Wednesday, December 31, 2014

And So...

It's been a fine New Year's Eve day and I got to have lunch with Hank and Taylor and for once, Taylor wasn't cooking our lunch but eating it with us at a table and it was fun. For those of you who do not know, Taylor and Hank were a couple many years ago and although they are no longer, they will always love each other and we refuse to let Taylor go because we will always love her too. She and her good man, Paul, live downstairs from Hank now and so it goes. Taylor is the chef at Fanny's Cafe where May is the manager/server.
Once you're family around here, you will always be. I took her six lovely duck eggs and she said she might make some sort of delicious eggy popovers with them.

I got to see Lily at Publix and I am so happy with Publix right now. They are going to start offering spousal insurance to same-sex married couples, no matter the state they were married in. Obviously all companies should be doing this but of course they aren't and I am proud of Publix for taking this step in the right direction.
Publix's motto is "Where Shopping Is A Pleasure!" and frankly, it is a pleasure to shop at Publix and by golly, it's even more of one now.

There's a Goodwill right next to the restaurant where we had lunch and I ran in there for a few seconds after we ate and found a lovely emerald green sweater and two fancy (but sturdy) glasses for the boys to have their desserts in tonight. They love sherbet with grape juice and ginger ale. Purple cows, we call them. I also got two cowboy hats.

They took off to Bug's house to go fish in his pond with their Boppy. They had a great time. And they caught bream which is such a boy-sized fish.

And are delicious as well, fried up crispy in a skillet.

So. A good day and now the steaks are marinating and Boppy has a fire going and we will eat and then the boys will have baths and there will be stories and then a movie and then sleep.
And then of course in the morning there will be bacon and pancakes. Because that is what we do.

I will be cooking greens and black-eyed peas tomorrow and cornbread and Jessie and Vergil are coming out and are bringing friends of theirs from out of town. I'm looking forward to that.

New Year's Eve. All is well. I don't really feel much of an ending or a beginning because time to me feels too fluid and infinite in both directions to really get too worked up over it. For all I know, the Mayan prophecy was correct and we are all dead and just imagining every bit of this or perhaps we're a dream in the Great Turtle Mother's head as she supports the universe on her back or we're the story being told by all of the storytellers in history, each taking his or her turn around the great Celestial fire in the deep and wondrous darkness of time, sparks snapping, eyes flashing, teeth gleaming, hands gesturing out to the firmaments.
I like these ideas. Especially that last one.

But, perceiving this as we do, I want very much to wish you all peace and joy and love and health. Not just tonight and tomorrow and in the year we shall call 2015, but forever, in the infinite sense.
May we remember that we are ALL family.

Don't forget to eat your greens and peas tomorrow. Cornbread with cane syrup optional but highly recommended.

All love...Ms. Moon

Gold Rings On Ya

The internet is amazing and y'all are amazing and this morning I got an email from a reader who sent me a link which solved the mystery of Austin Gibson Miller in one click. 
The child was born and he only lived to almost-seven.
I wonder how he died.

Thank you, Sue! Thank you so much! I am just completely gobsmacked at how these things work. At the generosity and interest of strangers.

And here we are on the very last day of 2014 and I think I'm having lunch with some/all of my kids. I have so many kids. Not really. Four isn't that many compared to, well, let's say the Duggars. Coordinating a lunch out with that family must take a calculator, a phone tree, a city bus and a Golden Corral.

We opened the door of the coop for Miss Dove but she is staying inside for now where she feels safe. Her New Year's Resolution may well be the same as mine which is to try and stay alive. Basically, that's about it.

I could get all mushy and nostalgic but I'm not going to. 2014 has passed like a dream. There has been a lot to it for all of us. As with every year. The smallest things can add up to be huge. Things which appeared to be huge can turn out to be absolutely nothing at all.

I am glad that all of us here are somehow related, somehow connected, offering hope and links and even love. Sharing stories and poems and dreams. You are all more a part of my life than you can know.

Well, I'll check in later. We'll be bringing the New Year in with two fine boys and with any luck, the passing from this year to the next will occur while we sleep. It will come whether we welcome it with fireworks or dreams, champagne or a sip of water from the bedside table.
May kisses be involved.

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

History. And.

Mr. Moon is doing something new today which is hunting wild hog. I will see him before midnight, I feel certain.

My brother, White, sent me a picture today which engendered conversation and me getting out the huge old family Bible which I inherited from my father.

Here's the picture he sent me.

Burkett Miller was my great-uncle, and his parents,  White B. and Mary Miller, were my great grandparents. I have a picture of W.B. in my hallway.

