if those exact thoughts were going through your head, join the crowd.

There's so much going on this world. Example: tomorrow the Supreme Court will be voting on the Defense Of Marriage Act and I am following that with intense interest. Finally, perhaps, married gay citizens will have the same legal rights as married straight citizens. It seems so simple to me, that if someone is married, they are married and by the way states- could you all get onboard with that one? Love is love, the commitment to make a family together is the same for all of us, and to deny that is to deny a large segment of our society their civil rights.
I just hope that the Supreme Court sees the issue the same way.

I do care about more than my own selfish self. I do know there's a world out there beyond my garden, my chicken coop, my wisteria. I know that I am the luckiest woman on earth, blessed with enough and more than enough and when I say that I don't just mean money-related stuff, I mean the real stuff which is love and freedom and civil rights and all of it. I'm just running a little short on complete mental health and I joke about that a lot but it's pretty limiting, that shortage. And now it's Monday and I have four days to get this together and that will involve going to town and doing actual shopping and no, I can't wear the nunnightdress to this wedding. It's Monday and the sun is shining and the Supreme Court is going to vote on something historically and incredibly important tomorrow and I feel paralyzed to get out into the world and even take my trash and I can't live in overalls forever, not really, and I want to be able to go out into the world, not just to take my trash but to shop in stores and not hate my body and to be able to talk and socialize and forget my own self and my own self-consciousness for a little while and sometimes I just hate the fact that I feel so crippled.

Here we all are. And we may define ourselves as straight or gay or sane or crazy or fat or thin or black or white or use whatever parameters we think we fit in but when it all comes down to it, we are human beings and we all have limitations and strengths and we all have the damn right to pursue happiness if that's not hurting anyone else and I have to remember that. That I am probably no crazier than the next person although my brand of crazy keeps me happiest at home which is a fairly obvious sort of crazy whereas the next person's crazy may be the sort that believes that love should only be legally defined as this or that and we are both under delusions.
At least my sort of insanity doesn't really hurt anyone else, except for perhaps my husband who would like to travel more. With his wife.
At the heart of it, we are all probably just trying to protect ourselves, keep ourselves safe with some sort of magical thinking although for the life of me, I can't understand how allowing someone to get married  and to have all the legal rights therein is threatening in any way.
But. That's why they call it crazy, I suppose.

All right. I've taken the trash. It is a true-blue day here although the wind is cutting and the temperatures are not going to get nearly as high as they did yesterday and I feel as if things in my mind are more in perspective than they were when I started this. Maybe.

Maybe I'll go to town and maybe I'll wait until tomorrow when Lily can go shopping with me. "You know I'll tell you the truth," she said. And she will.

And maybe tomorrow the Supreme Court will realize the truth when they go to decide on DOMA which is that it's completely insane and not just slightly so, to deny people legal rights based on something which is as irrelevant and as irrevocable as skin color. And wrong. Insane and wrong.

Good morning from Lloyd where I am feeling crazy and where I may be wrong but not about everything.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Dreamy Dream House And So Forth

It has turned into the most absolutely fabulously gorgeous day one could imagine. The sun is making up for lost time and it is, and this is the truth, at least eighty degrees.
And no, I didn't die. Every now and then, maybe every five years or so, I do that thing where I get the migraine-like ocular stuff but I don't get the headache so it's just a matter of waiting for it to pass, which it did, but of course I am like Fred Sandford every time, This is the big one! I'm dying! I'm coming to meet you, Elizabeth! but I keep it all inside and I didn't die at all but quietly sat and watched one of the weirder episodes of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and then went outside and did a bunch of yard work.

I tell you I sweated like a race horse. I had to peel out of my thin long-sleeved shirt down to my tank top and I was still hot as could be but it felt good in a sort of masochistic way. I planted a few caladiums which don't look fine enough to even take a picture of because that area of the yard needs SOMETHING and after nine years here I still haven't figured out what that might be. Maybe if I had planted fifty caladiums instead of a cheap, paltry half dozen it would look better but perhaps they will spread. Or perhaps they will die like almost everything else I plant there in the deep, mucky shade.

I picked up a bunch of fallen branches and sticks in the front yard and stuck a few impatiens in the hollow log where Buddha sits. 

He deserves better but they will grow fuller unless the chickens eat them (and I am here to tell you that they love flowering begonias down to the very root) and there are ferns already there which will come back. 