He was quite a man and he amassed quite a fortune and his sons went on to do pretty well for themselves. Besides being the main backer of the Miller Park in Chattanooga, Uncle Burkett also founded The Miller Center at the University of Virginia which I take is a pretty big damn deal. However, by the time my father came along (and he was the only child born from that generation), things sort of went to hell and this is why I fondly refer to him as my old, dead, drunk daddy.

Anyway, as I said, I got out the family Bible (whereupon a huge silverfish crawled out and I smashed it) because my grandfather, Vaughn Miller and his brother, my Great Uncle Burkett were the supposed only two children of W.B. and Mary but the births page in the Bible lists another child. 

Neither my brother nor I had ever heard of Austin Gibson and of course there is a strong possibility that the poor little tyke died either at childbirth or soon thereafter. 

Whoever kept the record in this Bible had beautiful handwriting but the details are so vague that it leaves me wanting to know so much more. 

The names Gibson and Vaughn and White and Burkett are very familiar to me (and make me even happier that Gibson was named Gibson) but Annette? Maggie? These names are beautiful as well. 

My brother is fascinated by family history and he and I really should do some research. He's done a lot but I've done none. I do know that bizarrely enough, one of our ancestors ended up in Thomasville, Georgia which is a hop, skip, and a jump from where I live now. His name was General (Something) Vaughn and he had been a general in the Confederate Army (of course) and I probably have all sorts of relatives nearby, probably both Black and White because plantations were involved. I have a copy of a photographic portrait of General Vaughn and my brother is the spitting image of him.

And his sons are the spitting image of him. Genes are strong. 
I moved here out of complete serendipity and there you go. 

I sent my brother all of these pictures as well as this one.

Which, as I said to him, would indicate that we are immortal. 
Good to know.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch.

Willy and Lily taking a sunset tour of the yard and proof that Maurice is indeed magical. 

And here's sweet Miss Dove in the coop.

I am going to let her out tomorrow and I am hoping that she and Miss Camellia will hook up as friends again. Camellia is tucked up in the pump house and the chucks are again nestled into the hay in the hen house.

It's been an interesting day, albeit a not-quite-sane one and I slept for two hours this afternoon and golly, I guess I better make supper because Mr. Moon will probably be home at some point and I suppose I need to eat too.

It's interesting to think of my ancestors and I don't even want to contemplate what they would think of me, living here on 2.2 acres, tending chickens.
Frankly, it doesn't matter a bit what they would think of me. I have done my job in passing down the genes and so has my brother. I love my chickens and I love my children and grandchildren and family trees have many branches and roots as well and in the end, it all means not much more than that people have sex and babies result and so on and so forth.

Still, it is interesting but so are chickens. And ducks. And a magical cat.

Love...Ms. Moon

Even With Camellias

The sky was a patchwork of blue and gray and white and dark and light when I got up and my anxiety was rippling right along like white foam on the waves, constantly renewing itself, rearing up, hissing on the shore as it rolled in like breath, like heartbeat, over and over.

I knew I had to take a walk and so I did and it was such a good thing to do. As I walked, the sky cleared until it was a blue silken sheet above me. I ducked into the old graveyard where I found the newest headstone with fallen Christmas decorations around it. I set them all back in a sort of order.

Everything seemed at peace there. 

While I walked, I listened to the Diane Rehm Show and it was about the latest Catholic Synod and although her guests were obviously very intelligent and had great senses of humor and were convinced that things in the church are going to change, it all just seemed like counting the number of angels who can dance on the head of a pin to me. They were discussing annulment, as I did briefly the other day, and how the Pope is probably going to streamline that process so that those who are divorced and who want to remarry within the church and receive the sacraments may do so. People called in about how horrible it was not to be able to marry in the church or take communion which represents to them the grace of their god, because the annulment process is so difficult and no one, NO ONE said, "This is just a bunch of crap and outdated manmade rules which mean nothing." No one said, "It makes no more sense to say that a marriage which produced children and lasted for years never happened than it does to say that unbaptized infants go to hell or Limbo (which no longer exists in doctrine) and it's stupid and it's cruel to lay that shit on people and their children."
Ah well. People believe what they want to believe and if this Pope wants to make things a bit more realistic and pertinent and intelligent and compassionate, then I am all for him. 
Still, I do not understand this need to believe. I never will. It is just not in me. I no more have faith in the Catholic god than I do in a benevolent universe or that there's a plan for each of us. None of this interferes in any way with my ability to be awed by the world I live in, over and over again. Or to try and do my best to be a kind and compassionate person. 

I don't know. It just all sort of makes me crazy, this human desire to believe that we are important enough for some Divine Power to be constantly keeping his eye on the sparrow and us too and if that's true, someone ain't doing his or her job if you ask me. Let go and let god at your own risk is what I say although I do not care to try and control much of anything at all anymore. If you pray and get what you prayed for, that's proof of god for some people. If you pray and you don't get what you wish, there's always someone to remind you that this too, is proof of god in that god often has other plans in store for you which is why you didn't get what you prayed for. 
Father knows best. So then you pray for acceptance and understanding of god's will. 
And so forth.

Well, okay. 

Here's some more beautiful camellias from a bush in the yard of the vacant house next door.

I can't help but stop and admire these beauties and I do pick some now and then. 

I talked to the guys working on the old store and they're going to try and open in about a month. It looks great in there and it's going to be called Papa Jay's Country Store. Or something like that. They are going to have "a little bit of everything," the guy told me. Jay himself? I do not know. But I am very excited at the prospect of having a small business here where people can come together to get coffee and sandwiches and milk and whatever. I hope it works out. 

And now I am home and it's fairly quiet here in Lloyd. 

There's Miss Eggy Tina, Willy, Lily and Miss Camellia. Miss Dovie is doing fine in the coop although she is skittish as can be. She may always be. That's alright. She may or may not become part of the flock one day. I will do my part to make her feel safe and welcome but beyond that, I can do no more. 
It is painfully obvious to me that some things will be as they are and that I have no control over them. Even things like my own damn anxiety although yes, I can do certain things to try and alleviate some of it and/or learn to live with it a little more easily. Get exercise, spend time outside, take my medication. Etc.

So it goes. One day for no discernible reason you wake up and it's cloudy and dismal and then the sun breaks through and the clouds disappear. But there IS a reason and it has to do with a whole lot of scientific stuff that we now know about and someday they'll figure out the whys and wherefores of mental illness. I hope. But just as with the weather- understanding WHY and being able to do shit about it are two different things. 

At this point I have no idea what I'm talking about so I guess I'll go do some laundry.

Yours truly...Ms. Moon

Monday, December 29, 2014

More Wonders And Mysteries

Besides growing things that look like that around here, we also grow things which look like this:

That is my finger there on the left for scale and perspective. 
I have no idea what that thing is. A beetle of some sort, I would assume. Do any of you know what it is? It was on the pillar at the front of Publix today. 

Anyway, that's the most exciting thing I've seen today and here's just about the prettiest thing:

Bug had to climb a ladder up into a tree to get that hen. So now we have two. The third one flew away and he can't find it. Anyway, I just think she's a gorgeous little hen, sweetest gray color you ever saw. I think we should call her Dove. I hear she's wild and so she's in the coop now and will be for a few days. Suddenly I feel as if I have about fifty more birds rather than just four. And a friend of Lily's is going to be bringing us a new rooster soon. We've got a poultry farm!
Mr. Moon reports that Miss Camellia is roosting in the old pump house so that's good. I've been finding eggs in a nest in there again. I wonder if hers is one of them. 

Mysteries of chickens.

Well, that's enough. I'm going to go cook supper. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Completely Random Stuff On A Real Gray Day

Willy and Lily had laid us two nicely clean eggs this morning by the time we let the birds out of the hen house. This is good because although I searched the yard yesterday I never did find any of their eggs. They are certainly cheerful beasts and seem so happy to have joined in with our flock.

It is dreary here today and I am SO READY FOR THE HOLIDAYS TO BE OVER!
I mean...all the candy and the celebrating and the what-the-hell-day-is-this fog and confusion.
I'm going to take the tree down today. That should take a good ten minutes.

It's gray. It's warm. It's December 29th. The boys are going to come spend New Year's Eve with us. They want to cook steaks. Well, Owen does. Gibson doesn't care. Yesterday I gave him a piece of bread out of the oven with butter on it. He kept coming back into the kitchen for reapplications of butter. I'm not sure he ever did eat the actual bread.

And I never did go to town yesterday. I discovered an entire bag of flour I had forgotten I'd bought. Plus, one banana. Crisis averted! But I think I have to go today. Not just to the store but to the library. I HAVE NOTHING TO LISTEN TO WHILE I WALK (if I ever do walk again) DO LAUNDRY, SWEEP, WORK IN THE YARD, COOK, ETC. ETC. ETC.!
Forget bananas and flour. THIS is a crisis.

Mr. Moon is taking back the earphones he bought us for Christmas. Two pairs. One for him, one for me. The box said in big honking letters: Guaranteed Never To Hurt Or Fall Out!
I have no idea if they ever fall out because they hurt too much to keep in. Mr. Moon accused me of having weird ears until he tried his.
I'm sure it'll be all easy-peasy to take two sets of earphones back to Best Buy today.

Maurice under a palm tree.
How's that for random?