I planted some zinnias and mint and lemon balm in the trash-picked red wagon and it's ridiculous in that it isn't really deep enough and where I have it sitting isn't going to get enough sun but I can wheel it out to the garden where hopefully it will get enough sun but for right now, I love it right next to the house where I will pass it fifty times a day.

That, too, will fill out, I hope. 

After those small decorative things were done, I went out to the garden and pulled the bolted arugula and weeded a few rows. Slowly, it is all coming together, the garden. The potatoes are coming up a glory. 

That row on the left was already sprouting like crazy when I set the potato pieces in which is why it's bigger than the row on the right. Our friend Tom brought those sprouted pieces over and they were leftover from the potatoes he planted last year. He had so many he kept some for seed and so we shall see how that works out. There is a richness in having a good crop of potatoes. Must be the Irish in me that feels this way. 

The peas are up and the collards are finally growing a bit. I have no idea why they didn't do shit this winter. They are usually magnificent by this time of year. Perhaps we did not water enough. I do not know. I have been gardening for thirty-nine years and I really have no idea, still, what I am doing. 

One of the cabbages, ONE I TELL YOU, is really showing signs of heading. This is just depressing. 

Oh well. How much cabbage can we really eat? 

After a few hours in the garden I came in and collapsed on the bed and fell asleep for a few moments. A tiny perfect nap. And then I got up and took those pictures and also these:

I can't seem to stop taking pictures of wisteria which to me is almost an enchanted flower. The individual parts of the overall blossoms look like lady-parts and they smell so sweet and the bees rush them like drunks and they remind me of the most intricate and expensive of Chinese hanging decorations and some of them are tamed on my arbor and some of them climb up into the trees, ten, twenty feet at least, some higher than that. They are all beautiful.

Here is a man-cardinal.

And here is my hallway on a beautiful spring afternoon, the doors wide open from front to back, the afternoon sunlight painting the walls, the floors, making it all look better than it really does but in real life you have the breeze which is so very fine and fancy today, you have the feel of smooth wood on your bare feet, you have the sense of outdoors coming in and the lines between the two being blurred which is the way I love to live. I am so grateful for this graceful old house which allows such a thing, especially comfortably on these days when it is the perfect temperature to leave the doors wide open, the days when it is completely appropriate to do just that. Days when to not do so would be to show a mean spareness of spirit. To my mind, at least. 
Eyes open today.
Heart open today. 
Doors and windows open today.
So that all which is fine can rush in and be noted, cherished, and appreciated. 

I wonder who built this house. Not the name of the man who HAD it built, but the ones who actually built it, from the beams underneath to the beams overhead, who designed and fitted the staircase, the bannister, set the windows and laid the floors. And also the ones who hand-cut the boards, the beams, from the very hearts of the big pines from which it was made. 
Today I am thanking them from the bottom of my heart. And I would be remiss not to thank my husband who was not as enchanted as I at the thought of living in such an old house but who now thanks me for finding it, for wanting it so badly that he capitulated and let me live in my dream house. Not only that but he tills our garden, he plants our plants, he fixes the pump so that the garden may be watered, he does all of this and he lives here with me and it wouldn't be my dream house if he did not.

Oh, Sundays. How I Do Not Love You

We woke up this morning to discover that a train was stopped directly behind the chicken coop and the engine was chugging and breathing and making a huge dragon noise and the chickens were intimidated to the point where they had not even left their perches.
Perhaps a tree had gone down on the tracks, I do not know. But eventually, the all-clear must have sounded because the horn began to sound and the bell to ring and inch by slow inch the train started to roll again and soon picked up speed and was clacking with its familiar sound down the tracks and then, was gone.
Peace restored to Lloyd.
It rained all night long and another thing we woke up to discover was that it was about seventy degrees outside and the humidity must be around 140,000%. Or something close to that. It feels as if we are weighed down by it all, and add that to the pancakes and sausage we just ate and I feel as if my day were already wasted. I am too sluggish and heavy to do a damn thing while meanwhile, those plants in the back of the car are calling to me and this was the weekend I was going to put the potted plants back outside from where they've been wintering in the hallway and mudroom.
Also, I am having some weird visual disturbances and thus, of course, I am certain I am having a stroke and I just love Sundays, they rock my world.