How are you surviving these dead, deadly last days of the year?
If your answer contains "chocolate" and/or "vodka," then come sit by me.

Love you...Ms. Moon

Sunday, December 28, 2014


Half a moon smiling on me.
Two boys running and playing. Two daughters laughing and two sons-in-law off hunting and then coming back with tales of peace, undisturbed by deer.
One man home,  more than one hug and several kisses.
One pot of soup consisting of
One butternut squash
One onion
Four stalks of celery
One container of home made chicken broth
One chicken carcass, picked for meat
One package of chicken sausage
One left-over container of apples and cranberries
Four cloves of garlic
One other leftover container of brown rice
Red beans, white beans, black-eyed peas, lentils and split peas, cooking since this morning
One bunch of greens from the garden: collards, turnips, mustards, kale
Soy sauce

Two loaves of bread made from flour and oats, yeast, salt, water, and sugar.

Twelve chickens and two ducks shut up to sleep in the cozy hen house.

One hallway altar filled with vases of camellias, red, pink, white, rose, purple-tinged.

One bed with sheets washed and then dried on the line waiting for this night's sleep.

All of this add up to one life well lived on this day.

That's the arithmetic of my life tonight.

Love...Ms. Moon

Pondering The End Of The Year

Time for the lists.
The lists, the lists, the lists.
Best movies, best books, worst celebrity wardrobe choices, who got married, who had babies, who got divorced, who died. Hottest diets of the year, hottest trends of the year, hottest laptop celebrities in bikinis of the year. Best albums of the year, worst tragedies to have befallen. Natural disasters which occurred. Etc.

It's also time to start making resolutions to get healthier, skinnier, more productive, more organized, saner, more serious, less serious.

Me? I'm sitting here watching two white ducks gambol in a small black tub wishing the Waffle House was a lot closer.

Dang. I have to leave Lloyd today. Out of bananas again. I'm also out of flour. This will not do.

I think I'll make soup. Actually, I know I'll make soup. I already started cooking beans for it.

This is the level I am operating on at this moment.

Remember the year my New Year's resolution was to use the word cocksucker more frequently?

Hell. I even failed at that.

Maurice is watching the chickens and ducks as if they were her favorite TV show.

Maybe my New Year's resolution this year will be to not watch any less of the chicken and duck channel than I already do. Same with the cat-and-trees-and-sky channels.

There's a pretty good chance I could actually accomplish that.

Happy Sunday, y'all. Hahahahahahaha!

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Society Of Poultry And Humans

Ah, my darlings have come and gone. We had a stroll-around-the-yard-martini and then a porch martini and I made us a salad from the garden and heated up the quiche and made a loaf of bread. Lon loves my bread and I love to make it for him.
It was such a sweet, short, precious time and we missed Mr. Moon tremendously.

Lis and I went to shut the chickens up and Willy and Lily (whom I had let out of the coop today along with Camellia) had settled into the hen house with the rest of the chickens but Miss Camellia is nowhere to be found. I hope she is roosting in a tree which is what she did at home. But it made me laugh to see those goofy chucks in the hen house. They can't roost due to their webbed feet, but they were settling into the hay. They had a good time in the yard today and I think they mostly determined their safe places and ventured out from there on little cautious excursions.

It has been a very nice day and I got a lot done and mostly, of course, I got to see my beloved friends and hug them and be with them and enjoy them and laugh with them. They know me so well and yet, they love me.
It's a miracle.
Not the only one in my life, but a sure-fire wonderful mystery of one.
And I love them with all of my heart and it is one of the major good things about my life that they are part of it.

Pictures Plus

Good morning. I slept another thousand hours last night after I ate my delicious quiche although I did not eat the entire thing.

Let me just say that finally learning to make good pie crust may turn out to be a goddam curse. 
Kale, tomatoes, peppers, onions, spinach, mushrooms and a tiny bit of bacon. And cheese. Of course. My tummy accepts duck eggs with great and fervent joy. 

Speaking of ducks- those things are a damn mess. I think I'm going to move their tub outside the coop today and let them free to waddle about. Also Miss Camellia.
We shall see.

Speaking of camellias. Are you sick of them yet? 
Get over it.

I love them so, these gorgeous Japanese imports. And I planted them all from tiny little sprigs. 

Here's what it looks like fifteen feet beyond where I am sitting right now.

Why would I ever want to leave? Cardinals, little finches, chickens, camellias, live oaks, pecans...
Chittering, chattering, bawking, crowing. Eating, flapping, snapping seeds, sipping from the little pond. Life!

And here's Maurice, trimming the ponytail palm. 

She does this all the time. Poor ponytail palm. 

Just got texts from Lis! They're coming over tonight for "golden hour cocktails and merriment."

Well, that's life in Lloyd today. I think I'll put on my overalls and go mess with that duck tub. 

Golly but my life is exciting!

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, December 26, 2014

Sort Of The Perfect Day

Today has been an absolutely magical day for me. It has been the sort of day which restoreth my soul. That walk, the beautiful cards I received in the mail, the laugh I got when I read a newsletter from an old friend who is Catholic and is on his third marriage and finally, this marriage is sanctified because he got an annulment from his last wife even though they had four sons. Which seems ridiculous to me. A divorce is one thing but to say the marriage never really existed in the eyes of a god EVEN THOUGH HE HAD GOTTEN AN ANNULMENT FROM HIS FIRST WIFE TO MARRY THAT WOMAN just makes me laugh. Reminds me of all of the machinations of Henry VIII. 

Well, each to his or own beliefs.

But I practiced my religion today which was to spend time tending my house and my yard and my animals and thus, tending to my soul. I tidied the house and put away all the wrapping paper and tape. I contemplated taking the tree and the nativity down which I have frequently done on Christmas day itself, but this year I am still enjoying lighting it all up in the evening and so I did not.
When I was upstairs to put the paper and ribbons and tags away, I went into the spare bedroom and cleaned up the old ornaments a bit, threw some things away, and then went through a bag of Owen's old clothes which we completely missed using for Gibson as the largest size represented was 24 months. Well, there will be another baby at some point. There is no doubt of that. I refolded each little garment and remembered Owen wearing them. The elephant shirt, the "My Daddy Rocks!" shirt, the little jeans and corduroy britches. I smoothed them and folded them and stacked them all nicely, sighing that Owen was ever that small.

I gave the ducks some more water in their little tub and one of them went paddling about by herself but the other one did not join her. That one, however, stood by the tub and repeatedly ducked her head into the water and beaked herself wet. After that, they both stood in one spot and fluffed and preened themselves. They pecked at their feathers and rubbed the backs of their heads as far down their bodies as they could, rubbing everywhere. They did all of this over and over and I sat and watched them for at least twenty minutes. At one point, Nicey came and stood on the little stump between the two chairs we have set up out there to use as a table to watch the ducks with me.

After a while she fluttered down and then Maurice took her place.

I know it's absurd but somehow, I feel so very blessed by the presence of these creatures which share my world. They are not here for me, nor even especially with me, but we share our spaces. We do things together and I only hope that they find my behavior as interesting as I find theirs although I seriously doubt that. I am quite aware that they view me as mostly a food dispensing creature which is true and is fine. But sometimes you know, we just hang out and no food is involved and it's such a companionable thing. They soothe me. They entertain me. They give my nurturing ways a channel which is undemanding and yet satisfying. 

I got out the Rubbermaid cart and picked up so many downed branches and limbs and hauled them to the burn pile. I swept the porches clean of leaves and watered the porch plants which are still outside, not overwintering inside. I made the bed, I washed dishes. I hung my beautiful cards up, I gathered the chicken's eggs, I fed the chickens grapes and the ducks a few greens from the garden which they loved. 
Some of you have commented that duck eggs have made you sick in the past which rather alarmed me. I knew that Kathleen could eat them, even in her last weeks when she was tolerating very little. But...
So I did massive research, meaning of course that I goggled the situation and according to everything I've read, duck eggs are more nutritious than hen eggs and are prized by bakers for their creamier textures, especially in pastries and custards. That some people find them richer-tasting, some eggier-tasting, and some lighter-tasting. Even that some folks who are allergic to chicken eggs can safely eat duck eggs. 
I am wondering if those of you who got sick from them ate eggs that were old. I do not know. But I am going to make a quiche tonight and use the two I got today. I already have the pastry crust chilling in the refrigerator. I picked some kale to use in it and have a lovely sharp cheddar. 

And so it has gone today. I have been alone, had time to think and to observe and to move about inside and outside. A day of peace and solitude after the craziness of Christmas, as much as I did enjoy it this year. 

I need to go roll out my dough and make my quiche. My husband has texted me that he is back to his room, safe from the woods. My chickens and the ducks are all safe in their shelters. I have had a day wherein I have truly loved my life. 

I will leave you with a quote from an audio book I'm listening to. The name of the book is "The Dinosaur Hunter" and it's by Homer Hickam which is a fantastic name, if you ask me. The narrator is Michael Kramer and if you ever want to know the definition of "laconic" just listen to his voice. 
Okay. Here's the quote:
"There's nothing in the world as sexy as an intelligent, dirty woman."
Or something very close to that. 

I don't know how intelligent I am but I sure do need a shower.