Anyway, good morning and the finches are the feeder are frantic, the males turning yellow right before our eyes. Mr. Moon sat quietly and got a few lovely pictures. He is far more patient than I am.

All right. I think I am having the beginnings of an ocular migraine or something like that so I am not going to write about the great Sidewalk Saga which is an ongoing thing here in Lloyd. The biggest news in years and I have barely mentioned it which is no one's loss, believe me. 

I believe I'll go lie down and see if I'm about to die. I'm fairly sure that I am not but I'll check in later to confirm that. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Oh My Dear!

As you can see, Owen got a haircut today. I have no idea how he was persuaded (did ice cream and candy have anything to do with it?) but I do know that Boppy and he went to lunch and then for a haircut. Lily sent me that picture and I texted her back, "Oh my dear!" which is something Owen frequently says these days and I don't know where he got that but it just charms me to my toes when he says it. He reminds me of a dowager aunt when he says it and I do an aural double-take every time to make sure that yes, my three-year-old grandson really did just say Oh my dear. 

So. Oh my dear! My grandson is no longer a rockstar but a regular young man who went with his grandfather for a haircut and I am proud of them both. It is good to experiment with hair and it is good to be allowed to be able to decide for oneself how long one's own personal hair should be. My own hair, for instance, is ridiculously long these days for a woman of fifty-eight. I believe I am just so grateful to still be able to grow hair that I am feeling as if I should not cut it, no matter what "they" say about old women with long hair. It is my own hair and I can do with it what I want. I loved Owen's long hair but I will love being able to see his pretty brown eyes.

I did go to town today. I timed it well, completely by accident, to go out into the plant nursery and collect a wagon full of various plants. Some flowers, a few herbs, and some vegetables for the garden. Also a few seeds and I am just now wondering where I put those seeds. The plants are still in the back of the car because it is pouring. I mean POURING. I hope the chickens do not drown as this is what we might possibly call a toad strangler. I also went to the grocery store AND to Costco, which was so packed that the only sampler not swamped with lines was the one for the Greek yogurt and I eat that practically every day of my life and so I did not need nor even want to sample it but I still regret not waiting for a bite of the carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.
All for the best, I imagine. All for the best.

But now I am back in Lloyd and cozy. The bread has indeed risen and I will bake it soon. When I went by the post office on my way out, I noticed a sign put up for a lost dog. This, in itself, is not unusual. But the sign itself was, as it was a piece of plywood possibly five feet tall, leaning on the oak tree at the main intersection of the village. Well, to be quite honest, it is the ONLY intersection in the village.

"Lost Hound," the sign says. And it gives a number to call and then it says, "Orange Collar."
These people must really want their dog back. I suppose if one of my dogs went missing, I would put up a poster or something. A very small poster. I certainly would not sacrifice a perfectly good piece of building material for the purpose. Buster actually got out of his fenced area yesterday but I think that his sense of adventure and desire to explore has disappeared in that he was frantic to get back in and yipped at the kitchen door with almost hysterical intensity until Owen and I let him back in and I think that if he had thought about it, he would have kissed the kitchen floor, but he did not.
Buster is old and so is his sister and they spend their days sleeping and stinking and begging for scraps when they smell anything they like to eat which is meat and apples. Yes. They love meat, of course; they are dogs. They love apples, too, though. Last night Mr. Moon gave them pork chop bones which they swallowed almost whole and I fussed at him because I knew the bones would make them throw up but so far, there has been no vomit. I can't imagine that their morning poops were comfortable, however.

Well, that is the way it is in Lloyd this evening. The rain is still coming down, the thunder is still rumbling. Boppy reported that when he was carrying Owen to the car after the hair cut, a huge bolt of lightening hit uncomfortably close to them with a deafening sound and that when it was over, they both laughed and high-fived each other for surviving, I suppose, and then went on to the car.
Oh my dear.
I expect Mr. Moon any moment. Perhaps we shall play some cards.

Saturday night and let us all be safe and remember- you are the master of your hair length. No one else.

Love...Ms. Moon

Here I Am

It's as dark as just-after-sunset here in Lloyd this morning, rain starting to come down, thunder rumbling in the distance, occasional flashes of lightening. Last night as I sat on the porch with my husband I said that today I would be going to town to buy flowering plants and groceries and it seemed like such a sweet, easy thing to do but I had not counted on this weather.