Love...Ms. Moon

A Day To Be Silly. A Day To Be Wealthy

When I got up at 9:30 after TEN HOURS OF SLEEP (don't you judge me) my husband had already gotten up, packed, eaten breakfast, tended to the birds, and was ready to hit the road for Georgia. He is bound and determined to get another doe for meat. He was happy, I tell you. I woke up enough to tell him my dreams ("you didn't love me anymore") and he laughed and said that if I'd gotten up earlier he would shown me he loved me and I gave him the look, you know the look. The one that says, take me to Cozumel and show me you love me or maybe that's just a look that happens here.
I am being silly. I feel sort of silly today.
I went out and took a little walk and it is beyond perfect today. Here is my enchanted wood with water from all of our rain.

I walked down dirt roads and on paved roads and I got me a new walking stick, another dried stalk of dog fennel which would not deter a strong hummingbird determined to attack me but nothing attacked me although I did see a pretty bulldog pup, running free who seemed more scared of me than I was of him. "Go home," I said gently, shaking my stick at him. I hope he does. 
It felt so good to be out, moving fast under the blue sky, the green of the trees above me or at least the ones who have not lost their leaves or needles, the cool air. I waved at a sheriff who looked worried about something and also the man on lives on Main Street but who sits in his truck at the intersection to read the paper and ponder things. I guess he ponders things. I don't ask him. He is not a talky-sort of man and I always feel as if he disapproves of me and he has, in fact, told me that I should not walk alone in the woods. 
Oh well. Been doing it for ten years now and no harm done at all. 

I stopped by the Post Office and collected more cards and also my Virgin of Guadalupe calendars which I must, by law, order every year. I am ready for 2015. 

When I got home I went out to the coop to say hey to Camellia and Lily and Willy. Here is what I found. 

Two very fresh duck eggs. One was laid on the ground and one in the little roost box. Thus the one which is very dirty and the one which is not as dirty. I hear that Willy and Lily lay their eggs willy-nilly and I'm sorry. That had to be said. But they do not seem to nest, just drop those eggs wherever they feel the urge. 
I will be learning more about ducks than I ever imagined I needed to. 

So. That is me on the day after Christmas. Feeling extremely well, anticipating a call from Lis who is nearby at her sister-in-law's, knowing I am rich beyond my wildest dreams. Rich in birds and in eggs, in greens in the garden. Rich in love and rich in not being in a panic about a damn thing. Rich in camellias busting into bloom, rich in colors and in textures and in light and in shade. Rich in silliness. Rich in books and rich in water, poured from heaven and seeping into the aquifer beneath me, filtered by limestone and better than money in the bank. Rich in sun and rich in this old house which still stands to embrace our lives so graciously. Rich in oak trees. Rich in my neighborhood, rich in a cat-familiar who holds me down in the bed at night so that I do not get pulled too far upwards into bad dreams. Or down, either one. Rich in my good husband, rich in my amazing children, rich in their children and the ones to come. 
Rich in friends and rich in solitude. 

Fuck me! I am a rich bitch!

I think I'll go give the chucks some more fresh water. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, December 25, 2014

And Christmas Just Keeps On Getting Better. Thank You, My Darling Kathleen And Her Beloved Bug

This afternoon Mr. Moon and I went down to Bug's house to see if we could capture and bring home two ducks and three hens.

Three out of five ain't bad.

Mr. Moon caught the first hen with a long-handled fishing net. Pretty easy. Then he went for another hen and she and the other one took off over the fence for the woods. Chickens sure as hell CAN fly when they want to.
Next he caught the ducks. They cannot fly so that wasn't so hard.

We had them in little cages and let them sit awhile and Mr. Moon and Bug threw a line into the pond which Kathleen loved so much. They caught a fat bream and another fish, I don't remember what. They threw them back in and we brought the ducks and the chicken home.
We got the coop all sorted out with fresh food and brought in the cages and let them free.
And here they are.

The hen. I know she had a Kathleen-given name but mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, I do not know it. Neither did Bug. So we are calling her Camellia. Kathleen loved to give her chickens the names of flowers.