There are goldfinches at the feeder. They do not seem to mind the rain at all, nor do the cardinals who dine easily with the smaller birds. Elvis crows in the side yard and I imagine that soon he and the hens will be on the kitchen porch, protected from the rain and hoping for the door to open and food to magically appear. Those birds are bold. Yesterday Ozzie, who is the boldest of all, snatched a piece of cracker right from Gibson's hand and he looked amazed that such a thing could happen but he did not cry. Owen feeds Elvis by hand and Elvis politely and gently pecks the proffered food but never nips the  hand. The chickens are like humans in that some are shy and some are not. Elvis takes food and invariably drops it for the hens to come and eat, making his call to them. He is the best rooster in the world.

I just went into the kitchen for more coffee and to start oatmeal and here is what I found.

I know my chickens. 

Feed the husband, feed the chickens and feed the sourdough starter. I have let it go for two weeks and I hope it is not dead. I do not think it is. 

The rain is pouring now. The oatmeal is cooking, the chickens have moved on, probably under the porch where they will take shelter. I think of the grocery store, the plant nursery, they seem a million miles away. Everything seems a million miles away right now. The rain curtains my house and here, inside, it is light and safe. Out there- ah well, who knows? I wonder what in the world has happened to me to make me so loathe to leave home. I think about it and I honestly am not sure. I am not afraid and yet, I am not not-afraid either. 

The Bradford pears are starting to put out bloom which looks, from the distance, like cotton balls attached to bare limbs. My ashe magnolia seems to be about to bloom as well and I suddenly realize that the camellia nearest the bird feeder has shot up at least two feet in the last month. Do I make so much of each small thing which happens here from the turning of the finches from gray to golden to the blooming of each plant and tree into something big enough to keep me interested, curious, content enough to rationalize staying right here? 

I do not know. But the oatmeal is ready, the rain is slacking. I AM going to town. I want flowers to plant, we are out of apples and bananas. But first I will do the homey things of making the bread dough and setting it to rise, the making of the bed, the starting of the laundry. I WILL go away and it is not a million miles, only twenty or so, and I will come home and even in the short time I will have been gone, the blooms will be increased, the chickens will have laid their individual pastel eggs, the bread will have risen some, I hope. 

It is just a rainy Saturday morning on a tiny spot of land in North Florida and we are living a life here and somehow, I try to make myself believe it is enough, more than enough, and either it truly is or else I am delusional. 

Either one of those possibilities is the truth. 

Good morning. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Mer-Mer Day Care

I don't know. Something has flipped with those grandsons of mine and or maybe it's just me but the past two days with them have been unbelievably precious. And more than that- it's been fun. I had in mind to write a sort of tongue-in-cheek thing about what Mer-Mer Daycare offers with pictures to make humorous backdrops but it's Friday night, I've had a martini, Mr. Moon is making a fire to cook our meat and veg on, the church next door is sending the sound of bass drum across the neighborhood and so I'll just mostly give you pictures.
Let me just say this- being a grandmother is probably one of the most soul-satisfying things I've ever done in my life. I get to use all of the skills I learned as a mother without needing the guilt or constant worry.
To say that I am in love with my grandchildren is to say that I breathe.

Here you go. One day in Lloyd with grandsons.

 Puzzles done by a Power Ranger.

 A boy who, when he gets to my house, points to the CD player and says, "More." And then proceeds to play piano. Granddaddy Miller- here's your genetic glory.

 We learn that every chicken lays a different and beautiful egg.

Really? I sit on the couch and give Gibson a bottle and Owen builds an entire town with blocks? It may look like chaos but it's not. It's a design. It's a place where everyone has a home and he will show you where it is.

We play cards and we learn about numbers. I shuffle the cards and tap them on the table and Owen says, "I love that sound." And he has to wear that hat when we play. We don't do winners and losers. We do numbers. For some bizarre reason, I find it as exciting as a child would.

 I hand Gibson a doll and he holds it to him and he hugs it.
Need I say anything more about what he's been taught about loving?

We sat on the kitchen porch and fed chickens and fed ourselves snacks and the caterpillars descended from wherever they descend and Owen made friends with all of them.

Gibson learns that you can eat violets. And is delighted. And yes, the purple violets are in bloom.

Owen has, for some time, loved to put my silver bangles on the sticky-out parts of Boppy's bedside lamp and call it a Monster Party Decoration. These monsters are nice, he tells me. We have no need to fear them.