Here are the ducks. Their names are Willy and Lily. We think they are both females due to the number of eggs that they lay. I can't tell the difference between them. One of them seems slightly fatter than the other. Bug says they called them the "chucks" because they think they are chickens but they are ducks. 
Can I just say that ducks (or chucks) are hysterical? They peck at their food like machine guns whether at the feeder or in the dirt. We filled up their little tub and they drank about a quart of water each. Bug and Kathleen had both told me that when you give them fresh water in the tub they get in it and immediately begin to fornicate. Even though yes, they are probably both girls. 
So Mr. Moon and I took our seats in the chairs by the coop and split a lovely Belgian beer and watched for the possibility of fornication and also simply to observe all three birds as they explored the new space. They seemed fine with it. Camellia ate and drank in regular chicken fashion and she went into the roosting box and came out again and repeated the maneuvers. Willy and Lily had no interest in the box but happily ate and drank and pecked at whatever ducks peck at in the dirt. 
But no fornication. 
Elvis and Trixie seemed pretty darned interested in Camellia but they were separated by wire. Same with Maurice who knew something was up. 
The ducks do everything in tandem. Walk together, eat together, drink together. When they talk they bob their heads and let go with a string of vocalizations which remind me somewhat of Gibson when he gets going. It is most definitely a conversation but I have no idea what's being said. Probably something along the lines of, "Hey, let's go drink some more water!"
"Excellent idea! You lead!"
And so forth.

We finally got chilly and I needed to start supper and so we came into the house but I peeked at them from the back porch a few moments later and here's what was going on:

They were in the tub and one of them was having her way with the other. I called Mr. Moon and he came out and we watched as this went on for approximately thirty seconds and then the duck on the bottom had had enough and leaped from the tub. They shook themselves off and quacked a bit and ate some more food.

As I said- hysterical. 

When Mr. Moon poured our beers we toasted Kathleen. 
"We are going to take care of your birds the best we can!" I told her. And we will. We already sort of love them. They made us laugh. 

And so there you go- the three new members of the Moon family and we are so happy they are here. I can't wait to see the chucks waddling about the yard and discussing the bugs and tasty weeds. I will remember not to refresh their tub water before the boys get here. Because...really. No. 
And while we were watching the birds, we saw Elvis mount Miss Butterscotch which was reassuring because he may be old but he's not THAT old. 

Golly gee. It's been a merry Christmas. 

And we are going to continue to try and capture the other two hens and we will see how that goes. Our family just keeps getting bigger and bigger and better and better. 

Stay tuned for more adventures from Casa Luna where chickens and cats roam and chucks have hot lesbian sex. 

Your intrepid reporter...Ms. Moon

The Best

Christmas morning has come and gone and the sun is out full-strength and it is cool but not cold and everyone kept saying, "This is the best Christmas EVER!" and it has been.
Jessie and Vergil made beautiful lemon marmalades, some with ginger, some without and Hank made us all pictures that made us laugh so hard and Lily did some incredible cross stitches and May made the tiniest little sweaters with perfect details on them to use as ornaments. That is her workshop, above.

Jessie's and Vergil's sweaters. All tiny-stitched by hand. 

Here's a picture with the kids and Mr. Moon holding home made gifts.

Now click on that so that you can see the amazingness. 

Here's Lily in her Walking Dead T-shirt. She's a obsessed. In a good way. 

Owen opening a present from his Aunt Donna. 

Jessie and Vergil being lovey. 

There were sweet rolls and bagels and eggs and sausage and coffee and Bailey's and mimosas and sparkling juice and dinosaurs and books and Transformers out the wazoo. There were earrings and a glittery scented Virgin of Guadalupe candle and a mermaid and games and aged rum and helicopters and candy and pistachio nuts and oh hell. I don't even know what all there was. Lots and lots of smiles and laughs and cheers and thanks and kisses and hugs and I guess my favorite of all:

A little boy in pajamas and boots eating the Doritos he got in his stocking. 

You can't get much better than that. Or happier. I swear, if that is all he'd gotten, he would have been a happy guy. Well, the Doritos and the tiny laser gun that he shot me with repeatedly and repeatedly and repeatedly. 
Such a little dude. Such a fine little dude even though he is going through a stage where he will NOT KISS ME. His sweet brother makes up for it. Owen is so full of kisses and hugs that it is a joyous thing. And he just discovered the group hug which is even better. 

So. There you go. Christmas and if it weren't for the full lakes and ditches and swamps formerly known as woods, you would not believe that the past week has been nothing but rainy. I am in wonderment not to be feeling my Christmas insanity. 

And now Mr. Moon and I are going to go down to Bug's and try to catch three hens and two ducks. 

I'll let you know how it goes.

Much, much love, peace and joy...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Oh Holy Night. This And Every One Of Them

I doubt I could ever ask for a better Christmas Eve.
The storms seem to have passed and the air is cooler, every now and then I hear a rustle from the trees but I also hear the frogs chorusing in the swamp in the woods beyond the railroad tracks. They are celebrating the rain and the glory thereof and I hope they are awash in the joy of making tadpoles.
This afternoon when Mr. Moon got home we took a nap and caught up on the sleep we missed last night and when we got up, he made me an espresso and then Bug came over and brought more presents, including an awesome tipi for the boys that they could actually sleep in and it was so good to see him.