And that was my day. And there was more. Books and stories and conversations and me saying things and Owen saying, "That's a joke, right?"

The child gets a joke and he is not yet four years old.

Yes. Being a grandmother is all right with me.

And on top of everything else, Jessie and Vergil got their marriage license today.

Shit. I'm drowning in the goodness.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon

There Is So Much To Talk About. And We Do

I got an email this morning from a blogger whom I admire tremendously and whose blog I lurk at regularly but can't comment on due to the fact that at one point a few years ago I started an anonymous blog at another blogging platform (okay, maybe it was more than one- both blogs and platforms) and now I can't comment on blogs written on those platforms because they INSIST that I be identified as the person who wrote those anonymous blogs even though I have done everything within my personal power to eliminate, decimate those blogs and even written to their help section to ask them to DO SOMETHING ABOUT REMOVING ME but no, they can't, they won't, they don't.
As long as I am using my email address, they won't let me post with my real true self and dammit, I refuse to open up another damn email address and can you tell I just woke up?

Anyway, this blogger, who is Andrea Carlisle who blogs at Go Ask Alice...When She's 94 was passing along an award, one of those things that used to happen all the time in blogging but don't so much anymore, a Very Inspiring Blogger Award, and I wrote her back and told her that no, these things sort of make me feel weird and also, part of the deal is that you're supposed to write seven things that people may not know about you and I told her that after all this time that if there are things people don't know about me that's because I really don't want them to and so there you go.
BUT, golly, I am honored, and especially since her other choice of a blog to nominate was Elizabeth, our dear, dear Elizabeth at A Moon, Worn As If It Had Been A Shell, so you know I'm doubly honored.

Anyway, if you have never read Andrea, please go there and do. She writes about her mother, Alice, and as I told Andrea in my return email, her story gives me a space and a place to fantasize about what it would have been like to have had a relationship with my mother which had been more loving and openhearted. She even managed to get k.d. Lang (Alice's favorite singer) to come and visit her mama at the assisted living where she lives and I fell in love with Andrea and Alice even more because k.d. has been a hero and personal favorite of mine for about forever.

Okay, yes, I am rambling like a drunk on Friday night.

The point is, well, what IS my point?
I am honored.

I saw an article yesterday about how maybe blogging is dying and I thought to myself, "Not for me." I didn't even read the article, truthfully. I think maybe the fresh new bloom is off the rose for all of the people who thought they were going to get in there and make a ton of money, or even any money from their blogs, inspired by Dooce and Pioneer Woman, but for those of us who come to this place to write because we HAVE to write and because we have found within it a community that lights our souls and which makes us feel as if our hands are being held in the  darkness and with which we have become so entangled and connected that we feel pride when someone's child does something amazing and we hurt when another of us hurts and we feel as comfortable in each other's living rooms and kitchens and on porches as we do in our own, well...for us, blogging is not dead at all but a living, breathing, very real thing.

Hey! It's saved my life and often times my sanity and that's all there is to it.

So, good morning and thank you, Andrea, and thank you to all of you- my friends here and I am not just saying that. I mean it with every red blood cell in my body. Probably more than you can ever know. Or maybe you do because blogging means that much to you too. Thank you all for all the windows and doors you fling open and allow me into and welcome me with words and pictures from your worlds, your families, your hearts, your souls, your places here on this planet. How could THAT die?

Good morning, happy  Friday. The boys are coming and I need to get ready. The sky is gray and the wisteria is blooming. The chickens are asking to be let out and I am so glad to be here. In Lloyd and in cyberspace and in your lives.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, March 21, 2013

What A Tender Mercy

I had a kidney stone once. It was just as bad as they say they are. It's the sort of pain that you don't even begin to think twice about- you just get to the hospital because
1. Maybe they know what to do about it, and
2. They have real drugs there.

And when I had my kidney stone and it passed, the relief was so intense that I will never in this lifetime forget it. It was like a switch being flicked. One second I was dying, or thought I was and maybe hoping I was and pain. Nothing. Normal. Light flooded my being and the world as I knew it was restored.

This is how I feel when I've been going through the crazies and they suddenly, almost as quickly as that kidney stone passed, disappear.
Or, mostly.

I had a wonderful day and it was as normal and prosaic as a toasted cheese sandwich, and by the way, we had those. Toasted cheese sandwiches. But the thing is- I woke up this morning to find that the crippling anxiety I've been experiencing had disappeared. This is not to say that I have NO anxiety. This is merely to say that the kind I've been having which is the kind that no one on this earth deserves, had gone. And the relief made every little thing more beautiful. Every bit of the day was, if not glory, glory hallelujah! at least, fine.

Don't even ask me why that happened. Maybe this, maybe that. I ain't looking the gift horse in the mouth, though. Not me, baby. Not me.

I enjoyed my boys so much. Talking with Owen is definitely interesting these days. This morning he told me, "Mer-Mer, I sorry you getting old. I really going to miss you."
This cracked me up. I told him, "Don't worry, honey. We're all getting old and I'm not that old. I can still take care of you very, very well."
He agreed that this was true and we went on to the next subject.

When we went outside, he was chilly so I fetched an old Goodwill cashmere sweater for him to wear. I think it made him look like even more of a rock star, don't you? That boy is a sweet one. And so is his brother who took Frankenstein steps all over the house today. He lurches and staggers and balances and falls and then does it again. The way the floors slope in this old house make it even harder but he kept on going. He fell asleep but every time I tried to put him down he woke up and cried so I ended up holding him on the couch for at least forty-five minutes while he napped and Owen patiently waited for him to wake up so that I could make his lunch.

That simple. That sweet. Books and cards and puzzles and cartoons and conversations and chickens and toasted cheese and apples and it was perfect, simply because there is some sort of peace in my soul.

And honey, if I could control this shit, I surely would. Maybe someday I'll be able to do that- figure out how to not do what causes the anxiety and figure out how to get rid of it if it comes.
But until then, I need to remember that it does, like a kidney stone, pass. And that my world will once again be light-filled and I will be able to be grateful I'm alive once again.

This Just Made Me Smile So Big

Okay, the kid ain't the best vocalist in the world but just watch it through to the end. It's short.

Fuck the rest of the world and all the fucking woes and worries.

We still have The Boss and his huge, giant heart and his goofy New Jersey boy grin. And for that, I give thanks.

Did It!

 Good Lord. 
This boy made it through his birthday.

Despite that fact that there was complete chaos and kids running around everywhere and vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores all there to be served and hot dogs to be cut up for little ones and babies dumping food in their laps and big boys demanding ketchup, NO ketchup, and Gibson's immediate reaction to being photographed like Lindsey Lohan and everyone singing terribly off-key to him and a cake being thrust into his face, he cheered right up when he tasted the cake and when he got to the ice cream part, he was happy as could  be.

It was crazy, y'all. But it was good. 
Gibson made it through and so did everyone else. 

Here's my very favorite picture of the event.

I'm sure you understand why.

Anyway, a one-year-old and a three-and-a-half year old are about to descend upon me and we shall see if Mer-Mer survives that. 

Good morning, y'all. It looks to be a decent day here in Lloyd and forgive me for blogging lite and not answering comments and not getting around to everyone else's blogs. I'm dancing as fast as I can with a bum hip and a crazy mind.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Beautiful Boy Turns One

It is March 20 which means that it is the spring equinox and it also means that our Gibson Monroe is one year old today. Exactly right now, one year ago, Lily was pushing that boy out into the world.
If you'd like to read the post I wrote about that beautiful, beautiful birth, please go HERE. 

I just reread it and it made me remember what an amazing day that was. Gibson being born with his father, his grandmother, his aunties in attendance. And of course, a very fine midwife. I have been to quite a few births and Gibson's may have been the sweetest I've ever witnessed and I'm not just saying that because he is my grandson. It was absolutely astounding and quick and perfect.

I am going to go help Lily to get ready for Gibson's party in a little while. It's so hard to believe that he's already a year old, that boy. Walking and cracking jokes in his own Gibson language, curious and smiling and cuddling and flirting, and as with all children, it is nearly impossible to believe that there was a time when he wasn't here with us, part of our family. With each child it seems as if another piece of the puzzle of the whole has been found.
Or at least, that's how it always seems to me.

Well. It is a cool day day in North Florida and the wisteria is starting to go a little crazy and it is spring and one year ago today the planet got another passenger, something which happens every minute of every day and a miracle every time, not unlike the coming of spring.

Happy Birthday, Gibson Monroe Hartmann. We are so glad you came to us. We are so glad you are here. It's been a year. And what a year it's been.

All my love...Your Mer-Mer