After he left we got dressed for the gathering at Lily and Jason's and I wore a red dress and purple stockings and my silver jewelry and Mr. Moon wore a red shirt and black overalls and an elf hat that May made years ago. We drove to town with all the food I'd made and I got to see all of my babies and there was so much food and Jessie and Vergil made it all the way home from Asheville today and here are two beautiful men whom I love so much.

Jason's brother and his wife and their precious tiny daughter who makes me suck in my breath and remember that I cannot have any more children of my own, and his mother, my grandsons' other grandmother, came and here are the three cousins. 

No. It's not a great picture but YOU try and get a picture of three littles on Christmas Eve. 
Is that little girl a princess or what? Gibson is completely in love with her. Her name is Lenore and he calls her "Nore" and he and she talk in their own language and she is delicate as a fairy. To watch her go and reach up and get a cracker and dip it into cheese dip and eat it is enough to make me swoon. This tiny perfect being- and yet- she is a human! 
Oh my. 

I did not do well with the pictures tonight. It was just all so busy and there was so much going on. But I got this one.

There's our Rusty who just a few months ago was a wild, feral thing and who now is part of a family and who will come out during a party to lick fish dip off of fingers and who will pose under the Christmas tree. 
I can't help it. There is part of me which is as proud of that as anything I can be proud of. 
Doesn't he look fine? 

And so here we are. Ready to go to bed and tomorrow morning we will get up and drive back to Lily and Jason's house with presents and more food and there will be the great opening and revealing and then my husband and I will come home and have our own sweet time here. I had him buy a little roasting hen today and I plan on stuffing it and baking it and making a cozy Christmas dinner of our own. I honestly don't feel as if I will go insane tomorrow. 
I mean, it COULD happen but I don't feel as if it will.

Ah. It is raining again. Gentle and sweet. All of the promise I need. 
And look- I don't believe in a virgin birth nor do I see the reason to believe in one. Every baby born is a miracle and I am sure that 2000 years ago many, many women gave birth to beautiful babies in homes not much prouder than a stable, under the stars in a tents in deserts, under the palmetto roofs of shelters from one end of the earth to another. And that this very night, women are giving birth and each child from 2000 years ago to right this very second is born a Jesus, a Buddha, a Saint. We just need to acknowledge that. They do not come from immaculate conceptions but from the coupling of humans and they are born with tears and with blood and with salt water and they are taken, each one, to holy breasts, if they are able. 

You were too and even if no one realized your holiness, I do right now.

Love...Ms. Moon

Christmas Eve Day

These stay up year 'round.

It is as if the Old Testament's cruel messages of rain and plague are going to hang about until tomorrow, when hopefully we shall be enjoying the sunny fruits of Christ's appearance on earth, a time when outdoor weddings were held and water turned to wine and vast numbers of people showed up to listen to some talkin' on a lovely day and shared a few loaves and fishes.
And you didn't need a damn ark.

All night it blew and thundered and gusted and rained and all three of us here- the man, the cat, and I, got up at different times to wander about the house. We were all uneasy and it was so warm and then the power went off and it felt like the aftermath of a hurricane, truly. And still, it rains today. I have no idea how much rain we've gotten in the past week but it's a record-breaker, I'm sure.
It has, in fact, been raining ever since Kathleen died which was one week ago.
I can't believe a week has passed since I kissed her good-bye. My heart is still so full of her.

The power was still out at 7:30 when I woke up from a horrible dream and I got up and put my beloved percolator on the gas stove to make cowboy coffee. A gift from my Lis from long ago and I do love it. It takes about half an hour, I swear, to make a pot but it's worth it. I called Jason because he was supposed to be bringing the boys out but it all ended up with Boppy going in to stay with them for awhile because he had to go to town anyway.

It would appear they are having fun.

And I sat here in the dark with the trees swaying and the wind chimes playing mournful tunes and the rain falling down and felt strangely peaceful. I got all the wrapping done last night (and can I get a Hallelujah?) and the cooking I needed to do and so I sat on the porch and did a crossword and didn't even realize the power was back on until the phone rang.

How odd. As I wrote a friend this morning, I have not had a Christmas in memory which was less filled with despair than this one except for the one when we went to Cozumel. And then I wondered if perhaps Kathleen has somehow caused this almost-peace.
Not in some woo-woo way, but as a reminder of how short life can be, how precious while we have it.
Or something.
I don't know.
I know she surely did love Christmas.

Well, the power just went out again. Let me get this online before the battery back-up for the router goes out.

I wish you peace.
I send you love.

Ms. Moon